The 2012 Hillsong Conference kicks off on Monday, 2 July in Sydney, Australia. What is the Hillsong Conference and what do they strive to accomplish?
Hillsong Conference is about you and your Church; it’s about seeing nations changed through the power of the local Church. It’s about personal devotion and hearing from God, it’s about administering justice and loving others. It’s about stepping back, being REFRESHED and inspired… and it’s about doing it, together. (Source)
This is the 26th such conference, and most of the scheduled speakers from outside of the Hillsong family are not strangers to the event. Headlining this year are Joyce Meyer, Joseph Prince, Steven Furtick and Louie Giglio. Three of these names have appeared at past Hillsong Conferences. Only Steven Furtick is new to the event in Sydney, although he has preached at Hillsong in New York City.
These names, especially Meyer and Prince, are synonymous with the Word Faith heresy. Both were speakers at the 2008 Hillsong Conference and both are quite adept at propagating heretical Word Faith doctrines. Below, Joyce Meyer can be heard mishandling Psalm 82 and teaching the common WF doctrine that we are “little gods”.
Here, Meyer is heard teaching positive confession:
Joseph Prince, another talented prosperity preacher, is the pastor of New Creation Church in Singapore. According to his church website, God has informed Prince that 2012 is the “Year of Unceasing Fruitfulness.”
God spoke to Pastor Joseph Prince many years ago that every year, He would give pastor His rhema word for the year for our church. It is not a list of do’s and don’ts, but it is a declaration of what God will do for the church in that year. On the very first Sunday of this year, it was revealed that 2012 will be a year of unceasing fruitfulness. Beloved, God wants you blessed and fruitful every day of this year like a tree planted by the waters! (Jeremiah 17:7–8, Psalm 1:3)
Prince is also the author of such books as Destined to Reign, wherein he expresses his thankfulness for the influence of Word Faith greats in his life and ministry. On page 271 of the book, Prince writes,
I give thanks to God for my roots in the Word of Faith teachings. It is truly on the shoulders of great men of God like Brother Kenneth E. Hagin that we are able to see further into the Word of God today. Growing up, I learned a lot about faith from Brother Hagin, who truly had a special revelation of faith from the Lord. I deeply honor and respect him for all that he has taught me.
(Joseph Prince, Destined to Reign, [Harrison House Publishers: 2007], 217)
For those who are not aware, Kenneth Hagin was one of the earliest and most influential leaders of the Word Faith movement. As John MacArthur demonstrates in his book, Charismatic Chaos, Hagin’s influence can be found behind such blasphemous doctrines as the “little gods” doctrine, as well as the idea that Jesus Christ had to be born again. Quoting Hagin, MacArthur writes,
Kenneth Hagin writes, “You can have what you say. You can write your own ticket with God. And the first step in writing your own ticket with God is: Say it.” He adds later, “If you talk about your trials, your difficulties, your lack of faith, your lack of money–your faith will shrivel and dry up. But, bless God, if you talk about the Word of God, your lovely Heavenly Father and what He can do–your faith will grow by leaps and bounds.”
(John MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos, [Zondervan: 1992], 342–343)
Over time, Steven Furtick also has demonstrated that he is easily and perhaps eagerly wriggling his way into the WF camp. At Apprising Ministries, Ken Silva has demonstrated in pieces like Steven Furtick and “Prophet” Brian Carn that Furtick is seeking to bring the Word Faith heresy into the mainstream.
We also know that Furtick has toured, and appeared to be quite impressed with, Joyce Meyer’s ministry headquarters:
Steven Furtick has also shown his affinity for Word Faith preachers in his exaltation of T.D. Jakes as his “favorite preacher in the world.”
Additionally, Steven Furtick has declared that Joel Osteen is a “great man of God.”
Interestingly, Joel and Victoria Osteen were special guests at the 2009 Hillsong Conference along with Jentezen Franklin, Craig Groeschel and 2012 returning speaker Louie Giglio.So we know, then, that Louie Giglio is not unfamiliar with the Osteens. Not only did he appear with them at Hillsong 2009, but as recently as 27 May 2012, Giglio was preaching at Osteen’s Lakewood Church.When this speaking engagement at Lakewood was reported, we were reminded of a strange thing that happened back in January 2012 at Giglio’s Passion conference. As Giglio stood on stage with leaders such as John Piper and Beth Moore, we witnessed a type of “Lectio Divina Lite” taking over the stadium. Perhaps even more curious, though, were the words Giglio shared at the close of this session:
How many of you heard the voice of God speak specifically, clearly, directly, and personally, to you? Can you just put a hand up? I’d like you to share it. Can you put a hand up for a minute?
Just want you to look around; that’s people saying, “God Almighty (pause) the Maker of heaven (pause) the one Who’s sitting on the only throne (pause) that’s not under threat (long pause, audience cheers)—He spoke to me. He spoke to me.”
“God spoke to me.” (long pause) Don’t let the voice of the darkness, tell you that you are not (pause) worth (pause) that God would not speak to you. (pause) Don’t let him tell you, you don’t matter. (pause) God spoke to you.
It is the opinion of this writer that it seems a bit presumptuous to seek for outside revelation when God has graciously, clearly, and perfectly spoken in His Word. We have no need to listen for His voice outside of Scripture. He has not stuttered. He has not stammered. He has not whispered. To hear from God Almighty, all one must do is open the Bible and read.
Yet Giglio and the others on stage that day appeared to advocate listening for the voice of God in the silence. Of course, according to the description above, the Hillsong Conference does profess to be about “hearing from God,” so perhaps it ought not surprise that Giglio seems to be a frequent speaker at this event.
Among the Christian leaders on the platform with Giglio at Passion 2012 was Bible teacher Beth Moore, who is herself no stranger to contemplative spirituality. As Ken Silva shares in his article, Beth Moore the Mystic, Moore apparently has claimed to receive direct revelation from God:
What God began to say to me about five years ago, and I’m telling you it sent me on such a trek with Him, that my head is still whirling over it.
He began to say to me, ‘I’m gonna tell you something right now, Beth, and boy you write this one down, and you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it:
“My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief. My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief.” And He said, “Startin’ with you.”
Beyond the “revelation” described above, Apprising Ministries also has documented that Beth Moore claims that God gave her a vision of the church “as Jesus sees it,” and that this divinely revealed church includes the apostate Roman Catholic Church. It seems that popular pastor Louie Giglio is not bothered by such teaching, however, as he apparently has invited Beth Moore to fill his pulpit at Passion City Church on Sunday, 1 July, while he travels to Australia for the 2012 Hillsong Conference.
It sounds as though both Beth Moore and Louie Giglio are looking forward to her being able to teach at his church:
Thus far there has been no indication that Sunday’s services will be for women only. It seems, then, that Giglio has invited a woman into his pulpit to preach and teach a mixed audience, in spite of the admonition of 1 Timothy 2:12.Perhaps if Louie Giglio were appearing for the first time at the Hillsong Conference, he could be given a pass for being unaware of the environment that he is walking into. As has been demonstrated, however, he is not a stranger to these events. He has also quite recently placed himself in the pulpit of Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, one of the largest temples of the Word Faith heresy. Further, he has invited a woman to fill his own pulpit. Yet over the years, Giglio has generally been held in high regard. One wonders how this might be in light of the evidence before us.
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
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