I remember first hearing about Hillsong only two years ago from a friend who claimed to me that they started going to church, in 2017. The strange part is that this friend would send me pictures and I honestly presumed she was at some sort of nightclub or concert, definitely not a church. I really was shocked and at a loss of words because I’ve never seen a church like this in my life but my friend claimed to like it. By 2019 I assume that even non-religious folk have at least heard whispers of the Mega Church, more so because they keep their foot well buried in celebrities and the entertainment industry. Hillsong is not only a Mega Church but also a Music Group that does extremely well with millions of sold and streamed music world wide. Now all of that may seem great until you realize that you actually want to live for Christ and Hillsong may not be the place to help you succeed in doing that.
History of Hillsong
Hillsong didn’t start off as the Hillsong you know today and it wasn’t even in America or all the places that it’s in today. The Mega Church started out as two separate churches, the ‘Sydney Christian Life Centre’ ran by Frank Houston and the ‘Hills Christian Life Centre’ ran by his son Brian Houston in Australia. They Joined forces in 1983 with a following of 45 worshipers and became the Hillsong Church in the early 90’s. Frank Houston was then removed from the congregation by his son years later when it was discovered that he had molested a 7 year old boy and potentially 9 others. Brian Houston allegedly tried to pay $10,000 in hush money to a man his father sexually abused and was investigated for potentially covering up the crimes of his father. The man who was abused as a child for about 4 years by Frank Houston claims Brian knew about it but for some reason told his church leaders and not the police. Hillsong as well as Brain Houston denied the accusations and the story seems to have died down since. Hillsong continued to succeed in the music world and the music seemed to be the hook that brought many people to congregate at the churches around the world. Hillsong later split from their original denomination in Sydney, Australia and apparently became their own denomination but have associated themselves as being Evangelical or Pentecostal.
How Much Money Does Hillsong Make
Trust me, as I’m typing I can’t wait to get to the part where this should really affect your faith. Right now, it seems appropriate to give you some information and history on this beloved Mega Church in order for you to get a solid sense on what you’re walking into. This is where we jump into money and honestly many won’t think too deep into this but I hope you can follow me here. When you walk into a Hillsong as I stated before, it is not the regular Church environment and that environment definitely costs money. The thing is God didn’t ask the church to prance around as an expensive concert, neither did he call on us to reach people in this way, so lets get something straight-this is not needed. Regardless the Mega Church does an amazing job when it comes to entertainment and music and racks up more than $100 million Dollars per year, they also don’t pay taxes. Majority of the money comes from donations but where does the money go and what does it get used for? Hillsong asks it’s members for 10% of their income and they use their money in 3 specific areas; less than 15% goes towards Charitable missions, 13% in corporate services, and a whopping 40% in Church services which includes paying its pastors and others.
Well, what’s the issue right? I mean if you don’t find something wrong with the fact a tax free ‘church’ makes almost $200 million per year and uses 40% to enrich themselves then that’s fine I guess. All I can say is that while you struggle to pay your bills Hillsong Founder Brian Houston has a net worth of $10 million and other pastors like Carl Lentz has a net worth of $2.5 million. I’m just saying, when millionaires like Co-Founder of Hillsong Bobbie Houston tells me “… I want to encourage you with your giving this morning, because that’s what it’s about. Malachi 3 says, bring the tithe and offering, bring it into the house of God that there might be food in my house. And in context it’s saying when you withhold or draw back you actually rob God, well we don’t rob God because we can’t rob God, but we rob His heart for the earth…” I suddenly don’t feel too comfortable or quick to open my wallet. It’s so cute how they twist God’s word and tell you that you’re robbing his heart for the earth when you don’t give money to fuel their weekly concerts and millionaire pockets. I mean Brian Houston even wrote a book called ‘You need more Money’ in 1999. “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:12-13
I Went To Hillsong
Did I forget to mention that I went to Hillsong myself? I heard the strange rumors especially about the money and celebrities but I didn’t want to judge Hillsong until I went for myself. I was already attending my regular local church but one Sunday I decided to grab a friend and we traveled to Hillsong NYC. What shocked me at first was the huge line complimented by the huge security dressed in all black and all the young people like myself in a line the stretched down the block. What was really strange is that we had to get a pat-down by security and had to go through metal detectors just to go to church and praise. When we got inside it was huge and the place filled up quickly, it did indeed feel like a concert but at no point did it feel like a church. There were a few seats but a majority of us were left standing with out a place to sit within the first 15 mins of our arrival. I won’t lie to you, I tried to get into the whole nightclub church vibe and even sung along but I didn’t feel God, I just felt fun. Baskets for donations went around about 4 times, a young man with blonde long hair and hipster clothing preached for 10 mins-15 mins if you include the five he spent talking about money. Suddenly they jumped right back into the music, the people stood, lifted their hands, smiled, and 20 mins later the building was left empty. We basically wen’t to a concert / donation station for 1 hour of the day and felt emptier than the building was as soon as the music stopped. I never wen’t back again and never will, even my friend who by the way isn’t a church goer was remotely impressed by any of it despite trying his best to engage in everything. Oh yeah, I almost forgot the saddest part of that day was the fact pretty much no one had a bible with them especially the younger crowd.
Hillsong’s Music & Entertainment
The most attractive part that catches the eyes of many young people looking for God and honestly captures the attention of smaller churches as well. Where a Hillsong is built you can definitively see their influence even within smaller congregations. If you’d ask me a year ago I’d tell you their music is awesome regardless of the truth behind the church, but not anymore. As my relationship with Jesus Christ continues to grow so does my discernment and so does our understanding of the word of God. Although the music produced by Hillsong can be catchy and audibly pleasing we really have to take a moment to listen to exactly what these songs are saying. I’ve found a majority of songs pumped out by the Mega Church actually don’t support the word of God, the doctrine of Jesus Christ and actually some can be pretty creepy. We have songs like Alive by Hillsong Young and Free that is full of false teachings through out the entire song. Don’t even let me get started on their P.E.A.C.E music video which they cleverly also turned the comments off on Youtube because of backlash for their very suspect imagery.
Can’t stop Hillsong at just music when their entertainment is as bad or even worse. Hillsong is the same church that decided it was a good idea to dress up as Spiderman, Spongebob, and a series of other characters to welcome in the New Year. If you don’t have an issue with Spiderman on the same stage where the word of God is supposed to be preached then maybe I shouldn’t tell you about the naked cow boy they brought on stage as the church cheered and jumped around. What kind of Church that respects God, respects his word, and respects his house treats their pulpit in that manner? I know who, Hillsong the same Church who allowed the most sickest, twisted version of the Crucifixion to play out on stage in front of hundreds of people that’s who.
Hillsong Yearly Conferences & Celebrities
If you didn’t know already, the massive Church holds conferences around the world where thousands show up including our worldly celebrities. As you already may know a bunch of the pastors at Hillsong are not just wealthy but they’re popular with the world too, which doesn’t make sense when Jesus Christ told us the world will hate us because we’re not of it. Regardless of what Christ told us its hard for the world not to love the Church that’s all inclusive, hip, and won’t tell you to die to yourself and pick up your cross. How could the world not love a Church that plays them their favorite Rap and R&B songs from artists like Lil Wayne, Ciara, and encourages them to sing along and dance their way into the Church. New Age Christianity that just speaks about love, prosperity, and the law of attraction- that tells you come as you are but never change and live for Christ is easy to love. The Church that doesn’t correct you and instead brings you celebrities like Justin Bieber who wore an Anti-Christ Marilyn Mason Shirt to one of the conferences is what the world loves.
My short lasting relationship with Carl reminds me of a video I attached to this article where he was being filmed by another Christian that had some hard questions for him, which he refused to answer on camera. The same way he tried to silence that man or at least stop him from posting the confrontation publicly is the same way I feel today. Once I learned the truth about Hillsong I wanted to unfollow Carl but for some reason I didn’t, I had faith that he might just be a little lost. Carl began to appear more and more on my news feed with these super long captions on his pictures that were far from the gospel, so I decided to call him out on it. Out of maybe 9 separate comments he actually responded to one and then messaged me about it too. Unlike my other comments on his Instagram page this one called him out for being a false prophet and a fake pastor, clearly he didn’t like that and decided to message me.
“My man… so I saw your comment about me being fake, went to send you a message to ask why the hate, and sure enough, I see this! Def didn’t see it in April. Love to meet you, not sure what I did that would generate that kind of comment, but I’m many things. Fake ain’t one. Holler at me anytime my brother. Peace!” said Carl
The message previous to his was a message I sent to him in April of 2017 letting him know I was going visit his Church and it would be awesome to meet him. After his response that he called “hate” I let him know how I felt and mentioned the word of God to him. He responded back and basically called me Judgmental and that he could judge me too but won’t because he’d like to talk first and find an understanding. He then gave me his number, I didn’t ask for it, and said “I gotta roll! So there is the lifelong invite for coffee and conversation, I look forward to it.”
I said you know what, okay. I texted him and we spoke a few times through text, nothing deep. I sent him some of my work and pretty much that was it, we never met up- he unfollowed me and never responded to my texts again. He did a great job in silencing me and as a christian I gave him the benefit of the doubt and was going to meet up with him to speak on my concerns but instead 2 years later I’m writing this article to let you know who Carl Lentz is as a Pastor because I can’t speak on him as a person. Carl is supposed to be a Pastor called by God but what type of pastor says that anyone can be in a relationship with Jesus Christ not just Christians, last time I checked Muslims don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Pastor Lentz says publicly even on huge talk shows like The View that abortion is not a sin, even Ben Shapiro corrected him. I’m not sure about you but last time I checked we don’t perform Baptisms in the bathtubs of NBA players, where he ‘baptized’ Justin Bieber.
Carl claims that Joel Olsteen is a pioneer that paved the way for younger guys like him to be able to do what he’s doing. Joel Olsteen preaches a false doctrine derived from the ‘Law of Attraction’ teachings of theosophy founder Ellana Brovaski. Joel Olsteen with a $50 million net-worth is also most popular for closing his church doors to those affected and left homeless by Hurricane Harvey. He opened the doors after hours of being under fire by social media and running out of excuses even telling people the Church was flood, which clearly wasn’t. This is the man Carl claims is a pioneer and opened the doors for younger guys like him. Carl Lentz even has no problem singing Coolio – Gangsters Paradise lyrics while he preaches the word of God, I wonder if the Holy spirit guides him to do that. He loves paraphrasing and interpreting the word in his own way, he mostly reads from the Message version of the bible which gets A LOT wrong especially Matthew 6:10 which Carl claims is spot on despite the clear Heremetic/Occult teachings.
Brian Houston also claims that Carl Lentz could be the next him or Joel Olsteen, those are some big false teacher shoes to fit into. I mean I guess they’re okay with preaching and also telling the congregation to ask for each others numbers if they’re single. Instead of us being like God, Carl claims “God is like us” he said to Huffington Post Live. Among other little jokes he likes to make he also likes joking about being at Illuminati meetings, not sure what that’s about. When asked about Gay Marriage or Homosexuality he always gives a slick worldly answer, “We have a stance on love and everything else we have conversations” said Carl on Katie. I mean if none of that bothers you I’ve definitely never seen a Pastor go to the bar to drink with his celebrity friends and then strip their clothes off.. must be that New Doctrine.
HELLSONG: What they Actually Believe
The wolf in sheep’s clothing, using Christianity for the kingdom of Satan and not for God. I can’t tell you truly what their end goal is but I can give you the facts so that you could make your own decision for yourself. When it comes to sin Hillsong makes sure to stand their ground on their come as you are message. The problem with that is that they never actually save souls, in fact they claim its not their place to tell anyone how they should live. Hillsong is so strong on their inclusion that they even allow a married Homosexual couple to sing in their Choir, even though this story has been a back and forth hypocritical debate-these are the facts. Don’t misunderstand, we’re not saying that Gay people aren’t welcomed in the Church but they cannot stand and participate on the same stage that’s meant for God this goes for anyone living in sin. Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly understand this as well but have a clear goal to want to change the church.
You can find several people with testimonies about their experiences with the Mega Church, notably one of those persons is Tanya Levin. Tanya wrote a book exposing their love of money, her experience, and how they reacted to her writing a book. Rick Warren who’s part of the church signed a document called ‘Loving God and Neighbor Together’, this document is about unification and agreeing that we are worshiping the same God as Muslims. Even though he backtracked and has a clear hypocritical stance on this, Brian Houston has said this himself. “The Muslim and You, we actually serve the same God.. and of course through history those views have changed greatly..but let’s make sure we view god through the eyes of Jesus” said Brian to his congregation.
One of Hillsong’s foremost worship leaders, Jonathan Douglass wrote a Blog post on Hillsong’s website: “We are about fulfilling our Senior Pastor’s vision (not our own) It is so important that as amazing as our creative ideas might be, if they don’t ultimately line up with what our Senior Pastor and leaders want, then we happily put them aside.The church doesn’t exist to build our worship teams… our worship teams exist to build the Church!!
The problem is that the Church doesn’t exist to fulfill a leader’s “vision,” church exists to glorify God. We even have scandalous Pastors that just makes you wonder, where and how does Hillsong choose pastors like Mark Driscoll?
“The first thing to know about your penis is, that despite the way it may see, it is not your penis. Ultimately, God created you and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while. While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home. Therefore, if you are single you must remember that your penis is homeless and needs a home.”
Hillsong only dropped him after the huge backlash regardless of that fact he’s always had a strange way of preaching, if you even call that preaching. Esther Houston Wife of Joel Houston which is the son of Brian Houston, happens to also be a model but it definitely isn’t for Christ. You can see strange images of her in Egyptian clothing and not the most Modest or christian like photography on her website for yourself. Not only that but as a christian women and wife of a pastor she has no problem encouraging and promoting curse words; she even models in it.
I’m not sure what kind of people these leaders and faces of Hillsong are but I know they’re not followers of Christ that’s for sure. To me its clear they’re lost and confused, its clear they want a watered down, sugar coated and all inclusive religion. It’s clear they love the money and the fame, it’s also evident that the Mega Church is more of a cult than it is a Church. As they cherry pick, twist, and pervert Gods word they hurt the people inside and those being attracted by their music. A congregation full of lost people being lead astray, Luke 21:8, “And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them.” Everything that looks good isn’t good and Hellsong is undeniably a counterfeit Christianity that’s all about Fame, Fortune and popularity not the Doctrine of Jesus Christ.
Written by Emmanuel Matos