Emerging Church Pastor Says Young People Need a Calling, Not Rules

Steven Furtick

Rock & roll loving Steven Furtick of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, says that what this generation needs is not more rules to live by, but a calling to live for (“Charlotte Pastor,” The Christian Post, Nov. 26, 2010). This is typical emerging church philosophy. In reality, what youth need is both a call to real discipleship and biblical rules to live by. (The first thing they need is born again salvation, which a great many church youth don’t have.) In Scripture, discipleship involves keeping God’s rules. The Lord Jesus instructed the churches to teach converts to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20), and those “all things” are found in the New Testament Scriptures. Consider the epistle of Ephesians. It teaches the glorious truth that salvation is by God’s grace without works, but it also contains three chapters packed with rules for believers to live by, rules that cover every aspect of life, private, family, and work. I have counted 88 specific “rules” in the epistle of Ephesians that every saved by grace child of God is commissioned to keep. Addicted to the pop culture, this generation has rejected rules for a “me first” lifestyle and philosophy, and the emerging church is tickling itching ears with a lusty Christianity, which is a fulfillment of Bible prophecy (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Assuming an upbeat emerging stance, Furtick claims that this is “the most driven, most opportunistic, most positioned generation in history to take the gospel of Jesus Christ all over the world.” In fact, this is a generation that generally lacks the self-sacrifice, discipline, and long-term commitment to accomplish such a great task, but when a young person rejects his “generation,” repenting of his love for the ungodly, vain pop culture, and becomes a true disciple of Christ, submitting himself to Christ’s rule as expressed in Scripture, he can indeed help take the gospel of Christ to this needy world. This is the objective that every church should have for its young people. What we do agree with is that young people in Bible-believing churches don’t need JUST rules, and they particularly don’t need a mere list of shallow external standards divorced from training in genuine heart-level discipleship and in how to apply the principles of God’s Word to daily living. The essence and fundamental of the Christian life is not rules; it is Christ Himself. True discipleship is to know and serve Jesus Christ, and that will make one a pilgrim and stranger in this present world.

(Friday Church News Notes, March 13, 2020,, www.wayoflife.org fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)