Rick Warren and Hillsong singing the same tune | Money Money Money!

Important please make sure you read Hillsong’s defense against the allegations made by news.com.au,

Following quote taken from:

“Prophet- Minded. Pentecostal Churches are not waiting to inherit the earth. They are taking it now tax-free”.

by Adele Ferguson.

The New Zealand-born Houston, pastor of the biggest Pentecostal church, Hillsong, is one of the main proponents of prosperity theology. The author of ‘You Need More Money: Discovering God’s Amazing Financial Plan for Your Life’, Houston writes: “Prosperity is definitely a result of applying God’s word to your life.” In section two of the book, he adds: “It’s God’s will for you to prosper.”

Whatever the case, the popularity of Pentecostal religion is unquestionable. Pastor Ashley Evans from Paradise Community Church says: “We are scratching where people are itching.” That itch has a lot to do with the way Australians are feeling.

They do this by selling a message that is easy to buy: that Pentecostalism is about enjoying life now. In other words, if you embrace this brand of God, you will be rewarded financially and spiritually in this life, as well as the next. It is much easier to think that wealth and worldly success are signs of God’s favour than to wait for happiness in the afterlife, as most traditional religions preach. Ruth Powell, a manager at NCLS Research. (emphasis mine)

Now for Rick Warren – who is at this very moment attending the Hillsong Conference 2006 – has been quoted saying on the 4th of July 2006:

THERE is nothing wrong with being Christian and rich, says the Californian preacher Rick Warren, just so long as you give most of your wealth away. “I don’t think it is a sin to be rich, it’s a sin to die rich,” he told the Herald earlier. “I want people to make as much money as they can as long as they give it away as much as they can.” @Sydney Morning Herald

How Hillsong is aquiring its money is a question to be asked is it not? There does seem to be questionable use of government funds which would be only a small amount compared to much of the generated income for such a mega-church known for its music on a world wide scale.

According to news.com.au Hillsong is using Government grants which was supposed to goredflag1.gif towards helping the indigenous people but instead has salaried staff with only a small amount of the grant being used for its intended purpose. Now I am not saying that Hillsong is reaping all of its money from Government funds, far from it, that is another post all together. I am just pointing to an undercurrent that has been in the news of late, here it is:

Hillsong Emerge also recently parted ways with two larger federal grants for indigenous business development, in one case because Indigenous Business Australia discontinued it, and in another because Hillsong made a late decision not to reapply for funding.

Hillsong Emerge has threatened to sue Mr West over a column he wrote for a NSW union website, Workers Online, in which he canvassed some of the allegations he had raised in parliament.

He also mentioned the Government’s revelation that Hillsong Emerge had spent $315,000 in federal funds to cover the salaries of seven of its staff, who in one year provided only six loans to Aborigines worth an average of $2856 each. @news.com.au 29th April 2006.

***Update – Please see this link for Hillsong’s media release concerning these allegations. ***

Yes, the government is involved and some of our politicians are seeing red flags. The interesting thing is one of our leading politicians while pushing for parties votes during an election campaign was seen at Hillsong and singing their praises. His brother Rev Tim Costello however, had this to say about Brian Houston the Hillsong Church leader :

“I was a critic of Brian Houston’s book You Need More Money – God’s Financial Plan For Your Life. It was a ‘Jesus Gets You Rich Book’,” said Mr Costello. But other books by Mr Houston – such as God Has Set You Right and Positioned To Win – remain on sale. They show how material wealth in this world is not a bar to entering heaven. (emphasis mine) @theage.com

Politics and Religion do not mix and now since the red flag is up and waving Hillsong is avoiding the politicians like the plague during this years conference where Rick Warren is a special invited guest:

TODAY’S opening of the annual convention of Sydney’s largest evangelical congregation is to be a politician-free zone. A rollcall of five federal ministers, eight Liberal backbenchers, two Nationals Senate leaders and the then NSW premier turned up to the high-energy religious gathering last year.

But amid disquiet about the political influence of the Christian right, the senior pastor of Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, has not renewed the invitations.The church has come under intense parliamentary scrutiny, particularly from federal and NSW Labor for its use of federal grants for indigenous business start-ups and crime prevention.

Hillsong insists all its projects have been run successfully and with probity, but it lost a large federal grant amid the controversy.

The professor of sociology at Monash University, Gary Bouma, said Hillsong appeared to be treading more carefully in the ways it sought to influence society. “I think both politicians and Hillsong have been a little burned by being too close together.”@Sydney Morning Herald 3rd July 2006

Hmmmm….. Birds of a feather…..

Here is the web-site for the Hillsong Conference 2006

For more on Rick Warren and for more about his sharing the stage at the Hillsong Heretic Conference– For more on the Social Gospel

27 thoughts on “Rick Warren and Hillsong singing the same tune | Money Money Money!

  1. I know it is sad isn’t it. A lot of men start out really really good and then become I guess… worldly and that is when these things start to happen. Especially if people don’t even consider that teachers should be held accountable to what they preach.

    If teachers get away with just a little bit of worldliness it always leads to unsound doctrine.

    This has happened to so many churches around where I live. There is a saying “Man got in the way” I think that is really sad and we have to pray for the church.



  2. Hi, wondering if you would care to visit my friend’s blog, where there are some interesting emerging church / postmodern thoughts going on…

    I came to your blog via a comment you made regarding tallskinnykiwi

    Blessings and Thanks.


  3. brother (and I use that term losely as Christians are known by their love, not their doctrine!),

    You need to repent of your slander. You do not know Rick Warren well enough to make the statements you do about him!

    The man doesn’t even take a salary!


  4. How is this slander when I have quoted Rick Warrens own words in the Sydney Morning Herald and the concerns that our own Politians have regarding this mega-church!


  5. a simple reading of the very words you quote points out that Warren doesn’t say what you are saying about him…


  6. Rick Warrens agenda is a Social Gospel which has nothing biblical about it. He says this in his books:

    On page 267, Warren says, “God uses money to test your faithfulness as a servant. That is why Jesus talked more about money than he did about either heaven or hell.” Positively false! Warren also believes we can alter the appointed day of our Lord’s return. On page 286 he says, “If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.” To top it off, Warren says on page 300 of his book, “Shift from local thinking to global thinking. God is a global God.”

    Sadly, what is missing from Warren’s book is the message of contrition and true repentance, and that God will smite the world with judgement. Warren is a religious businessman and showman and reminds me of Phineas T. Barnum of circus fame. It was Barnum who supposedly said, “There is a sucker born every minute.” I feel so urged by the Holy Ghost to warn churches and pastors across this nation and overseas to stay in the Word of God. Do not be duped and driven by deceptive forces. Be led by the Spirit of God.

    Pastor David J. Meyer

    Distributed by:
    Last Trumpet Ministries
    PO Box 806
    Beaver Dam, WI 53916

    And has been noted as saying this which is a Social Gospel by its very definition:

    “The first Reformation clarified what we believe. This reformation is all about how we act and operate in the world. It involves the key components of purpose, decentralization, lay mobilization, use of technology, and continuous learning. Churches that change are thriving and growing more effective. Churches that refuse to change will miss the reformation, and are dying.”
    “The first Reformation was about belief; this one’s going to be about behavior…. The first one was about creeds; this one’s going to be about our deeds. The first one divided the church; this time it will unify the church.”

    If you cannot honestly see that this a Social Gospel then you have fallen into the Social Gospels agenda. Rick Warren uses eisegesis as a means to interpret the bible which means to read into the text, which is a more liberal subjective method – instead of using a more conservative exegetical (Greek to lead out of exegesis tends to be objective when employed effectively while eisegesis is regarded as highly subjective) method. Because of his methodology he falls short of being a good teacher. And biblically speaking, teachers are held accountable for what they teach and are judged all the more for it:

    Jam 3:1 My brothers do not be many teachers, knowing that we will receive greater judgment.

    What makes you think that Warren and others like him should not be tested against the Word of God when the Bereans being more noble actually tested Paul against scripture:

    Act 17:11 And these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they received the Word with all readiness, daily examining the Scriptures if these things are so.

    That Steve is what we should all do, test things against inspired scripture to see if these things are so.

    You Steve have said this on another post to me:

    Once again you fail to read what was written in plain english. Noone is asking you to agree to doctrine. I am saying you need to obey Christ’s command to love!

    Yet you fail to understand that Paul commands us to hold fast to sound doctrine:

    Tit 1:9 holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict the gainsayers.


  7. Oh… and my first love is for God and His word:

    Mar 12:30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul” and with all your mind, “and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. Deut. 6:4, 5

    And not for mans biblically unsound programs!


  8. ooooh this looks like a good blog too. I will check them out further, I am thinking of blogrolling them. They like Answers in Genesis, Moriel… and many others that I like too.

    Thanks for the link Carla



  9. I may not know a lot about whats going in in Australia but I know these guys are awesome. Jesus said by their fruits you will know them Matthew 7:16. They have plenty of fruits in my opinion and have awesome music. You can see the humbleness they carry by some of their songs. The teaching is very good as well. Its just said to say theres a lot of people who get hurt by a church or by members who go out and try to make that church or member look bad or say its unbiblical. And besides its not up to us to judge one another thats God’s job. just remember one things folks, you can always tell if a person is doing Gods will by their fruits. God Bless


  10. I think that we have a great God, and He gave us a life u know… And we just need balance. “u Need More Money: Discovering God’s Amazing Financial Plan for Your Life”
    is’n the only book written by ps. Brian Houston. Hillsong have a great and complete doctrina that we have to see.

    God no only left us the Pablo’s letters, he gave us the entire bible. Let’s read it!

    God Bless.


  11. Hi Steve-
    Your statement “You need to repent of your slander. You do not know Rick Warren well enough to make the statements you do about him!

    The man doesn’t even take a salary!

    Shows that you do not really know Rick Warren.
    Maybe you should check Ricks own writings Purpose Driven Life and Purpose Driven Church up to the light of Gods Word.
    Anyone who would use 12 different translations of the Bible in order to bend scripture to what he thinks -should have been a red flag to you.
    Tim Wirth


  12. ‘My people (Christians) perish through lack of knowledge’

    There is plenty to be learnt on the subject of Rick Warren & other contemplative leaders.
    I have found http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com to be incredibily onto it in regards to where The Church is heading now & in the future.

    Please take a minute to check it out for yourself because this site will show you where & who it all stems from

    Stay sharp & in the word, least you too be deceived.


  13. Lisa, thanks for your comment, I agree lighthouse research web-site carries a lot of information about doctrinal issues and whose who and who they are with etc.

    It takes books that the Church is now being indoctrinated by and examines them against scripture.

    I highly recommend that site.



  14. On youtube.com I found a pretty good clip that summarizes the problem with the purpose driven seeker sensitive church. It’s mainly about the willow creek association.
    Here it is:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfGef2j8xqA the user who did this has other videos too about this movement.
    I like this forum here. Very interesting comments. God bless each of you.


  15. Tony,

    Thanks for the link, I have seen this youtube before… only a few days ago.

    It is well done.

    Thanks for stopping by and I am pleased to hear that you like this forum. It is much debated topic around the the WWW.


  16. My spirit gets a little tweeked when I read and listen to some of what Rick Warren and other very popular writers/pastors have to say…

    I think the danger lies in allowing a formula like “the Purpose Driven Life” or “Payer of Jabez” or others like it to govern our lives without gauging their assertations against scripture.

    God wants us all to be blessed, yes! But, that doesn’t mean there are cute little formulas from famous men that will get us there…

    We need to practice discernment and prayerfully consider all that we read outside of scripture when deciding how to live out our lives.


  17. Most of these allegations are outright lies, and the sources have no foundation. the prosecution always seems true until the defendant speaks. please read the media responses section at http://www.hillsong.com and allow the church to answer some of your questions instead of taking accusations at face value.


  18. Here is the link from Hillsong about the allegations made against them.

    Responses from the Department of Employment & Workplace Relations to the Blacktown City Sun

    We believe we have become the scapegoat in a political game.

    We reject categorically the claims that have been made against Hillsong by a national newspaper who seem to be on a witch-hunt with no regard to the facts. These are serious allegations of an unethical, immoral and in some cases, illegal nature which are false and cannot be substantiated. We believe this is a weak attempt to discredit and slur the good name of a community organisation that is genuinely committed to providing help, support and answers to people.

    According to all communication we have had with the Attorney General’s Department, Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) and the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Hillsong Emerge has met all the objectives of the projects it has received funding for, and we have always met the reporting and governance criteria outlined by the government. In fact, a recent letter from IBA regarding the Micro-enterprise Development (MED) pilot we conducted on their behalf stated: “The IBA Board were pleased with the learning achieved from the pilot.” The results of this pilot were also audited by KPMG.


  19. The Pentecostal Church has suffered from the lack of Theologians in the Church (since a high-powered music Church isn’t expected to attract people who sit down and study Theology).

    Brooke Fraser and Jeremy Shum is an exception. He has written a VERY good response, in my opinion, http://www.hillsongtheology.com/


  20. Pingback: Draconian Canada! « Living Journey

  21. I think it’s very unfair to paint all pentecostals under one brush. I am, and also know a lot of pentecostal people who are not into the prosperity gospel! Many of these people sacrifice and support missions and ask nothing in return. It is unfornuate the author of the article had to make it sound like all pentecostals are the same. As far as theologians in the pentecostal church, there is Gordon Fee and Jack Deere, both very good. Although Deere has unfortunately put himself in the company of some that are suspicious, his books are excellent and do a tremendous job of showing why the gifts of the Spirit are for today.


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