By Christian Research Network Associate Editor Erin Benziger of Do Not Be Surprised…This is a repost of an original article on Do Not Be Surprised…

The heretical Word Faith gospel continues to subtly weave itself into the fabric of the visible church. It seems that James MacDonald’s Elephant Room 2 and the subsequent embracing of prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes opened the door and welcomed these aberrant teachings into the mainstream.

It is no secret that Steven “Audacious Faith” Furtick greatly admires many of the most famous propagators of the Word Faith heresy. In January 2012, we saw him gush over T.D. Jakes, calling him “my favorite preacher in the world.”

He also seems to be impressed with Joyce Meyer, perhaps the most successful female prosperity preacher in America today:



Most recently, we saw that Steven Furtick was visited by Word Faith heretic Rod Parsley, who called Furtick “one of the nation’s most influential young leaders.”


Steven Furtick, in turn, praised Parsley by calling him a “preaching machine.”


Considering that Steven Furtick finds Rod Parsley to be such a wonderful preacher, let us be reminded of just what kind of teaching this “machine” produces:

Another great influence upon Steven Furtick, however, has been the most well-known teacher of Word Faith in America, Joel Osteen. This pastor of America’s largest “church” has been deemed by Furtick as a “great man of God.”


In fact, Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries tells us that Joel Osteen has influenced Steven Furtick longer than we may know:

As far as Joel Osteen is concerned, actually Steven Furtick has been quite enamored with this 4 Star WF General since at least 2007. Our first clue is Furtick’s June 4th blog post Please Stop Picking On Joel:

As in, Osteen. As in, the pastor of the largest church in America… Osteen preaches to 40,000 people weekly… You couldn’t get 40,000 people to come hear you preach if you gave away free Escalades at the door…don’t hate on a man you’ve never met and analyze the entire content of his ministry based on a 27 minute weekly broadcast.

That’s illogical, narrow, and unfair, and you know it. Don’t hurl insults at someone with a big church simply because you can’t make your church grow, and although you’d never admit it, you’re jealous. That’s right… most of the time the motive isn’t defense of the Gospel… it’s jealousy and presumption. (source)

In September of 2007,  just a few months after writing the above blog post, Furtick would begin his first venture into Sun Stand Still territory. When his church was not yet 2 years old, he first preached the sermon series for which he would become most well known.

By 2010, Steven Furtick again was preaching Sun Stand Still, which by this time also had been published in book form, to his Elevation Church, as well as at other churches and various conferences. It is this first attempt at the sermon series in 2007, however, that gives us a peek into just how Osteen-esque Steven Furtick’s preaching has been seemingly from the beginning of his ministry. Furtick appears to tell us exactly why this is as he describes for us his very own “sun stand still moment” on the stage of Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church:

It seems that Furtick’s praise for Joel Osteen has not gone unnoticed as tonight, 29 August 2012, he will preach at Osteen’s Lakewood Church. Judging from the Lakewood’s tweet and Steven Furtick’s retweet below, the audacious pastor is excited for the opportunity:


It was not that long ago that Word Faith pastrix Christine Caine preached at Lakewood Church’s youth conference, so Furtick finds himself in familiar company. In fact, Caine, who was one of the speakers at Furtick’s Code Orange Revival, actually preached the Sunday service at Elevation Church in January of this year. This only aids in affirming Steven Furtick’s affinity for the aberrant Word Faith gospel, of which Christine Caine is also a promoter.

Perhaps none of this would be of interest if it were not for the continual mainstreaming of the Word Faith teachings. Steven Furtick, who once was only an up-and-coming pastor, now has the ears and endorsement of men like Elephant Room curators James MacDonald and Mark Driscoll. These two also have embraced prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes, despite some lingering questions following ER2. Their support of Furtick has allowed his seeker-driven teaching to infiltrate mainstream evangelicalism. As a result, the more that Steven Furtick allows the Word Faith heresy to seep into his own teachings, the more likely it is to be found in evangelical churches across America, if only even in its basest form.
This reminds us of the importance of remaining faithful to the Word of God, and of forsaking ear-tickling sermons of “big, bold prayers” and “audacious faith” if they are found to be self-serving and erroneous. The heretical Word Faith gospel was once a fringe movement, existing for most of us only on television. Today it resides in a great number of evangelical churches. Those who truly belong to Christ must nurture and exercise their God-given discernment in order to avoid being swayed by these devilish teachings.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Further Reading
WF Heretic Rod Parsley Calls Steven Furtick “One of Nation’s Most Influential Young Leaders”
James MacDonald Celebrates 35 Years of T.D. Jakes
Learning to Pray with Steven Furtick and Joel Osteen

The original appears right here.

Further reading