Monday, 24 March 2008

Mercy Ministries

A director of Mercy Ministries, Peter Irvine, writes in the SMH today. He says

Mercy Ministries is not owned or run by Hillsong Church. Hillsong, along with other churches, organisations and individuals, makes annual donations to our work. Like any other not-for-profit organisation, we do seek the support of sponsors, which include Gloria Jean's Coffees.

As a Christian charity we believe in the teachings of the Bible, and that God loves all people unconditionally and all life is sacred. Our program reflects this statement. Claims of exorcism are simply untrue. We address the spiritual needs of young women, and prayer is one aspect of this.

We provide all residents with total access to medical specialists, including psychiatrists, general practitioners and psychologists. Our counselling staff are carefully recruited, hold tertiary qualifications and undergo ongoing professional development.


Space Jas said...

Hi Gordon

I have known Peter Irvine (and his family) for decades. Since I was a kid in youth group, which he heped run, and Mrs Irvine taught generations of kids in Sunday School, then we youth group leaders taught the Irvine kids, who are now married with children of their own, etc.

They are genuinely loving, decent Christian people.

May I respectfully remind(?) us all to not rely on the media and its spin for our "facts". Instead, it's a small enough world that we can either find out first hand or otherwise keep out of the controversy. At least we can pray for our brothers and sisters that God's Name will not be maligned.

Thank you,

Gordon Cheng said...

Thanks for your comment Jason.

I don't know the full story here and it seems to me most people wouldn't. But I certainly wouldn't leave my view of what goes on at Hillsong or Mercy Ministries in the hands of a reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I am in touch with some of the girls who complained about Mercy Ministries. Peter Irvine might be a nice guy, but he is either bending the truth on this one or is unaware of what goes on at his own organisation. I have seen the training/learning materials used at the Ministries scary to say the least. The girls aren't vindictive either, they are just out to make sure that Mercy complies with best practice care for women with mental illness.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon,

The girls mentioned in the initial SMH articles are all Christians. The SMH did not print that fact, as you can imagine the mainstream media has left these girls' testimonies of how God saved them after the abuse at Mercy Ministries out of their articles.

There is some interesting information in the comments section here:

and here

The girls had been in contact with Mercy and Hillsong before going to the media out of desperation.

I would love for a non-Hillsong related Christian media source to pick this story up, it seems like these girls have a lot more to tell about God's grace.

Anonymous said...

Mercy Ministries has been shut down after an investigation. It turns out that exorcisms were taking place, the 'counselors' weren't appropriately qualified and they were taking girls welfare centrelink money while claiming their program was free.

It shows we can't believe all organizations that claim they're Christian organizations. I can't imagine the executive directors didn't know these things were happening.