When leaders or coordinators lead a church or community service, they will have not only led people to salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and they will pray and have others pray for the different needs of the people. Like the Apostle Paul who said, “For I long to see you, that I might impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged, both yours and mine” (Rom. 1: 11). Gordon Williams
Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, is an Interdenominational multi-site church pastored by Steven Furtick. From 2007 through 2010, Elevation was consistently cited by Outreach Magazine as one of the Top 100 fastest growing churches in the United States. It has been described as “a pop culture-friendly church with an orthodox Christian message”.
The church began as a church plant of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. As part of a church planting team, Furtick and seven other families from Christ Covenant Church in Shelby, North Carolina, relocated to Matthews, meeting in Providence High School. Over its short history, it has experienced notable growth. On February 5, 2006, the first Sunday worship service, 121 people attended. Since then, the church’s regular attendance has grown to over 15,000, currently meeting in 10 different locations.
At the beginning of 2012, Elevation Church hosted a 12-day “Holy Ghost, Old-School Revival” called ‘Code Orange Revival’ to kick off the year. Guest preachers included LifeChurch.tv founder Craig Groeshel, Jentezen Franklin of Free Chapel, Matt Chandler of The Village Church, Christine Caine of the A21 Campaign, Ed Young Jr. of Fellowship Church, Kevin Gerald of Champion’s Centre, Stovall Weems of Celebration Church, Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, T. D. Jakes of The Potter’s House, James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel, and a special night of worship with Grammy award winner and worship leader of Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, Israel Houghton.
Several bloggers are also sharing the info-graphic produced by Elevation Church that includes the following statements:
- We serve a Lead Pastor who seeks and hears from God.
3. We serve a Lead Pastor we can trust.
7. We serve a Lead Pastor who pours into us spiritually and professionally.
16. We serve a Lead Pastor who goes first.
Pruitt writes, “This is frightening stuff. We have a Lord who came not to be served but to serve (Matt 20:28). And yet at Elevation it is plain that “Pastor Steven” is the boss who expects to be served…I have not read language like that since the last thing I read about North Korea. Why would a church allow such cult-like manipulation?”
Furtick has also come under criticism for his multi-million dollar home and its connection to his salary and book sales, as well as the church’s practice of “Spontaneous Baptisms” where a “laser like focus on numbers” is central and where members are of the congregation are instructed to respond to Furtick’s call to baptism. As Charlotte’s WCNC-TV reported, those who first responded were “not converts suddenly inspired but Elevation volunteers carefully planted in the crowd. The guide instructs, ‘Fifteen people will sit in the worship experience and be the first ones to move when Pastor gives the call. Move intentionally through the highest visibility areas and the longest walk.’”
News like this calls us to again consider the power of the “Christian celebrity”—a figure so highly elevated that none question his vision—and the cult-like communities they raise. Dr. James Emery White, in his “Cult of Personality” blog post, provides ten signs to watch for when a cult of personality is at work in a local church. A few that strike a chord as we look at Steven Furtick and Elevation Church:
- No one is allowed to question the leader without retribution. There is a “thin skin” evident toward any and all critics, who are often written off as “haters” or simply those who are envious. There is a bubble that prevents constructive criticism.
- The line between “look at what God is doing” and “look at what our leader is doing” is almost non-existent. In other words, God isn’t getting the glory, an individual is.
- The name of the leader and the name of the church are inseparable. The leader is as much of a brand – or even the brand – as the ministry.
In a true church of Jesus Christ true men and women of God minister to each other by use of God’s word and in the gifts of the Spirit from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love according to God’s word.
Ephesians 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
So who can a one man led ministry help, especially in a Baptist church who don’t believe in the Baptism of the Spirit or minister to one another’s needs, be it pastor Steven Furtick or Mark Driscoll, edify the body of Christ to a perfect man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ when they themselves are nuts, off the wall and heretics? They cannot!
Driscoll’s ministry is a corrupt tree that exhibits the following bad fruits:
- Perverse language and corrupt communication
Driscoll frequently uses perverse and crude language. He often mocks Scripture and makes fun of men of God. He dresses in a casual way that is unworthy of the pulpit.
- Sexual licentiousness
Driscoll has frequently said that his favourite book of the Bible is Song of Solomon, and this gives him an opportunity to talk about sex in the most sensuous and irreverent way. His latest book, Real Marriage (2012), deals with self-stimulation, the use of sex toys and forms of cybersex. The most provocative of all involves sodomy within marriage. [Challies blog]
- God loves punk-rock music
Worldly punk-rock music forms a major part of Driscoll’s life and ministry. He has referred to hip hop artist Jay-Z as a genius, and referred to Christian rap artist Lecrae as a missionary of the 21st Century.
- Jesus loves tattoos
Driscoll’s church proudly supports tattoo artists in their work. The issue of tattoos is discussed on the Mars Hill Downtown Campus under the headline: Jesus Loves Tattoos. Driscoll has no objection to Christian people being tattooed.
- Visions of past sins
Driscoll claims that he has the gift of discernment that allows him to see the sins of his congregation.
Yes in my opinion these churches are your foolish typical fundamentalist Baptists part of the Southern Baptists Convention who don’t operate in the gifts of the Spirit, don’t preach the true gospel and hide the exorbitant salary of their pastor:
As I meditated on these questions, the Holy Spirit quickened within my heart something so simple that it literally shocked me. He said, “If the true Gospel were preached and lived with boldness, then My power would be seen as tangibly as it was seen in the book of Acts.” Wow! I was then taken to Acts 4:29–30, where the apostles and early church prayed, “And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word” (v. 29). Through this passage, the Holy Spirit revealed several important things to me that would become the basis for this book. DOWNLOAD AND READ http://halfgospel.com/
A Brash Style That Filled Pews, Until Followers Had Their Fill
Mark Driscoll Is Being Urged to Leave Mars Hill Church
SEATTLE — Mark Driscoll has long been an evangelical bad boy, a gifted orator and charismatic leader who built one of the nation’s most influential megachurches despite, or perhaps fueled by, a foul mouth, a sharp temper and frank talk about sex.
The church he founded, Mars Hill, enjoyed rapid growth in the Pacific Northwest — one of the most secular regions of the nation — and it claims 15,000 members worshiping at 15 campuses in five Western states, and 200,000 more people watching its services online every week. Mr. Driscoll became a celebrity in conservative Christianity, a sought-after speaker and prolific author known for a celebration of masculinity that helped Mars Hill attract young men, a demographic noted in church life mostly for its absence.
But now Mr. Driscoll’s empire appears to be imploding. He has been accused of creating a culture of fear at the church, of plagiarizing, of inappropriately using church funds and of consolidating power to such a degree that it has become difficult for anyone to challenge or even question him. A flood of former Mars Hill staff members and congregants have come forward, primarily on the Internet but also at a protest in front of the church, to share stories of what they describe as bullying or “spiritual abuse,” and 21 former pastors have filed a formal complaint in which they call for Mr. Driscoll’s removal as the church’s leader.
Mr. Driscoll is rapidly becoming a pariah in the world that once cheered him.
AS GORDON WILLIAMS HAS POINTED OUT THAT IN A TRUE CHURCH:
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.
We have according to the Word of God in each church service every member being involved and the gifts of the Spirit in operation! The leader or coordinator follows what the Scriptures tell us to do which is to use the Gifts of the Holy Spirit by encouraging people to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in his meetings. NO matter what size of a meeting they have, they have to encourage people to use their gift of the Holy Spirit. And, when there are messages in tongues and the interpretation of tongues people will be convicted of their sin and they get saved/baptized with the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is important as it’s for the encouragement of believers. All of the gifts of the Holy Spirit draw people to Jesus with the result that people’s needs will be met.
When leaders or coordinators lead a church or community service, they will have not only led people to salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and they will pray and have others pray for the different needs of the people. Like the Apostle Paul who said, “For I long to see you, that I might impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged, both yours and mine” (Rom. 1: 11).
True leaders are not entertainers and never boastful about the numbers that come to their meetings in their crusades. They that the believer can receive answers to every prayer that is based on God’s Word, as long as he has enough faith and that there is nothing in his life that could be hindering his prayer. They hardly ever talk about money except ask people to pray and ask Jesus what they should do to help the ministry or the poor and needy. They never charge any church for their ministry. They do what Jesus instructed them to do:
Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
But they do boast about individuals who have received healings, deliverance, miracles. They boast about the fact that “My God shall supply all of your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philip 4: 19).
True leaders are to be like the Holy Spirit who is invisible so that people will see only Jesus and, like Paul, will boast about Jesus, the Holy Spirit. They pastor large or small churches because Jesus tells them where to be. They start house churches so that everybody can do ministry by being equipped with the 15 Gifts of the Holy Spirit in each fellowship. It works because that is where Jesus started His Church. Remember: “And when he returned to Capernaum after some days he was reported to be home (Greek reads “in his house”). It was His house that the four men brought the paralytic man and cut a hole in the roof so they could drop him down to Jesus and Jesus healed him. They do not trade the praise of God for the praise of men. And that is one of the reasons many of those big churches of both sides have been closed by God because they are run by egotistic self-serving leaders!
When a preacher makes himself bigger that Jesus, then his/her name will be removed from the Book of Life (Rev. 3: 8). There is no reason to jealous of any of them because they are blinded by numbers and wealth and the praise of men. If we read Paul’s experience in his testimony in 1 Cor. 11: 7 – 33 and compare it to most big name preachers or evangelists none of them would be in ministry today, if they followed his example. Those preachers only want to use Scripture that, in the wickedness of their minds, will give them an excuse to be wealthy. We are not to let them deceive us but seek on God’s will in every area of our lives including the church we attend and the ministries that we attend.
People like to give God the glory but they are not serving the God who through Paul said, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that lunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs. But for you man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” (1 Tim. 9 – 11). All of these people who boast about the numbers of people who have received signs, wonders & miracles exaggerate their own importance. Jesus keeps the count and anybody who would attempt to steal His glory is condemned.
This is the reason why God told, “Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to number Israel” (1 Chron. 17: 1). “But God was displeased with this thing, and he smote Israel. And David said to God, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, I pray thee take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done foolishly.” Israel was punished for David’s actions.
Today, we have people (pastors, prophets, evangelists, teachers, so-called apostles) telling us in exaggerated reports of their so-called ministries and when investigators check their statistics, none or very little of what they claimed was true. By giving their big numbers they are taking God’s glory away from him in their most feigned (faked) demonstrations of humility which is really hidden pride. That is the reason why nobody know when Jesus is coming back because the number of those who are “a great multitude which no man could number” (Rev. 7: 9).
This is the reason why God is revealing all the sin in these so-called mega churches and TV and radio so-called ministries. We can never justify sin on the basis of false statistics or misuse of the Scriptures. You know the most famous lie-covering one is found in 1 Chron. 16: 22, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!” When people sin, they demonstrate that they have removed themselves from the “anointing of God” and become “the annoying not of God”. The most condemning thing about this is found in 2 Thess. 2: 11, where Paul writes, Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, t make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”\
AND WALTER KAMBULOW STATED:
Jesus said you don’t put new wine into old wine skins! The local church is an old wine skin modelled after the pattern in the Old Testament. The home church is the new wine skin where more ministry by the spirit can be done there than in any local church
Yup i hate modern local churches! Did you know that Jesus first church was in his home where the men broke the roof to get their friend to Jesus so he could heal them? And all of apostle pail churches were home churches! I have enjoyed home churches far more than any local church!
Many Evangelicals uphold the idea that the local church should be an independent body, which may ask for advice from outside, but is ultimately autonymous. Local churches may be congregational, where all members voting is the ultimate decision-making body, or elder-led, where the body of elders make spiritual decisions. In both cases there will also be a board, often comprising of elders. And in fact, the methods of government are more overlapping than you think. In an elder-led church, the people will only ever be led by consent, and if they strongly disagree, their vote will be counted as they leave and cancel their financial giving. By the same token most healthy congregations who vote will also surely be heavily influenced by the wisdom of their leaders.
August 18, 2014 by Adrian Warnock
Yes one man leadership devoid of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers in any church is a joke and is a church that is to be avoided at all costs!
In my opinion Elevation church is not a true church of Jesus Christ but a dead end
Free Christian Ebooks http://walthope.tripod.com
BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT http://wp.me/p2M7AJ-Zn
“When Does a Church Cross into a Cult?” (February 21, 2014)
“Furtick Becoming a Cult Leader” Chris Rosebrough February 2, 2014
“Steven Furtick and Elevation Church’s Playbook for ‘Spontaneous Baptisms’” – Chris Rosebrough, 2/20/14 – Issues, Etc.
http://issuesetc.org/2014/02/20/2-steven-furtick-and-elevation-churchs-playbook-for-spontaneous-baptisms-chris-rosebrough-22014/(about 35 minutes in)
“INDOCTRINATING CHILDREN INTO THE CULT OF STEVEN FURTICK” (February 19, 2014)
Pastor Steven Furtick’s “House from Heaven” (February 18, 2014)
“Furtick & Noble Want Your Tithe” (November 5, 2013)
(note Rick Warren alliance and Furtick speaking at Saddleback Church link)
“Steven Furtick Debuts on Trinity Broadcasting Network Amid Financial Concerns” (February 12, 2014):
“Pastor Steven Furtick’s ‘House from Heaven’” (February 18, 2014)
Furtick’s Heretical “Church”
“FURTICK’S HERETICAL ‘CHURCH'” April 8, 2012
Worldview Weekend radio broadcast
Furtick’s Heretical “Church”
“FURTICK STAY HOME” (August 20, 2011)
“PERVERTING SCRIPTURE” (January 2, 2012)
“WE CAN WORK IT OUT:” Is Steven Furtick Qualified to Have this Conversation (January 25, 2012)
“STEVEN FURTICK PERFORMER WANNABE?” (May 11, 2011)
Steve Furticks’ Elevation Church Confidentiality Agreement