13 January 2012

Are You Praying for Those at the Code Orange Revival?


In viewing the first two evenings of the Code Orange Revival, I get the sinking feeling that our steadfast enemy is roaming around, seeking to devour the youth who are easily enraptured by loud music, flashy lights, and charismatic, but narcissistic preaching. Today's world is eager to tell us how wonderful we are, because we are far more easily led and enamored of those who stroke our ego than those who tell us, well, the truth. Young people, especially, are susceptible to this mindset, as they have been indoctrinated throughout years of education, television, magazines and books to believe that they are #1.  This actually works out quite well. Showy, narcissistic pastors preach to their young audience, teaching them how to interpret the Bible to be all about them (FYI, it's about Jesus), and they in return offer glory and praise to the pastor who has scratched their itching ears and told them exactly what they wanted to hear. I suppose, then, that at the very least the Seeker-Driven model is a type of give-and-take relationship. Unfortunately, it's a bit off-balance, as the pastor inevitably preaches sermon after law-filled sermon about mandatory giving, audacious faith and radical living, that all result in a call to "step out in faith" and fill the offering plate. Considering all the congregation is getting out of it is abysmal Scripture twisting and faulty doctrine, it seems like an unfair deal. Nevertheless, at times God does give us exactly what we ask for, and those who chase after doctrines of men (and demons) are often granted exactly what they seek.
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. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Yet, in the midst of the absolute absurdity that is American Christianity, but especially as we endure 10 more days of the Code Orange Revival, I urge you, dear reader, to pray. Pray for God to open the eyes of the deceived - and even the eyes of the deceivers. Pray that, in the middle of a man-concocted "revival," a true revival may take place. And I don't necessarily mean a "revival" as measured by numbers. Pray that young men and women would come to see the truth of what is actually being preached. Pray that, as some of the men on the stage ramble on about themselves, those listening would have ears to hear, and discernment to differentiate between the Truth and error. And even if just one is brought to the realization of the Truth, and is saved out of a dangerous and deceptive movement, then that, my friends, is a revival worth celebrating.
"Christ is still standing among many who neither see, nor know, nor believe. Christ is passing by in many a parish and many a congregation and the vast majority have neither an eye to see him, nor an ear to hear him. The spirit of slumber seems poured out upon them. Money and pleasure and the world they know, but they know not Christ. the Kingdom of God is close to them, but they sleep. Salvation is within their reach, but they sleep." -J.C. Ryle 

Listen To:
CODE ORANGE, REVIVAL OR DECEPTION? 

19 comments:

  1. I am indeed praying. I live in Charlotte, and have a number of friends who attend Elevation church and are attending this "revival". Some people from my own church are also attending, and are extremely excited about it. It grieves my heart and b rings me to tears. I have been praying ever since this "revival" was announced and will continue to do so long after it is over.

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  2. Amen Ebenz... As the sinking ship of 2012 organized chaos known as " American Christianity" continues to devolve, it is imperative that we not forget that God would want us to pray for those whom God would grant ears to hear will come out of darkness and discern Truth.
    But what an immense load of deception this is to watch and bear up under.

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  3. I am not sucked into coming here and reading your posts! So good work on that:)

    I guess what I am struggling with is if you are against Elevation Church and what they are about, why do you pay attention to them? I mean if you think there are "demons" roaming around the place and its so backward.. why are you going or watching yourself?

    And if you are not going or watching for yourself how would you actually know what goes on?

    Additionally, I have watched both nights and they as many churches do simply asked for an offering at the end of the night. I mean seriously I do not know one church in this country that doesn't depend on the contributions of its people. I actually respect the fact that they say give to your local church or home town church first.

    You know guys, I have also taken note of what you have claimed about Elevation Church... Pastor Steven preaches on himself before Christ... I mean, I am not getting that? I can only see him telling personal stories that give some of the scripture he is preaching on a more realistic feel. I am not saying that I think that scripture needs any help but, for some... the stories that Steven is sharing are impacting them in ways that sadly scripture may not. Basically they are more relatable with a personal story.

    Last thing... Since I am do not follow religious doctrine and go only by what I read in the bible... I do am not see your connection of Elevations own doctrine... The bottom line is Christ died for all of us. Take that or leave it. I hear that preached more at Elevation than anything. Here is another simplistic idea and, feel free to correct me if I am wrong... Christ died for our sins... if we receive Grace as a gift of our faith and thats what I/most people at Elevation have done... even if your stances are 100% accurate it doesn't matter... we are forgiven resulting in our salvation.

    Anyway... thanks for the write up on this as I am enjoying your blog (even if its not what I personally think).

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  4. Hi Robert,

    Thank you for continuing to visit and read even though you don't agree with much (or maybe all!) of what is here!

    You asked why I pay attention to ministries like Elevation Church. Call me crazy, but I feel a burden for those who have been or who are being deceived by the Seeker-Driven movement, led by such churches and men as I often write about. I myself was caught up in the Seeker-Driven movement for quite awhile, living my life as a false convert. How grateful I am that God opened my eyes to the deception that I was being fed! He showed me the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, confronted me with the dreadful reality of my own sin, brought me, broken and shattered to my knees, and saved me. I pray that, by pointing out the error and false doctrines of some of these movements, God might use this pitiful site to help bring others out of the same deception that I myself was once trapped in.

    We are called to expose false doctrine and false teachers, and that is what I do. I most certainly do not do it perfectly, but by God's grace the alarm is being sounded.

    Again, I pray that when you listen to your pastor, you will listen with an open Bible...read the entire context of the Scripture he is preaching. Pray for discernment and for open eyes to see exactly what the text is saying. While anecdotes are fine now and then and may have their place, listen honestly and see: is your pastor preaching Christ and Him crucified for our sins, (not for our life enhancement)? Or is he telling inspiring stories about himself to encourage the congregation to go out and do more?

    All men are sinners. No man is capable of saving himself. Jesus Christ lived the perfect, sinless life that we cannot. As He endured the cross, He did not just bleed and die - He suffered the holy wrath of God for the sins of all who will ever believe. He endured that wrath in my place. In your place. Three days later He was raised, defeating death, defeating Satan, defeating sin. Forever. When we repent of our sins, and place our faith wholly and solely in Jesus Christ and His perfect work, we are saved. This is what should be preached. Not how Jesus can make everything better in this temporal life (He never promises that), not how our good works can help us achieve anything before God. No. Jesus Christ and Him alone should be preached from the pulpit. If a pastor is properly teaching the Scriptures that God gave us, then this will be the inevitable result.

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  5. Pastor Furtick quite clearly preached the gospel the second night following up Jenzeten's message. He said, and I quote: "Christ purchased all the righteousness you will ever need in this life when he was put to death on the cross. You do not have to be punished for your sins because Christ was punished for them on the Cross. All you have to do is, by grace, receive his forgiveness and payment."

    Where is the gospel missing from that?

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  6. Chad,

    So, what is sin? Why am I a sinner? I'm a pretty good person and, based upon what Jentezen Franklin had just preached, as long as my parents were "good Christians" I, too, should be good to go. Should I repent of my sins or just tack Jesus onto my life as-is? These three little sentences are a nice start, but they hardly redeem the entire debacle.

    Tagging a three sentence "gospel" onto the end of an hour-long lesson that was little more than mythology is hardly what we should be hearing from a so-called "Holy Ghost Revival." Shouldn't His Word be preached rightly? Shouldn't the whole thing be about Jesus? He is, after all, what the Bible is about. The Bible points us to Christ, and if we stick with that, He will always be the focus.

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  7. no lie comes from the truth-1 John 2:21

    we cannot have lies mixed with the truth in these type meetings and arrive at Truth. If a person is not teaching the truth consistently and wanders away from Sola Scriptura then they are not to be accepted as true trustworthy envoys.Pro 13:17

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  8. It was more than 3 sentences and hopefully you know that.

    As to Jenzeten's message - has God not done these things in the past (i.e. looked out for the offspring of certain people - and he was clear that those people were those that were believers)? Why not now? Do you not believe that your attendance at and participation in a local body somehow builds into the life of faith of your children? Maybe you don't want to get mystical about it and that is the issue. I can understand that.

    Jentezen did what all theology does - he took and tried to connect ways that God has worked in the scriptures and tried to piece them together to understand God's ways better. You cannot deny that you see in the scriptures (and if you will allow in life) that generation to generation faith is passed on. What was heretical about it? Never once did Jenzeten say that your faith will save your child. And if you link it together with Pastor Steven's comments.

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  9. I do also wonder how you will define the Gospel so stringently where it seems in the scriptures often the definition of "sin" as you like it may not be "clearly" defined.

    Christ becomes our righteousness through his death and resurrection. We have no righteousness on our own, Christ was punished for us. We can be right with God.

    What more do you want?!?

    I think you should join the apostle paul in this:
    Philippians 1
    15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.

    If you can't, you are missing out because you are devouring your own.

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  10. Anonymous,
    Please read Matthew 1:1-17. Now, consider J.C. Ryle's thoughts on those verses:

    "This list of names teaches us the sinfulness and corruption of human nature. Observe how many godly parents in this catalogue had wicked and ungodly sons. The names of Rehoboam, Joram, Amon, and Jechoniah should teach us humbling lessons. They all had pious fathers, but they were all wicked men. Grace does not run in families. It needs something more than good examples and good advice to make us children of God. They that are born again are not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13). Praying parents should pray night and day that their children may be born of the spirit."

    You can read more in Ryle's commentary on Matthew. It may also help you to listen to this: http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2012/01/code-orange-revives-mythology.html

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  11. You are spewing discord among the brethren and for that I rebuke you.

    I attend Elevation on a regular basis, and the claims you make about our church and our pastor are full misinformation and lies. You should not take anecdotal stories, metaphors, and bits and pieces of sermons, state them out of context and claim that Pastor Steven is twisting scripture or watering down the gospel.

    Although the concept of a New Testament, evangelical church may be foreign to you, the songs we sing lift up the name of Jesus, the word that is preached point people to Jesus and people are saved and lives are changed. You even criticized the “Sinners Prayer” used by Pastor Steven. Can you please point me to a scripture that gives us the correct “Sinners Prayer”?

    I grew up in a very traditional Baptist church and was saved as an adolescent, although I wasn’t really changed until I was around 30. I consider myself to be a well-grounded, spiritually mature Christian. I believe the Great Commission (make disciples, baptize them, and teach them). I live my life by this both inside the church and in my secular life. Currently, I’m teaching a bible study in my home for new Christians that I witnessed to at work. And before you make false claims against me, yes I fully understand that God calls people and God saves them; I am simply an obedient ambassador and a witness for Him.

    Maybe you should focus more of your time, energy, and resources living out the Great Commission instead of spreading lies and sowing discord.


    Proverbs 6:16-19
16 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
    17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,
    18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,
    19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

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  12. @Robert Cundiff

    Robert let us compare one of the things you have been taught at Elevation with the Scriptures:

    " I do am not see your connection of Elevations own doctrine... The bottom line is Christ died for all of us."
    ~ Robert Cundiff

    "Watch out for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers,to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son."
    ~ God In Acts 20:28

    If your "all" is qualified within the context of Church as it is with all "alls" in the Word then indeed you were taught right about that point.If you imply a universalistic all then you were taught a universalism and serious error.

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  13. Anonymous from Jan 15,

    Nearly every sermon that I have heard Steven Furtick preach points people to himself. I am simply reporting on those observations. Just because someone says, "it's all about Jesus," doesn't actually mean that Jesus is the focus. The whole of a ministry, the fruit of a ministry, will reveal what the focus of that ministry is. Forgive me, but I hear a lot of narcissism coming from Elevation Church.

    As regards the "sinner's prayer," I cannot point you to that in Scripture because it simply isn't there. There is no formulaic prayer, no repeating words back after a pastor recites them, that saves people in Scripture. Emotional, sappy music, every head bowed and all eyes closed, the formula simply is not biblical. Repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ alone - that is what saves. Repentance and faith.

    I do not seek to "sow" or to "spew" discord, as you so vividly describe it. I seek to expose false teaching where I see it. Christians are called to "contend for the faith delivered once for all to the saints." We do that by speaking out against false and dangerous teaching when we see it. If we blindly accept error for the sake of unity, then we are doing a grave disservice to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    In the end, I'm a bit confused by your accusatory and vitriolic tone. In this post, I merely put out a call for people to pray for those at the Code Orange Revival. I would think all prayer would be welcome for this momentous event in your church's history.

    Thanks for visiting.

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  14. My question about the “sinners prayer” was rhetorical, but thank you for making my point. In one of your posts you criticized Pastor Furtick’s sinners prayer, but the truth is there is no biblical example of a biblical prayer. What was the motive for being critical when Pastor Furtick was obviously giving an example of how one could speak to God to express their helpless state and ask God to save them.

    You do sow discord what else would motivate one to spend so much time doing what you do. Hopefully, you have something meaningful in your life. Are you serving God? If so, in what capacity? How many people do you lead to Christ in a month? A year? Do you teach the bible?

    I’m in the church serving and worshipping every week, and I have been in several of the revival services (serving and worshipping) and I haven’t heard any narcissism or pointing people to Pastor Steven. Can you provide any examples of this?

    I do believe you are confused, but not by my tone. And we do welcome and appreciate the prayers of righteous men, but your so-called call for prayer for people to “pray for God to open the eyes of the deceived - and even the eyes of the deceivers. Pray that, in the middle of a man-concocted "revival," a true revival may take place,” is not really a call for prayer at all is it? Believe me, I am well-grounded in the deep truths of God’s word, and I am not deceived--by you or anyone else.

    Sure, Elevation does things differently (e.g. loud music, flashing lights) than the traditional, apathetic, graceless church, and we may go over-the-top on just about everything we do. Although I may not always agree with the the “how”, I do agree with the “what”. As I indicated previously, we are singing songs that lift up the name of Jesus, the word is preached, people are being pointed to Jesus, and people are saved and lives are changed.

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  15. "How many people do you lead to Christ in a month?"
    ~ Anonymous Elevation Folk

    VERSUS

    "I am well-grounded in the deep truths of God’s word, and I am not deceived--by you or anyone else."
    ~ Anonymous Elevation Folk

    No commentary required...and cluelessness about the actual biblicaly defined salvation seems to be a norm for Elevation Folk and as visible in their "leader"... WOW.

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  16. Anonymous,
    Actually, I can provide examples of the narcissism, but something tells me that you won't be receptive, to say the least. If you go to this website, and type "Steven Furtick" into the search bar, and listen to some of these biblical critiques, you may see what I mean http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/.

    I began this comment intending to respond to each of your points and accusations. However, I realize that I would be wasting my time. I am sorry, though, that you believe "traditional" churches to be "graceless" and "apathetic." What an insulting way to describe those who decide to approach the holy God of the universe with respect, reverence and awe.

    Nevertheless, it is wonderful that you are so committed to your church and that you are doing so much. What a pity that the fruit of that ministry is being put on display in such a manner.

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  17. Despeville said "No commentary required..."

    Nope, none at all. Some things just speak for themselves, don't they?

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  18. Ken, go out and evangelize, bring people to Christ and drop your deep convictions that aren't bringing people to His Word and to His Feet.

    Bring glory to His Name and not your feelings that could very well be wrong... let God be the judge, the body doesn't need your posts and your thoughts. Last I checked, His Name is above every name.

    Eric

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  19. Eric,

    Who are you talking to? I am not Ken.

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