Story Behind Healer Has Been A Lie

Come read my 2nd post on Healer…new information and thoughts

You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when someone you care about lies to you. That is what I feel right now. I found out earlier this morning that the man who wrote Healer was lying about his terminal battle with cancer (article below). Clearly we need to be praying for those most effected by this, including his family, his church ministry (Planetshakers), and Hillsong as well. This has been a song latched onto by churches worldwide like none I have seen in the past 5 years, including Sunset. I sensed that it had God’s anointing…but all that is a huge question mark in my head now. The song itself is incredibly powerful, but the premise behind it is also a lie now.

Here is one positive to take out of this (if at all possible). Too often we let our worship become about something other than God. Maybe we worshiped the song because of the story behind it instead of worshiping God. I think I could be guilty of that. This story reminds us of our depravity and brings us back to worshiping only God.

Here is my one question and the one that I am wrestling with in my head right now: How does the local church respond? Or maybe we don’t respond at all?

Here are some good thoughts by Joel Klampert, Fred McKinnon, Carlos Whittaker, and Bryan Allain of the Burnside Writers.

UPDATE: The newspaper providing much of the coverage of this story has added a poll to one of their articles on whether Michael should be forgiven. Less than 40% say yes. I’m sad for Christianity around the world today. We love to accept grace but we rarely give it. Sad sad sad.

Full News Article (LINK HERE):

Michael Guglielmucci, whose parents established Edge Church International, an Assemblies of God church at O’Halloran Hill, is now seeking professional help. Earlier this year, Mr Guglielmucci released a hit song The Healer which was featured on Sydney church Hillsong’s latest album. It debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA charts. The song has become an anthem of faith for believers, many of whom are suffering their own illness and were praying for a miracle for Mr Guglielmucci, who has claimed for two years to be terminally ill. In one church performance that has attracted 300,000 hits on YouTube, he performs his hit song with an oxygen tube in his nose. The clip was pulled late last night by YouTube with the advice “video no longer available.”

It appears that Mr Guglielmucci, who was a pastor with one of Australia’s biggest youth churches, Planetshakers, may have even deceived his own family. “This news has come as a great shock to everyone including, it seems, his own wife and family,” Hillsong general manager George Aghajanian said in an email to his congregation yesterday. “Michael has confirmed that he is not suffering with a terminal illness and is seeking professional help in Adelaide with the support of his family. “We are asking our church to pray for the Guglielmucci family during this difficult time.”

The Advertiser was last night  told that Mr Guglielmucci may release a statement on the situation. The Australian Christian Church said that Mr Guglielmucci’s credentials were immediately suspended once he told the national executive that his cancer claims were “untrue”. “The National Executive is taking this matter very seriously and is awaiting the results of medical tests before determining the full extent of the discipline that will be imposed upon him,” said vice president Alun Davies. “We are very concerned for the many people who have been or will be hurt by Michael’s actions. We encourage all of our churches to pray for all those affected.”

  • brent(inWorship)

    Tyler, I think you are correct on the “facts” of this. I have no doubt that we will find out this story is fake. the church has already released some statements regarding the process they are taking which would definitely point to truth in this. I have purposefully not tried to comment or talk about facts because of exactly that.

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  • Janet Fraser

    Have really enjoyed reading the dialogue here, i love seeing how ministry leaders wrestle with this stuff… thanks for putting it out there Tyler.
    After a few days of thinking this through here are two thoughts:

    1- The Bible is full of the stories of human brokenness and how God was present, glorified in the midst of it. You bet we find a way to speak to it… it is what it is… Mike D mentioned the Edwards affair in his message.. it could have been a distraction in a service but personally it was convicting to me, how public and broad we think private sin is, but how the enemy wins when we choose sin to meet our own needs. This is a teachable moment. We cannot control all the distractions in a service but we should use this as an opportunity to move in to a real moment of grace and dicussion.

    2- I’m creating a compilation today for a friend who is dealing with chronic fatigue. She hasn’t been able to come to church for months. There’s NO way I would leave the power of this song off her compilation.

    my two bits, quite literally 🙂

  • ash

    your latest thoughts are interesting. but you use words like “revival” and “repentance”- these my friend, are catch phrases that the church LOVES to use. the very church (i’m talking about the whole/ certainly of more evangelical belief) you claim needs them….they’re already in touch w/ the idea…so introducing it isn’t going to change their approach to it. how do i explain this better?

    …ok- you said “instead of making heroes out of every faddish trendy christian we should follow the example of the great saints throughout christian history. Maybe we should pay more attention to those who have stood the test of time, those who died for their faith”

    what did jesus mean when he said we would lose our lives if we chose him? i doubt very much that his initial meaning was being physically killed for the faith. i believe he was talking about dying to ourselves and the pride we carry with us. we must die to that if we are live fully in him. but here’s the paradox, the “great saints,” were sinners too. christian history was not different the christian present, but when we study history all we ‘re taught are their great deeds. what made them distinct was not that they didn’t sin, but their humility and our forgiveness of them. that is what our generation lacks. forget about whether the hip christian music exists or whether we should or shouldn’t look up to them…..or whether the church should wake up- start w/ you and your sphere of influence and walk as jesus walked. that is the only way to really accomplish “revival” in the hearts of man, by practice instead of just “prayer” and “preaching”

    just some of my thoughts

  • Drew

    Hi Ash

    Sorry I disagree the church is well wide of the mark when it comes to revival and repentance, or at least the AOG is. I’ll get back to that but as far as Mike, I feel very sorry for him. It’s a tragedy for all concerned, but I believe once again that Hillsong and the AOG in general have lacked dicernment.

    On the revival thing, I can say the AOG is wide of the mark because I’m from the AOG and our little church has only just realised the importance of returning to repentance and praying for a sovereign move of God – notice that, revival is not machinated, not man made but GOD MADE and we have not seen anywhere near what God is able to do… maybe because we’re afraid he’ll disrupt our status quo. By revival I don’t mean Toronto, Brownsvile or Lakeland, I mean when God draws people from the COMMUNITY not just other churches.

    By the way revival may lead us to “practice” Christianity but it will never begin without REPENTANT prayer and FAITHFUL preaching. No revival has ever begun any other way, until people so moved by the holiness of God get down on their knees and repent for their worldly living and so forth. Practice may come after but it must begin in prayer!! So please in our Laodicean church age let’s turn back to God and worship Him in spirit and truth. Blessings,

  • Taniwha

    I personally think that the song is stll relevant, just not to him.

    It is still a meaningful song, and still can touch other peoples lives. I think that the song shouldnt be ridiculed, even though it was made from a lie, God can still use it. He already has.

  • brent(inWorship)

    Taniwha, I would say that this song may mean more to him now than ever. He is in need of healing that only God can bring. Also, going off what his Dad said in their church this AM (which is on Tyler’s most recent post), this song was written fro exactly where he is at now. It never had anything to do with cancer.

  • Tyler

    Yeah I don’t think there is any doubt that this song means more to Michael than it did during the fabricated story. Good thought Brent.

  • Linda W

    It’s a sad thing that people have to hit rock bottom before they can free themselves. I do believe the bigger issue here is that Michael was bound by something far more serious than cancer. The devil uses this tool of pornagraphy because to get victory over it, it has to become a public thing. Most are not willing to humiliate themselves to come clean. Pornagraphy is a cancer that literally destroys the soul first. The song “Healer” is exactly why the Lord gave this to Michael. Michael needed healing and God gave the song. Michael couldn’t explain why so he disguised it, covered it up, and approach it as a cancer. Men of integrity wake up. There are those out there that have been caught in this web of pornagraphy, and have asked for forgiveness but has done nothing to get out there and tell about how God may have delivered you. Shameful and worried about what others may think have kept the works of the devil wide open without one hindrance. Don’t you see, there are millions out there that have this cancer of pornagraphy, hidden away, to shameful to help others, all the while the enemy goes about devouring more, and hitting on a high level is his top target. Michael, I do hope God has healed you from your cancer. Cancer of pornography is a most deadly weapon used today by the devil. God’s song will go on and help all that are in need. Maybe it has helped others that have this hidden secret to be able to be healed. Use this as a testimony of what God delivered you from. You are no longer useful to satan, its now in the open. You poured ice cold water on a flame that now is out. We love you, want to hear more from you, and walk in integrity for all men who may have had this same type of secret. Use it as a stepping stone, you did it!!!! Now you are free!!

  • Drew

    Hi all,

    I caught on that Mike and father Danny came on TT last night, I missed it. From what I can gather while the cancer claims were false, he was suffering physically, which I believe was a direct result from the spiritual in regards to his porn addiction. So sad. While what Mike has done was inexcusable, I can’t help but feel admiration for finally coming forward. Call me gullible but I feel that he has shown courage and, darn it, I believe him when he says he did have ailments of sorts. I am sure he will have little if any public ministry after this and to live with that humiliation would be so hard. All I can is that while the consequence here and now may be severe, if he continues on the road to repentance he will be released from this the minute he steps past the judgment seat of Christ, where every tear will be wiped. I bet the boy has shed a few over this, I am as I write this.

    I must be frank here, I do not have a lot of time for the leaders of the AOG movement as a whole and I make no apology for saying I believe they are leading our denomination astray. But having said that we must still uphold them in prayer so that at the very least, their personal lives may glorify God. I don’t really care much for their ministries but I am grieved for them in their personal walk. How many leaders have faltered the last year or so… but I just hope they can put their personal lives together.

    Folks let’s see this as a timely reminder to keep our hearts and minds in check. And I beg of all of you, my own pathetic soul included, please please PLEASE do not take your eyes off the Risen Christ. I think of Moses lifting his hands and when his hands grew tired and they fell, Israel faltered in battle. Keep your eyes focussed on him and worship Him in spirit and truth, not just singing songs thinking we’ve done God service. I beg you everyone, please keep your focus on Christ, the centre of your hope. God bless you all,

  • kevsings

    Some incredible insight from these comments from everyone. I sense the passion that you all have for God. It’s refreshing. Thank you. I love ALL the perspectives shared…..get’s me excited about the cause of Christ.

    As a worship leader, I too have pondered the action and response to take with this disappointing news. So….after reading so many great and insightful comments, I finally thought I’d share mine.

    wow…..disappointing, indeed. But….I took some time to find out more info on this…false testimony…and yes….this man, this…preacher….. may have falsified his true illness, but still….he has been suffering from an illness, that if truth be known, MANY men struggle with and suffer with, privately…..and probably are suffering MORE so, if they are within the church.

    Let me explain what I mean….
    Churched men…have the understanding of what it means to have a relationship with Christ. The battle of the mind and heart they are fighting…..from the loving conviction of the Holy Spirit to the tormenting condemnation of the enemy when they are viewing or involved in anything sexually immoral.

    Michael may not have cancer, but his song ‘Healer’ WAS his cry to our Lord for deliverance and complete healing from this…’secret’ disease. The Meaning is still the same…..AND….really….the premise. The torment he has been going through for these past 2 years…….can’t imagine.

    I keep reading comments about how the premise of the songs sprung only from deceit, a lie. I’ve not seen the ‘testimony video’, don’t need to. In my opinion, God gave this song to Michael, right where he was…and if truth be know…he was thinking of his TRUE disease all the while he was writing it and crying out to God. So…..though it was not a disease of cancer…..HE knew it was still a disease and eating him up LIKE a cancer. That’s what pornography will do. It is the enemy’s best defeat against modern day man….with all the easily accessable sites you can visit on the web….in secret…..that’s how the enemy ‘slowly’ pulls you down….further and further….until you are……eatin’ up with THAT type of cancer. So….

    Michael’s ‘Healer’ song, is ’still’, in my opinion, a powerful testimony and cry of the heart to our Lord that He IS our healer, no MATTER WHAT kind of disease or illness we are battling.
    It’s so true…..when Christ himself said, “he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone”….certainly not I! I battle my own personal demons daily, and know that only by the Grace of God have I been able to keep from falling into my own pit of destruction because of past wrong choices. Our righteousness is not gained by our own ‘do good’ ways, but by the mercy and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. HE is my righteousness! My Strength!

    My heart goes out to this man, for the mere fact that God has finally shaken him to his knees of repentance and to confess this to…the WORLD….brings a whole new meaning to ‘confessing our sins, one to another’.

    The impact of this song should not and will not, in my opinion, be diminished. God is working to heal this man now…and I pray, from this cleansing, God will reveal Himself in even a mightier way through the gift He has given this man to write such words that Glorify His name. Amen?

    Coming to repentance can be extremely painful I know, mine involved breaking my neck.
    That testimony may be a different approach to coming to repentance, but….I knew what God was doing through that and the humility and shame that came flooding out of me as I lay in that hospital bed….not knowing whether I would ever be able to walk again…..well……it was an amazing moment for me and God’s sweet loving grace and merciful Spirit. The cleansing that came was sooo worth it all. And…by the way, I am healed and walking. He’s the God of second chances…and third..and fourth…etc..etc….there is no end to His grace, forgiveness and restoration.

    This situation brings a perfect opportunity for the ‘church family’ to truly love this man through his grief and shame. It’s also a perfect opportunity for the Church to take a new perspective on how many people, in our own church and world, could be hurting…..privately…..and feeling like….the song says…..’one in a million faces’. (Kutless…Sea of Faces)

    It just makes me want to be more tender to people….not just in the church…but all around me….every day. You never know what someone is going through…..they may just need a pat on the back or a hug and someone to give them some genuine love and attention. Just to feel like someone does care about them. God help me be tender to that and those moments.

    I pray for you Mike G. That God will raise you up from this as an incredible testimony of ‘true’ healing and the grace that God gives, even beyond ourselves and the ‘lies’ we can live. To give you ‘another’ song, a NEW song….and continue to develope the gift of writing He has given you to minister to….not just the world….but to HIM. That God may put a ‘new song in your heart, a song of praise to our God’. Amen!!

  • kevsings

    By the way, I have to say that one of my favorite comments from this blog came from you Fred McKinnon. “The song – I still love it, though it’s somewhat tainted with this tragic revelation. But, God wasn’t surprised. Maybe He knew … Maybe He knew that we, the Church, needed this song. Maybe THAT’s WHY his favor seemed to rest on that song so strongly. Maybe it’s a reminder that God can (and will) use any vessel to communicate … even the weak, or people and ways that confound the wise and religious.”

    Very well said my Brother!! Very well said.

  • Tammy B

    I fell in love with this song BEFORE I even heard of the false story behind it. My Sunday school class just finished a Beth Moore study on The Psalms of the Ascent, a Jewish pilgramge and the Psalms that accompany the trip. I still love the song. Our God is JEHOVAH ROPHE, the Lord who heals, may He heal the writer of this beautiful song

  • Sherry

    i stumbled upon this site…my response is that we need to pray for Michael. You didn’t mention that in your entry that I saw. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but I don’t understand why, when someone falls, we get defensive, treat that person like an enemy and don’t pray for them. Except…Jesus said to pray for our “enemies”. This guy isn’t the enemy, again, anyway.

    That is one part. Part two is, the song is anointed. period. it’s the truth, it lines up with God’s Word and is still usable as the Spirit leads. Only like, two people in my church know the story anyway.

    Lastly, often times when people make up a terminal illness and going along with it for so long, it’s because of a mental disorder. People with mental illness should be treated like anyone with an illness. You don’t attack someone with depression for being depressed. Michael needs healing, prayer and for people to work to restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

    I’m sorry that people got hurt in all this. But Jesus was hurt by Peter’s denial, but He still loved him, restored him and used him in a major way.

    random thoughts, hopefully readable.

    in love.

  • Stephen McGhee

    I caught on that Mike and father Danny came on TT last night, I missed it. From what I can gather while the cancer claims were false, he was suffering physically, which I believe was a direct result from the spiritual in regards to his porn addiction.

  • Cindy

    I sit and I marvel at many of the responses.

    I myself struggled with a stage 3 cancer. Believing that God alone would heal, i refused meds, chemo, and rediation. He did heal. He can heal. He will heal.

    The song remains true. One of us was/is going through what Michael wrote about. Whether it was or was not him.

    I truly thank him for this song.

  • Alan Milne

    he had an addiction to pornography that he was majorly ashamed of, and he tried to use a lie to cover it up. he could shake his addiction for 16 years. his song WAS relevant to himself, he did need healing, just not for what he told the world he did. according to him, he had a dream of Jesus on the cross looking down at him and saying “the truth will set you free” so he decided to confess

  • http://N/A portia

    it is so upseting for people we trust,love and adore to do such things but i think is not the right time to complain because we will end up sinning against God because of anger. this is time to forgive him for what he has done and move on to the next page. we don’t appreciate what he has done but we have to focus on God. we must be transparent christians, the darkness has come to light and let us thank God for bringing light to the darkness so that we can see.