Why is Steven Furtick Acting Like a Cult Leader?

Elevation Church pastor Steven Furtick has been in the news lately, and especially last week, when a Charlotte, NC, TV station did an expose on their “spontaneous baptisms.” Also brought to light was their curious children’s Sunday School coloring book featuring an image of Furtick with some cult-like propaganda.

Charlotte pastor Steven Furtick and his Elevation Church are making waves this week as more is revealed about Elevation’s odd fixation on their “Lead Pastor” as well as some of the questionable practices of the church, including “spontaneous baptism.” Indeed, many people are sounding the alarm and calling Pastor Furtick a “cult-leader in the making,” though Elevation Church describes him as a visionary they need to unequivocally support.

Reformation 21’s Todd Pruitt and Matthew Paul Turner both share a page from Elevation’s Sunday school coloring book that’s been circulating around. The image depicts the Elevation congregation looking up at Furtick in the pulpit. The text reads, “We are united under the visionary,” and “Elevation Church is built on the vision God gave Pastor Steven. We will protect our Unity in Supporting His Vision.”

Of this, Matthew Paul Turner writes, “While the grownups are listening to Pastor Steven preach, the little ones are in Sunday school learning about “unity.” I actually cringed when I saw this. Not even the fundamentalist church I was raised in featured coloring pictures of our pastor. There’s nothing good or holy or trustworthy about this kind of b.s. It’s dangerous religion. It’s the kind of evangelical brainwashing that all of us should be calling out. This should make us angry. Because its wrong. And because it’s not Christianity.”

Several bloggers are also sharing this info-graphic produced by Elevation Church that includes the following statements:

1. We serve a Lead Pastor who seeks and hears from God.
3. We serve a Lead Pastor we can trust.
7. We serve a Lead Pastor who pours into us spiritually and professionally.
16. We serve a Lead Pastor who goes first.

Pruitt writes, “This is frightening stuff. We have a Lord who came not to be served but to serve (Matt 20:28). And yet at Elevation it is plain that “Pastor Steven” is the boss who expects to be served…I have not read language like that since the last thing I read about North Korea. Why would a church allow such cult-like manipulation?”

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