The only reason you need to not buy Furtick’s Chatterbox 11

While Steven Furtick’s website wants my name and email address in exchange for a free sample of his new book, Barnes and Noble offers the first chapter for free on their website. In it, you will find the dramatic story of Pastor Furtick narrowly avoiding a nervous breakdown as he worries whether he’ll be able to ask his wife to change a lightbulb in the bathroom for him (seriously). But this is no home-improvement book, and Pastor Furtick redirects the discussion to tell us how we hear God’s voice. He tells us that, not only do we hear God in the Bible, he speaks to us in mysterious and abstract ways. Here’s a quote:

His Spirit speaks with promptings that are not audible—often they are much louder than that—always in perfect harmony with the Scriptures and always resounding with perfect wisdom.

I disagree, but just for fun, I’ll take the bait. What kinds of things does God tell this pastor that are in perfect harmony with Scripture? Happily, he gives us an example to prove his point:

Charlotte_from_air

Steven Furtick’s High Place

A few years ago I was on a plane headed home, and I looked out the window during the descent. The sunset seemed to be painting the skyline in neon orange, illuminating the city where I had just moved to start a church. It was a glowing visual that set the scene for God to speak to my heart: This is your city.

Furtick doesn’t provide us the harmonization in the footnotes, probably because he assumes it’s obvious to us that it’s an almost perfect reproduction of Matthew 4:8-9.

The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

The Chatterbox: Hubris dressed up as heavenly revelation.

11 thoughts on “The only reason you need to not buy Furtick’s Chatterbox

  1. Humblylearning Feb 7, 2014 11:47 am

    From my own studying, the facts seem to indicate to me that God does not speak to us in the way Mr. Furtick seems to believe he heard/felt on his plane ride. In the New Testament, as far as I know, there’s no instance where God speaks to anyone directly other than when Paul has his two supernatural encounters with Jesus and John’s revelation. I suppose you can count the angels encounter with Mary and with Joseph as well if we’re talking about any and all divine figures within the NT.

    It seems as if there’s an obsession within modern Christian culture that yearns for some kind of supernatural grandiose experience with God rather than the concrete communication they have from Him in the Bible. The majority of times anyone did actually hear a direct command or statement from God they proved it by performing a miracle. If Mr. Furtick or any of these people that purport this kind of direct experience with God could perform a miracle like Moses, Jesus, or the Apostles, then I’d happily believe what they were saying, but I doubt that they can. They only provide vague statements like “This is your city”.

  2. Brian Feb 7, 2014 2:50 pm

    I am no furtick fan but you are harsh in this criticism. I remember a few years ago standing on the top of a hill in a cemetary and I felt prompted to begin to pray that as many people would come to Jesus as their were graves in that place. I still am praying over our spiritually dead city. I took that as a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t supersede scripture but I don’t discount the experience either. I also believe that it is in harmony with God desires.
    I find your writing informative. Sometimes it seems to get a little personal though.

    • James Duncan Feb 7, 2014 3:04 pm

      Brian,

      Did you read the link I put behind the statement that “I disagree“? You’ll see that this is a profoundly important topic. As for it being personal, this is the central thesis of the book that all of Furtick’s pastor friends say we need to read. Steven wants to tell us how we can hear from God, so what he thinks counts as revelation matters.

      As for being harmonious, wouldn’t God say “This is my city”? As Matthew shows us, it’s the Devil who says, “This is your city.”

  3. Russell Feb 7, 2014 5:23 pm

    “As for being harmonious, wouldn’t God say “This is my city”? As Matthew shows us, it’s the Devil who says, “This is your city.””

    Great point !!

  4. SallyVee Feb 8, 2014 10:59 am

    James, I just watched the very well produced Charlotte-NBC news story. Way to go!

    For those who have not seen it, go here:
    http://www.wcnc.com/news/iteam/Elevation-Church-pastor-could-be-244454681.html

    Thank you James for speaking to the nub of issue at the very end (and thanks to reporter Stuart Watson for airing it) – when you said: “Whether or not you can interpret the Bible correctly doesn’t matter so much as whether the NY Times puts you on their list.”

  5. SallyVee Feb 8, 2014 11:13 am

    Unfortunately, there is some evidence that Charlotte is Furtick’s city… with something like 25,000 so-called “Elevators” flocking weekly to listen to the psycho chatterbox spew his nonsense and willingly hand over their cash!

    My prayer for the Elevators is that they push the Lobby button, hit the ground level and run for the exits!

  6. Elaina Feb 8, 2014 6:22 pm

    Another thought to add to the discussion; how the name Elevation & “elevators” sounds eerily similar to another who tried to exalt or “elevate” himself above God and was kicked out of heaven…satan himself. Just my random ponderings.

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  9. D.D. Edwards Feb 14, 2014 2:12 pm

    God speaks in only three ways to man. Thru general or natural revelation—His creation (Romans 1:18-20); through special revelation—the Bible, His written Word (Romans 3:19); and through God’s Son, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2)—period. This is strongly reiterated at the end of Revelation by God when He proclaims:

    I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. (Rev. 22: 18-19).

    As for Furtick I have written an article A Wolf in the Fold.

  10. ingrid Mar 3, 2014 4:20 am

    I respectfully disagree. I do believe that God communicates with people directly, though having read about Steven Futrick’s teachings, I reject nearly all of them.

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