The longer we go on watching the ‘watchers’ at Churchwatchcentral, the more their doctrine is revealed, even when they are attempting to hide it with generalisms.
We know they are predominantly Reformed theologists, with a touch of cessationist Lutheranism when they reference the ramblings of their pirate radio amigo, Chris Rosebrough.
We have, over time, highlighted several misrepresentations of scripture as they surface in their articles.
Here is another howler regarding their understanding of eternal predestination, a subject they should know considering their flirtation with Reformed theology, and the sonship of saints.
In an article aimed at discrediting Steven Furtick (again), they make some interesting observations. They start with the following inaccurate and hugely condescending comment.
Steven Furtick is internationally recognized as King of the Narcigetes for a good reason: he seems to only read himself into the biblical text.
No. Steven is not internationally recognised in this way at all.
He is being defamed by churchwatcher as such, but insulting a person is not the same a pronouncing a truth.
The reality is that Steven is an internationally recognised gospel communicator, known for being gifted in articulating lifestyle teaching from scripture.
The term ‘narcegete’ is invented by self-promoting critics like churchwatcher as an epithet for what they consider narcissistic exegesis, or, according to their contrived definition, ‘A biblical hermeneutic where one reads themselves into the bible and writes God out of it.’
Well, that is a false accusation, for sure. It sounds clever, but it’s actually a misnomer. Steven Furtick is certainly not removing God from the text or from his exegesis. He is pointing people to the will of God to help them see things in the light of the Word.
Everything in the teaching is pointing to the promises of God, and to the example of Christ. Furtick is illustrating his point by showing us how Jesus dealt with temptation. How that is excluding God is anyone’s guess, unless churchwatchcentral now deny the deity of Christ.
As for a minister of God reading himself into a biblical text, isn’t that what the biblical text is, to a large extent, for? We are not excluding God when we apply the Word to our lives. We are glorifying Him. He gave us His words so that we could glorify the Father as He did. Jesus sent us as He was sent, with the same Word.
John 17:8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
John 17:17-18 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
Yes, it’s abundantly true that the scriptures point us to faith in God and to the Christ, but they also speak about the interaction of God and His people, and contain, not only the the history of Israel, and God’s dealings with them and the Church in the New Testament, but the undeniable truth that He is mostly admonishing us to learn from Him how to be renewed in Christ, and to live a godly life in His midst.
As Jesus says in John 17:14, “I have given them Your word.” And, as Paul reminds us in Romans 15:4, ‘whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.’
Doers of the Word
Remember that both Jesus and James admonished us that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. In fact, James tells us, those who hear the Word but do not do the Word are deceiving themselves.
The Word was given to us as examples, from the Old to the New Testament, of how to live this life.
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Examples of what? Of how we should operate under God’s leadership, in His will, and His instruction.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
So our completion, or maturity in Christ, is dependent on following the instructions, admonition, correction and guidance found in scripture, with Christ as our chief example of how to live this life under the will and leadership of the Spirit.
In other words, we are admonished to write ourselves into the text of scripture so that we can apply the truth to our lives.
This is not narcissistic. It is an imperative. We are not to focus on ourselves but on Christ in us the hope of glory. Following the instructions in scripture and applying it to our redeemed lives is part of our worship.
Romans 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Furtick is teaching people how not to focus on themselves, but to allow the Word and Spirit of God to come to the fore in their lives. He is teaching them how to be the sons and daughters of God.
Live by God’s Word
The very passage Furtick is speaking from in Luke 4 tells us that we live by the Word of God.
Luke 4:4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “ It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”
Well, that should have been a clue, don’t you think? We live by every Word of God. As David, the Psalmist said, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” And “The entrance of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
Even the Roman centurion whose servant Jesus healed had a better handle on the Word than churchwatcher.
Matthew 8:8-10 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘ Come, ’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “ Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
Speak the Word. What else would you do with the Word?
How the chooks misrepresent truth
Then churchwatchcentral accuse Furtick of making himself the Messiah because he says he is the son of God. This is misrepresentation of what Furtick is actually saying, and they know it.
That’s really the point, isn’t it? Churchwatchcentral deliberately misrepresent what a speaker is saying on so many occasions that they actually believe their own false premise, which was the subject Furtick was addressing. If the premise is wrong, the accusation must, therefore, be wayward and illegitimate.
This is what Furtick says, as repeated by churchwatcher himself.
“If you are the son of god? You don’t have to tell me who I am! I know who I am. I’ve always been the Son of God. I’ve always been a child of God. In fact I just spoke with my Father this morning and He reminded me that He loves me and that He’s pleased with me!
I’m not the ‘son of God of God+’ that you say I am! I’m a son of God because god says I am. I’m not confident because of what I can do, I am confident because of what God says He WILL do! I’m not forgiven because I’ve earned acceptance, I’m forgiven because god says He has forgi- help me preach!
I’m not going to do it because I think I can, I am doing it because God says I can!”
What is Furtick doing, here? He is repeating the scripture where Jesus is being led of the Spirit into the desert and tempted of the devil.
Jesus is using the Word of God to resist the devil. He is teaching us how to apply the Word when temptation comes our way. He reminds us that we do not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from God. In other words, the answer to our times of temptation and testing is the Word of God. ‘It is written.’
Furtick is applying the Word to the situation. He is resisting the devil by reminding him of the promises of God. Furtick is also reminding himself, to help put a gulf between the devil’s temptation and the will of God in his life.
The Word of God is what separates us from temptation. Speaking it enhances our ability to resist. Again, this is Furtick’s message. The promises reveal the will of God through the Word of God.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God.
In the second paragraph written above, Furtick is addressing the congregation, not the devil. He says to them, ‘help me preach’. He is reminding them, and himself, that he is a son of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
In his transcript, churchwatcher uses a lower case letter for ‘god’. Furtick, of course is referring to God, with a capital. This shows the depths to which churchwatcher is prepared to sink.
What does chookwatcher attempt to do with his false interpretation of what Furtick is teaching? He is trying to make the devil into the god Furtick is speaking to.
What churchwatcher does is not only a misrepresentation of what is being taught, but it is tantamount to blasphemy. Jesus warned against it. Churchwatcher is illegitimately trying to convince the reader that the devil is god.
Sons of God
But the main error displayed by churchwatcher is the claim that we are not the sons of God when we are saved. He criticises Furtick for saying he is the son of God.
‘Furtick applies the title ‘the Son of God‘ to himself. This can be considered a slip up. But…’
But what? Churchwatcher knows exactly what Furtick is saying. He is telling his audience that, as sons of God, they can apply the same principles of the Word to their circumstances when being tempted as Jesus did by using the Word of God to resist the devil.
Notice how churchwatcher now reverts to capitals for ‘Son of God’ in this instance.
Furtick actually says he is ‘a son of God’, so, even if his first thought, that he was ‘the’ son of God, was a slip, he has already corrected himself. He was moving from what Jesus was saying to the devil as the Son of God, to what God reminded Furtick of when he was facing temptation. Easily done.
Only a very determined, hair-splitting, mean-spirited, mealy-mouthed critic would miss the point of what Furtick is teaching to attempt a gotcha for a contrived, condemning article.
Furtick is clearly teaching from the standpoint of sonship. His reference point is that we are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Jesus Christ. There is so much scripture on this that we do not have enough space to add it all here, but the truth is that those who have received Christ are now the sons of God.
Galatians 3:26-27 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
We have put on Christ. ‘Christ’ is another word for ‘Messiah’. We have put on Messiah. We are, therefore, sons, just as Jesus is the Son of God, so we are sons of God.
Galatians 4:6-7 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
We have the Spirit of His Son in our hearts. The Spirit of Messiah is in our hearts. That is why we call God ‘Abba, Father’.
John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Born of God. Born again. God is our Father. We are His sons through faith in Christ.
Furtick is entirely correct to deal with the temptations of the devil on the basis of sonship. He is correct to apply the Word of God to his situation based on the promises of God.
Ignorance of scripture
The ignorance of scripture and doctrine shown by churchwatcher is astonishing for someone who claims the right to criticise church leaders on such a scale.
He doesn’t realise that we were chosen as sons from before the foundation of the earth. Even though he holds to predestination teaching from a Reformed standpoint regarding the elect of God he hasn’t put together that Furtick is saying that we were chosen in Christ from before the creation.
Ephesians 1:3-6 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Accepted in the Beloved as sons of God. Sons and heirs. Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.
Has churchwatcher not understood that we were in Christ when He rebuked the devil with scripture?
Has he not worked it out that whatever Christ did or said we were in Him when it took place? Did he not believe Christ when He said that the things He did we would do also?
John 14:12-13 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Ask yourself this question: what is the Word for ? Is it not to be spoken? What do we do with words? We utter them. We declare them. We confess them. We have the same spirit of faith, therefore we speak. If we are, like our Saviour, Jesus, sons of God, should we not speak the same words He did, and should we not have the same results?
This doesn’t make us the Messiah. It places us in the Messiah. We have the same Spirit. The Spirit of Christ, the Messiah.
1 Corinthians 2:12-13 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
These things we also speak.
Those things that happened to Israel under the Old Covenant were written for our examples, for our admonition, so that we would not fall for the same temptations they did in the wilderness.
We do not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. Where is that Word?
Romans 10:8 “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach).
The Word is in our mouth and in our heart. The Word is to be spoken. We are sons and daughters of the Almighty. We speak the language and gospel of the Father.
Chookwatcher is, as we have seen, promoting cessationist theology, silencing and separating women from the Body, and now he is trying to deter us from seeing ourselves as sons of God whilst attempting to prevent us from speaking the Word of God in faith.
The error list is lengthening.
Psalms 119:158 I see the treacherous, and am disgusted, because they do not keep Your word.