The Elephant Room conference has caused a lot of controversy in recent times. Most particularly because of certain people who have been invited. I must point out that I am positive about many of the people who were invited to the first Elephant Room conference as well as part 2 that will take place in January. But a few of the guests have left many of us scratching our heads as to what is going on with this conference organized by Pastor James Macdonald. Based on my own limited experience of his preaching as well as all the reports I have heard, James Macdonald is an excellent expositor with a lengthy track record of faithful Gospel preaching - hence the confusion over what he is doing with his conference. I would say that my major grievance with the Elephant Room conference is that the invitation of certain false teachers has left them with another elephant in the room. I hope to discuss this in more detail next week, but before I do that, I thought it necessary to induct another Elephant Room invitee into the "Lame Attempts At Relevance" hall of shame.
If Perry Noble is the tough guy of seeker sensitivity then Steven Furtick is the rock star. And the jury is out as to whether Jesus could even be the opening act for the Steven Furtick show. Furtick doesn't seem to have much time to focus on biblical content in his sermons, which is understandable when you consider how interesting his own life is and the amount of effort he is putting into new and innovative ways to attract people to his church who are dead in sin. And let's face it, a lot of creativity and innovation is required to get dead people to do anything:
3D is about as culturally relevant as 1950's science fiction. Like the poster reveals, 3D was a cutting edge cinematic experience in the 50's. Maybe those churches that are fixated with 80's music aren't thirty years behind after all - at least they're thirty years in front of Furtick. But judging by the size of his congregation, this schtick still works with a lot of people. And that raises another interesting point, what is the purpose of church? Well, Pastor Steven is not short for a word on this subject either:
It would be of tremendous help to Furtick if he actually looked up what the word church means. The Greek word translated church in the New Testament is ekklesia, a compound word composed of ek, meaning "from." or "out of," and kaleo "to call." Together the two words mean, called from, or out of, denoting a company of people chosen and called. A people chosen and called out of the world. Newsflash Pastor Steven, church is for Christians because that is precisely what it is made up of. By all means welcome unbelievers, but when they come try preaching about Jesus Christ instead of about yourself! I am curious to know if anyone has any audio of Furtick actually preaching the Gospel because it seems to be very difficult to find. However, it has been much easier to find videos of Furtick explaining his views on biblical discernment:
Discerners (and admittedly there are bad ones out there) are not the only people that Steven takes aim at. Furtick's seminary training really shines through when he tells his congregation the theological reason why some people don't like rock music in church - "it's because they're stupid!" It also has to be said that Furtick is not overly fond of his critics. So much so, that Steven decided to channel all of his creative energies into a music video dedicated to his critics:
Can you feel the love tonight? But why finish with the lame story of a wannabe rock star pastor? Here is something that is exceedingly creative, innovative, compelling, and . . . . . explains the Gospel! Pastor Steven Furtick, please stop making videos and watch this one instead. It will teach you how to fill a lot of the "gaps" in your ministry:
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