Over the past few days my post on the Hillsong Conference has generated a massive amount of feedback. That was only to be expected since the topic matter is so contentious and the implications for a major Christian organisation is so far-reaching.
Thank you to the many of you who have made contact with me over the last few days. Many of you have privately written and even called to share concern – some of it has been over the content but some of it also over the approach and style.
The piece could have been better written. I stand by it’s content but it is very obvious that the style has upset many people. I’m sorry for that, and while some of the problem is simply the limitations of not being able to write everything you want to write I also take personal responsibility for where the tone was inappropriate. It’s my piece and nobody else is to blame.
This is a hard call since there are many who have written to me to express their support for the argument made; that there is a serious problem with people who are invited to speak at Hillsong and with our relative silence on the subject. But that’s not an excuse for writing in a way that many perceived to be unhelpful. For that I apologise.
I don’t have any intention to edit the post but I wanted to add some important things for clarity. In doing so I am fully accepting that they would have been far better written into the original piece to give it balance and a more even temper. Again, I am genuinely sorry for this.
For the record, I would love nothing more than if Hillsong could be a place that I and many others could fully and joyfully endorse. None of us want to see another ministry do badly and there are also many of us labouring away in very small and unimpressive ministry that take joy when others around us have (by the world’s standards) bigger things going on (and is my personal experience in terms of church congregations). Because of the numbers that Hillsong attract and influence it has the potential to be an wonderful channel of God’s blessing to so many people. There is also no doubt that people are being converted through the work of Hillsong. They are hearing about Jesus and repenting of their sins and knowing the assurance of being forgiven because of what Jesus has done. This is all to be lauded and celebrated. It would have been right of me to acknowledge that with far more clarity in the original post.
I trust that this will set that record straight.
Hillsong is a matter of concern for all of us. Not only in the invitations to speak but also in our response to it which so many of us have got wrong. I am deeply concerned by an apparent lack of clarity from some Christian leaders who refuse to deal with the problem or even claim ignorance. I fear we are letting our people down over this. But as much as I think others have got it wrong on that issue, there is a responsibility for those of us who speak up to also get it right.
Please do continue to contact me privately. I genuinely welcome it. So many of you have sought to understand me and discuss these things in a constructive way. I am deeply appreciative. You have sought to emphasise our common calling in the gospel and you did so in a way far better than the post which caused you to reach out to me in the first place.