“They’re trying to make money,” he said of the producers, “and we’re trying to tell a story.” – Joel Houston (Hillsong’s creative director, lead New York pastor and United band leader)
On a serious note… if the secular public is drawn to Hillsong because of the music and total experience but not because of the clear cut gospel of Christ, I won’t be surprise if these people will just come and go if they want another new music and experience somewhere else like Rhianna concert or Burning Man (a popup art festival with music).
This is the problem we face as we try to wrap the gospel with “blessing always without repenting sin” message with cool and trendy packaging to the point there is no gospel seen at all.
But not all is bleak because I myself was drawn to the Evangelical church because of the music such is the music of Hillsong Church. Years later I decided to dig deeper what they were singing about which also led me (aside from some of my Christian friends) to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The flip side is that I also learned some of the Hillsong lyrics are not exactly “sound” theology despite the amazing pop hooks and anthemic melodies. I pray that the youth among the crowd are being drawn by the true gospel in a church that preaches the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
Not the prosperity gospel, not the “the best self” gospel, the “God is your genie” gospel but the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is the gospel in a nutshell:
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:1–4)
I really do enjoy the musicality of Hillsong in an entertainment standpoint and I listen to it sometimes in the car when driving. Again kudos to Hillsong United for breaking through Hollywood. I am hoping there are perhaps a few (if not more or all) who only needs a trickle of truth that would bring them to the whole truth of the gospel.
Brian Houston the senior pastor of Hillsong also published books and these are some of his published books: How To Maximise Your Life, Live Love Lead: Your Best Is Yet to Come, You Need More Money: Discovering God’s Amazing Financial Plan for Your Life
You want a pastor to teach you financial plan instead of a certified financial planner/consultant/expert?… If you’re a pastor but you also want to teach the congregation how to handle money then I hope you invite financial experts to do the talking while you focus on the redemptive plan of Jesus Christ instead. This is just a suggestion.
A pastor of a different mindset could have come up and written these books instead: How To Maximise the Christian Life; Christ, Grace and the New Covenant: Your Life in Christ is Here; You Need Jesus: Discovering God’s Amazing Redemption Plan for Your Life
That’s just my wishful thinking though. Doesn’t really matter to me if the church has rock riffs (praise celebration portion) or hymnal choirs and a hipster looking pastor preaching the gospel. Yes, not another gospel but the gospel of Jesus Christ.
To Prosperity Gospel Teachers who always preach, teach and ask for money, money, money in exchange of verses about blessings, peace and be the best of who you want to be without telling newcomers about sin (conviction from the Holy Spirit – John 16:8), repentance (being born again – John 3:3) and the salvation in Jesus Christ (J.C.- God the Son, by grace [a gift] through faith in Jesus Christ – Ephesians 2:8) who died (finished work of Christ – John 19:28–30) for our sin (atonement – for our redemption – 1 John 2:2, Hebrews 9:12, 1 Peter 2:24), buried and rose again on the 3rd day (resurrection), is now seated (fulfillment of the requirements of the law of Moses on our behalf – Romans 10:4, Hebrews 8:1, 10:12) at the right hand of the throne of God (God the Father, Jesus is now with the Father as our advocate – 1 John 2:1–2).
Please be reminded of these verses:
This is what the LORD says: “As for the prophets who lead my people astray, they proclaim ‘peace’ if they have something to eat, but prepare to wage war against anyone who refuses to feed them.
Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the LORD’s support and say, “Is not the LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us.”
They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
They say still to them that despise me, The LORD has said, You shall have peace; and they say to every one that walks after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come on you.
Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, see, others daubed it with untempered mortar: