Here's the nutshell version: Pastor Mike Guglielmucci was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He went home that day and wrote the song "Healer", which was featured on the new Hillsongs CD that released last week (titled This Is Our God). Integrity Music and Hillsongs felt it was an amazing story, because it was, and have featured the backstory to the song on the DVD and on the web. People from churches across the country were writing in with stories about healing they were receiving, perhaps as a result of proclaiming the truth of the song.
But news reports out of Australia today are reporting that it was all a lie. Michael lied to his fellow pastors, musicians, and even his own family. He does not have terminal cancer. And allegedly he is now seeking professional help.
As news of this spreads online, in your church, at the bar, or wherever news about lying church clergy gets spread...you may be asked about it. This song was a huge hit in Australia (#2 on one of their charts) and was growing in popularity here in the states. Ironically, just last night at worship team practice we all watched the video and started learning the song. So...where does this leave the church?
A few things to consider as you sort this out:
1) Everyone is assuming that because he lied about his cancer, that this song was written with a deceitful spirit. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Maybe he crafted this plan years ago. Maybe he wrote the song with good intentions, and only after he did it, did he decide a tragic story would increase it's appeal? We don't know...and honestly, it doesn't matter...which is my second point.
2) The spirit that the song was written in does not validate or invalidate it. Can someone tell me what percentage of the church’s songs over the past 100 years were written out of a humble heart? out of a heart longing to praise God? out a heart looking to write a hit? out of a heart looking for personal fame and glory? out of a heart looking to glorify God? Nope. No one can. Because we don’t know. So let's not pretend this even comes into the equation.
3) As Derek Webb says, "all truth is God’s truth". I don’t care if it comes out of the mouth of Kid Rock, The Rock, or Barack Obama. I don't care if it comes out of the mouth of John McCain, Edwin McCain, or Dean Cain. I don’t care if it’s done with a deceitful heart, a greedy heart, a loving heart, or a depressed heart. If it’s true, it’s true. Period. And if the words of the song were true before you found out Mike was lying, they are still true now.
4) We sing these songs (hopefully) because they proclaim truth about the God we serve. It just so happens that Hillsong and Integrity were duped into including the backstory to this song because it was so powerful, and as it turns out, it was a lie. If this was a song about Mike’s power, I’d throw it in the trash. But it’s a song about God’s power, and because of that I’ll probably sing it again. Maybe.
5) If Mike G. was lying about this to everyone, than clearly he is in need of some healing. Only it's a different healing than he made us believe. Funny thing about God is that he can take the worst situations and find ways to bring glory to himself in them. Wouldnt it be amazing if God used Mike to bring this song into our churches, and then used the popularity of the song to expose Mike for his lying and bring healing into his life? I don't know...it could happen.
6) I'm not endorsing the song or flaming it. It's a simple song, full of simple words and simple truths. I'll leave it up to you to determine its artistic and biblical merits (or lack thereof).
Anyway, just wanted to share some thoughts on this. Maybe you just see it as more bad press for Jesus. Maybe you're sick of "praise and worship" music. Maybe you've sung the song before and you feel duped? Maybe you don't care. The comments are yours if you want to share...