Hillsong Conference – Sydney’s Greatest Promoter of False Teaching

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Next week up to 30,000 people will attend the Hillsong Sydney Conference. That has to make it Sydney’s largest Christian conference. Our family are regular attenders at the excellent CMS Summer School in Katoomba but the numbers there, while still big, are dwarfed by Hillsong.

All of this should be great cause for rejoicing. After all, the idea of tens of thousands of Christians gathering to worship the Lord and hear from His word ought to fill the heart with much gladness – at least if you’re a Christian.

And, for many, it does. But it ought not to. On the contrary. Because Hillsong Conference’s legacy is one of promoting some of the most pernicious false teachers and heretics of modern Christianity and to take part in that promotion must surely by utterly out of bounds for any self-respecting Christian once they’re aware of the details. Of course to some this sounds quite nonsensical. Dave Walker sums it up well


But this isn’t just a question of taste. The Scriptures are clear on what ought to be done about false teachers. Here’s just a small sample,

Matt. 7:15   “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Gal. 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

1Tim. 6:3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4 they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5 and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

2John 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.

The teaching of Jesus and His apostles is that we ought to be very wary of false teachers; those that deny the gospel, seek personal gain, and otherwise teach things contrary to the truth. We ought to have nothing to do with them at all, not even having them in our homes (let alone our stadium). Hillsong Conference, on the other hand, promotes many who fall into this category. It does so consistently and by grandstanding them advocates their teaching to those who come and others who look to them for leadership.

Now that is an enormous claim and it requires some substantial justification. But, dear reader, it’s actually not hard to do (although it will require a bit of time, so pour something into a glass or cup and let me make the case). The internet is awash with evidence for anyone who wants to do even a modicum of work. One cannot claim to be ignorant of the issues nor answers to those issues when the stakes are so high and the answers to the questions so easy to obtain.

The list of Hillsong Conference guests/speakers is publicly available. It should be noted that there are many speakers and musicians who should be heartily recommended and I see a few personal favourites there (although some may be disappointed that they’ve chosen to share a conference stage with some others who are there). But alongside them there’s also many who we should be really worried about as Christians. There’s not space here to go through every example but allow me to set out a number of particular interest, “lowlights” if you like.

clicking on the bullets will expand to show more information on each teacher

[toggle title=”Kong Hee”]kongheeKong Hee is the senior pastor of City Harvest Church in Singapore, currently embroiled in a large fraud case before the Singapore courts. He is known as a prosperity gospel teacher, consistently teaching that Jesus wishes to “prosper” Christians by giving them every financial, career and health blessing. Consistent with this theology, his own website describes him as having a

…deep and authentic relationship with his Abba Father that makes him more than a preacher, but a spiritual model to many of what it means to lay down your life and follow Christ.

Critiques of Kong Hee are legion (here’s just one example). Videos abound but here is just one classic example of his prosperity teaching. It has all the usual stuff drawing from Old Testament promises with no sense of the difference that the New Covenant makes (other than a closing “if so in the Old, how much more in the New?” claim.

“Friends, because we become like whom we worship, if we worship a poor Saviour, we will always see poor. But if you worship a savior who we know to be rich and prosperous and more then enough, we will be changed from glory to glory [applause starts], into the image of the one that we worship. Oh come on! Give God a big hand! ”

(9 reason y Jesus is rich, (02:56-03:35), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcOEBSmZbuQ, posted up 27/04/2010, (accessed 23/03/2011))


[toggle title=”Joyce Meyer”]joycemeyerJoyce Meyer is, quite literally, infamous. She describes herself as

one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. ANew York Times bestselling author, her books have helped millions of people find hope and restoration through Jesus Christ. Through Joyce Meyer Ministries, she teaches on a number of topics with a particular focus on the mind, mouth, moods and attitudes.

Criticism ranges from her spending habits (flowing from a prosperity gospel) to bizarre teaching. Again, google and youtube are our friends and this video is more than enough to demonstrate the case.

CARM have other useful material.

[Jesus] could have helped himself up until the point where he said I commend my spirit into your hands, at that point he couldn’t do nothing for himself anymore. He had become sin, he was no longer the Son of God. He was sin.


The minute that blood sacrifice was accepted Jesus was the first human being that was ever born again,


I was listening to a set of tapes by one man and he explained it like this..this kind of gets the point across…he said why do people have such a fit about God calling his creation, his creation, his man not his whole creation, but his man, little gods? If he’s God what’s he going to call them but the God kind? I mean if you as a human being have a baby you call it a human kind. If if [sic] cattle has another cattle they call it cattle kind. I mean what is God supposed to call ’em? Doesn’t the Bible say we are created in his image? Now you understand I am not saying you are god with a capital G. That is not the issue here so don’t go trying to stone me or yell blasphemy at me.” “The Bible says right here John 10:34…’and Jesus answered is it not written in your law I say we are gods.’ So men are called God’s by the law…”(Joyce Meyer).


The Bible can’t even find any way to explain this. Not really that is why you have got to get it by revelation. There are no words to explain what I am telling you. I have got to just trust God that he is putting it into your spirit like he put it into mine.



[toggle title=”T.D. Jakes”]”Bishop” jakesT.D. Jakes is a Oneness Pentacostal (modalist/Sabellian) preacher from Atlanta Georgia and the chief pastor at The Potters House church. He was recently the focal point of a controversy amongst evangelicals where many perceived he was not adequately questioned on the Elephant Room show.

His modalism has been much reviewed and the following is a typical example.

Put simply, Jakes denies the Doctrine of the Trinity and, when given opportunity to clarify if he believes the orthodox doctrine, failed to use it to reassure. For Jakes that means that the title of “false teacher” is not sufficient. Those that deny the Trinity have been referred to by the Christian church as heretics.

CRI also has a helpful primer [pdf] as does Tim Challies.

There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

The Potter’s House Belief Statement

writing in 2011, Thabiti Anyabwile remarks,

The brief exposition that follows uses typical Modalist or Oneness language referring to God as “Triune in his manifestations” but not in his Person.

Outside of this doctrinal statement, Jakes rarely explicates the theology informing his ministry. In one place, he writes, “One of the greatest controversies in all the Bible concerns the Godhead.”[5]  He explains his sense of the controversy with rhetorical questions intended to undermine the credibility of trinitarian doctrine: “If there is one God, as Scripture teaches, how can there be a Son who says that He and His Father are one? If there is only one God, how can there be ‘three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one’?”[6]

At every opportunity that Jakes has had to clarify that he is not a modalist and believes in the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, it has simply not been taken. Only one conclusion is possible.


[toggle title=”Steven Furtik”]Steven-FurtickSteven Furtick is pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte. Increasingly linked with the Word-Faith movement.

Most recently Elevation Church was demonstrated to be using “fake baptisms” in order to persuade visitors to participate in “spontaneous baptisms.

Furtick has also been accused of seeming to build an unquestioning personality cult around his “visionary leadership”.

The very recently removed “Our Code – United under the Visionary” of  Elevation Worship stated

We Are United Under The Visionary: Elevation is built on the vision God gave Pastor Steven.  We will aggressively defend our unity and his vision… We believe that God’s given Pastor Steven the vision of where he wants to take Elevation’s ministry.  And the Lord’s called us all here to use our gifts and strengths corporately as a way of seeing that vision come to life…

We’re not partially tied into Elevation, or partially behind Pastor Steven’s vision.  We feel called to support him and what the Lord’s doing here. Worship leaders, we’ve said it before….GET BEHIND YOUR PASTOR.  Support him and the vision God’s given him…

[God] desires a unified spirit between your entire staff and your pastor.  Invest your heart and soul into that ministry.  Pour yourself out in support of the visionary.

Children had this picture to colour in as part of the ministry:



[toggle title=”Joel Osteen”]joel-osteen Joel Osteen is pastor of Lakewood Church, Texas. It’s really hard to have any exposure to American evangelicalism without hearing about Osteen, let alone being aware of the criticism about him. He became chief pastor of his father’s church upon his tragicly sudden death. He had little or no preaching experience let alone formal theological education and yet was elevated to a senior pastoral position.

WhiteHorseInn have a helpful analysis of much that is troubling about Osteen’s ministry.

Todd Friel of Wretched Radio gives us this which makes the point eminently well about just how squishy Osteen is…

Osteen is also famous for promoting a version of “Word of Faith” theology:

“The secret is to enlarge your vision. Are you satisfied with that little house you’re in? You shouldn’t be. You should want the sort of mansion the Osteens live in. You should expect people to go out of their way to help you—then they will.

You must also “discover the power of your thoughts and words.” If you beat yourself up all the time, if you don’t think yourself worthy of divine abundance, God won’t give it. God helps us, to be sure, but we must help ourselves first. You must “let go of the past.” Rather than being consumed with bitterness, you have to forgive and move on.

Finally, you must “choose to be happy.” You can’t put it off till tomorrow or till that next financial milestone is reached. You should smile a lot, and good things will come your way. You also must work hard, for God won’t bless someone who’s slothful. You have to be a person of excellence. Arrive at work early, leave late, respect your boss, don’t waste time on the job—then you’ll be promoted and then you’ll be happier.”

Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential



We could go on and speak about Joseph Prince, Reinhard Bonnke and so on but I trust the point is made. This is not the occasional mistake or blip. This is a repeated invitation to speak at Hillsong’s premiere event. These men and women are there specifically to “refresh and inspire” those attending. Yet they are widely recognised as false teachers and deniers of key doctrine.

Simply and clearly put, Hillsong deliberately and repeatedly embraces those the Scriptures describe as being accursed. They welcome those we are told to have nothing to do with. They promote wolves amongst the flock of God and hand the flock over to be devoured.

All of this is a terrible disappointment because the Hillsong Conference is such an opportunity. Their advertising video this year is quite excellent:

Indeed, there is no other name (Acts 4:12). But the promotion of Jesus is utterly undermined by the simultaneous promotion of those who teach against the truth of Jesus or His distinct divine personage and Sonship. The latter is not overlooked because of the former. Rather, it destroys it.

What does that mean for us?

  1. We cannot encourage our fellow believers to attend. More than that, we ought to strongly urge them not to go. Yes, there will be many things at the Hillsong Conference that in their own right are good and true. Yes, I have no doubt the gospel will at some point be clearly preached. But such open advocacy of false teaching means the conference is, surely, off limits.
  2. We cannot endorse the conference. The Conference itself is an act of repeated disobedience since it deliberately violates the Scriptural warning to not welcome false teachers. Rather it endorses that false teaching by endorsing the false teachers.
  3. We ought to continue to call the organisers and promotors of the Hillsong Conference to repentance. They promote the ministry of those who teach falsehood. They do this despite the many many times they have been challenged on the matter.
  4. We cannot in any way claim ignorance. This controversy has been going on for too long, has been discussed in too many places, is too well documented and discoverable, to allow anyone to claim that they just didn’t know once the matter has been raised. This is particularly true of those of us who have pastoral responsiblity. We are to take great care over the flock entrusted to us (1Peter 5:1-3) and to refute those who teach error (Titus 1:9). We are simply not permitted to remain silent over this; it would be to leave the sheep unattended. We do not have an excuse.
  5. We cannot fall back on the confidence that since there is a declaration that “Jesus is Lord” everything is ok. Yes, many of those speaking at the conference will make exactly that confession but it is not one made in a vacuum and without context. The Lordship of Jesus means specific things and brings specific things to those to whom it is beneficially applied. A false teacher may claim that Jesus is Lord and genuinely believe and mean it and yet his/her teaching may then utterly undermine how we understand that Lordship affects our lives. They may make the claim and yet be referring to a different Jesus, not the eternal Son and Word of the one God who is yet three persons. “Jesus is Lord” is not a confession that may be hid behind to ignore these matters any more than I may hide behind my wife in order to not deal with the intruder who has come to disgrace her.

The title of this piece describes the Hillsong Conference as Sydney’s greatest promotor of false teaching. If even half of what is written here is true then I very sadly suggest that the charge is more than proven. Where or when else in Sydney do so many Christians meet together in these numbers? When or where else in Sydney are so many different false teachers brought together on a regular basis?

When or where in Sydney, and beyond, will those in positions of responsibility and leadership in the church take a firmer stand or these matters in obedience to the Scriptures, for the honour of the reputation of Christ and His gospel and for the sake of His church?

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This Post Has 197 Comments

  1. Tara Jane

    Great thoughts. Lots to take away and process! Does this also mean, based on the argument that endorsing Hillsong is to endorse an endorser of false teaching, that you would encourage Christians and churches to not sing Hillsong songs in their congregations? Curious to see what you think. 🙂

  2. David Ould

    hi Tara Jane. I think that's a really tricky one (and certainly something buzzing around in the background in my head while writing). I honestly don't know. Perhaps as with other things, the more you actually know about things like this the more you feel like you're endorsing something wrong. I've never felt the personaly need to NOT have Hillsong material (although it's not really my style so that's more the reason I don't use it much).

    But it's worth thinking through. For example there was great debate in the US in the 1990s over music from Philips Craig and Dean, another set of Oneness Pentacostals. They wrote some great stuff but you soon realise than when they speak about "Father" "God" "Son" etc they mean something else. Once you see that their material (at least I think) becomes difficult to use. I'm not saying, however, that Hillsong is in the same category. Just that it's more about what people perceive is going on.

    However, if people thought that my use of Hillsong music was a clear endorsement of their movement – well then I'd stop using it.

    1. You know its easy to have a blog where you denigrate, slander and point out the speck in fellow Christians eyes, while ignoring the PLANK in our own!! I am disgusted to say the least with the slanderous and FALSE statements concerning Christian Leaders and Ministries on this site. You should be repenting in sack cloth and ashes for your Judgments, and your tearing apart the Body of Christ!! Christ weeps over you that is all I can say! Many of those you slander are Lovers of Jesus and of His Body! How Dare you speak with such unloving disprespect simply because you hold some different Doctines!! GOD FORGIVE YOU!! Who Needs Satan as the Accuser when we have you!!

      1. Quentin

        Hi Maureen,

        I cannot speak on David’s behalf, but I don’t believe, based upon the teachings of the Bible, the word of God, that these so called “Christian” leaders are true Christian leaders. They each peddle a fake message of health, wealth and happiness in this life, when the Bible clearly teaches us that our true blessing is in the life to come. Yes, God provides good things in this life, but they are to be enjoyed, not pursued.

        They may claim to be lovers of Jesus, but without having sat under their teaching, and only having read excerpts of their teaching on Facebook and on the web, it appears that the Jesus they love is not Jesus Christ the Son of God who died on the cross to bring us the blessing of eternal life with God. The Jesus they follow seems to be one who guarantees earthly blessings, and that is not the Jesus revealed in the Bible.

        David is right in pointing out these particular men and women who hold to different doctrines, because these are false doctrines which do not lead to eternal life.

        1. SavedChangedByGRACE

          Other people’s reason for not accepting the gospel is because of even Christians is tearing down one another by accusations and judgement to fellow Christians.

          I can’t think none but one reason. Is it trying to prove themselves they are knowledgeable than others and gain fame? God forbid!

          Do we really have to fight over some doctrines? I hope and pray that all who believes in Christ must go beyond beliefs and doctrine! Is it not what is important is they Preach Jesus and many lives are turning to God and changing?!
          I am part of that! I can proudly say that I really experienced the real change under Joseph Prince’s ministry! Thank God for him! It’s not about the man but the message God has given him.

          I am a pastor’s kid. And I live a miserable life. My heart is far frm the Lord though I am attending church every sunday and have my ministry. I am under stealing, gumbling, sexual immorality and pornography. But when I watched a sermon by Pastor Prince at hillsong conference and everything has changed. Praise Jesus!

          My thoughts about God has changed and my life has changed!

          So please can you stop this ? Let’s all love one another, go beyond beliefs and doctrine. We are all part of the body of Christ! Let’s just pray for them.

          Godbless You !

          1. Yahya

            haters will always be haters, fuelled by pure jealousy. Hillsong are the crusaders of Australia in 2016 and looking at their numbers, they are richly blessed by YA*EH. Let us not be slanderers of our fellow christian brothers and sisters. On the other hand, the Coptic Orthodox churches are also saying that you are heretics! By the way, i am a baptist (am still attending a baptist church in sydney) and i had never attended a hillsong church service in australia. Let us not be ‘jealous’ of them based on their sheer numbers. shalom alacheim

          2. Mrs. Rapp

            It is wonderful that your life has changed. The Lord is Holy and merciful. One cannot “go beyond beliefs…” though.
            John 14:6 English Standard Version (ESV)
            6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

            I know very little about this issue, but am seeking, Lord willing, the Truth.

            2 Peter 2:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)
            False Prophets and Teachers
            2 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

          3. Mrs. Rapp

            SavedchangedByGrace, It is wonderful that The Lord has changed your life. I pray that you know, believe in, and have faith in Jesus and His finished work on the Cross.

            One cannot go beyond beliefs as God’s Word says in John 14:6 English Standard Version (ESV),
            6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”

            Romans 10:9-13 (ESV) “9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

      2. Chris Sherlock

        You know what’s even easier than maintaining a blog that”where you denigrate, slander and point out the speck in fellow Christians eyes”? Commenting on it.

        1. David Ould

          hi Chris,

          Well, perhaps. It’s even easier to make a huge accusation, not so easy to back it up.

          1. A Blote

            I don’t need my opinions to argue with you. The bible refutes your accusations and arguments every time. It breaks my heart that Christians are turning against one another. Seek Him please I beg of you. Really listen to God the Father, Jesus the Son & the Holy Spirit and discover what really matters in this short space of time we have left to reach the lost. God bless you David!

      3. mark spears

        Such a gentle rebuke 🙂

  3. Philip Griffin

    Hi David, I cannot in conscience use Hillsong music because I will not be financial partners with those who partner with false teachers, and thus I won’t pay royalties to Hillsong song writers. I’d encourage you to stop using their music as I think it does suggest at least some endorsement.

    1. David Ould

      hi Philip,

      I actually can’t remember the last time I used their music! But I take your point.

    2. Rob Lloyd

      Hi Philip, I presume you drive a car? Do you know exactly where the petrol for your car comes from? Most oil is produced in Islamic countries, so in essence by purchasing petrol for your car, your financing could, not saying it does, cover a range of operations all the way from terrorists to Islamic ‘evangelism’. Does this mean you stop buying petrol completely and ride a bicycle? I doubt most of us would.

      This article more than illustrates that Christians are tribal. Christians stick to your own, endorse their own, and anything that is outside that box, that’s different, is put into the heretical or too hard basket. Are our own personal ministries any better theologically? How do we know? Isn’t it biased to think so? It’s like the minister who started pastoring a church 300-400 people and over a series of years had the numbers drop down to double digits, insisting that he wasn’t the problem that it was everyone else? Isn’t the love of Christ supposed to be infectious and inclusive, but insert the cliche ‘Quality over quantity’ right?

      I’m sorry, it’s stuff like this saying, we’re right, they’re wrong kind of preaching that annoys the heck out of me. Don’t we ALL have to give an account for all our actions on judgement day? How do we know what we teach is right? Don’t we all just teach denominationally anyway? Are we any better or worse than one another? Everyone has their own personal struggles in what they’re dealing with, just some people are in a bigger spotlight than others. I’m sure if we were individually asked to come preach at Hillsong Conference, how easy would it be then for others to gain a scope as to how truthful our theology really is.

      I’ve found the longer in the church you get, the more judgmental you become, possibly even bitter. All the Bible Studies in the world aren’t going to make someone’s theology perfect, because we are in the end human aren’t we. Do we pride ourselves in this knowledge then that we know something others don’t and in essence start worshiping the Bible rather than the One who gave it to us to be our handbook. We all come to know Jesus through different ways. Is one better than the other? Is being born-again through illumination and revelation of the scriptures any better than ‘feeling the presence of God’ and walking down on an altar call?

      It’s funny cause the Christians I see doing most of the evangelism today are those that are newly born-again and want to share the love of Jesus with everyone and anyone. What biblical training have they had? All they know is that Jesus loves them and they want to make sure their friends don’t to go to hell. Are we going to tell them they can’t because they need to do 3-4 years of seminary and lead a Bible Study before they can walk out the front doors of the church? I thought our commission at the end of the day was to be fishers of men, not keeps of the aquarium.

      I’m not justifying Hillsong Conference, or any of the speakers you’ve highlighted. Just saying, it’s far too easy to be a critic in this world. All you have to do is look word-for-word, line-for-line, find the smallest minute discrepancy in anyone’s preaching, and you’ve got some minister writing a blog about you. Christians have enough struggles in this world today from militant atheists, who would probably use your blog as a reason to disbelieve. Most of the stuff you find on the internet that’s negative about churches are misinterpreted, misunderstood. Does it mean it’s right or wrong? How do we know a persons true motives really are? Only God knows.

      John Dickson, who I’m sure you know, to my knowledge attended Hillsong Conference for the first time last year and was completely blown away. A conference in which T.D Jakes spoke. I thought it was general for anyone in which no matter how much you like or dislike a preacher is to go away and think for yourself what they said, not what others say about it. John even encouraged the Hillsong Songwriters to write a song based on the Apostles Creed, in which they did called ‘This I Believe’. Are you going to stop associating with John now?

      All in all, every time you step out of the house is a risk. So it is in our personal home as well as our church. It’s not for us to become too comfortable that we make fun or be critical of everyone who’s trying and become barking dogs, but do our best to encourage them. Is what we believe so shallow that we can’t walk into another denominations conference and take at least 1 good thing away? If you can’t then I feel sorry for you. It’s the Christian culture that needs to change NOW and not when Jesus comes back.

      1. David Ould

        Thanks for your comment Rob. Since you didn’t actually address the specific arguments made in the post I really don’t see how I can help you.

        1. Rob Lloyd

          You are correct. This was a general response to what you said. I don’t care about your arguments cause they’re moot in my opinion. For the fact you bring up a guy (Kong Hee) who last preached at Hillsong Conference 11 years ago says a lot.

          I’m going to tell you a story. My sister, I always believed to be a non-practicing Christian, especially with some of the beliefs she has, which I won’t discuss here. Out of the blue one day she tags me in a Joel Osteen ministry post from facebook, which was encouraging me through something that I had been battling at the time. I didn’t even know she watched Joel Osteen, let alone watch anyone. I can see now that she’s on a journey, just like myself. Now do I confront her and tell her that Joel Osteen is a false teacher and she shouldn’t be reading his material, or that I should thank her for the encouragement and let her continue on her own journey of discovery? If the only chance she has of coming to know Jesus is through Joel Osteen’s ministry, as convoluted and misleading as it could be, I’ll take it every time, as I’m sure you would with any of your family.

          I’ve been a Christian for 20 years of my life and grew up in the Anglican church, and now go elsewhere due to the obvious elitism shown by many parishioners and ministers, as also depicted in full force in the comments. To be honest, it’s quite clear every argument you guys have comes down to be Armenian vs Calvinist at it’s core. I’ve been to Katoomba Conventions as well as Hillsong Conferences.

          Anyway, at the end of last year, I went through a horrific personal crisis. Was I going to say that it was God-willed, cause if that’s the case why would I want to follow that God? Same argument many people make against Christianity. It’s a lot easier to say that due to human error/sin we screwed up and believe for God to pull us through. Well, that didn’t happen. I walked out of Christmas services and my faith was tested big time. I was angry with God, people and everything. It was some of my darkest days. No memory verse could help me, I tried picking up my Bible and doing what I’d always been taught, and even that failed me.

          The only thing that picked me up in the end? A set of circumstances, that led me to Elevation Churches 24/7 streaming network. Elevation is the church Steven Furtick is a pastor of. For every thing I tried, God used that man’s ministry to speak to me and help me on a path to healing and wholeness. I have him to thank for still being alive today, cause I have no idea where I’d be otherwise. I’ve also seen many positive things happen in my life since watching him. Do I care about the fact he may have faked 2000 water baptisms? Nope. Did he? Doubt it. It’s quite humorous even thinking he could fake over 2000 baptisms in a year, and if he did? I’m not the judge anyway.

          This isn’t the first time I’ve been through a crisis either. The first time was 12 years ago, when a similar situation came up. I was going to an Anglican church at the time. All the biblical head knowledge in the world won’t help you if you don’t know how to apply it. I thankfully got invited to Hillsong Church. Didn’t know anything about them other than we may have sung a couple songs of theirs at our church. It was there that Christianity actually made sense to me. If you grow up in a church that is all talk no action, and go to one that is active, reaching the lost, doing what it can to save anybody and everybody. They’re empowering the local church and doing a great job doing what they do no matter if you disagree with it or whatever.

          That’s two personal life experiences I’ve shared, either of which didn’t happen I could be six feet under right now. Do you wish death on me David, cause that’s what it seems you’re trying to do with this blog? Not me personally but everyone who could find hope in a world where so many have lost their identity in who they are meant to be, and find it through a conference that for them too, could be life or death? Are you going to judge them? Are you going to judge my friends that have a similar story that wouldn’t even dream of going in an Anglican church, and find a home at Hillsong or another pentecostal church? It’s different when it’s personal isn’t it?

          You need to accept that the people that probably go to these things, would never come to your church cause of your attitude. I’d guess that’d be for a lot of non-christians too. All you’re doing is proving them right. That all God does is point the finger at them and tell them how rotten they are, not that they’re love and accepted no matter who they are or where they come from.

          Last time I checked there were no denominations in heaven.

      2. dorinda

        i love you Rob Llyod !!!!!! The truth the way the life ! Amen ! Right on brother, preach it , teach it, love it ! peace be with you !

        1. Nigel Poore

          Hi Dorinda,
          In light of your comment l have just read Rob Lloyds passionate blog and as a 60 something who originally attended C of E as a child and was saved at a Billy Graham Crusade in the sixties, backslid for 15 years, repented at 30 something and thereafter attended Baptist, Independant and Bretheren and as well Hillsong and then did the full circle back to Anglican and l would like to make comment.

          Although I now again attend an Anglican Church l only consider myself to be a down to earth non denominational Christian and not a card carrier.

          I would however like to defend the Anglican Church. One reason for my return is that the Anglican Church as a whole are scriptural, basic and down to earth as can be deduced from the Anglican Book of Prayer.

          In my spiritually dead teens I found the C of E prayer book to be boring and repetitive and as you can deduce l searched elsewhere for many many years.

          My observations in my church travels is that other churches have been a mixture of judgemental man enhanced rules to hyper motivational concerts, to the name it and claim its etc.

          Now, looking back I prefer to stick to a simple faith in the unseen and am not looking for signs and wonders and hyper emotion.

          Nowhere in scripture do l see this. Nowhere do l see Jesus or the disciples or apostles carrying on like celebrities either.

          In defence of the Anglican Church, this is now the only church l can see who are down to earth and real. The Anglican Prayer Book even though repeated weekly is rock solid.

          I now find myself deeply dwelling on every word and sentence in the Prayer Book, as well as every word in the old hymn book, which incidentally almost all the hymns were written by preachers of a bygone, more Godly era than today’s.

          Where Hillsong are concerned the proof of the pudding will be in the long term eating. I myself have seen a brother drift from this movement over time.

          Should you want a more reverent long lasting and deep and meaningful spiritual life l can certainly recommend your local Anglican Church………though shamefully some individual ministers have gone astray which l put down to latter day deception, so you need to check your local church ministers beliefs especially if you live in the Central Coast.

          And talking of latter day deception, it is worth considering where the charismatics and Hillsong came from ……….l don’t see any of our rock solid christian forefathers with this type of preaching or worship.

          Just my five pence worth ( though on reflection could be 50 pence worth !).

  4. Garry Dibley

    Thanks Dave for a thoughtful piece.
    Re the whole music thing. Aren’t we really endorsing them if we use their music. People in our congregation don’t know either way what we think unless we make it clear. I think they just assume that if we sing their music, we must agree with them?
    I couldn’t imagine standing in church and saying that I really believe there are many serious issues with Hillsong and then introduced one one of their songs….

    1. David Ould

      Gary, I think there’s a lot of merit in that line of thought. I don’t want it to be true but I fear it is. Very sad all around. Hillsong could be such a force for the gospel were it not so appallingly (and willingly) compromised

    2. Peter Carrell

      Hi Garry/Dave
      1. I disagree with (e.g.) Diocese of Sydney, David Ould on various things, but if they write a great song, heck, I am going to use it! I would not see using such a song as an endorsement of the things I disagreed with them on.
      2. Could someone in the orthodox Christian world please write some better songs! Some Hillsongs are outstanding, some are not. Ditto Wesley hymns. A little bit of leeway to sing the ones we want to would be … appreciated. It seems a pity not to sing the great songs while we wait for the orthodox to write better ones.

  5. Tara Sing

    Are we allowed to be selective and pick and choose when it comes to Hillsong music? If they have a good resource, can we just use that in isolation? Does it always have to indicate a full support of everything they ever say/do?

    This question can be broader than singing “Shout to the Lord” but disregarding their unbiblical actions – I’m thinking about other Christian organisations as well and other circumstances. Should we vow to never watch a HBO television show because HBO produces Game of Thrones? Should we never read a newspaper because they have the one column of dodgy “personal services” adverts in the back? Is there a difference between filtering when it comes to secular media vs Christian media?

    I’m just thinking out loud and wondering these things. Because this is the internet, and tone is hard to convey, please don’t assume I’m trying to cause arguments or anything along those lines. I’ve been thinking these things through in my head for a long time and I’m curious to hear what others think.

    1. David Ould

      really good questions. I think one factor has to be that we don’t expect HBO to promote the gospel – they’re acting consistently when they don’t! But with Hillsong, there is a different expectation.

      1. Tara Sing

        Hmmm that’s a good point. I guess the next logical question is when do we pick and choose between good and poor resources, and when does something warrant a blanket ban?

        🙁 so much thinking!!!

  6. RevRon

    Funny thing is David, that many Anglican churches (if not most) have adopted the “worship” style of Hillsong. .i.e repetitious singing of songs by a noisy band up front; “worship” leaders who try to entertain the congregation more than help them engage with God through Biblical words and themes set to music, etc.
    And all of this with a view to providing an atmosphere that will attract the masses (a la Hillsong).
    I guess mature Christians in the congregation don’t matter much these days in what happens in services, and if the Gospel being preached isn’t attractive to people, then we need to find something else that will attract people?

    1. Keith Brookes

      Signs and wonders?

  7. Peter Denham

    Is Kong Hee on the platform this year? It would seem very bad if he is, but I can’t find that information from your links.

      1. The Narrowing Path

        Kong Hee WAS a speaker at Phil Pringle’s C3 Presence Conference earlier this year (2014), at which Brian Houston was also a featured speaker. The audience was fleeced to pay more of Kong Hee’s legal fees, and Kong Hee actually preached a selfie in which he seemed to be comparing his court troubles with the Apostle Paul’s imprisonment. Honestly, it was sickening. So was the ‘preaching’. And of course there was a new worship CD promoted throughout the whole conference.

  8. David Blowes

    re: singing Hillsong – I always considered distance to be a helpful tool. That is, we are close to Hillsong. Our people will either have gone or know someone who does. When (if) we sing the songs they have written, there is a much closer and quicker association between us than if we were singing the songs of someone who we are much further removed from (either by time or by space).

    With a group or person who no one knows I would perhaps be more willing to use good material from them, even if they were as a whole not someone I would endorse. With a group or person who is near to me, I feel I would be less inclined to use even their good material, since the association is stronger.

    My 2c. That said – we do currently sing at least one Hillsong song I can think of!

  9. Grant H

    “We ought to have nothing to do with them at all, not even having them in our homes (let alone our stadium).”

    Fair enough about not having Hillsongers in your own home, but “our stadium”? Since when did Sydney Anglicans own Allphones Arena?

    1. David Ould

      I fear you misunderstand. The article argues we ought not not welcome false teachers, not that we ought not to welcome Hillsong members.

  10. Andrew Battistella

    You are an absolute nutter…And I will personally pray for you

    1. Don Gall

      Andrew, you may disagree with David, as I do on several comments, but name calling does not get us very far. I have attended Hillsong many times and, in fact, do agree with his issues with some of the speakers. I have even voiced my opinion to Hillsong. However, I choose to attend because there are, in fact, some excellent guests and I also choose who I listen to. I know that not everyone does that but I will not ‘throw the baby out with the bath water’ as they say. I’m sure that no matter what conference is held there will always be those I disagree with. So I will allow David his views, while attending Hillsong and seeking to be discerning in what I do and do not listen to.

      1. Andrew Battistella

        That comment Ps Don was in relation to the title of the article and the attached artwork…my apologies if it offended.

        The strength of the church is it’s points of difference, its various styles and colours… And yet men can’t seem to get past debating whose theology is more correct.

        The church and its leaders would be better working together to mend the nets so that together the nets could be cast and together we could be fishers of men sharing in a phenomenal harvest.

    2. David

      It is frightening that you are allowed to pastor a church with your ignorance and complete lack of discernment. Just goes to show that anyone can get a job as a pastor. Hirelings do not care about the sheep. If you cared for the sheep, you would stand for the truth and protect them from the wolves, yet you openly endorse them. I bet you couldn’t even tell the difference (unless you are a wolf yourself) because you have no discernment whatsoever.

      The TRUE Gospel matters, it is worth fighting for, it is exclusive, it divides, it sorts the sheep from the goats. But you sit there pushing your ecumenical garbage, giving blatant false teachers with perverted gospels that will not save anyone a platform and endorsement, trying to join light and dark, and acting as though sound doctrine and objective truth is not important – anything goes with emotionalists such as yourself. I know your type, borderline new-agers claiming to be led by the Spirit to allow all sorts of crazy nonsense and leaven into the lump.

      I’m not praying for you – as you have been corrected before but opted for the block button – but I am praying for those unfortunate enough to be under your abysmal “pastoral care” (this week I see you endorsing the blasphemous, occult book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young – absolutely disgraceful) I pray your congregation will get the wisdom and discernment to know they need to flee from you and your “church” as quickly as they can.

  11. Andrew Battistella

    Have you forgotten that a bad tree CANNOT bare good fruit and a good tree CANNOT bare bad fruit…

    When will the Christian world stop pointing the finger st other Christians because have a difference of opinion. One is not right and one is not wrong , simply different.

    Our strength is found in our ability to unite despite our area of grey differences…And it is in unity that the Lord commands a blessing.

    1. Jonathan L

      Andrew, the fruit of Hillsong is doctrinally ignorant people, some of whom aren’t even christians but have been attracted by the flashing lights and music. The problems with Hillsong are not just differences of opinion or grey areas, they are very important matters of basic theology.

      1. Val Saunders

        If it’s the flashing lights and music you are worried about why not attend some of the sessions….you’ll find that you will be challenged to the core of your being to know and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. If someone comes out having heard something else then surely that is up tho the Holy Spirit to take the seed sown and produce the fruit He wants. Were you doctrinally correct in all things in the first week you were saved??? If not then I’m sure someone could have trampled all over what God had sown in your heart by having Christians who “knew better than you” tell you that you were not really saved. If it’s the knowledge in your head and not also in your heart that you’re after then I’m sure the Lord Jesus will have a word to you about that at some point in your life.

        1. David Ould

          “Were you doctrinally correct in all things in the first week you were saved??? “”

          No. But I hope you’re not seriously suggesting that the speakers mentioned above are in the same category as “in the first week you were saved”.

          1. Val Saunders

            You know I was not. I am grateful for sound teaching. We as hearers are sometimes the ones who get it wrong because of where we are coming from. It’s wonderful that the Holy Spirit keeps on teaching us. Could you listen to “I Believe” and not wholeheartedly bow before the Lord and proclaim the same. (a Hillsong song)

          2. Val Saunders

            sorry I mean “This I Believe” The creed.

  12. Peter Smith

    I must ask, though, as a Sydney Anglican, how you must look upon the "celebrity" Anglican Hillsong supporters (John Dickson, Michael Jensen etc) who attended the conference last year and commended Jakes and Osteen openly in public? Do you divide with them and call them out, brother?

    1. Anna

      Peter Smith, I don’t know where your information is coming from but I am certain that Michael Jensen does not support Hillsong or commend Jakes and Osteen publicly. It would be good for you t check your facts on that one.

      1. David Ould

        indeed. I’d be extremely surprised if Michael Jensen openly (or privately) commended Jakes or Osteen. Extremely. He can speak for himself but everything I know about him tells me it’s an utterly unfounded accusation.

        And, for clarity, John Dickson has never said he commends them. He claimed he did not know enough about them to speak definitively. Now, you may question that claim, but to suggest he commends them is something we have no evidence for.

        1. mpjensen

          Thank you David. This post is defamatory, and I expect a retraction and an apology. I have never attended the Hillsong conference, and I have never – not even remotely – commended Osteen and Jakes. Nor would I. It is outrageous to make this kind of statement in a public forum.

    2. Peter Smith

      I wish to clarify, that Michael Jensen does not support Jakes or Osteen. I am sorry for that mix-up.

      1. mpjensen

        Apology accepted. I forgive you.

    3. Brian Alexander

      Bobbie Houston crows about Hillsong gathering the ‘broad and beautiful body of Christ’ at the conference. I’m not sure which of those adjectives is being applied to those who represented Sydney Anglicans at the conference, but they certainly got a prominent place in the list. Indeed why wouldn’t Hillsong crow, with a big name Sydney Anglican giving much more than just an ‘endorsement’ or ‘encouragement’. How do you respond to having a Sydney Anglican minister speak at the conference this year?

  13. Grant H

    ” ““Jesus is Lord” is not a confession that may be hid behind to ignore these matters any more than I may hide behind my wife in order to not deal with the intruder who has come to disgrace her.”

    The cajolery of false teachers analogous to brazen sexual assault? That says more about your anxieties than about the false teachers. And bringing your wife into it – even as an extra in a hypothetical episode – is pretty tasteless.

    And “disgrace” her? Any violation the intruder perpetrated would not disgrace her, but himself, to say the least. A violation never disgraces the victim – to say it does is to comply with the violator. I would hope that – God forbid – if something like that ever happened, you would not view your nearest and dearest as “disgraced” thereby.

    1. David Ould

      Grant, I’m think it’s quite clear what I intended to communicate.
      I care for the flock entrusted to me in a way that can be thought of as being analagous to my love for my wife. As for the langauge of “disgrace”, I understand your point but I fear you are seeking to read me ungenerously. Fair enough. There’s little I can do about that.

  14. Grant H

    Fair enough; I was imprecise. I should have specified Hillsong-endorsed false teachers.

    Don’t you think claiming the venue as “ours” is presumptuous, unless it is actually owned by Sydney Anglicans?

    1. David Ould

      no, again it’s simply an exercise in reading generously. When Hillsong have a conference it’s “their” stadium.

  15. Russell

    The Anglican Church has had problems with other men and movements long before hillsong.

    They had a problem with John Wesley many many years again.

    Just an observation.

  16. Grant H

    You may aim to be a Good Shepherd for your flock, rector, but I don’t think you’re supposed to be their Bridegroom.

    1. David Ould

      no, neither do I. You can either choose to read me generously or look for every little hole. Your call.

      1. Peter Ross

        David – in that case, you ought to do likewise. I don’t see much evidence of that in your responses to Hillsong, John Dickson or Andrew Katay, for example.

        I am posting this, very obscurely, in a comments thread on a different (though not entirely disconnected) subject, rather than in the Facebook discussion about John’s tweet, because it is the closest thing I can find to responding to you in private given that I don’t know you otherwise. IMHO, you ought to have been similarly private in criticising John’s tweet, rather than plastering it on Facebook for all the world to see.



        1. David Ould

          hi Peter. If you want to contact me privately then it’s not hard. My contact page might be a means you could use (and others – lots of others – have).

          But this isn’t private.

          we all choose which way we want to communicate.

          for the record, John’s tweet was already plastered all over twitter for “all the world to see”.

          1. Peter Ross

            Thanks David – I didn’t know you had a contact page, but my points still stand.

            And John’s tweet was on Twitter only, not facebook. There’s a significant difference between the two mediums / audiences.

          2. Peter Ross

            David – and one other thing – your reply to my previous post in fact confirms the first part of it.

      2. GrantH

        Either/Or? As for reading *generously*, rector, I use the measure you use. As for the *holes*, they’re not that little; no need to go looking.

        Clearly, you want a stronger response against Hillsong from the leadership of your own theological side. But it seems to me that Sydney Diocese and its fellow travellers have been pointing out Hillsong’s failings for years. As you write: “This controversy has been going on for too long, has been discussed in too many places, is too well documented and discoverable, to allow anyone to claim that they just didn’t know once the matter has been raised.” So what do you want to happen, rector? A formal ultimatum with threat of anathema? An ad campaign? Picket the conference with *Repent!* placards? Boycotts? Prayer vigils?

        What does your “firmer stand” entail?

        1. David Ould

          ok then. I’ll go with every one of your suggestions. Wouldn’t want to disappoint you.

          1. GrantH

            Oh, really? Then I’ll be watching with interest.

  17. Terry Renehan

    They are all accountable to God's judgement. We would assume they are masters of theology and without excuse

  18. PTL

    The hillsong was a joke for nearly 20 years but why speaks it now…….

  19. Mike Taylor

    Hi Dave, I think what you are doing is super important, and good on you for doing it!

    I haven’t looked at any of the youtube clips, and have only read your quotes of these people. But I think for your case you need quotes that better demonstrate false teaching. Your claims are big, and so its worth doing a bit more work on the evidence – unless the videos make it all super clear.

    For example,

    TD Jakes – while we disagree with the word ‘manifestation’ he does say ‘**eternally existing** in three manifestations’ — which on the face of it isn’t traditional modalism. Sure, ‘person’ would be a better word, and we might question why one needs to differ from the commonly accepted formula, but it in itself doesn’t (to my ears) prove he’s denying the trinity (unless I’m already convinced he has). Also that second quote,

    “He explains his sense of the controversy with rhetorical questions intended to undermine the credibility of trinitarian doctrine: “If there is one God, as Scripture teaches, how can there be a Son who says that He and His Father are one? If there is only one God, how can there be ‘three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one’?” ”

    as I read it isn’t undermining Trinitarian teaching but modalism. Why would a ‘oneness/modalism’ theologian say ‘if there is one God’ — if anything this quote is arguing for tri-theism, not oneness. Maybe he (or I) is just confused.

    I also feel that for Joyce Meyer that its not fair to use capital ‘G’ at the end, (So men are called God’s by the law) right after she has said “Now you understand I am not saying you are god with a capital G.” Although I wasn’t clear if you were transcribing, or quoting her directly. These quotes you give of hers are guilty of over-application perhaps without the wisdom of a balanced theology, but they aren’t strong examples of ‘false teaching’. Maybe she hasn’t said it wonderfully or helpfully, but we’ve all over-reached in making a point. Taken by themselves they may be really bad (he stopped being the son of God (a attempt at grasping what it means to be ‘made sin’), he was the first human born again (first born from the dead, perhaps?)), but I think you need to make a stronger case.

    The same can be said for the other guys, unless we rule someone out automatically because they claim to have had a vision/revelation.

    Now, I never thought I’d be defending Jakes and Meyer, and I’m not. These guys are known here in Tz, in a way that Carson, Keller and Driscoll aren’t. These guys will be heard here, and taken to be representative of american evangelicalism. And we have major problems (and I mean major) with prosperity teaching. So don’t get me wrong – I just think you need to strengthen your case (which is often hard when people are slippery). And apologies if its all very clear in the youtube clips which I didn’t watch.


    1. David Ould

      Thanks Mike, appreciate you taking the time. Seems like yesterday when we were out with you!

      You’re right, the videos do have more information and it’s also a case of them being (as you put it) “slippery”. I’m wary of putting too much in one post but I’ll continue to consider adding to this.

  20. Tiehui Jiang

    The hillsong has been a joke for twenty years(why speaks it now) and it is the classical for mordern day evenglism or "christianlity" which lots of denominationism has borrowed its high rock music to attract young generations….so much denominationism has a regenerate conference with high rock roll music but the only difference is that they have a what we called "classical christian" speaker with the right doctorines(new calvinism)…..but after the conference people went back to the church and lived the life like the world lived…i just see the pointless of all these conference…..(looks like the church in our views is just lead people to christ and where there is no santification happens or it takes the amount of time like evolution)The deviP.s the devil knows the great doctorines as well but he never had a loving relationship with the Father….

  21. Tiehui Jiang

    They are the hidden jokes like hillsong for twenty years…but dw bro,God saw all of this…the only thing we can do is to preach the true word of LORD and not only lead people to the LORD but also feed the word to them(flock them) but where i can find a church that sanctification happens….or in other way where i can find a CHURCH!!

  22. Alex Burton

    I'm just going to be really bold here & say – how dare u post this! Hillsong preaches Jesus. It is one of the largest organisations in Aust that preaches Jesus. I have spent lots of time there & even gone to there conference. Have u? If u took Hillsong out of Aust there would be a massive hole. And I dare say u'd feel it. It is wrong to support anything or anyone that bashes up someone or something preaching Jesus & changing peoples lives. It isn't what Jesus would do or condone. I don't agree with everything Hillsong says & does but I doubt I'd agree with everything ur church says and does. They are human & humans fail. How dare u bash up on them or post something that does. I kno I may sound harsh or rude but I've known a heck of a lot of ppl to do this out of ignorance over the yrs & it makes me super mad

    1. Geoff

      I will comment here in reply to your post Alex because I share some of your concerns that this type of debate is held openly/or in a public forum. (What is the right forum though….) I have taken the time to read nearly all of the posts here and listen to some of the YouTube clips. (at least the ones with Joyce Myer) so this could well be a general post.

      However, I am going to the Hillsong Conference this year (never been before though). I do have some concerns about some of Joyce’s theology and will be wary of it. Actually, I have not really looked at the program to be honest, but I’m going mainly for the creative/musical element, as I believe Hillsong do some things really well, but I was thing i would pick and choose what I take on board. I will more likely skip the sessions someone like Joyce is speaking at, then again, maybe I should attend and judge for myself!

      I have some concern for a few of the younger Christians from our church who are going and I will be alert to when I hear things that are plainly false, skewed, or maybe more correctly, theologically unsound. It will be interesting to have some discussions with our people around this if it happens.

      I guess as a mature Christian, I am not overly concerned in being there, but I appreciate the point you are making David. That said, I’m not sure this is False Teaching, or just Theologically unsound and they need correction. Maybe even they will gradually change as they grow as Christians.

  23. David Ould

    hi Alex, thanks for writing even though you're annoyed. Can I ask – do you think it's acceptable for a prominent teacher in the church to deny the doctrine of the Trinity? Do you think it's acceptable to teach the prosperity gospel? Because, with respect, as much as you're upset your comment doesn't actually address the main argument of the post.

  24. Joseph C

    Hi David,

    As a young Sydney Anglican member with many good Christian friends who attend Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches (C3 and Hillsong), I profoundly disagree with many of your points in your blog post. It saddens me to hear Christians berating and harshly critiquing their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Although their style of worship and service may be different to what you or I am used to, I strongly believe that your comments (particularly your assumption that ‘Hillsong is Sydney Greatest Promoter of False Teaching) are merely inflammatory and would be extremely unhelpful for many ‘younger’ Christians.

    Perhaps a suggestion would be to attend one of the free evening services that Hillsong Conference hosts, next week.
    I’m not saying that it may change your view – but it could be a good way to actively, lovingly and graciously engage with our Hillsong brothers and sisters.

    However, whilst I strongly disagree with everything that you have written, know that you are always in my prayers. I pray that God will work in both all our hearts to enable us to better (lovingly and graciously) work together as one unified body of Christ.

    1. David Ould

      Joseph, thanks for writing. Sadly, you’ve not actually engaged with the arguments raised. I don’t know how going again to the evenings sessions changes anything at all about what these various people have taught and the fact that people like them are so regularly headlining the Conference. If you can suggest how it would then I’m happy to give it a go.

      In the meantime I’ll direct you to Jono’s comments.

  25. Jono Gasparinatos

    Far out. I can’t handle it. It’s too much. It just baffles me. The comments, do people even read the article, so much side stepping the actual point, people, please, respond and argue against his point, I am a firm defender of hillsong, I was saved there, I go to conference, though I am always wrestling with that decision, the article nailed the issue on the head, what does it say about Hillsong that they continue to get these teachers at their church conferences!? That is the question? I love the pente church, i got time for it, ill defend hillsong against those who make criticisms of it that are wrong, but i will not defend it where it doesn’t deserve defending. Guys please read the article and address what is being addressed, i agree with some of the points and disagree on others, the music and what not is a good thing to discuss but what do people have to say about what is actually argued in this article?

    Like iv got too lovingly address that comment Alex Burton, dude, you completely missed the point, completely, yes they preach Jesus!! But they also allow people who don’t do that faithfully!! So if i got t.d jakes to come preach at my church right, or joel, would i be loving my flock, would i be looking after them, would i be being faithful to God? no! no and no. so my question is, what does this say about Hills and their leadership, iv grown up at Hills, i visit still, i go to conference, i am not speaking from a point of ignorance, their is so much good stuff going on at Hills and the gospel is being preached, people are being loved, the broken and lost pointed toward the hope that Chirst offers, but it doesn’t mean its ok to use the amazing, incredible opportunity and botch that up by getting these guys to preach at your conference.

  26. Emily Leviston

    Its a sad day when Christians start undermining each other on fine details

    1. David Ould

      I’m sorry, Emily. There are many who don’t agree that the nature of the gospel and of God Himself are “fine details”.

  27. Alex Burton

    I haven't read all the other comments but it seems like you already had a made up mind before u wrote this. Me (or anyone else) commenting is not going to persuade u to change ur mind it seems. I will ask though, bearing in mind that Matthew 18:15-17 instructs us how to go about correcting another brother or sister, have u confronted Brian Houston? Have u ever even been to a Hillsong conference? There is a right way & wrong way to do things and defacing someone on a public platform is no where in my bible

    1. David Ould

      well of course, Alex. You can’t write somethink like this without being clear what you think.

      As for Matt 18, it’s about someone who has sinned personally against us. Since that’s not the case here it’s hardly relevant.

      Brian Houston, I’m sure, would have little time for me although he did (unsolicited) call me a number of names…


      As for going to the Conference, I’m not clear how that would change the substance of the argument.

      Finally, in terms of people in Bible publicly speaking out against false teaching, I think you’re mistaken. There’s plenty of it.

  28. Elizabeth White

    David, I have grieved over your words and blog since reading it earlier this evening. Why? Because while you have listed some good points, you seem to have overlooked Christ’s words in asking us to dwell in unity, and where there is disunity, to go directly to the person/people involved. Instead, I read an article which in its very nature is inflammatory, not seeking to call Hillsong up to a higher standard but rather, yelling from the rooftops to not step foot inside the door. Would it surprise you to hear that I am hesitant to step inside the doors of an Anglican church in Sydney because of the self-righteous theological stance and ungracious examples of Christ that I have found? To hear for instance that my salvation is in question because I believe women have the blessing to preach for instance, or that the Apostasy of the Saints is not possible. I list these examples because from perspective, they are important issues (like the ones you’ve listed above) but issues that there is disagreement about within the Anglican communion, as I’m sure are the issues you have mentioned items of contention within the Hillsong communion. (N.b. I do attend a Sydney Anglican church but had reservations about joining and am only a member due to the exceptional minister (oh, and we sing Hillsong songs loud and proud to the glory of God)). Please, as a sister to a brother, walk the higher road and listen to those whom are leaders of your denomination who are not taking the “firmer stance” as you put it, from my perspective, for very good reasons.

  29. David Swan

    Hey David,
    As a fellow anglican minister in a different diocese, i have to agree with the substance of your argument. This is something that we hate to talk about as ministers because it causes, as demonstrated in the above comments, much controversy. Yet you are not called to avoid controversy but to speak the truth and warn others, especially those whom you lead, of the dangers of false teaching. It always amazes me how much we seem to ignore the ferocity of which Paul attacks false teaching and false teachers. This is the gospel we are talking about, and when people, especially those given roles of leadership with large platforms, teach a false gospel it is a very serious issue. Its worth reading Paul’s instruction to Timothy in 1 Tim 1:3. He tells him to stick around in Ephesus to shut down the false teachers, to suppress them! And yet the goal of this is love (v5). It is love of the truth, of the people whom God has placed in front of us to teach and a love for the saviour who died to give us this gospel to preach that means we must do what we can to speak out against and shut down false teachers. It may be uncomfortable to be confronted with such things, but love demands it be so. David, you clearly love Christ’s church, the gospel and the truth. Stand firm brother.

    1. The Narrowing Path

      @ David Swan

      I am greatly encouraged to see two ministers (David & David!) speaking the truth, naming false teachers and encouraging each other. Praise God for faithful earthly shepherds. May God bless you for your courage and Christ-like love for the sheep.

      In Christ, Sherryn (currently in another Anglican church in a diocese far, far away… where we have 4 shiny new HIllsong campuses)

  30. Breno Cowie

    At the end of the day all that matters is what Jesus is doing in your heart and your personal divine relationship with him..and Jesus will take care of the rest. Who cares about denominations we all love Jesus and that's all that matters I don't think God cares what denominations you are from… All he cares about is your love for him and your brothers and sisters… Only God will judge and only he will correct..not any of us have that power..

  31. Matt Kennedy

    What have you been reading? Certainly not the New or Old Testaments. Nowhere are we told to unite with heretics.

  32. Matt Kennedy

    Andrew Battistella It doesn't matter what they are "to you" my friend. It matters whether their teachings conflict with scripture.

  33. Andrew Battistella

    Matt Kennedy I would suggest that before anyone passes judgement that they might actually sit with the men and women being defamed…build relationship, hear their heart and get some context around their 'supposed' beliefs. We are called to be 'fishers of men'…not 'judge and jury of men'. I ask one question in return…for all those with their $2 opinions…when did they sit with those they are speaking about, face to face and eye to eye…in fellowship, in the exchange of life…I would say not a single one. How about we chat over a coffee with these accused men and women of God first…and then we can go from there.

    1. I think it would be more accurate to say you judge public teachings by ‘Your’ Interpretation of the Revealed Scriptures Matt! I am theologically trained too and could point out a hundred errors if I wanted to, in your understanding of the Scriptures, but I have more important things to do! Like Loving People in Jesus Name, seeing them find Christ, and Seeing the Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven and this conversation with it’s slander of Christian Leaders and Hill Song isn’t happening in Heaven let me say that!!

  34. Andrew Stagg

    Good article David – its generated a lot of heat!! Joyce Meyer, Joel Olsteen, TD Jakes, and Reinhard Bonnke in particular are train wrecks. Given that hillsong cannot be anything but fully aware of the significant problems with these people (its no secret) – the obvious question needs to be asked why they would think to invite them.

  35. Andrew Battistella

    Matt Kennedy my suggestion has nothing to do with that Matthew….just simply as men and women of God I believe that there is a better way than just to point the finger…it's called doing life and many of the accusers should consider giving it a go. As for the opinions of many here, remember, opinions are like armpits, we all have them and they all stink. In my initial post mentioned that these people are bearing good fruit, their ministries are bearing good fruit, lives are being changed and people are falling in love with our papa, our abba, our God. Marriages are being restored, families are being reunited and the youth of today are falling madly in love with Jesus. So again I say that a GOOD tree cannot bare BAD fruit…Great job Brian and Bobbie Houston – Well Done!! Keep up the magnificent work. And fear not, you are in great company…Men and Women of God who have made a difference over the centuries have always been accused…it's sad that with all our knowledge, all our increased wisdom and all our technology that this still continues. A phone call is too hard, a visit too difficult…instead lets point the finger, make accusations and write a blog. My prayer is that Hillsong this year is the BEST yet…that more attend, more are set free, more are welcomed into the Kingdom and more start the journey that will forever change their lives!

  36. Matt Kennedy

    Andrew Battistella "Pointing the finger" at false teaching and identifying false teachers is an act of love both for the teacher and for the people who would otherwise be swayed

  37. youthpasta

    It is sad that this is not a surprise to me. A friend of mine used to go to Hillsong London, back in the mid-naughties. One Sunday he came back from a meeting and said that they had been sharing testimonies about things God had done in people’s lives. Apparently a guy got up and shared how he was healed from cancer. Appropriately that got a cheer. Then a guy got up and shared about how he got a new promotion/pay rise. Cue an even louder cheer!
    It is sad that a ministry that has had such a positive impact in areas such as sung worship has allowed itself to support false teaching/teachers for so long. It’s even sadder that either those who Hillsong hold in high regards have either not challenged them over it, or have and not been listened to.

  38. Stephen Brownlow

    It seems David that of the problematic speakers you listed, only Steven Furtick is listed on the main page for the coming Hillsong Conference.

    I agree that there are some fine leaders on the list. It worries me that by association, they add legitimacy to the false teachers.

    It is a characteristic of false teachers that most of their teaching is correct. That is part of the MO – wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    1. David Ould

      Stephen, I think your second paragraph nails it. A one-off might be understandable, but repeatedly….

  39. Nic Johnston

    Well, looks like I'm going to hell then, cause I'll be attending Hillsong conf this year.

    Are Hillsong perfect? No… Is BCF (or any church)? No… But I'll look after the log in my eye before pointing out others'.

    Good post, Andrew. I support your view.

  40. Michael Jensen

    This is a dirty libel, and I expect a retraction and an apology. I have never attended Hillsong or commended Jakes and Osteen in public or even in private. Retract this at once.

  41. Michael Jensen

    Terry Renehan Peter Smith has told a falsehood about me. Please note.

  42. Michael Jensen

    Tiehui Jiang Peter Smith has told a falsehood about me. Please note.

  43. Claudia

    I’ll admit that as a lay person with no theological education, some of your arguments are over my head. While I’m uncomfortable with prosperity teaching, I’m not up to speed with the reasons it is unbiblical. Can I please request a follow up post for lay people that explains the correct theology involved.

    1. David Ould

      thanks Claudia. I’ll do a few basic posts on the subject.

  44. Marty Lee

    i'm going to the conference to hear matt redmen 'll see you around Peter?

  45. Peter Smith

    I amended my post for you, Michael. Sorry again. God bless.

  46. Peter Smith

    Marty Lee – Maybe. We're having issues with another group who desires to join us out the front witnessing to the kinds of people who assault others and steal women's handbags.

  47. Marty Lee

    not that I want to see anyone get assaulted out the front for voicing their opinions but I really want to see some drama. I want to see it live and record it on my phone, then show it to channel 7 or something. Ps I'm not a dickhead

  48. Marty Lee

    also if you guys are after after a lawsuit for assault i'll have the evidence for you.

  49. Peter Smith

    Marty Lee we bring cameras anyway. Thanks, though.

  50. Michael Jensen

    Peter Smith – I accept your apology and forgive you. However, I didn't say much ever publically about Hillsong, so it is scallywaggery to introduce that element. They are credally orthodox Christians with whom I have some issues. Why has my name even been mentioned?

    1. Church Watch

      “They are credally orthodox Christians with whom I have some issues.”
      Hillsong says they are a non-creedal denomination.

      Listen at two minutes in. The leaders will tell you that Hillsong is a non-creedal denomination. We agree.


      We didn’t hear the creeds when there. Even in the very early years ppl we know don’t remember any creeds – even as far back as the late 70s. Where were the creeds declared and when were the creeds confessed at any stage during Hillsong’s evolution? The video highlights the fact that members had not heard them. What do you mean by “they are credally orthodox”?

  51. Peter Smith

    Michael Jensen You made certain comments/posts in defence (some albeit joking) of Rev. Dickson's position regarding Hillsong, although retrospectively you did not express the same as he regarding Jakes and Osteen.

  52. Jayson Bordj

    Make it simple dear author.You personally interview every person attended the conference and see it for yourself the power of testimonies. Go to every churches around the globe and see how they revolutionize their cities through the empowernment this conference provided.Count them all and write again an article.

    1. Jonathan L

      Jayson, you could interview the delegates at a mormon conference and get glowing testimonies. What people feel afterwards is irrelevant. And we’re not called to “revolutionize our cities”, we’re called to make disciples and teach them what Jesus taught. Many of the people at the Hillsong conference teach something quite different. If you are a follower of Jesus, you should be very concerned if people are being taught a false gospel.

  53. Natasha Drower

    Hi David,
    Feeling a little lost after reading this. I thought I was really helping my spiritual growth by watching the Joyce Meyer program each morning. Just how far am I being mislead?

  54. Natasha Drower

    Hi David,
    I'm feeling a little lost after reading this. I thought I was really helping my spiritual growth by watching the Joyce Meyer program each morning. Just how far am I being mislead?

    1. Jonathan L

      Natasha, permit me to answer. There is a lot of unsound theology in Joyce Meyer’s teaching. I would not recommend following her as you are likely to go off the rails. The fact that she is “famous” and on TV is irrelevant. Sadly, this is the way things are today.

  55. Jonathan L

    A few points from me:

    (1) I think the best way to view Hillsong is as a business, not a church. It’s main purpose is to make money for the staff. Questions of doctrinal soundness are largely irrelevant to them.

    (2) An additional concern for me is the presence of Brian & Jenn Johnson and band from Bethel Church, Redding, California. This church, pastored by Brian’s father Bill Johnson, is totally off the rails with hyper-charismatic nonsense including necromancy (people lying on graves of famous preachers in an attempt to pick up their “anointing”). Any discerning christian would not want to promote them in any way.

    (3) Conferences like this are a sort of private members club for the speakers – they invite each other to their conferences and no doubt get well paid, including flights and hotels (first class and 5* I suspect).

    (4) For english readers, it is relevant to note that Holy Trinity Brompton had Steve Furtick at their 2013 leadership conference, and Joyce Meyer is listed as a speaker for 2015.

    David, I commend you for speaking out against this poison in the church. I’d be interested to what Brian Houston’s response is if you ever manage to make contact.

  56. Gordon

    I suppose if people are set on going, it is not difficult to research speakers and to be selective. A bold move sticking your neck out David, but a well conceived one. Christians are to flourish and prosper in spiritual maturity and Christ likeness. It seems to me that such maturity comes in a manner at odds with physical prosperity. I have all the wealth and fullness I need in Jesus alone. The less I have of this world, the more I appreciate my heritage with Jesus. Jesus is prosperity enough. He is a lavish satisfying, full to the brim, overflowing, abundant fulfilment of what the bible means by prosperity. With Jesus, there is nothing less to covet. When I behold the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on a colt, what is there to covet but Jesus. When I behold his ascention into heaven as risen Lord, what is there to covet but Jesus. Oh how I love Jesus who first coveted me, more than his own life. Only Jesus, Jesus.

  57. Andrew Margetson

    God is blessing many people through both conferences. I believe it is a key point of Christian leadership to make positive statements, and define ones own perspectives by saying what one is for, rather than what one is against

    1. Church Watch

      “God is blessing many people through both conferences.”
      This is only true because Brian Houston says it is true.

      ” I believe it is a key point of Christian leadership to make positive statements…”
      I am sorry to say this Andrew, but you’ve been brainwashed into believing the above. You are peddling the Word of Faith gospel. This is a gospel that capitalises on your emotions but turns off your brain. It become impossible to distinguish the difference between truth and error when you can only speak good things. Speaking good things only proves one is not in touch with reality. Speaking truth IS the good thing which is the good news.

      The true gospel makes no promise of making only “positive statements”. Oddly enough, Brian Houston over his lifetime has done more criticising and condemning by painting churches like the Anglican Church as “critical”, “traditional”, “spiritually dead”, “religious”, “demonic” and so on.

  58. Craig Schafer

    Andrew Margetson, why do you believe this is a key point of Christian leadership? I ask this as someone who has recently preached through Mark 7 and 8 where Jesus speaks and warns against the teaching of the Pharisees.

  59. Bob Cameron

    Hi Andrew. That's a very common approach today, but it doesn't hold up against Scripture. The Bible is full of BOTH positive and negative statements, and we need to both uphold the truth and reject what is false. There is need for discernment and sensitivity in how we do it, of course, but there are times when it is vitally important to stand for what we are against. Jesus himself in his earthly ministry modelled this repeatedly.

  60. Tyler Perkins

    Andrew Battistella Probably because you have zero discernment… which should concern you because it is a fruit of The Holy Spirit. If there are no false teachers, then Jesus Christ is a liar and half the Bible is speaking lies. You, as with most deceived Christians, have zero ability to see false teaching which is usually because you have zero desire to see it in the first place. Why do you think Paul said that Satan masquerades as an angel of light and his ministers look like children of light? It's called deception for a reason, they wouldn't fool anyone if they were obviously bad.

    1. Claudia

      That’s a bit harsh Tyler. Christians are prone to deception from false teaching by a lack of good sound doctrine to measure it against. There is a responsibility on the Shepherds.

  61. Jonathan L

    Andrew Margetson,

    People may feel “blessed” by a conference but there’s no way of knowing if that is something genuinely from God or just an emotional reaction to the event. What people feel is largely irrelevant – we must evaluate something by its message, not the response it produces.

    Your second sentence is worrying. The Bible contains many warnings against false teachers and a leader like David would be failing in his duty if he didn’t warn people about them. And, by implication, he is declaring what he is for – the teaching of Jesus and the Bible.

    Hillsong is so big and influential that people need to know that some of the speakers believe and teach things that are very wrong indeed. I would agree with David that it’s not something we should be supporting.

  62. Brad Irvin

    Why do some people love Hillsong conf/church so much? And why do others dislike/disrespect it so much? Srs questions…

  63. Brad Irvin

    As in, what are the "differences of opinion" you mention here?

  64. Jonathan L

    Brad, I’ll reply to your questions as I’m one of the people who used the phrase “differences of opinion” that you just quoted. I need to answer your second question first.

    I used “differences of opinion” and “grey areas” in response to Andrew Battistella’s comment, which said:

    When will the Christian world stop pointing the finger st other Christians because have a difference of opinion. One is not right and one is not wrong, simply different. Our strength is found in our ability to unite despite our area of grey differences.

    I don’t know what Andrew had in mind, but I view those phrases as refering to a couple of areas. Firstly the various practical things that christians disagree on which are not really addressed by the Bible – matters of tradition. Topics such as the style of music used in church, the way services are structured (for example liturgical or not), that sort of thing. Secondly the beliefs where the Bible can be understood in more than one way (for example baptism) which historically have caused division amongst christians.

    David’s concerns about Hillsong (which I share) are not in those categories. Instead, they are serious matters of theology and conduct. The main concern is promoting a prosperity gospel – the idea that God wants his followers to be materially rich. This is a total corruption of the christian message. In addition, those who preach it tell people to give money to God, but use the resultant donations to live a film-star lifestyle – totally immoral. A number of the speakers fall into this category. As well as being a prosperity preacher, TD Jakes denies the trinity – an approach that Christians have regarded as heresy for most of the last 2000 years. Steve Furtick who is building a personality cult around himself and manipulating people into getting baptised. Joel Osteen is a prosperity preacher with universalist views who has turned Christianity into a form of positive thinking, abandoning the message of salvation through Jesus from sin.

    So to answer your first question, Hillsong church and conference have left sound doctrine and personal integrity behind for the sake of money and numbers. They tolerate and promote some very wrong theology and practice. That’s why we cannot endorse them and would warn people to stay away.

    (For completeness, I am sure there is a gospel message preached at Hillsong. However there so much bad stuff preached as well that overshadows whatever good there is).

  65. Andrew Battistella

    That would be for a coffee Brad…and Tyler, thank you fur the encouragemento

  66. David

    Regarding the comments here and elsewhere that urge churches to cease using Hillsong music because of their choice of conference speakers:

    Hillsong is a big org. The people that book the speakers are not the ones that write the music, but they attend the same church.

    Best to think of Hillsong as a denomination:

    Take Sydney Anglicans (please!). Are the Reformed Evangelicals in Sydang happy that their fellow church Christ Church St Laurence at Central has an annual blessing of the pets ceremony?

    Now there’s heresy!

    So taking the same argument, if Hillsong haters are to be consistent, then they should really chuck out their Emu music and other catalogues birthed in Sydang land, as one of their churches is heretical.

    Goodness, at this rate we’ll have to go back to singing the Psalms.

  67. Floyd J

    So I’ll take it as though Osteen believes in the God that, ‘helps those that help themselves’…right?
    This self-righteous teaching still circulates through the C3 section.
    Be interesting to see what the A’bells’ have to say at the CON ference.
    Are the A’bells’ next in line for the Hillsong Lordship once the Huey’s have gone?

    1. Dimity statheos

      I agree that some of their speakers have ‘questionable’ theology and it is totally
      Biblical to articulate their mistakes. However as I have read the comments and ‘tone’ on this thread I question the justification of the language and place of the article. Would it not serve the ‘Church’ to contact the leaders of Hillsong and seek to engage in dialogue in the context of relationship to articulate your concerns? This article is unhelpful to Christians, particularly those who are seeking future positions of leadership as they get disillusioned by threads such as this. It is appalling that people have made sweeping generalisations about Hillsong(excluding your facts about their speakers). In summary you are correct to question and highlight your concerns regarding Hillsong but in this forum it is unhelpful and divisive.
      BTW I have responded to this as a result of a brother contacting me due to his disillusionment with the tone of the article.
      Ultimately who does it seek to serve by posting this?

      1. Dimity Statheos

        Furthermore I am theologically trained in Sydney.

        1. Jonathan L

          Dimity, the problems with Hillsong have been going on for years and people have repeatedly tried to address them with its leaders, with no success. There comes a point at which a public statement is needed.

          Why is it unhelpful and divisive to point out that a large and influential church is promoting false teachers? Surely the division is caused by Hillsong allowing these people to speak?

          I’ve felt the tone of this article and comments has been pretty good. There hasn’t been any disparagement of individuals, rather, it is beliefs and practices that have been criticised. What do you think is inappropriate?

          You ask what does this article achieve. It warns people that Hillsong is theologically dubious, and it challenges Hillsong to change its ways. What’s wrong with that?

  68. Dimity Statheos

    Jonathan L does it really challenge Hillsong to change its ways? In my experience impact and change can only be achieved in the context of relationship.

  69. Jonathan L

    Dimity, firstly I note you haven’t responded to most of my questions where I pointed out weaknesses in your comment.

    Regarding your question about whether this will have any effect on Hillsong, I’m a realist and I doubt it will.

    However (1) David has only done this because the relationship approach has been repeatedly tried in the past to no avail, (2) the fact that the chance of success is low shouldn’t stop anyone from trying, (3) David said Brian Houston has attempted to contact him, so perhaps some sort of relationship will result, and (4) even if this brings about no change by itself, it may be a contributing factor to an eventual change.

    But, quite apart from the effect on Hillsong, this still serves as a warning to people, so it has value.

  70. Dimity Statheos

    Jonathan I make comment on these conversations not to necessarily engage in dialogue with people who happen to make other comment but to the author, in this case David. He has chosen not to respond to my comment and that is fine. Further I strengthen my argument regarding the fact that I don’t agree with this being discussed in this form by not answering or clarifying your comments. Using language such as ‘weaknesses in your comment’ even further strengthens my point that these discussions are unhelpful in this forum. Basically you need to ‘pull your head in’ and treat me as a sister in Christ rather than a client being cross-examined in the witness box.

    1. rob

      yes its a very hard edged discussion and seems to me that they both sides need to learn from each other. Anyone who can’t see enormous good in Hillsong misses a lot i think. I don’t mind in the slightest if some want to vigorously debate some of the teaching and indeed welcome the idea that perhaps correction might sometimes come through healthy dialogue. As long as such discussions are approached with the humility that we also might learn from the other side. But going so far as to call people heretics, and writing off the movement, seems very unhelpful. I’ve spent significant amounts of time in both traditions (pentecostalism and evangelical Anglicanism) and think both need to learn from each other.

      I see error indeed in other ways on the other side. I think many would benefit from seeing what God was up to in encounters that founded classic Pentecostalism. Scholarship such as Gordon Fee might reassure the theologically nervous. (And for the record TD Jakes has clarified his position on the Trinity and has rejected modalist positions so perhaps we could celebrate such things.)

      That division remains down to this day – rejecting the powerful experiences that sometimes occurred in less theologically reflective contexts has left us with a dry landscape of theological correctness (not at all intersecting with “political correctness” but perhaps sometimes becoming its mirror image, at the other end of the cultural spectrum, a self referential and somewhat closed system that enforces “correctness”) and a more experimentally orientated landscape on the other hand, where the Presence of God breathing Life has indeed been known, but which can sometimes be vulnerable to erroneous teaching some ways (less in frequency, and more often corrected, than you might think, i suspect) on the other. Both expressions, both brothers if you like, need to inform each other for a full Trinitarian church in doctrine and praxis, says this lay person. I like some of the ‘standing firm’ in the Sydney tradition – but also see a very limiting view, and a very low ceiling for experiencing transformation that these movements have celebrated. Beware premature hardening of the categories – not good for the heart of faith hope, and love in Jesus; even though they might need your theological training, graciously shared in love for the good of the whole church. They’re more open to that than you might realise – more willing to celebrate excellent biblical teaching – if you can drop the antagonism.

      1. rob

        “Experientially orientated” . Not “experimentally orientated”.

      2. David Ould

        Rob, apologies for the delay in getting your very helpful comment through moderation.

        Just wanted to take you up on one particular thing:

        But going so far as to call people heretics, and writing off the movement, seems very unhelpful.

        I think this needs a response. Modalism is a heresy. It’s not “unhelpful” to say that but actually of benefit to the church. Contrary to the claims of some on this thread, Trinitarian heresy is not just a matter of opinion but the first great matter to be settled in the life of the Church. The implications for everything else (most of all our doctrines of revelation and salvation) hang upon whom we say God is.

        The main contention is that Hillsong were more than happy to invite and endorse a man whose position was (at the most generous) at least unclear if not, in reality, entirely incorrect. This is a serious issue. So yes, it’s wonderful that Jakes has made some moves in the right direction more recently (although, as noted above, his church’s doctrinal statement is still very unhelpfully ambiguous) but the bigger issue still remains; Hillsong repeatedly invite these people including those who support heresy to their conference. They display a shocking lack of discernment and then we see that same lack mirrored in the responses of some here. It almost proves the point!

        This is not “writing off the movement”. I want Hillsong to be a wonderful force for good and God and the gospel but they can’t be that if they are so lacking in discernment and serve up both poison and haute cuisine at the same time.

  71. Mike Taylor (not the one in Tanzania)

    Hi David. Thanks for your helpful article. Have you spent much time looking at Hillsong’s own theology? I think this would add more weight to your argument.

  72. MARY



  73. John Henderson

    Like any Pentecostalism church, you have to be very careful. I like Brian Huston's preaching, of course it does not compare to my Pastor John McArthur who really goes deep into the bible and less entertainment. There are even people who don't like him and he teaches accurate. You don't go to church for concerts but to learn so that you can defend against false teaching. I have not found to much wrong with Brian as far as what is on TV living in America, but plan on seeing it for myself in Los Angeles with his son. They do teach the bible, unlike Joel Olsten who never opens the bible nor preaches from it, but teaches more like a self-help guide and is deceiving many people. He won’t even stand up for sound doctrine when asked by the press on certain subject plaguing our country. That is what I call a false teacher. Huston at least uses the word. He just has a different style. There is such a thing as the pentecostal cult and you can read about its history and misguided teachings on the internet. Hillsong is at least reaching out to the sinners, how many stay following Christ from their style of preaching is the question? Conference is a little different than his regular church service, and of course you’re not seeing everything through a live feed. There is nothing wrong with using modern technics like Hillsong does as the church has to evolve so long as sound doctrine teaching goes with it.

  74. MARY

    hi John, Don’t be fooled by John Macarthur, i used to listen to him for years until recently, when i stumbled across his false teaching of repentance as Brian Houston does, we are living in deceptive days. Macarthur is brilliant at exposing the charasmatic movements and a lot of false teachers, but refuses to be corrected himself, with the false repentance he teaches. He teaches a works salvation gospel. he is the leading proponent of Lordship Salvation, which he makes all these requirements to be saved, its easy to be saved, but discipleship is hard.
    He mixes justification with sanctification, leaving the person always in doubt about whether he is really a christian. its a huge topic and u need to make sure you have believed the gospel.
    Most of my christian life due to this man i was under his false gospel of Calvanism and Lordship Salvation which is satans subtle way under such deep theology of taking people to hell. The gospel is so simple Macarthur misses, don’t be fooled, people all over the world are warning unwary christians that he is teaching error. He corrupts the simplicity of the gospel. Ephes. 2. 89 He speaks out of a forked tongue, claiming he believes in eternal life, then nullifys the grace of god.
    We must be bereans and check out these teachings, not everyone who says lord lord will enter. Our works have nothing to do with saving us or keeping us, we don’t need evidence. They take that scripture of you shall know them by the fruits, taken out of context, look at that whole passage, its referring to false teachers, that u will know them by their fruit of their doctrine. Even unbelievers can do good works, go to church and still not be saved. We only know people are christians if they have believed on the lord jesus and rest in the finished work of christ.
    i pray god will open yr eyes.
    I encourage you to go to a good discerning site, know the people. Its called Ex preacherman and type in Calvanism and Lordship Salvation and the errors of J.Mac. We need to evaluate their doctrine, this is not an attack on them or their personalities its a matter of right doctrine, something that is lacking in the church today.
    Calvanism is derived from Augustine, and it stems back to Catholicism, i know i used to be one.
    Calvanism is a wicked teaching, that god didn
    t die for all only the elect, do the whole tulip teaching. I’m saddened people are falling for his false teaching, Calvanism has made huge inroads into the evangelical church, deceiving the masses.

  75. MARY

    Becareful look up the word repentance, some say its turn from yr sin , some say its change yr mind. Macarthur, Ray Comfort, Paul Washer,
    have a different meaning, look up the greek word meta noia, means change yr mind, god repented in the old testament, he had no sin, he changed his mind.
    Macarthur puts impossible demands on the babe, u have submit yr life, if hes not lord of all hes not lord of all, santificatn comes later he puts the horse before the cart. Some people cant live up to it burn out and give up the christian life as its too hard.
    Go also to reedeeming the moments with holly garcia, she does an excellent job at exposing these false doctrines, all these roads are leading to Rome as the saying goes. Its all ecumenical, all these false gospels preached in churches will lead to the false church, the book of revelation talks about the one world order and the churches must unite under anti -christ.
    Check the doctrines of pentecostals u will find they are mostly arminian, they lose their salvation, some say some don’t but when u push them further, they say if u backslide or die in unconfessed sin or u fall into adultery u lose it or were never saved. why have we taken our eyes off the cross and rest in his work. we will fail, even if we are unfaithful he is faithful, the bible says u may know u have eternal life, it has nothing to do with our performance.
    john mac has a lot to answer for, he is leading people in the wrong direction, he seems great, but he is deceived.

  76. Jake Elliot

    Thank you David Ould for this very timely piece. But you say the advertising "is quite excellent:". How? Production wise? Message wise? I pray you reconsider.
    You can advertise honestly or falsely. You can honestly promote a subject or you can manipulate a subject so you can manipulate people to embrace that subject. Sadly, Hillsong is prone to do the latter.

    In the above advert it seems as though it is glorifying Jesus until you stop at 00:45. Why did Hillsong portray the well-known Roman Catholic image of the "Sacred Heart"? It's the longest segment in the clip. Hillsong for a long time has been pushing the Australian churches to embrace the Apostate Roman Catholic Church and her Pope. This has to make you wonder what they mean by "No Other Name" now. When you look at what Hillsong means when they have "no other name" in their advertising, they are deliberately linking the name "Hillsong" to "no other name". If anyone tuned in to watch the conference live, you would have seen "NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14 NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14 NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14 NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14[…]". This is blasphemous. Marketing knows the power of association. Hillsong would definitely know this and are without excuse for manipulating people to think "NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14".

    Hillsong is deliberately confusing and competing with the name of Jesus. When we think "No other name" – we are meant to think "Hillsong" while "Jesus" is pushed to the side as Hillsong embraces the false Roman Catholic Jesus. Hillsong knows they are being criticised for preaching a false Jesus. That advert does a great job giving the impression they don't preach a false Jesus… unless you are familiar with RCC imagery. They did a fine job pushing Roman Catholic imagery onto many naive Christians who cannot tell the difference between the two religions. Can you please reconsider saying that was a "quite excellent" advert.

    1. David Ould

      hi Jake – yes, production wise

  77. Jake Elliot

    Thank you David Ould for this very timely piece. But you say the advertising "is quite excellent:". How? Production wise? Message wise? I pray you reconsider.
    You can advertise honestly or falsely. You can honestly promote a subject or you can manipulate a subject so you can manipulate people to embrace that subject. Sadly, Hillsong is prone to do the latter.

    In the above advert it seems as though it is glorifying Jesus until you stop at 00:45. Why did Hillsong portray the well-known Roman Catholic image of the "Sacred Heart"? It's the longest segment in the clip. Hillsong for a long time has been pushing the Australian churches to embrace the Apostate Roman Catholic Church and her Pope. This has to make you wonder what they mean by "No Other Name" now. When you look at what Hillsong means when they have "no other name" in their advertising, they are deliberately linking the name "Hillsong" to "no other name". If anyone tuned in to watch the conference live, you would have seen "NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14 NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14 NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14 NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14[…]". This is blasphemous. Marketing knows the power of association. Hillsong would definitely know this and are without excuse for manipulating people to think "NO OTHER NAME HILLSONG 14".

    Hillsong is deliberately confusing and competing with the name of Jesus. When we think "No other name" – we are meant to think "Hillsong" while "Jesus" is pushed to the side as Hillsong embraces the false Roman Catholic Jesus. Hillsong knows they are being criticised for preaching a false Jesus. That advert does a great job giving the impression they don't preach a false Jesus… unless you are familiar with RCC imagery. They did a fine job pushing Roman Catholic imagery onto many naive Christians who cannot tell the difference between the two religions. Can you please reconsider saying that was a "quite excellent" advert.

  78. Peter

    As a new christian I have read these posts. I thought Christianity was about love and unity but seems there is just just conflict and disagreement. There seems to be attacks from Church of England towards Hillsong. If this is what Christianity is all about please count me out of it.

  79. MARY

    Peter unity can only be based on truth, we have an enemy and he has a false unity, with all his confusing mixed doctrines and gospel, we need to be discerning. Love exposes and corrects, so we don’t become confused. Influencers church here in adelaide supports all these false jesus. The Bible in the book of galatians warns there will be another jesus, spirit and gospel, its not an easy road. Being a christian will be hard. Jesus said the road is narrow. Hillsong has been ecumenical and inclusive of all religions with Brian Houston endorsing the muslim god of allah. One of the 10 commandmts is u shall have no other gods. i rest my case. Love warns.

  80. Jonathan

    Peter, firstly, I thank God that you have become a Christian. I’m sorry if what you read here is discouraging.

    The issue, quite simply, is that the overall message of Hillsong is significantly wrong – for instance preachers telling people to give to God but then living a filmstar lifetyle from the donations. Christianity requires an absolute commitment to God’s values of truth and integrity as set out in the Bible. Hillsong consistently ignores these, and that is sin. That’s what is causing the conflict and disagreement.

    As Mary said below, unity requires shared truth, and Hillsong rejects this by preaching a false message. Likewise, it is our love for God and for everyone associated with Hillsong that we must, as David said at the very start, “call the organisers and promotors of the Hillsong Conference to repentance. They promote the ministry of those who teach falsehood. They do this despite the many many times they have been challenged on the matter.”

  81. MARY

    Well said Jonathan,
    We are living in perilous times of great deception. Hillsongs biggest issue is they preach a false gospel. Endorse false teachers. In Romans its says to mark those who cause division AND AVOID THEM. Not have conferences with them. I feel for the youth, they are learning and becoming spiritually confused. They don’t know if they believe in eternal security or if they lose it, or if they don’t perservere as a saint that they lose it, and it undermines total assurance of the believer, so they live in doubt fear and anxiety whether they have done enough works.
    Look to Jesus for our salvation it has nothing to do with us before or after we are saved. Stay away from Reformed Theology, John Macarthur, Piper, Paul Washer, its all a works salvation gospel.

  82. Jake Elliot

    "When will the Christian world stop pointing the finger st other Christians because have a difference of opinion. One is not right and one is not wrong , simply different."
    This is what happens when heretics push worldly philosophies disguised as "Christian" doctrine. What Andrew Battistella has embraced is relativism aka postmodern philosophy, thinking that they have embraced a Christian doctrine. This is the exact dangerous philosophy behind Hillsong's movement. You cannot reason with people like this. They do not tolerate the Christian world view and it is very sad.

  83. Rod

    It may be a good idea to hear from those who actually attended Hillsong Conference, rather than those who did not, and ask:
    How did you enjoy about attending Hillsong Conference this year ?

  84. MARY

    Yes, the people that come back from these conferences, some i am speaking about, have no regard for sound doctrine, and they come back all pumped up. These conferences are usually about the emotions and experiences rather than learning the word of god being rightly divided. They lump all these speakers in the same category, without regard to what each person believes. Very Sad.Most of these teachers all preach a works salvation gospel. They preach an accursed message.

  85. John

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts
    I understand there is a place to discuss teaching about speakers and churches.
    But it does greatly concern me that posting such messages on personal facebook about false teachers.
    By posting about false teachers on personal facebook, I would ask people to consider what witness do we have to our non christian friends?
    Our non christian friends will see them and see the debate, disunity and often arguments between christians and think that christianity is a joke.
    I understand that people are trying to warn others about false teachers. But your friends and and family reading these posts who are not christians will read these posts and think christianity is a joke.
    I have been personally challenged by this myself as I used to respond to posts and comments about false teachers, and some of my non christian friends would comment that they saw the posts and wanted nothing to do with christianity.
    So I will leave that to my fellow christians to consider:
    By posting about false teachers on personal facebook, I would ask people to consider what witness do we have to our non christian friends?

  86. The Narrowing Path

    Some thoughts on Christian ‘unity’:

    “Constantly we hear of proposals for unity and union . . . but what is the use of pretending where there can be none? There is another matter which needs to be thought of as well as unity and union, and that is TRUTH. To part with truth to show charity is to betray our Lord with a kiss. Between those who believe in the eternal verities and those who constantly cast doubt on them there can be no unity or union.”
    The Sword and Trowel.
    (February, 1887). Page 91.

    “To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
    The Sword and Trowel.
    (November, 1887). Page 558.

    Doctrine Is Worse Than Division — J.C. Ryle

    Divisions and separations are most objectionable in religion. They weaken the cause of true Christianity. They give occasion to the enemies of all godliness to blaspheme. But before we blame people for them, we must be careful that we lay the blame where it is deserved. False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism. If people separate themselves from teaching which is positively false and unscriptural, they ought to be praised rather than reproved. In such cases separation is a virtue and not a sin. It is easy to make sneering remarks about “itching ears,” and ” love of excitement”; but it is not so easy to convince a plain reader of the Bible that it is his duty to hear false doctrine every Sunday, when by a little exertion he can hear truth. The old saying must never be forgotten, “He is the schismatic who causes the schism.”

    Unity, quiet, and order among professing Christians are mighty blessings. They give strength, beauty, and efficiency to the cause of Christ. But even gold may be bought too dear. Unity which is obtained by the sacrifice of truth is worth nothing. It is not the unity which pleases God. The Church of Rome boasts loudly of a unity which does not deserve the name. It is unity which is obtained by taking away the Bible from the people, by gagging private judgment, by encouraging ignorance, by forbidding men to think for themselves. Like the exterminating warriors of old, the Church of Rome “makes a solitude and calls it peace.” There is quiet and stillness enough in the grave, but it is not the quiet of health, but of death. It was the false prophets who cried “Peace,” when there was no peace.

    Controversy in religion is a hateful thing. It is hard enough to fight the devil, the world, and the flesh, without private differences in our own camp. But there is one thing which is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine tolerated, allowed, and permitted without protest or molestation. It was controversy that won the battle of Protestant Reformation…There are times when controversy is not only a duty but a benefit. Give me the mighty thunder storm rather than the pestilential malaria. The one walks in darkness and poisons us in silence, and we are never safe. The other frightens and alarms for a little season. But it is soon over, and it clears the air. It is a plain Scriptural duty to ” contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

    – J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)
    taken from: Knots Untied: Being Plain Statements on Disputed Points in Religion (1885), Chapter 17, The Fallibility of Ministers.

    Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones

    We must never start with the visible church or with an institution, but rather with the truth which alone creates unity. Failure to realize this point was surely the main trouble with the Jews at the time when our Lord was in this world. It is dealt with in the preaching of John the Baptist, who said, “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Luke 3:8). Our Lord teaches the same thing in John 8:32-34. The Jews had objected to His saying “the truth shall make you free,” their argument being that they were Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man. He draws attention to their rejection of His Word and their attempts to kill Him, and concludes: “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.. Ye do the deeds of your father.. Ye are of your father the devil” (John 8:39, 41, 44). Their fatal assumption was that the fact that they were Jews guaranteed of necessity their salvation, that membership of the nation meant that they were truly children of God. As John the Baptist indicated, the notion was entirely mechanical; God could produce such people out of stones.

    The apostle Paul also deals with this confusion when he says in writing to the Romans: “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:28, 29). He repeats this in the words, “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel” (Romans 9:6). This is further enforced by the statement, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Galatians 3:7). And also, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).

    The same mistake of starting with the visible institution rather than with truth was also made at the time of the Reformation. What Luther was enabled to see, and what accounted for his courageous stand, was this selfsame point. He refused to be bound by that mighty institution, the Roman Catholic Church, with her long centuries of history. Having been liberated by the truth of justification by faith he saw clearly that truth must always come first. It must come before institution and traditions, and everything – every institution, even the church – must be judged by the Word of truth. The invisible church is more important than the visible church, and loyalty to the former may involve either expulsion or separation from the latter, and the formation of a new visible church.1

    1. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “The Basis of Christian Unity,” in Knowing the Times: Addresses Delivered on Various Occasions 1942-1977 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1989), 160-161.

  87. Maureen Alison Puddle

    David Ould For a start David, that's a lie that they deny the Trinity!! Simple NOT true! Hill Song are part of the Australian Christian Churches, or Assemblies of God and they definitely embrace and believe in the Trinity! I have a nephew who is a Pastor at Hill Song in Sydney and what you are saying is false.

    1. Robert

      There are two classical levels of judgement. One is spiritual and the other physical. And each one has another categories. In the teaching of jesus in matthew 7 remember jesus is not totally prohibiting judgement. If there would not be judgement in the world, the world would be so chaotic. But what jesus is saying to pharisees is that no one should judge if he did the same thing. And jesus also again said, if you judge, judge the righteous judgement (jn. 7:24). An apostle paul uses the same greek word in 1 cor. 6, when he spoke of settling problems in the churches. And paul again charges timothy to refute, rebuke and condemn the fase teachers. Therefore i rebuke and condemn any form of false teaching-whoever.

  88. Maureen Alison Puddle

    Hi John, Pentecostal churches I know and have had connections to do not deny the God Head and teach Jesus only. That is not true. I think there was one old time Pentecostal church many many years ago who may have believed in a Jesus Only doctrine but that is not typical of Pentecostalism generally.

  89. David Ould

    Maureen, where in the post do I claim that Hillsong deny the Trinity? I'm quite sure they don't. But that have publicly endorsed a teacher who does – TD Jakes.

  90. Maureen Alison Puddle

    David Ould I quote you David in your response to Alex Burton! "Can I ask – do you think it's acceptable for a prominent teacher in the church to deny the doctrine of the Trinity?" So David, which Prominent teacher are you referring to in the context of claiming 'falsely' that Hill Song Conference is the greatest promoter of false teaching! If even by alluding to teachers they promote as denyng the Trinity, then by default you are accusing them of the very same thing! Sorry you cant wriggle out of this one by using 'political speak'! Saying one thing one moment and denying it the next!

  91. Maureen Alison Puddle

    David Ould Maybe TD does or does not support the Trinity in 3 separate Persons as you and I do. I don't know, because he does NOT personally spell it out using all our Theologically 'correct' Words! But the the Church never agreed on the Trinity as we have the doctrine of the Trinity today, until at least 381 AD at the Council of Constantinople. Hundreds of years after the New Testament Church was establishe and the NT was written, and many at that time of the Council, disagreed with the final doctrinal Statement. Some Bishops, I think the Macedonian ones, even walked out of the Council in protest! Also, when I was studying Theology at an Anglican College in Australia, not so many years ago, there were those who also denied, or had serious questions about the Trinitarian belief, and there were Bishops of the Anglican Church who also denied a literal physical Resurrection of Christ, and Heaven as being an actual place! So David, I would say that according to your own advice its time perhaps you left the Anglican Church, or you may find you are associating with those 'you' consider to be FALSE Teachers. Is it time to start looking in your own Back Yard, instead of trying to point out all the so called errors of everyone else in the Body of Christ? It would seem so!

  92. MARY

    Couldnt agree with u more Maureen, The houstons have a lot to answer for, hooking up with the unequally yoked catholic church, Houston says Allah the muslims god is the same as ours. He’s right they are they are both devils. I do not serve the same god as the Houstons. You can only determine which god u serve from sound doctrine. The Faith prosperity gospel is a false gospel, its not the s ame jesus as the bible.We r warned in scripture. There will be false prophets, teachers and false jesus all around us. Church is a dangerous place to hang out these days, as we are living in the days of the apostasy. U will get more clarity just staying home and hooking up with like minded christians that love truth and sound doctrine.
    Wake up pentecostals its not that we don’t love u,but we differ in doctrine. In the last days they will not endure sound doctrine, we are in that place today.

  93. David Ould

    Maureen, I fear there's some confusion on your part here. As I've already replied to you, the prominent teacher is TD Jakes. Does that mean that Hillsong deny the Trinity? I don't think so, but it does display an enormous and irresponsible naivety.

  94. David Ould

    Maureen Alison Puddle I think there's more confusion here. The doctrine of the Trinity is not something we can all disagree on, nor was it only finally established in 381. It had been believed and understood from the Scriptures since the 2nd century.

    So yes, there were many who denied various aspects of Trinitarian belief – that doesn't make their own positions legitimate, on the contrary it only demonstrates that we should be ever careful of heresy.

    Now, for the particular issue you raise of Constantinople 381; yes the Macedonians rejected the findings, but then the council was called to deal with their error in the first place. They followed Arius in his denial of the full divinity of the Son by arguing the same thing about the Spirit. Their rejection of Trinitarian doctrine does not legitimise heretical positions, but it does serve as a classic example.

    As for TD Jakes, Constantinople is not relevant for he follows a heresy with an even older provenance – Sabellianism (or Modalism). You may not think these differences are important but the early church certainly did.

    For the record, your ambivalence about both modalistic and Arian/Macedonian heresy is fairly worrying – but it is perhaps a good example of the doctrinal naïvety that Hillsong appears to produce.

  95. Maureen Alison Puddle

    David Ould No, there's NO Confusion David, so please don't put that on me!! For while you may not say overtly that Hill Song deny the Trinity, you do in fact and by default label them FALSE, because those such as TD that 'you' believe deny the Trinity, which is quite questionable, preach at Hill Song Conference! If you read my last post just above yours, you would have seen my comments about the Trinitarian theology and my thoughts as to what you declare over Hill Song and TD Jakes, PLUS you would have seen the hypocritical position you are in, when you yourself are in a Church with Leaders and Bishops, who also proclaim what you and many would declare are false beliefs; with some who question the Trinity, some who deny a traditional view of the Atonement and also deny the physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and yet tell others they should not relate to not attend Hill Song Conference because they promote false teachers. Sadly your own standards don't apply to yourself, only to others! Also David of those you list as being false, they are in fact NOT false, anymore than any one of us who no doubt have not got all our doctrine perfectly right. Not even you! For instance I believe Baptising babies is Not a New Testament Doctrine that can be found in Scripture! It could be alluded to in one scripture, but is not there clearly at all. I understand why you practice it in the Anglican Church and can accomodate your belief, but I will never believe its a doctrine supported By Scripture, as the Anglican Church teaches it. BUT I am not going to separate from you or the Anglican Church over that because one day when we stand before the Lord He is not going to get out the list of everyone's Doctrinal beliefs and say how well they did in understanding and practicing everything perfectly!! Is He! So most of this discussion is fruitless and useless! It flows not from the Spirit of Christ but from the Religious spirit that likes to separate and divide, destroy and speak evil of. So lets get back on Track to what's really important.

  96. David Ould

    Maureen Alison Puddle I'm not sure there's anything much left to say. If you're keen to defend these false teachers I'll leave you to it. As for the state of the Anglican Church, I think I'm more than on the record.

  97. Maureen Alison Puddle

    David, I agree Trinitarian doctrine and was in the Scriptures and the Early Church I'm sure, but it was NOT clearly defined by the Church before 381 and yes I'm sure further refinements happened after that time. BUT lets put that aside and just say this. I'm sure when we stand before God in Heaven one day He is not going to question us as to whether what we believed was Trinitarian, Modalism or Sabellianism in regards to our doctrine on Father Son and Holy Spirit! Who cares what the Early Church Fathers had a problem with in their doctrine! They were often just as divisive as you are today! All this goes no where except to turn people away from desiring to Follow Christ! No wonder parts of the church that just want to fight and quibble over doctrine and accuse others of being false teachers, are fading into oblivion!

  98. Maureen Alison Puddle

    David Ould Just for the record I have don't attend Hill Song and never have. But I refuse to buy into all the evil accusations being hurled at them over doctrinal and other issues!

  99. John

    T.D. Jakes Embraces Doctrine of the Trinity
    I have done some research on TD Jakes and this article and interview with TD Jakes article
    See article at

    Copy of article
    T.D. Jakes Embraces Doctrine of the Trinity, Moves Away from ‘Oneness’ View
    Jakes stated his belief at the second-annual Elephant Room, which features what organizers call “conversations you never thought you’d hear.”
    Michael Foust, Baptist Press Michael Foust, Baptist Press [ POSTED 1/27/2012 08:40PM ]
    AURORA, Ill. (BP) – Bishop T.D. Jakes says he has moved away from a “Oneness” view of the Godhead to embrace an orthodox definition of the Trinity – and that some in the Oneness Pentecostal movement now consider him a heretic.
    Jakes – long a controversial figure among evangelicals because of his past unwillingness to affirm the Trinity – stated his belief Wednesday (Jan. 27) at the second-annual Elephant Room (theelephantroom.com), an event that brings together Christian figures from different backgrounds for what organizers call “conversations you never thought you’d hear.” This year’s Elephant Room was held at Harvest Bible Chapel in Illinois and was simulcast to other locations nationwide.

    Jakes, founder and senior pastor of The Potter’s House in Dallas, was the focus of a motion at Southern Baptist Convention annual meetings in 2009 and 2010 by a messenger who wanted LifeWay Christian Stores to stop selling his books. One was ruled out of order by the SBC president, the other referred to LifeWay for study.
    Jakes – who once made the cover of Time magazine, which asked if he might be the next Billy Graham – said he was saved in a Oneness Pentecostal church. Oneness Pentecostalism denies the Trinity and claims that instead of God being three persons, He is one person. In Oneness Pentecostalism, there is no distinction between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. It is also called “modalism,” and it is embraced by the United Pentecostal Church International.
    “I began to realize that there are some things that could be said about the Father that could not be said about the Son,” Jakes said. “There are distinctives between the working of the Holy Spirit and the moving of the Holy Spirit, and the working of the redemptive work of Christ. I’m very comfortable with that.” [See the transcript of Jakes’ comments at the end of this story.]
    The doctrine of the Trinity – embraced by all three historical branches of Christianity – holds that God is three persons, each person is distinct, each person is fully God, and that there is one God.
    Several key Bible passages, Jakes said, impacted his transition.
    “Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, for example, coming up out of the water [and] the Holy Spirit descends like a dove, the Father speaks from heaven – and we see all three of them on one occasion,” he said, “or in Genesis [where God said,] ‘let us make man in our own likeness’ or Elohim – He is the one God who manifests Himself in a plurality of ways. Or what Jesus says, ‘I am with the Father, and the Father is in me.'”
    Jakes added: “That began to make me rethink some of my ideas and some of the things that I was taught. I got kind of quiet about it for a while. Because when you are a leader and you are in a position of authority, sometimes you have to back up and ponder for a minute, and really think things through.”
    James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel of Rolling Meadows, Ill., and Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle interviewed Jakes.
    Not everything Jakes said will make Trinitarians happy. He said he considers both sides of the issue to be Christians, and that his church has affiliations with both camps. He also said “we’re all saying the same thing.” But under questioning from Driscoll, Jakes again affirmed the Trinity:
    Driscoll: “Do you believe this is the perfect, inspired, final authority Word of God?” [Driscoll held up a Bible.]
    Jakes: “Absolutely.”
    Driscoll: “So you believe there’s one God, three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit? You believe Jesus was fully God, fully Man?”
    Jakes: “Absolutely.”
    Driscoll: “You believe He died on the cross in our place for our sins?”
    Jakes: “Absolutely.”
    Driscoll: “You believe He bodily rose from death?”
    Jakes: “Absolutely.”
    Driscoll: “You believe that He is the judge of the living and the dead?”
    Jakes: “Yes.”
    Driscoll: “And you believe that apart from Jesus there is no salvation?”
    Jakes: “Absolutely.”
    Jakes said he prefers the term “manifestations” instead of the term “persons” – a position he has stated before.
    He also said that “many of the circles that I came from would never allow me in their pulpit [now] because they consider me a heretic.”
    Southern Baptist leaders applauded Jakes’ transformation while also saying Jakes isn’t fully where he should be on that and other issues.
    “It is encouraging to see T.D. Jakes moving away from the heresy of modalism,” said Malcolm B. Yarnell III, director of the Center for Theological Research at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. “However, we should pray for him and exhort him privately and publicly to move into biblical orthodoxy without equivocation. Much of what Jakes stated about God the Trinity in this interview was correct. For instance he noted the simultaneous but distinct movements of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the baptism of Jesus. This is very true, though I might have described it differently.”
    Yarnell said Jakes incorrectly interprets 1 Timothy 3:16, which says “He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” Jakes uses that verse to argue for his usage of “manifestations,” but Yarnell says the passage is speaking only of Jesus – not the other members of the Godhead.
    “The only ‘manifestation’ to which 1 Timothy 3:16 refers is the incarnation of God in Christ,” Yarnell said. “… Jakes simply does not offer a proper exegetical basis for his unique theological term.” [Yarnell’s complete statement on Jakes’ comments follows this story.]
    Russell D. Moore, dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., said he takes “Bishop Jakes at his word that he holds to Trinitarianism.”
    “But there’s still some elephants left in the room,” Moore said. “First of all, Bishop Jakes isn’t a new convert being discipled in the basics of the Christian faith. He is a celebrity mega-church pastor. Moreover, Trinitarianism isn’t the ‘meat’ of some advanced doctrine, but the most foundational doctrine of the Christian faith. A Christian pastor affirming least-common-denominator Christian doctrine should hardly be news, much less an elephant in the room. This can only happen in an American evangelicalism that values success, novelty and celebrity more than church accountability.”
    Moore added, “There still stands the issue of the prosperity gospel Bishop Jakes preaches. Joyce Meyer and Kenneth Copeland are Trinitatians but their health and wealth gospel is different from the message of Jesus and His apostles.”
    Michael Foust is associate editor of Baptist Press. DVDs of the Elephant Room II can be purchased at TheElephantRoom.com. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
    Following is the transcript of the conversation between T.D. Jakes, Mark Driscoll and James MacDonald on the Trinity, beginning after Jakes was asked about his background:
    Jakes: My father was Methodist. My mother was Baptist. My father’s family was Methodist as far back as I can remember. I was raised in a Baptist church. But I was raised in church but I really didn’t have a real committed experience with Christ until my father died. When my father died, I had a real experience with Christ – a real conversion in Christ, and I had it in a Oneness church.
    Driscoll: By Oneness meaning [what]? – for those who do not know all the theological terms.
    Jakes: Well it would be like, how do I explain it? It was not a UPC [United Pentecostal] church, in spite of the blogs. It was not a UPC church, but somewhat similar.
    Driscoll: Jesus only, modalism?
    Jakes: “Jesus only – modalism” which is still a theological term. … But Christians and Christians [who] believe in Jesus Christ, believe He died and rose from the dead, coming back again – all the same things that you do. Pentecostal Christians by its virtue. But how they described and explained the Godhead in a traditional oneness sense is very, very different from how traditional Trinitarians describe the Gospel. And I was in that church and raised in that church for a number of years. My problem with it as I began to go on and as God began to develop my ministry, I started preaching from that church and from that pulpit and that sort of thing. But I’m also informed by the infiltration from my Baptist experience and my Methodist experience, so I ended up Metha-Bapti-Costal in a way. So I’m kind of like a mixed breed sitting up here, OK? And what I began to find out [is that] it is easy to throw rocks at people that you don’t know, but the more you really get to know them and see Christ work in their lives, regardless of their belief system, you begin to try to be a bridge-builder. … When you try to build bridges between people who’ve been fighting for hundreds of years – hundreds of years before you ever even got into the discussion. There is an old adage that says ‘he who stands in the middle of the road gets hit by both sides.’ So as I began to progress, I began to understand that some of the dogma that I was taught in the Oneness movement was very dogmatic and very narrow and really not the best description of how I now understand the Godhead. I still did not want to switch teams and start throwing rocks back across the street, because much of what we do today is teach people to take sides. But I believe we are called as the Body of Christ to reconcile wherever possible.
    MacDonald: Alright, but before we even get into – and I think what you’re leading us into is wise and helpful and it reflects why we’re here – how we relate to people who differ is on subject. Before we even go to that, I’d love to give you an opportunity to just – like there were some particular Scriptures that began to inform you, you began to move and develop in what you personally believe. I’d like to just hear you articulate that.
    Jakes: My struggle after I was ordained and consecrated in the Oneness church was in several passages, sometimes the doctrine fits; sometimes it doesn’t. And when the doctrine becomes the primary thing you force it into many places where it doesn’t fit. I really at this point in my life don’t want to force my theology to fit within my denomination. I am open to hear whatever God is saying. Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, for example, coming up out of the water the Holy Spirit descends like a dove, the Father speaks from heaven – and we see all three of them on one occasion, or in Genesis “let us make man in our own likeness” or Elohim – He is the one God who manifest Himself in a plurality of ways. Or what Jesus says, “I am with the Father, and the Father is in me” and understanding – or attempting to understand. And that began to make me rethink some of my ideas and some of the things that I was taught. I got kind of quiet about it for a while. Because when you are a leader and you are in a position of authority, sometimes you have to back up and ponder for a minute, and really think things through. I began to realize that there are some things that could be said about the Father that could not be said about the Son. There are distinctives between the working of the Holy Spirit and the moving of the Holy Spirit, and the working of the redemptive work of Christ. I’m very comfortable with that. You and I have talked; [Jack] Graham and I have talked; there is very little difference in what I believe and what you believe. But here is where I find the problem: I don’t think anything that any of us believes fully describes who God is. And if we would ever humble down to admit that we in our finite minds cannot fully describe an infinite God.
    Driscoll: … We all would agree in the nature of God there is mystery, and it’s like a dimmer switch: how much certainty, how much mystery. But within that, Bishop Jakes, for you the issue between Trinitarianism and Modalism at its essence is one God manifesting Himself successively in three ways? Or one God three persons simultaneously existing eternally. … And I understand, there is some mystery – for sure. Would you say it’s One God manifesting Himself in three ways, or One God in three persons?
    Jakes: I believe that neither one of them totally did it for me, but I think the latter one is where I stand today.
    Driscoll: One God, three Persons?
    Jakes: One God, three Persons. One God, Three Persons, and here is why – I am not crazy about the word “persons.” … My doctrinal statement is no different from yours except for the …
    Driscoll: The word “manifestation.”
    Jakes: Manifest instead of persons. Which you describe as modalist, and I describe it as Pauline. Let me show you what I’m saying. When I read 1 Timothy 3:16, I didn’t create this. … “And without controversy,” which I think we have been bickering about something that is what Paul describes as a mystery, and I don’t think we should do that. “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. So God was manifest in the flesh.” Now Paul was not a modalist, but he does not think that it is robbery to the divinity of God to say God was manifest in the flesh. And I think maybe it’s semantics. But Paul says this before this fight was started. But He also says God “was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached until the Gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.” Now, when we start talking about that sort of thing, I think that it is important that we realize that there are distinctives between the Father and the working of the Son. The Father didn’t bleed, the Father didn’t die – [that happened] only in the person of Jesus Christ. Coming back for us in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has with us, but only indwells us through the person of the Holy Spirit; we are baptized into the body of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think any of that is objectionable to any of the three of us.
    MacDonald: Not at all.
    Jakes: So that is consistent with my belief system. I’m with you. I have been with you. I teach/preach that all the time. There are many people within and outside quote unquote denominations that are labeled Oneness that would describe that the same way. There are some that would not. But when we get to know people by their labels, then comes all the baggage of how we define that label. … it’s almost like the stereotypical ideologies we have about races. We have little ideas about denominations and movements. The reason I applauded what you said earlier about people who have dual affiliations: We are taught in society that if we disagree with any movement, we leave. We sever. Oh, you said something I disagree with we fall out and then we walk away. I still have fellowship, associations, relationship, and positions within and without Trinitarian and Onenness movements, because I believe that until we bridge the gap between our thinking and humble both sides and say, “We are both attempting to describe a God we love, that we serve, and that we have not seen. And that we are viewing Him through the context of the Scriptures, but that with a glass darkly.” Why should I fall out and hate and throw names at you when all that I know and understand, be it very orthodox, is still through a glass darkly? And then face to face. None of our books about the Godhead or anything else will be on sale in heaven. You know why? Because we’re only authorities down here, with our little kingdoms in this world. I think it’s so important that we realize that our God is beyond our intellect. And if you can define Him and completely describe Him and say you are the end-all definition of who God is, then He ceases to be God. Because the reason Paul says it is a mystery, is that we deify the fact that God does things that don’t fit our formulas.
    Driscoll: Let me jump in here. I want to say a couple of things. Thank you for joining us. You don’t have to be there. You were on the cover of Time magazine. You have options of where you go.
    MacDonald: This isn’t your biggest gig ever? [laughter]
    Driscoll: It takes a lot of courage and humility to put yourself in an unscripted situation and to be outside of your normal tribe. And the fact that you showed up to dinner last night, I was shocked. I was like, “T.D. Jakes is coming to dinner?” I loved you. I enjoyed you. I really appreciated hearing your story of your family in context and your upbringing. And I walked away going, “I really appreciate getting to meet and know and enjoy that man. So thank-you for being gracious; thank-you for being courageous; and thank-you for being humble. And I think it might be helpful because, You’re coming out of a Oneness background and out of a different context than a lot of us are. You’ve demonstrated humility, saying “I’ve been studying the Bible and I’m even changing some thinking as I’m studying.” A lot of pastors will just defend their first position to death rather than humbly reconsidering it biblically. Maybe to help others understand you, on the flip side, How have you been treated and what has the response been from some who were friends that you don’t want to throw rocks at, but because of your transition.
    Jakes: That’s what’s funny about this, that’s what’s really funny to me.
    Driscoll: Are you the heretic to them?
    Jakes: Oh, very much so in many circles.
    Jakes: … Many of the circles that I came from would never allow me in their pulpit because they consider me a heretic. I have to read the article to see which heretic I am.
    MacDonald: We’d be honored if you’d come be with us and let’s all grow together.
    Jakes: OK, and that’d be great. But I think the time has come for us to be willing to take the heat to have a conversation. Because if we do not do this, and we continue to divide ourselves by ourselves and compare ourselves with ourselves, we do it at the expense of decreasing numbers of new Christians in our country. We have to mobilize. Just for your consideration: This is the only thing that Jesus prayed that we can answer. He only prayed, “Father, I pray that they may be one even as You and I are also one.” And this is the one thing that is within our power to answer, and we do not do it.
    Driscoll: Can I ask a couple of quick questions, and then we can do whatever you want. Do you believe this is the perfect, inspired, final authority Word of God? [Driscoll holds up a Bible]
    Jakes: Absolutely.
    Driscoll: So you believe there’s one God, Three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit? You believe Jesus was fully God, fully Man?
    Jakes: Absolutely.
    Driscoll: You believe He died on the cross in our place for our sins?
    Jakes: Absolutely.
    Driscoll: You believe He bodily rose from death?
    Jakes: Absolutely.
    Driscoll: You believe that He is the judge of the living and the dead?
    Jakes: Yes.
    Driscoll: And you believe that Apart from Jesus there is no salvation?
    Jakes: Absolutely.
    Driscoll: Thank-you. [applause]
    MacDonald: That was crazy! I’ve just want to say this: I am so weary of people thinking they know – they don’t know I think you honor us and you humble us, a man of your stature and commitment to the Gospel and fruitfulness would come and sit in this room, let you and me ask him what he believes? … I just want to say this, I think you’ve honored us, and you’ve shown immense humility, and I want to be in the world where I believe that Jesus Christ stands. And He’s told us again and again He stands with the humble. “Get to those people who love my Son, who believe my Word, who express humility.” And I’m honored to hear what you said. I want to just say, further, Mark, if I could contribute to this, that I feel deeply in my heart that God is both three and one. Three and one. I believe the Scripture is very clear when we get to heaven, we are going to see Jesus – the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declare. Jesus is the only God we will ever see. When I was studying Revelation last year I was struck by the number of times that I saw in the book of Revelation that it almost seems in the text like the Father and the Son are on the same throne, and when I start to think about this, I believe in God eternally existing in three persons. But, the more I think about it, the more I feel like my head is going to explode, and I get a little weary of people who feel that they need to erase mystery and replace it with certainty as a test of orthodoxy. If what we have heard today doesn’t satisfy, then the person is insatiable, and I’m ready to move on to a new subject. I believe that very strongly.
    Jakes: Let me just make one little comment: One of the things that you said at the end, even as we talked about it before, and I’ve heard Jack Graham say this, too, that there is going to be one throne and there’s going to be one God we can see. And I thought the more I hear everybody arguing about this, we’re all saying the same thing. And we like fight about it to the death, and I just think that in the world that we’re living in today, if we could just connect, and I know that there will always be distracters and there will always be people who define themselves by their differences rather than their connections, who are more comfortable with being known by what they are against than by what they are for. But when I hear you say that there’s going to be one throne and one God on that throne, My soul leaps in celebration, and I hear both of us stumbling trying to explain how God does what He does like He does. I think THAT stumbling is worship. I think THAT stumbling is worship. I think the fact that we would humble ourselves and say, “Your thoughts and ways are beyond human comprehension” is what makes worship fill the room.
    Following is Malcolm Yarnell’s full statement:
    In response to T.D. Jakes’ recent statements on the Trinity, we can affirm seven things, though with some cautionary statements included, especially about proper biblical exegesis:
    First, the goal of unity in Christ (John 17:21-23) is both laudable and necessary. Yet such unity must be founded on the “truth” (John 17:17) revealed by God in Jesus Christ and recorded in the Word inspired by the Spirit. True unity requires that we confess the true Christ, the second person of the Trinity revealed in Scripture, and not a Christ of our own fashioning.
    Second, the call for civility in Christian discourse is also much appreciated. We ought to restrain ourselves from loosely casting around such terms as “heretic” or “heresy.” Before using these terms, we should be absolutely sure what the terms mean and that they actually apply.
    Third, Jakes is correct that Scripture should shape our theology and not that we should make Scripture fit into our theology. And though I agree with him on this in theory, he has unfortunately misread Scripture to fit his purpose of “building bridges.”
    Fourth, Jakes is correct that we must know and speak about what we are for rather than what we are against. This is living with our eyes on the positive nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Fifth, it is encouraging to see T.D. Jakes moving away from the heresy of modalism. However, we should pray for him and exhort him privately and publicly to move into biblical orthodoxy without equivocation. Much of what Jakes stated about God the Trinity in this interview was correct. For instance he noted the simultaneous but distinct movements of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the baptism of Jesus. This is very true, though I might have described it differently.
    On the other hand, Jakes also speaks errantly. This derives from the fact that he is effectively trying to hold two positions without seeing that his proffered mediating category is ultimately untenable. Jakes stated he wants to have “dual affiliations” with both Oneness and Trinitarian churches. This is the goal behind his equivocation, and he relies on unique terminology to enable his dual theology. Although stating he is willing to use “persons” to describe the Trinity, he is also clear he would prefer not to do so. (There have been orthodox theologians who also registered difficulty with the term “person,” but typically they object to modernist meanings attached to the term, meanings different from the classical Christian understanding. Jakes, however, is rejecting the term not because it has been misunderstood but because it is offensive to Oneness Pentecostals, whom he deems Christian.)
    T.D. Jakes wants to have both Trinitarians and Oneness Pentecostals, who are Unitarian Modalists, classified as brothers in Christ at the same time. But you cannot affirm both are in the realm of truth without removing the Trinity as a fundamental basis of the Christian faith. You cannot have both beliefs at the same time: either God is both three and one (as Trinitarians believe and Unitarians deny) or God is only one (as Unitarians like Oneness Pentecostals believe and Trinitarians deny). There is no bridging this divide without losing the Trinity itself, for He is the God we worship.
    Instead of using the term “persons,” Jakes has long confessed he believes the “one God” is “eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit” (see Potter’s House Belief Statement at http://www.thepottershouse.org/Local/About-Us/Belief-Statement.aspx). Jakes then proceeds to use “manifestations” in ways he hopes that both Trinitarians and Unitarians might find acceptable. Jakes, moreover, argues that “manifestations” derives from 1 Timothy 3:16. But he misuses the term’s meaning in that passage, wrenching it from its Christological context and transferring it to the Trinity. The only “manifestation” to which 1 Timothy 3:16 refers is the incarnation of God in Christ. God was “manifested” in the flesh of Christ; this Christ was “justified” or “vindicated” by the Spirit through the Resurrection; this Christ was “received up into glory.” The manifestation of God was Christ in 1 Timothy 3:16, not the Father and not the Holy Spirit. The Father and the Spirit are indeed at work in this passage but not as “manifestations.” Instead, the Father and Spirit work through the Son, who is God manifested in flesh so we can see and hear and touch Him. Jakes simply does not offer a proper exegetical basis for his unique theological term.
    Sixth, with regard to the same biblical passage, let us recognize that although there is “mystery” in Scripture, this is no reason to paper over real differences in theology. Where God reveals, there is no more hiddenness in the mystery, for the mystery has now been disclosed, for us in Scripture. The point of 1 Timothy 3:16 is not to say that the Trinity is an undisclosed mystery but that the incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ is the mystery of God now disclosed. An appeal to a continuing mystery in this passage actually subverts the passage’s meaning. Moreover, to claim that Scripture is dark is a repudiation of the Reformation rediscovery of the clarity of Scripture. Scripture is clear and God has sent His Spirit to lead us into all the truth He inspired the apostles and prophets to record therein (John 14:26, 16:12-15).
    Seventh and finally, as a fallen human being saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, I concur with Jakes that theology, the human attempt to explain divine revelation, is a “stumbling” matter. I also agree with Jakes’ interlocutors that we are all growing in our theology. However, I must disagree with T.D. Jakes when he says, “we’re all saying the same thing,” because Trinitarians and Unitarians definitely are not saying the same thing. But I hope he keeps reflecting on Scripture, which he has been doing, for it clearly and unequivocally reveals the eternally Triune God, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, into whose entire name orthodox Christians are baptized.

    1. David Ould

      thanks John. Yes, Jakes has moved some way which is cause for celebration. But Hillsong were inviting him and others long before this movement.

  100. The Narrowing Path

    Might I offer some examples of T D Jakes’ supposed sound biblical teaching?

    “There are two aspects of faith that are critical for you to make it through this world,” said Jakes, who is the lead pastor of the 30,000-member The Potter’s House in Dallas. “Number one, you have to believe in God. If you don’t believe in God there are some things for which there is no answer, no rationale, and no comfort. People will become sort of being what you need when you need it. You will spend the rest of your life searching through people who are just as broken as you are trying how to get it together. You must believe in God.

    “But I’m going to tell you something tonight. Believing in God is not enough because I also want to remind you that the Bible said the demons believe and tremble. The second area of belief is critical and this is an area where even Christian believers are often attacked,” he continued.

    “We do good in believing in God. Some of us were raised believing in God and if you got that part real good the enemy comes along and tries to destroy the ability to believe in yourself. He will show you all kinds of reasons to make you think that you don’t have it … He is always throwing up something in your face to get you not to believe in yourself.”

    (source: http://www.christianpost.com/news/td-jakes-at-wtal-conf-belief-in-god-and-oneself-are-critical-82777/)

    Um, okay. This is the pastor whose church whose ‘sermons’ are promoted by the new-age guru Oprah…that should give us a clue about Bishop Jakes.

    Here are some of Bishop Jakes’ thoughts on God from his book “The Great Investment”:

    “God is a businessman. He is not going to do business with someone who shows no sign of potential return. He invests in people who demonstrate an ability to handle what He has given them.”

    Or Bishop Jakes preaching on Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays series, speaking about ‘birthing the vision’:


    T D Jakes preaches a false new age gospel that won’t save anyone. He can say what he likes about believing in the Trinity, but listen to a few hours of his televised sermons and you will realize he is preaching another religion altogether. Not unlike Brian Houston. This is really serious stuff…deadly poison for the soul.

  101. John

    I have again researched TD Jakes and the Potter House you referred.

    Heres is there belief statement

    Please tell me what is wrong with that ?


    Belief Statement

    The Bible, the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired Word of God without error in the original writings, and are the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

    There is one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    Jesus Christ
    Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross, the complete and final sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our High Priest and Advocate.

    The Holy Spirit
    The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and during this age, to convict men of sin, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service. Man – Man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost, and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.

    The shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ by faith are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become children of God. The Return of Jesus Christ – The personal, pre-millennial, and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ is our hope and has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.

    Future Events
    There will be a bodily resurrection of all the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, and of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.

    The Church
    The true Church is composed of all such persons, who through saving faith in Jesus Christ, has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head.

    Baptism and Communion
    Water baptism by immersion soon after accepting Christ as personal Savior, is a testimony of death to sin and resurrection to a new life. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial service setting forth in sacred and symbolic manner the death of the Lord Jesus Christ; all true believers and only believers should share in it.

    1. David Ould

      hi John, the issue is with this:

      …eternally existing in three manifestations: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

      Specifically the language of “manifestations” (which is regularly used by Oneness modalists) rather than “persons” which is the classical orthodox description. The refusal to refer to “persons” is a dead giveaway.

  102. MARY

    t.d jakes has another jesus, another gospel and another spirit, look at all the false teachers he hangs out with.We are told to mark those who cause division contrary to the doctrine and AVOID THEM. NOT HAVE CONFERENCES WITH THEM.. People have lost or have no discernment these days. They cannot tell truth from error. These men all preach false gospels. stay away from the den of wolves, these are all WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING. WAKE UP PEOPLE. GO TO EX PREACHERMAN SITE TO GET THE TRUE GOSPEL. THERE ARE MANY FALSE GOSPELS. Jesus told us they were going to be in the church. the simplicity of the gospel is being corrupted. THESE MEN TEACH A FALSE REPENTANCE. TRUE REPENTANCE MEANS TO CHANGE YR MIND ABOUT WHO JESUS WAS. NOT TURN FROM ALL YR SINS TO GET SAVED. THAT IS WORKS SALVATION. ITS VERY SUBTLE. A CHILD CAN BELIEVE AND RECEIVE ITS SO EASY.

  103. David Ould

    I think it’s time for this…

  104. John

    In such a discussion it may be good to identify and separate issues as follows:
    1. Hillsong conference speakers
    There has been much discussion on this subject with differring views above

    2. Hillsong church beliefs
    Its is clear from the hillsong statement of beliefs from their website that they believe in the trinity

    Hillsong statement of beliefs from their website

    We believe that the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our everyday lives.

    We believe in one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is totally loving and completely holy.

    We believe that sin has separated each of us from God and His purpose for our lives.

    We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ as both God and man is the only One who can reconcile us to God. He lived a sinless and exemplary life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again to prove His victory and empower us for life.

    We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the ‘new birth’ we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives.

    We believe that in order to live the holy and fruitful lives that God intends for us, we need to be baptised in water and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to use spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues.

    We believe in the power and significance of the Church and the necessity of believers to meet regularly together for fellowship, prayer and the ‘breaking of bread’.

    We believe that God has individually equipped us so that we can successfully achieve His purpose for our lives which is to worship God, fulfil our role in the Church and serve the community in which we live.

    We believe that God wants to heal and transform us so that we can live healthy and blessed lives in order to help others more effectively.

    We believe that our eternal destination of either Heaven or hell is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again as He promised.

    Hillsong Church is a member of the Australian Christian Churches. A movement of almost 1100 churches and more than 250,000 believers across Australia. For the ACC’s full constitution, history, leadership and statement of belief, please visit: http://www.acc.org.au

  105. David Sims

    "… it seems like you already had a made up mind before u wrote this."

    Isn't that how it's usually done?

  106. Anonymous

    It makes me so sad to see prominent Christians attacking a Church in which God is working and where the Glory always goes back to Him. I grew up in an Anglican Church but am now so proud to call Hillsong home! We are not perfect, Hillsong is not perfect, it's speakers are not perfect but thankfully none of that matters because Jesus is perfect and this year at conference we gather under NO OTHER NAME :). Thank you God for blessing Hillsong Church despite this negativity and for providing my generation with an exciting and inviting environment in which to praise you!!

  107. Nigel Poore

    Not being a veteran follower of David’s blog, l missed this topic from eons ago which was just brought to my attention.

    Well, hallelulia, been saying this for years. Want a church built on sand, well here it is. Great similarities to mass hysteria motivational speaking and in my mind summed up as follows. :

    Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

    Charles Mackay

  108. g hunt

    this hillsong is Catholicism in disguise there is no sound doctrine only false teachings b Houston does not even know what is scripture and what is not the bible tells us to beware of false prophets

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  110. Richard Brown

    I’ve come rather late to this very long discussion of something I have always thought was a publishing house. Like all publishing houses, the more it sells of its music the better, so if you can judge an organisation by its name, then turnover is its major priority. Thus I am suspicious of a ‘church’ which appears to have no dedication. Prosperity gospel? Of course, quite natural if you are trying to make a profit, and if your members make a profit as well, all the better.

    If Brian Houston is their big and famous leader, I have to say I am not impressed. Does he expound scripture? No, he appears to expound a confusing mish-mash of self-help and properity gospel, propped up by occasional (and often irrelevant) quotations. It doesn’t sound very much like the faithful preaching I hear Sunday by Sunday – but, as long as it makes a profit I suppose it will carry on. But please consider their motives.

    And, I can only recall one Hillsong – Darlene Zschech’s little ditty.

  111. A Blote

    Hello, I would like to say something. This is lies from the enemy! Hillsong are the real deal. I’m not part of Hillsong church however I have attended their conferences and assessed them according to the Word of God. They believe and call on the name of Jesus. The bible says ‘A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand’ – Mark 3:24. If you’re a Christian you should be fighting the real enemy and not getting sidetracked attacking other Christians. There is not a perfect church here on earth. There will always be things you don’t agree with no matter where you go. We are being perfected in Jesus and it’s a journey that I don’t think we master until we go to eternity.

    Matthew 7:12 – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

    Matthew 7:15-20

    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    1 John 4:2-3 – Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

    Notice how it says ‘every’ spirit that confesses and confesses not.

    I know Hillsong by their fruits. You should be aware of false prophets that do not confess the name of Jesus and people that possess the spirit of antichrist. I believe these are the ones who’s words do not line up with the Word of God. People who are leading others astray ie. following false gods and teachings that do not point people to Christ and His finished work on the cross. I could list many examples of false religions that are leading many people astray. True Christianity is not a religion but a relationship and I don’t believe it’s the right of any other person on earth to judge a person’s relationship with Jesus. He knows His sheep. Don’t get caught up in criticizing Christians when that is just what the enemy wants. Satan knows your kingdom cannot stand if it’s divided against itself. He wants division among Christians. Because when we are united we are the most powerful force to be reckoned with.

  112. David

    The list of speakers above do not expand for me using chrome. So I Looked them up via google. This is what i found: Kong Hee: “In June 2012, Kong Hee and four other members of [his] church were arrested by the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force … There were irregularities of at least $23 million in the charity’s funds, which were used to finance Sun Ho’s secular music career.” Joyce Meyer: “In November 2003, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a four-part special report detailing Meyer’s ‘$10 million corporate jet, her husband’s $107,000 silver-gray Mercedes sedan, her $2 million home and houses worth another $2 million for her four children,’ a $20 million headquarters, furnished with “$5.7 million …” — thats enough for me! I was considering attending a HillSong church!!! Thanks for putting this up!!

  113. Warren

    Dummies…. Islam is the Elephant in the room…. you all may survive the cull… but will your descendants enjoy their second class status under sharia. Unite or perish!

  114. mark

    I understand the conference argument but what about the churches themselves. Should believers continue to worship there as a witness to the truth of God’s word or, like my friend suggests with the catholic church, “come out from among them”?

  115. Jane

    I just don’t get all the arguments around here. Is any church even perfect? Do we just point fingers at a church whose teaching we consider wrong and dismiss them like that? Is that what being a Christian is?

    I agree that we should correct each other in our understanding in faith, but accusing a church that has reached so many people as false prophets is just very judgmental.

    I guess there are pastors who are misleading and bathed in riches and whatsoever, but as Christian do we just spread hate like that or can’t we just pray for them?

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