I want to start by saying that I love Elevation Church and I love all that they are doing to change lives and positively affect our city, but I wanted to address some things now that they are all over the media…
Steven Furtick and Elevation Church made the news for the ways they are doing baptists, and they’ve been blown up on social media for a particular page of a new children’s book they produced.
This page of their book quotes Romans 13:1 (talking about governmental authorities), then states; Romans 13: “Elevation church is built on the vision God gave pastor Steven. We will protect our unity in supporting his vision.”
This page of the children’s book relates back to line 4 of Elevation Church’s “The Code“:
“4. WE ARE UNITED UNDER ONE VISION: Elevation is built on the vision God gave Pastor Steven. We will aggressively defend our unity and that vision.”
Does this give too much focus, power, and credit to one man? Perhaps. Does this make them a cult? No.
The big news story from yesterday (seen here on WCNC Charlotte) shared pages of volunteer instructions for baptism services. Baptism volunteers are told to be the first to move in response and walk through high trafficked areas in order to make those who are considering getting baptized more comfortable to stand up and walk up up front themselves.
Does it cause more people to go forward? Maybe. Would the people stay in their seats and deny that they want a relationship with Christ if no one else went forward first? Maybe. Do people go forward who just want to be part of the crowd because the feel a temporary “emotional high”? Maybe.
This practice of having volunteers and leaders go up front before everyone for salvations and baptisms most certainly increases the number of people who are genuine find the courage to walk up front, and it certainly lines up with line 9 of Elevation Church’s “The Code“:
“9. WE ARE ALL ABOUT THE NUMBERS”
Does this produce emotional decisions whereby people respond from an emotional high or to be part of the crowd? Perhaps. Does this make them a cult? No.
Elevation Church absolutely has a charismatic leader, and it is absolutely aggressive (and unapologetic) in it’s style and practices, BUT, Elevation Church does preach the Bible. Steven Furtick’s messages are filled with sound doctrine and he explains scripture passages with the same interpretation that the majority of Christianity does. Most importantly, Steven Furtick consistently and frequently preaches the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ – that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, that He paid the penalty for our sins, and rose from the dead, and confesses that He is Lord of their life – is saved, both in this life, and in the life to come.
Is Elevation a cult? No.
If you go to Elevation Church – please pray for your leadership. If you don’t go to Elevation Church – please pray that God will bless them and guide them.