Is Craig Groeschel a false teacher?

Category 4

Verdict: Craig Groeschel has a demonstrable pattern of doing what will profit himself the most

 

Preface

At the request of one of our readers, we have been asked to investigate whether Craig Groeschel is a false teacher. You can make a request here, and we will honor it. It is a source of joy to be trusted in such a way. Part of what we want to do in our Discernment ministry is to go beyond the low hanging fruits and answer your questions about prominent teachers today.

Why he’s famous?

Craig Groeschel is the head of the largest church in America, Life.Church in Oklahoma. He is also one of the figures behind the Youversion Bible app and Bible.com. There is a certain omnipresence of his influence withing Christianity, so therefore it is worth determining whether he is leading people astray or not.

Background

Craig Groeschel has a marketing degree from the City University of Oklahoma. In 1991 he was an associate pastor at a United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City. In 1995, he graduated from Phillip Theological Seminary, an apostate seminary.[1] In 1996, Craig Groeschel put his ideas to the test and started a church to reach the unchurched, a seeker-friendly church. The church that began in a garage would grow to be the largest in the nation.

From 2011 to 2019, Craig Groeschel was a board member for Gulfport Energy making over $200000 a year, despite no energy experience. Groeschel is also the author of several books. His net worth has been estimated as high as $477 million.[2]

Life Dot Church

Life.Church is the largest church in America, according to Wikipedia, and has roughly 53000 attendees. The church is a part of the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination. The statement of faith is not very technical and perhaps easy for the unbeliever to understand. Whereas the second largest megachurch in America has the Prosperity Gospel in its statement of faith, the only detected possible deviation is a lack of belief in Lordship Salvation, the belief that we accept Jesus and Lord and Savior, which thereby means that repentance is a core aspect of the conversion experience. Life.Church is one of the most tech-savvy churches there is. This may explain why Life.Church is exceeding anal about being named Life Dot Church.

Life.Church is the evidently silent on abortion. An investigation by the Abolish Human Abortion showed that they deterred pro-life activism within their small group system.[3]

Evangelical Covenant Church

The Evangelical Covenant Church is self-described as a reformation church. Indeed they appear as an offshoot of Lutheranism among Swedish immigrants to the United States. While the denomination is firm on human sexuality, showing willingness to remove ministers that perform the homosexual sacraments, the Evangelical Covenant Church has bought into Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. In 2019, the same year where they were expelling homosexuality supporting members, they adopted a racist and Marxist resolution that invited “white members of the Covenant Ministerium to sign the public Relational Covenant below affirming one’s personal commitment to anti-racism and increased cultural competency.” The Relational Covenant is as follows contains bullet points such as:

  • Centering our public discourse on white experience
  • Failing to have skin in the game on the particular sins of racism and cultural supremacy that we as white clergy struggle with
  • Assuming we are prepared to deal with immigration, mass incarceration, racial reconciliation, and other expressions of injustice before dealing with our institutional racism
  • Taking up emotional space by centering our own pain
  • Protecting our own world view and failing to recognize its limits

This resolution is deeply rooted in Marxism and invites white ministers to become social justice warriors. It’s miraculous that a denomination that is this racist and Marxist has not bent on sexuality all that much.

The ECC is an egalitarian denomination and has been since the 1970’s.

Conclusion

The ECC’s trajectory shows reason to be concerned. It’s also worth noting that at some point Craig Groeschel sought out this denomination, though probably before they went woke on race.

Associations with False Teachers

Being a celebrity Pastor and founder of LifeChurch.tv, Craig Groeschel has been around the conference circuit headlining with many other notable figures. Groeschel is a returning headliner to the Catalyst Conference, a conference that is a part of the Emergent Church movement. This annual conference is a high-priced affair that gathers thousands of attendees. Frequent headliners at the Catalyst Conference include Andy Stanley, Brian Houston, and Jen Hatmaker. Craig Groeschel also headlined at the 2017 Hillsong Conference which featured Beth Moore. These are glaring red flags.

 

Prosperity Gospel Associations

In 2017, he headlined some sort of Prosperity Gospel conference with Steven Furtick, although this is a footnote on his ties to Furtick. But the list is far more vast. In 2016, he was on a panel with Joel Osteen at a conference hosted by Lakewood Church.[4] We also found a sermon that he preached at Prosperity Gospel preacher Michael Todd’s Transformation Church dated November 2019. On TD Jakes website, you can purchase what appears to be a conference lecture by Craig Groschel for $9.99.

Read our white paper on the Prosperity Gospel and why its heretical

Preaching

Generally speaking, Craig Groeschel uses eisegesis, like any motivational speaker that claims Christianity. Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian has done several sermon reviews ripping Craig Groeschel’s preaching. This is not a good teacher of Scripture, no matter how much bad teaching is masked in provocative style. We did not perform an exhaustive survey of his preaching.

Conclusions

Craig Groeschel is a celebrity pastor and acts accordingly to maintain his own celebrity. It seems there is no speaking gig he will turn down, provided they pay, and no pastor he won’t associate with except maybe Paula White. He continues to write several books while maintaining his megachurch. He acts as though he is in this for the money, and his marketing background is exceedingly influential in his ecclesiology. The carnal Steven Furtick was greatly influenced by Groeschel.

The influence of Craig Groeschel is incredibly vast including the one of the most popular bible apps, in addition to the largest church in America. But it is clear that Life Dot Church did not become the largest church in America by preaching the gospel. From a marketing background to a highly dubious theological background, the formula is set for at best, almost true and at worst a deviant gospel from what the Scriptures tell. Tickling ears and trying to profit are definite patterns one can gather from his sermons, books, and speaking engagements at events that promote false gospels and false teachers. This is the fruit of one who does not know Christ, especially given the prominence of his ministry.

 

Updated 04/2020 to include our Prosperity Gospel white paper


[1] You can get your Masters of Arts in Social Justice

[2] We cannot verify the methodology of this 2017 estimate, but this research is where we found the Gulfstream info. Although this came off as strange, we were able to verify that a pastor was on the board of an energy company. This information made the other estimates between $100000-$1000000 impossible. It is important to also note that his salary as a pastor is unknown.

[3] Youtube AHA on the phone with LifeChurch.TV 2013 6:00

https://youtu.be/A4nLo0Rq6Ew

[4] At this point we should point out our methodology in finding this information. We found a persistent pattern with Craig Groeschel associating with obvious false teachers, so we decided to search Craig Groeschel with a false teacher’s name in DuckDuckGo.

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