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Here is a critical review of Steven Furtick’s sermon on the last night of Presence Conference 2012. From: http://thoughtsfrommyreformedself.com/2012/04/16/presence-conference-2012-steven-furtick-joins-the-heresy-fest-led-by-phil-pringle/

For a friend in Sydney (a city in which I had no friends until Facebook changed all that), I am venturing into uncharted territory on this blog. C3ChurchWatch is covering the C3 Presence Conference in Sydney Australia. C3 Church is led by Phil Pringle but has a global presence.  So check out my friend’s web site. Chances are, there’s an extension of the “movement” near you. (See this map for all the churches connected to C3 in Australia: http://www.c3churchglobal.com/churCch)

The conference has thankfully wrapped up for this year, though as you can see at the beginning of this video, they’re already heavily recruiting for next year’s conference. Steven Furtick was the headliner for Friday the 13th, 2012. I have heard enough of both Pastor Pringle and Pastor Furtick in the past to know that Friday the 13th is an appropriate date for pairing these two. Goodie, goodie… Can’t wait! Here we go:

0:30    Opens with a plug for the hundreds you can spend on the C3 schlock in the “Resource Center”.

0:35    Montage full of sappy music and all the “best lines” from the conference. These guys are like Woody from Toy Story where the same 10 lines come out over and over again if you just pull the string. Montage includes Phil Pringle working the crowd into frenzy so that they can feel some sort of glory cloud, or whatever, descend on them to make them sway and close their eyes and…. Ew! What is that?!

1:27    … Pulling out all the stops I see. Emaciated “Jesus” hanging on cross, live on stage in apparent agony.

3:20    Montage over. Phil Pringle on stage.

3:40    Phil and Laura (Not sure who Laura is in all this) say they’re not tired at all and ready to go for another week. I’m sure they’re just kidding Jake. Don’t have a heart attack. Doing some giveaways now to “delegates”? What are “delegates”? I don’t speak C3 I guess.

4:30    Ovation for the delegates/volunteers. Got it. Apparently part of their volunteer duties was to serve coffee and give hand massages and baklava to attendees in the TLC lounge. Teaching them about taking up the cross I guess… not!

5:28    Laura just announced 1000 already registered for next year. Rather than saying, “Cool, way to go!” Phil Pringle said, “That’s great! Let’s make it 3000 by the end of the night. What do you say?” Reminds me of my days in sales at Dell. They announce deadline for early registration end of May. Price doubles after then. And Phil is showing his great faith by announcing he is booking a bigger place.

7:23    Here is the carrot they used to get people to register today: attendees got their name in a drawing for the prizes. This first giveaway is four nights in a five-star hotel. $300 in spending money vouchers and VIP seats at next year’s conference. Yep, that’s the way to deny the flesh which wars against our spirit.

9:40    Steven Furtick takes the stage.

10:15    Immediately starts praising all the audience for their many worthy qualities. Scratch, scratch, scratch.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. (1 Timothy 4:3)

10:53    Gets big “Awww” from audience for confessing he missed his daughter’s first steps to be there. Should’ve stayed home, Steven. That’s time better spent.

11:33    Double-entendre. Just had to point out everything he misses being away from home and away from his wife.

12:06    Cues the audience to applaud their Pastor Phil, and his wife, Chris… the… co-… pastor…?

12:31    ”I’ve been thinking, what do I say about ______, [since] it’s the last session of the conference.” That blank ought to be filled with Jesus or God, right? No, he was meditating on what he should say about Pastor Phil. I’m curious how long before I time stamp a new subject before he stops talking about him. He’s got to pay it forward since Steven himself was honored so well by the speakers at his own Code Orange [scheduled] Revival.

13:28    Just getting started honoring Phil with a pithy saying. “God is not the God of either/or; He’s the God of both/and.” Chapter? Verse? Where is that in Scripture?

14:10    Summary so far: Pastor Phil and Chris, both “fun and focused”. I don’t recall that in Paul’s list of qualifications for overseers.

14:15    ”Spirit-led and smart”. A rare quality indeed. Got anything about Jesus? God? Bible? Almost 15 minutes in here.

15:00    Still sucking up to Phil. Now he’s “brilliant”, but not in the underwhelming Aussie sense. Makes joke about the Australian overuse of “brilliant”. Phil has to keep this in mind later as you’ll see at the end.

15:50    Says “Let’s get to it” and grabs Bible. Any bets on how long it takes to read from it?

16:15    Says he prayed for God to “lead him to the message” simultaneously with putting Bible back down. Ironic…

16:40    Moves away from Bible to little book of notes to announce title of message: “The Most Encouraging Message You’ve Never Heard.”

17:08    Segues back somehow to flattering Phil as well Bishop Dale Bronner (Word/Faith heretic), whom I predict he is about to quote.

17:30    ”Opening to Matthew 11:1-11″ he says… He’s reaching for the Bible and….

17:40    Fail. Now telling the audience “The Lord wants to give someone the courage to act.” That’s definitely not in Matthew 11.

17:50    Instructing on how to tell you’ve caught a vision. Is there a fever involved?

18:00    Vision – Action = Daydream. Got it. Now Matthew 11?

18:18    Reading Matthew 11 about John the Baptist in prison, asking “Are you the One?” Doesn’t even blink before making the passage about everyone there in Sydney and their “disappointed expectations.”

20:00    Got to give Pastor Furtick props. He catches that Jesus had announced earlier in Matthew that he was to fulfill the prophecy that he would “set prisoners free” and that John may have been tempted to doubt since that wasn’t happening for him. Not many people bring that up.

20:30    He thought Shawshank Redemption was a warm and endearing picture of prison?! Has he seen the movie?

21:00    Stand-up Comic Interlude (From here forward to be cited as SUCI): “Some of you are sitting next to your disappointed expectation.” Already had one regarding the use of “brilliant” in Australia and regarding missing his wife. So the SUCI count is up to three.

21:38    Talking about Steven’s life now.

22:15    SUCI #4, but sort of fell flat. Win some, lose some.

22:45    SUCI #5

23:00     Segue from Steven’s life to everyone else in audience now. Apparently we’ve all asked the question, “Is this it?” And you always need someone to encourage you.

23:45    First instance of “Turn to someone and say…”

23:50    Rest of passage he ends with “no one greater than John the Baptist” (and mumbles quickly yethteonewhoisleastinthekingdomofheavenisgreaterhthanhe…). Pastor Furtick says Jesus was giving John affirmation and encouragement. Strange. Neither John nor his disciples were even there to hear that. Talk about squishing a passage into a mold to fit your message.

25:50    Clears up that John’s disciples nor John were there. Where’s he going with this?

26:16    Seriously?? “It’s quite possible that Jesus has been talking about you… behind your back.” And may I say that’s some mighty wild speculation you’ve got going on there. Chapter? Verse? Scratch, scratch those itching ears.

26:55    ”Now why would he do that?” So now we’re going to speculate in order to find the possible reason for the fact you already arrived at by speculation. Brilliant. (See what a flexible word that is?)

28:00    ”Here’s my theory.” Okay, that’s not what you’re supposed to preach. [next breath] “1 Corinthians 2:5 says our faith shouldn’t rest in men’s wisdom but in God’s power… Maybe Jesus wanted John’s faith not to rest on how good John was doing, but in how good Jesus was.” Well, yes, that’s certainly true. Why did you say “maybe”? And what does this have to do with God talking behind our backs, and doesn’t obsessing about whether he is or not defeat Pastor Furtick’s own point he’s trying to make now about getting our eyes off of ourselves?

28:28    So much for the brief turn in the right direction. He shifts back… to talking about Steven Furtick. “There have been times in my life…”

29:00    ”God takes away affirmation to take us to a place of deeper affirmation in the Spirit.” Pastor Furtick, how in the world are you extracting this from John 11? Audience loves it though. Scratch, scratch, scratch.

29:50    ”Even though we don’t get to hear everything that Jesus said about John [because] this is a summary.” Where does it say this is a summary? “He says many more things about John. There’s a further discourse in Matthew 11.” (And of course he will not read it. Can’t blame Steven. I don’t think I’ve heard any two people interpret that passage that follows in the same manner. It’s a difficult passage and I don’t blame him for not wanting to tackle it, but a good pastor at least attempts it. Not worth a federal case though.)

30:00    Steven is going to share three affirmative statements that he believes God might be saying behind your back. How in the world does it help me to speculate on what God might be saying behind my back? Wouldn’t it be wise to focus on what we know he already said to me in his Word?!

30:24    ”I felt like the Lord put on my heart to tell somebody today.” Oh now, it’s the Holy Ghost answering machine. God is having trouble getting through to people so he has enlisted the help of Steven Furtick.

30:38    Yikes: “Hear the Word of the Lord; God wanted me to tell somebody…” That’s a bold statement

30:44    Affirmation #1: “You’re doing better than you think you are.” (Please note in link to Pooh bear quote below that I personally think two of these three points are inspired more by Pooh than the Bible.) In Romans 12:3, am I not exhorted not to think of myself more highly than I ought but instead with sober judgment? 2 Corinthians 4:4 says that the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers. Are you saying that our blindness is concerning not being able to see how good we are? But I guess I’d better make a way to get this to jibe with the rest of my Bible, because we’re adding a new book. Steven said this is the “Word of the Lord”.

31:35    SUCI #6

31:50    ”But then you’ve got to tap into that place, when Jesus says to John…” So when I am feeling poorly about my own performance, I need to tap into what Jesus said about John? Wow, this is twisted logic. He’s saying that Jesus had a good reason for not saying these things to John’s face, but is encouraging us to imagine Jesus is saying them about us? So what he’s arguing would have produced inordinate pride in John, we’re somehow going to handle better? And how do you know that those to whom you speak are “doing better than they think”? What if I’m a complete screw up? What if I’m a heretic? What if I’m a serial killer? You have thousands, probably millions, watching this conference. Odds are that you are proclaiming this to some sociopaths of the highest order!

32:30    Long general string of general affirmations proclaiming how very wonderful everyone is in the room. Everyone’s now applauding. Scratch, scratch, scratch. And apparently, if you say it loud enough, it really makes it true.

33:00    Back to Steven’s life. “Pastor Mickey” did better than he thinks because he poured into Stephen when Steven was young and now Mickey is flying all over the world vicariously through Steven Furtick. I don’t know if Pastor Mickey’s going to be bragging about that one on Judgment Day.

34:05    Called the audience a crowd of “world-changers”. Scratch, scratch, scratch.

33:22    SUCI #7 about teenagers being demon-possessed. I have a 14-year-old son and admit that’s actually kind of funny.

33:55    ”Find somebody and touch them and tell them, ‘You’re doing better than you think you are.’” There. My beagle is sleeping at my feet. I just told her. She’s duly affirmed and looks truly peaceful. But that’s actually is what she always looks like. Oh well. Don’t try this on a human, folks. You’ll do more damage than you think you will.

35:00    Getting loud and telling them to “clap by faith”. Really?

35:38    ”I get to preach a lot of places. You’re special!” Really, guys, tell me you’re not going to fall for that, are you? Now moving on to tell Phil Pringle how awesome his church is.

36:30    ”Please receive that from my heart.” He’s speaking of the encouragement, “You’re doing better than you think you are.” So is that from God or from your heart? Which is it? Then quotes but does not give reference. “It’s God’s kindness that leads you to repentance.” Tell us about that kindness please. Why is God so kind? How do we know it? Hint, you find it all in the Bible and it has nothing to do with self-affirmation but is seen on the cross, which actually only affirms our lost state and our need to be saved from our sins.

36:50    Affirmation #2: “You matter more than you think you do.” Scratch, scratch, scratch.

37:00    ”John felt completely discarded. I’m using a little bit of my imagination.” At least you admit it. But is that what you’re called to do as a pastor, to preach your imagination? Immediately also says, “Maybe, I’m reading a little too much into the text.” Yeeeeees. “That’s somebody in here [in the audience].” Bingo. You’ve just arrived at where you’re reading too much into the text.

37:25    Now talking about Steven’s childhood. Trading card story.

39:00    ”It took someone who knew the value to retrieve something that I’d given away too easily. Some of you are giving up on yourself too easily.” My response is only found a few verses before where he started tonight:

“And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:38, 39)

39:20    Now talking about our need to go into the “enemy’s camp to retrieve what you gave away too easily”. Wow, this is dangerous ground. Doesn’t this sound a lot like what Jesus did for us already? Where is he getting this from this passage?!

39:28    Assertion after assertion: “You can tell the value of something by the price that was paid for it.” Doesn’t that contradict the story he just told about the baseball cards. Steven didn’t pay much for them, thus disguising the value. And in our case, we are given value by the price paid for us on the Cross, but it doesn’t prove that we were valuable in the first place.

39:38    Steven just said Jesus’ blood was shed for us to prove our worth. /sigh/ Chapter? Verse? Got anything about our sin and the need for atonement?

39:45    ”You have infinite potential, in Jesus name!” Why does everyone keep tagging that onto the end of assertions as if it makes it better? It only makes it more blasphemous.

40:00    Launching into Code Orange testimonial of some sort; a horrible, sad story about boy who died in car accident while his parents were at revival. Ugh, It’s sounds like he turned that poor boy’s funeral into a Steven Furtick pep rally. He even made someone else’s funeral about him. Ick.

41:17    ”Do you want to know what I texted?” Actually, no. Can you tell us about the text in that beautiful leather-bound tome sitting useless on the podium there?

41:30    Story about God talking to him again. Put the bulletin from the funeral into the rocks in the valley where Joshua told the sun to stand still. Interesting. Take it from someone who knows. Pastor Furtick is carrying a whole lot of guilt over the fact that his parents were at his revival and not with their boy when he was killed in a car wreck. He’s acting like someone desperately trying to make some restitution. I know what it’s like to carry misplaced guilt over the death of a child and this man has it in spades. Pray for Pastor Furtick. I keep seeing signs of his heart softening in this sermon. I can’t put my finger on it, but…. something is just a bit different.

42:00    Oh dear, he is apparently trying to convince the parents that their son’s death “counted for something” and did make a difference, because people are starting Bible studies and such because of him. I have some personal experience with families who have lost children and this approach is usually not taken well. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure they don’t want to think God took their son to accomplish some purpose of his. But even if they did, it’s still probably not what they want to hear right after he dies. I understand what he’s trying to do, but I think it could be misguided.

And on a different note, he’s trying to comfort the audience with: “you matter so much more than you think you do.” (Throwing this in for free, but I found that I found a lot of peace when I learned that I matter less than I thought I did. It’s a comfort to know that God is big enough to keep me from screwing everything up. Just sayin’.)

43:00    ”I’m not leaving you [John] in that prison because I’ve forsaken you. I’m leaving you in that prison because you’re so strong; you’re so mighty!” May I point out the obvious here? Jesus left John in that prison because his purpose was not to free people in physical prisons but to free us from our Sin. He did not come to conquer the romans or Herod. He came to conquer death.

43:11    Again, he’s turning it around again to apply it to everyone listening to say that they are exactly like John the Baptist.

43:40    Affirmation (but not really) #3: “It’s less about you than you think it is.” Hmmmmmmm… Is he trying to get the Matt Chandler monkey off his back now? Trying to prove he doesn’t think the Bible is about himself?

Wow, now he’s saying he had to throw that third point in there or you’ll “take this message the wrong way” and is taking the time to mock his first two points. This is one weird schizoid sermon!

44:12    ”He must become greater; I must become less…” Yes… Yes…

44:20    ”Want you to leave this conference on affirmation overload, but we want it to be the right kind of affirmation, otherwise it will backfire.” Like giving ammunition to your critics?

44:45    Now quoting Hebrews 12: “Consider Jesus, who endured such hostility from sinners.” Encouraging the audience to step back and see there’s a bigger picture than your immediate surroundings.

45:00    ”I’ll bet John got his affirmation when he saw him face to face,” says Pastor Furtick. You don’t have to speculate there, Steven. We know that the righteous will be told “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)

45:14    ”The Lord wanted me to tell you…” Again with the Holy Spirit answering machine! The Lord has already told you to proclaim his Word! You’re not doing that, so it’s hard for me to believe that he’s taking the time to speak to you personally when you’re ignoring what he’s already clearly commanded you: “Preach the Word, in season and out.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

45:40    ”Your dream is rotting in prison.” /gasp!/ Not that!

46:00    ”God can do anything in your life.”

46:07    Obligatory sports analogy. Oh my goodness. Is he going to make Jesus, our advocate, the referee challenging the ruling on the field? That’s a terrible analogy.

47:25    ”This is going to be a turning point in someone’s life right now.” Maybe so, but for the better?

47:53    ”Sometimes the official says” (after coaching audience that they need to get ready to get real loud and emotional soon “we’re going to take it through the roof in a second”.) [dramatically] “Upon… further… review… [cue sappy music] the ruling on the field is overturned.” Our situation is only hopeless because we’re looking at it from the wrong angle. Really?! That is NOT the solution for our lost condition proposed by the Bible. The truth is, we are to agree with God that it is hopeless and cry for mercy! Wow…

49:16    ”I believe the divine verdict for somebody tonight is, ‘Upon… further… review’” [music and audience getting louder and louder, and so is Pastor Furtick of course.]

49:30    Whipping up crowd. Band getting louder. Girl in band jumping up and down with arms up in the air, reminding me of high school pep rallies.

49:57    ”In His Presence, anything is possible!” Chapter? Verse? Crowd now “shouting to God with a voice of triumph.” What are they triumphing over and based on what?

50:11    Starts praying, sort of. Thanking him for all the encouragement he’s brought through the message tonight. His eyes are going in the exact same places they were when he was addressing the crowd. Who is he really talking to? Now asserting what God’s voice is telling them right now, and not quoting from God’s Word…

50:40    Wants to pray for specific people. “If you know God is speaking this message specifically to you… shoot your hand in the air and let me pray for you.” What do you want to bet these are going to get carefully counted as people making decisions for Jesus to boost those stats? And upon what are they basing their belief that God is speaking this message to them? Their gut feeling?

51:05    Making “positive confession” over the people with hands raised via recap of three points of message.

51:29    No, here’s the stats they’ll count. He told them to put their hands down and now he wants to pray for those who need a “brand new start with Jesus Christ.” I’ve heard this “gospel presentation” from Pastor Furtick before. The false gospel of the “God of the fresh start, of the second chance.”

52:00    ”Allow me the privilege me pray with you to begin a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the gospel: that He lived the life you couldn’t live; He was sinless. He died the death you should have died.” (Wow, is he going to totally land on his feet here?) “They crucified him. The greatest agony he suffered on the cross; it was not the scourging; it was not the whip. All of that was terrible. It was the separation from his heavenly Father that he had to experience when he said, as we heard this week, ‘My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?’ When he prayed that, he was also making an announcement that because he was forsaken for you, you don’t have to be forsaken ever by your heavenly Father.”

(I have to insert here that this falls short. He did mention that Jesus was sinless but was not clear the he was forsaken because of taking our Sin upon himself and that’s why he was forsaken, because of our sin. And at this point, we don’t even know what a sin is, because the Law hasn’t been preached. As far as we know at this point, a sin is letting our dream rot in prison or not believing God is talking behind our back or something. We have no idea.)

“There’s a divine reunion, and the access to that is by faith, because here’s what happened: when he rose again on the third day (assuming the crowd knows this I guess) there’s a literal bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. It happened. He’s taken into heaven. Now he sits at the right hand of God.” (Covering the apostles creed, but I’ll bet he doesn’t get to the next part, that he will come again to judge the living and the dead.)

“His grace is available to anyone who will repent and believe. That’s it.” (Repent… from… what?! It’s like you’ve given someone the news the Governor commuted their death sentence and they didn’t even know they’d been convicted of a crime!) “To completely trust him with your life, place your faith in him.” No, placing your faith in him is not so much “trusting him with your life” as trust in His life, death and resurrection. I am not capable of perfectly trusting God with my life.

“By Grace you are Saved” (Pulled from context) “If you know you are not in a right relationship with the Lord tonight…” How would they know that? Y’all have done everything there at C3 to make sure that they feel “in tune with God” complete with altered state of consciousness that probably results from the loud repetitive music and rhythmic mantras Furtick cheered from the stage.

Gives instructions for magic prayer to bring them in right relationship with God, of course with “heads bowed, eyes closed” or the prayer won’t work I guess because that’s always part of the procedure. Instructing everyone to pray it out loud together, I guess so those who really need to pray it won’t be embarrassed or so maybe someone will accidentally get saved. Says this prayer will cause them to saved and cleansed and forgiven if they want to give their lives to Jesus Christ. Problem, the Bible says Jesus gave his life for us, not the other way around. And… Salvation, cleansing and forgiveness come, according to God’s Word, from baptism, receiving his body and blood through the Lord’s Supper, and through the proclamation of the gospel:

Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins…” (Acts 22:16)

“For this is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… (Romans 1:16)

54:00    Steven Furtick’s “Sinner’s Prayer”: “Heavenly Father, I come to you now. I confess that I’m a sinner. I need a Savior. I believe you died for me Jesus. I confess you rose again. I ask you now to give me new life. Change my heart. I want to follow you. I want to be like you.”

55:00    Asking crowd to shoot their hand in the air on the count of three (while eyes are still closed) to say they prayed that prayer. Saying he’s not trying to emotionally manipulate. Asks those with hands up to come forward to… altar? There’s an altar? I just see a stage. No manipulation? Furtick keeps prompting and flattering those who come forward for their boldness and the music is continuing to swell.

56:00    ”Come on, come on, run to this altar! Run to Jesus!”

57:05    Starts addressing people who have come forward regarding their “decision” and picks up Bible and tucks under arm. Interesting. Maybe he is just preparing for his exit of the stage. But he takes his Bible. Where’s his tablet he was using? I think that’s still on stage.

58:25    ”Repeat after me: I am a new creation in Jesus Christ; I am a new Creation in Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!” /band swells again/

58:38    Phil Pringle back on stage. Praying for God to fill everyone with the Holy Spirit and with peace and to let them have “an experience that is undeniable”. Yeah, they’ll at least have an experience. And we know that these guys teach you that no one can argue with your “experience”. Pastor Phil doing the thing with the low-talking, forcing everyone’s attention to be fixed on him because they have to strain to hear. Getting ready for a big crescendo. Keeps throwing out buzz words in rhythmic, mesmerizing way:

“Holy Spirit… the Anointing… Power of God from on High… Fills hearts…. And Changes worlds… in Jesus’ name” You can feel… yourself getting… sleepy and… very suggestible. Then says gently, “Hey guys, look this way.” (Still in gentle tone) This totally reminds me of when a hypnotist transitions from bringing the person into the altered state of consciousness to carefully placing whatever suggestion is needed. It will be very interesting to see what Phil Pringle chooses to say next:

Fixed his attention on a particular teen crying next to stage and asking, still rhythmically, why he’s crying. He just wants to be happy. He starts naming, still rhythmically, all the people that are near the stage that love him and that “we all love you. You matter more than you think.” Again addressing another teen. Boy this guy is good. I am mesmerized and I can’t stand the guy.

1:00    Phil Pringle starts singing Beatle’s song for no reason whatsoever, other than the kid saying he’s 17 and the age mentioned in the Beatle’s song is 17. Again, with a soft mesmerizing voice. Then talks to another teen. Why is he picking all the teens? Is that all that came forward? Telling him to stick to his decision, don’t let his friends drag him of. “You’re strong. A very powerful young man.” Mesmerizing, mesmerizing. I’m blissed out just listening to this. The dude freaks me out. How many more minutes of this? I might be catching a plane to Sidney if I’m not careful. Won’t bore you, more of the same. Only addresses the young people that came forward. “Do you feel different after praying that prayer? How do you feel? You feel incredible?! There’s a cartoon called The Incredibles, isn’t there?” How hip and relevant for you to know that, Phil. “They’re powerful. You’re more powerful.” And this imitator of C.S. Lewis’ green witch continued to mesmerize them. We need the stench of Puddleglum’s burning flesh to wake us up here. Wow.

Now flattering a 12-year-old saying he thought he was 18. “Are you a good boy? … Isn’t that nice… you look like a good boy. God’s proud of you. He’s very happy you’re out here tonight.” Wow. He’s now telling them about the “born-again motor” that’s been put inside of them to empower them to do all the things that God wants them to do. Wow, that’s a new one. Haven’t heard that one before.

1:05:25    Fail! Phil Pringle just calls one of his staff members by the wrong name when he calls her up on stage to tell everyone up front to follow her out. Then spends time flattering her to make up for the fact that he forgot her name. She seems to swallow it, laps it up. Ugh!

1:07:15    Band whipping things up again. Crowd goes while. Phil thanks crowd and tells them they’re “stellar”. He pauses before “stellar” because he probably wants to avoid “brilliant” since Steven Furtick so perceptively pointed out that that word has little meaning in Australia. So he pauses before “amazing” too. Probably a little irritated that Steven narrowed his already limited vocabulary of flattery, which he’s doing now, continuing to flatter the crowd. Scratch, scratch, scratch. Just announced a painting (found out later Phil Pringle is selling his own paintings. People ting they’re anointed or something.) is up to $30,000 (silent auction?), announced by Laura. Nice. So glad y’all are making even more money than you’ve already raked in tonight. Talking up next year’s conference, register now. Brags about 21-day fast they went on before this conference.

Okay, gladly that’s all. But I should insert one last disturbing note. I was informed by my friend Mr. Jake Elliot that this particular sermon was actually the bright spot in the whole conference. It was downright orthodox in comparison with what the other speakers put out there the rest of the week. And here is the Pooh Bear Clip I promised. I couldn’t help but be thinking of this particular clip and wondering if this is more where Steven Furtick got the inspiration for this sermon, more so than the Bible.