Darlene Zschech is a prominent voice in the contemporary praise movement
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” 2 Corinthians 6:17 (KJV)
Darlene Zschech started out as a “worship pastor” at Hills Christian Life Centre, Sydney, Australia, and has published many popular worship albums under the Hillsong Music label. She is also associated with Integrity Music and the Hosanna label. She and her husband, Mark, are now senior “pastors” of Hope Unlimited Church in New South Wales.
Last week, she performed on stage as a headliner at the Vatican’s Renewal of the Holy Spirit rally. On her Facebook page, Zschech breathlessly gushed “The prep has begun in Rome. I can feel the prayers. Honoured to be singing this week, with Andrea Bocelli, Don Moen (Praise & Worship Leader), Noa (Achinoam Nini) with Pope Francis and thousands of worshippers gathering in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. This is a celebration of unity and peace in the Renewal of the Holy Spirit. Amazing days for the Body of Christ.”
As a former Catholic for 28 years, I can assure you that the Catholic Church is not part of the Body of Christ. When I went through 12 years of private Catholic school indoctrination, we never called ourselves “Christians”, we always referred to ourselves as Catholics. Now obviously I believe that Catholics can be saved, but I do not think it is possible for that to happen within the Catholic system. Bible doctrine and Catholic doctrine are indeed at odds with each other, I never met a priest or a nun who could tell me for sure that they were going to Heaven when they died. Because unlike the Bible, Catholic doctrine teaches that you cannot know for sure. That’s why they teach the false doctrines of Sacraments, Purgatory, Saint Worship, and pray to Mary, because they are trying to build up as many “good works” as they can to outweigh their bad on Judgment Day. And that is why the vast majority of Catholics will wind up in Hell because they were never saved in the first place.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9 (KJV)
In all the endless hours of sermonizing and talking put in by Pope Francis, can you show me a 5 minute presentation of Gospel on how to be saved? No, you can’t because he doesn’t talk about those things. So what, I wonder, did Darlene Zschech and the other Laodicean “evangelicals” have to discuss with the Catholics when they arrived starry-eyed in the City of Babylon to pay homage to the Pope? I think that’s a pretty good question. From the looks of things, they just performed Christian rock music, got everyone all hyped up on emotion, and had you fall down and pray to their “generic Jesus” who judges nothing, loves all, and supports same-sex marriage.
Darlene Zschech has a lot in common with another famous Laodicean imposter:Christian, in these last days as we watch denomination after denomination falling under the spell of Mother Rome, you would do well to guard your walk with the Lord and have nothing to do with these Laodicean, prosperity preaching imposters. If you ever get the chance to have an audience with Pope Francis, why don’t you tell him how to get saved? Because Darlene Zschech certainly didn’t tell him that when she had her chance.
Megachurch Pastor Signals Shift in Tone on Gay Marriage
The pastor of one of the more influential global megachurches has declared that his church is in “an ongoing conversation” about same-sex marriage — saying that it is appropriate to consider the words of the Bible alongside the changing culture and the experience of people in the pews.
The comments by Brian Houston, the senior pastor of Hillsong, immediately attracted concern from the right and applause from the left, coming as many Christian denominations and congregations are struggling with how to respond to rapid expansion of gay rights and legalization of same-sex marriage.
Mr. Houston’s church, which is based in Australia, is known largely as a musical powerhouse because of the popularity of its recordings of contemporary Christian worship music, but its youthful congregation is vast — about 100,000 weekly worshipers at campuses in a dozen major cities, including New York and Los Angeles — and its cultural reach broad.
Leaders of Hillsong have been avoiding condemnation of homosexuality for some time, and the pastor of Hillsong’s New York City campus, Carl Lentz, has declined to take a public position on same-sex marriage. But Mr. Houston’s comments, made at a news conference Thursday in New York, were striking for their assertion that Christian churches have caused pain for some gay Christians, and for their suggestion that the issue of same-sex marriage is not settled.
“The world we live in, whether we like it or not, is changing around and about us,” he said. “The world’s changing, and we want to stay relevant as a church, so that’s a vexing thing.”
Mr. Houston, as he has done in sermons, ruefully noted the experience of gay children growing up in Christian churches, saying that some feel rejected by their youth pastors or even their parents, and that as a result, some young people “literally are depressed, maybe even suicidal, and, sadly, oftentimes grow up to hate the church because they feel that the church rejected them.”
He said he lived by “what the Bible says,” and his spokesman said on Friday that the pastor personally agreed with traditional Christian teaching on sexuality. But Mr. Houston said he did not think it would be constructive to delineate a public position on same-sex marriage.
“It’s very easy to reduce what you think about homosexuality to just a public statement, and that would keep a lot of people happy,” he said, “but we feel at this point, that it is an ongoing conversation, that the real issues in people’s lives are too important for us just to reduce it down to a yes or no answer in a media outlet. So we’re on the journey with it.”
Some of Hillsong’s churches appear to be open to gays and lesbians. Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, a gay couple featured on the current season of “Survivor;” worship and sing in the choir at Hillsong New York; Mr. Canfield is a volunteer choir director at the church.
Mr. Houston’s comments were welcomed by Matthew Vines, a young gay evangelical who is trying to persuade the evangelical world that faith in the Bible is not at odds with openness to gays and lesbians.
“Is Hillsong influential primarily for doctrine and theology? No, it’s not, but its music is as evangelical as you’re going to get, in terms of reach and impact, and that’s very significant,” Mr. Vines said.
But Andrew Walker, the director of policy studies for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressed concern about Mr. Houston’s remarks, blogging for the journal “First Things,” “let’s be clear that this is not the route of faithfulness,” and calling Hillsong “a church exchanging compassion for cowardliness before culture’s consistory.”
Mr. Houston’s remarks on same-sex marriage were one of several instances this week in which he and his church differentiated themselves from some other segments of the evangelical world.
His wife, Bobbie Houston, who is also a senior pastor of Hillsong, responded to a question about women’s roles in evangelical churches by saying, “Really, the church needs to come of age sometimes, and just grow up.” Hillsong allows women to preach and teach; many evangelical churches do not.
And in an era when many religious leaders are defensive about the issue of clergy sexual abuse, Mr. Houston offered several searing, and at times self-critical, descriptions of how he handled the realization 15 years ago that his own father, also a Pentecostal pastor, was a pedophile. The episode has returned to the public eye because last week Mr. Houston testified about it before a royal commission investigating institutional response to child sexual abuse in Australia; in New York he talked with the press about the subject on Thursday and then with 5,500 people attending a Hillsong conference on Friday at Madison Square Garden.
He said he believed he did the right thing by removing his father from ministry as soon as he became aware of an abuse allegation. However, he said, in hindsight he should have informed the police at the time, even though the victim had asked him not to.
“There’s a difference between being pitiful and being transparent,” he said Friday, explaining why he chose to speak about the issue. “Authenticity always works, in every situation.”