Who’s the dull one? 12

In the last few days, we’ve been wondering why leaders like Warren, Noble and Furtick have such a dim view of Bible study. In the case of Furtick, at least, I think I’ve found an answer.

He doesn’t like the Bible.

For a bit of background, Furtick has been leading some in his church in 90-day Bible read through. From his and others’ tweets, they seem to be somewhere around Deuteronomy at the moment. Furtick’s tweeted observations from his own reading are both revealing and horrifying. Let’s start with the worst:

Holly just told me the entertaining Bible stories are God’s way of apologizing for Leviticus.

Getting past the idiocy of judging the Bible based on its entertainment value, he thinks that God should apologize for parts of the Bible?

A pastor’s primary responsibility is to faithfully preach God’s Word. If Pastor Furtick thinks he knows best which bits should be in the Bible and which bits shouldn’t, he should go work for Rob Bell. He should not be working for God.

Even some bits that he deems worthy of including in the Bible seem to bore him. Note this:

Is it bad that I’m glad that Moses is dead? Is it b/c I have a man crush on Joshua?

Yes, Pastor Steven, it is bad. It’s even worse that you have to ask in public.

We have noted on this blog how the Bible seems to be a very low priority in Furtick’s sermon planning. This may explain why. Furtick’s personal interests guide how he reads and values the Bible, not God’s.

It’s not that Furtick finds everything boring or a waste of time. Some things really get his juices flowing.

Just had a financial strategic consulting mtg loaded w/ terms like absorption rate & OCF growth. Excruciating? Not at all. LOVE that stuff.

His arrogant attitude towards God’s Word is also apparently rubbing off on his church staff. This came from his Creative Pastor:

Deuteronomy…more like repeateronomy. Forgive me God.

It’s appalling, but at least he had the sense to apologize to God, not demand an apology from him like his boss did.

I look forward to seeing how Furtick apologists defend this, but one defense that can’t be used is that we shouldn’t read so much into dumb tweets. Furtick thinks quite highly of his own Twitter content, and imagines that the world is waiting for his 140-character wisdom.

I never imagined how much inspiration I’d be able to spread to people through a simple daily encouraging thought.  I try to get these out almost every morning.  When people retweet, it multiplies this impact exponentially.  That’s very rewarding and humbling to me.  Right after I wake up, I get to begin my day by planting a seed of hope into the life of thousands-both at Elevation, and around the world.

What makes this worse is that Furtick is aware that he’s leading spiritual infants with his tweets. As Downing pointed out yesterday, if we are to believe Furtick’s numbers, most of his church are new believers who don’t know how to study or read the Bible.

Why would you want to read Leviticus if your pastor thinks it’s a mistake? Why would you want to study Moses and the law if Joshua’s the main stud? Why bother with Deuteronomy if it’s unnecessarily repetitive? Why worship God when your pastor thinks he’s embarrassed?

How can a minister of God’s Word not only think that the Bible is boring and useless, but communicate that idea to his flock?

If you think that what God said is dull, between you and God, the dullard is not God.

UPDATE: The Leviticus quote has been updated to indicate that he was repeating his wife’s comment. See the discussion for why I think he is fully accountable for the comment himself though.

12 thoughts on “Who’s the dull one?

  1. Scott Aug 28, 2009 9:57 am

    Maybe Revelation 22:19 is a verse that Furtick should study and understand?

  2. JT Aug 28, 2009 12:38 pm


    You are right in saying this is an inappropriate message to send out. I understand that it is a joke, and I wouldn’t really care if someone had said it in private. But Furtick should be careful about the message he is sending by tweeting something like that. Christians should not be discouraged from reading Leviticus.

    That being said, you’ve purposely misquoted your target to make it sound worse than it is. Here’s the whole tweet:

    “Holly just told me the entertaining Bible stories are God’s way of apologizing for Leviticus.”

    Furtick was repeating the joke. I know, that’s not a whole lot better, but it is not at all as you claimed: “Furtick’s tweeted observations from his own reading are both revealing and horrifying.”

    But then again, I guess it’s just easier to make outlandish statements like, “He [Furtick] doesn’t like the Bible” if you can reinvent what he said.

  3. James Downing Aug 28, 2009 12:50 pm

    Holly is his wife, and his relaying the message show’s approval.

  4. JT Aug 28, 2009 12:55 pm

    Yes, Holly is his wife. Yes, he apparently thought it was an amusing statement. Yes, it was inappropriate.

    James Duncan still misquoted it to make it sound worse.

    It’s this kind of post that keeps most people away from Pajama Pages. This site could be useful at advancing God’s kingdom. Sadly, Pajama Pages is mostly a gotcha game.

  5. James Duncan Aug 28, 2009 1:33 pm

    You win the prize, JT. I knew someone would jump in and say that SF didn’t actually say it. (This is why I add links to what I quote, so that no-one will notice stuff like this.)

    He owns it. He heard it from his wife and agreed with it sufficiently to repeat it to the thousands around the world who wait breathlessly for his every tweet.

    If he didn’t agree with it, why is he embarrassing his wife by repeating her silly thinking? At least I tried to protect her reputation.

    How do you know it’s a joke? Even if it is, doesn’t the fact that he finds humor in disrespecting God and his Word a big red flag?

  6. JT Aug 28, 2009 4:12 pm


    Did you even read my comments?

    I only ask because I’ve already stated twice that this was an inappropriate thing for Furtick to say (or more accurately, to quote his wife as saying). I’ll say it a third time to make it clear: Furtick shouldn’t have made that tweet.

    Duncan, you could have made a decent post questioning Furtick for repeating his wife’s poor joke. Instead, you not only edited the actual speaker (Holly) out of his quote, but you then introduced the misattributed quote by claiming that they were Furtick’s actual words! “Furtick’s tweeted observations from his own reading are both revealing and horrifying”.

    But they weren’t “Furtick’s observations”.

    And you knew that when you wrote this post.

    And you purposely left off the part of the quote that would have made it obvious to your readers that these weren’t Furtick’s words.

  7. James Downing Aug 28, 2009 4:16 pm

    JT- How dare you drag Holly Furtick through the mud like this.

  8. James Duncan Aug 28, 2009 7:54 pm


    I’m glad you think it was a bad tweet, but I didn’t challenge that part of what you said. You said it was a joke, so I asked how you knew.

    You also said that it was wrong to attribute the words to SF. That’s debatable, but obviously I disagree. He tweeted the comment because he agreed with it and believed it himself. Is it an an observation from his own reading? Clearly. He’s reading the same things as his wife, so he knew what she was talking about.

    It’s a big, big statement. God is apologizing for the Bible. It is fair to hold him accountable for that.

    Here’s the thing, though. That quote isn’t the whole argument. It goes with other disrespectful observations he’s made, and it seems to have given a green light for his staff to publicly display the same foolishness.

  9. Paul Aug 28, 2009 8:01 pm

    May God have mercy on all all pastors who abuse and disrespect teh Bible like this. Perhaps these pastors should read Leviticus alot..especially Lev. 10 where we see what consuming our Holy God is, and what happens to those who approach Him and His Word in disobedience and irreverence.

  10. James Duncan Aug 28, 2009 8:02 pm

    OK, JT, I updated the quote to add the “Holly said” bit. I don’t think it changes my argument at all, but I fear that the ethics of quoting will quickly become a red herring rather than the substance of what he said.

    Score one for you.

  11. JT Aug 28, 2009 10:53 pm

    Thanks Duncan. I guess now I’ll never be able to say that you don’t listen to me.

    And yes, it is clearly a joke. It’s not a funny joke. It’s not an appropriate joke. But it’s a joke, nonetheless. Does anybody really believe that Furtick thinks God added entertainment to the Bible because He felt bad for Leviticus? Seriously? Come on.

    I’m not really bothered so much by him joking about God apologizing for something in the Bible (although that certainly is an odd thing to joke about). I’m more concerned with him, as a leader, showing no interest in Leviticus.

    The Moses tweet was strange, as well. “Glad that Moses is dead”? “Man crush on Joshua”?


  12. James Duncan Aug 28, 2009 11:12 pm

    JT, now we’re talking.

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