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?
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.”