Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Screen Door On A Submarine - The Hillsong Faith Statement

Stop the press! Just when I thought I had finished with my series on the false gospel of Hillsong some intriguing videos were drawn to my attention. Many of you have been reading my series over the last few weeks where I have exposed Hillsong's shameful editing of Scripture. Equally shameful was the blatant contradiction between their faith statement and the gospel presented in their massively popular worship CDs. This contradiction was so bad that Hillsong's faith statement actually defines their gospel presentation as a false gospel. This is an extremely serious matter for people who publically represent stewardship of the Christian faith.

Robert Fergusson, who Brian Houston (their senior pastor) used to write their faith statement, actually engaged in some correspondence with me. He is one of the most prominent preacher/teachers at the Hillsong mothership in Sydney. Fergusson's e-mails ultimately revealed (click here to read the correspondance) that Hillsong's faith statement is as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike or a screen door on a submarine. It gives the cosmetic effect of orthodoxy all the while serving no practical purpose whatsoever (it is a lesson to all of us to make sure that our churches have orthodox creeds and that the teaching submits to those creeds).

Even though Fergusson ultimately decided to deal with my questions by ignoring them, one of the readers on this blog drew my attention to this intriguing video . . .

So, clearly, Fergusson outwardly professes that their faith or creedal statement should be the driving force behind the message they communicate. But his apologetic with the Anglican minister was amazing - listen to some of our other CDs! What a great way to answer a legitimate theological question - NOT! Furthermore, it was interesting to note that Fergusson stressed the importance of teaching the theology of the Trinity in their songs. Robert, if the Trinity is so important then why did you invite this guy as your main speaker?????

That's right, TD Jakes, the keynote speaker at this year's Hillsong conference doesn't even believe in the Trinity. He is what is known as a modalist, someone who denies the three distinct Persons of the Trinity by describing them as three manifestations. TD Jakes' modalist presentation of God is clearly not the God of Scripture and therefore an idol. Modalism is a heresy that was denounced in the fourth century AD by the Athanasian Creed ( and was punishable by death during the reformation. But in 2010 it qualifies you as a keynote speaker at a Hillsong conference!


truth mission said...

It seems the only doctrine that matters in some places ,is the doctrine on how to draw a crowd.I'm wondering how long it might be before we have the Pope as a keynote speaker.

Matthias said...

So TD Jakes is a Oneness Pentecostal i take it,and Robert Fergusson teaches underwater basketweaving to snow leopards.
Both need to re familarize themselves with the Historic creeds of the church .Better still ,get down on thier knees with tus and ask for forgiveness

Anonymous said...

He probably hasn't been asked to speak about the Trinity.

- Gary

Shaun RW Little said...

I found a quote in which Jakes seems to imply that faith in Christ is not the only way to be saved. Apparently while in a discussion with a Muslim woman, the woman asked:

"...And also would like to ask you, do you feel that only Christians could hope to enter Heaven?"

Jakes replied:

"Very great question. When it comes to interfaith experiences, I'm currently serving by the appointment of former President Bush and President Clinton, as co-chair of an interfaith advisory committee to help people get back up on their feet.

And we do have on the board Muslims, Catholics, a Jewish Rabbi, Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals across the board. And we're working together very effectively because we all care about common goals. We have our distinct theologies and our own ideologies but there are common grounds that we can work together very effectively in many, many cases.

When it comes to Heaven, I try to leave that up to God. I certainly believe that Christianity is right, but when it comes down to the final test--who goes and who doesn't go--Jesus said, Other sheep have I who are not of this fold. Them also must I bring. I'll let Him identify who those sheep are and I stay out of the conversation."


Shaun RW Little said...


I'm guessing he'll be preaching something similar to this:

Somehow he managed to twist the story of the floating axehead to have something to do with sending him money...

I wonder if the offering buckets at Hillsong will float with all the holes in the bottoms.

Unknown said...

I find it interesting that he says that the scripture teaches we are to worship God in spirit. The Bible I read says we are to worship God in spirit AND IN TRUTH. There is a big difference.

Matthias said...

Obviously the word TRUTH is flexible for Hillsong.

gandalf said...

"So, clearly, Fergusson outwardly professes that their faith or creedal statement should be the driving force behind the message they communicate."

Why "outwardly"? I mean, do you know if he is honestly saying that or not? As long as we do not really know, we should assume people mean what they say. However, this opens up the other question even more prominently:
What about the inconsistencies in practically following their creed?

I do not know from afar if Fergusson is personally influential in choosing conference guest speakers which were quite often horrible in past years (Joel Osteen, to name one). Maybe they had done better sometimes to send some of their own folks instead.
But it may show up in the end, that there is simply not so much weight and attention put on these things and priorities are confused:
1. What will keep people coming in droves
2. What makes them happy (music, entertainment, community)
3. What makes them feel good about God
999. What needs to be said to them about the fall, the redemption, and the restoration of each person and the whole earth

The speakers they had wers surely meeting the first bullet points. At least with a solid majority of their conference visitors, that's my guess.

Two further observations:
On the internet "tag clouds are becoming increasingly popular to denote key vocabulary used e.g. by bloggers. You'll find such tag clouds at the Hillsong website and they are very telling. On this URL

it shows a tag cloud with Hillsong logo that has neither God or Jesus appear at all, and unlike the actual one that can be seen on the websites presently.

On Hillsong TY Brian Houston has two part sermon about "No more Excuses". This at least contains a bit of solid preaching and is a bit challenging to people.

My general feeling is that the story of Hillsong is quite complex and it's not easy to give any simple conclusion or even judgment.

Anonymous said...

Hello, as you can see this is my first post here.
Hope to get some assistance from you if I will have any quesitons.
Thanks and good luck everyone! ;)

Cameron Buettel said...

@gandalf if you remember my earlier posts, I did give Fergusson the benefit of the doubt for quite a while. I even delayed this series while I engaged in private correspondance. But Fergusson has shown himself to be someone who is not willing to engage the subject and would rather ignore it. He amazingly denied that the gospel presentation lacked repentance! He would not even discuss the issue of the Scripture that had repentance edited out of it - he pretended it wasn't there. He dealt with the Anglican priest by telling him to listen to some other Hillsong CDs.

I appreciate your caution because we should always be before levelling the charges I have. I exercised a lot of caution prior to posting this series. I have also written to Fergusson regarding Jakes. But I've heard nothing back. This has all been head in the sand stuff.

Anonymous said...

Cameron I don't really see any fruit from these blog posts. If you truly believe that what Hillsong teaches is so wrong, wouldn't it be far more effective to pray for them instead of slandering them online where the whole world can see "those crazy christians fighting again".


truth mission said...

Jesus publicly rebuked false teachers as did Paul.Many have communicated their concerns to Hillsong privately ,myself included, but there must come a time when God's precious people are warned.Eternal issues are at stake and that trumps peoples feelings or the concern of "what will people think"

Shaun RW Little said...

Not only Jesus and Paul but also John named names as he "slandered" Diotrephes in the 3rd letter of John.

You have very little understanding of what "fruit" is if you say Cameron is wasting his time doing what scripture commands us to do. It's best to nip the bud of a bad fruit before it ripens and goes to seed.

Cameron and many others are laboring to rescue the true meaning of what it means to be Christian from the counterfeit and apostate visible church which is so popular in these dark times.

Surely this prophecy of Isaiah applies to the day we live in today:

"...judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment." - Isaiah 59":14-15

and you say:

"Those Christians are fighting again..."

Who's to say that I even consider some of the leadership at Hillsong to be my brethren? I certainly don't consider TD Jakes to be my brother in Christ... or Joel Osteen for that matter (especially not Kenneth Copeland). I question if they aren't actually ministers of the devil masquerading as ministers of light.

That's not to say that there aren't genuine Christians seasoned amongst them, and that leads me to another reason why it is our duty to point out things contrary to the Word and will of God: Namely, because it is my sincere hope that someone among them might receive enlightenment and begin to question the dodgy doctrines and conduct of many modern day ministers who are leading people straight to hell.

You cry "Peace peace" but what kind of peace can we have apart from the truth sir? Our peace must be found in the unity of the truth. Cameron isn't bringing up secondary issues, he's bringing up some important things, but the majority just wants to feel good...

This feel good Gospel is going to send millions of professing Christians to the sides of the pit.

Look at the first chapter and Jeremiah. When God laid His hand upon Jeremiah's lips. Observe the ministry he was given:

"See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant." - Jer 1:10

You see he was given a ministry of both pulling down that which was evil and establishing that which is good.

Let's say you had a field of thorns, and I came along and bulldozed and tilled your field. Then you come out and say "Hey I really I don't see any fruit in all that bulldozing and tilling. It looks like your just tearing stuff up! Some farmer you are!"

but if you were looking ahead you would see that it was only my desire to remove that which was evil, that I may plant that which is good. I can't sow good fruit among the thorns...

But hey, if all that dozing and tilling is to negative for you, then I'll go labor elsewhere... I hope you like eating briers and thorns. I bet they're full of fiber.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.
-James 1:26-27

I'd love to see you focus more on this.

Unknown said...

Hey Anonymous,
Christians reaching out to the poor, homeless, and destitute; giving aid to victims of natural disasters is something that the church has historically been very very good at. It's something that the Church has, for the most part, gotten right.

Furthermore, why do are you assuming that Cameron does not reach out to the homeless and loveless. Should he boast about his charity on a blog?

Grow up and read your Bible, you're ignoring quite a bit of it.

Anonymous said...

Jesse I did not suggest at all that Cameron is not doing this. I did not suggest for him to "boast" about this, I am simply saying that I would like to read about this sort of thing and be inspired to do more and inspire others to do more. But instead, like yourself with your "grow up" comment, it's like Sean said, it's just Christians arguing with each other.

Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!

Anonymous said...

Good evening

Awesome blog, great write up, thank you!

James S said...

"...and guard against corruption from the godless world."

Even in your choice of scripture to back up your point (which is false) you prove that Cameron is right.

By doing as God has commanded in the scriptures, marking out the false teachers, Cameron is guarding against corruption from the godless world.

Londoner said...

And TD Jakes is back again at Hillsong Conference Europe 2011... and it still doesn't seem to bother anybody...

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