For those of us who take the Christian faith seriously, we understand that the Bible is not just a collection of stories and wisdom, but the actual, revealed word of God. And contrary to what popular prosperity “pastor” Steven Furtick may believe, the Bible is not primarily about us.
Furtick, the pastor of Elevation Church in North Carolina, has gained a following for his charismatic preaching style and his focus on the individual. In his sermons and books, Furtick often talks about the importance of personal fulfillment and, echoing the sentiments of the King of prosperity charlatanry, how to live your best life now, financially and healthwise. But is this what the Bible is really about?
Some people—normal people — might read 1 Samuel 17, the recount of David and Goliath in Scripture, and come away with a sense of awe for God who delivered an unbelievably unprepared child from the hands of his people’s enemy. The story, clearly, displays the greatness of God and his own handiwork. If you’ve not read it, you should. It’s good.
But some pastors—narcissistic pastors—like to make the Scriptures about themselves. Steven Furtick is a pro at it. Literally a professional—as in, he makes his living off of being a biblical narcissist. For Furtick, he, and all Christians for that matter, should view themselves as “David” while hardships they may face in life are “Goliath.” So instead of this passage being about the glory of God following through with His promise to bring His people a savior, this is about using God more like a genie-in-a-bottle to get what they want.
In fact, Furtick’s narcissism even earned him an award from notorious heretic, T.D. Jakes—a bronze statue of David.
As Christians, we believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. It is the truth that we need to live according to God’s will. And while the Bible does contain guidance for our personal lives, that is completely secondary to the entire point of the Scripture.
The Bible is first and foremost about God. It tells us about God’s nature, his plan for the world, and his relationship with humanity. Throughout the Bible, we see that God is sovereign, holy, and just. He is the creator of the universe, and he is worthy of our worship and praise.
In contrast to Himself, the Bible teaches that we are fallen and sinful. We are corrupt, and we cannot save ourselves. We are in need of a savior, and that savior is Jesus Christ. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus paid the price for our sins and offers us the gift of eternal life. He did not need to create us in order to fulfill a need for love or relationship within Himself. His creation of the universe, including the oceans, mountains, plants, animals, and especially mankind, was to demonstrate His glory.
Therefore, the Bible is not about us and our personal fulfillment. It is about God and His plan for salvation, and ultimately, His glory. As Christians, our focus should be on God and His glory, not on ourselves and our own desires.
Furtick’s teaching, while perhaps well-intentioned from his own perspective, is destructive and misguided. The Bible is not a self-help book or a guide to personal success. It is the self-revelation of the living God, and we should approach it with reverence and humility. The Bible is the inerrant and authoritative word of God and we reject the idea that we can pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe, or that we can reinterpret it to fit our own desires.
Finally, the Bible is clear and consistent, and it offers a comprehensive view of God and his plan for the world. It is not about us, but about God and his glory. Let us not disrespect the Creator of the universe by striving to approach the Bible with the humility and reverence it deserves.