This story may be old news to some well-trod in the realm of Christian culture and the blogosphere today, but I have some thoughts about it. For anyone unfamiliar, the short version is that this pastor who supposedly was suffering from terminal cancer wrote this phenomenal song called “Healer,” and Hillsong picked it up for their new album. His story became well known and a video of the guy singing the song he wrote with Hillsong has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube. Countless numbers of people looked to this man as an example of rock-like faith, raising this song as an anthem of hope in the midst of their own illnesses and trials. The bad news?…the guy is a fake. He never had cancer, and it looks like he even fooled his family.

If that’s the first time you’ve heard about it, please go now and try to make it to the bathroom before you throw up. You may have to put a reign on your gag reflexes even if you’ve heard it ten times already…

So my question is, what is our response to this? My immediate reaction was of course disgust. It just sucks so bad. I mean, did we really need another reason for the world to think that Christianity is nothing but shallow hypocrisy? One can see the damage done even from the negative comments from the news article. Another one bites the dust…

Last night, as far as I was concerned, the song was dtm(dead to me). Tainted. Disgusting. No desire to hear it. Watching the video of the guy singing with oxygen tubes in his nose would just make me want to rip them off of him and threaten to strangle him with them. But tonight curiosity killed me. For some reason I just wanted to hear the song again, so I clicked the link, only to realize Hillsong has pulled it off of YouTube. That’s sad, I thought. Such an inspiring, truthful song has just become dead to the world, and who knows how many people’s faith have been undercut by his sin. Then, I became even more determined to find the video on the internet, and I did.

As I watched it, something began to change in me. My anger towards the guy turned into a burdensome sorrow. What a weight of pride he must be carrying, I thought. I began to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me. This is what I heard from Him:

“Do you know what makes me great, Brandon? Its not that I can heal cancer–that is nothing. What makes me great is that I can heal that guy. A guy who is messed up beyond belief by sin, pride, and selfishness. His illness is what I came to redeem–a rebellious disease that is blacker, uglier, and more pervasive than cancer ever could be. And by the way, don’t get all self-righteous on me. You know the tendency you have as a leader in ministry to want recognition, to bring glory to yourself–taking My Kingdom and trying to make your own little pathetic empire out of it? That’s exactly what this guy has done in a very ugly way. Don’t forget that your heart has the same detestable filth in it. So hurt for the people that are going to be hurt by this guy. Pray for them. But sing the song. Sing it and rejoice that I am healing your heart from the ugliness you see in his fake oxygen tubes. Rejoice that I have not given up on him either, that I am crushing the pride out of him right now. Be broken for the people who will become more disillusioned with Christianity because of him. Be broken for his sin. Be broken for your sin. And be healed by your Healer.”

The video can still be found here.

4 thoughts on “healer”

  1. I saw some blogger guy with a great insight. He posted "The Glory of It All" by David Crowder and said to listen to it in context with this situation. so I'll do the same thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg-1yM6insA

    I think the song reflects a lot of the response that you write about, and that I think a lot of Christian people had.

    Thanks man, this is a tough situation…

  2. i agree that this is completely ridiculous. but what an amazing song. God used a fraud – a liar – a manipulative cheat – to write a song that people are using to worship God.

    irony? sovereignty?

    the song is amazing. regardless of his oxygen tubes.

  3. So, having just lost my friend Ramey to the most aggressive type of brain tumor/cancer there is, when I read this article earlier today, my reaction was just like yours at first. Disgust. And a little bit of anger mixed in as well.

    But your post really helped as far as checking myself and my reaction. He has a sinful nature just like every one of us. While what he did was wrong, and just horrible, our sins are just as disgusting in God's eyes, you know? So yeah, I agree with you, we really do need to pray for him, and everyone who's going to be affected by this.

  4. oh wow, i heard this story on 1470 AM a little while back & didn't hear about it being fake until just now reading your blog. that's crazy, but i love what the holy spirit spoke to you. i needed to hear that, too, so thanks for sharing : )

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