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People write to me with reactions to my comments about Hillsong Church. My replies are in italics.
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2005 21:22:35 +1100
Subject: Your comments on Hillsong
I just had to email you about your comments about Hillsong.
1. the "church" has just donated $AU106,000 to help World Vision feed people in Sudan. This represents 0.3% of the "church's" admitted yearly tax-free income - this does not counter that it is a good thing as that is one of the donations of the church. Another is $400k raised for Tsunami recently. The activities of the churches foundation itself is a charity (for example helping who have been sexually abused) so they do not have to justify all donations by giving it all away as some if for the activities of the foundation itself.
$506,000 out of an income of $30 million! I am impressed. What specially impresses me is that this is more than 75% of what the church paid to buy an apartment for Bobbie Houston at Bondi. I assume the church paid for it, because as we all know Bobbie has no income because she donates her salary to the church.
in any case you are wrong about it being tax deductible ... donations for the running of the Church are not tax deductible only donations to the foundation are.
I never said anything about tax deductibility of donations to the church. I said that the income of the church was not subject to tax. This is a different matter altogether.
2. your comment about being hosted in New Jersey --- so what? does it really matter? They probably host it there because australian hosting is very expensive.
I agree. If I had an annual tax-free income of only $30 million I couldn't afford about $400 a year either. Of course, if I felt the need to get around Australia's laws on international money transfers it would be handy to have someone in the US who could issue invoices to me.
3. Your other comments show that you have not investigated the issues properly
By my "other comments" I assume you mean my comments about Peter Costello appearing at a fundraiser and Hillsong representatives deceptively using the name of a genuine charity to attract people to one of those fundraisers. What is there to investigate? Costello was there, Amnesty were not.
In any case a more important question is why you feel the need to attack the church (ask ask for donations for doing so ... on the bottom of your page)
I don't like scams of any kind. Getting money from people by pretending to be some sort of church and spending the money on lavish lifestyles is no different from any other sort of financial fraud, except that it is legal.
If you met the founders of the church you would realize that their purpose is 100% to make the world a better place, and attacking them whilst it might give you some gratification ... are you making a contribution by doing so?
It would be enormously gratifying to me and I would definitely have made a contribution if I could encourage just one person to worship God in a real church instead of a farce like Hillsong.
You are attacking quackery and unscientific medicine on your website and I can see some advantages in that, but isn't it unscientific quackery to attack a church without really knowing what you are talking about.
Fax me a copy of the church's accounts.
And one other thing quickly on the point of money ... you can't help the poor by being poor ... I am wealthy and that gives me the ability to give away a lot of money and make a difference with that money. The same is true of the Church. They wouldn't be able to do anything without money.
Excellent! Any day now I expect to see Gloria Jean's coffee shops providing free meals and coffee to indigent people. The homeless people in the Bondi area will also appreciate being able to shelter themselves in Bobbie's $650,000 shack.
Now, what was it that Jesus said about wealth and rich people ...?
From: "Joel Power"
Subject: Oh Just something
Date: Wed, 29 Jun 2005 18:10:25 +1000
I just thought i would write to whoever is trying to discredit Hillsong and Pastor Brian and Bobbie Houston, and say this:
NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR OPINION, honestly a jealous word never stands for much......i mean what have you done for the community and this nation or even further the world........mmm....i thought so, i mean anyone can word a good arguement but in all honestly can you be man or women enough to live a life of impact aswell..mmmmm..... thought so........and if you like to talk so much lets try and see you walk the walk and show the world how much you can really do.........mmm.... thought so, all the best.
Do you have a point?
Thank you for your comments. They have been passed on the the appropriate person in the organisation for consideration.
From: "Daniel W"
Subject: Hillsong Article
Date: Wed, 06 Apr 2005 18:28:21 +1000
I think your article is such a biased piece of opinion from a over analysing man. I mean my church is doing so much for the community we have Teen Challenge(for boys) and Mercy(for girls) which gives men and women with life controlling issues such as drug addictions a chance to start over with free accomodation, food and counselling. It also gives them recreational opportunites also and helps them to find jobs.We also help them by rebuilding key foundations in vital areas such as self image,peer pressure,family living, work ethic and community relationships. WE as a church are also sponsering 2,444 with another 66 sponserships about to commence. We also gave $500,000 to help the Tsunami effort and also gave 10,000 units of antibiotics to the countries effected.We gave $106,000 to World Vision for work in Sudan.We also have street teams who mow,paint,clean,garden and do other such activites for the poor,underpriveleged and the edlerly.Through Hillsong emerge centres we as a church are helping people in Blacktown and Redfern through aged care services,mentoring and drug and alcohol services. SO I do not see how you could say that we are not doing much for the community and the world abroad.And also the Pastors Brian and Bobbie sponser 7 children through compassion. They do not have to do this there is no obligation to do so but they do it. Also it outlines in the Old and New Testament of the bible tithing. So open your bible and find these scriptures...
Leviticus 27:30 "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD."
Malachi 3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation."
In verse 10 of Malachi 3, you will notice that it states "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
1: As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.
2: He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.
3: "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others.
4: All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
15: Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.
16: They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.
17: Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
18: But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?
19: Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius,
20: and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"
21: "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."
22: When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
I hope thats enough proof for you.Also we are called Hillsong Church not just Hillsong as we are a Church.In your article you said "What really frightened her, though, was being in a room full of thousands of people who could be encouraged to simultaneously salute Pastor Brian by raising their arms to a 45º angle." We never salute Brian (a misconception on your behalf as you got second hand information) we are actually worshipping God-honouring him. Also just have to say this view on our Church is getting boring...way overdone. You also said that "She asked once about pastoral services like having a quiet place to come during the week for reflection and contemplation and the availability of someone who could offer some counselling if she had problems. The person she asked looked at her in bewilderment, unable to comprehend why anyone would expect a "church" to do these things and do them without payment." We do offer free counselling(again you got second hand information) and could it have been possible that the person she asked did not know we had free counselling? You also said that "Churches are places where you sing, pay, pray, pay, sing, pay, salute, sing, pray and pay." This is not true as we only tithe once in the service. Also I do not see the big problem with tithing I mean most other churches tithe as well and some youth groups at churches require you to pay to get in.My Church does not require youth to pay to get in. I do not see anything wrong with this either, I am not having a go at other Churches either as they are great Anglican Churches. I mean have you even been to our Church or was this article just written on "hear say" and "rumours" like many others?I see no evidence you have been to our Church. I would be glad to bring you sometime. You also said "Strangely, there is one thing that Hillsong and Amnesty have in common - they are both evidence of the non-existence of God. If there really was an omniscient, omnipotent and just God then there would be no need for an organisation like Amnesty, because such a god would not allow the suffering, injustices and atrocities which the organisation exists to fight. Similarly, if there really was an omniscient, omnipotent and just God it is hard to imagine why He would tolerate a pretend church which defiles His name by its worship of wealth." Could it be that you don't believe in God so much that you hate my Church because you see the good things our Church is doing but because it is a place to honour God you hate it? And could it be that God likes our Church(as we seek to serve and bring honour and glory to His name while helping the poor etc) and that is why he tolerates our Church?
I will wait for your reply as I enjoy reading your opinions even if they are not as I believe.
From: "Daniel W"
Subject: I sent you an email earlier in the year
Date: Sat, 02 Jul 2005 19:09:58 +1000
Hi, I sent you an email earlier in the year and you didn't bother putting it on your website so could you do so? or do you only put on the ones that you want?
I usually post emails to my site, although I don't necessarily do it immediately they come in. In this case I put it aside for some reason. It is on the site now.
I would like to comment on some things you said. Firstly, I would like to thank you for saying that you enjoy reading my opinions even though you don't necessarily agree with them. It would be a dull place if everyone agreed with everyone else, but I have found some people who profess to Christianity yet would like to silence any conflicting opinions.
Secondly, I agree that the correct name for the business generally referred to as "Hillsong" is Hillsong Church Ltd, an Australian public company limited by guarantee. When you are next speaking to any of the directors of this company you might like to clear up something which is puzzling me. Why did the company formerly named "Sydney Christian Life Centre Limited" change its name to "Hillsong Church Ltd" on the same day that "Hillsong Church Limited" changed its name to "Hillsong Christian Life Centre Ltd". You might also ask them what Hillsong Emerge Ltd does and why separate incorporations are required for Hillsong Church Incorporated and Hillsong Youth Services Incorporated. I can guess what Hillsong Media & Performing Arts Incorporated does.
Third, as you seem familiar with the financial affairs of the various Hillsong entities, please fax me a copy of the accounts. As there seems to be quite a network of incorporated bodies and legal entities at the same address, if possible I would like separate profit and loss statements and balance sheets for each body as well as consolidated accounts. (I know that some of these documents have different names because of the different legal status of companies versus non-profit bodies, but the principles still apply.)
Lastly, the verses you quoted from Matthew 22 show Jesus giving explicit instructions that people should pay taxes. Is Hillsong Church Ltd planning on paying any corporate income taxes in the immediate future?
I just had to leave this in the original typeface and size rather than converting to the house style.
From: "nick & vanessa costello-smith"
Subject: LOVE GOD!!
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2006 09:59:58 +0930
HELLO THERE!! I BELIEVE YOU ARE FOCUSSING ON THE WRONG ISSUE HERE (MONEY!!) WHO REALLY HONESTLY CARES ABOUT THE (MONEY!!) THESE MINISTERES FROM HILLSONG WORK VERY HARD. THEY BRING A LOT OF JOY TO US AND MILLIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE THROUGH THEIR WORSHIP AND SONGS. THEY HELP THE NEEDY AND THE SUFFERING AND ALSO THROUGH THEIR LOVE OF GOD MANY PEOPLE HAVE COME TO KNOW AND LOVE THE LORD. YES IM SURE THEY DO EARN A LOT OF (MONEY!!) ITS THEIR BUSINESS WHAT THEY EARN & AND HOW THEY SPEND IT NOT OURS!! THE RUBBISH YOU HAVE WRITTEN IS NOT ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO FOLLOW GOD IT IS TURNING THEM AWAY. WE ARE ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS WE DONT WANT TO STIR ONE AND ANOTHER UP. (SATAN LOVES THAT TYPE OF THING) LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND BE HIS BEST FRIEND BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU!!
What is this thing Hillsingers have about email formatting? Again I have left the appearance unchanged rather than converting to the house style.
Date: Mon, 01 May 2006 10:28:16 +1000
From: "bev auton"
Subject: Hillsong Church
Heart felt Jcnme
From: Peter Gargan
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 12:42 PM
Subject: Hillsong Church
I find your uninformed comments about Church and State typical of the lawyer generated republic we have in place of our formerly free society.
Firstly we have a Constitution in Australia but it is not taught correctly in either School or University. Section 116 Constitution was put in place to stop the State becoming the Church, It says: The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion. By having a Queen, we have Christianity.
Like many this part of the Constitution is not understood, and the infliction of compulsory voting makes us all compulsory members of the Church of Australia, the Church of NSW or as the case may be, required by taxation to support the priests of the new religion, the lawyers of Australia. Intead of an indissoluble Commonwealth, in NSW we have a council of Rabbis given power by the Synod of the Church of NSW the Parliament, to overrule every law made since time began, simply by making rules to do so. It is section 6 Supreme Court Act 1970. Look it up yourself. This means that God Almighty is the Parliament of NSW. The Queen is displaced, and instead of a tyrant King we have nine unelected tyrants with absolute civil power, with the head Priest of Jewish descent. Spigelman. No referendum needed, that would be too Christian. If the new priesthood says it is law or not law, that is the law.
The only place a person is free to exercise his Christian right to jury trial in NSW anymore in in a serious criminal trial. When a person puts his life in a jury's hands he puts his trust in 12 disciples sworn on the Bible to find the truth. This comes straight out of the Bible. Since 1986, we have had a Bill of Rights, that guarantees freedom, but lawyers refuse to recognise this law, because it paraphrases the Bible, and the law of Equity, which uniquely in Anglo Australian law grew out of Protestant Christianity. From 1275, when Christians called for and got free election, the right to elect which mode of trial they would choose, until 1970, this law remained. 700 years of tradition swept away by one illegal and illegitimate Act by the Parliament of NSW.
Look up for yourself on Scaleplus, the Human Rights ....Act 1986. In it you will see the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is Schedule 2 and was passed without dissent in the federal Parliament in 1986. As a schedule, look at Sections 12 and 13 of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, and you will see that Schedules are part of an Act. Then look in the Privacy Act 1988, where it is cited, in the Criminal Code Act 1995, where it is cited in the dictionary, and in the Evidence Act 1995, where it is cited in Section 138 (3) (f). If it is law, then Section 109 Constitution makes it overrule every discriminatory State law; like the law giving lawyers a monopoly. Like the integrated monopoly now in place from Magistrates to the High Court in civil jurisdiction. This is all illegal but all unchallengeable because the monopoly will not let anyone file in the High Court, and many State Courts.
It is rather a pity you are such an apologist for the lawyer aristocrats who dominate Australian political life, not through Parliament but by the manipulation of the religious and political process through the courts. If you took the time, you would see that Hillsong has created an outlet for some of the frustration that is felt by many young people whose education has been deficient in that no real history has been taught. If you live in Sydney and want documentation for what I say, email me and we can meet for coffee.
From: "Peter Gargan"
Subject: You are full of Bullshit
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2006 02:06:33 +1000
So you are still an apoliogist for the Jewish and Roman Catholic Religions that have taken over the law in Australia. If you went to an honest Church, that actually teaches the Bible like Hillsong does in such a way that thousands want to learn, your drivel might have relevance.
I am neither Jewish nor Roman Catholic, not that it would matter if I was either. You, however, have exposed yourself as a bigot.
I just logged on to see if you were an honest stirrer or still a legal bullshit artist. Jesus said: Luke 11 Verse 52. " Woe unto you you lawyers, for you have taken away the key of knowledge. You enter not in yourselves and those who would enter in you hinder."
Why are you quoting the words of a Jew? Aren't they part of the problem?
Acting like a typical scumbag lawyer.
I am not sure what lawyers have to do with this, but as I am not one I suppose it doesn't really matter.
From: "Tristan Grassick"
Date: Sat, 28 Oct 2006 19:32:09 +1000
Dear authors of ratbags.com
i have just read your concepts of what you think the hillsong church is about. It is all well and good that they have huge sums of income from the church.
Who has "huge sums of income from the church"? The pastors? Surely the huge sums should be used for good works, not personal wealth-building.
But what you are missing is that this church is one of the biggest in NSW and Australia,
The results of the 2006 census are not yet available, but according to the 2001 census, these are the numbers of people claiming affiliation with the ten largest religions or sects. Hillsong has a long way to go before it even makes a blip on the radar. Don't believe everything you hear from the stage. (I almost said "pulpit" there, but we are talking about Hillsong.)
|Presbyterian and Reformed||236,719||637,530|
also it is growing greatly.
I have no doubt that it is growing. That proves nothing except that fashion and publicity can make some thing popular. If it went from 100 members to 200 it would be the fastest-growing church in the country, but it is numbers which matter, not rate of growth.
I would also like to bring up that what is happen with hillsong has happened with all churchs since Jesus Christ, for example i would like to bring up the Catholic church during 11th century and onwards they have asked for money for the church.
So what? It has been a long time since the 11th century. I have no objection to churches asking for money. It is what they do with it that concerns me.
The difference here is that they never put any of there money into charity only themselves.
Let me see - Aid to the Church in Need (http://www.aidtochurch.org), Catholic Charities USA (http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org), described as "the membership association of one of the nation's largest social service networks", St Vincent de Paul Society (http://www.vinnies.org.au, http://www.svdpusa.org), ... You're right - they never put any money into charity. I suppose I could go on to mention Anglicare, the Uniting Church's Missionbeat, the Salvation Army, but they probably don't meet your definition of charities either. Did I mention that you shouldn't believe everything you are told from the stage at Norwest?
They also have been the worlds most profitable organisations in the world.
Some of them are very large organisations indeed. It would be very surprising if a religion with hundreds of millions of followers didn't have a useful amount of money coming in.
Another thing is that during the early catholic church they charged taxes to the population that followed them. And the talk of the Hillsong Church being in the governments ear is stupid, the catholic church ran governments for years.
In Australia? When was this?
This brings me to my last question, if the hillsong church is so bad what does that make the Catholic church?
A big, old church with millions of followers and billions of dollars which has done both good and bad things throughout its very long history. It is also irrelevant to Hillsong. You don't prove that something is good by pointing out that something else is bad. There is a lot I don't like about the Catholic Church, but even if I thought that it was the second-most evil organisation since the invention of fire this would make no difference to my opinion about Hillsong and the way it conducts its business.
Please give me an answer and humor me
From: "David Anson"
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 12:11:54 +0800
I have watched one of your videos, regarding Hillsong Church. Why would you make a movie/mockery of Hillsong Church? I was deeply upset to see that you could make a film that would cause so much pain to other people, and to think that you could not even hold your opinions to yourself/refrain yourself from hurting other people, is it possible that you could answer these questions & reply to them?
I can certainly answer questions, but the first thing I will answer is not a question but an implication. I have never made a film or video in my life about Hillsong or anything else. I can only assume that the "one of my videos" that you refer to is the clip from the ABC program The Chaser's War on Everything. I would like to think that I could make something this good, but it is actually the work of someone else.
And why make fun of tithing? Example- The people that go to hillsong church work 5 days a week, and on sundays they want somewhere to go to praise/worship the lord in a fantastic atmosphere and they want someone to preach to them, someone that is available during the week at the church, so they appoint a pastor.
You appoint the pastor? How is this done - by election? Who stood against Brian Houston in the last election? When was the election held?
and during the service people are happy to contribute a small percentage of their money into the church- because they want the church but cannot run it themselves so they appoint a leader- who will run the church. Not to mention that 60% of that money goes into charities & the bible tells us to give into the church- by giving in our tithes & offerings we are obeying what god has got for us.
I am not sure what you mean by "obeying what god has got for us". Remember that tithing by itself is not enough, for as Jesus said in Matthew 23:23 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone". That was just after he had said (Matthew 22:21) "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's". When can we expect to see the various limited and proprietary limited companies in the Hillsong group start paying corporate income tax, which is what Jesus meant when He referred to "the things which are Caesar's"?
60% of the income goes to charity? That's not what I've heard, but you can clear it up very quickly by providing a copy of the accounts.
Let me ask you a question- Do you believe in God? - because if you do, then you must believe in the bible, without the bible there is no god.
Pardon? Are you suggesting that God did not exist before the Bible was written? If that is the case and there is only one God, then God must be a creation of whoever wrote the Bible. Surely God would continue to exist even if every Bible in the world was destroyed. In fact, the very first line of the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth", seems to quite explicitly imply that God can exist independently of anything else, including the Bible.
And going to church, getting your prayers answered and listening to what is being preached how is this bad? You may not necessarily agree with the church but that is your opinion- keep it to yourself. Would you like christians to make movies about you & your family, exposing them in every way, making a mokery of them & you, of how the bible teaches us that by not having a relationship with god, when we die, we ultimatly go to hell, would you likes us to do that to you??? Certanly not!! let people keep their opinions to themselves,
Christianity is a proselytising religion, which means that one of its aims is to convert non-believers. I have no problem with this, and any Christians who "keep their opinions to themselves" must surely be ignoring Jesus' command to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 21:19) You are perfectly entitled to express your opinions, and all I ask is that I be accorded the same courtesy. In any case, if your faith is challenged by my opinions then it can't be a very strong faith to begin with.
that is why religion seems to be having such an impact in todays society- because we have immoral people such as yourselves making a fool of religion as it is some sort of joke.
You don't know me at all, yet you make judgements about my morality. I'm sorry to keep harping on about Matthew, but it is the first book that most people read in the Christian part of the Bible. "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Matthew 7:1)
I look forward to hearing from you
And what is the offending video? I can only assume that it is this one.
From: "James Harmer"
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2007 10:41:55 -0500
Look, I am familiar with all of the attacks common among large churches, particularly Charismatic churches. These churches do not get involved with Politics, Politics get involved with these Churches. I watch Hillsongs services live on Television and 90% of the sermons do not even mention money, politics or anything you would have a problem with. They address moral issues all the time, and so does the Bible, and the fact is Politics nowadays are sadly mixed in with Morality.
Why don't you highlight any of the good things that Hillsong does? You only talked about the ones that have to do with Money. Hillsong invests allot of their money into the building, into the music equipment, into other ministries and churches, and also to keep the services on the air internationally. Now, you may not think that those are worthy causes, "why should a church spend money on sound equipment?" "Why should a church care about being on TV?" You need to understand why they do this. The real thing Hillsong wants is changed lives, and that is what they give. I am just one of the millions of people all over the world who's lives have been affected by Hillsong and related churches.
The music expresses genuine emotion and genuine love to God, some people express that with more traditional sounds, others use more modern sounds. This generation does not surpress their emotions, and the music at Hillsong is beautifull and very expressive. Look at the size of the church, how much money do you think it would cost to have a sound system loud and clear enough to fill that room? The people who are there are there because of the lifechanging preaching, and the power of the moving music. The fact that so many people continue to come is driving the cost of mantaining the sound quality, and excellence. I would rather have that much money spent on a church sounds system who's goal is to affect live's in a positive way than a stupid Rock band or Festival like Woodstock where all people want to do is have fun, often in immoral ways(even by the most liberal of standards.) Do you have any idea how much that kind of sound equipment costs? They want to be on as many television networks as possible because they want to reach as many people as possible, and in most of the broadcasts I have seen they do not encourage people to join their church, or donate money, they encourage people to find a church and get plugged in. When they ask for money, they say "if you feel God telling you to give, then give." It's sad that so many can misunderstand that, and get mad because so many give. Polls show that most people who watch those programs do not give any money, I know that even though it helps me, I have never given a dime, because I have never felt inclined to do so by God(or pressured by them.) I give to my local church because the Bible says to tithe to your local church, but our church is not legalistic about it. It costs more money than most people realize to broadcast on as many networks as Hillsong does, MTV spends over a Million dollars a day in production costs, I'd rather see that go to a church(or if you prefer to call it an "organization") dedicated to changing lives in a positive way than I would MTV.
Hillsong preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The same doctrine of Salvation that is preached in Baptist, Methodist, Wesleyan, Pentecostal, Presbytyrian and all other evangelical denominations. Man has fallen short of the glory of God and sinned, this has corrupted the world and God said that the result is death, suffering, sickness, etc...(so much for your evidence of the absence of God, it's the absence of people willing to serve Him.) Many horrible things have been done in the name of Religion, but Hillsong does not encourage any of these things. Hillsong preaches the Orthodox Doctrine of the Trinity/Godhead, and the doctrine of Salvation. Man has sinned and that separates us from God because He is perfect and Holy. Jesus became a man and lived a perfect life and then died the death we deserve for us, and rose again on the third day. They preach that the way of Salvation is by trusting in what He has done and that He is the "Way, the Truth and the Life" and that "Noone comes to the Father but through Him." That message has changed my life, and that is what Hillsong is all about.
I challenge you, to a formal debate, or at least to post this honest critique on your website along with the other E-mails(which I agree, many were foolish.) I appreciate websites like yours that challenge Christians(and people in general) to think a little more, and reason. I read your objections to Hillsong and have answered with this E-mail. I will be posting this on my Website(www.Jamesharmer.com) in the next few days, along with a link to the article I'm responding to for my readers and I anticipate a reply, hopefully public. Oh, and by the way... about the congregation "worshiping the Pastor with their arms raise at a 45 degree angle..." I don't know if you are aware but they are not worshiping him, and he would call them heretics if they were. Raising of the hands is a common biblical practice(Lift up Holy Hands) that is done by nearly all Evangelical churches, and many Catholic Churches alike. It has nothing to do with the pastor, I worship God like that alone in my room all the time. It is an abomination to worship a man, or anything but God(You shall Worship the LORD thy God and Him alone.) Not to be rude, but it takes at least a mild knowledge of the Bible to make claims like that... it's like many of the wacky Creationists that you complain about at your site who know nothing about Science but make rediculous claims about it all the time(although there are many inteligent Creationists out there as well.)
Hope to hear from you soon,
"One day a young boy was petting a bald monkey and a car came through the wall and knocked the bald monkey into a bowl of butter."