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Comments

Sherry C.

Somehow Tony,I just can't picture that Peter had pole dancers do a show first!Let us not forget that our witness to Christ involves our conduct as well as our sharing the Gospel.It isn't about the number of converts but that they are true converts.Anyone who boasts about the number of converts they had on a particular church service should be aware that they are trying to share in God's glory.Plus,they are presumptuos.Remember,it was God's Word,not man's,that said that 3ooo were added to the church that day.

Douglas

* William Carey was in India for seven years before he baptized his first convert.
* David Livingstone served eight years in Africa before seeing anyone converted.
* Adoniram Judson in Burma, six years.
* Hudson Taylor in China, waited ten years!
.........

I spent about 15 & 1/2 years in Australia and saw only one convert in all that time. In mans eyes I must be a real failure, eh? I preached the gospel constantly, the whole counsel of God, in the good times and in the bad times. The convert was a young aborigine boy who came to the crisis center where I was working at the time, he was heavily involved with glue sniffing, etc. I spent quite some time with him over the few weeks that he was with us and one evening him and I went for a walk down the beach late at night and I really laid it on the line for him. He let me pray for him and there was a sweet communion between God and us. A precious moment in time. I never saw that boy again after he left the crisis center until the day before I was due to catch the plane to return to New Zealand to live. That was around 14 years later. He came running up to me with such a big smile on his face, now in his late twenties/early thirties, and said; "Hey Douglas, I have become a Christian and all thanks to you for preaching the gospel to me." He was glowing. He had become an artist, he was gifted that way even when he was young, and he took me around to the local library where he had been commissioned to do a mural on the buildings outside wall. It is beautiful and it is there to this day. So in all the time I was there I saw only one convert because of me. God used me for that one lost soul and there is more joy in heaven over him than the 99 already found.

I must admit, I left several men really interested in the Doctrines of Grace, including a preacher.

As the Bible says; "One plants, another waters but it is God that causes the growth." God adds to the Church the number that are being saved, daily, all around the world. That aspect is not up to mere sinful mortals. That way, God alone gets ALL the glory. Salvation is of the LORD.

soli Deo gloria

I am not what I once was!

(William Plumer, "Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness")

In his old age, when he could no longer see to read, John
Newton heard someone recite this text, "By the grace of
God I am what I am." He remained silent a short time and
then said: "I am not what I ought to be. Ah, how imperfect
and deficient! I am not what I wish to be. I abhor that which
is evil, and I would cleave to that which is good. I am not
what I hope to be. Soon, soon I shall put off mortality,
and with mortality all sin and imperfection.

Though I am not what I ought to be, what I wish to be,
and what I hope to be; yet I can truly say, I am not what
I once was--a slave to sin and Satan! I can heartily join
with the apostle and acknowledge--By the grace of God I
am what I am!"

Tony

Jim, your obsession with the semantics of this conversation is what is most disheartening. Your point is the debate, and that is fruitless.

Conversions are the spiritual fruit that matter. Paul's success as an apostle, and the very fact that he had churches to write letters to, was because God had blessed his efforts with success as a missionary in planting churches. The "success" of Christianity, and its ability to tell the world about Jesus is directly tied to the numbers of people who experienced true conversion. Without the success of Paul in converting (yes, again, through God's blessing of his obedience in following the commands of Jesus) large numbers of people in many locations, he wouldn't have had a need to write the epistles in the first place.

Success (meaning faithfully obeying the commands upon every believer resulting in spiritual fruit) is tied to the number of conversions through out the entire NT.

Tony

Assumptions made of me thus far:

1. That I think pole dancing is appropriate evangelism. Sorry, I actually don't even know what you are talking about, I never brought it up.

2. That calling someone a convert is more important than them being a true convert. Sorry, wrong again. True conversion is essential.

3. That each person needs to have thousands of people in their "bragging rights" for conversion. Wrong again! There are different situations, and different climates, especially over sees, that present challenges greater than in America.

4. That a church or individual should "brag" about how many people they have converted. Wrong again! No bragging, just a very simple question trying to get to the bottom of whether or not your belief has made any more of a difference than just populating your own blog and friends blogs with more content.

5. That I believe conversion is done by man. Nope, God is the source of salvation, but we must plant the seeds and stay active at it.

6. That I believe someone with a small ministry is unsuccessful. If that is the case then my own ministry as a pastor for 8 years would be unsuccessful as well.

Puritan Lad

"My apologies for using language that was to general. Puritan Lad, since we are called to make disciples, how many have you "made"? (by your standards of time, doctrine, or belief)"

Not that it should be your concern, but 3 (at least) this year, one just recently (a former atheist). I sure didn't do it by asking them to repeat any prayer, but instead took time to explain the faith, tear down their objections, and proclaimed the need for repentance.

Why don't you ask the same question to Noah, or Isaiah? Something must have been wrong with their theology. Perhaps, they were too strict on doctrine. Noah preached for 100 years and didn't win anybody. Isaiah was even worse. He preached and lost 90% of his congregation.

You may claim that it's not a numbers game, but the nature of your question suggests otherwise. The below quote says plenty in that regard.

"if it is over a year ago don't bother answering, that would be more hypocritical"

Douglas

"...just a very simple question trying to get to the bottom of whether or not your belief has made any more of a difference than just populating your own blog and friends blogs with more content."

That's very gracious, eh? Nasty? What you said there doesn't read very nicely from here in NZ, Bro.

JP

You've been discovered Fake Rick! Well done.

tigger

When I read the Scriptures, I read about "faithfulness" rather than "success." We are called to be faithful to God and His Word, the Holy Scriptures, and it is God who brings forth fruit such as righteousness, holiness, and adding to the church. God said that His Word would not return void, but would accomplish the purpose for which He sent it.

Any so-called preacher who downplays or outright neglects his responsibility to feed the flock from the Scriptures needs to step down from the pulpit. He has cut himself off from the means which God has ordained He would bless.

Tony

Haha, Noah and Isaiah were in the Old Testament. They didn't convert, they killed.

The Fake Rick thing is fun to, well done Chris.

donsands

The tone that this youing pastor used is puffed-up.

He's calling me afat Christian who sits on his butt.

I don't much like that.

He is proud, and God resists the proud.

Surley the Gospel going forth is essential. More important is to do God's will.
To listen to His voice, the Scriptures; all 66 books.
Surely we will be light and salt even from our conversions, but we need milk as babes in Christ, and hopefully we will grow so we can eat the meat of His Word.
And I agree there are those who don't act on God's Word.
But to mock a Bible study of the book of Galatians is 100% pure flesh. The Holy Spirit's not in that. He wrote Galatians through Paul, and He wants us to study it, so that we can be strong in His strength. As He does the other 65 books of the Bible.

One last thought.

Jesus was at Mary and Martha's. Martha was mad because Mary was sitting at the Lord's feet.
Did the lord say, "Mary get up you fat Christian!"
He said Mary has chosen the good part.
Something to think about, as far as priorities go.

The Word and prayer and Worshipping God is God's will, it's all about Him and His glory. Bringing Him sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving should be our hearts greatest desire.

And fellowship is essential for sure. Out of all this the Lord will reach His lost sheep, and bring them to a healthy and godly pasture through our taking the Gospel to the whole world.Jesus is building His Church, and the gates of hell will not hinder it. Amen.

Truman

Last night I saw Hank Hanegraaff here in St. Louis. I'm sure the Bible Answer Man himself would have quite a sharp disagreement with this pastor over his ideas of evangelism vs. his disdain for doctrine and studying the word of God.

Steve Newell

If I spend my life in faithful service to Christ and I never see one person be saved by my service, does that mean I am not successful? No. It is God who saves and it is God who adds to the number of believers. The "fruit" of others coming to faith not the result of my efforts by God's grace. That doesn't mean that am I called to nothing but set on my hand, but I am called to proclaim what God has done through Christ. The numbers are not relevant to my faithfulness. If God uses me to bring others of faith and I am aware of my participation in this, then God has allowed me to experience the blessing of person's salvation. If God send to my someone who has been saved and is in need of instruction in in the faith, then I will be faithful by providing instruction.

As Paul stated in 1 Cor. 3:5-9 "What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."

Michael

Def Leppard tee-shirt?

Say no more. Hells bells in church? What's next?
I'm afraid what the next few years will bring.

Please read John MacArthur's book "Truth Wars"

Ruth

I'm done here. This bantering and whatnot is getting out of control, my last thoughts to those who think he is arrogant and proud: he's aggressive getting the word of the Lord out. That might not be your cup of tea, take it for what it is. Not everyone needs the "Christianese" and nice feeling these days.

Take a second and read this blog post about how he feels about some of this.

http://www.stevenfurtick.com/elevation/why-would-you-do-that/

He does NOT put down churches who teach strict and straight doctrine - that works for some churches and praise the Lord for that happening. Those pastors should be honored.

You could call him bold for telling us, members of the church, to seek out another place if he starts bashing other ministries. I have never heard him do so nor should anyone base their opinion on one sermon.

Puritan Lad

"Haha, Noah and Isaiah were in the Old Testament. They didn't convert, they killed."

Oh, you're one of those.

Your Bible is shrinking...

donsands

"he's aggressive getting the word of the Lord out."

I wish he was.

He mocks the Church. he mocks Bible studies.

He is very immature. I believe he is sincere, and truly wants to see people come to Christ, but this young man needs to see that he is proud, and that the Lord resists the proud, and you're not helping him see this by avoiding the obvious truth of his anger and pride.
He admits he's angry, because his wife is away.
That's telling.

I pray he would see his pride for what it is. I know what is obvious, because i know me as well.
I'm no different, but for the grace of God, and for others confronting me.

A true friend stabs you in the front, not in the back.

Keith

His "wife's out of town and [he] has to take it out on somebody..." That explains it.

Jim from Old Truth

I think the way he meant that though, was:

"my wife is out of town, I miss her, that makes me cranky, so I have to take it out on someone"

And not:

"My wife is out of town, I usually take things out on her, and since she's not here, I'll take it out on you".

Having listened to the whole sermon, that's the only point that the "out of context" crew could really make a case out of.

donsands

Thanks Jim for pointing that out. You're the calm collective brother, who has much wisdom.

Devin Kerns

Wow - if anyone reads this far in the comments...concerning confronting someone face to face (in order to rebuke), Mr. Furtick has said that he has people to read his e-mail and mail, as a way to shield him from ANY criticism. He is totally protected from it. So any godly man or woman who wants to steer him away from dishonoring Christ and His bride...unless they've got an ear with him already, it won't penetrate. Sad isn't it? Which reminds me of TBN. Have you ever sent an e-mail to them? I was outraged at something I saw and sent an e-mail, trying to lovingly show them the Biblical errors they were making. Little did I know they had an auto-reply saying something like, "God is doing so much here - all of our peeps are busy. Call our pray line and make a donation!" And that's exactly what Mr. Furtick does. Which is why all these guys dress the same, preach the same, run their churches the same, and read the same books. Because that's all they talk to.

Angel

This wanted to make me cry! I used to think, "any church in a pinch" as long as you attend one. Boy am I glad that I have grown wayyyy past that thought pattern.

Thanks for this.

Lane

Whenever a person seeks the best for THEIR church instead of THE Church, the two are bound to be in conflict. I, for one, would much rather be right with Jesus Christ who is come in the flesh by taking heed to sound doctrine and loving Him by keeping His commandments than a person who claims to preach and love Christ, but denies doing what He instructs believers in Scripture to do.

lc

Devin, I responded to Curt's offer to find a way to meet in Charlotte, though I'm limited to weekdays only, I received no response. Either he hasn't been back to visit for some reason or the offer was lip sevice only. I hope nothing has befallen him that prevents him from answering back. I thought he gave an honest offer to "sit and talk...". Now I don't know if he was, therefore, anyone who attends church with Curt, please let us know if he's okay.

Lisa

This is a wonderful book which explains why these churches have gone astray. They are disconnected from the truth and from the presence of Jesus.

Lane Chaplin

This may say it all:

http://www.godtube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=b5b1bc2b8ec0f72d5120

Gary (aka fool4jesus)

Reading this whole thread, I have two thoughts.

First, why the emphasis on "disciples made"? Isn't converting the heart God's job? So if I share the Gospel with 1 person and he rejects it, isn't that as good as one who accepts it?

Second, I hear so much about all the celebrated "changed lives." I'd be really interested in hearing some personal stories from people a year or two later, including both their growth in personal holiness and depth of understanding of the Gospel, not just how many homeless shelters they had been to. How many are still attending to church would be interested to know too.

Finally, Ruth and Curt, I'd be interested in knowing how many disciples you have made personally* in the past year? If you haven't personally made as many as somebody here, can I ask where you get off criticizing them? It's really easy to think that just by sitting in a church and listening to self-help sermons, you're actually going out and evangelizing.

* I have to admit that I myself have not been active enough in personal evangelism; now, I have engaged in lots of "friendship evangelism" but when it comes to actually helping people get convicted of sin and their need for the Savior, I haven't done as much as I want to, but I am asking God to make me more faithful.

Seth Dean

Steven and I went to North Greenville University together. My sophomore year we traveled together with his future wife and 2 other college girls for 10 weeks on a summer mission team. We were roommates at every host home and we become very close. I’d never seen someone with so much enthusiasm to see people’s lives changed. He made a profound impact on my life. I am certain God brought us together. We lifted weights together and hung out some at his in-law’s house a few times. I traveled with his wife’s sister and husband on ministry teams as well. Steven’s wife’s parents take missions teams to Brazil often and they lead marriage seminars. He’s surrounded by many Godly men/women who I believe are speaking caution into his life.

Steven and I rarely talk. Aside from a few emails, we haven’t spoken in a few years where we briefly discussed the possibility of me being a part of the core team of elevation. I’m in graduate school getting my MBA and the timing wasn’t right for me. Additionally, I serve part time at a church as a youth minister for about 15 kids.

For the record… I’m big fans of John Piper, John McArthur, Mark Dever, Al Mohler, Mark Driscoll, etc… In other words, I might get pegged on the opposite spectrum of Steven.

I refuse to enter this debate and won’t presume upon Steven’s motives. God has certainly gifted Steven to communicate in ways beyond anything I’ve ever seen. Don’t count Steven out. There’s too much depth within him and I believe he will find a way to move his congregation towards deeper teaching. He’s taking a unique approach to church planting strategy and it may not fit our paradigm. Your comments above are valid. I believe in time Elevation will move towards a season of discipleship. The mega-church world is an arena where I have little room to talk. I’m just a guy living above a 2 garage apartment with a 15 member youth ministry  I think we all want what’s best for Steven and Elevation church. Why don’t we move the conversations/blogging towards ideas that could help him and his church transition towards a discipleship model? He just might be more apt to listen to you fat guys a little  I believe we all want the same thing, we just may travel different roads to get there. Be patient with Steven and pray for Steven. Whether you love him or hate him God created him to be exactly like he his. “Before the foundations of the world, God knew Steven” and all his hyperactivity and his love for the spotlight. There’s nothing wrong with either if His heart is right.

Seth


Seth Dean

www.sethdean.com


Seth Dean

"fat guy" comment refers to one of Steven's quotes in a sermon

not picking on anyone

Ike

It's my first time on this site. It's easy to see from all these comments who has a passion for God's Glory. The lostness of men should motivate us to evengelism and missions, BUT, it should not be our primary motivation any more than loving our neighbor should be a higher commandment than that of loving God.
We need to truly seek the glory of God and I think the video speaks for itself. Mr. Furtick needs a real friend and your best friend tells you the most truth.

donsands

Seth,
Thanks for sharing that. It helps me.

I was just talking with my son-in-law about Keith Greens book, "No Compromise".
In it it shows where Keith became less arrogant as he grew in the Lord.
Not that he was pure arrogance, for he was full of grace and love, but he did think he was always right.
What a man of God he was, and to die at 28 years old is such a crime.

I pray that the immaturity and pride in Steven will become clear to him, as it did Keith Green, and he will never preach another message as this one on the video.
For what this thoughts are worth, I'm not sure.
But I will go to God's throne room for him, and his fellow elders.

Linda George

How could anyone listen to this for more than a few seconds? I don't want that sort of talk in my house...

meg

A commentor writes:

Whenever a person seeks the best for THEIR church instead of THE Church,

'scuse me?

"THE Church?"

A gaggle of PRotestants talking about THE Church?

And proving how false their use of the term is by their amazing battles, which are not just over tactics but over theology?

THE Church?

Please.!

There's no "THE Church" here. There are bunches of Christians gathering and trying to grow in discipleship, but THE Church was started by Jesus through the Apostles, and continues, unbroken today.

God bless.

Jody Jennings

Are you kidding me? I mean really...is this some kind of joke? I cannot believe that you would write a post condemning a church that is reaching hundreds of people with the Gospel. Not only that, but no one who posts even attends the church. Have any of you ever been to Elevation? The truth of the matter is that you have selective hearing.

Doug

I sat by as my former church switched over to a PDC. I one day just finished up teaching Galatians in Adult Sunday School and the next they wanted me to teach Anger Management Class...I teach that in a Jail as an Officer. They said you can sprinkle it with a few Bible verses to make it "Christian"....wow. Next I heard someone say that if you are a homosexual and used to have sex 3 times a week and now you only have sex 1 time a month you are on the road to "recovery"...I pointed out that that meant you probably aren't a Christian THEY got offended....I didn't let the door hit me as I left.

Linda George

Jody, several posts up, there are some lines by people who attend the church in question. One has to wade through it all, but they are there... I am from Australia, my forebears were convicts. Rebellious lot, apparently. That said, if I heard in real life what was heard on the video I would be up and out like a shot, and if I had a smart comment from the pulpit, like they do sometimes in Australia, my convict-forebear-ishness might just pop up and give a few words in reply...

Chris Whisonant

@Seth - good comments that we should all keep in mind.

@Jody - why don't you tell everyone your relationship with Steven?

Joe

I wish one of the opposers would meet personally with one of the opposed and get down to what the deal is. I think both sides appear more extreme than they are.

I think we can be culturally relevant WITHOUT compromising the Truth. But if our main goal is to be culturally relevant, then we have forsaken The Great Commission. It's not either/or - it's both/and: The Truth of the Gospel and a culturally relevant message without compromise. Jesus gave parables of Tax Collectors (relevant to THAT culture), slaves and masters (relevant to that culture), Shepherd and sheep (relevant to THAT culture), and more. If you talk to someone about sheep, slaves and tax collectors today and it isn't as relevant (okay - maybe the tax collector). Relevance is okay - compromise is sin.

andy lehman

you're an idiot

andy lehman

ok.... that was harsh. impulse got the best of me and i would like to take it back but i can't erase it. but why waste your time bashing someone who is obviously FOR Christ? i'm sure you're views are very different but it's all in the realm of the kingdom right?

Joe

Andy - was that meant for me?

Curt Whalen

For the gentleman that questioned whether my offer to speak with any of you who made a personal visit to Elevation was real... it was. I didn't respond because I haven’t been back to this site since late August.

To be honest all the arguing back and forth was very disheartening and felt rather pointless. And it was wrong. You might not like Pastor Furtick's personality or his style, but if you're making a decision about him using an edited 4 and 1/2 minute video, you're doing yourself a great disservice. For example, when he joked about his wife being out of town and having to take his anger out on something, those that were in the service and who heard all of what he said got the bigger point - that he really missed her when she was away. It was very touching to see him be so vulnerable from the stage. It's sad that there are those of you who took a short, edited clip and used it to portray him as a sadistic, angry man because his wife was gone. In reality, those of us in the service and who saw the entire message understood that he was lonely without her and used his style of humor to convey his true feelings.

I’ve found that is true with most things in life. When you take a short quote out of context, it will come across very different then what it really meant. That’s the problem I have with sites like this. Rarely do those who criticize take the time to really get to know the individual or institution that they make their comments about. I doubt very few of those that commented here visited the Elevation website and watched many of the sermons all the way through.

Pastor Furtick is one of the best preachers I've ever heard (I grown up in Southern Baptist churches.) He preaches from the Word of God every Sunday. He supports his message with many Bible verses and does not water anything down. He urges the congregation to bring their Bibles to worship. He talks about how hard it is to walk this Christian life and how different your life has to be compared to the world. He uses the Bible and the Bible only as the standard by which we should measure ourselves. He is very committed to a vision of a church that intentionally seeks to reach out to those who are living lives far from God and who are hurting and lonely without Christ in their lives. He is equally committed to raising men and women who have a deep faith, and has structured a small group environment that everyone in the church can get involved with. He wants all of his congregation to learn from the Bible and to prepare themselves for the times in life when our faith can be tested.

You can argue with me about this. You can question my or other’s salvation. You can call Pastor Furtick names. But the truth is bearing fruit. People are renouncing their former lives and are turning to Christ. Marriages are being healed. People’s finances are being restored. Men in the church are leading their families selflessly. Our church is reaching out into the community and helping the widows and the orphans. Pastor Furtick is preaching Christ crucified… and it is making a difference in the lives of many.

While we might not ever hook up online, my offer always stands. Go to the Elevation website and get directions to the Butler campus. Start asking around for Curt between the two services. I’m usually a little busy shuffling my six kids around to their classes, but I’d be more then happy to meet with you and introduce you to people who’ve had their lives changed by the Word of God that’s presented at Elevation every single week.

Sara

I think that this is exactely what Pastor Steven was talking about when he was preaching that sermon. People all around us are unsaved and destined to hell. Here sits the Christians, bickering with one another about doctrine and wanting themselves to "feel good" while their peers went without Christ.
Its simple: accept Jesus and let Him work in your life and be a light through you. Or don't accept Jesus and go to hell. But we still sit here arguing the semantics while there are people who dont know Jesus and WILL go to hell for all eternity because we were too busy thinking that we were always right and everyone else was wrong. What kind of image do you think this gives Christians?! We can't even get along amongst ourselves, so how are we supposed to witness to others? All this does is makes us look like hypocrites and fakes... I'm sure that this looks sooo appealing to an unbeliever [not!]
Just think about it.

Tony Rose

I have responded thoroughly to this idea of no doctrine, and knowing "vs." doing on my blog in this post:

http://galatiansc4v16.wordpress.com/2007/12/06/knowing-and-not-or-doing%e2%80%a6-the-christian-life/

Thanks for this video and Biblical references. They are very helpful.

tr

Thad

I like how you take everything he says out of context. And since you're obviously offended by this, Furtick is preaching right to you. The remark about his attitude of "We don't teach from Books of the Bible because it gets in the way of evangelism" is false. Since attending Elevation in August, every sermon has a biblical principle and scriptural reference.

And Furtick is more of a man of God than you'll ever be because you're attacking his ministry where real souls have been saved and you have nothing better to do than make Youtube videos?

Geef

Matthew 18:15-17 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

I am certain that you took the first two steps before thrashing out publicly at Pastor Furtick, right?

I have only been to his church once, and I enjoyed it greatly. He preached directly out of the bible. Preached on Jacob and Esau....He really brought it to a new level for me.

I am not here to defend him, I don't even know him. My 'gut' feeling is that he is pretty dead on, but I will reserve the right to change my mind at a latter date.

Since you believe so strongly in the Bible, as do I, I feel certain that the above referenced verse was followed to the letter, or else, you will be bringing this information down until you have had the opportunity to take the first two steps.

I feel certain that Pastor Furtick would be more than happy to publicly discuss this matter with you....have you even tried to contact him? Or do you prefer to be able to bash a Brother in Christ with no chance of him being able to respond?

Yes, this is a challenge to you to do the right thing. I hope to be able to hear back from you on this!

Jerry

I am one of the "old guys" at Elevation (63 years old). I come from a very strict fundamentalist background where pretty much everything was a sin. I was still partially in that mode when I first attended Elevation about a year-and-a-half ago. My son had started attending the church six months earlier and, for the first time in many years, I saw him excited to go to church. That was very meaningful to me since it included getting up at 5 a.m. to help set up this "portable church." He is 40 and has been a Christian for 35 years. He has seen the sorry side of Christianity wherein Christians spend half their waking hours criticizing other Christians who do not believe just like them.

My wife had been attending when she could and prevailed on me to go since I had a Sunday off from my (then) ministry as an interim pastor. As we walked up the sidewalk into Providence High School, I saw pretty much nothing but young people. I went into the auditorium and it was loud (very loud), but God spoke to my spirit and clearly communicated to me: "look for what I see, not what man sees?" I have served my Lord for 42 years and I know when He is speaking to me. I said "yes, Lord" and took it all in. The people were excited to be there. It was a bit loud for me and the music was contemporary, but every song had a tremendous message. I looked around and saw people worshipping the Lord unashamedly. Then Pastor Furtick came out, only 27 years old at the time, and preached one of the finest sermons I have ever heard. I have sat at the feet of Jack Hyles, Ford Porter, Lester Roloff, John Rice, Bill Rice, etc., and have never heard a more pointed, Scriptural, down to earth, effective sermon that I heard that day. I was there when he preached the sermon that everyone seems to want to criticize and you guys have completely missed the point. Elevation has one of the most effective discipling programs and Christian growth programs I have ever seen.

I will say one thing further, my wife and I were asked a few months ago to serve as Pastor Furtick's hospitality team, to take care of him and make him comfortable between sermons at the Butler Campus. It has been an honor to serve a young man that is not only spirit-filled, but humble and grateful for the least thing that someone does for him. His wife, Holly, is much the same: a thoughtful, gentle young lady that, as her husband, is spiritually mature beyond their short years. I will trouble you no further, but remember the counsel of Gamaliel who warned that if the new "movement" we call Christianity was not of God, it would come to nothing. But, if it was of God, those who opposed it would find themselves fighting against God. I believe our time would be better spent seeking souls than criticizing Christians who are not exactly like us. God bless.

Jason

I watched the video and I agree with Steven, the church is not for Christians to sit around and become more intellectual Christians who know all the ins an outs of the theological realm. The church exists to spread the gospel of Christ (evangelism) and equip Christians to reach the lost(discipleship). I am from a fundamentalist and traditional background and fail to see Scripture lived out in a church of 100 or 200 that sees one salvation a year, factor in that the one salvation is a child whose family has attended the church for many years and it is even more disappointing. Yes I rejoice that their is another soul saved. Lets face facts Steven is saying that is church does not seek to cater to the whims of lazy Christians who wear their attendance badge to prove their Christianity and walk around acting pompous and aloof.

I will say that I am ANGERED by the "fake Rick" comment that is a blatant mocking, slanderous name calling act. It is not funny it is not acceptable and it is not edifying to anyone anywhere for any reason. You show me in Scripture where Christ or any prophet or apostle made jest in reference towards anyone and I will back down but I am sorry that was very very VERY poor taste.

jeffrey

For all of you who critize Elevation Church, you are down right pathetic. I have watched great things happen here, much unlike my old church, Christ Covenant. At Elevation, people are friendly and we actually understand the sermon. We are REAL people wanting Gods word. If you have a problem with us, you are in fact just jealous which will lead you to hell.

Chelsea  Vinson

I will say this with complete confidence, that pastor Steven Furtick is quite possibly one of the BEST pastors in the nation. He cares a great deal about the people in his church, and he is DEVOTED and DEDICATED to changing the lives of others. I have been the elevation church many times and everytime i go i am welcomed with tons of smiling faces, awesome worship music, and a message from an enthusiastic pastor who cares about the people of his church. I have seen lives changed at elevation, and mine being one of them. Just because some people might be "offended" by what pastor furtick says, does not mean they have any right what-so-ever to ridicule the amazing things he is doing in Matthews, NC. A few months ago Clayton King gave a message about how the people of Elevation Church must do what is RIGHT and defend the great pastor we have, and i have every intention of doing so. I know in my heart that Steven Furtick is a wonderful Man of God and he is planned for wonderful things. We are the BODY of Christ, which means we should all function as a BODY, which does not include condemning those who are doing God's work. God will bless the churches who seek after him, and God has obviously BLESSED elevation church. If bashing all the great things Furtick is doing at elevation makes you feel better at the end of the end, then be my guest, but the gossipers mouth speaks evil, and the sin of what you speak is between you and God. I will be praying for all of you on this site who continue to speak such evil things about a man who has brought such light to the city of Charlotte. But one thing is for certain, God will not simply STOP blessing elevation church because of the poor attitudes some have against Pastor Furtick. God Bless you all, and you will be in my prayers.

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A Little Leaven

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