Posted by: jadanzzy | August 28, 2008

Hillsong has no $ at the end

I recently read a blog post over at God’s Politics about the latest Hillsong controversy where one of their worship pastors claimed a song he wrote stemmed from his battling cancer. His cancer struggle turned out to be a lie. In a Christlike manner, the author of the blog post shows mercy to this pastor. I had to try to do the same. But my sentiments of Hillsong arose.

Not in the very distant past, I was a big fan of Hillsong. I suspended my integrity of not supporting prosperity-gospel churches by believing that the songs Hillsong wrote were very Christ-centered and biblical. I loved watching the dvd where Hillsong United would perform masterfully and I’d be dazzled by the powerful spirituality displayed by band and congregation.

In the more recent past, I’ve become very disillusioned with Hillsong and much of the popular worship music landscape. I consider a lot of the worship music trite and shallow. Many times neglecting the sorrow and longing voice for an elated emotion, misinterpreting the prophetic call of justice, all while bringing in the hottest band playing out of the hottest soundsystems, showcased by the hottest stage set up, I’ve grown disgusted.

Hillsong Church IS a prosperity gospel church. I’ve listened to Brian Houston’s sermons. They’re trite, just like the songs, filled with how-tos for financial and emotional success. What are so many Christians supposed to do to reconcile the theological and ecclesiological differences? As a Korean-American, and having been a part of Korean-American ministry, Hillsong is revered. But if Hillsong is revered, shouldn’t we be studying Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland?

I need to confess something, something that contributes to this negative slant. Several years ago, as a worship band leader, I was encouraged and instructed to play Hillsong United material. Our band was not Hillsong United. We didn’t come close to the talent. And we struggled, wrestled, and grew tired and frustrated with not being able to sound as good.

Churches, write your own music. Sing your own songs. Don’t put money into the hands of robbers.



  1. So sad.

  2. Dude…we all fall short of God’s Glory. And another thing…HE WAS NOT A HILLSONG PASTOR!!! He was Planetshakers. And no matter what church he is from…ALL SIN and FALL SHORT of GOD’S GLORY!!

    Read your Bible Mister!

  3. DG

    I’m confused by your comment. What are you trying to say exactly? It is true that we all sin, but it is our duty to point out systemic sin in organizations. I think, if Jadanzzy has done his research, it is right for him to point a finger at the problems he’s observed and read about within the Hillsongs franchise. Jesus himself pointed a big, jeremiadic finger to the pharisees … the PHARISEES of all people! … to tell them that indeed, they paraded around like holy men but at the end of the day, they were a brood of vipers.

    It’s important for us to continually re-evaluate ourselves. We do this in our daily lives. We spend hours in front of the mirror, pointing out every flaw, checking for suspicious moles, wondering if our waistlines expand … and when we see a problem, we fix it. So too with the body of the church, it’s important that we point out the various ailments and sores so that we can heal and become a stronger body.

    You’re right, DG, all sin and fall short of God’s glory, but I’ve read my bible mister … and it also says that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Tim. 6:10).

  4. Jadanzzy — I completely hear you. I can’t say that I was surprised about this latest controversy — not because I’m so cynical about Hillsong per se, but simply because these things are bound to happen *somewhere* in Christendom.

    Thank you for posting honest thoughts about the KA obsession with Hillsong. It makes no sense whatsoever when these KA churches that go on and on about “reformed” faith and “orthodoxy” and rail against women from the pulpit roll out (Hill)song after song — do they not realize that their theologies are basically incompatible?

    As someone who grew up in the punk scene, it always makes me sad when I see kids “mosh” to praise music, as they often do at United events.

    I must say, though, that I appreciate the fact that Hillsong is raising up young people from within their midst as worship leaders and songwriters. On one of their DVDs they tell the story of the young United guys and how they grew up in the Hillsong youth group and, eventually, became part of their main worship team. In some way, we can hear your words about writing our own music and singing our own songs and learn from their example (not just do worship karaoke to all their latest hits).

  5. once freed from the matrix, you cannot assume that people who are still in the matrix remain there knowingly, or even willingly. the system is corrupt and pervasive. it even seeks to swallow you back into itself or at the very least, reluctant to do anything about it. such are the powers and principalities of the world. honestly, i think hillsong did start the very way you end your post, they did write their own songs and sing them too. it’s just that the unimaginative want to buy them. and they thought they could glorify God by selling them. prosperity gospel begins when that one virtue we hold onto, considering all others vice, becomes profitable. then what?

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Hillsong.

    I was on staff there for 5 years, and am similarly disillusioned. It’s funny, but the word ‘disillusioned’ is always jumped on by pro-hillsongers, as if it’s the fault of the disillusioned individual… but it isn’t!

    It’s the fault of the illusionists: Brian Houston and co.

  7. I’m not exactly a hillsong fan-boy.. but I’ll say this… the OP has his facts wrong. Mike Guglielmucci is NOT a worship pastor from Hillsong church. He was a guest worship leader for the album. Mike Guglielmucci definitely screwed up and it’s unfair that he brought hillsong church down with him. Also, I think it’s unfair to judge an entire church because of one man’s mistake.. especially when this one man is hardly associated with the church itself.

  8. I guess it is nice this blog and commentary is so short. Because it does not say anything. OP thinks Hillsong music is trite and Brian’s teaching is trite. OP gives nothing to back up what he says.

    I was pretty interested to read the ‘insider’ report from The Thinking Theologian. But he seems to have disappeared – the link says his blog is no more.

    So, anyone reading this, unfortunately, if they are uneduated may be swayed into an opinion based on no fact. I love to base my opinion on fact. It amazes me the OP and OP’s supporters actually spend their time giving ‘facts’ and opinions based on NO FACT. Now THAT is what I would call TRITE.

  9. The Thinking Theologian is back:

    • Have you been able to make a dent in discouraging students from attending Hillsong College and being influence by faulty doctrine? I ask this because I know of someone who is in school there and I am concerned for her.

  10. THank you

  11. Spot on, Christopher. You are absolutely correct. Hillsong is all about the prosperity gospel. I saw Brian Houston on TBN program and his teaching was shallow and full of empty words. I hate people who cheapen the word of God. I don’t care how enticing the music is, how wonderful and lyrical the music sounds, if it is not born of the Holy Spirit and love of truth, then why sing it? In the end you will be blessed more by a song written out of a sincere humility and awareness of Gods grace than catchy tunes. I for one am starting to appreciate the classics like “amazing grace” and “in Christ the solid rock I stand” much more than this contemporary stuff.

  12. It’s so encouraging to hear other KA brothers-in-Christ sharing this same conviction. Press on brother!

  13. Let me say that I believe dialogue is a good thing, if it is positive. There is far too much nagetivity and hate in the world to allow that same spirit of doom and gloom to fill the hearts and minds of Christ Followers. What I have read in the posts are personal interpretations based on personal bias.

    Question: If Hillsongs feed the poor, clothing the naked, providing shelter to the needy?

    Question: Is Hillsongs lead people to a life changing transformation in Christ Jesus?

    Question: Is Hillsongs reaching into ities of the world bringing a message of hope?

    People may not agree with their methods or style. But you cannot deny the fact that one church is doing more than most denominations in reaching the world. Let us focus on the good and agree to disagree.

    As for prosperity preaching, should a church then preach poverty? Does poverty bring people closer to God? If that be the case, the world is better off if we do not offer them any help.

    Why is it that the evil of the world can earn as much money as they want and spend it to spread as much evil as they can? I want to prosper to be a blessing to the world. If people want to be poor and neddy in their theology, let them be preach that message. I want to do more than offer prayers to help the needy. I want to be able to make a real difference in the world–that takes money. So, let Hillsongs generate millions to feed the hungry, help the hurting and bring hope to the hopeless.

  14. Amen brother. too often we fall into the glamor and glory of christian worship, ministry, and even teaching. we need to get back to the grit work of really seeing the heart of God in all these things, redeeming the Gospel According to Jesus

  15. Let the Lord handle it! He will…

    24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

  16. Know those who labor among you.

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