Hillsong London Just Ruined Christmas

by Drew 12 Comments
No it isn't, Hillsong. Not even close.

No it isn’t, Hillsong. Not even close.

Yesterday, I saw The Force Awakens. It put me in the Christmas spirit.  I know, not a Christmas film.  But the themes of family, joy, the light waging war against the darkness, all just put me in a good holiday mood.

But then I saw this monstrosity from Hillsong London, and Christmas is ruined:

A couple of days ago, I saw this SNL sketch making fun of Christmas Mass.  So before I go all Rambo on Hillsong London, let me just say that there is a lot of truth in the SNL sketch. Traditional Christmas worship can be done quite badly, and we’ve all had worship experiences like the boring, overwrought mess that Pastor Pat is leading here.

But holy hell, that was fiction.  Hillsong London actually turned Silent Night into a 1920’s Vegas showtune.  I don’t even know the words.  I thought Star Wars church was madness.  This is just insane and inane and all kinds of words I shouldn’t use if I want to stay employed by the church.

There is a deeper lesson here as well.  Form and content are not so easily separated as we often suppose. jesus crying The content of Silent Night – SILENT IS IN THE NAME – speaks of a peaceful, holy scene.  Is it a bit sentimental? Perhaps.  Does it whitewash the stench and filth into which our Lord was born? Somewhat.

But Silent Night ripped out of a Scorcese Vegas flick? This is ever so much worse.

As I said recently, I don’t care how “successful” something like this is.

It’s a monstrosity.

Vegas Christmas might draw a crowd.  But this isn’t worship.  It’s a show. And it’s not even a good show.

Thanks for ruining Christmas, Hillsong London.

I look forward to your upcoming burlesque Good Friday service.

 

Comments ( 12 )

  1. ReplySteve
    And you can't unsee it. Yikes. Thanks for not linking to the video.
    • ReplyDrew
      Haha! I did not link since it was embedded, but you should be able to get to it from the embed if you so desire. This is one of the most ghastly things I've ever seen.
  2. ReplyDonald Sensing
    I plan on using cannon fire at the Holy Thursday service to accompany, "And Can It Be?" By Charles Welsey. I mean, it worked for Tchaikovsky for the 1912 Overture, so why not?
    • ReplyDrew
      Haha! Anything that makes noise, anything that will draw a crowd! Ah, the horrifically simple logic of pragmatism.
  3. ReplyYeowsousers
    "So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. (29) That's why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ's mighty power that works within me." [Colossians 1:28-29 NLT] Paul never thought he wasn't relevant to those in his culture.... Paul knew the power of the Gospel and of God, and so he relied on the wisdom of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to draw men to the cross.... not human cleverness and wisdom... which this is a perfect example of how screwed up that becomes... SMH!
  4. Replysojourner
    I debated whether I should post my opinion, since I’m never in favor of one of the bride’s appendage bad mouthing or gossiping about another appendage. But since I was caught off-guard by this version of Silent Night, I’ll contribute my online vomit with the rest of yours. When the song first cranked up, it seemed irreverent. Then I began listening to the words, not as a solemn song as I’ve always heard it as the song finale at a candlelight service, but as a celebratory song. Listen to the lines of the lyrics. Don’t they sound like sounds of joy and excitement? As the song moved along, I began to enjoy it and very impressed in the quality of the big band sound performance. • shepherds quake at the sight • Glories stream from heaven • Christ the Saviour is born • Son of God, love's pure light • the dawn of redeeming grace • Alleluia to our King As to the costumes? The wardrobe matches the melody period. Is it immodest? I’ve seen more revealing and sensual wardrobes on many, many church platforms throughout the years. The issue just might be a religious paradigm: not good or bad, holy or evil, or acceptable or blasphemous. It’s just not what we expect and in the context that we have always heard it. If you are offended by this, as I was at first, I suggest we unbunch our blessed Underoos and see our brothers and sisters in light of how our Father sees them. Maybe He’s smiling, tapping His foot and enjoying their creativity for reaching out to their community with the message that their Saviour has come to redeem them. Would this be the presentation we use in Texas or the U.S.? Probably not, hence our immediate pious reaction. Is this a reasonable and maybe even brilliant interpretation of presenting the gospel to a traditionally stoic and/or unbelieving culture (London) that once embraced Christianity? Absolutely.
    • ReplySox
      I could not agree more, sojourner. My first reaction to seeing this was, "Well, I think they missed the mark artistically, but it was also presented for a different culture." Thanks for having a level-head when so many seem to shoot-off at the mouth towards anything that seems different than the accepted "U.S." norm.
      • ReplyTJ
        Remember, Jesus was friend of sinners but he was not influenced by the things of the world when it came to preaching the Gospel to save them.. He did not compromise, he was a HOLY God who did not present himself according to the culture of the different crowds preached to.. and No I don't think God is tapping his feet, nor is he impressed by their creativity. He must be grieved to see all this. Anyway, the best way to walk our life on this earth is to be led by the Holy Spirit. Fall flat on the ground as if you were dead and stop using your intelligence and Human wisdom.. Seek for God's Wisdom. We need Godly people who will not compromise on the purpose God has for them. "Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;great is your faithfulness". Lamentations 3:22. God bless you.
  5. Replybb
    Many of you may know bynow that this performance was part of a theatrical production, and that the context was based on Herods wrong motives for wanting to find out about Christ, and to present a overdone insincere splashy campy song, where the words do not match the heart (like herod) the huge mistake was allowinng this to be released or performed as a stand-alone without it being explained
  6. Replybb
    Also feel they could have accomplished the desired effect with less sleazy movements on the part of the lead dancers
  7. ReplyKathy
    Irony of ironies... Hillsong took the video off youtube... so I can't see it.
  8. ReplyBarry
    In a show, that is making a story and a point, and that also endeavours to engage the minds of the audience by being entertaining, this is entirely different than classic pulpit preacing. To expect it be like it is moronic and short sighted. I did not like the dance and it could have been done differently to be less suggestive but the overall concept is in my view well within bounds as a way to present a message. BTW many of the most popular preachers are that mainly because they are entertaining and engaging! Do we pronounce them compromised because they are gifted??!!?? Pulpit style preaching is a craft that became popular at a time when "going to hear a talk" was a common form of entertainment. Look through the book of Acts and see how many different formats of comminication are there. Yes speaking but not all sermons. Interesting

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