22 September 2011

Open Letter to Steven Furtick (2 of 2) (Doctrine Cop Remix)

by Frank Turk

Things I learned this week (in no particular order):

  • There are no decent videos of Guy Smiley from the Muppet Show on the internet, otherwise this video response would have been extremely brutal.  
  • iMovie 7 is not iMovie HD.  Sheesh -- what a massive step backwards.
  • If you attempt to install iMovie HD on your MacBook Pro, it won't run if iMovie 7 is installed -- but the installer will delete GarageBand for you and you better know where your install disk for iLife '08 is or pay the price.  $14.99 to be exact.
  • Syncing video to audio in iMovie 7 is like trying to jump on a rolling skateboard while wearing roller skates and carrying an egg in a teaspoon.  Wear a helmet.
  • Spell check titling before you render the video, otherwise you wind up with the word "RELEVENT" (sic) vexing you mightily.  Ugh.
  • There are a LOT of plug-ins for iTunes Visualizer, but only some of them actually deliver performance-quality video.  You are best served not to pay for any of them.
  • If you only need 180 seconds of video captured, anyone can do that.  If you need 5 minutes of video captured, you will likely have to spend some money.
  • If you think you can, in mid production, scrap your original idea and then produce a 5-minuted animated short using the soundtrack you already have, you must be drunk. (even if you are dry as a rock)  I don't care if you already own the software: you can't do it.
  • (unrelated to this video) I am a sucker for woot.com.

Dear Steven Furtick:


John N said...

I am suitably impressed and who cares about your flaws?

FX Turk said...

haters care about flaws.

donsands said...

Super fiv. Jesus is the Great Shepherd, and the Great Teacher. If there ever was a Man with a doctorate, Jesus was The Doctorate.

Doctrine is such a good word, thanks for focusing on it.
I pray Steven will see the truth in this truth in this video. Amen.

donsands said...

"Super fiv?" Man. I meant: Super vid!
It's still early here in Baltimore.

Stephen said...

Well, The Cheat would certainly have known not to delete iMovie HD when he installed iMovie 7. That is all...

Si Hollett said...

Rather than the ugly hate that Furtick's video is filled with, you went with gentleness and self-control.


FX Turk said...

My laptop came with iMovie 7, not iMovie HD. When I went to install HD (Monday), I almost killed myself when GarageBand had vanished and I didn't have a final mixdown of the soundtrack.


Robert Warren said...

Excellent, Frank. Also comforting to know that there are Mac users who will admit to aggravatingly insane experiences with their computers ;)

FX Turk said...

Being a Mac User is akin to being a radically-spoiled child. The 98% of the time when you get far more than you would dare to ask for makes the 2% of the time when there is a total and complete failure to deliver all the more unsatisfactory.

Nash Equilibrium said...

I also like the woot videos. Ben the Over-Literal Dermestid Beetle is my favorite character.

James Scott Bell said...

I like the first 2:30, which seems to address Mr. Furtick's original vid quite well. Very Tozerian, IMO.

I believe there is one typo at 2:45:

And Notice It the Answer It Gives
(Extra "It")

Pity about Guy Smiley. That would have been fun.

Mathew said...

Great video. I was laughing bc of the song and agreeing w your point. Plus how can you separate right doctrine from knowing God? Great job Frank

David Kyle said...

I hear you and your message to Steven Furtick and all I can think is... I am such a worm

Thom C said...

Great Video with an even greater message.

I was reading Jeremiah 36 this morning where Jeremiah was commanded to write the Words of God on a Scroll and have the Words read to the house of Judah. The Words were brought to Jehoiakim:

"It was the ninth month, and the king was sitting in the winter house, and there was a fire burning in the fire pot before him. As Jehudi read three or four columns, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot. Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments."
(Jeremiah 36:22-24 ESV)

The king refused to hear the Word of the Lord and judgement was proclaimed against him and Judah. To me, this is your attempt to reach Furtick and others like him wiht the message of God.

As one who came out of a SD (Seeker Driven) church, I fear for the men who lead these Churches. But the real tragedy is the countless people who are being deceived and told all is well when in fact, all is not well. I pray for those I left behind when I left the Church I was in as well as those who sit under the likes of Furtick.

Flaws? What flaws? By Gods merciful grace, our flaws (sins) are covered.

Jared Miller said...

Why does donsands "Super fiv" comment show up as the description text when pasted into Facebook from the Pyro URL?

FX Turk said...

because Don Sands is awesome

Adam said...

Hmmmm... trying to fit 16:9 Furtick into a 4:3 box? You were far too gentle.

Can't wait for the Perry Noble letter... as if there is any hope of reclaiming his "ministry".

David Regier said...


You don't just vent.

You rele-vent.

WV - gynxyg

Which is the sound I make when I chortle out my nose after making a bad pun.

FX Turk said...

Perry Noble? Why write a letter to Perry Noble? I wouldn't write a letter to Joel Osteen -- why write one to Perry Noble?

Unknown said...

That is very postmodern of you to call a video an open letter...

In my relatively short time being a christian, I can count on one thumb the times that "doctrine" has not been used as a pejorative. No matter how good the word is, I am not sure that doctrine is a word that can be rescued, yet what other word would be an able substitute?

I blame it on Monroe.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

It's easy to see how techno-video dudes can end up having no life; these things take a lot of time to do well! I suppose once you pass the learning curve it gets easier, but we always tend to want to top ourselves.

I think you do best in your own words, Frank--especially at the end of the video. I think the driving idea (that I gleaned from it) is that the incarnation is less to do with becoming like the world, and more to do with humble obedience to God. Modern day emergent and seeker types use the idea of incarnation as a reason to conform to the world, and hope that the world will in turn embrace Christ. (You know, like they did the first time He came, after the free food and health care turned into a message of taking up a cross.)

Rachael Starke said...

I was really hoping it was a video of you with a glued-on soul patch and one of those awesome sparkly Ed Hardy shirts all the cool pastors wear.

But I can't believe there's no Guy Smiley video on the Internet. That's a tragedy.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Good question.
"Beliefs" perhaps?
Let some heretic in training rail against people being overly focused on Beliefs. That should play well. :-0

Anonymous said...

People will always rail against doctrine/truth/standards/something solid and...and...and...

but good call Frank, both on the video and on Perry Noble. I think there is a time to call a brother back to the Word and a time to let him go, or even stop giving the benefit of the doubt (in Noble's case).

Furtick's wide spread (and growing) appeal is troubling, and a sign that, as Peter said, that so many are looking for someone who will tell them what they want to hear.
The hard part is that "loving people" and "changing the world" as defined by Furtick and Osteen and others, is easy;

Learning and believing real doctrine is more difficult;

Learning right doctrine and loving and serving people within that context and within clear doctrinal guidelines is more difficult still.

We don't like difficult, we people, so we love in a squishy way or we learn in a overly academic ivory tower way.
Too few of us learn and live in a James White/my wife's grandfather/Jesus-like kind of way.

Excellent video, well done.

I agree with Merrilee, that as good as the other audio was, you really communicate well in your own words.

Michael Adams said...

I find it so odd that when Dr. Piper said those words, how I had thought he was describing a picture perfect example of Rick Warren's church.

And yet how he could describe Warrens church to a "T" and yet later declare these very things taught at Warrens church as "solid."

Mathew said...

I'm curious. you said you would never write a letter to Noble but you wrote one to Steven Furtick. They seem like pals. What's the difference in your mind? Why write one to Furtick and not Noble though?

FX Turk said...

The simple answer: prognosis.

Robert Warren said...

I am not sure that doctrine is a word that can be rescued, yet what other word would be an able substitute?

Teaching. Jesus did a lot of it. In red letters and black.

Which is why I find it so perplexing that many people, when they hear the word doctrine, act like you've just handed them a DOS manual.

Allen Gregory said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Elizabeth Tyler said...

Nice video!

I think your next video should be titled "The Word for Dummies" that way no ones name gets mentioned, and you can rock their world all you want without any backlash.

David Rudd said...

having watched both videos, i think this video sums it up about as well as possible.

Eric said...


If you can't see substantial differences in those four, I question your discernment.

Tim said...

Eschew doctrine? It seems to me like Jesus embraced it! After all, isn't “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6) one of the most dogmatic statements ever uttered? Still, it seems to me that Mr. Furtick might label "Hater" anyone who insisted (and kept on insisting) on the truth and exclusivity of Jesus' claim, and rejected alternative theologies.

Good job bringing everything back to the importance of sound teaching based on God's truth, Frank. You have spoke the truth in love, and that helps us all to grow in him. (Eph. 4:15.)


Nick Rolland said...

(Head nodding in time to the music)

Nash Equilibrium said...

How do you manage the whole background song copyright thing when you make videos like this for YT? Is there a cheap licensing trick we all ought to know? Enlighten me, Master!

stonetoflesh said...


John N said...

Let's send Furtick an "I love haters" bumper sticker.

Scott Barber said...

I understood Furtick's video to be a criticism of ugly discernment ministries, rather than a criticism of holding to clear, catholic doctrine. "Haters" being those that use doctrine in the same way the pharisee's used the works of the law. I must admit to cringing as such "coolisms" as hater, player and the rest, but I say amen to calling out those who spend their lives attacking the work of God in various ministries.

donsands said...

"...I say amen to calling out those who spend their lives attacking the work of God in various ministries."-Scott

But you don't say amen to Steve Furtick, do you? I hope not.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Scott - 1. How do you know it's the work of God? 2. Are you saying there aren't dozens or even hundreds of "ministries" out there that are so seriously off-track in their teachings that they don't need someone to call them out? Your comment doesn't seem to make sense in the real world.

FX Turk said...

You don't use music with a restrictive license.

I doubt YT will buy that when they find it, but I bought the track with a user license for public performance. That's not Haddaway, but "in the style of Haddaway".

Tom Chantry said...

Haddaway had a style? Who knew?

James S said...

I don't think Guy Smiley did many appearances on The Muppet Show, if at all. He was a fixture on Sesame Street mainly. He may have been in some of the movies though.

Kat said...

I obviously do not see in the furtick video what YOU see in the furtick video. :) This is my take on it:
As Christians, we spend a lot of time as a WHOLE focusing on what we feel are inadequacies in other Christians. We do a lot of finger pointing and a lot of nitpicking on denominational MAN MADE PHILOSOPHIES and instead of serving CHRIST, we spend our energy wasting time on things that in the grand scheme of the world mean NOTHING.
If the Church as a whole spent less time moaning about how XYZ is wrong and more time SERVING THE LORD, (which is what is RIGHT) - how much more could influence the world FOR Christ?!?

As a Christian, I am tired of the negative rhetoric that swirls around my faith. And we bring so much of it on ourselves. :(

Robert Warren said...

It was only a matter of time...

May I have the honors?


Scott Barber said...

stratagem - Men and women are being baptized, the word of God is being preached, and the sacraments are being rightly administered; sinners are becoming saints.

Scott Barber said...

stratagem - I believe in picking up the phone, not in "calling people out" sitting in your parent's basement, on some blog (sorry if I'm being a bit ruff in writing this, but I think its more true than not). If they are going away from the Ecumenical Creeds, from the catholic and orthodox faith then we have problems. This is what I define as "seriously off-track". This is what the church has defined as such, since even before St. Vincent of Lerin's canon in the fifth century. But I prefer to give a bit of doctrinal grace to those fighting the good fight, running the good race, making disciples for our Lord. I also understand that I don't have perfect doctrine either, there are things I just haven't been given to understand.

Scott Barber said...

stratagem - Just wanted to make this point to balance out my previous comment a bit -- I love doctrine too! (I even get to teach it right now which is awesome). But doctrine has to be balanced with the life of the Holy Spirit or it dies instantly, and that is what I see in a lot of Furtick-like churches, the Holy Spirit working in the ministry, transforming inexperienced young preachers into mature gospel-centered expositors. Just wait and see what God does!

Anonymous said...

I gotta say how disappointed I am in this "open letter". I really thought Frank was going to bust out a freestyle rap with a hat on backwards! Maybe next time lol. Great vid. Thanks!

JR said...

A few things...

1 - All I could picture in my mind was Chris Kattan bobbing his head in those old SNL night club sketches...this awful song was the soundtrack if you remember.

2 - All I could do was picture Furtick as Christ Kattan. Intentional? I hope so.

3 - As videos go...stick to your day job. Or maybe there was some very intentional irony here. Using a bad video with good content (albeit a bad soundtrack) to refute a slick video with horrible content.

I see what you did there.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

@ Kat,

Like it or not, there is a good deal of negative rhetoric in the New Testament. The churches needed it then to keep the wolves out and the sheep going the right direction, and we still need it today for the same reasons.

While James states that faith without works is dead, that doesn't mean that "serving the Lord" is the highest end of man. We can passionately serve the Lord in a myriad of ways, while at the same time live with our personal lives in a sinful wreck. A non-believer can go on a mission trip and do all kinds of good things LIKE MINISTRY, and be convinced that they will hear the words "good and faithful," when instead they will hear "depart from Me," because they never knew God.

So how can a young person honor the Lord/keep their way pure? (Sounds like a chatecism question...could be you are about to hear some doctrine...) Psalm 119:6-19 is a good place to look for the answer.

Okay, I'll cut my sermon short by saying that a lot of churches have developed a philosophy of ministry/vision statement that centers on serving the Lord, and they grow and flourish with all kinds of enthusiastic people who want to make the world a better place, but they don't have the ears to hear sound teaching, and they are lacking in their understanding of what the Scriptures mean by what they say.

I lived it myself, friend. And no matter if a person's intentions are genuinely well-meaning, if their hearts are not grounded in an accurate understanding of Scripture, the fruit, if there is any, will likely be lousy.

donsands said...

"If they are going away from the Ecumenical Creeds, from the catholic and orthodox faith then we have problems."-Scott

How about TD Jakes speaking at Furtick's conference. He is also joined with others that could be ministers of righteousness in the 2 cor. 11 style:

"And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their BOASTED mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." 2 Cor. 11:12-15

The key word is boastful. This Furtick is quite arrogant and boastful, don't you agree?

Paul says: "If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness." 2 Cor. 11:30

Have a good day. And may our Lord be close to you.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Thanks Frank. You have taught me something! (not to imply, of course, that that was the only thing you have ever taught me)

Nash Equilibrium said...

Scott Barber

Thanks for the reply. You don't seem to recognize that there are lots of ministries out there that ARE seriously off-base, as you define it yourself. Most of the discernment ministries I know of focus on those. They can't just "call the person on the phone" because a lot of time, the people involved are quasi-christian celebrities, and are inaccessible and also resistant to criticism. Most of the time, the discernment ministry is trying to warn those who would listen to such a person, not correct the target heretic in question.

If you don't know the elementary facts listed above, it really makes me wonder if you have ever actually read things written by responsible discernment ministries. Pyro blog is such a ministry, for instance.

The truth is worth defending.

FX Turk said...

Hi Scott --

Now that my week is over and I have 10 minutes, let's consider your proposal. In your view, those who find Steven Furtick an unacceptable teacher and an unexceptable pastor would be guilty of violating definitions of unity which have existed "even before St. Vincent of Lerin's canon in the fifth century." That's an exciting line in the sand to draw -- it shows that those who claim to be "nicean christains" are giving up on the ludicrous idea that the Nicean creed & Council was a sign of unity, but obviously they can'y give up on unity or else they have to say, "huh. Guess I was actually wrong."

But let's test out your theorem. Let's assume that we should use Vicentian views of unity to address the case of a guy like Furtick who, frankly, has thumbed his nose at the larger church and the more-ancient church for his definitions of things like the Gospel and the local church and the Christian life. Here's what the Vincetian Canon says:

What then will the Catholic Christian do, if a small part of the Church has cut itself off from the communion of the universal Faith? The answer is sure. He will prefer the healthiness of the whole body to the morbid and corrupt limb. But what if some novel contagion try to infect the whole Church, and not merely a tiny part of it? Then he will take care to cleave to antiquity, which cannot now be led astray by any deceit of novelty. What if in antiquity itself two or three men, or it may be a city, or even a whole province be detected in error? Then he will take the greatest care to prefer the decrees of the ancient General Councils, if there are such, to the irresponsible ignorance of a few men.

When faced with a cult of personality, or a cult of division, one is obliged to follow the established tradition rather than the novelty of a new time.

Do you really think Furtick, by defining the Gospel in his video as the things we do which are the hope of a nation -- a statement so broad it could mean anything -- is not the sort of fellow the canon is talking about? If not, what would he have to say to be one of those fellows?

FX Turk said...

Strat --

You probably didn't learn much. My guess: if the video gets 3000-4000 view, YT will pull it because the music is not, inherently, podsafe music -- music with an opensource license.

Scott Barber said...

Hey Frank!

Been thinking about your comment, and made sure to give the video another watch. First off let me admit that I did not know that Furtick has had some sort of connection with T.D. Jakes. Though I still do not know the particulars of this relationship, using the agreed upon standard this would at least put pastor Furtick's understanding of Christianity in grave danger. I think we would both agree on that. To get back to the video in particular let me explain my understanding of what he is saying. I understand him to be teaching on methodology rather than theology: that through a methodology informed by love, and showing honor to those whom you disagree with, the "hope of the nation" (which I them assume to be the Christian gospel) will be restored. I think we can both agree that our methodology must be informed by our theology, and I understanding him to be critiquing a blogosphere whose methodology is more informed by the need to be right, than by the humble love of the gospel. Am I wrong in my understanding of his message? I very well might be. I understand that you are trying to help a young pastor become strong on doctrine and I hugely appreciate it. While the T.D. Jakes issue gives me definite pause, I still believe in giving his ministry grace until I am shown something decisive on the matter. in my view writing off a ministry is not something that is done in haste. I just don't see this video as a clear example of polluting the gospel.


AuntChrisi said...

Found this post today. Thanks for speaking for the Truth. I live in Charlotte, NC and have been looking for a church that is less about the show and more about God. Any recommendations? Thanks

Robert Warren said...


Someone who lives in Charlotte would probably give more/better info, but I did a couple of searches for you. Here are the results:

Founders-Friendly Churches:
The Founders is an organization of Confessional Baptists operating mainly in the SBC. These churches self-report their friendliness to the Founders, indicating they adhere to one of the major Baptist confessions (London, New Hampshire, etc). The list of Charlotte churches
can be found here

Also, NineMarks, an organization that promotes healthy churches, has a list of churches (also self-reported) that indicate they are committed to the "Nine Marks of a Healthy Church". Their list of these churches
around Charlotte is here

And since you're looking for a church, NineMarks has a brief summary of the
Nine Marks found in Mark Dever's book of the same name here.

The first list would be exclusively Baptist; the second list would likely have Baptist and conservative Presbyterian. Either way, I think you're likely to find a church that is serious about the Word of God. It's worth noting that both organizations have a disclaimer to the effect that they can't specifically guarantee the soundness of these churches.

When my wife and I were searching for a church, one thing that was very helpful was to listen to sermons from prospective churches from their websites. My advice is to try at least 3 sermons from a particular church to get a flavor of their seriousness about the Word. Then the visits you make to the church(es) might be more informed.

Finally, I would like to share with you a brief message from my Pastor
where he explains Expository Preaching
, which you might find helpful in evaluating how churches handle the Word.

I hope this gives you a good start.

Robert said...


I'm so disappointed that you didn't come up with some type of whimsical rhymes like Furtick did. I mean, isn't that what makes a good presentation? Who cares about content or any implications of the statements made?

Matt Hauck (郝柏昇) said...

This might be a little irrelevant, but who is the last preacher in the video? It sounded like my seminary professor...

Matt Hauck (郝柏昇) said...

Well, after watching your video from theNines I think I figured out the last voice in this video on Phi 2 is probably yours, Frank. No wonder it seemed so relevant to this topic; I was thinking, "What a find for a sound clip!"