Boycotting Hillsong Music – Too Extreme?

RavingPente revealed to Signposts02 some time ago her surprise of Hillsong’s statement of faith. In particular the following line:

“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.” – http://myhillsong.com/what-we-believe

The Bottom Line reports:

A Screen Door On A Submarine – The Hillsong Faith Statement

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

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

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



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



That’s right, TD Jakes, the keynote speaker at this year’s Hillsong conference doesn’t even believe in the Trinity. He is what is known as a modalist, someone who denies the three distinct Persons of the Trinity by describing them as three manifestations (http://www.thepottershouse.org/v2/content/view/18/32/). TD Jakes’ modalist presentation of God is clearly not the God of Scripture and therefore an idol. Modalism is a heresy that was denounced in the fourth century AD by the Athanasian Creed (http://www.ccel.org/creeds/athanasian.creed.html) and was punishable by death during the reformation. But in 2010 it qualifies you as a keynote speaker at a Hillsong conference!

http://onceuponacross.blogspot.com/2010/02/screen-door-on-submarine-hillsong-faith.html

____________________________

I will be doing another post shortly on a pastor called Ed Young that also will be speaking at the Hillsong Conference. E-mails have been popping up in my inbox about him. My main focus is that churches in the past have also talked about boycotting Hillsong worship song’s and CD’s (which we’ve talked about previously on Signposts02). After Fergusson’s talk on applying Hillsong’s statement of faith to their music, surely that must be of concern to local congregations who like to sing their music.

After watching Fergusson what are your thoughts on boycotting Hillsong products? Music, I believe, is more of a powerful form of media than preaching. You can forget a preach, but a catchy tune tied to wrong doctrine is dangerous indoctrination. I would go far as to say that it can be a form of brainwashing.

S&P


125 thoughts on “Boycotting Hillsong Music – Too Extreme?

  1. May I suggest to sort out pieces of Hillsong’s music that express wrong doctrine, e.g. non-trinitarian?

    Also may I suggest to not judge all pieces of music by stereotype (and all of the authors maybe as well), meaning that if a song is running under the Hillsong logo means it is carrying wrong doctrine.

    As to the doctrine of the trinity:
    The interpretation of the nicene doctrine as of three hypostases (objective nature or substances) in one ousia (essence) was understood (and maybe is still) differently in Eastern and Western churches. The interpretation as of three persons is not the only possible one, however that was the developed consent since the fourth century. Non-trinitarianism is commonly the denial of the merging of divine and human nature in the person of Christ and the belief that so to speak, only the Father is God.

    see also as a starter:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypostasis_%28philosophy%29

    So Jakes is at least not a classical non-trinitarian.

  2. Haven’t read the entire post yet, and don’t have time to for a while, but I just wanted to say – I wasn’t ‘shocked’ – that’s too strong a word. But I was surprised by the addition of ‘and…[anything]’to the basic statement re salvation. S&P – if its possible, could you put the link up to that original thread, so that I don’t have to explain what I meant there again? Thanks.

  3. just to clarify my last line about TD Jakes. What I meant calling him NOT to be a classical non-trinitarian is, that the faith statement linked up in the post does not contain anything that would fall under the anathemas following the Nicene creed:

    “But those who say: ‘There was a time when he was not;’ and ‘He was not before he was made;’ and ‘He was made out of nothing,’ or ‘He is of another substance’ or ‘essence,’ or ‘The Son of God is created,’ or ‘changeable,’ or ‘alterable’—they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.”

    the anathemas refer to certain heresies regarding the nature of Christ (especially Arianism). In more modern times they were applicable to Cathars, Unitarians, LDS, JW and a lot of liberal theologians who deny the divinity and eternal existence of Christ).

    I read on Wikipedia that Oneness Pentecostalists believe in many manifestations of God including (but not limited to) the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The core heresy here is that OTHER manifestations of God are allowed. To place anything else (like the burning bush) as something similar or just “another” manifestation is of course heretic, and it is not clear to me (maybe others can help me here) if they mean to think of the bush as God or if they think of Christ being a created theophany and therefore not of the same kind as God. But the common language about the distinct persons is also not a perfect match, or why did the church fathers not say persons but used such strange words like hypostases and ousia?
    Maybe they were well aware that we mortals cannot fully understand the divine nature, apart from knowing that it is quite different from human nature. Therefore they may have thought it may be better to avoid language that is used to describe humans.
    The speaking of the trinity as persons has played a significant role in forming the Muslim misconception about Christian belief, and some people working among Muslims do not speak about the “Son” but rather about the “Word of God” as mentioned in John 1.
    Devout Muslims will tend to think about God having a female consort and about divine sex when Christians speak about “Son of God”.

  4. The idea of boycotting worship music I think is too extreme for me. I’d just change the words to what I think would be correct doctrine for the congregation to sing.

    I’d change their words to words that speak gospel truths and God’s sovereignty, rather than focus on blessings or God’s house.

    But maybe it is an appropriate thing for some denominations to do so that Hillsong can see that people aren’t happy with their sneaky approach of wrong indoctrination?

  5. I cahnged the word ‘shock’ to ‘surprise’. I tried finding it RP. Do you know roughly when you made the comment and in which thread?

  6. s&p wrote:
    “I’d change their words to words that speak gospel truths and God’s sovereignty, rather than focus on blessings or God’s house.”

    could you please name some of their songs that would need change?
    I know only a few Hillsong songs buth within those I found no problematic lyrics.

  7. One song called ‘Take My Life‘:

    Chorus goes:
    “I love you! All of my hope is in You!
    Jesus Christ! Take my life! Take all of me!”

    Changed to:
    “I love you! All of my hope is in You!
    Jesus Christ! You’re my life! You’re all of me!”

    Another song called ‘Blessed‘:
    Verse1
    “Blessed are those who dwell in Your house
    They are ever praising You
    Blessed are those whose strength is in You
    Whose hearts are set on our God

    [Pre-Chorus]

    Hear our prayer
    Oh Lord, God almighty
    Come bless our land
    As we seek You
    Worship You”

    Changed to:
    Verse1:
    “Blessed are those who made of Your house
    They are ever praising You
    Blessed are those whose strength is in You
    Whose hearts are set on our God

    [Pre-Chorus]
    Your our praise
    Oh Lord, God almighty
    You bless our land
    Lord we seek You
    Worship You”

    Another song called ‘More than Life‘:

    Chorus goes:
    “I love You, more than life”

    Changed to:
    “I love You! You are Life!”

    A famous song of theirs called ‘All For Love‘:

    Pre-Chorus goes:
    “Oh how many times have I broken Your heart?
    But still You forgive, if only I ask
    And how many times have You heard me pray?
    Draw near to me”

    Changed to:
    “Oh how many times have seen my heart?
    You show You forgive, the Son’s final ask
    And how many times have You heard me pray?
    Your here with me”

    There are other songs that have minor errors.

    Jesus I Believe In YouFirst line: To Your hands, I commit again, all I am, to You Lord

    Changed First line: Seeing Your hands, I remember when, you took my sin, on Yourself Lord

    Even the famous song, One Way Jesus:
    “I lay my life down at your feet”
    to
    “You laid Your life down at my feet”

    In their songs, changing most of their ‘for‘ into ‘in‘ helps bring in more a gospel focus. The gospel says how much we actually live IN Christ and operate IN Him. To always emphasise the ‘for’ suggests submission, striving, unrealistic ideals. This is evident int the song ‘To The Ends Of The Earth‘.

    Chorus line:
    Jesus I believe in You and I would go
    To the ends of the earth! To the ends of the earth!
    For You alone are the Son of God and will see
    You are God! You are God!

    Changed to:
    Jesus I believe in You and You will go
    To the ends of the earth! To the ends of the earth!
    For You alone are the Son of God and will see
    You are God! You are God!

  8. Song 1 error ‘Take Me Life’:
    Christ came so that we may have life abundantly. Why ask him to take it away? If it’s meant to be an offering, our offering was made to Christ at our death with Him at the cross.

    Song 2 error ‘Blessed’:
    Changing the prosperity gospel to the true gospel. We already have everything we need in Christ, therefore we are already truly blessed, which is where we should worship from.

    Song 3 error ‘More Than Life’:
    The tone is religious and not realistic in terms of what we could even come close to achieving. Christ IS the Life.

    Song 4 error ‘All For Love’:
    We can grieve the Spirit, but that is because God’s Hope is in us. He loves us so much he wants the best for us. As a Father, to see us purposely fall into temptation makes His Spirit in us grieve – but not break His heart. To feed such a misconception in a song that says ‘all for love’, makes God sound like when we break His heart, an insecure, vulnerable, guilted old man who shakes his head at us expecting us to say sorry. They’ve turned God into a seeker-sensitive God who is to human and frail. His love and character is greater than the love portrayed in that pre-chorus, therefore it needs to be changed.

    Song 5 error ‘One Way Jesus’:
    While it may sound noble to say, think and offer to God the dedication ‘I lay my life down at Your feet’, He did so first. Our oaths/commitments are NOT to get in the way of His oath and commitment and the cross.
    Later this song says ‘You are the one that I shall live FOR’ and ‘I live by faith and not by sight FOR You, living it all FOR You’. That is religion. We live IN Christ – that is freedom and gospel. If we think we can DO something FOR God, we’re only setting a snare for ourselves.

    Song 5 error ‘To The Ends Of The Earth’:
    Once again, we are singing a lie. Are all singing the truth when it is sung: ‘I will go to the ends of the earth’? Even if it’s nice creative imagery or nice ideal – we are only lying to our minds.

  9. thank you so much, s&p. I understand the point now much better. In fact, none of the songs listed I knew before.

    I see that the most prominent issue is about what we do and what God does, how we should react to Him and what we expect from Him. Just heard a good sermon last Sunday from our local pastor who pointed out that some misunderstandings about these things are thriving among Christians.
    While songs are probably never really theologically formulated, I agree that if songs with a certain tendency are predominantly sung in a congregation they may have a negative influence.

    I’m currently reading “Surprised by Hope” written by Dr. Tom Wright, Bishop of Durham, and in its opening chapters he goes partly after erroneous understanding of christian hope in hymns and poetry, exposing flawed/misguided thinking even by very famous and admired people like John Henry Newman or Paul Gerhardt and the problematic impact such works have on our understanding what we as Christians can hope for (apart from showing how flawed thinking in their time already was, so that it influenced these men).
    You may also be look into the controversy about the famous (patriotic) hymn “Jerusalem” (text by William Blake) that is raging in Britain where the hymn was banned at least in Southwark Cathedral. Look at the text of that hymn, I doubt that many words could be left unchanged or left at all. The author of that hymn wrote also “The marriage of heaven and hell” a highly deceptive and blasphemous book which, as Wikipedia states, is believed to have inspired core themes in Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials”.
    I write this to point out, that I believe there are much more serious things present in songs and other writings and that these are also often consumed without question in churches.

    This is the short list of songs from Hillsong that I know from our local church or from other occasions:

    shout to the lord
    how great is our god
    hosanna
    worthy is the lamb
    lead me to the cross
    in your freedom

    Maybe I’m just too old to be in contact with more material from them. In June there will be a Hillsong United concert in Dusseldorf with approx. 10.000 young people attending, so at least the music is quite well received here.

  10. Dear me, s&p, it must be terrible for you being in a worship service!

    Maybe you could go through one or two of the psalms on behalf of David!

    Psalms 63

    ‘O God, You are my God
    Early will I seek You
    My soul thirsts for You
    My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land
    Where there is no water
    So I have looked for You in the sanctuary
    To see Your power and Your glory
    Because Your lovingkindness is better than life
    My lips shall praise You
    Thus I will bless You while I live
    I will lift up my hands in Your name
    My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness
    And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips
    When I remember You on my bed
    I meditate on You in the night watches
    Because You have been my help
    Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice
    My soul follows close behind You
    Your right hand upholds me
    But those who seek my life
    To destroy it
    Shall go into the lower parts of the earth
    They shall fall by the sword
    They shall be a portion for jackals
    But the king shall rejoice in God
    Everyone who swears by Him shall glory
    But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.’

    Or Psalms 64

    ‘Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation
    Preserve my life from fear of the enemy
    Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked
    From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity
    Who sharpen their tongue like a sword
    And bend their bows to shoot their arrows–bitter words
    That they may shoot in secret at the blameless
    Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear
    They encourage themselves in an evil matter
    They talk of laying snares secretly
    They say, “Who will see them?”
    They devise iniquities:
    “We have perfected a shrewd scheme.”
    Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep
    But God shall shoot at them with an arrow
    Suddenly they shall be wounded
    So He will make them stumble over their own tongue
    All who see them shall flee away
    All men shall fear
    And shall declare the work of God
    For they shall wisely consider His doing
    The righteous shall be glad in the LORD
    And trust in Him
    And all the upright in heart shall glory.’

    What a writer! What power and grace! What honour he brings to God the Almighty!

    I think it would help to identify the difference between psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. By all means we make melody to the Lord in our heart.

    There is more than one way to worship God in song and prose.

    Better to make an attempt to understand they way the song or psalm was written, and the writer’s intention, than change the words for the sake of adhering to a contrived pattern.

  11. Okay FaceLift:

    You show your lack of understanding in knowing how we should read OT scriptures in light of the New Covenant. I’ll shall tackle the first Psalm and point out errors as to why we can’t sing it the same way as David did in the Old Covenant:

    Psalms 63

    ‘O God, You are my God
    Early will I seek You
    My soul thirsts for You
    – Fulfilled! We now thirst no more. We are fulfilled and satisfied in Christ.
    My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land
    Where there is no water
    – We rely not on flesh but on Spirit, but honesty before God is true worship
    So I have looked for You in the sanctuary – God no longer resides in temples made with hands but lives in us.
    To see Your power and Your glory The power and the glory was manifest through Jesus Christ. As Christian’s we know the Power and the Glory.
    Because Your lovingkindness is better than life – I think a bad translation. Should read like ‘adds/benefits/enriches life’.
    My lips shall praise You
    Thus I will bless You while I live
    I will lift up my hands in Your name
    My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness
    – new testament TRUTH!
    And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips
    When I remember You on my bed
    I meditate on You in the night watches
    Because You have been my help
    Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice
    My soul follows close behind You
    Your right hand upholds me
    But those who seek my life
    To destroy it
    Shall go into the lower parts of the earth
    They shall fall by the sword
    They shall be a portion for jackals
    But the king shall rejoice in God
    Everyone who swears by Him shall glory
    – Old Covenant response. In the New Covenant, we are His glory and from that truth we live. We don’t swear by Him, we live in Him.
    But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.’

  12. In the Old Covenant, what David sung was inspired by the Holy Spirit. But we need to read the Old Testament now with the Spirit’s help.

    It seems to me FaceLift you seem to know a muddy gospel. I always hear the melody and make up my own song to God anyway. I love free worship. Unfortunately, not many Christian’s know not how to worship freely.

  13. I don’t know about muddy, but I think on some things I still see in the glass darkly, but hopefully it will become clearer as I go along.

    I guess we need to come up to your level, s&p! 🙂

    The Psalms need to be read in context to the situation. They are songs of praise written from the perspective of events which surround the psalmist. I love them because they are fully honest, not facetious, a warts-and-all presentation of the condition and thoughts of people facing difficult circumstances, often through their own faults and inadequacies, but always returning to the theme of God’s ultimate and complete involvement in their lives.

    When songs, even in churches, are written in this vein, there are many people who identify with the sentiment of the song, and they are drawn closer to Christ, and to the Father. They, like David and Asaph and others, see God as their deliverer and salvation. The poignancy of the songs has an added dimension.

  14. In the clip above, Fergusson is actually rebuking the song-writers at Hillsong. I’m surprised you missed this. You wee so focused on criticising him for Jakes’ appearance that you missed what he was saying.

    he was asking why there was not a focus on the Trinity in their songs!

    This is surely crucial to the discussions presently in full sway on this site.

    He asks the question, ‘Where is the Trinity in our songs!” He says we should not pray to the Spirit, or to Jesus, but that Jesus told us to pray to the Father in his name, but he had not heard any songs addressing the Father!

    The key to what he is saying is that many Hillsongs address the Spirit or Jesus, but not the Father. he is right! I agree, we need more songs addressed to the Father in Jesus name!

    This should have you rejoicing, not criticising!

    And it surely demonstrates Hillsong’s stance towards the Trinity, since Fergusson states that he rewrote the statement of beliefs for Hillsong Church.

    It also answers the theological question, since in essence he agrees with the critic, and does something about it!

  15. Ha! Thanks for pointing that out FL. (I haven’t actually listened to the song, but now I don’t think I need to, having read the discussion.)

    My thoughts on boycotting Hillsong music:

    No! That would be too extreme a reaction. I don’t think any music should be blanket banned. Let each song be assessed on its own merits, and if it agrees with good teaching, then freely use it.

    Anyway, the songs are written by people, not by an organisation, and these people have God at work in their lives. So as in all we do, there will be times when mistakes will be made, but other times when we can really see God has inspired something.

  16. I agree RP, alot of good music is inspired, by God, look at coldplay and other secular bands, i believe a good song is a good song…dare i mention U2 🙂

  17. Not to mention writers and artists, C S Lewis, Tolkien, Milton, Tolstoy, Shakespeare. Galleries are filled with art inspired by Biblical themes. Some of the Cathedrals of Europe may look monumental now, but they must have been stunningly hi-tech in their day.

    Some remain glorious demonstrations of our awe of God, even if our earthly castles will one become sand again, and our paint dust. But our words will echo into eternity.

    Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs are expressions of our interaction with God. They should be Biblically accurate in a congregational setting, but they should also be allowed to carry emotion, passion and intensity.

    I think for too long believers have been asked to be rigidly stoic in the assembly and not allowed to show emotion or reveal connection with the Living God.

    People love bands like U2 because they are not afraid to shout out their passionate association with God and his creation. They have, in some ways, been God’s worship team for the secular.

  18. Yeah, im not sure if they, u2, wanted the image they have though, they were young when they started and it just morphed into superband status.

    George harrison wrote some amazing songs too, lots of people have that bring healing, love and hope

  19. One of my favie songs is John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance” can someone find it and post? Its a bit hippy dippy i know

  20. Another great writer/singer is Peter Gabriel, his song “Dont give Up” is so good. How does one post from utube, i can do it to facebook, i guess just go to “share”

  21. THE VERY FACT THAT YOU HAVE THE NAME ‘HILLSONG’ IN YOUR BLOG HAS ATRACTED UNPRECEDENTED NUMBERS TO IT, SO YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY ENJOYING THE ATTENTION AND CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF IT.
    MUSIC, CORRESPONDENCE, DOCTRINE, SIZE, AND NOW EACH SPEAKER – ONE BY ONE! – WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO USE TO KEEP DRAWING THE NUMBERS IN?
    BBC NEWS 24 USES THE SAME TACTIC – GOOD LUCK. You’re not interested whatsoever in truth, but only to become famous yourself.
    HILLSONG BRINGS CHRIST TO PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD EVERY DAY. DO YOU? I think not.

  22. Look, anyone who knows anything knows that Hill$ong$ is like a cow bell – DUNG DUNG DUNG. It is all emotions – as in E (entertainement) motions.

    But all you Orthodox guys and gals – can anyone explain to me how that there can be 3 Gods with seven spirits?

    Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is ONE GOD and He shall have no other god before Him.

    In Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

    The concept of the Trinity comes from Greco-Roman Pantheism and the C of E is just Catholic Light, pun intended.

    A Trinitarian arguing against a Modalist is like the pot calling the kettle BLACK (sorry TD – no slight intended).

    Here is a challenge to you all – ask God to show you (honestly now, no cheating) everything that you think is true but is not – ask Him to show you all that you believe which is borrowed or bugged – and, do I really know you as I ought to? While you are at it, ask Him who it is that you do not forgive.

    I laugh at Hillsongs in the same way God does, it is what it is – but then is not everything in its own way merely vanity? I would be more concerned about your own sinister C of E stuff – that is one filthy church – but then, aren’t they all?

    By the way, my Great Great Grandfather was a C of E Master Mason who built many churches in Christchurch.

    … *whistles* …

    As to this Laodicean prosperity cult, here is a clue – when someone says, “I am complete and lack nothing” you will surely know that they are blind, barren and demonised.

    JESUS SAID, “ALL WHO COME BEFORE ME ARE LIARS AND THIEVES.”

    0(:->)

  23. Yes, but we all come after Jesus, and Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

  24. Umm, I’m not sure S&P, but it might be a good idea to remove any accusations of murder from Ian Williams’ post.

    Please Ian, say what you think, but please keep any kind of criminal accusations out of your comments. It is quite possible to comment on beliefs and practices without doing that.

  25. Sorry, only quoting Jesus. All OUR righteousness is as filthy rags – we do rather tend to forget that.

    I could relate the entire event cycle if you like – it is a bit lengthy, but let me be absolutely clear, there are very many who name the name of Jesus who have perpetrated murders in the spirit – and there are Masons and witches who have cursed ministers and caused them to die horrible deaths – these things really do exist – believe me in this, I have seen both sides of it – I speak from a wealth of personal experience.

    This is why the Bible is above all things a WARNING – a survival manual for Life of Earth.

    What kind of minds dream up something like Iraq for goodness sakes? These are CHRISTIANS – hello! It is BECAUSE many of our brothers and sisters have NOT had their minds fixed on those things which are beautiful etc, that we have such situations, and they are not amended by denial. Why do you guys get so amped up about the Tithe Robbers Guild? Because they are thieves, and thieves are brothers to murderers, like George Bush – both of them!

    Perhaps I should give the whole sorry saga an airing – it is a salutory lesson in churchianity insanity. I am sorry that my zeal for my own earnestness offended the sensitivities of any. Please forgive me, but I stand by every word I say. But please do not white wash the sepulchres, they are full of dead mens bones.

  26. OK. In 1988, I was instructed to go to the Vicar of St Johns Latimer Square, Christchurch, to warn him that he was in danger from people very close to him, and that he needed to get built up in his faith for healing. I had recently gotten to know Tim Chisholm by a God encounter situation – He had crossed our paths. I offered him some books on healing. He was polite but aloof, while the woman who appeared to be his housekeeper fluffed about. He dismissed her.

    He then began to confide how that he had become very concerned about the involvement of Freemasons in his Church and in the use of the hall and their symbols upo it. The Chruch had come out that year against Freemasonry, but I suspect it was a doublke blind to find out the faithless, as it were.

    Tim seemed to have a heart for God, he was the NZ Olympic Team’s Chaplain and an accomplished athlete.

    I bade him farewell and hoped that he would heed the warning. Fiftenn months later, at age 40, he died in agony from a brain tumour – the specialist ensuring his agony by witholding sufficient pain relief at his demise. These are all verifiable facts, but it gets much worse.

    Many years later, I was told to go to a local Vineyard Church. The first week there, I experienced an amazing vision. The next week I saw a heavily pregnant woman tell the congregation what a terrible week she had experienced. I was disturbed by her fatalism.

    Her husband was the Pastor. I got a really strong sense that the child was in extreme danger, and to try and communicate this to him. He had invited a woman to speak in his church, who seemed strangely familiar to me. She began by taking a scripture WAY out of context and basing a massage (sic) upon it.

    The Holy Spirit was prompting me to pray – but I was fascinated to hear what she had to say – as it was so off it beggared belief. She told how that God had told her to relinquish her husband to Him,a dn that how a5 months later, he had died of an inoperable brain tumour – her husband, TIM CHISHOLM! You could have knocked me over with a feather. She went on to recount how that 5 years later, God AGAIN asked her to relinquish her SON, who along with 12 other young Christians, plunged into a ravine and died.

    By this time the Holy Spirit was urging me to pray so I tried to find a quiet space and interceded for a while. I came back out to find her praying for people in the church. She had just been taken on as Women’s minister by that church. The first victim was the Pastors son, and it went on from there – an amazingly high incidence of unusual deaths and diseases and still births and nasty things.

    Think about churches you know where tragedy and comedy seems to be the governing ethos. They are always either laughing or crying, but little real evidence of joy.

    I was told again to go to this church one morning about 5 years on. At the close of the service, I saw a friend, but as I did, I saw from behind me, a large black spider approaching me – I heard the Holy Spirit say, “MOVE!” I hastened toward my friend in obedience, and he told me that the woman in question had been walking toward me from behind, as if to try to contact me. I had felt incredibly threatened by the spider apparition.

    There is even way more to this, but for brevity….

    There are more things in heaven and in earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy, and I am sick to death of mediocre churchianity!

    So, has anyone thought about God’s Seven Spirits? Betcha can’t weasle your way out of that one with your dodgy doctines….0(:->)

    He always leaves a stumbling block – like Ecclesiastes 12:7.

    When the Holy Spirit contradicts your Pastor, guess who you should go with?

    Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

    0(:->)

  27. sorry for the typos it’s late and my glasses are smeary…but what i relate really happened possums…

  28. Actually. Hanging in my drafts is a half-written article on Free Masonry on the American church.

    I’m curious in who you are Ian Williams. I think I might know you. Are you a salesman? And are you associated with the ECC (Encounter Christian Church)?

  29. “So, has anyone thought about God’s Seven Spirits? Betcha can’t weasle your way out of that one with your dodgy doctines….0(:->) ”

    I would say that is not the best translation of the text. I will explain why on that thread rather then de-rail this thread completely.

  30. I am currently a jeweller in Christchurch.

    I refuse to use pseudonyms.

    Like Paul I debate every point and like Elijah, refuse to bow to Baal.

    In 1983, I was transported into the future in an open vision and saw the beginnings of the coming of the Son of Man. I have never been the same since.

    Since an encounter with Jesus in 1999, I have had all MY beliefs burnt. My wife had been telling me how that she had met a differnet Jesus than our religion had portrayed. I thought that she had been possibly deceived, so inwardly I asked what to do. I heard to get into agreement with her, so I offered that we should agree that whoever needed to hear whatever would do so and that by the Spirit of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She thought that I was trying to trick her (In essence, I was) and reluctantly agreed. I explained that if this was the real deal, then she had nothing to fear.

    The next morning, at 4:30 am, I was awoken by the person of Jesus standing at my bedside. He spoke to me and said, “Ian, you do not really know Me (as you should) – you just think that you do – but I Am going to reveal Myself to you as I really Am.”

    Since then I have too discovered a different Jesus than my religion portrayed, and a bunch of people who have had the same experience. I have found that the other gospel (of works) which Paul warned of is in fact the prevailing received wisdom of Christendom, though cleverly disguised as grace.

    It is simple really, and the challenge I live to give is this, regularly allow God to audit your soul – to root out that which offends, to cast out that which is limiting your experience and manifestation of grace, and never presume to know anything except Jesus so that you might have HIS mind on matters.

    To those who have seen through it, the tithe robbers are blatant twisters of scripture, but there are many well meaning belivers who have tithed to God in all earnestness and with a degree of blessing, albeit OT.

    I asked about these and God reminded me that He meets people at the level of their faith. The point is, if the tithe issue is so plain to the discerning, then what is we may think or believe that others may discern as wrong, and are we up for correction?

    When we are trapped by an in our own bubble, we see things reflected back at us, charactersitics which we despise in others are often our own flaws reflected back at us, but exaggerated. The more that we see Jesus, the more we see as Jesus, the more that we be as Jesus. Corrie ten Boom looked at a Nazi murderer and saw Jesus – why? Because her witness – her image – her hope – was Jesus – so that is what was reflected back at her.

    This is the challenge – to see Jesus at work, even in this perverse generation. It is not about who is right or wrong, or who is saved – Jesus is the saviour of ALL MEN – ALL DIED IN HIM and ALL WERE RESURRECTED IN HIM. What part of ALL do we not understand?

    Those who stay fixed on Him shall shine as lights in the midst of the darkness.

    I asked a while back how we would ever be ready for what he Has shown me is to come, and He said, “Ian, when I AM ready to move, I WILL MAKE YOU READY.”

    Unto Him who is able to present us spotless before the Father, for no man comes to the Father except by Jesus, and who is the AUTHOR and the PERFECTER of our faith, which is His faith at work in us.

    YOUR faith can make you whole, YOUR soul can even gain all the world has to offer, but the FAITH OF JESUS can win the WHOLE WORLD and make it WHOLE.

    It is not about a God shaped hole, but a GOD SHAPED WHOLE. 0(:->)

    I serve a very big God; He has the whole world, in His hands…

  31. Faithlift, So Ferguson and you are not questioning the Hillsong music? And rebuking the songwriters?

    But until Ferguson spoke, anybody on this blog or anywhere in the world would have been seen as critical, negative, nitpicking.
    Because the CDs, DVDs, songs were all just awesome, annointed, and right from the heart of God. And that was evidenced by how the hillsong music was sweeping the world.

    Am I hearing this all right?

  32. It’s very simple. Hillsong is a brand now. People love it all over the world and it’s cool. And since there are more young men involved in the singing, there are screaming teenybopper girl Christian fans all over the world who will go to all the concerts, buy the DVDS, and the Tshirts and whatever else they sell, and wow, OMG, I even got his autograph, I was like….wow, awesome…

    The theological content of the words is not that important to many of the people who sing.

    Sorry I know its off topic, but there seem to be a lot of Christian Justin Biebers in “worship ministry” these days.

    But my original comment stands. You mean to tell me that after all the songs, and DVDs, some guy at Hillsong, only NOW addresses this?

  33. A classic example of what young people claimed to be an anointed song was Brooke Fraser’s Song ‘Hosanna’ recorded and published at Hillsong. (It’s old now but occasionally sung.) It swept through C3 and another churches around Sydney. Check out these lyrics and tell me if you think they are biblical:

    HOSANNA

    I see the King of glory
    Coming down the clouds with fire
    The whole earth shakes, the whole earth shakes
    I see His love and mercy
    Washing over all our sin
    The people sing, the people sing

    Hosanna, hosanna
    Hosanna in the highest
    Hosanna, hosanna
    Hosanna in the highest

    I see a generation
    Rising up to take the place
    With selfless faith, selfless faith
    I see a near revival
    Stirring as we pray and seek
    We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees

    Hosanna, hosanna
    Hosanna in the highest
    Hosanna, hosanna
    Hosanna in the highest

    Hosanna, hosanna
    Hosanna

    Heal my heart and make it clean
    Open up my eyes to the things unseen
    Show me how to love like You have loved me
    Break my heart for what breaks Yours
    Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
    As I walk from earth into eternity

    Hosanna, hosanna
    Hosanna in the highest
    Hosanna, hosanna
    Hosanna in the highest

  34. We sang this in church last Sunday.

    Could be seen as prophetic I suppose but is more wishful impressionism to me.

    The verse I have always struggled with and never got is:

    I see a generation
    Rising up to take the place
    With selfless faith, selfless faith
    I see a near revival
    Stirring as we pray and seek
    We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees

    I just don’t see it – generations rising up.

    Scripture paints the picture of the end times with things getting worse not better.

    That is just a gut response

  35. It is a good song, and I sense that Fraser is very genuine. But those are the specific things I have struggled with.

    There are more material issues in other songs.

  36. It’s funny others who do know the scripture get a similar gut response. I would actually go as far to say that is the Spirit in us reacting to the error in this song. I’ve even seen young Christians struggle to guess what that verse means. I believe Fraser is genuine too.

    But you’d think that someone who cares about what their congregation is singing will look at correcting doctrine or misconceptions in popular songs like this.

    How about this part of the song:

    Heal my heart and make it clean
    Open up my eyes to the things unseen
    Show me how to love like You have loved me
    Break my heart for what breaks Yours
    Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
    As I walk from earth into eternity

    It should read, (now that we the Spirit in us):

    YOU heal my heart and make it clean
    YOU open up my eyes to the things unseen
    YOU show me how to love like You have loved me
    YOU break my heart for what breaks Yours
    I am NOW APART IN Your kingdom’s cause
    As I walk from earth into eternity
    – What does that mean?

    You could say that I am being nit-picky. But to acknowledge that God is in us and is healing us is a truth that more Christian’s need to grasp. God does not want us to become before begging like dogs.

    You are right that there are other material issues in other songs.

  37. This has been an interesting thread – including all tangents.

    First – I agree with Specks – it makes sense to have someone vet songs and adjust them if their theology is out. Like the one mn sang – it would have been easy just to leave that verse out. Having worked in design, I am pretty used to having parts of my work accepted and used, and parts ditched for a variety of reasons. There is no reason this should not happen in the musical arena, and it would help many people participate more fully in song based worship. However, also in the case of that song above, most Pente churches would have had no problem with it, because as long as I’ve participated in that style of church – 20 years or so – revival has always been just around the corner, and the current generation is rising up. Can’t really vet some songs very well unless the church theology across the board stands up. I used to just sing my own thing in verses I didn’t feel comfortable with, or pray instead.

    Second thing: Ian Williams has actually said some good stuff that I agree with:

    It is simple really, and the challenge I live to give is this, regularly allow God to audit your soul – to root out that which offends, to cast out that which is limiting your experience and manifestation of grace, and never presume to know anything except Jesus so that you might have HIS mind on matters.

    To those who have seen through it, the tithe robbers are blatant twisters of scripture, but there are many well meaning belivers who have tithed to God in all earnestness and with a degree of blessing, albeit OT.

    I asked about these and God reminded me that He meets people at the level of their faith. The point is, if the tithe issue is so plain to the discerning, then what is we may think or believe that others may discern as wrong, and are we up for correction?

    Ian Willliams above.

    For me, realising that tithe teaching was twisting scripture (certainly the way I heard it taught), was the tip of the iceberg, as it led to the recognition that various supporting doctrines were also highly questionable. I did get to that point where I felt the only thing I had left was Jesus.

    What a great place to be! Since then, I’ve been learning so much more about Him, and what He is like, without these other unhelpful distractions. He seems all the more amazing when you start looking at practically every single denomination and begin to see how at some point, they’ve taken doctrine on board for their own convenience, rather than because scripture clearly speaks in that way. Jesus is just so different from all of this! He never manipulated to suit his own agenda, to the point of dying.

    Ian, I no longer attend a church, and as I was explaining to S&P the other day, I am learning to ‘do nothing’, while God works on my head. I can’t walk into a church on a regular basis these days, as I can’t cope with the minister telling me what I should think. Once bitten, twice shy, I guess. There are some churches out there though that don’t do this, and have a way of encouraging church that allows freedom within their community. If I found one of those near me, I would feel differently.

    While you have seen through many things, perhaps you too should not be 100% certain that you have everything right, or that your thinking is 100% straight. S&P’s description of the 7 facets on another thread was pretty good, I think, for example.

  38. I hear you brother or sister. Jesus told me years ago that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, it must be only Him and me – this is how it must be, but the same for everyone – their own personal Jesus.

    I resolved about 9 years ago to stand on 1 John 2 and be only taught of Jesus by His Spirit within. I take what others say as a provocation – it is telling me something maybe I need to heed, or to avoid.

    The seven facet thing has been an unfolding revelation over 23 years. The more that you KNOW and are KNOWN the more you hold everything very lightly but you have a great degree of assurance growing.

    The reason why you do NOT want to be told what to do is not rebellion against God’s order, it is that your heart rebels at bowing to BAAL! Enough of the BETHELS already – God will not live in a house of stone, nor the house of the rising sun! YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD – THE TEMPLE OF GODS IS YOU – the TEMPLE OF GOD is that body not made with hands, forever in the heavens.

    I shocked many Christians in 2001 and on by telling them that Jesus appeared to me with His arm about the shoulder of newly deceased Palestinian boy who had blown himself and 16 Israelis to oblivion. A big time Pente minister in the States who I rspected told me I was very dangerous – I took it as a compliment.

    I challenged him and though he did not answer, i know that he agreed. About 18mths later, the Holy Spirit told me to go to his website and to read his latest offering. In it he explained how this was the first thing he had written in some time, because he had spent the last 15 months discovering the joy of NOT KNOWING and having been made to DOUBT EVERYTHING THAT HE KNEW and having his faith ripped to shreds and rebuilt from the foundations up. Oh Jesus is GOOD!

    Paul counted all that he knew or possessed as DUNG compared to Christ – it is that beautiful place of emptiness, of Mary at His feet resting, learning of Him, that enables us to love and to overcome.

    When Maturity comes, that which is in part is doen away with – we KNOW, even as we are KNOWN. Jesus went to prepare a place for us so that where HE IS, we might be also – seated from the right hand of Majesty on high.

    I felt such anointing and joy at the last letter – one who is really getting to know Jesus and who presumes to know little of nothing? I will catch up with the facet thing – you must remember that I possibly have the inside running on this one – as one of GOD’S JEWellers.

    I do not pretend to know anything – just Jesus, and He is EVERYTHING to me. Personally, if I was Jesus, I would probably not waste my time with me, but when i said to the Father “Why do you bother with me, I can be such a dropkick at times!” He said, “Ian, you are my beloved son in who I am well pleased.”

    Who can argue with God already? 0(:->)

  39. Hey, where is that facet thing?

    Sorry, I should have said “Emptiednes”, not emptiness.

    Dont worry about their sappy songs, their praise and WOEship. I gave a strong prophecy in 2001 that God was going to release NEW MUSIC in the last days – songs with power – songs to save – as if to prove the point, He had one of our number play a song on his Guitar whgich he received as a download from God, he let Jesus play! Some of us found that our inner man was dancing in perfect sympathy to the music. At the same time I prophesied that the move of God which was coming would be utterly irresistable – “NO Man will resist what I Am going to do in these days”, says the Lord God, “NO MAN!”

    You are connected in Christ to these people, if you want to see anything change, try praying through the VINE – ask Jesus to show you how – you might believe it if he tells you. I will give you an illustration of how it works by praying for Ravingpente.

  40. I will keep you all updated on any effects of Ian’s prayer! Any prayer is always welcome, thank you Ian.

  41. Teddy…if you want to try freaky, ask Jesus show you the real tower of Babel – there are branches everyhwere – they are called churches. They are full of mockers and scoffers who have no power, just words.

    God cannot show up in POWER – He would kill all the mockers and hypocrits! Cue Beethoven’s fith.

  42. For what it’s worth, a few years ago, I happened on to the original Signposts blog and read just about every post (a lot)- never commented, ever the lurker. It helped my transition out of C3, opened my eyes to so much.

    So here we are today, do we have lurkers? If so, what would be their take on Ian Williams? Do he just add some quirkiness that goes unchallenged or is he a potential “threat” not only to the blog but to thiose looking for answers? Do we want to be taken seriously about our very real concerns, so well raised here?

    Personally, I’m reminded of the Manasseh Jordans and Patricia Kings so well documented on other blogs. In all seriousness, if someone I loved joined up with Ian and went along with his “revelations”, how long before we have a potential David Koresh? Over the top? Just look at what Ian claims God tells him and look at what Koresh claimed God told him, I’m seeing a lot of similarities. Encourage him if you like, I don’t think he gives a rip what the Bible says, only what he thinks God has “told” him.

  43. I have refrained from interacting for the last few days.

    I will comment more fully about my recent experience, but for now I merely advise you to keep your eyes open.

    It is very easy for someone to make spectacular claims. If you have, say, a ‘healing ministry’ and you turn up at a church with many older people if you suddenly say, in the middle of your talk, “I have a word of knowledge … is there someone here with angina? Or some kind of Heart trouble?” There is going to be a good chance you will strike gold. Similarly, any arthritic pain, any knee trouble or hip trouble or especially back-trouble and you will get a lot of “hits”. Then the healer then asks questions of those who get up for prayer. “Did someone in your family have this problem?”, “yes” – hit. “It was your mother?” (for a woman) “it was your father” (for a man) – another hit if “yes”

    hmm. We basically had a guy doing this healing “routine” and doing very bad “cold-reading”.

    Most of us I hope were unimpressed … which means there will be a very painful members meeting coming up. I am appalled. Before the guy spoke, one of the elders told the congregation that if anyone had a problem with it, that they needed to speak to God about it. Now, that sounds very spiritual, but what happens if God then speaks out about it? And in the negative?

    It was a poor attempt to brush possible unhappiness under the carpet.

    I am very angry and upset by the whole thing. Many congregants feel the same way.

    ===================================
    Regarding our new guest:
    What he says will be scrutinised most carefully. Dismissing the triune God and instead talking about 7 spirits is really rather different from the God that the Apostles preached from the time of Pentecost.

    That is a very major red flag right there.

    So Ian, would you say that the Bible as we know it is better described as being Inspired or Infallible?

    Shalom

  44. If he says something I agree with, I will agree with it. Doesn’t mean I agree with everything else. I tend not to comment on people’s descriptions of their experiences with Jesus. You would, like me, have friends who have probably described their own experiences to you at times. Sometimes you can’t comment. If someone believes their experience to be true, rightly or wrongly, they won’t be dissuaded by another person they don’t know telling them it didn’t happen. Also, sometimes there is a place for gentleness. Think back Teddy, and you might know what I mean. All kinds of people are on the internet.

  45. Which is why I commentd on Ian, I knew the other gentleman personally (if that’s who you mean). There’s nothing spiritually valuable in allowing Ian to say the things he says, except as a lesson perhaps to test the spirits. I could so easily say Jesus told me he’s NOT speaking to Ian, but I won’t.

  46. I agree we tend not to comment on other people’s “experiences”. Why? Why have we, this generation, decided that God is suddenly “saying” things He hasn’t said for 2000 years?

    In the church culture we came out of, experience trumps theology at the best of times. Even PP has most of the C3 church community locked into believing whatever he says must be of God.

  47. RP, we might also assume that the Prophet of Islam also genuinely believed what he was experiencing in the cave. But we can also conclude that Islam and Christianity cannot both be true. It is only one or the other for Jesus is only a prophet (and not the best one!) for Islam, but for Christians, He is God.

    It is for this same reason that true, biblical Christians cannot share a platform with Mormons or JW’s. They believe in a different Jesus, a different God and a different path to Salvation.

    Which is problem for Rick Warren and Joel Osteen who seemingly can’t tell the Difference between Mormons and Christians. Even Mormons can enjoy the Purpose Driven Life and Joel Osteen says “if he says he’s a Christian that’s good enough for me!” meanwhile he’s putting the largest mega-church in America back under the Kosher Food Laws. (He’s a moron … not a Mormon.)

    I am pretty annoyed today.

    Shalom

  48. Good comments all.

    Look Ian I think some of what you are saying is off the wall, and other stuff not.

    I am not you, and I don’t live in the same country, so it is not possible for me to definitively your experience is genuine or not.

    I am like RP in that sense – if I agree with something you say I don’t mind saying that. But if I disagree I don’t mind saying that either.

    For the rest of you, I have held my peace on a number of things that Ian has said because I don’t see him as aggressive.

    You may recall a very aggressive universalist prophet who was on here for a time who was spitting we would all be bowing at his feet in the life to come begging his forgiveness. Ian doesn’t fit that mold.

    Going through of the issues that have been raised.

    Me first.

    I am lazy so I will probably not do this, but in response to my eldest son’s searchings I need to do some work on judgment, punishment, consequences etc.

    Ian I do not believe that all will be saved – we all know your quote that it is God’s will that none will perish, but…

    Also links into substitutionary atonement which has been flogged here lately.

    I don’t understand these things as well as I should, and I strongly doubt the broader church does either. I think a number of things have quite possibly grown up into our understanding over the centuries which are not correct.

    I need to investigate these things…it may take me seriously a number of years to work through perhaps decades.

    Teddy also raises some issues that impact on this – the experience/theology dichotomy, and also the problem of God telling us new things when He has been ‘silent’ for 2 millenia.

    I’ve pondered all these things from time time. Here’s some of my reflections on these.

    The church’s I grew up totally dissed experience of the miraculous even though they prayed – the opposite of pentedom if you like. Never bought it – because scripture never set that one out.

    Scripture rules in that God still speaks to us through His Spirit in different ways, but with a few guiding principles to make sure we don’t get sucker punched. The trouble with pentedom is that it has done exactly what evangelical and reformed churches have done which is set up their own extra curricular principles that divert us from being dependent on God first, and listening to others second.

    I don’t what you say – I am the centre of the universe. I experience the universe through my own individual consciousness. I don’t know whether the rest of you are just a figment of my imagination. At that critical point my experience – as yours – is all we have to make judgments and decisions about what life and the universe means.

    The fact that as Christians we rely on one book out of the cosmos and some intangible spiritual events is bloody amazing if you ask me – but that is what we do. We make life impacting decisions based on the fact – not that the bible exists – but that our individual and shared experience is sufficient to convince us it is true, and put our lives in the hands of that conviction – faith if you like.

    Teddy you cannot get read of experience – total nonsense if you do.

    On the other hand suddenly in the last hundred years we have charismania everywhere, which largely has not been in our christian culture for since the NT church.

    It is reasonable to ask why. Has God been fudging on us, is it crap, or is just that something is happening out there and God has decided to reveal Himself ways that He hasn’t commonly done for the last 2000 years.

    My starting point is any God worth believing in doesn’t make mistakes, and doesn’t send people down dead end rabbit holes. So it easy for me to dismiss Islam, Mormons, JWs all in the same breath, because they do not teach the same Christ – not that the Church teaches – but that the Bible teaches.

    Do I believe that God will save some – yes – because He is free to make those decisions, and it is none of my beeswax.

    But I am still left with Charismania. Essentially I can’t deny scripture which leads me to the conclusion that all these things still apply subject to some rules that Paul spelt out quite clearly – in contrast to the silence on a lot things that we would have found quite useful.

    Means I can’t ignore them, but I can’t get too cocky either because we are told to test the Spirits, and in my experience – there’s that word again – we suck at that collectively all too much.

    And on top of that our natural hubris steam rolls us every day, every hour, every minute and every second. We know more much more than the previous generation, forget generations. We know so %^*(^* much it is killing us. And we ignore a lot of what our forbears knew.

    And then to confuse things….. a lot of that knowledge actually would be very useful in working through a lot of the issues, if we did it humbly, expectantly, patiently, with as little eternal judging as possible.

    It is not easy, is it?

    I spoke to a friend on Sunday whose father is terminally ill and he said this sort of learning takes decades, with so many books to read and absorb, life lessons to learn, asking what happens to simple faith.

    I said and he agreed that the details often kill us or sidetrack us, but all that detail ought to lead us back to that simple faith in Jesus. He also said his father hammers exactly the same thing.

    The detail is fine, but it is the simple faith in Jesus, and living it out, taking up our crosses daily where it all comes down.

    We test our experience and what we think the Spirit is telling us , teaching us….. against scripture, but it does not exclude our experience.

    We just have to weigh it up with that blend of hopefully an improving understanding of God’s written word…..and the unwritten word we receive from Him.

    So I am happy to listen to Ian, but he knows that we all have to weigh what he says. And we may disagree with him.

    This is a real mess, but think that is quite fitting.

  49. I might not agree with Ian’s 7 facets interpretation, but nonetheless, a lot of things he said do actually make sense to me. I’d by lying to say otherwise.

    As for experiences, the main thing I think is not to be influenced by anyone else’s experience. It’s great to hear encouraging stories etc, but say someone’s spectacular experience is true. What difference does that make to me? None. Likewise, if their experience is false. I base nothing I believe on anyone else’s experience.

    I have always had only my own personal walk, with my own experiences, which I choose to measure with scripture. I have always thought, including when I was in Pente churches, that if God wanted to show me something, tell me something or have me experience something, He could sovereignly do so, without me having to chase it by attending specific events or speakers. This was quite a good thing when I was at church. It meant that I could freely (with no guilt or fear) miss conferences etc without fearing that I was missing out on anything important God wanted regarding me.

    What I am critical of, as you all are too, is other people basing their teaching on their experiences, and overriding scripture, or saying scripture should be interpreted differently, because of their personal vision or encounter. Rick Joyner did this, reinterpreting Paul. Ian may be doing this with the 7 facets. If something is true, then yes, we should be able to see it in scripture, without the aid of someone else’s encounter with God. I expect that God would choose to reveal any new understanding through fresh outlooks on the word (a change in cultural understandings for example), or through research on the text or possible interpretations itself. Someone’s experience (real, mistaken, or faked) might prompt a search of the text, but not determine its interpretation.

    So don’t think I would encourage Ian to teach others his doctrines based on his own personal experiences or encounters. I think that while God is always speaking, he has not changed the gospel message in 2000 years. (Sometimes churches have.)

    However – if someone is actually a prophet of sorts, they may get some personal revelation for an individual. Even in that case, I believe that the individual will have some confirmation separately from the prophet. The prophet’s word may be confirmation of something the individual is already praying about, or already is discerning God’s will about. Or else it is an unmistakable word of knowledge, from someone unknown to them (this has happened to people I know, on the street, not in church; like Teddy’s husband’s word that he gave), or perhaps there might be other confirmation of some other kind that is personal afterwards (more suspect, though I think). In any case, no one needs to accept the prophecy unless there is some kind of real confirmation. So I wouldn’t expect anyone to accept anything prophetic Ian said to them now or in the past, unless they had this other confirmation of some kind.

    Ian is not on a platform here, he is just visiting our blog. He isn’t founding a movement or a church (that would seem to be anathema to him anyway).

    So I can put his experiences and stories (and facet theology) to one side, and agree where I really do agree with what he says. Some of his views are ones I share.

    ****************

    As for being annoyed, well, that’s understandable. And I agree Bull, believing something doesn’t make it true. Example being Phil Pringle really believing what he teaches about finance! (If he does – and he seems to.)

    Still, no-one is black and white. The most unlikely people get a handle on some aspects of truth that some educated people just can’t grasp. God does not discriminate, so I will attempt to listen to things based on their merit where I can.

    Teddy – I have a suspicion that I also knew the person you mention, though I can’t be entirely sure, because it was so many years ago now, and I did not know him well. Re Ian though, if I agree with some things he says, its not to encourage him. Its because I agree.

  50. There are some really interesting people here who have great things to say. Fascinating reading!

    As for Ian Williams….I loved the Twilight Zone music! But I think Ian is pretty interesting too.

    Interesting about Osteen and the OT dietary laws…

    As for music, I’ll show my age and embarrass myself by saying that I liked the old scripture in song days. Some of the songs would never make it now except as comedy, but a lot of them were very singable, and well at least they were bible so there was no debate.

    I think new songs are great, but there are so many great old songs. Maybe, there are too many questionable songs that come through because everyone is in a rush to make new songs for the next service or the next cd or conference or whatever. And of course to prove that God is doing a new thing in our respective “movements” so that we are distinct.

    Personally, I think we have lost our way when it comes to congregational singing. In that it’s not improving, and the congregation sings less and watches more. I don’t see that as a good thing.

  51. By the way, I heard some very exciting stuff about the church in the UK today. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However – Bull, the game in the UK is by no means over!

  52. “I think new songs are great, but there are so many great old songs. Maybe, there are too many questionable songs that come through because everyone is in a rush to make new songs for the next service or the next cd or conference or whatever. And of course to prove that God is doing a new thing in our respective “movements” so that we are distinct.” – churchman

    Mmm, yes, that does make sense.

    “Personally, I think we have lost our way when it comes to congregational singing. In that it’s not improving, and the congregation sings less and watches more. I don’t see that as a good thing.” – churchman

    Ha! A friend told me only the other day that they had not been able to really join in worship for the last few years, despite their love for worshipping, because it had become such a performance at church that they felt disconnected – watching more and singing less.

  53. MN I haven’t dismissed “experiences”, I’ve had some. But lately I lean back on what the bible says and not what I was told for 22 years. I’ve taken my own experiences and lined them up against the Word (something never encouraged at C3) and some of them don’t pass the sniff test, so to speak. Pass it off as a lesson learned. Can’t deny the supernatural when it happens, but I’ve learned to test them, and there’s only one place to go to do that.

    Got a lot more thoughts than words at the moment – and I think I’ve caught my husband’s cold so it’s bed for me.

  54. Smirk. I remember ‘scripture in song’ too. Actually, it was quite a good way to memorise the odd verse. No harm done there!

  55. Churchman

    maaate I love the old hymns, although I am as a muso a rocker at heart.

    The old stuff will I think always stand up against most of the new stuff, simply because time has been able to sift a lot of it.

    There are some good new songs, but re congregational singing….

    you couldn’t be more right.

    The new stuff often doesn’t cut it, being made to be listened to, not sung by a big bunch of people.

    All part and parcel of having microphones which bring in a totally different dynamic to music. Don’t have to be able to belt it out anymore.

    Also a lot of worship leaders don’t understand the importance of key in presenting songs.

    Most hymns had a top note of E or D up G sometimes above the stave, and may be an A on the odd occasion. Low notes would normally no lower than middle C.

    Too many times worship leaders pick songs to suit the singing leaders – which may be great for them but end up being in the boots or too high.

    Basic stuff really, but hey as long as there is band rocking there with the leader saying you all should be really letting it hang out for Jesus everything must be right with the world.

    (I hate that sort of insensitive and base manipulation).

    My friend whose father is dying is unlikely to be doing a ‘David’ dancing before the ark of the covenant, but that is what some worship leaders blithely and uncaringly think.

  56. I think we have all matured on this blog and sometimes fall into bad habits. I was like Teddy and just read all the comments on the original Signposts.

    I found the dialogue so entertaining, it crossed my mind what would happen if I turned all these conversations into a book to record all the different online characters and their flaws and how they all matured towards the end of giant topics.

    If Ian decides to join us on Signposts02, I can chuckle with the things he says. But at the same time, like the responses I gave him about the stone, I expect him, just like all of us, will change as we grow in God. As the bloggers we are, our voices and opinions are colourful. But overall, there does seem to be a united voice.

    I welcome Ian, and I believe over time, he will be able to give us interesting insights as to where he comes from in relation to posted articles. On the other hand, we’ve had bloggers who have repelled a large number of people from Signposts02. So if you have problems with a person over a long period of time, don’t be afraid to email me. If everyone seems to be having the same issues – I will try to sort it out. I don’t like rejecting people and I don’t like people who leave because they feel battered over the head by other people’s opinions.

  57. Hi Churchman, been busy…
    ‘So Ferguson and you are [now] questioning the Hillsong music? And rebuking the songwriters?’

    Well, I am not in a position to rebuke them. Ps Ferguson clearly was. I’m not really questioning them, either, just agreeing that there could be a better focus on the Father, on his greatness, and on his Person.

    I see his comments as constructive analysis. It is a plea for a better identification of the Godhead as the One we worship and praise.

    I was also pointing out the obvious in regard to his comments, which seemed to be missed by the poster. he was both rebuking the students, and declaring the importane of the Trinity, which dents a few arguments about Hillsong leadership in one fell swoop!
    ••••••••••••••••••••

    I think you s&p misquoted a verse:

    ‘I see a generation
    Rising up to take THE place
    With selfless faith, selfless faith
    I see a near revival
    Stirring as we pray and seek
    We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees’

    Should read…

    ‘I see a generation
    Rising up to take THEIR place
    With selfless faith, selfless faith
    I see a near revival
    Stirring as we pray and seek
    We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees’

    Well, of course each generation has a responsibility to its age, and to ensure the next generation hears the gospel. That’s not hard to understand.

    We all need to take our place in God’s purposes, and live by faith which is selfless. Easy to grasp.

    Then he envisions a potential revival as we apply ourselves to prayer and seek God on our knees. You won’t get an argument from me for this.

    Hosanna basically means ‘Help us Lord’, and is always applied to the Messiah, being a Messianic cry.

    The song is actually a prayer, a cry unto God. People empathise with it because they have the same heart cry for the unsaved.

    The Psalmists, as I already pointed out earlier. often sang their heart to God. David in particular is renowned for laying it all bare before God. I just know that you wold revise his words if you could, because that is your nature. But you would miss the context, and the poignancy of the words, and change them into hollow legalism devoid of passion, pain or the events which led up to them. People identify with a great song, and that is why it should be changed by the religious, or qualified by the legalist.

    Imagine what you would do with Leonard Cohen, or an Morrison in their deep, God-inspired moments. You’d probably make Van Gogh paint over half his masterpieces.

    I don’t know why people, who call themselves brethren, have to be so deadly picky about things, and can’t just enjoy worshipping with the rest of the saints.

  58. Sorry, I should have said, ‘People identify with a great song, and that is why it should NOT be changed by the religious, or qualified by the legalist.’

  59. And you know what, what you proudly call ‘shallow’ is, by some people, considered life-changing, and draws them closer to God, because of its simplicity and ease of understanding, its tenderness, or its power.

    I couldn’t care less how often a perspective or a theme is repeated, as long as it helps people connect with God, and even be lost in their worship and adoration of him.

    Some of the simplest lines in history have become the most heartening.

    The echo of ‘My Soul Sings’ by Delirious, is almost as hauntingly beautiful and powerful as ‘Then Sings My Soul’. Or their ‘Majesty’, along with Jack Hayford’s ‘Majesty’.

    Charles Wesley took the pub songs of the day and added some of the most God inspired lyrics ever written outside the Psalms themselves.

    You need to relax and enter into worship and praise more, and stop being the song and word policemen!

    Or go to the Anglicans for a sound dose of godly Hymnals!

  60. FL I both agree and disagree with you – nothing unusual in that.

    I have written my fair share of crap in my day, in which I now cringe if I hear or read it. Oh that I would have been accessible to some assistance from a wise person when I was younger writing, may be the songs would have been better.

    But as a writer I think you have to own and live with your own crap. Occasionally the odd gem or good song comes out.

    I have always found it hugely disrespectful when Christians change other people’s lyrics to suit, disgusting in fact.

    As for Fraser’s song…I have always liked it but there some aspects I can’t give an amen to…simple as that. The reason why some of us are so picky is precisely because we want to sing a song….a whole song….where we can cheerfully, willingly, wholeheartedly do that. As someone who has lead worship from time to time I can say it is a very tough job finding songs that the congregation will want to open up to and are prepared to sing, put them in the right key, and then have the lyrics that stand up…..lyrics that are God lyrics.

    And in anycase Brooke Fraser Ligertwood is not David, and I don;t think she would object to me pointing that out to you.

  61. Well, that’s fine, mn, and I can understand your perspective, but did you read through the thread where s&p actually did revise the words of a Psalm of David I put up?

    How come Jesus, or Paul, or one of the other NT writers didn’t revise them for us? Didn’t Jesus actually sing them, at the Last Supper, and on the cross? Many were Messianic, and written in song and answer form for a congregation and leader.

    Don; they mean the same thing to us today, even though some of them are not referencing us. can’t we feel what David felt and identify with his pain, or suffering, or jubilation, and not lose sight of where he was, or what he was addressing?

    It is a shame to alter a song. We will rarely do so. Although, on the other hand, there was a song we really liked recently from Revival in Belfast, which had lyrics which were so fabulous until the chorus, which had a great melody, and amazing ‘hook-line’ and our youth wanted to sing it in a meeting, but they were told to put it on hold, because the chorus line, which everyone would have remembered for ever, it was so catchy, but was not only OT, but the words of an OT character, not God himself, and could have confused some people.

    Better to leave it than change it, since the whole point of the song would have been lost. I can empathise with this. It is difficult, but where the song has an obvious inspirational effect, or poignancy, Or takes people deep in with God, we should not be afraid to allow it to take its course, and not be over analytical.

    We should also trust the congregation to be more discerning in their own right, and not mollycoddle them in everything, to the point of providing an absolutely clinically clean form of Christianity devoid of any humanity.

    In saying this, I’m not advocating error. I’m promoting expression.

    And those songs you wrote, when you wrote them, meant something to you, and should not embarrass you, even if you’ve moved on. Songs, often, are of the moment, and that is their power.

  62. I missed that, but quickly skimming it I don’t think S&P was advocating changing scripture.

    Anyway, ’tis late.

    Cheers FL

  63. “As someone who has lead worship from time to time I can say it is a very tough job”

    Aint that the truth. Reading your posts, I think you would be good at it. Don’t know who you are, but you could teach it.

    Faithlift, I really like your answers.

    This will sound silly given all the arguing that goes on here, but I get a lot out of this. Like a kind of dysfunctional home meeting that would never be allowed to continue!

    People with really different views, but I have been convicted and encourage by how much you love God and take the Kingdom seriously.

  64. Facelift: “Hosanna basically means ‘Help us Lord’, and is always applied to the Messiah, being a Messianic cry.”

    ???

    I had no idea! I thought it meant something like ‘God is great’.

  65. Facelift: “I just know that you wold revise his words if you could, because that is your nature.”

    David would too if he was alive now to do so. You actually think he is that stupid not too?

  66. Facelift: “I don’t know why people, who call themselves brethren, have to be so deadly picky about things, and can’t just enjoy worshiping with the rest of the saints.”

    I don’t know why people, who call themselves brethren, have to be so deadly blunderous about things, and ignorantly mislead people in erroneous worship with the rest of the saints.

    You are saying people should worship in ‘spirit’, while I am saying people should check to see if they are worshiping in ‘spirit and truth’.

    And you can’t honestly relate examining worship lyrics to repainting a Van Gogh, Facelift.

    Going back to this song, this verse SHOULD be trashed:

    I see a generation
    Rising up to take their place
    With selfless faith, selfless faith
    I see a near revival
    Stirring as we pray and seek
    We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees

    It’s actually a deception – an absolutely ideal lie that can never happen. When we sing this, it is suggesting that we might be apart of this ‘generation’ or witness this generation rise up and do… take ‘their’ place…

    The only thing I can see that means is that generation become a physical Jesus, Latter Rain style! It’s a vague ideal, but a beautiful one. Now let’s examine selfless faith.
    Selfless faith…

    Hmm…

    Like this song, Facelift?

    Name ANY generation in the bible that had a selfless faith. It sounds great, but Brooke reproduced through this song a Pente-lie and her lyrics weren’t examined. This song fails to be a Christian worship song unless the song is changed so believers can worship in ‘spirit and truth’.

    The song is spirity-wishy-washy feel good music. Roll out a hymn and you will see people sing in conviction. The difference is huge. The difference between gospel centered music and today’s trash is like measuring chalk and cheese.

    People are confusing the presence of the Holy Spirit with feel-good worship experiences.

    mn: “Also a lot of worship leaders don’t understand the importance of key in presenting songs.

    Most hymns had a top note of E or D up G sometimes above the stave, and may be an A on the odd occasion. Low notes would normally no lower than middle C.”

    Too true mn! I can’t sing most of the C3 rubbish. The words are also too fast and complicated like what you’d hear on the radio.

    mn: “I have always found it hugely disrespectful when Christians change other people’s lyrics to suit, disgusting in fact.”

    I like what Geoff did to his songs. I assumed that if Geoff was able to change the words to his songs other songwriters wouldn’t have a problem changing their lyrics as well.

    Your insight was insightful mn. 😉
    I also miss mj very much.

    Facelift: “can’t we feel what David felt and identify with his pain, or suffering, or jubilation, and not lose sight of where he was, or what he was addressing?”

    Heavens no Facelift! Context is crucial. Otherwise if anything is sung that is before the cross, like many Christian’s we know today, they will be applying confusion in what they sing. ‘Create In Me A Clean Heart’ by Keith Green was a classic example of this. The truth is now He’s ‘Made In Me A Clean Heart’.

    So in this instance, I would change the words and Facelift would chuck the song for his congregation. Both are reasonable solutions – though mine is seemingly being disrespectful to the artist. I wonder how the artist would feel if I contacted them and explained why? It will still probably an insult to them, though it will be nice to see them happy that people worship in spirit and truth.

    Finally, I would never alter scripture Facelift and mn.

  67. Well … ‘Hoshanna’ in the hebrew means “Set us free” or “Liberate us”

    And so, when the crowds shouted and screamed Hoshanna at Jesus when he rode into Jerusalem, they were effectively saying “Liberate us Son of David”.

    So it is no stretch of the imagination to see the crowd (many armed men among them) following Jesus up the road and being surprised that instead of leading them to the Roman Garrison, he went directly to the Temple.

    The very next thing they see is Jesus whipping the jews out of the temple.

    It didn’t take them 7 days to reject Him. It took them 7 minutes. They wanted the Son of David, but this time they got a different Messianic Aspect of our Lord. They were seeing our Lord as Son of Joseph, the suffering servant of Isaiah. What we don’t know as gentiles is that there were two messianic traditions, and their mistake was to see both manifestations as separate.

    They were expecting 2 messiahs. The suffering servant, Son of Joseph on the one hand and the other hand was the conquering king, the Son of David, the Lion of Judah.

    They didn’t realise that both these pictures were true and represented the same person who would come twice. The suffering servant had to come first otherwise there would be no forgiveness of sins.

    God is so righteous that He cannot forgive a single sin … until it has been paid for. So he chose to be merciful and pay the penalty for us. That is the Gospel right there. That excites me and motivates me to tell others.

    Wrath and Mercy meet at the cross. Who would have ever conceived that salvation would come in this way?

    Christ is unique … and I am so happy to be in Him.

    Regarding visitors and lurkers, we will simply keep our eyes and ears open to what our heavenly Father is telling us and showing us. Sometimes truth can come from unlikely sources but consider this … God hates a mixture. (I have to tell myself this too! I am very far from being perfect but Abba Father is not finished with me yet!)

    People have been saying all my Christian life, “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater”. The trouble with that analogy is that in such circumstances I rarely find a living baby to keep. The filthy bathwater has more often than not either killed the ‘baby’ or there is no ‘baby’ to save.

    ===================================================

    RP, I have not given up on the UK and I certainly haven’t given up on my fellowship! But the Lord has revealed himself to us in a way that most have not recognised yet. The next couple of months will be very interesting. (that means exciting but difficult!)

    Oh … I don’t see a “near revival”. At least I don’t see what that phrase really means. It actually refers to the great end-time revival that has to happen before Jesus comes back. It’s why I want to ban the word “Revival” from church. People mean so many different things by it that we talk and we have no idea what we mean to one another. So, the song is not heretical to most who sing it, but the problem is that the Author probably does think that the big end-times revival is round the corner.

    So, did Jesus promise us a big end-times revival is either going to happen naturally or is indeed necessary before He can return? Or, did Jesus promise us tough times, a great falling away and the love of most growing cold?

    Right then. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may His Holy face shine upon you and bring into His Shalom.
    Amen.

  68. OK Guys – I hear you all. I am not at all aggressive – but I am provocative, I hope. The church is pretty messed up – by works – this is what Paul was banging on about through most of the NT.

    Compare;
    For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. KJV
    with;
    10. For we are his creation, whereas we are born through Jesus Christ as works of grace, those by which from olden times God favored us. VA Aramaic

    I am not a Universalist, but I do understand the difference between the duality of good and evil and the dichotomy of flesh and Spirit, and that we were created in Christ, before ordained, from BEFORE the foundations of the worlds – if you do not get this one, you miss the whole thing. Your life did not start when you were born – it is the soul which dies and the spirit which lives.

    My thinking was changed in 2001, when I read in the news of a Palestinian Arab whose son had blown himself up in a Tel Aviv nightclub – 16 yrs old, and 16 dead Israelis. The father was reportedly proud of his martyred son and expected that he should be in the Paradise of God. I scoffed and said his son was surely in hell – my wife gently rebuked me and said that it was not for me to judge. I repeated my assertion and that I knew what I was talking about, and running upstairs to get ready for work, called out, “Nah, the man’s a fool, sons in hell…”

    I was topped dead in my tracks, halfway up the stairs – “You watch who you are calling a fool” an all too familar voice commanded, “I called you to be a witness, and NOT A JUDGE!”

    I was paralysed – frozen – He continued, “And what would you say if I said that boy was with Me right now?”

    At that saying, there opened before me a window into heaven, and there was Jesus with His right arm about the shoulder of a young Arab boy, robed in white, his eyes imploring me to believe, his countenance overwhelmed by Love, while Jesus fixed me with His steely stare and it pierced my heart – I repented and was so bereft.

    I said, “You are going to have to teach me about this Lord…”

    “Don’t worry, I will.” Immediately I heard the scripture 2 Cor 5:17. Henceforth, KNOW WE NO MAN according to the flesh.

    The Bible is to the Spirit what the cup is to the coffee – take the LIFE out of it and it is empty, but you can fill it with all sorts of dung, if that is what you want to do.

    The Holy Spirit told me once when I sat down to prepare a sermon and I asked for direction, “Moses did not have a Bible, and Paul did not have a New Testament; they had a relationship, and out of this came the books.”

    The reason why I have so many experiences is that I have a relationship. Last year, He again said, “If you were cast up on a desert Isle with no bibles, no books, no computer, no Christian TV, no fellowship, nothing – from where would you get your daily bread?”

    Do you have a Living relationship, or a dead letter? Unless the Holy Spirit breathes upon it, it is dead.

    As for God not being able to forgive a sin that has not been paid for, I struggle with this saying. Can you please give me chapter and verse? My God had a Lamb slain from BEFORE the foundatios of the worlds.

    I keep telling you but I do not think you are listening – the foundation of our faith is NOT THE CROSS – read Vine’s definition of Cross. The foundation of our faith is the resurrection from the house of the dead, so Paul said; when Jesus led captivity captive, and all died in Him and all were resurrected in Him.

    I asked Him once to explain “OK, so tell me straight, who goes to hell and who to heaven?” He said, “Ian, it is like this, all that is of me returns to Me, all that is not of me does not.”

    Later I was to understand this conundrum more in that all things are from, to for and by Him – and that is in the Book!

    I asked Him last year to please distill the essence of what he has been teaching me this Century, and he said, “Ian, it is like this, there is no us and them, there is just US, it is just that some of them do no konw it yet.”

    He also told me that when I had truly laid down my life, I would look up to everyone. If I had to name one person who inspired me more than any other, it would be Corrie ten Boom (after the Apostles, of course).

    Personally, I have given up caring what people think, I just preach and proclaim what I have been shown. Jesus to me how that we are all anchored in Him, but that we all of us have our own peculiar inclination toward the Truth (as our true north) – which is our appreciation of Christ. He showed me how that He will draw wll to Himself through a remnant of men and women, made upright of heart, who He would prepare to bring the VIVAL (His word) – to proclaim the hope of the kingdom, the Life of God in Christ.

    I asked Him also about the three and seven deal some time back – and His answer was if you want to know what I am like, go look in the mirror, I made you in My likeness – to be ONE with Me. And He saith not unto SEEDS, as of MANY, but unto SEED as of ONE, which is CHRIST – and I am of the SEED of Abaraham.

    The world, the flesh and the devil has a lot at stake in dividing God – and the devil’s mobe knows that in order to ensure the outcome, control both sides of the conflict – as in the tree of good AND evil – not OR but AND – they are two sides of the same paradigm.

    Once while prosletysing in a WOF Church, I met a man who seemed to be so at peace, so in God – I asked him what he was doing here in our little fellowship (we really thought that we were the goods – like Hillsong etc).

    He looked me straight in the eye and said, “You don’t understand the NEW BIRTH”. I asked him to tell me more. He said no, that it snot my job, but that there would come the time that I would.

    The key is in 1 John – “A NEW commandment I give to you, yet not new, but old, or as at the beginning – you know when He had a Lamb slain…from the beginning…as in NEW.

    The Pharisees tested Jesus, “Which is the greatest commandemnt?”

    “Love the lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second, which is just like is, to love your neighbour as yourself – upon this HANGS all the Law and the Prophets.”

    Note the difference from Levitical 10 commands and the Noahide Laws.

    But LATER, to HIS OWN DSCIPLES, He would say, “A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE TO YOU, THAT YOU SHOULD LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AS I FIRST (ORIGINALLY or FROM THE BEGINNING) LOVED YOU.

    WE ARE NEW CREATIONS, CREATED IN CHRIST, AS WORKS OF GRACE. Gee, and just when you thought you had it all worked out and God neatly stuffed into your God shaped hole.

    SHAKE US LORD! Let’s see what drops off…0(:->)

    And could you please link me to that facetinating piece…

  69. Postscript: Last year, I did a Google search on the June 2001 Tel Aviv bombing. I found the sad story of a frail farmer whose land had been stolen and whose son became so hurt that he saw only one course of action. when I saw the pain on his face, not only had he lost his land, his posterity was gone too, my heart broke with him and his pain became mine. I was so sorry for my former filthy attitude, my own self righteousness. Ask yourself, why did God save Ishmael and make of him a great nation?

  70. Ian

    I think most of get that if there is no resurrection, then the cross is of no account.

    1 Cor 15 and all that.

  71. Yes, but do you have to die first? Is walking in the resurrection for now or for when you go to heaven? Is 1 Cor 13 for when you get to heaven? Is John 15 the same? Or is ti talking about NOW – when you really need it.

    The point I am trying to make, is that the emphasis on the cross tends to negate the blessing of walking in the resurrection. No church I have ever been to teaches about walking in the poer of the resurrection.

    My experience is that most Christians are incredibly ignorant of what it is all about, and this is whay they fall for faithism, which is just witchcraft, as it offers the same old serpent’s trick, you shall be as gods…knowing…and while you are at it, can I seel you the Sydney Harbour Bridge?

    Now, have any of you actually looked up Vine’s as to the origins of the cross icon? The Greek word is STAUROS, pronounced stavros. It means an upright pale or stake upon which a malefactor was nailed.

    I guess it may not be news you scholars and students of the Holy writ, as it was to me when I first was challenged on this, that the words, cross, crucify and crucifixion do not appear in the original texts. Even the whacky old JW’s know this.

    Do ya hear me. Ya’ll are banging on about how WRONG Pringle and Houston et al are, but have you really ever looked to see just what you believe that is wrong? I will say it again – the cross negates your faith – but Jesus did tell me that cross or stake it does not matter, the real issue is the resurrection from the house of the dead, from Sheol, which enables us to walk in faith and to manifest the love of God in that we obey the NEW commandment, that we should love one another as HE first loved us.

    And you talk to me of mixture…and what I believe is off the wall – some is good and some is evil?

    Maybe the stuff you can get with that I maintain is for where you are now, maybe the other stuff is for later…maybe I am just banging my head against a wailing wall…

    Someone asked if what the church has practised for 2000 years was wrong – well if 2000 years of practise has not worked, maybe something is wrong already?

    Paul warned about ravening wolves and those from among you who serve themselves. Most of the real problems kicked in with Constantine, but there was a whole lot of Judaizing going on before that too.

    Oh well, I tried….

    In other words, are you straining at gnats while sawllowing a camel?

  72. I do think its important, once we are convinced that a church or whatever that we’ve been involved with, is teaching seriously wrong major doctrines, that we eventually move forwards from that point.

    In my case, I was pretty shocked and disturbed when I realised the vast extent of the twisting of scripture that was being taught in my denomination. It wouldn’t have been such an issue if it wasn’t for the constant emphasis on those things.

    For example, even though I had a senior minister previously who believed that we should tithe off our gross incomes, because he didn’t preach it every week – or ever in my memory – it was not a problem. There was no pressure or manipulation in that circumstance, regardless of the pastor’s doctrine, because he had an overriding doctrine where he trusted God to bring the needed finance in, without him pressuring people, and he did not believe in insisting that people believe exactly what he did to be a ‘good Christian’. (Actually, you only found out if you asked him what he thought on the matter outside the service). We object strongly to C3 and Hillsong and other churches that push these things because they push them so strongly, that they have redefined Christianity for a lot of people, and consequently put some of them in bondage.

    Most of us still have friends or family caught up in these things, and consequently see some of these people suffering in different ways as a result. It is a culture that we protest.

    I don’t believe this is a gnat. Too many people are hurt by it, and take years to recover in some cases.

    Nonetheless, the discovery of all this threw everything I knew into doubt for me. I had a crisis of faith that included everything except Jesus. I even tried to find a psychologist to help me deal with the depression it caused for some time, without success. (Got through that anyway, thankfully.) So I am quite open to thinking that there may be many camels in my belief system. I trust God to show me those over time.

    Also, I trust God to teach me through my own ordinary, everyday life, as I am involved in my community and raising my family. I think this is where much of the work takes place in our characters. So I’m not going to worry about camels. God will bring his work in me to completion, and in all of us.

    Now in terms of walking ‘in the power of the resurrection’ – we have eternal life, and we have it now. We can walk in our new life, right now. Whenever we abide in God, we do so. But it is still imperfect – we live in perishable bodies in a fallen world which will all pass away, and then the imperishable will come. Until then, though we walk in eternal life, we do so by faith, knowing that when we trust God enough to live according to the way the Kingdom works, we will see Him move in power, and that this is frequently the very opposite of the way the world’s mindset works. See the sermon on the mount.

  73. Good summary RP.

    Don’t bang your head on the wailing wall on account of us Ian, but you can talk to us and have a good argument.

    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

  74. Mr Ian Williams, you really fascinate me.

    Sounds like you know a lot about the pentecostal scene in NZ.
    Its amazing how many people have come from NZ to influence the world. And also how much bad stuff has gone down there. Sad.

  75. Ian Williams: “In other words, are you straining at gnats while sawllowing a camel?”

    I think we examine the gnat, the camel and scripture. I think most of us on here are careful what we swallow.

    I also like your reply RP. 🙂

    This does summarise Signposts02 quite well I think.

    “We object strongly to C3 and Hillsong and other churches that push these things because they push them so strongly, that they have redefined Christianity for a lot of people, and consequently put some of them in bondage.”

  76. Baffling.

    So Ian is not a universalist yet his vision portays universalism. A muslim boy, hoping for paradise with 70 virgins kills 16 israelis in a suicide attack.

    Jesus is supposedly accepting this boy into heaven on this basis?

    An unrepentant murderer in Heaven? Now that is a very interesting vision. It’s also a very different Jesus.

    This isn’t so much difficult for me to swallow as it is very easy to reject out of hand.

    You find all sorts on t’internet.

    Shalom

  77. In fact, I would have thought being judgmental quite a minor thing really.

    “How dare you judge this boy! He’s only killed 16 people! You judge him and I’ll … um … welll yeah … um … ok you are in too … but I am very cross with you!”

    Shalom

  78. Now Bull, you put words inm my mouth – be careful – you will be accountable for every idle word. Did youa sk Jesus if it was a real vision or did you just run it past your theology/doctrine/dogma?

    I was instructed to offer one more illustration. By it, you may well see how it is that God will put humpty dumpty back together again, in a sense.

    Some years back, when I was getting taught how to pray God’s will, I was awoken early one morning and told to get the Newspaper. My usual habit was to pray first, but I obeyed. There on the front page was a story about a youing man who had been exiting a manhole early in the morning when a woman coming home from night shift had fallen asleep at the wheel and driving though road worsks, had mowed him down.

    He was on life support and not expected to live. Hsi spine was broken in 5 places, as was virtually very bone in his upper body along with massive internal injuries. I felt wholly inadequate and asked, “What can I do?” I was shown how to pray – and doing so, I felt a rush of virtue go out of me – powerful – and in the same instant “saw” the man put back together from the cellular level, literally reconstructed from the pattern in his own DNA. It was very sudden, very powerful, and I pretty much forgot about it until two weeks later, when a young man came into my shop to pick up his wedding rings. He apologised for being late, and said that he had unexpectedly ahd to go to hospital. I asked if it was all right and he said yes.

    What struck me about him was his sincerity, his presence was such that I became very aware of my own sin! He just seemed so holy!

    Another few weeks later, I was manning my stand at a bride show. I had been having a trial of a day, when up walked a little old lady. She wanted to thank me for her sons rings adn what a fine job we had done. She then proceeded to recount how and why he was late – yep – it was him who was totalled in the accident. She told me how that he had a miracle, and that the doctirs had kept him in hopital trying to figure out what happened and that they had gotten so freaked out that they asked him to leave – seems that they could not stand the presence of such grace in ther midst and his healing was doing their heads in.

    Some years later, I asked what this was all about and how come he fgot healed and not others? I wa shown how it was the prayers of his mother and bride to be which had made the demand upon heaven but that God needed someone to stand in the gap – a focal point to faith – a vessel that His will might be done thereby.

    He also showed me how that this young man was a type or pattern of how He would build His body – from being run down to righteousness – from road kill to royalty. The pattern of the BODY NOT MADE WITH HANDS is CHRIST JESUS – Christ is the DNA of God adn the Holy Spirit the RNA for the purposes of illustration.

    Hey Bull, here is one for you and all the other skeptics – just agree with me that if I am wrong, that ONLY the Holy Spirit will teach me the Truth, but also accept that you too may just be wrong and that you should likewise open the door of your heart to the Truth.

    How come none of you guys ever use your given names – what are you hiding (from)? Are you scared someone might get your number? God has not given to us the spirit again to fear.

    Hey, I am a survivor of faithism too – but I am more interested in what this tells me about me than them. Just cos someone is selling something you do not have to buy it – free will ends in pigswill, every time. It is FREED WILL we need.

    What you have to do is to understand what branch of the tree you are part of, and whether you are a fruitful bud or dead wood. Let us not be afraid to submit to pruning, painful as it may be.

    Start by asking God to show you your Rolodex, your file system, your accounts that you keep on others. This is why you cannot hear me, nd why Jesus gets people like me to bang on your door.

    I remember 9 yrs ago going to see a Pastor to warn him his about to be born son was in danger and that he had let a devilk into his church – I approched him carefully and reticently – he rebuffed me and when I told him something by the Spirit, he told me “I have had prophets (he said the word disapringly) tell me this for years – I did not listen to them and I am not going to listen to you.” I shook the dust and left. One week later his child was born dead – and he cried to his church that he did not know why God would not answer his pleading to give life to his son. Over the next several years, his church grew greatly but the problems did too.

    You have not because you ask amiss, because you ask according to your own desires, good or evil.

    Please don’t stumble at what I say, ask JESUS! The real Jesus, not your cardboard cut-out Caucasion Jesus, the real one – ask in faith, nothing doubting.

    The reason why you cannot comprehend how Jesus could save a deluded Arab boy is the same reason you cannot comprehend how He can save deluded Aussies and Kiwis and Yanks etc. You simply do not understand the New birth or Jesus, you just think that you do, however, I guess that is for Him to tell you, then you might actually believe it.

    A friend of mine once described me as a brick – and I said yeah, and God attaches a note to me and throws me through your window….0(:->) Shalom!

  79. I really love weirdos like you Ian Williams! And I use the word “weirdo” in the best possible sense.

    As for the Arab boy in heaven, I know that Universalism immediately makes a person more of a heretic than anything else. But, I will be honest and say that there is no doctrine in the whole of Christendom I find harder to accept intellectually and emotionally that a person will live for 15, 25 or 95 years, and on the basis of what they do or do not do, believe or find hard to believe, will end up passing into eternal pain and suffering. I just still can’t get that.

    Maybe I know too many people who have died recently, and spent too much time in countries where people hardly know a thing about Christianity.

    But if we do insist on believing in an eternal hell full of pain, torment and suffering, I wish we’d stop making flippant jokes about it in church and outside.
    Sorry for getting sidetracked.

  80. But … Doesn’t Jesus have blond hair and blue eyes?

    Jesus was, is and Always will be a Jewish man, albeit in a new resurrection body.

    Why use pseudonyms? It allows a degree of honesty actually. We can say what we really think, including talking about theology that might offend the other while at the same time protecting us from internet weirdos who might look to track us down in real-life. It is sensible. It is also sensitive to our loved-ones who might have to deal with said weirdos.

    You make a very big accusation about us not understanding the “New Birth”. You make an even bigger claim that we don’t understand it but you do.

    In fact, you have made some incredible claims about the power you have seen and felt and demonstrated.

    How long ago did you perform your last sin, Ian?

  81. Churchman I have already outlined the fact the I should re-examine judgment etc.

    One of those issues includes what eternal judgment is.

    There is a school of thought that the consequence of judgment is eternal, but that the working out of it is not an eternal process…if you get the difference.

    Not saying this is correct, but an idea which I should look at.

  82. Ian I am quite sympathetic to what you are saying, but I don’t think you are very realistic if you think that we are just going roll over and say you are right and the rest of us are wrong….which is what you are wanting.

    Happy for the Lord to speak to me, happy to listen to you.

    If the Lord wants to speak to me as does to you He is perfectly able; I’m not stopping Him.

    Until then you are another man with another view on the internet.

    I don’t profess to be anything other than someone who God in His unfathomable mercy has saved.

    It is up to the Spirit to convict, not you.

  83. Yes, MN has summed things up well. Our group here does not always agree with one another. But I think we all give each other credit for taking our faith seriously, and over time, we’ve all become more respectful and capable of learning from one another, as the tables here keep turning. If anything, this blog has been pretty useful for being confronted with views different from our own that we might not otherwise have tried to answer. This stimulates all of us to search scripture, pray, and respond in ways that result in some of our views being modified, other times reaffirmed, and other times, we just realise we have further to go in looking at some subject or other, as MN has mentioned above. The vital part of this process, without which it won’t work, is respecting one another, even when we disagree. Sometimes we succeed at that, and other times we don’t. But over time, I think we’ve generally improved. Actually, because of the way in which we converse here, I suspect we know one another’s views in more depth than we know the views of many other people we see face to face! It’s kind of ironic, really, that an anonymous blog can have that effect.

  84. “Actually, because of the way in which we converse here, I suspect we know one another’s views in more depth than we know the views of many other people we see face to face! It’s kind of ironic, really, that an anonymous blog can have that effect.”

    Now that is interesting. Maybe it would be a good thing for more Christians to be a part of an anonymous online discussion group with people outside of their church, movement, theological stream etc.

    It’s not always easy to be as honest as people think it is in “real” small groups.
    I’ve often wondered if some of the people trolling as athiests in christian chat rooms aren’t Christians struggling with doubts who just want to thrash out their thoughts but can’t really do it with people they know.

    But, it’s great to be in unity and have the same vision with a group of people, but it’s also healthy to hang out with people with totally different viewpoints, and it’s even more possible online.

    But here is a serious question for you (though probably nobody will be bothered to do it). If you were to start again – a Christian group with people new to the faith, what would be the first 5 or 10 songs that you would choose for them to learn to sing together as a community.
    (It’s not a hypothetical for me, so I’m really interested in some answers).

    P.S I personally lean towards songs that are known in the Body of Christ so that people can enjoy meeting with Christians outside their own group.

    If it’s wrong to ask this on this thread, just tell me or delete the post.

  85. In this yuotube video that Lance put up on groupsects, this young woman says that she remembered what she was singing to God and felt challenged then to act on what she sung:

    This is why I have a problem with Hillsong music. Guilted by error!

  86. “Was I really serious about my faith? And we sing all these song in church like, ‘break my heart for what breaks yours’, you know ‘everything I am for your kingdom’s cause’. But I sort of thought, ‘well how can I say that, you know, everything I am for your cause, but I don’t want to give you any of my money? (Which relative to a lot of things, is not really that important.)” – Jenny McArthur, 0:55

    A victim to big church music, atmosphere, doctrine and manipulation. Poor Jenny Mcathur!

  87. Ok, so I am joining this a bit late, but my concern centres on the whole boycotting deal, as well as the twisting of lyrics, not to mention the part where you are telling us that portions of scripture are no longer relevant! It’s one thing to accuse Hillsong of doing that, but when you turn around and do the same thing, it seems rather sinister. I am not sure if English is the first language of specksandplanks, but anyway…

    For those songs you mentioned, it is important that we not get carried away when trying to prove a point. Ok, so Robert Fergusson did not seem to adequately address the point, as shown in the first blog… How did we move from there to boycotting Hillsong music, and to rewriting people’s lyrics? All the songs you mentioned, in the potions you mentioned are sound according to Scripture.

    That stanza you quoted from “Blessed” is a quote from Psalm 84:2, which says:
    “Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you. ”

    The next line of the song is also from the same chapter, and it is clear that the context of the song is NOT the prosperity gospel as you claim.

    I wish I had time to taken the songs one by one as you did… but “To the Ends of the Earth” is also Scripturally correct. That idea is found in the Great Commission (The latter part of Matthew 28). In Acts 1:8, JESUS Himself says:

    “8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.”

    We cannot be so silly that we would want to challenge people’s honest response to God, and challenge Scripture because we have a point to prove. That is not only “unChristian” (not Christ-like), it is also misleading. The song is merely reflecting the writer’s willingness to go to any lengths to see the love of Christ shared… and in this case, the writer has been there… he has gone to many countries, sharing God’s love…that is not even the point. The reason I asked if English is your first language is that there is a serious lack of comprehension of the lyrics. I am gonna assume this lack of comprehension was not intentional, because it is on this basis that you have claimed the songs are in error, when in fact, they are not.

    For example, “Take all of me” is simply an expression of our surrender. How many of us as Christians do not allow God to reign in all of our lives? Sure, God is Sovereign, but He also does not rape people… He is not going to yank us away from ourselves. That songs seems rather reminiscent of a great hymn of the church: “I Surrender All”. Do you also have a problem with that song.

    Now, I am going to address the point you made about the gospel being absent from their songs. I don not agree with you on that one. I am not Hillsong defender, but of all the groups out there, their music stands strong when it comes to highlighting the message of the cross.

    On that same album that the Anglican Bishop was questioning, there is a song called “Stronger”:

    There is love that came for us
    Humbled to a sinner’s cross
    You broke my shame and sinfulness
    You rose again, victorious

    You are stronger, You are stronger
    Sin is broken, You have saved me
    It is written, Christ is risen
    Jesus, You are Lord of all

    No beginning and no end
    You’re my Hope and my Defence
    You came to seek and save the lost
    You paid it all upon the cross

    The title track of that album, “This is our God”:

    Freely You gave it all for us
    Surrendered Your life upon that cross
    Great is the love poured out for all
    This is our God
    Lifted on high, from death to life
    Forever, our God is glorified
    Servant and King, You rescued the world
    This is our God

    On the most recent album, titled “A Beautiful Exchange”, the title track, “Beautiful Exchange”

    the first stanza details the writer’s own state before finding God, then goes on to say:

    Trading Your life for my offences
    For my redemption, You carried all the blame
    Breaking the curse of our condition
    Perfection took our place

    When only love could make a way
    You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange
    When only love could break these chains
    You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange

    Lastly, even that very same “All For Love” song you were saying is wrong… the song says:

    All for love, a Father gave
    For only love could make the way
    All for love, the heavens cried
    For love was crucified

    At this point, it goes on to say “Oh, how many times have I broken Your heart, still You forgive if only I ask…”. It is clear that line exists in the context of what came before it, and it is dishonest and unfair to quote things in isolation merely for the purpose of proving a point.

    The same song continues:

    All for love, A Saviour prayed
    “Abba, Father, have Your way
    Though they know not what they do
    Let the cross draw man to You”

    Now, it is quite sensational to say “Boycott Hillsong music”, but as Christians, we must stand up for the truth. We cannot go around colouring people’s expressions of worship to God as being full of error, because we do not have that authority. A friend of mine says “I am nobody’s Holy Spirit”. Nowhere in Scripture has God called us to become another’s conscience, or their Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit in someone bears witness with them that a song is wrong, then that is between that person and the Holy Spirit. It is not our job to go around encouraging people to boycott things what we do not understand. I am going to assume that your intentions were good, but think of the damage you may have caused to those who do not know Scripture, and those who think that what you said is true.

  88. I was simply suggesting that Old Testament scriptures were not applicable to us because of what Christ has accomplished. Therefore it must be important we are singing fulfillment theology and not muddied covenant theology.

    You could justify with scripture too the following made up lyrics of a song, (like the one below) and call that biblical too. Make sure you sing this to the melody of ‘Hosanna’s’ bridge:

    “Take my dick and snip that too
    So I can finally be made right with you”

    That is what the bridge is essentially singing about.

    Because Hillsong preaches a watered down and old covenant gospel, I think it is important words are changed so that people can sing in spirit and IN Truth.

    That video I posted above seems to indicate that the lyrics of the song ‘Hosanna’ guilted Jenny into giving. I’m glad God turned her situation around.

    I think boycotting Hillsong music is too extreme myself. Changing the words seems to be the answer to this problem.

  89. So… May I Ask why does Christians are busy to Criticizing at each other ?
    It’s written in the bible
    “But instead, one brother goes to law against another–and this in front of unbelievers!”(1 Corinthians 6:6 NIV)
    “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers” (1 Timothy 5:1 NIV)

    Will we Criticize our family… or Correct them with humble heart and with love…

    If Hillsong Church is False Church, or teaching False Christ , It should not provide any good fruit, such as increase of New – Believer , Blessings in Praise & Worship Song, Expension of Church All over The Earth , Because It is written
    “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33)
    “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.” (Luke 6:43)

    Correction in Christ is pleasing for God

    Bur Quarelling between His Child, will make Him sad

    So Criticizing – X
    But Correct, Rebuke, Teach in Love – O

    ^-^

  90. And for comment “Take my Life”
    Jesus Has come to bless us with abandunt life
    You are totally right.
    But He also have right to Take our Life, Since He is the Giver of Everything
    Word “Take My Life” Means, Every parts of life is belong to Him, whether it is flourishing life and abandunt life that God given, or poor life , lack of physical goods, It still belongs to God.

    For “Bless” You are true, We already have blessing of God, But, How can you limit God’s Blessing, God that I believe is God, who can bless me Eternity, So Asking God’s blessing, is this against bible ? Well.. than I will say all the prayers to God is against Bible, why do we need to Pray when we have Everything already ? why do we say “Provide us with daily bread, or Let your kingdom come, or Let your will be done on the Earth as it is in heavens” When we have all the blessing ? Why do we desire to go to heaven, if the blessing and life that we have is already Everything that is given ?

    More than Life

    ‘Tone is Religouse’- Is this really reasonable Comment ? who do you think ‘You’ refers to ? Jesus, and you said Jesus is Life.. Match !

    Well.. It’s tired for me to right more
    Well I am yr 12 student who is attending Hillsong Church at the moment.
    I don’t believe Hillsong is Perferct nor any other church does.
    But I believe we should seek for closer truth , and we should keep seek for God’s Unlimited Wonder
    But I also Believe, Family shouldn’t fight or find a bit of things and quarrel each other, rather, I believe family should correct, rebuke, in the way of humble, love, patience, kindness, gentleness, than decession.
    I hope We as Christians Have unity in Christ, and Ecourage others

  91. Well said Chan.

    Just remember though that numerical growth or success doesn’t always mean equal truth.

    Great to see a high schooler in love with God and his Church though. Hillsongis blessed to have someone like you there.

    I really liked what you said.

    Bless you

  92. Out of the mouths…

    You are right, Chan. Hillsong is a great church and ministry serving Jesus to the best of its ability. Anyone with a heart for Christ can see this.

    Whilst growth isn’t necessarily an indication of doctrinal accuracy, it certainly can be an indication of fruitfulness for God in his Vineyard. Jesus chose us to produce more fruit that remains. A barren tree produces nothing.

    Unsustainable negative criticism is the lowest form of scriptural advancement.

  93. “Whilst growth isn’t necessarily an indication of doctrinal accuracy, it certainly can be an indication of fruitfulness for God in his Vineyard.”

    Kipling, all I have ever tried to say is part a of that sentence. I really think it’s worth remembering. And Brian Houston would agree with it I’m sure.

    I am all for numerical growth. And I think all denominations secretly are – and all would use it as evidence of God working or their methods working. But, surely you must know so many examples of churches that had numerical growth which was not due to the Pastor “abiding in Christ”, or God’s endorsement of what they were doing.

    And in the modern day church, that needs to be said. btw, I am not really anti-Hillsong or C3 or B4 etc etc.

    And to someone like Chan my message is simply God bless you, I am happy you are in a church and are faithful and committed. But, I would tell him and my own son and anyone to just remember that truth is truth. The fact that an organization you belong to is growing doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need to continually seek the truth.

    That needs to be remembered when you are 17 and when you are 77.

  94. The “rock music” church (music-driven church) is just a phase that many true Christians are apt to go thru. ( i went thru it years ago, and was a worship leader with an AOG church)

    It is totally NORMAL to “grow out of it” and move on.

    I think that if the bros from the 1st century came back today they wouldn’t have much time for it. The first thing they would say is, Give the money back.

  95. Ian is right re it being a phase for many true Christians.

    My own experience was that there was not enough depth of teaching to keep me there in the long run. (There may be others which have better teaching which would definitely help keep people longer.) I would say that like Ian suggests, I ‘grew’ out of it – it didn’t take that long to learn all they had to teach and to then need something more, though I stayed beyond that point. Then found a church with a much stronger teaching ability (a huge relief).

    Our Christian lives don’t stand still; we need to be aware of how the Lord is leading us in different seasons, and not afraid that leaving a church is leaving ‘the’ church, because it is not when we remain in Him regardless.

    “I think that if the bros from the 1st century came back today they wouldn’t have much time for it. The first thing they would say is, Give the money back.” – Ian Vincent

    Ha ha – would love to see what happens in that scenario! Not many could be like Nicodemus.

    One of the biggest killers of teaching and a healthy community I think is when building campaigns emerge. Not if they are in the background, but when they become the main focus and all the messages become skewed to meeting the building fund goals.

  96. Sorry – I meant Zacchaeus, not Nicodemus. Duh!

    8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

    9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

  97. Agreed, RP.

    …………………..

    How many times have we heard, “The worship was great!” ?

    But there is only One who is great. No one else and nothing else is great, in comparison to Him. Nothing man could ever produce qualifies as great, before Him.

    The Object of our worship is great, the Person we worship is great, but our worship itself is not great. And so it ever should be.

    Recognizing this fact is so important, if we would be true worshippers of God, in Spirit and in Truth.

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/

  98. Man builds an altar to God, and then, amazingly, begins to worship the altar he has made, rather than worship God.

    That was the history of Israel and it’s the history of christendom.

    The disciples showed Jesus the temple buildings, and Jesus wasn’t impressed. ( A One greater than the temple was there and they wanted to show Him the temple???)

    In the same way, the naive think that the great edifices of Christianity are something, when they are nothing.

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/

  99. in response to the first 10 or so posts (i didn’t read further)
    Arent you arguing about phrasing that is largely irrelevant?
    I can see that S&P is basically saying that hat the hillsong songs are saying should have already occured amongst Christians. That Is the case but the phrasing hardly makes the song satans work!
    i would also say that Hillsong is an evangelical church (as all should be) ‘draw near to me’ is perhaps what we are hoping those who are not yet commited christians will be asking of the Lord.

  100. No, why would it be extreme? How can anyone embrace bad theology, if they are truly saved? I would avoid like the plague.

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  102. No, not extreme at all. Why should it? Hillsong is second rate in all that they do. 1.) music copying secular artists, and never original. 2.) bland lyrics. They are unorthodox on all levels, and refuse to support their apostacy. There are other ministries out there who write better music and lyrics anyway.

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