“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” (2 Timothy 4:3)
The apostle Paul states in Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Paul’s meaning was simple, anything which is rooted in the darkness of this world, be it false doctrine, false teachings, sin – anything which would hinder the believer, have no fellowship with it. The term “fellowship” is simply referring to defiling oneself. Yet for over a decade, millions upon millions of believers, especially young people, are being seduced by something which has (and is) proving itself to be something other than what it originally had represented itself to be. I speak of Hillsong out of Sydney Australia and the ministry of Brian Houston.
In the very beginning of 1990, the church took notice, along with the rest of the world, of a clever, but convincing series of commercials which began to sweep The United States as well as the U.K., it was the marketing genius of Hillsong which used contemporary music as a way to influence many to this new wave of a fresh injection of modern Christianity the church was particularly ready for. Yet what has come out of this style of worship is anything but holy or good.
Paul warns us in scripture that our priorities in this life is subject to the cross and less to self, following the admonition of our Lord Jesus Christ to have us deny oneself and follow him. Paul stated in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The idea Paul is speaking of is simple, to conform our thoughts, ideas, beliefs and behaviors to the patterns of this world, not only strikes at the heart of the cross, it strikes at the heart of the faith. When we compromise our walk by allowing things into our spirit which are not only harmful, but spiritually deadly, it begins a seed within the believer that will eventually lead to compromise and ultimately placing their faith into something other than the cross.
The problem with Hillsong is that they have sought the path to being socially or culturally relevant at the sake of compromise. Such is the case with any teaching or ministry which removes the core foundation (the cross) and replaces it with a more appealing message. In this case their (Hillsong) message is two-fold; the prosperity gospel and worldly music. The messages being delivered out of Hillsong is nothing but a departure from the truth, with its focus on entertainment and new age teachings. One of them being a lack of preaching out of the word of God and resorting to story telling, which Pastor Houston is very found of, much like that of current popular speaker and pastor Joel Osteen. Yet the problem lies with the belief which says that to draw young people into the church, one needs to remove themselves from scriptural truth and biblical teaching. In other words, the gospel (the message of the cross) the demand for repentance, the warning against sin and worldliness in the life of a believer has been forfeited to a more pleasing message. Such is what is occurring at Hillsong.
In recent months those within the leadership at Hillsong have begun to accommodate false teachings, and worse, a false religious system, that being the Roman Catholic Church. Darlene Zschech, Hillsong’s former worship leader, recently found herself catering to the Roman Catholic church and the Pope. Zschech went to Rome for an ecumenical gathering of Catholics, Protestants mega-fest worship event where thousands of young people had gathered together to celebrate diversity, as Darlene stated on her blog after returning from the event where she met Pope Francis, “A message was preached about the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our midst, and about the great grace of God which we are all dependent. Pope Francis asked the crowd to declare loudly,’Jesus is Lord’ three times and each time it grew in confidence and intention. Worship was lifted up which had the many thousands of people who attended all singing in free-flowing moments which to be honest, was reminiscent of a time I sang on a John Wimber crusade in New Zealand many years ago.” (source)
The push for worldliness, the mixture of secular entertainment such as rock music and even pop stars such as Justin Bieber (who happened to be a delegate at the Pentecostal assembly at Hillsong – source) and the introduction to a more positive, social gospel (minus the cross) makes Hillsong a dangerous mixture which is deceiving and seducing millions to its mystical new age tune. No other place can we see this fact than in the recent slant Hillsong is taking toward homosexuality and same sex marriage. One of Hillsong’s American branch churches run by pastor Carl Lentz has recently brought onto the stage two openly gay men who are to be married soon as its worship and praise leader. (source, source)
What is happening with Hillsong is simple, it is the grooming of millions of viewers and attendees to accept a soon coming deception on a global scale. When pastors remove the preaching of the word and resort to gimmicks, when worship teams use secular rock music in its forum, when the message of Christ and him crucified is regulated to just a past heritage fact and not a present truth, then it sends the signal that another message entirely is being preached, one which will never set people free from sin, from the bondage of addiction due to a lifestyle of sinful choices. The only thing which can set the captive free is still the cross by which Christ came and died – the cross. Take for instance pastor Brian Houston’s comment when asked about same sex marriage, “The world we live in, whether we like it or not, is changing around and about us,” he said. “The world’s changing, and we want to stay relevant as a church, so that’s a vexing thing.” (NY Times)
I believe that what is now occurring at Hillsong is anything but truth, but a lie. I believe that in the very near future we will see Hillsong begin to openly accept gay christians and the lie which says one can be a christian and still live contrary to the gospel as outlined by the writers of the word. Hillsong is a deception and a counter to the truth, not because it chooses to use the things of the world to draw people into their web of deceit, but because they have forfeited the truth (the cross) for a lie. Anytime one substitutes the gospel and replaces it with the things of the world to lure others into the fold, they are substituting the only thing which can save and set free the one who is needing to be free from sin – the cross. This makes Hillsong a preacher of another gospel of another Jesus and presenting another way, which will lead those who hear its message deceived and ultimately, spiritually ruined.