Steven Furtick: Hiding His Light Under a Bundle

 “Shun, as you would the plague, a cleric who from being poor has become wealthy, or who, from being nobody has become a celebrity.” — Jerome  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graceland.jpgGraceland – the 17,552 square foot home of Elvis Presley

By all outward appearances, it seems Steven Furtick,  the pastor of Elevation Church, is trying to keep up with the Joneses so to speak.  Perhaps a better analogy is that he's trying to keep up with Peyton Manning, star quarterback for the Denver Broncos, who recently purchased a 16,000 square foot home in Colorado, or the with the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley (see photo above). 

Is Furtick getting pushback on his 16,000 square foot "not so great" home on 19+ acres of good soil?

It appears that some megachurches are BIG on having their pastors live in megahouses.  Perhaps that's why Elevation Church is big on financial giving.  Here is what its website states:

We believe in the power of generosity, what it does for the individual doing the giving, and for the purpose that the giving supports.

At Elevation, we pledge to continue to be good soil for your generosity. We exist to see those far from God raised to life in Christ and we would love for you to join us in that mission.

And it does appear that Pastor Steven has found about 19+ acres of good soil on which to build a 16,000 square foot superstructure. Except, the only ones who will be able to tromp that good soil and use that domicile are the Furticks. He is building himself a 16,000 square foot "cottage" in which to contain his larger than life personality – a tall order indeed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_FurtickBy now, most attendees of Elevation Church are aware the Pastor Steven "Hey Haters" Furtick is miffed off. He attempted to address the matter last week (9.29.13) in his sermon. (Go to the 31 minute mark) . He says he is being scarred by an investigation into his lifestyle. Oh, the pain of suffering for Jesus…

He says the house he is building "is not all that great!" 16,000 square feet on 19+acres of land is not all that great? I do not know what is going on over in Charlotte, but, here in Raleigh, a 16,000 square foot home is beyond the reach of most of our population. In fact, we do not know anyone who has a 16,000 square foot home, and we get around. Perhaps the majority of people in Charlotte and at Elevation Church have domiciles in excess of 16,000 square feet. If so, we send our condolences to Steven for having to slum it.

He said he is building it with the money he got from his books. Really? We recommend that you all take a close look at that remark and ask questions. And, while you're at it, why don't you ask how much money he is being paid by the church? The fact that Perry Noble is on his "compensation" committee should raise a red flag or two. Furtick seems to be channeling his good buddy, Ed Young Jr., who has been the subject of investigations himself. 

Letting Elevation's light shine before Charlotte.

Furtick says Elevation gave $10 million to the Charlotte community over a 10 year period. Does this mean that the community is no longer able to ask questions? Is quid pro quo suddenly a biblical value?

Looking for folks willing to discuss their experiences at Elevation.

We believe that there will be some fascinating revelations in the weeks to come. TWW will report on these as they arise. In the meantime, there is an individual who would like to talk with current and former members of Elevation. Please contact TWW and we will explain further. Your emails, as always, will be treated as confidential.

As Christians, we are called to let our light shine before men and transparently share our lives – the good, the bad and the ugly – with those who ask. Elevation Church: you claim to be a light on the hill. That means you will be looked at, closely. If you are confident that you are following Jesus, then be at peace. If an investigation makes you anxious, ask yourself why.

TWW will provide a place for folks from the Charlotte community to express their concerns and thoughts.

TWW routinely closes comments on our posts after six months. We do this because we have a hard enough time keeping up with reader input on current posts. However, we have received a number of emails asking us to consider re-opening the comment section under our prior post on Steven Furtick/Elevation Church.

Below, we have republished our original post on the confidentiality agreement (We wonder who slipped and talked about the "not so great" parsonage?) It links back to the  original comments. We will keep the comment section of this post open indefinitely. Please feel free to use it to express your concerns or critiques.


 Elevation Church and Steven Furtick: Volunteer to Be Sued!

(link)

"Nothing is more likely to destroy a species or a nation than a determination to survive at all costs." — C.S. Lewis 

450px-Censourship_quiet_silence_no_words
stibbons- wikicommons

Contrary to popular blogger belief, TWW does not need to "go looking" for controversy. We have been around for 4 years and have developed a reputation that we give a hoot about people who have been hurt, let down, and abused by churches. The church leaders have their fan clubs of admiring wannabe pastors and church leaders. They pay the dough to sit in their presence at the interminable conferences held in nice places all over the world.

Who is the fan club for those hurt by these churches and leaders? Well, TWW is one. Julie Anne Smith at Spiritual Sounding Board and Kris at SGM Survivors are others. All of us raise red flags to help people know about church settings that are optimized for potential abuse.

This past week we got an email from an individual who referred to a contract that volunteers, as well as church employees, must sign at Elevation Church.

I also grabbed it as well if it disappears. The whole thing is unconscionable in fact, if not actually in law. I plan on showing this to a few of my lawyer buddies online to see what they think. 

This individual went onto to call this document a pile of codswallop (or something similar).Frankly, I agree. TWW has written a number of posts outlining the potential pitfalls of signing membership covenants. Here are a few.

The legal issue is key

When signing one of these "covenants," potential church members should understand that they are signing a legal document. We are warning you: these documents have been vetted by church attorneys.

The pastors go all "nicey, nicey" on the likely member, explaining that this is simply a "biblical" way to demonstrate that one is committing oneself to praying for, and supporting, the local body of Christ. Then everyone joins hands and sings "Kumbaya" while reveling in the loving unity of the local body. That is, until an unsuspecting person asks the wrong question and finds themselves on the receiving end of some "loving" church discipline with little recourse. Said person can run but the church can legally report them to the next church (and they do). Please refer to this post on TWW on how to legally extricate yourself from an abusive church.

If you insist on signing a church contract, consult your own attorney.

These covenants were invented by lawyers to protect the church leadership, as well as the church assets, from liability. These are not meant to protect you. (Repeat 10x).What makes this practice particularly despicable is that prospective members are rarely advised that they are signing a legal document or that they should consider getting legal advice prior to signing it.

We have often said that smart people should not sign these documents without first consulting with their own (not the church's) attorney. Better yet, they should ask themselves why they would join a church that would not tell them that they are signing a legal document. 

Is paranoia a biblical value at Steven Furtick's Elevation Church?

Deb and I wanted to visit Elevation Church and listen to Furtick speak in person. We called the church office to ask when and where he would be preaching because there are multiple campuses. But, they have a funny little rule. They won't tell you. It is against the rules. No matter which way I asked the question, the administrative person refused to answer me. Is this paranoia? Sure seems like it. 

The infamous volunteer/employee contract is gaining fame.

The following document has been making its way around Charlotte, NC and has been picked up by Stuff Christian Culture Likes on Facebook link. It is a confidentiality agreement that must be signed by employees and anyone who wishes to "volunteer" at Steven Furtick's Elevation Church in Charlotte link. Some smart folks, knowing that such a document might tend to "disappear" (imagine that!) made sure to post it on Dropbox here. (It takes a few seconds to load).

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to meet, or hear about, mega-pastor Furtick, we have embedded a well-known video called "Hey, Haters" at the end of the post. He is good buddies with Ed Young Jr link and Perry "oppose us and oppose God" Noble link which probably says it all. So, this man who says he is into peace and love and wants to restore a "hope of a nation," has created a document to "insure" you stay "unified."

Here is most of the document. You can view the whole thing at the above link. I have highlighted a few things. I also introduce each section.

It's all about gossip and slander but these terms are not defined. Note the legalese.

THIS CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT (“Agreement”) dated __________________, is by and between Elevation Church (“Church”) and
________________________________________ (referred to as “I” or “me” below).
WHEREAS, the Church and I agree that the Bible was inspired by God and written by man without error and is completely relevant to our daily life;
WHEREAS, the Scriptures forbid the spreading of gossip, slander and the betraying of confidences (Exodus 23:1; Leviticus 19:16; Proverbs 6:19, 11:13, 16:28, 20:19; Romans 1:30; 1 Corinthians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 12:20 and Titus 2:3);
WHEREAS, as an inducement to the Church to allow me to volunteer, or to hire me or continue to employ me, or to provide me access to its confidential  information, or to provide me compensation and/or benefits, as the case may be, I have agreed to execute this Agreement and be bound by its terms and covenants.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the above premises, I agree to be bound by the terms, conditions and covenants set forth herein:

They say you must disclose things if required to do so by the law but you must alert them immediately if you do. Oh yeah, and be careful not to say too much.

1. CONFIDENTIALITY
1.1 Duty to Maintain Confidentiality.
I promise and agree that, except to the extent the use or disclosure of any Confidential Information (as defined below) is required to carry out my assigned duties with the Church, during my employment or
volunteering with the Church and thereafter: (a) I will keep strictly confidential and not disclose to any person not employed by the Church any Confidential Information, and (b) I will not use for myself or for any other person or entity any Confidential Information.
However, this provision shall not preclude me: (i) from the use or disclosure of information known generally to the public, other than as a result of my violation of this Section; or (ii) from any disclosure required by law or court order, so long as I provide the Church immediate written notice of any potential disclosure pursuant to this subsection and take all reasonable and lawful steps to limit the extent of such disclosure.

Of course, it is wrong to share prayer requests as you will note in (i). However, look at what else one must keep secret.

1.2 Definition.
The term “Confidential Information” means all non-public information furnished to, obtained by, or
created by me within the course and scope of my work (volunteer or otherwise) with the Church. Confidential Information includes,but is not limited to, such information relating to: (i) Church participants, including lists, contact information, prayer requests personal information; (ii) the Church’s finances, including personal financial/salary information related to the Church’s financial statements, balance sheets, offerings information, cash flow, forecasts and cost analyses; (iii) the Church’s plans and projections for opportunities for new or developing ideas; and/or (iv) the Church’s research and development activities and technical data.

Then, one must agree that this is all very reasonable.

2. REASONABLENESS OF RESTRICTIONS
I recognize that the terms of this Agreement are necessary to protect the Church’s confidential information and the sensitivity of such information. I also agree that its terms are fair and reasonable. Thus, I agree not to contest the general validity or enforceability of this Agreement. The covenants in this Agreement shall survive the termination or end of my employment or volunteering with the Church as set forth above, regardless of the date, reason or manner of my separation. I acknowledge that this Agreement is supported by good and valuable consideration.

And, if you happen to mention that the church is thinking about offering Zumba in the sanctuary on Mondays, you can get your pants sued off you.

3. GENERAL PROVISIONS
3.1 Remedies Available to the Church for My Breach.
I acknowledge that my breach of any of the restrictive covenants in this Agreement will result in irreparable damage to the Church. Therefore, in the event of any breach or threatened breach by me, I agree that the Church shall be entitled to an injunction from a court of competent jurisdiction enjoining me from committing any violation
or threatened violation of this Agreement. I further agree that the Church shall not be required to post a bond to obtain such an injunction. All remedies available to the Church by reason of a breach by me of this Agreement are cumulative, none is exclusive, and all remedies may be exercised concurrently or consecutively at the Church’s option.

Fascinating.

  • Do not tell what the pastor makes.That Ed Young Jr thing was really yucky link. Poor Ed…
  • Do not tell how much was in the plate on Sunday. People might wonder where the money goes.
  • Do not share any cool idea that Furtick has. Someone else might copy it and that is not fair. Why help another Christian church. Furtick wants it all.

If you do any of the above, you can be sued. Well, I gotta hand it to him. At least he doesn't play games with Matthew 18. He'll just sue your sorry bottom.

Bottom Line

Do you really want to volunteer for a church that threatens you from the get go? Is this truly a place of love and unity? Ask yourself why Furtick wouldn't want to share any neat ideas he has with everyone else. Or is he hiding his bundle under a bushel?

 Matthew 5:14-16
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others,that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Steven Furtick at his finest. Hey Haters!

Lydia's Corner:  Esther 8:1-10:3   1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13   Psalm 37:1-11   Proverbs 21:23-24

Comments

Steven Furtick: Hiding His Light Under a Bundle — 370 Comments

  1. This church is super creepy and I am continually surprised at the seemingly normal people that associate themselves with it. Personally, I knew none of this, but I have really struggled with the story associated with Elevation church about the disabled person who was asked to leave. I’m unclear on the details, which I know runs the risk of making it invalid, but that has stuck with me. And when I say I’ve struggled with it, I mean that seriously, not in the euphemistic sense. I can’t get past it, and no one else seems to care, but it struck a level of something so deeply wrong and, quite frankly, impolite that I find it unfathomable. I can comprehend churches that are subtly exclusive. I can comprehend churches that pretend to tolerate differences or those with special needs and are internally annoyed. I get that. These things may fall under “imperfect” or “flawed”. But to blatantly ask a person to leave and say they are being a distraction, everything in me just recoils at that. It’s SO WRONG. It’s deeply and viscerally wrong, but moreso than that, it’s wrong based on being a decent and polite person. I can’t even bother to get to “how is this Christian love?” because I get stuck on “Seriously? SERIOUSLY? You were THAT BLATANTLY RUDE?”

    So there’s my complaint. It has been in my head for a long time and I never had a place to say it, so I figured this was as good of a place as any.

    Also something about him makes me think of Derek Zoolander. Maybe he should build a church for ants.

  2. The only reason a pastor should have a house that big is to open the home up for people down on their luck. Who could use a house like that???

  3. Gee, instead of young men going west to make their fame and fortune,they should go to Seminary to get fame and fortune.

    No wonder non believers think Christians are nuts and hypocrites. Embarrassed how these wretched pastors misrepresent Christianity to the world.

  4. Furtick was just interviewed on TBN’s “Praise the Lord” show today.

    I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was saying, though, since I was busy doing stuff on the computer while he was on.

    You can listen to critiques of Furtick’s sermons on
    Fighting for the Faith (Furtick topics) podcast.

    Not that I am always in agreement with the show host on every topic, but I’m pretty much right there with him in his critiques of Furtick and several other well known Christian names.

  5. …we pledge to continue to be good soil for your generosity…

    Hmm…this is a catch phrase that at least originated with Word of Faith (I spent enough years in that…). Here is what they mean by it. Every time you give, you are ‘planting seed’ to receive a harvest from God. So…you have to make sure you plant your seed in good soil or you might not get a goood harvest.

    Man, 7 years out of that nightmare and I still could go on a rant. They make it sound like a formula – you have to expect to receive back when you give or you short circuit God’s desires for you. If you don’t get that harvest? It’s coming, sister, just keep you’re faith strong! That’s their ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card – if it doesn’t work the way they tell you it will, it’s because you didn’t believe hard enough.

    A friend of mine calls this ‘constipated faith’. :)

    Another friend has observed that if this teaching were true, then the Word of Faith congregations would be the richest congregations on the planet. But they’re not. Most WoF congregations are prety much on the lower middle class side…it’s only the “leaders” that are rich….

  6. Deb: I might have missed it, but I can’t seem to find the source of your information about the size of the property and house. Do you have a link that you can share?

  7. 16,000 square feet. Here in CA, you’re talking several million dollars. That’s what CELEBRITIES and CEOs live in. We’re talking Wacko Jacko and Justin Bieber country.

    TITHE! TITHE! TITHE! IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS, BABY!

  8. Furtick says Elevation gave $10 million to the Charlotte community over a 10 year period. Does this mean that the community is no longer able to ask questions?

    This is commonly called “Hush Money”.
    Or at least the appearance of same.

  9. @ Bridget:

    Seems like Furtick should listen to his own sermons. It appears that your money isn’t yours, but his money IS HIS from his books. Well, it’s interesting how that works out in his favor (not so much for his followers).

  10. Marge Sweigart wrote:

    Do you have a link that you can share?

    We have the information from impeccable sources which we are not at liberty to reveal. Listen to Steve Furtick’s sermon. Note the comment he makes about a helicopter flying over his property. Think about it. Also, did he deny it?

  11. @ dee:
    I did listen to the pertinent part of the sermon, and no, he certainly didn’t deny it. I would just like to have some hard evidence about the cost, especially if I were to share this post with people I know who attend Elevation. I suppose I could check into public records myself. I was just kinda hoping you gals already had the info. From what he said, it sounds like something will be in the news here in Charlotte one of these days. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open…

  12. You know, if these guys weren’t preaching they’d be hawking an investment scheme in an infomercial promising a 300% return. Not much difference between them and any other scam artist when you get right down to it-they end up with your money and you’re left with nothing.

  13. Just watched a few Furtick videos. I’ve seen him before on video (sans redemption):

    “Honestly! A bunch of grown men. Along comes this fly-by-night salesman and you’re all taken in.”

    “She’s right. The man’s a by-God spellbinder! I haven’t seen people so excited since Frank Gotch and Strangler Lewis…lay on the mat for three and a half hours without moving a muscle.”

  14. @ HUG:

    16,000 square feet. Here in CA, you’re talking several million dollars. That’s what CELEBRITIES and CEOs live in. We’re talking Wacko Jacko and Justin Bieber country.

    Do we know how much Furtick paid for his house? Because in my necks of the woods, Katharine Hepburn’s former estate was recently for sale in the next county and according to this, was only 8500 sq. ft. (half the size of Furtick’s) on 3.5 acres. They wanted $30 million. That could be apples and oranges though, given the famous name and the high price of land (esp. waterfront) in New England.

  15. I don’t actually care about the size of his house. I don’t think it means a blessed thing in the big picture. What I do care about is his shallow theology, grotesque narcissism, and the really odd culture they’ve got going on. Here’s the funny thing, though; it’s not like he’s making millions and living in a mansion over against the will of the church. They want a charismatic, successful leader. And it doesn’t look a thing like Jesus.

  16. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Here’s the funny thing, though; it’s not like he’s making millions and living in a mansion over against the will of the church. They want a charismatic, successful leader. And it doesn’t look a thing like Jesus.

    That is where I am, too. They like it and agree or they would not be there. Right?

  17. Really guys like Furtick, Noble, Brunson, Mahaney, Dever, etc, etc, just tell us what passes for Christendom in America is bankrupt in many cases. Spiritually dead. It is a business and the pew sitters are the customers for the CEO hawking his wares. There is a meanness in their brand of Christianity that is hard hearted and unsafe for people.

  18. @ An Attorney:

    Mmmm . . . 200 x 16000 is 3.2 million. However, $200 per square foot is what my house works out to. I’m thinking much more than that will be spent per square foot.

    How much does does 19 acres cost in said town?

  19. I can’t help but wonder how Steven Furtick’s house compares to the one where Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker lived before the PTL Club was brought down by scandal. Don’t forget that PTL was based in the Charlotte area.

  20. I always wonder about the numbers churches publish about how much they give. I’d want to see hard numbers before I’d believe it. I’ve seen plenty of “fluffing” in church numbers at the megachurch I used to attend. The document Elevation Church published as its Annual Report is a sales pitch with little real data.

  21. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    They make it sound like a formula – you have to expect to receive back when you give or you short circuit God’s desires for you.

    Not a formula. A magic spell. You have to say the incantation just right with the right spell gestures and inscriptions and material components or the spell will fail or backfire and you won’t get the promised goodies.

  22. @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:

    I pretty much agree and see what you’re saying, but it does bother me he’s making money off the crummy, shallow preaching.

    As far as your second point, I have often wondered why, why, why people keep giving money not just to guys like this, but to the TV preachers, the Benny Hinns.

    I can maybe understand the elderly, lonely, shut-in person who watches stuff like that all day and who is naive or has dementia who doesn’t know any better, but I wonder about other people who keep funding these hucksters.

    If people would just stop sending them money for crying out loud, they’d likely go away.

  23. Hi, former lurker, in the Charlotte area.

    I went to an Elevation service once, right after starting school at University of North Carolina – Charlotte. That one service was enough to weird me out of ever returning. I don’t even remember the sermon some 5+ years later, but I do remember the rock-concert atmosphere and the elevated (pun intended) celebrity status of Furtick and the fact that the congregation was so gung-ho excited about a pastor who preached from a TV monitor to be odd, to say the least.

    Ironically, I also spent some time in SGM’s local franchise location (Crossway). Never became a full-on member, which in retrospect was a good thing. As I was an observer mostly, the red flags were subtle – the emphasis on homeschooling, the 6 (or was it 8?) week membership class, Mickey’s emphasis on sin, and Mahaney’s celebrity status among the congregation the one time he preached during my stint there. Oh, and the college ministry’s yearly weeklong trip to the Gulf coast of Florida was strange too.

    BTW, Furtick’s new digs must be on the outskirts of the city. Most anywhere near the city is either commercial property or houses that are nowhere near 16,000 square feet, let alone surrounded by 19 acres.

  24. AngelaCFR wrote:

    The only reason a pastor should have a house that big is to open the home up for people down on their luck. Who could use a house like that???

    Yup, I got one. A pastor couple (i.e. Mr and Mrs pastor) we met a few weeks ago live in a house that, actually, is vastly less than 16000 square feet, but they have five young people living with them and host a church in their home. Sleeping arrangements are a bit interesting – two of the girls sleep in the lounge, one of the boys works away during the week but sleeps in the conservatory when he’s home at weekends. Another of the boys works nights, so he sleeps in Mr and Mrs pastor’s bed during the day. These five are all solidly well-balanced individuals who were facing significant practical and emotional struggles but are doing really well (better than I would with that little personal space!) – we met them too. A great deal more good stuff could be said about all everything the household does together, but you get the idea.

    They do exist.

  25. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    I don’t actually care about the size of his house. I don’t think it means a blessed thing in the big picture. What I do care about is his shallow theology, grotesque narcissism, and the really odd culture they’ve got going on. Here’s the funny thing, though; it’s not like he’s making millions and living in a mansion over against the will of the church. They want a charismatic, successful leader. And it doesn’t look a thing like Jesus.

    ……………………………………………

    Agree. The question still remains though, why do people want this?

  26. Daisy wrote:

    @ Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist:
    If people would just stop sending them money for crying out loud, they’d likely go away.

    Amen! We keep preaching this here at TWW.

  27. singleman wrote:

    Don’t forget that PTL was based in the Charlotte area.

    So, I guess Christian stars live large in Charlotte. Keeping up with the Bakers…. :)

  28. Juniper wrote:

    always wonder about the numbers churches publish about how much they give.

    I wish I could say that it is given out of love for the community. However, given Furtick’s Sunday performance, I think (on his part-not the poor person sitting in the pew) he views this as a way to make the community shut up about his lifestyle.

  29. Daisy wrote:

    I wonder about other people who keep funding these hucksters.

    We have created pastors in our own image. So,if you are a person who wants to make bank, and not be tortured about caring for the poor, etc., you would want a pastor who us living to such an excess that he is in no position to preach to you.

  30. AnonInNC wrote:

    Furtick’s new digs must be on the outskirts of the city.

    It is. It is in a suburb and I forgot to write down which one. The land is completely surrounded by trees so that drive-bys can’t see it. That is why a helicopter needed to be used to view the land.
    I found it amusing that Furtick was so irritated that someone would use a helicopter to take a look. Does he really think he is flying under the radar? Those looking into the situation are making no effort to keep Furtick in the dark and he knowns it.

    Furtick’s first real mistake was the “Hey Haters” video. In it, he attempts to critique and marginalize those who think he is weird as haters. And, of course, Furtick is a kind and gentle soul, just like Jesus-right?

    Well, you’ve seen him. Kind and gentle are two words that do not describe him. He is just another qua sit televangelist with a thin coating of “doctrine” to fool a few.

    What is interesting is how he is defended by some “leaders” but that will be discussed when the story breaks. If i were them, I’d turn in my leadership card.

    I am glad that you were able to see through to the underlying issues with SGM. It is so helpful to have readers like you comment. It helps others as they look at churches and assess whether the church is worthy of their time and money.

  31. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    They do exist.

    That is what we need to say. There are good pastors out there that actually care about people, especially the non influential and the needy.

    Many churches in the US seem to want to attract the people who are “going places.” It is evident by the elders boards which are always made up of “successful” people. I am waiting for the day that I walk into a church and find a blue collar worker as the head of the elder board.

  32. Lin wrote:

    Agree. The question still remains though, why do people want this?

    Why do people read People Magazine? Why are people more interested in the lives of celebrities than they are hard news? Why were so many moms promoting Hannah Montana as a Christian pop start for their teen? Why do people go week after week to listen to a guy preach who does not have to live in the real world daily but yet listen to his teaching on how one is to live as a believer IN the world? (Can you imagine someone like John Piper having to report to a Lesbian boss every day in order to support his family?)

    The questions are endless. :o) Why, Why, Why???

  33. “I found it amusing that Furtick was so irritated that someone would use a helicopter to take a look. Does he really think he is flying under the radar? Those looking into the situation are making no effort to keep Furtick in the dark and he knowns it.”

    Rule #1. If you cannot know the pastor personally and really well, perhaps it is not wise to attend that church. Growing up we were all in and out of each others homes all the time.

  34. There is a lot of money in the Charlotte area. It has been a hub for the banking industry. There is all that race car money. The crowd around Lake Norman are not exactly starving. Lowes (home improvement chain) recently moved its headquarters to Mooresville just outside Charlotte because of–listen now– the availability of lots of high tech people in the Charlotte area. UNC Charlotte is a right good sized school/employer. I don’t know what else, but that is one wealthy region.

    Furtick knows what he is doing when it comes to money. So do some of his congregation, apparently. Sure, some of his folks are bound to be just plain gullible, but I bet that right many are there for the same reasons they are at the country club, and it is not religion or recreation.

  35. I would barf, but my 500 sq ft duplex here in Charlotte would not hold it all. What. a. tool.

  36. Oh, I do know one more thing. Presbyterian/ Novant Health, a pretty extensive health care mega-business grew from Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, if I am not mistaken.

  37. “Discernment: Have We Eyes Ta See; Feet Ta Act?”

    hmmm…

    Waz dat?

    The Bible tells us that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One. i.e. Ole Do-Do Head hemself; The Devil, Satan, broken beyond repair, he likes ta stomp on God’s plans at every turn….yeah, dat guy…Is it any wonder that he would attempt to attempt to deceive, distort or destroy one’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, if he can?To press against those Kind Folks who would wish ta follow Jesus?

    huh?

    The following ‘spiritual toolbag’ (TM) can assist Kind Folk ta discern da good stuff, and ‘avoid’ da bad crud when presented, and ta make good progress in their walk with Christ Jesus:

    (faithful is He who called you, faithful is He who will bring it to pass…wait’in for Him? Good.)

    Listen to da Word of God often. Taking a lõõk @ the Word of God, for ourselves, learning ta feed ourself of the good morsels taken from the word. This is sure ta promote spiritual health.  Yum!

    Do in depth study of the Word of God, using a Bible and a good concordance. (these are both online now). Dis helps for us ta remember, and understand stuff better. You’ll be suprised!

    Committing the Holy Scriptures ta memory for ready reference, a little at a time.  We can “see” bedder. We can do bedder, we can help others bedder too!

    Reviewing the Word of God by means of thinking about it over and over, like a cow chews it’s food. “hmmm…what was it it said?” Sounds boring, but it really works, try it!

    Praying the word of God. He likes it when we do dis.  :-)

    Praising God for who He is and what He does for you. (dis wakes up heaven…Whatz dat noise!)

    Being thankful. (get doze thankful juices flowing!)

    Tryin’ ta be holy. (doing Gods word when and where we are able, tellin’ God when ya fall down and need a hug, he’ll b there.)

    Remember’in ta be kind to youze neighbors.

    Try not ta worry, but give your fears and concerns to da Lord, and then try ta do what you can to improve your situation, your best effort. Thank Him for da results.

    Ask da Lord ta bless your efforts; Who knows, anything is possible. 

    Remember, He who has called you, is faithful, no madder what…

    no madder what…
    no madder what…
    no madder what…

    (…so you hang in there!)

    *

    Jesus: Pastor, do you love Me? Then feed My sheep…

    Jesus: Pastor, do you love Me, more than these? Then feed My sheep…

    (grin)

    Yehaaaaaaaaa!

    Sopy

  38. Nancy wrote:

    I bet that right many are there for the same reasons they are at the country club, and it is not religion or recreation.

    Bingo!

  39. What is sad is I went to seminary with Furtick for a semester. He was actually back then quite down to earth; he was orthodox, newly married and just an all around fun guy to be have eat lunch with and talk theology and dreams to see the Gospel go forth (he never mentioned church planting then). Here we are 10 years later. It’s so amazing and yet so sad to see a man with such potential for the Kingdom of God turn into this disgrace. Let this be a warning to us all to watch our life and our doctrine very carefully.

  40. Dee,

    In the age of the internet, members of Elevation Church can’t use the excuse, “Why, I never saw it coming…” when the scales finally fall from their eyes.

  41. Anon 1 wrote:

    “I found it amusing that Furtick was so irritated that someone would use a helicopter to take a look. Does he really think he is flying under the radar? Those looking into the situation are making no effort to keep Furtick in the dark and he knowns it.”

    Never mind “helicopter”, you could probably check Bing Maps or Google Earth for a satellite pic of the site, showing EVERYTHING visible from orbit. Including that 16,000 sq ft “cottage”.

  42. Vicki in NC wrote:

    I would barf, but my 500 sq ft duplex here in Charlotte would not hold it all.

    I’ve got a 1200 sq ft townhouse in SoCal. Might give you a little more room, and I need an excuse to clean the place…

  43. Nancy wrote:

    There is a lot of money in the Charlotte area. It has been a hub for the banking industry. There is all that race car money. The crowd around Lake Norman are not exactly starving. Lowes (home improvement chain) recently moved its headquarters to Mooresville just outside Charlotte because of–listen now– the availability of lots of high tech people in the Charlotte area. UNC Charlotte is a right good sized school/employer. I don’t know what else, but that is one wealthy region.

    So naturally they need yet another Megachurch Plant to spread the REAL Gospel. (Tithe$ Tithe$ Tithe$ Tithe$ Tithe$…) Last Sunday’s (old-fashioned) Gospel at Mass was “The Rich Man and Lazarus”. Guess we know whose side God is REALLY on nowadays, and it isn’t Lazarus. (Tithe$ Tithe$ Tithe$ Tithe$ Tithe$…)

  44. dee wrote:

    What is interesting is how he is defended by some “leaders” but that will be discussed when the story breaks. If i were them, I’d turn in my leadership card.

    “One hand washes the other…”

    “Five kings ruled o’er the Amorite,
    Mighty as fear and old as night;
    Swathed with unguent and gold and jewel,
    Waxed they merry and fat and cruel.

    These five Kings said one to another,
    ‘King unto King o’er the world is brother’…”
    – G.K.Chesterton, “Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon”

  45. Ed Young Jr is his mentor. He does the exact same thing Ed does. He uses church resources (staff, A/V, volunteers) plus his preparation time which he is likely being paid a hefty salary for, delivers his “sermon” series on the stage of that church for 4-5-6-7-8 weeks at a time, and then “writes” a book from that. Then, he hawks that book in the Church bookstore/resource center, and to all the other “just like him” mega-churches around the country, and makes enough money to buy himself a multi-million dollar mansion.

    And does the church benefit? Bet the worship leader that’s writing the songs that get made into CD’s doesn’t see a dime of her intellectual property. Bet the Children’s pastor that’s writing curriculum for sale to the church members and other churches doesn’t see a dime of his intellectual property. In fact, I would bet that good ol Steven has his church set up EXACTLY like Ed where no employee, other than himself, gets to keep any of their own intellectual property. Furtick/Young get rich, while the others are just thankful to have a job. It is so hypocritical. And I’m not saying that employees SHOULD get to keep their IP as its developed for an employer. But neither should the pastor/preacher/speaker/writer or whatever we should call him.

    These big time preachers say this model is built for one, God himself. It’s built for one alright, the one pastor and his one family. Pathetic.

  46. PP wrote:

    Let this be a warning to us all to watch our life and our doctrine very carefully.

    I think it all boils down to money and power and not having real “elder” who hold pastors accountable. Most of them view the pastor as “their boy,” reflecting their own wish for wealth and control.

  47. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    These five Kings said one to another,
    ‘King unto King o’er the world is brother’…”
    – G.K.Chesterton, “Ballad of the Battle of Gibeon”

    When we get around to explaining Furtick’s compensation panel, we will need to use this quote. Awesome!

  48. FormerFellow wrote:

    . In fact, I would bet that good ol Steven has his church set up EXACTLY like Ed where no employee, other than himself, gets to keep any of their own intellectual property. Furtick/Young get rich, while the others are just thankful to have a job.

    The folks looking into Furtick have already made the connection with Ed. I am actually impressed that they have such great insight. Furtick should be a bit worried. When a pastor who makes bank gets exposed, they do lose members. Ed experienced that. Unlike the DFW area, Charlotte is surrounded by smaller communities so there are not as many money people to draw from.

  49. I lived in South Charlotte for four years, which is where I suspect his house is being built. South Charlotte and the surrounding area is very affluent – it is where your bank execs, athletes etc, live. The main “campus” (I hate that word being used to describe a church!) is located in South Charlotte as well. The entire culture in Charlotte has a tinge of greed, probably due to the fact that the economy there owes a lot of its growth to the banking industry. Coming from small town Midwest USA, it was a bit off-putting, and I sometimes wondered what in the world I was doing in that area! I was blessed to find a church that, while it had its problems (what church doesn’t?), it was still a good church, filled with people who really loved God. But living in Charlotte, it’s hard not to hear about Elevation. So a friend of mine and I went to one of the Code Orange Revival nights. That was a trip, but my second visit there was really a hoot.

    Against my better judgment, I was persuaded by my friend to visit again. I planned to meet her there and got there first. As I walked to the entrance, I was approached by a greeter, which is nothing out of the ordinary. But the conversation that ensued was:

    Greeter: What brings you to Elevation this evening (we visited on a Saturday)
    Me: Well, a friend of mine wanted to visit, but didn’t want to come by herself, so I’m meeting her here.
    Greeter: Oh great, are you looking for a church home in the area?
    Me: No – I attend another church
    (awkward silence)
    Greeter: Well, is your friend looking for a church?
    Me: No – we attend the same church.
    (Another awkward pause…greeter looks perplexed…)
    Greeter: Well…then…ummm…why are you here?
    Me (looking incredulous, sounding VERY annoyed): Because – like I said – my friend wanted to come, but didn’t want to come alone. She wanted to hear Furtick preach…(pause, allowing the greeter to absorb…). Well, I’m going go see if she’s here. Thanks…
    (I walk away, leaving her still confused and a bit agitated)

    What I really wanted to say was, “I’m here to spy out the place and see what you cray folks are doing.” Or, “Wanted to check out the preaching to see if it’s as heretical as everyone says it is”…or something to that effect. Needless to say, I never went back there again…

  50. FormerFellow wrote:

    These big time preachers say this model is built for one, God himself. It’s built for one alright, the one pastor and his one family.

    Obviously, the One Pastor IS God.

  51. dee wrote:

    When we get around to explaining Furtick’s compensation panel, we will need to use this quote. Awesome!

    Check out the whole poem sometime. Just Google the title “ballad of the battle of gibeon” and several online copies pop up.

  52. TedS. wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    So naturally they need yet another Megachurch Plant to spread the REAL Gospel. (Tithe$ Tithe$ Tithe$ Tithe$ Tithe$…)

    So “CHURCH PLANT” = Money Tree?

    Seriously. Many of the megas found old box stores out of business (or moved to new building) in higher income areas (many in strip malls) and do minimal to them (that is the cool look now) and viola! Church. Many of them downlink the sermons from headquarters on the IMAG. That way the celeb gets to stay EVERYONE’s celeb with NO competition from another younger cooler guy and that saves a lot. It is simply another money conduit for folks who are not going to drive to the mega but will go to the satelite mini mega.

    Collecting sheep = money. And the key to the money is how many are in the seats.

  53. the thin line wrote:

    Well, is your friend looking for a church?

    It does appear that they are only interested if you are looking for a church to join. Somehow it struck me. They said “Are you looking for a church?” Not, are you looking for faith, Jesus….It really has become about joining a club. In my area of NC, so many people ride around with church bumper stickers as if a sticker that says Joe Cool Church will bring them in.

  54. @ dee:

    Nancy wrote:

    “I bet that right many are there for the same reasons they are at the country club, and it is not religion or recreation.”

    …And Dee wrote, “Bingo!”
    +++++++++++++++

    hmmmm, a few possible things come to mind.

    It’s either that i’m not intuitive enough or have zero country club experience — what was the “bingo” thing?

  55. dee wrote:

    the thin line wrote:
    Well, is your friend looking for a church?
    It does appear that they are only interested if you are looking for a church to join. Somehow it struck me. They said “Are you looking for a church?” Not, are you looking for faith, Jesus….It really has become about joining a club. In my area of NC, so many people ride around with church bumper stickers as if a sticker that says Joe Cool Church will bring them in.

    This was also the case in Charlotte. If I had a dollar for every car I saw with an Elevation sticker on it, I would be able to build myself a 16k sq ft house!!

  56. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Vicki in NC wrote:

    I would barf, but my 500 sq ft duplex here in Charlotte would not hold it all.

    I’ve got a 1200 sq ft townhouse in SoCal. Might give you a little more room, and I need an excuse to clean the place…

    If yer cleaning, I’m packing. :)

  57. dee wrote:

    Many churches in the US seem to want to attract the people who are “going places.”

    They also seem to highly desire ‘married couples who still have kids living at home.’

    Not only do never married and childless people feel left out, but I’ve started seeing ‘middle aged married with kids in college’ say they feel left out of church now. They are starting to notice most churches are aimed at parents who have kids in school, who are still living at home.

  58. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    HUG, I’m on vacation in the Bay Area right now and I am shocked at how expensive everything is out here. I can’t begin to imagine a 16,000 sq ft “home”. As my mom would say, he is begging for an attitude adjustment.

    Off topic. I saw a pod of whales migrating south. I can’t begin to describe how beautiful it was. And now I’m going back to rest and relaxation. :)

  59. @ elastigirl:

    I can’t speak for Dee, but what I am talking about is the business of making money. Networking with the right people who might be useful in the future. Client development. Product and services recognition. As in “Hi, I am Dr. Smith.” “Well, hi Dr Smith, I am (whoever) and I am with GotchaMoney bank. Great to meet you.” Also, getting a social foot in the door with the right people. Getting your child invited to the right birthday party. Making sure that the important people know your name and know that you are one of their kind. This is how one does. There is nothing illegal or shocking about it. You can’t catch any diseases doing this. It just does not happen to be what the church should be about. And you don’t have to be a believer to use the church for this purpose. You just have to stand up straight, shine your shoes, have a toned blond wife with a pony tail and the requisite 2.3 children who are enrolled in the best possible private school.

    Somebody said that the business of America is business. Well and good. But the business of the church is not first and foremost business.

  60. Nancy wrote:

    It just does not happen to be what the church should be about. And you don’t have to be a believer to use the church for this purpose. You just have to stand up straight, shine your shoes, have a toned blond wife with a pony tail and the requisite 2.3 children who are enrolled in the best possible private school.

    Make that “toned blonde trophy wife with big boobs and pony tail and…”

  61. Nancy wrote:

    @ elastigirl:
    I can’t speak for Dee, but what I am talking about is the business of making money. Networking with the right people who might be useful in the future. Client development. Product and services recognition. As in “Hi, I am Dr. Smith.” “Well, hi Dr Smith, I am (whoever) and I am with GotchaMoney bank. Great to meet you.” Also, getting a social foot in the door with the right people. Getting your child invited to the right birthday party. Making sure that the important people know your name and know that you are one of their kind. This is how one does. There is nothing illegal or shocking about it. You can’t catch any diseases doing this. It just does not happen to be what the church should be about. And you don’t have to be a believer to use the church for this purpose. You just have to stand up straight, shine your shoes, have a toned blond wife with a pony tail and the requisite 2.3 children who are enrolled in the best possible private school.
    Somebody said that the business of America is business. Well and good. But the business of the church is not first and foremost business.

  62. Anon 1 wrote:

    (Can you imagine someone like John Piper having to report to a Lesbian boss every day in order to support his family?)

    Anon 1,
    I almost spit my drink (half mango juice, half club soda) all over the screen!
    I’d pay money to see the Wheel of Ka turn just enough so that Piper did have to squirm
    under a lesbian boss.

  63. Nancy wrote:

    I can’t speak for Dee, but what I am talking about is the business of making money. Networking with the right people who might be useful in the future.

    I know some folks in a previous church who built their financial company and medical practices by hustling people at church. Then, when a terrible crisis occurred at the church, they refused to get involved because it might hurt their client base.

  64. @ dee:
    What’s scary is how much Elevation has spread its influence over the Charlotte metro area, an how many people I knew (especially from UNCC) who have been drawn in…

    Hey, you don’t suppose “Pastor” Steven is going to use the rest of his 19+ secluded acres to create some weird commune called Furticktown, do you? He’s already been passing out the Kool-Aid en masse.

  65. @ Muff Potter:

    Ok Muff, that is a very chic drink. You are making me want to try it–just so happens I have one mango left in the house but no club soda. Sigh.

    Seriously, those guys have NO clue about being a believer in the REAL world. So what CAN they teach us if we really think about it?

  66. AnonInNC wrote:

    Hey, you don’t suppose “Pastor” Steven is going to use the rest of his 19+ secluded acres to create some weird commune called Furticktown, do you? He’s already been passing out the Kool-Aid en masse.

    From my experience they don’t want the average pew sitter near their personal life.

  67. “I didn’t build it with money from my church, I did it with money from my books.”

    And they fall for that codswallop?

  68. This tract of land is located in Weddington, part of Union County, NC, which is southeast of Charlotte, NC. It’s the county where much of the “staff” of Elevation Church live as well as Lysa Terkeurst of Proverbs 31 ministries. Steven and Lysa are tight. He is currently endorsing her latest venture of a monthly subscription writing program at http://compeltraining.com/

    That’s a bit off track, so back to the property…

    Of course, as transparent as Steven Furtick likes to boast the church is, he is anything but on his real estate transactions. He’s got a right-hand man by the name of James B. “Chunks” Corbett. Chunks was a physical therapist in his previous life, but since he’s been on the Furtick team his title is Executive Pastor for Elevation Church. It means he surreptitiously does Steven Furtick’s business transactions. He is the trustee of the Jumper Drive Revocable Trust 1 and 2. The moniker of “Jumper Drive” comes from the home the Furticks have owned and lived in since 2009 in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, NC.

    The Jumper Drive Revocable Trust 1 owns these 19 acres. Currently there is an annual tax bill pending of $10,626. The property is valued at $1.6 million.

    Here are links showing ownership, value and taxes:

    http://gis-web.co.union.nc.us/tax/Property.aspx?PIN=06153015

    https://unioncountync.summation360.com/default.aspx

    Furtick doesn’t like to own property in his name; it’s too easy to trace. His current property is not in his proper name. It’s misspelled at Futrick on the county website.

    I haven’t looked into this enough to see who the owners of this property were before Chunks Corbett, as trustee, took possession of the tract. Wouldn’t surprise me if this was a tangled mess.

  69. Off thread. Today in DC area there is another situation where a woman ran through the barricades. She’s dead, child is ok. The Navy Yard shooting was a couple of weeks ago. There is a person who seems to be leading things, dare I say, it’s a woman. Cathy L. Lanier. Whatever would the patriarchal people think about this.

  70. Hard to imagine such a one really serving the One “who had no place to lay His head.”

  71. @ Joy Huff: There are a number of men in the complementarian circles who would disagree with her position but she could still ticket their sorry bottoms.

  72. Someone mentioned blond and roots. You know there are two kinds of blonds. Those who are naturally blond, about whom all the jokes (funny true stories?) were told. Then there are the blonds with dark roots (or would be if they let their hair grow a bit), who only act stupid like all the blond jokes describe, perhaps to maintain the image or duck responsibility and dump it on hubby.

  73. An Attorney

    Then there is Dolly Parton, who, when asked about the dumb blond jokes lobbed in her direction, retorted, “I am not dumb and I am also not a blond.” Bam!

  74. @ Beakerj:

    Beaks, If you had ever met Piper, the wording would be even more hilarious. That is why when he harps on patriarchy so seriously I always get a chuckle. As I have mentioned before if the building were on fire I would be duty bound to save him because he could not save me. He is that teeny tiny.

  75. @ dee:
    In all seriousness, the truth of this is what made me realize that CJ and company don’t have the authority that they have been declaring. If you can’t back it up, then you ain’t got it.
    I went to court with one of my kids once, the Judge-hes got authority!

  76. The fact that Perry Noble is on his “compensation” committee should raise a red flag or two.

    Why is a pastor from a different church on Furtick’s “compensation” package? Aren’t their wise and competant elders and men and women on a finance committee to determine his compensation? Maybe Furtick doesn’t think his elders and finance committee are capable to determine such a “large” issue as his compensation?

  77. Gregg Matte at Houston’s First Baptist in a meeting with my husband, Doug Bischoff and a deacon: “I want this to be confidential. I don’t want anything said here to end up on a blog somewhere.” This meeting was about that phone call from Doug chastising me and my blog. Heh.

  78. @ Caleb W:
    There is no need to assume that Liberty invited him there because they thought he had something to say that was worth saying. This is “one hand washes the other.” Note the students from Elevation Church in the audience. Tuition paying students. Liberty did not get to be the largest private Christian University b being too selective about students/speakers/causes or such. That said, one of my children went to Liberty for three semesters, and IMO there are pluses and minuses about Liberty as about everywhere.

    When Jerry started the school there was the idea of making a place for students who he/they felt did not have access to college for various reasons: the children raised IFB, preacher’s kids, homeschooled kids, poor kids raised in Christian homes, and such. Many were on full scholarships. To me, that was a really good idea whose time had come. They got those kids, told them they could be champions, and threw then into a community where they had no choice but to interact with each other, never mind the isolationist philosophies some had been taught from birth. At the time (and perhaps now, I don’t know) it was a safer place for kids than at some of our local state universities–that’s how my daughter got there by transfer from one of the state universities. To follow up here with a personal example: my daughter finished at another school, got a masters at yet another school and now teaches high school with a population that she routinely tell “you can be OK, maybe even a champion.” They are saying champion for Christ, she is just saying a variety of you can make it, but I think she saw that done in the educational setting and now uses it for the good of the general populace. So, yeah, a mixed bag in our experience. I think they understand their target population and tend to turn out some good folks, whether or not we found it just right for our family.

  79. Bridget wrote:

    The fact that Perry Noble is on his “compensation” committee should raise a red flag or two.

    Is Perry Noble the loud preacher who always seems to have a facial expression like he’s been constipated for a couple weeks?

  80. Nancy,

    Thanks for your response. I realize that Liberty invites speakers like Furtick because it makes good business sense. I just think that such a decision represents a lack of intellectual integrity and seriousness.

    My understanding of the history of Liberty is slightly different. Wasn’t it mostly meant to be an arm of the Moral Majority? It wasn’t so much about telling kids that they were “champions” as much as it was about turning those children into culture warriors. Falwell even wrote in “America Can Be Saved” that he hoped to live to see the abolition of public schools, which he said were breeding grounds for unchristian morality.

    I’m glad that your family had a decent experience with Liberty, but Liberty certainly isn’t the first or only place to tell underprivileged or isolated children that they can make it. In fact, Falwell himself opposed telling African American kids that they were “champions” in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement. In response to Brown v Board of Education, he said “If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God’s word and had desired to do the Lord’s will, I am quite confident that the 1954 decision would never have been made…The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line.” He also went after MLK as a “communist subversive” and opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    In an article in The Nation on May 16, 2007, Max Blumenthal even suggests – and I think that he is onto something – that Liberty was founded in large part to avoid integration in the south (it wasn’t the first white private school to be founded during and after the civil rights movement). In fact, Blumenthal points out that Falwell had previously founded the Lynchburg Christian Academy in the 60s in an attempt to circumvent integration (A local newspaper described the academy as “a private school for white students”). Liberty (the name is deliciously ironic) followed not long after.

  81. Caleb W wrote:

    Thanks for your response. I realize that Liberty invites speakers like Furtick because it makes good business sense.

    “This is my first time preaching somewhere since the release of our new book.” — Steven Furtick at Liberty Convocation

    Remember, he told his congregation that his new home is not being built with funds from the church, but from the proceeds of his book sales.

  82. Hester wrote:

    I live in a 900 sq. ft. house. That’s about 5.5% of Furtick’s house, apparently.

    Mine is 947 square feet. Which works out to 5.92 percent of Furtick’s house.

  83. I want to state in the love of God some facts. First I don’t attend Elevation Church. It would be well worth noting that 8 years ago he left his ALL and moved to Charlotte to birth the vision God placed in him of Elevation Church and impact that city. He has detailed his story many times and its’s interesting that no-one was complaining at that point when they were just eight families gathered,struggling financially and when he was the “whose he”. But now he has made it we should be happy for him. Fellow Christians where is the love of God in action when you come to tear down a fellow brother.
    Lets’s heed and obey these verses.
    James 4:11-12

    Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it….

    Galatians 5:15

    “But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.”
    Small wonder how non-believers see us from the outside looking in… bickering and divided.
    Let’s stop all this.

  84. dee wrote:

    Marge Sweigart wrote:
    Do you have a link that you can share?
    We have the information from impeccable sources which we are not at liberty to reveal. Listen to Steve Furtick’s sermon. Note the comment he makes about a helicopter flying over his property. Think about it. Also, did he deny it?

    Oh, and it’s not like this information wouldn’t come out sooner or later. Those of us who are adept at looking at public records would have been able to figure it out. You can only hide stuff for so long behind trusts and suchlike.

  85. I recently resigned my country church in upstate NY where I had a 4BR parsonage, free utilities, and office/staff & full-time salary to pursue what God is asking of us – start a new house ministry in Manhattan…now I pay $2,500/month rent, all my own utilities, and no salary…the space we can afford for me, my wife, and dog — 497 square feet…less that Pastor Steve’s master bedroom, I’d guess…the reality is we KNOW we are doing what God is calling us to…it’s hard to believe I serve the same God that tells someone to build themselves a 16,000 sqft house…

  86. Anon 1 wrote:

    @ Beakerj:
    Beaks, If you had ever met Piper, the wording would be even more hilarious. That is why when he harps on patriarchy so seriously I always get a chuckle. As I have mentioned before if the building were on fire I would be duty bound to save him because he could not save me. He is that teeny tiny.

    So how much is his literal biblical translation & godly fixation on these things actually down to small man syndrome? Methinks he doth protest too much.

  87. Alicia wrote:

    I want to state in the love of God some facts. First I don’t attend Elevation Church. It would be well worth noting that 8 years ago he left his ALL and moved to Charlotte to birth the vision God placed in him of Elevation Church and impact that city. He has detailed his story many times and its’s interesting that no-one was complaining at that point when they were just eight families gathered,struggling financially and when he was the “whose he”. But now he has made it we should be happy for him. Fellow Christians where is the love of God in action when you come to tear down a fellow brother.
    Lets’s heed and obey these verses.
    James 4:11-12
    Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it….
    Galatians 5:15
    “But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.”
    Small wonder how non-believers see us from the outside looking in… bickering and divided.
    Let’s stop all this.

    I hear you. But the focus is on the disturbing trend of American christian leaders living in abject luxury whilst preaching other values. That, & some really odd behaviour has brought a negative focus on his character. I can guarantee you every person commenting would help Furtick if he was bleeding in the street, but that doesn’t mean his lifestyle is beyond reproach. Many many people are also put off the faith by the outrageous wealth & hypocrisy of preachers…if I had ever come across his notorious ‘haters’ clip as a non-christian I can guarantee you I’d have taken a step backwards. People simply cannot preach one thing, do another, & expect everyone to applaud.

  88. I just watched his “Hey Haters” video and couldn’t help buy wonder why anyone would lock their pastor in a snow globe.

    Stay blessed…john

  89. @ Beakerj:
    @ Alicia:

    Alicia, I could tell you many stories of mega church pastors who started the same way. So what happened? I could ALSO tell you the “rest” of the story of what happened and it is not pretty. Their “success” became a huge sin trap for them. And now it is about maintaining the image of what “they” built.

    Charlotte is an interesting choice for a new “church plant” however, when one says “God told me to” there isn’t much to respond, is there? As I have been around the mega world and studied the demographics for “church plants”, Satellite campi and gone along with “this is where God wants us to go” business.

    The problem with Furtick is he outs himself when he speaks. You just fall for it, that is all.

  90. @ Caleb W: You hit the nail on the head re. Liberty’s “white flight” foundations, I’m thinking…

    fwiw, I know someone who is teaching a psych class at Liberty right now, and trying to get through the “mental illness is really DEMONS” attitudes/beliefs of the students (most of them are ministers!) is *really* tough. The course syllabus that this person inherited is like a Salem witch trials document, but with YouTube links.

  91. Bruce Barnard wrote:

    I recently resigned my country church in upstate NY where I had a 4BR parsonage, free utilities, and office/staff & full-time salary to pursue what God is asking of us – start a new house ministry in Manhattan…now I pay $2,500/month rent, all my own utilities, and no salary…the space we can afford for me, my wife, and dog — 497 square feet…less that Pastor Steve’s master bedroom, I’d guess…the reality is we KNOW we are doing what God is calling us to…it’s hard to believe I serve the same God that tells someone to build themselves a 16,000 sqft house…

    Bruce, May God bless your work there.

  92. @ Alicia:

    But now he has made it we should be happy for him.

    “He has made it” to what? To where? I’m not sure what you meant by this, but it sounds like a “celebrity” mentality. Is what you see in and around Furtick’s life what God told him to attain?

  93. John wrote:

    I just watched his “Hey Haters” video and couldn’t help buy wonder why anyone would lock their pastor in a snow globe.

    Stay blessed…john

    BWAHAHA!

  94. @ Marge Sweigart:

    Marge, I looked up the information on this property in the Union County, NC property deeds website. The nineteen + acres are owned by the Jumper Drive Revocable Trust 1. This is Steven and Holly Furtick’s trust with their pal, Chunks Corbett as the trustee.

    All the details were posted extensively above.

  95. @ elastigirl:
    I did not mean to imply that anyone is dumb. Just that that is the old joke line and it was raised by a remark in a comment that I was reacting to. The patriarchists like to think that all women are less capable than men, which I would usually dispute.

  96. Alicia wrote:

    I want to state in the love of God some facts. First I don’t attend Elevation Church. It would be well worth noting that 8 years ago he left his ALL and moved to Charlotte to birth the vision God placed in him of Elevation Church and impact that city. He has detailed his story many times and its’s interesting that no-one was complaining at that point when they were just eight families gathered,struggling financially and when he was the “whose he”. But now he has ma
    Small wonder how non-believers see us from the outside looking in… bickering and divided.

    *snipt*

    Let’s stop all this.

    I’m a former Christian, Alicia, and I’m part of the audience. Let me tell you something. If I don’t cut David Miscavige, the head of the cult of Scientology any slack for his lavish lifestyle and $2000 suits (while members of the Sea Org get a whopping $50/week–in a good week), then why on earth should I cut Furtick any slack? He’s a pastor, for Xenu’s sake, not a rock star or a television presenter.

    Also, coming in and quoting scripture yanked out of context to shut down the discussion is so typical. It doesn’t work on me anymore.

    If you claim to follow Jesus, you shouldn’t be living your life like you’re making your money off of Jesus.

    In conclusion, while there’s a lot of unpleasant things one could say about the tendency of Scientologists to worship L. Ron Hubbard, at least most of them have the good sense to fear David Miscavige. The Elevation Church members, on the other hand, idolize Steven Furtick. Notice that word “idolize” and then ask yourself if you really should have any other idols before God.

  97. Note to the blogmistresses: Any idea what kind of parsonage allowance Furtick gets? Seriously, this is where the rubber meets the road for me, because, as a taxpayer, I get to indirectly subsidize Furtick’s huge house because of the parsonage tax deal. I have to pay more so Furtick can get his taxes lowered with the parsonage allowance. So yeah, even though I live in Arizona, it’s him and every other pastor in an outsized house that gets to benefit off my taxes. I’m tired of that.

  98. @ An Attorney:

    hi — I know. I suppose I was poking the conversational fire, in response to an earlier negative characterization of either blond, ponytails, or both. I know you weren’t commenting on intelligence.

  99. I can’t help but wonder. Is Furtick a son of Dixie? And if so (no offense to you Southerners here), does he descend from the landed Gentry of the Antebellum period? Maybe it’s a generational thing with the palatial mansions and grounds. Almost a sort of wistful longing for what was Gone With the Wind so long ago.

  100. Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    Also, coming in and quoting scripture yanked out of context to shut down the discussion is so typical. It doesn’t work on me anymore.
    If you claim to follow Jesus, you shouldn’t be living your life like you’re making your money off of Jesus.
    In conclusion, while there’s a lot of unpleasant things one could say about the tendency of Scientologists to worship L. Ron Hubbard, at least most of them have the good sense to fear David Miscavige. The Elevation Church members, on the other hand, idolize Steven Furtick. Notice that word “idolize” and then ask yourself if you really should have any other idols before God.

    SWD, you have just been declared an SP by Alicia and other Furtick clams.

  101. Anon 1 wrote:

    Charlotte is an interesting choice for a new “church plant” however, when one says “God told me to” there isn’t much to respond, is there? As I have been around the mega world and studied the demographics for “church plants”, Satellite campi and gone along with “this is where God wants us to go” business.

    You know, I lived for seven years in Utah. You never hear about someone wanting to go plant a mega in, say, Provo/Orem, Utah. Why? Because it would be TOUGH. You don’t have other megas you can sheep steal from as the newest game in town, because something like 90 percent of the population of Utah Valley is Mormon. In fact, the Mormon students at Brigham Young University CAN’T go to a mega (or any other church) on a regular basis lest they lose their ecclesiastical endorsement. On top of that, the church culture is so different. If you dumped a group of Mormon college students into an Elevation church service, they’d think it was a rock concert with some preaching. It’s totally unlike going to sacrament meeting at the local ward (which, on the energy scale is down near zero, to be honest).

    Anyway, the point is, this is why you never hear of people doing church plants in places where you’d THINK they’d want to convert the natives. It’s not just because the natives aren’t interested (and for the most part, they really aren’t) but because the usual tactics of bigger and better extravaganzas to attract the already-churched will simply not work. So you’d have to take a risk, and if there’s one thing about megas when it comes to anything that might crimp the money flow–they’re risk averse.

  102. numo wrote:

    fwiw, I know someone who is teaching a psych class at Liberty right now, and trying to get through the “mental illness is really DEMONS” attitudes/beliefs of the students (most of them are ministers!) is *really* tough. The course syllabus that this person inherited is like a Salem witch trials document, but with YouTube links.

    Or the Malleus Malefacarium

  103. Pingback: Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church building 16,000 sq. feet house | Nightmares of Jesus UNITED STATES

  104. Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    Hester wrote:
    I live in a 900 sq. ft. house. That’s about 5.5% of Furtick’s house, apparently.

    Mine is 947 square feet. Which works out to 5.92 percent of Furtick’s house.

    1200 sq ft townhouse. Which works out to 7.5% of Furtick’s “cottage”. Guess I’m only 7.5% as Godly as Furtick. Wait! If I include my attached garage, that boosts me to 11.2% as Godly!

  105. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    SWD, you have just been declared an SP by Alicia and other Furtick clams.

    Oh goody, that can go with my hate page on the Scieno religious freedom watch website and my SP declare from a freezoner for ridiculing OTIII.

  106. Olivia wrote:

    Furtick doesn’t like to own property in his name; it’s too easy to trace. His current property is not in his proper name. It’s misspelled at Futrick on the county website.

    He registered it under the name F U Trick, arguably to hide what he does from others? Few things could be further from God’s will than such deception… It really ticks discerning people off!

  107. Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    You don’t have other megas you can sheep steal from as the newest game in town, because something like 90 percent of the population of Utah Valley is Mormon.

    Not just Mormon, but UTAH Mormon. A mega/giga might be able to get away with their shtick with mellow California Mormons, but not with rigid Utah Mormons. If someone tried, this Gentile would be cheering on the (officially nonexistent) Danites.

  108. Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    Oh goody, that can go with my hate page on the Scieno religious freedom watch website and my SP declare from a freezoner for ridiculing OTIII.

    Just so long as the clams don’t invoke Fair Game or Directive R2-45 LRH.

    Me? Just a fellow body thetan of Evil Galactic Overlord Xenu; HAIL XENU!

  109. Olivia wrote:

    Furtick doesn’t like to own property in his name; it’s too easy to trace. His current property is not in his proper name. It’s misspelled at Futrick on the county website.

    Futrick = F U Trick = a trick designed to screw you…

  110. @ Southwestern Discomfort:

    Oh, you are so right and people are so fooled. When we looked at demographics we took income and surrounding churches into consideration first. yes, it was about stealing sheep but also sheep who had SOME money. So when they say they are targeting the “unchurched”, don’t believe it. Now some of those targeted grew up in church of some form whether Catholic or whatever and no longer attended anywhere, that is a given because they were marketed to with social programs,
    events, etc.

    I can promise you we were not targeting the low income folks at all.

    Furtick is no dummy. The church growth movement made guys like him possible. The church growth movement had many tools to make what Furtick did easier than ever before when it comes to marketing and target demographics. But you gotta have some sort of Shtick. Which Furtick has in abundance like Driscoll had. It is not about Jesus. It is about marketing.

    The internet is outing them, though.

  111. Retha Faurie wrote:

    Olivia wrote:

    Furtick doesn’t like to own property in his name; it’s too easy to trace. His current property is not in his proper name. It’s misspelled at Futrick on the county website.

    He registered it under the name F U Trick, arguably to hide what he does from others? Few things could be further from God’s will than such deception… It really ticks discerning people off!

    The name pretty much says it all, doesn’t it?

  112. Olivia wrote:

    The nineteen + acres are owned by the Jumper Drive Revocable Trust 1.

    Do you know anything about Revocable Trusts and whether it’s common for Mega-Pastors to use these for their real estate? A couple weeks ago Wenatchee the Hatchet pointed out a (tiny by comparison) million-dollar home purchased last year by a revocable trust, happening to have the same mailing address as Mars Hill.

  113. Any one really want to do “church planting” should be thinking towns with names like Loco Hills, or Fairfield, or Keota, or any of the other thousands of tiny burgs with unsaved people living in or around them.

    Or go to bigger towns with lots of churches targeting the young urban professional or young well educated cool people and instead target the poor, the sick, the out of work yuppie, or the elderly.

  114. elastigirl wrote:

    @ dee:
    well, I am blond and I am not dumb. too much unnecessary baggage concerning hair color.

    I have no unnecessary baggage concerning hair colour. But then, I have no unnecessary hair.

  115. Also to hold your wealth during life with tax advantages and another barrier to recovery by a plaintiff who sues you, and will manage your stuff if you have a stroke or are involved in a mentally disabling accident.

  116. “He says the house he is building “is not all that great!” 16,000 square feet on 19+acres of land is not all that great? I do not know what is going on over in Charlotte, but, here in Raleigh, a 16,000 square foot home is beyond the reach of most of our population. In fact, we do not know anyone who has a 16,000 square foot home, and we get around. Perhaps the majority of people in Charlotte and at Elevation Church have domiciles in excess of 16,000 square feet. If so, we send our condolences to Steven for having to slum it.”

    LOL – Love it!

    written while slumming it in my 2200 sq ft home sitting on a 7559 sq. ft. yard (which many in the developing world cannot fathom living in) trying to feel sympathetic for this guy with the tiniest violin imaginable.

  117. Dave A A wrote:

    Olivia wrote:
    The nineteen + acres are owned by the Jumper Drive Revocable Trust 1.

    Do you know anything about Revocable Trusts and whether it’s common for Mega-Pastors to use these for their real estate? A couple weeks ago Wenatchee the Hatchet pointed out a (tiny by comparison) million-dollar home purchased last year by a revocable trust, happening to have the same mailing address as Mars Hill.

    No, Dave, I’m no expert in Revocable Trusts. My basic knowledge is they allow one to bypass probate upon death, it allows assets to be managed for the benefit of minors and reduce estate taxes.

    On a more practical level, trying to find out what property Furtick owns is just plain difficult. He doesn’t have it listed in his name and having it in an obscure trust name helps immensely. It’s only due to my recollection of him having his current house in this Jumper Drive Trust in the past (it was part of the trust and then it was taken out for whatever reason) that I was able to look in the county Charlotte, NC is located and then look at surrounding counties to search for this plat of land. It is rare to see this kind of acreage anywhere close to the Elevation sites in Charlotte. The adjacent county, Union County, is way more rural.

  118. I used to live near his south campus location. One day I was talking with a friend about a different church starting a seeker service. She didn’t know what that was and asked, “Is that like that Elevation Church? Where everyone goes around from campus to campus looking for the pastor?” I thought that was classic!

  119. Alicia wrote:

    I want to state in the love of God some facts. It would be well worth noting that 8 years ago he left his ALL and moved to Charlotte to birth the vision God placed in him of Elevation Church and impact that city. He has detailed his story many times and its’s interesting that no-one was complaining at that point when they were just eight families gathered,struggling financially and when he was the “whose he”.

    Alicia, does this not sound similar to Mark Driscoll’s story – he too was supposedly meeting with a few other couples in his basement apartment and then *poof* went his church to thousands. Except, as ex-memebers began to come out of the woodwork we learned more. He had a church backing him and one or two other guys. Once he was popular enough, he turfed his original co-sojournour. Basically, he used people and institutions to climb the success ladder. Even the name Mars Hill was a riff off a popular local seminary. No, he didn’t sit around penniless with other couples. He moved strategically into an area, had financial backing he neglected to mention and wasn’t the only guy doing all the grunt work – but has carefully bumped off anyone from that original group so there is no one left to challenge him. Interesting, eh?

    Now, how much do you want a bet Steve Furtick didn’t go from pauper to prince all by himself? Like Anon 1 says, Charlotte is hardly an unchurched area. Send Steve to Vancouver with eight other couples (not surrounding burbs, but Vancouver proper, or up the coast) and see what he could grow. Likely not much, although a few gay men may come out to see his trendy looks and try to hit on him (is it just me or does this guy spend too much time on his appearance). But, they wouldn’t be so dumb as to hand over their cash to him.

    Or, how about an unchurched area, like Dubia? See, God never called the apostle Paul to areas that had the Spirit, just areas that were needing it. Somehow, I don’t think he’d manage a mega there either.

  120. I think that someone has misunderstood me. I did not use blonde as a negative term, just a descriptive term. Blonde is very popular around here, but if anybody still thinks there is something wrong with being, or wanting to be, blond I am unaware of it. It is no more derogatory to say that a woman is blond than to say that a man’s shoes are shined, which I also said. If I had known folks would get riled up about it I would have omitted that word.

  121. Val wrote:

    He moved strategically into an area, had financial backing he neglected to mention and wasn’t the only guy doing all the grunt work – but has carefully bumped off anyone from that original group so there is no one left to challenge him. Interesting, eh?

    Reminds me of this song by Al Stewart:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1qc_zg2od0

  122. You know, whenever I hear about all these so-called ‘ministers’ whose sole purpose seems to be to fleece their flock, I am reminded of God’s words to them from Ezekiel 34:2-6:

    Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with no one to search or seek for them.

  123. @ Alicia:

    One problem is there are also verses that tell Christians to judge other believers and what they are teaching, and their life styles, eg,

    1 Cor 5-11
    11 But I now have written unto you not to keep company with any man who is called a brother if he is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner. With such a one you are not even to eat.

    ! Cor 5-12
    What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

    There are also verses talking about using discernment listening to teachings by people who claim to be Christian preachers/ teachers.

  124. Furtick is a performer. He would have found a stage somewhere. But pastoring is the easiest route in this day and time of celeb ministers.

  125. Building permits are public information in Union County, NC, so I went looking. It appears to be this one:

    http://ucinspectpub.co.union.nc.us/public/Default.aspx?PossePresentation=Public&PosseObjectId=7496907

    There are no other current building permits pulled for any other address on Lochaven Drive, which is where the 19 acres are located. This permit states the building is for a single family residence of 16,090 square feet at a cost of $1,399,000. There are only seven bedrooms, I would have thought there would be more!

    Another strong correlation is this home is being built by True Homes. True Homes completed a new home for Chunks Corbett and his wife last year in the same county.

  126. @ Anon 1:

    FWIW – It does not appear that Furtick is functioning as a pastor as the responsibility is described in scripture.

  127. Olivia, Thanks!

    Bridget, No he is not. Wish his followers who throw money at him would realize it, too.

  128. Alicia,

    Does Furtick claim that he struggled financially in the early years of his church in books or elsewhere? I have never read his books, so I’m curious to know.

    In any event, his church was a church plant of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (which has over 4000 congregations and is part of the Southern Baptist Convention…do I have that right Southern Baptists?). My understanding of this kind of situation is that the Convention likely paid his salary until his church was able to support itself financially. Beyond that, Elevation Church itself says that over 100 people attended the first Sunday service (most congregations in Canada max out at 100) and it has grown exponentially since then – as Nr. Furtick never tires of telling us. Furtick grew up in South Carolina, was educated in Louisville, and then moved to Charlotte to start a church. I just don’t see the wilderness years narrative here.

    And beside all of that, this isn’t about jealousy or knocking the guy because he is “successful” (if you think that for a pastor being successful means a multimillion dollar home). It is about an epidemic of narcissism, consumerism, immaturity and a bunch of other nonsense going on in American mega-churches. And I don’t just blame the celebrity pastors like Furtick and McDonald though – even if they deserve heaps of blame. I also blame the willful blindness of their enabling followers who are drawn to big personalities like moths to light. Are some naive victims? Sure. But many just like a good show, a commercialized and commodified sense of spiritual community and being in the presence of celebrity. They too allow this to happen. So we are registering our dissent.

  129. Daisy wrote:

    but it does bother me he’s making money off the crummy, shallow preaching.

    It bothers me as well. It also bothers me that any Christian teacher would lead this lifestyle. I honestly can’t form a coherent, theological structure against it (not from failed trying, but from generally not caring enough to try), but it just seems so jarring in the face of Christian tradition.

  130. “In any event, his church was a church plant of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (which has over 4000 congregations and is part of the Southern Baptist Convention…do I have that right Southern Baptists?). My understanding of this kind of situation is that the Convention likely paid his salary until his church was able to support itself financially.”

    That is interesting. I went to the church site and cruised around. I don’t remember seeing anything about the SBC. However, if it was a church plant of NC Baptists, then yes, they paid him a salary to do it. “missions”, you know. (sigh)

    This is part of the problem with putting young guys out of seminary in a church plant of their own. It is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. Now it is the Furtick show with million dollar homes. Way to go NC Baptists!

    Makes one wonder if the Texas Baptists paid Ed Young…oops, wait, Daddy was a big wig back then in the SBC.

  131. @ elastigirl: The country club is the place where you go to make your business contacts and schmooze ‘em. Everyone assumes that you are successful if you are paying the dough to be in the club. A really nice club in the Charlotte area will cost you $50,000+ to join then you pay monthly dues and shell out the minimum for the food tab. The golfing is extra and quite expensive.

  132. @ Nancy:

    Hi, Nancy. Sorry for being reactive. I’m sure you intended no slight. Crummy day, here. not to say i haven’t felt many times that dark hair would have fostered a warmer embrace (in some environments, christian places).

  133. Anon 1

    I admit that the specific reference to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina comes from wikipedia, which cites a dead link to an article by Norman Jameson. But Jameson seems to be a legitimate reporter. The narrative about Steven and 7-8 families leaving Christ Covenant Church in Shelby, NC (where he started out as music director) is everywhere, though it seems to be the same sentence that appears on the wikipedia entry. But Christ Covenant is an actual church, part of the State Convention (http://www.ncbaptist.org/index.php?id=109). Ironically, they do not have much of a web media presence. But I have no reason to doubt the wikipedia entry on this detail. In any case, Elevation is now part of the SBC – this Tom Rainer article notes that it is the 10th largest church in the SBC:

    http://thomrainer.com/2013/01/26/largest-churches-in-the-southern-baptist-convention/

    Steven was not struggling financially for the first few month of Elevation’s existence. IF it wasn’t the State Convention (which it more than likely was), some SBC affiliated church or group was overseeing the church plant.

    I don’t have a problem with that system by the way. I’m a pastor’s kid and I don’t think that pastors and their families should be forced to live in abject poverty. It makes practical sense for larger churches to support new churches, etc. The problem is with Steven’s narrative. As you note, there is little/no reference to the SBC on the Elevation website, nor is there any on Steven’s website. The narrative is that he led a small group of 8 families to Charlotte (such a tough place to do religion, that) and witnessed tremendous church growth. There is no mention of the fact that he was supported by another church, even though it is pretty common for your average church plant to state what church they came from and were supported by.

  134. @ Olivia: Thank you for this information. From what I can tell, the investigation is onto his use of trusts as well as old Chunks. They are using the same modus as Ed Young Jr. I wonder if Ed tells these guys what to do. Gotta hand it to the guy. he is the king of being wealthy on the church. Steven is following in his footsteps.

    One things, however, Ed does not like to be outdone. Furtick’s house is bigger than Ed’s. I bet E will get irritated. Ed sold the behemoth on the lake and moved into tony Park Cities according to local rumor. I am trying to get some info on this.

    These guys should be embarrassed but I guess lots of money helps them to overcome the shame they should have.

    Shame on all of them.

  135. Caleb W wrote:

    I also blame the willful blindness of their enabling followers who are drawn to big personalities like moths to light.

    For the time will come when people will not tolerate healthy doctrine, but with itching ears will surround themselves with teachers who cater to their people’s own desires. They will refuse to listen to the truth and will turn to myths. 2Tim. 4:3-4

    I agree with you that some may be blind, but others apparently have found exactly what they want.

  136. Amy Smith wrote:

    Gregg Matte at Houston’s First Baptist in a meeting with my husband, Doug Bischoff and a deacon: “I want this to be confidential. I don’t want anything said here to end up on a blog somewhere.” This meeting was about that phone call from Doug chastising me and my blog. Heh.

    Worth repeating on the blog x 2

  137. Steven and Holly Furtick purchased their first home in September 2005 in Charlotte for $190,000. They were 25 years old. I don’t know exactly when Elevation got off the ground, but it doesn’t seem they struggled over many months.

    I’m pretty sure there are a few new seminary graduates who wouldn’t mind the tough life these two have had…

  138. Alicia wrote:

    It would be well worth noting that 8 years ago he left his ALL and moved to Charlotte to birth the vision God placed in him of Elevation Church and impact that city.

    He had one heckuva vision, 16,000 square feet . BTW, 8 years ago he was fresh out of seminary and wet behind the ears. At that point my husband was struggling as well.At that age everyone is struggling. Oh yeah, and 8 years later most of us do not have 16,000 sq foot houses built on using the church.

    He leftt what ALL? Good night? Do you believe that nonsense?

    As for Bible verses, we can fling them as well as you can. Lets start with “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

  139. dee wrote:

    @ Olivia: Thank you for this information. From what I can tell, the investigation is onto his use of trusts as well as old Chunks. They are using the same modus as Ed Young Jr. I wonder if Ed tells these guys what to do. Gotta hand it to the guy. he is the king of being wealthy on the church. Steven is following in his footsteps.
    One things, however, Ed does not like to be outdone. Furtick’s house is bigger than Ed’s. I bet E will get irritated. Ed sold the behemoth on the lake and moved into tony Park Cities according to local rumor. I am trying to get some info on this.
    These guys should be embarrassed but I guess lots of money helps them to overcome the shame they should have.
    Shame on all of them.

    Who is doing the investigative reporting on this? The Charlotte Observer?

  140. Olivia wrote:

    it’s not seven bedrooms, but rather seven bathrooms.

    This is too funny. If I hadn’t tried to clean things up I would have some major snarky things to say about 7 bathrooms.

  141. Caleb W wrote:

    t is about an epidemic of narcissism, consumerism, immaturity and a bunch of other nonsense going on in American mega-churches

    Furtick hardly struggled. The fact that he thinks he did shows he is a egotistical.

  142. Anon 1 wrote:

    Daddy was a big wig back then in the SBC.

    The year I attended to Junior’s church. Ed Young Senior’s house Houston was one of the top 10 homes in that fair and wealthy city. And Christian wonder why people think we are full of it?

  143. Olivia wrote:

    Steven and Holly Furtick purchased their first home in September 2005 in Charlotte for $190,000. They were 25 years old.

    Oh good night! At 25, having a house which cost $190,000? Poverty, totally abject poverty. It took them 8 loooooooooong and painful years to get into 16,000 square feet. Suffering, so sad.

  144. Olivia wrote:

    Who is doing the investigative reporting on this? The Charlotte Observer?

    Bigger than that. I can’t say because i promised. Furtick has his panties in a wad about it.

  145. dee wrote:

    Furtick has his panties in a wad about it.

    Funny how these guys hate transparency, and honesty, and debate,and having to defend their lifestyle,….

    Shine a light on them and they scurry like rats.

  146. dee wrote:

    Olivia wrote:
    Steven and Holly Furtick purchased their first home in September 2005 in Charlotte for $190,000. They were 25 years old.
    Oh good night! At 25, having a house which cost $190,000? Poverty, totally abject poverty. It took them 8 loooooooooong and painful years to get into 16,000 square feet. Suffering, so sad.

    …………,……………
    Boohoo, life has been so tough for these youngsters…NOT!

  147. @ elastigirl:

    Let me try to help you out here a little. You are probably correct that dark hair would tend to get someone initially characterized as more “authentic” in some circumstances. But I can go you one worse on that. I have white hair, have had since I was 40 something. One of the issues with planting new churches is to cherry pick for the demographic you want in the new plant, part of which is to get away from the “blue hairs.” They think that we drool in our oatmeal, watch where our money goes, remember back in the time when things were different and do not know how to keep our mouths shut. We also have already made our investments, probably retired, have our own circles of friends and enemies and will look somebody (anybody) square in the face and tell them that we recognize prairie patties when we see them.

    Years ago (back in the day) I read a report of an actual experimental study which was done about the relationship between apparent affluence and age in how one was treated by the sales personnel at “the mall” or wherever. Young people, they said, had no trouble getting the sales personnel to take their money, regardless of whether they looked like they had any money or not. Old women, however, need to look prosperous or they tended to be left standing with the merchandise and no one to even take their money. So I went out and bought some phony but rather convincing bling and bedecked myself with a longish strand of fake pearls and more than one ring on each hand and my best clothes and set off to test the results. But then I looked in the mirror and said “oh blippin no; if a little in your face assertiveness won’t do it then they can keep the merchandise and I will go elsewhere.

    I tell that story to say that, except for the oatmeal situation, the new church planters are right about us, and they just best stay back before they get outed by the “blue hairs.”

    So, you go girl. And (here we go Caleb) you can make it. It takes a little difficulty to hone the abilities of a champion.

  148. @ Hester:
    Oh it is sad… we have a number and they are wolves in sheep’s clothing…and then most of the smaller churches try to imitate and copy the style of the megas – it’s pathetic and sometimes I wonder if it’s bordering on evil… mostly because so much of what the megas do is “entertainment” and so that mindset/ethos spreads out and soon most of what an areas churches are doing – posing as churches while offering entertainments and other feel goodies rather than the life,death,resurrection of Jesus Christ and helping people live in and through that… I don’t care what megas say they intend to do or what they are doing – the megachurch culture/style is a cancer in the body of Christ…

  149. dee wrote:

    Olivia wrote:

    Steven and Holly Furtick purchased their first home in September 2005 in Charlotte for $190,000. They were 25 years old.

    Oh good night! At 25, having a house which cost $190,000? Poverty, totally abject poverty. It took them 8 loooooooooong and painful years to get into 16,000 square feet. Suffering, so sad.

    That is bad enough but think of what it is going to take to maintain all of that excess. Problem is, anyone who has access to any info at Elevation has signed a contract to never talk. Furtick has covered his bases. Now he has to rely on continuing naïve pew sitters to keep enough money coming in. I have been around megas for many years and have yet to see any of them cut their income/lifestyle when giving takes a dive. Although I have seen many staffers cut without a second though. (And yes, giving always takes a dive at some point and it can happen fast)

    People who work there need to get a reality check.

  150. Nancy wrote:

    tell that story to say that, except for the oatmeal situation, the new church planters are right about us, and they just best stay back before they get outed by the “blue hairs.”

    Nancy there is a lot of truth to that in more ways than one. For one thing, the blue hairs tend to be the older children of the WW2 generation. They have more discernment when it comes to tyranny. While respectful they tend to smell a little dictator a mile away much quicker. They recognize the signs and are well aware this is not how church operates.

    The young today have been more collectivized/socialized than they realize and therefore do not tend to think things through.

    One thing that I have seen over and over when guys like Furtick or the YRR come into a church they expect to be “leaders” right away. The older folks are not on that bandwagon. The only thing the YRR know is that the people must be led. That is their paradigm, how they were taught and they cannot operate outside of it. It is ridiculous when dealing with some older saint. The whole thing is backwards. The very people they could learn tons from they want to “lead”.

    That was not working in the SBC so Mohler and company made sure they were given their own church plants on a silver platter because those other churches are ‘dead’ and no not have the “true Gospel’. These are untested, unseasoned young men being supported by the blue hairs who gave for many years. But more and more are waking up to it so not sure how long that gravy train can last.

  151. dee wrote:

    This is too funny. If I hadn’t tried to clean things up I would have some major snarky things to say about 7 bathrooms.

    I’ll do the snark for you Dee, that way you’ll have iron-clad deniability and nobody will care if a hapless old drunk and former associate of injun Joe says it:

    Do the estate grounds have slave-quarters too? And if so, are they situated unobtrusively enough so as to effect a sensible protocol?

  152. @ Sarah: I understand how you’d be disturbed at those reports. I wasn’t there and can’t speak to that mother’s experience, I can only speak to my own experience. We’ve been part of Elevation for several years at several different locations (including the location where the reported event took place). My 8 year old son has Down Syndrome, and we’ve been consistently pleased with the level of care and special accommodation our son has gotten at the church. As I said, I can’t say that there wasn’t a real issue that happened with that family, since I wasn’t there; but, I can confidently say that I think any issue would have definitely been a rare exception and not the normal rule.

  153. Brian Baute wrote:

    We’ve been part of Elevation for several years at several different locations

    Hi Brian, nice to hear how your experience has been at Elevation. The excellence you speak of may have been a direct result of that prior family’s encounter with their child. Still, I’m glad your son has been nurtured.

    Would you mind telling us what you think of the home Steven Furtick is building in Union County?

  154. I spent the better part of my late teens to mid twenties in a charismatic church environment that preached prosperity and made the local Pastor all but deity. 18 years later my ability to find and trust a genuine Christian fellowship is tainted and elusive. There are many of us walking along life’s pathway wishing we could be a part of a nurturing and Christ-like fellowship, but our emotional scars from a previous Judas disguised as Peter have left us unable to make that leap of faith.

    I have watched Furtick on TV and have come to view him with skepticism. He is a cult-like personality with multitudes of worshippers hanging on his every word. He exudes arrogance and yet his good looks and charm covers over a multitude of sin. Beware of false prophets is what I hear in the back of my mind, but perhaps previously being involved in a church where the men of God were all knowing and all powerful has given me a second sense about these situations.

    My advice to anyone who is not fully in this church is to RUN and don’t look back. The real Gospel of Christ is one of humility not excess and the real messenger of the word is a reflector of the light not an actor in the spotlight.

  155. Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    You know, I lived for seven years in Utah. You never hear about someone wanting to go plant a mega in, say, Provo/Orem, Utah. Why? Because it would be TOUGH. You don’t have other megas you can sheep steal from as the newest game in town, because something like 90 percent of the population of Utah Valley is Mormon. In fact, the Mormon students at Brigham Young University CAN’T go to a mega (or any other church) on a regular basis lest they lose their ecclesiastical endorsement. On top of that, the church culture is so different. If you dumped a group of Mormon college students into an Elevation church service, they’d think it was a rock concert with some preaching. It’s totally unlike going to sacrament meeting at the local ward (which, on the energy scale is down near zero, to be honest).

    Anyway, the point is, this is why you never hear of people doing church plants in places where you’d THINK they’d want to convert the natives. It’s not just because the natives aren’t interested (and for the most part, they really aren’t) but because the usual tactics of bigger and better extravaganzas to attract the already-churched will simply not work. So you’d have to take a risk, and if there’s one thing about megas when it comes to anything that might crimp the money flow–they’re risk averse.

    This is an EXCELLENT observation.

  156. @ Robert Kellogg: Welcome to TWW!

    I am so sorry that it is difficult for you to find Christian fellowship after having had such a negative experience in a church that subscribes to the prosperity gospel.

    Thanks for your advice to those attending Elevation Church. They definitely need discernment.

    My prayer for you is that you will be able to find a genuine fellowship in the future.

  157. @ Nancy:

    i’d like to think better of human nature, but we are obviously easily taken in by window dressing (or lack thereof). And warts to the individuals who manipulate it along with the “God” brand for the sake of profits to keep.

    As you describe, to sport a symbol through accident of DNA is a nuisance on down to an inhibitor of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and on down further to a life ender. Hair color isn’t worth mentioning at this point.

  158. Robert Kellogg wrote:

    There are many of us walking along life’s pathway wishing we could be a part of a nurturing and Christ-like fellowship, but our emotional scars from a previous Judas disguised as Peter have left us unable to make that leap of faith.

    There are many here. Welcome.

  159. Robert Kellogg wrote:

    yet his good looks

    I find him odd looking.

    Someone on the “Hey Haters” video on You Tube (Max Holiday version) suggests he resembles “Lloyd Christmas” from the “Dumb and Dumber” movies.

    After having done a little googling (Lloyd Christmas photos), I find I concur. And I don’t find Lloyd attractive. :)

  160. Is there any way to discuss some insider stuff with anyone looking into this? I have a huge suspicion of something else going on in their church that I would love to have someone with more resources look into.

  161. I read that article in The Atlantic and it said that the income gap is what is creating a marriage crisis in lower classes, not the other way around.

  162. Pingback: Furtick’s humble parsonage | Civil Commotion

  163. I hope I live long enough to see the day when naive Christians, intoxicated with consumerism, celebrity, and competition, enamored with a man, a meeting, and a message, will come to their senses and get involved in the real work of Jesus’s kingdom.

  164. Stephen Crosby wrote:

    I hope I live long enough to see the day when naive Christians, intoxicated with consumerism, celebrity, and competition, enamored with a man, a meeting, and a message, will come to their senses and get involved in the real work of Jesus’s kingdom.

    That’s my desire as well, Stephen!

  165. @ WenatcheeTheHatchet:

    Mohler makes everything say what he wants it to say. I love that one of the reasons that married people are better off financially is that more women are working outside the home and making more money. Mohler calls that “interesting” but ignores the fact that it undermines his whole ideology even while he claims that the article supports it. He also slips in a reference to poorer (and single) people not working as hard as married, wealthier people. Like you said, he flips the whole article on its head.

  166. If using revocable living trusts as the way to try to anonymously buy real estate then there’s a case study on the West Coast

  167. Downs Family Revocable Living Trust just got something from Future Hope Revocable Living Trust in early September and Future Hope Revocable Living Trust was headquartered at the corporate headquarters of Mars Hill Church.

  168. Caleb W wrote:

    @ WenatcheeTheHatchet:

    Mohler makes everything say what he wants it to say. I love that one of the reasons that married people are better off financially is that more women are working outside the home and making more money. Mohler calls that “interesting” but ignores the fact that it undermines his whole ideology even while he claims that the article supports it. He also slips in a reference to poorer (and single) people not working as hard as married, wealthier people. Like you said, he flips the whole article on its head.

    Mohler has been a “kept man” since he was about 32…He is now mid 50′s. He has NO CLUE. Has not worked in the real world hardly at all. He is in no danger of losing his cushy job or all the extra bucks from speaking gigs, etc. He is provided a very nice home with plenty of help. He has the ear of politicians and major leaders. His trustees are rubber stamp yes men. He has it made and cannot figure out why others have problems. Very typical. He has very little to teach anyone who works in the real world as a believer because he cannot relate.

  169. @ Caleb W:
    Mohler is out of touch with real data on this topic.
    1. The same percentage of wives work today that worked 20 years ago. (53%)
    2. Low income is highly correlated with divorce.
    3. Low income is highly correlated with never marrying.
    4. Low education (high school diploma or less) is highly correlated with never marrying, and with high divorce.

  170. In my part of the country where real estate is rather expensive, many people hold their real estate in revocable trusts for estate tax purposes. But they usually name the trust using their family name or the breadwinner’s full name.

    A revocable trust costs a couple thousand dollars to set up, and real estate can be moved in and out of the trust in a day with a simple 1-page notarized document and $14.

  171. Shun as you would the plague a cleric who from being poor has become wealthy, or from being nobody has become a celebrity. – St. Jerome. When will the body of Christ ever learn?

  172. Caleb W wrote:

    There are so many problems with that Mohler article.

    Honesty, I gave up on Mohler’s blog a long time ago. It is nothing more than party line rhetoric. Perhaps the guy is capable of critical thinking, but I certainly have never seen it in his writing.

  173. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    Honesty, I gave up on Mohler’s blog a long time ago. It is nothing more than party line rhetoric. Perhaps the guy is capable of critical thinking, but I certainly have never seen it in his writing.

    Here in Southern Calif. there was a Christian radio luminary who claimed that Mohler was one of the smartest guys on the planet. If memory serves me correctly, said luminary had pretty much the same accolade for David Barton.

  174. Muff Potter wrote:

    If memory serves me correctly, said luminary had pretty much the same accolade for David Barton.

    I just found out about the new Foundations Reading Clubs that tout David Barton as a “signature historian” — I guess he counts as a fraudulent signature historian at best.

    I’m sad to see YWAM Publishing carrying works by the debunked pseudo-historians David Barton and Willaim J. Federer.

    http://wthrockmorton.com/2011/06/should-you-believe-david-barton-when-he-speaks-about-history/

  175. Southwestern Discomfort wrote:

    Oh goody, that can go with my hate page on the Scieno religious freedom watch website and my SP declare from a freezoner for ridiculing OTIII.

    The freezoners are issuing SP declares, too!? I thought that was just the mother “church”. Maybe it really can’t be reformed…

  176. Daisy wrote:

    I find him odd looking.

    His delivery is what turns me off. I watched the video clip of Furtick that FBC Jax Watchdog put up (in regards to this subject). He was all antsy-pantsy. Couldn’t stand still, it seemed.

    Didn’t much care for his “woe is me” schtick, either…

  177. WenatcheeTheHatchet wrote:

    If using revocable living trusts as the way to try to anonymously buy real estate then there’s a case study on the West Coast

    Mars Hill, perhaps? Rich pastors must have quiet conferences on how to get away with it.

  178. Muff Potter wrote:

    Here in Southern Calif. there was a Christian radio luminary who claimed that Mohler was one of the smartest guys on the planet

    CJ Mahaney said it as well. They are all shameless suck ups. What is funny is the twitter accounts in which they all extoll each other. They have created the info twitter.

  179. What makes me sad is the judgement on here. If you look at the numbers…money given and the number of people that attend Elevation each week how can this be bad? We all will have to be judged by God one day and as far as I see it Steven Furtick has done a lot of good and from what I know all the services Elevation has and the work it takes why can’t someone be rewarded for their hard work?!?

  180. “No matter which way I asked the question, the administrative person refused to answer me. Is this paranoia? Sure seems like it. ”

    Sounds like the way they transport the President of the United States when he has to drive somewhere. No one knows where/when/which vehicle, and there are many decoys. I guess we know how important Furtick thinks he is, then.

  181. dee wrote:

    Oh good night! At 25, having a house which cost $190,000? Poverty, totally abject poverty.

    I’m in a well-paid profession, live in an area known for real estate booms & busts, and here’s my real estate history:
    At 34: 1000 sq ft, $90,000. Crashed to $60,000.
    At 43: 1200 sq ft, $105,000. Boomed to $450,000, crashed to $190,000.

    And I have found through experience that the maximum size of house I can keep maintained is around 1000 sq ft. Furtick will need a small ARMY of Servants to keep up 16,000 sq ft. (I wonder if he’s going to force “volunteers” and “armorbearers” to maintain his Humble parsonage…)

  182. HUG

    I think that indentureed servitude, in the form of housecleaning, is found in the small print of his volunteer contract!

  183. DANA wrote:

    What makes me sad is the judgement on here. If you look at the numbers…money given and the number of people that attend Elevation each week how can this be bad? We all will have to be judged by God one day and as far as I see it Steven Furtick has done a lot of good and from what I know all the services Elevation has and the work it takes why can’t someone be rewarded for their hard work?!?

    Why would anyone think Steven Furtick is the ONLY person on the payroll of Elevation Church? There are campus pastors (who will marry folks because Steve have always said that’s not his thing), vocalists, worship leaders (heck, I have no idea why they call singers worship leaders, but they do have the separate categories of singer and worship leader), executive pastor, creative pastors, financial pastors and a host of other employees.

    Thinking Steven Furtick is an entity all by himself and responsible for every good thing that ever happened is just wrong. Thinking just because he wrote two books and has been involved with this church since 2005 and therefore he deserves a house of this magnitude is blatantly wrong also.

    I live in Charlotte and see the poverty. Apparently Steve and Holly are insulated and do not see what is around them.

  184. DANA wrote:

    If you look at the numbers…money given and the number of people that attend Elevation each week how can this be bad?

    Hmmm, so the Gospel is defined by both numbers and money, right? Yeah, that’s right. It is found in the Gospels. Jesus had a mansion-whoops my mistake. He had no place to lay his head. I know, its in there somewhere. Oh yeah, OT-Solomon.Nah-look what happened there.

    Oh now I know-the apostles, right. They sure got their payback for being faithful. No…. all martyred except for John. Oh, was it John. Nope-spent a long time in prison on Patmos.(Clue: It was not a really cool Greek island).

    I have a question. Do you believe that this is what the Gospel is all about. Numbers and bucks. If so, Elevation Church is falling far behind Miley Cyrus in terms of both attendance and money.

  185. The last few years that I’ve been hearing about this guy, I think he’s more into hipsteranity than really Christianity with his false machismo, almost cultic like leadership. Shame on him.

  186. @ dee:

    Elevation and Furtick better step it up if they’re going to keep up with Miley. Maybe they can combine their efforts? Elevation could invite Miley to perfom at their grand facility :) That should be a big draw.

  187. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I have found through experience that the maximum size of house I can keep maintained is around 1000 sq ft. Furtick will need a small ARMY of Servants to keep up 16,000 sq ft. (I wonder if he’s going to force “volunteers” and “armorbearers” to maintain his Humble parsonage…)

    Totally agree. We got a foreclosed house for $200k that wasn’t finished inside. It is 2700 sf. It is too much for us with me at home, and three older kids (well, two now that one is married and moved out) and 2 dogs, even though they are good kids and do help when asked. I can’t imagine 16,000 sf? Maybe it’s so they can live together without ever having to deal with each other?

  188. @ dee:

    Have fielded this in other settings, which you may know already. Slightly more certain than “perhaps” by now.

  189. Pingback: The Financial Shutdown of the Church in America - GodsLeader.com | GodsLeader.com UNITED STATES

  190. What makes it slightly worse is that Steve Furtick is a self-described preacher, not a minister. He did not attend seminary.

  191. BooBoo wrote:

    Steve Furtick is a self-described preacher, not a minister. He did not attend seminary.

    I believe that Steven did attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary which is located in Louisville, KY.

  192. @ dee: Which means that he holds a Masters of Divinity. Which calls into question “What in the world are they teaching in seminaries these days??????????” Good night!

  193. I love Elevation Church and everything Elevation is doing in the Charlotte area. I’ve been attending Elevation for over a year and !/2 and it just makes me sad that people on here can bash Elevation and Pastor Furtick the way they do. Not only that, but shame on you Wartburg Watch for even stirring up things. God is using Pastor Furtick in a mighty way. I volunteer at Elevation and I have never signed or even heard of a contract. I would expect if I was on staff to have a contract, don’t most people have contracts to sign with their jobs? I used to teach school and had a contract to sign with them. As far as his house…. whatever. You go write a book and sign a contract to write one every year and get your bonus before you even begin to write because they know it’s going to be that good and you get on the NY Times Best Seller list and then you can explain to everyone on here and the world what you are spending your $ on. Oh…. and make sure you tithe on your $ you make and contribute to other things as well. You see, he does have a paycheck from the church as well. If he chooses to live in a large home it is up to him…. as long as he continues tithe, lead, and give the way he does.
    I love my church and my pastor and am very happy to be a part of it. I have a closer walk with God than ever before. If serve with my husband at Elevation and my daughter, who is a college freshman, is so on fire for God. It is amazing the way she has been able to share the love of Jesus with people she comes in contact with on campus. Elevation, Pastor Furtick, and the other leaders are to thank for the changes that have taken place in our lives in the last two years. We are more in love with Jesus than ever!

  194. Kimberly wrote:

    God is using Pastor Furtick in a mighty way.

    What does this mean?
    Kimberly wrote:

    Shame on you Wartburg Watch for even stirring up things.

    I have some very bad news for you, Kimberly. It was not TWW who stirred things up. We have been getting emails and phone messages for years about Elevation Church. I would suggest that you go after your fellow church members without whom we would have never heard about the “mighty ways” of Furtick.

    Furtick is very blessed to have you at his church. He needs people like you.

  195. @ Kimberly:
    “If he chooses to live in a large home it is up to him…. as long as he continues tithe, lead, and give the way he does.”

    Of course. That’s exactly what Jesus told the rich, young ruler. Err . . . not.

  196. Olivia wrote:

    Thinking just because he wrote two books and has been involved with this church since 2005 and therefore he deserves a house of this magnitude is blatantly wrong also.

    Judging from his Amazon rankings, I doubt he sells more than a few hundred copies of his book per month online. And Futrick’s books aren’t in the top 50 on the Christian best-seller lists, so I really don’t think his house came from that.

  197. DANA wrote:

    We all will have to be judged by God one day and as far as I see it Steven Furtick has done a lot of good

    I don’t know. I came across several blogs pages and videos the other day about Furtick screaming about how you will not find Jesus at his church, if you are looking for Jesus.

    He was also yelling about fat, lazy Christians who want to be fed at his church. He told them to get lost. He is only interested in evangelism. His views are unbiblical.

    The Bible calls not only for evangelizing but to disciple people who are already saved, not to ignore the already saved and tell them to feed themselves, or bug off and go to another church if they want deeper teaching.

    Furtick and/or his staff periodically scrubbed one of their online audio services of a guest speaker’s comments (someone named Chandler who spoke at a Furtick event called Code Orange) because the guy was critiquing Furtick’s manner of preaching (which tends to be narcissistic, man- centered preaching, not discussing Jesus in sermons enough).

    After Christian discernment sites picked up on the Chandler sermon being removed, Furtick’s team pasted it back in again.

    If you want to find links about this, go to Google search engine and look up the words “furtick matt chandler”

    Here is one page that discusses it:
    Code Orange Revival: To Focus on Jesus, We Cut the Only Sermon that Pointed People to Him

    I walk a fine line in this area. I do understand that it’s wrong to place doctrine above people, but, on the other hand, these seeker friendly, people pleaser type clergy, such as Furtick, are doing spiritual harm to congregants by keeping sermons doctrine-lite, so as not to offend them.

    At some point, to grow in the faith and stay in the faith, Christian people do need to be exposed to solid doctrine, not all fluff, feel good, or all life- advice sermons, all the time, but that seems to be the sorts of sermons Furtick specializes in.

    How much good is Furtick really doing for people’s spiritual growth if he refuses to teach beyond the basics of the Christian faith?

  198. Raymond wrote:

    With a comment like that, you might get a free tour of the house and free church coffee for a month.

    And free copies of the famous “books’ that paid for all of this stuff. Lots of them to give their friends.

  199. We go down to one of the abortion mills here in Charlotte each week to minister and offer help to the women. It amazes us the number of “Christians” with bumper stickers for Elevation Church that drive in the lot to murder their unborn babies. That alone told me something is definitely not right at that church. I am not surprised to learn these things.

  200. I think you guys are terribly terribly sick people. This is exactly what the New Testament preaches against. All this fighting and animosity in the church for absolutely no reason. I don’t attend elevation church. I actually watch it online during the week as a supplemental church service. I live in New Orleans and my older sister goes to elevation. Whenever I visit Charlotte (once a year) I attend a service with her. And Stephen’s messages have always spoken straight through to my soul. He truly has a God-given gift of ministry. And you all are haters. I won’t even be surprised if my comment doesn’t even show up on the board here because this site probably filters all the non-critical comments.

    You hateful hateful people. You claim you are doing the work of God, but you’re not. Why should anyone be angry at Stephen’s successes? The Church is doing REALLY really well! They have ministries ALL over the world. They even helped my church in New Orleans too! One summer I was leading a bible study and I had followed along online to one of their sermon series. I told them in an email that I was blessed by it and I asked them if I could get a copy of the sermon notes emailed to me because I wanted to share it with the members of my bible study group. In less than a day, they flooded my inbox with all the sermon notes for the entire message series, graphics, clips. They wrote a nice personal email to me letting me know that if I have any questions that I can contact them. If I needed any more information, even the worship songs that went with the messages, to just let them know. And I thanked them telling them that what I had was even more than I needed!

    It’s not a bad thing for a pastor to spend his money on whatever he wants. Don’t let the devil fill your hearts with envy and hate. Why should our efforts be spent wondering what Stephen does with his money? I am going to be a doctor soon. I plan to do mission work. I will have an established salary. I will be making a hefty six figures when I finish my training. What? Can I not live in a mansion because I am doing missions? My life is devoted to service and healing. Just like Stephen’s is devoted to service and ministry. His salary is set. Can he not indulge because of it? Are you guys being like Jesus by bringing down a great church you know nothing about? Great ministry guys. This is exactly what the world wants to see. Bitter christians being bitter.

    You guys are scum. Seriously.

  201. @ Daisy:
    Excuse me? My elevation church experience has been one that has developed my spiritual journey in a way I never imagined it could ever be. The messages are not “feel good”. I’ve never felt more convicted nor connected to the Spirit through a message before. And I’ve been a practicing non-denominational Christian with a strong Christian family my entire life.

  202. dee wrote:

    I have some very bad news for you, Kimberly. It was not TWW who stirred things up. We have been getting emails and phone messages for years about Elevation Church. I would suggest that you go after your fellow church members without whom we would have never heard about the “mighty ways” of Furtick.
    Furtick is very blessed to have you at his church. He needs people like you.

    this is silly. people complain about everything. reading some of the complaints here, makes it look like Christians are the most fickle petty religious people ever. Are they even legitimate complaints? So… you went to a church service and it wasn’t what you expected it to be. And? Come another time. is the doctrine their preaching against the word of God? No? Is there scandal in the church? No? Do people look like they’re enjoying church? Yes? So then, is it just not your style? No? Ok great. Find another more suitable. Like people are so whiny these days. I can’t even.

    This stupid website just serves as a demonic hindrance to the work of God and the kingdom of God. Instead of turning into a vehicle that then addresses these issues in an adult manner, this site just fans the flames (get it? like demons?) of believers and non-believers and their concerns. Great going TWW. Don’t think God saves a spot in Heaven for hypocrites like you guys!

  203. @ Chino:
    “You guys are scum. Seriously.”

    Is that the fruit of Elevation’s sermon series? Do you have a scripture reference for that?

  204. Chino wrote:

    This stupid website just serves as a demonic hindrance to the work of God

    Did they teach you that no demon can hinder the work of God?

  205. @ Chino: How well you represent Furtick! Thank you for giving us a first hand account of what you have gleaned from Furtick. Wow-most instructive.

  206. dee wrote:

    @ BeenThereDoneThat:
    But we are winsome scum. And biblical scum at that! And we are so much nicer than Chino.

    :-) Yes, you are. I’ve only been following TWW for a year and a half, but the diatribes from Elevation supporters are some of the most vitriolic I’ve seen. The disciples Furtick produces are . . . umm . . . interesting.

  207. @ Chino:

    I’m just telling you I’ve listened to several of Furtick’s sermons online, I’ve seen his “hey haters” video, I’ve listened to a few of his sermons critiqued on a podcast, and yes, the guy specializes in feel good, and/or how- to- improve- your- life type of sermon, rather than focusing prominently on Jesus and issues of soteriology, all of which seems pretty common in seeker friendly churches, though, not just him.

    (Also do a google on “Matt Chandler Code Orange.”)

    Furtick also talks about himself a lot in his sermons to the point one show host refers to that style of preaching as “Narcigesis.”

    Now, I happen to not mind the occasional self reference by a preacher, or the occasional pop culture ref or joke, but Furtick (like a lot of seeker friendly guys) does it quite a bit.

    Joel Osteen is like this, too. I’ve listened to just about every Osteen sermon weekly for the last seven, eight years.

    Chino said,

    Excuse me? My elevation church experience has been one that has developed my spiritual journey in a way I never imagined it could ever be.

    Why are you so hot under the collar about what I think? I don’t understand the hostility.

    If you get something out of his church, okay. I’ve listened to his stuff online, and a lot of it sounds like fluff to me. I’m okay with some fluff, though.

    Chris here is a lot tougher on Furtick than I am:
    A Biblical Critique of Steven Furtick’s Preaching RE: Greater, by Chris Rosebrough

    I am wondering about Furtick’s huge house, however.

    Even if he did obtain it fair and square, it always rubs me the wrong way when men (or women) who work as preachers live in what is in my view, excessive splendor and affluence, when Jesus did not, and Jesus warned of being snared by wealth.

    I do not expect preachers to live in dire poverty, either.

  208. Chino wrote:

    You claim you are doing the work of God, but you’re not.

    I never claimed to be ‘doing the work of God,’ but then I’m not sure if that was intended for all the regular posters here or just the ladies who own the blog?

    I’m not even sure I’m a Christian anymore or not.

    I have been doubting the Christian faith lately, mostly due to the misbehavior of average Christians such as yourself, and famous preachers who mistreat people and are greedy.

    It’s really strange that someone who only claims to visit Furtick’s church once a year and who only watches him online can be so thoroughly impassioned about defending the guy.

    Regarding your second post, the one to me. I don’t see how you can say you have an “elevation church experience” since, by your own admission, you do not attend there regularly.

    You said you visit once a year and watch him online or on TV.

    By that standard, I have “an experience” with Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church (I watch him every week, though I don’t agree with him on every thing), as well as with Joseph Prince’s church in Singapore, and several other TV preacher guys I watch regularly.

    Chino said,
    And I’ve been a practicing non-denominational Christian with a strong Christian family my entire life.

    I was a practicing Southern Baptist Christian with a strong Christian family my entire life, until the last two years. I don’t understand your point here.

    Chino said,

    is the doctrine their preaching against the word of God? No? Is there scandal in the church? No? Do people look like they’re enjoying church? Yes?

    Furtick mostly preaches about himself in his sermons, which is not exactly preaching “against the Word of God,” but it is not preaching in support of it, either.

    He should be pointing people to Jesus by talking about Jesus, not talking about himself most of the time.

    There might be scandal in Furtick’s church, if it is revealed he obtained his big house in a less than ethical manner.

    I don’t know if people “enjoying” a church is sound criteria for judging if it’s a solid biblical church that treats people well, though.

    Again, I’m puzzled why someone who is not even a member or regular attender (you go once a year, watch him online) is so passionate about defending Furtick or his church.

  209. The source of the word “haters” is Steve Furtick. It is an unchristian word to use and he uses it against anyone who doubts him, doubts the wisdom of some of his actions, etc. No one here hates Furtick. BTW, he has applied it to a person who was drummed out of the church for merely questioning some of the things that happened there. His video on “haters” proves that he is the ultimate hater himself. He is too immature to be a pastor, and does well as a celeb. But most of us on this web site pray regularly for him and for the people who attend Elevation church. Not something a true hater does is it.

  210. Look, some of my comments prior may have been harsh. I mean, my sister mentioned to me about this whole ordeal in passing and we both just couldn’t think of a GOOD reason why anyone would be so obsessed about what Steven Furtick and his wife do with their money. And then knowing it, people can’t just be happy for them and their successes. It’s turned into something ugly. A preacher isn’t supposed to live well? No one ever said that. it’s not biblical. Who are we to decide how someone else lives their lives? Why are you all imposing your own ideas of what a walk with God should look like on someone else’s God-lead path? What? Because Steven gets to live in a mansion, and lots of other believers do not, all of a sudden the pastor of the church he is not a good leader, not a good representative of Christ? His church is successful. They lead many people to Christ. They do an amazing ministry around the world. Like I said in my initial post, they even helped me and my little bible study group all the way in New Orleans. Living like Christ means so much more than what we have! It’s what we do! Does what Steven have impact his walk with God? Has the church slackened in their message of Truth? No. Not at all. This reminds me of that story of Martha and Mary in which Martha complained to Jesus that Mary should have been helping her with preparations and hosting. Jesus told Martha that she had so many things on her mind and that Mary instead was right where she needed to be. What was important for Mary’s life that day, that choice she made was for HER. Not for Martha. I am guilty of putting my own ideas of what faith should look like on other people. I think lots of Christians are guilty of this. I think this is what is happening here.

    Leaders are to be transparent people. Yes. But all Christians know that there are boundaries. We are to confess to each other, and Steven has let people know about issues he has faced in life. And the more people work closer with him, the more they know. It’s like that with anyone else. He’s like my own pastor here at Celebration Church in New Orleans, its one of the biggest churches in new orleans. I bet my pastor has a nice house and lives in a very nice neighborhood. There are people who attend my church who are poor. But we serve them. The church is here for them. and… the church is here for me. Regardless, it’s up to people to make their walk less about their pastors. And more about the Lord. it’s less about the church experience (a snooty greeter as i read in one of the posts above) than it is about the worship, the praise, the amazing brethren that you eventually meet and share with, its about fellowship. The pastor leads and inspires, yes. But that’s the extent I use my pastor in my life. I know both of these men (steven and pastor dennis) are amazing men of God that have changed the world. I know God will continue to use them. I know what they minister to me every week is based on the Word of God. I know they pray for me and the congregation every week. That’s really the extent of my relationship with my pastor. I don’t need much more. I don’t see why anyone should. My walk is my own. The spirit ministers to me what my life should look like. Steven doesn’t preach that people should be like him, but rather he preaches based on Jesus’s example and how he aspires to be that way. He’s laid out his own convictions in his sermons and his books. I appreciate them. At times I can relate to them. Solidarity is great. But I know that the most important thing out of all of this is how I can emulate Christ. The message for me isn’t, how far in my walk with Christ am I on my Steven Furtick spectra of living (which he does not have; im being facetious here). It’s where am i on my walk with Christ? Who am I on my walk with Christ? Is Christ my everything? And that’s what the Elevation Church has taught me.

    So, when you guys listened/watched/attended elevation church and you (either sleeping or too distracted by the lighting and whatever other preoccupations you had) didn’t get what I got from it, but just heard the parts about Steven and left thinking this church was “all about steven”… i don’t even know how to ask my question without sounding rude. it’s just… i can’t even. were your hearts even OPEN to ministry or were you just waiting to jump on something you didn’t like to run here and post about it? I mean, there are VERY few churches I’ve been to that have rubbed me the wrong way (one was a pastor preaching that God intended everyone to be monetarily wealthy if they just put in so much money to offering, and I had to excuse myself; another was just a church that didn’t seem alive with love for the word of God, kinda dreary, just not my style). but being upset with a church simply because the pastor lives well? when there is no compromise to the ministry? this is really silly! so what? you don’t like how pastor steven preaches? ok. but to make this into something so ugly? please, like make yourself productive in the Kingdom of God and get your mind off of it. my goodness!

    I am going to be a practicing physician in less than one year, finishing my schooling and everything. I am 27 years old. I will serve my community, and continue to lead my lifegroup, filled with women that have lived through all sorts of different experiences and life choices. Like I said, I will make lots of money. All of my siblings are physicians as well. My family is from Owerri in Nigeria. We have a lot of relatives that lack finances, access to great healthcare. We’re eventually going to build a clinic in my parents’ village. My parents, both PhDs, worked hard to get to where we are now. And they have raised us in the church, and are the strongest Christians I know. They have been helping our families back in Africa the best they can, but at the end of the day, but there is too much a disparity for even our family to handle. but we’ll keep praying for them, leading them in the Christian faith (as all of them are not Christians at the moment), loving on them, giving to them, and providing for them as we can. They KNOW there is a limit. Yes, we live in the US (the greatest country on earth); Yes, we have a successful family; but they also understand that we can’t make them just as rich. we can’t do EVERYTHING for them as much as we try to do more. That is similar to what a pastor does. A pastor leads. But does he have to deny himself stuff because of his congregation, when he is denying them… nothing?

    at the end of the day, steven isn’t super-human. and i think his congregation, just like any old person, readily accepts this truth. he has his own wants, and his own desires. just like anyone one else. however i can assure you they havent compromised the mission of the church. they havent compromised God’s Word and its being shared every sunday. and maybe it wasn’t the best he went to go defend how he spends his money, because people like you all will take it and run with it and make it something else. he is sometimes a hot-head when pressured. we all fall short. he has never claimed to be some holy sage. it doesnt bother me. i have received a wealth of wisdom since i began watching that church online and reading his books. ive never wanted to study the bible soooooo thoroughly before. so, i don’t know. I feel as though many people will come to defend their place of worship and you folks here will sit there and say “well that’s good, but i just don’t like your church, because i just don’t”. I hope then, that you’ll think about it for a second more and realize how silly you are for bringing such attention to a completely worthless thought.

    Good day, and God Bless.

  211. @ Chino:
    First, thank you for sharing with us without calling us names.
    I truly am glad that you found something from Elevation that furthered your Christian walk. I think that’s wonderful. But, according to Dee’s comments above, she receives emails and phone messages from others who were not so enriched. Should their experience be counted any less important than yours? You seem like a caring individual who wants to help people. What help do you offer to those who had a bad experience with, or were even spiritually abused by, Elevation Church? The authors of this blog care about those people. It’s not just about disliking Furtick.

  212. Chino wrote:

    am going to be a practicing physician in less than one year, finishing my schooling and everything. I am 27 years old. I will serve my community, and continue to lead my lifegroup, filled with women that have lived through all sorts of different experiences and life choices. Like I said, I will make lots of money

    I have some news for you, Chino. You have brought this up twice so I am going to respond. I am the wife of a cardiologist, the sister of an internist, the daughter of a family doctor and the soon to be mother in law of a dentist. I know you think you are going to be “rolling in the dough” as a doctor. That, BTW, is changing and you will find that reimbursements will not be the same. You will never starve but you will not become “rich” like Steve.

    There is no one in my extended group of doctor and dentist friends, NOT ONE, who comes anywhere close to living in a flaming 16,090 square foot home except for the occasional plastic surgeon who specializes in certain enhancements in Beverly Hills or keeps certain “rock stars” in their drug induced la la lands.

    It is absolutely asinine for Steve to buy a house that big. Period. There is something wrong with a person who goes to such extremes. I have a prediction. This is not going to end well over a lifetime.

    .Chino wrote:

    how silly you are for bringing such attention to a completely worthless thought

    You start off well and you end just with the same old, same old. Good luck in your quest for acquisitions. As for finishing at 27, you are either a child prodigy or you have not done your residency which is not known for money or sleep.

    Back to my worthless and silly thinking.

  213. @ Chino:

    If you look at one of my posts just one or two above yours, I said I do not think that preachers should live in poverty.

    What I said above is,

    I am wondering about Furtick’s huge house, however.

    Even if he did obtain it fair and square, it always rubs me the wrong way when men (or women) who work as preachers live in what is in my view, excessive splendor and affluence, when Jesus did not, and Jesus warned of being snared by wealth.

    I do not expect preachers to live in dire poverty, either.

    I also take issue with Ed Young Jr’s private jet and Joyce Meyer’s $23,000 gold toilet. So I’m not just picking on Furtick.

    You might want to see this page:
    Phil Pringle Endorsing Problematic Steve Furtick for Presence Conference 2012

    From that page:

    “If you know Jesus, I am sorry to break it to you, this church is not for you.”
    – Steve Furtick, Confessions of a Pastor

    “We don’t teach from Books of the Bible because it gets in the way of evangelism. We don’t offer different kinds of Bible studies because it gets in the way of evangelism. We don’t teach doctrine because it gets in the way of evangelism.

    If you want to be fed God’s word or have the Bible explained to you then you are a fat lazy Christian and you need to shut up and get to work or you need to leave this church because we ONLY do evangelism.”
    - Steven Furtick

    I find those quotes and attitudes from a man who works as a preacher troubling.

  214. @ dee: PS If you are in med school on New Orleans, I might know some of your medical school professors who are involved in a Christian organization. If you doubt my above comment, let me know which school you are attending and I will get you some face time with some folks who will speak to your earning potential in the future.

  215. dee wrote:

    There is no one in my extended group of doctor and dentist friends, NOT ONE, who comes anywhere close to living in a flaming 16,090 square foot home except for the occasional plastic surgeon who specializes in certain enhancements in Beverly Hills or keeps certain “rock stars” in their drug enduced la la lands.

    My husband and I were just talking about this last night when I mentioned this 16,000 sq ft home. (My husband is a general contractor, by the way.) He only knows of one house in our entire county that size, and it doesn’t belong to a doctor or dentist. I believe he said the owner is in investments. Even Bernard Rapaport, who Fortune magazine named one of America’s “40 most generous philanthropists” lived in a very modest home in a nondescript neighborhood. I don’t expect any minister to take a vow of abject poverty, but there is something almost obscene about a 16,000 sq ft home.

  216. obsBeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    dee wrote:
    There is no one in my extended group of doctor and dentist friends, NOT ONE, who comes anywhere close to living in a flaming 16,090 square foot home except for the occasional plastic surgeon who specializes in certain enhancements in Beverly Hills or keeps certain “rock stars” in their drug enduced la la lands.
    My husband and I were just talking about this last night when I mentioned this 16,000 sq ft home. (My husband is a general contractor, by the way.) He only knows of one house in our entire county that size, and it doesn’t belong to a doctor or dentist. I believe he said the owner is in investments. Even Bernard Rapaport, who Fortune magazine named one of America’s “40 most generous philanthropists” lived in a very modest home in a nondescript neighborhood. I don’t expect any minister to take a vow of abject poverty, but there is something almost obscene about a 16,000 sq ft home.

    obscene. your threshold for offense must be awfully low. it doesn’t change my respect and fondness for the Furtick family one bit. And I actually have reason to care about them because I listen to their podcasts (and in terms of their personal lives, i kinda don’t; however i was able to share with one of my patients a message steven shared about ALS, because while you guys have been digging up blueprints and whatever else desperate housewives version of the stepford wives self-important church group you belong to, you’d know steven has shared hardship of losing his father who had battled ALS back in June. and it touched my patient and his family, bringing them closer to God.) You, who takes only a passing interest in their lives and church have really no business being so damn offended. That’s my point. I mean, who cares where people live or what they do with money? As long as Stephen isn’t doing anything wrong and getting rich off of the ministry, I really don’t care, as a satellite member of their church. I don’t see why you must be so dismayed about this. If we really looked into the lives of every church goer, leader or volunteer, in one way or another we all have our needs, our wants, and desires. Who are you to decide which ones are Godly and which ones are not? Steven’s messages have always been consistent. With a bajillion dollar mansion AND WITHOUT a bajillion dollar mansion. His faith I imagine, must be the same way, consistent, growing in fervor for the Lord.

    I mean, what are you afraid of, that non-Christians may see that churchgoers and believers and pastors aren’t that much different from other people? And if so, would that be so bad? After all, none of us are all that different in God’s eyes. Highlighting this on this site only shows that some Christians are embittered when they see other Christians succeed. Not so strangely, like everyone else… talk about being set apart…

    And then the the same critique you guys say over and over about ‘emails we get from people dissatisfied with elevation church’ you all have opened yourselves to it. I don’t know how championing that you get to sift through countless emails of people discrediting the church and AGREEING with them instead of sticking up for a pretty awesome church, asking them to give it another shot. How is it that my friends and sister that live in Charlotte and attend that church never fuss about it, but a couple of disgruntled folks who email you becomes a multitude? There are people who have been upset by my church in New Orleans too, some of them subjectively legitimate reasons like “well, the sermons don’t particularly give me the depth I am looking for” (you know for the philosophically endowed christians.) Or whatever. The nature of the complaints ive seen on your site have been rather petty. Like “oh I went to the church and I didn’t get to see the pastor in person.” The hell? Does seeing the pastor change the experience all that much? I watch him online in my living room every weekend. I’m doing just fine. The church probably has a whole bunch of people call in to see if they could see him in person. And the church probably doesn’t want a flood of people flocking to one location over another. At the end of the day, the pastor is NOT the point. He isn’t some performer, some celebrity. Yet people still go. People are still touched, lives are still changed. There’s no kool-aid involved. The church is doing well because people like it. It will continue to do well because people like it. Some didn’t. Big deal. It’s not some conspiracy that someone didn’t like the church.

    When I went to elevation for the first time, I hadn’t heard of Steven Furtick. Or elevation. I just went cuz my sister was doing her residency up in Charlotte and she wanted to show me the new church she has been going to. I went, I was blown away by the message. I had no idea the church was so popular. Considering they even have an anti-club like this website. LOL. I just thought this was just another non-denom church like we have all over the south. Like mine. And even when I spoke about elevation to my friends back home, they didn’t even know about it. I enjoyed myself. And it was a different pastor who preached that time. I had no idea Steven was popular or had books or anything. So, I mean, really. Instead of festering negativity, just stop doing this. It’s like embarrassing to see Christians being this critical.

  217. FBC Watchdog Jax’s post about Furtick’s big house was featured on the right wing political site Free Republic.

    I skimmed the comments on FR about it, and several of the commentators visited Furtick’s site and/or his church’s site and said they saw more about Furtick on the sites than they did Jesus.

    Though one guy said he read the church’s “about” page, and it seemed okay to him.

    This thread on TWW was featured on Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook page on October 4th.

    I had no idea stuff from some of these blogs gets around so much, but that might explain why this blog seems to be getting more Elevation Church visitors, they’re seeing links from Free Republic and Facebook?

  218. Chino wrote:

    And I actually have reason to care about them because I listen to their podcasts (and in terms of their personal lives, i kinda don’t; however i was able to share with one of my patients a message steven shared about ALS, because while you guys have been digging up blueprints and whatever else desperate housewives version of the stepford wives self-important church group you belong to, you’d know steven has shared hardship of losing his father who had battled ALS back in June. and it touched my patient and his family, bringing them closer to God.)

    I have grown suspicious of your tirade. I truly hope you make “lots of money” doing whatever it is you do. You certainly have inculcated the attitude of your man.

    Thank you, as well, for demonstrating the lovely spirituality of Elevation followers.

  219. Daisy wrote:

    that might explain why this blog seems to be getting more Elevation Church visitors

    This happened before when we wrote a post on Furtick. I have heard that our post has been getting around Elevation. Some of Furtick’s friends are trying to protect him.

  220. @ Chino:
    “The hell”
    Do you feel better now? Your long tirade and cursing will never convince me that Furtick is making you a better Christian. However, I am truly convinced that you follow his teachings.

  221. Chino wrote:

    So, I mean, really. Instead of festering negativity, just stop doing this. It’s like embarrassing to see Christians being this critical.

    You also asked if it really matters if Furtick lives in a big house or not, or ‘who cares if a preacher lives in a big house.’

    It sort of matters to me a little bit.

    Honestly, to me, Furtick’s big house makes him look real greedy, like the tele-evangelists who are into the Prosperity Gospel who I see on tv a lot. They also often live in huge houses, have private jets, and so on.

    (I don’t expect any preacher to live in a cardboard box under a bridge, but a 16,000 sq foot house? Is that really necessary?)

    My reasons for possibly walking away from the Christian faith have little to do with intellectual reasons and more to do with stuff like seeing many Christians who are not living by the faith, or who are behaving immorally, or acting like hypocrites and so on.

    Buying or living in a such a huge home gives the appearance that Furtick is in the preaching for the money, status, and creature comforts, not out of care of people or for Jesus Christ. I have the same problem with Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, and people like that.

    This blog does not critique Furtick alone. They also do posts about John Piper, Mark Driscoll, and other leaders or preachers.

    Are you only upset with your particular favorite preacher gets picked on? Because I’ve been on this blog a few months (and lurked for awhile before that) but don’t recall seeing you express dismay that Driscoll, Piper, or Mahaney were under discussion.

    I like this blog, because they are being upfront and not pretending everything is hunky-dory, peachy keen in Christianity. They’re keeping it real, which matters to people who are having doubts about the Christian faith.

  222. Chino wrote:

    I know both of these men (steven and pastor dennis) are amazing men of God that have changed the world.

    Huh?

  223. dee wrote:

    Chino wrote:
    And I actually have reason to care about them because I listen to their podcasts (and in terms of their personal lives, i kinda don’t; however i was able to share with one of my patients a message steven shared about ALS, because while you guys have been digging up blueprints and whatever else desperate housewives version of the stepford wives self-important church group you belong to, you’d know steven has shared hardship of losing his father who had battled ALS back in June. and it touched my patient and his family, bringing them closer to God.)
    I have grown suspicious of your tirade. I truly hope you make “lots of money” doing whatever it is you do. You certainly have inculcated the attitude of your man.
    Thank you, as well, for demonstrating the lovely spirituality of Elevation followers.

    LOL. You’ve grown suspicious? Not surprised. You LIVE on suspicion! You thrive on doubt! But don’t confuse your “suspicion” for “discernment”. It’s totally not interchangeable.

    Funny though, how I apparently represent the grand majority of the elevation family? But do you and your critical nature represent all christians? *shudders at the thought* I sure as hell hope not. i mean, what kind of individual continues to make generalizations about people that belong to… oh, right… you guys on this site. i forgot. i don’t come representing all of elevation church. i simply just come as a person who really likes the church, and can’t understand why people like you devote time trying to bring something good down just because you have reservations about something that has nothing to do with you at all and harms no one. then you use this to smear an entire body of believers. is this the kind of mark, the legacy you want to leave behind you? that kind of person that devotes time and money and effort on judgement and gossip mongering? Aim higher. Life is too short for this tomfoolery.

  224. Ugh. i’m no better than you even trying to provide a voice of reason here. Peace! *drops mic*

  225. Chino, there once was a guy who had pretty dusty feet, maybe a few odd splinters, nowhere to lay his head, and probably wasn’t as prophetic as you about his future finances on earth, though he did have a few things to say (and do) in that matter. He lived maybe 2,000 or so years ago. Check it out if you like.

  226. @ Chino: You have had your say. I would like you to take it back a notch starting now. You are beginning to act like a troll and you are doing your cause no good. Your tirade and rather bizarre comments are not convincing. In fact, it raises questions as to who you really are.

  227. @ Chino:
    I would find it difficult to be in your position, Chino. Much of your extended family resides in a country where there is very little money and your immediate family here is rolling in dough by comparison. You admit the difficulty. Perhaps you feel sympathy for Furtick’s position because it seems to parallel your own?

    What you don’t recognize is that Furtick takes money that is not his. He over-values wealth to the point of taking from people who have far less, under the auspices of God’s requirements. Jesus clearly spoke against this in several different ways on numerous occasions.

    It is incredibly selfish to build a mansion among the financial elites (who were prime movers in ruining our economy) when there are so many people in Charlotte struggling just to get enough to eat. This is not a transnational division such as appears in your family. This is a class division based on plain greed, inside one town.

    That you see the people at TWW as embittered, envious, suspicious, Stepfordish, etc. merely exposes your narrow destructive values, so deeply held that you feel attacked to your core when people disagree with a pastor who also holds those values. You prioritize wealth, too, as seen in your future plans for lotsa lovely lolly and in your egotistical rage towards the people at TWW.

    You have been downright rude here, which is tiresome and annoying. But worse than that, you are shaping yourself into another tragedy, like Furtick, like the rich young ruler who sought advice from Jesus but then turned away. I despise tragedies. Please grow up. Grow into love and justice.

  228. Chino,
    I’d like to ask if you equate Furtick & Wife’s ability to pay for such a gigantic house as being a sign of God’s blessing on them? Is this partly why the questioning of what his motivations for doing such a thing could be has bothered you so much? Over here in England what he calls a house (& not that great of a house!) would be called a conference centre….it looks like conspicuous consumption, just like that of the secular elite of society. Jesus said that you will be known by your fruit, & no this is not all of his fruit, but it has potential to be by far his most visible fruit. Do you really not see why this prompts discussion, when the person we emulate is supposed to be Christ?

  229. @ Chino:

    You have pointedly ignored my two or three follow up replies to you, and those of other people but only respond to Dee. Maybe this is less about you being upset over Furtick being criticized and some grudge against Deb and Dee?

  230. I have no dog in the fight but I will say this….

    To those of you that are saying, “He should be housing people who are poor and homeless in that house” or “He should let ppl live with him in a house that size”

    That is a pretty cool thought. However, I am sure that most of you have people in your city who are homeless. If you are so concerned about Furtick putting people in his house, why don’t you do the same with your house?

    You might say, well, we do not have any room….or we do not have enough money.

    You live in America. You’re one of the richest people in the world. Make it happen.

    You say you do not have enough room? You do not have enough room or you won’t make room? There is a big difference.

    Let someone or some people move in with you. That would change the world way more than wasting your time on a message board suggesting how Steven should let people move in with him.

    As for the people who are saying that Steven and Holly bought a crazy house when they first moved to Charlotte. I would only say to be careful because you likely do not know the whole situation….

    For example, I am 26 years old. My wife is 24. We are planting a church in Alabama. We are living in a house that is 2600 square feet and the tax value is $400,000. We do not have that kind of money. I promise. Someone GAVE(by gave I mean, we can live here as long as we want) us the house and we currently use the garage as our launch team meeting space.

    My point? You never know what the situation is!

    Presently, Steven is clearly making tons of money. It does not take a huge house to figure that out. But all I am saying is you never know the whole situation.

    Conversely, not knowing the whole situation could be bad if it comes out that the money came from someplace that it should not have came from.

    If it did come out that the house was bought with “stolen money”, I hate to think that so many of you would be so happy and say, “WE TOLD YOU SO”, “WE CAUGHT HIM”…and you would literally let the pride in knowing that you “saw this coming” consume your thoughts way more than the hurt that people experience because of the use of tainted money.

    So please, all of you, both “Elevators” and “Elehaters”, get a life.

    I am so tired of people taking to msg boards to condemn ppl from a distance….when they have no clue about the whole situation.

    Grow up. All of you. On BOTH sides of the line.

    You say you’re voicing your concerns….or your fighting for the faith.

    Here’s an idea….go buy your neighbor supper. That will do more for the faith than posting all day on this stupid message board.

    Elehaters, Leave Steven alone. Don’t be like the Pharisees/scribes in John 8 who go around boasting about catching people in sin.

    Elevators, be careful to make sure that you are consumed by God and not your Pastor.

    I’m out and you will never hear from me again.
    Ain’t got time for this.

  231. Silly wrote:

    I’m out and you will never hear from me again.
    Ain’t got time for this

    Drive by commenters are driven by one motive. They are right, really right and they do not want to have anyone question their thinking. Deep down inside they are insecure and insecure know it alls have a higher rate of abusive behavior.
    Silly wrote:

    I am 26 years old. My wife is 24. We are planting a church in Alabama. We are living in a house that is 2600 square feet and the tax value is $400,000. We do not have that kind of money. I promise. Someone GAVE(by gave I mean, we can live here as long as we want) us the house

    He is apparently a pastor in Alabama and planting a church. Be on the lookout for him and do not go to his church. He has an opinion, he is correct, and he will not dialogue. This is a church that will be a catastrophe. You have info-he is living in a $400,000 home which uses its garage for “launch team” meetings. So, if you are on a “launch team” which meets in a garage of a $400,000 house (check tax records), has a 26 year old pastor with a 24 year old wife, run as fast as you can. Do not hang around. Do not give him money. Do not sign a covenant. You will be sorry.
    I am not addressing him because he says he will not return so it is pointless, not rude.

    Silly wrote:

    Here’s an idea….go buy your neighbor supper.

    He has no time to even explore how much many people on this “message board” do for others. Again, be advised. Stay away from his church.

    Print out the clues to his identity. Pass it around. Help people to avoid his church.

    26 years old married to a 24 year old woman
    Planting a church
    Living in a $400,000 house which is not his
    Launch team meets in a garage
    Located in Alabama
    Very self assured and knows he is right.
    Knows that everyone who he disagrees with do not serve the poor.

    If you find out who he is, let us know.

  232. @ Daisy: Oh, I think it is because he is misrepresenting himself. My guess: he is on the fast track to being a pastor, just like Furtick with an awesome house. There is a certain seminary nearby his IP address.

  233. Silly wrote:

    I am so tired of people taking to msg boards to condemn ppl from a distance….when they have no clue about the whole situation.

    :-) Clearly, you do not see the irony in your statement. Ah, well, thanks for the comic relief.

  234. Guys, I apologize for my previous comment under the name of silly.
    It wasn’t spoken from the right heart. Seriously.
    I apologize. I am not mad at anyone here and anybody has the right for their voice to be heard.

    And I am all for correcting people, especially Pastors who are in the wrong.
    I just don’t think we are to effective if we sit around here and bash ppl in the ground.
    I don’t care if its Billy Graham or Steven Furtick or anyone else for that matter.

    It just isn’t right.

    Anyway, as for my comments, I am sorry for coming across as hateful. It wasn’t my intent but when I re-read my post, it was mean.

    Forgive me.

    Although, I do think the comment about maybe we should house people in our own houses before talking about Furtick housing people in his…I do think I was right about that. But I was also assuming and speculating that the people who made those comments were not already housing people in their house. And when people make speculations and assumptions, they thread dangerous territory.

    So, I was wrong in doing that as well. :)

    That said, Alabama/UK is coming on. Roll Tide!?!

  235. I apologize wrote:

    Although, I do think the comment about maybe we should house people in our own houses before talking about Furtick housing people in his…I do think I was right about that.

    There is also a thing called humor, aka tongue in cheek, which needs to be considered. Just like the Scriptures uses a variety of genre to bring home a message, so do the commenters as well as your adorable blog queens. Reread some of those comments again.

    I apologize wrote:

    I don’t care if its Billy Graham or Steven Furtick or anyone else for that matter.
    It just isn’t right.

    Hmmm, it isn’t right? Since you are going to be a pastor, why don’t you tell us why it isn’t right. In fact, I think it is vitally right to point our excesses in the faith. We are called to be Bereans. Pastors like Furtick jump up and down, asking to be noticed. “Come to my church and see how we preach Jesus.” He does not get to tell us what we see. We came, we saw, and we think it is a bunch of codswallop.

    Billy Graham lives in the same house he has lived in for decades here in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Furtick, at the elderly age of 32+ is building a 16,090 square foot house. In fact, a bunch of us howled over lunch today over Furtick’s comment that “it isn’t that great of a house.” Literally laughed out loud in a restaurant. Too funny. You cannot make this stuff up!

    And, you will be interested in knowing that TWW helped expose Franklin Graham’s 1.2 million dollar salary which caused a bit of an uproar due to his charitable work. You think that was “not right” either? Even when he decided to forgo the salary and get by on @$600,000.

    The judgment on Furtick’s lifestyle reminds me of a Supreme Court Justice who was asked to define porn. He said he couldn’t do it but he knew it when he saw it. A 16,090 square foot house is obscene and almost everyone knows it.

    Finally, I am hardly “sitting around here” and bashing people into the ground. We are exposing sinful behavior in the church on the blog. But we all have lives outside of this blog and you might be surprised at what some people here do when they are standing.

    Finally, I will accept your apology. But, permit me an observation. Try hard to just say you are sorry. Don’t add “but”. It negates the apology. “I’m sorry but you are all still bashing people into the ground.”

    Go Pack.

  236. @ Silly:

    I also don’t approve of Joyce Meyer’s $23,000 toilet. Or Benny Hinn’s private jet and tropical vacations. Or Ed Young Jr’s private jet.

    I don’t agree with the multi million dollar salaries of movie stars and pro- sports athletes, either. I can’t fathom why tossing a ball about or uttering a few lines in front of a camera gets someone millions.

    You only seemed irate when Furtick is the topic of this concern but not Meyer, Hinn, or Young Jr. Why is that?

    I’m not working as a preacher taking money off other people giving it to me assuming I will use it to feed the poor, but then using their tithes for my home.

    I am not a preacher who takes my money, honestly gained, using my money on a huge house, while members of my church struggle to pay their bills and expecting or asking them to tithe to the church too.

    Furtick doesn’t even have to house any homeless people in his big house – that was a suggestion a Furtick supporter tossed out above, I think.

    (She was guessing that maybe Furtick bought a huge house to
    1. host homeless people or
    2. out of town visiting Christian people,
    and point 1. is something I find hard to believe he is going to do with his big house, and point 2 is just goofy, they could stay in a motel.)

    I’m not asking for Furtick to host homeless people in his home or live in a box under a bridge.

    I’d be happier if Furtick moved to a more modest sized house by comparison, say a 2200 – 2500 sq ft home. That is plenty big for a married couple with three kids.

    16,000 sq ft home is a bit much, when Jesus Himself warned against being enticed by wealth and all its trappings, and He did not live in a 16,000 ft sq house.

    One of my biggest problems with Furtick is that he does not preach Jesus from the pulpit, he most often preaches Furtick, and I believe his apparent (note I used ‘apparent,’ as I might be wrong) love of wealth stems from that self absorption.”

    I’m troubled by people who think it fine to defend materialistic preachers to the hilt, as Silly is doing, but I’ve seen this a time or two on discussion boards when people disagree with the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ message.

    If I were a preacher, and someone offered to lend me their 16,000 sq ft home to live in, I would be too embarrassed to take it for multiple reasons, one of which, it might cause people to think my motives are no good, or that I’m using church money.

    I’ve seen TV preachers admit to accepting brand new BMW cars from church members – I would be too ashamed and embarrassed to accept such a lavish gift, in the role of preacher particularly.

  237. I am a teen that has attended elevation church for seven years… I have volunteered and given my own money to this church.. It’s where I became a Christian. I feel that When we first started attending, Furtick’s ego wasn’t quite at the size it is now.. It really bothers me that he is spending this money, regardless of where it came from, on such a lavish lifestyle. It’s very wrong and the fact that he’s trying to hide it makes it even worse. I hope that the folks on this blog don’t see all of us that have attended this church as idiots.. With the facts presented it’s pretty clear that we have a major issue going on.. My parents and my family are really broken about this.. Sure, there have been issues we have seen with Furtick’s messages before– I mean I don’t agree with everything he says! , but, this is on a whole new level. What sane pastor would willingly purchase something they know will cause red flags to blow up all over the Christian Community, not to mention the media! There is a difference between blessed and excess!

  238. Rmckee wrote:

    I am a teen that has attended elevation church for seven years… I have volunteered and given my own money to this church.. It’s where I became a Christian. I feel that When we first started attending, Furtick’s ego wasn’t quite at the size it is now.. It really bothers me that he is spending this money, regardless of where it came from, on such a lavish lifestyle. It’s very wrong and the fact that he’s trying to hide it makes it even worse. I hope that the folks on this blog don’t see all of us that have attended this church as idiots.. With the facts presented it’s pretty clear that we have a major issue going on.. My parents and my family are really broken about this.. Sure, there have been issues we have seen with Furtick’s messages before– I mean I don’t agree with everything he says! , but, this is on a whole new level. What sane pastor would willingly purchase something they know will cause red flags to blow up all over the Christian Community, not to mention the media! There is a difference between blessed and excess!

    Beautifully put. A lot of the rhetoric on this blog is directed to the me-first “Christian leaders” of this world, and so is often blunt and unyielding, but I doubt very much that with the approach you have taken here that you will be treated with anything other than complete respect. May God bless you and keep you from ever placing any mediator in between Himself and you other than Christ Himself.

  239. Rmckee wrote:

    I am a teen that has attended elevation church for seven years

    You are an incredibly mature teen and I am impressed with your assessment. Your have wisdom that belies your years.

    Your pastor Steve is an object lesson for why we need Jesus. We can all fail because we are still functionally sinners even though we are redeemed and positionally holy.

    It is particularly bad when a well known Christian pastor fails because it calls into question the validity of the faith. Steve wants to be noticed. He puts himself up front every week. He calls attention to himself and his message. Therefore, he should not be shocked when people take a look at him and do not like what they see. Public people are put under public scrutiny.

    All of us are prone to a bit of hero worship. When that hero is anyone other than Jesus, we are guaranteed to be disappointed. I have done that in my own life and wished I had been as smart as you when I was a teenager. But, I sometimes learn more from failure than I do from success.

    I bet God has some great things in mind for you. He has given you a front row seat in how not to do it. May you find His strength, hope and love as you travel the road set before you.

  240. FormerFellow wrote:

    Then, he hawks that book in the Church bookstore/resource center, and to all the other “just like him” mega-churches around the country, and makes enough money to buy himself a multi-million dollar mansion.

    And does the church benefit?

    You really don’t know what you are talking about. All of the money from book sales at the church goes right back to the church. He doesn’t take a dime from that and has said so from stage. Pastor Furtick is a man of God, he is anointed and has given his life to preach the Gospel and save lives and bring people to Jesus through his sermons.

    All of this is gossip and here say. Getting more and more blown out of proportion with each comment.

    Shame on all of you!

    Pastor will have to answer to God for what he did in this life and so will everyone of you. I’m pretty sure the good Lord will tell him, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

    I am thankful for Elevation Church and am just sorry it wasn’t around when I was growing up.

    God Bless you Pastor Steven and Elevation Staff and volunteers!

  241. KL wrote:

    Pastor Furtick is a man of God,

    He doesn’t seem to talk about God too much in his sermons, the ones I’ve heard online. He peppers them with many personal illustrations about himself or his family, which I understand is the usual case with seeker friendly churches.
    Furtick sermons reviewed

  242. KL wrote:

    You really don’t know what you are talking about. All of the money from book sales at the church goes right back to the church. He doesn’t take a dime from that and has said so from stage

    This is contradictory to the words from Furtick’s own mouth – that the house is funded by his book sales. Quote, “I didn’t even build that house with money from the church – I built it with money from my books…” See the top of page vimeo at 1 min 30 secs here http://thewartburgwatch.com/2013/10/07/steven-furticks-codswallop-its-not-that-great-of-a-house/ titled “Furtick is Suffering for Jesus: Enduring the Questions of a Reporter About His Mansion”.

    So, um, where then did you think he got the money from? His salary? Why are alarm bells not going off for you?

  243. Wonder if the Charlotte Observer is investigating? I guess Furtick was only a tot, or perhaps not even born when PTL.

    Oh, my beloved Charlotte. I remember when Union County was completely rural. Friends who grew up there still know everyone who lived there back in their day. Mint Hill, Indian Trail, Monroe…modest farmhouses, hard-working people. They’ve been invaded by MacMansions and worse, celebrity preachers.

    When I was a kid, the big religious excess story in CLT was Daddy Grace, his painted fingernails, multiple Cadillacs and high living at the House of Prayer for All People downtown in the slums. In my 20′s, Jim and Tammy went looking for property with a relative of ours, who was a broker. They turned up their noses at having her drive them in her Lincoln, which was normal real estate behavior; instead, they took her with them in their chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce. Tammy wore mink along with twenty pounds of make-up. To the detriment of my aunt’s bank account, they ended up buying through another broker — but before long, air-conditioned dog houses and fine gold faucets were making the news.

    I guess CLT is so transient these days that people don’t remember having been suckered in before, and are willing to fork out money enough for yet another artificial celebrity pastor to eclipse the notoriety of the ones who came before him.

    Nothing new under the sun. Sad. So sad.

  244. I have been to 5 Elevation services. I stopped going after hearing the name “Pastor Steven” and “Elevation” more than the name “Jesus.”

  245. For those of you are Christians, shame on you…we’re onthe same side…you forgot, Satan is on the other side…not Steven Furtick…
    You will have to answer for disrespecting some one God has Called…stop being a Christian bully…there are very few who are called to identify false preachers…try spreading love. I was a member of Elevation for 4 years. Left recently due to a job transfer. I saw behind the curtain…I was on the finance team and I know a lot about the salaries and giving of the church. Sorry to rain on your parade but Furtick is the real thing. Elevation not only gave millions to CLT, but to the needy world wide. His books made a lot of cash, but also his speaking engagements, seminars, and (legal) investments. He recently lost a family member and I wouldn’t be surprised of he was left a nice inheritance, Also, dig deeper into the house…many things were given to him…rumor has it the land was sold at a very discounted price……also, many people donated their services. Why? Because lives are transformed, and some want to honor him. So what if he has a 16,000 sq foot home…why do you care? It doesn’t make him a crook if he has a big home. Jealous much? Why do people think that people in the ministry should live a life of poverty? I think we should bring our best to God…and as long as money is not our god its ok to have nice things… why should athletes and movie stars only be the ones to have the nice things…why can’t preachers? His servants should have nice things too…you can call him all sorts of mean names but I’ve seen him behind the scenes, and he’s just not the monster you want him to be…yes, he’s confident, but he is also very generous, kind, and truly loves people. Its insane to have an opinion from watching online or attending 1 worship experience… check your facts…many of these comments are inaccurate. When you’re spewing lies and gossip it makes you look like spoiled children who are jealous. The beauty if this is the more you talk about him the more people will look at him and he will get more and more popular…and then he’ll make MORE money and build a 32,000 sq foot house with a pad to land all those nosey helicopters…God will use everything to His Glory…even your hatred and lies.

  246. Pingback: Megachurch”Mansions” – Heaven’s Real Estate not Required | Coercion Code - "Dark Times are upon us" UNITED STATES

  247. I have read several articles about this. I am not a member of Elevation Church nor do I attend it or listen to his sermons. The problem is ignorance. It is a lack of knowledge concerning the Law and Grace.
    When I read and hear of people condemning, judging, and putting guilt on someone or on a group of people I hear the modern day Pharisees and Sadducees. These people are the keepers of the Law. They go around passing judgement and accusing people. That is how the Law is designed to work. If they are not judging the Church then they are judging the government. It is all OVER Facebook. These people have elevated themselves above everyone else and they think they are the supreme knowledge of the world. The media is full of the Law. It is always judging and condemning everyone. I used to be this way but God delivered me out of this. Being under the law is a sad place to be.
    But being under Grace is wonderful. I don’t have a care in the world, don’t read or hear any news because I know God has my back. All my needs are met to the full because I don’t have to earn it. It is taken care of by his Grace not mine.
    If there is any thing going on in this ministry God will take care of it. He is well able to judge his Church and He does Not and will NEVER need your help.

  248. Bill wrote:

    If there is any thing going on in this ministry God will take care of it. He is well able to judge his Church and He does Not and will NEVER need your help.

    Oh yeah, that’s right. God will take care of it-the excuse of the silent. God teaches us in His Work what is right and good and we are called to judge. Using your example- shut up about pedophiles in the church-God can take care of them. Shut up about domestic violences-God will take care of them. Shut up about pastors who live better than kings in the Old Testament.

    Your understanding of the judgement passage shows a misunderstanding of the how God works. He works through His people. He does judge-ultimately. But one day all of us will stand before our God and give an account as to why we ignored many things in the church-including using the church to become rich.

    God does not need my help. He does, however, use His people. Go back to your comfy chair and do not trouble yourself about things like pedophilia. Its just too difficult.

  249. Well said, Bill. Everyone on here judging Pastor Furtick needs to worry about their ownselves, not others. So easy to judge and point the fingers at others. I’m not a member of Elevation church. I visited once but unlike some of the other posters above, I was never asked about joining the church, or why I was there. I was in no way pressured to come back or treated in any unsavory manner. I was welcomed and shown where to go and thanked for coming. Everyone’s experience is different I suppose. Don’t group everyone in the same boat. It’s very uneducated to do so. Plus, why are some posters on here so downright ugly and hateful? Very unbecoming.

  250. @ Daisy:

    We must be listening to different sermons. The ones I’ve listened to he speaks about God, Jesus and the bible. Mores so than many other preachers out there these days.

  251. Tracy wrote:

    I was welcomed and shown where to go and thanked for coming

    Of course you were. They need your money. Then Furtick can build a house that is really nice instead of one that, as he put it, “isn’t so great.”

  252. @ Tracy:

    “Plus, why are some posters on here so downright ugly and hateful? Very unbecoming.”

    I don’t know why. Ask Steven Furtick who made a “Hey Hater’s” video. His followers and supporters seem to mimic him.

  253. @ Daisy:

    It is a false and generalized statement to say that he “does not preach Jesus” because I most certainly have heard him preach Jesus.

    Note: I didn’t say I agreed with everything he does so please don’t start attacking me on that front.

  254. @ Bridget:

    It is inaccurate to make generalized statements about a group as a whole. #1 people shouldn’t follow people, they should be following Jesus. Just because someone goes to Elevation doesn’t mean they follow Pastor Furtick. #2 Supporters doesn’t necessarily mean you support 100% of everything someone does or says. That’s just illogical.

    #3 my comment about some posters being ugly and hateful was directed to those who are bashing him. I’m sure you knew what I meant.

  255. @ Tracy:

    LOL You are too funny! You are being funny, aren’t you?

    I, too, love the word “bash.” Bash is simply another word for “an inconvenient truth.”

    Uneducated? ROFL in a decidedly uneducated fashion and in obvious hatred, etc….

  256. @ Tracy:
    Tracy, your comment back to you. You are obviously not well informed, not well educated, and have drunk the Kool-Aid. A most uneducated thing to say about the blog host, who likely has several more years of education and a degree or so more than you. You statement reflects a debased personality, stooping so low as to say such things, that you would win a limbo contest by a large margin.

  257. As someone very involved at Elevation, I see the this whole debate from the inside. First, the good side. No where have I seen anything close to what has happened the last 3 years at this church. Over 20,000 decisions for Christ and 7,000 baptisms, the majority of which were spontaneous via alter call. That is right out of the book of Acts. This home, while built at cost on foreclosed land, is still worth between 1 and 2 million and is over 8,000 heated sf. That is greedy, period. I’m so bummed because I hate to see this move of God slow down. The devil knows exactly where to hit our weak areas and Pastor obviously has pride and greed issues. I predict he will regret this down the road as a 33 year old with the largest church in NC, it seems like a case of too much too soon.

  258. John wrote:

    No where have I seen anything close to what has happened the last 3 years at this church. Over 20,000 decisions for Christ and 7,000 baptisms, the majority of which were spontaneous via alter call. That is right out of the book of Acts.

    I would implore you to do your reading. Do you know for sure that those decisions were real or emotional. Also, there are a number of studies within the faith that seem to indicate that most baptisms are not “repent and be saved” baptisms but an emotional response. Many have been baptized before. We have been writing about this for years. Do not mistake the show for the book of Acts. Please question what you are seeing.

  259. John wrote:

    I predict he will regret this down the road as a 33 year old with the largest church in NC

    Yes. He will be crying all the way to the bank.

  260. Tracy wrote:

    Plus, why are some posters on here so downright ugly and hateful? Very unbecoming.

    Yes. Why are some of the “Elevators” who comment here so ugly and hateful (Furtick should consider trademarking that term)? “Enquiring minds want to know.”

  261. Tracy wrote:

    It is a false and generalized statement to say that he “does not preach Jesus” because I most certainly have heard him preach Jesus.
    Note: I didn’t say I agreed with everything he does so please don’t start attacking me on that front.

    I don’t think I ever stated that Furtick never, ever mentions Jesus, but that the emphasis in his sermons that I have heard myself online, have been about himself and/or his family.

    If I did say “he does not preach Jesus,” that was shorthand of saying, his sermons are more about him than about Jesus.

    Furtick loves to talk about his children and his wife in his sermons more than he talks about Jesus.

    You can listen to reviews of his sermons Furtick sermons, reviews of

    Why are you defending Furtick, anyway? At this point, I think it’s become pretty clear he’s just another money-grubbing preacher on par with the ones we see on TBN such as Benny Hinn and Rod Parsely who also care more about money than about Jesus, or in helping people.

  262. Bill wrote:

    If there is any thing going on in this ministry God will take care of it. He is well able to judge his Church and He does Not and will NEVER need your help.

    But the Bible instructs Christians to judge other Christians and to reprimand them, eg,
    1 Corinthians 5

    In that passage, Paul tells the Christians to expel the wicked man, Paul does not say “just sit there, do nothing, and God will supernaturally intervene and take care of it.”

  263. Dara Fazelnia wrote:

    I have been to 5 Elevation services. I stopped going after hearing the name “Pastor Steven” and “Elevation” more than the name “Jesus.”

    Apparently Tracy missed your post, Dara :)

  264. @ Tracy:

    I’m not sure what your before 1, #1, and #2 are in reference to. Your third point seems to be mute. Many people aren’t bashing Furtick, but they ARE concerned about what he is doing in regards to money, a huge home, and the people (you) who are supporting this man and his industry.

  265. KL wrote:

    You really don’t know what you are talking about. All of the money from book sales at the church goes right back to the church. He doesn’t take a dime from that and has said so from stage.

    I take it you do well with contradictions.

  266. Mary wrote:

    You will have to answer for disrespecting some one God has Called…stop being a Christian bully…there are very few who are called to identify false preachers…

    So, could you please tell us what the Biblical requirements are for the few that are called to identify “false teachers?” I would love to know what Furtick’s teaching is on the subject.Mary wrote:

    So what if he has a 16,000 sq foot home…why do you care? It doesn’t make him a crook if he has a big home. Jealous much? Why do people think that people in the ministry should live a life of poverty?

    So, its either poverty or a 16,000 square foot house?
    Also, could you let me know how many people have been sent to bombard the blogs? You are all beginning to sound alike. Were you given talking points?

  267. The news about the house is saddening. I thought the folks at Elevation were doing something good – something different. And many probably are. He’s a megalomaniac like Bono from U2. Heck, their guitars are U2 1980′s ripoff riffs. Look, I don’t expect the man to live the life of a pauper but that house is out of control big. I wonder how this news affects their donations. I for one would think twice now about opening my wallet even if I was a regular member.

  268. dee wrote:

    @ JeffT:Ask me. I have been chumped in the past. There is life after chumpdom.

    Yup, we’ve all been chumped at one time or another. The trick as we learned is just admit you were chumped, learn from it, and move on. Beats being a perpetual victim.

  269. JeffT wrote:

    Beats being a perpetual victim.

    Or investing a large amount of your time defending a preacher who really doesn’t need it or deserve it.

  270. Dear God – he is pretentious. He purchased a home in Waxhaw a remote area ( I live right down the road) that has recently opened a “remote ER” due to the distance from medical facilities. Helicopters come and go as needed. Also a number of people in this area have their own. There a good number a very wealthy people in Waxhaw and no one gives a rats arse about him. Can you say not in our back yard?

    Do you have a link that you can share?

    We have the information from impeccable sources which we are not at liberty to reveal. Listen to Steve Furtick’s sermon. Note the comment he makes about a helicopter flying over his property. Think about it. Also, did he deny it?

  271. Dear God – he is pretentious. He purchased a home in Waxhaw a remote area ( I live right down the road) that has recently opened a “remote ER” due to the distance from medical facilities. Helicopters come and go as needed. Also a number of people in this area have their own. There a good number a very wealthy people in Waxhaw and no one gives a rats arse about him. Can you say not in our back yard?

  272. None of this means anything anyway, its just stuff that can and will be consumed by fire, your stuff my stuff everybody’s stuff. Stuff stuff stuff, please let him have all the stuff!!

  273. Have you attended any of there churches? Been a member? Been a part of any of it? Easy to have an opinion when you aren’t in the trenches! As far as this site… its saddening the amount of judgment filled hate that gets spread! If you say Furtick isn’t really acting like Jesus would act… neither are you! Check out the speck in his eye!

  274. Kent wrote:

    Easy to have an opinion when you aren’t in the trenches! As far as this site… its saddening the amount of judgment filled hate that gets spread!

    You sound plump and naïve, imagining “trenches” in your posh church, and feeling so beaten by criticism and disgust that you think it is “judgment filled hate”.

    I recommend you give away all that you have and live in the poorest area of Charlotte for two years. I’d be genuinely interested in your opinion after that.

  275. I remember a story in the Charlotte Observer a few years ago about this cool pastor and his love for expensive jeans. When I read that article I was wondering why the obsession with pricey pants.

    After the most recent piece in the news and how he won’t disclose his earnings I wondered how he was able to get a construction loan to build the house without providing the lender with his tax returns and paystubs? Last I checked this was a requirement for everyone else to get a loan.

  276. Marie wrote:

    After the most recent piece in the news and how he won’t disclose his earnings I wondered how he was able to get a construction loan to build the house without providing the lender with his tax returns and paystubs

    I can assure that one of two things occurred. He showed it to the bank/lender but they are under obligation to keep that information confidentially. Or, someone who has bucks floated him the loan.

  277. hi! I just wanted to drop by and say my piece about Steven Furtick and the elevation church that I do know, and the elevation church that I support. I’ve only been a couple times because I don’t live in the Charlotte/NC area. But his words and his sermons and books have made such a turn around in my spiritual walk with God, and I’m so thankful for him and his church and his ministry. I don’t think it is my place to apologize for anyone or anything that some of you have not gotten much out of what he does. If this church is just not for you, I think that’s a good discernment to make for yourself. But please don’t think that all of us who attend his church and work for his church are lost sheep who idolize him. When I went to elevation for the first time, I also like Chino, didn’t know that it was such a big deal church. I hadn’t even heard of it before I went. I have a church in my home city that has multiple sites and satellite campuses so, I didn’t know Steven had such a following. I also, on the occasions I went to elevation, didn’t see Steven preach. One time, it was Larry Hubatka, and the other time, I think it was Craig Groschel(sp)? The next time I went it was like a testimony service for members of the church, and all three occasions blew me away! I follow along online and I think his message and what God is doing through him is wonderful.

    I’ve never understood the whole “Pastor Steven Rockstar” thing, if it in fact exists. I found that kind of stuff kitschy and kinda cheesy. So I always distanced myself from it. Actually, I never really thought of Steven as some church big rig until I read this site, which is telling of what some people from the outside think of him. Of course, being online is much different from being at one of the campuses every week.

    To cut to the lining of the heart of the matter, this house thing, yeah, when I first heard, I was pretty bummed about it. What would someone need all that space for? I remember when my two sisters and I were looking for a rental to share for grad school and we saw a home at 2200 square feet, we were literally blown away by its sheer size (and ended up finding a much smaller 1300 sq ft that we fit in quite comfortably). We grew up in a much smaller home in a family of 7. All the girls grew up in the same bedroom, and our parents were both college professors/department heads. Then again, we just didn’t prioritize being “about that life”. Anyway. Back to Steven, I realize our paths and journeys are not the same. I understand our blessings are all quite different. However, I chuck Steven’s financial decisions up to Steven being very young, hoping that somewhere in this journey of his, he is about to realize that this whole house thing might be a huge mistake. And I hope it indeed turns out that way for his sake, if it is what people say it is. I don’t want to discredit, or judge him. I shouldn’t be making excuses for him either. The Steven I know currently has been the same Steven I was acquainted with nearly 3 years ago. If he continues to allow himself to be an instrument of God, extending him and his family to doing God’s work for the kingdom, I really don’t care if he gets to sleep on a golden geese feather pillows at night.

    I’ve never been one too concerned about the private affairs of my pastor, always praying for him and his ministry. He doesn’t have a big house or anything like that, either. He’s been driving the same Sequoia from 2002. No security detail. But he, and our pastors coalition of my city, meet with Heads of State sometimes to pray, or counsel them on the needs of the people. But he was upset later to find it was more of a political power play more than anything, and kinda stopped. shrug.

    Praying for Steven to remain humble! It’s all I can do, I guess. He’s young yet, and he’s also very human. When my brother was 33, all he wanted was a flashy pricey sportscar, and bought it. A stupid investment that he didn’t need. And he’s one of the strongest men of faith I know, but man, to separate some people and their passions, lol. Back to Steven. I doubt the money has come directly from his church. And like with most people, what they have doesn’t necessarily signify who they are. And I know that’s true of Steven. 16,000 sq ft is not a good look. Not on anyone (pastor or not). All of these things are growing pains for him, hopefully not at the expense of his church body. I’m hoping that his huge pastor board can talk some sense into him… yes? no? maybe? sigh, who knows?

  278. in addition, steven preaches from the word. i think the concern for “hero worship” as i saw written up in the comments is really a fault of our own, and doesn’t really fall on steven. there is one girl that i was witnessing to the other day, that fell on a certain hardship. she was in a right state, just given up on life due to an unmet expectation that had befallen her. and i prayed for her, being that she was in sydney australia and i was all the way over here, i tried as best i could to encourage her. she wasn’t an avid bible reader. but she said she did have a bible. so i wrote out a paragraph about faith in hard times and put some bible verses that corresponded, trying to refocus her towards reading the Bible, drawing near to Christ himself. and sent it to her via email. the times i spoke to her following that encounter, she kept praising me, telling me that she read my words over and over for days. but alas, she didn’t pick up her bible. she then later on told me she ALSO wanted to be a pediatrician (like me) as she is in medical school overseas. she was enraptured with my person, held on to ALL of my words. it was unbearable. i had to tell her on multiple accounts that its not me, its God she should be worshiping (not in those words but you get my drift). I felt happy that I was able to minister to her and help to pick up her spirits, but she began to make me into something quite else.

    while it is important for steven to keep humble, to divert attention of his church body off of him and onto God, i think its also important that churchgoers don’t become herd-like. and thats a responsibility that comes from the individual himself. like the teen above that spoke about her/his concerns about steven and the direction of the church. she/he loves the church, what steven is doing, but is able to use discernment in what she/he believes in. that’s important for ANY Christian. not just an elevation church member. There are times in my church, i think that my pastor is preaching a great message, but his interpretation of the word isn’t the same thing that i took from it. i don’t then go out and vilify my pastor. i just agree to disagree. the moment i detect an insincerity, then i’ll simply remove myself and find another church that better expresses God’s word, and i will do the same for elevation if it ever gets to that point, and i’m praying it doesn’t.

    we all understand, steven is silly for his silly, not so big a house, house. and he’s bound to make mistakes. and if his ugliest mistake in ministry is in fact the house he lives in and he comes to realize this at some point, good for him. if he doesn’t, i’m sure God would love to box his ears some at the pearly gates of heaven. but to discredit all the good he’s done for something that doesn’t seem to have affect all the good he’s doing, it’s not particularly fair. i imagine a lot of you serve your communities and do great works for God, but if one was to say that they judged your lives based on being adamant detractors of pastors who, for a lot of people, are still amazing people of God, you too would say it is unfair, because you have to offer a lot more than contributing this site to the world, regardless of its purpose.

    not to be rude, but after writing all of this, what does one plan to accomplish here? defense? slander? accusation? and then what? the most powerful thing we can do as Christians is pray for Steven if this is what concerns us. We can be smug about all of this and be congratulatory to ourselves that we called it first when we noticed signs that weren’t so holy of him. but we didn’t do anything about it but just call it. As Christians we also know how powerful the spoken word is. we know out of our mouths comes both life and death. instead of just venting frustrations, dismay, and disgust here, how about coming up with a way to productively bring your concerns forward? i have no idea how to do that, as this whole ordeal has not affected me too much (i think i’m more taken aback by the vitriol than the actual situation at hand), but there has to be a better way.

  279. @ koinohana: Fascinating. Yet another new commenter from the New Orleans area , just like Chino. who is not a regular attendee of Elevation writing lengthy comments on why Furtick means sooo much to you. Please forgive me if I am thinking this a bit strange and somewhat contrived.
    koinohana wrote:

    The Steven I know currently has been the same Steven I was acquainted with nearly 3 years ago.

    I am now of the opinion that this whole thing is a public relations initiative. And your family background sounds just like Chino’s.

    I find this all rather amusing. Too bad it involves a pastor instead of a politician. And, in some respects, it is a bit seedier.

  280. @ dee:

    Yes, Poor Furtick. He had no intentions of being a rich rock star pastor. The people forced him!

    I am getting a kick out of the PR effort to try and make Furtick look humble. too bad there is so much visual and audio evidence to the contrary.

  281. @ Anon 1: Compare Chino’s comment to koinohana’s comment. Both originate from the New Orleans area. Both claim to have only visited Furtick’s church yet both are absolutely dedicated to this guy. Chino had professor parents. koinhana has professor parents. Both have similar writing styles and both write lengthy comments.

    There has been a similar bombardment at the Huffington Post. I believe that it is some sort of cheesy public relations deal. I wonder if Elevation contributors are paying for this as well?

  282. Kent wrote:

    … its saddening the amount of judgment filled hate that gets spread

    Ok- you. at lest, area real Elevator. You are the only ones who use the word “hate” with wild abandon. It probably comes from watching “Hey Haters” one too many times. Keep giving him money. Perhaps he will lease an airplane next.

  283. i really just came on because she was making a fuss about this whole thing and wanted to see what this was about. it’s not like we’re comissioned to do this, it’s just an interesting discussion. why are you all so ugly here?

  284. Koinohana: Truth sometimes appears to be ugly, if it is a truth you do not like. Furtick’s preaching is mostly about him and his family with a little scripture thrown in, at rock-star reimbursement rates. Jesus said the wealthy (which S. Furtick now is) will have a hard time getting into heaven, because there are many who are poor, hungry, etc., and Christians are commanded to help them, that is to feed, cloth, and otherwise provide for them. Until Steve treats them as he would like to be treated (big house, etc.), he will not measure up to the standard Jesus taught, and thus is likely to be a goat, not a sheep come the day of judgment. Greed can keep you out of heaven.

  285. Arce wrote:

    Koinohana: Truth sometimes appears to be ugly, if it is a truth you do not like. Furtick’s preaching is mostly about him and his family with a little scripture thrown in, at rock-star reimbursement rates. Jesus said the wealthy (which S. Furtick now is) will have a hard time getting into heaven, because there are many who are poor, hungry, etc., and Christians are commanded to help them, that is to feed, cloth, and otherwise provide for them. Until Steve treats them as he would like to be treated (big house, etc.), he will not measure up to the standard Jesus taught, and thus is likely to be a goat, not a sheep come the day of judgment. Greed can keep you out of heaven.

    thats the thing, though: your opinion of him is NOT the truth. you have an understanding of a church that consists mainly of vitriol and slander, a yellow-journalism headline pushed by people at this site who don’t care for integrity, compassion, wisdom, or love. his preaching ISN’T about his family and himself. i’ve learned so much about my walk with God with his sermons. he may not be your style, but please don’t assume that just because you don’t find the same ministration in it, that i don’t know any better about what my faith and spiritual hunger needs. he does all those things: feed, clothe, and provide for his community. having wealth doesn’t detract from that. and sure, he may be a little heady these days, i haven’t noticed, but the only person i believe that may have some depth to this perspective is that teen that actually goes to elevation. perhaps. but maybe this is his season to learn to keep humble. who in fact knows? but i what i know of elevation is that it’s made of some of the strongest, best christians that i have encountered and love. steven is still a dynamic minster who speaks straight to my heart and soul. and if i didn’t experience this, i really wouldn’t be paying him any mind.

    Psalm 27 on all of you!

  286. koinohana wrote:

    i’ve learned so much about my walk with God with his sermons.

    Then you Psalm 27 us? You have just shown us exactly what you have learned. Wow- the depth of the teaching is stunning.

  287. lol, it was meant to be sarcasm. loosen up, some! but it makes a fine example: isn’t your reading of my comment the same way you and others are taken away by steven’s house? sure you might claim that his messages just aren’t what you’re into (off of the couple youve seen), but your biggest issue seems to be with his house. and then saddle your grievances of things you just don’t favor with the church (like his messages). you have focused on one thing that irks you and have made it everything.

    at the end of the day, steven’s large house is glaringly distracting. that’s all it is. just distracting. and the general concern on this website isn’t hate but just more concern that his wealth might be distracting. because otherwise, i’m pretty ok with elevation. im pretty good with watching the messages online. im pretty good knowing that they do a great deal of God’s work in elevation. im pretty good knowing that i can hear a good message, find confirmation of it in the word, and keep pushing my faith forward, studying the word, praying, fasting, etc. im pretty good knowing that a message i needed to hear that day happens to be one that is preached. not because it makes me feel good (they usually punch me right in the gut), but i know God is working through those messages and ministering to me. my life isn’t elevation, and it sure as heck isn’t steven. but it’s been a good thing.

  288. No one questions any business or organization that requires a worker or employee to sign a confidentiality agreement — except a church. The church of which I am a member asks those joining, as part of its membership vows, to never speak negatively of church members and attenders, except in love. I view this as biblical and the result is that my church has had virtually no conflict in the several years that I have been a part of it. Regarding the big house, David, Solomon, Abraham enjoyed many blessings, including material ones. The Bible described David as a man after God’s own heart. I do not know Steven Furtick or anyone who attends Elevation, but I have heard Furtick speak and have read one of his books. I find no error in his exegesis and when I hear him speak I think he is a man after God’s heart. In nearly every other arena of life, a gifted person is applauded and celebrated and most understand that economic benefits often accompany giftedness and passion. A large house does not mean a corrupt pastor any more than a small house means a virtuous pastor. I think Steven Furtick resonates with so many because he seeks truth and speaks truth.

  289. believer wrote:

    No one questions any business or organization that requires a worker or employee to sign a confidentiality agreement — except a church.

    Imagine that! Jesus set up the church to mimic American corporations. is that what you mean to say, really?believer wrote:

    to never speak negatively of church members and attenders, except in love. I view this as biblical and the result is that my church has had virtually no conflict in the several years that I have been a part of it.

    Did you know that this is how child sex abuse and domestic violence goes unnoticed in churches? And, where in the Bible does it say that. Paul surely did not adhere to that “biblical” value. Neither did Jesus.
    believer wrote:

    Abraham enjoyed many blessings, including material ones.

    Lots of these guys had many wives and concubines. Therefore, we should also do that. And have you read about what God said about Solomon’s wealth?believer wrote:

    I think he is a man after God’s heart. In nearly every other arena of life, a gifted person is applauded and celebrated and most understand that economic benefits often accompany giftedness and passion

    Jesus had no place to lay his head. Paul did not lead a rich lifestyle. Jesus told the rich man to give up his possessions and warned that it is harder for a rich. man to enter the kingdom of heaven that a camel to pass through the eye of the needle.

    Furtick has little accountability, preferring to have rich outsiders ” approve” his salary. He obviously does not trust the very people who give him money.
    believer wrote:

    I think Steven Furtick resonates with so many because he seeks truth and speaks truth.

    So, “resonating with so many” means a person is speaking truth? Really. That is what the Bible says?

  290. b>@ dee:
    Dee, Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Eph 4:2 Your criticism here of what people think is hardly reflective of the Christ you serve.

    3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matt. 7:3-5

    Why the frothed-mouth Furtick frenzy? He serves the same Savior, the only perfect One. Peter denied Him but Jesus said “on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” The Bible is full of great sinners used mightily for God’s purposes. I am sure that Furtick is honored to be another one. Leave the guy alone — his great passion for God bears witness to his true love, the Lord Jesus. Even if the big house is a mistake, he is YOUR CHRISTIAN BROTHER. Treat him as such and not as a pariah. Have you considered that you cause people to stumble with all this overly critical crap. The Lord has used Steven Furtick to draw more people to Himself that you or me combined with all the other people who read and post on this website. God bless you and may God continue to bless Steven Furtick :o)

  291. believer wrote:

    Why the frothed-mouth Furtick frenzy?

    Oh good night! believer wrote:

    Have you considered that you cause people to stumble with all this overly critical crap.

    That is precisely why we blog.So people who have stumbled over Furtick’s lifestyle will see that not all Christians like the mansion lifestyle of today’s ridiculous mega pastors, will realize that there are actually Christians who condemn such behavior. Did you ever think you are the reason that people are rejecting the faith?

  292. @ dee:
    Again Dee, Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Eph 4:2 Is this lived out here? Write these words on your heart. It will change the way you approach life and view others, including Steven Furtick.

  293. believer wrote:

    @ dee:
    Again Dee, Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Eph 4:2 Is this lived out here? Write these words on your heart. It will change the way you approach life and view others, including Steven Furtick.

    In other words, you are granting the point that Steven Furtick and his antics are highly, highly irritating. We may not all agree as to whether TWW has been “humble and gentle,” “patient,” and been “bearing with” Furtick in love (I happen to think Dee and Deb have been). But it is good to see that we all apparently agree that Furtick and his antics are highly, highly irritating and disturbing.

    Part of bearing with him in love is praying that he becomes the sort of person that normal people can think well of without needing supernatural levels of patience and longsuffering.

  294. And so what do you do with this?

    Galatians 2:11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?

    Are you telling us that we must always obey Ephesians 4:2 in every situation? Even when people are being carried away or driven away by the hypocrisy of those who aspire to be leaders.

    I tell you this. Although being patient, humble, gentle and bearing in loving with others is the preferred way for Christians to deal with one another. IT IS NOT the way you deal with wayward leaders who are using and misusing the gospel and other people’s money, and God’s money to prop up and/or cover up their own sins.

    The time has come for Furtick and ALL THOSE LIKE HIM to have people oppose them to their faces. Since they won’t let us near enough to do it in person, it must be done in other venues, like this.

    Ephesians 4:2 is a very nice verse that applies to many situations. It should be practice most of the time.

    But it is absolutely useless in dealing with men like Furtick. He’ll jingle away everybody’s money and set himself up very well, not learning a d@mn thing while Ephesians 4:2 is being practiced on him by well meaning but misguided people.

    He needs Galatians 2 and Mark 11:15-17 practiced on his sorry self over and over again until he learns his lesson or is driven out of business, which ever comes first.