PERMISSION TO TREAT THE WITNESS AS HOSTILE

cowboy blog

PERMISSION TO TREAT THE WITNESS AS HOSTILE

By Mario Murillo

I posted the article from TruNews entitled Why the Hillsong ‘Dancing Naked Cowboy’ Story Matters.  Now I want to speak for myself.

 

Permission to treat the witness as hostile

By Mario Murillo

I posted the article from TruNews entitled Why the Hillsong ‘Dancing Naked Cowboy’ Story Matters.  Now I want to speak for myself.

Someone says to a lawyer, “I have evidence that can convict the murderer.”  The attorney arranges it so that this witness can testify in court.  However, something happens when the witness actually takes the stand.  Suddenly they can’t remember, or they contradict earlier testimony.

Now instead of helping the case, they are damaging it.  To combat this damage the attorney can ask the judge for help.  The attorney asks the judge for permission to treat the witness as hostile.  This grants the lawyer power to ask leading questions.

Leading questions either suggest the answer (“You saw my client sign the contract, correct?”) or challenge (impeach) the witness’ testimony. As a rule, leading questions are generally only allowed during cross-examination, but a hostile witness is an exception to this rule.

I am treating the idea of doing a naked cowboy bit as a hostile witness.  I am saying it does more harm than good. How can I justify such a statement?!  It is a very good question.  I am doing it for the very same reason that any attorney would to save his client:

A church is a witness sent by God.  If in the process of calling themselves a church, they begin to damage the cause that they vowed to represent—if in their evolution they begin to be a witness for the other side—then they are indeed a hostile witness.

Rational ministers then have a right to ask leading questions.  Why is a church so long on art and so short on truth? What is the end game of a naked cowboy bit in a women’s conference?  I mean beyond getting attention?  Why are you having to do a press conference every few months to clear the air on some bizarre action by your staff?  So what if you get a big crowd…when do they become disciples and how do these antics turn a wicked culture to God?

To the thousands of pastors slugging it out—who have sacrificed to be a wall of fire against immorality this is a major slap in the face.  That is why I call them a hostile witness.  Furthermore, this emboldens the idea that shock-jock tactics are justified if you want a crowd.

I treat them as a hostile witness because this particular brand of compromise enforces a hideous lie. It is the lie that the Gospel is inherently unacceptable to the culture and therefore must be diluted, rebranded and packaged in a form that the world already likes. This lie has allowed us to win meaningless skirmishes while losing a generation.

And don’t try to tell me about your tolerance.  Just as liberals will drop the race card anytime someone says something valid against them so do these mega pastors drop the legalism card every time a decent question is raised, i.e. “you’re just being religious.”

If this blog only pointed out fault and offered no constructive alternative it would be as bad as the issue it raises.

There is plenty of fault on the other side of the church—the church that is content to spout trite condemnation to a sinning society.  God wants creative juices to flow in the church.  He wants a fresh approach that is compelling and anchored in Bible truth.  So what is the answer?

outreach

In the constant strain to find the right message preachers are mostly divided into two camps.

  1. Those who believe you should tell the people what they want to hear.
  2. Those who believe that you should tell the people what they need to hear.

Those in the “we tell people what they need to hear” often boast, “We are not into entertainment in our church.”   The dictionary defines entertainment as “holding an audience’s attention.”  Some pastors who claim not to “be into entertainment” do not know how right they are.

I believe that both of these positions lack something critical.  In fact, I believe that Jesus practiced something that transcended both of these positions: He told people what they needed to hear and made them want to hear it.

No one embodied this more than Dr. Billy Graham.  His messages were teeming with subjects that society did not want to hear and yet millions hung on his simple words and obeyed his clear appeal.

billy1

Preaching is easy if you do not need to do it right.   Even entertaining preaching is a snap if you are willing to offer up your integrity on the altar of trends.   But the preaching that pierces the lies of your time and makes disciples out of fallen men asks a far greater price than most modern ministers may be willing to pay.

Here are some simple points about reaching the lost in these dark times.

  1. You will never reach a city that you cannot weep over. Tears over the plight of a community are essential to doing a great work in that community. Even if you somehow get a crowd through hard work and technique it will not be a deep or lasting impact without God given compassion.
  2. You can tell the truth without love but you cannot love without telling the truth. The real reason you never get around to calling sin, sin is that you do not love the audience enough. I know men so caught up in church growth that people are nothing but numbers to them.  They would rather hold on to them than help them.  Paul said in Acts 20: 20 “how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house.”   The best preaching in the world has come from hearts that burned with love for their audience.
  3. There are no short cuts to becoming an effective communicator. God requires us to understand the laws of public speaking.

We would not give a second thought to a preacher wanting to know the laws of grammar.  Good grammar makes writing something you can read and retain.  Why wouldn’t we do the same thing for speaking an audience that we care about?

We can learn from Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and John Kennedy and yes Ronald Reagan. But having learned it we must—like Paul–subdue it to the fire of the Holy Ghost.

I am convinced that our overdependence on music is directly related to the minister’s lack of confidence in their preaching.

entertaining

  1. You must have a right relationship with the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.

It is not our place to overrule God’s method to verify the Gospel.  He has chosen miracles, signs and wonders to do this.  For us to impede the gifts of the Spirit is to rob God of His chosen confirmation of truth.

Finding out how you will operate in miracle power is not as important as finding out that you must operate in miracle power.  Once you are convicted of its utter necessity, the means for you to express it will inevitably appear.

The supernatural power of God will deliver us from tricks and sad imitations of Broadway. We will never outdo Andrew Lloyd Webber but we can shine on a level the world cannot approach with the presence and glory of Jesus Himself.

The Pulpit commentary—not known for being Pentecostal says this—“And what we need, as the sustaining spirit of all work, is the conviction that Christ has given his Church power to heal and to cure diseases.”

Why the Hillsong ‘Dancing Naked Cowboy’ Story Matters

Why the Hillsong ‘Dancing Naked Cowboy’ Story Matters

 

hillsong naked cowboy

(TRUNEWS) It should be perfect material for the myriad of satire websites that abound online.  The story of New York’s Hillsong Church having a performance during a Christian women’s conference of the iconic Times Square Dancing Naked Cowboy draws reactions from “That has to be fake”, or “The rumor mill is running”.

Not only is the story itself absolutely true, but the entire story reveals even more about the state of the Babylonian church in America.

First, yes, it is true that a dancing naked cowboy performed on the platform during a Hillsong Women’s conference in New York.  As it turns out, however, it wasn’t THE Dancing Naked Cowboy that is famously spotted parading around in his underoos in the center of New York City.  It was actually a youth pastor in Hillsong Church New York.  Dr. Michael Brown of Charisma notes:

During an I Love New York celebration at a recent women’s conference hosted by Hillsong in New York City, a Hillsong youth pastor was onstage, dressed up as the Naked Cowboy, meaning that he too was wearing nothing but a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, briefs and a guitar.  But hey, after all, what’s wrong with that? We don’t want to get religious now, do we? What’s wrong with a youth pastor standing onstage in his underwear during a women’s conference? (Sarcasm fully intended.)

Yes, you read that right. A Hillsong pastor poses as the ‘Naked Cowboy’, complete with dancing girls, and bearded Lady Liberty.

hillsong naked cowboy

If what you have read up to this point is not surreal enough in it’s exposure of America’s brand of churchianity, then the following should wake you up to how far in the sewer those who claim to represent the Gospel are willing to crawl.

It appears that Hillsong has not only offended many believers with this outlandish stunt, they may have actually offended The Dancing Naked Cowboy himself, Robert John Burck

better known as the Naked Cowboy, is an American street performer whose pitch is on New York City’s Times Square. He wears only cowboy boots, a hat, and briefs, with a guitar strategically placed to give the illusion of nudity.

In a posting on Church Watch Central, Todd Rubenstein, speaking on behalf of ‘Naked Cowboy’ stated:

I represent Naked Cowboy and own Naked cowboy Enterprises, LLC. I am the sole administrator of the Naked Cowboy® registered trademarks. I am the only person who can provide license of use of anything associated with Naked Cowboy and Hillsong has never requested any right to use our registered trademarks or Naked Cowboy’s likeness.

In addition to it being a clear violation of Mr. Burck’s (AKA Naked Cowboy) right of publicity, it is a direct infringement upon Mr Burck’s registered trademarks.

Mr. Burck is an Ordained Minister & would NEVER attend church in the house of the Lord in his Trade Dress and is EXTREMELY offended by this activity due to his deep Christian beliefs and respect for the process of gathering in the name of Jesus Christ and in the presence of God to worship and praise the Holy Father.

Mr. Burck owns registered trademarks protecting his property rights in both the name “Naked Cowboy” as well as the character’s visual image. Mr. Burck strongly objects to any unauthorized use of his trade name and/or image without proper license and authorization—particularly those instances where, as here, such use is for a plainly commercial purpose and not for the purpose of spreading the Gospel. We are certain that Hillsong and its affiliates are aware of federal trademark law, but they must also be advised that New York’s statutory right of publicity affords Mr. Burck with additional legal protections against unauthorized use of his name and image. In view of these legal restrictions, and in an effort to avoid any further dilution of the value of Mr. Burck’s marks, we will be making a demand to Hillsong—together with any of its affiliates, representatives, agents, employees, and principals— to immediately cease and desist all such unauthorized uses of the Naked Cowboy’s trademarks in addition to taking Federal action in the State of New York to have these violations prosecuted.

So, let’s get this straight:

  1.  Hillsong had a dancing naked cowboy perform at a Christian women’s conference.
  2. The said cowboy was not the original ‘Naked Cowboy’, but actually a youth pastor from the church.
  3. The original ‘Naked Cowboy’ is greatly offended that his trademarked illusion of nudity would be used in a church setting.
  4. The source of the original ‘Naked Cowboy’s offense come from Burck being an ordained minister himself.

If there was ever any doubt that the church has descended into Babylon, those doubts should now be removed.

BAD PRESS AT A BAD TIME – NAKED COWBOY AND THE NEW HILLSONG CHANNEL

The timing of the story could not have been worse for Hillsong, as the organization launches a new 24-hour television channel in partnership with Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).  In a press release from PR Newswire:

Global faith-and-family broadcast leader Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and Hillsong Church, one of the most recognized global church and worship ministries, have announced the June 1st launch of the Hillsong Channel, a ground-breaking new 24-hour television network combining dynamic ministry, teaching, and conferences featuring renowned pastors and Christian leaders, with energetic, cutting-edge worship from award-winning singers, songwriters, and musicians.

In announcing the partnership of TBN and Hillsong in the innovative new network, TBN Chairman Matthew Crouch noted the phenomenal influence that Hillsong worship has had across the earth. “Every Sunday at least fifty million Christians sing Hillsong worship songs in churches across the earth,” he said, adding that every day TBN’s thirty-plus inspirational networks are carried around the world on over eighty satellite channels. “Beginning June 1st, nearly a dozen of those satellite channels will be devoted to the newest member of the TBN family — Hillsong Channel,” he said. “That’s how important we feel it is to get the life-changing ministry and worship of Hillsong to every corner of the earth.”

Viewers of Hillsong Channel will have 24-7 front-row access to all the best from Hillsong’s popular international conferences, along with dynamic worship from gifted groups, singers, and songwriters such as Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United, Young & Free, Reuben Morgan, Joel Houston, Taya Smith, and many others. There will also be plenty of life-changing teaching from Christian leaders like Hillsong Senior Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston, including Bobbie’s “Sisterhood” outreach, which is inspiring and equipping a generation of women to walk in their God-ordained destiny.

Since its beginnings over thirty years ago as one small congregation in Sydney, Australia, Hillsong Church has added vibrant congregations in such key cities as London, Paris, Stockholm, Cape Town, Buenos Aires, New York, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and more — making the ministry of Hillsong truly international in flavor and perspective.

“We are excited about this dynamic new partnership with TBN that will take the message of God’s glory to the nations,” said Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston. “Whether through Hillsong worship and conferences or through other programs and teaching airing on Hillsong Chanel, the whole goal is to bring the Gospel in a real and relevant way to as many people as possible.”

Following its June 1st launch Hillsong Channel will be available to over 77 million U.S. households via:

– TBN’s full-power stations in 37 major markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta, and Miami — to name just a few.

– Major U.S. satellite and cable providers, including DirecTV, Dish Network, Glorystar, AT&T U-verse, Verizon Fios, Comcast, Charter Communications, and Time Warner, along with scores of regional and local cable systems.

Additionally, Hillsong Channel will reach over 100 million television households around the world through Sky and other satellites, as well as via countless in-country cable providers and broadcast channels.

“With its emphasis on award-winning contemporary worship, relevant teaching, and ministry, Hillsong Channel is set to impact millions more individuals and families with the message of hope and grace that has been TBN’s hallmark for the past forty-three years,” said Matthew Crouch. “In fact, we believe that this exciting new partnership between TBN and Hillsong is destined to broaden the scope and outreach of faith television worldwide.”

The Glory Has Departed: The Modern Church as Ichabod

The term Ichabod is found in two places in the Bible,1 Samuel 4:21 and 14:3. Ichabod was the son ofPhinehas and the grandson of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh. The sad story of Eli and his two wayward sons, Phinehas and Hophni, is found in 1 Samuel, chapters 2 and 4. Hophni and Phinehas died in battle with the Philistines who captured the Ark of the Covenant and took it away from Israel. Upon hearing this terrible news, Eli fell backward off his chair and broke his neck and died. Phinehas’s pregnant wife went into labor and bore a son.

“And she named the child Ichabod, saying, ‘The glory has departed from Israel!’ because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. And she said, ‘The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured’” (1 Samuel 4:21–22). The word Ichabod means literally “inglorious” or “there is no glory,” and in her pain and despair, the woman (who is unnamed in Scripture) lamented over the loss of the glory of God from Israel.

The glory of God is used to describe God’s favor and blessings toward His people. In the Old Testament, God’s glory is seen as a pillar of fire and cloud that followed the Israelites during the exodus from Egypt, guiding and guarding them (Exodus 13:21). Once the Ark of the Covenant was built and placed in the tabernacle in the wilderness, and later in the temple in Jerusalem, God’s glory resided there as a symbol of His presence among His people. When the Ark was captured by the Philistines, the glory departed from the Israelites—Ichabod became a reality.

Jesus later refers to the concept of the glory of God leaving Israel. In His last message to the populace of Israel, His final word to the religious leaders was “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:37–38). That was His final statement of judgment on Israel for the rejection of their Messiah. He has indicted their leaders and, by indicting the leaders, indicted all the people who followed the leaders. And now He says their house is left desolate—Ichabod, the glory is departing.

Notice that He says your house is desolate. Not My house, not My Father’s house, as He used to call it. Now it’s your house because God has left—Ichabod! God is no longer there, it’s not the Father’s house; it’s not My house; it’s your house. The Greek word translated “desolate,” means “abandoned to ruin.” This place is in abandonment. God has left. It’s cursed, devoted to ruination. And they won’t see Jesus again till He comes in full Messianic glory (Matthew 23:39).

It is a terrible thing to experience the loss of the glory of God. And while Israel’s ruin was temporary “until the fullness of the Gentiles” would be brought into the kingdom of God on earth (Romans 11:25), one wonders how many churches today have lost the glory of the Lord, whether willingly or unknowingly. The same things that caused Ichabod in Israel—sin, disobedience, idolatry—are present in many of today’s churches. Christians must never take the glory of God in our midst for granted, lest we wake up one day and find that Ichabod has become a reality among us.

Additional material provided by GotQuestions.org

Read more at http://www.trunews.com/why-hillsong-dancing-naked-cowboy-story-matters/#yAagAB0YuAG6GdWc.99

Bono Wants Christian Music To Get More Honest

Bono

Bono Wants Christian Music To Get More Honest

The U2 musician said that he sees a “lot of dishonesty” in modern Christian music.

When U2 musician Bono reads the Psalms, a book of the Bible filled with ancient hymns, he sees the full range of human emotions: anger, irritation, sadness, bliss. While the Psalms have been a source of spiritual inspiration for himthroughout his life, Bono has much harsher words for contemporary Christian music.

Modern Christian worship music has often been critiqued for its mediocrity — the repetition of the same four chords, the same set of reliably inspirational words, and theological jargon that leaves outsiders bewildered.

Bono, who has become more outspoken about his Christian faith in recent years, is advocating for a return to the raw and honest emotion of the Psalms.

“The psalmist is brutally honest about the explosive joy that he’s feeling and the deep sorrow or confusion,” the singer said in Fuller Studio‘s newly released documentary“The Psalms.” “And I often think, ‘Gosh, well, why isn’t church music more like that?’”

The singer’s comments in the film were part of a wide-ranging conversation he had with Eugene Peterson, a pastor and scholar who is best known for “The Message,” a translation of the Bible into contemporary language. The film documents the friendship between the unlikely pair, who were drawn together by their common interest in this ancient book of the Bible.

Peterson talked about how his translation of the Psalms are as close as he could get to the original meaning of the text.

“It’s not smooth, it’s not nice, it’s not pretty, but it’s honest,” Peterson said. “I think we’re trying for honesty, which is very, very hard in our culture.”

Bono agreed that honesty was hard to find in modern Christian culture. In fact, he said that he found “a lot of dishonesty” in modern Christian art.

“I would love if this conversation would inspire people who are writing these beautiful… gospel songs, write a song about their bad marriage. Write a song about how they’re p—–d off at the government. Because that’s what God wants from you, the truth,” Bono said. “And that truthfulness …. will blow things apart.”

“Why I am suspicious of Christians is because of this lack of realism,” he continued. “And I’d love to see more of that — in art and in life and in music.”

YOUR GREATEST HOUR

 

Your greatest hourYour Greatest Hour

 The art of doing what people say can’t be done.

By Mario Murillo

This is the hour of darkness, violence and perplexity.  This is the hour that sneers at hope—ridicules faith—taunts righteousness, and abhors dreams and visions.  The bullhorn of evil is drowns out any call to a just cause or a holy endeavor. It screams to every vessel of God, “You can’t do it—compromise or quit!

Hell is belching out defeatism—a defeatism so complete that its victim—redefines their failure and it becomes success.  

The government calls food stamps, condoms, needles, and methadone salvation for the needy.  The real message is “your highest hope is to live out your days in government slavery.”

governmentassitance_zps4c1340e2

-The White House calls acts of surrender to our enemies, diplomatic solutions.

-The thug culture tells urban youth turning tricks, dealing drugs and looting stores beats honest work.

-Political correctness says “keep saying that Islam is a religion of peace because it will keep Muslims from acts of violence.”

-Moral relativists say you can’t overcome perverse desires—therefore they are natural.

-Church growth models tell pastors it is a win—if you remove the Cross, Blood and hell from your sermons—to get a crowd.  This model indeed herded people into harmless meetings…but by distracting God’s people from revival it helped hasten the moral landslide of America.

Recent history proves compromise is unnecessary.  Between 1965 and 1985, 25 million Americans were converted to Christ.  Ministries like Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Kathryn Kuhlman, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Faldwell had a combined television audience of 40 million people. The largest arenas and stadiums filled with hungry hearts yearning for a true encounter with God.  Those preachers shifted America toward morality.

praying for a boy

We are constantly being told what we can’t do. America can’t believe in God.  You can’t hold a marriage together.  Christians can’t live in victory.  Students in our Bible School hear that they can’t have miracles and the power of the Holy Spirit.   The list of things that are now impossible grows longer each day.

We hear faith-killing statements everyday: “the day for that is past.  People don’t want to hear it anymore.  There are no resources for that.  You are too young.  You are told old.  You are not educated.  You are overqualified.

Are you sick of hearing that you can’t do great and mighty things?  Does your gut tell you some awesome intervention of God can still happen?  This can also be your greatest hour—the hour you practice the art of doing what others say you cannot do.   Now learn the art!

you-cant-do-it copy

1Every visionary that ever lived did what others told them they could not do.   As dark and evil as today is—as daunting as the task may seem—many have faced impossible limits like this before.   In fact, the tortured culture of today was vividly described in this verse: “Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” –Daniel 11:32.   Here are two groups of people: 1.Those corrupted by flattery—seduced into believing that drunkenness and denial was natural.  2. Those that know God and do what their circumstances said they could not do.

This second group shakes off the despair, the religion and the threats of their time by knowing God.  This will take you to the next level.

2. Only you and God know what you can still do in this hour. No matter how many teachers you have, there is no substitute for your private relationship with Jesus.  He alone can tell you how to do the impossible.

Today, there is a core that is being pulled into an intimate knowledge of God.  He is drawing people to Himself—people who refuse to fear and be intimidated by what goes on around them.

August Cover

1 Samuel 30: 6 tells us, “Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

David knew what the circumstances said.  He could hear the death threats.  What he wanted to hear was the voice of the God he had so passionately loved and served.  His cry is—“I know what life is telling me but what do YOU say?   Even when your life lies at your feet like sputtering rubble—like David’s did, the choice to trust God—to be led by God remains.

God said to David in 1 Samuel 30 verse 8 “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”  This guidance violated all reason!  It opposed logic…it was what everyone would have told David he could not do.

3.You can know with absolute certainty God wants you to do—and when you know, you will become unstoppable. What are the threats of this time compared to God? Paul said, “If God be for us who can be against us.”   If God has spoken, how can your lack of resources matter?  How will He not provide?  If He says it is doable that settles it.

 

It is clear that the times we live in require wisdom and power that we can’t imagine.  The sheer sophistication of evil can overwhelm us.  Nevertheless there is no excuse to compromise.  No one has the right to tell God that reaching this generation is beyond the power of the Word of God.   We can do things to win America that people say we can’t do!

There are more ideas and tactics discovered with the help of the Bible—ideas that will reveal God’s will to the masses—push back the power of Satan—and do more good for this generation than all of the learning of philosophers and politicians combined.

There is unlimited authority and strength available through the Holy Spirit.  Do you really think He won’t show you what to do about your church, your career, your problems and your needs?  It for these matters that Jesus sent Him to us!

If God

4. Know when to start. When you know God, and you know what He wants you to do then you must start.  You must set the time.  You must take that first step to do what you know you are supposed to do.  He may only give you a first step…but when you take that step you will know what the next step is.

Finally: The greatest vessels of God appear in times of calamity and confusion. This day of trouble is your opportunity to be your best, to be more than you ever imagined you could be.

To do what others say you can’t do is the most eloquent act of defiance against fear: The moment you decide to stand, fight and build you will release the power of the Holy Spirit.  Unknown reserves of courage will well up within you!

Never forget that this will all soon be over:  In heaven, you will only regret what you did not leave on the field of battle.  It is the steps untaken, and the challenges avoided that will haunt you.

This will all soon be over.  The threat that seems so big now will look so puny there.   So let me ask you…what are you saving your courage for?  What are you withholding your talent, resources and dreams for?   Surely they are all for such a time as this.  This is your greatest hour—the hour that you did what others said you could not do.

 

Now I want to invite you to a convention that will help turn America around!

three voices

We three voices agree.  A supernatural intervention unlike anything we have seen in history must come or America is finished.  The church in America has been struck by an iceberg.  Over one thousand preachers a month are leaving the ministry defeated by the open hostility of our culture and the draining effect of lukewarm believers.  We cannot go on this way.  We must rise and face the challenge of a godless America.

This convention will confront the threat against the American Church head on.  We have brushed aside all of the frills and distractions you may associate with religious conventions.  Our focus is for you to receive fresh fire and direction.

The Living Proof World Convention will be held at New Life Church   March 3- 4- 5 New Life Church 10800 Hammerly Blvd, Houston, TX 77043   church Phone (713) 932-1479  

DIRECT CONVENTION LINE:  (775) 432 1665

There is no registration fee for the convention but you must register.  Do not delay click the link below 

Click on the link below to register right now!

http://mariomurillo.org/living-proof-world-convention/

If you have any further questions please call us at  775 432 1665

 

Mario Murillo responds to Hillsong firestorm

First view the infamous video:

Mario Murillo responds to Hillsong firestorm

By Mario Murillo

I republished a blog about Hillsong that was written by Andrew Walker.  Some have said that I was unfair because  Hillsong had clarified its position of Homosexuality–a complaint in the blog–and  this is old news.

The article was republished because the clarification settled nothing.  The wording of the clarification projects selective offense.  in other words, it appeases one group but casts another aside.

At first I thought the video of Silent Night  was a total prank…then I was dismayed to learn it was real.. I thought why bother any pretense of church… just hire the cast from Chicago to do  I know a girl.

While I will not call the video blasphemy–it certainly tells conservative Christians what they can do with their concerns.

In desperately caring for what secularists think, they do not care what sincere believers–or thinkers for that matter–think. They will still not call sin-sin from the pulpit.  The issue that is burning in my spirit is not about accepting all people—but helping all people.

But what sealed the deal is the fact that this “rendition” of Silent Night  met with widespread rejection last year  both within and without the Church…they are going to repeat it on the 20th in London.     

Now about that clarification on homosexuality:  It does not help gay people when you say you can attend, participate and be everything but a leader.   If your goal is to make them feel accepted…that doesn’t work.  Instead the acceptance/nonacceptance diminishes both the sinner and the Gospel.  The only thing it upgrades is homosexuality.  It upgrades from it from a sin that needs to be abandoned to a personality flaw to be eased out of.

Imagine Victory Outreach or Teen Challenge saying you can be a part of everything except leadership but it is okay to keep your drug addiction while you are here.  But you might say—those are rehabilitation centers not churches.  Listen to yourself…if the church is not for rehabilitation what is it for?

It is infinitely more honest—and loving—to say we believe it is sin but we want you to know you can be set free.

We must have the awkward conversation that identifies the need and the cure.   There is no Christian cooling off period for sin.   Would we counsel the adulterer “sit and consider your character flaw and–in the meantime– feel welcome to all aspects of our faith except leadership.”

For years I have been careful not to name names when it came to seeker churches.  That season is over because I believe that Hillsong is now doing more harm than good.   Take, for example, this travesty of Christmas that they are foisting on the public.

If you look at the video you will conclude as I have:  THEY ARE NOT MAKING CHRISTIANITY LOOK BETTER THEY ARE MAKING CABARET MUSIC LOOK WORSE.

 

Now read what others are publishing about Hillsong London

 ‘About Jesus’? Hillsong ‘Sells Out’ Advertised Xmas Services With Dancing Elves, Santa, Mini-Skirt Flappers

Hillsong Carols-compressed
Photo Credit: Twitter

LONDON — Hillsong London’s two advertised Xmas services that are said to be all “about Jesus,” but feature clips of Santa Claus, dancing elves, mini-skirt-wearing flappers and other concerning aspects, have both sold out.

“#HillsongCarols is now at capacity for both services at 3pm & 7:30pm,” the congregation posted on Dec. 9. “There will be no tickets on the door.”

 Hillsong London had advertised the upcoming services, to be held at the SSE Arena in Wembley on Sunday, with clips from last year’s event. The snippets capture a packed house of cheering attendees being showered in ticker tape and the various high-energy performances that include an appearance by a man dressed as Santa with his host of elves.

“Carols at The SSE Arena is a night that is focused on celebrating what Christmas is really about – JESUS!” reads a description under the promotional video.

 Video footage of various full performances at the 2014 show were also posted online by Hillsong London, which is arguably the largest congregation in the London area.

One performance features the carol “Silent Night” set to a nightclub-like setting with 1920’s-style flappers. The jazzy rendition features a woman in a short two-piece outfit that is cut low in the back and reveals her midsection when her arms are raised. A flapper is defined as “a young woman of the 1920’s who rebelled against conventional ideas of ladylike behavior and dress.”

Another video of the “Little Drummer Boy” featuring shirtless men pounding on drums while a woman in tight gold leather pants belts out the song as she stands in thick fog.

Other footage online shows a beatbox rap rendition of “Silent Night” and a woman dressed in a spaceman-type outfit.

Last year, Hillsong originally offered just one service, but because it sold out quickly, a second was scheduled. This year, both services sold out within days.

In an interview with the England Evangelical Alliance, Hillsong London leader Gary Clarke said that “[t]he aim for Hillsong Carols is to have a church event where people easily could bring their friends and family to, in the hope they encounter Jesus and His message of grace.”

“The main difference [between the event and a Sunday service] is that Hillsong Carols is more of a production, with focus on different items that tell the story of God sending His son Jesus to earth, rather than an actual service,” he explained. “There are still elements of a normal service though, such as praise, worship and a short message.”

But some have expressed concern over the nature of the event, with one man writing under the promotional video, “How do you justify the use of worldly music, erotic stage dancers which is nothing short of a Vegas act, and call it Christian? It’s a fair question.”

Geoffrey Grider of Now the End Begins likewise expressed dismay at the presentation.

“Because after all, it’s just not a proper celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ without roaring 20’s flappers, rock bands, hoochie coochie dancers, laser light shows and lots and lots of leg in a nightclub setting,” he wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “Happy Birthday, Jesus, hope you like it.

What we mean by Living Proof

Reno Expansion copy

The Reno Expansion

This is where the vision will have room to breathe.  This is where we will build the fresh approach to a timeless message. In this place, we will develop signs and wonders Crusades, send out evangelists and dig a well of uninterrupted intercessory prayer for an American Awakening.

We will not make a flashy entrance or present ourselves as some kind of cure to the city.  We are soldiers on assignment and we want to find our place in what Jesus is already doing here, and come alongside those who will receive us.

We are not here to replace but to replenish existing outreaches here.  We will not barge in or force ourselves on anyone but we will extend a humble hand of friendship, help and the opportunity to see revival.

We will grow deep roots in Reno; however our target is the United States.   This is our staging area to choose targets cities for LIVING PROOF.

There is no way that this will be easy!  Paul said, “A great and effectual door is open unto me but there are many adversaries.” There is no way that we think this will be easy or that the enemy will welcome us with open arms! We have only the promise of blood, sweat and tears.

God knows why we have come here and our adversary knows why we have come here.  The crusade to spare America from doom grows more urgent each day.  We are running out of time.  In many ways I feel that I got to Reno in the nick of time.

That is why I am reaching out to you in this blog for special prayer.  Your prayers mean more to me that anything else you can do right now.

P.S. I want to invite you to our World Convention in Reno where you can be ignited to take back American and you can witness the official launch of Living Proof.  You can call us a 775 432 1665.

final world convention facebook shot

The church in America has been struck by an iceberg.  Over one thousand preachers a month are leaving the ministry defeated by the open hostility of our culture and the draining effect of lukewarm believers.  We cannot go on this way.  There must be an answer.

What if we had a convention designed to confront the threat against the American Church?  What if we had a convention that brushed aside all of the frills and distractions and instead focused on receiving power and fresh direction?

The American Church will not be turned around by supermen but by supernatural men. We do not need better equipment, new organizations, novel methods, but vessels that the Holy Ghost can use—vessels who pray with prevailing might.  God does not flow through religious machinery but through human beings, he does not anoint plans, but people—people of prayer.

It is our conviction that there is a life available, set apart in prayer that only goes out to serve at the direct command of God.  That life can accomplish truly mighty things, things mighty enough to change the course of America.

Do not sit back and watch dark clouds gather.  Sweep away the cobwebs, underbrush and weeds of despair and take action!  It is high time for you to operate in gifts of power.

This prayer of Peter embodies this convention:  Acts 4: 29  Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

As important as the day of Pentecost was to the Book of Acts Church, the outpouring that happened two chapters later was equally crucial.  Pentecost proved that God could pour out His Spirit on the Earth.  The miracle in Acts 4 proved God could do it again.

Join us in the mountains with the firm conviction that God can and will do it again.

 3917900.pdf

Please make your plans now to be at the Living Proof World Convention.  We are gathering in Reno in the Boomtown Hotel and Casino.  This site was carefully chosen because it is a much more peaceful setting than the downtown strip plus there is  plenty of easy free parking.

The convention is free but you must register to attend the Living Proof World Convention, 

Plus, we can get you hotel rooms for amazing prices.   For a regular room the convention price is…get this $25 a night.  In their new North Tower a larger room is only $40!   Let us give you the special code to reserve these amazing rates.

Click here to be a part of this historic event :   http://mariomurillo.net/contact-us/

boomtown-reno_54_990x660

Hillsong: A Church in Exile

Religion, and maybe Ebola, owned the news this week. From the confusion and public relations nightmare at the Vatican over the Synod’s Relatio, to the Caesarism of Annise Parker and the City of Houston subpoenaing sermons from pastors, it has been a busy week for the religion beat.

Then yesterday, coverage about a Hillsong press conference came out, indicating that the global evangelical enterprise is triangulating on homosexuality, particularly about whether it should publicly hold what the Bible teaches in light of culture’s rapid change on the subject. According to Jonathan Merritt,

At a press conference for the Hillsong Conference in New York City today, Michael Paulson of The New York Times asked Houston to clarify their church’s position on same sex marriage. But Houston would not offer a definitive answer, instead saying that it was “an ongoing conversation” among church leaders and they were “on the journey with it.”

Houston says that he considers three things when evaluating the topic: “There’s the world we live in, there’s the weight we live with, and there’s the word we live by.”

He notes that the Western world is shifting its thinking on this issue, and churches are struggling to stay relevant. The weight we live in (sic), he added, refers to a context where LGBT young people may feel rejected or shunned by churches, often leading to depression and suicide. But when Houston began speaking about the word we live by or “what the Bible says,” he refused to offer a concrete position.

Merritt’s reporting also quotes this gem: “Lentz’s wife, Laura, chimed in: “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live. That’s their journey.”

What do we say about this?

First, if I were writing the Art of Cultural War, this is the strategy I’d use to bring the opposing side to heel. The steps look something like this: Relativize the issue with other issues. Be uncertain about the issue. Refuse to speak publicly on the issue. Be indifferent toward the issue. Accept the issue. Affirm the issue. Require the issue. Hillsong is currently on step three. I don’t think they’ll stay there.

Second, a non-answer is an answer. Let’s be very clear on that. It’s also a very vapid answer. What we’re seeing in many corners of evangelicalism is a pliability that makes Christianity an obsequious servant to whatever the reigning zeitgeist is. With non-answers like this, it isn’t Jesus who is sitting at the right hand of the Father. Culture is. Perhaps Hillsong would rather abide by a “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell” policy on matters of orthodoxy. That’s their prerogative. But let’s be clear that this is not the route of faithfulness.

Third, this isn’t an issue over whether gays and lesbians should or should not be welcomed in church. This also isn’t an issue over whether young individuals within the LGBT community have faced bullying. Bullying of all sorts is deplorable and should be condemned, and not because the Human Rights Campaign says so, but because Jesus says so (Matthew 7:12). What this issue is about is whether the church models faithful obedience to Christ in a way that both honors Scripture and loves its neighbor. Hillsong thinks it’s doing both; but is actually doing neither.

Fourth, Hillsong thinks itself a contemporary and culturally relevant church. Perhaps it is. But as Christians, we don’t get to define what “relevant” means in terms that are unquestioning of what our culture means by “relevant.” I submit that Hillsong is a church in retreat. A church in retreat doesn’t give answers. It doesn’t storm the gates of Hell. It settles and makes peace where there is no peace (Ezekiel 13:10). A church in exile (and that’s how I’d describe the current placement of confessional evangelicalism) is one that is faithful amidst the culture, regardless of whether that culture looks more like America or more like Babylon. It knows that it may lose the culture, but that it cannot lose the Gospel. So be it.

This is, as I’ve written elsewhere, a gentrified fundamentalist withdrawal rooted in the belief that the foreignness of Christianity can’t overcome the tired intellectual patterns of cultural decay. At the end of the day, I think Hillsong’s non-answer answer is rooted in an embarrassment about what the Bible teaches and the church has held since the time of Jesus. The good news is that the truth of Christianity outlasts the untruths of man’s applause.

When I read stuff like this, my reaction isn’t anger. It’s an eye-roll. Churches should know better than to believe the myth that accommodation will swell their ranks. The opposite happens. 

Following the Apostle Peter, this all means that judgment begins within the household of God, so I’m not writing for outsiders. I’m writing for the church, to the church. I’m writing about Hillsong, a church or enterprise with enormous global influence. What I see, tragically, isn’t a church grappling with a complex issue. What I see is a church exchanging compassion for cowardliness before culture’s consistory.