When we were at Soul Survivor we sang this one song called 'Healer' written by an Australian guy called Mike Guglielmucci. We saw a video which featured Mike, who "wrote the song while suffering from an aggressive form of cancer", singing it for all his might with an oxygen tube in his nose. It was quite moving.
Turns out it was all a bit fake. He didn't have cancer. But he did write the song and achieve some kind of fame for his amazing faith.
I was told this today in work as breaking news, and then tonight I discovered a member of the youth had handily posted this link to the full story on my Facebook wall.
I'm not into drawing great lessons from this sort of chicanery. The people who will be most embarrassed are the people who have endorsed this stuff - mainly the 'Hillsongs' Christian Worship Industry, who are now trying to distance themselves from it, and people like Mike Pilavachi at Soul Survivor who related in good faith this amazing story to people, mainly because it was a great story. The people who will be most hurt will be the ones who sent the money now sitting in Guglielmucci's soon-to-be-audited bank acounts, or who spent hours in prayer for his healing.
But there are two very small lessons to be learned:
1) Don't believe everything you hear
2) If you make worshipping God a profitable endeavour, sooner or later something will go wrong
Incidentally, this video from YouTube is the intro to the very video we were shown at Soul Survivor, with a commentary imposed over the top. The rest of the performance has been pulled from YouTube, as Hillsongs apparently try to "deep six" it, but it keeps creeping back on...
Still, and as a final comment, it's a powerful song of faith. But watching it again, I do wonder what was going through his head as he sung that and heard his words sung back to him by the very attractive young people who seem to go to Hillsongs worship events.