The Elevation (church) of Steven Furtick
Steven Furtick has been a rising star in Christian circles for some and now he has arrived on TBN, replacing of all people Kenneth Copeland who has been there since their inception. Don’t think this will bring any improvement to TBN, it will not. What he brings a more subtle and acceptable non biblical teaching to the younger generation.
Earning a master’s degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Which after watching his sermons did not help as this man’s understanding of Scripture, which is shallow. He tends to have a narcissistic view that finds a way into his stories, as applications as he transfers his own theology to Scripture. Furtick uses a Seeker Driven model, motivational speech, mixing human wisdom and copying word faith philosophy to express his interpretations of the Bible to his audience.
Regardless, Furtick is a popular pastor in America. His church comes in third behind Hillsong and Bethel in popularity.
The fact that Oprah Winfrey who does not endorse real Christianity approves of Furtick (as she did Joel Osteen) should be a red light to anyone that loves God’s word. Her network named Steven Furtick to their Super Soul 100 influencers list in the Soul Teachers category in 2016. He joins New Agers like Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Tony Robbins, Rob Bell; a host of non believers, not a group one would normally want to be associated with unless they are willing to compromise.
Lest begin with some of his teaching on core doctrinal points.
His doctrine on God’s nature
Furtick says he believes in the Trinity (posted on his website). Yet he had T. D. Jakes, a main oneness Pentecostal who denies the Trinity to preach at his church.
Jakes belief Statement says, “ There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit ." At T.D Jakes https://www.thepottershouse.org/explore/belief-statement/
Which does not make any sense even within its own construct, as a manifestation is a materialization, an appearance that comes and goes. Which means it cannot eternally simultaneously exist with each other as persons.
It is not surprising since Furtick says T.D. Jakes is my Favorite Preacher in the World. Jakes is probably the most known oneness preacher (who denies the Biblical Trinity) Furtick will even ask T.D. Jakes what certain Scriptures mean.
Jakes had an strong influence on Furtick, who said in “ God is not limited by physical dimensions… he never really leaves, however he does change form… but now when Jesus is taken from their sight and hidden in a cloud but he did not leave he just changed forms, he did not disappear he just was no longer visible instead he was internal (asks can I preach a little bit)
as he quotes John 16:7, which says, “ But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away.” Furtick “Its good that leave in physical form because then I can give you in spiritual form than I can direct you from a deeper place.”
Furtick says, “How could you say something like that Jesus?” “ How could you say it is good that you are going away? We followed you. We trusted you and now you are leaving us.”
“ No, I am not leaving you,” Furtick adds. “I am changing forms. Up until now I have walked with you, but when I send my spirit I will be in you, so I am not leaving you, I’m just changing locations .”
This is certainly promoting the heretical modalism teaching, that these three whom we call persons are offices, roles, not three persons that exist SIMULTANEOUSLY. Some that the most famous Oneness preacher of all, William Branham said. “It's three manifestations of the same Person, or you might call it three offices....Notice now, the Holy Spirit and the revelation and Christ is another form That's right . ” (The Revelation of the Seven Seals, p.156-157) another form is Oneness
Why would Furtick make such a clear statement of modalism found in the oneness Pentecostal view of God if he understands God is three eternal persons.
What is Furtick actually saying?
When he ascended he did not go to heaven but he came back to live inside the believers. This is so filled with error it’s hard for me not seeing people have a reaction to his words.
Jesus said he would send another, not himself. And they waited 50 days for Pentecost for this to take place.
Jesus does not become the Holy Spirit who has existed in eternity as God along with the Father and with him, the Son. That is what Oneness teaches, what William Branham teaches, what his friend TD Jakes teaches.
Modalism says that God is a single person who manifests as Father, then later as the Son, and then the Holy Spirit. Modalism has always been at odds with the Triune nature view of the Bible, in fact it was one of the first heresies mentioned in the church and has caused much confusion.
On Furtick’s elevation website it says it more correctly (but not a good choice of words) of the Trinity.
“God has existed in relationship with Himself for all eternity. He exists as one substance in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Although each member of the Trinity serves different functions, they each possess equal power and authority.”
But are they eternal as persons? Many word faith and others have what is written as right, but when teaching they speak the opposite.
Among the many statement s said these clarify what Jesus said, John 16:28 “I leave the world and go to the Father." John 14:16the Father, and He will give you another Helper” John 14:26-27 “ the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 16:7 “ It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” Therefore he did not change form.
Jesus Christ is completely human but, at the same time, completely God. He is the only plan for bringing people who are far from God back into a right relationship with God. He lived a perfect life, so that He could be a substitution for us in satisfying God’s demands for perfection. He defeated death in His resurrection so that we can have life.”
Keep this in mind as we look at his statements in his teaching to see if this is what he teaches.
Furtick states God created us in His image because of some need he had to be known by us. “ Its not how God sees me, its how I think God sees me that determines where I end up (in other words he is the determining factor, not God). “ I’ll prove it to you all the way from Gen.1, remember “let us make man in our image, “ God needed someone to show the world what he looked like or else he would have just been a concept. God would have been an abstract theory .”
How did that work out with Adam? What is he talking about. It sounds like physical man is image, where he put his characteristics in man,
To say no one knew who God is, nor had a relationship with him prior. He would be limited to being a concept, an abstract theory to all. We were not there when Jesus was on the earth, but we have his Word, just as they did before He was on earth.
This man knows little on this subject but people listen to him to learn his next to nothing teaching. Similarly, William Branham said God did not become God until he created angels to worship him “ The first thing He created was angels to worship Him, then He become God.” (60-0911E)
This similarity of God is in need does show a lack of understanding.
God appeared to Old Testament saints visibly and invisibly and they understood who he is.
God is energy
Furtick “God is energy” God is a molecular structure that fills all in all, that’s what it means to say Christ was from the beginning.” (Sermon Focus On The Fruit | I Don’t Know What To Do . In fact if you watch the beginning of this sermon you will see their worship and its entertainment value that attracts the people.)
Energy is not a person, a person has a will, an identity. God being energy” is incorrect, he produces energy. A molecular structure is creation, nothing created is the eternal God. All matter, even the invisible things are molecular, as is energy This is not a Biblical world view he is teaching, this is known as Panentheism, a new-age concept that is more in conducive with Hinduism’s prana.
The Holy Spirit is a personal being, not energy. The Bible says, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24).
Furtick has a way of having the bible say what he wants it to express, he makes his points from his own philosophy, not from Scripture, having his Bible closed he uses Scripture words to describe unscriptural meanings.
Furtick says “ Audacious faith is not passive. Neither is audacious prayer. Every aspiration you have in prayer needs an accompanying action. Otherwise you’re not really praying. You’re just pontificating.”
Where does Jesus say we must do something when we pray? The whole point is to ask of God and trust him to answer the request.
Audacious means fearless, defiant or contempt, faith means to trust, have reliance on God.
“God appreciates it when His people pray in a way that’s actually worthy of the God they’re praying to.” What about from the heart as one cries for help? We are to pray according to his will.
Steven Furtick says: Salvation is total surrender …If God gets in your life he’s going to get all up in the middle of it… speaking of God changing everything. “God isn’t going to wait for you to get to church on Sunday morning and bless you with a goosebump – God wants (stops to wave off the audience as they go wild). “ I know where to preach. I know where the love is, it’s in the middle, somebody shout it’s in the middle.”
Is this how God works or speaks? I hear Rod Parsley’s influence through his words and actions who is another friend and mentor of his, he mimics him a lot. Not a good influence for a so called Baptist. Love is in the middle of what? You can fill in the blank because Scripture is not the basis of his preaching.
In other words, no one is saved until they fully surrender, which means he would not qualify for this category either. Salvation is a free "gift" Romans 6:23, we are saved by faith not our work of surrender. Salvation comes by our trust in the message of the crucifixion and the resurrection, surrendering is part of our sanctification process that is continually working all through our life. That is what discipleship is all about.
Nonetheless, salvation is NOT total surrender – no one fully surrenders at the beginning. Salvation is faith in Christ work for us, trust in Jesus dying for our sins to be forgiven by the BLOOD. And believing He rose from the dead (1 Cor.15:1-4).
“Faith is meant to be more than a feeling, faith is meant to be more than a formula, in fact if you can reduce faith to a formula and make sense out of it ain’t faith, if you can explain it, it ain’t faith, you don’t need faith for what you can explain, you need faith for what your eyes can’t perceive, you need faith for what you don’t understand. Richard Rorh has a definition of faith, he says that faith is patience with mystery, faith is the willingness to abide in a place that you don’t fully understand the ramifications of. Faith is patience with mystery. What is faith? Heb.11:1 says faith is substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen …..asks what the opposite of faith? I heard doubt, I heard fear. I want to suggest a third option. You tend to think sometimes if you have doubts you don’t have faith, that the present of doubt indicates the absence of faith. But One priest said (Rorh) the opposite of faith is not doubt, the opposite of faith is certainty… the opposite of faith is when you figured everything out that you put your life in position that you don’t attempt anything that requires God. You don’t stretch yourself into a territory that enables the faith that you need for the challenges that you face. So that means you can have a lot of doubts but still operate in faith because faith is not certainty.”
Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest and contemplative mystic who says “Your true self is who you are in God from all eternity.”
Rorh is not a good biblical source to use, especially what he said on faith. So if Furtick is learning from this contemplative mystic it may be another. listen to Rohr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_beKRiPRoJc&fbclid=IwAR2SB_sMhKiDXjudQGipVK-aOZJuDKSe951J5QHHb4noH5RhzI1wOGxjn2Q
Question to Rohr: How would you describe your differences with Protestant Christians?
In terms of humanity's relation to God, [Protestants teach] some kind of necessary transaction of blood sacrifice that was needed by God to forgive or to love or to accept humanity. The Franciscan school never accepted that. Our Christology is much more of a nonviolent theory of atonement. To put it in two sentences: Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity, it didn't need changing. Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.” https://www.relevantmagazine.com/faith/richard-rohr-on-the-mysticism-of-prayer/
A blood sacrifice was not necessary? This is the very reason came to earth, to die for our sin to bring us into a relationship with Him.
Furtick goes on to say in this if you can explain faith than it aint faith, which he happen to explain. Besides using Hebrews 11.1, we have Heb. 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. ”
In fact Faith is used juxtaposed to our works, for us to understand how we receive salvation. the Bible explains it faith as trust reliance believing in, and we can understand it.
So than what kind of faith does he have?
Faith vs. doubt
Furtick preached a message stating that he had doubts in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, claiming that no one in the congregation fully believes these things. https://youtu.be/XmvVPIT7Bcw
If you do not believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ genuinely with your whole heart you are denying the gospel which then has no effect on you to be saved (1Cor.15:1-4). That means you do not have genuine faith.
Furtick goes on to say in his teaching “ Faith is not the absence of doubt; it is the means to overcome it. Do you hear what I’m saying? ‘Cause we get to church and we just all go into this Walking Dead willing suspension of disbelief. And we just believe things that have no impact on our everyday life, like we’re binge-watching Netflix, like ‘I’m just going to watch this a little while and hear a comforting word,’ but then we go out into the world and we doubt this stuff, but we can’t say we doubt this stuff, because doubt is bad an isn’t doubt bad?
We are to be believers not doubters, not sometimes doubters not 1% doubters. To doubt is from our human nature and the enemy.
When Thomas doubted he was not among the others, he became convinced and said my lord and my God. Do you think he doubted again?
The fact is, you get nothing from doubting . But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind – James 1:6
However Furtick also says this,
“I have my doubts. Is that alright? Do you need to find another church now that you know the man with the mic has doubts? I have my doubts.”
Did any apostle say they had doubts? Not after they had proof he was alive. In fact they said the opposite. To have doubts is the opposite of faith, FAITH IS trusting in the Word of Truth, which removes doubts.
Furtick says two different things
the presence of doubt indicates the absence of faith."
Faith is not the absence of doubt”
Which is it? Furtick constnatly contradicts his own words.
Cognitive dissonance takes place when we try and hold two opposite beliefs at the same time.
Faith is not the absence of doubt” Yes it is!
Jesus said to simply believe. As far as the story of Thomas he referred to in John 20:27 then He said to Thomas, " Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."
To doubt does mean you are not exercising faith. Luke 24:38-39 Jesus said to them, " Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?
Jesus made it clear if you have faith and do not doubt (Matt 21:21). Faith and doubt cannot co-exist.
James describes “doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:6-8)
If you are double minded on doctrine then you are not called to be a pastor. The psalmist wrote in Ps. 119:113 “ I hate the double-minded, But I love Your law.”
On the “Sinner’s Prayer” given at the end of a service, Furtick instructed a campus pastor not to make people say that they fully believe the words they were repeating.
If you do not fully believe than you are not trusting, then faith is not present. We are not saved by words themselves but by faith which comes from our heart, the inner person, our spirit.
These are just a few points on the many topics he expresses. As we go on we unravel how he treats the Word and what his Church is all about.
One cannot expect Furtick to actually preach from the Scripture though he is confident what he is saying is of God.