On the way to work today I spotted that the Bulletin has done another article on Hillsong.
The article, Book of Revelations, is an expose of life in Hillsong from the perspective of a former member:
“Tanya Levin spent her formative years at Hillsong. Disillusioned, she began to question its gospel of wealth. We present her exclusive account of life inside Australia’s most influential evangelical church.”
Now, although I am no great fan of prosperity theology and have launched a few critiques myself over the years, a number of things concern me with this Bulletin article.
Firstly, there is no explanation (in the online version at least) as to who Tanya Levin actually is. What was her role within the church? What was her relationship to the Heuson’s? Does she actually qualify as an informed commentator of its inner workings or was she just a disgruntled auditorium seat warmer?
I will seek further information from those I know who go to Hillsong but all I have found so far is an article about a canceled book, “People in Glass Houses: How Hillsong became an assembly of gods,” but again no enlightenment on her qualifications to comment.
Secondly, it has been my impression that Hillsong has been toning down, or at least balancing out, its prosperity preaching a little better in recent years. I visit maybe one or two times a year to keep myself informed and over the last two visits I’ve been surprised and somewhat chastened by the amount of charity work they are now doing. There are still tithing calls that go longer than alter calls and Gloria Jeans coffee carts next to the auditorium. But despite all that they are doing more charity work than ever and make a point of saying Jesus is the greatest blessing you can ever have. In the article Tanya makes it sound like it’s gone from bad to worse.
In summary, this sounds just a bit too sensationalist for me to buy into just yet.