Hillsong’s Darlene Zschech Condemns Christians and aligns herself to Roman Catholicism

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It is important for Christians to grasp just how dangerous Darlene Zschech has become in light of her allegiance to Rome and her condemnation of Christians who have spoken out against her worship for the pope. While this article is long, it will be worth your time reading to see how much Zschech has aligned herself to Roman Catholicism by examining her theology.

Pope Francis

A FALSE SPIRIT

Darlene says she can see what “the Holy Spirit is doing around the earth” claiming it “is completely breathtaking.” However, she notes “His role in our experience of following Jesus makes us so very similar.” Notice that this is NOT the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth. While Mrs. Zschech is not zschecking to see if this spirit is the Holy Spirit or another spirit at work, she is elevating this phenomena and “experience” as though it is.

Darlene also states,

“I relate it being a part of a family.. different characteristics, faces, tastes and giftings.. yet a DNA running through our veins that draw us together.”

Once again. No truth. No holiness. Just flights of fancy and delusion at best.

A FALSE STANDARD

Darlene writes,

“A few months ago a very interesting email turned up in my office inviting me… to actually lead songs of worship with others as the Pope called people to prayer and unity.”

A normal Christian would be concerned over this. They would go to God in prayer and to His Word. They would also be diligent in researching what they are involved in due to Roman Catholicism’s colourful history. They would consider if what they are doing is furthering the proclamation of the gospel or doing damage to the truth or personal witness of Christ.

So how did Darlene approach this sensitive issue?

“Most invites I receive, I am unable to say yes to, but when Mark and I feel a peace about it, I go forward very prayerfully and with great expectation for all God will do.”

So what was her standard for attending? Not the bible. Not the Holy Spirit. It was her feeling “a peace about it.”

How reliable are your feelings?

A FALSE UNITY

What’s worse was she fell for the false Ecumenical doctrine of Roman Catholicism. It wasn’t just denominations. It was with other religions such as Roman Catholicism and Judaeism. Different religions are not denominations. This is Darlene Zschech capitalising on people’s ignorance.

“This invite to Rome was about many different denominations coming together to pray for the world we live in. To worship together, to announce the Hope of Jesus to all who will hear.”

This is a false unity. Christianity is united in the central truths on Christ’s teachings. Roman Catholicism and Judaeism do not do this. This is why the song ‘Amazing Grace’ may have been chosen – because it’s a song that leaves the name of Jesus out. So… how can Darlene say she was “there to lift up the name of Jesus?”

Does she not know that the gospel that Christ preached causes controversy and division? Does she not know that when Christ tells us to preach the gospel that the Christian IS judging? How can she claim to lift up Christ but say she “was not there to judge?”

A FALSE WORSHIPER

But she DID judge and CONDEMN. Who did she judge and condemn? The pope for preaching heresies and blasphemies?

No. Darlene decided to pass condemnation on Christians who rightly called her out on her compromise to paganism:

“So, I must say I was completely taken by surprise at the harsh and downright mean comments from Christians who criticised my involvement in the event without any understanding, without any knowledge of why or how I got to be there. Or why I even felt it was important to be present.”

According to Darlene, Christians who spoke against her apostasy are “without any understanding” and are “without any knowledge of why or how I got to be there.” This is a classic Brian Houston maneuver to escape any form of accountability and responsibility and to appeal to those who blindly support Mrs. Zschech.

Darlene – you got there because you are false teacher and are not a Christian. You threw out God’s commandments years ago and have followed “after your own heart and your own eyes, which you […] whore[d] after” (Numbers 15:39). You have not remembered or followed Christ’s commandments and have refused to “be holy to your God” (Numbers 15:40). If Jesus was truly your God, you would realise the danger you are in by embracing Roman Catholic ecumenism.

You claim, you were “not there to become a Catholic” but in the past you claim that you “serve the Catholic Church in its vision to present the gospel.” So tell us how you are not Catholic? You just condemned CHRISTIANS over your decision to sing for Jesus the Pope but claim that you were there “to lift up the name of Jesus.” Which Jesus?

You claim you went there “without any hesitation or compromise,” but you were happy to shake your hand with the pope and condemn Christ’s sheep with the other. Compromise? Really?

Did you HEAR how the pope used “grace” to promote Ecumenism and compromise in his message? Your own words condemn you. The Pope has deceived you into believing this is Christianity and that these people worship Jesus:

“A message was preached about the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our midst, and about the great grace of God which we are all dependent. Pope Francis asked the crowd to declare loudly,’Jesus is Lord’ three times and each time it grew in confidence and intention. Worship was lifted up which had the many thousands of people who attended all singing in free-flowing moments which to be honest, was reminiscent of a time I sang on a John Wimber crusade in New Zealand many years ago.”

You claim, “I have learned over many years, that once Jesus is the centre, anything can happen.” So now you are blaming Jesus for your compromise towards pagan Rome? That is blasphemy, considering the fact that Roman Catholicism teaches that the pope is Jesus veiled in flesh.

It’s people like you that give Christianity a bad name.

Your compromise is as adulterous as the sins of Ancient Israel against God. You are playing the harlot and attributing the name of God to other deities, leading other Christians spiritual prostitution. God’s Word has pronounced this over you like the other apostates in Israel’s rebellious days:

“And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from meand their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,” Isaiah 29:13 (Emphasis ours.)

You write, “So, I must say I was completely taken by surprise at the harsh and downright mean comments from Christians who criticised my involvement in the event without any understanding, without any knowledge of why or how I got to be there. Or why I even felt it was important to be present.”

One can’t help but ask why you’re so quick to judge your critics without any understanding, without any knowledge of why they’re coming to you in concern, or why they felt it was so important to speak out against your actions.

A FALSE HISTORY PRESENTATION

Darlene doesn’t stop there. She appears to treat Roman Catholicism as a legitimate sect of Christianity:

“The truth is that there are parts of every denomination that struggle with historical injustices, and I cannot even fathom some of the abuses and subsequent heartbreak endured due as a result of these actions.”

Here Darlene still insists that Roman Catholicism is a Christian denomination and is downplaying the crimes of pagan Roman Catholicism. The problem is that Zschech does not realise that it was Roman Catholicism that eternally damned and murdered Christians for preaching the saving Gospel of Grace to Jesus.

She then has the audacity to try and convince Christians that Roman Catholicism is seeking after Jesus. She writes,

“But I also know that the word of God says that if people truly seek after God, they will find Him.
( Jeremiah 29:13Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Zschech is misusing Jeremiah 29:13 and using the Roman Catholic ecumenical doctrine and Roman Catholic mysticism to silence critics and to obscure the horrific history of the Roman Catholic institution. While Jeremiah was exposing Israel of following false prophets (like Darlene Zschech) and whoring after other Gods (eg. Pope Francis), Darlene is using Jeremiah’s words to do the exact opposite. She is standing for ecumenism, suggesting that those she has gathered with are seeking “after God.”

An example of what ecumenism looks like.

A FALSE TRUTH

“It all comes down to a seeking heart. And a God, who is seeking us, is NOT defined or intimidated by denomination, liturgy, age or preferences… the TRUTH of our hearts toward Him is what He is after.”

Darlene – Jesus himself says the heart is WICKED. And right now you are committing the downplay fallacy (a deceitful argument) and making God Himself to be a liar.

God says that no one seeks after God, no not one (Romans 3). But here you are encouraging Christians to embrace another god in Jesus’ name. You are elevating the human heart and downplaying God’s holiness to justify your sin.

Jesus said,

“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” Matthew 15:19 (Emphais ours.)

After watching you maliciously swipe at Christians and defend your position to sing before a false Jesus, you insist that God looks at the “TRUTH of our hearts toward Him.” What truth is in your heart toward him? Hypocrisy and lies are all we are seeing flowing from your heart.

Admit you made a mistake, repent and return to your crucified saviour who died for your wicked heart and come the realisation that without him, you are wicked. You need to step down as a pastor and leader, pick up God’s Word and reform and submit to who you confess is Lord.

A FALSE MIRACLE

“So yes, I did meet Pope Francis. And yes, I did witness something truly miraculous.”

Did Mrs Zschech witness lying signs and wonders and “feel a peace about” this false “miraculous” unity?

Zschech: “I did meet Pope Francis. And yes, I did witness something truly miraculous.”

She also states,

“Change is happening all over the planet.”

Change is happening all over the planet. But this change is not Christianity. Roman Catholicism is a politically correct pagan religion that presents a false Jesus that will not save someone from their sin.

A FALSE CHRISTIAN

Now Darlene Zschech starts to take off her sheepskin. We hope Darlene really reconsiders what she says here.

“There is a hunger for the truth of being a Christ follower.”

Darlene, it’s a shame people can’t see the truth in you anymore. How can you claim to be a Christian when you exchange the truth of God for a lie? The people you are mingling with love having a form of godliness but deny God’s power. They love the appearance but hate the truth. And because they hate the truth, they invited you.

“and so Christ followers need to be found EVERYWHERE..”

So the Pope’s not Catholic? You’re calling him a Christian Darlene? And you call yourself a Christian pastor and worship leader? What are you worshiping? How did you become a pastor again? How exactly are you proving you’re a Christian who submits to the lordship of Christ by ignoring what God has written?

A FALSE LOVE

“that we will be a witness BY OUR LOVE.”

Darlene has demonstrated again and again that she abhors Christ, His Church and His Word. She also despised Christians by refusing to listen to what they have to say. She is more adamant in elevating the second commandment above the first, thus proving she is an idolater.

The Christian love is a fruit of the GOSPEL that Christ commanded we preach to all nations. But Darlene, you wouldn’t know what love is because the truth of God is not in you. If the truth is in you, why are you pushing a false love through the false Roman Catholic ecumenical doctrine and not contending for the Christian faith?

A FALSE LIGHT

“C’mon church. Isaiah 60 says to ARISE SHINE Thy light has come that even as the earth grows darker,”

C’mon church. 1Corinthians 5 says to “expel/purge the wicked person from among us” unless they repent. Darlene is deliberately hiding the light of Christ and His Word under a bushel by compromising His message and whoring after Rome.

“Christ’s light in us shines brighter.”

Where has truth and light been evident in Darlene’s words and behaviour? Her authority is her feelings, her words are maligning Christians and her beliefs are elevating man and paganism above Christ and His Word. She has ignored the warning of God:

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20

Jesus diagnoses this issue that Darlene has by saying “If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23.) We are called to have nothing to do with darkness but expose them (Ephesians 5:11).

Darlene is hiding the gospel of Christ under a bushel and is calling the darkness, light. The truth of God illuminates, the lie darkens.

“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.” Luke 11:33-36 (Emphasis added.)

A FALSE UNDERSTANDING

Darlene said,

“Let’s not be dulled down by a lack of understanding,”

Darlene is suggesting that Christians who spoke against are “dulled down by a lack of understanding?” We’ve pointed out the fact that Darlene does not understand who Jesus is nor understands the dangers of Roman Catholicism.

“[…] or a judgmental attitude.”

But it is Darlene that has had a judgmental attitude against Christians who Protestantly protested her worshiping for the Pope.

She also said,

“I had to continually remind myself that I was there to announce and declare the Kingdom of God,”

What does this mean? What was causing Darlene to forget? What gospel was she presenting? She hasn’t told us anything in depth in regards to how she shared the gospel to anyone. This vague statement offers no insight.

“[…] and not to fault find […]”

Once again – the people she did “fault find” were Christians – not Roman Catholics or the Pope.

“[…] but to be aware and awake to something very precious.”

What does that mean? False teachers always play word games and hide behind meaningless, mystical language – what was ‘precious’?

“And so on we go, hearts and hands ready for all God is calling us into.”

Another meaningless mystical statement that you’d expect a New Age guru to say.

Darlene Zschech ends with this

“Love you all so much xx Darls”

Who is Darlene kidding? She loves everyone except Bible believing Christians.

CONCLUSION

People may think we are harsh with Darlene. However, it is people like her that DEMAND she be followed. She now prides herself as a pastor of Hope Unlimited Church (what hope does she offer?), which means she expects people to SUBMIT to her UNBIBLICAL authority.

Sadly, Darlene is another fraud who likes the benefits of Christianity but does not like the hard responsibility nor the accountability that comes with the office. As soon as she steps out of line, just like other false teachers, they downplay their responsibilities, condemn Christians and insist that we march to the beat of their visions and drums.

In this case, Darlene is playing the harlot for Pagan Rome and telling Christians that Jesus endorses her sins of compromise, peddling Roman Catholic mysticism and ecumenism in the process.

Darlene Zschech writes,

CHANGES

Hey, lovely people.

I am writing this mid-air on my way home from Singapore after an amazing time away speaking, leading worship, writing songs, being with dear friends. It has been wonderful. And, to see what the Holy Spirit is doing around the earth is completely breathtaking. Even in all the expressions that make us different as God’s colourful church, its incredible to me that when the Holy Spirit draws near, His role in our experience of following Jesus makes us so very similar. I relate it being a part of a family.. different characteristics, faces, tastes and giftings.. yet a DNA running through our veins that draw us together.

One of the highlights was finding myself with Mark in Rome. A few months ago a very interesting email turned up in my office inviting me to sing at a beautiful event called the ‘Catholic charismatic renewal’ at St Peters Square, to actually lead songs of worship with others as the Pope called people to prayer and unity.

Most invites I receive, I am unable to say yes to, but when Mark and I feel a peace about it, I go forward very prayerfully and with great expectation for all God will do.

This invite to Rome was about many different denominations coming together to pray for the world we live in. To worship together, to announce the Hope of Jesus to all who will hear. Mark and I felt it was important to say yes this time.

So, I must say I was completely taken by surprise at the harsh and downright mean comments from Christians who criticised my involvement in the event without any understanding, without any knowledge of why or how I got to be there. Or why I even felt it was important to be present.

I was not there to judge, I was not there to become a Catholic, I was not there to sightsee. But I WAS there to lift up the name of Jesus.. without any hesitation or compromise.. for as I have learned over many years, that once Jesus is the centre.. anything can happen.

A message was preached about the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our midst, and about the great grace of God which we are all dependent. Pope Francis asked the crowd to declare loudly,’Jesus is Lord’ three times and each time it grew in confidence and intention. Worship was lifted up which had the many thousands of people who attended all singing in free-flowing moments which to be honest, was reminiscent of a time I sang on a John Wimber crusade in New Zealand many years ago.

There is much I could say in this blog. I will say that it is sad when Christians beat up other Christians with words, and somehow think that it ok to do so. I will say that it is sad when we retreat to immature responses rather than being people of diligent prayer for ALL sectors of the church. The truth is that there are parts of every denomination that struggle with historical injustices, and I cannot even fathom some of the abuses and subsequent heartbreak endured due as a result of these actions.

But I also know that the word of God says that if people truly seek after God, they will find Him.

( Jeremiah 29:13Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

It all comes down to a seeking heart. And a God, who is seeking us, is NOT defined or intimidated by denomination, liturgy, age or preferences… the TRUTH of our hearts toward Him is what He is after. Not controlled or manufactured, outside in expressions of lives trying to present a Holy life. Jesus, only Jesus is the answer. He takes us as He finds us. He works with us every day, from the inside out, patient and kind in His love for us and His ultimate work in our lives, leading us daily in our life’s purpose.

So yes, I did meet Pope Francis. And yes, I did witness something truly miraculous.

Change is happening all over the planet. There is a hunger for the truth of being a Christ follower, and so Christ followers need to be found EVERYWHERE.. that we will be a witness BY OUR LOVE.

C’mon church. Isaiah 60 says to ARISE SHINE Thy light has come that even as the earth grows darker, Christ’s light in us shines brighter. Let’s not be dulled down by a lack of understanding, or a judgmental attitude. I had to continually remind myself that I was there to announce and declare the Kingdom of God and not to fault find but to be aware and awake to something very precious. And so on we go, hearts and hands ready for all God is calling us into.

Go into ALL the world….

Source: By Darlene Zschech, Changes, DarleneZschech.com, http://darlenezschech.com/2015/07/changes/, 17/07/2015. (Accessed 26/07/2015.)

The EIC report on Darlene Zschech leading worship for the pope

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How do you spit on the face of the famous songwriter John Newton (who wrote ‘Amazing Grace’), and kiss the Whore of Babylon in one breath?

Allow Hillsong’s popular Darlene Zschech to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ to the Pope.

Darlene Zschech Hillsong RCC Harlot

“You worship me with your lips but your heart is far from me.” – God

This is a blasphemous act when one considers that it was the Roman Catholic Church that eternally damned any Christian (and often to death) who preached that someone is saved by God’s grace alone. Darlene said at WYD08,

“We see WYD08 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.” [Source]

To this very day, Roman Catholicism STILL preaches a gospel that says “no absolute assurance of salvation” is given to a person. Instead, a person may “have a moral assurance of salvation.” The above excerpt was from an evangelistic booklet handed out at the ecumenical** World Youth Day Sydney, an event where Darlene Zschech and Hillsong United led worship.

“Some people promote an especially attractive idea: All true Christians, regardless of how they live, have an absolute assurance of salvation, once they accept Jesus into their hearts as “their personal Lord and Savior.” The problem is that this belief is contrary to the Bible and constant Christian teaching. The Bible makes it clear that Christians have a moral assurance of salvation… but the Bible does not teach that Christians have a guarantee of heaven. There can be no absolute assurance of salvation.” – Pillar of FIRE, Pillar of TRUTH, WYDSYD08, Published by Catholic Answers, Inc. 2008. [Source]

Darlene’s participation is a sign to Protestants that they should “return to Rome” and reinforces people involved in the global Roman Catholic movement to not leave. In fact, the bible clearly demonstrates that Darlene Zschech is not a Christian but a false teacher, usurping biblical offices and as a false teacher – progressing from bad to worse.

This is because Darlene Zschech needs to get a clue to who her worship was directed to at this event. Consider who her audience was: The Pope (The Vicarius Christi). The Catholic Encyclopedia has this to say about the Pope:

“A title of the pope implying his supreme and universal primacy, both of honour and of jurisdiction, over the Church of Christ. It is founded on the words of the Divine Shepherd to St. Peter: “Feed my lambs. . . . Feed my sheep” (John 21:16-17), by which He constituted the Prince of the Apostles guardian of His entire flock in His own place, thus making him His Vicar and fulfilling the promise made in Matthew 16:18-19.

In the course of the ages other vicarial designations have been used for the pope, as Vicar of St. Peter and even Vicar of the Apostolic See (Pope Gelasius, I, Ep. vi), but the title Vicar of Christ is more expressive of his supreme headship of the Church on earth, which he bears in virtue of the commission of Christ and with vicarial power derived from Him. Thus, Innocent III appeals for his power to remove bishops to the fact that he is Vicar of Christ (cap. “Inter corporalia”, 2, “De trans. ep.”). He also declares that Christ has given such power only to His Vicar Peter and his successors (cap. “Quanto”, 3, ibid.), and states that it is the Roman Pontiff who is “thesuccessor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus Christ” (cap. “Licet”, 4, ibid.). The title Vicar of God used for the pope by Nicholas III (c. “Fundamenta ejus”, 17, “De elect.”, in 6) is employed as an equivalent for Vicar of Christ.”

Source: Vicar of Christ, The NewAdvent, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15403b.htm, Accessed 27/07/2015.

‘Vicarius Christi’ means ‘instead of Christ’ or ‘Representation of Christ’. Oddly enough, the term anti-Christ means ‘replacement of Christ’. The similarities are striking, not to mention the fact that it is the Holy Spirit that fully represents Jesus Christ here on earth while Christ is seated in heaven. It is no wonder that pagan Roman Catholicism treats the pope like the man-god Pharoah of pagan Egypt:

“The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth.”
Source: Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, “Cities Petrus Bertanous”.

Pope Nicholas I declared: ” the appellation of God had been confirmed by Constantine on the Pope, who ,being God, cannot be judged by man.”
Source: Labb IX Dist.: 96 Can 7 Satis Evidentur Decret Gratian Primer Para.

The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, He is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under the veil of flesh.”
Source: Catholic National July 1895.

“All names which in the Scriptures are applied to Christ, by virtue of which is established that He is over the church, all the same names are applied to the Pope.”
Source: On the authority of the Councils, Book 2, Chapter 17.

“The Pope is of so great dignity, and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God.”
Source: Ferraris Ecclesiastical dictionary.

[See more here]

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Darlene shakes hands with 'Jesus'.

Darlene shakes hands with ‘Jesus’ but ‘Jesus’ doesn’t promise her salvation.

The Evangelical Industrial Complex (Hope 103.2 radio) recently decided to flog Hillsong’s beloved Darlene Zschech to sing at a dangerous ecumenical event in Rome for the “Vicar of Christ.”

Darlene Zschech Leads Worship For Pope

Australia’s iconic Christian singer Darlene Zschech led worship for Pope Francis at an ecumenical prayer gathering of more than 30,000 people at the Vatican last week.

The event, on Friday July 3, was a prayer and worship gathering for the persecuted church called Voices In Prayer led by Pope Francis in St Peter’s Square.

It was part of the 38th Annual Convocation of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, a Holy-Spirit centred movement within the Catholic Church also known as Renewal In The Holy Spirit (Rinnovamento nello Spirito Santo).

Darlene sang alongside the world-renowned tenor and devout Catholic Andrea Bocelli, US worship leader Don Moen, and Israeli singer-songwriter Noa (Anchinoam Nini).

Together they led the gathering of believers in singing Amazing Grace.

Ecumenical Event Makes History

The event brought together Protestants, Catholics and Jews together to pray for believers around the world who are being martyred and persecuted.

According to The Examiner, it was historic occasion, being the first ever ecumenical event held in St Peter’s Square.

According to an article in Christian Today the Catholic Charismatic Renewal’s president, Salvatore Martinez wanted the event to represent the church’s love for their persecuted brothers and sisters.

“We want to give a voice to those who have lost the right to live, to have a home with their families and live with their loved ones,” he said.

“The right to confess a faith means the capacity to confess it freely.”

Calling All Believers To Pray For The Persecuted

World renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli sings alongside Darlene Zschech (R) and Israeli singer Noa.

US worship artist Don Moen, one of the singers at the event, called on believers to join in the prayer movement.

“Although there are many denominational differences throughout the church worldwide, I have seen first hand how coming together in worship and prayer promotes unity,” he said in a press release.

“Join me as we pray for those who are being jailed, beaten, and killed for professing their belief in Jesus Christ.”

Pope Francis Urges Believers To Look To The Holy Spirit

Pope Francis, who addressed 30,000 people at the Voices In Prayer event. Photo: Marco Campagna.

Pope Francis addressed the gathering, warning people not to rely upon charismatic leaders but instead on the Holy Spirit, according to a report in Christian Today.

He also said he believes the Catholic Church should not have leaders for life, and that pontiffs should be prepared to resign if they could no longer lead.

”Let’s be clear. The only one who cannot be substituted in the Church is the Holy Spirit,” he said.

Darlene Praising God For Unity In The Church

Darlene Zschech, who co-leads Hope Unlimited Church on the NSW Central Coast, said after the event on her Facebook page, “What a day. All honour and praise to our Father in Heaven. Thank You, Thank You, Jesus.”

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal is a movement recognised by church leaders including the Pope, that emphasises the importance of having a personal relationship with Jesus and expressing the gifts of the Holy Spirit – such as prophecy, healing and speaking in tongues.

According to the Catholic World Report, by 2013 the movement had members in more than 230 nations, with over 160 million members.

See a full video of the Voices In Prayer Event on the “vatican” Youtube channel.

Source: By Clare Chate, Darlene Zschech, Leads Worship For Pope, Hope 103.2, http://hope1032.com.au/stories/culture/music-news/2015/darlene-zschech-leads-worship-for-the-pope/, Published 07/07/2015. (Accessed 26/07/2015.)

** Ecumenism: A doctrine that attempts to find common ground with all faiths and beliefs systems, applying pressure on individuals or religious groups to unite together for the “greater good” at the expense of watering down the core foundations of the Christian faith.

Hillsong Conference speakers supporting pagan Roman Catholicism

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The scriptures say,

“[…] and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD your God.” Numbers 15:39-41 (Emphasis ours)

07Flag_RCCHillsong is a classic example of what idolatrous Israel looked like in the Old Testament. In similar fashion, Hillsong are following after their own hearts and their own eyes, which they have inclined to “whore after”. The result of this never ends well.

In departing from the Word of God, they are prone to wonder into paganism, which sadly, this article will examine. Which pagan religion is Hillsong whoring after? The answer is the pagan religion of Roman Catholicism.

hillsong pope rcc roman catholic church

If Hillsong really take their worship “in spirit and in truth” seriously and want to be considered a Christian church, they will need to start cleaning up their beliefs and those they invite to speak at their conferences.

INTRODUCTION
speak

“SPEAK, WE’RE LISTENING – is a declaration that we are indeed, listening.”
Source: Hillsong Conference website, http://hillsong.com/conference/sydney.

We really do hope Brian Houston and Hillsong really are listening, because at the moment, nothing can be further from the truth.  This article will be looking at the speakers that “preached” at Hillsong Conference 2015, proving that Hillsong do not hear from God as their advertising suggests.

Before reading this article, we strongly suggest that you read Hillsong unashamedly and unethically manipulating Christians to embrace pagan Roman Catholicism (often through ecumenism):

Hillsong embracing Roman Catholicism and the false social gospel (Part 4)
Hillsong embracing Roman Catholicism and the false social gospel (Part 3)
Hillsong embracing Roman Catholicism and the false social gospel (Part 2)
Hillsong embracing Roman Catholicism and the false social gospel (Part 1)

RICK WARREN

Rick Warren recently spoke at Hillsong Conference 2015.

He said the following shocking statement in a Catholic video while referring to Catholics and Protestants, (see link to previous article):

“The most important thing is, if you love Jesus we’re on the same team.” [Source]

Muslims love ‘Jesus’ and Mormon’s love ‘Jesus’. Does this mean that Warren includes them on his team? Catholics also love ‘Jesus’, in fact this is a picture of the Catholic ‘Jesus’ (Eucharist) in the flesh, in a golden Monstrance.

Warren 7

Warren seems to think that this is the same Jesus of the Bible. However, if you love the Catholic ‘Jesus’ then you love an idol.

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 

We showed in a previous article that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist turns into the actual flesh of Jesus.

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

This picture shows what the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches.

Rick Warren is openly supporting the Catholic Church and Hillsong openly embrace him. Surely Warren would have nothing to do with the worship of an idol like the Monstrance right?

Wrong! This photo is from the ‘Proclaiming the Gospel’ Newsletter, September 2014 issue and it clearly shows that Warren has no problem in watching Catholic television and the worship of the Monstrance!

Warren

Source: Proclaiming the Gospel Newsletter, Sep, 2014, http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs182/1103609831924/archive/1118099561712.html. (Accessed 03/12/2014.)

Here is the full video that shows Warren’s shocking support for the Catholic Church including calling Pope Francis, ‘our Pope’ and saying, ‘If you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus”! This video is worth watching in full.

This is an example of Warren’s favourite TV show, ‘The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy’. Notice how the entire show revolves around praying to the blasphemous idol Monstrance, another Jesus.

So the question needs to keep being asked why Hillsong keeps Rick Warren to teach in their church?

Warren 2

This Twitter post is another example of Warren’s true position on how he views the Pope. Is not God our Father?

“And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” Matthew 23:9

Warren 3

This Twitter post shows Warren promoting ‘Evangelical Catholicism’, saying that it should be read by all Christian leaders!

Warren 4

Source: Stand Up For the Truth, http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/03/is-rick-warren-promoting-catholic-evangelicalism/. (Accessed 03/12/14.)

So what is Rick Warren? Is he a Christian or a Roman Catholic? For him to flipflop over something this important only reveals that he is “unstable in all his ways”.

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8

This next video shows Warren supporting the ‘Catholic come home’ campaign.

Warren 5

So what is Rick Warren? A Christian or a pagan Roman Catholic? This is important to consider when you read these next twitter posts from Rick Warren

Warren 6

This shows that Warren believes leadership has nothing to do with ‘what you do’, or leading by example. (This teaching would have suited Frank Houston’s ministry, no accountability for any actions. It also suits Brian Houston’s approach in dealing with his father and his choice to preach a twisted gospel.)

JOSEPH PRINCE

Hillsong Conference 2015 also had Joseph Prince speak. Brian Houston’s close friend is also leaning toward Catholicism.

Watch this next video as Joseph introduces blasphemous ‘Mother Grace’ doctrine. Joseph Prince is more subtle than Warren when it comes to promoting Catholicism; however he is just as dangerous.

Prince”…Having the same mother. We have the same Heavenly Father and the same mother grace, and our mother is not law.”

Prince 2

This is what Prince says about repentance in one of his best sellers, “Destined to reign, The secret to effortless success, wholeness and victorious living”.

“Stop examining yourself and searching your heart for sin” [Page 187]

“There are still people who insist that we have to preach on repentance. Well, I disagree!”  [Page 232]

Prince 4

Please watch this wonderful video of Justin Peters explaining how speaking things into existence is blasphemous. The video at 37:30, includes Joseph Prince explaining his version of repentance.

Prince 5

According to Joseph Prince, we receive everything back even to overcome death itself, by the work of ‘eating’!

“One time the Lord spoke to me… How can a small piece of bread and a cup make all the difference in the world? The simple act of eating and the Lord says, ‘All the tragedies known to men, all the cancer, the diabetes, the heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, even poverty even death it’s self all came about because of Adam simple act of eating from the wrong tree’. If that is so doesn’t it stand to Holy reason then that God would, through the last Adam, Jesus Christ, cause us to receive everything back from the simple act of eating, mmmmm Amen.”
Source: Joseph Prince, Sermon: ‘Health and wholeness through the Holy Communion’, (Disc 5 DVD series.)

“Only those who are saved are the ones chewing His flesh, drinking His blood”.
Source: Joseph Prince, Sermon: ‘Health and wholeness through the Holy Communion’, (Disc 5 DVD series.)

We do need to keep in mind that this may be a language issue. However, the parallels are there. Joseph Prince is again pushing pagan Roman Catholic doctrine, as the Roman Catholic Church teach that the Eucharist becomes Jesus in the flesh and that salvation is through the Eucharist.

MARTIN SMITH

Next we come to Martin Smith the former singer of Delirious, who was invited as a guest to Hillsong Conference 2015.

Smith fits right into Hillsong culture as Delirious performed at World Youth Day 2005, just as Hillsong did in 2008.

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

Not only did they perform but they were even included in the official Catholic, World Youth Day CD ‘Building One World’. (Note: the last time anyone tried to build ‘one world’ God intervened at the Tower of Babel.)

The Catholic building of ‘one world’ is all part of their ecumenical agenda of uniting all religions under themselves (and with a spokes person like Warren; they are well on their way of achieving their goals).

This is a screen shot from the Delirious? Web site promoting their performance and also showing the ‘Building One World’ album cover.

Smith

WYD 05

In a previous article we showed that Hillsong assisted the Catholics in worship to a false god and idol in 2008. Below are photos from World Youth Day 2005, showing the idol god that Martin Smith and Delirious? helped Catholic’s worship.

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

WYD 05 2

These are some blasphemous quotes that were spoken by the Pope at that same World Youth Day about the false god in the Eucharist and Monstrance.  This is what Martin Smith is aligning himself with and supporting.

Prior to Mass, the Pope said the following:On Sunday 21st August 2005, the same day that Martin Smith performed.

“The new prayer – which the Church calls the “Eucharistic Prayer” – brings the Eucharist into being.”

“The Eucharist must become the centre of our lives.”

“This is because the Eucharist releases the joy that we need so much, and we must learn to grasp it ever more deeply, we must learn to love it.”

“Let us pledge ourselves to do this – it is worth the effort! Let us discover the intimate riches of the Church’s liturgy and its true greatness…”

“Through your love for the Eucharist you will also rediscover the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in which the merciful goodness of God always allows us to make a fresh start in our lives.”

Source of quotes: Pope, The Vatican, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2005/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20050821_20th-world-youth-day_en.html, Published 21/08/2005. (Accessed 26/07/2015.)

SO WHAT ARE WE SEEING AT HILLSONG?

Essentially what we are seeing at Hillsong are leaders leading with closed minds and closed bibles, following after pagan mystical experiences and slapping “Jesus” on anything that sounds spiritual. This is incredibly dangerous considering the men that he Houston family like to snuggle up to.

If Hillsong wants to be considered Christian in any way, shape or form, they need to break their Roman Catholic church connections.

This is an important thing to do considering the fact that Hillsong are sidelining Jesus at the expense of being in the “divine” presence of the pope himself.

Below are some recent comments of Bobbie Houston from her instagram page, showing that she thinks it’s “sweet” when one of her followers says how great it is that the Pope is reaching out to Hillsong and “we are one church in Christ. Makes me proud to be Catholic.”

Interestingly, it also shows that Brian and Joel Houston did in fact meet the Pope in 2008.

Bobbie igram

Source: Bobbie Houston, Instagram, http://instagram.com/p/vejw0kIY4j/?modal=true posted 17/11/14, Published 17/11/2014. (Accessed 03/12/14.)

proof_Instagram-BobbieHoustonPopeAndFamily_08-07-2015Hillsong continues to support and embrace Catholicism by not speaking out against it and embracing other “Christian” leaders who promote it.

If this is not enough, the Hillsong Conference FaceBook post shows that Hillsong are ‘excited’ to unite with Catholicism and that Hillsong are championing the cause of the local Catholic church.

Hillsong Catholic ad

Source: Hillsong Conference Facebook Page, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/HillsongConference/photos/a.348318938595538.72896.348250275269071/893482327412527/?type=1&theater, Published 05/03/2015, (Accessed 09/07/15.)

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THE PROTEST IS NOT OVER HILLSONG

If Hillsong is truly a Christian and Protestant church they would make a stand. Instead, they remain as “infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).

Again and again, we have proven that Hillsong only care about accumulating people who “will not endure sound doctrine,”are only “wanting to have their ears tickled” and accumulating “for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires”.

So who was listening to God at Hillsong Conference 2015? The answer is: none.

“… preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Tim 4:2-4

NOTE: ALL SCREEN GRABS WERE TAKEN BEFORE 27/07/2015.

The EIC interview Hillsong’s slick marketing Prophet.

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The Evangelical Industrial Complex interviewed Brian Houston while his Hillsong Conference was underway. This interview was a clear plug for Houston’s Conference and to bolster the Bible Society’s status.

A few important issues emerged while Mr Sandeman interviewed Brian Houston.

1. Hillsong submits fully to the prophetic direction of Prophet Brian Houston.

This only proves that Hillsong is no different to the Mormon, Jehovah Witness and Roman Catholic cults. Each one of these cults were founded by men who operated in the infallible offices of “Prophet” or Christ Himself. You cannot question their teachings, visions or prophecies.

Brian reveals in this interview that, “God has spoken to [him] directing a vision which today has framed many different aspects of [Hillsong’s] work.”

This is troubling considering God has already framed how His church is to function in His Word.

Mr Houston says that God speaks to him “at the most unexpected times.”

“It’s been on airplanes. I was on an airplane way back in the early years of our church. I really got just a dream in my heart. It was called ‘International Power Ministries’ which could actually fit in a box in a store cupboard. It was all about “arms”: a Bible college, television ministry, praise and worship and a teaching and preaching resource. It was nothing more than a dream.”

So God spoke to Brian Houston through this dream? After looking how unbiblical Hillsong music can be and how heretical Brian Houston’s television ministry is, one has to ask the question – what went wrong?

Sadly, this is the big issue. While Houston may have these “arms” now, who can question this “dream” God gave him? What happens if we find that his vision is not supported biblically?

The idea is this in Hillsong: if you question the vision you are not questioning Brian Houston’s direction of Hillsong Church, you are questioning God.

Do not forget how God identifies a false prophet. Does this sound like Brian Houston?

“I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’” Jeremiah 23:25

2. Brian Houston elevates his beliefs above God’s Word. 

While this is obvious to people who analyse Houston’s sermons, Brian’s pride sticks out in this interview. In attempting to answer the same sex marriage issue, Brian Houston says he thinks “everyone deserves the right to be happy.” This is a recipe for disaster in Christianity if people embrace Brian Houston’s philosophies above the the bible.

Not once does Brian Houston does appeal to scriptures. Christ and His teachings do not make an appearance. He simply offers his opinions about God. If you get a Christian minister, you won’t hear opinions like, “I don’t necessarily, personally, believe that gay marriage is God’s definition of marriage.”

Brian Houston says he believes “that the way that we can help is by praying for people, helping them, wish them happiness. I want to see people happy. I don’t want to see people live their lives feeling broken or disenfranchised. It saddens me if you are hated by the church.”

See the problem here? What happened to Christians or even a pastor being an ambassador for Christ? (2 Corinthians 5:20.) Or a people proclaiming God’s Word? (Acts 8:4Revelation 20:42 Timothy 4:2.)

3. Brian Houston confesses that “No matter how slick [their] marketing, [Hillsong] can’t market some of the opportunity God has brought [their] way.”

Consider that statement in light of Hillsong’s past marketing gimmicks that present Brian Houston in a Messiah-like fashion and Hillsong as Jesus’ true church:

Hillsong Is A “Revival” And “Collective” That Is Not About “Astounding Bible Teachers”?
Hillsong’s deceitful marketing gimmicks (Part 1): Replacing Jesus with ‘Hillsong’ in ‘No other name’ campaign?
Hillsong’s marketing gimmicks (Part 2): “No other name” but “Hillsong: Brian Houston”?
Proof that Hillsong Conference is not listening to what God says – only to what leaders are imagining.
Hillsong embracing Roman Catholicism and the false social gospel (Part 4)

There are moral, ethical and biblical lines Christians simply should not cross when it comes to marketing. Sadly, Houston and Hillsong have no problem crossing the line in their marketing gimmicks.

We are continuing to expose Hillsong’s grooming of their movement to embrace pagan practices and anti-Christian beliefs to only further their “cause”. We are proving again and again that this is cleverly coordinated and planned using various forms of
“brainwashing”. Thus, the interview below contradicts what Brian Houston has been saying to media about how God has grown Hillsong before his eyes without much “planning”.

The Bible Society reports,

A one-on-one with Brian Houston:

INTERVIEW 

Eternity’s editor John Sandeman sits down with Brian Houston during Hillsong’s 2015 Conference, Australia’s largest Christian gathering.

I want to ask you about theme of this Hillsong Conference “Speak … we’re listening”. Can I ask you about a time in your life when you believe God spoke to you and said, “Brian, just keep on what you are doing, you are doing fantastically well” and maybe there’s a time when God said, “Brian, I really want you to change something you are doing.”

Look I could tell you many stories across my life of significant moments, when God has spoken to me directing a vision which today has framed many different aspects of our work.

I find it happens at the most unexpected times. It’s been on airplanes. I was on an airplane way back in the early years of our church. I really got just a dream in my heart. It was called ‘International Power Ministries’ which could actually fit in a box in a store cupboard. It was all about “arms”: a Bible college, television ministry, praise and worship and a teaching and preaching resource. It was nothing more than a dream.

I got off the plane with it drawn out, a little graph of what today is not Power Ministries International anymore, its 1500 students at Hillsong International College and we are on television in 160 countries around the world. The story of the music and worship is legendary. And so on and so on and so on. All of that came out of that encounter.

And I can tell you of many encounters like that. I can tell you of the time I was sitting outside a restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in the USA. I did not know anyone in America. But ever since I was a kid I was fascinated by America.

I never wanted to live there but I have always felt that somehow, sometime, we would have an impact there. And so I sat on this stool, this park bench and looked out across the vastness of America.

I think somehow when we are desperate and we are hurting, that is when the Bible speaks to us… ten times or a hundred times more than when we are just riding the waves of success.

Sunset Boulevard sits up on a ridge, on a hill. I looked across Los Angeles and I felt that God put in my heart that he would give me influence in that country. I could not see how it could happen but it was a specific encounter.

And today we have churches on both coasts which are dynamic and growing.

The praise and the worship have incredibly opened doors in America.

I am a great believer that God does speak and that we need to listen.

Many preachers I have met have had points of challenge in their lives – have you found it a challenge to be following God at various points in your life?

In my book Live, Love Lead (which Houston launched at Hillsong Conference this week) I talk a whole lot about living a big life on a difficult path through a narrow gate, to a glorious future, based on Matthew 7:13.

And so in the “difficult path” section I really open my heart up because the truth is that in our Hillsong world when outwardly we were exploding (with growth) inwardly I was imploding. So decline? I go into quite a bit of detail about that 12 year decline. I ended up with panic attacks and being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.

Yeah – I have had plenty of the valleys and the reason for adding all that to the book is that I want to bless other people. It is amazing how you meet God in the valley.

I think somehow when we are desperate and we are hurting, that is when the Bible speaks to us. Magnified. Speaks to us ten times or a hundred times more than when we are just riding the waves of success.

I am a great believer that if we do listen to God, he will speak. He will reach us in the dark.

The whole Christian community is at a certain point in history where we see things like the Supreme Court decision about same sex marriage in the United States. Can you tell me how the church can bless the gay community?

For a start I think everyone deserves the right to be happy. And I wish people happiness. I don’t necessarily, personally, believe that gay marriage is God’s definition of marriage.

I don’t necessarily, personally, believe that gay marriage is God’s definition of marriage. But I believe that as a church we can exist in that world.

But I believe that as a church we can exist in that world. As long as things are not forced upon the church in terms of what we have to do or don’t have to do. I just believe that the way that we can help is by praying for people, helping them, wish them happiness. I want to see people happy. I don’t want to see people live their lives feeling broken or disenfranchised. It saddens me if you are hated by the church.

Some young people – they got rejected when they tried to confront a youth leader or even their own parents, when they ask things about what they are dealing with in their own life and end up loathing the church, hating God and sometimes suicidal because they feel like they are an absolute failure in a world that has rejected them.

I think as a church it is so easy for us to wipe lives off. Hillsong Church is not like that. Unapologetically that is not what we are.

Brian, a question I have always wanted to ask you: what is the heart of Hillsong?

The heart of Hillsong is … I have written a little paragraph that talks about our heart and our tone. It talks about being generous in Spirit, faith-filled and inclusive in nature. That is exactly how I see it.

I believe the church works the opposite way to the world. If you go to a club in New York City it is rated on how exclusive it is, and how hard it is to get in.

The kingdom of God and the gospel is exactly the opposite. It is arms wide open, whosoever will may come. That is what I believe is the heart of Hillsong Church.

I see us as family. My wife describes our church – the way it is now spread all over the world – as “one house with many rooms”. And so we want that to be the feel of our church. You walk into any foyer of any of our churches anywhere and the first sign you see says “Welcome home”. That is how we want it to be.

No matter how slick our marketing, you can’t market some of the opportunity God has brought our way.

Our heart is to reach people and connect people with God. Love people, love life, love God.

Brian, do you wake up some days and can’t believe you are the chief pastor of such a huge family?

It overwhelms me, quite honestly. It overwhelms me. I always was a visionary, even when I was a boy, even when we started Hillsong, I could never have imagined the grace of God.

And I see it for what it is. All of us know that we have not done this ourselves. All of us know that.

No matter how slick our marketing, you can’t market some of the opportunity God has brought our way. I mean Hollywood knocking on our doors, a little suburban Sydney church, wanting to make a movie about us. It’s crazy favour.

You talk about the heart of our church, let me tell you one quick story that I love.

At Hillsong Los Angeles, recently a big celebrity turned up in his Rolls Royce. A Silver Shadow. And so we parked it in a secure, gated area just behind the theatre where we meet. And then a homeless guy came along with his shopping trolley and they asked him to come to church. And he wanted to come in but he was fearful because his whole life was in that trolley. He was scared someone might steal that shopping trolley. So they took his shopping trolley to the same yard and parked it right beside the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. And took the homeless guy into church.

You talk about the heart of our church, if that reflects it, then I say we are doing what we want to see. We talk about it being from the famous to the faceless. Or the faceless to the famous.

Unfortunately where our church is right now because there are celebrities here in Australia and globally who are becoming part of the church it can sort of hijack what the heart of our church is. Yes we want to reach those people, but we also want to reach people who are on the edges of society.

In the US especially there are people who once were Christian celebrities and singers, how do you keep Hillsong from selling out?

I think keeping rooted and grounded in local church is the answer to that.

All of our people, no matter how famous or successful they are, ultimately it all comes back to serving the local church. That is something we guard vigorously. Because they all know that it is the vision and the heart of the church that they are representing.

Hillsong United, they are riding the wave, those guys are either leading worship sometimes helping with sound, and they are just part of the family and in the community every weekend. That keeps them grounded.

Christian artists, they can get out there on the road, and it is amazing how easy it is for Christian artists to be living and singing in stadiums to multitudes, but slowly backsliding. Because they are cut off, I believe, from the foundation of every-day Christian living that comes out of serving God in the local church.

Source: By John Sandeman, A one on one with Brian Houston, The Bible Society, http://www.biblesociety.org.au/news/a-one-on-one-with-brian-houston, Published 01/07/2015. (Accessed 17/07/2015.)

Bobbie Houston speaking “in all truthfulness” about Hillsong tempting Jesus’ return?

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The more heretics and blasphemers insist they are speaking the truth, the more you can expect them to make an outrageous claim.

Bobbie Houston Hillsong church

Bobbie Houston once again parades her own neuron-free glory with this Hillsong Conference advert on Instagram:

In all truthfulness – worship was something else this week. I think Jesus may have been tempted to COME BACK a few times 😜😝😜#hillsongconf #noothername #Jesus#thykingdomcome

Source: Bobbie Houston, Instagram, Published 25/07/2015. https://instagram.com/p/5iYEQ8IY1K/, (Accessed 25/07/2015.)
proof_Instagram-InAllTruthfulness_25-07-2015

The stupidity behind this comment once again exposes that Hillsong leaders like Bobbie Houston have no clue who Jesus is nor knows how he will return in the last days. Jesus Himself said that he did not know when He will return but only His Father will know the day. Christ cannot return to earth through any form of temptation.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Matthew 24:36

Oddly enough, it was SATAN that used temptation to lure Jesus:

“Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’
and
“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:5-7

The above scripture highlights the fact that Jesus submits to the Word and will of His Father. Jesus neither submits to temptation whether it be from Satan or us. It only goes to prove that truth means nothing to Hillsong except to sell their own vain imaginings to gullible Christians.

News articles covering Hillsong unethically fleecing $100 million from members

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INTRODUCTION

Brian Houston has been publicly exposed by both Christian pastors as a heretic and as a false teacher by even the secular media. Sadly, people insist on calling Brian Houston a teacher in spite of him financially ripping off people through his false tithe doctrine. This is a key mark of a Prosperity cult leader. And sure enough, Brian Houston preaches the false Prosperity Jesus, the false Prosperity Gospel and many other false Prosperity Doctines (see his books You Need More Money, You Can Change the Future, Get A Life, For This Cause, For This I Was Born, How To Live A Blessed Life; and also see Brian Houston’s father’s book, The Release of the Human Spirit).

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The symbol Christians use to mark a Prosperity Heretic and their cult.

According to scripture, Brian Houston is not a Christian. This is because he continually throws people “into confusion” and is “trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” This is why Christians and even media have difficulty getting straight, honest answers from him. Even scripture identifies these traits of a fraud:

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” Galatians 1:6-9

If that is not clear enough, scriptures also fulfil the exact criteria of what the media expose him to be:

“Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” Philippians 3:19

Men like Brian Houston stand condemned and are no way associated to the Christian faith. If they want to be considered a Christian church, saying that everyone sings their music does not qualify. They are attempting to look Christian and this only fulfils Jesus’ warning to watch out for false teachers/prophets who come to us disguised in shepherd’s/sheep’s clothing. Good works does not make them legitimate. Their teaching does. And Jesus calls men like Brian Houston “lawless ones” (Matthew 7). Our opinion on this is that his track record also fulfills this criteria as an impostor of the Christian faith.

It is such a shame that Brian Houston has not been exposed by pastors in the past for his immoral and unethical teachings – specifically the doctrine on the tithe which has destroyed so many people financially. It is a con-mans doctrine that has been altered in such a way that it reflects the modern-day Amway money-making scheme (See Richard DeVos, Compassionate Capitalism – People helping people help themselves). Hillsong is simply a ponzi scheme with spirituality attached to it.

This article is a collection of media outlets that are concerned with the unhealthy focus Hillsong has on money among it’s many other issues.

Hillsong-Paper

In reading these articles, remember that Brian Houston personally disclosed back in 2010 that he earned over $300k a year. The fact that he is not disclosing this information now makes us wonder if he is earning more cash from new recruited members (see the end of second article).

The Daily Telegraph reports,

HILLSONG Church rakes in $100 million a year from its tax-exempt Australian operations as its weekly flock of 34,000 supporters hands over their hard-earned cash.

The church that started in suburban Sydney in the 1980s has expanded to 15 countries and now boasts an A-list of celebrity followers and “rock star” pastors.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the Hillsong brand increased its revenue by more than $10 million last year as it expands its business operations.

Hillsong, which receives tax breaks as a religious charity, employs 584 workers and has thousands of volunteers.

Senior pastor Brian Houston — son of alleged pedophile Pentecostal Christian pastor Frank Houston — said weekly attendance at its churches had grown by 8.5 per cent.

“We have been encouraged this year with the number of new people joining our church,” Mr Houston said.

Hillsong, which has opened new churches in LA, Hobart and the Gold Coast, was merged with his father’s Christian Life Centre in the 1990s. Mr Houston has described his father’s sexual abuse of boys as “repulsive”.

Pastor Brian Houston giving his first sermon at Hillsong Church, Baulkham Hills, today, f

Pastor Brian Houston giving his first sermon at Hillsong Church, Baulkham Hills, today, following his appearance at the royal commission this week. Picture: Justin Lloyd

A Belieber: Justin taking a selfie with a fan.

A Belieber: Justin taking a selfie with a fan.

Through its music label and push into the lucrative US market, the Hillsong brand has become a magnet for celebrities, including singer Justin Bieber, NBA star Kevin Durant and NRL/NFL player Jarryd Hayne.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal more than $42.5 million was collected by Hillsong from “general tithes, offerings and donations”, according to the group’s most recent financial disclosure. It also collects millions from music royalties and its childcare and tuition services, which are put back into the church’s operations and expenses.

A Hillsong spokesman would not reveal how much Mr Houston was paid, citing a church policy to “not divulge personal details including salaries of its staff”.

Hillsong parishioners leaving the Waterloo campus in Sydney after attending a Fathers Day

“Pastor Brian Houston is paid a salary determined by the Hillsong Church board, as are all of our Australian staff of over 400 people,” he said. “His salary is determined independently, a decision that he is not a part of.”

The spokesman told The Daily Telegraph while the church believed in the “biblical principal of tithing (giving a percentage of income to God)” it did not force ­followers to make financial donations.

Hillsong Church holds a week long convention at Acer Arena in Olympic Park. Attendees gat

Hillsong Church holds a week long convention at Acer Arena in Olympic Park. Attendees gather outside during breaks from the activities.

Hillsong is a member of the Australian Christian Churches (formerly Assemblies of God), which operates 1100 churches across the country attracting more than 250,000 followers.

Mr Houston oversees a board of 12 directors, including LA-based son Ben and millionaire Gloria Jean’s Australia founder Nabi Saleh.

The spokesman said Hillsong’s charity operations had helped build “schools and homes in Africa, sponsored thousands upon thousands of children” and “rescued and rehabilitated” trafficked sex workers.

The church runs youth and children’s programs, family and marriage counselling, and hospital visits.

Source: By Geoff Chambers, HILLSONG Church rakes in $100 million a year from its tax-exempt Australian operations as its weekly flock of 34,000 supporters hands over their hard-earned cash., http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/hillsong-church-rakes-in-100m-a-year-from-its-flock-of-34000/story-fni0cx12-1227448271179, Published 20/07/2015. (Accessed 21/07/2015.)

The Daily Mail reports,

It’s not just Bieber who’s a believer: Hillsong Church ‘makes $100 million a year tax-free’ as its ranks swell

With over 34,000 members, the evangelical church continues to attract believers since its establishment in the early 80s, reported the Daily Telegraph.

As well as attracting celebrity members like Justin Bieber, the church has expanded to 15 countries and has reportedly increased its revenue by $10 million last year.

Justin Bieber climbs up a tree to sing to his fans after the Hillsong conference in Australia

Justin Bieber climbs up a tree to sing to his fans after the Hillsong conference in Australia

Operating as a religious charity, Hillsong receives tax breaks and employs over 500 staff as well as thousands of volunteers.

Senior pastor Brian Houston told the Daily Telegraph that the church had a weekly increase of 8.5 percent parishioner attendance.

‘We’ve been encouraged this year with the number of new people joining our church,’ said Mr Houston.

The Australian Hillsong church makes $100 million a year, according to recent reports

The Australian Hillsong church makes $100 million a year, according to recent reports.

‘We’ve been encouraged this year with the number of new people joining our church,’ said Senior Pastor Brian Houston

‘We’ve been encouraged this year with the number of new people joining our church,’ said Senior Pastor Brian Houston

What is Carl Lentz doing to Justin Beiber’s ‘heart’?

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To be honest, we don’t like focusing on the celebrity world.

Sadly, because Hillsong makes a big deal of it, some people have contacted us privately and want us to start looking at the issues emerging with Hillsong and their desperate attempts to drag celebrities into their New Age movement. Many people have observed that Hillsong are leeching off the credibility of the celebrity to bolster their street cred in both the secular and Christian worlds.

Our apologies if this is not your type of article.

CARL LENTZ’ UNCHRISTIAN FOCUS ON BEIBER

The sin of Hillsong is made more apparent when you see they lack any form of Christian understanding of the Holy Spirit and biblical authority when dealing with celebrities that want to live their own way. While we hope people like Justin Beiber can find faithful churches that don’t flaunt their celebrity status and encourage them to live upright and normal lives, it is in the interest of our readers to see how Hillsong is failing in this duty. We can observe Hillsong’s floundering in being Christian leaders when we examine what their celebrities behave like.

The below article reveals how poor Hillsong’s “Christianity” is to people like Beiber. After making “spectacular mistakes”, Carl Lentz has been reported saying that Beiber had come halfway around the world to make sure “his heart is right” to attend the annual Hillsong Mecca conference.

So according to Lentz, Beiber is going to Hillsong Conference to make sure “his heart is right?”

Lentz is out of line

First of all, Lentz is out of line from Hillsong’s standards in judging the heart. According to Hillsong’s idea of God only judging the heart, Lentz is now playing God.

Hillsong continually reinforces the idea that no one can judge another person because only God can judge the heart. Once again, Hillsong has exposed themselves of this double standard where only the leaders are a type of “God,” judging the hearts of their followers. This time, it was Carl Lentz publicly announcing his judgment on Justin Beiber’s heart. This is a form of spiritual abuse that can manipulate members to do what the pastor wants. In this case Lentz is using Beiber’s heart to manipulate him to come to Hillsong Conference Australia. Our opinion is that he is using him to sell Hillsong Conference Australia (which worked).

The reason why we say this is because Hillsong Conference is also in America. Why couldn’t Beiber have simply attended that Conference and not the Sydney Conference?

Secondly, Lentz is out of line for disclosing personal information as Beiber’s pastor. His comment does not respect the privacy of Justin Beiber’s “spiritual walk.” It only makes Lentz look as though he enjoys this tabloid journalism experience.

RIghteousness taught by Christianity

The above is a very revealing comment considering Christians go to church to learn how God has made us right before Him through Christ and His finished work (the gospel). Christians rely on Christ’s work not just to make their hearts right before God but their entire lives. This is called sanctification and this means our spirit, mind, heart, soul and our lives are transformed for the glory of God.

Righteousness taught by Hillsong

Carl Lentz is promoting not the gospel but legalism which is the antithesis of the Christian message (salvation by works). We can’t make our hearts right before God on our own. Beiber flying to his spiritual Mecca to make his heart right before God is a useless ritual that can send him to hell and will still make him live a life of unrepentance. Lentz spouted nothing but neo-pagan mysticism, a worldly teaching which Hillsong is guilty of promoting for decades through their “worship experiences”. And thankfully, some seculiar media outlets are now seeing that Beiber is involved in a New Age movement.

As you can see, holiness and repentance of sins was NOT preached at Hillsong Conference and Beiber clearly made “his heart right” on his own terms. Tell us, can you see God working in his life after his Mecca experience?

The fake church of JB
Hillsong exposed: Private bits and private jets

One has to ask how on earth Carl Lentz is pastoring this poor soul.

The Daily Telegraph reports,

Justin Bieber just ‘wants to make his heart right’ says Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz

JUSTIN Bieber revealed his renewed religious fervour yesterday, declaring at Sydney’s Hillsong conference: “I was blind but now I see.”

The pop megastar came to Australia to be part of the congregation and not to preach but, as well as quoting the lines from John 9:25, Bieber spoke to #hillsong-backstage, telling its online audience: “I love you guys. Jesus loves you.”

Justin Beiber Leaves Allphones Arena

Justin Bieber pictured leaving Allophones arena. Picture: Matrix

The man behind Bieber’s surprise visit, New York’s Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz, said, after making “spectacular mistakes”, the 21-year-old had come halfway round the world to make sure “his heart is right”.

Speaking at the Hillsong Sydney Conference the pastor, who counts stars like Bono, Vanessa Hudgens and Stephen Baldwin among his church members, described his relationship with Bieber as like “regular friends who talk all the time”.

The ‘rock star’ Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz. Picture: Instagram

The ‘rock star’ Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz. Picture: Instagram

Justin Bieber at Hillsong in Sydney. Picture: Instagram

Justin Bieber at Hillsong in Sydney. Picture: Instagram

The former college dropout who found God in Sydney and went on to be named as one of 37 people under the age of 35 reshaping the world by Esquire magazine, spoke candidly about his relationship with Bieber, who was brought up a Christian.

SONS OF SYDNEY HILLSONG PASTOR BRIAN HOUSTON ­TARGET US CELEBS

JUSTIN DOES A RUNNER FROM FANS IN SYDNEY

“We met when Justin was 14 after his mum reached out and we’ve become close from that day. He’s a part of our lives and has lived with us for weeks on end,” Lentz, 36, said.

Attendees gather outside Acer Arena where the Hillsong Church is holding a week long conv

Attendees gather outside Acer Arena where the Hillsong Church is holding a week long convention.

Lentz, whose met his Australian wife in Sydney, said it was amazing Bieber was so “kind and normal”.

“I can’t even explain the suffocating nature of the kind of fame that he has. If he’s going through something horrible, we’ll talk about it. If he makes a decision where I think he could have done something wiser, we’ll talk about it,” he said.

Lentz was adamant his 21-year-old pal was on the right path: “He flew halfway round the world at the busiest time of the year for him just for a church conference. It shows you what matters to him.”

Justin Bieber yesterday told #hillsongbackstage that Lentz had changed his life. Picture:

Justin Bieber yesterday told #hillsongbackstage that Lentz had changed his life. Picture: Instagram

Justin Bieber and Carl Lentz have known each other since Justin was 14. Picture: Instagra

Justin Bieber and Carl Lentz have known each other since Justin was 14. Picture: Instagram/Judah Smith

Sydney Olympic Park is not known as a rock star hangout but Bieber has made the five-star Pullman hotel at Homebush his low-key base for his low-key visit, next to the Allphones Arena where the conference has attracted delegates from around the world at $350 each.

Hillsong founder Brian Houston told the congregation that it left a $1.3 million shortfall in the cost and prayed for people to be generous and donate. The church he set up in Sydney 30 years ago is now bigger in the US than Australia.

Bieber yesterday told #hillsongbackstage that Lentz had changed his life and, while this was his first Hillsong conference, it would not be his last: “I’m having a great time. It’s pretty awesome.

“The music is incredible. What they are doing is incredible, I support it 100 per cent.”

Source: By Janet Fif-Yeomans & Matt Bamford, Justin Bieber just ‘wants to make his heart right’ says Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz, The Daily Telegraph, http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/justin-bieber-just-wants-to-make-his-heart-right-says-hillsong-pastor-carl-lentz/story-fni0cvc9-1227422525508, Published 01/07/2015. (Accessed 05/07/2015.)

Royal Commission 03: Review of Letter From AOG to All Ministers – Damage Control

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Before reading this article, you might want to read the previous articles to develop a framework of what the Royal Commission has uncovered so far in Case Study 18 of the Hillsong Church, Assemblies of God and Frank Houston case:

Royal Commission 01: The Submission – AOG/ACC & Hillsong Exposed
Royal Commission 01.1: The Administration AOG Manual – Excerpt
Royal Commission 02: Submission Findings – Problems with AOG/ACC & Brian Houston’s Management


The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - Case Study 18:  a public hearing concerned with the institutional response to child sexual abuse of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) and its affiliated churches.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse – Case Study 18: a public hearing concerned with the institutional response to child sexual abuse of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) and its affiliated churches.

This is the next FactFile summarising this article.

RCFactFile04- Brian Houston Hillsong

John Lewis, AOG executive, sent the below email to all Ordained and Probationary Ministers of the Assemblies of God in Australia on 4 December, 2001, to inform them about Frank Houston’s “moral failure”.

It was the first public letter to AOG ministers, since December 1999, when the AOG Executive determined the AHA sexual abuse matter, (ie. 2 years later.).  [P140]

This letter shows how the AOG managed the information presented to its members. It is more akin to propaganda and damage control.

RC-AOG-LetterToMins-From-JL

Letter excerpt from AOG Executive, John Lewis to all AOGA ministers

Note: all [P..] references and additional links can be found as paragraph references in article, Royal Commission 02: Submission Findings – Problems with AOG/ACC & Brian Houston’s Management.
For additional information about the Royal Commission and submission, see Royal Commission 01: The Submission – AOG/ACC & Hillsong Exposed, which is the first article in the series.

Some of the statements made by John Lewis have comments listed in red underneath. [P..] paragraph references and [F..] references to Findings can be found in Royal Commission 01: The Submission – AOG/ACC & Hillsong Exposed.

AOG Letter to Ordained and Probationary Ministers of the Assemblies of God in Australia

4 December, 2001

EXTREMELY CONFIDENTIAL

To all Ordained and Probationary Ministers of the Assemblies of God in Australia

ISSUE: SEXUAL FAILURE OF MINISTERS

Dear Brian,

Thankfully, only a few leaders fail morally. Sadly it does happen. However it is more heartbreaking when national Christian leaders fail.

REDACTED…

2. Frank Houston

Several months after taking on the oversight of Sydney Christian Life Centre in 1999 our National President, Pastor Brian Houston received a serious accusation against his father, Frank Houston. The allegation was some thirty years previous and it should be clearly noted this was the first time Brian had received any such allegations against his father.

[This was the Sydney AHA allegation where Frank Houston allegedly abused an 8 year old in 1969/70 for several years in AHA’s home and at churches in Australia (told to Brian Houston in 1999). So the abuse took place some 25-30 years previous. JL would not have known this if he only had Brian Houston’s report of Frank Houston’s “confession” of a one-off incident at the AOG executive meeting. There had not been an independent investigation into the matter. [P91] ]

Brian suspended his father’s credential in line with our policy and immediately contacted the National Executive. Brian offered to allow me as Vice President to oversee an investigation in co-operation with the New Zealand Executive (where Frank was pastoring at the time of these allegations).

[Brian found out about the child sex abuse end Oct, 1999, confronted his father mid Nov, had the National Executive meeting 22/12/1999. Brian said he suspended his father immediately when his father confessed, but the RC’s best estimate, considering the evidence submitted, is between 5 Dec to 22 Dec, 1999 [P89]. The National Executive did not know about the allegations until 2 months after Brian Houston found out. What part happened “immediately”?  Brian did not follow procedure or policy. [F3]]

As a result of these investigations, clear evidence was forthcoming and Frank Houston was permanently removed from all forms of ministry by the Australian National Executive in 2000 and the following statement of prepared for those who made inquiries.

[Frank Houston had not been permanently removed from ministry before the National Executive 2000 [F4]. He was removed after the NZ investigation. That is, Frank had not been permanently removed from ministry at the 1999 National Executive meeting which determined the AHA matter, which is consistent with the 1999 minutes. So the idea that Frank had his credentials permanently removed when he confessed to Brian is false. It was a year later. Also, Frank was seen preaching after Brian had spoken to him.]

“The National Executives of the Assemblies of God in Australia and New Zealand have had the very sad responsibility of investigating claims of a serious moral failure against Frank Houston. The incidents that have been investigated happened more than thirty years ago and Frank has admitted to the failure with great remorse. The Australia Executive has no alternative but to remove his credential.

[The offense is reduced to “serious moral failure” and the reader would have assumed from the context that the offenses all occurred in New Zealand.]

Frank has accepted that he can no longer minister and we would request that you not invite him to engage in any public ministry. At the same time, we would encourage you to extend love and care to Frank, his wife and his family”.

We recognise Franks outstanding contribution to the work of the Lord in this nation and that only adds to our heartache.

Obviously both these circumstances have brought great anguish to our National President and I would encourage you to give him your prayer and support. I can assure you that Brian has demonstrated integrity and ensured that truth and justice prevailed in these difficult situations.

[Brian did not demonstrate integrity in carrying out his duties and the RC recommended he be referred to the police. Brian Houston:

1. interfered with the investigation/process [F1,3, P104-105],
2. was the conduit between the AOG and the complainant and perpetrator [P97],
3. had a conflict of interest [F2],
4. sat in the executive meeting that determined the matter [P96]
5. and as president of the AOG did not ensure that he and his executives follow policy and procedure.

Hillsong Church did not notify the Commission for Children and Young People about the suspension of Frank Houston and the withdrawal of his credential (mandatory) [P167-168]. Truth and justice did not prevail as the complainant did not have an independent investigation nor had his complaint heard [F1]. Frank did not respond properly to the allegations, he only confessed to a one-off incident, and no confession was recorded and signed [P73]. The complainant received no support from the AOG nor was updated appropriately [P154-155].

[P112. of the RC submission: It is submitted that the President is responsible for pursuing the aims of the Assemblies of God which include upholding the policies and procedures governing discipline of its ministers. The affiliated churches have an interest in seeing ministers appropriately disciplined to ensure that they do not engage in improper conduct and the movement is not undermined.]

We are aware that the above information may be a surprise and shock to some of you and therefore, we have deliberately chosen to restrict this letter to our Ordained and Probationary Ministers.

[So the news is to be limited in case its recipient may be shocked? And that is with the offence being reduced to a serious moral failure? A more likely reason not to go public with the real offense is that it is a huge embarrassment to the movement and to the Houston family, especially as they were significant figures in the Christian world [P30,32,103].

We cannot see any reason for this to be announced to your church or further afield. Sadly there are always one or two people with their own agendas who will try and get mileage from other people’s pain.

At times, sad as it may be, we must address such issues.

[Here is one reason the matter should have been announced and was raised at the RC. If the news of child sex abuse was public, it could encourage other possible victims to come forward [P142], since one of the major deterrents is that Frank Houston is like royalty in the AOG movement and the victim fears they may not be believed (as in AHA’s case). Sadly, other potential victims did not get this opportunity.

Rather than be upfront and deal with people who may have “agendas”, the AOG preferred to keep the matter hidden. Those who enquired may “try to get mileage from other people’s pain”. Or maybe the AOG preferred the enquirers to get their information from the media (which Brian Houston regularly denigrates) or in the corridors, Not only does this look like an excuse to keep the matter quiet, it also helped keep the AOG’s management of the matter out of public scrutiny. Was Frank Houston bearing fruit in keeping with repentance? He confessed to a less, one-off incident with AHA, did not repent publicly, did not go to the police for his crime, tried to get forgiveness with money, there was no formal apology, he would not sign a confession, he did not cooperate with AOG NZ investigations and denied some sense of justice for victims [P77, P82, 94,117-119].]

However, our focus must remain on the good things God is doing, the vision he has burned into our hearts, and the fulfilling of the passion of Jesus to reach our communities with the gospel.

In future articles, we will examine the importance of this statement and what Lewis means by “the vision he has burned into our hearts.” This language and mindset is essential to understand within this AOG/Hillsong cover-up.

Yours in Christ,
John Lewis

Source: Letter to Brian Houston from John Lewis (as to all Ministers), http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/downloadfile.ashx?guid=f9d914a2-7d3b-49eb-bc44-d6989f849dc6&type=exhibit&filename=HIL.0001.001.0011_R&fileextension=pdf.

The LiveLoveLead Society versus the bible-wielding Tanya Levin over the mole’s Hillsong

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WHO IS JOHN SANDEMAN?

John Sandeman - Anglican-Hillsong

John Sandeman

The Sydney Anglican website says the following about Sandeman:

John Sandeman is a veteran journalist, and has held senior editorial positions at the Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun Herald. Click here to see older John Sandeman columns. In 2009 John founded the Eternity newspaper with david maegraith. http://www.eternity.biz

Source: John Sandeman, Sydney Anglicans, http://sydneyanglicans.net/author/6054, Accessed 16/07/2015.

This is how they advertised the piece on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EternityNews/posts/864230523662178 proof_FaceBook-EternityArticleOnTanya_18-07-2015 The moral to the story was that Golitsyn and Tanya are right. “It was [Tanya Levin] who provided proof [People in Glass Houses] that the head of [Hillsong – Brian Houston] had been a … mole.” If both acknowledge this has been established, the analogy falls short. Our question is, why is John Sandeman publicly endorsing a Brian Houston, the mole? The BibleSociety accepted Tanya Levin’s evidence that Brian Houston is the mole. A mole is a mole. A fraud is a fraud. A false prophet is a false prophet. A disqualified Brian Houston is a disqualified Brian Houston. THE OPEN LETTERS Below are two open letters; one by John Sandeman (from The Bible Society) directed to Tanya Levin, and the second is Tanya Levin’s response. While reading take note that Tanya Levin, the Atheist, points to the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the ultimate authority for Christians while John Sandeman points to “Live Love Lead” and Brian Houston as the ultimate authority for Christians. Notice the problem here? And who is the one that sounds offended by the truth of the gospel? The LiveLoveLead Society (aka Bible Society) published the following:

An open letter to Tanya Levin, Hillsong critic

OPINION | John Sandeman

Let’s start with a story.

His name was Golitsyn, and he was nicknamed “Gollywog” – things were less politically correct back then. His full name was Anatolly Mikhaylovich Golitsyn and he was a colonel in the KGB until he defected to the CIA in 1961. It was Golitsyn who provided proof that the head of British intelligence in Washington had been a soviet mole.

But Golitsyn fell victim to this role as a professional defector. His accusations became wilder and wilder the longer he remained in the role and his direct knowledge of KGB work was exhausted. He accused British PM Harold Wilson of being a KGB informer. He said the split between China and the Soviet Communists was KGB misinformation. And later he claimed that Gorbachov’s “glasnost” (openness) policy, which triggered the democratization of the Soviet Union, was more KGB deception.

Tanya,

You have probably guessed the moral of this story: that you too are in danger of being a “professional defector”. I hope that does not seem too harsh – we’ll get back to Mr Golitsyn later.

Your book People in Glass Houses contains many moving stories. It is a story of great pain. Your family was part of the early days of Hillsong, when as you say, “Pastors were battlers like everyone else … they managed, but it was easy to feel sorry for their sacrifices, and admiration for their hard-won convictions.”

Hillsong, as it was later called, was your community. You write that “Brian often used to talk to people in the congregation. He’d make them stand up and show their baby, or wave for whatever reason there was to share,” there in a warehouse at the edge of town at Baulkham Hills.

I hear your pain. You miss it. “I still wish I could sit in row five and hear Brian say that his church looks fantastic, and know he means me too.”

There’s the friends, Jewels and Shazza, who you left behind. Jewels “saved my life a hundred thousand times. Without her I would have had nowhere to expunge so much of the turmoil and the turbulence.”

We Christians often let down people who move to the fringes of our congregations, and then leave.

Because when you leave Hillsong “you go from having a family to being spiritually homeless.”

Tanya, it is not just Hillsong. We Christians often let down people who move to the fringes of our congregations, and then leave. I could tell you stories from churches very different to Hillsong who fall short of the Christian ideal. You wanted a horde to rush after you when you left. But you only had Jewels, who was a jewel for being there.

There’s the pain of the gap between the best you saw at church and the worst. You put it beautifully, “…. none of those miracles or revelations you hear about matter in the end. In the places we don’t talk about, for me, it was the moments that me and Jesus created together. When everything in my world was quiet and I could be alone with God … Loving your neighbour is a fantastic postmodern plan for peace. It was license to do good, and if people rip you off, well you were doing what Jesus would have you do.”

Then you tell a story of how, having “named and claimed it” in prayer you miss out on a Uni course. “We had heard so many stories of people who pinned photos of cars on their fridges, or made a list of the perfect spouse, and God had delivered to them their details. All I wanted was a lousy law degree. Why didn’t my plans succeed?”

You recount this with wry humour. Yet the issue of “name it and claim it”, or prosperity doctrine, is a big part of your pain.

One thing that you make clear is that the early Hillsong was a church of battlers. Talking to another Hillsong pioneer who remembers you gives me another clue about those cars on the fridges. Some Hillsong leaders were involved in Amway back when Hillsong leaders were battlers. Putting the “car on the fridge” so to speak was a standard Amway technique to get people to work harder, to knock on more doors. Rather than magical thinking (“name it and claim it”) the fridge door was a call to the value of hard work – something that “holiness”churches have been doing since Wesley and probably before that.

Reading Brian Houston’s new book Live Love Lead makes it clear that if Hillsong was previously influenced by prosperity thinking – as you suggest – it no longer is.

Perhaps this is where Mr Golitsyn fits in. Because things do change. Let’s start with an amusing example that highlights the differences between your account of Hillsong and Brian’s newer one. It is perhaps an easier example of how things may have moved on.

Things do change.

One of the laugh-out-loud moments in your book is where you describe how all the pastors during your teenage years had moustaches. Some time later, you go back to the church and all the pastors have ponytails.

You write, “One pastor later told me that he woke up one morning, and said, ‘I am 37 and I have a ponytail.’ He cut it off, but he suffered a verbal thrashing for ‘attempting to change the church’s image without permission’.” Which gives the impression of a church a little obsessed with image.

It’s probably fair to say that Hillsong still tries to look smart. But Brian has come to terms with his inner dag, it seems to me. So on the subject of hair, he writes in Live Love Lead:

“I don’t know about you, but there have been times when I have tried to be something I am not, and it has always got me into trouble. For example a few years ago, the night before Hillsong Conference was about to begin, I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror with my hair clipper and thought I would have a go at being my own hairdresser.

“Needless to say after trimming my facial stubble, I forgot to attach the comb and cut a track into my hair, similar to the impact of a mower on an overgrown lawn. I ended up completely bald, much to the amusement of thousands who gathered on the first night if Hillsong Conference … not my best look!”

Houston’s new book is a good place to go to get an idea of “heart of Hillsong” today. It’s not a prosperity gospel book. It has many stories of heartache and failure. Some of them are the same stories that appear in your book although Brian Houston occasionally leaves out people’s names, especially if they have left Hillsong.

One person he names is his father Frank Houston (the chapter that deals with that was excerpted in The Weekend Australian Magazine recently). Brian tells of the effect his father’s sexual assault charges had on him:

“Over the next twelve years after that initial conversation about my father with George [Aghajanian, Hillsong’s general manager] I found myself in a downward slide toward depression, traumatised by the experience years earlier and inwardly declining as I tried to look after everyone but myself. Outwardly my life was exploding. Our church was flourishing in Australia and taking off globally, the impact of Hillsong Music was on the rise, our television ministry was experiencing unprecedented growth, and God was affording me a growing influence over our kingdom endeavours. And yet internally I was exploding.”

This has not been a grudging confession written out once; Houston has told this story several times, including to this writer.

There are many stories of Hillsong staff and others enduring trials, and it’s striking how many of them have praised God on stage at critical moments in the Hillsong story when carrying personal grief or challenges.

But, as Houston puts it, “ We have a Saviour … (who) defeated death so that we can have grace and joy and hope. Because Christ rose from the dead we can endure the trials that come our way on life’s difficult path.”

There are many stories of Hillsong staff and others enduring trials, and it’s striking how many of them have praised God on stage at critical moments in the Hillsong story when carrying personal grief or challenges.

Houston is keen that defeated people don’t stay defeated, and those dealing with shame can move forward. The stories in Live Love Lead are miles away from the simplistic prosperity gospel formula you present in People in Glass Houses. Houston’s book is full of stories of ordinary people, facing the normal difficulties we all have, but with an extraordinary God. 

Golitsyn, the Russian defector found it hard to acknowledge that Russia had changed in the decades after he had escaped to the west. That a Russian leader could radically change the country and demolish communism was beyond him.

It’s time you had a good look at Hillsong again. Some things are very different. If you are unable to go because Hillsong does not want you there, send a trusted friend. Or if Hillsong is not the sort of church that appeals to you – and I attend a different type of church myself – explore another.

From warehouse churches to cathedrals, to brand new church plants which will remind you of the “old” Hillsong, they will all have their struggles in following Jesus. We all do.

Source: By John Sandeman, An open letter to Tanya Levin, Hillsong critic, Bible Society, http://www.biblesociety.org.au/news/an-open-letter-to-tanya-levin-hillsong-critic, Published 16/07/2015. (Accessed 16/07/2015.)

Tanya Levin Hillsong Brian Houston Tanya Levin responded to the “Bible”Society opinion piece:

An Open Response To An Open Letter

Hi John,

Thank you for taking the time to write your open letter. As I can’t find a place to respond on the site, I thought I’d get in touch here. Open letter to open letter style, I guess, like Sinead O’Connor to a lot of people. Makes me feel a bit like Miley Cyrus and I I like it. It’s like we’re pretending to have a private conversation, but really it’s like a public debate. Sign o’ the times.

It is clear you’ve read my story and understood it. Your empathy in quoting my writing is apparent. You have identified the charm of the early church and the warm community feel. You’ve also noted my losses. Much appreciated.

It’s not worthwhile to address each point you’ve made. There is however, some misunderstanding. You say that I “wanted a horde to rush after you when you left. But you only had Jewels, who was a jewel for being there .” Not true. It was just shocking at first to receive no contact from people who had sworn black and blue they were your spiritual family. Later, of course, I learned that this is the experience of many people who leave churches such as Hillsong. Often, their disappearance is associated with a hidden sin, or failure to submit to leadership, in hush hush kind of rumours. Thus, most people, in good faith and belief in the leadership, don’t associate themselves with the perceived outsider, leaving that person quite isolated.  This can have devestating effects on people.

You are quite right in your concerns that Hillsong is no longer subscribing to some of the doctrines it was when I began writing over ten years ago. It’s very clear that there are changes. The book “You Need More Money” is now the source of great embarrassment, although at the time, it was touted as a message from God. It is now impossible to buy a copy of it anywhere in Australia, directly due to Pastor Brian Houston’s documented regret over it.

I must ask you at this stage, John, does this not ring any alarm bells for you? That the senior pastor of such an influential organisation now regrets that which he, at the time, claimed to be the truth he received from God?

In the old days, that used to make someone pretty clearly a false prophet. And you know what Jesus said about false prophets, I’m sure.

Or maybe I’m not so sure. You see, although you identify as a Christian who does not attend Hillsong, at no point in your letter do you quote a Bible verse, or talk about God or Jesus Christ.

Rather, you refer to Live, Love, Lead by Brian Houston as if it were the 5th gospel. You quote Houston as if he a credible storyteller, when in actuality the book is largely a work of badly constructed fiction, or at best, based on a true story.

Don’t even start me, John, on the excerpt from the Australian that you mention regarding the handling of Houston Sr’s pedophilia by the AoG and by his son. It was reprehensible in its distortions, omissions and untruths.

Had you argued your point from a Christian point of view, quoting the Bible at all, then perhaps we could have interacted from the same place of understanding. Of course I am an atheist, but I know my bible, which I was taught was the foundation of Christianity, not a church or a man.

Hillsong has nothing to do with Christianity. While I appreciate your concern that my claims might become more wild and radical as time goes on, as happened to the agent in your story, I assure you that if you read the mail I received, you would consider my public assertions quite tame.

Hillsong certainly has changed, but I can’t take this as a given from Live, Love, Lead. In ten years’ time, it may go the way of other ‘regrets’ that Houston initially felt were from God.  I am often told that there is no perfect church. Of course not. But this organisation is not benign, or suffering from some human error here and there. It is inherently a destructive system that leaves a lot of silent collateral damage by the way side.

This statement of yours  I find remarkable though :” It’s time you had a good look at Hillsong again. Some things are very different. If you are unable to go because Hillsong does not want you there, send a trusted friend.”

Do you not find it odd that a church does not want a person? Given for the non stop quest for exposure, I don’t need to attend in order to see what, if anything, Hillsong is about. The broadcasts are widely available. And I’m surprised that as a Christian, you find it has anything with Christ or his teachings.

If it’s true as you say, that “We Christians often let down people who move to the fringes of our congregations, and then leave,” then all I can wonder is why there is not more care for them? Do you not wonder where they end up?

I can tell you where they are, because they write to me about the anguish, the betrayal, the costs and the crimes that were committed against them. The trauma can be very long term and very severe, while of course, many leave Hillsong unaffected, or with a positive report. But even if they are the 99%, what about those others?

Why do they not matter to the church as they did to Jesus in Luke 15:4 where he said:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

What about the 1%,? No matter what Houston writes or how big Hillsong grows, when will the 1% matter?

Please write openly again, John. I appreciate your appreciation. But let’s consider things from a Christian point of view, a science-based point of view, or both. Pastor Brian Houston represents neither of these, and quotes from him or his writings do little to reassure me of any truth, given how as you point out so rightly, Hillsong’s messages from God have changed so very much over time.

Best

Tanya

P.S. I’m glad you had a laugh-out-loud moment anyway. It’s great that Brian and I both agree on the ponytail situation of old.

Source: By Tanya Levin, An Open Response To An Open Letter, Tanya Levin – You’ve Been Warned, , http://www.tanyalevin.com/blog/2015/7/16/an-open-response-to-an-open-letter, Published 16/07/2015. (Accessed 16/07/2015.)

Transcript of Brian Houston’s ‘nice’ interview with Mark & Grace Driscoll

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We have decided to transcribe the interview between Brian Houston and Mark/Grace Driscoll that was aired at Hillsong Conference 2015. Brian Houston stated that he talked with Mark and Grace Driscoll for “an hour and fifty three minutes” but managed to edit the interview to be “fifty minutes” long. So we would greatly appreciate it if people can help fix any errors or fill in words or phrases that we could not understand. To listen to the audio of this interview – click here.

CROCODILE TEARS IN A KANGAROO COURT

Brian Houston has given Driscoll a platform to repackage, re-market and re-launch as a Pastor on the preaching network. The result was a one-sided, orchestrated, kangaroo court where Driscoll elicited sympathy and support.

We called it all right. Driscoll played the victim card at Hillsong Conference 2015.

Before reading the interview, we would emphatically encourage you read to read the below article, researching all the things Mark Driscoll has done to people in his church. Does Mark Driscoll come across as someone who qualifies the biblical requirements of “pastor” in Titus and 1 & 2 Timothy?

You know something is wrong with Driscoll when he is invited to speak at Hillsong Conference…

We believe with certainty that Brian Houston’s interview with Mark and Grace Driscoll was crafted to rebuttal the negative media attention. How did we come to this conclusion? If you re-listen to Sunrise and Lateline’s broadcasts concerning Mark Driscoll coming to speak at the Hillsong Conference, both make mention of his derogatory remarks towards women and his bullying behavior towards staff and congregant members. In this interview, Mark Driscoll is given the opportunity to clarify and apologize for his misogynistic messages along with his abusive attitude.

So what’s the problem? What if you were told that Mark Driscoll misused church funds to buy his way onto the New York Times Best Seller’s List? What if you were told that several of Mark Driscoll’s books contained plagiarized material? What if you were told that on page 105 of Mark Driscoll’s book, “Vintage Church,” he wrote, “plagiarism… subverts God’s work in and through you…If you use the work of others, you are not a teacher, and you should quit your job and go do anything but speak?” What if you were told that Mark Driscoll was teaching young pastors to throw people “off the bus” and “run them over” if they didn’t get behind their visions? (“I believe in blessed subtraction. There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus [sycophantic laughter] and by God’s grace there’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done.”)

After reading the transcript below, ask yourself these questions:

1. Did this interview shed light on any of Mark Driscoll’s past sins or only offer eye candy?
2. Why hasn’t Brian Houston called Mark Driscoll to repent of ALL the sins he’s committed?
3. Since Mark Driscoll did NOT publicly repent for any of these past sins and attempt to fix his wrongs and be up front, is he truly repentant?
4. What were Brian Houston and Mark Driscoll implying other Christians were if they did not embrace Driscoll’s crocodile repentance?
5. Where was the gospel that makes people accountable to Mark Driscoll’s sins?

What was on display was their low standard of godliness, repentance, their low standard of church discipline and behaviour towards others; and their low standard of responsibility to those they shepherd. Which doesn’t surprise us considering how Brian Houston has let leadership immorality slide in the past regarding the Guglielmucci scandal, the Pat Mesiti scandal and Brian Houston’s own personal scandal involving him covering up his father’s paedophilia.

Please consider this as you read the below transcript. Take time and ponder each of the points made and consider the implications. A lot is done under the guise of ‘nice’ in this interview.

We will offer a more deeper analysis of this interview in a later post.

Brian and Driscoll interview

BRIAN HOUSTON’S INTERVIEW WITH MARK DRISCOLL

Brian Houston: “I, uh, appreciate you taking the time to talk to me, and looking forward to having a conversation about you guys, your past, and where you’re at right now. And some of the pain perhaps, and some of the joys that have gone with your journey. And ultimately, what you see for yourselves ahead. So, welcome.” (00:01-00:19)

Mark Driscoll: “Thank you, yeah, thank you for making time for the both of us we really appreciate it.” (00:19-00:22)

Grace Driscoll: “Thank you for having us.”

Brian Houston: “Great. And so you Mark, how did you come to faith?” (00:24-00:26)

Mark Driscoll: “We, uh, Grace graduated a year before me, and went off to college and then I graduated and went off to a different college and she came back to a little vibrant relationship with the Lord at that time. And, uh, she had given me actually this bible, it’s why I brought it, it’s a special Bible as a gift and I started reading it in college as a freshman and God saved me reading the Bible.” (00:25-00:48)

Brian Houston: “That’s good and so how old were you, were you then?” (00:48-00:49)

Mark Driscoll: “I got saved when I was 19 a freshman in college.” (00:50-00:53)

Brian Houston: “Good age to get saved.” (00:53-00:56)

Mark Driscoll: “We got married in college.” (00:56-00:57)

Grace Driscoll: “Before our senior year we got married in college. And, started a church community together and started teaching bible studies right away. And anything he learned he’d teach right away to someone else because we was so excited about the Gospel.” (00:57-01:12)

Brian Houston: “So now you’ve been married how long?” (01:12-01:14)

Grace Driscoll: “Twenty-five years.” (01:14-01:16)

Brian Houston: “Children?”

Grace Driscoll: “Five kids.”

Brian Houston: “Five kids?”

Grace Driscoll: “Nine, eleven, thirteen, fifteen, and seventeen.”

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, three boys two girls. We’ve been together 27 years. Neither of us was a math major.” [Laughter]

Brian Houston: “I hope the door’s not open.”

Mark Driscoll: “We’ve dated 4 years so uh, we’ve been married 23 years. I think.” [Laughter]

Grace Driscoll: “Yeah, maybe two.” [Laughter]

Brian Houston: “Those kids, those kids. So what was the journey towards starting Mars Hill?” (01:14-01:46)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah when I was uh, a new Christian in college I went to my first men’s retreat uh, with the church. And uh, was just getting time out praying with the Lord. And he spoke to me and said, “I want you to marry Grace, preach the Bible.” And so, I had with me [Inaudible] Bible with me at the time, “to train men and to plant churches.” And he spoke to me on those four things and to confirm that I brought that back to my Pastor. And said, “I think the Lord spoke to me,” and said, “What did he say?” So here’s what he said, “Well that sounds like something the Lord would say so that sounds reasonable.” So, um, so we felt called to move back to Seattle, we were about a 5 hour drive from the college back to Seattle. We moved back and um, interned in a church doing college ministry as a volunteer for a year or two. And then started a Bible study in our home that we taught together that was the core for Mars Hill. And uh, and then that ultimately got planted as Mars Hill church um, 18 years ago would be now.” (01:47-02:48)

Brian Houston: “So you were 25 I was 29 when I started Hillsong church. So, I felt like I was young. Well, at the time I didn’t really, but I look back now and think that’s young. So 25 is quite young, so.” (02:48-02:58)

Mark Driscoll: “I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and one of them was going too fast. There’s the Lord’s calling and then there’s the Lord’s timing. And, uh, I should have waited, uh, longer, I should have been under Godly spiritual authority for Grace and I to be under a Godly couple that was senior pastor so that we could learn and grow. And I, I, my character was not caught up with my gifting and uh, and I did start too young. And I believe God called us to start the church and he was very very very gracious to us uh. But had I do it over again I would not look at a 25 year old and say do what I did.” (02:59-03:35)

Brian Houston: “Well your heart for the church then. And what was, your, what were you really, what did you have in your heart, what did you have in mind for the type of church that you wanted to pastor?” (03:35-3:44)

Mark Driscoll: “Um, I’m a Bible teacher, and I wanted to see people to meet Jesus. Um, Seattle at the time was one of the least churched cities in America and we went into the urban core and we felt called specifically to go after young college educated males. Um, and uh, that was really my heart. I wanted everybody to meet Jesus, but I, I felt particularly uh, if we were going to make a difference in the city and in the legacy of families. And the way, you know, women and children and culture is is, is, is treated that getting young men to love Jesus would be paramount. So that was really the focus, and I didn’t think, we didn’t think the church would amount to much. The first three years we didn’t collect a salary, it was very small, we met at night, we moved a lot because we kept loosing our well locations, the offices were in our house. And so it wasn’t a big deal and we didn’t anticipate that it would become what it ultimately did.” (03:44-04:40)

Brian Houston: “So when, what stage did you start really getting attraction and momentum?” (04:41-04:43)

Mark Driscoll: “Um, well, we got a small building given to us a couple of years in and started our first morning service. And we had only done night to that point, and that went from 40 to maybe 800 in a year. And at that time the church was small, maybe 100 people, and so a lot of people got saved, massive conversions. And so, um, we had some surges like that in the history of the church, it was really amazing, it was God’s grace, we were able to baptize altogether, um, around 10,000 people. I think the majority of which were single college educated men who didn’t come from Christian families. And so, we would have seasons were just a lot of people get saved. And uh, it was just the grace of God, there’s no other way to really, uh, to really explain what God was doing, yeah.” (04:44-05:32)

Brian Houston: “So the last year obviously has been a turbulent year for you both, personally, and for your family. In fact, I’m sure more than the last year, the last three years, uh, and, obviously for your former church as well, Mars Hill. I guess the first question is how you’re both doing.” (05:33-05:48)

Grace Driscoll: “Thank you for asking. [Laughter] Um, it has been a hard year, and uh, we’ve seen God’s faithfulness and it’s the trail, we’re thankful for that. There’s been a lot of loss and we love our church, and loved being apart of it, and felt honored that God would call us to help lead such an amazing, um, group of people. So, that has been hard and watching the kids and the pain that they’ve had to, to experience in the grieving process.” (05:49-06:24)

Brian Houston: “You know, I’m totally sorry, I don’t mean to cut you off, but I totally understand that with your children. I always find that children feel things for us more deeply than we even feel, and uh, that’s always been a pastor’s son and understand as a Pastor’s kid, you know, in my own family I think maybe only those who’ve been in that situation can understand.” (06:25-06:46)

Mark Driscoll: “Well when, the, the kids grow up in the church it feels like an extension of the family. So, like for our oldest, she uh, she was born right around the time we sort of, started the church. So, all the original bible studies were in the living room and she was on people’s laps. And she was, you know, part of that church. And so she was, she was someone who grew up in the church and grew up with the church. And so you have that line as the founding family between church and family it gets a little blurred. And so when the church family transitions it leaves the kids in a difficult place. And you don’t want them to become embittered, you don’t want them to be angry, you don’t want them. I mean, even for my contributions and my sins and my faults I feel something I don’t want my kids to become embittered against me or anyone else or with the Lord. And so, we’ve been walking through that with them.” (06:47-07:44)

Brian Houston: “Alright. If I could change track a little, you’re reformed in your theology?” (07:45-07:48)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah.” (07:49)

Brian Houston: “So, can you explain to me in two or three sentences what that means, to be reformed?” (07:50-07:58)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, I, I would say it’s God centered not man centered. Uh, that the whole Bible is ultimately about the personal work of Jesus, and that when it comes to salvation it is a work that God does. Uh, and we respond to that but we don’t participate in that. Uh, I, I wouldn’t want to argue over the five points of Calvinism or get into all the details back and forth. Um, but historical protestant christianly, um, and I’d say in the past. I, uh, would’ve fought for reformed theology since it’s supposed to be a theology that’s centered in grace, fighting for it is probably not the best representation of it.” (07:59-08:43)

Brian Houston: “If I asked a third thing broad question. Obviously in recent years, you as a, as a person, as a leader, as a pastor, has become more and more controversial, and in the minds of some people, toxic, and, is there any, I mean, big picture how do you feel about that?” (08:44-09:03)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah this whole season I’ve been largely out of public ministry for around a year with a few, you know, exceptions. I have a Godly wise older pastor somebody that we really look to as a pastor in our lives he said that we need to put down the binoculars and pick up the mirror. You know, stop looking at what everyone else is saying and doing and look at yourself. And so that’s really been the focus, particularly for me, uh, but to a lesser degree for us this past year. And uh, and I think that, uh, there’s no way for me to say, uh, that I have, um, always acted with grace or with, um, uh appropriateness. There has been anger, there’s been, uh.”(09:04-09:09:49)

Brian Houston: “Were there mistakes did you ever respond with grace?” (09:51-09:24)

Mark Driscoll: “I I believe so, yes, I don’t believe every day I was a, uh, a combative, and uh, maybe uh, loud mouthed person. But certainly, um, that has been sadly, part of my, uh, ministry leadership. And so, um, and I think that can be confusing for people. Some people see me primarily as a loving, gracious person, and others have seen me as a person whose angry or short tempered or careless with words and harmful. And, and so, and so that contributes to the confusion.” (09:25-10:28)

Brain Houston: “Yeah, at the very least you become polarizing when I say because at the Hillsong Conference interestingly now that you’re not one of our speakers or even being interviewed at the conference, we’ve had some, not too many, but we’ve had some delegates who want a refund. They don’t want to come anymore because you’re not coming. And of course, there was protests and so on because you were coming.” (10:29-10:49)

Mark Driscoll: “I apologize that you were put in that position, um, that is my doing, and, and I would say-“ (10:49-10:55)

Brian Houston: “I don’t feel like you owe me any apology though.” (10:55-10:56)

Mark Driscoll: “Well, but I do, and you’ve uh, and I mean even this is an act of grace and you don’t owe me anything, and uh, and I, I, man, I hope there’s a way in the future to be a person of peace and not a point of division. Uh, and so I appreciate this opportunity to, to make an effort that…” (10:57-11:13)

Brian Houston: “Sure… You once said Mark [Applause] I had a good mission that some of my tactics were born out of anger and burned out, and I did a lot of harm and damage, what attracted a lot of attention. Um, so I guess my question is, do you feel like it’s been sort of your tactics, your message, and the message of the Gospel has been lost to the controversy.” (11:14-11:35) 

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, there were times that I uh, I drove myself to a point of uh, you mentioned some of the physical I’ve had, fatigue to drainal glands to intestinal ulcers. There were times where I drove myself to a point of not being well. And, and what that does as well as it drives your team uh, beyond their limits, and they feel unloved or uncared for. And uh, and now taking this time off, and really reflecting on all of that I see that. And I regret that and I hope whatever the Lord has for me in the future that I will draw people in and not drive people and that my empathy level will increase.” (11:36-12:18)

Brian Houston: “So so would the word bully be would’ve been an accurate description you think?” (12:18-12:22)

Mark Driscoll: “I think for sure on occasions yeah. I think, um, I think on occasions sometimes, um, strong leaders there’s a line where you’re, you’re wanting to advance a mission and you need everybody to be aligned with that. And there are other times where there is a lack of grace or empathy. I mean one of the things that’s been really helpful in this season for me is some godly older families. Pastors and their families who have opened their lives to us and we get to enter more in that grandparent season and we get to see them with their spouse and with their children and then see them on the stage and then see them with their board and see them with their staff. And there’s a, there’s a, a more parental leadership style, like a mom and a dad that love, and still carry a lot of authority and create unity.”

Grace Driscoll: “More good.”

Mark Driscoll: “But more good for the people. And um, and so, you know, my hope and my prayer for myself through all of this is then to learn how to grow in that kind of uh, strong, but parental loving, nurturing, affectionate leadership. Um, you know, and one of the things that was convicting in this more recent season we were talking through the spiritual gifts and my sons when we got to encouragement and mercy they said. “Oh, like you dad,” and uh, I thought wow, nobody has ever accused me of that, but I thought but they’re seeing it all somehow I, I do love them. And I, I want good for them and they know that, and like I said observing some of these other families that are mature in leadership how to transition that sort of parental affection into pastoral ministry.” (12:23-14:09)

Brian Houston: “You, obviously you can’t live in regret. But if you did have your time over again what would you change?” (14:11-14:16)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, I mean I would’ve waited longer um, to start the church. I would’ve brought us under a godly spiritual couple and oversight to pastor us. I would’ve not went out until they said it was time. I would’ve had them service my over sighting governance. Um, I would’ve paid more attention to, uh, emotional health and well being and any bitterness in my own soul so that there wasn’t anger or hurt or defensiveness that was driving some of my motivation. Uh, and uh, I would’ve been, uh, more keen to draw grace out, um, so that we could work through some issues in our past so that we would’ve been more aligned and better friends early in the ministry. In more recent years we really worked on the friendship and we’re really close, but the early years we, we didn’t have that kind of connection that we do in more recent years. And that, that contributed to my, to my tone and my anger and affected my disposition negatively, and that’s my fault.” (14:17-15:20)

Brian Houston: “I think for me over the years my perception of strong leadership has changed dramatically. I think what I thought was strong then was probably hot head basically and what I see as strong now is coming out of a place of security, Godly confidence, knowing where you’re going. So I can identify to a point at least in your journey, and, and the truth is everyone’s made mistakes, some obviously much bigger mistakes with much more difficult outcomes than others. But anyone who has been in the ministry for any period of time and especially started young have made mistakes. Uh, I don’t feel personally like you’re on your own in that, but obviously there’s been a huge fallout from some of the mistakes you have made.” (15:21-16:10)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah.” (16:10)

Brian Houston: “Yeah.” (16:11)

Grace Driscoll: “There’s better progression from youth and trying to control things to make them happen verses over maturing years influence and loving people through that influencing them. Um, by loving them to what’s best for them and so I’ve watched that progression and it’s been wonderful to see.” (16:12-16:36)

Brian Houston: “May I ask you the next question by telling you a story. Many years ago I knew a pastor in another part of the world who very legalistic, very rigid, very legalistic, and in that very hard on other people. And then, came to a point in his life where he made a mistake and he desperately needed people and the people weren’t there for him and he basically because a victim of his own world. You know, his own world devote. And so if I look at your world and the way you’ve ministered even publicly in your earlier years, and, you know, you created a name for your world. Um, and you feel like perhaps it was that angry world that devoured you, the world that you yourself created?” (16:37-17:21)

Mark Driscoll: “I think there, there is a measure of truth in that and I have no one to blame but myself. You can’t, um, have a certain tone or um, disposition and then when that is reciprocated toward you feel that you’re a victim. Um, so, and what’s been interesting in this too the people that have walked towards us with their hands out to love and encourage are people that are outside of our tribe. Um, there are some old friends that have stuck with us and have been very wonderful towards us but a lot of new friends too and people that, um, that we would disagree on some secondary theological issues. And uh, I have a friend who is maybe more like this person, or pastor, pretty legalistic, and, there’s a box for everything and you gotta to check all the right boxes. And he said, you know, I don’t some of these people’s theology is right. And I said, well, I think love and grace is good theology. And it’s not just what we put on paper, it’s how we treat one another.” (17:22-18:24)

Brian Houston: “I know some of the people who have stuck with you, and was that a surprise to you? Some of the people who have come and sort of just stood quietly with you?” (18:25-18:33)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, and it’s been very humbling. Um, and it’s been very encouraging and very hopeful, like, knowing whatever God has for us next these are the people that are wise counsel, um, we’re just very richly blessed by that.” (18:34-18:46)

Brian Houston: “I guess one of the, the things that you were known for several years that’ve gone by was public criticism of other pastors and leaders. And probably the first time I’ve actually ever heard of you wasn’t because of your Bible teaching or because of your books. Or, it was actually because of your attacks on other people. So I guess would that be another area where you have regrets? Or, would you still defend that?” (18:47-19:11)

Mark Driscoll: “I would not defend that. I feel like I’ve lost any right to criticize another pastor or leader. I believe that the lack of the cause made to think I knew what they were going through or what they should say or what they should do. Having gone through this very complicated season, I don’t know what I’m supposed to say, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, and I certainly don’t feel the right to tell others what they should say or do. And, um, yeah, I think going forward with the fact that some of the people that I’ve criticized have been the most loving and kind toward me. Um, it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance and sometimes that kindness comes through others who have no obligation to be kind and gracious because you have not been with them. And so, um, yeah, so we’ve seen, we’ve seen some remarkable grace and kindness from people that, I did not give that to them, but they’ve given that to us. And that has been deeply convicting and brought about repentance, and there’s a list of people pastors who I have contacted to call to apologize to, to ask forgiveness from. And I don’t want to do that publicly because I don’t want to cause them more drama or pain, but that has been part of the journey.” (19:12-20:32)

Brian Houston: “I’ve always had a huge personal problem with, people doing that, people criticizing other pastors even though perhaps were are different on some issues. You know, and Joel Osteen is a personal friend of mine. And so, again, one of the first things I knew about you was, you know that you talked and made a joke publicly. So when I first met you I was paranoid because the last thing I wanted was Mark Driscoll speaking against me publicly.” (20:32-21:00)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, I can, I think through the providence of God I can honestly say it was a couple of weeks ago that the Lord convicted me of that sin against Pastor Joel. And so I, through a mutual friend, have contact with his team, and have asked permission to send him a private apology. But in addition to that I appreciate this opportunity to publicly apologize to him. When anyone dies they’re going to stand and give an account and it won’t be to Mark Driscoll.” (21:00-21:25)

Brian Houston: “Yeah, I just feel that life has too much to hold us all together. We can so easily build around the things that pull us apart and difference. I’ve often said at pastor’s gatherings I don’t know who your enemy is but they’re not of this room. [Murmurs] And, you know I just feel like God is big, God is diverse and none of us have all of the truth. And uh, in our hands and in our power, and so I just love to have an attitude where, sure right and right and wrong is wrong, but at the end of the day we’re all on the same side. I think if I look at our own world I think if you talked about the tone, the tone of voice, if you’d like, of our church and our minister leaders is definitely grace oriented. Hopefully it’s definitely generous not just with finance but with words and heart, and being spirited. And that’s why I guess some of that, you know that anger that’s in some sections of the body of Christ feels so shocking to me.” (21:26-22:32) 

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah and, and I think that, uh, the age of internet and social media increases that. Um, because you can make a lot of statements and declarations without relationships. And uh, I am theologically reformed in my core convictions and I am also charismatic so I kind of flow between both worlds. But um, but once Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis it seems like every 20 year old guy with a blog is going to try to do the same thing on the internet. You know, here’s my declaration to the world of how the church should be. And so um, I think Luther had some good things to share, guys like me and others, perhaps didn’t have as much crid to share.” (22:32-23:11)

Brian Houston: “My my flesh when it comes to sometimes the angry people the angry brothers on the, on social media is uh, obviously relatively big high platform. And often times the interview is a very small platform. And my, my temptation often is to react which is really just giving them a leg up onto my platform, and so.”(23:11-23:33)

Mark Driscoll: “I’ve failed at that many times. And it’s shameful.”

Brian Houston: “Well I have to admit I’m ashamed when it happens.”

(23:33-23:42)

Brian Houston: “Good, well listen, just on the area of theology, and in the outworking practice of that theology, you’ve obviously had some time to reflect and to meditate. Is there any aspect of what you believe that you would soften or the outworking the every day outworking of what you believe you would soften from days gone by?” (23:40-24:03)

Mark Driscoll: “Just, overall a massive increase in evaluational relationships. I was talking to, as I was traveling just to go meet with pastors and learn one said, he said “your life is defined by your relationships, for good or for bad.” And uh, I’ve been journaling a lot, cause I, there are some days I’m a little brain foggy, and I don’t want to forget. I want to remember these things and integrate them into my repentance and integrate them into my life and revisit them. And I wrote that down and thought, “Yeah, I think for sure, you look at the Bible and it’s so simple but it’s so obvious. I mean, God is a relational God, Father Son and Spirit, it’s not good for us to be alone, that sin separates and Jesus reconciles and part of the outgrowth of good, Biblical thinking and practice is loving, healthy, functional, supportive relationships. And so, we’ve learned a lot, I’ve learned a lot, but that this is grace centered relationships. And so this season has been okay, relationships, what needs to grow and mature um, in me and around me?” (24:04-25:18)

Brian Houston: “So do you I guess take accountability for the breakup effectively of Mars Hill Church?” (25:19-25:25)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, I think as the leader I have to bear the lion’s share of responsibility for that.” (25:26-25:29)

Brian Houston: “So again, you know, looking at you from a distance. When I first heard about you, your theological belief about women and women in ministry and women in leadership. Uh, my feeling was, if there was one thing that was going to be a red raid to the bull to the secular media it was that subject right there. Has that proven to be the proof?” (25:30-25:55)

Mark Driscoll: “Well, the fact that I can’t even come see you in Australia indicates that you were on to something. Um, yeah for me I would start by saying that some of the misperception is entirely my fault. On some things I said and did that were ungodly, they were lies, and they were unhelpful. And it was on a chatroom in 2000 getting angry, taking a character roll fighting, very ungodly, nothing defensible, things that I’m completely sorry for and the offense is completely justified.” (25:56-26:33)

Brian Houston: “How old were you then?” (26:34)

Mark Driscoll: “Uh, I was in my late 20’s.” (26:35-26:36)

Brian Houston: “In your late 20’s.” (26:36)

Mark Driscoll: “And then, uh, had that taken down, met with the people that  I knew were involved and weren’t under pseudonyms and apologized to them. Uh, thought that it was, you know, removed. In 2006 I wrote a book where I listed it as one of the failures in my leaderships, things I had done wrong. And then in 2014 that content was reposted on the internet. I made a public apology and acknowledgement for that, um, it is one of the grave regrets of my life um, especially now that I’ve got a daughter who is a godly, strong leader. It’s just like, I can’t read some of the things that I said because I feel so horrified that I should’ve, um, [Inaudible] I wouldn’t seek to justify or blame anyone or make any excuses. I publicly want to apologize for that, I want to sincerely apologize for that and that perception of what I think about women is entirely my own fault and I have no one to blame but myself.” (26:37-27:45)

Brian Houston: “For me what was strange the stone that was being repeated over and over in mainstream media, was what is quite vulgar, it was, that, women are penis homes. The Israel women as being a home for a penis. And of course, that’s, that uh is very inflammatory. So what was going on in your own life at the time that you would say something like that?” (27:46-28:06)

Mark Driscoll: “That is not a position, that uh, what I said um, is not representative of what I think or how I feel. Looking back on that, um, that was not a healthy person working from a godly place. And so I would have a hard time explaining it I wouldn’t even make an effort to defend it.” (28:07-28:30)

Brian Houston: “The other thing that the Australian Media was showing over and over was something I had actually seen before. And it was when I think you were talking to men and you were screaming, “Who the Hell do you think you are?” So I’m sure you remember that moment.” (28:31-28:44)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah that was uh, that was a moment in first Peter where it talks about husbands, you know, be compassionate and kind and tender with your wives. And I started talking about men who abuse women. Um, I, the times that I do sometimes get angry is when men are physically sexually assaulting women. And it’s uh, and I think that pornography helps men have a mindset that causes women to be devalued.” (28:45-29:17)

Brian Houston: “So that was the context.” (29:18)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah.” (29:18)

Brian Houston: “You were talking to people.” (29:19-29:21) 

Mark Driscoll: “To men who abuse women like men who hit their wife or girlfriend and who sexually assault or abuse that was the context that was first Peter.”(29:21-29)

Brian Houston: “But you did sound very angry.” (29:29-29:30)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah.” (29:30)

Brian Houston: “It was very passionate. And the fact again, one of the first preaching clips I’d saw of you was someone showing me that.” (29:31-29:36)

Mark Driscoll: “I yelled a lot.” (29:37) [Laughter]

Brian Houston: “So the heart behind it was good. But the-“ (29:38-29:40)

Grace Driscoll: “Yes, the desire was good, the method was not mature or Godly.” (29:41-29:46)

Brian Houston: “And again I think going from where I stand, you’re not the only one whose got the method wrong from time to time. The thing about life is, it’s long. And we, as believers, and especially as preachers and teachers we say a lot of words. Yeah, a lot of words come out-“ (29:47-30:02)

Mark Driscoll: “Paul says when words are many sin is not absent.” (30:02-30:05)

Brian Houston: “Yeah. Unfortunately you can’t pull them back again. So I don’t know of any public speaker who has done it for any length of time who wouldn’t have said something sometime that was a little silly or with a bit of regret. But it’s amazing how we can look at someone else and somehow seems worse when it’s them then when when it’s us.” (30:06-30:22)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah but then again I think if we’re fair. I you know, as you treat others you’ll be treated in kind, and so I brought some of that on myself too.”(30:23-30:30)

Brian Houston: “When it comes to women and ministry, and especially in ministry and in church life and in leadership, you would know indefinitely be taking a different stance as Hillsong. We’ve got women involved in leadership roles at most areas of church life. Pretty much in everything else women are involved. So that’s why I’m intrigued with women and where we stand on it.” (30:32-30:59)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, um. First of all, I don’t want to be critical or negative, and I hope that maybe even the way we interact on this on can um, a graceful way to set the beginning of an example for people to disagree. Um, I would say, uh, one of the primary issues of the trinity in the bible and the resurrection of Jesus and the forgiveness of sin and those close-handed matters, you and I agree.” (31:01-31:23)

Brian Houston: “Uh-uh!” (31:24-31:24)

Mark Driscoll: “On the secondary matters, they’re not unimportant but people who are going to heaven uh- disagree on those matters, this may be one that we do. I would say that uh- um- the culture at Mars Hill would have been different and better with the increased involvement of Godly women. And I think uh, at least what I have learnt today is. Uh, I believe in male and female ministry and that men and women are created equal and likeness and image of God. That they receive all of the spiritual gifts. And that when it comes to governance, in the home, a man the husband is supposed to be the humble, sacrificial Christ-like leader of the home. And then his wife and him walk together like a right hand and a left hand, complimenting one-another. And then in the church, I would feel comfortable with male governance, with male and female ministry. Um, and that being said-” (31:25-32:24)

Brian Houston: “So by male/female ministry works for certain people, what does that mean..?” (32:25-32:29)

Mark Driscoll: “Leading worship, being on staff, going to seminary, umm… serving communion and baptizing-“ (32:29-32:34)

Brian Houston: “So where’s the barriers?” (32:34-32:35)

Mark Driscoll: “I would say governance. And really what we’re down to there Brian, uh I don’t want to do this on camera I want to do this privately I’m enough of a nerd I would [Inaudible]. It comes down to like 1 Timothy 2 the second half, you know, I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man and then it goes into 1 Timothy 3 where it talks about an elder. And uh, what we’re down to there is a bible study about how would you go with that and how I would go with that. What I would say, however, is uh, I don’t feel that it is my position to critique you, it is not my position to correct you. Um, if anything, I want to come into different families of churches to learn and not to argue. And to see the areas that they’re right and I’m wrong and the areas that they can teach me where I can grow, and that has not been largely my disposition up till the point. It’s been more “I’m here to teach, and I’m here to correct, I’m not here to learn and I’m not here to be corrected.” And if there’s a way for me to not violate my conscience and my convictions while also not separating my relationships I’m hoping to get to a point of doing, um, better. I’m a guy whose had a tremendous failure and it’s not looking to tell everyone else how to do it right I don’t think I have the right I don’t think I have the authority I would feel comfortable with male governance, with male and female ministry. And, yeah, and as long as the people involved are Godly I think that the details will get sorted out in the context of relationships. Alright I really appreciate this opportunity, and you probably thought I’m come out and fight you, I, I just-“ (32:35-34:25)

Brian Houston: “No I didn’t know, I probably wouldn’t have asked the question if I didn’t think you the second half of the question if [Inaudible] were in the fighting mood at all. But uh, you’re a very bright man, and I mean that, you’re very bright, you have a very sharp intellect. When I first met you you were like Google. You knew more about Australia than I do. And Sydney than I do, so I understand that you’re a learning person. I’m a simple man, so let me ask you-“ (34:24-34:46)

Mark Driscoll: “I’m an unemployed guy, so.” (34:47-34:48) [Laughter]

Brian Houston: “Let me ask you one more thing, that’s good, I like it. Just from a very simple point of view, but I kinda grew up being taught that women would be silent in church that we had a situation where the men sat on one side of the church and the women sat on the other side. While the men were conducting the very spiritual business of church, the women were, you know, if I were to exaggerate a little, submitting and talking and chatting. And that’s kind of how I was taught that you would sit totally different.” (34:50-35:22)

Mark Driscoll: “That sits totally different with me. I, I don’t wanna put my wife on the spot but we’ve raised, we have five kids our oldest is a girl. Leader, driver, um, led mission trips, raising money for international relief traveling, um, she’s a great writer.” (35:23-35:42)

Grace Driscoll: “She’s using her gifts. And we’re not holding her back from what that looks like.” (35:43-35:46)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, she won the principle’s leadership award and we hung out with the principle and she may have been the only female in the history of the school to win the award at least in the last 20 years and so-“ (35:46-35:55)

Grace Driscoll: “But it’s again it’s a condition of the heart. Her desires are not to impress men and women, they’re to serve the Lord. And if that’s in mind there’s a lot of things women can do, if that’s not in mind there’s a lot of things men and women can’t do.” (35:55-36:09)

Mark Driscoll: “So I guess we needed to delve details into what we talked about earlier like what’s a father’s heart. And I wanna have a heart for the women that in the future that allow me to be their pastor that I had for my daughters, and that is if they have leadership gifts and are called from God and they’re Godly I want to help them achieve that potential and encourage and nourish that and be a support for that.” (36:11-36:34)

Brian Houston: “So when in Australia your visits started to rise to the floor in secular Australia that word misogynistic. Uh, started being thrown around fairly liberally. I looked it up in the Oxford Dictionary and it says, “dislike of, contempt for, or engrained prejudice against women.” Are you, were you ever misogynist?” (35:35-36:55)

Mark Driscoll: “No, but because of things I have said foolishly, that impression is entirely my fault, and I have no one to blame but myself. That’s now how I feel, that’s not what I think, um, but for certain, have uh, allowed that to become an impression.” (36:56-37:15)

Brian Houston: “Sure, and those are things you said when you were in your late 20’s.” (37:16-37:18)

Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, and I have a heart to see, part of this Pastor Brian is, young men aren’t going to church, young men aren’t going to college, young men aren’t marrying women young, young men are not raising their children, and I have such a deep burden and passion to see men. You know, 1 Corinthians 13 when I was a child I thought like a child I spoke like a child I acted like a child, when I became a man I put childish ways behind me. I want to compel young men to grow up to take responsibility and sometimes in doing that I have communicated that in a way that demeans women and that’s not helpful and that’s not right and in the grace of God I need to repent and do better at that. But I still want, I mean no one would say that young men are in the western world highly impressive and we’re all encouraged. There’s a lot of work to be done. And so, I regret the times that I have not communicated in such a way trying to compel them and up and it seems I’m pushing the women down and that’s my fault.” (37:19-38:20)

Brian Houston: “That’s how you feel. You can change moving forward?” (38:21-38:23)

Mark Driscoll: “I hope to with the Grace of God yeah, absolutely.” (38:24-38:27)

Brian Houston: “Good.” (38:28)

Grace Driscoll: “I mean, I’ve never seen him as a misogynist, and never even thought that him of that at all. So, I’ve witnessed the opposite and so, and I’ve known him 27 years And so I can say yes there were methods that were wrong in the beginning but I knew his heart.” (38:29-38:46)

Brain Houston: “I know you’ve tried to apologize a lot of times, I’ve heard some of that myself. Um, it seems there’s a lot of people who just aren’t prepared to accept for his apologies. Do you feel like maybe it was too little too late when it came to apologizing?” (38:47-39:03)

Mark Driscoll: “That’s a good question I don’t know. Um, you know I had someone in the middle of this say. I wrote it in my journal so I wouldn’t forget it it says, it’s never the wrong time to do the right thing. And uh, yeah I don’t know if I’m going to place it I have a great answer for it, I think I’m in the process of processing and praying with wise council. Kind of revisiting the 18 years of my life and trying to learn from it all, yeah.” (39:06-39:31)

Brian Houston: “So in your resignation letter, you you detailed, I feel that about, mistakes you had made and offenses that you had caused. And did you feel like that was received by people?” (39:32-39:44)

Mark Driscoll: “I never got to say goodbye to the church and to the people, um, and so what went public was uh, actually the resignation letter that went to the legal governing board that was in authority over me. Um, and so, um, I uh, I know under the circumstances that there wasn’t a way to do that would’ve been clean or easy. I don’t have any criticism of the board. I think for the people it, it meant there wasn’t closure and I didn’t, we didn’t get to say anything. And so, we didn’t expect to resign I met with the board there was a whole list of things that were charged by current former leaders and there was an internal governance struggle, and threats of legal action, and it got very complicated. And a lot of it was anonymous and through the internet so you don’t know who’s saying or doing what. And so I invited the board to do a full examination interview anybody anything, and we would submit to whatever verdict that they determined. Um, and when I think about 8 weeks we met Friday and Saturday, October 10th and 11th, I remember because the 11th was my birthday. And so Grace and I were present with the Lord. And they said, uh, we see in your history of leadership less in more recent years, more particularly in the past, pride, anger, and domineering leadership style. That would be the three exact words they used. We don’t see anything disqualifying, these are areas we want you to grow, we want you to return to leadership of the church soon. They wanted to do some clean up internally. We want you back on January 4th in the pulpit give you time to heal things to cool down and for some changes to be made. We agreed to that. I sent in a go forward plan and then we went home to have birthday cake with the kids. Um, I think it was on Monday night I was in the bedroom Grace was in the living room and so we had told the board and told the kids you know, come back and was done preaching and love and serve and fix what was a struggling church. And uh, and God had provided a way for us to do that as volunteers and so I was to come back as volunteers. And then on that Monday night I was in the bedroom and Grace was in the living room. And um, he spoke to me and he spoke to her in a supernatural way that neither of us anticipated or expected. And so Grace walked in and she said, “I feel like the Lord just spoke to me and said what we were supposed to do.” And I was like, “I thought the Lord just spoke to me and said what we were supposed to do.” It’s not what we wanted, it’s not what we agreed to, it’s not what we planned for, and so I asked her well what did the Lord say to you because I didn’t want to influence her and so she said, uh, she said we’re” (39:45-42:42)

Grace Driscoll: “We’re released.” (42:43)

Brian Houston: “We can take a moment.” (42:52)

Mark Driscoll: “So, she said well what have you heard so I can hear it. “Well the Lord revealed to me that, you know, a trap has been set there’s no way in which to return to leadership.” And I didn’t know what that meant or what was going on at the time. And um, I said, he said well release too we need to resign. And so, um, you know, this is not what we anticipated, and uh a lot of people thought you know, maybe he’s got another plan, or, we didn’t. We didn’t know what we were doing. And Grace fell to the floor and she was just sobbing uncontrollably and I’ve never seen my wife like that she was devastated. Um, so we prayed and slept on it decided that we would make sure we got this right, and uh.”

Grace Driscoll: “Speak with wise council.”

Mark Driscoll: “Sought the pastors of those we trust and sent in our resignation in on that, it would’ve been that Tuesday, yeah, and resigned.” (42:53-43:57)

Brian Houston: “So there is a lot of grief, uh, delusion of the church [Inaudible](43:58-44:00)

Mark Driscoll: “Well, and, for the people, you know, who. I mean it was a great honor to be their pastor for 18 years. And uh, amazing to see 10,000 people baptized, and people married and kids born, and people helped and healed out to see churches get planted. And mean that was, it’s, it’s, there was a lot of joy and a lot of gratitude. But, um, but also just uh, for the people in the church who have been hurt, and uh, some have scattered, and not attending church, and, that’s the part as a pastor that’s devastating.” (44:01-44:43)

Brian Houston: “Yes, yeah, it’s always the fallout.” (44:44-44:45)

Mark Driscoll: “Yup… Yeah…” (44:46-44:48)

Brian Houston: “Well I guess we can all believe that God’s our restorer and he’ll work in each of those people and bring them back to a place of wholeness.” (44:49-44:57)

Grace Driscoll: “They’re still his people, the way he’s got to minister to them.” (44:58-45:01)

Brian Houston: “So understanding, um, that you’re not trying to defend you know I totally understand you’re not trying to defend your actions or anything that relates to your leadership. But are there any particular things that were said that were just so untrue and just so hurtful that you would like to mention them?” (45:02-45:22)

Mark Driscoll: “I would like to, but, yeah, [Whispering] I don’t want to. In this, my, my, and I appreciate you hearing me Pastor Brian, in all honesty my goal in all of this is not to win, and so,” (45:25-45:44) [Applause]

Brian Houston: “Well that’s a good answer. [Inaudible] hold your piece.” (45:47-45:52)

Mark Driscoll: “And and I am not good at holding my peace, but I believe that that would be, um, I believe that would be best for the Gospel.” (45:52-46:00)

Brian Houston: “We believe you’re getting better at it, at holding your piece. [Laughter] So from the whole thing experience that would last 1-4 years, what if you had to bring in 3 to 5 key lessons that you’ve learned what would they be?” (46:01-46:22)

Mark Driscoll: “Oh boy. I mean that’s a, yeah, I’m not very good with short. [Laughter] Um, it was a tremendous honor to be a pastor and to teach the Bible. And um, to have the things that God did are remarkable and God works through his people. And so, I have come to more than ever be grateful for the 18 years that I got to serve, for the opportunities I got to teach and the things I got to see God do through his good people. Um, and so just a deeper appreciation for the people of God and for the grace that we enjoy. I mean very genuinely. Number 2 I’m exceedingly grateful for my wife. I know I have a wonderful woman but the fact that she’s still with me and my dearest friend and loving and gracious and confronts me and is a truth teller in a loving way. Um, so, I just publicly want to thank you. I mean, she’s the best and I’m really blessed to have her so thank you, [Applause] and um, and faith that we don’t know what’s next. We, people have, you know, speculated, I don’t know. I would like to teach the Bible and love people what that looks like we don’t know. And I’m a planner and a driver. And and right now, um, you know, the plan is to seek wise council, to not get ahead of the Lord, to not rush like I did the first time.”

Grace Driscoll: “To wait in line.”

Mark Driscoll: “To wait in line and not try to prove myself or have my comeback, I, I really, I really am not motivated that way at present. And so it’s just sticking close to Jesus, and to Grace, and the kids. And as we have opportunity thanking the people that were really wonderful for us and then waiting to see what the Lord has next.” (46:23-48:15)

Brian Houston: “My last question really was along those lines it’s, what now?” (48:16-48:19)

Mark Driscoll: “I don’t know, I mean this would be the time I would tell you my next thing and it’s the public launch, and I don’t know. We’re going to go home, and kiss the kids and pray and see what’s next. Yeah, um, I hope to teach the Bible, yeah.” (48:22-48:35)

Brian Houston: “Well I personally think that you’re anointed to do so.” (48:36-40)

Mark Driscoll: “Thank you.” (48:40-48:41)

Brian Houston: “Yeah you’re an outstanding teacher. I’ve already told you we’re probably a little different on some things. But, you know, I personally find your teaching very stimulating and very, very powerful. And I know a lot of people even in my team do as well. So personally I think you should do some teaching again, and my personal feeling for you is to see you flourish in ministry and have your best days ahead of you. [Applause]

And I guess it’s [Inaudible] restitution with individuals as well as collectively and corporately. And- you know endings always- good endings help good beginnings. Bad endings don’t have good beginnings. So I guess if I could- uh- be- uh- officious enough to offer counsel. I would say, just be sure that- you know- you really have done all that you can to heal people, the past, heal up yourselves, stay with good counsel like you are, moving to all that God’s got ahead for you. I’m a great believer that the best is yet to come. And I’d love to speak that over both your lives. I pray in Jesus name that the best is yet to come- and that’s in every way. [Applause] I have found [Inaudible] so let’s believe in God for that together. In Jesus name.” (48:40-50:10)

Mark Driscoll: “Thank you pastor Brian. Thank you for giving us an opportunity.” (50:11-50:15)

Brian Houston: “Thanks for giving me the honor in asking you the questions. I- uh- really, I think I asked you some of the tough questions. I am sure there would be some people who would think that the questions should have been tougher. But- uh- I know, I know, Pastor Mark and Grace, there are a lot of people out there who want good for you in the future. And [Inaudible], just like all of us, that you learn from your past.” (50:16-50:38)

Mark Driscoll: “Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity.” (50:40-50:44)

Brian Houston: “Great.” (50:45-50:55)

[INTERVIEW ENDS] [Applause]

Brian Houston: “Thank you! We had great conversation. We actually talked for um, an hour and fifty three minutes. So that is cut down to just over forty five minutes. I think fifty. Fifty minutes. But the entire interview is an hour and fifty three minutes. So once we get past Hillsong Europe, Hillsong London Conference, we may put excerpts of all the interview, the rest of the interview, uh, so up on to the web as well.

And uh- when we had that conversation it was a really powerful conversation. I could feel the power of God in the room. And so, it was an honor [inaudible] to uh, have the opportunity to talk so frankly and so boldly to- to Mark. And ah- you know, as grace-filled Christians, let’s just believe in the best of them both.

Everyone’s made mistakes as leaders. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. If I’d been held in to all of my mistakes, I’d probably be out of my church too. But thank God I had kinder more to gentle people in our church who uh, turned one blind eye and kept loving me.

So fantastic.” (51:11-52:20)

Source: Hillsong Conference 2015, Interview aired 30/06/2015.

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