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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
In a bid to make the Bible more hip and ‘less boring’ a group of thrill seekers have done what an entertainment production team would do for a amusement demanding audience. Steven Furtick’s Elevation Creative Team has re-written the Bible….yup…. only this time it is Veggie-Tale style. Remember how those salads and tomatoes taught our kids how to behave “Christian” without becoming Christians? Well Furtick’s team has resurrected the same old trick….
Has American Christianity lost all credibility in the sufficiency of Scripture? Do we need to re-brand the Bible and make it ‘more relevant’ by adding to it space ships, space whales (and who knows -Vampire chases)? Well, Jesus (spoke of a real Jonah and) …Read More!
The year 2012 was interesting and frustrating. This year I will not feature the 10 most popular posts like I did in 2011. However I will give you a running commentary and “warm your little Calvinist hearts” with some grace and hope you won’t end up swimming back to Rome in the end.
The year started with high expectations and has ended on a high note – well unless you are a Mayan apocalypse enthusiast then you might be just a tard deflated. But hey cheer up we have extra time now, don’t we?
In 2012 it was interesting to see that many people were interested in reading how Veggie Tales ended up being a failed experiment. Well to be honest it was a fad that went too far into teaching kids how to be “Christian” without knowing Christ. Ironic but frankly I have come to expect this from most Evangelical fads that it doesn’t surprise me any more. Speaking of fads the year kicked off with a fad…oops thud when Steven Furtick (yup the celebrity pastor who spontaneously baptised 2,000 people in two weeks) invited Matt Chandler into a room full of orange flood lights, orange walls and orange carpets. When Matt began to preach about celebrities and supposed pastors using church as a platform for personal ambition, you could hear a pin drop. The barn burning sermon was a good fire starter for the year it and it ended with a clear gospel presentation too. But nothing prepared us for pastor Jim Murphy’s stance when he decided to root out religious junk from his lukewarm church bookstore. Murphy lamented the disintegration of Christianity and its falling away from the truth of the gospel and into more and more error – he traced the roots of today’s error to the subtle attacks on the authority of Scripture. When he finally asked “How did we get where we are?” Many expected him to point the finger else where but the wise old pastor pointed to him self and said said he was responsible for allowing his church to become lukewarm and hence forth there would be changes. Talk about the perspicuity of scripture.
Don’t blink yet, that was just the beginning!
The message that one gets from the questionable theological liaisons is that doctrine doesn’t matter. You can have a Reformed soteriology, but hold onto an Arminian ecclesiology, believe in a
non-trinitarian quasi- modalist definition of the God head and even have an Emergent missiology. Who cares about doctrine? Be…..pragmatic!
You don’t have to stay true to your orthodox convictions. Just blend in and appear cool…with a swagger. …Read More!
Steven Furtick is the poster child of a concept called “audacious faith”. What is this new fad all about? And most important of all what theological depth does it have? Is it a scriptural concept? Pastor Bjoern E. Meinhardt took some time to review Furtick’s ‘five star’ book Sun Stand Still and found very interesting conclusions…
Recently, somebody brought the book Sun Stand Still (the title is a reference to Joshua 10) by Stephen Furtick to my attention. I looked it up on Amazon.com and saw more than 100 five-star ratings. I was curious. I wanted to read it for myself. To say the very least, I was disappointed. Furtick’s concept of “audacious faith” is lacking theological depths and orthodox Christian teachings. It is pop-theology pure. In short, it preaches what many people’s itching ears want to hear to make them feel good about themselves in a success-oriented world.
Furtick claims, a theology that does not activate one’s audacious faith is “heresy” (see page 7). Saying that all other theology is heresy is audacious in and by itself. Even more so since the entire book breathes the heresy of Semi-Pelagianism: salvation is not built on the cross of Christ, but it becomes possible through our (human) efforts and doing, which become visible and tangible in wealth, success, and recognition.
Faith understood this way is nothing more than a tool for self-serving fulfillment dreams based on a prayer of entitlement, which can be summarized as follows: ‘I believe, therefore I deserve all these (good) things. All I have to do is get – what Furtick calls – my “Page-23-vision” right, and bring it before god’ (spelled so on purpose). This, however, is not audacious faith in a great God. Rather, this is confidence in my own achievements. God is only seen as the great sugar-daddy who can’t say no
It is probably a step in the right direction when you hear that Perry Noble has used the word “sorry” in a sentence. Many times I have had to send my kids out of the room when he has appeared on television. What? Not only because he played “High way to Hell” as a worship song and declared his sermons are PG-13 rated. No, my concerns are much deeper as he holds the office of pastor yet displays such a lethargy to wards godliness that he is more than a distraction to the preaching of the gospel. It’s good to see that my concerns over his course language, aberrant theology and conduct have been shared by many. And you see….
After South Carolina Pastor Perry Noble apologized to his congregation for criticizing those seeking more discipleship, a Christian apologist and radio host said a simple apology isn’t enough. He suggested that Noble go on a “Repentance Tour.”
Chris Rosebrough, host of Fighting for the Faith, noted on his program that the public apology was a step in the right direction, but he also doesn’t think Noble should stop there.
“I personally think that at this point the magnitude of the error disqualifies Perry Noble from being a mentor to pastors,” he said. Because Noble made those statements at a leadership conference for pastors, Rosebrough said he has to do more to undo the damage of those statements than just apologize to his congregation.
The controversial comments were made at a 2009 conference called Unleash, an annual leadership event conducted by Noble’s church, NewSpring.
During his session, Noble told pastors that “the person that always screams I want to go deeper” is “the jackass in the church.” …Read More!
If you asked me I would probably say, “dunno”. But since you asked I will point you to a good review of Bishop Jakes’ sermon titled Touched. It has a caution attached to it! The reason why I have decided to run a sermon review is so that you may learn how to compare what people are preaching in the name of God with what the Word of God actually says. Here is an excerpt of Daniel Neades’ review:
T.D. Jakes is the leader of The Potter’s House, a 30,000 member congregation located in southern Dallas, Texas. I had never heard a T.D. Jakes sermon before, though I knew of his reputation. I was curious to see – if only via an Internet video stream – the man that Elevation Church reminded us was named ‘America’s Best Preacher’ by Time Magazine. Would I be able to uncover the secret of his mystique? And would he preach the Biblical Gospel? …Read More!
Today’s church screams, “Jesus is not enough”. We have church services where the preacher gives motivational pep talks, have exhilarating laser light shows to excite unbelievers into a form of church experience. We have relegated good and sound Bible exposition out of the pulpit. Oh, (and not to forget) you gotta love the recent Code orange Revival launched by one pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation church. To begin the “revival” he led the congregation in
a hymn a rendition of secular super star and celebrity Rihanna’s hit song. No kidding! This is of course a far cry from the preachers and Christians of yester year who really loved the Lord, sang about Him. They reverently honored Him even in their worship. He was the centre piece to which their whole livelihood focused. Who is the focus of our adoration today?
“At last I saw Christ as my Saviour. I believed in Him and gave myself to Him. The burden rolled from off me, and a great love for Christ filled my soul. That was more than fifty years ago. I loved Jesus Christ then, but I loved Him more the year after, and more the year after that, and more every year since” – George Muller (1805 – 1898) …Read More!
Where did we ever get the idea that people can save other people, and even save themselves? Sure, nobody comes right out and says that, but you can tell that they think it. It’s amazing how this one theological error upstream ends up causing an entire evangelism epidemic downstream. No, theology is not useless “head knowledge”, it impacts our actions. And in this case, bad theology has produced an entire errant evangelistic system.
The problem that we are seeing today, is that church leaders believe that people can control when and if the New Birth occurs. Here’s one example with scenes from an actual church service:
We are warned of the problem in Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God:
“If we forget that it is God’s prerogative to give results when the Gospel is preached, we shall start to think that it is our responsibility to secure them. And if we forget that only God can give faith, we shall start to think that the making of converts depends, in the last analysis, not on God, but on us, and that the decisive factor is the way in which we evangelize. …Read More!
Every generation has its wild eyed enthusiast who grabs hold of the coat tails of a principle and swings the tides of history. Wow! Can I ever stop blushing after hearing what Steven Furtick has ushered into evangelicalism? Yup, even Charles Finney would not have come up with such an ingenius idea. The best Finney did was to leave us with introduction of altar calls. (Okay yes, plus crumbs in decisional regeneration in his classic sermon “Sinners bound to change their own hearts”). But this goes even further. Spontaneous baptisms! My jaw dropped down to my ankles in amazement when I read that…
We believe in baptism at Elevation Church, and we believe every person who has made a decision to follow Christ should be baptized. And to give as many people the opportunity to get baptized, we decided to spontaneously baptize people. We provided an opportunity to get baptized… on the spot.
We baptized 2,158 people over 2 weekends. It was unbelievable. It was audacious.
If you’d like to find out more of what we did to make the baptisms a success, we’ve made everything available to you to download for free right here.[Editor: Link removed by a hater! Possibly a Calvinist!] …Read More!
Revivals have been an elusive phenomenon in recent times. Pragmatism has hence has led men to wield the easy to achieve man-made winnowing fan of “revivalism” to substitute for the real outpouring. Speaking of modern day pragmatists who else can fill up a conference hall faster than Steve Furtick (who vehemently argues that Christians who attend his church searching for orthodox doctrinal teaching or expository preaching, discipleship and bible study are in the wrong place)?
Pastor Furtick’s “2012 Code Orange Revival” is being billed as the next big event. But the biggest surprise lies in the latest addition to the guest list (young, restless and reformed’s very own): Matt Chandler!
The rest of the list of speakers is quite interesting …Read More!