15 July 2011

Steven Furtick to Preach at Harvest Bible Chapel

Pastor James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel (HBC) and Walk in the Word will be handing over his "pulpit" for a few weeks this summer to various other pastors while he takes some time off. Of course, since there is no pulpit at HBC, he really will just be stepping out from behind his podium and off of his stage in order to make room for these other pastors. The most interesting choice of substitutes is Mr. "Purpose-Driven Pope of the Carolinas" himself, Steven Furtick. I suppose this is simply repayment, because not too long ago James MacDonald preached at Elevation Church.

As if we weren't shocked enough when MacDonald promoted Furtick's book, Sun Stand Still at this year's Elephant Room conference (actually, I don't believe that enough people did get upset about that!), now we see a full-blown endorsement of this young, rockstar pastor by the elder MacDonald. In fact, MacDonald refers to Furtick as "one of the most dynamic young communicators in our country today." To be fair, one really cannot argue with that statement. Furtick is a very talented and "dynamic" individual. He can deliver a great performance on a stage. The problem is that he is a pastor. It is his job to properly handle the Word of God and to shepherd the Christian sheep entrusted to his care. It is this responsibility that seems to be neglected in Furtick's sermons. Let us also remember that this is the pastor of Elevation Church, where, on Easter Sunday, a boy with cerebral palsy and his family were ushered out of the service because the boy's "Amen" was too distracting. This is the pastor who has told his congregation audience that, once they get saved, the church is no longer for them. You see, Furtick's church is all about reaching the unchurched. Feed the goats and starve the sheep. This is the man who has called Joel Osteen a "great man of God." Yet, this is the man who will be front and center at Harvest Bible Chapel. I've said it before, but I pray that this time people will start listening: Harvest, we have a problem.

Below is a copy of the letter that was sent out today to all individuals on HBC's email list. I've pasted the entire letter here so that the reader may see that nothing has been taken out of context.

I post this out of concern not only for my brethren at HBC, but also for Pastor MacDonald. I've watched HBC slowly slide down a slippery slope into the swamp of a market-driven mentality and it saddens me. At one time not too long ago, God used James MacDonald and Harvest to re-introduce me to His Word, so these developments grieve me.

Pastors, as someone who depends upon you and your God-given gifts, allow me to plead with you to stand upon nothing more than His Word alone. Whether your church has 20 members, or 2,000, if you are faithful to the Bible, then your work is not in vain. To preach the Word is not only a great responsibility, it is a great privilege, and I pray that you would treat it as such. Your faithfulness to Scripture is a far greater contribution to God's Kingdom than any standing-room only auditorium mesmerized by a celebrity pastor with slick hair and an ear-tickling message. Dear pastor, you are needed and you are prayed for. But please, just preach the Word.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Is Harvest Bible Chapel Being Fed to the Wolves?
3D Easter? 
The Elephant Room, Follow-up
The Elephant Room
Harvest, We Have a Problem

1 comment:

  1. I saw this sermon preached by this young pastor and wondered if I was the only one who could see the arrogance portrayed on "screen" that morning. My thoughts that day - this guy wanted to deafen the congregation with yelling and prancing rather than portraying the Holy Spirit and bring Jesus to the people. I was disappointed in Pastor McDonald for leaving the sheep to this wolf.