26 August 2011

James MacDonald on Criticism (from Apprising Ministries)

Pastor Ken Silva with some important observations:


by Ken Silva
In “The Steven Furtick Show” Played At Harvest Bible Chapel Of James MacDonald Erin Benziger, special correspondent of Apprising Ministries who blogs at Do Not Be Surprised…, shared her eyewitness account of Seeker Driven prophet-pastor Steven Furtick taking the pulpit at MacDonald’s HBC.
Understandably this led to some surprise in Reformed circles concerning this dubious decision by James MacDonald; in addition, in Steven Furtick And James MacDonald I showed you he’s decided to be keynote speaker for Furtick’s upcoming conference next January:
When this news became known surprise turned to mild criticism, which seems to have been the cause of MacDonald’s tweet below:
It seems to me that James MacDonald hasn’t realized “total conformity” isn’t the issue; no rather, the issue has to do with lending his credibility to a people-pleasing prophet pastor like Steven Furtick.
As you’ll see in Steven Furtick And T.D. Jakes, Furtick is about to bring in Oneness Pentecostal heretic T.D. Jakesto speak at that same conference MacDonald will be closing.
Well, it appears MacDonald’s still a bit sensitive about all of this when about a half hour ago, as of this writing, he tweeted:
Being I’m among those who’ve been respectfully critical of James MacDonald’s growing association with Steve Furtick I responded:
This is the heart of the matter: Intel that I have leads me to be fearful  that while James MacDonald may believe he’s mentoring Steven Furtick, I’d say its nuch more probable he’ll be played if not careful.
Furtick is quite possibly maneuvering to use MacDonald’s credibility to make himself appear more legit; particularly with the lower end of the YRR demographic, which he’d likely skew very well within.
You need to know that Steven Furtick is very sharp; he’s a real Leadership Network type who’s been studying business leadership books for years; and one of his mentors is prosperity mogul T.D. Jakes.
In her well-researched post Steven Furtick is Lookin’ for the Favor Erin Benziger clearly shows that Furtick, who’s a real fan of WF properity preacher Joel Osteen, is also making a move into that camp.
To me, Furtick gives every appearance of having, shall we say, just a bit of an ego. After-all, as a prophet-pastor claiming direct revelation and “visions,” he fits right in with spiritual flakes in the WF crowd.
Right now, with Osteen getting older and John Crowder too “out there,” at least for now, it’s pretty clear that the WF camp is very ripe for a young, and driven, charismatic (in both senses) leader.
A growing darling within evangelicalism, with enough clout already to have the attention of Word Faith superstar “Bishop” T. D. Jakes, my guess is Steven Furtick is making a play to become the next big thing.


  1. I understand your frustration here. However you do know that Matt Chandler, the prized pastor of the Reformed movement, will also be at Steven Furtick's revival? Does this make Chandler or anyone else preaching there also less legit? Their influence could actually be good for Elevation. Imagine the night that Chandler preaches: we'll see who walks out.

    Having gone through some of your blog posts I can see you are theologically sound and driven, but I would say Furtick is not all terribly bad. I download his podcast along with MacDonald, Chandler, Driscoll, Begg, Keller, Tullian, and anyone else you may call Reformed or legit, and perhaps surprisingly I do hear Furtick preach the Gospel. There is obviously huge discernment while listening but he is not nearly as bad as many claim. You've criticized his "Prodigy In Me" (without listening) but it appears you are looking for things to criticize. He is pretty straightforward about our gifts coming from God for God, and even mentions Hell at one point. Yes, he is over the top and leans close to prosperity teaching, and I know that what I've said does not acquit him nor am I trying to, but I believe if nothing else that being near James MacDonald and the others can (sooner or later) humble him. We shouldn't presume to judge Furtick's motives that he is "using" them. In any case I'm not trying to argue for Furtick or change your mind -- you seem dead set on beating him up -- but simply to open up the possibility of a good thing to happen here by God's grace.

  2. JS,

    Thanks for your comment. First, let me point out that the post you are commenting on was not written by me, but was written by another ministry (although I obviously agree with what it says or I would not have posted it).

    I am aware that Matt Chandler will be speaking at the same event. Personally, I think it's an incredibly unwise decision unless he plans to preach the Gospel and call Furtick and Elevation Church to repentance. Chandler and his church, however, have already bent toward the unbiblical teachings of contemplative spirituality. This can be found by simply reviewing their list of recommended reading on the church website. You can read a bit more about that here as well: http://apprising.org/2009/04/27/confusion-concerning-calvinist-spirituality/

    Furtick is not nearly as benign as you seem to think he is - any element of prosperity preaching is not biblical gospel. Any pastor that preaches such doctrines is not someone that a biblically discerning Christian should be following or listening to, however that is merely my own opinion. I, too have heard Furtick preach the Gospel, but that doesn't give him a pass for what makes up 99.9% of his preaching and his ministry. I have also heard Benny Hinn deliver a great gospel message - should we give him a pass as well? Clearly not.

    Test everything you hear preached against Scripture. Whether it's Furtick or Begg, be a good Berean. When you do, I know you'll find that the prosperity teachings of Furtick are not present in God's Word and thus should not be proclaimed from the pulpit (or the stage).


Please keep it pithy (in other words, if your comment is long enough to be its own blog post, don't bother), pertinent (please don't go off-topic), and respectful (to the author, to the other readers, and to the subject of the post). If you can't do that, your comment will not be posted.

If you haven't already, please read the Comment Policy in its entirety.