Editor’s note. Apparently, this story came out in early 2018, but received little traction and barely a mention. The story was written up before we were able to place the clip. It is not current, but it has value in being achieved. Posting for posterity.
Steven Furtick has corrected and rebuked a campus pastors for telling new converts readying to pray the sinner’s prayer ‘I believe without a doubt that Jesus is Lord’, arguing that it is sinful to give them that false confidence and assurance, declaring they would be lying if they professed that certainty.
Recently showcased again on preachers vs sneakers by racking up his condemnation for love of clothing that costs more than most people’s rent, the newly minted star of the hive of scum and heresy known as TBN recounts a teaching opportunity he had with a church pastor in an unearthed 2017 Christmas sermon.
Furtick reminisces on a campus pastor that was giving an altar call and was leading a potential convert through the sinner’s prayer. This was done so that the newly minted Christian might have a moment where they could look back and say ‘that’s when I put my trust in Christ.’
Furtick calls that prayer a ‘sacred moment’ positioning it as a moment between man and creator and that “It’s not a time for someone who’s preaching to start sharing their opinions.”
Furtick elaborates why he was so upset with the actions of his underling.
“And now while I believe this campus pastor meant well, but what he said I had to correct him on later. And I’m not a mean guy. And I make mistakes up here too, but to me he made a really big mistake when he was praying the prayer.
Because he was inviting the people to pray and he said “if you want to give your heart to Christ today, and know for sure that you have a relationship with him, pray this. “Lord Jesus, I believe that I’m a sinner in need of a savior, and I believe, without a doubt….”
Furtick zeroes in on that particular expression.
“That’s the part he should have left out. ‘I believe, without a doubt, that Jesus Christ is the son of God and the savior of the world, today I give you my life.’
All of it was good, all of it was appropriate. ‘And there is no other way to be saved but to confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, believe in your heart God raised him from the dead you shall be saved.’
But that one parenthetical insert ‘without a doubt..’.
I told him ‘never again, when you stand in the pulpit at Elevation, do I want you to put people in a position where you’re telling them to pray something that they can’t honestly pray. As a matter of fact, don’t put them in a position to pray something that you can’t honestly pray.’
Because there is not one of you in the room, even with tabs in your pink bible, that can honesty say ‘without a doubt’. Not one of you.
Furtick’s theological reasoning that a pastor should discourage a *new convert* from believing *without a doubt that Jesus is Lord?* is certainly a novel, if completely wretched take.
A full, robust response has been posted here.