"Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." I Peter 1:8
Steven Furtick Jr. is an American pastor and songwriter. Furtrick is founder and lead pastor, of the Elevation Church a denomination he started through online streaming, television, and instrumental music in Worship
Elevation Church is a Southern Baptist multi-site church pastored by Steven Furtick, based in Matthews. From 2007 through 2010, Elevation has been described as "a pop culture-friendly church with an orthodox Christian message".
Elevation Church—and, in particular, senior pastor Steven Furtick—have caused controversy over the church's lack of financial transparency, Furtick's personal wealth, and questionable practices by the church.
In response to the news report, before his sermon on the weekend of October 27, 2013, Furtick addressed the congregation directly, saying he was sorry if the house and surrounding questions caused them to have difficult conversations with co-workers, friends and neighbors. However, he defended the building of the house, calling it "a gift from God".
Elevation Church has also been criticized over its practice of selecting volunteers who wish to be baptized to do so during so-called "spontaneous baptism" services. During these services, which usually take place during normally scheduled weekend services, the volunteers are asked to sit in prominent areas and instructed to respond immediately to Furtick's calls for volunteers to be baptized with the intent of inspiring genuine spontaneous baptisms.
Mr. Cole Smith, writing about Furtick for World magazine, said "People were willing to excuse his flamboyance and extravagant lifestyle by saying but ‘He’s doing such great work.’ Now, this new controversy calls into serious question the legitimacy of conversion rates the church have been claiming." In response to the initial coverage, Elevation released a statement, which reads in part: "We are confident that those who attend Elevation Church know and understand our mission and vision for reaching people for Jesus Christ. As attendees, they are provided, through weekly teachings, biblical context for everything we do and practice, such as baptism, giving, serving and inviting friends to church."
The author of this website (page) studied the Bible with many people that once was affiliated with this group and their story went like this (Read below)
1. Steven Furtick and Elevation Church
Steven Furtick the founder of Elevation Church in 2006 is playing by the same charismatic church playbook that many others have played by for years.
Steven Furtick has long been a bane to the Evangelical church on the basis of his own self-admission: he’s unqualified for the pastorate. He literally wrote the book on it in response to MacArthur’s one word answer when asked what his thoughts were on Furtick. Yet, rather than reassess whether or not he would be qualified per Scripture’s own stance, Steven Furtick doubled down in his pride with a publishing deal.
2. Pep Rally Church Invitation "welcome".,
"As you pull up to the parking lot, you are first greeted by someone directing parking traffic decked out in all orange. In the parking lot, there is a sea of Elevation Church bumper stickers plastered on everyone’s cars. You walk up to church, and you’re then greeted by volunteer after volunteer persuading you to join their eGroup or to join a volunteer team. It almost feels like you’re walking in the shopping mall and on every side of you there are sales people bombarding you trying to get you to buy their perfumes and colognes. After you dodge them all, you’re then surrounded by all sorts of people — local people, people who traveled from a few hours away, or people who flew in from out of country to attend this particular church. As you wait in line, you see to your left a merchandise table."
3. "Lights, Camera, Action" Worship
"You finally enter the auditorium of the church, and you’re ushered into your seat, or to what it may feel like, forced into your seat. “All the way down! Move all the way down, do not leave any empty chairs!” the usher tells you, because there can’t be any gaps where you sit for camera purposes. Suddenly, the lights dim and there’s a countdown on a giant screen letting you know when church will start. If you were new to the church, it would feel like you’re at a New Years Eve party. People all around you are excited and they start to stand up and clap and dance before the countdown even finishes. The person to your right is inserting the ear plugs that the church offers as you walk into the auditorium to help with the unbearably loud noise during worship. The lights come back on and the worship team comes on stage; there’s laser lights and fog machines and for a second, you think you’re at a concert."
4. Show Time!
"After some sort of high-quality, overly produced videos, the pastor then comes on stage. He first takes about five to ten minutes trying to gauge the crowd and then work the crowd to get them pumped up for whatever he is about to butcher, oh sorry, I mean preach. He puts up 1-3 Bible verses on the screen for everyone to follow along and then amazingly enough, spends about an hour and a half convincing the crowd that his Bible twisting is true. “The reason why you’re not being blessed by God, is because you don’t have enough faith!” he tells the crowd, some of whom are wealthy, and some of whom are living paycheck to paycheck, while he is on the stage dressed from head to toe in all Gucci."
5. Whew you made it to the end!
"After church ends, it’s an unbelievable ordeal to exit. You’re pushed and shoved, and people are stepping on your feet as you try to find your way out of the auditorium. Oh, and you’ll most definitely spend about ten to fifteen minutes sitting in your car in the parking lot trying to leave. You pull out of the church parking lot, and congratulations, you survived a visit to Elevation."
6. Everything that shines is not gold
"I was part of Elevation Church for about six years. At the time, I thought it was the greatest church on Earth and if anyone spoke negative about it, I thought they were just bitter. It felt like I was in a relationship with Elevation Church. With any relationship, in the beginning, it was puppy love and you just always want to be around them 24/7 so you volunteer extra hours and join everything that they have and buy all of their t-shirts and CDs. Then the relationship slowly became the overly attached partner that you so desperately needed to break up with, but didn’t know how to.
I eventually became the lead photographer at one of Elevation’s campuses and even was on the photography team for their live album recording, Here As In Heaven, at the Spectrum Center Arena (formerly known as the Time Warner Cable Arena). I led a team of about forty people. The majority of them were older than me so it was challenging at times to be a leader figure when my team were twice my age. I pretty much lived at church, between meetings and special events they had going on, I was always working. And when you’re around a church for that long, you see and hear a lot of things.
7. Christ NOT at the center of worship nor belief
"I overheard the campus pastor telling potential new staff that they had to take a bullet for the church if it ever came to that point. I heard some staff getting fired when they were asked if they were “team Elevation” to which the staff member said, “I’m team Jesus.” So they were fired for not “bleeding orange.”
Before Steven Furtick gets on stage, the photography team at the campus that he is at immediately has to upload photos of what the crowd looks like that day so he can see how big or how small his crowd is."
8. The game of "Shunning"
Eventually, I decided to quit after what I was witnessing didn’t feel like a church to me. On top of that, I was absolutely exhausted every time I got home and was starting to lose passion for photography. And boy oh boy, the day I told my supervisor that I was quitting was not fun. I lost all of my friends. And I’m not being dramatic when I say that I lost all my friends. Everyone I worked with and thought were my friends shunned me and ignored all my text messages and blocked me on social media. I was a total outcast. It was a pretty lonely year. I’m not going to lie. It was rough.
9. Beware of false teachers
I kept praying to God to give me discernment and to open up my eyes if I’m doing something wrong, to bring clarity. And God sure did answer my prayer, in a major way. About four months ago, my mom came into my room to where I was and all excited she tells me, “Guess who I heard on the radio?!”. I shrug my shoulders and say, “Who?” She says, “Costi Hinn, Benny Hinn’s nephew! He was saying how everything that Benny Hinn says and does, as well as other false teachers is fake, he was essentially exposing him.” My mom and I were pretty big Benny Hinn fans. When I was younger and lived in Florida, we went to his crusade and we managed to get floor seats because we thought the closer we got to Benny Hinn, the closer we got to a healing or a miracle. I was absolutely shocked when she told me. So the millennial in me started to look him up on Twitter and I found a tweet he posted about Bethel Church in Redding, California. I was intrigued, because I was accepted to Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) but I ended up getting scammed seven thousand dollars that someone was supposed to give me and then I couldn’t go. Naturally, I was frustrated but I prayed to God to show me why I couldn’t go. This felt like an answered prayer. I replied to Costi’s tweet about Bethel and about two minutes later he replied to me, he gave me his email and out of the kindness of his heart, sent me his two books for free as well as an email full of information. I’m still trying to process all of it."
10. Breaking free from error
"So what does my life look like now after I left Elevation? Well, I’m still in process mode. I keep doing my research and make sure that what I’m doing is biblically correct. I got rid of any books from false teachers that I had, got a different translation of the Bible, and deleted my old worship music playlist that was full of Elevation Worship, Hillsong Worship, and Bethel Music. I continue to pray for God to reveal to me what is the truth and little by little, I get new information.
This has most definitely been a journey of rediscovering Jesus, the true Jesus. It’s deconstructing everything that I was taught from false teachers and filling myself up with the true Gospel. And I am so grateful for God revealing to me the truth about Bethel Church before I got filled with even more deception by attending their school.
11. "Truth Matters"
"I share my story of leaving Elevation, because I want to help others who are being deceived by false teachers, like I once was, to be brought out so they can understand the true Gospel. I’ve seen – firsthand – false doctrine damage people so deep that they leave Christianity completely. When church becomes more about entertainment and theatrics, you have to ask yourself if it’s even a church. If you talk to anyone who goes to Elevation Church, you can tell that the focus is not centered on God, because the conversation always points to Steven Furtick and on his performance, not the actual word of God.
I fully realize that not everyone is going to agree with me on this, especially those who I went with to Elevation Church. I love the people I worked with at Elevation Church, and it is because I love them that I am writing this because I want them to be brought out of deception. This has been no easy task, but it makes it all worth it to obey Christ. Because good theology and sound doctrine matters."
WRONG TIME: 2006 A. D.
WRONG PLACE: Matthews, North Carolina
WRONG FOUNDER: Steven Furtick
1. What people are experiencing is a world of too many churches started and ran by men rather than reading the Bible and seeking after the ONE church Jesus left on earth for all of us. (Matthew 16:18; Romans 16:16). It is your responsibility to find it! it is your fault also if you settle for a cheap imitation.
Because all have sinned and is blind and have lost our way! We must NOT lean on our own understanding. (Prov. 3:5). We must seek after God through His Word...If you are in any Church that is ran by "A Pastor" yes ONE person...Run! IF you are in a Church ran by a "committee, conference, governing board, founder of a Church, or religious psychic claiming divine revelations that you nor they can find in the Bible (Romans 10:17)...Run!!
2. Worship is primarily about glorifying God and expressing our love and appreciation for what he has done for us. Sounds good, right? The problem is that too many of us are making worship about how it makes us feel. We expect to come to a worship service to “feel” the presence of God. We often judge the success of a worship service by how many people lifted their hands or shouted “Amen.” Those things are not bad. Participating and being involved in the music is usually good. The problem is that it tends to teach people that unless you are emotionally involved in singing you are not really worshipping. Church worship is NOT a "Pep rally". We are to make sure we are worshipping God in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24).
3. Today studies show that almost nine out of 10 households (87 percent) own a Bible, according to the American Bible Society, and the average household has three. Yet this same study shows that about half of Americans (53 percent) have read relatively little of the Bible.
Why does this become a problem? (Without taking the time to learn what the Bible teaches:
1. We won't learn how to properly live and know God (Rom. 1:14-32).
2. We won't know how to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
3. We won't seek the kingdom (Matthew 6:33)
4. We won't be able to recognize all of these fake churches and preachers in the world (Matt. 7:15;
I Timothy 4:1-2)
4. Churches led by men rather by what is in the Bible has become big business with their Rock star "Pastor", Dome style elaborate buildings, Jesus rock band concert worship services and massive crowds that come for the "show". Where is Jesus Christ is the middle of this "madness"? Has anybody stop to ask that question? In a day where people are hurting, hungry, homeless and these so-called preachers continue to pump the church for money to support their greedy lifestyles. While building a brand and name for themselves they have forgotten or perhaps never known the name of Jesus. Will you stop this and ask God for the ancient paths?
The prophet Jeremiah told the people in his day the same thing that I am tell you today -Jeremiah 6:15-16. Do you want to find rest for your soul?
5. We enter worship to God to glorify God, to serve and encourage the church and leave to serve humanity. Do you leave church service equip to do God's will? (Ephesians 4:11-15). A very important part of coming together as a church is to be given the support, encouragement that you need to equip you to go our have lead other to Jesus Christ. Church is NOT to entertain us and promote false "Pastors".
6. Listen want to be Christian, Listen want to go to heaven one day soul. Your FAITH is NEVER to be in a CHURCH (people) nor a CHURCH BUILDING (that is only brick and mortar). OUR FAITH is to be in GOD! We ONLY Access this FAITH through what we can READ in God's WORD (Romans 10:17).
The reason that millions of people are being deceived in these prosperity gospel, charismatic, prep-rally/hyped churches is because we are NOT reading our Bibles like we should. When you are quoting more about what a MAN "Pastor" say more than what the BIBLE says you are already in trouble.
The WORD OF GOD continues to warn us (Matthew 24:3-8; 2 Timothy 4:3-4) yet these false teachers keep you so bog down in reading their books, and listening to their CD's at a fee of course.
Why do so many keep paying for so much false doctrine and all they are left with is full pews (seats) at church services, Hype worship, empty bank accounts, a wealthy Pastor and a bankrupt soul? Are you tired yet? Jesus is still waiting on you. He is not aiming for your wallet, He wants your heart.
7. There is a lot of worshipping going on in the world today , but where is Jesus Christ in it? False teachers demand loyalty to their false teachings, revelations and to them! Matthew 7:15
False teachers are the danger for the church today, and believe me, they are dangerous. What is a false teacher? A false teacher is one who knows the truth but deliberately lies for some purpose. It is either for some selfish reason, or he wants to please people, or he does it for money. There are many teachers like that today. They preach and say what people want them to say, although they know what the truth is — that is a false teacher.
8. In families a family member may be shunned or ostracized by a single person—the angry spouse, parent or child who refuses to speak or engage with them—or they may be shunned by the entire family—something that happens to many gay children when they come out, or can happen to a family member who leaves the family religion or political affiliation or marries the wrong person. Some religions—such as Scientologists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and even the Amish—have formal policies to shun those who question or leave the religion. And in communities a person or whole family can be shunned for having the wrong skin color, supporting the wrong political candidate, or painting their front door the wrong shade of yellow. In short, shunning is a common practice that many people have suffered or perpetuated, yet it is surprising how little attention has been paid to this ubiquitous form of aggression. There is a proper context for "shunning" and that is if someone violate God's Word or refuse to repent of sin.there is a proper place for breaking an association. The Bible teaches excommunication as a form of church discipline. Further, 1 Corinthians 5:11 refers to what can easily be interpreted as a form of shunning: “I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.”
9. Beware of False Teaching
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2 Peter 2:1)
There were false prophets in the Old Testament, but there are false teachers today. I am amazed how easily people are deceived by all kinds of teaching. People will fall for anything. I urge you to check what I say by the Word of God. Don't believe it because Vernon McGee says it. The Word of God is what you are to rest upon.
Now false teachers have some true doctrine. There is not a cult that I know of which does not have some truth in it. That is the one thing that makes them ten thousand times more dangerous than if they were 100 percent in error. These teachers generally believe some things that are true. Our Lord said, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matthew 7:15). Paul warned the church at Ephesus, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock" (Acts 20:29). These wolves in sheep's clothing will absolutely destroy the flock and scatter them. TODAY people that Jesus died for can not get to Jesus because of so many false churches and "Pastors".
It’s a good time to be a false teacher and to espouse deadly doctrine. It seems that today’s most brazen heretic will be granted a hearing and, in all likelihood, a book deal. Novelty is appealing, orthodoxy boring. It’s the ones who sound the warning and issue the challenge that bear the risk—the risk of being labelled “haters.” There’s more patience for those who smilingly subvert the truth than for those who boldly defend it. Conviction is a sign of arrogance, while humility is expressed in uncertainty. Love, it seems, requires us to bear patiently with any amount of error. And this kind of love, we are told, is modeled after Jesus. Jesus did not judge, Jesus welcomed all opinions, Jesus would have accepted different kinds of teachings—so long as those teachings contained love and hints of truth. A quick scan of the gospels, however, shows that this impression is a far cry from the Jesus of the Bible. It shows that society has reimagined Jesus through the relativism of our day. When Jesus interacted with people who were seeking, wandering, or misguided, he was invariably compassionate. He answered them with patience and gentleness. But when Jesus engaged with religious hypocrites and false teachers, he responded with righteous fury and bold conviction.
11.Today many are searching for God and eternal salvation. They want a better life than they are experiencing at present here on earth and the assurance that they will be with the Lord throughout eternity. Not knowing where to turn, they ask a friend or turn on the radio or TV to find solutions to life’s problems and find spiritual direction.
Often the answer they receive from these sources falls short of the Lord’s teaching on salvation and eternal life. They almost never ask, “Have you ever obeyed the gospel?” It is clear in the scriptures that the main message declared by those who belonged to Christ was the gospel and it was essential to believe it, 1 Corinthians 15:1. It is also clear that obedience to the gospel was also taught as essential, 1 Peter 4:17.