This past weekend, Reformation Charlotte reported on the popular Hillsong songwriter, Marty Sampson, who renounced his faith on Instagram. It quickly became national news that one of the lead artists who has written the lyrics to hundreds of Hillsong songs — practically defining what Hillsong worship is today — announced that he was leaving Christianity because of so many unanswered questions.
This prompted a follow-up article by Michael Brown — a charismatic apologist who regularly defends false teachers such as Benny Hinn and Bill Johnson — which actually came off mildly accusatory against Hillsong. Brown writes,
What is surprising is Marty seems to feel that “no one” is talking about challenges to the Christian faith. “No one” is discussing difficult intellectual issues. “No one” is engaging the apparent contradictions or interpretative problems in the Bible.
I can only ask (with sadness rather than condemnation), “Marty, what Christian world have you been living in?”
Brown tweeted this article and tagged Hillsong founder, Brian Houston, who then engaged him in conversation. Houston went on to throw Sampson under the bus — just like they did with the homosexual worship leaders a few years ago — and try to explain it away as though they weren’t “leaders” in their church. Of course, they were leaders. When you write the songs that define your organization, you are leading the organization. There are no two ways around it. Further, Houston accuses Michael brown of tagging him (and his co-pastor, Carl Lentz) of trying to “get clicks” for his article. Now, I disagree with Brown on almost everything, but one thing Michael Brown does not do is try to “get clicks.”
Their exchange is below.