On Monday January 16th, I sat down to watch Matt Chandler speak at the Code Orange revival conference at Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church, on Apprising Ministries website. I was actually very surprised. Apprising Ministries is a discernment ministry that usually focuses on bad news. They have done a lot of good work exposing the errors of the Emerging/Emergent church and the New Apostolic Reformation, and I expected a clip exposing more error from that camp.
What I got was a clear, powerful, gospel presentation! I kept listening and waiting for a big error and all I got was truth. By the time it was done all I could do was say “Praise the Lord” even Steven Furtick’s church can’t stop the gospel!
Truthfully, I can’t endorse everything that Mr. Chandler is involved with, but what I saw in this presentation was the simple truth of the gospel. There were some hints of Calvinism, but really what he was talking about is the one thing that all blood-bought, born-again Christians have in common. Calvinists, Arminians, and Biblicists, all look to the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross. Without the gospel of Jesus Christ, you actually can’t have Christianity, or salvation!
Amazing! A clear, accurate, powerful presentation of the gospel and Elevation Church won’t allow it to be presented on YouTube?
What happened? According to a twitter post from Geoff Schultz, an Elevation Church staffer, the ministry team at Elevation decided that they would rather “focus on Jesus”!
Here’s a screenshot (courtesy of Apprising Ministries) of Schultz’ Facebook wall:
Must be another Jesus!
I can tell you this; The Holy Spirit is all about pointing people to the cross of Jesus Christ! He would never lead any church to suppress a sermon like this! Must be another spirit!
It appears that the incident is because Matt Chandler made some remarks about Elevation Church that were mild rebukes of that organization. I didn’t hear anything that I considered offensive, and I really didn’t hear anything that I would characterize as a rebuke at all. But, maybe I’m a little thick that way. What was said was done in a loving manner, but pride often gets the better of people, even Christians.
As Matt Chandler said “It’s not about you, It’s about Jesus!”
Chris Rosebrough, of Pirate Christian Radio, has done an excellent commentary, and follows it up with the complete sermon by Matt Chandler.
See the following link at Pirate Christian Radio here
Unfortunately for the attendees, since Matt Chandler was one of the first of the conference to speak, and because of all the narcissistic preaching of the others, most will forget this important sermon.
I watched some of Stovall Weems speak on Wednesday night, and I must say I don’t understand why he has 10,000 people attend his services. Actually, maybe I do understand. He makes them feel good about themselves. He tickles their ears.
I’m sorry, he makes me nauseated. He gets the crowd all worked up, and then slips in little heresies, and they don’t seem to notice. His reference to tithing is a problem. The tithe was meant for Israel, and was not commanded for Christians. Christians are the body of Christ. Christ indwells us through the Holy Spirit, which is a totally different relationship to God, than Israel ever had! We are not under law! An excellent book on tithing, every Christian should read is Tithing, Low Realm, Obsolete, and Defunct by Matthew Narramore.
When heresies like this are repeated frequently in Christian Churches, the repetition dulls our senses. We hear it so often that it sounds Christian. But it isn’t! This isn’t to say that it doesn’t work. Of course it works, that is why they keep on doing it. Fill the coffers by making the congregation feel guilty. This way you don’t actually have to be faithful to the Word of God, and church becomes a business!
The truth is that every born-again Christian is a child of God. We want to give because we want to be a part of our Father’s business, but the bible specifies no minimum nor maximum percentage. If you are saved you will reap proportionally to what you sow, and if you are not saved, giving to the church will not save you! When so many Churches teach so many errors, we are left with the question; is it, or is it not, the Lord’s business?
I am having a hard time with this guy. He says that Jesus is so attractive that living a spiritual life is easy? Putting the flesh to death becomes easy when we get infatuated with Jesus? Why then, did Paul say “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) I don’t think anyone was ever more infatuated with Jesus than Paul! No, dying is not easy, and Christians have to die to self daily. We aren’t always successful.
“God likes you” says Stovall Weems. As the author of Do Not Be Surprised said, “this place will be full of narcissistic preaching”. She was right. There is no hint in Scripture that God “likes” us. There is ample evidence that we were all born as objects of His wrath, deserving only Hell and judgment! “Love” and “like” are two different things. The bible was written to show us that God loves us, wretched, miserable, unlikeable creatures, and desires to save us from the doom we so richly deserve.
It is about Him! It is His love that is so remarkable.
For those who receive the salvation He offers everyone, God will change us so we look like His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. When we are like Jesus, when we have put off this corruptible body, then God may actually like us, but that won’t happen while we live in fleshly bodies on this earth.
I have been in conservative churches, and in more liberal ones, and I am getting more, and more alarmed. The doctrines I see being taught in both kinds of churches are more similar than they are different, and they are less and less bible based.
In chapter 3 of The Spirit of Prophecy I examined the modern trend of Christian apostasy. That chapter was just an overview, the tip of the iceberg if you will. The rot is spreading fast. This is a sign of the soon return of Jesus Christ!
See also the following links: