Newtaste just commented on a recent post where I discussed some new information that had come to light regarding Hillsong's removal of a line from a Bible verse. Newtaste said that:
In the past few months, the invitation to accept Jesus and/or the prayer has included saying sorry for sinning, asking Jesus for forgiveness, turning away from sin and the reality of Hell. It is not at every Hillsong service, and it was lacking on Sunday night at Norwest, but the elements were there on Saturday night at Waterloo and have been at Norwest on previous Sunday nights. There has been a noticeable change at Hillsong, noticeable to me anyway.
Cameron, you may well have influenced the change, as it was at the end of a sermon by Joel A'Bell that I first noticed it. Who knows!! But it is probably time for you to move on to another topic.
Newtaste, I have two things to say in response to your comment:
1. I hope you are right, and
2. If you are right, then that information is taking a long time to filter into Hillsong's Brisbane campus.
A couple of weeks ago, my friends Josh Williamson and Heath from Perth decided it would be interesting to check out a Friday night service at Hillsong's Brisbane campus during my tour down under. It was a kind of surreal experience because it was the same place that I studied twelve years ago back in the day when it was Garden City AOG.
One of the first things I noticed was that they had assembled a very impressive rock band for their worship services (disclaimer - my assessment of musical prowess may only be quoted at the risk of your own personal credibility). The music was deafeningly loud and I am still undecided as to whether that is a revelation of their volume or my age (41 at last count).
The crunchy guitars (just trying to sound relevant ok) certainly did little to bury the lack of theological content in the songs as did the smoke machine (smoke machines were cool on Countdown in the 70's - another worthy nominee for my Lame Attempst At Relevance Series). But that was all par for the course as the night progressed. To my surprise the sermon started out surprisingly good with an excellent word study on the Greek word "Skandalon" (where the English word "scandal" comes from). I braced myself to eat my words. But here's the question - if you were to preach a sermon on scandals surrounding the life of Jesus, where would you finish that sermon? I would have thought it to be a no-brainer that it would have to culminate with the greatest scandal of all:
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles (1 Corinthians 1:21-23).
Instead, the sermon that night never ventured such lofty highest. In fact it stayed mired in the realm of moralistic stories until it closed with a tragic attempt at a gospel presentation which featured a denial of God's Sovereignty (perhaps unwitting), no mention of sin, no mention of judgment, no mention of the atoning work of Christ, and drumroll please - no mention of repentance. Newtaste, I see no reason to amend my assessment of the Gospel according to Hillsong.
Josh Williamson did try and speak with the preacher after the service but was rapidly brushed aside. Heath went up into the post service follow up room but nobody spoke to him. Like I said - par for the course!
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