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Hillsong Pastor: Discovery Plus Doc Doesn't Tell 'the Truth of Who We Are as a Church'

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Hillsong Pastor: Discovery Plus Doc Doesn't Tell 'the Truth of Who We Are as a Church'

Hillsong Pastor: Discovery Plus Doc Doesn't Tell 'the Truth of Who We Are as a Church'

A Hillsong Church pastor on Sunday criticized an upcoming Discovery Plus documentary about the congregation, saying it does not give a complete picture of the ministry's positive impact on the world.

Phil Dooley, the lead pastor of Hillsong Church Cape Town, acknowledged during a sermon at the congregation's Sydney, Australia, campus the "hurt" some have experienced in the church – but also insisted that the filmmakers have produced a biased product.

The three-part documentary, Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed, will premiere on Discovery Plus on March 24. The Christian Post also reported Dooley's comments.

"Sadly, there is a documentary about our church coming out soon," Dooley said. "... And that picture it paints is far removed from, I believe, the truth of who we are as a church. There are people who have been hurt by their experience in our church. And that saddens me. For those people, I say we're deeply sorry. And we pray that you will find healing.

"But there are also producers behind this documentary – and their purpose is not the healing of people, but simply to hurt the church."

Dooley then listed multiple ministries around the world sponsored by Hillsong.

"If those producers were truly attempting to do an exposé, I would like to expose them to a place called Gugulethu township in Cape Town – and a school called Tembaletu [that assists] disabled young people who live a pretty tough life. And yet, our church collectively around the world, provided them with accommodation, so that they could experience a better life and an opportunity for a better education."

Dooley also mentioned a ministry in Johannesburg "where we are teaching young people from disadvantaged backgrounds digital skills" so that "they can be educated and they can get the kind of skills that enable them to step into a digital economy."

Hillsong churches in Europe, he said, welcomed Syrian refugees "and gave them a place to stay."

"Our church is not perfect, and it's never claimed to be," Dooley said. "But our church is full of good people doing their best to love Jesus and follow Him, who are determined to grow in their faith and raise their family well [and] do their very best to make a positive contribution to the community they live in, to pursue their dreams and serve and love others.

"... There are enemies trying to distract us, but they will not distract or dishearten us. We will keep our hearts right before God. And together, we will simply get on with building what He has called us to build – his beautiful church across the earth."

A Discovery Plus news release said the documentary "will profile numerous ex-members of the church who have come forward en masse, to share harrowing allegations of the trauma, abuse, financial and labor exploitation and homophobia that created a culture of chaos at Hillsong."


'Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed' Documentary to Air on Discovery Plus March 24

Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Hannah Busing

Video courtesy: ©Hillsong Church

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

Hillsong Pastor: Discovery Plus Doc Doesn't Tell 'the Truth of Who We Are as a Church'