In typical Christian consumerism that would make the money-lenders in the temple blush, famed artist Chris Tomlin and worship band Hillsong United have joined forces for a 33-stop North American tour together, which will likely be regarded as one the biggest Christian music concert of the year.
“We really believe this tour is going to be something unforgettable,” said Chris Tomlin and Joel Houston (UNITED) in a press release. “We’ve been trying to do something like this for a long time and we have a real sense of trust in the fact that this is the right time. This is the moment for what God has been planning and in that, we think the timing has everything to do with the people joining us each night.”
It will be big. TIME magazine called Tomlin “the most often sung artist in the world” with his music being played by over 30 million believers in the United States every Sunday. According to his spec sheet:
“Chris has scored 17 #1 one singles at radio, placed 29 top ten hits (more than any other Christian artist), sold more than nine million albums with 4.5 Billion career global streams, earned a Grammy, three Billboard Music Awards, 26 Dove Awards, became a two-time BMI Songwriter of the Year honoree and an ASCAP Songwriter of the Year. In 2016, he was named one of only four artists ever to receive the Sound Exchange Digital Radio Award for over 1 Billion digital radio streams, alongside Justin Timberlake, Pitbull and Garth Brooks.”
By all accounts, Tomlin is the more theologically solid of the two parties, though he is not without his issues, given the other artists he worships with. He has previously toured or put on shows with troublesome performers such as Matt Maher (a practicing Roman Catholic idolater) and Kim Walker-Smith of Jesus Culture, the musical group belonging to the hyper-charismatic cult of perdition that is Bethel Church in Redding, California.
The fact that he’s playing with Hillsong- a mega musical band in their own right that has dominated the worship scene for the last two decades, and who is simply a vehicle to deliver the scandal-riddled organization own brand of wicked prosperity gospel and cauldron of blasphemies does not help his case. We’re not trying to kneecap the guy, but Hillsong is awful, and we regard every aspect of the Hillsong ecosystem designed to draw in Christians and expand their influence to be utterly and completely demonic.
But there is one more thing we wanted to point out.
For an event supposed to be designed to worship the Lord, this reeks of money-lovin’ and mammon-grubbin’ commercialism, offering multiple perks and add-on’s such as closer seats to the band, gifts, merch, lanyards, the ability to shop for merch early, early check-in with a host, and some degree of access to bands so you can bask in their presence. We support any band hocking their wares, as capitalism is a gift from God. But the fact that this is a worship event makes it feel unseemly.
In fact, one of the perks you can pay for is “PRE-SHOW PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH YOUR PARTY FROM THE ON-STAGE CATWALK TO COMMEMORATE YOUR NIGHT.** with the asterisk noting that ‘there is not artist participation with photo opp.’
Yep. You can pony up some cash for the opportunity to stand on the very same stage and catwalk…that the worship band walked and performed, with perhaps the opportunity to touch the hem of their
garmen-guitar stand if you’re lucky and blessed enough.
It’s not just them doing it either. The house band at Steven Furtick’s Church, Elevation music, is going on tour with tickets to worship selling for upward of 195$ and just this morning we wrote of a Christian conference that has tickets of $1000.00, offering many of the same perks this one does.
Apparently, no one seems to think this is grossly excessive.
But it’s really getting a bit much.
h/t Christian Post
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