The 2013/2014 conference circuit makes for some strange bedfellows. We’re trying not to get worked up about “guilt by association,” but at some point you just have to wonder how teachers of different "gospels" can find unity?
Saddleback’s Rick Warren is teaming up with Joel Osteen and “Bishop” T.D. Jakes for the Hillsong Conferencein Sydney, Australia,London, New York and Los Angeles. Who is Hillsong? The premiere Word of Faith church in Sydney. Word of Faith, or Word-Faith, is the name-it-and-claim-it prosperity gospel, which is no Gospel at all.
The Hillsong Conference website says the event is about “being refreshed and inspired and finding great strength and unity amongst the diversity of the local church worldwide.”
The diversity is certainly represented in the speaker docket, uniting and melding Word of Faith (T.D. Jakes, the Osteens, Hillsong Church), Purpose Driven/Drucker-designed big business (Rick Warren), Craig Groeschel and Judah Smith.
“The Church is God’s solution for the earth. Jesus commissioned us to be builders of the Church, and the Church to be builders of people.”
Jesus – not the local church - is the solution for the sin of the world. But it would be great if the unified churches were united around preparing the Bride of Christ and equipping her for Him, rather than syncretizing all the trends of the last 30 years into one wide swath of relevance.
“Our prayer is that the twelve months leading into the twenty-thirteen Hillsong Conference gathering will be ‘crowned with His goodness and favor’ (Psalm 65) - and that the depth, breadth, reach and richness of true REVIVAL will be your portion. Our prayer is that our magnificent 2013 guests will again unleash and water the potential within our collective lives.”
Collective? True revival happens individually when we hear the Word of God rightly preached, and we are convicted by the Holy Spirit to repent of our sins and trust only in Jesus’ shed blood on the cross for our full pardon of sin, and His resurrection.
So how about it, Church? Are we having those uncomfortable conversations yet with our elders and pastors about the dangers of forming unholy alliances?