Steven Furtick, the founder and senior pastor of Southern Baptist Church (SBC) Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, has drawn theological criticism for statements he made in a recent Facebook post. The post has since been deleted from Furtick’s social media channels.
However, Furtick’s statement was captured via screenshot and reposted by Provost and Research Professor of Theology at Grace Bible Theological Seminary’s Owen Strachan.
“Following Jesus doesn’t change you into something else, it reveals who you’ve been all along. What would it be like to see the you that God sees…,” Furtick wrote in the post.
Furtick has a Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and 6.3 million followers on Facebook. His post was liked over 18,000 times and had more than 2,500 shares.
The quote was taken from a sermon Furtick preached on Sunday (Oct. 24) entitled “Yes You!” While preaching through Luke 5, Furtick said, ”The process of discipleship is not God changing you into something else — it’s Him revealing who you’ve been all along.”
In response to Furtick’s words, Strachan’s Facebook post read, “Fact check: truly following Jesus turns you into nothing less than a ‘new creation’ (2 Cor. 5:17).” Strachan then warned his followers to “not come within 50 country miles of this man’s false teaching. Furtick is a wolf. STEER CLEAR.”
Strachan also tweeted those words, echoing Jesus’ words found in Matthew 7:15, where he warns to his disciples to “beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
Just Thinking Podcast’s Public Relations Manager Chris Huff agreed with Strachan’s take on Furtick, saying, “This is 110% antithetical to what the Scriptures teach.” Huff went on to attack the Elevation Worship’s music, saying, “Steven Furtick is a wolf. Mark and avoid him, Elevation, and Maverick City Music.”
Ally Yarid, who has over 49,000 followers on Twitter, wrote, “Steven Furtick is a false teacher who preaches a false gospel. I pray he repents and comes to know the grace of God so that He can preach about the grace of God for sinners like ourselves. Despite so much false teaching today, the gospel will prevail.”
She then shared a story about someone she met who listens to Furtick every Sunday. “So I met a nonbeliever yesterday. My heart breaks, because she told me she hasn’t been to church in over three years but has watched Steven Furtick every Sunday online for three years.”
“She admits she doesn’t fully believe in Jesus, but she said she finds Steven’s sermons comforting,” Yarid continued. “THIS SHOULD BREAK OUR HEARTS.”