Parental pride can only go so far, and Elevation Church Lead Pastor Steven Furtick and his wife, Holly, are now on the receiving end of staunch criticism for celebrating their 16-year-old son's music project that promotes guns, sex and designer clothes, media outlets have reported.
Elijah Furtick recently released a group of songs under a project titled "Teen Machine." In the music video for one of the songs, "No Hook," Elijah Furtick made references to oral sex, drinking Hennessey and his "bro" keeping a gun, The Christian Post reported.
On Wednesday, Steven Furtick posted this Facebook message about his son's project: "You already know how proud I am of you. But today on the release of TEEN MACHINE I want you to know that you inspire me.
"Believing in your own voice, lyrics and melodies enough to hit record and make your own project. This is the part that inspired me the most," Furtick wrote. "Because even with autotune, letting your voice be heard, even by your own ears, is intimidating. Most people can't even stand to hear their voice for 10 seconds on an old video on their phone. But you had the courage to conceptualize and execute an entire project—every 808, mix, & melody, you meticulously curated and created, selected and perfected."
Holly Furtick posted on Instagram that she is "so proud of this project."
Neither of those comments have sat well with some members of the Christian community, including Keith Bell, an associate pastor and jail minister affiliated with Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. Bell quoted 1 Timothy 3 and suggested that Steven Furtick isn't running "his own household well."
"1 Timothy 3 says that one of the qualifications of a pastor are that... 'He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity, but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?'" Bell asked in a Facebook post.
The Christian Post reported that "Ruslan KD, a San Diego-based hip-hop artist and follower of Jesus known for his positive, spiritually-minded productions, raised particular concern about the song 'No Hook!'
"I don't blame him [Elijah]. He's a kid. This is not his fault. This was cosigned by his mom. He posted it, and the mom was like, 'yeah!' endorsing it," Ruslan said in a reaction video on YouTube.
"It's not a good look to be flexing about money and about jewelry when your dad is a pastor ... and there is nothing authentic about this," Ruslan said. "The No. 1 value in this ecosystem of hip-hop is authenticity and being congruent. So, when you have a song that's literally all hyperbolic nonsense of stuff that he's not living, this is bad for his career."
The Christian Post reached out to the Furticks Tuesday to respond to the criticism. An official told the media outlet that "Pastor Furtick has no further comment at this time."
You can watch Elijah Furtick's video on YouTube by searching: Elijah Furtick No Hook. Charisma Media will not provide a link to it due to the suggestive nature.
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