With familiar tunes and upbeat rhythms filling the sanctuaries in churches everywhere, Hillsong is by far the most popular producer of mainstream Christian music in the world. They mass produce music from their multi-campus world-wide bands under the labels Hillsong United, Hillsong Worship, and Hillsong Young & Free, which are then sold for untold millions to unsuspecting worshipers and leaders who are willing to pony up for their product. What the vast majority of people are unaware of, however, is the dangerous cult-like tactics Hillsong uses to lure them into a loyal following.
Hillsong Church was founded in 1993 by Brian Houston and his wife, Bobbie, in Sydney, Australia and has now expanded to 23 countries worldwide. Hillsong holds dozens of conferences every year at its many locations and even owns and operates its own college of ministry. All of its locations are under the total and sole control of Brian Houston out of its headquarters in Sydney, Australia. None of its campuses are autonomous or free.
Hillsong Church is deep into the social justice movement — a distraction from the Church’s Great Commission of making disciples. Through its many programs, like CityCare, Because We Can, and Colour Sisterhood, there is a strong priority for charity works that emphasize things such as economic equality and other social issues and place little, if any emphasis on the gospel.
Hillsong is a charismatic Church that teaches the continuation of the apostolic sign gifts. These include things such as prophesying, speaking in tongues, and healing. While the regular manifestation of these particular practices at Hillsong is insignificant, one teaching that comes out of Hillsong is extremely dangerous — the prosperity gospel.
Hillsong is one of the premier promulgators of this popular false gospel. Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Convention labeled Hillsong as “a prosperity movement for the millennials,” which has “[minimized] of the actual content of the Gospel.” Hillsong’s seductive doctrine comes out in every sermon and much of its music. While not all of its music rises to the level of heresy, much of it places its emphasis on carnal ideas of man. One song, What A Beautiful Name it Is, teaches that the reason God saves sinners is that “He didn’t want Heaven without us.” Cameron Buettell of Grace to You writes,
That’s a nice sentiment, but it’s not remotely biblical. In fact, it’s doctrinal malpractice by people who should know better.
In reality, they don’t know better. This is the doctrine of Hillsong — it is all about
But the most dangerous aspect of Hillsong and their cultish operations are their mass appeal to the carnal desires of the flesh. Jesus said,
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.John 15:18-19
This is a huge problem. The reason the world hates the Church is that the Church stands as a witness to both the current and the coming wrath and judgment of God upon sin. The world loves sin and rebels against God, but the true Church loves God and loves the truth. Hillsong Church does not gather a massive following from the world because they preach the true, unadulterated gospel. They may give lip-service to the Scriptures and Jesus, but it is largely used as a means to benefit the carnal needs and desires of their selves. God is used as a means to provide temporal relief from afflictions in this life instead of a means to lay down one’s life to glorify God. And it plays on one of the most seductive tools of Satan to distract people from God — entertainment.
The Hillsong cult attracts people through entertainment and keeps them there by their addiction. They have it down to an exact science. They know what sells and they know what keeps customers. Whether it be their watered-down music, their nuanced affirmation of homosexuals, that they hold Roman Catholic masses, that they produce sleazy renditions of Silent Night during Christmas or pose a nearly naked man on stage at a women’s conference, that they defend abortion and complain about the death penalty, or that celebrities love them because they “don’t teach that book with Moses and stuff,” one thing is for sure, they know what the world opposed to God likes.
So Hillsong Church is a dangerous cult that follows the personality of its leader, Brian Houston. If your church uses their music for worship, even if the lyrics in the songs they use are doctrinally sound, there is a great danger of leading people astray and you may be placing young men and women at risk. Hillsong should be avoided by Bible-believing Christians and pastors should not be feeding their flock to these wolves.