I recently spent time with a friend who attends a bible teaching church in the LA area and he was sharing with me some troubling news. His church was losing young people in droves to Hillsong LA and other more “attractional” music-driven venues. They couldn’t stop it. Their youth and young adults had found something that tapped into their emotions, made them feel good, and seemed to be full of love. Ignorant of the deadly doctrines that Hillsong teaches and supports, indifference had swept over many of the young people in the church and they were simply buying in to the cool vibe of the music and ecumenical vision. I could sense the strain in his voice as he explained that this was his fear all along. Plenty of churches have spent wasted time voicing their displeasure over the methods and style of Hillsong, but few have effectively pinpointed them as outright false teachers. Perhaps out of fear of taking on the most famous business in the evangelical world, the body of Christ at large has stayed relatively divided on what to do about these popular preachers.
Many pastors struggle to find a balance. Should they bring up these issues publically and risk exposing the sheep to things they may have never even heard of? How soon is too soon to start sounding the alarm about certain movements? Do first-time visitors really want to come back to a church that just harps on false teachers all the time? Is the best way to deal with a counterfeit to study and know the real thing?
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