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SYDNEY (RNS) Perhaps most remarkable is that a globally influential church like Hillsong could flourish at all in Australia, where in 2011 nearly a third of Australians said their religious affiliation was either ‘no religion’ or not stated.

23 Comments

  1. There are other controversies and scandals associated with Hillsong that are not mentioned in this article. Here are a few examples:

    “They sought help, but got exorcism and the Bible”
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/they-sought-help-but-got-exorcism-and-the-bible/2008/03/16/1205602195048.html

    “Hillsong: Exorcism in the suburbs”
    http://www.livenews.com.au/Articles/2008/11/26/Hillsong_Exorcism_
    in_the_suburbs

    “Hillsong accused of closet zealotry”
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/national/hillsong-accused-of-closet-zealotry/2008/07/28/1217097182682.html

    “Westlife ‘Cancer cure’ course”
    http://www.qt.com.au/news/cancer-cure-course-supernatural-springfield/855593/

    “Mercy Ministries claim exorcisms cure mental illness and drug addiction”
    http://religiouschildabuse.blogspot.ca/2008/07/mercy-ministries-claim-exorcisms-cure.html

    • five year old reports – kind of says something about the relevance of these reports. There are always some issues that seem good and turn out not so good, there are always some people who for one reason or another do not have a good experience with a church. I have 150 people in my church and I can tell you that not all experience the best but not through lack of trying on my part.

      Old news Hillsong has moved on so should you.

      Second point – what is your record in presenting Jesus to the world? If you got a good record then maybe you have the right to criticise. The bible tells us to go and make disciples not to be a watchdog and critic of our fellow brothers adn sisters and their churches

      • “what is your record in presenting Jesus to the world? If you got a good record then maybe you have the right to criticise. The bible tells us to go and make disciples not to be a watchdog and critic of our fellow brothers adn [sic] sisters and their churches”

        Jesus spent most his time loving the people not following him, and absolutely skewering those who claimed to be doing the right thing, but were deluded. It must all be taken together. If you take the great commission and consider it to overrule or preempt the rest of scripture, you have the beginnings of a cult.

      • So according to you James, the victims abused and harmed in Hillsong churches or ministries should just move on because the abuse happened a few years ago. I’m sure Hillsong has moved on – by ignoring their victims.
        But that is what perpetrators of abuse always say, forget the past and move on, so they don’t have to be held to account. That is what the Catholic hierarchy has been trying for years now, to ignore past abuses. Church leaders even actively lobby politically to prevent historical victims of crimes coming forward by challenging changes to statute of limitations laws, revictimizing survivors who often take many years, even decades, to seek justice for their abuse.

        You are wrong about the Bible. It says a lot of things and there is general and widespread disagreement as to how to interpret all those things. And it does say to be a watchdog and critic of believers. See Matthew 18:15-17

        Also, check out Paul’s writings and his various criticisms of fellow believers and certain churches.

        You might also want to take a look at Ezekiel 22 and 34. Ezekiel is highly critical of his fellow believers and the ‘church’.

        By the way, James, I am an atheist. Not everyone who comments on this website is a believer.

        • I skimmed the article and did not see any place where Hillsong ignored the victims. Maybe I didn’t read close enough. Brian spoke out against child abuse though and even fired his father. That was part of a different church that finally merged with HS. I agree that victims need us to recognize what happened, pursue justice, and promote healing and empowerment in their lives.

          • Brian may have spoke about child abuse, but he didn’t sack his father, he arranged to try to suspend him from preaching for a year, and didn’t follow the policies of the church he led. He should have had these and other allegations independently investigated and appropriate termination action would have followed, as well as transparency for proceedings which should have involved having his father charged and eventually incarcerated, and the church compensate all of Franks victims. Frank ruined a lot of lives and Brian acted above the law, and the policies of his own church by not recognising the conflict of interest when personally dealing with the allegations and a confession from his father. Is this Ethical?

        • You might want to rethink your hermeneutic on the passage of scripture, that you use to prove the biblical veracity of the truth. God does not authorize us to be watchdogs over other believers lives. He does, however want us to be watchdogs over the activity of the devil, who is our true enemy. We are to judge what other believers proclaim to be the truth. To judge something does not mean to condemn it, but instead to try it’s validity based upon the known will and truth of God. Which is to use our judgement on all things of life, that we would align ourselves, with the will and way of God, in Christ Jesus.

  2. The Australian media is plain brutal compared to the US. Hillsong has numerous stacks of vocal critics simply because they are big. They are a big target. Much of this article content has been repeated many times over especially the negatives.

    What is positive and important is the church planting and growth. This will continue to grow as more people vacate liberal non believing non biblical shrinking church for Hillsong .

  3. I think God has blessed Hillsong and that is why it is thriving! I believe there are people who abuse their power, but when I hear these songs I feel the presence of God and who could write these songs for so many years without the anointing of God?!

  4. Hillsong does a great deal to reach people with the Gospel of Grace. And its the Grace of God at work in that church, that has given it so much success and wealth.

    Considering Pastor Houston’s reach and how much the Lord is doing through that ministry, I’d say he’s a bit underpaid at $300,000. Preachers who are reaching millions, should be paid very well. I think somewhere along the way, many Christians turned their brain off, and forgot just expensive it is to preach the Gospel all over the world. All the technology you see today, that allows the Gospel of Grace to be broadcast worldwide, was DESIGNED for the preaching of the Gospel in the last days. And it takes a great deal of money to pay for these technological mediums. Its not free.

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