Elevation Church, Son of God,


Why We Should Probably Stop

Nit-Picking Each Other

As many of you may have noticed, Elevation Church and Pastor Steven Furtick have been the focus of quite a bit of media attention lately and even more frequently in the past. Also, with the release of the movie Son of God this past weekend, there has been a lot of buzz as to its Biblical accuracy.
But here's the thing:
We need to stop nit-picking and attacking each other, and start focusing on our own relationships with Christ so that we can share that love with others.
I'm speaking specifically to Christians here.
We spend way too much time criticizing the mistakes and short-comings of others when we could be using that time much more effectively by coming to God with our concerns (Remember Matthew 7:3-5). Is He not great enough to work in the hearts of others to change their ways when He sees fit? Can He not guide us all back onto the path of righteousness when we all-too-often fall off? The answer to both of those questions is yes. He can.
Everyone makes mistakes and does (or says) things that they shouldn't. That includes me. That includes you. And it includes everyone else in the sin-diseased world that we live in. But criticizing others when we are in the midst of wrongdoing ourselves only makes us like the Pharisees (Luke 18:9-14); who exalted themselves and viewed others as filthy, sin-ridden creatures unfit for the presence of God.
Let us not become like these misled religious leaders. Let us instead see the example of Christ and use it as a compass for our own lives (Hebrews 12:2-3).
Now please don't mistake this as me telling you that we should not correct one another (brothers and sisters in Christ) in love, which is a Biblical and honorable act (Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 5).
No, what I'm talking about is Pharisee-like criticism of others with the sole intention (whether we realize it or not) of bringing them down, not building them up.

I have been hoping to address some of the issues that have been brought to light by Christians who are less-than-pleased with the Son of God movie.
But first, I want to give praise to God and thank Him for the Holy Spirit experience that I had after viewing this movie last weekend.

I've experienced God in my life, but never quite like this. There was something about the truly loving nature of Christ portrayed so well in the film that opened my eyes to His grace like never before. I was impacted greatly, and decided to talk to God on my drive home. I told Him that I was hurting, and that I was confused with what He wanted for my life (uncertainty is not my strong suit. I struggle with the unknown and letting go of control in my own life). That's when He spoke. He opened the flood gates and poured out His love into my heart. I have never so strongly felt the desire to be close to Him. I knew in that moment that I didn't need anything else. I only needed the love of God and the presence of His Spirit in my life. That's not to say that I don't still want certain things in my life, but it's so overwhelmingly comforting to know that the only thing that I really need will never leave my side.
I've struggled (and still do) with unforgiveness and not being able to let go of my past sins. But I clearly heard the Spirit of God speak all of that away that night. It's like He came in and power-washed the walls of my heart. And that is what I believe is the ultimate goal with this movie and any like it. To allow for a new way of experiencing Christ for those that are seeking Him.

I've seen reviews bashing the accuracy of this movie, and it hurts to read. Although I do acknowledge that there are some changes made (most likely for dramatic impact and cinematic excitement), none of it alters the outcome, and I don't believe that any of these changes would negatively affect anyone's walk with Christ. The movie is not intended to be a sole means for salvation or a replacement for an authentically developed relationship with God, but I believe it is intended to open the eyes of many and lead them to the treasure trove of Christ's love: The Bible.

As for Pastor Steven Furtick and Elevation Church:
The amount of hatred and slandering being tossed about in regards to Pastor Steven and the church is baffling. Do I believe that every decision made by Pastor Steven and the church is perfect? No. But here's the thing: neither are most of the decisions that you and I make everyday. Furthermore, I also believe that God can and has used Elevation church and many others like it to reach the lost and do His will. I know my life has been significantly impacted during the nearly two years that I've been with Elevation.
If we could focus all of that attention on God, we would have no need to worry about the perfection of another individual. There is no perfect person. And as a result, there is no such thing as a perfect church. No matter where you go, there will be people wrongfully idolizing leaders, and others making mistakes in the way that they handle certain situations.

Let's all focus on God's greatest command: Love. If we could learn to love one another as Christ has loved us, the world would certainly be a better place. But until that beautiful day of His return, let us pursue a relationship with God so deeply-rooted that even the devil himself would grow weary trying to pluck us from His hand.

P.S. I just love the song in the Son of God trailer, so I thought I'd share it with you!

And this one! Because Phil Wickham is the man.



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