In Defense Of Steven Furtick: A Response To What I Consider Frivolous Personal Attacks Against The Man

So I had an interesting experience yesterday.  I read something online that bugged me so much I had to write a rebuttal to it in the form of a blog comment.  As a person, I’m always curious when I see these “heretic watch” blog posts about Christian leaders I love and respect.  And I saw this blog by a guy in South Carolina called James Duncan who has one of these “heretic watch” blogs called Pajama Pages.  This guy is on a relentless mission to publicly discredit Steven Furtick, pastor of North Carolina’s Elevation Church. Just post after post about why Furtick’s a fraud.  So I read some of his posts and first of all, he has nothing of substance, its all just frivolous personal, subjective attacks against the man, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it that I had to write a long blog comment, and I thought I’d go ahead and re-post that comment here.

This is simply what’s been on my heart tonight, and if you don’t care about these things, then don’t bother to read my comment that I posted on this guy’s blog under the name “Jason Goodblood.”

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Wow man. After I read a few of your blog posts on Steven Furtick I felt really sad. Sad for you. And what’s even sadder is that you are so convinced that you are doing “God’s work” that nothing I say here will have the slightest effect on you. You’d probably just feel good about the attention of another commenter.

There’s so many thoughts in my heart so I’ll try to be concise and brief. Now to be fair I’ve not read this blog post above, but I’ve read some others on your site. And it seems to me that you really hate Steven Furtick. It seems personal. Every blog post you do about him is to intended to publicly shame him and humiliate him and take pot shots. But you are doing it under the guise of “holding them accountable to the bible.” I have no problem with you or anyone pointing out and examining individual things a preacher says like the Berean Christians in Acts 17. So if the things you take issue with in this blog post above are legitimate then I say God bless you and more power to you. But in my eyes you’ve lost all credibility as a godly critic because you clearly have an axe to grind. You clearly hate Steven Furtick, and its like you want him to lose his church and to see Elevation crash and burn and be no more. That’s weird for me to see one christian have that feeling toward another. But even as I type this I feel like I’m completely wasting my time, because even if you approve this comment, it will mean nothing to you. You won’t be open to anything I say here; especially my exhortation to examine your own heart.

Like your blog post about ‘How Furtick plans to crash the chatterbox’ about his and his publisher’s efforts to get on the bestseller list seems like it was intended to just be another exhibit about why Steven Furtick is a fraud and needs to not be a pastor. But here’s the truth: it did zero to make me think less of Furtick as a pastor or a human being. It was nothing more than insight into how Christian publishers work, but its part of this overall campaign on your part to publicly shame this pastor, Which to me is just not godly. Of course you see it as just the opposite, to you, you are doing God’s work to call out this “false prophet.” But I think you’re misguided man. I just wish I could make you see things from my perspective.

What do you really want all of this accomplish: it sounds like you want Furtick to come to you and bow down and say, “I was wrong, you are right. I’m not fit to be a pastor. You get all the credit, I’m an ending Elevation.” This sounds like you have some pride issues. And self-righteous issues. Which I’m assuming comes from deep insecurity because you need to put him down to make yourself feel good.

Everything you’ve written about him, like even implying his attempts to get on the NYT bestseller list is further evidence of what a fraud he is and how he’s paying for his “mansion” you sound like the pharisees when they dragged the woman caught in adultery to Jesus to judge, to publicly shame and you remember Jesus’ response to this right? If you are without sin, then write on, and smear on my friend.

Its one thing to have an issue with minor things about Furtick: maybe he’s brass, maybe he’s flashy, maybe he’s too ambitious, you name it, maybe even certain things he says from the pulpit, or that he’s making too much money etc. But you’re not doing that, instead you are engaging in a smear campaign against the man himself. Satan is the accuser of the brethren and you are accusing Furtick on every side. Blaise Pascal has a quote that I think applies to you: “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

You believe you are doing God’s work, and that’s why I feel like wasting my time even writing this. But you should ask yourself am I really doing God’s work, because until you open yourself to the fact that you may be doing your own work in god’s name no one will ever get through to you, not even God himself. In this regard you’re like a suicide bomber, as long as they believe they are doing God’s work you can never reach them or talk them out of it or ask them to reconsider. I am asking you to reconsider. And evaluate your own heart.

Is Furtick guilty of some of the criticisms you’ve leveled at him, probably. But how does that make him unfit for ministry? Every minister has done or said things we can all take issue with, many have said knuckle-headed things—even from the pulpit. That’s because no one is perfect, even pastors. But everything you do, to you is just one more evidence that proves your over-arching belief that Furtick should not be a pastor. Every post. That’s why you’ve lost all credibility as a godly, trust-worthy critic, because your heart is set on a smear campaign against the man, personally. You’re like Fox News is against Obama.

I think you’d be better off doing a blog post entitled ” Why I Hate Steven Furtick” and lay down all your issues and let people just judge each issue on its own merit. You may not describe your feelings toward him this way but from I’ve read it seems like hate to me.

And if Furtick bought a house that cost $1.8 million how does that disqualify him from ministry? Celebrity preachers make a lot of money that’s just the reality of the situation, how in your mind that makes them unfit to lead is the sensibility of a man who just believes Furtick shouldn’t be pastor in the first place and so he’ll just keep adding things to his list of why he feels this way. But even then most of the things you point out are ridiculous, like the whole NYT list thing – it proves nothing. You failed to show why Furtick is the anti-Christ but that’s my whole point you’re so blinded by your campaign to bring this man down, that everything you do, serves that purpose. Even if it means you have to gasp at straws i.e. at things that aren’t there.

If Furtick makes a lot of money from his work it doesn’t make him less qualified, less holy, less Christian. Besides by him buying this house doesn’t mean he has $2 million, it means that he believes he can afford the monthly mortgage payments for the next 20 – 30 years.

So what’s my point? If you feel there are certain things you take issue with him about that are legitimate like say, something he says from the pulpit, that’s fine. But when you are dead set to destroy the man then its no longer about the individual meritorious issues, its about bringing the man down and his total destruction. Which just in and of itself, for one “christian” to have that impulse or feeling toward another christian is just weird man in the first place, and that person in my opinion is not part of the household of faith. To me your campaign against Furtick is like Fox News’ campaign against Obama. The people at Fox wants to see Obama burn, they want to see him destroyed. So its not really about the issues anymore its just about an on-going campaign to bring about his destruction, and when that impulse begins to drive the train then you have lost all credibility and any criticism leveled against him is just another part of your over-arching, all-consuming goal to destroy him.

“How can a man say he loves God whom, he cannot see, yet hates his brother whom he can see.” You my friend, if your blog posts speak for you, hate your brother. And if that’s true then God himself says you can’t love Him.

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