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The Dangerous Cult of Hillsong



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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.

Christine Caine, Be Silent

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 man becoming like God. In fact, one of the main tenets of prosperity theology is “little-god” theology which teaches that we, as “little gods,” have the kind of power that God has to create by speaking things into existence. Brian Houston’s teaching on this comes out clearly in his two books, Live Love Lead and There Is More: When the World Says You Can’t, God Says You Can.

But the most dangerous aspect of Hillsong and their cultish operations are their mass appeal to the carnal desires of the flesh. Jesus said,

By the way, did you know Reformation Charlotte has a Christian gear and apparel store? Check it out at ReformedGear.com.

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.


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This is the most absurd article I’ve ever read. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

Tim James

Absurd in what way? This is a very well researched article and one that should be read by all Christians. Hillsong is a dangerous place.


I'm disappointed in this article. Pitting Christians against Christians.Not even holding them accountable but attacking and wrongfully accusing them. The comment of the lyric, "He didn't want Heaven without us". Why do you think he sent Jesus? So we could go to Heaven. I think this article forgets how loving of a God we have.


I do approve this article. Facing Christians against Christians in name only. Holding them accountable rightfully for what they have said. Jesus was sent to us so we COULD (not shall) go to heaven ,IF. We all have to find out for ourselfs what that IF means. I think this article reminds us that God IS love,He hates sin ,but loves the siner.


Nice work Chuck.


Um… Kaela, are you serious? It isn't them pitting Christians against Christians. It is truth pitting Christians against "Christians." Or should we cut Jude out of the BIble?


whats absurd is how hillsong, chrasmatics, pentecostals, continually claim to have spiritual gifts? If God were a genie and he said upu have one wish for a gift? Do you really think I would wish to talk like retarded person on coke? I believe in Christ, the death and ressurection . the sanctification of all men through faith. I do not believe Christ died so he could collect money like these vultures. GET REAL!


wrong! this is pitting christians against false and fake teachers. Hillsong and all fo the faith movement are disgusting human beings. They are not christians. Simple test for any christian. Quote the the ten commandments! 99 % of self proclaimed christains cant! that would be you too Kaela


This article makes for interesting reading. I started attending Hillsong in Australia a couple of years ago, and have grown up in church since young with a Baptist background. I love and respect the Old Testament and the New Testament equally. From experiences with church in general, the overall observation is that no human-run organisation is perfect. We're imperfect people trying to reflect Christ as best as possible. I'm not excusing bad judgement calls by the church as a whole. We are all going through a lifelong process, and I have made mistakes in my walk with Christ too. However,… Read more »


Is this article cruel satire?. I don’t go to hillsong anymore but so many false assertions here. The best part of this article is the pure ignorance and hypocrisy of the writer. The writer is mad that women get to control their own bodies and have abortions (presumably because he has been brain washed to believe that terminating an embryo is actually somehow a living baby being killed) then immediately says he’s mad how they oppose the death penalty. Lmfao the author doesn’t give a fuck about lives nor killing. Furthermore part of the reason I don’t go to hillsong… Read more »


Lol, what a false-Christian mate.

Do the world a favor and don't claim to be of Jesus while your swearing like a brain-dead zombie & supporting the murder of babies.



How is the lyric… " You didn't want Heaven without us", a False teaching ?


You may be wrong on this one.

It seems to be Biblical to me that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us on the cross because He didn't want Heaven without us.


Hill Song may be False Teachers,

but your logic is flawed and your arguement

is not valid on this specific statement.




Daniel Green

This sentence pulled from this article strikes me as potentially ambiguous; it seems a reader could understand its intended meaning, or get confused by a diametrically contrary meaning:

(Original:) "Hillsong Church does not gather a massive following from the world because they preach the true, unadulterated gospel."

Somebody might, in their head, misplace a simple comma, and come away with this:

"Hillsong Church does not gather a massive following from the world, because they preach the true unadulterated gospel."

Do you see the difference..?

ounbbl (@ounbbl)

Love prosperity gospel; love tongue babbling; enjoy while we live with a dose of worshiptainment.


Retarded? What decade are you living in where you use such offensive words. Yes Jesus obviously has a loving compassionate and inclusive affect on you doesn't he?


I know right. People who love jesus living in the 21st century with modern thinking that has moved on from the fire and brimstone of a 2000 year old thought process. People bringing Jesus to the younger generation with joy and music. Having a strong priority for charity work that emphasize things such as economic equality and other social issues. God Forbid they should be so inclusive. It is not for anyone to judge, that is Gods job. If you think them so evil then remember your Bible. Matthew 5:43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor's… Read more »


I can quote the 10 commandments, and I can also say most 'Christians' don't follow them. Most pick and choose to suit themselves. The Bible however isn't to be taken literally, even though again people like to cherry pick what suits them to condemn others. Not a very Christian attitude to take.

Ray Rose

I'm a fan of Hillsong Music while still keeping an open mind about their doctrine. I am skeptical of all large organizations and think often the more man is involved the less God is. That said you made me laugh A LOT! Here is why. Your last two paragraphs were wonderful. Here they are: "But the most dangerous aspect of Hillsong and their cultish operations are their mass appeal to the carnal desires of the flesh. Jesus said, By the way, did you know Reformation Charlotte has a Christian gear and apparel store? Check it out at ReformedGear.com." But aren't… Read more »


Because they are a living baby. Do you believe as the Chinese do that the spirit of man is not in the baby until it is 1 year old? At what point does a baby become a living breathing human?


Everything you said is spot on, I can see in the other comments the backlash but it is only becase man love darkness.

Extremely well put and very helpful. Nowhere in the Bible are we commanded to build megachurches that in itself disqualifies Hillsong, Elevation, and Bethel.

Post tenebras lux

Soli Deo gloria

Raymond Neal

If you REALLY believe that God and Jesus actually exist then you are all pulling yourselves

Brian Wilson

I left the Christian church 40 years ago because I noticed how Christians were not even trying to follow the Gospels. The few people I knew who were trying to follow Jesus message left the church for this very reason. There’s so many passages from the gospel I could quote hear showing that this article is so anti-Jesus it is pathetic. For one thing it is very judging. Jesus spoke out of against this for a very good reason: you cannot be happy and judgement at the same time. And you cannot be in tune with God at the same… Read more »


I love your reply Joh; it shows maturity, and if that’s what this church helped you to become, it is a good church. It’s just the opposite of the hate that these “Christian” critics show in their comments


Goodness! I AGREE with you about Hillsong, but don't make nonsensical arguments or you'll convince others that YOU'RE the heretic!!

"You didn't want Heaven without us" is unbiblical???!!! Come on, now! Smarten up or you'll blow your credibility!


Hi Haseya, I understand that you feel this way, but don't let your feelings dictate what is right and what s wrong, what is false and what is true. Jesus did say to love your enemies, but notice he says "Pray for those that persecute you". Who are the ones that will persecute you, especially in these last days. Doesn't Jesus warn us that in the last days there will be deception? He is speaking to the disciples. This he's speaking to believers. He also say " deceive even the elect". The devil is not concerned about the world. The… Read more »


God did not send Jesus so he can have us in heaven. He sent Jesus to save us from our sin. That's what His name means. The result if heaven. Let's not be ignorant. God is well aware that not everyone will accept His gift or reconciliation and salvation. People have the freedom to make there choices in life. Either accept the free gift of grace offered on the cross or don't. Each choice has it's own reward.

Michael Smith

There is a loy of genuine love asociated with the hillsong church. they are on a mission of soul winning and reconciling hurting and sinful people into a right relationship with a merciful God through the blood of Jesus Christ. So maybe you believe the theology is incorrect. There are so many theological disagreements with denominations today. Are you sure you are right on every point. There is one true church and that is of those who are born of the spirit. How do we know we are saved? The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are… Read more »


We are to judge each other though. Not judging others means those outside the church not in. 1 Cor 5:12,13, Matt 18:15-17. We are to point out sin and pray our brothers and sisters take our warning to heart

Aaron Tomlinson

This is one of the biggest piles of bull I’ve ever read.


Well, I can't say how happy I am at all the differing intensities of one's guard being deployed. For those who shun the intensity yet insist on fellowship with the Lord/Spirit, not once within that sacred text will you find any instance of that fellowship diminishing the spoken'greater accountability' leading the flock! 'Be not deceived'.

Ron V

Right after they talk about the evils of the prosperity gospel, they ask for support. How funny


The Bible talks about false prophets and they may seem and appear subtle, but that is how Satan works – to slowly and subtly wear one down and deceive them. I have been hearing a long time that this group is not on the up and up and explain to me exactly where it talks about the "prosperity gospel" or "little gods"in the Bible – there is none! There are so many things that are not on the up and up and yet many do not want to hear it – their ears are tickled and they love what they… Read more »


The ten commandments are from the Old Testament, we are no longer bound by those old rules. We have new commandments in the New Testament.

G Thomas

We're not 'bound' by those 'old rules?' Seriously? The Scriptures are abundantly clear: ALL Scripture is God-breathed … (2 Timothy 3:16). Do you not understand that when Paul wrote that, all they had was the Law and the Prophets? And Jesus said "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to abolish them, but fulfill them." We are under a new covenant. But obedience to ALL Jesus' commands (Matthew 28:20) is still vital. What did John say about the Word? The Word IS God. Jesus IS the Word. James tells us… Read more »

Julia LaBorde

Agreed. Without the law (which Jesus summarized the first half by saying, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind," and the last half by saying, "Love your neighbor as yourself,") we can't truly know our need for a Saviour. His atoning death on the cross means nothing if we don't know how depraved we really are. How we have no way of following the law or pleasing God without Him. Jesus didn't didn't die that agonizing death so that we could be healthy, happy, and wealthy. He died to save our eternal souls and defeat… Read more »


They hold Catholic masses. Catholicism is a works based religion and that makes it a false gospel, by not telling this to their congregants they are leading them astray.


Calling them hateful is just an ad hominem attack. This article has plenty of links to Hillsong's own actions and words that proves that this church is heretical. But they are nice, so you'll defend them.


God said that before he made us in the womb he knew us. Abortion is murder, deal with it.


"For one thing it is very judging. Jesus spoke out of against this for a very good reason: you cannot be happy and judgement at the same time. And you cannot be in tune with God at the same time you’re judging either." Jesus didn't say not to judge people at all, just don't judge them as hypocrites. We are supposed point out heresy and to stop fellow Christians from sinning, we can't do that without looking or being judgemental. Also, where in the Bible are we commanded to be happy all day long? "Jesus also said a good tree… Read more »


I don't know how greedy these people are but they need money to support their ministry, they are allowed to ask for it.


They hold Catholic masses. Catholicism is a works based religion, that makes it a false gospel. By not warning their congregants about this they are leading them astray. They defend abortion. God said that before he made us in the womb he knew us. So that means that abortion is murder. Hillsong church is clearly heretical.


In what ways?


GOD gives everyone gifts of the spirit. But this article kinda stirs conflict among believers but is quite informative.


Pls spell Jesus with a capital J. He ain't just anyone, He is the living GOD


I think that if this is a big issue then shouldn't it be discussed among the church leaders to determine?

As in we shouldn't judge each other for the measure that we judge each other will be used against us.


Thats not a good way to test. The only one who knows is The Lord Almighty.


how can people who supposedly believe in the same holy book differ so much on what the very book is teaching…?!



I hate seeing lower letters and cannot bring myself to even type GOD without it being in all caps!


Clearly you have a real relationship with Jesus as it shows in your wisdom & understanding of scripture. I don't know much about Hillsong or Bethel as these seem to be a launched attack on these churches of Worship but, I will there was content to back up the claims of Hillsong fighting to accept abortion and homosexuality because if there is proof that they fight to accept these things then it is extremely clear that they do not follow the Gospel of GOD and have veered into the pathway of their own desires. But I haven researched it or… Read more »

mark pittenger

Because we all read the book through our own minds Zack.I suppose thats why there are so many denominations.One denomination chooses certain passages to put more of a focus on than others,and so we have disagreements.Some more worldly people would call it confirmation bias,we read what we already agree with.It is my prayer that we all come together in the name of Jesus with the belief that he came to this world as the son of God to shed his blood for us on the cross,that he was buried,and on the third day he rose from the dead.He will come… Read more »


Your right, we are to acknowledge the old testament, but as a new testament born again Christians, some or most of the laws do not apply to us. We don't need circumcision, a High priest or do animal sacrifices, because we have Jesus who is our High Priest. We can enter the Holy of Holies daily, because of the Cross. Hebrews talks about a Better Covenant because the old is obsolete. Old testament < New testament. We are not bound by the old testament. That is not to say that we can't learn from it.


LMBO! Good catch.


As a musician I always despised Hillsong and the like. Anymore I play and go to churchs that sing/play from traditional hymnals. Not that there isn't any good modern music, but much of what I played was nothing more then mantras.

We have mostly a older congregation (including myself) and sing/play the songs we grew up with. It's not that popular today since it don't really tickle the ears as the newer CCM style does. I'm glad we still use the KJV and the hymnals. That old time religion.

[…] First, Hillsong is a cult. Particularly, a cult of personality. In a blog post on Hillsong’s website entitled Five Things That Should Matter to a Worship Leader, one of Hillsong’s foremost worship leaders, Jonathan Douglass writes: […]


Jesus didn't "want" heaven? Do you hear how petulant that sounds?

Is there some sense in which Jesus could have rejected heaven? Or in which heaven's joys could be only partial?

Heaven is good with or without us; and Jesus loves every good thing that he has made.

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