My Online "Discussion" With Hillsong's Executive Pastor (Part 3)
There are two pictures that can be seen above. Can you tell the difference? I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but I think I can tell the difference. One is about preference and the other is perfect. One is defined by the consumer and the other defines the consumer. One changes daily according to the tastes of men and the other is the same "yesterday, today, and forever" according to the eternal sovereign decrees of God. One is a Buffet and the other is a Bible - can you see the difference?
No, I am not trying to insult the intelligence of the vast array of discerning readers who frequent this blog! But I am suggesting that there are some people high up in the Hillsong enterprise who definitely need their eyes checked. One of the most serious allegations I have levelled against "Hillsong" is their treatment of Scripture as something that they can pick and choose from to reinforce the theology that they have already invented as Brian Houston can ably demonstrate:
I won't comment on that video since Tom Hanks was able to sum it up so well . . .
Twisting Scripture is bad enough. But Hillsong took it to a whole new level on their "Mighty To Save" CD where they decided to indulge in editing God's sacred word! As Hillsong emblazoned 2 Chronicles 7:14 on the back cover of their liner notes, I noticed that the verse seemed somewhat abbreviated. It read:
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
By checking in my Bible I found this verse to be incomplete and is missing the following words in CAPITAL LETTERS:
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face AND TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
It would seem that Hillsong's aversion to the vital biblical subject of repentance extends a long way. Scripture itself has some interesting things to say about this practice of using liquid white-out for a Bible highlighter:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)
You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2)
"Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it." (Deuteronomy 12:32)
Do not add to His words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:6)
"Thus says the LORD: Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the LORD all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word." (Jeremiah 26:2)
But what did the people at Hillsong have to say for themselves? Well, in my correspondence with Robert Fergusson (their main theological heavyweight), I brought the subject up several times. Fergusson used a very interesting apologetical approach - just ignore my question! Now I have read some books on Christian apologetics but I cannot recall ever hearing about the "pretend the guy never said anything" approach. Later on I experienced the same problem in my online correspondence with Joel A'Bell (Hillsong's Executive Pastor). After much perseverence I finally heard something on the subject. Not from Pastor Joel but from Joseph De Araujo (who seems to be one of Joel's preferred "Hillsong defenders"). Joseph wrote:
I don't think it is intentional though (leaving out parts of scripture), and this is something we need to understand too. But this must be addressed. If we are to communicate the whole message, sure we can change the language so that the modern reader can understand, but we can't cut bits out. I think in a real sense, this is about quality control, someone should have proof read that, and said, "Hey, there's a bit missing." Good quality control will get rid of any mistakes like this. The solution is simple, get more editors, proof readers - get more excellence in quality control.(emphasis mine)
So what do you think? Is this purely an accidental mistake that can be rectified through "more editors and proof readers" or is there a theological element to this subject? Love your feedback before I continue this series on Wednesday. This is a big deal and needs to be pursued . . .