Message from Carter Colon Pastor
Time Square Church
Introduction taken from Hellsong – The Music of Hiillsong
The church has taken its cue from Wall Street. It has been offered the kingdoms of this world; and yet instead of denying the flesh, it has embraced the path of least resistance and, in so doing, has denied the cross and the One who bought us. By love for the world, we make ourselves an enemy of the cross: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)
- Edwin Orr pointed out that ‘seldom does God call one who ministers the Word to the ministry of money making. They are two separate callings’.5
Ambition and success are the new golden calf.
Warren W Wiersbe comments, ‘Few things taint our goodness like covetousness; a desire to be popular, and the ecstatic feeling that comes when we exercise power over the people who give us their idolatrous adoration. When our motives are wrong; our ministry is wrong; and the consequences are tragic for us, for those who follow us and for the whole church.’6
This is now playing itself out at Hillsong and other compromised churches.
Secular music is played as background music prior to the start of the service e.g. The Verve – ‘Bitter sweet Symphony’.
Worship – now accommodates the excitability of the young and the unchurched. Music is now more about entertainment than the sole purpose of lifting up our God above all other gods.
The lyrics (words) of the songs have progressively become ‘I, me, my’ focused instead of Christ Jesus focused e.g. ‘In Your Freedom I Will Live’.
Worship is now limited to 20 to 30 minutes. Big screens are not there for the glory of God. It’s not pictures of creation but the names and faces of those onstage that are lifted up.
These churches rely exclusively on the quality of programmes, not the power of the Holy Spirit, for transformed lives. Preaching is often a simple 30-minute sermonette. Preaching on the whole is ‘relevant’ and topical. It is now a people-based message to ‘help’ the hearer with their felt needs e.g. happiness, family, finances, relationships, job, career etc.
What it boils down to is a type of pop spirituality that effectively teaches that every human being is divine or basically good, God’s Word is not really the final authority but is still useful as a moral guide, the goal of my life is centred on me, and what I desire determines what happens in my life.
What this type of church model does is nothing more than increase the numbers of adherents and leaves the sinner in his sins.
The church now has a flock of deceived sheep, or are they in reality misguided goats? These churches pervert their way, giving the hearers messages that lack any real mention of sin, repentance, prayer, obedience, death to self, holiness, sacrifice, suffering, hell, even God himself. Preaching lacks sound doctrine. Closer analysis reveals it is more based around pop psychology than biblical truth.
Preaching lacks sound doctrine. Closer analysis reveals it is more based around pop psychology, than biblical truth e.g. purpose.
The message has little challenge or need for personal self-assessment. The scripture exhorts us to examine ourselves (cf. 2 Cor. 13:5).
- The music and worship is man
- Much of the preaching could be termed heterodox humanism.
- The preaching frequently includes different Bible versions but mainly the use of The Message, which is a New Age interpretation, and not a true
Often, this is quoted in church to expound or reveal a greater truth. It is normally thrown up on the big screen for everyone to read. The Message Bible was produced by Eugene Peterson, not as a translation from the original texts but as one man’s version in a form of paraphrase. Yet without fail, not a Sunday will go by without this Bible version being quoted.
We can easily believe we are hearing the word of God, and correct biblical doctrine.
But Martyn Lloyd-Jones warns us, when he states ‘there is one invariable characteristic of the false teaching, which is, that it always takes from and detracts from the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ’. (D.M. Lloyd-Jones, Christian Unity, Ephesians Series, Banner of Truth, Eph. 4:14, P. 239)
He writes that they don’t deny the Lord Jesus outright, they are too clever for that, but their false teaching always detracts from His glory by bringing prominence to man.
This then is doctrine on the downgrade. This departure has bred a pedigree of dumbed-down disciples. The scriptures are to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. The bible is for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: not risk taking (2 Tim 3:16,17). The Lord Jesus is being portrayed in pulpits as one who helps us to live our lives, to help solve our problems. The church can no longer stomach sound doctrine.
Brian Houston was asked by a reporter why his church is so prosperous in a country like Australia, which is decidedly not the Bible belt. He replied, ‘We are scratching people where they are itching’ (‘The Lord’s Profits’, — Sydney Morning Herald, January 30 2003). Brian is literally fulfilling prophecy.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3).
A whole generation of illiterate believers brought up ‘drinking the kool-aid’ will only end in disaster.