Wretched Radio With Todd Friel – Steven Furtick’s pre-game ritual
The following is a transcript of a Wretched Radio Show podcast that was originally broadcast on Thursday August 30th 2012. If you want to listen to the full podcast the name of mp3 is WR2012-0830-Hr2 and if you subscribe to Wretched Radio podcasts you can download the mp3 from http://www.wretchedradio.com
You can watch the video of this transcript on youtube > http://youtu.be/9CFav9d_3lI
Steven Furtick, “Speaking God’s Word is really foreign to a lot of us.”
Todd Friel, “For a good reason. This is Wretched Radio. The voice that you are hearing is the very smooth styling’s of pastor Steven Furtick. This dude is a rockstar in evangelicalism. Mega church in North Carolina. This kid is big and he is everywhere and he put together a video explaining how he speaks the Word. Ring a bell? Speak the Word, speaking the Word. Word of Faith theology has been deemed heretical for an awfully long time. It is typically deemed in more extreme quarters, those people who are very overt. “Sow your seeds. Send in your money. God is going to make you rich.” Just remember that when you go out to the parking lot to your busted up pinto. It is coming this is going to be the year. The season of blessing. It is going to rain down from heaven this year. Keep giving.
This is Steven Furtick a lot of us have said boy this guy is starting to bend more to Word of Faith theology. One of his favourite preachers, in fact I think he says TD Jakes is his mentor. That is right. TD Jakes is one of his favourite preachers. So he must spend some time following after TD Jakes. So now as we listen to Steven Furtick let’s ask ourselves the question: if this is what one of the disciples is preaching what do you think the master is teaching? [Elephant sound] Hey who played that? Steven Furtick in a very subtle way is preaching basically Word of Faith theology. What he is describing is kind of an updated little twist on it, kind of closer to the truth but still on the wrong side of the line. He is describing in this video and we get to see it happening how exciting is that? How he goes about the business of touching his body in different parts and then speaking words over it to activate his faith.”
Steven Furtick, “The idea of speaking God’s Word is really foreign to a lot of us. I didn’t grow up hearing about speaking about God’s Word.”
Todd Friel, “That is because you went to a Baptist church when you were a kid. If I am not mistaken.”
Steven Furtick, “It kind of has a weird connotation for a lot of us.”
Todd Friel, “No it has a heretical connotation to a lot of us.”
Steven Furtick, “I want to show you how practically I speak God’s Word every time before I go out to preach. I have a ritual that I go through and I am pretty superstitious about it. I actually will not go out and preach until I have gone through this ritual.”
Todd Friel, “Hmm….superstitious about it and he won’t preach until he has done this. I just read a most fascinating article. It was put together by oh I know it was Ted Tripp. I get my moustaches confused all the time. No it was Paul Tripp. Sorry like I said it was Paul Tripp. Steven Furtick has his little ritual to make sure that he can activate his faith so that he can do his little rituals. So that he can really rock knock it out of the park.”
Steven Furtick, “Athletes have pregame rituals that they go through just to be able to go out and throw a ball around and so to me so if I am speaking God’s Word. That is so important to me that I am going to make sure I am in the right place every single time that I open my mouth to preach on behalf of Jesus.”
Todd Friel, “Paul Tripp – The Craft of Life Changing Preaching. Now we will get back to Steven Furtick’s ritual here in a moment. But I thought this was fascinating insight into preaching. Maybe you are not a preacher but you hear preaching.
“If you are developing an original content late on a Saturday evening,” writes Paul Tripp, “You have no business preaching it on Sunday. It’s unlikely that you will have understood the full range of the radical gospel glories of the passage, it’s doubtful that they have confronted your heart, and it’s unlikely that you have developed much readiness to communicate them winsomely and practically to your listeners.”
Todd Friel, “And then he saidthis, Paul Tripp, “At that late hour you will settle for a surface scan of the passage and call it a sermon. You will pirate the work of others,”
Todd Friel, “And I thought to myself this is a wise word from Paul Tripp. Get the thing to put together to slap this thing. We have got to get the sermon done and I am thinking of all the pastors who are doing thumbs up messages for the dosed group. I think the service can be used fine wisely to get some information where you need some help with research. But their whole attitude was hey who has got time for sermons? We have got the dosed group and woo does it save me? That is not the way a sermon should be prepared.
Paul Tripp, “Your people will think they are growing in maturity because they are growing in theological understanding; but your preaching will not bring them to the end of themselves and to the cross. We must always, always remember that the theology of the Word of God is not an end in itself, but a means to an end—a radically grace-transformed life.”
Todd Friel, “So quick prep banging it out on sigh, I think I got it good to go. Uh ah ah. So your content needs to be considered. But then there is a second essential aspect to preaching that Paul brings out and that is the craft of communication. Now think about those people who are saying hey I call up the dosed group, they get me the stuff. Bing bang boom I get it.”
Paul Tripp, “We must meditate, pray, labour, and wrestle with how to communicate the truths you now understand to the particular people in your care.”
Todd Friel, “This all takes time. It takes time to practice the sermon. Think it through and if you wait until Saturday you don’t have time to develop the communication aspect of the sermon. You are just going to up there and the analogy that he gives, it is like a thanksgiving dinner. You don’t just okay you have got all the elements and then the guests arrived. Throw it on the table. No you have got to put it together. You have got to cook it. You have got to put the components together and then present it and the same thing is true with a sermon. There is time required. My concern about the videos that I saw for the dosed group are that there is just scant attention and concern given to the sermon. That hey you have got to spend some time prepping this, practicing it so that you can work on phrasing and go you know what that is not communicating it well. I have got to do better. Oh that looked good on paper but it is not happening here when I am speaking it. Oh I have been living it for a week and now I can actually say what this really does because I have experienced it. If you are rushing if you are hurrying, you are not doing anybody including yourself any favours. Preparation for sermons is crucial.
Steven Furtick on the other hand goes about preparing for a sermon by anointing himself with oil and speaking words.”
Steven Furtick, “I will take my bottle of anointing oil and anoint my hands and then I will get down on my knees and I will start by putting my hands on my feet and I speak different scriptures as I am touching different parts of my body and again this may seem really weird to you.”
Todd Friel, “Yep.”
Steven Furtick, “But it is the way that I transport my thought process to a higher level. To really get my faith invigorated to go out and do what God has called me to do.”
Todd Friel, “To get my faith invigorated, I don’t even know for sure that means. Ask yourself this question: is the power in the Word? Well you have got to answer that question and say yes, of course there is power in the Word. The question though that follows that question is where does the power come from? Be pondering that question as you listen to Steven Furtick anointing himself and speaking words.”
Steven Furtick, “So when I touch my feet, I speak the scriptures and I say God thank you that my feet are shard with the preparation of the gospel of peace. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.” (Psalm 118:26) Then I touch my belly and I pray this scripture. God I thank you that you have not given me a spirit of fear. But of power and of love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Todd Friel, “Now part of what he is doing I actually like. He is praying the scriptures if you will. There is a book called Praying the Scriptures. I like it a lot. You are basically quoting back to God what He Himself has inspired men to write. I like that because then my prayers are guided by the Word of God and I am praying more in alignment with God’s will. That is how we should be praying. That is what it means to pray in Jesus name, in alignment with what He is thinking, with what He is desiring, what His will is and so the more I can be guided by the Word the better. So I like that concept. But I think Steven Furtick is describing something way beyond that, way behind praying the scriptures which guide my mind into rightly praying.”
Steven Furtick, “And I speak all of this stuff out loud because I want actually to create an atmosphere of God’s Word around me.
Todd Friel, “What is that? See that is different than praying the scriptures. I want the atmosphere. I don’t even know what he is saying.”
Steven Furtick, “of God’s Word around me and it is a very special time to me. I touch my heart and I say LORD I thank you that from my heart flow the issues of life. So would you purify my heart and give me your motives as I go to speak.”
Todd Friel, “Again praying scriptures fine. But this borders into Word of Faith and it borders quite honestly into paganism.”
Steven Furtick, “From by the time I have gone through that whole process. I am bold. I am established. God’s Word has come forth through my mouth and now my faith is activated and I am ready to engage with what God has called me to do.”
Todd Friel, “There is power in the Word, where does that power come from?”
Steven Furtick, “You know it is a powerful, powerful thing. God told Joshua do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth. But meditate on it day and night that you may have success wherever you go. If we are going to pray a sun stand still prayer, if we are going to…”
Todd Friel, “That is the name of his book you – Sun Stand Still. You know Joshua prayed sun stand still and it did. You can pray audacious prayers and they will happen. So in order for that to happen in Word.”
Steven Furtick, “Audacious faith, speaking the Word activates faith.”
Todd Friel, “So my speaking the Word activates my faith. There is power in the Word, where does that power come from?”
Steven Furtick, “If you align your mouth with God’s Words and you begin to speak what God says. You begin to see as He sees and that lifts your living to a new level and that enables your faith to rise up to the level of God’s truth.”
Todd Friel, “Alright this is different than praying God’s Word. Alright I am just going to open up the Bible rather randomly. Let’s go to Philippians. This is the end of Philippians. In fact there should be a benediction at the end.”
“Peace be to the brethren and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.”
Todd Friel, “Alright now how could I pray that? Lord would you please grant peace to the brethren and love with faith? From you, not a worldly love, not a Hollywood love but a love that is from you – a sacrificial love. A love because we have loved. Give grace to those who love our Lord Jesus Christ and so now as we for instance, we were talking last hour about the Christians and well not even Christians who are being crucified by Muslims. Would you grant them grace? Would you grant peace? So I am praying the scripture to guide my thoughts, to organize my thoughts in alignment with God’s will. The end that is good. That is right to do. Steven Furtick is describing something different. My mouth activates power. My mouth activates faith. It is my speaking them that makes them powerful. Now is there power in the Word? Yes but it doesn’t come from me speaking it. It comes from where? The Holy Spirit, one of the things that we talk about at The Psalm 119 Conference, tickets available at wretchedradio.com coming up in Apple Creek, Ohio and in Dallas, Texas. Find out more at wretchedradio.com.
It is that it is the primary work of the Holy Spirit is done through the Word. The convicting of sin, righteousness and judgement, where does that come from the Word? How does He teach us? Through the Word, how does He lead us through the Word? How does He enlighten us? Through the Word, how does He illuminate us? Through the Word. His work is so closely aligned with the Word which is about Jesus who is the Word – that they are really inseparable. If an individual and there are plenty of them who is actually not a Christian, gets up and preaches a beautifully delivered sermon. Theologically on point, does it have power? Well according to Steven Furtick it wouldn’t. Because the power for Steven and other Word of Faith people comes from you believer, that is not where the power comes from. I have no unction ability. God can grant me unction of fervour to preach the Word. But my fervency doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t do anything by itself.
The Holy Spirit uses the words that I or a rank heretic frankly preaches to convict an individual of sin, righteousness and judgement and to regenerate the individual. The power of the Word is not based on the deliverer of the Word who has varying degrees of faith. The power that is within the Word comes from within the Holy Spirit. That is the power. That is how people get taught. Not because of the teacher. But because of the Spirit working with the words that are preached by the preacher, this is so easy just to dissemble. What about an individual who opens up the Bible and reads it? Okay there the Word has been spoken. Does it have any power? Of course it does. Because whether it is read, whether it is heard, the power does not come from a person speaking it.
The power comes from the Holy Spirit working in it and so Steven Furtick while somewhat more subtle than other Word of Faith preachers is still teaching wrong theology about Word of Faith doctrine. This should concern us greatly. He has embraced if you look he is being embraced by many of the new, this new charter of mainstream evangelicals who are embracing him. Take a look and see who is giving thumbs up to this fellow and this fellow is Word of Faith and this fellow is hanging out with TD Jakes. He loves TD Jakes. TD Jakes is one of his absolute favourite….[Elephant sound] Alright is one of his absolute favourites. He is a mentor. He is a hero and these guys are now being embraced by some hero’s in evangelicalism. Uh oh we have a problem and if somebody doesn’t start making corrections and speaking out about this. Do you know how many people are going to be deceived? Oh yeah they already are. [Elephant sound] Hey. This is Wretched Radio.”