Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rock or sand?

I just read this article, which basically says:

A FORMER Adelaide pastor who inspired hundreds of thousands of young Christians with his with his terminal cancer “battle” has been exposed as a fraud.

Michael Guglielmucci, whose parents established Edge Church International, an Assemblies of God church at O’Halloran Hill, is now seeking professional help.

Earlier this year, Mr Guglielmucci released a hit song The Healer which was featured on Sydney church Hillsong’s latest album. It debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA charts.

The song has become an anthem of faith for believers, many of whom are suffering their own illness and were praying for a miracle for Mr Guglielmucci, who has claimed for two years to be terminally ill.

In one church performance that has attracted 300,000 hits on YouTube, he performs his hit song with an oxygen tube in his nose.

Now this is quite a shock, to say the least. I've been trying to find out more details from other official sources, since the site I got this excerpt from doesn't really cite its sources. I have no idea whether to believe these allegations. I don't really want to believe that he would do something like this. I want to believe that it's one big baseless accusation by someone who's trying to besmirch his reputation.  I want to believe that it's someone trying to doubt the power of God.
But even if it ends up being confirmed as true [update: Sadly, it has], and Mike really did fool the Christian world into believing he was sick when he really wasn't, I don't think I'll be too pissed. Because then the big question really turns out to be-- why should it matter in the long run? Was our faith in Mike, or God? Was it based on a man who, despite all his ostensible faith, was still just a man complete with physical, emotional and spiritual inadequacies? Or was our faith founded in the One who the song was meant to be for and about?

Does the mistake of one man diminish the power of the song at all?
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
- Philippians 1:15-18 (NIV)

And yet none of us should be so quick to condemn him. After all, aren't we all sinners who need God? In fact, Mike still needs prayer, albeit for a different illness.

This author had this to say:
But I want to be holy, I want to contend for a church where what they see, is what they get. I want a church that is broken, and gathers around its wounded and fallen – instead of throwing stones. But I also understand the betrayal. God is not surprised – He probably is the one who after months & years of speaking to Mike to come clean – had to either force his hand or expose him – not to shame him but to free him from the lie. God is glorified by truth – even when that truth hurts His cause. Thank you that we can trust in a God of such faithfulness.

The authenticity of worship resides not in the composer of a song, but rather in the heart of the singer.” – Batsirai Chada.

So I ask you-- Is God not still powerful? Is God not still faithful? Does He not still hold our every moment in His hand? Does He not still calm the raging seas inside that sometimes threaten to sweep over us? Is He not still everything we ever needed, the One we can always trust to come through for us when we need Him?

Is Jesus not still our Healer?

By Chester with 7 comments


That's some good post! Made me think. =)

Hehe yep. When I read the article, this all came to mind.

I'm 25 now, known Mike since I was 13... still in shock. fooled everyone. At the end of the day, he is only human and as humans there are things we can't explain. all that the current papers are saying now is true. It came straight from the e-mail sent from the AOG and Edge church Leaders. The backlash from this could be huge and Mike will unfortunately have to pay the consequences.

chester, lucien here. i cant believe i found your blog while searching for mike guglielmucci updates... pretty impressive.

and on a much more serious note, I'm shaken by this. really really shaken. It makes you feel confused, betrayed. it's like you dont know who to believe anymore ... anyway, I dont hate him. I truly do feel compassionate for the man, I pray and believe God's grace and mercy is on his life, and that God allowed this to happen because He loves mike.

i'm worship leading at church cg tomorrow night... i might actually lead the song 'healer' after all. i affirm what you posted, the words to the song still ring true. and I put my trust in Him.

Blessings, Lucien

You're right. We can't let our faith be built on people. On man.
Because humans make mistakes.
Our faith must be in God, and him alone. This is a solemn reminder to us all to really take hold of Jesus and not to build our faith upon the testimonies of others.
As for the song.. well, there's no doubting its incredibly powerful. But its God's song. Not Mike's, but God's. I believe it will continue to impact lives and turn people to Jesus.

[anonymous] Thanx for the confirmation. It's quite a shock, but I guess I don't feel it too much. I'd always loved the song, and this doesn't change the way I feel about it.
[luc] Hey, man! Thanx for dropping by haha. Fancy seeing you here. The world really is a small place, even online, eh? I hope everyone in your CG remembers the power of the song, and not the failings of its author! After all, the true Author of the song hasn't changed.
[reflector] Amen, my friend.


It shouldn't matter in the long run, ok, yes, there is a sense of betrayal, I mean, he's a Youth Pastor at one of the largest churches of Australia! A Pastor!

But at the end of the day, I'm sure he had his reasons in doing so (don't we all?) , I'm not saying that I condone what he had done. Healer was a song that inspired many, and perhaps Mike had felt that it was necessary to fake a terminal illness in order to inspire and bring people back to God.

Would the song 'Healer' have moved us the way it did if we had known it was written by a completely normal person?

It's really sad to see that even churches are resorting to what they call 'shock tactics' in order to 'market' themselves to the world.

Post a Comment

    • Popular
    • Categories
    • Archives