Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC is a living incarnation of the seeker-sensitive deeds NOT creeds thinking that has invaded the church.
He recently preached a sermon series entitled “Confessions of a Pastor” and he did all of us a huge favor. He candidly and passionately articulated his disdain for doctrine, discipling and feeding God’s sheep with God’s Word. (some video from the sermon is posted below)
I’ve seen this over and again with churches that have gone Purpose-Driven. Sound Biblical teaching is replaced with self-help 'practical living' sermons, hymns and songs with ANY deep doctrinal content are replaced with me-centered 7/11 songs, and those who complain about the lack of doctrinal depth and missing Biblical content are mocked and ridiculed and forcibly shown the door. But, normally this is done in private. Furtick, in the video below, decided to do this in public.
Listen carefully and you will hear how Furtick and others like him justify their entertainment-driven, relevant, self-help topical services. Its all in the name of evangelism and ‘kingdom multiplication’.
The most telling quote from Furtick’s diatribe is:
“If You Know Jesus This Church is NOT for you!”
His attitude is this:
We don't teach from Books of the Bible because it gets in the way of evangelism.
We don't offer different kinds of Bible studies because it gets in the way of evangelism.
We don't teach doctrine because it gets in the way of evangelism.
If you want to be fed God's word or have the Bible explained to you then you are a fat lazy Christian and you need to shut up and get to work or you need to leave this church because we ONLY do evangelism.
Notice also that "serving in the church" is the ONLY benchmark Furtick accepts as a good work for Jesus. What about serving Jesus by being a good spouse, parent, child, student, employee or business owner? Furtick and countless others like him, in their myopic obsession with evangelism and numbers have literally ignored their duty to feed and care for God's sheep and make disciples.
What is at stake is the Gospel itself because the people who attend these churches won't have enough Biblical grounding to withstand even the most ridiculous 'wind of doctrine'. These men, by pitting evangelism against their Biblical duty to 'make disciples' are setting the church up for Total-Apostasy.
Please take the time to read the scriptures passages I've supplied below the video. The contrast between the two is stark.
John 21:15-17 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.”
Luke 10:38-42 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”
Matthew 28:19-2 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
John 8:31-32 So Jesus said ...“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
Titus 1:7-10 "For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not tbe arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. 10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers..."
Titus 2:1-10 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, uworking at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 Slaves are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 "For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, -- “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” -- Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and lthe wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."