One of the things that churns my stomach the most is blatant attempts to deceive the church. I don’t care if it’s traveling evangelists, TV preachers, pseudo-Christian music artists, etc. If a pastor’s goal is to deliberately pull a con on churchgoers, diluting the gospel in the process, I’m sorry – there’s just no excuse good enough. (Matt 18:6).
What’s the story? Well, to give the short version, Rev. Mike Guglielmucci faked having cancer over a 2 year time frame where he accepted huge offerings from huge churches for his “treatments”. In addition, he wrote the mega-hit worship song “Healer” which was featured on Hillsong’s “This is Our God” album in 2008. According to Wikipedia, when the scandal was exposed the song was stripped from the Hillsong album which was remixed and rereleased without the song.
When Mike was confronted and exposed, his primary excuse was “Pornography made be do it.” (See videos below.)
But my grievance in this post is not with Mike Guglielmucci himself (although what he did was awful). I’m actually more upset with all the churches all across the United States, and the world, who know the story behind the song and yet still continue to sing it in church. It’s just jaw-dropping.
The church my family and I currently attend is one of the seemingly millions of congregations that are still singing this song on a regular basis. It really bugs me. Every time the music start up and the words come on the screen I get this sick feeling in my core. I immediately think “Mike is probably smiling right now as he’s cashing another one of his fat royalty checks.” ** see update below **
There are two main reasons (“Excuses”) why people still sing this song even though they are fully aware of its origins and this controversy.
- “The words are so good, we can just overlook the source”
- “Everybody makes mistakes, Mike is only human”
“The words are so good, we can just overlook the source” – I guess my response would be like this. Should we start writing Christian worship songs based on “good passages” in the quran? Of course not! That would be a huge mistake. “Good words” is not good enough. The source IS important. As I’ve asked before, would we serve to our dinner guests water glasses filled with water from the toilet? Absolutely NOT! The source is extremely important. So it is with worship. Even if the words are good, love songs written by drug induced or satanic influence should not be used in Christian worship. And neither should songs written for the express purpose of deceiving the church body.
“Everybody makes mistakes, Mike is only human” – No, I’m sorry, a mistake is “oops, I accidentally spent children’s fund money on repainting the baptismal.” An elaborate 2 year scam that soaked believers of possibly millions of dollars in donations and song royalties is NOT a simple “mistake”.
The Friend Robber
OK, here’s the real likeness. Imagine one of your friends came up to you out of nowhere and offered to give you $2000. You instantly respond by saying “Of course! Give me the money.” But soon you get curious and ask “Wait a minute, where did all this money come from?” As it turns out your friend somehow obtained the account and pin numbers for the bank accounts of all your other friends. Over time, he was able to extract thousands from the accounts and now just wants to share some of the cash with you.
Well, the above scenario is bad. Very bad. If you were a decent friend and human you would at very least say “Wait. That’s deceptive and wrong. I want no part of this.” So it is with “Healer”. it was created and funded under extremely scandalous circumstances and with malicious intent. The Body of Christ has been and is being damaged by this act. So why, why, why, why, why, why are we still singing this song in church?
Watch the Videos
While you’re Watching this video, think about the fact that this guy isn’t actually sick. (And try not to get sick yourself.)
Here’s a news story about the scandal.
The Big Question.
Can Mr. Guglielmucci be saved? Sure, Paul was saved and he even killed Christians in his early years. If Mike has repented before God… we very well may see him in Heaven. And I will be very happy to see that happen. But that’s still not a good enough reason to reward his actions here on earth by singing his song in our churches. There are many other great songs about healing. Please pick a different one.
What do you think? Am I missing something here? Comment below and let me know what you think.
** Update (July 2013): It’s been brought to my attention through one of the comments below, that the royalty rights for the song in question were “diverted to charity” and are not actually being received by Mike. Although I haven’t verified this personally, I have no reason to believe it isn’t true.