By Apprising Ministries special correspondent Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised…

Okay, Furtick didn’t literally set a church on fire. The fire-breathers were on hand to do that (seriously, keep reading). As you may recall, it was mentioned in the post Steven Furtick is Lookin’ for the Favor that our favorite up-and-coming Seeker-Driven (SD) prophet-pastor is starting to muddy the waters a bit between the SD and the Word-Faith crowd. He has been traveling the Word-Faith circuit, and seems to have no plans to stop any time soon, as he is scheduled to appear at the upcoming 2012 Hillsong United conference alongside well-known Word-Faith heretic Joyce Meyer:
In the article referenced above, I mentioned that Furtick would soon be taking the stage to preach at Faith Church in St. Louis. Pastor David and Pastrix Nicole Crank lead this church where they “are reaching the lost and encouraging the hopeless with messages that are inspirational, timely, relevant and oftentimes very humorous.” Already we can surmise that this church must not highly value the Word of God, or else they would not blatantly disobey the Word by allowing a woman to serve as pastor. And videos such as this one demonstrate what kind of teaching those “relevant” and “humorous” messages employ. We also know that the Cranks are “good friends” with Word-Faith pastor Joel Osteen, a man who Steven Furtick himself has called a “great man of God.”

This past weekend Steven Furtick joined the Cranks for their “Super Sunday” event. Apparently Furtick brought his “A” game, because Pastrix Nicole Crank composed quite an eager and energetic post on her blog recapping the day. Pastrix Crank writes:

We are in the middle of a series on RISK.

Living out life the way God wants us to, not necessarily the way we want to
– or so we think. Giving up some control in order to take the ride of our life
(Jer 29:11).
And this weekend, along with fire breathers (seriously) and fire poi being twirled (I
am NOT joking
), the fire for God that resides on the inside of me burned brighter.
I felt something light up, pop, turn a corner, start to burn – whatever you want to call it.
I AM ON FIRE FOR GOD to a new level.
Then… OMG… Sunday night happened!

Steven Furtick and Keith Craft came to town for our Super Sunday night.

Corporate communion, prayer, ministry, a message of biblical proportions by Steven, and
words of encouragement.
A virtual whirlwind of what is possible through God just was coursing through the
room…Keith Craft ended the night with an altar call.
Steven, David and myself all finding ourselves on stage with the worship team as the
 room spun with arms lifted high and voices lifted up in an offering to God to give Him control.
A moment when things shift…
Have you ever had that? Have you ever lived in a moment when you could feel bondages
, relationships forming and lives changing?
It is the pinnacle of the human existence.

(Online Source)

So. Many. Comments. Honestly, where does one start?
There are so many things with which to take issue in this post. This is just a
starting point:
  • Fire breathers? And no, she wasn’t kidding. The picture is on her website if you care to see for yourself. Because, after all, if we don’t have a circus sideshow, no one will want to come to church.
  • I’ll side-step the misapplication of Jeremiah 29:11 since even some so-called “expository”
    preachers have misused this verse in this way (sadly it’s true, I’ve heard it).
    I’m not excusing it, I just think it’s an argument that no one is listening to,
    so what’s the point.
  • “I felt something light up, pop, turn a corner, start to burn.” Well, that’s great, I’m
    glad she felt something. Tell me, Pastrix Nicole, did you hear the great Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed without compromise? Because if not, it really doesn’t matter how much your liver was shivering on Sunday. And if something is popping and burning, well, you may want to call the doctor, especially with the way the room was apparently spinning by the end of the evening.
  • Do I need to point out the fact that a supposed pastor used a blasphemous acronym here?
  • “A virtual whirlwind of what is possible through God just was coursing through the room…” What does this even mean? This was followed by an altar call? Now, personally I’m no fan of the altar call but if you’re going to do one, shouldn’t it follow the clear proclamation of man’s sinful state and need for a Savior as provided in the perfect person and work of Jesus Christ? Shouldn’t a true altar call be a call to repent and place one’s faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ?

But Pastrix Crank reveals her lack of understanding of the biblical gospel with the final words on her blog:

Connecting with God

If you don’t know how to connect with God, just pray right now these words and then find a local church and get there.

Father, what was just described is what I need.
I need a change. I need direction. I need clarity. I need….YOU.
I let go of the control of my life. I will probably try to pick it back up again. But
I am going to do my best to keep you in the driver’s seat and do my best to
follow your amazing, eternal destiny for my life that you had planned before the
beginning of time.
You love me so much that you sent your Son to die for me. The least I can do is live
for you.
Today I purpose to serve you. Amen.

(Online Source)

What an astonishing mangling of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No mention of sin, repentance or faith in Jesus Christ. In fact, this a prayer of pure works. This is a false gospel. This is what happens when “pastors” spend their time twisting Scripture instead of preaching God’s Word as God wrote it.

How is it that Steven Furtick would agree to preach in such a place? Of course, we could say that any invitation should be accepted if granted the opportunity to preach repentance and faith in Jesus Christ but, if Furtick did that, then how did Pastrix Crank arrive at the above false and erroneous gospel and prayer? If Furtick had preached the true Gospel, I highly doubt that a Word-Faith pastrix like Nicole Crank would be singing his praises! Of course, since I personally did not hear Furtick preach at Faith Church, I can only speculate. Yet, I suspect this speaking engagement had a far grander purpose than *merely* preaching God’s Word (because that never seems to be enough for those with visions of grandeur and fame). As was noted by Ken Silva in his post Steven Furtick and Word Faith Heresy:

Multi-site churches, with all of their Internet bells and whistles and massive video streams have huge technology bills to pay. Now consider the economy along with their “numbers are king” philosophy. They have no choice but to continue trying to expand their little self-grandiose kingdoms.
By their own philosophy dreamed up by the Church Growth Movement, from which this current cult of church-planters hatched, if they don’t 1) they’re considered failures, and 2) they’ll go out of business.

As Steven Furtick seeks to enlarge his presence among the Word-Faith camp, we must continue to wonder why some so-called conservative, “reformed” pastors still lend support and endorsement to him. In the end, perhaps their own needs are not so different from Furtick’s. But again, I can only speculate.

“The Steven Furtick Show” Now Playing at Harvest Bible Chapel
Steven Furtick, James MacDonald, and Joel Osteen (from Apprising Ministries)
Steven Furtick Bringin’ on Word Faith and the Pastrixes (from Apprising Ministries)

The original appears with a comments section here.