Not too long ago, the Hillsong franchise opened a new church in Boston, about a mile from where I currently live. I heard about it from a friend, and although we hadn’t been to church in ages, we decided it would be fun to go for Easter to see what it was all about.
For those of you who don’t know what Hillsong is (let’s be honest, if you don’t know Hillsong are you even a Christian?), it’s a Pentecostal megachurch founded in 1983 by Australian couple Brian and Bobbie Houston. Since its inception, it’s become a global brand with churches in every continent, trademarked music, an endless amount of books and conferences, and a killer social media presence. Today, it attracts the likes of Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin, and a slew of millennial stars from New York to LA.
Like any international institution, however, they’ve had their fair share of scandal. From criticisms over financial accountability to child sex abuse by pastor Frank Houston (Brian’s father), the church is deeply rooted in fundamentalist thought and prosperity gospel themes, and very good at burying issues under the rug with watered-down messages that appeal to the masses. After all, it’s much easier to say “Jesus loves you and has a purpose for you!” with pretty neon handouts than it is to address real political, social, and economic issues.
Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try last Sunday because it was Easter. I hadn’t been to church since Christmas (which makes me a dreaded “Chreaster”), but I… [Read more…] about I Went to Hillsong Boston for Easter, and Here’s What I Learned