May 10, 2016 by Will Maule

John MacArthur's Church Attacks Steven Furtick: "He's Unqualified"

Elevation Church pastor Steven Furtick has just released his new book 'Unqualified,' and many appear to be loving it. A quick glance at the Amazon reviews boasts 5-stars across the board. But Cameron Buettel at Grace To You does not share the same sentiment. "Pastoral qualifications aren’t a mystery—they’ve been clearly and definitively spelled out in Scripture," he writes of Furtick's assertion that we can be unqualified and in ministerial leadership. 

When pastor John MacAthur was asked about Furtick in a 2012 conference he simply stated "Unqualified," and it appears that this remark was the inspiration for Furtick's book title. "Furtick proves MacArthur’s point by not addressing or even referring to those biblical requirements," writes Buettel. "It is frankly astounding that in a book ostensibly defending Furtick’s qualifications that Timothy and Titus are nowhere to be found!" 

So does Furtick know or care what it means to be Biblically qualified? "Furtick almost exclusively relies on his own opinions and experience to argue his case in Unqualified," writes Buettel. Most Christians would argue that we are all unworthy and in need of God's grace in order to be qualified. "Instead, Furtick seems intent on eradicating those feelings of unworthiness. He also departs from the biblical remedy of repentance and faith in favor of self-esteem therapy," writes Buettel

"Throughout Unqualified there is no sense of sin’s eternal penalty, man’s depravity, or the true source of man’s value in God’s eyes. We’re not all special snowflakes, inherently precious and valuable. Instead, our true value as God’s people lies only in the immense price Christ paid to purchase redemption for unworthy sinners: “Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life . . . but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18–19; cf. 1 Corinthians 7:23)."

"So not only does Furtick completely miss the point of John MacArthur’s critique, he is also tone deaf to the clear instruction of Scripture. In fact, his handling of Scripture in Unqualified only serves to further prove John’s point."

"A pastor must be “able to teach” God’s Word (1 Timothy 3:2), laboring “in the word and doctrine” (1 Timothy 5:17 KJV), and “a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). On that point alone, Steven Furtick supplies us with ample proof that he is unqualified to stand in a pulpit and has no business shepherding the flock of God."

Read the full article here. Or buy Unqualified here.

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