Tunnel Vision 22

Steven Furtick via twitter:

Don’t ever compromise God’s vision. For anyone. Or anything. At any time. Stay true to His purpose. At any cost.

I would be very interested to know what Steven means by “God’s vision” in this context. If we go on what he has said in the past, we can assume that he is talking about some extra-biblical revelation…almost certainly, extra-biblical revelation that furthers Furtick’s personal agenda. Steven has been known to get imagination and divine revelation confused in the past.

I find it unsettling that a guy who has been more than willing to compromise God’s Word, is completely unwilling to compromise his own imaginary vision.

Is there anything good that can possibly come from this mindset?

header

22 thoughts on “Tunnel Vision

  1. Anthony Oct 20, 2009 5:52 am

    I have just started studying Nehemiah, he had a vision and faced opposition from others when he wanted to re-build the walls. I’m wondering how this is any different? How do any of you know that God didnt give a vision to Steven? Who are you to judge? Arent we supposed to stay true to His purpose? If we are born again, shouldnt we never compromise what God wants us to do? I have a feeling that if some other pastor that you enjoy said something like this, you would applaud them Downing! In fact, I’m absolutely sure of it!

  2. James Downing Oct 20, 2009 8:03 am

    The difference between Nehemiah and Furtick is that the canon of Scripture is closed. God has given us his word, there is no new revelation. What did God leave out of His word that he now needs to secretly reveal to Steven Furtick?

    I would absolutely have a problem with any pastor who claimed extra-biblical revelation.

  3. Corner Coffee Oct 20, 2009 11:31 am

    What did God leave out of His word that he now needs to secretly reveal to Steven Furtick?

    I’m not a huge fan of the ridiculous amount of emphasis placed on Vision from these Pastors, but I won’t go so far as to say God hasn’t given them, as the Pastor, a unique view of their community and His will for their church to impact that community.

    I don’t think it’s about anything being left out of scripture. Why wouldn’t God give Furtick a specific vision for the direction and mission of his church? And why wouldn’t Furtick be committed to that vision?

    Seems rational to me.

  4. James Downing Oct 20, 2009 12:26 pm

    Did God give Joseph Smith a special vision for his community?
    Why would Furtick have a special pipeline to God that is not available to you? That was abolished when the veil to the Holy of Holies was torn.

    You see, there’s a huge difference between a good idea and divine revelation. Calling your good idea an unquestionable word from God is quite scary.

  5. Corner Coffee Oct 20, 2009 3:21 pm

    Joseph Smith’s “vision” was incompatible with scripture.

    Why would Furtick have a special pipeline to God that is not available to you?

    Because I don’t need to know God’s individual purpose for Furtick’s life, or the church that he leads.

    I’m not sure I’m understanding you correctly … are you saying that God has absolutely ceased communicating His will to believers? Or are you just saying that he absolutely only does it through scripture?

    If the latter, I’d be curious to know what scriptural defense you have for that position, or if you gleaned it though extra-biblical means. 🙂

  6. James Downing Oct 20, 2009 8:03 pm

    Coffee, I think if you looked at Furtick’s entire history of “vision”, you’d get a little better understanding of what I’m saying. The tweet listed isn’t horrible on face value, though it would send up flags. It’s after seeing what these guys mean over and over again by “God’s vision” that it becomes an issue.

  7. Tommy F. Oct 20, 2009 8:38 pm

    Corner Coffee:

    You wrote:
    “I don’t think it’s about anything being left out of scripture. Why wouldn’t God give Furtick a specific vision for the direction and mission of his church? And why wouldn’t Furtick be committed to that vision?”

    Can you provide a hypothetical vision that is extra-biblical that SF’s statements could reasonably apply? If his vision was from the Bible, then he’s on solid ground. If it’s not, then why the 100% iron-clad defense? Shouldn’t he allow for a little bit of discussion or debate about the vision?

  8. JT Oct 20, 2009 11:22 pm

    I’m interested in reading how Downing (and Duncan, too) would answer Coffee’s query: “are you saying that God has absolutely ceased communicating His will to believers? Or are you just saying that he absolutely only does it through scripture?”

  9. Corner Coffee Oct 20, 2009 11:40 pm

    Tommy,
    You’d have to ask Furtick what the “vision” is. I don’t know what it is, because I don’t go to his church.

  10. Tommy F Oct 21, 2009 7:37 am

    Corner Coffee:

    I asked for a hypothetical vision, not the “real” one. The fact that you can’t propose a hypothetical one, makes me question it even more. And should make you do the same.

    So, according to your logic (and SF’s), you are defending this iron-clad defense of a vision from God that is essentially unverifiable and — conveniently — unquestionable?

    This has occurred in the past and – to my knowledge – not usually with good results.

    If he’d said: “Don’t ever compromise God’s word. …” And then kept going, he’d be on firmer ground. As it stands he’s setting anyone up who questions him to be anti-God…. Logically, this makes SF the conduit for God’s direction and instruction. He must be the new Moses. My question: where are the tablets?

  11. Corner Coffee Oct 21, 2009 10:49 am

    Tommy,
    Who said I can’t? Putting “the fact that” in front of something that is untrue doesn’t make it an actual fact, and basing a subsequent argument on that premise makes said argument moot as well.

    Anyway, I won’t do any guessing as to what his vision is for himself or his church. The fact is (hehe), his vision for himself and his church is either compatible with scripture, or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then case closed … he’s in the wrong. If it is, then case closed … the criticism should stop.

    Duncan,
    That is not an answer to the question. It should be a pretty simple question to answer. Yes or no. Either, or. You get the idea.

  12. James Downing Oct 21, 2009 11:25 am

    Coffee – An in depth explanation of Sola Scriptura would require a little more than a quick response. Perhaps a full post is in order on the sufficiency of Scripture and the error of extra-biblical revelation. Many times we discuss things, assuming that some preliminary issues are understood.

  13. James Duncan Oct 21, 2009 11:48 am

    CC,

    You asked two questions: “Are you saying that God has absolutely ceased communicating His will to believers? Or are you just saying that he absolutely only does it through scripture?”

    Yet you only want a single answer, though if you will allow it, the first answer is no. The second is yes.

  14. James Downing Oct 21, 2009 11:52 am

    Also Coffee, you should read “He is Not Silent” by Al Mohler. Addresses this issue quite well.

  15. Corner Coffee Oct 21, 2009 12:10 pm

    Duncan,
    Thanks for answering.

    So, based on the “scripture alone” approach, what scriptural basis do you have to the certainty that scripture alone is the only means of revelation, and not just the foundational means or revelation?

    So praying for an answer to a tough question is pointless, right? We should simply pray for wisdom to make the best decision, and then read our Bibles more? God’s leadership, outside of scripture, is non-existent?

    (those aren’t rhetorical questions, BTW)

  16. Tommy F Oct 21, 2009 1:45 pm

    CC,

    You wrote: “Anyway, I won’t do any guessing as to what his vision is for himself or his church. The fact is (hehe), his vision for himself and his church is either compatible with scripture, or it isn’t. If it isn’t, then case closed … he’s in the wrong. If it is, then case closed … the criticism should stop.”

    This is the problem, isn’t it? He didn’t say “Question the vision God gave me. Test it. Prove that it is compatible with scripture.” And it if it’s compatible with scripture, it should take him one blog post to outline. Instead, he proclaims from on high that he’s received a vision.

    Again, where are the tablets (the proof)?

    Questions are off-limits. They equal disobedience. This is a dangerous spot to be in. Mandating unquestioned authority in a church, by claiming God gave him a vision (which he doesn’t even share with others) is over the top. It’s the seed of a cult. He’s refusing the option to test the vision with scripture. He’s making it equal to scripture.

  17. James Duncan Oct 21, 2009 3:17 pm

    CC,

    Those are good questions. I’ll try to answer them in a post I’ll put up tomorrow.

    As much as I know you’ll be gripped with anticipation, do try to get some sleep tonight.

  18. Corner Coffee Oct 21, 2009 3:43 pm

    Tommy,
    Have you emailed the church? My guess is he has been clear about the vision for the church, but perhaps not publicly. But that’s just a guess. I really don’t know.

    One thing we do agree on … if he believes that his “vision” is superior to what is revealed in scripture, then he’s wrong.

    But if scripture is his foundation, and the vision he believes God gave him is compatible with scripture, then there’s no harm being done.

  19. Corner Coffee Oct 21, 2009 3:45 pm

    Duncan,
    Despite our deep disagreements on certain things, I do thoroughly enjoy sarcastic wit.

    (that, by the way, wasn’t sarcasm. I really do find it quite amusing.)

  20. Tommy F Oct 22, 2009 11:04 pm

    I had a vision yesterday.

    My vision from God said that SFurtick is a false teacher for affirming extra-biblical visions.

    I will not compromise this vision from God for anyone for anything or at anytime for any cost.

  21. Mike Oct 23, 2009 10:19 am

    SFurtick, or PNoble, or Warren to name a few, cannot clearly state a “vision”, because what that word means to them seems to be marketing plan. and that must be pliable, as it must change with the market.
    they often speak of following, meeting, teaching “Jesus” but not realy the one who was totally submitted to the father, who was totally supportive of scripture, who was far less interested in physical needs that eternal ones, who said “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.”

Comments are closed.