Ex hillsong

My thanks to digger randle for this link (digger was the youth minister off 1 vs 100 who one $98 000 the other night - well it was a few months ago now as we are ages behind here in kiwiland) Anyway, I visited his blog and found this fascinating article from a couple of months ago form The Age in Australia regarding an ex Hillsong Member.

A couple of quotes to whet your appetite -

For five years, Tanya Levin was a Hillsong insider - infatuated with the evangelical church and its leader. Then she left and wrote a book. Now she's trouble, writes David Marr.....
.....So Tanya Levin is a problem. She asks questions. She wants explanations. She challenges the vision of Hillsong's leadership. In short, she's trouble. ....

.....Two years into writing People in Glass Houses, her insider's account of Hillsong, she was shown the door. "There is no debate within Hillsong," she says. "That's fundamentalism. It's not open to free thought and question, not at all....."

".....My impressions in September of 1985 were of a bunch of nice people," Levin writes. They waved their hands and spoke in tongues. Houston preached. "Even today," she confesses, "when I hear Brian Houston's voice I feel better....."
....For Levin, the core lie of Hillsong is the claim that God will repay everything you give. And the longer you have to wait, the greater the return. "How do you actually stand in front of people and say if you give me your money God will give it back to you and actually sleep at night when you're taking old people's money. It's obviously the more desperate people who want to make an investment decision like that. Very vulnerable people...."
....Levin doesn't fit that picture. She doesn't hate. Something in her seems to yearn for those exhilarating years fighting the good fight against the devil in all his disguises right down to the voodoo beat of rock'n'roll. "We were told you can't have it because it's incantation and you're going to raise all these demons." How different things are now. Levin begins to sing some Hillsong Christian trance music: "Doof, doof, doof. Christ is the future. Doof doof doof..."
I highly reccomend you go over and read the article It is a very very good read pop on over .

This months Christianity today also has a good article from a slightly different perspective

Posted in Labels: , , , |

4 thoughts - add yours!:

  1. Rebel Heart Says:

    it's their Church they're free to preach whatever they want... and the Bible does say give and you shall receive. it's not like they're forcing people to give. a bigger problem is homosexuality in the Church - if you write a speech and offer to give it (not even as the whole sermon, but just the part where people can get up and talk about what they think of God), you won't be allowed to

  2. Tim Says:

    Yes, they are free to preach whatever they want, and that's a good thing. That doesn't mean that what they preach is always good, though. And if, as Tanya Levin suggests, their preaching discourages their own congregation's freedom of thought and freedom of expression, that's not a good thing.

  3. Rebel Heart Says:

    you could say the same things about some of the stuff Jesus told to people that was totally offensive and insensitive, like telling someone they couldn't bury their dad. i get the feeling Tanya's overstating her case as well, for example we don't see what exactly it was that she told the Church that got her kicked out, we just assume that she said it nicely

    i see people like her as an example of the Church becoming more worldly, doubting the justice of God. surely if Hillsong was taking the money with evil intentions like Pharisees then God wouldn't let harm come to those poor people who gave... as for Tanya speaking up for justice... well unless Hillsong preached something contrary to God i don't see how anything they've said is wrong

    by the way Lisa i got 'round to reading Tony's chapter on homosexuality in his book about the ten things Churches don't like to talk about it - it was prejudicial and discriminatory. i mean, 'homosexual lifestyle'? have you heard of Living Springs production, they did a similar video, basically blaming homosexuality for AIDS etc. because of their lifestyle. it completely ignores sex-health progress and changes in attitudes towards relationships

  4. Tim Says:

    Sure, Tanya may be overstating her case, I really don't know, and we've only really seen her side of the story. So instead of talking about Hillsong specifically, I'll talk hypothetically, with an example that I hope is quite extreme.

    If you disagree with a particular church's position on homosexuality, for example, the church should ideally encourage you to discuss that issue with them; they shouldn't tell you that they know the full truth on that issue; they shouldn't tell you that you're going to hell merely because you're not convinced by what they say.

    Of course, for any church (on any side of the homosexuality debate) to successfully discuss what's currently such a controversial issue with people who passionately and honestly disagree, the church must have very grown up people in both its leadership and its congregation.

    I hope this has made it clearer about what I mean by encouraging freedom of thought and freedom of expression in churches.

    If a church even gives the mere impression that you can't question what the preachers say, then it's not ideal. Ideal is hard, but I'm just saying, it's not ideal.

    "Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil."---I Thessalonians 5:20--22 (NLT)