08 September 2011

"Code Orange" Speaker Jentezen Franklin

As was mentioned in the article Steven Furtick's 12 Days of Revival, our favorite up-and-coming, fashionable pastor is planning a big event for next January. He wants to gather a group of speakers together in order to cause an "eruption" of God's power and movement. Uh huh, okay, sure. The speaker lineup for Furtick's Code Orange Revival is quite extensive, so I've decided to examine these leaders in small doses.

In "Code Orange" Speaker Craig Groeschel, we looked at the pastor of LifeChurch.tv and realized that, not only does Groeschel hold a great deal of connections to Bill Hybels and Willow Creek, but his own church's professed doctrine and beliefs are shallow and weak (at best). So who else is in this big-league lineup for Code Orange? Allow me to introduce you to Jentezen Franklin.

Jentezen Franklin is the lead pastor at Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA and in Irvine, CA. You read that correctly. He is the lead pastor of two separate churches across the country from one another. But he's not just a "flat screen preacher." No, Franklin ministers live and in person in both locations:
Every Sunday, Franklin arrives at Free Chapel in Gainesville by 5 a.m. for prayer, preaches two sermons and shakes hundreds of hands before boarding a private jet at 2 p.m. with his family and two staff members. They arrive at John Wayne Airport, located five minutes from Free Chapel Orange County (OC), and by 6 p.m. Franklin is in the pulpit. (Online Source)
See, pastors do need private jets! In addition to his church duties, Franklin has his own popular show, Kingdom Connection, on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Of course, he fits right in with the Word Faith crowd on TBN, because Jentezen Franklin himself is quite a salesman:

Yes, he certainly is selling his audience a bill of goods! Did you notice the screen behind him in that clip? BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN. Believe that I can what? Sin? Disobey God? That's about all that I can do on my own apart from Christ! Yet, Franklin is no amateur and has even put his teaching into a book of the same title. In fact, in visiting the Free Chapel website, one can "stock up on encouragement" by visiting the online bookstore. No, they don't want to sell you a copy of the Bible...but would rather that you get your encouragement from the good pastor himself!

Between pastoring a church on each coast, his TBN duties, and writing books, Franklin also finds plenty of time to share his teaching around the world at various conferences. You can see from this video that he was a featured speaker at the 2010 Hillsong Conference, along with the likes of Joel and Victoria Osteen. And here we see that he and Perry Noble joined Craig Groeschel and LifeChurch.tv for the 2008 One Prayer event. A lot is spoken about a person by his chosen affiliations and friendships. It seems by his participation in these events that Jentezen Franklin has not hidden his approval of the seeker-driven types, and he leads the way himself among Word Faith preachers.

It's not always easy to discover how some of these men came to be "called" into the ministry, but a 2007 article from Charisma magazine offers great detail into this event in Jentezen Franklin's life:
The son of a Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) pastor, Franklin began sensing a call to ministry at age 20 and sought confirmation through a three-day fast from all foods and drinks except water. On the third night of the fast, Franklin says God spoke to him when he fell to his knees on the darkened platform of a church near his hometown of Wilson, North Carolina. "I can take you to the exact spot on that platform late that night where I heard God say in my heart, 'Go home now, and I'll confirm your call through your mother,'" Franklin recalls. "When I entered my home a few minutes later, the light was on in my parents' bedroom.

"My mother was weeping and trembling as she told me that God woke her up with a vision of me coming down the road to the house. ... Her words to me were, 'The Lord has spoken to me to tell you to do what He has called you to do.' (Online Source)
The key words in this article are "Franklin says God spoke to him." But, hey, when God goes so far as to wake up your mother in the middle of the night, you know that He means business! Are we to believe, then, that Franklin's entire ministry is based upon a supposed audible call and vision from God? Clearly Jentezen Franklin adheres to more than just a somewhat charismatic theology. This is quite apparent on his church's website under "What We Believe," wherein we read such affirmations as
  • We believe in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in other tongues, as the Spirit gives the utterance, to be the initial evidence of this experience. We believe in the operation of the nine Gifts of the Spirit and encourage our people to live so that these gifts may be manifest in their lives. (Acts 2:4; Acts 10:44-46; Acts 19:6; I Corinthians 12:4-11) 
  • We believe in the freedom of worship with every form of expression being done in decency and in order, not drawing attention to oneself. We define order in our services as following the anointing of the Holy Spirit through the pastoral leadership on the stage. (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40)
  • We believe in divine healing for the body. However, we encourage and do not condemn medical science. (Acts 3:2-12; Acts 5:15, 16; James 5:14-15) (Online Source)
So, in addition to seeker-driven (at best) Craig Groeschel, Steven Furtick has invited one of the apparent frontrunners of the charismatic Word Faith movement to speak at his Code Orange "Revival." Is anyone else noticing a disconcerting pattern here? The reader would do well to remember that also among this list of speakers are the "young, restless and reformed" Matt Chandler, as well as James MacDonald of Walk in the Word and Harvest Bible Chapel fame. It seems fair to ask of these latter two men: why? Why would you agree to share a stage with such unbiblical, dangerous, Scripture-twisting teachers?

Stay tuned.

Steven Furtick's 12 Days of Revival
"Code Orange" Speaker Craig Groeschel
What Might John MacArthur Say to Steven Furtick?


  1. Quote:
    "It seems fair to ask of these latter two men: why? Why would you agree to share a stage with such unbiblical, dangerous, Scripture-twisting teachers?"

    My answer: Shared openness to and/or affinity for contemplative mysticism and the unBiblical false unity that such mysticism always produces.

  2. Have you ever been to Jentezen's church or seen him preach anywhere?

  3. MamaBee,

    I've heard Franklin preach. I've not been to his church. I've also never tasted rat poison, but I know enough not to ingest it.