- Issuing a 7 day sex challenge and sermon series for his congregation.
- Accusations of a lavish lifestyle, including a private jet, vacations, and a $1.5 million estate.
- Asking his congregation to give him their checking account numbers.
- Driving onstage in a Ferrari and preaching, "God gave me a Ferrari because I am a Ferrari. You're a Ferrari too. God has given you a Ferrari."
- Perhaps you've even heard of his recent sermon series, "Swagger Jacker." Because you know, God wants you to "experience a life of swagger." That's right, don't let anyone steal your "Godfidence."
Yes, that was Ed Young's promo video for last year's Hillsong Conference.
Young also boasts a friendship with men like Joel Osteen, and his yearly gathering of Word Faith preachers at the Creative Church Conference (C3) almost always seems to include Oneness Pentecostal "Bishop" T.D. Jakes. In commenting on the video below, which is a recap of C3 2010, Apprising Ministries asks a few questions and offers some commentary:
Among the questions I have would be: When did the Body of Christ decide Sabellianism is no longer heresy? And who gave Ed Young, Jr the authority to definitely say that Oneness Pentecostals like T.D. Jakes are “in the Church”?Despite the man-centered emphasis in the video on “unity,” and a “big vision because we have a big God,” the genuine Christian truly has no unity with people like Jakes who worship a god who doesn’t exist. You should be asking, which Jesus Christ are these people being urged to “give their lives” to in the video below, which has every look of a Praise The Lord program on the infamous Trinity Broadcasting Network.
You’ll watch as Jakes speaks to those “who sense this is a destiny and a turning point”; and then Jakes tells them to “rush down” because he wants to “pray” for their “soul” and for their “life.” But the crucial question remains: How can a god who doesn’t even exist ever be of any help to anybody? (Online Source)
C3 2010 Recap from Fellowship Church on Vimeo.
Interestingly, as of February 2011, the SBC was asking of Young "When Did the Trinity Become Non-Essential Doctrine?" but I'm sure the writer of that article is still waiting for a response. Back in 2007, Young declared that C3 was a conference about leadership, and was not a theological conference. But unless that changed between 2007 and 2010, we'd have to wonder why "Bishop" Jakes was wanting to pray for people in the video above. Further, if the nature of the conference did change, then we would have to wonder why Jakes, who does not worship the God of the Bible, was still a featured speaker. But all of that has been discussed at length by others, and so I don't desire to get into that here.
In a promotional video for the 2011 C3 Conference, Steven Furtick declared that "no conference has had a greater impact on my life and the life of our church than C3." Furtick must have delivered a great speech at the last event, because he is speaking again at the 2012 C3 Conference, along with plenty of other seemingly wolfish characters. According to this, Young also serves as a fashion icon for the young Furtick.
What I want to look at now is the evolution of Young's "C3" from a simply a yearly conference into what is now also a separate entity called C3 Global. C3 Global calls itself "an alliance of churches committed to change the world." Interestingly enough, there is not an available list of churches that have jumped on this latest bandwagon, though I've no doubt it's lengthy. A look at the leadership, though, is enough cause for concern:
Again, I won't take the time or space to detail all of these men. Let's just look briefly at Bil Cornelius. His biography on his church website reads as follows:
Sounds just a little seeker-driven, and even a bit word faith-y, doesn't it? The foreword to Cornelius' book, I Dare You to Change, was written by Craig Groeschel, which should speak quite a bit to the content of the work. Below is a brief snippet of the audio version of Cornelius' book, as he seeks to help people move beyond just dreaming of a better life and onto living it:Bil Cornelius is the founder and Lead Pastor of Bay Area Fellowship, which he and his wife Jessica founded in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1998. Bil's life calling has been to create a movement that is reaching into the lives of the lost and unchurched of the next generation and beyond. Bil leads Bay Area Fellowship with his unique brand of encouragement and wit, a teaching style and personality that allows him to engage a diverse audience. Now, more than 12 years later, Bay Area Fellowship has grown to over 8,000 people between 7 campuses, making it one of Outreach Magazine’s Top 100 fastest-growing churches.Bil is the co-author of Go Big: Lead Your Church to Explosive Growth, which he wrote alongside Bill Easum. In 2007, Bil founded the Exponential Business Conference, where he teaches and mentors business leaders and investors on how to expand their business and real estate holdings. He recently expanded this to a ministry called Expo Coaching, where he works one-on-one with pastors and business leaders through personal consultation and tele-conference meetings. In September of this year, Bil’s latest book, I Dare You to Change!, will launch nationally in all major bookstores.In 2008, seeking to reach the lost beyond Texas, Bil took his teaching to television and launched Bil Cornelius Ministries. By the end of 2009, the program expanded worldwide through Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Daystar and The Church Channel and is currently reaching millions across the globe.Bil travels around the country speaking and consulting on church health and growth. In 2004, Bil received the Purpose-Driven Health Award, from Rick Warren and Saddleback Church. Bil thrives on helping people reach their full potential in Christ and taking the limits off their life. Bil is the proud father of Mason, Cole, and Sophie, and is still madly in love with his wife Jessica after 17 years, which is second only to his love for the Lord. (Online source)
Cornelius has also served as a mentor to Seeker-Driven prophet-pastor Eric Dykstra of The Crossing Church in Elk River, MN. This is documented on Kelly Dykstra's blog:
 This was the year Eric met Bil Cornelius, who would become his mentor and facilitator of hooking us up with wise pastors all over the country, who have given us wisdom on everything from preaching the offering (Brad White) to creative resources (Pace Hartfield) to awesome series ideas (Mac Richard, Kevin Gerald). (Online Source)(If you are unfamiliar with the story and controversy of Dykstra, I suggest you read this article, as well as those that precede it. Once familiar with that story, it may interest you to know that Eric Dykstra has attended the C3 Conference every year since 2007. That fact certainly speaks to the fruit that is emerging from this conference.)
Returning again to C3 Global itself, a look at the Benefits page unveils what each church will receive in return for it's respective membership fees. With everything from insurance to discounted or free resources from CreativePastor.com to free or discounted conference attendance, being a member of C3 Global, though not cheap, certainly does come with its perks, if you consider sermon resources from Ed Young something to be desired. Late last year, Ed Young was excited to announce that C3 Global would be "joining forces" with Steven and Holly Furtick, so it may be safe to assume that Furtick and Young are steering this ship together. Young is also a scheduled speaker for Furtick's upcoming Code Orange Revival.
We will pick up, then, en route to Haiti.