Vanity Fair, Indeed.

Vanity Fair has published a piece on recent events in NYC Hillsong and made commentary on the organization as a whole as well. I was kind of hoping for some surprises but disappointingly found none. It’s a sensitive topic for me to comment on as I have several friends with relatives involved directly in the situation concerning Lentz and his spectacular departure from Hillsongs good graces. I’ve no love whatsoever for what I consider a cult, but I still care deeply for my sincere friends who worship in various congregations around the world with true faith and authenticity.I never use the word “grieved”, because I’ve come to learn in evangelicalistic lingo, it’s a passive aggressive term for outrage or offense used by those Christians who would rather be seen as sad victims than angry perpetrators. I do feel true grief for what’s happening in Hillsong and other associated and similar movements, but because I’m not a sook or afraid of being seen as just plain fucking furious, I’ll say it straight. It all pisses me off no end. Not just because I have dear friends who are watching family members get crucified by the press right now, and that’s horrible to watch, but because what’s going on has been going on for a loooooooong time and basically, nobody has given very much of a shit about it, or paid the slightest bit of attention. Not even when Frank the confessed pedophile was shunted off to a church right here on the Central Coast to pretty much do what he bloody well pleased, while son Brian tried to make it all go away with cheques with five figures under tables in McDonalds.The issues Vanity Fair brings to light – the nepotism, glamour culture and elitism, the flagrant and systemic worship of pastors and leadership, misogyny, racism, theophobia concerning LGBTIQ persons (because they don’t fear gay people, they fear god will send them to hell if they don’t hate them) money manifestation culture and cronyism – have certainly been in existence in this brand of charismatic Christianity since I became part of it in 1981, and long before that. My first church experience was at Terrigal CWA hall with Brian Houston heading up the burgeoning church plant which he later handed over to Carl Lentz father in law, himself fresh off the plane from New Zealand. I’ve never claimed to be the model congregant, but what I saw and was subjected to still provides plenty of material in my therapy sessions. After all Is said and done, and all the Hillsongian royalty and their ilk still say and do, the way they run things has been broken a long time. The present situation at the flagship NYC church is indicative of a damaged and damaging culture and way of operating that’s as Antichrist as it gets.I don’t pray often these days, but I’m praying for my friends right now, because I can’t imagine how they’re feeling watching this play out. It’s just horrible, and there’s no joy in it, from anyone’s perspective. It’s not a time to revel in the trials and tribulations of Hillsong, as much as it is a time to prepare to support those who’ll be hurting a long time after the Vanity Fair article ends up on a doctors waiting room coffee table. These ones need to know there is already a “me too” movement waiting for them. They’re not to blame. We know who is. And God is watching.