This article combines two things I usually have no interest in--GQ magazine and Justing Bieber. But it a remarkable article on the Hillsong church in Manhatan.
I've heard some of the music from Hillsong. Clearly they are doing something remarkable as a church. It might be loads of fun to criticize them: cult of personality, worship-tainment, acceptance of the world. Without exception, I find that my enjoyment in criticizing others, especially in churches, reveals far more of my shortcomings than there's. Here are some questions of myself and church my tribe, that the article raised.
- Do I care as much for the people of my local community as the church leader's do for the city of New York?
- How often do I precipitate a conversation of faith so powerful that people are moved to tears, and are glad about it?
- Can my church name sin and honestly welcome people?
- How often do we hold out some aspect of a life shaped by the Gospel, that it makes the world about us simultaneously attracted and angry? Whether the characteristic is holiness or justice, mercy or righteousness, how often do we get a response?
I've only given it a quick look, but Hillsong's beliefs don't fundamentally differ from the the expression of faith of my denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA). The one notable exception is the same disagreement we have with most Baptist. We emphasize God's choice to save us as more important than anything else. So where does their useful passion come from?
Thanks to Rocky Supinger for sharing this article. You can check him out at yorocko.com