Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The False Gospel Of Hillsong (Part 2) - Defending Heresy

The saga continues . . .

My previous post included my first e-mail that I sent to Hillsong church. I sent it to their salvation e-mail hotline, prayer@hillsong.com, which you would think would be 911 for lost souls on the brink of hell. Well, it turns out that my first mail, was responded to very promptly with an "out of office auto-reply". The lights were on but no one was home! I was given another e-mail address to try so I sent it there. This time I didn't get an out of office auto-reply, instead I got several days of silence.

Finally, after several days, Pastor Robert Fergusson wrote an e-mail to me. If you don't know who he is then let me explain it this way - If Brian Houston were Captain Kirk then Robert Fergusson would be Spock . . . I'm sure that analogy is somehow flawed but I think you get the point. It would seem that my unanswered e-mail had been busy working it's way up the chain of command and had finally reached the appropriate level of spin doctoring expertise.

I will only quote a portion Fergusson's e-mail:

The material contained in this email may be confidential, and may also be the subject of copyright and/or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, any use, disclosure or copying of this document is prohibited. If you have received this document in error, please advise the sender and delete the document.

This email communication does not create or vary any contractual relationship between Hillsong and you. Internet communications are not secure and accordingly Hillsong does not accept any legal liability for the contents of this message.
Please note that neither Hillsong nor the sender accepts any responsibility for viruses and it is your responsibility to scan the email and any attachments.

Hillsong


If only they were as detailed and meticulous about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! What I can say is that Pastor Robert was polite and diplomatic. He assured me of Hillsong's committment to truth and said that their gospel presentation did contain repentance because the words "change" and "forgive" were used (can someone please tell me where I missed that definition in the Bible?). Furthermore, I can say that Fergusson did not have a single word to say about Hillsong's editing of Scripture - the case in point being 2 Chronicles 7:14. I guess they didn't deem that to be of major importance. Clearly, they hold to a different heirarchy of importance than Scripture does!

What follows is my second attempt at discussing their version of the gospel and their willingness to selectively edit Bible verses (much akin to using liquid wite-out as a highlighter pen).

Dear Robert, I am honored that you would take the time to write to me. I do know of you as an author and seem to recall that you are from the UK. I hope I'm right about that.

I am from Australia (though I now live in Denmark) and my background is in the AOG movement. I am aware that Hillsong cops it's share of criticism - much of which is unfounded. I know that most of the controversy swirls around money and the use of it. Conspiracy theories abound as much as the wild imaginations of their originators. I realize that you probably get asked many "loaded questions" with an agenda bent on discrediting the Hillsong church. I would hope that you would not categorize me among these people but would biblically consider the objections I raise. They pertain to the purity of the Christian Gospel of which I preach both in the pulpit and on the street. And my questions have no grounding in personal credibility but in the authority of Scripture - which the Hillsong website professes: "We believe that the Bible is God's Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our every day lives". So please, regardless of what you think of my personal credibility, I ask that you give my words merit on the basis of their alignment to Holy Scripture.

I must be clear from the outset that I am very critical of the gospel proclaimed by Hillsong that I have been exposed to in both print and audio form. In my travels I have spoken with members of Hillsong church which has only served to increase my concerns about the gospel that is preached there. Also, a good friend of mine, while filming a reformation documentary in London, bumped into and interviewed some leaders from Hillsong London in which they were unable to clearly articulate the Christian Gospel - this again was more fuel on the fire in prompting me to write. I believe that God made His Gospel knowable for a wretch like me and it is a subject/discussion that does not require top level theologians to discuss at the basic level. I have just completed a series on my blog which you are welcome to critique entitled "The Anatomy of the Gospel". Based on Scripture and, to a lesser extent, church history I have asserted that all Gospel proclamations must include:

1. Who God is - His Holiness (Romans 1:18-20)
2. Who man is - sin must be clearly defined in order to show us our sinfulness (Romans 3:10-23)
3. Judgment - heaven and hell - God must judge because He is good, loving, and righteous and we are not (Rev 20:12-15)
4. What Christ has done - the cross and the resurrection - that Christ died to endure God's wrath in the place of sinners and credit sinners with His righteousness - He rose from the dead confirming that He is God and made satisfactory payment for our sins. (Rom 3:24-26)
5. How man must respond - repentance from sin and faith towards Christ (Acts 20:2-21)

Now I could have targetted any one of those five points as the presentation in the CD liner notes was sadly lacking on all five. But I zeroed in on repentance as it is clearly affirmed by Hillsong's own doctrine statement.

I should apologize for a typo in my original mail concerning 2 Chronicles 7:14. I will correct it here as it pertains to my assertion that the necessity of repentance is being both denied and avoided in the thousands (maybe millions) of CDs distributed to the general public under the Hillsong banner. Here is how my mail should have read:

I noticed on the back cover of the CD liner notes a quotation of 2 Chronicles 7:14 which says:

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

By checking in my Bible I found this verse to be incomplete and is missing the words in bold letters:

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Can you explain to me why you deleted the line from that verse that speaks specifically about repentance? I hope you agree that it is very serious indeed to add to or delete information from sacred Scripture.

Robert, there is no excuse for taking a scalpel to Scripture like this. It is bad enough when people quote verses out of context. How much worse to delete words out of a verse and print it as if that is what 2 Chronicles 7:14 says. The text does not even contain a ... to show that the verse has been abbreviated. I don't blame you for this and realize that you cannot possibly know everything that goes on in a ministry as large as Hillsong. But neither can I see how you could possibly defend this as a professing Christian preacher.

And there is no way that the words "change" and "forgive" (as found in the CD liner notes "prayer") remotely resemble repentance from sin in their context. Please read it again remembering that the faith statement says that people "must repent of sin" in order to receive forgiveness. Repentance is never mentioned and neither is sin. Robert, please take this seriously as a steward of the Gospel. If people must repent of their sin in order to receive forgiveness but the CDs that are sold say nothing that remotely resembles that they are giving false assurance. Please, I beg you, listen to your conscience. Please change your literature to reflect this truth and make sure that your preaching is consistent with this.

The Gospel is not about happiness but righteousness. People must come to Christ seeing their unrighteousness and need for righteousness found only in Christ's atoning sacrifice. A failure to talk about sin and the need to repent from that sin is short changing the glorious Gospel at its foundational level.

Sincerely
Cameron Buettel

Fergusson wrote back again, and I'll talk about that in my next post on Friday. Suffice to say it reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton and the marijuhana he smoked but never inhaled!

The effects of this false gospel, that Hillsong propogates, are becoming far reaching. What follows here is a tragic video from Hillsong showing how to innoculate children to the true Gospel . . .



Go On To Part 3
Go Back To Part 1

27 comments:

Elbee said...

As a mum of three, I find this disturbing indeed. Children should be taught the truth, and not be deceived. The 'good news' here is not only untrue, but emotionally manipulative.

Kyle in Finland said...

Outstanding email, clear, polite, respectful and totally unyelding.

It would be difficult to side step the issue in the face of such a mail. The only way out, that I could think of, would to discreetly change the topic of conversation to something a little more manageable. Misdirection and denial the "art" of the politican!

The video post was painful for me to watch. That was me. Or at least I in my youth, was one of those standing on the stage. Promoting the heresy, taught to spew out clever sounding catch-phrases and babel about non-sense.
How great my shame. Painful!

I thank God for His amazing grace.

Troy said...

Hi Cameron,

It looks like the only part you have decided to display from Robert's email is the privacy policy from the email. After reading over this series of blogs posts (or smear campaign might be more appropriate) it seems like you're not really interested in a serious dialogue or what Hillsong have to say, but instead you are looking for a debate for the sake of argument.

You are obviously very intelligent, and I would love to see what you could accomplish if you set your mind to something a little more positive like helping the poor and community outreach.

Cameron Buettel said...

Troy, this series came about only after trying several times to discuss the matter with Robert Fergusson. His first e-mail did not even answer my question about editing repentance out of 2 Chron 7:14. He also refused to admit that repentance was missing from their gospel presentation. The second e-mail from Fergusson said that he just didn't want to talk about it. And he never responded to my third e-mail. I was actually hoping that Hillsong might correct their presentation. I did not quote Robert Fergusson because the legal disclaimer (that I quoted) forbid me from quoting him. If I quoted him you would probably condemn me for breach of copyright. And after all this you accuse me of avoiding a serious dialogue with Hillsong. You need to go back and re-read these posts again and, if you're man enough, apoligize for your unfounded accusations.

This has been an objective biblical critique of the gospel according to Hillsong without pretending to know their individual motives or character. Could you at least extend me the same courtesy. The Bible actually calls Christians to expose evil (Eph 5:11), mark false teachers (Rom 16:17), and pronounces damnation on anyone who preaches any other gospel (Gal 1:8-9). I clearly and factually pointed out that Hillsong's own faith statement pronounces heresy on the gospel presentation they propogate through their worship CDs.

So Troy, let me ask you - are you more interested in the purity of the once for all delivered blood bought Gospel, or defending Hillsong. Are you more interested in making this an issue of my motivation rather than examining the truthfulness of my claims. Unlike Hillsong, I will gladly answer any questions you want to send my way.

Are you interested in an open dialogue?

Apeleutheros said...

@Troy.

"I would love to see what you could accomplish if you set your mind to something a little more positive like helping the poor and community outreach"

I'm sure Cameron does not want to make boast of himself, so I would like to chime in and make a boast of him in Christ by saying: Every time Cam steps up in public and preaches the Gospel he IS helping the poor and reaching out to the community and he is doing it in the greatest way a man can ever dream of!

The proclamation of the truth and calling men to repentance is a work more valuable than an infinite amount of canned food and community service. It's too bad there aren't more of us out there doing it too.

If I may admire something, I truly admire men who stand up before men and tell sinners the Truth which may lead them to salvation!

I often am on my face before the Lord in repentance because I am prone to withold the Truth from those who need it most because I'm afraid what they will think of me. Shame on me, and shame on you Troy for for a weak and groundless accusation.

Look at every true move of God sir, and you will see God's word preached in such a way that it leaves blisters on the soul!

God help us...

Bull said...

Troy,

what exactly is a smear campaign? Isn't that where you make stuff up that can't be denied ... like suggesting that someone is engaged in a smear campaign?

The truth is, with books like "You need more Money" by Brian Houston and audio tapes series like "Kingdom Women love Sex" by Bobbie Houston ... what kind of Gospel are Hillsongs 1st couple promoting?

Would Jesus tell people "You need more Money"?

Apeleutheros said...

@Bull

"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?"

Jesus sayeth unto him, "Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

The young man saith unto him, "All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?"

Jesus said unto him, "If thou wilt be perfect, YOU NEED MORE MONEY, then come put it in my offering basket and you shalt have treasure in heaven."

Anonymous said...

For those unfamiliar with scripture, it's from Mark 10, when Jesus is talking to the rich young man.
"One thing you lack," Jesus said, "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor. and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Anonymous said...

Hi Cam,
Why does this all remind me of times at AOG Ipswich???

cya
Graeme

Cameron Buettel said...

Graeme,

it's the same reason that McDonalds Booval reminds you of McDonalds Ipswich. Same junk in a different location.

But there is a true Gospel and it is glorious. There are true shepherds and they are precious.

Anonymous said...

LOL at the Macca's analogy :-)

cya
G

wayne said...

Hi cameron,i have been looking for your website for donkeys' ages.
In viewing this video link i am reminded of william booth the founder of the Salvation Army ,and his comment
"In answer to your inquiry, I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”
This clip comes pretty close in some respects

Colette said...

Thank you very much for pointing these things out, It makes me sad, but I know that the gospel must not be changed or waterd down for anyone.
There must be no adding or taking away.

Bless you brother.

FaceLift said...

Cameron,

First, your email to Ps Ferguson was far too long winded, especially during the painful build-up to the actual questions, which were reasonable. No Pastor gets the time, or has the desire to sift through such a wealth of pomposity.

Hint: If you came to the point straight away, perhaps there would be some point in replying. Itemise your concerns, shorten your qualifications, and be more polite with it. Sarcasm is such a draining thing to delve through, especially for the person on the receiving end.

Second, your resulting article is extremely condescending and rude. A give-away for anyone assessing whether it is worth continuing with you. If you can't show love towards those you criticise, how can you expect a response?

Third, you only quote a standard disclaimer from Ps Ferguson, yet reveal your own correspondence in its entirety.

Was this to make yourself look good and sensible, whilst attempting to make Ps Ferguson look inept by comparison?

You haven't successfully proved anything worthwhile about what Hillsong actually teaches, mainly because your research methods fall short, and you starting attitude is geared towards a negative response.

Those with a similar perspective will laud you, of course, but no one ever grew out of flattery.

runlevelfivepointer said...

Good expose.

Anonymous said...

@FACELIFT
this is probably the only post in this discussion that even resembles a common sense, christ like attitude approach.

The writer of this story is obviously GROSSLY biased and to me, reeks of a typical liberal trying to get men of God hung up on symantics instead of doing anything to benefit the kingdom. but I wont sugarcoat it. If you think Hillsong is a church of heretics that you need to "correct" you are DELUSIONAL and EXTREMELY misled by whoever your spiritual father is or has been. Your combative attitude is obvious to ANYONE with even a measure of spiritual discernment. What shurch do YOU go to? are there any specks in your churches eye? so few specks that you have the time to devote an entire web post to Hillsongs supposed "plank". Sure buddy. stay on that high horse, and the rest of us will actually be out here working to save the LOST, not cause NEEDLESS division in the body of christ. Out of all the heresy in church today, you think Hillsong is the most deserving of your efforts??? because you dont like that they shortened a verse for a CD sleeve????? SERIOUSLY?? there are churches ordaining GAY CLERGY, there are churched teachin universalism, and you just HAVE to get those pesky Hillsong people, that CONSTANTLY encourage their people to PRIVATELY study the word. The pastor will never always be right, which is why god calls us to search out our OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling. You are obviously a very self-righteous person, that thinks you are the answer to a huge ministry like Hillsongs problems. Why dont you try working on those specks in your eye and THEN move on to Hillsongs planks. An absolutely sad display of division in the body of christ. utterly sad.

Anthony Woodcock said...

Having been a Christian for over 20 years and having analyzed every single scripture on salvation in the Bible, along with studies on the early church fathers in contrast to Christian teaching today, I would like to point out a few things regarding commnents on this page and the videos included.

First, I would totally agree that no one should try to "soften" the gospel by cleverly deleting portions of scripture that may seem offensive to the viewer.

Second, I would also agree that there is a possibility that the term "things" was utilized instead of "sin", yet I do believe it is altogether obvious what "sin" is even to nonbelievers.

For children, assuming one is looking after them spiritually, they will be able to put "2 and 2" together. They are not idiots.

Third, I do believe that maybe this presentation of the gospel in the video is not altogether sound.

However, I would also like to point out the method in which Christ stated the gospel would also today be met with accusations of it being convoluted, hard to understand and works based.

For instance, when Jesus stated to the rich man, he must go sell what he has, give to the poor and come follow him. This was after he listed 6 of the 10 commandments (the love thy neighbor ones).

Or perhaps when Jesus said you had to eat his flesh and drink his blood to be saved.

Should that not also be met with criticism?

Why did not Jesus make it CLEAR so everyone could be saved?

Why did he not go through Calvins' 5 points and tell everyone it is "by grace, through faith" that one is saved and "not of works" lest any man should boast?

Why didn't Jesus get out his 4 spiritual laws tract and lead the children to repentance?

The point is, there are many ways the gospel is presented in the Bible.

it is not presented as many protestants do it today.

Jesus never said the Roman's Road method of the gospel.

Jesus did not have people do penance and get baptised into the church either.

You see, this is all silly.

Those criticizing Hillsong here are just as bad at preaching the gospel as they are.

The point is, Jesus can use even criptic words to get people "saved".

It is not about saying all the right words, but the intent behind the words.

I would say the biggest error here is the false quote of scripture, leaving out some wording.

I would also say that those criticizing should go read the way Jesus preached the gospel and then try to make his way meet up with their way.

The point is, one has to have a living faith in Christ, believing on Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross for atonement of sin.

Further, Jesus spiritually washes you of your sins. One is transformed and becomes a new creature.

If you read the early fathers, you will note their method of preaching the gospel does not altogether line up with the methods today.

People have to be more thorough with their own analysis of themselves.

Jesus does not use perfect terminology when preaching, and even makes the gospel cryptic at times.

So, we can not criticize every little thing that does not jive with how we preach the gospel.


Sincerely
Tony

Anthony Woodcock said...

Having been a Christian for over 20 years and having analyzed every single scripture on salvation in the Bible, along with studies on the early church fathers in contrast to Christian teaching today, I would like to point out a few things regarding commnents on this page and the videos included.

First, I would totally agree that no one should try to "soften" the gospel by cleverly deleting portions of scripture that may seem offensive to the viewer.

Second, I would also agree that there is a possibility that the term "things" was utilized instead of "sin", yet I do believe it is altogether obvious what "sin" is even to nonbelievers.

For children, assuming one is looking after them spiritually, they will be able to put "2 and 2" together. They are not idiots.

Third, I do believe that maybe this presentation of the gospel in the video is not altogether sound.

However, I would also like to point out the method in which Christ stated the gospel would also today be met with accusations of it being convoluted, hard to understand and works based.

For instance, when Jesus stated to the rich man, he must go sell what he has, give to the poor and come follow him. This was after he listed 6 of the 10 commandments (the love thy neighbor ones).

Or perhaps when Jesus said you had to eat his flesh and drink his blood to be saved.

Should that not also be met with criticism?

Why did not Jesus make it CLEAR so everyone could be saved?

Why did he not go through Calvins' 5 points and tell everyone it is "by grace, through faith" that one is saved and "not of works" lest any man should boast?

Why didn't Jesus get out his 4 spiritual laws tract and lead the children to repentance?

The point is, there are many ways the gospel is presented in the Bible.

it is not presented as many protestants do it today.

Jesus never said the Roman's Road method of the gospel.

Jesus did not have people do penance and get baptised into the church either.

You see, this is all silly.

Those criticizing Hillsong here are just as bad at preaching the gospel as they are.

The point is, Jesus can use even criptic words to get people "saved".

It is not about saying all the right words, but the intent behind the words.

I would say the biggest error here is the false quote of scripture, leaving out some wording.

I would also say that those criticizing should go read the way Jesus preached the gospel and then try to make his way meet up with their way.

The point is, one has to have a living faith in Christ, believing on Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross for atonement of sin.

Further, Jesus spiritually washes you of your sins. One is transformed and becomes a new creature.

If you read the early fathers, you will note their method of preaching the gospel does not altogether line up with the methods today.

People have to be more thorough with their own analysis of themselves.

Jesus does not use perfect terminology when preaching, and even makes the gospel cryptic at times.

So, we can not criticize every little thing that does not jive with how we preach the gospel.


Sincerely
Tony

*Jackie* said...

wow....
i think Troy ate his words

Anonymous said...

What a storm in a tea cup, take out the log in your own eye.....

Anonymous said...

Brian Houston, who's on top of the ponzi scheme, is anathematized to even know any better. He's a true wolf, and he can continue to do what he's doing, and only thing that'll ever come out of his 'ministry' is nothing but tares. Stay away from Hillsong United/Hillsong Live stuff. They are a business. I've noticed Brian Houston, and the whole Houston family to be very proud and arrogant. Nothing like what a real Christian is supposed to be. And yes, I speak from experience, since I've encountered them first hand. Avoid such people, and do not buy anything that comes from there.

Brother Bernard said...

As a Christian who has known the closeness of God in many answers to prayer, often just for simple everyday things, I am not surprised by what I hear about Hillsong. I have family members who are either AOG or C3 Church adherents and can't answer the following very simple questions re their church:

Who owns the church property?
How much is the Pastor's salary?
Who appointed the Pastor?

My understanding is that even though they tithe 10% they have no say on quite important issues and, at least in the case of C3, they actually are not technically members. In other words the "church" now looks very much like a very lucrative business venture for those in charge. I keep hearing that this kind of describes Hillsong; is it true??

Cameron Buettel said...

Brother Bernard, Jude verse 4 says:

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

False teachers are sensual and love the trappings of this world. I don't know the financial inner workings of Hillsong but I do know that they preach a false gospel and I do know that false teachers behave as Jude describes them.

All I would ask is that you be primarily concerned with the gospel they preach. Preaching a false gospel is damnable (Galatians 1:8-9) and will always be the first red flag to many oth problems.

Anonymous said...

Having been a saved christian for 5 years I unfortunately have to agree with this article.Alot of hillsong affiliated churches will not talk about repentance of sin.Their version of salvation has this portion missing.I have also first hand experienced how damaging, and at the end of the day how evil it is.My ex girlfriend who was a member of a youth ministry here in devonport tasmania has said 'it's quite okay' for her to sleep with a married man,fornicate,because God knows her heart and she is saved.Along with exclusion of repentance of sin, this is the type of rubbish that young christians are being fed along with the new heresy of all you need is 'love' this will be their gospel in the next ten years,christ was just a moral teacher, love is what it's about really.This is also the message of the coming apostate one world religion based upon new age and eastern mysticism.I should also say that the former head pastor of this church is now a so called 'christian mystic' and believes homosexuality is fine as long as theres love.

Anonymous said...

First of all, you said that Hillsong is spreading the false gospel. How? You didn't clearly defend your answer.

Second, your blog is WORTHLESS! Your title of your blog is The Bottom Line and had a URL, onceuponacross.blogspot.com.
That is useless! The URL of your website should be a more relevant to your website's title!

Third, I think you should stop critizing. They are only doing their job of preaching about Jesus, and so what? Is Jesus the FALSE GOSPEL?

Fourth, children doesn't understand a lot like we adults do. So, the easiest was to teach them about Jesus is not by directly preaching the Gospel!

Nice day.

INNOCENT OFOKANSI - Abuja said...

The last days are fast approaching.
Jesus is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever, likewise His WORDS, TEACHINGS and Rules - they will and can never change. Whoever is preaching a gospel that would not offend/scare people away is a false prophet - SIMPLE.
Christ Himself gave a very hard teaching and did not care if the same people he had compassion on and fed with bread and fish, walked away when He told them about eating His Body and drinking His Blood.
Infact, He went further to ask His apostles why they did not also walk away. Peter boldly replied "To whom shall we go, for You have the message of eternal life".
There shall be surprises on judgement day.
Whoever knows the truth should always say it regardless of who gets hurt. SIN IS SIN. No beating about the bush. God loves us unconditionally - no doubt. BUT WE MUST REPENT OF OUR SINS.
The Apostle Paul warned in Rom. 6:15, "SHALL WE CONTINUE TO LIVE IN SIN BECAUSE GRACE ABOUNDS, OF COURSE NOT". That should be the teaching.
May God help this generation of ours, for Sodom and Gomorrah will testify against us.
It is a big shame what is preached from the pulpit these days. Christianity without the cross.
May God have mercy on us.

Dan Knezacek said...

I have no doubt that you are correct that Hillsong is teaching error.

I am concerned, however, about your definition of repentance. In order to understand what the bible teaches on any one subject we need to harmonize every passage where the term appears.

Acts 20:21
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 26:20
But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Jud├Ža, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

II Timothy 2:25
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Hebrews 6:1
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Acts 26 and Hebrews 6 present an interesting conundrum; do works suitable for repentance, but repent from dead works!

Not only are Christians to repent from their sin, but we are to repent toward God, and to repent from dead works. What are "dead works" but works we thought would save us! ie. good works done for the purpose of salvation!

Repentance does not mean that we stop sinning, otherwise John would not have had to write;

I John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Repentance, rather, must be a change in our worldview, and a reliance on Him for salvation. We must stop looking at life from worldly eyes, and view it with spiritual, godly, lenses.

No doubt Paul repented, and yet he would also exclaim;

Romans 7:24
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

These are not the words of someone who had complete victory over sin in his life, but rather the words of a man who had repented, and yet sin still sometimes got the better of him.