Wretched Radio With Todd Friel – Be Careful of Hillsong

[Below is a transcript of a Wretched Radio broadcast]

Wretched Radio With Todd Friel – Be Careful of Hillsong

This show went live on the air on Thursday November 12th 2009 

You can watch this video on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkdlIRku2Z8

Todd Friel, “Now just in case you have thought in the past because I don’t know why actually. We don’t get accused of this a lot but which has happened where people think that we have been anti Pentecostal or anti Charismatic and I don’t know how to say this louder. We are not, we are not anti – now but we are anti Word of Faith stuff and I do have to, okay so before we get to the good part of this story where we demonstrate we are not anti Charismatic there is a story from a magazine whose name is a very good one for a magazine BRW and it is this is a slightly older addition of the magazine. But it is talking about the radical growth of Pentecostalism in Australia. That it is exploding in Australia.

It is sweeping Australia and “spawning churches that are among the fastest growing, most entrepreneurial and slickest enterprises.”


Todd Friel, “I am just reading the article here.” – “In less than a decade Pentecostalism has become Australia’s fastest brand of Christianity.”


“A new Pentecostal church is opening every four days.”


Todd Friel, “Wow that is working.”

They now have the second largest church attendance.” It is almost 200,000 outstripping the Anglicans, Uniting church,” never heard of that before, “Baptists and Lutherans, but they are still behind the Catholic Church, which has at last count had 764,800 practising parishioners.”

“If the Pentecostals continue to grow as they have in recent years they will be Australia’s biggest church within a decade.”


Todd Friel, “There is a church there called, “Christian City church the most ambitious which plans to open 1,000 churches with an average of 500 members each, by 2020.”


Todd Friel, “Well at least they are not using church growth methods and using numbers in a bad way.”

The AOG wants to increase the number of churches nationwide by one-third, to 1500, and appoint 2000 more ministers in the next couple of years.”

–       http://www.trinityfi.org/press/GodsMillionaires.html

Todd Friel, “Wowza this is good. It should be kind of interesting to watch too in Australia. One of the things that this article brought out was how the Assemblies of God there the Pentecostals are now starting to get involved politically. Hmm…have we not seen that before? I have said before I think Christians can absolutely be Politicians. Christians can absolutely, should vote. I think it is very bad to not vote. Do we get involved in political issues? I think that if our compassion brings us there then we go. I think though when we go we should absolutely be doing it with Bible verses in hand.

Back to The Assemblies of God in Australia. Growing like a nobody’s business however it seems that a lot of them are not just Assemblies of God unfortunately they are also the Word of Faith Prosperity Gospel and so just like the people who name names on the association with Planned Parenthood list when we come back on Wretched Radio naming the names in Australia of the prosperity preachers, ah bummer because we have said this before Assemblies of God their statement of faith inside of orthodoxy. The Word of Faith prosperity, if it is that Word of Faith nonsense it is not and that is a drag. Next on Wretched Radio.

This is Wretched Radio. In Australia the Pentecostal movement is growing like a nobody’s business and just to make sure that we have nobody getting annoyed with us I believe that Assemblies of God falls with the bounds of orthodox Christianity. I do not have an axe to grind. I definitely have an opinion on some things. The speaking in tongues issue, second filling issues. But those are not salvation issues. Now if somebody adds onto that making something a legalistic thing that you have to in order to then we have got a very big problem. But in mainstream Assemblies of God that doesn’t exist.

Unfortunately there is a movement off of Assemblies of God slash Pentecostal slash Charismatic that goes well beyond that and it is the little gods doctrine that you and I have got god in us and we can do all kinds of great things.

Joyce Meyer, “and you know I was listening to a set of tapes by one man and he explained it like this..this kind of gets the point across…he said you know why do people have such a fit about God calling his creation, his creation, his man not his whole creation, but his man, little gods?”

Todd Friel, “My guess is she is referring to Ken Copeland.”

Joyce Meyer, “If he’s God what’s he going to call them but the God kind? I mean if you as a human being have a baby you call it a human kind. If cattle has another cattle they call it cattle kind.”

Todd Friel, “Well here is the problem with that Mrs. Meyer is that God didn’t have cattle like children do. It is not that we are created so to compare God to bovine and how they birth is not accurate. Now just to make sure with Joyce Meyer that we don’t play the entire clip.”

Joyce Meyer, “I mean what is God supposed to call us? Doesn’t the Bible say we are created in his image? Now you understand I am not saying you are god with a capital G. That is not the issue here so don’t go trying to stone me or yell blasphemy at me.” 

Todd Friel, “Well the problem however is that she misuses Psalm 82 and John 10. Not understanding that when God calls us as a representative to make decisions on this earth. He wasn’t saying in anyway shape or form saying that we are gods. We can be his representatives, we are stewards for him but we aren’t even sort of gods and this completely destroys the creation creator distinctive and so if anything goes into this territory it is then heresy. Now Joyce tries to find something of a balance but all she ends up doing I think is making an even bigger hash of it. That was preached apparently a long time ago where she is at today I have no idea. But we are still going to get Justin Peters on one of these days because he has a long list of criticisms with Joyce Meyer and I would like to have him because there is no question about it she is definitely not as overt as a Ken Copeland, as a Creflo Dollar. But there is stuff in there that is woven in there that definitely needs to be looked at under a microscope and Justin will do that with us.

In Australia The Assemblies of God movement is going big but it seems that it is laced with this prosperity business and that is bad. Brian Houston he is the fellow who is the head of Hillsong Australia, that is the biggest wealthiest church in Australia. He is also the president, or at least was when this article was written of the Assemblies of God in Australia.

Houston owns a waterfront property in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, a house in Glenhaven and he is a silent partner in various property developments.”

–       http://www.trinityfi.org/press/GodsMillionaires.html

Todd Friel, “I think Gloria Jean’s Coffee Beans. It is like the Starbucks of Australia. He is a part owner in that also, a lot of them seem to be.

“A fellow named Philip Powell who is “a Pentecostal preacher and a former General Secretary of the Assemblies of God. He is not so nuts about the flamboyant Pentecostal churches.”

–  Quotes Philip Powell, “It is my conviction that the present Pentecostal leaders like Brian Houston. [He is the pastor at Hillsong] and Phil Pringle [pastor of Christian City church] have hijacked the godly movement, which was simply a fellowship of churches. And they have turned it into a hierarchical denomination for selfish purposes and ends.” Stating, “many of these ministers made themselves multimillionaires. They are no more.” This is pretty harsh. “They are no more than business magnets who benefit from tax free status of corporations that they lead. They are not ‘pastors’ but Business Managers who have cashed in on a loophole in the western government tax system.” – http://www.trinityfi.org/press/GodsMillionaires.html

Todd Friel, “Zoinks Scoob. Pastor Ashley Evans of Paradise Community church, “we are scratching where people are itching.” Otto that is problem right there. They have definitely tapped into something. They have found a little something that people get excited about.

Charles Spurgeon said, “I know the proud flesh wants to serve Christ by striking out new paths. Proud man has a desire to preach new doctrine, to set up a new church, to be an original thinker, to judge and consider and do anything but obey.  This is no service to Christ. He that would serve Christ must follow Him. He must be content to tread only in the old footsteps, and go only where Christ has led the way.”

Todd Friel, “Not scratching where people are itching.”

Charles Spurgeon, “It is not for you and me to be originals, we must be humble copies of Christ. There must be nothing about our religion of our own inventing; it is for us to lay thought, and judgment, and our opinion at the feet of Christ, and do what he bids us.”

Todd Friel, “That is how we should be. Scratching people’s itches because their itch is forgiveness and they don’t have it without the true gospel. We have for you by the way we are going to get to the complimentary words about Assemblies of God too. Do you remember when we went to Great Britain? And I found a guy in the street who was from Hillsong Australia and we got into bit of a theological conversation with that fellow. Do you remember?

Todd Friel, “What is the message of Christ?”

Hillsong attendee, “Well it is about you know

he says go out into all the world and you know…”

Todd Friel, “That is the command. What is the message?”

Todd Friel, “Now I take it was he Hillsong from the UK?”

Tony Verkinnes, “Yeah.”

Todd Friel, “Because yeah they have got branches in the UK too. Alright a cousin.”

Hillsong attendee, “The message is eternal.”

Todd Friel, “Sorry?”

Hillsong attendee, “Eternal life, prosperity, hope,

self-love, salvation, healing. A whole bundle of stuff

but it is really to equip people and give them the

resources to go and affect the lives of the people

around them in the communities which they live in.”

Todd Friel, “What is the best way that I can affect

the lives of the people in my community?

Hillsong attendee, “Well it all comes from love

doesn’t it really at the end of the day. The conviction that you get from love.”

Todd Friel, “Helping people?”

Hillsong attendee, “Yeah I mean sort of doing all you can.

I mean there is obviously loads of facets that you could talk

about how particularly. I mean it is a bit a vague question that but…”

Todd Friel, “Alright hold on. You said two words that kind of jumped out at me – prosperity what kind of prosperity?”

Hillsong attendee, “Well prosperity in life and prosperity in the workplace and prosperity in your family life.”

Todd Friel, “So if I became a Christian I get prosperity in those arena’s is that right?

Hillsong attendee, “Well I think becoming a Christian is a very Christian is a very organic process. I mean contrary to a lot of other faiths, we accept what has been done we don’t win our place in heaven or favour of God by what we do. It has been done on the cross so the whole process of becoming a Christian is very much certainly for me on my own testimony. But for most Christians if you speak to them about it, it is an organic growth thing so…”

Todd Friel, “Yeah hold on a second. What I heard you say is if I am a Christian I have prosperity in the workplace in the world financially?”

Hillsong attendee, “Well not necessarily financially, but there is sort of an abundance of peace and trust that you will be provided for.”

 Todd Friel, “Hmmm…..Brian Houston’s book is called “You Need More Money.” I am not kidding. “Discovering God’s Amazing Financial Plan for Your Life.”

Hillsong attendee, “That is very biblical but it is just…”

Todd Friel, “Okay help me out we have got a lot to cover here in a little bit of time. Alright I become a Christian. I get fired the next day at work. What went wrong?”

Hillsong attendee, I don’t think it is as black and white as that. I think ultimately you grace is about His strength in our weakness and that is what you kind of get. So I suppose it is very much a trust thing. You begin trusting like a child. It says in the Bible he that doesn’t accept the kingdom of God as a child does, doesn’t really accept the kingdom at all and I guess you just stop doing things on your strength and start relying on His.”

Todd Friel, “Okay but help me harmonize. I become a Christian and my wife gets cancer. My children get hit by a bus. What am I missing where is that prosperity?”

Hillsong attendee, “Well I suppose if you have got an eternal perspective on things then. I mean obviously questions like that they are transcendent questions aren’t they? They are very difficult to answer.”

Todd Friel, “Really?”

Hillsong attendee, “I mean I don’t think becoming a Christian necessarily goes hand in hand with you know a perfect worldly life. But if you have got an eternal perspective on things, you know we are just passing through here. We will take knocks.”

Todd Friel, “Okay you said the other thing, the other word that you said is something about self-love. What was that about?”

Hillsong attendee, “Well there is a lot of people you know harm themselves on a psychological, emotional, and on a deeper level, a spiritual level which perhaps you are not aware of on your own efforts. I think having a relationship with Christ reveals these things to you and through His strength again coming back to grace you are able to tackle them hand in hand. I don’t think being, sitting around presuming that becoming a Christian all of a sudden means that you are in the land of milk and honey because our Saviour wasn’t alien to suffering, to temptation, to being rejected by His friends and ultimately torture.”

Todd Friel, “Apparently they were failures because Brian Houston says, “it is a guarantee if you have got enough faith.”

Hillsong attendee, “He was a God that embraced all that and said, “hey you opened this door to all this cack for want of a better word. Instead of being alien to it, I am going to step right into this mess which you created and be on the receiving end of it. So as Christians we go through the school of hard knocks. But we just remember that it is good enough for him, it is good enough for us.”

Todd Friel, “Okay so self-love I should love myself why?”

Hillsong attendee, “Well I think if you love and respect yourself then you are quick to love others. I mean when Christ was asked by those people that are you know hell bent on The Law as to what the greatest Mosaic commandments are He said, “hey just love others as you love yourself. Love the Lord God with all your heart.” It also says you know the most important thing is expressing your faith through love and you are not saved by the Law you are saved by your faith. So just going back to the organic thing and the love thing it does stem from love. But if you can’t love yourself then how are you supposed to love others?”

Todd Friel, “Okay you brought up the law, is there any purpose for the law today?”

Hillsong attendee, “Well I suppose the fundamental stuff like, “thou shalt not kill, thou shalt steal.” There is definitely a purpose to that. I mean much of the democracy and the Law which we abide by will stem from Christianity. Now it is embedded into society. Obviously there is more sort of more vaguer Law stuff but I suppose what I am trying to say with the whole you are saved by your faith and not by the Law is what you experience really through accepting Christ and what has been done as opposed to what you do. The Law is really sort of embedded on your heart anyway. So I guess you get to for me I suppose I feel God’s heart beat. So if I am harming and hurting Him and doing things which are contrary to my new life and more like my old life. I am aware of it on a spiritual level because I feel, I have a tangible relationship with Him.”

Todd Friel, “Okay I walked up to you and instead of putting a microphone in your face, I have got a knife in my back and I am going down. It is a bloody mess. I am gasping for air, I have got thirty seconds. I am scared to die. You are a Christian, what do I need to do to go to heaven?”

Hillsong attendee, “Well I suppose salvation prayers are good. You won’t just accept that somebody loved you enough to step into all this mess and ultimately, you know we all know that the deepest act of love is to die for somebody. I mean that is obvious. It is a huge unconditional love and to accept that, the rest of the work is done. I mean again it is a quite transcendent question, it is a difficult one. But I suppose if you have got a knife in your back. Christ had nails in his hands and nails in his feet and a spear in his side and thorns on his head.”

Todd Friel, “Beauty.”

Hillsong attendee, “And dogs around him mocking and spitting in his face, so I mean I suppose if you can accept His pain and your pain then you are on your way to somewhere special.”

 [plays clip]

The thing is a total dog’s breakfast.

 Todd Friel, “Brian Houston from his book You Need More Money. Prosperity is definitely a result of applying God’s Word to your life. It is God’s will for you to prosper. Poor Paul, poor Peter, poor Jesus. In Hour 2 we will get to that good news story we had about theology. I promise. It is Hour 1 of Wretched Radio.”



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