I’ve been contacted by a high up Hillsong insider who believes that Hillsong has gone off the rails and wants to tell their story.
This article is the 31st in a series of articles publishing the eye-witness testimonies of this Hillsong insider.
Hillsong insider speaks:
26 Oct 2015
I’ll tell you about the lavish food that is being prepared and provided for the Hillsong Pastor’s Lounge.
This room only has the best.
Quality food and fruits, large flat screen TVs, coffee, tea, chocolates.
All are the best that money can buy, and yes, waitresses of only the best looking Hillsong Bible College students. No expense is spared here.
Hillsong Bible College Students that have been told not to speak about what they hear or see, or even if a pastor hits on them.
Yes if a pastor makes a pass, or says inappropriate thing, it is not to be spoken of outside of the Hillsong pastor’s lounge.
So here the preaching pastor, the pastors of Hillsong and the Hillsong elite come to eat their free meals that are being slave-served by only the best young good looking Hillsong Bible College Students.
The cooking comes from one of two or more books written and made for the elite pastors.
This is a spoiled and lavish lifestyle and a quick look into something you will never see if you are just a member of Hillsong Church.
This happens all over Hillsong Church from Baulkham Hills to the Hillsong City to Queensland and beyond.
The food at times is ordered in and the bills for this I have seen and are over $500-700 dollars.
I was shocked the first time I saw this. The poor drivers stand outside the door to of Pastor’s Lounge and are not allowed inside, unless asked to after 20 years in Hillsong church.
The happening here is where the Hillsong pastors and Hillsong elite love to be.
There is also indulging in drinking cocktails and wine after church services by the Hillsong pastors and Hillsong elite.
This is the place the Pastors run to after the preaching, and go to run away from members of the church, with the security escorts.
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I’m not surprised by this type of elitist nepotistic behaviour.
When I was at “Doctor” Phil Pringle’s C3 Church at their HQ at Oxford Falls on Sydney’s Northern Beaches in the late 1990s, before and after the service pastors, the favoured, the wealthy and the elite of C3 Church congregate, rub shoulders and mingle. “Doctor” Phil decides the guest list. He’s a very controlling individual behind all the laissez-faire smiles.
At the C3 pastors and elite lounge, nice smiling attractive young ladies serve nice little sandwiches, cakes, fresh fruit, fresh juices and coffees.
The junior pastors aren’t necessarily invited. One junior pastor about my age who preaches at C3 occasionally shared how he and his wife were aggrieved they never were invited. You have to grin and suck it up. I guess it’s the same at any corporation. The politics, the nepotism, the hidden agendas, the subtle manipulations, the errant behaviour of the elite and top management.
But is shameless elitist behaviour and favouring pastors, the wealthy and the privileged few acceptable in a Christian Church?
We can check out the Holy Bible for some guidance on this topic.
Let’s start with Lazarus and the rich ruler.
Luke 16:19-31 New International Version (NIV)
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Another scripture that comes to mind is the scripture in James 2:2-4 about how not to favour anyone, especially the wealthy and well-heeled.
2 “For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?…
Its common practice in the Prosperity Churches for pastors to take the seats of honour, the best of everything, the power and the glory, and the congregation are treated essentially like plebs.
Pronunciation: /ˈplɛbɪsʌɪt/ /ˈplɛbɪsɪt/
The term ‘pleb’ is a slang word meaning ‘punter’ (another slang word) or ‘ordinary person’.
At the Prosperity Churches there is no democracy.
There are no general church meetings.
There is no open accounts books or financial transparency.
No general votes by the punters.
What happens and who goes where, who goes into the pastor’s lounge and gets treated like a king, is all at the mercy of King Brian Houston, Queen Bobbie Houston, King “Doctor” Phil Pringle, King Kong Hee, King “Doctor” Paul (now David) Yonghi Cho, King Kenneth Copeland, King Benny Hinn and all the other Kings and Princes of the Pentecostal Properity Movement.
These Kings and Princes have had their reward in full.
In this series we’ve read about King Brian Houston sitting back alone on a deckchair on the palatial balcony of his McMansion Palace in Glenhaven Sydney while his family was on holiday, sipping on a glass of wine and getting high, looking at the stars in the night sky, and puffing a big Cuban cigar, saying to himself, “Oh Brian, How great Thou Art, All the world and its kingdoms stretch forth beneath me. I’ve surely blessed by the Lord”.
We hear of “Doctor” Phil Pringle purchasing a Doctorate from some Bible organisation in the Canary Islands or somewhere, not earning it at all, and then demanding everyone call him “Dr Phil Pringle”.
Simon McIntyre, Phil’s longtime right hand man, now head pastor of C3 London, and a self-confessed Anglophile told me some time ago, “When Phil first got his Doctorate he told all the staff we must now call him “Doctor Phil”. Secretly we all thought it was funny but we humoured him and went along with it for a while. Then after a while we stopped calling him “Doctor Phil””.
Why is it mankind likes to get these titles? In New Zealand every successful All Black seems to get them. Sir John Kirwan, the coach of Auckland Blues rugby team last year who couldn’t even coach a Super 15 rugby team, the Auckland Blues, from New Zealand’s largest city, above getting the wooden spoon.
My father, a leading New Zealand Presbyterian clergy, was far more educated than any of the above-mentioned pretenders yet he never sought the honour of men.
“Where’s the humility?”
In the Presbyterian Church I grew up in, everyone rich or poor, would congregate together at after church functions. All the mothers and old grannies made nice plates of sandwiches, home made little pies and sausage rolls and yummy cakes. Tea, coffee and soft drink was served by old smiling ladies from large old-school tea pots. Everyone was included and everyone was happy.
This is how it is supposed to be in the Body of Christ.
No pastor’s lounges. No elitism. Certainly no flirting with young Bible College students by pastors.
Serving and drinking cocktails and wines after church doesn’t sound right either. Sounds more like a cocktail bar or a pub than a Christian Church.
What about all the people who come to church trying to overcome drug and alcohol addiction problems. What kind of example is this for them?