Wretched: Infuriating!

Not long ago, I posted about Elevation Church, and how they made the mother of a handicapped child leave the auditorim when that child made some noises that staffers found offensive and disruptive.  Some people sided with Elevation, but most sided with the child’s mother.

Here is Todd Friel’s reaction, which is much like my own.

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24 Responses to Wretched: Infuriating!

  1. stephenmz says:

    Wow and the fact that this pastor said the church is not a ministry and also shot down an idea about a ministry to help with children with disabilities, shame one him. I like you am upset at this as well.

    Stephen

  2. Jay says:

    As a Christian resident of Charlotte, seeing/hearing about Elevation “Church” ‘s, handling of this matter is no surprise. I’ve seen plenty from Elevation, even sitting in their congregation for a almost an entire service before walking out due to the Risk-Warren-esque nature of their pastor, which became very apparent early on. In spite of the outrage this incident may cause, perhaps we should look to the truly bright side…maybe now this family will seek to worship at a Church that teaches the true Gospel, and not some watered-down, seeker-friendly mush just to pack in the auditorium and feed the young pastor’s ego.

  3. Doug says:

    Hi Chrystal! Thanks to your highlighting “Wretched” awhile back, I heard and liked the show and now am a “Wretched” member. I heard Friel’s take on this on the radio show.
    My take? Simple: welcome everyone. Assume that God leads people to churches, so God must have wanted that child to be there.
    Yes, it can be a distraction when worshipping God as a church body. But we can handle distractions-we’re adults. Forbare.

  4. Actually, I think the pastor was doing something VERY Scriptural. Here is the passage that I think he was acting upon:

    Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them…”.

    See? His conduct is in the Bible! This pastor was simply walking out the behavior described in these two verses above.

    Of course, that means that he can also expect to receive the REWARD that God has promised in the subsequent verses for such “shepherds,” who tend His Blood-purchased sheep in this ungodly manner:

    Jeremiah 23: 3 “Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD. 3 “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the LORD.

    In fact, that news story, and the subsequent public exposure by Todd and good blogs (such as this one), are probably the beginning of that “attending” to the evil of that pastor’s “doings.”

    Good post, Chrystal.

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  5. Eli says:

    i guess they’ve never read that scripture about “…suffer the little childred…”. but anyway, we can not be surprised when “wretched” people act this way. We keep expecting them to act in a Christ-ly manner, when Christ is absent from their congregation. I guess I’ve seen so much of this kind of thing now, that nothing surprises me anymore. Sure it makes it no less shocking, but we can’t expect an elephant to bark like a dog, just as we can’t expect God-less people to act in a Christ-like way. The worst part is it makes Christ’s REAL church look bad. We get lumped in with these kooks.

  6. ali says:

    Ditto on Stephen comment – the church is not into ministry.??… Wow – what an opportunity was missed to ”minister” to those with special needs – showing the love of our LORD – but they are not into ministry. Perhaps the Elevation Church has forgotten, perhaps they never knew, the definition and the commission of a follower of Jesus.

  7. Sally R says:

    I was so upset to see this, I am a (paid) Caregiver for a young man, R, with a severe learning disability (Angelman’s Syndrome); he is also physically disabled, and I take him out in his wheelchair. I would be horrified if he were to be treated like the boy in the video clip – especially in church!
    I have been taking R. recently to a local church, where we are both made very welcome. On our first visit, I explained to the folks there that, because of his disability, R. was given to making strange noises and sudden movements, which some might be disturbed by; I was assured that this wouldn’t be a problem, and it wasn’t. Indeed, the church members, and especially the Pastor, went out of their way to make R. feel welcome and included; they all, without exception, came to speak to him, and to hug him, and showed him nothing but love, care and affection.
    Shame on this church for treating this boy and his mum as they did, My heart goes out to them, and I pray they will find a church where they will be welcomed, loved, included, and – above all – valued, because the lives of those with learning disabilities are very precious to God.
    In Him, in great sadness,
    Sarah G (London, UK)

  8. Joanne says:

    Infuriating..but not surprising coming from Steven Furtick and his “church”. He’s too busy enteraining the goats to obey Jesus’ command to “feed my sheep” (John 21:17)!

  9. Bill Fawcett says:

    This family needs to find a good pentecostal church which is welcoming and where a little noise would not be found objectionable. Seriously.
    Too many churches are selective in the people who they wish to serve. And they worry more about thier image than what God thinks.

  10. Ruitje says:

    When this pastor would go to a meeting from Morningstar or Todd Bentley he sees people shouting and screeming and roling over the floor. Well that is okay? O yeah, because that is the Holy Spirit….

    This pastor doesn’t deserve the title ‘pastor’. I agree with Rich that this pastor is a false shepherd. His church is only a worship-church? True worship means that you take care of the broken en sick people!

    (My sister is mentaly handicapted and when she hears music she makes a lot of noise. I would be very angry too when a pastor would act like this one.)

  11. Jon Pannell says:

    I remember hearing about this. I can’t describe my reaction to what that church did in words. It’s too much. But it’s really interesting to hear that this church is more worship centered than ministries-centered. I wonder why? Shouldn’t there be a balance with that?

  12. Marie says:

    That is horrible. Just…horrible. Can’t even believe this would happen in a church. That poor Mom and her little guy. I have a lump in my throat just watching this! Atrocity was the right word. :(

  13. Barry says:

    Suffer the little children to come unto me,that about sums it up!This guy has his focus in the wrong place.

  14. Gwen Hughes says:

    Actions like “Elevation’s” are why the secular public sees Christians as a band of superstitious hypocrites! I would RUN from that church and find another.

  15. ray says:

    I really believe that we have to stop pretending that ” churches” like Elevation are indeed part of the kingdom of God. They are not!. Their claim that that they focus on worship and not ministry brought to mind this scripture;

    Matt 15:8
    This people honours me with their lips , but their heart is far from me
    in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

    There may well be a few well intentioned folk , but one would trust that they respond to the Spirits call to get out, as for the leadership in these places, they have a lot to answer for.

  16. ian vincent says:

    I hope that lady realizes what hopeless people she is dealing with and just how FAKE that church is, and finds another one.

  17. stephenmz says:

    Steve Futrick stated to new believers that they need to leave his church and find another because he was not in the job of ministering to them anymore but to the goats now. To hear that and leave sheep out in the cold, for the wolves to attack is unGospel like and by his actions on this and on other occasions. For example, on an episode of “Wretched”, the radio host for Pirate radio went behind stage and asked him why he does not minister to the sheep but rather the goats. The radio host then said that Futrick then motioned with his hand and two men came and stood in front of Futrick. One of the men said something unchristian like to the Host as Futrick stood there. To me, he’s a wolf with so much pride and self righteousness, sad how these men act who proclaim to be preachers…just sad. I hope this opens the eyes of many who go there to find a Bible Based Church that preaches the Gospel fully.

  18. T says:

    Most church services I’ve attended, when there’s a crying baby or anything that disrupts the service, the usher usually ask the party to leave the sanctuary and sit in another room. I think that’s proper because it would be difficult for the rest of the congregation to focus on the message otherwise. It’s not meant to be cold hearted but just creating a conducive environment for worshipers to hear and learn the Word of God. I actually agree with the church’s decisions. God bless.

  19. Ron says:

    How will it be on the Day of Judgement for a church that essentially escorted Jesus out of the building? …as you do unto the least of theses….

  20. Ron says:

    How will it be on the Day of Judgement for a church that essentially escorted Jesus out of the building? …as you do unto the least of these

  21. Darrel says:

    Well said, Ray. I used to know a guy named “T” and what you said sounds exactly what would come from his lips-his religion was his idol and he knew nothing of Jesus and what it meant to be born again. As for Furtick, he is NOT a brother in Christ for Christ in NOT in him. It is refreshing to see that more people understand that just because a man claims to know Christ does not mean that Christ knows them. Feed the goats, Steven, some day they may feed on you.

  22. Eli says:

    A crying baby is one thing, that’s what church nursery’s are for. I hardly think this qualifies as the same as a wailing baby.

  23. @ T –

    I’ve set in one service where a visiting evangelist asked a “disruptive” child to be escorted out. You could feel the tension in the air. It rubbed a sanctuary full of people the wrong way. Little did he know how much the folks loved that troublesome little boy that he kicked out of the service. He was from a troubled home and the church in their love and desire to reach him was willing to work through his behavior issues. Now, almost ten years later, that troublesome little boy is a hard worker in both the children and youth ministry of the church. The evangelist, by the way, never got asked back to speak again.

    My question is simply this: how many people did Jesus ask to leave while he was preaching? How many crying, disruptive children did Paul ask to leave while he was sharing the gospel? How do you define “disruptive” exactly? Is texting or playing with your iphone considered “disruptive?” Disruptive to who? Other worshippers or God himself? Are we focused on what other people think or what God thinks?

    In my earliest days of preaching I delivered 90% of my messages in the county jail and local juvenile detention center. They are both still part of my ministry. How do you define “disruptive” there? At what point does the comfort of other people over ride the dire need to deliver the gospel to every person possible? I guess that’s my issue here. It would take alot for me to have somebody removed from a service. I’ll take the screaming, twitching, snoring, belching, growling, whispering, texting folks any day, because the message might overcome all obstacles and deliver them just the blessing they need that day…maybe even a call to salvation.

  24. T says:

    Thanks for all the replies. Many great points and it’s a tough debate. I was just trying to explain that the church’s decision to remove the boy and his mother was not meant to be callous, even if you disagree with their decision. Some larges churches I’ve attended do not allow babies in the main sanctuary during service. I think this is to avoid having to ask the parent to leave if the baby starts crying. It’s not about creating comfort for church goers, but about creating an environment where people can hear the sermon. From the church’s perspective, there might be non-believers who need to hear the Word of God, but that would be hard to accomplish if there are other noises in the sanctuary competing for their attention. God bless.

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