Usually when a story surfaces about your church pastor leaving for a new church after landing a $110 million contract, it’s fairly obvious it’s a joke.
But if you’re Elevation pastor Steven Furtick, apparently it’s not so clear cut.
In a strange post to Twitter, Furtick actually addressed a recent and hilarious article from satire website The Babylon Bee, to let his people know that they can breathe a deep sigh of relief – their pastor has not, in fact, signed a multi-year deal with Osteen’s church:
CONSIDER THE SOURCE pic.twitter.com/Jtuv8QoX8u
— Steven Furtick (@stevenfurtick) July 30, 2017
A couple of troubling signs with this story. First of all, under no circumstances should he have ever addressed a satire article such as this. All it does is draw even more attention to the controversy, and makes him look a bit silly for having followers how actually think it’s possible for a church to pay a pastor nearly $20 million a year.
“Always consider the source,” Furtick said in a video posted to Twitter. “I am not leaving Elevation Church. Whether it was funny or right for them to post that is up to you to decide. But what’s crazy to me is the number of people who believed it and even spread it around that I was leaving my church.”
Furtick has been plagued over the years with charges of living a lavish lifestyle on the backs of donations made by church members which were given under the impression they’d be going to basic church needs and charitable endeavors. He made national headlines when news of his $1.7m mansion became public. His name wasn’t on the deed, instead it was in the name of a trust, which was held by the church’s executive pastor.
Given that background, Furtick should be aware that perhaps making it appear as if it’s entirely plausible for him to be offered a $110 million contract from a church, and steer clear of making any comment. It should also be a bit of a red flag that he considers it even remotely possible that his followers would think he could be worth that much money as a pastor in the first place.
An extremely bizarre move, as it lends credence to all of the very critiques that have plagued him in the past. Hard to understand why he would even bother with it, but stranger things have happened.