exerpt of an article by Laura Tiernan – 5.12.2005
…..Emblematic of the growth of the evangelical movement are the Pentecostal mega-churches like Hillsong, in Sydney’s north-western Hills district, which boasts a weekly congregation of 13,000. While Catholic and Anglican churches continue to register shrinking attendance figures, Pentecostal membership has grown 30 percent in the past decade.
The new churches preach a “prosperity gospel”. Believers see wealth as a mark of God’s favour, and poverty as a sign that the poor have strayed from the path of righteousness—and thus deserving of their fate. Many of the new religious orders, like the Oxford Falls Christian City Church, administer business courses offering “fundamental Biblical principles that will determine the success or otherwise of any successful business.” Hillsong’s senior pastor Brian Houston authored his own book, You need more Money, promising to tell “why you need more money and secondly how to get more money”. His regular sermons borrow heavily from the stock-in-trade techniques of motivational speakers and business coaches, with Jesus recast in the image of a money-focussed travelling salesman.