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One of the things we are lacking today in politics, sports, education, churches and etc. are people in positions that are not afraid to be godly leaders. We are lacking people in these positions who have wisdom and discernment. Today, churches are more concerned about not offending anyone with biblical truth. For example:

The largest church in Charlotte, Elevation Church, their senior pastor, Steve Furtick, issued this statement about what how they were going to deal with Easter. Here was their Easter invite to the community of Charlotte: “For us, the most important thing on Easter is inviting people to church. This means reaching people for God. So, we’re not going to use the words Calvary, Resurrection, or the phrase “the blood of Jesus.” We won’t use language that will immediately make someone feel like an outsider” (Source:

Just when I thought I had heard it all, and Steve Furtick at Elevation Church is embarrassed and ashamed to talk about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, I guess soon they will be promoting Easter egg hunts and the Easter bunny because that is really what Easter is about, right!? They probably will no longer use certain statements by Jesus because they might offend someone. 

There are two men who ministries I have admired: Billy Graham and Rick Warren. Both have huge ministries that bring in millions of dollars and yet, neither man keeps any of that money for themselves. They put it all back into their ministries. Rick Warren’s publisher said that once his book, The Purpose Driven Life,” was selling faster than they could print it, he had all that money go into their AIDS Ministry in Africa. Even though his book publisher said to him, “Rick, you are now a multi-millionaire,” he did not go live like one. 

When Rick and his wife Kay moved out to Southern California to start Saddleback Community Church, they bought a 1,600 square foot house. Nearly 50 years later, guess what? They still live in that same 1,600 square foot house. Billy Graham had a modest home as well in Montreat that is just over 2,500 square feet. Now compare this to Steve Furtick, he from all his book sales and discipleship materials he markets, he went and bought himself and his family a 16,000 square foot house. Who do you think is building their kingdom verses God’s kingdom?

Here are some verses Steve Furtick and Elevation church might no longer use:

  • John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (ESV). We don’t want anyone to think Jesus is the only way to salvation and heaven, would we?
  • Matthew 16:24-26, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. (25) For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (26) For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (ESV).
  • Matthew 10:34-39, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (35) For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. (36) And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. (37) Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (38) And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of me. (39) Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (ESV). 
  • Matthew 19:23-24, “And Jesus said to His disciples, `Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. (24) Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God’” (ESV).
  • Luke 9:23-26, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. (24) For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. (25) For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? (26) For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (ESV).

I have always been guarded about naming churches and/or their pastors who I disagree with their approach. I disagree with Steve Furtick and Elevation Church for their Easter message of not wanting to offend anyone.  To me, you can’t talk about the death of Jesus via crucifixion either if you refuse to talk about the Resurrection of Jesus. As I said in my own Easter sermon, the Resurrection was a game changer — no matter what Steve Furtick and Elevation Church refuse to say or in this case, not say. 

Without the blood of Jesus, there is no payment for sin. Without the Resurrection of Jesus, there is no life here nor promise of one after we die. The Bible says this in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (ESV). You start keeping the Word from people, then genuine faith in Christ cannot occur because it is the Word of Christ that brings people to Christ — which includes words of Christ’s death, blood sacrifice and Resurrection. I guess Steve Furtick thinks he is better and smarter than the Apostle Paul who wrote this in 1 Corinthians 1:23, “ . . .we preach Christ crucified . . .” (ESV). Paul spend much of the whole chapter of ! Corinthians 15 discussing the importance of the Resurrection. Here are a few verses from it — 1 Corinthians 15:20-23:

 “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. (21) For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. (22) For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive”(ESV ).

As I said Sunday, you cannot explain the change in the disciples and how the Gospel and Christian faith spread through unbelievable persecution without the Resurrection. The disciples, the 120, and over 500 at one time saw the Resurrected Christ. There were thousands of people over the 40 days Jesus after Jesus’ resurrection who saw Him, including the Apostle Paul. Paul when he was known as Saul was a religious zealot, terrorist, who wanted to kill all Christians and stop the Christian faith . . . until . . . he saw the Resurrected Christ. Then he became Paul the apostle to the Gentiles and he established churches all over the Roman Empire. It is the Resurrection that was a game changer then and is now.

Questions To Consider

  1. Do you ever struggle with denying Christ? If so, when and why?
  2. Do you ever water down the words of Jesus to make it more acceptable to others? If so, why?
  3. If you could say anything to people who attend Elevation Church about their Easter statement, what would you say to them and why?

Scripture to Mediate On: From Jesus’ own lips — John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes Me, though he dies, yet shall he live, (26) and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (ESV). 

It is obvious Jesus was not embarrassed or ashamed to teach/preach using the word Resurrection. So, maybe Steve Furtick should take a lesson from Jesus — not our pop, woke, and politically correct culture. I disagree with Steve Furtick on this issue too: The goal of an Easter service is not to invite people to church; the goal is to invite them to Christ — the Resurrected Christ. 

Prayer To Pray: “Dear Jesus, I praise You and thank You for coming out of that grave. I am so grateful for the Resurrection that I never want to ever give the impression in any way that I am ashamed or embarrassed or more concerned about being woke or politically correct that I water-down the truth of Your Word. I thank You for the Resurrection. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

I love you Southside! -- Pastor Kelly

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