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Megachurch Minister Remains Under Fire for Allegedly Manufacturing Mass Baptisms

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by Revmitchell, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A North Carolina megachurch minister remains under fire for his alleged practice of instructing volunteers to strategically respond to salvation calls in order to bolster baptism numbers.

    Steven Furtick leads Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the largest megachurches in the United States, with weekly attendance above 14,000. According to reports, Furtick performed 3,519 baptisms in the first eight months of 2013 alone, and baptized 400 attendees during a ceremony just last month.

    In addition to those taking note of the large number of baptisms, Furtick recently drew controversy when Elevation Church published a document entitled Spontaneous Baptisms How To Guide. The nine-page document outlines the baptism policy followed during one of its previous outreach events.

    The baptism how-to guide features detailed instructions for volunteers, including directions on how strategically-placed members are to sit in the auditorium and “be the first ones to move” toward the baptism area “when pastor gives the call.”

    “Sit in the auditorium and begin moving forward when Pastor Steven says go,” the church document instructs. “Move intentionally through the highest visibility areas and the longest walk.”

    Speed and efficiency are important to the baptism process, according to the Elevation Church guide.

    “The first people going into the changing rooms have got to be people who move quickly, they must be changed and out on stage in a few minutes,” the document states. “Pick young energetic people, not necessarily those who are there first. Think of the room in terms of a NASCAR pit stop, it has to be a quick in and quick out.”

    http://christiannews.net/2014/03/03...re-for-allegedly-manufacturing-mass-baptisms/
     
  2. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member

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    While what he is doing is probably dishonest the story only lists one person that is putting Furtick "under fire."

    From the article:
    As allegations of stimulating baptisms have drawn criticism from other Christians, many continue to question the practices of Furtick and Elevation Church. James Duncan, a blogger and professor at Anderson University, accused Furtick of seeding the auditorium with “shills who pretend to be responding to the call.”

    OK, if there are "many other Christians that continue to question the practices of Furtick", who are they? Why couldn't the reporter find them? What does James Duncan teach at Anderson University?

    This is shoddy reporting.
     
  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

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    You know it is really important to read all of the op before commenting.
     
  4. Berean

    Berean Member

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    If you view porn do you need to see more then one view to discern whether it is really porn or not?
     
  5. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member

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    I read the entire article. What am I misstating?
     
  6. Judith

    Judith Member

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    He is re-baptizing members over and over to make it look like large numbers of new baptisms? Am I understanding this correctly?
     
  7. Bro. James

    Bro. James Active Member

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    Stranger things have happened/been staged since before television. The accountability is toward God. To some He will say, "Depart from me, I never knew you." Mt. 7.

    See also Luke 21:8.

    Memorize the Book of Jude especially vs. 3.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
    #7 Bro. James, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2014
  8. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member

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    No, he is having up to 15 people come forward at the invitation (who are church workers and will not be baptized) to help the other people that are coming forward find their way into the clothes changing rooms and help facilitate the baptisms.

    They have hundreds come forward at each service and have needed to work out a detailed logistics of how to proceed. So when he gives the invitation these 15 people work their way down to the front and direct other people coming forward where they should go. Now, it might look like these initial 15 people are coming forward for baptism (which could be dishonest) but we don't know what the pastor is saying or not saying when these church people come forward. The allegation (by only one person) is that these people are shills that are planted in the audience so that when they "come forward" other people will drop their resistance and also come forward.

    They say they baptized over 2,000 people over two weekends so I hardly think that 15 church people coming forward at the invitation has much of an influence on the other 2,000.

    I don't know this church, I don't know this pastor. All I know is what I've read in the article provided and the links inside the article. But I stand by my statement that only one person is quoted as criticizing the pastor and the reporting is shoddy.
     
  9. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member

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    What is this supposed to mean?
     
  10. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    You misread it, ITL. The volunteers are being rebaptized. Look at the article linked in the OP. From that article ...
     
    #10 thisnumbersdisconnected, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2014
  11. InTheLight

    InTheLight Well-Known Member

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    It isn't clear from the article whether or not these 15 volunteers actually get into the water. The pastor responds:

    “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 stated.

    These 15 people come forward and hundreds of others follow. Do you think they actually get into the baptismal tank? I doubt it. Furthermore, if you read the church document on Spontaneous Baptism (link is in the OP article), it does not indicate that these people do anything other than walk forward.
     
    #11 InTheLight, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2014
  12. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan Active Member

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    Honestly? I stopped reading at "Stephen Furtick". If true, this is the least of Furtick's antics.
     
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