Also, Hillsong in my opinion use their money wisely (most of the time)… they are trying to appeal to (thus evagelise to) a broader community (esp business folk and youth) so why criticise their amazing work of evangelism.
Also, If you are going to criticise Hillsong, then i certainly hope you dont buy their albums or sings their songs at church, or even attend the July conference …. because that would be hypocritical.
as for the example of christians who are persecuted and less fortunate…. it not a matter of “worth” to God … its context dependent.
I’ll say it again, as i have before, i dont mean to start arguments (because thats pointless) and i am mindful of opinions, but i just dont like assumptions that create very negative rumours and perceptions of something that is actually good.
[ps. I am not a big PRO-hillsong person, as their anti-gay attitude (for eg) really upsets me (but that attitude isnt JUST hillsong) and its mainly this issue of hillsongs finances that i defend.]
I wouldn’t be very quick to defend Hillsongs Finances. Two things come to my mind…. a group of Christian Deaf people including me approached Hillsong because they used to have a Deaf Ministry and one of the thing we asked was for them to caption their tv shows and DVD so that Deaf people have access to it… that was a few years ago and they haven’t even touched that… quoting… its very expensive and we can’t really afford it to “oh its going to be a big surprise and its in our pipeline to provide that” and also secondingly did anyone hear about Hillsong’s misuse of Government funding for Aborigines? The funding was specifically for aboriginals but they claimed to have supported aboriginals… but yeah well, they didn’t so it did not go down well huh?! But it’s a amazing how they covered it up.
HILLSONG Church’s benevolent arm has been dumped from a second federal funding relationship amid allegations it spent millions of dollars of Indigenous development grants for its own use rather than on Aboriginal entrepreneurs. Indigenous Business Australia announced it would cease funding a “micro-enterprise development” program that paid Hillsong Emerge $965,421 to administer $280,000 in loans. Despite signing 127 loans averaging just $2800 over two years, the IBA said it was satisfied the $1.2 million had delivered valuable “learnings”. Chairman Joseph Elu said: “Hillsong Emerge’s work had provided valuable first-hand experiences … while highlighting the need to maximise cost-effective delivery mechanisms.” Hillsong Emerge was this week stripped of a $414,479 grant for crime prevention following claims it had exploited and deceived an Aboriginal community to get the money, which it denies.
A FEDERAL department failed to check whether an Aboriginal group, named by the Hillsong church in a grant application, supported the project. The church’s charitable arm, Hillsong Emerge, has been stripped of a $414,479 federal grant after claims that it obtained the funds by deceiving the Aboriginal community that was supposed to benefit from it. Hillsong Emerge first applied for a grant of almost $500,000 with the support of the Riverstone Aboriginal Community Association, in Sydney’s northwestern suburbs. It withdrew the application and submitted a second, which led to its being granted $414,479 in August last year — a grant announced by John Howard. But the second grant application used letters of support and ideas from RACA, allegedly without the permission of the Indigenous body. http://www.nit.com.au/News/story.aspx?id=6547
HILLSONG Church’s benevolent arm has been stripped of a $414,479 federal grant following allegations it obtained the funds by exploiting and deceiving the Aboriginal community that was supposed to benefit from it.
Federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison, who approved the grant under a community crime prevention program late last year, withdrew the offer this month following exposure of the controversy by The Australian.
The backflip follows a growing row over the millions of dollars the Federal Government provides to Hillsong Emerge for a range of programs, with claims the money goes mostly into the pentecostal church’s administrative coffers.
Hillsong’s auditorium in Sydney’s Hills District was opened by John Howard, and a leading member, Louise Markus, won the outer Sydney seat of Greenway for the Liberals from Labor at the last federal election.
In the NSW parliament last November, Labor MP Ian West detailed allegations that Hillsong Emerge first applied for a $498,620 grant with the support of the Riverstone Aboriginal Community Association in Sydney’s northwest.
That application did not go ahead, but Hillsong Emerge submitted a second, successful application for $414,479 on its own, allegedly without the knowledge of RACA but using its ideas and letters of support.
Mr West told parliament at the time: “Hillsong Emerge has misused the Riverstone Aboriginal community to get taxpayers’ money for its own purposes.”
When, at a meeting with Hillsong officers, RACA threatened to take the matter to the media, Hillsong Emerge chief executive Leigh Coleman wrote a letter on the spot offering RACA $280,000. Mr West told parliament Mr Coleman made the offer to RACA to buy its silence – but Hillsong denied this, saying it was an act of goodwill.
A budget attached to the successful application showed most of the money would go to funding a Hillsong Emerge project officer and administration.
Senator Ellison had previously told The Australian he had been informed that the $414,479 grant complied with requirements.
But answering questions on notice from Opposition indigenous affairs spokesman Chris Evans, Senator Ellison said the offer of the grant – announced in August with some fanfare by Mr Howard – had been axed.
Senator Ellison said his department had recently asked Hillsong Emerge for “details of how the partnership proposed for the project would operate”.
“On 1 February, 2006, the department wrote to Hillsong Emerge Ltd advising them theoffer has been withdrawn,” hesaid. A spokeswoman for Senator Ellison said the department had withdrawn the offer because Hillsong was “unable to deliver the project as originally proposed”.
Riverstone community leader Vilma Ryan said a departmental officer had tried to persuade the community to accept Hillsong’s administration of the grant, or face losing the money altogether.
“The fact is, we weren’t going to buckle. We weren’t going to work with Hillsong,” she said.
Mr West claimed vindication last night but said Senator Ellison’s statement that the matter was now closed was not enough. Hillsong Emerge spokeswoman Maria Ieroianni did not return calls or emails.