If you love Jesus, then my goodness, start acting like Him in the most important moments of life. And that is when you are approached by the hurting and wounded, stop everything that you are doing, and reach out and expend yourself for them. Isn’t that what Jesus did over and over again? That’s what the church should look like. And unfortunately, that’s hard to find these days.Boz Tchividjian
About ten days ago, the news was all over the world, that Brian Houston, the CEO of Hillsong, the business that sells religion as a product, has been stood down after an internal misconduct investigation.
You might have heard about this from the media, or even from your own pastor as some would have had the privilege of being told, how as sinful men, even leaders are prone to temptation and how in these difficult circumstances, prosperity and professing Christians at large would band together to encourage one another and to promote forgiveness and love for fallen sinners, including rock-star status preachers like Brian Houston.
So now, we are finally highlighting this case, although the Hillsong scandal is not a new case, and had been ongoing for many years, the hidden secrets of sexual transgressions committed against women in the church, and how such matters were deliberately swept under the carpet and not given the due attention they deserve. Originally, I found the statements from surviving victims, to be utterly shocking and how disgusting it is for any church who claimed they are a church for Christ, would have treated their very own in such inhumane and humiliating fashion.
I refused to discuss these despicable incidents, because they are clearly wrong, is against the basic tenets of Christian living and it should not require a genius believer to deduce that this is pure iniquity in action. Until some pastors started the ball rolling, to band together their efforts and to play champion for these fallen men and protecting their wickedness in the name of forgiveness and love. Nope, this is not how pastors should approach sexual abuse cases. What they are doing is none other than getting back into business as usual, covering up rather than exposing these henious crimes. Therefore let me chip in to provide some balance to the overall opinion, especially to unsuspecting believers and those still in the dark over this scandal.
Spinning Shekel is not concerned with what pastors do or what they think they are doing is the right thing. If a matter deserves to be judged, then so be it. It is not for anyone to convict those whom are being accused, and neither it is the interest of this blog to convict or to condemn them either. But this blog do take particular interest in regards to investigating and reporting the truth, to assist anyone willing to look into the evidence and events surrounding any major church blunder, and as for the rest we leave it to the people and God, to decide and to judge. So the same it goes for this Hillsong scandal. And who are we to say that these transgressors are to be forgiven? The power to forgive clearly lie in the hands of the victims and the first thing these leaders ought to be doing is to refrain from offering public apologies done to appease the spectre of crowd rather than the victims themselves. To be more concern with their public image rather than restoring the emotional damage inflicted against the victims is hardly anything near repentance or remorse.
While some pastors may have pointed out to recent news, reporting the resignation of Brian Houston as head of Hillsong church, and seeking public support to encourage a leader in need, I wish to stress to all readers here, of the intrinsic details surrounding the Hillsong scandal that led to Houston’s departure. And to keep it simple, 60 Minutes Australia, an independent news organization not affiliated to any church institutions, published a story from some of the victims, their perspective and what actually transpired, that led to the scandal becoming overblown. Here’s the 30-minute documentary by 60 Minutes, uploaded on Youtube, 7 months ago:-
The Truth Behind The Hillsong Scandal That Pastors Never Told You
Boz Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham, and a lawyer and advocate for abuse survivors in these Hillsong scandals, says Hillsong has a pattern of either silencing or intimidating victims. In the interview on 60 Minutes Australia, here are some pertinent excerpts from his downright, honest comments about Hillsong and their leadership wroth:-
“I don’t care how you dress, I don’t care what type of music you play, I don’t even care about as much as the message that you preach. If the least of those in your congregation and your community are not protected, and not advocated for when they get hurt, then don’t call yourself a church. Because Jesus was all about that.
“When the institution, I don’t care whether it’s Hillsong or any other church, when their first response seems to be more focused on protecting the institution than the vulnerable wounded person, that is the problem, not just for any institution but for any institution that claims to follow Jesus.
“We’ve created a celebrity culture in the church. Pastors become rock stars. Pastors often times live in these big churches, live better than most of the people in the congregation. And you create that culture inside the church that ultimately resulted in that pastors and those leaders becoming less and less accountable, as it becomes more and more insulate. And that creates problems.
“I can tell you this, that you cannot begin looking at the future and planning for the future until you’ve properly addressed the past. IF YOU LOVE JESUS, THEN MY GOODNESS, START ACTING LIKE HIM IN THE MOST IMPORTANT MOMENTS OF LIFE. AND THAT IS WHEN YOU ARE APPROACHED BY THE HURTING AND WOUNDED, STOP EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE DOING, AND REACH OUT AND EXPEND YOURSELF FOR THEM. ISN’T THAT WHAT JESUS DID OVER AND OVER AGAIN? THAT’S WHAT THE CHURCH SHOULD LOOK LIKE. AND UNFORTUNATELY, THAT’S HARD TO FIND THESE DAYS.