Steven Furtick, the 34-year-old pastor of Elevation Church in North Carolina, came under fire last week as critics accused him of planting people in his audience to boost his number of "spontaneous" baptisms, calling them a "miracle." According to The Christian Post, Furtick angrily shot back at his critics during his Saturday night service this past weekend, fervently denying the accusations, then went on to baptize 400 people that same night.
"For the record, we have never planted anybody in our church to pretend to be baptized. I'm too scared of God to do something like that," declared Furtick during the service. Yet, In his Spontaneous Baptism How-to-Guide, Steven Furtick tells this: ( a copy of the Guide can be found here)
Audience (15) 15 people will sit in the worship experience and be the first ones to move when Pastor gives the call.
1. Sit in the auditorium and begin moving forward when Pastor Steven says go.
2. Move intentionally through the highest visibility areas and the longest walk.
(Editor note: If he wasn't using the 15 people as "dummy" converts, then why didn't he announce to the audience to follow those 15 people as guides? Honestly sounds like "word play" in my humble opinion).
"If you want to pick on my house, OK. But it's a different territory when you start picking on people who made a decision to be baptized for Jesus Christ," Furtick continued. "To take the fact that we have volunteers that lead the way so people will know where to go and to act as if they were pretending to be baptized and to negate the sincere faith decision of precious people who had one of the most meaningful experiences of their life, that's just sick!" he said.
(Editor note: Why would Furtick call the Church "my house"? Could this be a "Freudian Slip"? I always considered a house of worship to be God's house?
Elevation Church welcomes more than 16,000 people to services every Sunday. Furtick founded the church in 2006 with a group of eight families. It now meets in seven locations in the Charlotte metro area and one satellite campus in Toronto.