Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. -- 1Corinthians 11:27-29 (ESV)
I hear it all the time. What's the big deal about Hillsong? They have some redeemable songs, don't they? They are harmless! No beloved; they are poison. They are a major cog in the seeker friendly industrial complex making millions of dollars through their international businesses. Their leader, Brian Houston is one of the biggest heretics on the planet. Do you remember the XXX rated Silent Night a few years ago? That was Hillsong. Do you remember the church that did the provocative dance song "You Got to Move It, Move It" during worship? That was Hillsong. Do you remember the youth pastor who dressed up as the naked cowboy at a women's conference? Yep, Hillsong again. That is before we even get to the milquetoast Carl Lentz and Hillsong New York who cannot answer a question straight about what he believes. This is before getting to the extreme prosperity gospel that led Houston to literally write a book called "You Need More Money."
Are some of their songs acceptable from a biblical standpoint? Sure. A broken clock is wrong twice a day too. No one who is false is false 100% of the time but Jesus warns us that just a little leaven spreads throughout the entire batch. You have to realize that singing the "good" ones means you endorse the bad ones. Jesus teaches us that we are either gathering people to Christ or scattering them away. There is no third option. John MacArthur sums up Hillsong music as, "vague lyrical content, confused doctrinal perspectives, and an emphasis on style over substance." I agree and would even warn further. What we sing becomes what we believe, especially in modern Christianity where the "hook" is often repeated ad nauseum. Hillsong and the American version, Jesus Culture, specialize in self worship. Thirty years ago we sang How Great Thou Art and today these heretical worship outfits lead us to sing about How He Loves Us. Now, God does love us but it is not worshipping Him to remind Him. That song also has very bizarre lyrics about us being a tree and God being a hurricane and of course the heaven greeting earth with a sloppy wet kiss. It is a frighteningly bad song. What Hillsong does particularly well is mixing good theology with absolute nonsense. Consider these two snippets from the same song:
You were the Word at the beginning
One with God the Lord Most High
want heaven without us
So Jesus You brought heaven down
The first line is fantastically biblical but the second is a scriptural train wreck. It is more of the self-worship to suggest that God did not want heaven without us. Beloved, we are not that special -- He is. It always seems that the Hillsong heresy train escapes true scrutiny and the reality is they are one of the most dangerous sources of false teaching today.
If you need more recent proof just click on the above link, posted recently from Hillsong. In it the hipster Hillsong representative is encouraging people online to participate in Communion with the Hillsong family. He literally says that we should just grab a cookie and glass of orange juice to partake in Holy Communion with God! The exact term he uses is "whatever is convenient" for you! Now I will grant that teaching on the importance and solemnity of Communion is sorely lacking in the church today but that is no excuse to treat this so cavalierly. If you are reading this and thinking it is not that big a deal I would be very worried how you are being taught. Before we get to the key verses above, let us start with the overall context:
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. -- 1Corinthians 11:23-26 (ESV)
Communion is not just a nicety we participate in once a month at church. May we never lose sight about what it commemorates. The very night Jesus was betrayed He established the ordinance of Communion. He did not pass out cookies, break them and say that they were His body broken for us. He did not then pass out orange juice and claim it was the blood of the New Covenant. Every time we break bread and partake of the fruit of the vine we proclaim His death until he comes again! You do not merely replace the elements with whatever is convenient for you! Was His death convenient? Was the cross convenient? This is the end result of the purpose driven, seeker friendly models of church preaching. When you do not preach about the cross it will mean nothing to you. When you do not preach about the blood suddenly orange juice will do.
Lest you think I am making too big a deal of this let us now turn to the key verses. Take these words very seriously beloved. Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty! Period! Guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord! So the instruction from God is that we examine ourselves before daring to partake in Communion. Why in the world would anyone from Hillsong be examining themselves when they cannot be bothered to examine the very elements they are using to represent Communion with God Almighty! Whoever eats and drinks without discerning eats and drinks judgment upon themselves!
Beloved, this is just another example in an avalanche of heresy that should give us enough pause to avoid Hillsong. Every song we sing by them draws people to them. Every album we buy feeds their false ministry. Every exposure to them legitimizes them and eventually we become numb to correct theology. How far away from the Gospel do you have to be to think that using orange juice and cookies for Communion would be acceptable? I guess when you are not actually in communion with Jesus to begin with you just can't see the gravity of sharing in the Lord's Supper in such a blasphemous manner.