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Hillsong

7 June, 2003 10:49 AM

fridaysixpm (6th June - permalinks not working?)has an interesting review of a TV expose on Hillsong an Aussie Pentecostal church which has attracted alot of criticism over the past years.

You can get the transcript of the program here

fridaysixpm writes:

"There's a lot I could say about this church. Of course I respect people's right to express their spirituality in whatever way seems appropriate to them, but as far as I'm concerned Hillsongs as an organisation embodies the worst of consumerism and sexism while denying its members the full range of human experience (God wants you to be happy all the time!). For outsiders, the Hillsongs phenomenon is fascinating, as well as an annoying tax scam. For thousands of church-members, it can be close to abuse. "

Update: Eddie has a rant on a similar topic.

Thanks for the discussion that is going on in comments below - lets remember to treat each other with respect as we discuss. On the topic of prosperity - I highly recommend the book 'Praying like Jesus' (pictured above/right).

Update 2: I'd like to thank all that have contributed to this conversation - we've had around comments left over the past 13 months - its obviously a hot topic that people feel very deeply about on both sides.

I have deleted a few comments left on this thread from people taking both sides who were unable to contain their anger to a point where their comments got to a stage of personal attacks and crude language.

After a lot of thinking about it I've decided to close comments to this thread as I feel we've probably achieved as much as we can with the discussion. I'm not sure that anything anyone can now say would add much to the conversation or change too many people's minds either way.

I've appreciated all those who've participated in this discussion - valid points have been made from numerous perspectives. I see validity in both sides of the conversation personally but feel that the conversation is perhaps heading in a direction where it could be seen as more destructive than anything else. As a result I'm closing comments as of now. I'll allow the comments already post to remain as a record of our conversations and hope its a useful resource to those thinking through the issues discussed.

Comments

Page:

I don't know much about Hillsongs; they're known mainly for their music albums over here. Quite recently my mom got herself a DVD player and someone lent her one of the Hillsongs worship VCDs. Mom couldn't see the point of sitting down to watch a worship concert on video. It disturbed me too - felt like watching a performance. If you want to bless people with songs & music that's fine, I love singing along with cassettes or CDs, they stir my heart to worship God - but watching a VCD???

It sounds like Hillsongs has become sort of a benchmark or an attractive example of a "successful" church. Wonder whether City Harvest Church (Singapore) is affiliated? They just built a huge spanking new church building that cost $47.5mil (Singapore dollars) and have the list of "largests" and "biggests" and "bests" up on their website. I know someone who left the church because he was sickened by the ostentatiousness and felt the money could have been put to better use elsewhere.

As far as prosperity gospel goes, I left my previous church (a branch of City Harvest) because I felt they emphasised too much on money. Too much on giving to God and being abundantly blessed in return. Too much on sacrificial giving ("if it doesn't hurt, it doesn't require faith, and it's not a sacrifice"). There wasn't a single week when money wasn't mentioned!

What happens when people listen to those "I've been tithing faithfully and God has blessed me so much" testimonies and don't see the financial/material blessings pour into their own lives? That's what I want to know...

irene » 8 June, 2003 5:29 PM

Because 'tithing' and 'sowing and reaping' are two very different things... Apart from the fact that tithing in the context that the church teaches it is wrong, many unknowingly are sowing with a wrong motive. It's not a lottery. Do people buy a ticket and expect to hit the jackpot every week? Just because some people attribute tithing to their financial success, it's legitimacy is justified about as much as a paedophile who doesn't get caught.

Regan » 9 June, 2003 9:22 AM

Firstly my comment to irene.
you say "What happens when people listen to those "I've been tithing faithfully and God has blessed me so much" testimonies and don't see the financial/material blessings pour into their own lives? That's what I want to know...". my reply to that is that i want to see a testimony that says "My life didnt grow when i got stuck into investing into Gods kingdom."
Firstly they need to have done it will a attitude of worship.
Secondly they need to be in a real and right relationship with the Holy Spirit.
and lastly (i could say alot more on this)they need to know that they will not necessarily recieve the same thing back. If i sow i will reap no matter if it is my tithe or extra giving so i can see what God is doing in my life and the churches life go forward.
To quote a verse "i will not open the windows of heaven and pour out such blessing that there will not be enough room to contain it." (Malachi ch3v11)
If you wish to compare the church to a paedophile then go ahead that is your choice but it is truly a onesided view (i understand where that is coming from- a natural point of view, worship is supernatural). My challenge to you is to do what malachi says and simply try it, put some actions to your words/arguement otherwise your words are purely in vein. Matt Crawshaw

Matt » 25 June, 2003 6:19 PM

I have been to the Hillsong Conference last July 7-11 this year, and I was really blessed. When I ran across this site, I wondered, if what you're saying is true, how could God use them to bless and reach out to 18,000 people? If they are doing something wrong, why does God allow them to be used to do His work? Instead of criticising churches you don't like, why don't you focus on serving the Lord and improve your spiritual life. I believe God is using Hillsong to reach out to people, and they have their own way of doing it. So if you have an issue about giving or prosperous churches who has reached out thousands and connect them to God because of the people's willingness to give, then I just pray that you will find your way back to God, and remove the malice in your hearts. God still loves you.

Toni » 25 July, 2003 3:08 PM

I was really interested to read all the comments about Hillsong posted here and the TV story. Like 'Toni' I also attended Hillsong Conference this year. The experience gave me a good chance to examine what I believe, what other believe and why we believe this.
While attending the conference I tended to view what was happening around me with a very cynical attitude. Coming from a fairly conservative church background some of the things at conference were very, very different and even threatening. There was plenty that I didn't and still don't agree with. However I believe that Hillsong church does some good work in making the gospel more accessable and friendly to people. I also believe they are genuine in that they believe their books, cds, dvds etc. are indeed 'resources' and not 'products' or 'merchandise'. My view is that they provide these resources to assist others in their faith journey - not to purely make money.
Since the conference I have been looking into how other feel about Hillsong because my feelings have been so mixed. I have read many critical views and then many 'devoted' opinions also. I think that both 'sides' have elements of truth in them and neither is completely true or even completely false.
The transcript of the TV 'expose' is a good example. It seems to me to have a very determined and biased view and consequently a slant on the story. However some of the points made are worth investagating before writing the views off as true or false.
I pray that people who are looking at Hillsong church do so with an open mind but also a discerning mind.
God bless
Kim

Kim » 2 August, 2003 5:42 PM

Actually I too have been to a Hillsong Conference. In fact I've been to two. I've also visited their church a number of times a few years back. Like you there are some thing about what I saw there which both disturb me and encourage me - I guess it depends on which speakers you hear and what workshops you choose.

I guess for me I struggle most with the focus upon money that I saw spoken about so often throughout the conference and services. I do not agree with their prosperity theology at all. It does permeate through most of what they do - leaving me at times feeling almost physically ill.

The other aspect that I struggle with is that so often Hillsong is seen as the 'answer' by many churches. It seems to be something that many ministers and churches aspire to - little clones of the church tend to pop up around the country (and more disturbingly the world). What disturbs me about this is that often these clones take very little notice of their local context when deciding what sort of church they will be - its like a one size fits all model of church that I think can actually hold churches back from reaching their community. Now at both Hillsong conferences that I went to I heard from the stage that they don't want people to just clone them - they actually do encourage people to be unique - however despite this the evidence I've seen in my travels around our countries churches is that many churches continue to imitate and base their church on Hills.

However in the midst of it all I do not discount that some of their programs have had a fantastic impact upon their city and local region. Obviously many have been impacted by some of their community programs which I would say are their best features.

Hmmm...I've said to much. For more check out Eddie's rant.

Darren Rowse » 2 August, 2003 6:05 PM

Actually I think all of us are sinners so we are not perfect in a lot of things.Ya Hillsong church is not perfect they have their strength and weakness. So we shouldn't compare them with others.But I am actually bless by their dvd cos they teach me to be expressive when worship God... And I am actually so touch when i first saw "You are my world" vcd.I think if they are doing the wrong thing to release dvd God will deal with them it is not for us to judge.

Jane » 31 August, 2003 3:14 AM

Hillsong is amazing, i love it, it has changed christain culture....i feel sorry for all the nagative others out there.....you are missing out.....i bet you all spend more then 10 percent of your income oat the pub each week....we work all week, and its abiit dull...why shouldnt we make sunday and church the highlight of our week???


if you wanna an insperation
www.rachaeljoyscott.com
or get the book: rachels tears

Peter » 5 September, 2003 7:32 PM


Well I attend a AOG church that plays the Hillsong music etc.
I think that the questionable thing about Hillsong
is that the selling of products etc should never be the driver for a Church of Jesus Christ.

It should be the people and how those people shine in the real world before the unsaved.

After all we should be attracting people to Jesus
and not a "Church" . The Church is where it happens.

Hillsong is not noted for its preaching and teaching. But the sales of them..

Yes I really do get discouraged to see Churches selling a "product" .

How do I handle it .
Well first of all "there is no perfect church " only the one in Heaven.

Give grace to the guys who "pick on" different aspects of Churches..because they aren't perfect either.

eg People don't like the traditional Churches because they are boring..
Some folk don't like Pentacostal Churches because they have a Calvanistic Backgroup.
Pentacostal Churches think that they are the only ones.....

As the Body of Christ we are all part of the body and should support and encourage each other.

We should however stay away ...right away from
Heresy and expose it ..The bible teaches this .

But the cause is Christ and that is the focus not

It don't like this because .....blah blah blah ..
It don't like this Church because Blah Blah Blah

I am Pentacostal and I am a President of Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship.

I just love the Body of Christ . Period..

Find me the perfect Church and I'll personally fly in a Jumbo Jet and fly 300 of my friends there..

And when I land and go to that perfect Church it will then be imperfect because I will be there...

Gazza » 22 September, 2003 11:34 AM

Matt, there are some fundamental flaws in your doctrine. Firstly, an attitude of worship. Please provide the biblical reference for this as I find no basis for it. Secondly, they need to be in a right relationship with the Holy Spirit? Where do you pull that from? Please provide me with just one old testament reference to where someone had to be in right relationship with the Holy Spirit when they were tithing. Thirdly, Mal 3v11. It really annoys me how people take this entire passage out of context to fill the church coffers every week. What was the situation? Going back a few generations, the Levites were given the responsibility of looking after the temple. They had no inheritance in the land and therefore they had nowhere to grow crops or raise animals. The tithe was put in place in order for the levites to be able to survive and be provided for. What happens in Malachai, he addresses the fact that the Levites have had to go off to work and therefore the temple is not being looked after as it once was. If you care to delve into things further, you'll notice that there was usually stuff left over from all the livestock and grain that was bought in which wouldn't fit in the store house (literal) and was given to the poor and widows etc. You'll also find that during the year of Jubilee, tithing was not required and during this time there were celebrations and in many cases, the people would eat what they had bought as their tithe to celebrate God.

The 'law' of tithing that the 'church' teaches is entirely out of context and totally wrong. If you go back to the very first mention of tithing in the Bible with Abraham and Melchizedek, you'll notice that while Abraham gave 10% of the riches that he captured in battle to Melchizedek, at no time was he instructed by God to do so. Secondly, what did he do with the remaining 90%? He gave it all away and kept nothing for himself!

If you want to preach tithing, then preach all of it and make sure you are given the year of Jubilee off.

God no longer requires 10% of your weekly paycheck as part of the old temple system. He requires everything. If you're lukewarm, He'll spew you out of His mouth.

Regan » 1 October, 2003 9:48 AM

Hi there,
My names lizzie, Im 19 and I was a member of Hillsong church until a year ago when I left because of the doctrine. I heard too many alter calls where Jesus, Sin, and the cross were never mentioned and at the youth summercamp in 2001 I experienced what Hillsong calls "prophecy" which was nothing other than new-age clairvoyancy. Hillsong is a very worldly church that allows heretics to preach from their pulpits. (Marilyn Hickey, Joyce Meyer) Ive seen Tim Hall make half the church fall on their backs by simply pointing at church members and screaming "Fire of God" (not biblical!!) and they dont mind fellowshipping with Catholics!(remember they preach salvation by good works NOT faith in Christ!)... Charismatic Catholics I might add.... I was 17 when i left that church and i prayed so much that the Lord would give me in the truth. I have friends at Hillsong.. sorry... HAD friends at Hillsong who turned away from me thinking I was nuts and against their "church"... Hillsong is bordering on a cult. The gospel they preach is watered down and sugar coated coz "we dont wanna offend anyone".....

I never left coz of the money factor... I know Hillsong is one wealthy church. Thats not what bothered me. Its the teachings. Stay away from Charismatic churches, especially Hillsong. We need to warn people about churches like this. Defend the faith from false teachers. xolizzie

Lizzie » 4 October, 2003 2:20 PM

Greetings,
I am currently attend Hillsong Church (City) and I would just like to quote one of the Pastors, Robert Fergusson, when preaching on Matt 23:23. He said "The tithe (mint, dill and cummin) is important, but justice, mercy and faithfullness are more important," which the the Pharisees neglected. Also Brian Houston is telling us that these issues will be the focus for Hillsong church for the next period of time, as he said that the church's resources will be centered around 'Hillsong Emerge', the church's community arm. I think however, that the issue here is the heart and motive of the actions of Hillsong, which after 10 years, I can honestly say that Hilsong's God is not money, but the God of the bible.
Peace

Raj » 8 October, 2003 11:34 AM

I find the comments on Hillsong interesting.

I attend an AOG church that is associated with Hillsong and we too hear the issue of money virtually every week, mostly in a subtle way, sometimes bluntly. Many pentecostal ministers push tithing to raise money for their budgets. What annoys me is this sort of teaching is thrust on those who are least able to comprehend it or those that are least able to afford it. Tithing has nothing to do with being a christian. The new covenant teaches that we should give because we want to and love Jesus not because of some legal obligation. That could mean 10%, it could mean more or it could mean less, it could mean sowing and giving into areas we would not even think about (outside of the local church). The tithing mentality is not living by the Spirit. Interestingly the last pentecostal church I went to the pastor did not believe in tithing and only once mentioned money (in 7 years I was there). That church was very dynamic and Spirit lead, and seem to have enough money to do what it needed to do.

If you were a non-christian and walked into a church and heard that you had to empty 10% of your wallet into the offering plate, would you stay?

Unfortunately the tithing mentality is so well entrenched and I think this is a major blot on the Christian church. Its about time that leaders grew up and studied the scriptures properly however there's too much riding on a change in their teaching (church infrastructure, salaries etc)

Never before has so little been achieved with so much.

Roger

Roger » 16 October, 2003 5:10 PM

It really saddens me to read all the negative comments about Hillsong Church on this website. I'm a student at Hillsong Bible College and from my experience all the church and college have done is point me towards Jesus and made me fall in love with Jesus more. They have given me a hunger to see the gospel preached more and inspired and challenged my relationship with God so much. Getting to know Brian and Bobbie Houston has been a privelege; their heart is only to see people know Jesus and live for Him. It's a shame there aren't more Christians out supporting churches like Hillsong, rather than criticising it. Didn't Jesus call us to be united and love each other, not tear one another down?
Hillsong Church is brilliant because it preaches the gospel and glorifies God, surely that's the whole point.

Tanya Meruvia » 26 October, 2003 4:15 AM

I wonder those who talk so negatively about tithing and giving actually give anything at all? Sounds like money is a stumbling block to a lot of people. No wonder Jesus said it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of needle than for a rich man to enter into heaven.

It's interesting to note that my collegue actually dicided to come to church with me and eventually gave his life to Jesus on hearing that I tithe and give to mission. He thought that my church and my God must be so great that someone will actually give 10% and more of his income.

I came across this scripture during devotion this week- 2Cor9:10-11 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be geneorous on every occasion.

I have been with Hillsong for 20 years. Hearing 3 minutes each week on giving is not too much, I would think. To me, giving is not about 10% but a lifestyle of genorosity. I really believe that I am blessed to be a blessing.

James » 8 November, 2003 12:14 AM

Look, I have to jump in here and put in my two cents about all these controversey about Hillsong selling DVDs and CDs.

Simply, these are the most moving CDs and DVDs that I have ever come across, speaking musically, and I thank God that they have come into my life. I actually feel like I'm at one of these worship services when I watch them, and my soul soars to be in communion with God, and I'm sure that is the intent of the Hillsong team - to move others, thru music and video - to be closer to God. What is the problem with that?

Are they making money on these "products"? I hope so! I hope they make more and more of these products, that more and more people are touched soulfully by these obviously Jesus-loving, God-seeking people. They are using media to bring people in communion with God, how can you folks find fault with that? Isn't that what worship is all about?

I would love to join Hillsong Church myself, and if I were in different circumstances, I think I'd actually fly to Austrailia to do so. Yes, it moves me that much.

God has certainly blessed my life with Hillsong "products", and I'm sure that the Hillsong folks would be happy to hear that!

Lighten up, guys!

-Patrick

Patrick Ashley » 8 November, 2003 1:57 AM

Hi

I attend Hillsong church each weekend and find it interesting and relevant to where I'm at and that is so many people find their church home at Hillsong.

As far as the prosperity gospel I find it very interesting that so many people who do not actually attend hillsong have an attitude to the way it is run.

I previously attended a small church and my first thoughts of Hillsong where that it was a business, money driven initative.

I continued to attend and basically out of a skeptive attitude implemented the "properity preaching" fundementals in my life. I found that the principals work and my life is currently an awesome adventure and I have seen time and time again the rewards of putting God first in every area of my life.

I think when Christian's spend so much time talking about what other churches are doing wrong, doing right or not doing at all we have to ask ourselves one question.

Were we saved to pick holes in all the other christians, churches or were we saved and called to the Great Commission?

The greater church community in the nation of Australia would die without the likes of Hillsong who provides quality teaching and preaching that is relevant to today's society.

If we aren't relevant then why would anyone want to be a christian and follow christ?

time to get off the couch and make life count for something more than making sure your next door neighbour is doing life correctly...

Josh

Josh » 9 November, 2003 8:43 PM

I attend Virginia Beach Christian Life Center in Virginia Beach, VA. sort of a spin off from Hillsong church. The Pastor is from Hillsong Australia and so is the worship leader Russell Fragar. I went through a very bad church experience before I came to this church and I can say that I have grown and gotten stronger because of the teaching I am now receiving. Money is not the key to this church. Yes, tithing is important, it is God's money to start with. I have always tithed and there was a period when I lost everything including my home. I can tell you with assurance because I had stored up my tithes in the storehouse, God kept his promise and replaced in a mighty way what the enemy had taken.
The difference between who I am now and who I was then; now money is not as important as it was to me then and God keeps giving me more. As I give it to others, even to family members in need, He replaces it with even bigger amounts. My focus though isn't on the money or it's replacement. My focus before I went through my big crisis was how much money I could get and I didn't quite feel as confident about letting it go, even though as I said, I did tithe to many ministries and my church. I feel bad for you that you only see the money part of churches. I also hope you realize that you can be happy when you are a Christian - the Bible tells us to be happy. You are going to have broken hearts, and down times but when you are involved in a church like Hillsong & VA Beach Christian Life Center where people care - the downtimes become less.
I will pray that you will see that the enemy is stealing your joy and causing you to be distracted and deceived. These churches are breaking down the legalism that is found in so many other churches, including the one where I experienced heartbreak. I pray your legalism is made evident to you and it is with love that I pray you will put away the anger and find a church you can grow and learn more about God.
I am grateful that there are videos for people to look at. I have a friend that can't get to church because of physical problems and these videos are extremely important to her. Praise God for churches like Hillsong and the one I attend that even though they have a big attendance, they think as a small church and keep their eyes and hearts open for each attendee, I pray you are able to see that part of these ministries.

Anne » 10 November, 2003 1:18 PM

I attend Virginia Beach Christian Life Center in Virginia Beach, VA. sort of a spin off from Hillsong church. The Pastor is from Hillsong Australia and so is the worship leader Russell Fragar. I went through a very bad church experience before I came to this church and I can say that I have grown and gotten stronger because of the teaching I am now receiving. Money is not the key to this church. Yes, tithing is important, it is God's money to start with. I have always tithed and there was a period when I lost everything including my home. I can tell you with assurance because I had stored up my tithes in the storehouse, God kept his promise and replaced in a mighty way what the enemy had taken.
The difference between who I am now and who I was then; now money is not as important as it was to me then and God keeps giving me more. As I give it to others, even to family members in need, He replaces it with even bigger amounts. My focus though isn't on the money or it's replacement. My focus before I went through my big crisis was how much money I could get and I didn't quite feel as confident about letting it go, even though as I said, I did tithe to many ministries and my church. I feel bad for you that you only see the money part of churches. I also hope you realize that you can be happy when you are a Christian - the Bible tells us to be happy. You are going to have broken hearts, and down times but when you are involved in a church like Hillsong & VA Beach Christian Life Center where people care - the downtimes become less.
I will pray that you will see that the enemy is stealing your joy and causing you to be distracted and deceived. These churches are breaking down the legalism that is found in so many other churches, including the one where I experienced heartbreak. I pray your legalism is made evident to you and it is with love that I pray you will put away the anger and find a church you can grow and learn more about God.
I am grateful that there are videos for people to look at. I have a friend that can't get to church because of physical problems and these videos are extremely important to her. Praise God for churches like Hillsong and the one I attend that even though they have a big attendance, they think as a small church and keep their eyes and hearts open for each attendee, I pray you are able to see that part of these ministries.

Anne » 10 November, 2003 1:19 PM

I think it's typical of the Aussie pull-down-the-tall-poppy syndrome that there are so many negative comments about Hillsong posted here.

They will know us by our love for oneanother.

I too have been critical of Hillsong in the past but realised that God can achieve nothing in and through the Body of Christ if we keep pulling eachother down. I've read Darlene Zcech's book and I had an attitude at first but the woman LOVES God and His word. People I know who have met her say she is so down to earth and real and the love of God pours out of her.

God is always the same but is always changing/creating.

Hillsong is an out there kind of church but good on them, show the world that the church is not outdated and unfashionable, make an impact, let the light shine as bright as you can, don't hide it under a bush and hope that someone will find it. Sing a new song. Dance like David did (half naked - tee hee). Would you rather that?

Jesus was radical and had many people knock Him, it's no surprise that there are still people like that around who are probably people who want to be free to be themselves and do something awesome for God too.

So many have been saved from terrible situations and even suicide through their TV ministry and outreaching work. It takes lots of money to affect masses of people. I bet they have paid an enormous price personally to get to where they are today.

It's not easy being a leader especially in this country and it's culture

amanda » 13 November, 2003 3:01 PM

I goto Riverview Church on the west coast of Australia... and it's an amazing church... many people would call it a sister church to hillsong, th only reall difference is its a Non-Denominational Church, it's toward a more charismatic style but is always open not being contained by denomination doctrine... many people from different denominations visit there on a regular basis. When it comes to money our pastors are really simple and straight forward - the church needs money to survive, if this is your church home, then you should be sowing into this house. This Church is a non-profit organisation and all om ey goes into ministry things like tv outreach, missions, community service schemes, youth, high school... we're not a bunch of swinging pentecostal types but our praise and worship is vibrant! and purposeful, the words engage people in worship... its available on cd, music book and video to bless other people... now can someone tell me... wats wrong with this church?? oh yeh... and our church is very similar to hillsong... as much as i luv evryone who posts here... i have to say... lets not fight and argue about church styles, denominations and minor doctrine... and get our eyes set on the bigger purposes of reaching out to teh unsaved and showing them christ... remember christ's hand didnt say to the foot " i dont need you", "you aren't operating properly", or even acuse and say that you're not part of this body.. we're all apart of the body of christ... and all churches have different purposes and reasons on this body... and i'm talking to ALL CHRISTIANS... charismatics, pentecostals, reformies, presbyterians, anglicans, baptists, EVERYONE!!!!

God luv's U all!

Nahum » 20 November, 2003 4:38 PM

one more comment... i alos believe churches should be relevent to the culture... just like Jesus... he was relevent to the carpenters and fishermen and even tax collectors of his time...
it's a wonderful thing when the church infiltrates the world... but its a tragic thing when the world infiltrates the church... and the church isn't the organ, stained glass widnows, youth groups, hymns, olf building.... its the spirit that brings people together to worship GOD!

give him praise...

Nahum » 20 November, 2003 4:55 PM

Hillsong church revitalised a hunger for God, members from Hillsong church prayed over my sister who was dying and is now healed. Hillsong church is my church and I am loyal to it because they do not condemn or criticise other churches for their own individual ways of coming to God. Were here for Jesus not for us so lets come together in that spirit. God bless.

Angela » 5 December, 2003 2:34 PM

I am agreeing with lizzie on this debate.

Joan » 5 December, 2003 5:09 PM

hi... i dont really get why any of you bother yourselfs with the stuff you say about Hillsong church. One things you have talked about are money, and from what i can see, you have a pretty warped views of it. Do you believe everything the media says? If yes, you are a fool. There have been many stories in the papers that have been blown up, and taken out of context. Words have been twisted. Most of the things you hear never even happened. If no, then why believe what they say about Hillsongs finances? I know that they are a very large church, and being a large church they require certain things to accomidate for the crowds. And the things they need for this, suprise suprise, do need money! They have alot of money so they can build the church. They are blessed with great finances to be a blessing to the community. And it's not about money anyway. That what i dont get about you people. It's about bringing people back to God, getting them saved! Cause you know, the time you watse here or anywhere else telling people how dodgy Hillsong is, you culd have been out in your community telling someone about God. Another reason for not saying bad stuff about Hillsong is, for that one person you tell about it being dodgy, you dont really know their spiritual state do you, and they might have planned to go to hillsong church, and ultimatly get saved there, but cause you told them things about it, they decided not to go, therefor they didnt get saved. We shouldnt build up walls between the churches, we should all unite. There has not been one week at Hillsong where people havent been saved, and that you should be praising God for. Also, i dont believe that any of you have a right to judge hillsong, they are serving God the best way they know how, and if it saves people, well then be happy. God is the only one that can judge them. You gotta leave it in his hand, and trust him with it. If he doesnt want Hillsong to prosper, and wants it to cease, then it will. But if it continues to prosper and grow, well so be it. When praying about it, just pray Gods will be done in the situation, leave your opinions aside, cause altimatly it's Gods opinion that matters, and what he wants goes! So just leave Hillsong alone, theyre doin a good job. Gods hand, and favour is most certainly upon them.

» 9 December, 2003 2:08 PM

I am a member of Hillsong church, and have been for approaching 8.5 years, what can I say what a pack of lies, my church is not at all as I see people depicting it here. Whilst I have not seen the program the started all this and cannot seem to get to the transcript, the link doesn't work, I've seen enough untruth that I must speak.
In the paragraph at the top under the name of "fridaysixpm" which introduces all this it says:

fridaysixpm writes:
There's a lot I could say about this church. Of course I respect people's right to express their spirituality in whatever way seems appropriate to them, but as far as I'm concerned Hillsongs as an organisation embodies the worst of consumerism and sexism while denying its members the full range of human experience (God wants you to be happy all the time!). For outsiders, the Hillsongs phenomenon is fascinating, as well as an annoying tax scam. For thousands of church-members, it can be close to abuse.


I don't know what they base this on but I presume it's the program in question, well it's a pack of lies there is not a word of truth in any of it. I will particularly take issue with the snippet that says/implies that my church teaches us that "God wants you to be happy all the time!" this is pure rubbish, I suffer from a condition called Major Depression/Anxiety disorder (or various other names around that theme), thats about as far from happy all the time as you can get, at the moment I am close to being down/depressed/unhappy all the time, I cannot work due to all this. Do I get picked on for this by the pastors and leaders, no far from it, they look after me, they check up on me that I'm coping, I see a pastoral care pastor regularly to make sure I'm ok, and to council me, which helps me so much.
So what do you want us to do? have me up there in services telling people how my week was crap, how I had to fight too resist the suicidal thoughts, how at present I felt like I have no hope; now that would help people, not; or I could sing on the albums even though I don't really sing well, I could moan on about how bad I feel, and tell people whats the point, really helpful?, I'd buy that, not.

Our services and our albums are our best there, meant to bless you, and me so of course there positive, if you knew some of the worship and creative arts team as I know them, I am a member of worship & the creative arts, have been for 8 years, (currently sort of inactive due to the illness) I have seen the honesty the humility, and the heart aches, read Darlene's book Extravagant worship to learn of just a little of what it has cost her and her husband too be where they are.

As for this fixation about money so many of you have, well I believe 100% what I'm told that what we are taught about giving is for our sakes, and every thing I read here only proves that point, I have very little money, as I am on a benefit, and some weeks I have trouble feeding myself, but I pray to GOD that money never gets a grip on my heart like it has with many of you. I want to be a generous man even if my means to do so is limited, truth is this predates Hillsong for me, I have always hated the way so many are owned by their money, rather than owning their money.
All I can say in conclusion is that I am so blessed that GOD placed me in Hillsong church, it truly the best church I have ever seen or been in, and I love it.

» 11 December, 2003 12:49 AM

The above post is mine don't know why i lost my name

Grizzly(Francis Smit) » 11 December, 2003 12:53 AM

sorry should read:
The above post is mine don't know why it lost my name

Grizzly(Francis Smit) » 11 December, 2003 12:54 AM

Greetings to you all amazing people,

I was going through the net and came across this website.

I must say that all your comments are all so interesting. I attend Hillsong church and it's always been life changing every time I go.

Finance is always been an issue in every aspect of life and that is a fact. Jesus did not die on the cross for us to be lovers of money but be lovers of Christ and to have a relationship with God not our wallets. Giving is a heart issue not a wallet issue.

Hillsong is a great church and always moving forward. I won't be surprise if I visit this website in a months time and see the same people talking and commenting about the same topic. Move on people!

But on a good note, negative comments and critisism makes our church grow even more as individuals and as a church. it just confirms that we are a church that makes people uncomfortable and takes people out of their comfort zone. Brings us to a higher and new level. "New level, new devil". Jesus did the same, He never made anyone comfortable nor settle but challenged people's faith. Where does your faith lean money or God? "Where you lean will determine where you fall".

God bless

Karen Rees

Karen » 11 December, 2003 2:16 PM

I am do not agree with all of you, I am a member from Hillsong Church and you don't know how much I am blessing with the Brian's teaching. I love to sing to God instead of be part of the world, from those who have never heard about from JesusChrist.

Diana Egan » 13 December, 2003 7:22 AM

Hello, guys! I am brazilian and member of a Traditional Baptist Church. I'd really like to say that critiscism is something very welcome as long as you are only giving your opinion to someone else in order to help him come to a better attitude. Unfortunately, what I could read on this website was a lot of people thinking they are judges on God's cause. Who do they think they are? God doesn�t need anybody meddling on his kingdom�s affair and saying who�s doing right and who�s doing wrong "let every man examine himself you bunch of farisees". As for me, I am extremely open-mouthed with some of the comments I�ve just read. Why on earth can�t a church release a praise and worship DVD? I�ve never been to Autralia and I can�t afford a trip to that country in order to worship God with my brethern over there, however, I can afford buying their video-cassetes and whenever I watch them I go through a deep and sincere worship experience, what�s wrong with that? Just one last point: I am aware that we all go through difficult situations in our lives, but God is the one who turns our mourning into dancing, it�s biblical, it�s not something the hillsong church is preaching without reflecting upon. When we truly come into God�s presence he lightens our burdens and it doesnt�t mean that the burdens aren�t there, it�s a matter of attitude, you can be either pessimistic, moaning and complainig or opmistic and joyful believing that the situation is temporary and that God is always in control, bacause the trials we go through on this earth are nothing compared to the glory that is yet to be manifest.

Fernando Guerra » 16 December, 2003 12:07 AM

i think hillsongs is a wonderful church i go there ever friday and i think it is great for kids..they actully listin to wat they say and get kids involed with church

jenna » 16 December, 2003 8:14 PM

As for comments above and giving of money.
I do struggle with this at times but the church I belong to without money would not have the pastors, counsellors, chaplains in local schools, courses, outreach to less fortunate in society and mission work. There is much more that occurs that I am unaware of that requires money and on top of this there is a huge volunteer core to make it happen too. As long as the money is used responsibly then it is ok. Also one needs to trust the leaders of the church as God has chosen them. If they stuff up then God will take care of it and the local church community they belong to.

Paul » 2 January, 2004 11:35 PM

I am 22 and have been part of hillsong church for the last 4 years. I tithe and give a large part of what I earn because I've seen the impact it has had on my life and many others around the world, and to be honest I could'nt think of any better thing to do with my money. Our buildings struggle to contain the amount of people that are giving their lives to Jesus every week and if we did'nt give as generously as we do we would'nt be able to reach as many lost and broken people as we do and that would be a shame. Personally I'm forever grateful that our church has taught and challenged us to give as much as it does and I count it a privelage to give into the lives of many people. I pray that we Gods church would start to focus on the good things churches around the world are doing. Not one person in this world is perfect, and God has called different churches to reach different people in different ways.
Daz


Daz » 6 January, 2004 11:39 PM

I feel deeply depressed when i heard the negative comments of this church.we the children of bahrain grow up listeningviewing and experiencing the spirit filled moments on dvd with sister Darlene. I want to tell every body reading this message today that if anyone dares to raise weapons against the church of god he nor weapon shall proper

may the lord of wisdom pour his understanding on the people
noble

noble » 8 January, 2004 8:15 AM

Hi,

I'm from America, and I have never been to a Hillsongs church or an event by them. I also have not seen the program that aired, and the link is broken for the transcript so I cannot view that either. I think the comments are out of pure jealousy that are defamming that church. They are doing EXACTLY what the Bible Says, Go and preaching the gospel to all nations. They aren't necessarily doing it in words, but by music. I think they are offering a really positive impact to those around the world. Hillsongs does NOT focus on "marketing christ" for money, but "marketing christ" for CHRIST! Now lets face it people, money is an issue for us individuals or business, no matter what part of the world we are in. If they are to continue to minister to those around the world, through their music tapes, cds, videos, books, etc.. it all takes money.

Josh » 13 January, 2004 4:21 PM

You are an idiot, Lizzie.
I don't like Hillsong either, but there is nothing wrong with Catholics, I'm a Catholic myself.

Jack » 15 January, 2004 4:38 PM

Greetings to all, just wondering about the Hilsong Music Ministery? Seems they have a lot of people up on stage in uniform type clothes. Why so many up there? The music ministry is just that, a ministry, not a numbers game or fashion parade. How are they affecting lives with the perfectly coreographed movements, & what message is it sending. If we are too focused on all the people, razz a mattaz & hard work they have put into a performance, then who is focusing on a message from Jesus? If we are not looking to him because we are focused of the eye overkill what wont we see from Him?
Can't come to terms with Darlene plastered on every album cover, she is a song leader, where is the rest of the team who write songs & deliver the message when they sing. With so many in the fashion, sorry music ministry, surely they could be given some space, and Darlene everytime with her arms spread wide as if she is on the Cross, that is so offensive......... Jesus got off the cross, & she is still hanging off every album on hers. Do I own a Hillsong album, yes, "You are my world & Millennium Limited Edition" because it has a dignified cover on it. Do I have a situation with Darlene, no, I met the lady once & belive in her annointing, just not her behaviour of "Look at me". It is too much overkill. This isn't sent to upset anyone, just my opinion, which doesnt make it right, it is just my opinion.
Grace & peace to you on God's path. Ricardo

Ricardo » 18 January, 2004 8:04 PM

I went to Hillsong London UK for the first time today and won't be going back. I love the Hillsong worship I've heard on CD/DVD, but I was shocked by the shallow New-Agey soundbite motivational teaching, and as someone said earlier in this thread, there was a dreadful altar call with no mention of sin/repentance/Jesus etc. On this particular occasion they preached 'another gospel' of prosperity and self-satisfaction and creating wealth, not dying to self, discerning God's will and serving people and God. I counsel people to be discerning if you are involved - anything not of God will eventually be destroyed, and Satanic deceptions can be very beguiling, as in the rest of the Word of Faith movement. Get involved with a church which bases its teachings on the Bible and preaches Jesus as Lord and Saviour to a sin-sick world.

Bethany

Bethany » 19 January, 2004 2:57 AM

Ricardo, have you ever shown any of your pictures to any of your friends? If you have, please stop doing it because it is too "show off". Pictures are meant to be kept in secret. I hope you are smart enough to understand the irony.
Just one more comment: stop going to church wearing rags and sackcloth, people will think you are a beggar!

I'm really sorry, but I couldn't help answering back.

Fernando Guerra » 24 January, 2004 1:46 AM

Fernando, I think you've judged Ricardo a little unreasonably there... He made some reasonable observations, which are shared by others that I know and have spoken to. I don't see him wearing sackcloth and ashes anywhere in that post.

Eddie » 25 January, 2004 6:30 PM

Greetings all, very surprised by the comments of fernando.... Dont understnd what prompted the photo question, & no I dont flaunt photos of myself or anyone. I work in aged care & take very dignifying photos & ask Residents their permission if they can be displayed. My comment was pertaining to the photos's plastered on the Hills c.d's & how I was personally offended by them & why. If you choose to read my message again, then pray for understnding about my motive for writting it, there may be a different message in it for you. As for what I wear to Church?? Something respectfull & plain, you certainly wouldnt pick me out in the crowd. I am not there to be seen but to learn. The fashion stakes I leave to those who have to have them, they are not for me. Please read my original message again, it was prayerfully written so as not to offend, but to air my view which I did say it didn't make it right, it was just my view. In what ever capacity it upset you, I appologise. Eddie, thank - you for your support. Grace & peace, Ricardo.

Ricardo » 25 January, 2004 9:25 PM

Greetings all, very surprised by the comments of fernando.... Dont understnd what prompted the photo question, & no I dont flaunt photos of myself or anyone. I work in aged care & take very dignifying photos & ask Residents their permission if they can be displayed. My comment was pertaining to the photos's plastered on the Hills c.d's & how I was personally offended by them & why. If you choose to read my message again, then pray for understnding about my motive for writting it, there may be a different message in it for you. As for what I wear to Church?? Something respectfull & plain, you certainly wouldnt pick me out in the crowd. I am not there to be seen but to learn. The fashion stakes I leave to those who have to have them, they are not for me. Please read my original message again, it was prayerfully written so as not to offend, but to air my view which I did say it didn't make it right, it was just my view. In what ever capacity it upset you, I appologise. Eddie, thank - you for your support. Grace & peace, Ricardo.

Ricardo » 25 January, 2004 9:25 PM

Ricardo, I think I really should appologise for the way I answered your post, but I got really upset by what you wrote. The point is that I can�t grasp the reason why you felt offended by the cd�s covers. Don�t you think you are being too judgemental? First of all, I believe that everyone is free to worship God in different ways: some people close their eyes, others lift their hands, some even leap and clap their hands with joy. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom". When I saw Darlene�s picture arms open wide on the cd�s cover I didn�t see anything else but a sister of mine worshipping God. She could have been probably thinking: God�s embracing me and I can feel it by faith, or maybe, I have been crucified with Christ and now I don�t live, but Christ lives in me. Why can�t she display her pictures in the CD�s cover? She�s the worship leader and her songs are heard worldwide. I live in Brazil and I only know her by pictures. Now, concerning the coreographed movements and the lots of people up on stage they are also worshipping God. I recognize that I was hard on my first post, I really do appologise, but think a little bit about what you wrote: you asked how they are affecting lives with the perfectly coreographed movements, didn't you? As for me, I can tell you that the movements are far from being a hindrance for the message which is being sung, they are a reinforment to it. They work as a call to worship God with our whole bodies, and the uniform is a symbol of unity "let's worship God with one voice, one heart and one mind". Just one last point: the Bible teaches us that if our eyes are good we will focus on what is good (if they are evil they'll only see evil) we are the ones who have to be careful not to deviate our focus from Jesus, He is the centre of it all. Again, I'm really sorry if I offended you with my first post, and I pray that you may look at this issue from a different perspective.

In Christ's love: Fernando Guerra

Fernando Guerra » 28 January, 2004 2:23 AM

Hi, I posted up above before, but this post is in response to Ricardo's. They do have a lot of people on stage in uniform clothes -- my guess? Here in America, we call them a choir. You asked what message it is sending? Did you ever consider the message of Unity? To pick out clothes as a factor to judge Hillsongs is just absurd! Ray Boltz has people singing in the back, are they on the cover... no? Have you seen the cover for Hope? Blessed? You are my World? Take a good look -- those "uniform" people are on there!!!

"If we are too focused on all the people, razz a mattaz & hard work they have put into a performance, then who is focusing on a message from Jesus?"

Is that what you focus on? I haven't even considered that as a factor in my worship time while listening to Hillsongs.

"Can't come to terms with Darlene plastered on every album cover, she is a song leader, where is the rest of the team who write songs & deliver the message when they sing."

Eventhough they are Christian, they still are a "business-like" organization.. a church. Darlene just happens to be the worship leader, a song writer, and a beautiful singer. Give me one good reason why she does not deserve to be on the front of a cover. Look at any other Christian Artist... I bet you they are on the cover!

"Darlene everytime with her arms spread wide as if she is on the Cross, that is so offensive........."

Maybe you need to buy a pair of glasses? If you are seeing Jesus when Darlene lifts her hands to Praise Him there is a serious problem!

Also on the post of the altar call without mentioning sin/repentance/Jesus. If you just spent an hour or more singing, praising through music.. you learned about him through music did you not? Who defined what needs to be said in an altar call? An altar call is about repenting your sin, yes ... what else would it be?

Josh » 28 January, 2004 9:35 PM

i really love hillsong. the way they sing and i really like every little lyrics of their song!!! any one wants to send me a lyrics of angel!!1
here is my e_meil add. joy_chavez13@yahoo.com

mary joy » 1 February, 2004 5:03 PM

I just stumbled into this website and different things were running through my mind. First was that God has placed leadership in that church body to lead that church. It's so easy to find ways to fix things in our own ways where we're not the leader. Ministry is not that easy. I honestly feel that instead of discrediting a church, a leader, an organization, we should pray for them. Honestly, how many people have you touched this week? I believe Hillsong church will face God one day, and will be accountable for what they teach or lack there of, but I believe that many lives have been changed because of Hillsong church, they are busy doing the Lord's business. To say they are watered down, really? compared to what? to my personal views and opinions, or my interpretation of the Bible... come on, instead of fighting each other and believing we're right.. leave it to God to decide, He doesn't need our help. We spend more time critisizing the church, back-stabbing preachers and church leaders, gossipping about how "they are doing everything wrong" instead of praying to the One that can make a difference.

Hillsong church has shown Christ to lost people... Their purpose is not to reach the SAVED. It's to reach the lost. I don't know Hillsong Church personally, nor have I've been there... I do know that their music has ministered to me and to our congregation. Quit trying to be the Holy Spirit and believe that God still has the power to change what is not right through His eyes. We are to love one another. How can you say you love God when you don't love (through our actions) His people.

Jorge » 5 February, 2004 3:49 AM

Hillsong is relevant. The gospel is the same, the methods are different. I respect the Houstons, Darlene and team for using and encouraging creativity in music for the glory of God. Music is God-given and it is our duty to go out to the world and 'convert' it back to God's original purpose...for love, joy, peace, encouragement...instead of shying out of the so-called 'secular' scene. Hillsongs took a step unlike many (sad to say) who criticize a lot but dont want to get their hands dirty.

And talking about money, it's all relative...big church, more money is needed to accomplish God's work...and God has called us to be excellent in all we do...is that not what churches like City Harvest in Spore are doing? The 40 million raised was by their members alone which is evidence of the great things christians can accomplish if they work together and believe God. Now that building houses a bible college, trains workers for the mission field, has wonderful facilities for seminars, practice sessions, internet broadcasts over the net (mind you, people from China get to tune in to the service)....did not King Solomon want to build a magnificient temple for his God? Did not the bible mention about lands filled with gold in the Garden of Eden....look at yourself, Did not God do an excellent job creating u n this world? Christians are meant to be excellent, stand out and be a blessing to this world...to be prosperous so that we can do more..

Hillsongs' songs are sung even in the most remote areas in the world, i personally have taught Shout to the Lord in Indonesian in a small village on Borneo...and to see these kids worshipping God with so much passion, i am even more convinced God has anointed HIllsong to travel the world through their songs and to make an impact in peoples' lives...Ive seen videos of their songs being sung in Indian and African languages...places no Hillsong member would have ever dreamt of or will ever go..

Let's work together for God's glory

urs in Christ
Jon

Jon » 5 February, 2004 4:23 AM

What you see is determined by what is in your heart. As far as I can tell, if any of you are against the only thing on earth that God is building (The Church) then all bible truth has escaped you despite your, no doubt, brave efforts to read, and understand it.

If anyone can find a single scripture that refutes the way Hillsong Church do church, celebrate and praise God then feel free to do so.

If anyone can find justification for attacking any church that is moving forward then do so. I have no doubt that you will never find anything like it in the bible.

In hillsong Church London alone there were over 1,450 people saved during 2003- more than half of which had never had any encouter with God prior to this. Over 2,000 people have been built into the community in that same year. This doesn't even touch upon Hillsong Sydney (vastly larger in size) nor Hillsong Kiev.

There can be no doubt that God is there, living large, doing His thing- surely we have better things to do. Are we seriously called to oppose dress sense, media, 1st class buildings and prime example.

Surely God is a first class God and deserves NOTHING less.

Think it through.

C.

Christian » 6 February, 2004 1:04 AM

OK � this debate�s been a bit too one sided for too long :-)

I�m constantly intrigued by the fact that so many Christians seem incapable of handling a little debate, opinion, and criticism, especially when the individual we claim to be our Lord was an expert at pointing out the weaknesses in the religion, politics and sociology of the time� Argument, differences of opinion, and critique are part of being a people in community/society, and saying otherwise is just burying the issues, not addressing them. I agree that we should be careful not to get too harsh or slanderous or judgemental, but at the same time we shouldn�t shy away from the issues under the premise of �not shaking the boat�. Interestingly, the mainstream church that so many of us know and love today would not be here in this form if it weren�t for the debate, opinion and critique of the last 2000 years.

But now to some of the issues of the last few posts:

Josh � Clothes aren�t a major factor, you�re right. But it is symbolic of an us-them mentality when it comes to who �performs� worship. That may be purely symbolic and not reflect the reality of the situation, but it�s easily perceived as such, especially when combined with the promotional focus on the key leaders. I agree that Darlene deserves to be on a cover, but perhaps not nearly every one, as this then makes it seem like the focus is about her and/or the worship team/band, rather than the church and God. Yes, other Christian artists are on their own covers, but these are technically Hillsongs Church albums (or perhaps, God�s albums!), not Darlene�s� there is a distinction which isn�t reflected in their cover art much of the time. Not a huge issue, I�ll agree, but something�

Jorge � I agree that Hillsongs purpose (as with the entire Church globally, regardless of its form) is to reach the lost. However, when it�s major activity and the reason for its fame is its music, which is really only played in churches or Christian settings, and relevant only to Christians, it does make you question the focus a little. That may be unfair as I�m aware they do much work that does in fact reach the �lost�, so I�m not judging too harshly here � but I have to admit that much of Hillsongs work (esp music and conferences) seems to be targeted at a Christian audience. The religous jargon embedded in many of their lyrics reflect that too. It�s also interesting to compare this to the relative effectiveness of micro-churches compared to mega-churches. (See Darren�s interesting review of a book related to this theme at: http://www.phuture.org/s01_Articles/article.asp?ArticleID=91

Jon � I can�t agree with you that Christians are meant to be prosperous so that �we can do more�. We can do plenty of God�s work without any cash whatsoever � the gospel of God doesn�t depend on our wallets. (And regardless, anybody who lives in a first-world country is outrageously wealthy by world standards and has been blessed financially more than 98% of the world�s population, so I think we can stop asking God to make us wealthy � He�s done enough already by simply allowing us to be born here!!) Jesus didn�t need a property to train his workers or get His word started on this earth � He did it in the midst of the community, at the local synagogue, on the streets, in people�s houses. We can do a lot more by doing our work in the �real world� rather than in our segregated spaces.

And finally, Christian, you say that �What you see is determined by what is in your heart�. True, to a certain extent. But then, as I said earlier, Jesus also wasn�t afraid to point out issues with the respected, successful religion of the time. I�m not saying I�m anywhere enough like Jesus yet, but I do believe that asking questions and raising issues is part of being church, not a threat to it. I do believe that if we understand Jesus and his radical agenda while he walked this earth, we too would realize that he DOES call us to oppose some things like the media, fashion, consumerism, etc. When we can separate ourselves from them, we can see that many of these things have an ability to disempower and exclude people, or place unreasonable expectations upon then, and that was a primary issue that Jesus worked against, regardless of its form.

OK � I�ve just painted a big bullseye on my chest� But in saying this I�m not saying that everything Hillsongs does is wrong or that God is not in it. Of course not. God can use any vessel. I just believe there�s some more room for self-analysis (Goodness knows I do that in my own journey and church!) and, most importantly, an appreciation that this is not the only, nor necessarily the best way of being Church. There are so many other wonderful, exciting, creative forms of Christian community which are being disrespected, stifled, or ignored in the hype surrounding these �success�-oriented models of church. And I�m wary of hype wherever I find it�

Eddie » 6 February, 2004 9:59 AM

Interesting debate... from my own personal experience as a non Christian enjoyed the so called performance that Irene described in the opening debate� This performance actually contributed to helping me realize the power and grace of God and ultimately becoming a devout Christian as I am today.

I was initially watching what looked like a performance when something touched me very profoundly.. I believe this was an encounter with God. I�m not against some of the drivel that is on this site but its very pies and in some cases total self justifying nonsense.. Lets give a little more grace to people who are trying to make a difference.. Sure it may not be perfect.. But, let�s take a look at the heart and where its poised or coming from� the reality of Irene�s heart for example is quite different from mine because I am looking from a pure heart not a bitter and twisted one.

When you are in a relationship with another person initially you can see no fault and love them unconditionally, then, life takes its toll and you begin to resent one another (your reality or perspective changes) you become embittered and suddenly you are noticing new things about that person that are not so attractive. The truth is those things were always there and always will be�.

Lets try to alter our perspective on these things, if you�re looking for fault you�re most defiantly going to find it� it makes no difference on the church in question, they�re all a little less than perfect�. well until his return anyway�.

mad monk » 7 February, 2004 3:42 AM

eddie are you a modern day John the baptist?

lighten up man its really not that bad...

mad monk » 7 February, 2004 3:50 AM

mad monk,

i'm glad to hear of your experience with this form of worship and its impact on your life - it shows that God is using it, a fact which I have never denied, having become a Christian myself through similar churches and forms of worship... But I do think it's more than just minor imperfections and embitterment - And as part of that I think you've been very unfair to Irene by judging her heart as bitter and twisted, from one short post. Bad form. I have no doubt her heart is as 'pure' as yours... And regardless it's not your or my position to call anyone such things... An apology to her wouldn't go astray, just in case she still reads this.

John the Baptist? No... You don't have to be pretending to be a prophet to just ask some pointed questions and want to raise an alternative point of view. And despite how it might look, Hillsongs is a pretty minor issue in my mind and I have far better things to do - It just gripes me occasionally when, in trying to do some new and creative things with worship and ministry which would reach new people in new ways, we always end up running into people who refuse to try anything other than this very narrow approach and find it hard to extend sufficient respect to those of us trying some new things in difficult circumstances... Frustrating...

Eddie » 9 February, 2004 9:39 AM

Eddie

Fair Enough... it just gripes me to hear such negativity towards gods house... having said the church namely Hillsong can on your nerves from time to time, that�s not to say we should evangelise the negative aspects of what we perseve... my wife got saved at a Morris Curelo crusade... that was a big shock to me cause I would have happily sparked debate on how the man was a complete fraud.. how wrong I am though to even go there and judge the guy... anyway you're right about one thing to represent myself as pure and Irene as bitter and twisted was my mistake of the heated moment... Irene Sorry Sis�

mad monk » 14 February, 2004 3:47 AM

Hey there,
I wrote the post back in oct 03 regarding hillsong. I notice that alot of people missed the points regarding the so called "work of the Holy Spirit" that goes on at the church. you all moved straight into the music....

I attend Ferntree Gully independent baptist church. We are not legalists. we are SEPARATISTS. huge difference. I want to challenge you about the CCM music you say you love. It is 1. worldly and 2. sensual. It is not appropriate music to worship God to. People listen to CCM/ Hillsong etc because They like it... but does God like it?..... how many CCM songs talk about the Cleansing Blood of Jesus and His sacrificial death??? .... not many at all!.... and when you attend these CCM concerts... this is a worldly practice given a "christian" label... Christian rock is an oxymoron people. the two dont mix....

We are called to "be ye separate".... if we do as the world does how are we spose to SHINE BRIGHTLY?

I just went to blackburn koorong and purchased a book by Dan Lucarini titled "Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement: Confessions of a Former Worship Leader"

i strongly urge you all to buy and read this book. It really challenged me in my walk with God....
Music is a powerful force. If you are serious about your personal walk with Jesus... please get this book.

To you hillsong lovers... i dont hate hillsong. i just dont endorse it. it promotes unbiblical doctrines. You say that "they love God so much and are really active"...... hey, the jehovahs witness do more doorknocking than any of us. does it mean what they preach is right? NO WAY!

zealousness has nothing to do with truth.

And as far as "unity" is concerned... God commanded us to stand firm in the faith. this means that we dont unify under one huge "jesus banner" in the name of Love.... the bible says that homosexuality is SIN. The uniting church openly welcomes professing homosexuals and even ordains them to be ministers. do you want to unify with lukewarm christians??? i certainly do not.... i rebuke them lovingly and if they do not hear my loving rebuke then i separate from fellowship with that person or people. Seventh day adventists teach all sorts of unbiblical doctrines like soul sleep and annihilation of the dead (instead of a literal hell)... do you want to unify with these people??? Methodists and Salvation Army churches teach that we cannot have assurance of salvation... When Jesus saves us, he doesnt throw us back in. Oncce saved always saved my friends..... i will not disobey the Lords command and fellowship with these false teachers.

The bible states that clearly in the last days people will fall away from the faith and heap up to themselves teachers..... What do you think Brian Houston and all those other people are??? They have been elevated to apostle status when they are simply men parading around preaching all sorts of unbiblical trash....

One more thing....People are saved by hearing the word of God.... by having the gospel presented.... Vary rarely did i hear these words mentioned... SIN, CROSS, CRUCIFIED, REPENT.... very very rarely...

All im hearing is this patheic "God is love gospel".... if people dont reconize their need of a saviour how can they possible be saved????

We need to all go back to the bible, christians today are shameful.... Ask yourself these questions..

1. When was the last time I told someone about Jesus and how he came to earth and died on a cross for me...

2. When was the last time I led someone to Jesus.

3. What bible verse have I memorised this week?


Are you spending more time watching worldly heathen movies and tv programs then reading your bible or witnessing???? What are you doing for the Lord? Personally? When you go to heaven how many people are you taking with you?

I only write this post with the hope that maybe someone will be challenged to do more for the Lord. I am so saddened by christendom today. We are not obeying the Lord. Our churches are filled with worldly music and our dress is abominable. The Lord has called us to holiness.

please take the time to visit these sites..

www.drdino.com - creation science site.

http://www.christian-witness.org/archives/cetf2001/latterrain01.html

http://members.ozemail.com.au/~rseaborn/new_items.html

www.answersingenesis.org


God bless you as you seek Him. xo lizzie


lizzie » 17 February, 2004 8:13 PM

Look, dont have time to post a long thing here. For sure I cant see the concerns with Hillsong- Bit pop concerty, bit too much talk about money, and some different interpretations of scripture to what I am used to - sure. But I challenge you to stop, and consider that each man and woman is different, and that there are heaps of people genuinely growing in the Lord there..... dont point at Hillsong's faults, cos I guarantee them that almost any church has faults too. The difference is that Hillsong is under a huge microscope all the time.... look I went to their conference very cynical, and still have my doubts, but I was also caused to see the good in it, the encouragement they are to many. From afar we see the talk about money, but people dont see them giving to Compassion, and Darlene Zschech using her huge profile to promote that - idolatory? Maybe, but thats the age we live in and Hillsong is working with it, rather than against it.

Hey I know I am jumping to their defence loudly here, when among other company, I might be critical. Just keep an open mind on these things. Please.

God bless
Heath

heath eldridge » 17 February, 2004 11:00 PM

Hillsong is fully sic mate

gareth » 19 February, 2004 9:51 PM

It's really easy to think there is a right and a wrong way to worship and share about God. Just like it is easy judge anything or anyone. I am a member of Hillsong City Church and I feel I must share how I feel when I attend a service. I feel as though my passion for Christ is re-sparked, that I want to know more about the bible, I want to sing with everything I have, want to give to my community and be an example God would be proud of.

It is clearly stated that tithing is not a law, it is a principle, and is a decision each individual has to come to by themselves and must believe in. But it is all about giving, not really just to the church, but to people who will learn more about the Word and be exposed to people who are fine examples of Christianity. If you give with your heart, blessings follow.

I have seen and heard of incredible transformations in peoples' lives after learning more about God while attending Hillsong. I am one of those people. Let us remember that this happens in so many churches around the world.

At the end of the day, let us be thankful that more and more people are drawn to God and receive a inexplicable passion for Christ as a result of the energy and dedication of Hillsong church.

God bless,
Christine.

christine » 20 February, 2004 3:41 PM

I find it really hard to cop the people who keep saying that Hillsong doesnt mention the cross - that is just plainly untrue. I am not talking about songs, I am talking about sermons/messages at their conference etc. Maybe they mention it less than some churches, but its untrue that it is not mentioned. Although, as i have said, I respect that, under the microscope it lives under, Hillsong has its problems, I am so tired of people who "ignore the log in their own (or their church's) eye". It has problems, my church has problems, so does yours, if you go to one. Because Hills is know to the world, people all around the world get in web sites and trash on it and point out its faults. OK thats what happens, but please remember that they're human, and they ARE reaching people. With Jesus, with the cross.

Not intended to offend. Please!

Heath
(Attender and volunteer at a small baptist church - not a mega church!)

» 20 February, 2004 8:57 PM

i have been going to Hillsong Church for around 10 years. i think that all the criticism to Hillsong Church is because some people can't face the fact that there is a prospering church out there.
Just because it's prospering doesn't mean that it focusses on money.

su » 22 February, 2004 5:43 PM

Hellow there,

I live in Papua New Guinea and I've read alot of comment regarding Hillsongs. As an individual and a christian, I'm so blessed with the music I hear on CD and watch on VCD. Alot of the music has helped to me worship God as he wants of me to do so. I can say that Hillsongs has done so much impact in the world through music. Alot of lives have been transformed through the power of their music. I will say Hillsong has been plundering HELL and POPULATING heaven through the power of music. The Lord bless you as you continue to reach out to people in music.

Violet Boko » 24 February, 2004 12:46 PM

I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

Now, Im guessing that the majority of the critics who wet themselves at the prospect of evangelism.

Do i agree with everything hillsong says and does - no

I am however impressed that a church is having a go instead of being overrun by secular views of Christianity.

Newsflash Critics! Get off your high horses and get doing what Jesus commanded. Stop wasting the life you gave to God criticising others who are trying to make a difference.

Its amazing the parralells between modern and historical pharisees

joel » 25 February, 2004 9:55 AM

..sigh.. I think I've said enough on this discussion but then someone has to wade in with a wisecrack.

Be careful of making assumptions about the motivations and lifestyles of those who may critique Hillsongs, Joel... Your 'guesses' may well be wrong, and from the 'critics' that I know personally, they are as much interested in doing evangelism as anybody else and spend their lives trying to make a difference.

And to judge and accuse them of being pharisees and 'overrun by secular view of Christianity' is demonstrating a lack of understanding of where people are coming from and thus should be refrained from unless you can demonstrate some evidence to the contrary.

We can all get on our high horses at times. Critics and defenders both... But I hope we can both agree and accept that we are all trying to make a difference. Sure, sometimes in different ways which we may not always agree with, but as long as the overall acceptance is there, then the debate and discussion can follow.

Eddie » 25 February, 2004 3:04 PM

I have been going to Hillsong church for a while and although I wont comment on the church directly, I will say that 10% is the least you can give to God. You could give everything and still not give enough. God will judge the leaders of every church, and he will judge you, so let God do his own business. Remember that the measure you use for other people is the measure that God will apply to you, so go easy and live a gracious life.

Jon

Jon » 29 February, 2004 11:27 PM

After reading these comments and criticisms, i've come to a conclusion. You who find the need to criticise Hillsong church rather than standing with them as the church around the world should do, have forgotten what Christianity is all about. Is there really a need to look for faults and negative points (in your point of view) rather than looking for flaws and positive aspects?

Let's not waste time pointing out our differences. It's quite pathetic. Issues about money can be issues ofthe heart, although i'm not saying that's always the case. I, personally don't have a problem with giving at all. Giving releases generosity in your life. Everyone should try and be generous.

Let's do our research before we come to conclusions about other churches, it's not fair to judge. Remember... Whatever measure you use will be used on you...

Peace.

Kim » 8 March, 2004 5:21 PM

After reading these comments and criticisms, i've come to a conclusion. You who find the need to criticise Hillsong church rather than standing with them as the church around the world should do, have forgotten what Christianity is all about. Is there really a need to look for faults and negative points (in your point of view) rather than looking for flaws and positive aspects?

Let's not waste time pointing out our differences. It's quite pathetic. Issues about money can be issues ofthe heart, although i'm not saying that's always the case. I, personally don't have a problem with giving at all. Giving releases generosity in your life. Everyone should try and be generous.

Let's do our research before we come to conclusions about other churches, it's not fair to judge. Remember... Whatever measure you use will be used on you...

Peace.

Kim » 8 March, 2004 5:21 PM

I stumbled across this chat room whilst looking for some information on Christian Kitsch and the trivilization of God in the modern day church, and have been very interested in the comments on Hillsong. I grew up in a large Charasmatic 'Church of Christ 'in Melbourne (who is very closely associated with Hillsong, but is not AOG). Some of the comments i have read have disturbed me, for i don't think that it is for ANYONE to be telling people whether or not they are decieved because they agree or disagree with the doctrine of Hillsong. This is unfortunately a problem in the church - they feel they have the right to tellother people where they are at in their walk with God. Did u know that the Jesus on spoke on judgement once? And that there are 2103 versus of scripture pertaining to feeding and helping the poor? That is what we as Christians are called to do, and clearly that is where Gods heart is. Christians tearing each other down and casting judgement on each other is merely another way that satan has seeped in to distract us from what we are called to do. That said, i am not in total agreeance with Hillsong, I attended the Hillsong 'Colour' conference for women a couple of years back. Let me tell you it certainly provided me with the wow factor, however the paraphernalia was enough to make me ill. We had 4 sessions each day, which while they were great appeared to be another opportunity for Hillsong to flog one of their products to the over-emotional teery eyed women. Further more, EVERY service ended in a verse that enforced the theory to us that if we give we will get back ten fold - we were then presented with a nice little credit card slip to donate money. I was somewhat disappointed that Hillsong are encouraging people to get into debt in order for their own gain. Unfortuantely, the 21st century pentacostal movement has marketed God like everything else. Christian kitsch has trivialised God and made him subserviant to the popular culture of the age.
Ours is a time of intense searching, and few of us are satisfied with what the church is offering. If the leaders of Hillsong are truley decieved then they will be judged by God, and not by us. I encourage each of you to seek God and let him guide you to the church he wants you to be in. Ours is a time of great deception, and there are many things that encourage us to steer away from God.

Kath » 12 March, 2004 4:56 PM

I just want to say that the music Hillsongs bring out each year has inspired and brought me closer to our Lord Jesus. I have a lot of questions for the above coments. Is a DVD showing a church worshipping God wrong? If people cannot travel to experience Hillsong then why not watch a DVD?
Why is it ok to watch a pop singer in concert but not ok to watch people worshipping God?
Why is it ok for the likes of Britney Spears to make millions but a sin for a church to be successful? In the end its God who judges us. If Hillsong are doing the wrong thing God will know it and judge accordingly. If there is something wrong with a church why not find another or if you know best why not start your own Church with the principles you believe are Godly.
Why shouldn't a Charasmatic fellowship with a Catholic? Remember Jesus was friends with a tax collector, a prostitute & etc... Why don't we stop focusing on the ways of other imperfect humans but keep our focus on our perfect Lord Jesus. Who are we to judge? He should be the focus no matter what we do. Remember our thoughts on what is or is not correct about the bible will differ, because we are so unique, but when Jesus returns he will unite all that believe in him. The focus should be on our individual relationship with Jesus.The Church is there for guidance, teaching and fellowship with like minded people. Christians are few and we should try to stick together rather than criticize one another.

Mai » 13 March, 2004 12:35 AM

I used to listen to Hillsong Australia CDs and would cry and cry and celebrate as well. All the while claiming that I was "falling in love with Jesus." Also I was a part of a church that tried to follow the worship style of Hillsong and our church had what we called somed "high times" of praise. Now I see things differently. God wants us to accept Jesus as our Savior and have everlasting life, not to become a Jesus generation. It seemed like all we wanted in my old church was an awesome worship service! We felt we were too good to touch the world. They would taint us.
God had me leave that environment years ago and at my current church I would be missing the "worship" I used to experience, (not realizing that what they were doing at my church now was worshipping). I even tried looking for my CDs from Hillsong Australia that I had stopped playing for a while and I just couldn't find them. I knew that if I just heard a song then I would be taken in the "presence of the Lord." I prayed to God but I couldn't find them. Then I went to the Christian bookstore and saw a book by Darlene Zschech "extreme worship" and bought it. Now I thought, I can find out how to get closer to God in worship. The book was a disappointment and I wanted to take it back. The information in the book was not biblical. Her way of thinking was the same as the church I left: too much esteeming of the pastor to the point where it looks like he is being idolized, too much of the shepherding disciple where you meticulously serve your leaders in order to be noticed, supression of human emotions like pain and depression, and not reading the bible in context. Now I read my bible in context not just one scripture to support my point. I thank and love Jesus not because of the music I sing but because he saved me from my sins and he has made me new in him.
I am sure that Hillsong Australia and D. Zschech are being sincere in what they do but sometimes you can be sincerely wrong.

Tracy » 13 March, 2004 6:44 AM

I agree with Roger completely - Let's begin to give where we see need, instead of just religiously throwing our money into the plate - I dream of church services where offerings are taken up for people in the fellowship who are struggling financially - ie: Brother Big bucks gives to new believer Bob who's struggling to pay rent. Any fellowship that has some believers struggling with financial hardship should make it their first priority to boost those people, but for some reason this rarely happens?? We should consider perhaps why so many of us in the church are being judged(no healing, no deliverance)when we take the Lord's cup. Could part of the reason be that we are not discerning the Lord's body in our giving?

To add to this we know that the Lords cup is in memory of his shed blood.

In relation to this shed blood, how should we view tithing?( A spin on the topic, I know, but hang in there)


The following are facts:-

1) Tithing was a levitical ordinance.
2) Jesus Christ fulfilled all the levitical ordinances by the shedding of his blood.
3) His resurrection from the dead nullified any further practice of ANY Levitical ordinances including tithing. Tithing no longer has any purpose and consequently is a dodgy doctrine.

"O' foolish modern church - Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified. This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"

Tithing = Works of the Law.

Everytime a minister preaches that a christian should "pay their tithes" they are basically displacing the finished work of the cross. Perhaps they'd like to introduce some more levitical practices while they're at it -
Or are they only to obey levitical commandments if they can be found in the book of Malachi?? :)

Don't give and expect it back.
Just expect God's blessings and be a giver!

Our Father wants to bless us in every way including finances, however these blessings do not lie in outdated levitical ordinances. They can only be found in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

~ Clint Vize

Clint » 14 March, 2004 7:16 PM

I agree with Roger completely - Let's begin to give where we see need, instead of just religiously throwing our money into the plate - I dream of church services where offerings are taken up for people in the fellowship who are struggling financially - ie: Brother Big bucks gives to new believer Bob who's struggling to pay rent. Any fellowship that has some believers struggling with financial hardship should make it their first priority to boost those people, but for some reason this rarely happens?? We should consider perhaps why so many of us in the church are being judged(no healing, no deliverance)when we take the Lord's cup. Could part of the reason be that we are not discerning the Lord's body in our giving?

To add to this we know that the Lords cup is in memory of his shed blood.

In relation to this shed blood, how should we view tithing?( A spin on the topic, I know, but hang in there)


The following are facts:-

1) Tithing was a levitical ordinance.
2) Jesus Christ fulfilled all the levitical ordinances by the shedding of his blood.
3) His resurrection from the dead nullified any further practice of ANY Levitical ordinances including tithing. Tithing no longer has any purpose and consequently is a dodgy doctrine.

"O' foolish modern church - Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified. This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"

Tithing = Works of the Law.

Everytime a minister preaches that a christian should "pay their tithes" they are basically displacing the finished work of the cross. Perhaps they'd like to introduce some more levitical practices while they're at it -
Or are they only to obey levitical commandments if they can be found in the book of Malachi?? :)

Don't give and expect it back.
Just expect God's blessings and be a giver!

Our Father wants to bless us in every way including finances, however these blessings do not lie in outdated levitical ordinances. They can only be found in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

~ Clint Vize

Clint » 14 March, 2004 7:25 PM

Instruction from Jesus Christ
and the apostles
Jesus Himself clearly upheld the practice of tithing. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the other things undone" (Matthew 23:23).
As recorded here, only days before His death Christ plainly confirmed that tithing should indeed be practiced, along with sincere adherence to the "weightier" spiritual matters the scribes and Pharisees were obviously neglecting.
The Israelites supported the tribe of Levi for its service at the temple by giving the Levites God's tithe. This support provided the means for Israel to worship God and be taught according to His will. Since for all practical purposes God's message of salvation was no longer preached by the Levitical priesthood, this responsibility now fell to the New Testament Church. The followers of the gospel message gave monetary and other aid to Jesus, to His disciples and, later, to other laborers in the Church to support them in doing the work Christ had given His Church to do. Examples of such giving, and principles relating to it, are found in New Testament passages such as Luke 8:3; 10:7-8; 2Corinthians 11:7-9; and Philippians 4:14-18.
The book of Hebrews describes a change in administration as the New Testament Church -- the spiritual temple of God (1Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:19-22) -- replaced the physical temple in importance. Monies were now paid to the New Testament apostles (see Acts 4:35-37).

Tithing abolished in Hebrews?
Hebrews 7 first relates how Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, king of Salem and God's priest. Melchizedek and the offices he held are used in this passage as a type of Jesus Christ Himself. With the later establishment of Israel as His nation, God established a different priesthood, and tithes were given to the descendants of Levi, who served as this new priesthood (verse 5). As the administration changed, the recipients of the tithes also changed. The book of Hebrews demonstrates how the practices and principles relating to the physical temple, sacrifices and priesthood now apply to the new High Priest, Jesus Christ (verses 22-28).
Far from this section of Scripture stating that tithing is abolished, its thrust is primarily to support the return to a priesthood "according to the order of Melchizedek" (verses 15-17). This new priesthood of Jesus Christ is vastly superior to the priesthood of Levi in every way. It necessitated a "change of the law" (1co) relating to the priesthood, because the law God gave by Moses to Israel included no instruction regarding a High Priest coming from Judah (verses 13-14).
This change of the law had to do with a change in administration. It meant that the administration of tithing would change with this new priesthood -- from that of Levi to that of Melchizedek (Christ). Thus members of the Church today continue to tithe even though the Levitical priesthood has ended, just as Abraham tithed to Melchizedek before the priesthood of Levi was established.
Paul drew on an analogy to demonstrate that, as those ministering in the temple were supported by the offerings given at the temple, so those ministering in the Church should receive support from the Church. "Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel," he wrote (1Corinthians 9:13-14).

liuchai » 17 March, 2004 12:01 AM

I'm brazilian. Sorry my english is too bad......
The Bible says: Mathew 12:33 "...for a tree is recognized by its fruit"
Hillsong came to Brazil last year, they are not so popular here...
and in one day more than 2.000 of people recognized Christ as their Saviour......I saw this with my eyes......
So, that is a good fruit.....

God bless you...

Patricia » 18 March, 2004 11:04 AM

Regarding the pro-tithing argument:

*********" Jesus Himself clearly upheld the practice of tithing. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the other things undone" (Matthew 23:23).
As recorded here, only days before His death Christ plainly confirmed that tithing should indeed be practiced, along with sincere adherence to the "weightier" spiritual matters the scribes and Pharisees were obviously neglecting. " ***************************************


It is absolutely true what you say. Jesus did uphold the practice of tithing when speaking to this audience. However we must remember he was speaking to people who were still subject to the law of Moses. As also pointed out, this was pre-crucifixion. Therefore the levitical ordinances were as yet unfulfilled through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. As a result what Jesus verbalised in this situation cannot be taught as a commandment to the church. Through the guidance of the holy spirit we must take all scripture in its proper context if we are to form correct apostolic doctrine.

Please consider the following scriptures :-

Acts 15:28,29
"It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements. You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality."

The context of Acts chapter 15 begun with certain teachers teaching that a person must be cirumcised to be saved, which in the context of scripture we know is not true. However I have no doubt that Jesus would have agreed with the Pharisees and Sadducees circumcising their children as well, as this also was a requirement of the law pre-crucfixion. I have no doubt that the levitical ordinance of tithing was not a requirement taught to the early church.


1 Peter 2:9
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation......."

In the new covenant all born-again believers are part of the priesthood "according to the order of Melchizidek". Therefore anybody who teaches the levitical ordinance of tithing carries over to the church better make sure that everybody gets their cut.....:)

Fortunately such a problem does not need to be addressed as New Testament giving is based upon what each believer personally decides before God, not on Levitical ordinances.

Should ministries be supported within the Church? Absolutely!
Should the church function in financial/administrative matters? Most certainly.

However this should all be based on free will offerings and nothing else. If one studies all post-crucifixion accounts on giving, tithing cannot be found once. However gifts and giving are mentioned numerous times.


Clint » 19 March, 2004 6:09 PM

does it reali all matter? i have been going to hillsong church and its youth ministry for a few years now, i am 16. hillsong has honestly changed mine, and so many of my friends lives. you say it is a wordly church... we r a wordly world! hillsong relates to the people.

dont get caught up in mediocrity and tradition

that u all seem to go on about.
we are all brothers and sisters united through christ, fighting and living for the same cause! to spread the word of our beautiful god! hillsong is an amazingly passionate church, but all the same, we r all in this TOGETHER, not by wat church we go to. and at the end of the day, we as christians, need to remember that...

j » 20 March, 2004 12:43 AM

does it reali all matter? i have been going to hillsong church and its youth ministry for a few years now, i am 16. hillsong has honestly changed mine, and so many of my friends lives. you say it is a wordly church... we r a wordly world! hillsong relates to the people.

dont get caught up in mediocrity and tradition

that u all seem to go on about.
we are all brothers and sisters united through christ, fighting and living for the same cause! to spread the word of our beautiful god! hillsong is an amazingly passionate church, but all the same, we r all in this TOGETHER, not by wat church we go to. and at the end of the day, we as christians, need to remember that...

j » 20 March, 2004 12:43 AM

I just ran across this while doing a google search and I'm glad to see the conversation has died. How rediculous to create a platform for pulling down other christians.

Mel » 20 March, 2004 9:17 AM

What! there are 4 pages of this stuff! wow, that's even more sad.

Mel » 20 March, 2004 9:25 AM

I have not been to a church in many many years and admit to being somewhat of a "sit-on-the-fence christian". I take my hat off to the team at Hillsong who put themselves out there so that people like me can begin to come back to God through their worship TV. On a Sunday morning the TV choices are fairly limited - watch cartoons (full of violence now-a-days), music videos (full of smut and sexual references) or praise and worship with Hillsong. Yeah, it might be a bit flashy but I wonder how many would change the channel otherwise.

Sue Osmond » 22 March, 2004 11:59 AM

Where do I start? Coming from a person who was absolutely terrified of the Pentecostal church and now having been a student at Hillsong college and being part of the church in the last couple of years, I grieve the negativity and bitterness towards this place of God. For those of you so quick to attack, don't judge a book by it's cover. Yes, they are known for their music predominantly and if God has chosen to use this church for that reason then who are you to argue with Him? Did you know that this church has many outreach ministries that help those in need, they feed the poor, they give shelter and support to the hurting and rejected, they provide real life down to earth, nitty gritty practical help to young men and women who have nowhere to go - and this is just a small portion of what they do. I got to know many of the people in this church and I can testify to their humbleness and pure love for people. Sure there are those who take advantage of such churches, those who attend who are not genuinely in the body of Christ for the right reasons but it just seems worse because it is a church on a large scale. You probably have the same problems in your churches but it isn't so magnified. And as for the subject of money - until you understand the heart of the church, it's not to get richer for self gratification. God blesses us in order for us to bless others and the amount of unselfish generosity I witnessed from the great leaders of that church is unsurpassed. No, I haven't been brainwashed, I have a perfectly good brain of my own. I didn't agree with everything I was taught while at college but I didn't instantly dismiss it because I didn't like it. I prayed for God to reveal His truths to me - and in most cases my dislike was really my misunderstanding. I saw the documentary of Hillsong on TV and it left me wondering what all these critics actually spend their time doing? If all they do is meet and have pity party meetings against Hillsong, spend all their time trying to bring Brian Houston down and expose whatever it is they are trying to expose, I just wonder what time they spend with their God - asking Him what THEY can do to change this world and spreading the gospel. If I were God, I know which group of people I would be blessing - those who fervently seek Him as opposed to those who slander, destroy and stain His holy name by mocking and ridiculing another part of HIS body. The body of Christ is made up of different parts - one type of church is going to reach a certain lot of people, your church is going to reach another - that is what the body was created for. And Christ said He was going to come back for His pure, spotless bride - at the end of the day, what is your relationship like with Christ? Are you blessing others or just criticizing those who do? Are you spending your time wisely building relationships with people around you so that they see Christ in you? Yes they talk about money a lot - but so does God in the bible. I never felt forced to give because God knew in my heart that I gave what I could. Most people who don't like hearing the subject of money in the church do so because they actually have a problem with it themselves. What do you spend your money on? Because it's God's money - everything you earn has come to you because God has given you the ability to go and work. It was never yours in the first place so next time you have a problem with giving money to the Church, think about the fact that you are actually witholding God's own money from Him. That is actually more selfish then any criticism I have read about Hillsong so far. Hillsong is a well known church all around the world and many people visit just to see what it is like. But for those of you who go to see if it's true that they 'talk about money or prosperity', or they 'speak untruths and don't preach the gospel' then I challenge you to ask yourself why you would go? unless I'm mistaken, I thought going to church was about worshipping with the body of Christ, building each other up in brotherly & sisterly love, having an open heart and ears to the Word of God and giving back to Him the praise and glory that He deserves? If you are just going to go for the reason of having to prove a point, don't go. Don't waste God's time or yours. And for the young lady who used to go there and now has such a negative view of the church, I don't know what you were listening to but every single church service for the two years I was there preached the gospel and mentioned turning away from sin and repenting before the altar call. That's something I have always been very adamant about and I saw and heard it without fail every time. I would have had big doubts before very long if this wasn't the case. so that is my defense of Hillsong - until you know it and the heart of the leaders and the people, don't criticize it. Just think how you would react if someone came into your church and did what you are doing - how would you react? Not very well I suspect. God has called us to live in unity and it seems the ones who are not doing that are the ones outside the walls of Hillsong.

Andrea » 23 March, 2004 9:16 PM

Where do I start? Coming from a person who was absolutely terrified of the Pentecostal church and now having been a student at Hillsong college and being part of the church in the last couple of years, I grieve the negativity and bitterness towards this place of God. For those of you so quick to attack, don't judge a book by it's cover. Yes, they are known for their music predominantly and if God has chosen to use this church for that reason then who are you to argue with Him? Did you know that this church has many outreach ministries that help those in need, they feed the poor, they give shelter and support to the hurting and rejected, they provide real life down to earth, nitty gritty practical help to young men and women who have nowhere to go - and this is just a small portion of what they do. I got to know many of the people in this church and I can testify to their humbleness and pure love for people. Sure there are those who take advantage of such churches, those who attend who are not genuinely in the body of Christ for the right reasons but it just seems worse because it is a church on a large scale. You probably have the same problems in your churches but it isn't so magnified. And as for the subject of money - until you understand the heart of the church, it's not to get richer for self gratification. God blesses us in order for us to bless others and the amount of unselfish generosity I witnessed from the great leaders of that church is unsurpassed. No, I haven't been brainwashed, I have a perfectly good brain of my own. I didn't agree with everything I was taught while at college but I didn't instantly dismiss it because I didn't like it. I prayed for God to reveal His truths to me - and in most cases my dislike was really my misunderstanding. I saw the documentary of Hillsong on TV and it left me wondering what all these critics actually spend their time doing? If all they do is meet and have pity party meetings against Hillsong, spend all their time trying to bring Brian Houston down and expose whatever it is they are trying to expose, I just wonder what time they spend with their God - asking Him what THEY can do to change this world and spreading the gospel. If I were God, I know which group of people I would be blessing - those who fervently seek Him as opposed to those who slander, destroy and stain His holy name by mocking and ridiculing another part of HIS body. The body of Christ is made up of different parts - one type of church is going to reach a certain lot of people, your church is going to reach another - that is what the body was created for. And Christ said He was going to come back for His pure, spotless bride - at the end of the day, what is your relationship like with Christ? Are you blessing others or just criticizing those who do? Are you spending your time wisely building relationships with people around you so that they see Christ in you? Yes they talk about money a lot - but so does God in the bible. I never felt forced to give because God knew in my heart that I gave what I could. Most people who don't like hearing the subject of money in the church do so because they actually have a problem with it themselves. What do you spend your money on? Because it's God's money - everything you earn has come to you because God has given you the ability to go and work. It was never yours in the first place so next time you have a problem with giving money to the Church, think about the fact that you are actually witholding God's own money from Him. That is actually more selfish then any criticism I have read about Hillsong so far. Hillsong is a well known church all around the world and many people visit just to see what it is like. But for those of you who go to see if it's true that they 'talk about money or prosperity', or they 'speak untruths and don't preach the gospel' then I challenge you to ask yourself why you would go? unless I'm mistaken, I thought going to church was about worshipping with the body of Christ, building each other up in brotherly & sisterly love, having an open heart and ears to the Word of God and giving back to Him the praise and glory that He deserves? If you are just going to go for the reason of having to prove a point, don't go. Don't waste God's time or yours. And for the young lady who used to go there and now has such a negative view of the church, I don't know what you were listening to but every single church service for the two years I was there preached the gospel and mentioned turning away from sin and repenting before the altar call. That's something I have always been very adamant about and I saw and heard it without fail every time. I would have had big doubts before very long if this wasn't the case. so that is my defense of Hillsong - until you know it and the heart of the leaders and the people, don't criticize it. Just think how you would react if someone came into your church and did what you are doing - how would you react? Not very well I suspect. God has called us to live in unity and it seems the ones who are not doing that are the ones outside the walls of Hillsong.

Andrea » 23 March, 2004 9:19 PM

I`m from Ethiopia,member in a church of christ,
I`ve no information about this church. But I have a comment based on my understanding.
The word of God says that christ is the basement of the universal church. I wish all churches in this world could make christ the centre. Nowdays its dificult to say all churches are honestly reflecting Jesus.And also its difficult to assume all churches are false teachers. Regarding my openion,I want to say that every darkness has a time to be revealed. What is expected from us is just to try to know what is good and perfect in order to please GOD,as well as preparing ourselves (our body)transformed to be alive and santized holy sacrifice.Rom.12:1-3.please be devoted to live in the grace we are given. Through prayer,worship and supplication,asking God for His wisdom and understanding what His will is.Thank you.

mulualem wossen » 23 March, 2004 11:42 PM

That comment is a bunch of crap! Why cant people just grow up? Hillsong along with many other churches are here to expand Gods kingdom,see people to get saved and help them with their christian journey not to scab peoples money, the church obviously needs money to continue doing the amazing things they are doing in peoples lives and the community.So unless God placed you on this earth to insult hillsong(which He didnt) than i would appreciate it if you let God do the judging.

» 25 March, 2004 9:43 AM

I'm amazed to witness the viciousness in which fellow Christians could attack and devour each other. Where is the Christian love that we're supposed to have?

I personally have no ties with Hillsongs or have attended any of their functions, but I believe that it is not right for us to attack each other like this.

I believe judgement is reserved for the Lord, and if I'm to judge a church, I shall judge by they're fruits - are they helping the poor, the sick, feeding the widows and the orphans? Are they ministering to others, uplifting them, encouraging them? What are the results of their ministry?

Personally, I have been ministered to by their music. Sometimes I cry when I sing their songs. That, I believe, is enough for me.

Whether they're doctrinally sound or not, whether they're doing the will of God or not - honestly, who in the world are we to judge? Christians are diverse in personality and beliefs. God made us all unique, so obviously, we can't attend the same type of church. Some prefer solemn services, others like loud, rumbuctious ones.

Just remember - the people at Hillsongs are people. Flawed. Some believe in the wrong things. Many probably love Jesus too. Let's leave it at that, shall we, and stop biting each other because we disagree with one another.

Messy Christian » 26 March, 2004 4:24 PM

I am a pastor in Sydney and our Church is part of the Hillsong Network. I love Hillsong, they are doing a great work. There are many Churches who think that Hillsong is the answer and they try to implement everything that Hillsong does and that is definitely not right. Each Church has it's own culture and identity and what Hillsong does won't work for every Church.

Talking about Hillsong 'products.' At Hillsong they call them resources, not products and they are exactly that - resources to build your life. The reason that they make DVD's of their live worship albums is not so you can sit down and watch them but so you can be at home worshiping in your own lounge room.

They don't do 'concerts' they are live worship, i have been to many of them and they atmosphere of worship is amazing. The amount of lives that are touched are amazing, and heaps of people get saved just by listening to their live worship albums.

Don't be so quick to criticise. Just because it's not the kind of Church you would go to doesn't give you permission to criticise it. Hillsong Church has about 15,000 members that attend Church each week all over Sydney. God is definitely using them to do a great work.

Evielyn Chapman » 31 March, 2004 2:34 PM

i would like to say that after reading about 20 of the comments made by other people on this site, i found myself once again feeling anxious and sick in the stomach. firtsly i do not attend at AOG church, so i am not internally biased. here we go again aussies, the second anyone rises up and seems to having some sort of success in whatever their chosen field we feel the need to cut them down. good old tall poppy sydrome reigns once more. i am so sick and tired of hearing self righteous, so called Jesus loving people knocking other churches. it does not good to anyone, but the devil himself. so what if Hillsong preach prosperity, don't give to them then and more importantly dont go to their conferences etc if you dont like it..... in my personal expereience i have found their church to be extremely generous, each time i have approached them to help me out in donating their product for various events, they have been more than generous and wanted nothing in return but simply to bless. May we please stop slandering each other and get on with the work of Jesus instead of the work of the devil and be united in love not divided in unholy unrighteous gossip about each others ministries.............i'm sorry about being so scathing, but i am so sick of Christians picking on Christians...............

kathy tripodi » 1 April, 2004 6:31 PM

there are many things i can say about hillsong...
1. music: along with music comes emotion and feeling. one cannot truly say that music does not bring about a certain emotion when it is listened to.
The Bible is clear that holiness is goal and sanctification (being Christ-like)is a process that we try to achieve. The Bible is clear that we must separate ourselves from the world. (Come out from among them and be ye separate) rock and roll music brings with it the notion of drugs, sex and alcohol. rock muscians would not deny this. of course these are just the main rudiments that are generally associated with that genre of music. the Bible says abstain from all appearance of evil. therefore in the area of music, christian rock should not be promoted as much as christian cigarettes, or christian alcohol or christian porn (if these were to exist). music was for worshipping God. we should not worship the worship but sorship God in Spirit. in that the Bible says God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in SPirit and in Truth. not in emotion, but with the heart and in all purity.
2. doctrine:
speaking in tongues is one of the doctrines that hillsong practise. the Bible mentions speaking in tongues and it mentions that practise in accordance to sign gifts. sign gifts were for Israel (not the church) and it was to show them that the Messiah had come and they were now able to be saved from their sins through faith in the redemptive work of Christ. nevertheless, in 1st Corinthians 14 we are given instructions concerning speaking in tongues. 1. only 2 or 3 people in the whole church can do it. 2. with those 2 or 3 people speaking in tongues, they must speak in order or in turn not going at the same time. 3. if the speaker could not be understood by the people, an interpreter was warranted. 4. women were not allowed to do this, or they were not given the gift. to add to this, the greek word translated here in the english is the word glossa or language. it implies that the things that were spoken was an actual language understood by the people being spoken to. does hillsong follow the Bible or make up their own rules concerning this doctrine?

there maybe other things i could say...if u have a problem, don't hesitate to email me...

the point of the church was to glorify Christ. if a church is not evangelizing in that it does not preach the Gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 15) to the point of compelling people to go to heaven, then the church is only a group of people listening to music and vain babbling glorifying each other and not God. for nowhere in the Bible does God command a church to be run like that.

-GeNeSis

GeNeSiS » 4 April, 2004 3:17 PM

I was surfing along and came across your website. I really enjoyed it. Thanks! This site is very informative. I hope to see more in the near future, Wishing you all the best!

William Ford

William Ford » 7 April, 2004 11:00 AM

to hear Hillsong being called a church insults me, Hillsong is nothing more than an corporation, it is just like Microsoft, money = the paramount, product = 2nd place! Hillsong people claim they're the 'innocent' ones in this whole issue however the fact of the matter is that I've heard more negative comments from Hillsongers than I have from any other denomination.

Things such as "aren't there enough gays for you at our 'church'" and "if you say anything against Hillsong, God will get you". By now you should've realised that I am a member of the Uniting Church in Australia and something which needs to be said on the whole gay issue is that there are MANY churches inside the UCA who DO NOT agree with the National Assemblies decision. I believe that letting gays into any church controdicts the bible in so many ways, however back on topic.

Brian Houston is smart in the way that he found the perfect area to monopolise a religion, the Hills District an area with new families that have money to spend and in the City which is easily accessable for the people with $$$ down there. His church appeals to teenagers because of the music, however it hasn't pulled me in :P!

Hillsong has lied about an advisory from the Combined Christian Churches (of which Hillsong is not a member of, being yet another Assembly of God) and another thing which annoys me is that in a survey of people who go to Hillsong (on a local scale since I have been to Hillsong a few times and have no intention of returning) is that the majority (98%) were more than happy to see the older denominations (Baptists, Anglicans, Catholics, Uniting Church, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc) be destroyed if it meant Hillsong could monopolise more.

Even though this will make you people think even less of me than what you undoubtably already do, I am 15 years old and already in my short time involved with this issue (since about 12 years of age) I have seen so much and know a lot of what Hillsong is doing that is flying completely in the face of Christianity!

I see my mission for God and Jesus as one against Hillsong, (now using the same sort of logic as someone from Hillsong) why else would God and Jesus 'send' me this message to do this?

I respect most people that go to Hillsong (although once you insult my church of any other older style one you'll lose it) but I seriously find it funny that people believe that this is what Jesus and God want, I would've thought he'd want both the older churches and Hillsong/AOG go on, yet it seems that in Hillsong's book we need to end for them to fufil their goal of (and now quoting Hillsong's site) "I see is a Church of influence. A Church so large in size that the city and nation cannot ignore it".

I welcome any comments on my post (as long as it's not childish banter). Have a nice day all!

Nick » 9 April, 2004 10:33 PM

In Reply to Evielyn Chapman (post as at March 31, 2004 02:34 PM)
"Talking about Hillsong 'products.' At Hillsong they call them resources, not products and they are exactly that - resources to build your life. The reason that they make DVD's of their live worship albums is not so you can sit down and watch them but so you can be at home worshiping in your own lounge room."

Hillsong resources hey, even a product (wait sorry, resource) called Kingdom Women Love Sex by Bobbie Houston, who is meant to be a senior pastor there too!
Sex and the Church (not just Hillsong I'm talking about HEAPS long ago) has always been controversial, take a look at what was happening with the Catholic priests in America.

Nick » 9 April, 2004 10:37 PM

Have found this site interesting. I don't want to "bag" anybody or christians for this matter, but I think that we really are living in the last days and Christondem is very prevalent.
We are learning at our church about pragmatism - and it is thorougly interesting - even Charles Spurgeon talks about these types of churches today where entertainment is the main attraction.
I have been to one Hillsong Conference, and to be honest with you. felt a strange and errie spirit around me - i got out of that place so fast and prayed to the Lord for me to find my car - which he did.
Seriously, let's get back to doctrinal issues - and stop treating our churches like they are a place of entertainment - - Timothy speaks about "what our itching ears want to hear". There are a lot of people getting deceived - they want to hear sermons about "money, finance" and God blessing you. Let me be honest with you - i think the GREATEST BLESSING GOD HAS EVER BESTOWED ON MY LIFE(ALL YOU AOG'S READ THIS PLEASE) is having a physical affliction - with my physical site and my health. I don't want the Lord to take these things away from me, because they are what keeps me close to the Lord. My financial state is poor - but i don't care, and don't want the Lord to bless me financially. He has done more for me than I ever deserve and more than I can ever imagine - for sending His precious Son to the Cross of Calvary. Sadly, our small corner suburban churches are dying because they do not offer the glitzy flashing lights and the "modern uptodate dressed entertainers - and this is what Darlene and all those people are - entertainers. The world is following the likes of Guy Sebastian - whose video clip is nothing but seductive and alluring to the young. Darren Beadman continues to be a jockey while millions gamble(and from the past I know what this feels like). Jason Stevens is involved in a worldly sport that, is at present, in the headlines everyday regarding allegations of rape and sexual abuse. Disgusting!!!
What is wrong with simple, doctrinal sermons from the corner church minus the glamour and the glitz?
What is wrong with being on the breadline??
What is wrong with driving a 1990 year old car?
Does the Lord want to see me in a shiny, brand new car? I don't think so.
'The LOVE of money is the root of all evil".
To all who attend Hillsong, I am not saying you are NOT SAVED but you are getting deceived.
Slowly, the Toronto blessing will ebb it's way into your churches - and the likes of Rodney Browne and Kenneth Copleland who I have witnessed on videos barking like dogs and being dumbfounded in speech. WAKE UP!!! This is my message to you - you are being deceived.
I LOVE my little corner church, with the pale, old pews and dusty hymn books, the simple kitchen, the old piano in the corner and the tape that gets played and re-played every Sunday.
The Lord blesses me everyday with His Love and His strength - this is all I need - this is all we need.
Seriously, pray about where the Lord wants you to go and pray for Him to show you if your church you attend is deceiving you. Remember - our hope is built on eternity - not here on earth.
May the Lord Bless you all and I will pray for discernment for you all.

grace » 13 April, 2004 9:24 PM

"Hillsong" - what a strange name to call a church.
Have read a few of the comments, and just think it is sad that so many christians are being deceived and been caught up by the worldly atmosphere that is in this church. I really feel sorry for you people. You seem to be in such a trance during worship- are you this joyful when you come home?
Mmmm...
And the repetititive lines in the song - what does this mean???
I would like to see some of you "Hillsong" attenders just occasionally visit some of the simple other little churches that we have - and encourage them?
Hey??
And someone mentioned about how generous Hillsong is by helping the poor? Don't other churches do this too? Dosn't the scriptures talk about doing things in secret- not boasting about giving to the poor.
We receive the Holy Spirit ONCE in our lives when we become saved and don't need weekly, daily doses of it like it is some drug - I have witnessed on t.v. some of the carryings on - by people receiving doses of the Holy spirit fire!!!(and then falling backwards - ouch!!!
We are to WALK IN THE SPIRIT - DAILY - and this means the renewing of our minds - we can simply do this in the privacy of our own homes, deep within our hearts - we don't need to receive doses of it from some guy standing out the front of church and touching people on the forehead only to have them thrown backwards. Come on - dear brothers and sisters in Christ - WAKE UP!!
yOU ARE BEING DECEIVED!!!!
I can imagine that most of you supporting Hillsong are new christians and you are probably young in age and young in the Lord - so you are being deceived mightilly by the evil one.
Think of the image you are creating to the unsaved?? Flashy DVD's and CD's.
We are not bagging or bringing down other churches - we are simply warning those that are deceived.
Christianity is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ - we are to be separate from the world - this does not mean not talking to unbelievers - it means leaving the world and it's lustful desires out of the church - I am not talking about hearts - i am talking about "the Love of money, entertainment,
and talking in tongues".
Please please pray that the Lord will give you the discernment that you need.
Study the scriptures yourselves and weigh it against what Hillsong is teaching?
Someone mentioned upabout The church being up-to date - can you back this up with scripture.
Scripture says the Lord is the same yesterday and tomorrow - we don't need to change - we need to change our hearts and that is the most important.
Glad i can have the chance to share my opinion.

esther » 13 April, 2004 9:50 PM

I want to be brief with what I want to say but this is what I want to say.
I don't want to say anything negative about Hillsong, but I would like to say to each and everyone of you that is reading this and that attends Hillsong to stop going for a few weeks and attend another church - and another denomination, so, if you are AOG, try going to the local Baptist, or Presby. Church or whatever.
Now, when you go to worship with YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN THE LORD, I want you to examine your hearts and your minds. Remember, the music will be different, the sermon a little different, no
shiny bright lights and glamourous stage entertainment. I want you to tell me how you felt?
Was your heart and soul the same as it was when you go to Hillsong? Can you worship the Lord in this new church environment? (minus the Hillsong
auditorim, etc, etc). If your answer is NO, then I can only evaluate that your worship is based on feelings and your senses because of Hillsong environment.If your answer is "yes" than Praise the Lord - continue going and enjoy Hillsong worship.
Just some food for thought. God bless..

Karlos » 13 April, 2004 10:05 PM

Hi, I read what young Lizzie had to say and I am so glad that someone so young can see the truth and the Light. I will pray for you Lizzie and Praise God that your eyes have been opened to this false, cultic church. The Lord will bless you far greater while you attend your simple, corner church in your suburb and reach out to others with His Love.
Your friends at Hillsong - by rejecting you, this is not showing Love and christianity. Young People like you need to warn other young christians not to go there and get caught up with this false teaching.
You are so right about Tim Hall - scary, isn't he?
Not once does it mention in scripture about people falling backwards in order to recieve the so called "fire of the Holy spirit".
I feel sorry for Tim Hall and His followers and for all the followers of Brian Houston.
The body of believers is the church - not the huge building with flashy lights and entertainers. If I want this, I will go to the Nightclubs or just to the Local RSL or Leagues clubs - to see a person singing and dancing around. Leave this for the world and don't bring it in the churches.
And if Hillsong is to attract the young - how sad this is. I became a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ at the tender age of only 5 years of age. I heard a simple, yet powerful gospel - and I attended a very closed brethren church at the time. I also listened to Billy Graham as a young child - this is all I needed. I Loved the Lord Jesus Christ there and then and still do today - i am still young and don't need to worship listening to Darlene repeating herself over and over and over again.....
I worship the Lord with my heart - and give me the old hymns anyday!!!
Praise the Lord for you Lizzie and He will use you mightily I am sure..

belinda » 13 April, 2004 10:20 PM

I have made it my mission in my outer-regional school which is heavily dominated by Hillsong/AOG followers (both students and teachers) to be the most outspoken person in that environment against Hillsong, I don't care what I have to do or what I have to go thru to get the true message against Hillsong out cause I have had enough of seeing my peers being brainwashed by Hillsong, even some of my own friends (these are people around 15/16 the target age group for Hillsong) have told me to either side with Hillsong or hit the road, so instead of sitting in Easter Assemblies and putting up with Hillsong's message, I'm gonna shout out and let everyone know the truth!

Nick » 15 April, 2004 10:27 AM

After reading this i am a little lost for words. Ive been around the churches in my life of faith, going wherever God has planted me... but to see such criticism and judgement from all of you.. it makes me cry.
As for music moving and worship, I am of the belief that the music is just the vessel for the spirit to move, so if its with music that hillsong music has written that the holy spirit decides to move you, then so be it.. if its in old hymns that that happens, so be it..
Its sad to see so much criticism and judging going on in here, towards churches and each other.. can our focus not be what we have been called to do? Fix your eyes on Jesus... I have read some truths and alot of lies here.. but who am i to judge and make a call? I have more important priorities in life than to bicker with fellow believers on what church i do or do not attend and why.. i attend what i attend because i have been planted there for a season.
May God give you a clarity and a peace in your hearts about these issues that are concerning you so much, because there is so much you are missing out on, so much misdirected focus, emotion and direction.
Let us stand together united in our belief of Jesus Christ and what he has done for us, be thankful that he has raised up leaders in this fallen world, that so many people are seeing salvation, and that we are all different, different in every sense, including the way we worship, the way we respond, how the holy spirit moves in us, as well as everything else.
And be thankful! Thankful, that we even know and have heard the truth of the gospel.. are there not more important things we can be worrying about rather than being consumed by hatred for another church? Be passionate for Jesus, not about the destruction of a church for goodness sake.

anotherwish » 15 April, 2004 1:21 PM

Thanks "Anotherwish" for convicting me.
I suppose what you said is right - we should not be concerned about judging - we may be judging other believers. I felt convicted after reading your message so thank you!!

grace » 19 April, 2004 7:00 PM

I personally really am blessed by Hillsong and their "products". Darlene's book was humbling to me and quite an insight on true worship. I watch thier videos when I want to have a time alone in my house worshipping God though singing. I doubt Hillsong really preaches that if your a christian your going to be happy all the time, but rather that being a christain is a happier lifestyle than not being one. Darlene talks about times in her life as a christain and worship leader in her book when her life was not so easy, for instance when she lost a baby she was carrying for three months. She said that worshipping and singing helped her get through it and I think that is the key. If she wasn't a christain what would she have done? I think her life would have been a lot harder at that point. And that's what churches preach. I say to Hillsong keep doing what God has called you to do and do not focus on the negative comments when so much good has been accomplished.

Mel » 20 April, 2004 3:17 AM

so much bad has also been accomplished by Hillsong as well. Brainwashing millions of people, I kind of have a problem with that, the Bible according to Brian, I have a problem with that too.

Nick » 20 April, 2004 8:40 PM

Basically, I think Hillsong Church Sydney is great. Brian Houston is a great leader and man of God.

However, Hillsong London, seems so focussed on money rather than spiritual growth. I used to be a member and left for these reasons:

- for tithes and offerings, there was too much emphasis on "if you give, you will be blessed". yes, there are promises in the Bible about blessing, but we should not give because we want to be blessed (implication: material blessing) but out of our heart felt love for Christ and his church.

- the vast majority of the preaching was weak and CONSTANTLY about 'building the church'. London doesn't preach about the life changing power of the Holy Spirit but the much more often on the abundance that God brings (again implicit in these message is material rather than spiritual wealth).

- it just seems like Gary doesn't care what God wants to do. his preaching whilst inspirational and useful for a few weeks about church/generosity/getting involved in church life etc, doesnt teach on spiritual things or increasing in knowledge of our great God.

i just wasnt growing... so i left. It was a hard decision: i love the praise and worship and the excellence the church pursues - a great example to any church - but i just wasnt feeling happy and constantly critical. I think Hillsong London does alot of great things and I would still be there if Gary wasnt senior pastor or if he began preaching better -- we shouldn't seek 'bible-lite' but bible-rich from our churches. Preaching on OUR human formulations and visions for what church life can be cannot be right... And, I know a lot of people who havent stayed at Hillsong due to the preaching.

Let's seek God's guidance and his Holy Spirit in everything we do.

I realise there are people from Hillsong London reaching these posts, so rather than take this post critically, take it as encouragement about what can be done better. Now that you are large and have numerous "statistics" of church growth and altar calls (God is not about numbers but about hearts), I hope you are not so arrogant now as to dismiss my advice... Test my advice isn't just slander -- talk to uni students in London and they will say about Hillsong London: "I like the praise and worship but the preaching is very weak".

A church is not built on praise but on the word of God. God bless.

» 21 April, 2004 7:34 PM

Hillsong Church in Sydney is the exact same as the London one just with a different idiot in charge

Nick » 21 April, 2004 8:40 PM

It's amazing to read so many of the varied comments here. I could say a lot, but suffice to say that the command, I emphasize COMMAND, of Jesus is to love one another. Secondly, another command of the New Testament is, DO NOT JUDGE one another. I think all those of you who take a liberty to judge another christian are taking a HUGE risk for when you are standing in front of the judgment seat of Christ giving an account of your life. What have you built with your life while here on earth. Let's all be busy about the Lord's work in our own patch and not criticize some else's work. Jesus did not call any of us to judge each other, but to love one another and love will cover for each other's mistakes. It is God who will do the judging. Don't forget, none of us are perfect. Romans says that you are guilty yourself of that which you are judging someone else.
Jesus didn't command us to follow Him in the purity of our doctrine, because none of us have the pure doctrine. We like to think we do, but let's not kid ourselves, we only know as much as we have received revelation from the Holy Spirit.
If you want to correct your brother who has gone astray, then the bible clearly lays out the procedure for doing that and it doesn't involve public airing of your judgment. What's more, if you're not even in the same church, let's just say, you don't even know what you are talking about. All you are going on is hearsay, other people's opinions and gossip. All designed to bring on strife - definitely not walking in love.
It amuses me how so many people have so much heartburn with what they call the PROSPERITY GOSPEL. These same people in my experience are all for much worldly gain and possessions, but may be they love these possessions so much that they have a hernia when you start talking about giving some of it away. My advice is not to give anything, because the bible says that God loves a cheerful giver, not a grudging one. It's true what one posting said that God doesn't only want 10% of our finances, but 100%. However, He is waiting for us to be cheerful in giving it away. Your heart attitude is the most important. And, by the way, he does bless you back with more.
Now, you guys out there, lift your vision above your own patch. There is a big world out there which needs to be won for the Lord. It's not going to be done without finances. That's a cold hard reality. Let's not day dream about these things. What we need to do is get out of this bless me mentality and begin to see ourselves as being so blessed that we can bless others so that they can see God in us. Don't forget that each christian is the face of God to the world. The world can't see God unless they can see it in us. So give of your finances to the point where you have to trust God for the return and He will bless it back to you many fold so that you can bless even more. DON'T BE SELFISH.

Rauno » 23 April, 2004 1:20 AM

As a Presbyterian Elder, I would like to say "Go Hillsong, Go!" I attended Hillsong 2000 with 20 other members of my church. The results are still evident in our church - we stand on the Bible as our guide. DON'T LIMIT GOD!! He is able to use flawed humanity to His purpose. Was Moses one of the beautiful people? No, he apparently had a speech problem BUT GOD USED HIM JUST AS HE CAN USE YOU AND I. I like the lively debate here, and the "attacks" are nothing more than people hammering out their faith -- oooooo, Hillsong did some good, then, because some really took time to think about their own faith, whether or not they agree with the way Hillsong is conducting their search for God. By the way, just because I'm Presbyterian doesn't mean I'm liberal - our church is a member of the "confessing movement." Look it up and find that not all Presbyterians support lifestyles of disobedience....As far as repeating song lyrics - BLESSING AND HONOR AND GLORY AND POWER FOREVER, FOREVER BLESSING AND HONOR AND GLORY AND POWER FOREVER, FOREVER BLESSING AND HONOR AND GLORY AND POWER FOREVER, FOREVER Yes, I'm in a trance offering God my worship and praise.......

Claude Ingersoll » 25 April, 2004 11:16 PM

I suggest to all you dedicated Hillsong Sheep that you read this article from the Sydney Morning Herald before going back.

This so called Church is an admitted money making machine. They use God's name in order to make money, telling ppl the more they give the more they will get back. Where oh where in the Bible does it say that? I'm sorry,but it dosen't. You don't love God in order to get money! Only a fool would believe that.
I was sick after I read this article, that there are so many people who can actually listen to this garbage. The woman says that she "feels like a retard" when she carries extra weight...so what message is that sending to larger people? That is digusting.... I can hardly see the local priest getting up at Sunday mass saying..."Hello fatties, loose the weight retard". I mean come on, open up your eyes! Also, giving baby girls of 12 and 13 make up lessons....I know what I would do if my 12 year old daughter came home from "Church" saying that the Priest had given her a make up lesson...Did I miss the part in the Bible where God/Jesus said that we must look good? Did I miss the part where it was preached not to love ppl from the inside, but judge from the outside? It is without a doubt the most disturbing thing I have read for quite a long time. How can ppl be so blind as to what is going on? This church changes people for the worst. Visions of Tammy come floating back. !!! People, wake up, read the below and if you choose to ignore the article and go anyway, shame on you. God knows that He has never preached anything so disgusting. Oh, enjoy the part about "Pelvic Floor Muscle Movements"


A sexy young Christian, a walkie-talkie clipped to her hipsters, greets us on our walk from the car park. "Hiya, howya doin'?" she says, with a flick of her mane and a smile. "Welcome to God's house - what an awesome day!" She points us in the direction of God's pad, a massive Olympic-style stadium up on the hill, and returns to conducting traffic with a fluoro stick.

All around, beaming young folk (and they are mainly young) are decked out in their coolest threads - no Amish-skirted Christians here. Hundreds walk with us, and beneath the awnings and in the foyer of the building - all tubular steel and glass - thousands are milling excitedly. By the end of the weekend, almost 12,000 people will have made this walk. Once inside, the first thing the faithful strike is not a crucifix or stained-glass window (the building is devoid of Christian symbolism), but a vast bookshop, of sleek frosted glass and wood, where dozens wait by the till for books and tapes and CDs - or, as they like to call them here at Hillsong Church, "Christian resources" - from around the world. Most prominent, and with almost half the shop to themselves, are the titles by Brian Houston and his wife Bobbie, Hillsong's senior pastors.

As 6pm approaches, the crowd spills into the church, a massive 3500-seat auditorium in Sydney's Baulkham Hills. Australia's newest, wealthiest and largest single church, it holds almost twice as many people as that city's St Mary's Cathedral, its closest competitor (which has total weekend attendances of fewer than 2000). They are crowds no one can afford to ignore and, the day after he returned from visiting the scene of the Bali bombings in October, Prime Minister Howard put aside his war on terror to open this house of worship.

Today a 12-piece band with five back-up singers and a choir of 50-odd youngsters literally bounce into action. Behind them, three massive screens hang from the walls - the middle one morphs through different shades of red and blue, only the message, "Glory to God", remaining constant. The momentum builds with the tempo of the band as the packed stadium sings along to the words flashed up on the screens, swaying in a one-armed, open-palm salute to the band, to the Lord.

After 20 minutes, the warm-up pastor takes to the stage, chiming in with the band - "Come on, church, you can groove" - and then segues into his spiel. Our God, he says,is a God who delivers miracles, a totally awesome God. He rattles off stories, true stories, from this very congregation, of cancers cured, of cripples healed, of sinners saved. Why, the Lord even saw his way to finding $4000 for one student to pay his fees at the Hillsong Bible college. The congregation hoot and clap; a young fellow beside me has his eyes closed and as each miracle is proclaimed he shouts, "Amen, man. Awesome."

But you, too, should honour the Lord, the pastor tells his flock, and He will deliver these miracles, because the Bible says so, right here in Proverbs, chapter 3, which says that "if you honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the fruits of your increase, your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine". He makes the point numerous times, lets it sink in, then informs the throng that credit card facilities are available, and cheques should be made out to Hillsong. "Amen," shouts the pastor, thumping the air with his fists. "Amen, let's pass those buckets along."

And the faithful oblige - last year they filled the Hillsong buckets to the tune of $10 million. The church's music arm also bought in a tidy tax-free $8 million, and one of its albums, Blessed, debuted at No4 in the pop charts, above Shakira, and stayed there for weeks. Hillsong has bought into medical centres. Its Bible college has close to 1700 full- and part-time students, some paying annual fees of more than $4000. It has a staff of almost 200, including 70 pastors. It has built a state-of-the-art conference centre-cum-church worth $25 million. No fewer than five television cameras are mounted in the auditorium; the services are recorded and then televised in more than 80 countries.

Let's not be coy, Hillsong is not a church that is afraid of money - its spiritual leader, Brian Houston, is also the author of You Need More Money: Discovering God's Amazing Financial Plan for Your Life. Is that what makes this the seemingly fastest-growing Christian church in Australia? The census reveals that while millions identify as Catholic, Anglican or other Protestant denominations, few of them actually go to church. There are, for example, 3.9 million Anglicans, but only 180,000 attend church. (The Anglicans are like South Sydney rugby league club supporters - plenty of guernseys, but hardly any go to the games.) The Catholics are way out in front with 875,000 attendees from their 4.7 million flock. But with almost 200,000 people attending Pentecostal services each weekend around the country, they have nudged ahead of the Anglicans. The Pentecostals have a truancy rate of almost nil. What brand of God are they selling that sees the Almighty walking off the shelves, when the traditional churches struggle to give Him away?

Brian Houston, 48, saunters over to greet me, a tall, tanned man with a deep, radio man's drawl, and a silver and gold Breitling watch shimmering on his wrist. The pastor drives, among other vehicles, a Harley-Davidson Fatboy that a friend from overseas gave him. After emigrating from New Zealand, he and his wife, Bobbie, started this church in Baulkham Hills almost 20 years ago, preaching to a couple of dozen people in a hired school hall. Brian's father, Frank, had already set up a similar fundamentalist Pentecostal church (which has since joined with Hillsong) in the inner-Sydney suburb of Waterloo. Brian grew up with the church, while Bobbie got saved and "met Jesus" at the Auckland Town Hall at the age of 15. The couple met at church camp when Bobbie bought Brian an ice-cream ("He was the first boy I ever kissed," says Bobbie with a girlish giggle. "Can you believe I'm telling you this?"), were married when Bobbie was 19 and are now Hillsong's senior pastors.

They work out regularly and look like an advertiser's dream couple. Bobbie, 45, is blonde, busty and beautiful, and speaks in an airy, suburban earth-mother tone - part Phoebe from Friends, part Kath & Kim.

When asked to explain their roles in the church, Bobbie says pleasantly: "We are seen as one entity but obviously our roles will differ in that we kinda, we are united in this together so we are not afraid of that, yeah, so, so, we are not a kingdom divided against ourselves. So, we are yoked together in this, I mean, they are biblical words, we are yoked together, obviously his roles, I defer to him, I respect his role. Do you know what I mean?"

Brian and I leave Bobbie and go for a drive.

So why does he think the church has been so successful? "I think the biggest issue is relevance, I really do," he says, as we tour around the bland suburbs - row upon row of enormous, identical houses - of the Hills District, which surrounds his church. "We are scratching people where they are itching." This is the nearest thing Australia has to a Bible belt. Houston says that when he and Bobbie set out to build a church, he wanted to build one that he and his family would want to attend, with good music, good sermons and a positive message.

So, at Hillsong services, the music is modern and uplifting and the presentation theatrical. The show stopper is the communal baptism, held every few weeks. The giant stage rolls back and beneath is a baptismal pool. The faithful line up at the side to be dunked, fully clothed, while the onlookers cheer and clap.

Then, there's the message, which is simple and alluring. It says that if you embrace this brand of God you will be rewarded financially and spiritually in this life, as well as the next. It is religion for our material age. And there, as an example of what is possible, is the handsome, charismatic pastor, his bubbly wife and their three beautiful kids (Joel, 23, the oldest, is lead singer in the Hillsong rock band). All this comes with Brian's guarantee - from More Money - that "anyone who puts the Kingdom of God first (rich or poor) can expect bible economics to work in their life NOW".

Many of the young people I meet at the services volunteer their stories of financial success since joining Hillsong. "I was living in a housing commission house, working in a factory job and struggling to pay my bills," says Brian Griffiths, aged in his early twenties and still sweating from dancing in the bleachers. "Since I started coming [in 1999], great things have happened." He got a job selling insurance over the phone, with someone he met through the church. "God made me meet him." He is more than happy to give

10 per cent of his wage back, as most are. "Granted, many people have a life that's going great without God, yet I think that God probably had a whole lot more in mind for them."

"If you believe in Jesus," Houston tells me, "He will reward you here [on earth] as well [as in Heaven]." It is this prosperity gospel teaching that puts him at odds with people like the Reverend Tim Costello, the former head of the Baptist Union of Australia.

"The quickest way to degrade the gospel," says Costello, "is to link it with money and the pursuit of money. It is the total opposite of what Jesus preached. These people have learnt nothing from the mistakes made by the American televangelists."

Not so, says Houston. When Jesus said it was harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, he didn't mean rich Christians, because all you need is "God as your foremost priority. Jesus talks constantly of people's attitude to money but he never talks against money."

Costello, says Houston, "likes what we do generally" but has a problem with Hillsong's success. He, like those from some of the more traditional churches, is simply jealous of it, Houston tells me. "The irony is, Tim Costello is a pretty successful guy himself. The big difference between us is that I like to teach other people to be successful and not just enjoy the success myself."

Hillsong, he says, has moved with the times, while the old churches are stuck in the 19th century. "What good is a vow of poverty?" he asks. "A person who has more is able to help more. That's what we are all about, giving people a handout." The multi-million-dollar church's charitable arm, Hillsong Emerge, according to ASIC documents, has an annual budget of just a little over $400,000.

That's not to say that Houston's views on some other matters aren't conservative. He believes in speaking in tongues. He would like to see creationism taught in schools and abortion banned. Homosexuals are, of course, unwelcome, but Houston says he's not a Fred Nile-type fanatic on these matters. Picketing outside abortion clinics achieves little; a more pro-active approach is to help teenage girls through their pregnancies. The church partly funds a hostel, Mercy Ministries, for young pregnant women and other troubled girls (there's another for troubled boys at Bankstown) who can live there free for a year, on the proviso that they attend church. Another of the Hillsong Emerge projects, Young and Gorgeous, sees young Emerge women going into schools to teach 12- and

13-year-old girls about skin care and make-up, to help them learn, an Emerge woman told me, "that each and every one of them is unique and precious". Houston takes me for a drive past the youth hostel, in a bush setting near his church, and then on to a medical centre the church has bought in Baulkham Hills (they own another at Blacktown). It is all part of healing people "body, mind and spirit", he says, explaining the Hillsong approach.

The medical centres are small, but with plans for expansion. And while they may be helping the converted, they're also causing ripples among those outside Hillsong. Local doctors are angry that they will have to compete against a business that is exempt from all the normal business taxes - such as payroll tax - just because it is a religious organisation.

It is a matter the AMA intends to scrutinise.

Max Wallace, a sociologist at the Australian National University, is writing a book,

The Purple Economy, about the tax-free godsend enjoyed by the Australian churches. He says that while the traditional churches are "immensely wealthy", Australians had better get used to the "astronomical wealth growth"

of young, corporate churches such as Hillsong, which haven't the burden of maintaining ageing churches and small congregations (some don't even have the burden of charity). New churches are also moving into a host of new business ventures that have nothing

to do with religion - turf farms, fruit juice manufacturing, furniture making - often sending their competitors broke along the way.

Tim Costello wants to know how much of the Hillsong wealth is going to Brian and Bobbie. "The churches have an enormously privileged position in society - not only do they not pay tax, but they are exempt from many of the fringe benefit rules as well. As a result, they need to be open and fully accountable. Anyone can walk into my church and find out exactly how much I earn, what car I drive, whatever, including any other associated monies I might earn from being a minister. I would like to ask the same of Hillsong."

So I do. Brian Houston's open, good-guy demeanour disappears. No, he will not tell me what he or Bobbie earns. "All you guys [the media] want to know about is the money,"

he says. "You don't want to know about the church." Well, it's a bit like walking into Rose Hancock's house and not noticing the chandeliers - the money at Hillsong just leaps out at you.

Houston says that while he draws a wage, he donates it back to the church. "I want to make it clear that I cost this church nothing, I want that on the record." He earns some of his money, he says, as a property developer, "being a silent partner with a couple of guys from the church in building developments", but he gets "the vast majority" of his money from overseas speaking engagements at other charismatic churches. He and Bobbie also get the royalties from those "Christian resources" out the front of the church.

Phillip Powell, a Pentecostal preacher and a former general secretary of the Assemblies

of God (the umbrella group of which Houston is now president), says Houston's overseas speaking engagements are at churches whose own senior pastors are "on the circuit". Powell, who has set up a "watchdog ministry", Christian Witness Ministries, in part to monitor Hillsong, says, "They get paid huge amounts of money to speak at each other's churches. The money goes to Brian, but his profile comes from Hillsong." It is a bit like the Pope charging for speaking engagements, and then keeping the cash. (Houston says Powell's sentiments are "pitiful comments from a pitiful man who knows nothing of Hillsong or of me".)

The Hillsong church structure is tightly controlled. The general manager, Brian Aghajanian (also an elder), says the elders are nominated "by Brian or the other elders". No elections? "No, we feel that people might stand who don't have a great understanding of the way the church works or have the same vision we have for the church," Aghajanian says.

What we do know is that Houston wears a watch worth thousands of dollars, he owns an enormous house overlooking a bush valley, in a suburb of other enormous houses, at Glenhaven. He also owns a picturesque spread on the Hawkesbury River, near Windsor, just west of Sydney, gets paid handsomely to speak overseas and is a property developer - and he's not ashamed of any of it.

"Look," he says, "I can tell you that if I was in business, and held this sort of position, I would be earning three times as much. I don't do it for the money."

So, you couldn't see Jesus running into Hillsong and overturning the cash registers,

as he famously did with the money changers in the temple? "Absolutely not," he says. "Absolutely not. Because the spirit of those people was ... the house of God wasn't even about God any more. It was about, you know, it had become a marketplace inside the temple - it wasn't about Christian resources, resources that are helping people. It [the books and tapes and CDs] are not just about making money, it is about putting tools in people's hands.

[But] I have no problem if it makes a profit."

So, what exactly is in those Christian resources? One particularly irresistible title

is Bobbie's three-tape boxed set Kingdom Women Love Sex ($22, also available on CD). In it, Bobbie explains why it is important for Christians to be good at "it". "We need to

be good at sex ourselves so that if the world happens to come knocking we can tell the story of God in our lives," Bobbie says, on the tape. "Without being lurid or untruthful

- hello! - we can say [she whispers], 'I have a great marriage and a great sex life' - wink wink, nudge nudge. Yeah, truly."

Bobbie also offers some practical advice.

Fat is out. Do some exercise. "If I carry weight I feel like a retard ... How are you going to do anything to surprise your man when you need a hydraulic crane just to turn over in bed?" Have plastic surgery, if it makes you feel better and it is for the right reasons, and "girls, pelvic floor exercises - can you believe I am saying this? - you know, I have heard that orgasm is not as strong if you are really sloppy in that area".

As Bobbie says, "When you are doing what is correct in God there is a protection over your life. Like - hello! - it is just there. So it is a very powerful thing. Amen. Yeah, fully."

There have been some dramas in the House of Camelot in the past few years. Houston

had to sack one of his senior preachers and good friends, Pat Mesiti, after it was revealed he'd been visiting prostitutes. And then Brian's father, former minister Frank Houston, confessed to being a pedophile.

Finding out his father had abused a child back in New Zealand was, Houston tells me, "like the jets flying into the twin towers of my soul". It was, understandably, one of

the hardest issues he has ever had to deal with. "Basically I received a complaint, so

I confronted my father and he admitted it." Houston removed his father from all roles in the church, but did not contact police in New Zealand because the victim was old enough to do that himself. He said that he was candid with his congregation, although he has been criticised for not acting quickly enough.

"I told our church what had happened [several months after he found out], but as soon as I found out I told the elders of this church and the Assemblies of God," Houston says. "To my congregation, when I told them, I used words like predator and sexual abuse and so on - I did not try to hide it."

It is a matter that appears unlikely to go away, and Houston tells me that, since the initial allegation was made public, other alleged victims have come forward. Good Weekend understands that another alleged male victim of his father is "extremely unhappy" with his treatment by the church and is currently considering civil action.

Bobbie says that the sexual abuse claims were the hardest thing her husband has ever had to confront. "But the leader in him rose and I think that is what endeared the congregation to us. This issue is rampant through society and you don't have to be Blind Willy to see that - sorry, blind Freddy, I always get my sayings wrong - but as a church we are dealing with those issues."

Phillip Powell, the watchdog, says he doesn't believe Brian Houston has dealt adequately with a whole range of issues within his church regarding accountability, and says he will continue to monitor the work of Hillsong. "There are alarm bells and people need to ring them," he says.

On one of the Sundays I attend a Hillsong service, Anne Luckwell, a 36-year-old administration officer with the Harvey Norman retail chain, is excitedly waiting to be baptised. She joined the church six months ago and is now ready to "dedicate my life to the Lord". She has a child and has been through a rough time. "I lived with a man for 15 years and we were splitting up - he said he was not going to give me anything from the house [he owned] in the settlement." She says that now, since she found Hillsong, she has come to an agreement with her former partner for a share of the house. It has as much to do with the law as it has with the Lord, but still she attributes the agreement to Hillsong. I call her up a few days later to see how she feels, post-baptism. "Not too good, actually," she croaks. "I've got the flu. I think it's because of the wet hair." Still, she says, she'll be back in church next Sunday, ready to hear the word of Brian - and, of course, willing to give in order to receive.

» 28 April, 2004 11:06 AM

It's sad to see people like the previous contributor, not sure whether he/she is a believer or not, propagating a non-christian reporter's views on a christian church. Actually, I don't find too many things wrong with the newsreporter's writing. This blogg contains far worse comments and they are ostensibly coming from other christians.

Hillsong church will attract a LOT of adverse comment and criticism because they are doing something right for a change. If you find that difficult to stomach, then you are going to be in for a shock, because the church is going to become more and more prominent in these last days. No one will be able to ignore it. Everyone will have to make up their mind, either for or against. The body of Christ, made up of christians from all denominations, will be irrisistable before Jesus comes to take us away. So get used to it.
I don't personally attend the Hillsong church regularly because I don't live in Sydney, but have been there a number of times. But I have been absolutely blessed by their ministry. I love their bookshop. May I recommend it to all of you. You need to grow up spiritually and there are lots of tools there to help you on your way. Lot of christian people have not yet grown up in many areas of spiritual life and hence find it a hard pill to swallow what's going on at Hillsong. And don't forget that there will be a lot of derogatory gossip and downright lies told by those who oppose it, but those who are spiritual will let those things go straight through to the keeper.
Bible says that you will know them by their fruits. That applies to churches and to individuals. What kind of fruit are you producing: sweet oranges or bitter lemons. Some of the preceding comments have a fair dose of acid in them. Each and every one of us is going to give an account for every idle word that we utter. Therefore, be careful what you say. And remember, God did not set you to be a judge of your brothers, that is, if you are a brother. He'll do that Himself.
I really do feel sorry for someone who has called himself to a position of a church watchman. We need to pray for you. Shouldn't we be warning the world about the danger of going to hell instead.
Jesus will look after His body, the Church. He doesn't need our help to do it.

Rauno » 28 April, 2004 11:36 PM

I am sickened at the quotes that have come from the article two postings ago. This article definitely speaks volumes more to me than any other posting. The fruit that I see coming from the quotes in the article made by Brian and Bobbie Houston terrify me. I am deeply saddened that such character flaws could be found in people with authority over so many. While I am tempted to make many comments pointing every disgusting thing I disagree with, I must leave it to the Lord to deal with his people. Christian or non-Christian, the words that have come from their mouths speak entirely on their own. Period.
I am saddened that the congregation is under what it is, authority-wise. I would hate to know the full extent of how it has affected (and continues to affect) the lives of those in the congregation. I come from an AOG church and I could not IMAGINE my pastors speaking with such disregard and carelessness.

I will not dispute that Hillsongs has touched many for the Lord, and for anyone who's achieving that I am grateful. No, there really is no perfect church.

I have recently begun to attend Virginia Beach Christian Life Center (a large portion of the pastoral staff is from Hillsongs Australia's church) and I am thus far relieved to not see a lot of what I've heard has plaqued the church in Australia.

I am saddened that churches feel they must "imitate" the world so that they can attract people. That is the job of the Holy Spirit. To draw people to Christ. So many feel that he needs a helping hand though. (He doesn't)

My only other point would ly with the whole dreadful prosperity teaching. What are we going to do when we get to heaven and God asks us why we let millions die of hunger and disease just so we could have 1 more thing. (Many millionares die depressed and without God.) If it's obvious that money and things don't buy happiness, why would they make us any happier just because we know Jesus? The answer: They don't. I don't have much according to what we would call riches, and even I still know that material wealth will not buy happiness.

It saddens me when I hear people ask why God could let people starve, be homeless, etc... Is it really God who does this? I was very wisely taught that if you pray for something, you'd better be prepared to be the answer to that prayer, if at all possible. How could someone ask God to feed the hungry when he's not willing to share from his own abundance? How in the world could this ever make sense with prosperity preaching. Jesus did not choose the riches of this world. He chose God.

Rain » 29 April, 2004 10:51 AM

I have just read the article that was posted 3 comments ago.....wow...what a spin out! I only came across this site becuase I was looking on info for this church as a friend of mine seems to have been brainwashed since attending this church. My friend has quit his job, and now dosen't seem interested as ever working again as he says the church told him God will lead him to his right path in life...Yeh, well when the Repo agent comes knocking on his door to repo his car, furniture, house etc whats giong to happen then?

I was shocked when I read the article that the person posted here....I was born a catholic but am not practising. Reading that would never make me want to. So what do they do with all the bigger girls/guys that attend the service? are they not allowed in? what happens when a disabled person wants to go? are they taunted and oh, wait a second...I didn't know that all disabled people were fat! Man, what a disgusting joke! I mean she isn't exactly model material herself, where does she get off! Also, teaching girls of that age to apply makeup, what on earth is going on at this joint? I thought it was a church...or is church the new slang for beauty salon?

Anyway, back to my friend. I decided to take a trip to this church to see what was going on for myself...I am glad I went so I can now know if I meet anyone from there I can stay well clear.! So many people I spoke to there (I made an effort so I could see what the people were like) have quit their jobs and if they hven't they tithe a good majority of their wage to the church. Apart from that a good percent of people I spoke to had cut the "non believers" out of their lives....That is not right..Im sure it is not preached anywhere that we are to do that! Also....Yes, money ahoy! That is all they are doing they even have Credit Card facility available..haha! what a con! People are very easily lead esp people who are looking to fill a void in their lives, lonely, or depressed! oh yes! At the end of the day, the best teaching I can think of is Treat others the way you want to be treated and try harder every day...it is a simple, true and good philosophy to live by. I mean what God given right were these two jokers given to stand up on a fancy stage and ask for peoples money and tell them how to live their lives. get a life people...if you really want to do a good dead, go and donate money to a childerens orphanig in Cambodia or similar..at least you know where your money is going...apart from building some fancy auditorium which they rent out to business anyway...these two people are very very smart.....making money by sucking people in. Do you really think they are at home everynight readign the bible? No. They are out a Country Club or something - Spending your money! One thing i was really disturbed at the service was the tall skinny man giving a speach on "miricles".... all that was implied AND said was that if you go to Hillsong then you will be "saved" wether financially, spiritually, health wise etc...now that disgusts me to every bone in my body. I have a friend whos baby died two weeks after birth from Cot Death...what are you saying..if that couple had gone to church that wouldn't happen? They are giving people (who obviously cant think for themselves, or very easily whipped in to a crazed frenzy - crowd workers are very good at that) false hope that if somethign goes wrong in their lives, that it can all be saved if the give money to the church....as he said in the service and I QUOTE "bless the givers" i laughed out loud...yeh bless the money going out of your hand in to his pocket more like! So if I, out of no fault of my own, contract a deadly disease for which their is FACT no cure....will i be saved if i give money and attend hillsong....get real!

Joshua » 6 May, 2004 2:13 PM

I attend Hillsong Church Norwest (known as Hills) here in Sydney and have done so for six years. My background is Salvation Army and Baptist.

I remember when I used to think Hillsong was a money hungry money generating business. It's amazing what you believe when you try to squeeze another thought process into yours. For many years I tried to have a balanced view of the conservative and penticostal church. On one hand the conservatives are flat out trying to sack-cloth their way to heaven in committees and on the other hand the penticostals are trying to drive their emotions to the limit. I've come to realise that both systems are fine, in moderation. Never believe a conservative person speaking about a penticostal church and vice verca.

If you spent some time at our church you would find it is pretty similar to your church. During the week we have cell groups, women's groups, business groups, outreach groups and prayer meetings. On the weekend we have youth group, church and we all go out for supper after church and meet new people.

I attend Hillsong Church. I don't attend Hillsong Music Australia. If you have a look at the hillsong.com website you will see under the 'foundation' section you can see where a lot of our money goes: where the money you all talk about is being spent:

- sponsoring 1500 children
- getting out into communities providing welfare
- assisting those effected by sexual abuse
- educating people with life skills + self worth
- marriage enrichment, relationship advice
- Teen Challenge
- Mercy Ministries
- Hillsong Television

and that's just a glimpse of the weely life of people here @ Hillsong. We're not handing out BMW's at church!!

I wonder how much your church spends per head of congregation in comparison to Hillsong? Most likely 10 times as much. Perspective is required. We have more than 14,000 people go through our programs each week, we had over 20,000 people come to church on the Easter weekend, that's at least 6,000 more than a normal full week!

As for the DVD/VCD - Some of my friends have become Christians from watching the DVD. I hope you can watch any worship DVD, weather it be RSJ, Michael W Smith, Third Day or Hillsong and truely worship God in it.

Bless you all. If you have questions, please feel free to drop me a line.

Christopher Dawes » 8 May, 2004 6:31 AM

Everyone here who speaks negitive about Hillsong or others churches like them, you guys are only digging a deeper hole for themsleves. Pray fast that God changes your heart, becuase you guys are the reason people dont want to become christians in this day and age. Skeptics will never enter the kingdom, your always trying to find something wrong with everything. I live in Canada, and can tell you that the influence Hillsong has here is amazing and that at least 2 of my closest friends have been changed and are on fire for God becuase of their music. You skeptics and critisizers have no clue of whats really going on. Wake up man....you guys put a downer on life. And all you guys that think you know it all and what the bible says and all, read again big shots, cuase your not all that.

Matt » 8 May, 2004 11:35 PM

Im 15,Ive been saved since August 2002,& Hillsong has done stax for my faith.I was so on fire for God n I think I was doing pretty well as a christian.One day, a christian lady aproached me and told me I should change churches.I was attending a family harvest church at the time, and she told me all that stuff that the church is wrong cos of the prosperity message and pretty much all the negative opinions from above.I felt really confused.My family isnt saved.I grew up catholic, from my stepdads side, but both my mom,stepmom and biological father are agnostic.I was reborn into the harvest church and I trusted and loved it.my family wasnt too keen on the thought of any charismatic church so i already felt torn.When someone approaches me telling me my church is the wrong place for me to be it doesnt help me much.I didnt have another concregation to go so I continued attending my church, but it was like I felt guilty about it.Inthe end I felt too confused,too torn and I stopped going to church.I worshipped and got into word everyday but eventually I just stopped.I went back to my old ways,something I never thoght Id do.Im sitting in a position right now, where I dont know what I am.Im not a jesusfreak anymore.Sometimes I wish people hadnt said all that stuff to me about my church, Id be sitting in church right now.Then again its my own decision.I want Jesus back in my life,but I dont.theres too much stuff I cant sort out.mabey people should think before they just say something.mabey Im just young and naive...

sa » 9 May, 2004 4:15 AM

Yo bud, (above poster) Dont be discouraged, I was in your same position, and went through intense thought and decisions where I really didnt know what was right and if what people were telling me wasnt just some misconstrued concept of theirs...about church styles and all, and I got confused and pissed off at the whole church scene, went back to my old ways, and was in a hole (but still always knew I was a christian, in some way..) But yo, where I come from the churches here are old school and not too many are up to date, and I really was thinking how is a church going to reach out to the community by being old school 'n all. And I looked at churches like hillsong and such and was like, they rock, they dont look or act like the oldschool boring churches that I fall asleep in...Soooo...I went came back to an amazing relationship with God by ditching all the crap and "personal opinions" everyone had and was hearing and told. I just didnt care, I knew the Lord and im gonna praise him, even in this crappy world with all these crappy opinions everyone has here and there...
Im being blessed by the Hillsong Music and the youth part of that mostly! Its amazing whats happening to me and my friends when we just dont worry about what others are saying and dont get caught up in all that mess. Let me tell you as a youth myself, that lifes too short for this hypocrisy, pointing fingers at others crap..Dont let it bring you down, worship Jesus like you first did when you were saved, dont listen to the hypocrites but let God be the judge. Dont go back to your old life man, Im here telling you its not worth it, just keep it up. Go to your harvest church and if anyone tells you not too, pray for them that they'd have a change of heart, cause those people are the ones that dont give, dont love and just love spectating and judging. Christ is cool, and hes more real then we think. Peace out!

Matt » 9 May, 2004 7:44 AM

Thanx matt.That really means alot to me.to be honest with you I want to come back to God and its, like you said, I still know I'm a christian, and I know I need God,and its like I want to welcome Him back in my life,but I dont.And I get really pissed at myself, cos I know Hes whats best for me but I just cant seem to break through.ALL my christian friends have backslidden,and at first I was cool,but now,I dont even know.Its so rad I found this site,I dont know where all you people are from but Im in south africa, and its encouraging to hear from an on fire youth like you.where you from?

Kerri » 9 May, 2004 4:57 PM

It appears that the big issue of contention here is money. Infact it has been an issue in the church as far back as anyone can remember. Throughout the course of this contention critics have assailed ministers and church movements for overemphasising money. In turn ministers (and their supporters) have defended themselves and their teachings. Often this defence entails criticism(or judgement) of the critics, whilst telling them its unchristian to criticise ! :)

In addition, sometimes parties from both sides will become heated and emotional. Usually when this happens emotional responses are judged.

One thing I must say is this - Most christians do not have any understanding of what it means to "judge righteously" - Infact most christians believe we should not judge at all. This belief system needs to be quickly eradicated so that as believers we can embrace confrontation, get together and wrangle things out. Often times criticism is required, sometimes strong criticism. When we read the bible that fact cannot be escaped. The prophets of old that were often persecuted, mistreated and in some cases martyred in the old testament (by the rest of "Gods people") were very emotional, vocal and strong in the gift of criticism :) - Some people respond to that fact by saying "That was in the old testament" - I think a good additive to that phrase would be "..and I obviously haven't read the new testament". In the scriptures from Genesis right through to Revelation criticism directed towards God's people is prevalent. Infact Paul the apostle not only criticised Peter the apostle strongly, but wrote about it in a letter for others to read, now found in the bible for everybody to read. We must realise that criticism is not necessarily wrong.

So when is it right? That's where we require revelation from God.

There are guidelines we can follow but at the end of the day every situation in life is unique.
We need to know the scriptures and know intimately how men of God and our Lord Jesus Christ operated. Then we need to be led by the spirit daily.

Jesus's teaching on judgement was simple when you study what he and the apostles said regarding it. Nowhere does the scripture teach never to judge. It does teach however that
you shouldn't be judging other peoples small issues whilst you have big issues in your own life (straining at gnats, swallowing camels). Our God given right to judge should be proportional to our own personal sanctification in the holy spirit - Infact when (or if...) we read the bible we find that at times God actually holds us accountable to judge and criticise. Often in the church today we continually judge each other on trivial(gnats) issues, whilst ignoring the big ones. We need to look at the big issues, and amongst other things Prosperity teaching is one.

Prosperity in itself is good - It is a blessing. However my sincere belief is that we, the people who call on the Lord's name have made it into a dirty word.

The sad truth is many evangelists/preachers who continually teach prosperity have been found to be fraudulent. This abuse was rife in the USA and still is today, even though many have been caught and in some instances jailed. Given these facts it's no wonder people are apprehensive if we empahsize money in the church. I believe even if we are innocent in our heart regarding finances, we should be wise in how we present the gospel! Folks one of the biggest stumbling blocks against people receiving the gospel today is the fact that many evangelists continually talk about money. The world laughs at this - and when miracles (healings etc) happen, they don't believe it, they just think it's part of the show.

Personally whenever I hear preachers continually talking about money, not just an occasional teaching on giving but all the time, I get concerned.

Why? Well we know Jesus said "The love of money is the root of all evil"

If we love money, we're in trouble. We'll how then do we discern if someone loves money?

"The abundance of the heart flows forth from the mouth" - That's what God's word said, and that's why I stay away from preachers who wan't to talk about it all the time.


Bottom line is, we better learn to judge, first ourselves and also our surroundings. If we don't we will never know full joy and peace in God, as righteousness comes first.

Clint Vize » 9 May, 2004 11:28 PM

I live in Canada, and you can email me if ya wanna talk about anything (mattvenhuizen@hotmail.com)...this topic has gone far enough regarding the hillsongs prosperity thing. I just pray for a change in our nation and a change in our hearts.

Matt » 10 May, 2004 8:39 AM

The end doesn't justify the means. God will use our programs in spite of us, it doesn't mean that we are right because people are being saved.

patrick wrote this earlier:
'Simply, these are the most moving CDs and DVDs that I have ever come across, speaking musically, and I thank God that they have come into my life. I actually feel like I'm at one of these worship services when I watch them, and my soul soars to be in communion with God, and I'm sure that is the intent of the Hillsong team - to move others, thru music and video - to be closer to God. What is the problem with that?'

There is no doubt the music is moving, it was crafted in such a way as to give you a warm fuzzy feeling. But that is not necessarily the Spirit of God. God is there whenever two or three are gathered in His name, wether we feel warm and fuzzy or not. How does a song move you closer to God? It doesn't. Congregational singing is about God and to God, it's not about us. We grow closer to God by learning more about Him, and we do that thru His Word.

Patrick also said this:
'They are using media to bring people in communion with God, how can you folks find fault with that? Isn't that what worship is all about?'

No. That is what confession and repentance does. Worship is to glorify God. The term worship is not used in the NT in relation to congregational gatherings, it speaks of service and an attitude towards God...

Andrew » 11 May, 2004 11:07 PM

Get over it. Hillsong rocks harder then most churches do and ever will. They just rock. Enough said.

» 12 May, 2004 1:58 PM

I think hillsong Australia rockz

lil » 12 May, 2004 6:37 PM

Paul the apostle would walk into pagan cities like Ephesus and Corinth and turn the whole place upside down in a short space of time. Tens of thousands saved, miracles, churches established, sometimes dead raisings. After this he was often heavily persecuted, people wanting to kill him, stoned... etc...

He would turn up with little, and leave with little, but in Jesus Christ he was a powerhouse.

He didn't need to focus on being in fashion or "relevant" with the people to win souls. Certainly at times we need to accomodate people and relate to them, sure! However we need to become like Paul who said "Imitate me as I immitate Christ" - He was in fashion with an Awesome God empowered with the might of the Holy Ghost.

Now that "Rocks".

Clint Vize » 12 May, 2004 7:28 PM

Sorry if this post is late to topic...but...
regarding the earlier conversation on Hillsong Tithing Request Policies....

My wife and I recently came to an altar call at our church in Central Massachusetts, USA. It was Darlene's "Shout to the Lord" that touched our hearts so much that we felt drawn to attend church after many years away and re-commit our lives to Jesus christ.

I felt compelled to write and witness to Darlene and thank her for such a wonderful song. Even with her busy schedule, She took the time to answer my email. That is true love of ministering the word of God! If Hillsong Church is anything like Darlene Zcheck and Miffy Swan (her assistant) then our only regret is that we do not live close enough to attend that church with such a wonderful group of people. And I personally would give all the money I was able to help such a great ministry.

And if we truly want to help spread HIS WORD, then money should not stand in the way of making sure that we can succeed.

REMEMBER, Blessed are the persecuted! This applies to Hillsong Church in my eyes! Let those that want to rant about Hillsong policy on requesting tithing be mislead. Those that know what Hillsong is really about are on the right track. Such loving, committed, and outreaching churches are few and far between.

It takes money in today's world to reach out to others and teach the word of God!

I think the Lord has truly Blessed our Australian Friends in Christ!

Philip » 13 May, 2004 11:30 PM

This is really futile.Obviosly pretty much no ones opinions gona change so youre all having these argumentsor "heated discussions" to no avail. Hillsong has done a lot for me.; I dont care about anything. Im not focusing on the people, I focus on God so the music is about worship,and I dont care what who said happened in the church. this discussion is going nowhere...

some one » 14 May, 2004 6:14 AM

Bueno, sinceramente, no conosco mucho sobre la dosctrina de la "CONGREGACION" DE Hillsongs, pero si se que la musica, lo que predican sus pastores, si son en base biblia, su musica inpira y te lleva a una relacion directa con Diosa, ojo Hay muchas personas aca, que aplican y encubren sus resentimientos, complejos y recnores, ofendiedno y descalificando a otros o a otras cosas, no me parece que sea una "bad Church", mi pregunta es, como Dios permitio que su Iglesia y ministerios cresca tanto como crecio Hillsong?, por Que?, por su doctrina equivocada?, porque enfoca sus predicas enel dinero? porque?, el dinero puede ayudar, pero no abre puertas como las abre Dios, Y Dios Abrio puertas para que el Su palabra se predicase, Dios no habla a travez de una predica "solamente", Dios jhabla atraves de peque�as experiencias, actitudes de los demas y a traves de canciones, que si hablan de JESUS; SU MUERTE Y RESURECCION; eso no es biblico?, si es biblico, entonces?, obviamente que dentro de una iglesia no todos los miembros son como uno quisiera que sean, pero Dios Dice "amaos los unos a los otros", no estoy para nada de acuerdo con Roger y con REgan, y otros mas.
Solamente que Hillsong no es la iglesia perfecta, que Hillsongs no es la gran iglesia de Dios, Hillsongs es una Iglesia mas de todas las demas, que pertenece al cuerpo de Cristo, y que Esat siendo Muy Bendecida.
Eso es todo, muchisimas Gracias. DIego Ivan QUevedo, 20 A�os, San Nicolas, Buenos Aires, Argentina----diego_queve2@hotmail.com

Diego Quevedo » 14 May, 2004 4:19 PM

speak english dude

» 15 May, 2004 6:08 AM

Thats funny!!

» 15 May, 2004 9:33 AM

someone said something about Hillsong Foundation, well big deal, other big companies like Microsoft spend money on the needing too, yes, Hillsong IS A COMPANY, NOT A CHURCH

Nick » 15 May, 2004 11:30 PM

HILLSONG IS A CHURCH,NOT A COMPANY!

» 16 May, 2004 12:52 AM

Being a Christian should have nothing to do with tithing. It also should have nothing to do with seeing how much "prosperity" you can get in this life. I have a real problem with people who believe because of what they get out of it, whether it is salvation, money or whatever. Live a right life, doing no harm to others because it is the right thing to do. Give freely to others because it is the right thing to do. Help those in need because it is the right thing to do and not because you expect to get something out of it. It is all so simple really. Make Jesus proud!

Melissa » 16 May, 2004 7:05 AM

Im sick of christians judging. Its gona be about me and Jesus now. All that matters is god and me, and no ones opinion on church, on music on anything is gona stop me now. I paint my nails black. Why, because I like it. Im not gona stop painting my nails black just cos some one has a religious mindset and think they have the right to judge. I let peoples opinion take over too long and I ended up ignoring God.Its not gona happen again. Stop judging others. Work on your relationship with. God will sort out the hillsong church if there really is a problem. Moaning about it here isnt gona sort it out. It just makes people angry at each other.Let God be god. Stop judging.

kerri » 16 May, 2004 7:49 AM

Read Revelations & look at the church of Laodecia. Note the parallels between that church & the popular church of today. And by the way, you're correct - we shouldn't judge... It's the WORD OF GOD which judges... & for that reason, the unbiblical teaching that eminates from the pulpits of Hillsong Church confirms that the theology taught there is void of spirit. why? 'cause its void of the truth (the two go together). READ UR BIBLES - Be like the Bereans... don't be soft, contrived dumbnuts who "go with the flow"... compare whats said with scripture. And by the way, Brian says he knew nothing of his father's peadophile acts - He's lying. He'd been told years before but failed to do nothing - God will judge him and the backslidden church accordingly! Maranatha!

Rock wid me » 17 May, 2004 9:32 PM

your nuts, this topic is closed.

read what kerri wrote, people dont care what you say now.
Let God be God.

Kerri's friend » 19 May, 2004 6:30 AM

Amen...

Kerri » 20 May, 2004 10:35 PM

HILLSONGS IS GREAT AND THEY ARE LEADING PEOPLE INTO WORSHIP TO GOD AND THAT IS SO COOL...EVEN YOUTH IN THE CHURCH ARE LEADING A WORSHIP TEAM. JUST THINK WHAT THEY ARE GONNA BE DOING WHEN THEY ARE OLDER LOOK AT WHAT GOD IS DOIND FOR THEM NOW...I WISH THAT WAS MY CHURCH BUT I KNOW THAT GOD HAS ANOTHER PLAN FOR MY CHURCH AND THAT IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT. GOD BLESS THEM AND KEEP THEM SAFE.

KATY » 23 May, 2004 10:42 AM

I think all of you need to get a life. Seriously, if you want to give, do it in your own time. Hillsong is a COMPANY....like many companies they give money. BIG DEAL..so what? they support 1500 needy children...HELLO PERSPECTIVE..they make MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS a year and they only sponsor 1500...that is disgusting. Anyway you are all the ones that make the world bad. Religion should be a personal choice, so stop going on about...oh you wont be accepted in to the KINGDOM...who the hell are you to Judge or say what will happen..most people wont even care so save your rants. You sound more like the Morning Star than anything else....

Jack » 24 May, 2004 9:36 AM

Ah, Jack, I have a life...Jesus gave me one.
Leave hillsong alone.

» 27 May, 2004 10:53 PM

It's a shame. If a non-christian or someone searching for God were to view the discussion taking place in this forum, they would be seriously discouraged. The language and attitudes of those who have written (professing to be christians) has been very dissapointing and ignorant.

Nick- (the 15yo), your courage to stand up for something you believe in (i refer to you being against Hillsong at your school) is to be admired and commended. However, I believe the cause isnt. Three years ago I was exactly your age and thought exactly the same of Hillsong and churches similar to it. I was always quick to put my bit in on how I viewed issues in relation to this topic, such as worship methods, doctrine and tithing. However, one thing I lacked was integrity. I foolishly thought I was right, when I knew nothing of what I was talking about, but simply from what seemed right through the preaching at my own traditional baptist church. After attending Hillsong numerous times and now going very ocassoinally, I haven't changed my views to fit Hillsong (or churches like it), I've changed my view to fit what the scriptures says which I refused to see. I was too caught up in bringing down another of God's churches.

Now, you definately have been to Hillsong (you've said that), so in your case it isn't the same. But I would encourage you to consider that when it comes down to the 'crunch', God is only interested in one thing - your OWN heart (personally).

And in saying that, I don't judge you, but I encourage you to consider whether you would be best to instead of making it your goal to discourage all people in your age group at your school from going to Hillsong, that you instead love them and make the gospel known to them. Division in the churches is far less attractive than any form of christian worship (traditional or charasmatic).
Like I said before, your courage and boldness to speak your mind is encouraging, but I pray that you will be able to use it for good in connection to the kingdom of God, rather than a discouragement to those who are still lost.
To All Who Posted On This Site: "Do not judge, lest you yourselves be judged."
God Bless You and Keep You All.

j2004 » 28 May, 2004 3:37 PM

Oh yeah and on my comment about being personally right with God:
If you aren't right with God, deep down in your heart - it doesn't matter whether your at Hillsong or anywhere else, your heart wont be right. It's as simple as that.

j2004 » 28 May, 2004 3:42 PM

I am quite a new Christian and I attend Hillsong London on occasion. I have to say I was rather put off at first by the constant mention of donations but as I simply adore the Hillsong Worship I enjoy going along from time to time.

At the last sermon I heard I was pleasently surprised as the pastor was preaching that some people are tithers, some people are they to help out in other ways such as volunteering for set-up etc etc. Everyone gives in their own way and it does not make anyone less special or blessed if it is not financially. I believe if you are really enjoying what your church is offering than you are happy to donate what you can to keep it that way. I love this modern approach and I think good on them! God must of blessed them to get this far and I believe we need to be open-minded and support different ministries.

Vix » 2 June, 2004 8:45 PM

I am an 'insider' at Hillsong Churh, i call Hillsong my spiritual home. I would have to say to most of you out there, the articles etc. have not been inside, they only judge on opinions not on facts. Even if you were inside one week, keep going for a few weeks and find out everything they are saying is not rubbish. Yes, they earn millions, but only from the music sales - this is totally separate to church. They run 2 free medical centres, new enterprise financial help, 2 op-shops, and support needy children. Now you try doing all that and you will find that they need all the money.

Mark » 10 June, 2004 5:33 PM

HILLSONG ROCKS THEY PREACHING IT BIG TIME

pumi » 13 June, 2004 11:40 PM

We are all the same body of Christ.
There is no need to fight over details.
A toe is a toe. A hand is a hand.
They look different, different functions.
but the same body.
What would Christ say if he saw us
all fighting our brothers and sisters?
One God. One Church. One ministry.
To see people saved.

Will » 14 June, 2004 7:09 PM

In 'The Age' Online Recently:
Fraternal harmony

In an interview recorded in January 2003, I criticised the views expressed by Pastor Brian Houston in the book You Need More Money, which is now out of print and I understand will not be republished. These criticisms have been repeated in The Age (8/6) - but have been directed at Hillsong Church.

During the past 18 months, Pastor Houston and I have met to discuss the views expressed in his book. We are building a healthy, respectful relationship.

I admire the Hillsong Church and in particular their musical talents, which are world class.

I am pleased they have invited my brother, Peter Costello, to attend an interdenominational conference hosted by the Hillsong Church. Any suggestion that I have a problem with this invitation is complete nonsense.
Tim Costello, chief executive, World Vision Australia

» 17 June, 2004 4:40 PM

Hi guys. Very interesting website. Just find the undertone of many messages quite disturbing. We should encourage each other and at the least if we disagree about fundamental things, approach each other with love and Godly wisdom. Unfortunately the language used in many of these messages are not building bridges, but breaking down and destroying the unity that many try to rebuild between different churches.

Please remember that the church (the body of Christ) is not built up of different congregations, but of millions of saved hearts that call on Jesus as their Saviour. You might corporately worship at a different venue, but I am just as much part of every one of your churches (if you are saved) than you are of mine.

Let all of us be known for our love of each other and the fruits that we bear. If even we cannot be in unity, how can we ever reach the majority of the world who do not have a relationship with God? And if we disagree, lets do it in love. If the disagreements with other Christians form a barrier in your life that you cannot even pray together, there is seriously something wrong.

I also believe that most of the disagreements I have read on this website is not fundamental enough to justify the critiscism and destructive dialogue used by many.

Love God and love people...and bear the fruits of that, wherever you worship!!!

Rian Cronje » 17 June, 2004 9:51 PM

I think that you all must not research everything totally before you put your name on it. Number one "If it is of God, no one can stop it."

Second - God's Word is here to give us correction and instruction, but King James did not have the corner on the market. I say anything that enables people to have a closer walk with God and causes them to behave in a better fashion should be applauded by all.

Debby » 23 June, 2004 7:37 AM

I am astonished at the things that are being said on this website about Hillsong Church.

We all have a measure of resource and a realm of influence that God has entrusted us with. We will each individually be called into account for how we handle these.

Please ask yourself this question: has God really given you personally the responsibility for evaluating, measuring and judging Hillsong Church?

If not, then for your own sake bite your tongue. Trust that God is capable of building His church. And whatever He has called you to do, get busy doing that...

I would hate to turn up before God to find out I've been spending my precious time on earth doing things He hasn't called me to do.

RP


RP » 23 June, 2004 4:11 PM

I agree with wills comments, remeber God's plan for your church isn't the same plan as for my church. Each church deals with the needs of it's community. Go Hills, bless people with your awesome, heaven touching music. And I wil stay planted in my church being part of the body.

clare » 1 July, 2004 2:22 PM

i am actually going to go to the hillsong conference passion 2004, which is only a few days away. i come from an aog church also and but i do not believe in tithing. where in the bible does it say that we must tithe? although my church preaches on it...alot, i find my self to be the only one who is against this sort of preaching. churches are too worried about trying to make christianity "cool". but the truth is u cannot b cool and a christian. the bible says a bible-believing christian will never be "cool" in the eyes of the world. A Christian serving Jesus Christ, whether young or old, will always be against the world. i say stop watering down the Lord.

nicole » 2 July, 2004 6:36 PM

I was in leadership at hillsong for 5 years. I saw a lot of secret things that were very corrupt. I becamer suspicious of where the money was going after seeing the lavish way the leaders spent the church's money on themselves. Their behaviour behind the public gaze was very questionable. I then asked to see a copy of their budget so I could see where the vast ammounts of money they were making were being spent. But I was just told I had an attitude problem. Most people develop and attitude problem when someone they love is being fleeced.
So I ask is it true that visiting speakers are put up in 5 star hotels and driven round in expensive cars (which are paid to be detailed each night) and paid massive financial "gifts" with the understanding that this will be recipricated when hillsong pastors visit their churches?
And is it true that leadership enjoy expensive junkets at exclusive resorts for a week at a time at the church's expense. Do struggling families who put their money in the plate know how it is being squadered. They could never afford to visit somewhere like Peppers!! I could go on but I would challenge anyone with any investigative skill to look and I know you will find that yes the emporer really does have no clothes!!!

wally » 3 July, 2004 11:41 PM

Hillsong is a fantastic church and i am so surprised that some people have problems with the church. I would like to urge you guys to look at your on life before you make judgements about the church. Lets all not be quick to pass comments about other people but focus on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. To your own information there is nobody perfect therefore there is no perfect church. Jesus the only one who is perfect.
So let us not find joy in criticising others because Jesus did not go round ctiticising anybody but restoring life and bringing back that was lost to the father.
Guys let us please stop judging each other!
God bless.

Khule

Khulekani Makotore » 4 July, 2004 6:42 AM

Hillsong is a fantastic church and i am so surprised that some people have problems with the church. I would like to urge you guys to look at your on life before you make judgements about the church. Lets all not be quick to pass comments about other people but focus on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. To your own information there is nobody perfect therefore there is no perfect church. Jesus the only one who is perfect.
So let us not find joy in criticising others because Jesus did not go round ctiticising anybody but restoring life and bringing back that was lost to the father.
Guys let us please stop judging each other!
God bless.

Khule

Khulekani Makotore » 4 July, 2004 6:43 AM

Self preservation advice for christians. Whatever church you belong to, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR BRAINS AT THE DOOR WHEN YOU ENTER. Use the mind God gave you. Base your faith on the bible and don't rely on being spoon fed God's word by your church leaders. Your faith will then be strong and resilient. Churches and their leaders come and go. Mine turned out to be a pedophile! Enjoy Hillsong, or any other church but put as much effort into reading God's word yourself and building a resilient faith as you do in building your church community and encourage your children likewise.

Jane Gibson » 4 July, 2004 1:52 PM

Hillsong Church is my home... I personally think it is VERY sad to see other Christians mocking and disputing over something that is changing mindsets and influencing the world on such a large scale. For the person that writes about how Hillsong church gathers "millions and millions of dollars", you are correct... Hillsong church sponors over 1500 children in poverty stricken countries but also sends "millions" to compassion Australia, a international charity which sponor over 200,000 children world-wide, now to me that is a real achievement!. Hillsong church is a church of great passion and the reason why we tithe in the church is because we are commited to the cause of Jeus Christ... Yeah the guy that you forgot gave his life for us.. becuase it seems that you have forgotten that point.. lets be serious... do you really think that Jesus Christ gave his life so that we can sit here and dispute over such an amamzing blessing to our world... and if our church was so corrupt, why is God blessing it so much and changing so may lives though the church. Hillsong church is an amazing chruch and it is changing the way of the future for Jesus... if you would like to say anything to what i have said... email me at jords_inbox@hotmail.com... God bless...
ps. to all the people that have been blessed by God through Hillsong church... thankyou for your support, God bless

Jordan King » 7 July, 2004 12:20 PM

Hillsong Church is my home... I personally think it is VERY sad to see other Christians mocking and disputing over something that is changing mindsets and influencing the world on such a large scale. For the person that writes about how Hillsong church gathers "millions and millions of dollars", you are correct... Hillsong church sponors over 1500 children in poverty stricken countries but also sends "millions" to compassion Australia, a international charity which sponor over 200,000 children world-wide, now to me that is a real achievement!. Hillsong church is a church of great passion and the reason why we tithe in the church is because we are commited to the cause of Jeus Christ... Yeah the guy that you forgot gave his life for us.. becuase it seems that you have forgotten that point.. lets be serious... do you really think that Jesus Christ gave his life so that we can sit here and dispute over such an amamzing blessing to our world... and if our church was so corrupt, why is God blessing it so much and changing so may lives though the church. Hillsong church is an amazing chruch and it is changing the way of the future for Jesus... if you would like to say anything to what i have said... email me at jords_inbox@hotmail.com... God bless...
ps. to all the people that have been blessed by God through Hillsong church... thankyou for your support, God bless

Jordan King » 7 July, 2004 12:23 PM

It really is a balance. I've been at Hillsong for a year and a half, doing the college here. Has it touched me? Yes. Has it offended me? Yes. Has it challenged me? Yes. A lot of the points and challenges have been subtle points at my own pride - however there are the occasional decisions and actions that I don't personally agree with. Is that necessarily a problem? I don't think it needs to be. I trust the leaders enough I'll support them; and because I support them, I'm able to then speak into those same ministries as well. It's like a democracy of sorts - you don't let any foreign national vote, you let your citizens vote. If you honestly have a problem with some of the ministries and actions put forth by Hillsong, stay and help it grow. Or leave and build something better, but do it gracefully. Don't be someone who gets all twisted up on things - I'm not a tremendous fan of American foreign policy but that doesn't stop me from loving Americans. The body of Christ has many parts, and I'd much rather see each any every person putting forth their energy to do what they can.

With that said, the point regarding other church's cloning Hillsong's techniques are well made. That's typically a weak leadership issue - you need the creativity and daring to put forth a ministry that's perfectly suited to reach the people in your city. Whether or not that looks like Hillsong is frankly irrelevant.

It's the middle of Hillsong Conference currently, and I heard Joyce Meyer for the first time. Her message was essentially 'stop waiting to be babyfed like a newborn believer and learn to feed yourself and take responsibility'. If we all would take that concept to heart, most of this thread would be unnecessary.

God bless, if any of you would like to vent or ask something, feel free to email me - I probably won't be responding on this forum (not on message boards very much) Thanks, and God bless

-jordan

Jordan Peacock » 7 July, 2004 12:43 PM

Praise God for Hillsong. They are doing more then what those who are criticizing will ever do e.g exposing the name of Jesus regularly and passionately, saving the lost souls in our world and equipping the saints.

Does it really matter how that method happens. e.g CD'S DVD'S. but that the name of Jesus is being told and that it is all scriptural.

Why not pray for this church the Pastor that God will bless them and let God be the Judge of all including you.....after all it is His job.

Lisa

Lisa » 7 July, 2004 1:52 PM

I just attended hillsong conference 2004 and it was awesome. One thing that completely ruins your argument about hillsong making lots of money is the fact that last years conference and this years conference raised 2.5 million dollars. IT COSTS 2.8 million and therefore hillsong had to pay the shorfall. So obviously they didn't make money. THEY LOST MONEY. The pastor of the church at hillsong, Brian Houston, Owns quite a nice house and seriously that is all because god has blessed him. How many pastors do u know that don't own good houses. Not many. And that is purely because they have been blessed by god.

Luke Scully » 10 July, 2004 5:59 PM

Interesting comment Luke - One quick question - if a pastor does not own a nce house, or any house at all, does that mean he or she isn't blessed by God?

I am a pastor and I do not and probably will not be able to afford to own my own house. Am I not blessed?

What about my pastor friends in Bangkok slums? Are they not blessed? They don't have houses, cars - or virtually anything else at all!

Do you measure a person's blessings by what they own? Where do you find that in the bible?

John » 10 July, 2004 6:07 PM

I think poor Luke is a typical product of the Hillsong brainwashing that teaches that money = blessing. If that is the case God must really be blessing the Mormon church, the Muslim church, the Catholic church(especially during the spanish inquisition when they were happily torturing innocent people), not to mention secular orginisations such as star city casino, the horse racing industry etc etc. I don't read of too many rich diciples in the scripture (not too many owned harleys, sports cars, boats etc...gday Brian). But if God didn't offer a rich lifestyle as presented by Hillsong, then it wouldn't appeal to as many greedy people.
I can guarantee Hillsong makes or profit or Brian would shut it down in the blink of an eye. The greediest man I've ever met.

wally » 11 July, 2004 4:34 PM

I think it it quite disburbing how many people have such critical and destructive words to say about other ministries (i.e Hillsong) I don't attend their ministry, but I have been to a Hillsong conference, and was considerably blessed by God.

If more people stopped criticing the churches and leaders and looked at what they are doing to UPLIFT and ENCOURAGE the body of Christ, we would see alot more things happen, and give God alot more room to move.

Any minisry which is bringing glory to Jesus Christ our saviour, is something I am proud to support....... No matter what people say, or how "christian" they may well be - the reality is-for a large vision to be carried out, large funds are needed to support it.

I would like to see a meeting of thousands of people being carried out, with fresh air-bottom line is, it takes money to fund projects-Godly or not!

Its very saddening how many people are so negative and self-righteous...instead of realising how what we sow we shall reep...

I think we need to ask ourselved what WE are doing in the body of Christ, before making statements about people who are a part of the solution!

God is the number one topic and the number one concern, and no matter what-if he wants to move then he will!! God can use anyone willing to obey the call of his Hioly spirt.

Lets be a part of the solution, and no the problem.....
Lives are being saved and touched, how about we start to speak good things out of our mouths and watch our own lives , before we judge-after all GOD is the judge, not us!!!

God Bless everyone!

Lover_of_Christ » 12 July, 2004 3:29 PM

I attend hillsong church. I am from a Presbyterian background but became an aethiest in my 20's. I became a born again Christian fourteen and a half years ago during a service in an Anglican Cathedral and initially attended charismatic Uniting Churches. I have also attended a Baptist Church, a traditional Anglican church, other pentecostal and charismatic churches and visited several other churches with friends including the Catholic Church. I have no complaints about any of these churches and have met and fellowshipped with committed Christians who love God sincerely in all of them.
I first joined Hillsong church in 1995 and it has been a journey for me to be part of such a large Pentecostal Church and process the different emphasis in the way the Word is preached and interpreted. What I love most about Hillsong Church is the love and passion of its Pastors and congregation for Jesus, for His people of all denominations and for those who are lost and in need of help.
I am neither young nor naive. I find the coverage of Hillsong Church by the SMH consistantly cynical, snide, mocking, inaccurate and dishonest. In fact I would call it journalism by inuendo. Every phrase seems to have been carefully chosen to reflect as negatively as possible on our church and its members. In one article, after a previous Hillsong Conference, the writer claimed that most of us were "Brittany Spears look-a-likes". When I look around our congregation which is multicultural, comprised of all age groups and every shape and dress style, I know hat the jounalists have been very selective and inaccurate in the way they have profiled our church membership. They have also been selective in the demographic of our congregation, often omitting to mention that one of our two main worship centres is in Waterloo near to the heart of Redfern. Although there are some wealthy people in our church and some who are unemployed, I would say that the majority of our members are quite ordinary ranging from struggling single parents to middle class people both single and with families. The exact number of each I don't know because, believe it or not, our personal wealth is neither the main topic of conversation nor the thing that draws us together. Our common bond is our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and interest in the extension of His Kingdom.
I am saddened to see how many Christians are willing to believe the secular press which is rooted in leftwing, femminist, aetheistc and humanistic philosophies and is basically anti-Christian, although it presents itself as, and probably believes itself to be, neutral and objective. Once upon a time I followed these philosophies myself and loved and agreed with every thing I read in the SMH. Now if I really want to annoy my head I read the SMH. Was I brainwashed then or now?
I also find it hypocritical how reporters, who overtly or covertly make their anti-church views known, become so self righteous about Chistianity, the Bible and Jesus quoting Him and variuos other Biblical characters selectively and out of context particularly about money, wealth and prosperity. At this point they usually trot out some Christian leader who has presumably allowed themselves to be used in this way other leaders in the secular press, although they may also have been misquoted out of context, to publically in the secular press condemn our church and its leaders. Currently the Reverand Tony Costello seems to be the favourite and, if the view that has been attributed to him is accurate, he is certainly misinformed about our church and its pastors. I don't think that we are above criticism especially from within the body of believers but please let it be informed and constructive criticism praying that our "love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight , so that (we) may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesue Christ - to the glory and praise of God."(Phil 1:9-11).
It was Paul who said "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil"(1 Tim 6:10). He also said that he had "learned to be content whatever the circumstances " knowing what it was to be in need and what it was to be in plenty for he had learned the secret of being content in any or every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" because, he said"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength"(Phil 4:11-12). This contentment in all situations we may find ourselves in is surely at the root of the prosperity talked about in the Old and New Testaments.
Jesus and Paul were both supported in their ministry by wealthy followers. The apostle John prayed that a member of the church would prosper and be in good health even as his soul prospered(3John2). The Bible, in fact, in both the Old and New Testament, has a lot to say about money, wealth and prosperity giving warnings as well as promises. Although, obviously, we don't love God because of what he promises us, He does give us many great and precious pomises which He expects us as believers to believe. The Bible also teaches us a great deal about tithing, offerings, and giving to the poor and to the extension of the kingdom of God through the building and upkeep of the church(as in the body of believers), including buildings. Building the church, incidently, is the priveledge and responsibility of Christians and noone else, unlike giving to the poor which is just as popular with many non -Christians as with Christians.
Since coming to Hillsong Church my perspective, which I had always believed to be generous, has been challenged on many levels by all the speakers from within our church and by speakers who visit our church, to be more generous. In particular Pastor Brian Houston challenged me to see an old and deeply embedded belief, that all I needed, particularly as a single parent for the last 23 years, was "enough money to put food on my table and a roof over my head" for me and my family, as an intrinsically selfish point of view. If I had more money I could start to put food on other needy peoples' tables and roofs over their heads! This was actually revelationary to me.
When Brian aked us one night what we would do if we won $1 million dollars I had no idea what I would do apart from buying myself a liitle house to retire to, upgrading my old car and helping my children to do the same(I am being honest here). Brian lifted my perspective that night radically to see that I could buy a car for another single mother with young children or a television station to broadcast Christian programs 24hours a day instead of just in the very early hours of the morning! I could also sponsor more children from 3rd world countries, support ministries I believe in(incidently not all tele evangelists are dishonest) and support missionary work including that of people I actually know who have sacrificed their lives for the gospel. Those who really know our pastors as I do, having attended our church for most of the last 9 years, know that they are very sincere, transparent and thus ironically easily mocked. This outlook of "blessed to be a blessing" is fundamental to all their teaching on money.
It would be laughable if it wasn't sad that we are referred to as a "multimillion dollar industry" (SMH,July 6,2004) as opposed to a multimillion dollar charity, still paying off one of its buildings and bursting at the seams in the other one, with a positive influence on the community at local, national and international level and, for fellow believers, furthering the kingdom of God in the ways that God has led our church. To quote our other senior Pastor Bobbie Houston: "Whatever it takes!".

katherine ingram » 16 July, 2004 9:20 PM

I attend hillsong church. I am from a Presbyterian background but became an aethiest in my 20's. I became a born again Christian fourteen and a half years ago during a service in an Anglican Cathedral and initially attended charismatic Uniting Churches. I have also attended a Baptist Church, a traditional Anglican church, other pentecostal and charismatic churches and visited several other churches with friends including the Catholic Church. I have no complaints about any of these churches and have met and fellowshipped with committed Christians who love God sincerely in all of them.
I first joined Hillsong church in 1995 and it has been a journey for me to be part of such a large Pentecostal Church and process the different emphasis in the way the Word is preached and interpreted. What I love most about Hillsong Church is the love and passion of its Pastors and congregation for Jesus, for His people of all denominations and for those who are lost and in need of help.
I am neither young nor naive. I find the coverage of Hillsong Church by the SMH consistantly cynical, snide, mocking, inaccurate and dishonest. In fact I would call it journalism by inuendo. Every phrase seems to have been carefully chosen to reflect as negatively as possible on our church and its members. In one article, after a previous Hillsong Conference, the writer claimed that most of us were "Brittany Spears look-a-likes". When I look around our congregation which is multicultural, comprised of all age groups and every shape and dress style, I know hat the jounalists have been very selective and inaccurate in the way they have profiled our church membership. They have also been selective in the demographic of our congregation, often omitting to mention that one of our two main worship centres is in Waterloo near to the heart of Redfern. Although there are some wealthy people in our church and some who are unemployed, I would say that the majority of our members are quite ordinary ranging from struggling single parents to middle class people both single and with families. The exact number of each I don't know because, believe it or not, our personal wealth is neither the main topic of conversation nor the thing that draws us together. Our common bond is our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and interest in the extension of His Kingdom.
I am saddened to see how many Christians are willing to believe the secular press which is rooted in leftwing, femminist, aetheistc and humanistic philosophies and is basically anti-Christian, although it presents itself as, and probably believes itself to be, neutral and objective. Once upon a time I followed these philosophies myself and loved and agreed with every thing I read in the SMH. Now if I really want to annoy my head I read the SMH. Was I brainwashed then or now?
I also find it hypocritical how reporters, who overtly or covertly make their anti-church views known, become so self righteous about Chistianity, the Bible and Jesus quoting Him and variuos other Biblical characters selectively and out of context particularly about money, wealth and prosperity. At this point they usually trot out some Christian leader who has presumably allowed themselves to be used in this way other leaders in the secular press, although they may also have been misquoted out of context, to publically in the secular press condemn our church and its leaders. Currently the Reverand Tony Costello seems to be the favourite and, if the view that has been attributed to him is accurate, he is certainly misinformed about our church and its pastors. I don't think that we are above criticism especially from within the body of believers but please let it be informed and constructive criticism praying that our "love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight , so that (we) may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesue Christ - to the glory and praise of God."(Phil 1:9-11).
It was Paul who said "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil"(1 Tim 6:10). He also said that he had "learned to be content whatever the circumstances " knowing what it was to be in need and what it was to be in plenty for he had learned the secret of being content in any or every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" because, he said"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength"(Phil 4:11-12). This contentment in all situations we may find ourselves in is surely at the root of the prosperity talked about in the Old and New Testaments.
Jesus and Paul were both supported in their ministry by wealthy followers. The apostle John prayed that a member of the church would prosper and be in good health even as his soul prospered(3John2). The Bible, in fact, in both the Old and New Testament, has a lot to say about money, wealth and prosperity giving warnings as well as promises. Although, obviously, we don't love God because of what he promises us, He does give us many great and precious pomises which He expects us as believers to believe. The Bible also teaches us a great deal about tithing, offerings, and giving to the poor and to the extension of the kingdom of God through the building and upkeep of the church(as in the body of believers), including buildings. Building the church, incidently, is the priveledge and responsibility of Christians and noone else, unlike giving to the poor which is just as popular with many non -Christians as with Christians.
Since coming to Hillsong Church my perspective, which I had always believed to be generous, has been challenged on many levels by all the speakers from within our church and by speakers who visit our church, to be more generous. In particular Pastor Brian Houston challenged me to see an old and deeply embedded belief, that all I needed, particularly as a single parent for the last 23 years, was "enough money to put food on my table and a roof over my head" for me and my family, as an intrinsically selfish point of view. If I had more money I could start to put food on other needy peoples' tables and roofs over their heads! This was actually revelationary to me.
When Brian aked us one night what we would do if we won $1 million dollars I had no idea what I would do apart from buying myself a liitle house to retire to, upgrading my old car and helping my children to do the same(I am being honest here). Brian lifted my perspective that night radically to see that I could buy a car for another single mother with young children or a television station to broadcast Christian programs 24hours a day instead of just in the very early hours of the morning! I could also sponsor more children from 3rd world countries, support ministries I believe in(incidently not all tele evangelists are dishonest) and support missionary work including that of people I actually know who have sacrificed their lives for the gospel. Those who really know our pastors as I do, having attended our church for most of the last 9 years, know that they are very sincere, transparent and thus ironically easily mocked. This outlook of "blessed to be a blessing" is fundamental to all their teaching on money.
It would be laughable if it wasn't sad that we are referred to as a "multimillion dollar industry" (SMH,July 6,2004) as opposed to a multimillion dollar charity, still paying off one of its buildings and bursting at the seams in the other one, with a positive influence on the community at local, national and international level and, for fellow believers, furthering the kingdom of God in the ways that God has led our church. To quote our other senior Pastor Bobbie Houston: "Whatever it takes!".

katherine ingram » 16 July, 2004 9:20 PM

I attend hillsong church. I am from a Presbyterian background but became an aethiest in my 20's. I became a born again Christian fourteen and a half years ago during a service in an Anglican Cathedral and initially attended charismatic Uniting Churches. I have also attended a Baptist Church, a traditional Anglican church, other pentecostal and charismatic churches and visited several other churches with friends including the Catholic Church. I have no complaints about any of these churches and have met and fellowshipped with committed Christians who love God sincerely in all of them.
I first joined Hillsong church in 1995 and it has been a journey for me to be part of such a large Pentecostal Church and process the different emphasis in the way the Word is preached and interpreted. What I love most about Hillsong Church is the love and passion of its Pastors and congregation for Jesus, for His people of all denominations and for those who are lost and in need of help.
I am neither young nor naive. I find the coverage of Hillsong Church by the SMH consistantly cynical, snide, mocking, inaccurate and dishonest. In fact I would call it journalism by inuendo. Every phrase seems to have been carefully chosen to reflect as negatively as possible on our church and its members. In one article, after a previous Hillsong Conference, the writer claimed that most of us were "Brittany Spears look-a-likes". When I look around our congregation which is multicultural, comprised of all age groups and every shape and dress style, I know hat the jounalists have been very selective and inaccurate in the way they have profiled our church membership. They have also been selective in the demographic of our congregation, often omitting to mention that one of our two main worship centres is in Waterloo near to the heart of Redfern. Although there are some wealthy people in our church and some who are unemployed, I would say that the majority of our members are quite ordinary ranging from struggling single parents to middle class people both single and with families. The exact number of each I don't know because, believe it or not, our personal wealth is neither the main topic of conversation nor the thing that draws us together. Our common bond is our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and interest in the extension of His Kingdom.
I am saddened to see how many Christians are willing to believe the secular press which is rooted in leftwing, femminist, aetheistc and humanistic philosophies and is basically anti-Christian, although it presents itself as, and probably believes itself to be, neutral and objective. Once upon a time I followed these philosophies myself and loved and agreed with every thing I read in the SMH. Now if I really want to annoy my head I read the SMH. Was I brainwashed then or now?
I also find it hypocritical how reporters, who overtly or covertly make their anti-church views known, become so self righteous about Chistianity, the Bible and Jesus quoting Him and variuos other Biblical characters selectively and out of context particularly about money, wealth and prosperity. At this point they usually trot out some Christian leader who has presumably allowed themselves to be used in this way other leaders in the secular press, although they may also have been misquoted out of context, to publically in the secular press condemn our church and its leaders. Currently the Reverand Tony Costello seems to be the favourite and, if the view that has been attributed to him is accurate, he is certainly misinformed about our church and its pastors. I don't think that we are above criticism especially from within the body of believers but please let it be informed and constructive criticism praying that our "love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight , so that (we) may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesue Christ - to the glory and praise of God."(Phil 1:9-11).
It was Paul who said "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil"(1 Tim 6:10). He also said that he had "learned to be content whatever the circumstances " knowing what it was to be in need and what it was to be in plenty for he had learned the secret of being content in any or every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" because, he said"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength"(Phil 4:11-12). This contentment in all situations we may find ourselves in is surely at the root of the prosperity talked about in the Old and New Testaments.
Jesus and Paul were both supported in their ministry by wealthy followers. The apostle John prayed that a member of the church would prosper and be in good health even as his soul prospered(3John2). The Bible, in fact, in both the Old and New Testament, has a lot to say about money, wealth and prosperity giving warnings as well as promises. Although, obviously, we don't love God because of what he promises us, He does give us many great and precious pomises which He expects us as believers to believe. The Bible also teaches us a great deal about tithing, offerings, and giving to the poor and to the extension of the kingdom of God through the building and upkeep of the church(as in the body of believers), including buildings. Building the church, incidently, is the priveledge and responsibility of Christians and noone else, unlike giving to the poor which is just as popular with many non -Christians as with Christians.
Since coming to Hillsong Church my perspective, which I had always believed to be generous, has been challenged on many levels by all the speakers from within our church and by speakers who visit our church, to be more generous. In particular Pastor Brian Houston challenged me to see an old and deeply embedded belief, that all I needed, particularly as a single parent for the last 23 years, was "enough money to put food on my table and a roof over my head" for me and my family, as an intrinsically selfish point of view. If I had more money I could start to put food on other needy peoples' tables and roofs over their heads! This was actually revelationary to me.
When Brian aked us one night what we would do if we won $1 million dollars I had no idea what I would do apart from buying myself a liitle house to retire to, upgrading my old car and helping my children to do the same(I am being honest here). Brian lifted my perspective that night radically to see that I could buy a car for another single mother with young children or a television station to broadcast Christian programs 24hours a day instead of just in the very early hours of the morning! I could also sponsor more children from 3rd world countries, support ministries I believe in(incidently not all tele evangelists are dishonest) and support missionary work including that of people I actually know who have sacrificed their lives for the gospel. Those who really know our pastors as I do, having attended our church for most of the last 9 years, know that they are very sincere, transparent and thus ironically easily mocked. This outlook of "blessed to be a blessing" is fundamental to all their teaching on money.
It would be laughable if it wasn't sad that we are referred to as a "multimillion dollar industry" (SMH,July 6,2004) as opposed to a multimillion dollar charity, still paying off one of its buildings and bursting at the seams in the other one, with a positive influence on the community at local, national and international level and, for fellow believers, furthering the kingdom of God in the ways that God has led our church. To quote our other senior Pastor Bobbie Houston: "Whatever it takes!".

katherine ingram » 16 July, 2004 9:20 PM

I attend hillsong church. I am from a Presbyterian background but became an aethiest in my 20's. I became a born again Christian fourteen and a half years ago during a service in an Anglican Cathedral and initially attended charismatic Uniting Churches. I have also attended a Baptist Church, a traditional Anglican church, other pentecostal and charismatic churches and visited several other churches with friends including the Catholic Church. I have no complaints about any of these churches and have met and fellowshipped with committed Christians who love God sincerely in all of them.
I first joined Hillsong church in 1995 and it has been a journey for me to be part of such a large Pentecostal Church and process the different emphasis in the way the Word is preached and interpreted. What I love most about Hillsong Church is the love and passion of its Pastors and congregation for Jesus, for His people of all denominations and for those who are lost and in need of help.
I am neither young nor naive. I find the coverage of Hillsong Church by the SMH consistantly cynical, snide, mocking, inaccurate and dishonest. In fact I would call it journalism by inuendo. Every phrase seems to have been carefully chosen to reflect as negatively as possible on our church and its members. In one article, after a previous Hillsong Conference, the writer claimed that most of us were "Brittany Spears look-a-likes". When I look around our congregation which is multicultural, comprised of all age groups and every shape and dress style, I know hat the jounalists have been very selective and inaccurate in the way they have profiled our church membership. They have also been selective in the demographic of our congregation, often omitting to mention that one of our two main worship centres is in Waterloo near to the heart of Redfern. Although there are some wealthy people in our church and some who are unemployed, I would say that the majority of our members are quite ordinary ranging from struggling single parents to middle class people both single and with families. The exact number of each I don't know because, believe it or not, our personal wealth is neither the main topic of conversation nor the thing that draws us together. Our common bond is our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and interest in the extension of His Kingdom.
I am saddened to see how many Christians are willing to believe the secular press which is rooted in leftwing, femminist, aetheistc and humanistic philosophies and is basically anti-Christian, although it presents itself as, and probably believes itself to be, neutral and objective. Once upon a time I followed these philosophies myself and loved and agreed with every thing I read in the SMH. Now if I really want to annoy my head I read the SMH. Was I brainwashed then or now?
I also find it hypocritical how reporters, who overtly or covertly make their anti-church views known, become so self righteous about Chistianity, the Bible and Jesus quoting Him and variuos other Biblical characters selectively and out of context particularly about money, wealth and prosperity. At this point they usually trot out some Christian leader who has presumably allowed themselves to be used in this way other leaders in the secular press, although they may also have been misquoted out of context, to publically in the secular press condemn our church and its leaders. Currently the Reverand Tony Costello seems to be the favourite and, if the view that has been attributed to him is accurate, he is certainly misinformed about our church and its pastors. I don't think that we are above criticism especially from within the body of believers but please let it be informed and constructive criticism praying that our "love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight , so that (we) may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesue Christ - to the glory and praise of God."(Phil 1:9-11).
It was Paul who said "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil"(1 Tim 6:10). He also said that he had "learned to be content whatever the circumstances " knowing what it was to be in need and what it was to be in plenty for he had learned the secret of being content in any or every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" because, he said"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength"(Phil 4:11-12). This contentment in all situations we may find ourselves in is surely at the root of the prosperity talked about in the Old and New Testaments.
Jesus and Paul were both supported in their ministry by wealthy followers. The apostle John prayed that a member of the church would prosper and be in good health even as his soul prospered(3John2). The Bible, in fact, in both the Old and New Testament, has a lot to say about money, wealth and prosperity giving warnings as well as promises. Although, obviously, we don't love God because of what he promises us, He does give us many great and precious pomises which He expects us as believers to believe. The Bible also teaches us a great deal about tithing, offerings, and giving to the poor and to the extension of the kingdom of God through the building and upkeep of the church(as in the body of believers), including buildings. Building the church, incidently, is the priveledge and responsibility of Christians and noone else, unlike giving to the poor which is just as popular with many non -Christians as with Christians.
Since coming to Hillsong Church my perspective, which I had always believed to be generous, has been challenged on many levels by all the speakers from within our church and by speakers who visit our church, to be more generous. In particular Pastor Brian Houston challenged me to see an old and deeply embedded belief, that all I needed, particularly as a single parent for the last 23 years, was "enough money to put food on my table and a roof over my head" for me and my family, as an intrinsically selfish point of view. If I had more money I could start to put food on other needy peoples' tables and roofs over their heads! This was actually revelationary to me.
When Brian aked us one night what we would do if we won $1 million dollars I had no idea what I would do apart from buying myself a liitle house to retire to, upgrading my old car and helping my children to do the same(I am being honest here). Brian lifted my perspective that night radically to see that I could buy a car for another single mother with young children or a television station to broadcast Christian programs 24hours a day instead of just in the very early hours of the morning! I could also sponsor more children from 3rd world countries, support ministries I believe in(incidently not all tele evangelists are dishonest) and support missionary work including that of people I actually know who have sacrificed their lives for the gospel. Those who really know our pastors as I do, having attended our church for most of the last 9 years, know that they are very sincere, transparent and thus ironically easily mocked. This outlook of "blessed to be a blessing" is fundamental to all their teaching on money.
It would be laughable if it wasn't sad that we are referred to as a "multimillion dollar industry" (SMH,July 6,2004) as opposed to a multimillion dollar charity, still paying off one of its buildings and bursting at the seams in the other one, with a positive influence on the community at local, national and international level and, for fellow believers, furthering the kingdom of God in the ways that God has led our church. To quote our other senior Pastor Bobbie Houston: "Whatever it takes!".

katherine ingram » 16 July, 2004 9:20 PM

I would like to say that hillsong is so popular because it is appealing to all ages. This is true through their radical worship, teachings etc. They are not boring like catholic churches who are too afraid to change their music and step out like hillsong. I say 'way to go Hillsong', it takes a lot of courage to do what they do and a lot of pressure.

On their new worship album For All You've Done, they talk about the worship is not a show, it MUST glorify God. Hillsong have changed my life and all you people out there who call yourselves christians and you live out the bible, why would you say all this about Hillsong. Are you threatened? I think it is sad that you people would focus all your energy on bringing down hillsong because they are good and pure people.

Kel » 18 July, 2004 10:21 AM

I believe in regards of the feedback that was written can be seen from different perspective. We can do something good, but could be viewed really bad from others who has different point of view. It doesn't matter how you do it as long as you can see the fruit out of it. I went to this year (2004)conference and see 200-300 people saved every day. If they're simply money driven, they will never ever do altar call everynight. The fact that are many lives are being transformed to kno wJesus every week at their churches show the fruit of their ministry. Who are we to judge their ministry since we're all will stand at the end to be held accountable for our own fruits as well.

Shallom....

TAM » 18 July, 2004 6:19 PM

hey i actaully attend Hillsong Church every week at numerous services...and i cannot believe some of what is being said on this sight! Our church is being jugded totally by the what the media says about us, yet we all know the media is hardly 100% honest about controversial topics. Hillsong Church has grown my relationship with God incredibly, and totally changed my life - i know first hand that the focus of Hillsong is not at all about money, but about taking the gospel to those who need it. As a teenager (im 16) i am ashamed of tyhe fact that i meet thousands of unsaved teens every week that are more accepting of Hillsong then adults - you guys should be leading an example! our church being used by God to change the face of this planet though music and other areas, and all these 'Chrsitian' adults hate it! God created us to live blessed, happy lives. get used to it, stop complaining and start living that beautiful life!

simon » 21 July, 2004 12:04 PM

I'm in Hillsong. I share in the vision of the church. And the vision is not to get rich or believe in God because of what you can get out of it...but believing in Him because He is God. I'm subjected to His will, come wealth or come poverty, He's my rock. Neither my wife nor me, my friends at church, anyone I've met at church or my cell group worships money or are obsessed about it, no one puts it above God. And all of them are following Jesus because of what He's done on the cross and His grace and love, not what they can get out of Him and not because of His promises. He's promises (all of them, including abundance, provision, prosperity, etc. - all Bible words for the sceptics ;-) ) are amazing and I take and believe them, but they are not the foundation and motivation of my faith.

Some people just want to sow negativity, criticism and see things the exact way they want to see them. They always see and hear the differences. They see the glass half empty and never half full. For example when someone says "He's been blessed with a nice house," (like someone earlier in the discussion) unfortunately, some people deliberately assume this means "Christians without nice house are not blessed" That's what they want to hear and, not surprisingly, that is what they hear. They'll isolate certain statements and discard the rest, making themselves believe that they heard correct. And this is what the Mass Media are the Masters of. Isolating statements and persuading people's views. I'm disappointed because especially Christians should be careful not to be manipulated and influenced by the Secular Anti-Christian World Media.

I tell you honestly that most accusations made are totally unfounded and untrue. In fact, Christians following this 'Movement of Criticism against Hillsong' should be careful. The enemy is smiling all the way to the bank!!!

Read the Church vision, and for once, read what it says, not what you want it to say. We stand for reaching the lost and have an evangelistic heartbeat:

What we believe (Hillsong, follow link http://www.hillsong.co.uk/about_us.asp?content=believe )

» 21 July, 2004 8:41 PM

I love hillsong, I have been to their conference and agree totally with toni. I don't think it stresses so much on money, and even if they do stress on it sometimes in a segment of the night rallies, they give you a reason for it, they tell you WHY they're asking for money. Through Hillsong, I can really see God's work, and I don't agree with Lizzie, the altar calls are great, they really change people's lives, and JOYCE MEYERS is NOT a heretic. you guys here just keep picking out the BAd things you see... c'mon, you can focus on ANY church's BAD stuff.. and find a lot.. don't just pick on hillsong

loys » 22 July, 2004 4:47 PM

I go to Hillsong church and i love it. It is reaching people all over the world and i love giving money to the church not just because i get blessed in return but because it helps the church reach out to people and makes an impact on so many lives.
God has blessed me so much in my life, I am alive because of him and i gladly give what i can. Hillsong is my home and it cost money to keep that home and we have big buildings to accommodate the growing church. We sell the cd's and dvd's to get the music out there and to bless people though that way. It's not our focuse point. our focuse is people and will always be people and what god has wants for them. I pray for those who see the church in the wrong light.

Erica » 25 July, 2004 3:15 PM

Great to hear so many positive, life-affirming, encouraging, uplifting comments about Hillsong-but more importantly about God!!!

Isn't it much better to hear people speaking highly of God & other church groups and not being critical, judgemental and negative!?! This World has enough negativity already! There is no time for idle gossip and the running down of ministries or others...

Thanks to everyone who has something bold to say, something which blesses Gods Kingdom! Theres nothing better than christians who love God, one another and are working in unity!!!

ITS SO EXCITING! GOD IS MOVING ACROSS THIS NATION AND WHOLE EARTH!

Good on you all! May God bless you heaps XOX

Lover_of_Christ » 28 July, 2004 12:24 PM

Which Christ are we talking about. The one according to the gospel of Housten or the one according to my Bible. There is a LOT of difference. (Read your Bible - as written, not Brians interpretations.
Some day when I have some time on my hands I'll post some of the many differences

wally » 28 July, 2004 6:01 PM

if i had time i would go through the article and pick out the mistakes but i dont have a spare few hours!
Really that article is just bad journalism and if u looked at the facts u would see its just the media trying to make them look bad. One mistake that i remember is that Bobbie houstons book is called kingdom women love their sexuality not sex now im sure were all quite capable of telling the difference. Its about being comfortable with your feminity and sexuality not having sex.

If u went to any service you would see how the words have been twisted from the offering.

And im not from hillsong i go to an Elim church in teh UK but i spent a month at hillsong last summer and saw how the facts had been distorted to make them look bad. They have blessed me so much and helped me to grow as a christian, there is a love at that church that i havent experienced anywhere in the UK, they know what it is to the extra mile and happily go out of their way to help you. I think there is a lot we can learn from them.

also i went to the hillsong conference and it changed my life God set my heart on fire again to reach lost people and to have a heart thats broken for them after doing the evangelism stream. Jesus called us to be fishers of men so if were not being made into fishers of men were not following Jesus. and we only reach other people when were passionate for God because it comes natural then. and God has really used me in that area since.

Jesus taught us to be IN THE WORLD but NOT OF IT. that means we have to embrace the culture but not take part in the sinfulness of it. when non christians go to hillsong they hear the gospel preached clearly but they also see christians who are loud and exicted about their faith who can express they worship to God from their own personality not just a set prayer. and so christians arent ashamed to bring their friends because church isnt boring and more and more people make commitments to Jesus. I dont think every church should be like hillsong mine isnt but at the same time i think every church should have the same passion for God and love for one another that is evident at hillsong.

when people start doing that and getting their facts right maybe then ill start to listen to them.

louisa » 29 July, 2004 10:45 PM

Part of my job at Hillsong(9 years ago) was to help with the counting of the collection. In those days some people would put their money in envelopes allocating their gift to certain ministries. We were under instruction to open these envelopes and put all tbe money together with the rest of the offering. We were told that Brian decided who gets what. Sometimes an offering was taken soley for a certain ministry, guest speaker or whatever. Again Brian decided how much they got. I remember one year at Hillsong a (LARGE) collection was taken and Brian told the congregation that all the money was going to the singers and musicians. I spoke to several of the musos etc later and they told me they didn't see a cent. And who was the speaker from New York who didn't trust Brian and had his own people oversea the counting of the offering. Brian was livid and threw one of his famous tantrums, that speaker (who WAS a man of God) never got invited back.
I am curious. Does this behaviour still go on at Hills. Come on some of you Hillsong people in the know, let the truth be known. The truth will set you free.

wally » 31 July, 2004 4:13 PM

my gosh, this story is so old, what is with people criticising hillsong church? what i dont get is other christian criticising and judging hillsong church, the bible teaches us christians to love one another so that the world knows that we are children of God, and we are called to be living epistles, what kind of example are we setting to others if we are going to be against the body of Christ, if you are asking what are you talking about? im talking about the body of Christ, which is ALL of the christian churches around the world, every body part has a different function to the other, the right hand does something different to the left, the mouth does something different compared to the eyes. How can we affect the world if the body cannot function together? In the bible the apostles were too concerned about each others status to where one of them enquired christ about another apostle this is what was said
"John 21
21Peter asked Jesus, "What about him, Lord?"
22Jesus replied, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me."

this wasnt to say that, that apostle wouldnt die, but Jesus was more like making a point, which is that, what is it to your concern to what he has ordered someone to do something for Him, the thing is it ISN'T your concern at all, you just follow Him and what He has called you to do, the only time you become concern is if the church is doing something ungodly. If the concern people have is money... does God not promise abundance, blessings and prosperity to whome keeps the Word of God close to their hearts, and to spread it to everyone so that they may be saved? which as a reminder that the main goal? not to go against one another? its so shameful to see christians do this to each other, i believe if you were going to accuse another fellow brother or sister, we must pray about it first, refer back to the word to see if they really are doing something wrong, and dont just read it, but consider it, when u find something in the word that shows theyre doing wrong, take the next step and take it up to God to see if what you have found is really what you think it is, we really must stop all of this fighting with one another, the ONLY enemy we have and must focus our energy on defeating is Satan, not one another, i really pray that anyone who has read this comment understands and that God has spoken a conviction in you about this situation
God bless
Kris

Kris » 2 August, 2004 2:42 AM

I'm sorry but it's people with an attitude like kris who allow people like Brian to get away with what they do. The only time I read of Christ getting really angry was when he turfed the money changers out of the temple. And what was their offense. They were profiting from the worship.
It is up to real Godly people to stand up against wrong doing in the church. Brian once said he just wants to be surrounded by yes people who will agree with him and anyone who dissagrees with him he will cast out (as he has done with many in the past.) I only post to warn people he is a dangerous man. I know him too well.
I will post no more on this site.

wally » 2 August, 2004 9:17 PM

Hillsong to me is great, it really has changed our leaders mindset of how we do church with a servants heart. Not all great servants make great leaders, but all great leaders make great servants. So to read all the negative reports on the prosperity Gospel what are you on? Do you see poverty as the alternative, what are you saying, or what do you believe? Prov. 21:5 says be diligent, and that my friend is Hillsong. So to carry on and write negative reports on Hillsong is that the right thing to do? or we judge them by their fruits, and that is what the bible say. And you and I know that God has his hands on Hillsong, why? because of their fruits, and no matter what my understanding of the properity gospel is, and how I feel the church is operated, by Gods grace Hillsong is moving on and doing what God has planned for them, with your negative comments or not. So my question to the negative people who write negative comments is, do you personally know people who attend Hillsong Church each week? if you did your views would change.

Antz » 5 August, 2004 11:16 AM

Sorry to say, but Wally, you seem very bitter in your heart. I surely hope your side are totally clean and you have no guilt from your side. Also I hope you have done all you can to build a bridge of reconciliation with your previous pastor (as God expects). The Bible says to go to your brother and make peace before bringing your offering.

As for the rest...if you are so convinced of Hillsong's "imperfections", first approach God, then approach Brian Houston or one of the senior team of their church to discuss your burdens (as the Bible instructs). Then, after you have heard the truth from their side, reconsider your views and THEN express your view.

Your issues is not with the thousands of readers on this webpage but with the church leadership. Expressing your one-sided views or concerns here without having discussed it with the church leadership is to say the least, dangerous. You are manipulating and influencing people's views to be against other parts of the body of Christ, and if it's unjustified you are playing with fire!

Make sure you have exhausted all options of approaching the people you have so many "problems" swith. It is easy to express your views in the absence of the other persons to defend themselves and share the truth about something. The truth may be totally different than your interpretation of it.

I think it's a shame! If Paul were alive today, he wouldprobably speak just as loud and confrontational about your damaging judgements, unfounded opinions and outright cause of division as you would think he would about people misleading the church.

I love you all, but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.

» 9 August, 2004 10:23 PM

I'd like to thank all that have contributed to this conversation - we've had around comments left over the past 13 months - its obviously a hot topic that people feel very deeply about on both sides.

I have deleted a few comments left on this thread from people taking both sides who were unable to contain their anger to a point where their comments got to a stage of personal attacks and crude language.

After a lot of thinking about it I've decided to close comments to this thread as I feel we've probably achieved as much as we can with the discussion. I'm not sure that anything anyone can now say would add much to the conversation or change too many people's minds either way.

I've appreciated all those who've participated in this discussion - valid points have been made from numerous perspectives. I see validity in both sides of the conversation personally but feel that the conversation is perhaps heading in a direction where it could be seen as more destructive than anything else. As a result I'm closing comments as of now. I'll allow the comments already post to remain as a record of our conversations and hope its a useful resource to those thinking through the issues discussed.

Darren

Darren Rowse » 10 August, 2004 12:16 AM

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