* Please Note *
This article, voicing my concerns about Hillsong, originally contained material which could have implied that Geoff Bullock left Hillsong because of moral failure. I was contacted by email from Geoff on 12 March, 2004, where he pointed out to me that this was not so. Consequently, the article has been edited to remove the insinuation. Geoff has made a request that I provide a link to an interview that was conducted with him by Diane Benge of Reality Magazine. The article entitled "No Longer the Golden Boy" is an honest and open discussion in which Geoff's bares his heart about his past and tells about where he is today in his walk with the Lord.
[ Click here to access "No Longer the Golden Boy" For an alternative link click here]
[ My linking to this article should not be seen as an endorsement for Contemporary Christian Music. My views on this topic can be found in the "Music in the Churches" section of this website. ]
From the 4th through to the 7th of September, 2002, with great excitement amongst the local Christian community, Hillsong was the main attraction at the “World of Worship” Conference at the Cairns Convention Centre. Hosted by a local AOG church, Emmanuel Christian Fellowship (ECF), it drew large crowds. World of Worship was the brain child of Tim Edwards, the indigenous senior pastor of Emmanuel Christian Fellowship.
The World of Worship conference had been advertised nationally, months in advance, through Christian bookshops, such as Koorong, Christian Literature Crusade and Christian Bookworld.
A single-page, three-fold leaflet was produced by this ministry and distributed locally. It warned of the dangers of Hillsong generally, as well as the type of music they offer to God, supposedly as praise and worship. The contents of the leaflet is the subject of this article.
World Worship - Cairns 2002
The HILLSONG Team
Cairns Convention Centre
September 4th to 7th
Do you know someone going to this conference?
Are you thinking of going yourself?
Find out the truth about HILLSONG.
Perhaps you’ll have second thoughts.
What Do You Know About
Other than that they produce
Contemporary “Christian” Music
that appeals to you.
Who are the people involved in this organisation? What do they believe?
Hillsong had its beginnings in 1986 and was the inspiration of Mark and Darlene Zschech and Geoff Bullock. Bullock was a leader in the “music ministry” of Brian and Bobbie Houston’s Hills Christian Life Centre at Castle Hill, Sydney. Along with Pat Mesiti who eventually founded Youth Alive, the Zschech’s were formerly part of a band that outreached to high school kids. (Pat Mesiti eventually rose to the exalted position of National Director of Australian Christian Churches.) The Zschech’s were introduced to Hills CLC by Mesiti and were soon thrust into the “music ministry” alongside Bullock. When Geoff Bullock “resigned” from Hillsong, Darlene Zschech stepped into his position and is now “worship pastor” of Brian Houston’s Hillsong Church.
Brian is the son of Frank Houston, an ex-General Superintendent of the AOG in New Zealand. Frank Houston moved to Australia from NZ in 1977, in controversial circumstances of a sexual nature, and established Sydney Christian Life Centre. Despite the sexual offences committed in NZ, Frank Houston rose to a position of eminence and great respect in the Pentecostal churches, as well as to the most senior position in the AOG in NSW. In 2000, Frank Houston was sacked after the NZ sexual offences became public, offences that were so serious he was not even given the option of quietly retiring. [Sydney Morning Herald, 27/03/2002]
When questioned by the SMH news reporter about the prevalence of sexual misconduct in high places in the AOG, Brian Houston, speaking as General Superintendent of the movement, informed the reporter that, of the AOG's 2000 Australian ministers, no more than five in any year were exposed and disciplined for sexual misconduct. He went on to defend the former AOG New Zealand General Superintendent, Jim Williams, who serves as an AOG pastor in Brisbane but whose licence in New Zealand was permanently revoked for his involvement in “adulterous offences and other indiscretions involving different women over an extended period of years.”
Today, the Hillsong Church, which incorporates Hills CLC and Sydney City CLC, has a collective congregation of over 10,000.
If you are like me and the SMH reporter, by this time you will probably be asking also, “Why is there so much sexual misconduct among the leaders of these highly popular and famous organisations?” And these organisations confidently profess to be Australia’s representatives with a clear mandate from God Himself to lead the nations into His presence in holy worship.
Worship Of The World
The Bible clearly teaches, in 1 John 2:15-16, that people who profess to be Christians are to be separate and distinct from the things of the world. The seriousness of what Scripture says on this subject seems to be totally lost upon those who make up the “Hillsong Team”, the church who would invite Hillsong to our city, and those organisations who would help to promote it.
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
Further, we read in James 4:4, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”
Is Hillsong Worldly?
Spiritual adultery is the sin of preferring the world’s fashions and amusements to the things of the Lord. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, Hillsong, by their actions, are promoting just that. Despite whether their motives are good or otherwise, and despite whether they are nice people or otherwise, the simple fact is that they are using the worldly and ungodly medium of rock music, which they naively describe as worship, in their attempts to bring believers and unbelievers alike, into a relationship with a holy God.
Worship should not be offered to God, nor should the Gospel be presented in such a way that they are coupled with the standards of the world, for God says, “Be not conformed to this world...(Romans 12.2)” Attempting to use the things that belong to the “god of this world” in order to bring people into the presence of the holy God of the Scriptures is unacceptable to Him.
Lost sinners can not be called out of the world by a church that has adopted its lifestyle and entertainment values. It is understood by virtually every serious Christian that to employ in worship something that is obviously associated with, or has arisen from an alternative culture of free sex, godlessness, drugs, and emotional orgies, is worse than inappropriate - it is sinful and demonstrates deception.
“Rock & Roll” Music and Sex - Two Peas In A Pod
To be confused about what is appropriate to offer to God in worship is not the only area where Hillsong leadership is being misled. Their conformity to the world and preoccupation with fleshly things is demonstrated elsewhere in their “ministry”.
“Pastor” Bobbie Houston (wife of Brian Houston) has a series of taped messages extolling the virtues of “Kingdom Women”. Her latest addition to the series, advertised on their website, has the sensual title “Kingdom Women Love Sex”.
You could be forgiven for asking the question, “What type of message does this title and subject send to Christians, particularly to Hillsong’s target audience of teens and young adults?” Does the title of this series sound to you like Hillsong leadership is concerned about mortifying the deeds of the flesh? But why should we expect anything different from the leadership of Hillsong? Using worldly and fleshly methods to attract members will simply guarantee worldly and fleshly results - their track record demonstrates this truth. Even the un-saved know that Rock music, rebellion and sensuality are all peas in the same pod.
Evil Companions Defile Godliness
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God... (1 Cor. 15:33-34)”
What do you know about the theological beliefs of Hillsong and their companions? Are you aware that they are supporters and promoters of Word of Faith teachers and their erroneous doctrines? The Word of God counsels Christians to separate from and expose false teachers. Do Hillsong leaders warn their congregations of the heresies promoted by Word of Faith teachers? Or do they allow them to spread their diabolical heresies? Why don’t you ask the leaders of Hillsong what they think of the following popular teachers and what they teach?
C. Peter Wagner, “The Lord is establishing the foundations of the Church for the new millennium. This foundation is built upon apostles and prophets.” Wagner is speaking here of a new foundation based upon latter-day apostles and prophets, with himself as the chief apostle. However, the Bible teaches that the foundation for the Church was laid 2000 years ago with Christ as the Chief Corner Stone.
George Otis Jr., of Transformations Video fame, “Christ has not redeemed us by giving His life as a ransom for our sins in order that He might release us. God never kept man captive in sin. The truth is Christ paid no man’s debt.”
Kenneth Copeland, “I was shocked when I found out who the biggest failure in the bible actually is. The biggest one in the whole Bible is God.”
Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, et al., teach that Christ did not complete the Work of Redemption upon the Cross of Calvary, but in Hell. He was defeated upon the Cross, died spiritually, and was taken to Hell by Satan and tortured and tormented for three days and three nights. After enduring this additional suffering, the sinless Christ was reborn as the first born-again man. They teach that it was not physical death only upon the Cross that paid for man’s sins.
These teachings will not lead anyone to eternal life, but to certain damnation. Perhaps someone should ask Hillsong why they don’t warn God’s people of this certainty.
Rhythm - Indulging & Entertaining The Flesh
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. (Ephes. 5:19)”
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Col. 3:16)”
These Scriptures teach many things about music in the church. Christians do not evangelise unbelievers, or entertain other Christians, with worldly Rock music. The Gospel is the power of God to save to all who will believe, not worldly Rock music. Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, not Contemporary Christian Rock, are for the purpose of teaching and admonishing Christians the Word of God. Singing and making melody comes from the heart and is directed to the Lord, not the un-saved. Christians are to make melody in their hearts to the Lord. True spiritual music is based upon melody which feeds the spirit. The world’s music is based upon rhythm, predominantly drums and bass guitars, which feeds the flesh.
The contemporary Christian music scene mimics the world in method, dress and sound. This is not true worship, as Hillsong will try to convince you that it is. Hillsong is a business selling worldly entertainment (and making millions) which they promote to young and unlearned Christians as worship to the Lord.
But it’s worship of the world - not of God!!!
Hunter Harvest – Rock Evangelism
("Compass" - Aired on ABC TV - 30 May, 2004)
On Sunday night, 30 May, 2004, I watched the "Compass" religious program which is aired weekly on ABC TV. The story was entitled "Converting Newcastle" and featured a group of churches in Newcastle, north of Sydney in NSW, Australia, who, over recent years, have come together in an effort to evangelize their community.
My short article above, in which I attempt to warn of some of the spiritual dangers with regard to Hillsong, has received much angry, and sometimes abusive response from people who are highly offended about what I have written. Mostly, the anger is coming from biblically illiterate, young members of Hillsong (some as young as 12 years of age), who passionately defend Hillsong leadership, their doctrines and their music.
Upon viewing this "Compass" program, I am even more convinced of the dangers that Hillsong and other such organizations present to the youth of today. "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived", 2 Timothy 3:13 tells us. Hunter Harvest proves the truth of this prophetic Scripture.
[ Click here for a commentary on the goings on at Harvest 03 Rock Festival held in Newcastle ]
Click to hear the message:
"Open To The Light"
Pastor Steve Gibb of Trinity Baptist Church in Cairns, Australia.
Preaching on the subject of "Fun and Entertainment in the Churches".
Click here to Email Hughie Seaborn - In Cairns, Qld., Australia
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