Brian, Brian Houston, C3 Global Presence Conference 2014, C3 Presence Conference 2014, community, darwinism, emotion, existentialism, fascism, fascist, global presence conference, Global Presence Conference 2014, houston, louie giglio, Pastor Brian, pastor brian houston, phil pringle, Presence Conference, Presence Conference 2014, ps brian houston, romanticism
The fascist practices and philosophies emerging from the mega-church cults like C3, CHC and Hillsong church should concern Christians everywhere. They are unafraid to use propaganda and fuhrer-prinzip methodologies. They elevate arts, experience and feelings over logic and reason. They propagate the cult of youth and use the size of their ‘volkish’ community to bully Christians into submitting to their strong leadership and movements.
Sound extreme? Are we exaggerating the phenomenon? Are we making this up? Sadly, this is all too real. They may not realise it but these movements are built on the same community-identification principles that characterised the fascist movements in Europe in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Be aware that fascism isn’t to be confused with policies. Italian Fascism and German National Socialism were primarily personality cults where the vision of the leader must be implemented … the policies tended to be indistinguishable from socialism/communism. They were populist policies that played to the masses. The real danger is not where a Brian Houston or a Phil Pringle would take their organisations. The real danger is in whoever comes after them. C3 and Hillsong have set a precedent in Australia for the vision-casting leader who must be obeyed … or else!
Louie Giglio is speaking this year at Phil Pringle’s C3 Global Presence Conference 2014. Oddly enough, it has been observed that Giglio’s ministry also has fascist trends emerging from their movement. Please warn people how dangerous this man’s ministry is. Please also warn Christians the dangers of Phil Pringle’s Presence Conference.
Fascist Trends of Passion 2014
I cannot unpack all of the complexities of ideological fascism in this blog post and how it has revived under the name of postmodernism in our day and popular culture. 2 years in the works at HBP is an upcoming film on Fascism and the Postmodern church. See our full-length interview with Dr. Gene Edward Veith,Postmodernism, Fascism and the Church.
When people think of fascism today they think of Hitler, anti-semitism, the Holocaust, genocide, racism, militarism and the Nazis. Today, the word “Fascist” has been deduced to an insulting label for vilifying political enemies, but its true nature is greatly misunderstood. While Hitler and the Axis powers were defeated militarily in WWII, fascist ideology remains alive and well today under a new name.
Popular contemporary Christianity also appears to be emerging into something new. Much like the mainstream of European prefascist theology, many mainline church denominations have been turning away from transcendence and the Scriptures in favor of a spirituality based upon immanence, cultural activism, and existentialism. Many churches that were once committed to a high view of the teachings of Jesus and His apostles are now shifting their focus toward experience, emotionalism and communalism. In many ways, Christianity may be the strongest defense against fascism, but it may also be its point of entry. (See Veith’s book Modern Fascism: The Threat to the Judeo Christian Worldview and Chris Rosebrough’s lecture Resistance is Futile: You Will Be Assimilated into the Community)
Along with Darwinism and Existentialism, Romanticism was also a key component of the counter-Enlightenment worldview of ideological fascism. Romanticism emphasized inspiration and subjectivity as a reaction against alienation and the rationalism that characterized the Enlightenment. This movement in arts and literature reasserted the value of nature by explaining it with experience and emotions as opposed to reason, intellect and rationality.Passion, not reason, was uniquely “natural.”
Fascism rejected the concept of the individual. Nature, emotion and community become the emphasis of the fascist spirituality of immanence. In order to achieve this group identity, fascism was often characterized by grandiose public rallies. Hitler is pictured surrounded by people in panoramic shots of the community. “We have a community,” says Giglio in this Passion 2014 promo.
The group becomes the living organism or organic community. What you will find emphasized on the Passion 2014 website is not teaching the observance of everything Jesus commanded but the fascist themes of immanence (“God’s presence”) and community (“united”):
TWO GATHERINGS. ONE HEARTBEAT. THE JESUS GENERATION UNITED. . . .
Last year, our US gathering drew more than 60,000 students and leaders from around the world to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. We were blown away by God’s presence. (source)
Rather than appealing to doctrine and objective truth, there is much talk and reliance upon feelings, emotions, action and movement. In fascism and postmodernism alike, emotionalism takes the place of logic. If objective truth and morality is alienating, then subjective experience is uniting.
Fascists did not know where this progressive revolution was going, but they believed anychange or any movement was better. Hitler uses the phrase “the Movement” over two hundred times in Mein Kampf and a Nazi Party journal was entitled Die Bewegung (The Movement).1 Similarly, the Postmodern Emerging Church has no fixed destination but is about action and movement. Likewise, the Passion 2014 event is described as a “movement.” Louie Giglio says, “More than an event, Passion is a movement,” in this Passion 2014 promo video.
The themes of the Passion movement and Passion 2014 are distinctly fascist. Christian Post reports:
The Passion 2014 Atlanta Conference kicked off at Philips Arena in Atlanta Friday with over 20,000 university students attending the two-day event from around the world.
Students from over 1,200 universities and 33 countries attended this year’s Passion conference in Atlanta. This is the first of Passion’s two large-scale gatherings this year in North America for 18-25 year olds. Passion 2014 Houston will be held on February 14-15 at the Toyota Center.
Passion 2014 brings together several internationally renowned pastors, teachers and worship leaders. Joining Passion founders Louie and Shelley Giglio in Atlanta will be John Piper, Christine Caine, and Francis Chan. Grammy award winning artists and worship leaders Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman, are slated to lead worship, along with David Crowder, Kristian Stanfill, Christy Nockels and Hillsong United. (source)
Notice the event attendance is limited to ages 18-25 year old. The English fascist James Barnes wrote, “the present Weltanschauung of fascism may be summed up in one word–youth.”2 Belgian and Romanian fascisms both originated in student movements and the youth were also predominant in fascisms in France, Spain, Italy and England.3 Calling to mind Hitler Youth and German youth culture, Jonah Goldberg writes,
Historically, fascism is of necessity and by design a form of youth movement, and all youth movements have more than a whiff of fascism about them. The exaltation of passion over reason, action over deliberation, is a naturally youthful impulse.4
Last year, the Passion 2013 was an event for young Christians. These Christian conferences that fill stadiums with thousands of people reflect the subjective experience and emotional fulfillment of fascism that comes from losing one’s identity in a larger organic mass community. Judah Smith emphasized the importance of community all throughout his sermon.
The musical performances are very emotional with an emphasis on experiencing God’s presence and the heart rather than the mind. The audience joins in a common experience, feeling and responding as one. These stunning spectacles complete with light shows and music, much like the grandiose public rituals and mass rallies of fascism, actually create community. See here where the “presence” of God, tasting, seeing, and subjective feelings/”experience” are elevated, the fascist marks of immanence over objective truth and rationality.
The consequences of these fascist ideas will unleash a monster. Events like this are raising up a generation that cannot think or reason for themselves. We are seeing a picture that mirrors that of the culture of Continental Europe just prior to WWII. Wake up Church, this is not Christianity!
1 Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism (New York, NY: Random House Inc., 2007), 176
2 Zeev Sternhell, Fascist Ideology, Ed. Walter Laqueur, University of California Press, 338
3 Zeev Sternhell, Fascist Ideology, Ed. Walter Laqueur, University of California Press, 342
4 Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism (New York, NY: Random House Inc., 2007), 165
Source: Elliott Nesch, Fascist Trends of Passion 2014, Holy Bible Prophecy, http://www.holybibleprophecy.org/2014/01/20/fascist-trends-of-passion-2014/, 20/01/2014. (Accessed 25/01/2014.)