Listening to Pastor Steven Furtick is like going to a pep rally – when I’m feeling generally woeful, I’ll turn on his sermons and feel mildly more motivated to keep slaving away on Earth for a few more days.
That said, if I want something deep… I just read the Bible.
Steven Furtick sort of highlights some of the issues I have with modern, American Christianity – his sermons are a bit shallow and focused on the self, rather than on who God is. Which there are a lot of baby Christians out there who need milk and not solid food, so there’s a need for people like him and that sounds snarkier than intended given I do occasionally benefit from listening to him lol.
Anyway, the only reason I know about this is because Morgan and Paul did a video on it and since I was dog sitting and bored, I watched it which was a risk in and of itself given listening to them often makes my brain feel like the rotting corpse of a skunk.
The Bible says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Furthermore, 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Galatians literally says we’ve been crucified with Christ and it’s no longer us, but Christ in us. Even going way back to Ezekiel, pre-Christ, the Bible speaks of the Lord breathing life into dry bones. So like uh yeah God is all about changing and you don’t have to be a scholar to know that.
Morgan and Paul actually begin with some Bible verses and not just the usual spouting off their opinions, so nice. Also, not going to lie, I didn’t listen to the entire video but they concluded, similar to myself, that he’s not a false teacher but surely misguided.
Also, I listened to the sermon Pastor Furtick’s post was supposedly based off.
Which the crux of it was that God does change… but it’s more revealing who you really are.
Which… we are indeed made in the Image of God and our inherent worth as humans is in that. Furthermore, God does gift different people in different areas. I have 0 patience for humanity and would make an awful, bitter nurse likely even ending up in jail for poisoning my patients or something, yet there are those gifted in that area who are understandably appalled at people like me. So what Furtick seems to be saying is God already puts certain things in you that He brings forth in it’s due time and that regardless of your own past failings, or view of yourself, God can still use you because it is not by our strength, but by His that we are able to do all things. Just as Peter was once Simon, and God changed his name because He saw what Peter could be, God can do the same to you, fam!
Doesn’t particularly sound like false teaching.
That said, the wording of his Facebook post is terrible lacking that context and even with it, it’s still not something that should’ve been posted. If Jesus Christ isn’t changing you, are you really a Christian?
We’re born into sin and “the heart is deceitful above all things,” so like Biblically there’s nothing “good” in us naturally that God can bring out. A better phrasing would have alluded to rather than God revealing who we are innately, God reveals who He sees us as through Christ because innately we as humans are trash.
So is Steven Furtick a false teacher?
Nah, if anything that wolf in sheep’s clothing would be Biblical Clown Owen Strachan and his overly conservative, fundamentalist nonsensical “theology”. As someone who does watch Steven semi-regularly, his delivery may not be everyone’s cup of tea but he’s not preaching religions can CoExIsT and one can get to Heaven by being a good person, nor is he using the Message/Passion versions of the Bible. A false teacher is someone who’s actively leading people away from Christ and I can confidently say “men” like Owen Strachan would be leading me on the straight and wide path to hell were I not already saved. Like apparently, whether or not women play sports is super duper important to God. Specifically, God cares if women play contact sports – like imagine being Owen standing before Jesus, bleeding and dying on the cross, and being like, “IDK if women should play football and other contact sports, Jesus, cause gentleness and femininity”. Boy, bye.
Should we call pastors out when they mess up? Yes, there’s even a Biblical basis for this. Should Steven have just wordlessly deleted the Facebook post? No, that’s shady and he could’ve just admitted the post was phrased badly and didn’t convey what he meant. Furthermore, if pastors are repeatedly preaching Biblical Clownery under the guise of “truths” *coughsinOwenStrachan*, we should indeed call them out for false teaching and question the sincerity of their faith. But again, Steven isn’t preaching a different faith from the one in the Bible.
Only Jesus lived a perfect life and we ought to be cautious before making flippant accusations just because a pastor says something we don’t like, or isn’t quite right every so often. Be sober minded and alert, and read your Bible daily, so that when false teaching does come your way, you’ll know it and be able to combat it with the Word of God.