There have been documented allegations against Brian Houston and his Hillsong Church (Australia) for years, but now the clamor is beginning to grow. My kids LOVE Hillsong’s albums (and I have a few loaded into my BlackBerry MP3 player as well), and Hillsong is HUGE in Australia…so this headline caught my attention:
Celebrity evangelist Brian Houston has defended his Hillsong ministry against allegations it is a “cult-like” organisation as the Sydney megachurch opened a “campus” church on Brisbane’s southside yesterday.
He also denied Hillsong had misspent Commonwealth grant money or recruited students in NSW schools.
Mr Houston and his wife Bobbie were installed as the new senior pastors of one of Brisbane’s largest Pentecostal churches, the 1000-member Garden City Christian Church.
Criticism that Hillsong is overly focused on money, flashy entertainment and fund-raising, were rejected.
“We’re big and because we’re big people wonder what all this is about,” he said.
Hillsong critics, including politicians who have been contacted by former Hillsong members, have accused it of cult-like behaviour, including psychologically abusing people who questioned the church’s practices.
These allegations are pretty troubling, and I can relate to some of the former member’s concerns – after having escaped a cult myself. If true, then Hillsong is clearly practicing the same intimidation tactics that mega-churches here in the US have perfected: the “you’re either with us or against us“ mantra.
For all of my faithful readers/contributors in the UK, Australia, and overseas, please weigh in on this. You’re all closer to Hillsong and may know more than those of us in the States know concerning this matter. All in all, another reason to pray for the Body of Christ – and that the Lord will continue to raise pastors after His own heart and not His hand.
I guess I’ll wait a little longer before I erase Hillsong’s music. No matter what happens, God is STILL “mighty to save”!