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Why are Evangelical Leaders Acting Surprised That Hillsong is Littered With Debauchery and Scandals?

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I ran across a Twitter thread that caught my interest recently in the midst of the undoing of Hillsong as we know it. As we’ve been reporting, Hillsong is in the midst of trying to recover from countless sex scandals involving most of its worldwide pastors, the latest being founder and CEO, Brian Houston.

The tweet that caught my interest was by James Merritt.

Merrit is the father of the well-known openly “gay Christian” journalist, Jonathan Merritt. James took a lot of heat last year after promoting a sermon by Jonathan and praising it calling it “faithful to the gospel” despite the fact that it was a conglomeration of Scripture twisting preached by a homosexual.

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What struck me is just how undiscerning those we’ve placed in leadership in the Evangelical church have become. How is it that not only a Southern Baptist leader like James Merritt—a former Southern Baptist president who also presided over the Committee on Resolutions in 2021 at the annual meeting—lack such grounding in Scripture to not be able to recognize that his son, whom I’m sure he loves deeply, is an enemy of God?

But it exactly this kind of unsound reasoning that, despite the constant reporting, warnings, admonitions by godly pastors and laypeople, and consistent journalism of this organization’s mishaps, our leaders are “shocked” to find out that Hillsong is scandalous.

Peter reminded us in 1 Peter 5:8 to “Be sober-minded; be watchful.” because “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” One thing is for sure, the vast majority of our leadership are not sober-minded and watchful. They are, instead, feeding their own sheep to the wolves and then pretending to be surprised when they find out they are wolves.


It’s difficult to pinpoint the motivation behind the lack of desire to lead in a way that is consistent with Scripture and glorifying to God; one can only conclude, however, that the lack of desire to feed Jesus’ sheep, as Jesus repeatedly commands in John 21, is a lack of love for Christ (John 21:15-17).

Sadly, money, notoriety, and status are the primary motivations for most Evangelical leaders today, and in order to achieve that status, one cannot feed God’s sheep, they must poison God’s sheep.


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