The Sydney Morning Herald reports…
“It was a Goliath and Goliath story. Channel Nine’s nightly current affairs program versus Australia’s best known mega-church, head to head, in the Twitter arena.
A Current Affair last week aired a 16-minute special report detailing explosive revelations that the controversial Hillsong Church made a lot of money but, like every other church in Australia, paid no tax.
Hillsong was making a concert movie set to rake in millions of dollars tax free. Parishioners regularly gave up to 10 per cent of their income in a practice known as tithing. The church was making it so easy to collect tax free dollars through tithing that it was even developing a giving app.
ACA said the church had not responded to requests for comment, a claim denied by Hillsong in a statement the next day that called the segment “tabloid trash”.
A day after that, Hillsong founder Brian Houston laid down a boldfaced challenge to ACA reporter Ben McCormack.
The proposed coffee date sounded more like the pastoral equivalent of “Do you wanna take this outside?”
McCormack wasn’t backing down.
Houston shot back:
McCormack repeated his offer of an interview before Houston repeated his mano-e-mano cappuccino challenge. McCormack suggested that, like Hillsong followers, the ACA team “lived to give”.
A bitter stalemate ensued.
On Monday, not content with having had the last word only once, McCormack tweeted:
Houston may be frantically trying to come up with his own put-down. But maybe he has taken another tack to win this stoush.
As he tweeted the day before it began: