Hillsong embracing Roman Catholicism and the false social gospel (Part 4)

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October 31 – Reformation Day. The events leading up to Reformation Day (from Ligonier) were as follows:

Semper deformanda

Semper deformanda

An heir of Bishop Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther is one of the most significant figures God has raised up since that time. This law student, turned Augustinian monk, became the center of a great controversy after his 95 theses were copied and distributed throughout Europe. Initially protesting the pope’s attempt to sell salvation, Luther’s study of Scripture soon led him to oppose the church of Rome on issues including the primacy of the Bible over church tradition and the means by which we are found righteous in the sight of God.

This last issue is probably Luther’s most significant contribution to Christian theology. Though preached clearly in the New Testament and found in the writings of many of the church fathers, the medieval bishops and priests had largely forgotten the truth that our own good works can by no means merit God’s favor. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, and good works result from our faith, they are not added to it as the grounds for our right standing in the Lord’s eyes (Eph. 2:8-10). Justification, God’s declaration that we are not guilty, forgiven of sin, and righteous in His sight comes because through our faith alone the Father imputes, or reckons to our account, the perfect righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).’

In light of this we ask the question: is Hillsong taking us back to the dark ages? Are we seeing a gospel of inclusion that will eventually embrace the homosexual movement, Islam and Catholicism? An inclusive gospel that doesn’t require preaching the foundational Christian gospel of faith and repentance, a gospel that brought about the Reformation? Has something so subtle been going on that many Christians aren’t even seeing it?

With very little discernment, most Christians today can look at a picture of a golden calf being worshiped and know that this is a sin and an abomination before God.

They would not want anything to do with it, they would not show support to it in any way. They would question both their church and their pastor if they showed support for such blasphemy. Yet exactly the opposite is happening today in Hillsong.

golden calf

All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame. Isaiah 44:9

They set up their abominable idols in the house that bears my Name and defiled it. Jeremiah 32:34

What if I was to tell you that Hillsong show support for an ‘idol, a false god, an abomination’? This article will come as a shock to some and will open many eyes to the reality of a modern-day ‘golden calf’.

The problem with Hillsong followers is that they don’t understand what the Catholic Church teaches. 99.9% of them would not even know what the ‘Eucharist’ and ‘Monstrance’ are. If they did, they would realise that it is another ‘Jesus’ that the Roman Catholics follow and worship, it is an idol that they bow down to.

Many people reading this are going to say ‘so what, what’s wrong with Hillsong supporting Catholics?’ To answer that question, we need to cover some basics first.

We need to define what a ‘Protestant Christian’ is. A Protestant Christian is someone who ‘protests’ the Catholic faith, not embraces it or shows support to it.

“Protestantism is a religious movement that encompasses forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with doctrines and religious, political, and ecclesiological impulses of the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation was a movement against what Protestants considered to be the errors of the Roman Catholic Church.[1] It is one of the largest divisions of Christianity”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protestantism, (Accessed 31/10/2014.)

Some people are going to argue that we should unite as ‘brothers and sisters in Christ’ after all, we all believe in Jesus don’t we? However the Bible says that Jesus brought division not unity and because the Catholic Church has a different doctrine than that of Christ, the Bible says we are not to even greet them or receive them into our house as we share in their evil deeds by doing this.

Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you , but division. From now on there will be five in once family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. Luke 12:51-52 (NIV)

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, nor great him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. John 1:9-11 (Emphasis ours)

I will be showing later in this article how Hillsong show support for this blasphemy. Even if it is out of ignorance that they support this, it still needs to be exposed. The Bible says they are ignorant, to their own shame.

All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame. Isaiah 44:9

In order to fully understand, next we need to define what a Catholic believes.

Below is Pope John Paul II holding what is called a Monstrance. It is used to display a round wafer of bread, called the ‘host’, ‘victim’ or ‘Eucharist’. It is used in what is called the ‘Mass’, ‘Lord’s Supper’, ‘Communion’ or ‘Eucharistic meal’. The Catholic Church teaches this wafer of bread turns into the actual body of Christ when consecrated by a priest during the Mass, this is the ‘Mystery of the Eucharist’This is the Roman Catholic ‘Christ’.

At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’, or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. Matthew 24:23

pope

I would encourage anyone reading this to do their own research and see for themselves that this is ‘another Jesus’ – an abomination before the Lord.

“In the eucharistic mystery, renewed on every altar, Jesus makes himself truly present.
Source: Pope Benedict XVI, Sep 22 2008, Catholic News Service

“The Eucharist is… the perfect fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to remain with us.
Source: Pope John Paul II, Catholic News Service. Volume: 35 Issue: 7 – 10/23/04

This process of creating the Creator is called Transubstantiation.

Transubstantiation

here is christ

How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false godsPsalms 4:2

“The pope told those gathered for the morning Mass that they should be filled with joy knowing that “each day the sacrifice of Christ” will be offered on the new altar…..On this altar, he will continue to sacrifice himself in the sacrament of the Eucharist for our salvation and that of the whole world.”
Source: Pope Benedict XVI, Catholic News Service, Published 22/09/2008.

Massthis=this

So now that we have covered some basics, we can see that the Roman Catholic Church have ‘another Jesus’, an idol that they worship and sacrifice to at every Mass.

 You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath…. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me. Exodus 20:3-5 (NIV)

How is Hillsong involved in this blasphemy? How do they support it?

In order to answer we need to go back to the beginning….truth

Even though we have covered this before, it is worth covering it again. This is what Brian Houston had to say when Pope Benedict was elected in 2005.

Brian letter

Brian Houston is calling Christians to pray for and honour a man who claims to be ‘Christ on earth’; promotes idol worship; promotes praying to the dead (Saints); and claims to forgive sin! Yes, we are to pray for our enemies that they may be saved; however we are not to pray for the things that Brian is praying for.

Brian says ‘Pope Benedict XVI is a spiritual and experienced leader and is now head over a significant portion of the Christian community’

Really Brian? Having another god that you sacrifice on every altar is ‘Christian’?

Also, ‘We pray too that this papacy, like those before it, is marked by a commitment to seeing the Christian message continue to go forward and people changed by the power and truth of the Gospel’.

Really Brian? You want to see the ‘Catholic’ Christian message go forward? The same message that teaches that men are to confess their sin to a Priest and not to Jesus for forgiveness, the same message that teaches Mary is a co-redeemer and the same message that by-passes true repentance?

He does say that, ‘Obviously, as Protestants, our views are considerably different to the Pope’s on a number of issues’, but what issues? Do you ever hear Brian speaking out about the Catholic false god?

Next he says, ‘as Protestants we share a common desire to exalt Christ’, but which Christ?  Does Brian mean to exalt the Pope who claims to be ‘Christ on earth’ and to be infallible? Or does he mean exalt the ‘Eucharist’ in a Monstrance, an idol and an abomination before God?

“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.
Pope Leo XIII, in an Encyclical letter dated 20/06/1894. (Emphasis ours.)

“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, hidden under a veil of flesh.”
The Catholic National, July 1895. (Emphasis ours.)

December 12, 1984 the LA Times quoted Pope John Paul II as saying, “Don’t go to God for forgiveness of sins, come to me.”

I am not sure that the Popes would be willing to return the favour and tell Brian Houston that they applaud his commitment to the going forward of the gospel. Because the Popes have declared that there is ‘no salvation outside of the Roman Catholic Church’. http://catholicism.org/category/outside-the-church-there-is-no-salvation

(Then again – Brian Houston teaches something similar.)

“We, as God’s church, become a great net of salvation, bringing answers, hope, and love to those who are yet to believe in him [Jesus].”
Source: Brian Houston, For This I Was Born, Thoman Nelson Publishing, Published 2008, pg. 16.

Catholic image3

Next we come to World Youth Day 2008. This was a major Catholic event in Sydney that even the Pope himself attended.

As we covered previously, Hillsong again showed support to the Catholic Church by allowing Darlene Zschech and their youth band ‘United’ to perform and lead worship.

“We see World Youth Day as a great opportunity to serve the Catholic Church in its vision to present the gospel and reach out to our city, our nation and our world in unity.”

Protestant Christians may feel that it was appropriate for Darlene and United to perform at a Catholic event, as they may have the opportunity to share the true gospel message. However by just attending, they align themselves with the Catholic Church and show support for her false gospel teachings.

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. Ephesians 5:11

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV)

Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins… Revelation 15:4

Come out of her my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of the Lord. Jeremiah 51:45

Here is Darlene Zschech and United performing at World Youth Day 2008.

Source: Uploaded by ReceiveThePowerLive, Official Receive The Power Live (Part 4a), Youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SEWYeO3Gas, Published 11/5/2010. (Accessed 07/09/2014.)

WYD

Here is Joel Houston (United) performing at World Youth Day 2008.

Source: Uploaded by ReceiveThePowerLive, Official Receive The Power Live (Part 4d), Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8qbJs24ot0, Published 11/5/2010. (Accessed 07/09/2014.)

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At the same event, on the same night and on the same stage that Hillsong performed and led Catholics in worship, Bishop Joe Crech said the following blasphemous statement, while leading Mass (The Sacrifice):

“We are going to bring Jesus here [points to an altar that has been set up] we are going to bring the Blessed Sacrament here and we are going to put Him here [again gestures to the same altar]. Because this ‘god’ wants to be with us, this ‘god’ wants to be among us, this ‘god’ wants to touch us, this ‘god’ wants to heal us. Thank you Lord Jesus! Thank you!” (Emphasis ours)

WYD jesus

Source: Uploaded by ReceiveThePowerLive, Youtube, [Official] Receive the power Live (part 10a), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccl0NDMIO4U, Published 11/5/2010. (Accessed 07/09/2014)

Please watch this entire video to see the shocking blasphemy and idol worship that members of Hillsong attended.

Remember from earlier that the ‘Blessed Sacrament’ is another ‘Jesus’ and an idol. Notice it’s not the God of heaven that wants to be with them, touch them and heal them; it’s the ‘idol god’ in the Monstrance, on the altar.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 (NIV)

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NIV) (Emphasis added)

In the last video we saw the ‘idol’, the ‘Catholic Jesus’ being brought out and placed on the altar.

This is the ‘jesus’ that Hillsong led Catholics in worship for, whether they knew it or not, they assisted Catholics in worshiping this false god and idol!

WYD3

Thus saith the LORD, “Learn not the way of the heathen…” Jeremiah 10:2 (KJV)

Cursed is anyone who makes an idol – a thing detestable to the Lord… Deuteronomy 27:15 (NIV)

Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry1 Corinthians 10:14 (NIV)

I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. Isaiah 42:8 (NIV)

They set up their abominable idols in the house that bears my Name and defiled it. Jeremiah 32:34 

The Lord says “These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 29:13 (NIV)

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, nor great him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. 2 John 1:9-11

By Hillsong taking part in this Catholic event, they are sharing in her evil deeds!

After this false ‘god’ is placed on the altar, they burn incense to it.

WYD4

Yet my people have forgotten me; they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways and in the ancient paths… Jeremiah 18:15 

The second commandment:

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them… Exodus 20:4-5 (NKJ)

Most Christians don’t realise that the Catholic Church has taken the 2nd Commandment out of their Bible and thus changed the Word of God, allowing this idol worship.

This does not seem to bother Hillsong!

You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. Deuteronomy 4:2 (Emphasis added)

How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Psalms 4:2

All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame. Isaiah 44:9 

This is what the current Pope has to say about this idol.

First, the Eucharist affects the way we see others. In his life, Christ manifested his love by being with people, and by sharing their desires and problems. So too the Eucharist brings us together with others – young and old, poor and affluent, neighbours and visitors. The Eucharist calls us to see all of them as our brothers and sisters, and to see in them the face of Christ.
Second, in the Eucharist we experience the forgiveness of God and the call to forgive. We celebrate the Eucharist not because we are worthy, but because we recognize our need for God’s mercy, incarnate in Jesus Christ. In the Eucharist, we renew the gift of the Body and Blood of Christ for the remission of sins, and our hearts are enlarged to receive and show mercy.
Third, in the Eucharistic celebration, we are nourished as the Christian community by Christ’s Word and Life. It is from the Eucharist that the Church receives continually her identity and mission. It is in our celebration that Christ fills us with his grace, so that our lives may be consonant with our worship of God in the Liturgy. Let us live the Eucharist in a spirit of faith and prayer, with the certainty that the Lord will bring to fulfillment all that he has promised.

Source: From Vatican Radio, Pope Francis’ words at his general audience on Wednesday February 12th 2014 http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-eucharist-leads-us-to-help-those-most, Published/Transcribed 12/02/2014. (Accessed 31/10/2014.)

Not only does the Catholic Church teach that Jesus himself is the Eucharist in flesh, but they teach that man is to adore and worship the Eucharist or ‘Blessed Sacrament’. This is worshiping something that is not God and is in fact worshiping a ‘host’ and a ‘sun’. Ask yourself the question, is this the Son of God or a ‘sun god’? Just because you call something ‘Jesus’ does not make it ‘Jesus’.

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liarsthey will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. Revelation 21:8 (NIV) (Emphasis added)

WYD5

Next, the blasphemy continues at World Youth Day by everyone bowing down before the ‘idol god’ in worship. Again this is the same stage that Hillsong had just performed on!

WYD6

When was the last time Hillsong spoke out against this sin of idolatry? Instead of speaking out against it, they choose to support it.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV) 

“Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them…” Romans 1:32

Below, you can see Pope Benedict at World Youth Day 2008 holding up their ‘another Jesus’ god.

WYD7

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.” Matthew 24:4

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their FRUIT you will recognize them… Matthew 7:15-16 (NIV)

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ROMAN CATHOLICISM PROMOTED AT HILLSONG CONFERENCE 2014

Next we come to Hillsong’s recent ‘No Other Name’ Conference 2014.

Hillsong seem to be going out of their way to help Catholics believe that their ‘jesus’ is the same Jesus of the Bible. Hillsong provided a Catholic Senior Pastoral Leader, so Catholics attending the conference can understand the conference in a Catholic setting!

This is Bruce Downes aka ‘The Catholic guy’. He took a master class at the Sydney Australia 2014 ‘No Other Name’ Conference.

Bruce Downes openly admits that his ‘Jesus’ is in the Eucharist (see below picture of his book). And Hillsong still allowed him to take a Masterclass and speak about a false, blasphemous gospel that by-passes true repentance.

TCG

“We meet Jesus in the Eucharist every time we are present. Regardless of how we are feeling about Eucharist, Jesus awaits us in power and with love.”
Source: The Catholic Guy, The Catholic Guy Store, http://shop.thecatholicguy.com/products-page/cds/jesus-present-in-the-eucharist-cd/, Accessed 07/09/2014. (Emphasis added.)

Hillsong’s philosophy simply appears to be this: claim you ‘believe’ in Jesus and no more questions will be asked.

We should be speaking out against this even if it offends. How else will Catholics be saved? They certainly will not be saved at a Hillsong Conference if they are given a Catholic Leader to speak to them. How else will Hillsong turn from their ways?

Again, why are we called ‘Protestants’? Because we Protest the Catholic faith, not embrace it or accept it.

By Hillsong’s own actions and statements, how can they call themselves a Protestant church? By their fruit you will recognize them!

Catholic image2

“Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them…” Romans 1:32 

YOU DON’T THINK HILLSONG HAS AN AGENDA?

Do you want to know what makes Hillsong worse than Roman Catholicism?

While Hillsong parades itself as a Protestant Christian denomination, Hillsong’s official ‘NO OTHER NAME – Your Hillsong Conference Diary’ say that The Catholic Guy’s Masterclass will be on, ‘Contextualising Hillsong Conference into a Catholic setting’.

Here is the official Hillsong ‘Daily Masterclass Schedule’, showing ‘The Catholic Guy’.

Conference2

Read the pdf here:

NO OTHER NAME – Your Hillsong Conference Diary

Source: Hillsong Church, Hillsong Conference Diary 2014, http://hillsongconference.com/sydney/HSC14_DIARY_WEB.pdf (viewed 7/9/2014)

So in other words, Hillsong does’t want Catholics to feel uncomfortable. They would not want them to hear the real Gospel of Jesus Christ and possibly be saved. Instead Hillsong prefers to call the Roman Catholic ‘Golden Calf’ deity Jesus too. Remember that Satan manifested himself as a serpent, the most subtle beast of the field. For Hillsong to behave this deceitfully and subtly is flat out satanic.

What’s next? A Muslim leader taking a Masterclass so that Muslims can hear about the Conference in a Muslim setting?

By using a Catholic Snr Leader, Hillsong are saying to all Catholics, that they don’t have a problem with what they believe. In fact Hillsong will even provide support for your faith and your false god.

The following quotes are from a Hillsong email that clearly show where they stand on the matter.

“This year we are excited to announce and personally invite you to a new session called ‘The Catholic Guy’ – Catholics & Hillsong – An Amazing Partnership.”

“Bruce is a committed Catholic who has been deeply affected by Hillsong Church

“Senior Pastoral Leader Bruce Downes joins us this year to host this session specifically designed for the Catholics at conference”

“In this session, he will help you take the experience of Hillsong Conference and interpret it into your Catholic world

“…you will be inspired to hear about Bruce’s ministry and influence today and his practical hints on transferring topics like vision casting, excellence, team, culture and evangelism into the Catholic church context.”

 Source: Google groups, forum: worship lifestyle, forwarded email from Hillsong conference registrations department, https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/worship-lifestyle/OvQ5wkVPZvc (Accessed 08/10/2014.) (Emphasis added.)

Below you can see a screen shot of The Catholic Guy’s FaceBook photo, advertising of his master class.

The Catholic Guy2

Source: the Catholic Guy, the Catholic Guy’s photos, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/theCatholicGuyMinistry/photos/pb.88750959996.-2207520000.1414744042./10150403114834997/?type=3&theater, Published 01/07/2014. (Accessed 31/10/2014.)

Below, you can see ‘The Catholic Guy’ Instagram screen shot showing him taking his Hillsong Masterclass.

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http://instagram.com/p/p7MSUPGoT1/

Furthermore, how will Catholics know to turn from their blasphemous, graven images and idols when Hillsong uses these same images to promote their 2014 ‘No other Name’ conference?

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proof_FacebookHillsongCatholicJesus_31-10-2014

Source: Hillsong Image Source: Hillsong City Campus/Syd, 2014 Conference advertisement, facebook, https://www.facebook.com/HillsongCity/photos/pb.259165110795160.-2207520000.1408936643./764804073564592/?type=3&theater, Published 17/05/2014. (Accessed 09/10/14.)

God is so clear on the issue of pagan idolatry and Hillsong clearly does not care.

… so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman… Deuteronomy 4:16 (NIV)

It’s a sad, sad day when Hillsong has ‘become corrupt’ and use for themselves ‘an image’ that is forbidden by God. When Hillsong put ‘No Other Name’ on a blasphemous graven image of the Roman Catholic cult, they are saying ‘this is our God’.

This image of the ‘Sacred Heart of Jesus’ is an image of yet another idol that the Catholic Church teaches is to be worshiped. it is another abomination. This is what the Catholic Church teaches about this image of the ‘Sacred Heart’.

“How appropriate this is, for devotion to the Eucharist and to the Sacred Heart are in fact one thing, inseparable”. Source: http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0947.htm, Accessed 31/10/2014. (Emphasis ours.)

“Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus infallibly leads souls to the Eucharist…..So it is that the Sacred Heart, the Holy Eucharist, and Love itself, are one and the same thing.”
Source: http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0947.htm, Accessed 31/10/2014. (Emphasis ours.)

Once again the scriptures say,

The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God. Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destructionDeuteronomy 7:26-26 NIV (Emphasis added)

The devotion to the Sacred Heart is the same as the devotion the Eucharist! When Christianity is confronted with idolatry, Hillsong not only tells Christians not to “Regard it as vile [or to] utterly detest it” as God clearly instructs. Hillsong uses that pagan idolatry for their own devotional and promotional material. Are they not showing that they are setting themselves apart for destruction?

This next picture is a screen shot of Bobbie Houston’s personal Instagram. It shows Hillsong’s ‘devotional’ booklet with the image of the Sacred Heart. Next to that is a picture of a Catholic devotional for comparison.

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proof_InstagramHillsongBobbieCatholicJesus_31-10-2014

Source: Bobbie Houston, Instagram photo, Instagram, http://instagram.com/p/oN0G_voY8t/?modal=true, Published 20/05/2014 (Accessed 25/8/2014.)

Source: Other image above – Catholic devotion, http://www.fatima.org/essentials/whatucando/sac&immhrts/tocdevsac&immhrts.asp.

Whether it was intentional or out of ignorance, by putting ‘No Other Name’ and ‘Devotional’ on such a graven image, Hillsong are saying our God is the same as the Roman Catholic god. They may as well be using a picture of a Monstrance and putting ‘No Other Name’ on it.

Some people may say that Hillsong did not intentionally use an image of the Catholic ‘Sacred Heart’. Well if there is any doubt, in this next Hillsong ‘No Other Name’ promotional video, it shows that not only did they intentionally use this graven image but they made the ‘Sacred Heart’ beat (at 45sec in video).

They also include several other blasphemous Catholic idols and images with the name of Jesus. (See below screen grabs from the video.)

Notice the creepy church worship underneath the video (emphasis added):

There is NO OTHER NAME whereby men and women find their salvation, sense of purpose and eternal homecoming.

Hillsong Conference exists to champion the cause of the local Church across the earth. She exists to water the divine potential within pastors and leaders and believers alike so that together we can each know and fulfil The Great Commission given by Christ in Mathew 28.

Source: Youtube, Hillsong Church, No Other Name Hillsong Conference 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-YQRANOvhE, published 2/7/2013 (Accessed 07/09/2014)

Why is the ‘No Other Name’ campaign promoting Roman Catholic pagan idolatry?

Conf videoConf video2Conf video3Conf video4

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liarsthey will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 NIV (Emphasis Added)

“…However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8

Many will say to me on that day ‘Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matthew 7:22-23

Below are two photos from Hillsong’s facebook page of the Hillsong Conference, USA, 18 October 2014. These photos show Bobbie Houston with Catholic, graven images of the ‘Sacred Heart’. It’s not like they are trying to hide it!

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Source: Hillsong Church, Conference photos, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/hillsongchurch/phot/10/14os/a.10153244760415410.1073741867.95374650409/10153244761325410/?type=1&theatre, Published 18/10/14. (Accessed 21/10/14.)

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Source: Hillsong Church, Conference photos, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/hillsongchurch/photos/a.10153244760415410.1073741867.95374650409/10153244762770410/?type=1&theatre, Published 18/10/14. (Accessed 21/10/14.)

Is it just a coincidence that Hillsong also used a photo of the Vatican in their 2014 Conference ‘No Other Name’ Conference advertisement? You decide.

vatican

Source: Hillsong Newcastle, Conference advertisement, Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/hillsongnewcastle/photos/pb.170870839743187.-2207520000.1408940430./317317051765231/?type=3&theater, Published 05/06/2014 (Accessed 25/08/2014.)

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Source: Hillsong Hills Campus/Sydney, Conference advertisement, facebook, https://www.facebook.com/HillsongHills/photos/pb.211290442270334.-2207520000.1408936424./673536412712399/?type=3&theater, Published 14/05/2014 (Accessed 25/08/2014.)

It breaks my heart that Hillsong has compromised their beliefs so much that they are using such blasphemy. It breaks my heart that this article has to even be written.

This is not an article to point a finger at a Church, it is an article to call a church to repentance. It’s not a matter of proving a point, it’s a matter of eternal salvation or eternal damnation.

This article is not written with a grudge, it is not written out of spite, it is written with a broken heart.

Better is open rebuke that hidden love. Proverbs 27:5 (NIV)

As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 1 Timothy 5:20 (ESV)

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:2-4 (NIV)

Hillsong members don’t appear happy with Brian’s stance on same sex issues…

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In this article, one commentor stated, “This was just as ambiguous as the statement that was supposedly out of context.” There is a good chance he was referring to the deceitful “clarification” made by Brian Houston on his Allah statement earlier this year.

It’s good to know that Hillsong supporters and members are grumbling with the dishonesty of Brian Houston.

The BuzzFeed reports,

Hillsong Megachurch Denies Supporting Marriage Equality

It rebukes international reporting, “Nowhere did I suggest that Hillsong supported gay marriage.”

Australian evangelical church Hillsong has moved to clarify its position on marriage equality after being lavished with praise in a recent New York Times report.

The New York Times reported that Hillsong co-founder Brian Houston was in an “ongoing conversation” about marriage equality which represented a “shift in tone” for Christian evangelical churches.

The response to NYT report came via a statement to the church’s website.

“Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage. My personal view on the subject of homosexuality would line up with most traditionally held Christian views,” wrote Mr Houston.

The pastor said he was not publically “condemning” homosexuality because the church had campuses in New York and California, where there is marriage equality.

“I made the point that public statements condemning people will place a barrier between the church and the world… which is why at Hillsong, we don’t want to reduce the real issues in people’s lives to a sound bite.”

The powerful Pentecostal church counts upwards of 100,000 people attending its weekly services worldwide and has become known globally for producing best-selling Christian rock albums.

Mr Houston’s statement sparked some criticism from Hillsong’s hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook, who were concerned the church’s position on marriage seems vague.

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The comments come after a turbulent month for Mr Houston. The pastor told the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse that he did not report several acts of abuse committed against children by his late father and Hillsong founder Frank Houston.

Source: By Mark Di Stefano, Hillsong Megachurch Denies Supporting Marriage Equality, BuzzFeed, http://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/hillsong-marriage-clarification#12qovut, Published 20/10/2014. (Accessed 25/10/2014.)

Rosebrough critiques Caine’s toads & Brian’s frogs

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Chris Rosebrough has decided to review a bit of a speech from Hillsong’s Christine Caine. He also has decided to weigh in on the Hillsong child sex abuse scandal and Hilsong’s stance on homosexuality.

OCTOBER 23, 2014

Are Your Frogs Holding You Back?

Click Here to Download this episode

Program segments:

• William Tapley Weighs In on Bishops Synod
• Christine Caine & the Worst Inspirational Sermon Ever
• Hillsong Update RE: Child Abuse Scandal & Refusal to Take a Stand of Homosexuality
• Sermon Review: Against All Odds by Troy Gramling

Source: Chris Rosebrough, Are Your Frogs Holding You Back?, Fighting for the Faith, http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2014/10/are-your-frogs-holding-you-back.html, Published 23/10/2014. (Accessed 24/10/2014.)

What are your thoughts on Chris Rosebrough’s critique on Christine Caine’s speech; his thoughts on the Hillsong child abuse scandal; and how he dealt with Brian Houston’s stance on homosexuality?

Christine Caine Hillsong

Don’t let this Caine Toad into your church…

Huffington post reports on Hillsong’s problematic stance on queerstianity.

The Huffington Post reports,

Hillsong Church Pastors Won’t Speak Out On Gays Because Jesus Didn’t Either (UPDATED)

UPDDATE: Hillsong pastor Brian Houston has issued an update to his original statement. You can find that information here. 

Hillsong Church’s New York location reportedly draws “a lot of gay men and women” among the thousands who flock there every weekend, according to head pastor Carl Lentz.

“Jesus was in the thick of an era where homosexuality, just like it is today, was widely prevalent,” Lentz told CNN in a June interview (above). “And I’m still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people. You won’t find it because he never did.”

Lentz’s wife, Laura, added: “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live. That’s their journey.”

Lentz’s sentiments appear to be indicative of an overarching stance on gay issues set forth by Hillsong head pastor Brian Houston. At a press conference for the Hillsong Conference held in New York City Thursday, New York Times’ Michael Paulson asked Houston directly about his stance on same-sex marriage. In an unofficial transcriptprovided by Jonathan Merritt, Houston responded:

It can be challenging for churches to stay relevant. Because many mainstream churches upheld what they would believe is the long established view of what the Bible says about homosexuality. But the world has changed around and about them. On the subject, I always feel like there’s three things. There’s the world we live in, there’s the weight we live with, and there’s the word we live by. The world, the weight, and the word.

Blogger Ben Gresham, who identifies as a “25-year-old gay Christian” from Sydney, Australia, grew up attending Hillsong Church and often uses his website to write about the church’s stance on gay issues. In an August 2013 post Gresham wrote about a message Houston recorded at Hillsong London and broadcast to all the church campuses entitled “Scandal of Grace,” which touched on the topic and echoed the pastor’s comments on Thursday. The blogger transcribed a portion of the message, in which Houston said:

The one elephant in the room for churches around the world at the moment is the gay situation. What would Jesus do? What would Jesus do?

There’s lots of hatred out there but in the middle of it all you know there are three things: the world of the times we live in; the weight we live with; and the word we live by.

Houston added that “the world has changed quickly” and said “the weight we live with” includes “the weight when a young person growing up in a church feels like they are confused in their sexuality.” This disconnect, the pastor said, can lead to hate, rejection and, in worst cases, suicide.

There’s the world we live in. There’s the weight we live with, and there’s the word we live by. And they don’t all necessary align. With the word we live by, many people have various convictions. In the middle of it all know that Jesus when it comes to people would let nothing stop Him from breaking through a divide to help hurting, broken, everyday normal people like you and I.

In March 2014 Pastor Danny Cortez of New Heart Community Church, a small Southern Baptist congregation in Southern California, delivered a sermon explaining that he no longer believed homosexuality to be a sin. His church struggled with the decision of whether to dismiss him and ultimately decided not to but instead become a “Third Way church” — based on Vineyard Church pastor Ken Wilson’s book, “A Letter to my Congregation” which puts forth the notion that churches could agree to disagree on the subject and refrain from judgement.

But as the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting approached in June, Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, published an article denouncing the “third way”:

There is no third way. A church will either believe and teach that same-sex behaviors and relationships are sinful, or it will affirm them. Eventually, every congregation in America will make a public declaration of its position on this issue. It is just a matter of time (and for most churches, not much time) before every congregation in the nation faces this test.

When faced with “this test,” though, Religion News Service blogger Jonathan Merritt says that Hillsong’s Lentz and Houston appear to adopt a similar “third way” by keeping definitive opinions to themselves and instead noting the complexity of the issue and the need for compassion. In the press conference Thursday, Houston said:

“The real issues in people’s lives are too important for us to just reduce it down to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in a media outlet.”

h/t Jonathan Merrit

Source: By Antonia Blumberg, Hillsong Church Pastors Won’t Speak Out On Gays Because Jesus Didn’t Either (UPDATED), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/17/hillsong-church-gays_n_6002762.html, Published 10/17/2014 2:48 pm EDT, Updated: 10/20/2014 4:59 pm EDT. (Accessed 24/10/2014.)

Charisma Mag unhappy with Hillsong’s silent stance on queerstianity

We are covering two news articles from Chrisma Mag that examine Hillsong’s stance on the homosexual issue in America. Keep in mind, Brian Houston showed public disdain against both the Christian and secular media like Charisma Mag for reporting on his comments:

“I encourage people not to assume a media headline accurately represents what I said at a recent press conference.

Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage. I challenge people to read what I actually said, rather than what was reported that I said.” [Source]

hillsong lgbtqi gay homosexualIsn’t it funny that even trained Christian journalists (let alone Charismatic Christian journalists) can’t report accurately statements made by Brian Houston? Poor Brian!

Brian Houston is the man who publicly promotes himself as a motivational speaker and as a prophet of God. Can anyone else see the irony here? Is there anyone who can understand Brian Houston outside of Hillsong? Is there anyone who can represent poor Brian Houston fairly? Anyone?

Understand this: Hillsong will always feel misunderstood.

This below Charisma News article has been shared approximately 26,1000 times across the internet. It appears that there is a growing concern among Christian about Hillsong.

Brian Houston: Hillsong Won’t Take Public Stand on LGBT Issues

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler declared from his blog in June, “There is no third way on [same-sex issues].”

But Brian Houston, pastor of Hillsong Church, a global family of congregations comprising more than 30,000 weekly attendees and millions of worship-music album sales, apparently disagrees with Mohler. At least for now.

At a news conference for the Hillsong Conference in New York City Thursday, Michael Paulson of The New York Times asked Houston to clarify his church’s position onsame-sex marriage. But Houston would not offer a definitive answer, instead saying that it was “an ongoing conversation” among church leaders, and they were “on the journey with it.”

Houston says that he considers three things when evaluating the topic: “There’s the world we live in, there’s the weight we live with, and there’s the Word we live by.”

He notes that the Western world is shifting its thinking on this issue, and churches are struggling to stay relevant. The weight we live in, he added, refers to a context in which LGBT young people may feel rejected or shunned by churches, often leading to depression and suicide. But when Houston began speaking about the word we live by or “what the Bible says,” he refused to offer a concrete position.

(Click here for the unofficial transcript of Houston’s full answer.)

“It would be much easier if you could feel like all of those three just easily lined up. But they don’t necessarily.” Houston said. “The real issues in people’s lives are too important for us to just reduce it down to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in a media outlet.”

Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong’s New York City location, made similar statements on CNN in June, saying Hillsong in New York City has “a lot of gay men and women” and he hopes it stays that way. But he declines to address the matter in public because, in part, Jesus never did.

“Jesus was in the thick of an era where homosexuality, just like it is today, was widely prevalent,” Lentz told CNN. “And I’m still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people.  You won’t find it, because He never did.”

Lentz’s wife, Laura, chimed in: “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live. That’s their journey.”

No doubt Mohler and other conservative evangelicals will find such answers disconcerting if not downright dangerous to what they believe is the biblical position. If the leaders of Hillsong, one of the most influential evangelical ministry conglomerates in the world, refuse to draw lines on these issues, it could influence other churches and pastors to reconsider their own positions.

And that is why this issue has become a litmus test for many on the left and right. Because in a moment when so much is at stake, a non-statement statement is, well, quite a statement.

Source: Jonathan Meritt, Brian Houston: Hillsong Won’t Take Public Stand on LGBT Issues, Charisma News, http://www.charismanews.com/world/45811-brian-houston-hillsong-won-t-take-public-stand-on-lgbt-issues, Published 17/10/2014. (Accessed 20/10/2014.)

Charisma Mag offers this biblical rebuttal to the folly of Hillsong’s stance:

Brian Houston, the Golden Rule and the Golden Calf

It was wise old Solomon who said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Megachurch leader Brian Houston’s response to the LGBT issue talks about “the world we live in, there’s the weight we live with, and there’s the Word we live by.” The present world we live in is no different than the world of the past. Jesus made it abundantly clear that the world of Noah’s day was no different than the world of today or that of the future. “As it was during the days of Noah so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man.” That being the case, then the weight we live with has not changed either. The issue of sin and depravity is as old as the fall of man. Likewise the Word we live by is just as relevant today as it ever was. God is not in catch up mode when it comes to being abreast of current trends, trials, and temptations.

What every spiritual leader needs to remember is that God chose His first priesthood on the basis of their willingness to separate themselves from the idolatry and immorality that the rest of His people were condoning and practicing. Allow me to jog your memory for a moment. God had originally planned for the head of every household to function in a priestly calling. We see this in operation at the first Passover when the children of Israel did not have to wait for a delegated priest to preside over the sacrificing of the Passover lamb. The responsibility was given to the head of each house. This today we refer to as the priesthood of all believers.

What brought about the change in leadership happened at the time of the golden calf. Israel, you recall, became anxious about Moses who had left the camp to meet with God. Following his departure the people pressured Aaron into giving them a god that would go before them and lead them. Aaron bowed to the pressure and created the golden calf. What followed was nothing less than a sexual orgy. Israel gave themselves over to every base and degrading sexual passion imaginable. During the height of this sex feast God issued a challenge through Moses who had now returned to the camp for anyone and everyone to separate themself and stand with God against all the carnality, immorality and idolatry. Out of the twelve tribes, only the tribe of Levi responded and answered God’s call.

God told Moses on this occasion that because the Levites had sided with God, and in the case of some, resisting the pressure of their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, He was going to bestow upon them the blessing of the Priesthood.

While there is so much more that could be said concerning this, it is vital here that we don’t miss the essential foundation for all spiritual leadership. That of separation from sin! God will not align Himself with sin or compromise in any form or fashion. You recall that later in Israel’s history Balaam deceived them into another sexual orgy, this time with the Moabites. During the height of their brazen sexual rebellion, Phinehas rose up, spear in hand, and thrust it through an Israelite man and Moabite woman who were unashamedly having sex before the whole congregation. Because Phinehas had displayed such zeal for God, not to mention his hatred of sin, God promised him and his descendants the covenant of a perpetual priesthood. (Num. 25)

Let’s fast forward now to the present. I believe God is once again looking for spiritual leaders who will not waver or compromise in anyway with the present LGBT agenda. Modern day Moabites and Balaamites are pressurizing the Church to partnership with the gay movement. God on the other hand is looking for leaders who will rise up and in no uncertain terms make clear to the world their hatred of such practices. Anything less than this will ultimately disqualify them from the ministry, not to mention God’s pleasure and purpose.

Some no doubt will takes issue with me on this point, stating that I lack God’s love, compassion and mercy. Try telling that to God who destroyed 24,000 of His own people who refused to separate themselves from the Moabites during the time of Phinehas. ( Incidentally you recall that the Moabites sprang from one of Lot’s daughters who gave birth to a son after having sex with her drunken father. (Gen.19) There is nothing more the LGBT movement would love, than to win the sympathy and support of God’s people, while at the same time continuing to practice their sinful, selfish and degenerate sensual lifestyle.

One final note to all mega church leaders; If in taking this stand you lose some of your public persona, not to mention members and their money, know for certain that you will gain God’s approval, blessing and anointing.

Jesus still asks, Do you love Me more than these?

David Ravenhill has served the Lord for more than 40 years as a missionary, pastor, teacher and itinerant minister, having worked with the late evangelist
David Wilkerson, Youth With A Mission, pastor Mike Bickle and the late
evangelist Steve Hill. He is the author of several books, including 
For God’s Sake, Grow Up! and Welcome Home.

Source: By David Ravenhill, Brian Houston, the Golden Rule and the Golden Calf, Charisma Mag, http://www.charismanews.com/world/45840-brian-houston-the-golden-rule-and-the-golden-calf, Published 21/10/2014. (Accessed 23/10/2014.)

Rumblings and ramblings in the Royal Commission

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We found this article to be an insightful recap of what took place in the Royal Commission hearing a few weeks ago. We would love to hear your thoughts on this article.

The Saturday Paper reports,

Hillsong in the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse

Despite a royal commission being told that Hillsong’s senior pastor mishandled revelations of child sex abuse by his father and fellow church leader, the organisation’s global expansion continues apace.

Last week Australia’s Hillsong Church sold out Madison Square Garden in New York City, for the recording of its next concert DVD. The week before, Hillsong United, the church’s band, led by Pastor Brian Houston’s son, Joel, won five Dove Awards, the American gospel music equivalent of a Grammy. Next April, a feature film about the band,Hillsong: Let Hope Rise, will be released by Warner Bros. In the trailer for the film, spliced between shots of heaving arenas, two phrases flash in dramatic succession: “It’s not about them It’s about Him.”

Brian Houston walking Royal CommissionLast week, those words might better have read, “It’s not about us/It’s about him.” For three-and-a-half days, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse examined how Hillsong and its board members reacted when presented with accusations against its founder and Brian’s father, Pastor Frank Houston.

The commission heard from a witness called AHA, who gave evidence that around 1970, from the time he was seven or eight, the well-respected pastor from the Pentecostal Christian denomination Assemblies of God, Frank Houston, would travel to Australia from New Zealand, with young Brian in tow, and stay at the boy’s home. AHA said his father was an osteopath and that Frank enjoyed free treatments. Their home was rearranged to accommodate the Houstons, who were considered by AHA’s family to be royalty.

For about five years, it was claimed, Pastor Frank would go to where AHA was sleeping and molest him in the night. AHA said the abuse ceased when he reached puberty. At the age of 16, AHA reported what had happened to his mother, but it would be another 20 years before contact was made with the Houstons. Soon after, in 2000, a meeting took place between Frank, then aged in his late 70s, and AHA at Thornleigh McDonald’s, during which Frank, apparently terrified he would die and face God a sinner, wanted to elicit forgiveness from his victim. He offered AHA $10,000 to go with his plea for absolution, and had him sign a napkin as confirmation that the payment – vigorously denied by Brian last week to be hush money – was the end of the matter.

Evidence tendered at the commission that Brian was emailed by the New Zealand Assemblies of God (AOG) in 1997 regarding the matter did not dissuade him from his original testimony: that he had no knowledge of his father’s offences until late 1999, when Hillsong’s general manager, George Aghajanian, informed him of the allegations they had received. The testimony of John McMartin, NSW state president of the AOG, the umbrella organisation with which Hillsong is affiliated, was that Brian was in shock when McMartin himself told him of the allegations some three weeks later, leading McMartin to believe he was the first to break the news. Houston’s evidence was that, though shocked, somehow in his stomach he knew the allegations to be true. He said he confronted his father immediately and that Frank confessed to a “one-off” incident 30 years prior.

Members of the AOG executive were called to a meeting held in the Qantas Club just before Christmas 1999. Houston said that in his newly assumed roles of AOG president and senior pastor of Hillsong, he removed his father’s credentials and told him to never preach again. Houston snr lived on Hillsong-owned property until his death in 2004. At no time did Hillsong report AHA’s accusations to the police.

At the commission hearing AHA testified that two months after the McDonald’s meeting, having never received the $10,000, he phoned Brian Houston. He stated that Houston said: “Yes, okay, I’ll get the money to you. There’s no problem. You know it’s your fault all of this happened, don’t you? You tempted my father.”

AHA responded, “Why? Did he molest you also?”, at which Brian said “You’ll be getting money” and slammed down the phone.

A cheque arrived soon after, made out to AHA with no note attached. Houston’s evidence is that he turned the matter over to “family” to address, and that he never accused AHA of tempting Frank.

Brian’s testimony

Throughout the hearing, Brian Houston was clearly uncomfortable. It’s likely he has never been in such a situation, where it is compulsory for him to be the one answering questions. He smiled at counsel through much of his evidence as if they were having a conversation about the old days.

Whether he was deliberately evasive or ignorant on the stand has been a matter of great conjecture over the past week, but some responses elicited bemusement even from counsel.

When asked by the commission whether he found there was a conflict for him as the son of the alleged offender and as the president of the AOG and pastor-in-chief at Hillsong, Houston answered, “Internally, definitely I was conflicted, so I don’t doubt that at all, if you’re talking about my own, you know, coming to grips emotionally with what my father did.”

Patiently, several times, counsel attempted to elicit his understanding of the concept of a “conflict of interest”. Each of Houston’s responses were evasive, and accepted no responsibility. This, despite Houston having sat on multiple boards and led numerous companies.

He insisted he had chosen the best course of action at the time.

Houston became most defensive, however, when questioned over the choice of family friend who had driven his father to the McDonald’s meeting with AHA. Counsel inquired if Nabi Saleh, then half-owner of Gloria Jean’s Coffees and board member of Hillsong, acted more out of expertise on corporate governance than moral support. Houston was offended, retorting, “Should I have chosen a close family friend who didn’t work, who didn’t have a business?”

With the Hillsong leadership’s own evidence and documents tripping them up, what emerged from the commission’s nearly four days was a clear picture of a group of evangelical businessmen who, when faced with the worst revelations, closed ranks, took care of their own, and kept it secret for as long as they were able.

Former national secretary Keith Ainge grew frustrated during his interrogation, several times responding, “I’ve already answered that question”. McMartin also resented the questions, admitting that in order to prevent perpetrators reoffending they are encouraged to go to another church. Brian testified at times with an index finger outstretched to make his point felt to the cameras: “I’ll swear on this Bible again”.

But despite the hearing’s revelations that the Hillsong Church’s co-founder was a sex offender who preyed on adult males and boys as young as six, Hillsong won’t be going anywhere. As 2GB’s Ray Hadley heard when “Wendy” phoned his program in defence of the church, Frank Houston “changed a multitude of people”. Brian Houston roused the congregation to a standing ovation last Sunday with his message of freedom from shame.

A burgeoning franchise

Indeed, for the largely under-30 demographic of Hillsong, this is all old news. The Houstons themselves are growing old. At 60, Brian is ancient in Pentecostal years, and while widely revered, is no longer the spine of the organisation. Insiders credit his wife, Bobbie, 57,  for Hillsong’s stability. “You know how Brian flies off the handle too easily?” one said. “Well, even he told the congregation one morning, ‘Bobbie is more Christ-like than I am’. Bobbie has really grown as a leader, in the Word, and as a teacher. She’s the glue that holds it together.”

But if matriarch Bobbie and Papa Brian, as he’s affectionately known, retire from the family business, their three children are well placed to carry on the traditions. Joel Houston is in charge of all things musical, the brand’s greatest attraction and largest source of revenue. Ben and his wife pastor a Northern Beaches church, while Laura and her husband head up the youth ministry nationally.

While Australian growth is steady, the church’s global presence is skyrocketing on the back of its highly commercial music arm. There are Hillsongs in London, Paris, Kiev, Cape Town, Los Angeles and more. The modern evangelical style is epitomised by the work of Carl Lentz, the new down-to-earth pastor of Hillsong New York, who reportedly baptised pop star Justin Bieber this year. His message is not so much about the gospel as standing alongside people in need, and only sharing their faith in Jesus when asked.

It is instructive in how different Hillsong is from a traditional Christian church, less a ministry than a family company. While the horrors of child sexual abuse have emptied the pews of other churches, Hillsong is unlikely to feel those effects. Instead, it will probably continue to grow. It is expanding in the manner of an ambitious business franchise, because in so many respects that’s what it is.

People wishing to contact the royal commission can do so at childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au or by phoning 1800 099 340.

Source: Tanya Levins, Hillsong in the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse, The Saturday Paper, http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/law-crime/2014/10/18/hillsong-the-royal-commission-child-sex-abuse/14135508001136#.VEJeJfmUeSo, Published 18/10/2014. (Accessed 18/10/2014.)

Brian Houston’s statement: ‘defending’ every wind of doctrine?

This article is an expose on Brian Houston’s deliberately misleading public statement on his stance with same sex issues.

You can read Brian Houston’s statement here.

A transcript and statement on Brian Houston’s recent press conference

REVIEW OF HOUSTON’S STATEMENT

“I encourage people not to assume a media headline accurately represents what I said at a recent press conference.”

You can hear the bells of ‘Chrislam’ jangling somewhere in the background, can’t you? It is an all too familiar pattern nowadays, isn’t it? To hear the media report one thing, and then for Brian Houston to come along afterwards and say: “I didn’t say that”.

Houston’s statement from Hillsong website, as presented for comment here:

“Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage. “

Now Brian, that’s not exactly true, is it? You offered your opinion – not a Christian response. Not a biblical response. You did diminish biblical truth.

I mean, “nowhere have I taken a solid stand against ‘gay marriage’ or homosexuality…” would be a much more accurate statement, wouldn’t it? In fact when it comes to the issue of homosexuality, you actually met and ‘did coffee’ with Ben Gresham, one of the recognised leaders of the ‘gay community’ in Sydney, didn’t you Brian?

According to Gresham’s own website, the following points were mentioned by Houston:

* Brian stated clearly that Hillsong church (and himself) no longer support ex-gay ministries

* Brian acknowledged the involvement of Hillsong church in ex-gay ministries in the past such as Exit Ministries, Living Waters and Exodus. Brian mentioned that he was never truly convinced of the idea of ex-gay ministries, although his father Frank Houston supported them.

* Brian does not want an ex-gay message preached from the pulpit of Hillsong.
[Source]

Clearly, it would be an embarrassment for Hillsong, if the testimonies of those who had succeeded in giving up their gay lifestyles, were to impinge on those who had failed to do so, or worse still, had failed to even try. That would also imply that “being gay” was all about choice. In other words, if you could choose to give up ‘being gay’, then all of those who did not give it up would be tarred and feathered as being decidedly gay. They weren’t ‘born that way’ after all. So much for psychology and so much for any pretence on the part of Hillsong, who appear to simply allow gay people to sit there in their sins, with no call for repentance and no signs of a changed life either.

Was that why Houston met with Gresham – to reassure him that ‘all is well’ for ‘gay Christians’? It would seem so.

Furthermore, if Brian Houston wasn’t diminishing biblical truth, why was he adamantly pushing his mythology on the church needing to be “relevant”? Where in the bible does it teach the church needs to be relevant to be effective in people’s lives? If anything, Brian Houston was more concerned of the church failing to be relevant rather than the church failing to be faithful in preaching the gospel and God’s Word. No matter what way you look at it, that’s just pathetic.

Now let’s see what Houston further said in his online statement:

“I challenge people to read what I actually said, rather than what was reported that I said. My personal view on the subject of homosexuality would line up with most traditionally held Christian views. I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject.”

Oh dear Brian, I’m afraid that your words on the Hillsong site, don’t quite match what you said to Ben Gresham all those months ago, now do they? Nor do your words line up to your sermon ‘Scandal of Grace’. (So which Brian do you want us to believe?)

Also notice how Brian is appealing to his audience that he now holds a view of homosexuality “with most traditionally held Christian views”. He’s lying again. Since when has Brian Houston not opposed traditional Christianity and it’s values?

“I was asked a question on how the church can stay relevant in the context of gay marriage being legal in the two states of the USA where we have campuses. My answer was simply an admission of reality – no more and no less. I explained that this struggle for relevance was vexing as we did not want to become ostracized by a world that needs Christ.”

Well now Brian, here is the perfect opportunity to preach the reality of the Gospel from Romans chapters one and two, as those lengthy passages of Bible truth are more than adequate in exposing all manner of sins – sexual, idolatrous, rebellious:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.” Romans 1:18-23

It is clear from the pages of holy writ, that when mankind decided to abandon the one true God of the Bible, God also abandoned man, to an extent. They buried their knowledge and experience of God (post flood) and so God gave them over to building the Tower of Babel, and in so doing, making idols of themselves, which they then called “other Gods”. They began to practice all manner of vile practices – immorality of every kind, human sacrifice, and witchcraft. They literally ‘changed the truth of God into a lie” (verse 25) and in so doing, sealed their fate as to their ultimate downfall come judgment day.

I’m just wondering, if something similar has happened in this post-modernist ‘church’ that we see before us these days? Has Brian Houston “exchanged the truth of God for a lie”? Has he wittingly or unwittingly, become an idolater before God and man? Does Hillsong’s particular brand of entertainment, during its meetings, resemble more that of a pagan temple, or more of a company of Godly people, who have forsaken this world and its evil distractions in surrendering their lives to Jesus, through the accurate preaching of the Gospel?

“I made the point that public statements condemning people will place a barrier between the church and the world (and I note that Jesus came to save and not to condemn), which is why at Hillsong, we don’t want to reduce the real issues in people’s lives to a sound bite.””

hillsong lgbtqi gay homosexualThat ‘barrier between the church and the world’ needs to be there Brian – it’s called “separation” and is the very meaning of the word “holy” – separated from the world unto God, for His service, His pleasure and to His satisfaction. And guess who put that barrier there Brian? God did. And he established that barrier through His Word. Now you are using Jesus as an excuse to attack the very thing Jesus himself established.

If you don’t teach separation/holiness, then you end up with a tangled mess wherein some of your congregants may well be saved, but many may not be. How can you tell? Those who have separated (holy) lives will be obvious even to the casual observer, but then again, those same people may not be welcome any more, inside the worldly kingdom of Hillsong.

Yes, indeed Brian, Jesus came to save, but only those who will repent, and how can they repent of their devious ways if no one preaches a true Gospel message to them? One which demands that they recognise themselves as lost sinners, before a Holy God, and that they are without excuse? (Verse 20)

“This – like many other issues, is a conversation the church needs to have and we are all on a journey as we grapple with the question of merging biblical truth with a changing world.”

Honestly Brian, there is no need to ‘have a conversation’ at all. What you are advocating clearly, is how best to compromise with the world for maximum effect.

What is really needed is the sound expository preaching of the glorious Gospel of our Lord and Saviour – Jesus Christ. Try doing that one Sunday night and you might even surprise yourself with the results!

Of course, if Brian was to do so, he would probably lose large chunks of his worldly congregation, and that wouldn’t look to good when the bottom line is examined at the end of the month, now, would it?

In closing, Dr. James R. White from Alpha and Omega Ministries weighs in on Brian’s ‘relevant’ stance;

“Brian Houston says, “He notes that the Western world is shifting its thinking on this issue, and churches are struggling to stay relevant.” Relevant to whom? The Church has an audience of One before whom “relevance” is to be judged. Our aim is to be pleasing to Him (2 Cor. 5:9), not to the “Western world.” In fact, a biblical worldview would lead brother Houston to recognize that the more pleasing we are to Christ, the more of a stench of death we will be in the nostrils of those who have been given over in judgment to their own lusts and rebellion. Relevant? Was Elijah relevant during the judgment of drought and famine? Was Jeremiah relevant as the armies of Nebuchadnezzar marched on Jerusalem? I guess it all depends on one’s perspective as to what “relevance” is all about.”
Source: James R. White, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/prosapologian/posts/855416661149854, 18/10/2014. (Accessed 21/10/2014.)

James White also observes,

“While exhorting grace as the medium of criticism, we need to realize that this situation is exposing the foundational problems that have actually existed in the mish-mash we call “evangelicalism” for a very, very long time.”
Source: James R. White, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/prosapologian/posts/855414134483440?comment_id=855417537816433&offset=50&total_comments=68, . (Accessed 22/10/2014.)

Brian Houston’s damage control and the unanswered questions.

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The Religious News Service article below was the piece that Chris Rosebrough recently read out on his Fighting for the Faith program in his attempt to notify his readers about the Hillsong scandal.

However, Boz Tchividjian’s article was recently pulled due to “Pending investigation by editors.” It appears that Lyall Mercer has complained to the Religion News Service about the article.

You will see these Editor’s notes in Boz Tchividjian’s piece on Hillsong:

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been amended to further clarify media accounts of Brian Houston’s handling of abuse allegations against his father, Frank Houston. In addition, statements of personal opinion that are disputed by Hillsong and could not be immediately verified have been modified by the editors.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Lyall Mercer, a Hillsong spokesman, claims that "the church" referred to by The Guardian was not Hillsong, and that Brian Houston had neither the knowledge of nor the ability to report the cases to authorities in New Zealand.]

Source: Boz Tchividjian, Hillsong Church: Abuse unreported, perpetrator rewarded, Religion News Service, http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/10/17/hillsong-church-abuse-unreported-perpetrator-rewarded/#sthash.1LrYL04j.dpuf. (Accessed 20/10/2014.)

It’s interesting to observe that Lyall Mercer of Mercer PR firm also defended Mark Driscoll back in March in a paid press release. Coincidence?

Oddly, the similarities between these two pastors’ conduct are striking. Given that we have expressed great sympathy for the impact his father’s sin had on Brian Houston personally – in light of his own grief, why aren’t we seeing Brian Houston (and Mark Driscoll) behaving more like Christ’s shepherds towards the abused in their churches? Why are we seeing them act more like CEO’s displaying themselves as victims before their loyal fan base? It’s that same fan base who are not calling these pastors to repentance but DEFENDING their conduct before Christians and the secular community.

It demonstrates how little these pastors demonstrate their knowledge of:

1. the biblical pastoral office
2. how they are meant to behave biblically as pastors/shepherds
3. how to care for the lost and hurting (and are they responsible for that hurt?)

Furthermore, it also demonstrates how lacking in accountability these men are. Instead they throw around words like “relevant” and “evangelism” thereby increasing their own popularity.

It’s just not Mark Driscoll and Brian Houston either. The way that even Kong Hee from City Harvest “Church”, Phil Pringle of Christian City “Church” and David Yonggi Cho from Yoido Full Gospel “Church” have conducted themselves in the scandals they have been caught up in, echo similar behavioural issues and systemic problems within their institutional governance.

These questions need to be asked and answered. Why does it appear that these systems are always protecting the perpetrators and not the victims? And why is it that these Christian leaders can get away with their responses and not be held accountable by their members, and the other leaders of churches they so often speak at?

As a victim of C3 and Hillsong said to us,

“These men don’t care if they are right or wrong. All they care about is remaining popular.”

… Something to think about.

- – – – -

Here is the original article about Hillsong which was made available on this blog. We have highlighted what was changed or taken out in the updated article. It’s our opinion there were some valid, and peculiar edits.

How Is Hillsong’s Child Abuse Cover-up Different from LCMS-ELS-WELS? Why Were Hochmuth and Others Never Reported?

Disturbing news surfaced last week that the founder and senior pastor of one of the largest churches in Australia, and a church well known in this country for its worship music, failed to report his father for sexually abusing children. Brian Houston of Hillsong Church, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse that in October of 1999, he learned that an adult had reported being sexually abused as a child by leading Pentecostal pastor, Frank Houston.   The elder Houston was permanently suspended from preaching and given a “retirement package”. The victim was sent $10,000.00.   The church eventually uncovered up to eight more cases of child sexual abuse by Frank Houston before he passed away in 2004.   None of these cases were ever reported to law enforcement.

Does any of this pass the “smell good” test?  An adult comes forward to disclose being sexually victimized as a child by an influential minister who happens to be the father of another well-known minister.    The son’s immediate response to hearing about this crime is not to contact the police, but to confront his father who immediately confesses.  Even after the confession, Brian Houston doesn’t call the police, but instead attends a meeting with his father, an attorney, and the church CEO, where it is decided to offer the victim $10,000 as “final payment”. (Undoubtedly, a condition to receive this money would have been that the victim agree not to seek legal action against Houston or the church.)  When he was recently asked why he didn’t report this crime, Brian Houston remarked, “This is one of the things that made it complicated.  He was adamant he didn’t want any kind of police investigation or even a church investigation, he just wanted it dealt with and he just wanted to know that justice was going to happen.” The fact that a victim is an adult when they disclose being sexually assaulted as a child does not relieve those in leadership of the moral duty to report the crimes.  Think about it, what if an adult had stepped forward to report that as a child they witnessed a pastor commit murder?  What if there was evidence that this same pastor had actually murdered 8 other people?  Would there be any hesitation by church leaders to report these crimes to the authorities?  Even if the witness had requested them not to report?  Interestingly, Brian Houston never provides a reason for not reporting the other 8 cases of abuse perpetrated by his father.

One of Houston’s victims told the Royal Commission, “I was so ashamed of the abuse that I kept it inside for many years and did not tell anyone.”  Survivors silenced by years of shame are often empowered to come forward and report after finding out about child sexual abuse investigations and learning that they are not alone.  The failure to report this crime certainly prevented the God ordained authorities in Australia and New Zealand from identifying and helping others who may also have been sexually assaulted by this confessed child molester.   Not only do child sexual abuse investigations empower survivors to come forward, but they often result in finding additional victims.  Recent reports claim that the number of boys sexually victimized by Frank Houston could be in the hundreds.  The failure to report these crimes means that we may never know the degree and extent of the crimes against children committed by this church leader.

Reporting this admitted abuse 14 years ago not only would have helped to identify more victims of Frank Houston, but it would have also provided the opportunity to provide the survivors much needed support and professional assistance.

Brian Houston recently said,

“We probably don’t know now many [victims].  We may never just how far it went.”

What he fails to acknowledge is that his calculated decision not to report these crimes is why we will never know the full extent of abuse and harm perpetrated by his father.    What he fails to acknowledge is that his calculated decision not to report these crimes fourteen years ago left untold numbers of abuse victims stranded and alone.   What he fails to acknowledge is that his calculated decision not to report these crimes ignored the lives of untold numbers of victims who lived through the dark and painful horrors of childhood abuse and are now drowning without hope as adults.

Brian Houston recently told the media that he had “never hidden it [abuse] from the church.”  That statement is hard to reconcile with the fact that in 2001, the Assemblies of God sent a letter notifying pastors that Frank Houston had been suspended because of committing a “serious moral failure”.  At no time was this “serious moral failure” ever identified as the rape of a child.  Even more concerning, the letter went on to say, “We cannot see any reason for this to be announced to your church or further afield.”  Isn’t the intentional use of vague words to mask a dark truth consistent with hiding abuse?  Isn’t a directive to keep silent consistent with hiding abuse?  One can only wonder why Brian Houston and other church leaders believed they had the authority to withhold such child endangering information from the very people who needed to know about it – parents and children.

The failure to report this crime to the authorities, offering money to the victim, giving the perpetrator a retirement package, and the hiding all of this from church members, was a seemingly very convenient way to make the whole matter go away.  Fortunately, survivors don’t go away.  God carries their cries to bring light and truth into the dark places – especially in the Church.

One of the lesser-known horrors of this nightmare is that Brian Houston comes from a “Christian” culture that seemingly prefers to remain silent when learning about children being sexually abused by a pastor.  The Daily Telegraph reports that the Assemblies of God in New Zealand “revealed that 50 of its pastors had known of Frank’s sex abuse.  None of them went to the police or did anything about it.”  Should we be surprised that Brian Houston reacted any differently when he found out?   Yes.  I think we should always be surprised when one who professes to follow Jesus turns his back on the vulnerable who have been exploited and abused.  The Jesus I know actually runs towards the vulnerable and gave His life for them.

Brian Houston recently commented that he was “very pleased” with the way he handled the disclosure of his father’s abuse.  Pleased? Really?  In a well-known scripture passage, Jesus tells us, “…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” [Matthew 18:6]   Instead, Frank Houston is given a retirement package, a victim is thrown $10,000 to keep quiet, a church is not told the truth, and perhaps hundreds of other victims are left unknown.   Pleased?  Really?

In his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning writes,

“The choice usually presented to Christians is not between Jesus and Barabbas.  No one wants to appear an obvious murderer. The choice to be careful about is between Jesus and Caiaphas.  And Caiaphas can fool us.  He is a very “religious” man.”

When we fail to report the heinous crimes against children, we fail to choose Jesus.  It’s time for churches to stop making the wrong choice.

Pleased? Really?

Source: Posted by Gregory Jackson, How Is Hillsong’s Child Abuse Cover-up Different from LCMS-ELS-WELS? Why Were Hochmuth and Others Never Reported?, http://ichabodthegloryhasdeparted.blogspot.com.au/2014/10/how-is-hillsongs-child-abuse-cover-up.html, Originally from http://boz.religionnews.com/2014/10/17/hillsong-church-abuse-unreported-perpetrator-rewarded/#sthash.keD6D3A0.dpuf, Published 17/10/2014 at 1:17 PM. (Accessed 19/10/2014.)

Read the edited Religious News Service report below.

RNS: Hillsong Church: Abuse unreported, perpetrator rewarded
- Boz Tchividjian, Published 17/10/2014. (Accessed 25/10/2014.)

A transcript and statement on Brian Houston’s recent press conference

hillsong lgbtqi gay homosexualThis article will publish the transcript of what Brian Houston said at the press meeting and will also publish his statement on his church website.

PRESS MEETING TRANSCRIPT

Brian Houston has recently published a statement on his church website with this good advice:

“I encourage people not to assume a media headline accurately represents what I said at a recent press conference.”

Visit the  below link to hear the audio of Brian Houston yourself.

Hillsong Press Conference Homosexuality

Here is the transcript. (Notice how they don’t use the bible in their conversation.)

Brian Houston: The message is sacred but the methods have to change uh- for the church to stay relevant. And uh it’s challenging! It’s challenging to stay relevant. I mean we go to you – you know – the one big hot topic maybe for churches is now with homosexual marriage uh legalised and uh – you know – and churches for generations, they- they hold a set of beliefs around what they believe the Word of God- the bible says. And all of a sudden in many circles the church can look like a pariah because- to many people it’s so irrelevant now on that subject. So staying relevant, it’s actually a big challenge. Uh- I think it’s more than just – you know – singing more contemporary songs and- and uh – and – you know, the c-c-colours you paint your walls or whatever.

It’s- it can be challenging for churches to stay relevant because many mainstream churches – uh – you know – in how in what- would they would believe is a long established view in what the bible says on the subject of homosexuality. But the world’s changed around and about them.

On the subject I always feel like there’s three things: there’s the world we live in, there’s the weight we live with and there’s the word we live by. The world, the weight, the word. And to me, the world we live in, whether we like it or not, is changing around and about us. Um- homosexual marriages legal in your city and uh- and will be in probably in most Western world countries within a short time. So the world’s changing and we want to stay relevant as a church. So it- that’s a mixing thing. You think, “How can we stay- ho-how can we not become a pariah”.

So that’s the world we live in. In the weight we live with is the reality that in churches like ours and virtually in any other church, there are young people who have serious questions about their sexuality. And uh- who maybe spea- you know – hypothetically – speak to a youth leader. A youth pastor. And says -uh, “I think – you know- I’m gay”.

And maybe they feel a sense of rejection there. Or maybe even their own Christian parents can’t handle it and uh- exclude them at the time when they are the most vulnerable in their life. So you can have in churches not- not just our church – churches, young people who are literally uh depressed. Maybe even suicidal. And sadly often times grow up to hate the church because they feel like the church rejected them.

So there’s the world we live in, the weight we live with and the word we live by. And the word we live by is what the bible says. And uh- it would be much easier if- if- if- if you could feel like all of those three could easily- easily wind up. But they don’t necessarily. And that’s why Carl always says, “For us it’s a conversation”.

You know to us, I think it’s very easy to reduce, “What do you think of homosexuality” to just a public statement. And that would keep a lot of people happy. But we feel at this point that it is an ongoing conversation. That the real issues in people’s lives are too important for us to reduce it down to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in a media outlet. So we- we’re on the journey with it aren’t we?

Carl Lentz: Yeah I think. So what- what you asked initially, what do – what do you meant by relevance, was that there was an age perhaps where I didn’t have to have a – you know – a consuming interest in how to make the, “How does this matter”. If you’re in an areas where this is not relevant, you know a pastor don’t have to worry about this at all.

But when you live in New York city, you better figure out a way quickly to say, “This is what our bible says. This is what we believe and here’s how it applies to your life”. So that’s what he meant by “It’s a challenge to stay relevant”. A lot of churches refuse to be relevant and just say, “This is that”. And will refuse to even look at your situation. Even try to explain this or make some sort of a bridge. So that’s… I think was the… You know…

Source: Hillsong Church pastors Brian Houston and Carl Lentz comment on homosexuality and cultural relevancy during a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, in New York City; By Nicole A. Menzie, Hillsong Press Conference Homosexuality, Soundcloud, https://soundcloud.com/nicola-menzie/hillsong-press-conference-homosexuality, Published 18/10/2014. (Accessed 20/10/2014.)

Here is Brian Houston’s statement which can be found on the Hillsong website:

Statement from Brian Houston – Senior Pastor, Hillsong Church
Re: recent media comments on homosexuality

I encourage people not to assume a media headline accurately represents what I said at a recent press conference.

Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage. I challenge people to read what I actually said, rather than what was reported that I said. My personal view on the subject of homosexuality would line up with most traditionally held Christian views. I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject.

I was asked a question on how the church can stay relevant in the context of gay marriage being legal in the two states of the USA where we have campuses. My answer was simply an admission of reality – no more and no less. I explained that this struggle for relevance was vexing as we did not want to become ostracized by a world that needs Christ.

I made the point that public statements condemning people will place a barrier between the church and the world (and I note that Jesus came to save and not to condemn), which is why at Hillsong, we don’t want to reduce the real issues in people’s lives to a sound bite.

This – like many other issues, is a conversation the church needs to have and we are all on a journey as we grapple with the question of merging biblical truth with a changing world.

Source: By Brian Houston, Statement from Brian Houston – Senior Pastor, Hillsong Church, Hillsong, http://hillsong.com/media/statement-re-recent-media-comments-on-homosexuality, Published 19/10/2014. (Accessed 20/10/2014.)

 RELATED ARTICLES

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 1)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 2)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 3)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 4)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 5)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 6)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 7)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 8)

Hillsong grooming its members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 8)

hillsong lgbtqi gay homosexualRecently Brian Houston, Carl Lentz and Hillsong have received some backlash in American media around their silence on the gay issue.

In writing this, we want to assure you that no matter what Hillsong will say on this matter, they can’t claim to be honest and orthodox about getting their views from the biblical text. In this article we will give people a quick overview of some key articles to understand the dilemma Hillsong now is facing with the media in America. We will end with a recent article from the New York Times.

As you know, we have been reporting how Brian Houston appears to be grooming his congregation to accept Roman Catholicism as a legitimate Christian faith and to embrace what we call queerstianity.

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 1)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 2)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 3)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 4)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 5)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 6)

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 7)

In Part 2 of the above series, we cover an article Ben Gresham published in relation to a meeting he had with Brian Houston. Gresham left the meeting believing and stated that his blog “entry shares Brian’s thoughts on homosexuality, gays in church, the future of the church and dealing with the whole ‘gay issue’. In connection with Brian Houston’s recent comments in American media, we can see the lasting impacts of this meeting.

In the below article by the New York Times, they report Brian Houston saying the following:

“The world we live in, whether we like it or not, is changing around and about us,” he said. “The world’s changing, and we want to stay relevant as a church, so that’s a vexing thing.”

Mr. Houston, as he has done in sermons, ruefully noted the experience of gay children growing up in Christian churches, saying that some feel rejected by their youth pastors or even their parents, and that as a result, some young people “literally are depressed, maybe even suicidal, and, sadly, oftentimes grow up to hate the church because they feel that the church rejected them.”

In Part 7 in our above queerstianity series, we covered Anthony Venn-Brown (AVB), (ex-leader of Hillsong Church), pointing out how Brian Houston indeed appears to be grooming his church to embrace his false doctrine of queerstianity (in the name of relevance). Not only did AVB validly point out the dangers of the road of relevance, he offered his readers a short excerpt from one of Brian Houston’s sermons. You will note when you watch the snippet of Brian Houston how he nearly repeats his ideas to the media in the United States (Read Part 7 to view transcript).

The New York Times also pointed out the following observation of the heretical Matthew Vines (you can see Matthew Vines’ entire theology refuted in Part 1 above by Dr James White):

“Mr. Houston’s comments were welcomed by Matthew Vines, a young gay evangelical who is trying to persuade the evangelical world that faith in the Bible is not at odds with openness to gays and lesbians.

You can watch Hillsong introduce the song ‘Scandal of Grace’ at the beginning of Brian Houston’s sermon ‘Scandal of Grace’. In this sermon you can watch Brian Houston explain the theology behind the song.

(Quick reminder: Hillsong often heavily edit their sermons before putting them online. Instead of seeing the complete sermons of Brian Houston, these edited sermons will appear to be less controversial for Christian consumption. So keep in mind – you are not getting the full sermon in Hillsong’s below presentation.)

Venn-Brown’s snippet was taken towards the end of this sermon (in part 2). Notice how he twists the scriptures and uses behavioural methodologies to undermine people’s intellect to manipulate people?

So what is the point of writing this article? Well – it seems that Brian Houston and Hillsong have no regard for the truth and will basically justify their views with very little integrity. They’ll claim to be orthodox and traditional (even though their identity is built on just the opposite), just to confuse and silence people who are concerned where Hillsong is headed.

A good example of this was when Brian Houston was ‘caught’ teaching that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. He was very misleading in his statement and in his sermon. It was only after he was ‘exposed’ that he addressed the concerns of many by saying he was misinterpreted. And even in his official statement, we exposed his lies to the church and the general public.

A faithful witness does not lie, but a false witness breathes out lies.
Proverbs 14:5

He’s either going to show Christians that Hillsong is no longer traditional or claim he is traditional although pushing everything other than traditional.

So Brian – what now?

Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
Proverbs 30:6

The New York Times reports,

Megachurch Pastor Signals Shift in Tone on Gay Marriage

The pastor of one of the more influential global megachurches has declared that his church is in “an ongoing conversation” about same-sex marriage — saying that it is appropriate to consider the words of the Bible alongside the changing culture and the experience of people in the pews.

The comments by Brian Houston, the senior pastor of Hillsong, immediately attracted concern from the right and applause from the left, coming as many Christian denominations and congregations are struggling with how to respond to rapid expansion of gay rights and legalization of same-sex marriage.

Mr. Houston’s church, which is based in Australia, is known largely as a musical powerhouse because of the popularity of its recordings of contemporary Christian worship music, but its youthful congregation is vast — about 100,000 weekly worshipers at campuses in a dozen major cities, including New York and Los Angeles — and its cultural reach broad.

“The world we live in, whether we like it or not, is changing around and about us,” he said. “The world’s changing, and we want to stay relevant as a church, so that’s a vexing thing.”

Mr. Houston, as he has done in sermons, ruefully noted the experience of gay children growing up in Christian churches, saying that some feel rejected by their youth pastors or even their parents, and that as a result, some young people “literally are depressed, maybe even suicidal, and, sadly, oftentimes grow up to hate the church because they feel that the church rejected them.”

He said he lived by “what the Bible says,” and his spokesman said on Friday that the pastor personally agreed with traditional Christian teaching on sexuality. But Mr. Houston said he did not think it would be constructive to delineate a public position on same-sex marriage.

“It’s very easy to reduce what you think about homosexuality to just a public statement, and that would keep a lot of people happy,” he said, “but we feel at this point, that it is an ongoing conversation, that the real issues in people’s lives are too important for us just to reduce it down to a yes or no answer in a media outlet. So we’re on the journey with it.”

Some of Hillsong’s churches appear to be open to gays and lesbians. Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, a gay couple featured on the current season of “Survivor;” worship and sing in the choir at Hillsong New York; Mr. Canfield is a volunteer choir director at the church.

Mr. Houston’s comments were welcomed by Matthew Vines, a young gay evangelical who is trying to persuade the evangelical world that faith in the Bible is not at odds with openness to gays and lesbians.

But Andrew Walker, the director of policy studies for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressed concern about Mr. Houston’s remarks, blogging for the journal “First Things,” “let’s be clear that this is not the route of faithfulness,” and calling Hillsong “a church exchanging compassion for cowardliness before culture’s consistory.”

Mr. Houston’s remarks on same-sex marriage were one of several instances this week in which he and his church differentiated themselves from some other segments of the evangelical world.

His wife, Bobbie Houston, who is also a senior pastor of Hillsong, responded to a question about women’s roles in evangelical churches by saying, “Really, the church needs to come of age sometimes, and just grow up.” Hillsong allows women to preach and teach; many evangelical churches do not.

And in an era when many religious leaders are defensive about the issue of clergy sexual abuse, Mr. Houston offered several searing, and at times self-critical, descriptions of how he handled the realization 15 years ago that his own father, also a Pentecostal pastor, was a pedophile. The episode has returned to the public eye because last week Mr. Houston testified about it before a royal commission investigating institutional response to child sexual abuse in Australia; in New York he talked with the press about the subject on Thursday and then with 5,500 people attending a Hillsong conference on Friday at Madison Square Garden.

He said he believed he did the right thing by removing his father from ministry as soon as he became aware of an abuse allegation. However, he said, in hindsight he should have informed the police at the time, even though the victim had asked him not to.

“There’s a difference between being pitiful and being transparent,” he said Friday, explaining why he chose to speak about the issue. “Authenticity always works, in every situation.”

Source: By Michael Paulson, Megachurch Pastor Signals Shift in Tone on Gay Marriage, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/us/megachurch-pastor-signals-shift-in-tone-on-gay-marriage.html?_r=1, Published 17/10/2014. (Accessed 19/10/2014.)

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