Steven Furtick: Elevation Church
Furtick is charismatic in the pulpit, and he is eager to share his desire to reach the lost. But he seems to believe that once the lost are “found” his work is done. “If you know Jesus Christ, I’m sorry to break it to you, this church is not for you,” Furtick says. This applies even if you’ve only known Christ for as little as a week. “Last week was the last week that Elevation Church existed for you,” Furtick declares.
Furtick forgets that Jesus says, “Feed my sheep.” And we know the entire point of a pastor is to shepherd the flock under his care (John 21:17; 1 Peter 5:2-3). Even the “found” need to be faithfully fed and discipled in Christ. Even Jesus, Himself, trained His disciples for three years during His earthly ministry. Yet, Furtick seems to be okay with letting his flock starve and mill about aimless and confused. Not only does he not teach the truth of God’s Word, he doesn’t encourage their study of it either. In his sermon entitled Functional Faith, Furtick actually tells his congregation they “don't need all of this fancy, special knowledge” (knowledge of Scripture) to grow in their faith. He says all they need to know is a single Bible verse and, if they know how to apply it to their lives, they’ll have “functional faith”. Though, “functional faith” doesn’t seem to be very functional at all given that Furtick believes faith is synonymous with doubt. “The opposite of faith is not doubt. It’s certainty,” he declares. Meanwhile, Scripture is clear that faith is actually rooted in confidence. It is the “substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1). How else could the just live and walk by it (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11)? “‘Now the just shall live by faith;’” sayeth the Lord! “‘But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.’” (Hebrews 10:38).
Perhaps Furtick was operating in “functional faith” when he delivered his sermon “God Broke the Law for Love.” According to Furtick, the Law was ineffective at redeeming mankind, so God broke it to save us. But not only did God NOT break the Law, the Law wasn’t even abolished. And the Law, in itself, wasn’t ineffective at anything. The Law is holy, just and good (Romans 7:12). It is mankind’s total depravity that renders us incapable of keeping the Law, God’s righteous standard, on our own. This is why God, Who so loved the world, sent Jesus to FULFILL the Law! The Law and the prophets hang from love, so it certainly was not broken for it (Matthew 22:40; Romans 13:10). The Law still stands, and Jesus says “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven…” (Matthew 5:17-20). So to even claim that God, Himself, “broke the Law” would imply that God shall be called least in heaven. That’s not only a false teaching. That’s heresy! Furtick speaks all manner of error from his pulpit, but this is easily among the most demonic.