Steven Furtick is the pastor of North Carolina’s Elevation Church. He is also what is known in religious parlance as a minister of the “prosperity gospel.” Translation: Furtick preaches that God wants everyone to be wealthy, but first his congregation is duty-bound to make him rich.
Yeah, because that’s what Jesus always said.
Yeah, because you can always negotiate a $1.6 million house with 19 acres attached down to less than one-fifth of its value.
Furtick is generally very mediaphobic, but he recently sat down with a local TV station in North Carolina to discuss the trappings of his megawealth. Only when he was asked about his salary, he said he couldn’t reveal that because to do so would violate the teachings of Jesus.
Yeah, because he’s actually read and understood the Bible.
The Pastor of Plenty had this to say about his finances and those of his wife, Holly:
“I know that we have to have integrity and we have to be generous, and I know the extent of which that is true for me and Holly. So to go on record and say here’s how much money we’ve given and here’s what we do with our finances, to me, that would be the most arrogant thing I could do and it would rob me of the blessings of what Jesus said, which is that when you give, you don’t get up and tell everyone how much you’ve given.”
Furtick also said some church employees are aware of how much money he makes, but if he discusses the matter, if would be against the Bible:
“So when you give one part of a picture, whether that’s how much one of the staff members, what they make, that’s between them and God. That’s not mine to release, and the same with my family. I wouldn’t do that to my wife and my kids. I wouldn’t do that to one of our staff members.”
Surprisingly, Elevation Church does post some financial records on its website. Those records show that the church took in $33.5 million in offerings last year and gave away about $3.8 million in outreach. It also spent $9 million on personnel and reported $13.9 million in cash assets.
I have a piece of scripture I want to share with Pastor Furtick for his contemplation and reflection:
“Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24)