02 September 2011

What Might John MacArthur Say to Steven Furtick?

In the comment thread of the post A Reversal of Today's Reformed Revival? John MacArthur Weighs In, a reader wondered what Dr. MacArthur might have to say about someone like Steven Furtick. In asking this question, we are really wondering aloud what MacArthur might say to any of these young celebrity, rockstar pastors who seek to entertain and grow numbers rather than to preach the pure, undefiled Word of God. Well, I may have ascertained an answer to that question.

Tonight, during the first session of the Truth Matters Conference, John MacArthur spoke about...the Gospel. Imagine that! In teaching on the glory of the Gospel, especially as lived and taught by the Apostle Paul, he came to rest for a time on the following truth: Paul knew, and all should know, that the results of the preached Gospel depend entirely upon God. Remember the parable of the sower (Mark 4)? What does it say about the sower? Here's a better question: what does Jesus say in this parable about the method used by the sower? What was his technique? Did he toss the seed or throw it? Underhand or overhand? The Scripture doesn't say, and why? Because it's not the methodology that matters. What does this parable describe? The soil. Changing the way you "do church" is not going to help you get results, unless results are defined by mere numbers of hands raised or prayers prayed or cards signed. For true, genuinely repentant results you must depend upon God. Preach the Gospel, preach Christ as Lord, but humbly remember that only God can shine light into the darkness of an evil heart.
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:5-6)
So, what might John MacArthur have to say about Steven Furtick (and other celebrity pastors like him)? I suspect that the following, quoted as best I could record it as MacArthur preached, may be extremely appropriate:
"If you get all caught up in technique, you end up preaching yourself."
Yes, that pretty much sums it up!

Click here if you'd like to tune in to the live stream of the Truth Matters Conference. Audio for all sessions will be posted in a few weeks.

"The Steven Furtick Show" Now Playing at Harvest Bible Chapel
Steven Furtick is Lookin' For the Favor
Steven Furtick and "Prophet" Brian Carn


  1. I too would love to hear Dr. MacArthur directly address Steven Furtick's approach, but I think your suspicion is pretty accurate. Did you happen to hear Carl Trueman answer that question recently? I don't remember who conducted the interview, but Trueman was asked what he would say to Furtick and Noble if he had only a few seconds to speak to them. His response was the same for both, "Grow up." =)

  2. Hi PreciousAdornment,

    I did hear that Carl Trueman interview, and actually linked to it in this post: http://revelation22-20.blogspot.com/2011/10/carl-trueman-and-elephant-room.html

    It was with Mike Abendroth of No Compromise Radio. I really appreciated Trueman's transparency and boldness for the thoughts he shared during that interview. If only more godly men would take such a stand!