Brian – with friends like this, who needs the press?

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According to the media at a Hillsong press Conference, Brian Houston “has never believed in a “prosperity gospel””.

Houston denies teaching prosperity gospel by teaching prosperity gospel (Part 1)

Brian Houston might like to consider getting in touch with his good friends Joel and Victoria Osteen (who often speak at Brian’s Hillsong Conferences). Recently, Victoria Osteen dropped this wonderful prosperity gospel pearly-whirly:

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize that when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God. I mean that’s one way to look at it- we’re doing it for ourselves. Because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning.

So I want you to know this morning, Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to Church, when you worship him- You’re not doing it for God, really, you’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen? Let’s open our hearts to him today.“

RELATED ARTICLES

Why Is The “Fake It Til You Make It” Joel Osteen Still Speaking At Hillsong Conferences?

Early CLC (Hillsong) spirituality examined by media.

There is one thing that needs to be corrected in this news article. To be fair, CLC under Frank Houston never preached a “prosperity doctrine” nor did he teach “heretical views about wealth”. What Frank Houston said in this article was not prosperity theology.

It was Brian Houston (with a poor reputation of theological and intellectual capacity among CLC leaders and elders), who introduced CLC to prosperity theology.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported,

Growth Rivals the loaves and Fishes

Australia’s largest church is no longer St Mary’s Cathedral. The honour probably belongs to a former warehouse in Waterloo being renovated and rebuilt as a ‘worship centre” (the preferred term) for the Sydney based Christian life Centre. The $3.5 million project is being conducted in three stages between now and 1991. When completed, the centre will comfortably hold about 5,000people.

This Pentecostal body, affiliated with the Assemblies of God, held its first service in July 1977 at a house in Double Bay. There were nine adults and five children including the minister, New Zealand born Pastor frank Houston, and his family.

The following week, at a different venue, there was a congregation of 35. By Christmas it had grown to 100. A year later, it was about 1,000. For the past seven years services have been held in a dingy former factory site in Goulburn Street – dingy in appearance but not in exuberance of worship, which is the Pentecostals’ forte’.

These premises are in the process of being vacated. As a temporary measure, services are being held in the Round House at the University of NSW. Meanwhile at Brookvale in the ‘Bible-belt’ northern peninsula, another New Zealander, Pastor Phil Pringle, of the Christian City Church, is facing similar growing pains.

Mr Pringle, 35, held his first service at Easter, 1980, in the Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club. There was a congregation of 12. Since then his flock has multiplied faster than the loaves and fishes. The church hopes soon to embark on a major building program (total value between $8 million and $10 million) on land it already owns at Oxford Falls. The 1986 Census results, reported in the Herald last week, confirm an impressive growth rate for a denomination which, until a decade ago, was considered a mere fringe cult. Between 1981 and 1986 Pentecostals have achieved a 68% increase. The movement now outnumbers several combined smaller groups (including the proselyting Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses) and has made inroads – through the widespread Charismatic renewal – in the mainstream (non-Pentecostal) Churches.

Pentecostalism, as a religious phenomenon, is difficult to define. Its main feature is a belief that the powers given to the apostles by Christ – healing, prophesying, discernment (wisdom), the ability to speak in ‘diverse tongues’ – were intended to be passed to loyal Christians throughout the ages.

Pentecostals are religious fundamentalists, but not all fundamentalists are Pentecostal. Many traditional fundamentalists regard tongues- speaking, claims to healing and similar manifestations as spurious or “of the Devil”. Frank Houston was a Salvation Army officer for 12 years before joining the Assemblies of god 30 years ago. He claims General William Booth, the  Army’s founder, was “quite Pentecostal”. Pentecostals tend to regard themselves as being the elect, using the term “Christian” in a manner offensive to many in the older, mainstream Churches. They seek fellowship mainly among themselves.

Mr Houston denies his flock is inward looking or selfish, pointing to his King’s Cross Commandos, an army of young people which works among drug addicts and the dispossessed. Sociologists claim the “authoritarian” nature of Pentecostalism – the “strong” leadership exercised by its pastors – provides comfort in an uncertain world and is the key to the movement’s success.

The mainstream Churches complain that Pentecostals expound a “prosperity doctrine”, with heretical views about wealth.  According to Mr Houston: “I must say I do believe that God wants Christians to prosper.  When I have been to India and such places I have noticed that people really involved in true Christianity do a lot better.”

Probably the most practical of the Pentecostal’s rediscovered “gifts” is the ministry of healing. In the past week I have examined written and oral testimonies of several hundred apparent cures. Pentecostals go further than the mainstream denominations in believing Satanic powers may be involved in mental and physical illness, alcoholism, drug addiction and homosexuality.

A former cancer sufferer, who showed me a certificate attesting to her cure, said she had felt a “black presence, fighting to retain its hold over my body” as Pastor Gordon Gibbs ( a leading Sydney Pentecostal minister) prayed over her. I was present when a chronic alcoholic, who was being prayed over by another minister, began to bark like a dog and emit sounds and smells like a scene from the Exorcist. Mr Houston defends what Pentecostals call their “deliverance” ministry. “Satan is real, is powers are real. Jesus in his great commission said, “In my name thou shalt cast out devils.” They must be there to be cast out, or He wouldn’t have said it.”

Pastor Harry Westcott, of Vision Ministries, Parramatta, goes further. In the last five years Mr Westcott, formerly a uniting Church minister in Canberra, has earned mixed fame and notoriety by bringing to Australia such figures as Richard Roberts, the son of “Orrible Oral” who was drummed off these shores by an angry mob 30 years ago, and the Rev Benson Idahosa, a Nigerian evangelist who claims to have been the instrument, through God, of raising several people from the dead.

Recently, Mr Westcott had such an experience himself. As his wife, Doreen, tells the story: “It happened when we were conducting a crusade in Levuka, Fiji… Harry and I had gone for a walk in the old city… Suddenly several people came running, calling out “Pastor, Pastor, Pastor, will you come quickly, our grandmother has died.” “We followed them through the back streets into this little dark house. A large, elderly Fijian lady was lying on the bed. She looked dead, all the signs were there, certainly she wasn’t breathing. The family were all around, wailing.

‘Harry went over to her bed, put his hands on her head, grabbed her and said “Mumma, get up and make a cup of tea.” She started to stir. He just pulled her arm and said “Come on, get up”. She rose to her feet, and walked to the other room. The others were screaming. The woman just turned around and said “it’s all gone.”

Source: By Alan Gill, The Rapid Rise of Pentecostalism, The Sydney Morning Herald, Published 02/11/1987. 

HillsongC3NewspaperArticle

 

Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

Houston denies teaching prosperity gospel by teaching prosperity gospel (Part 1)

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PEDDLING PROSPERITY AT PRESS CONFERENCE?

Is Brian Houston using Christian Press conferences to peddle the prosperity gospel while in the same breath denying it?

We will be doing a series of articles on the below news clip. In this article we will be looking at one statement Brian Houston makes. The remaining articles will focus on how Brian Houston of Hillsong Church uses the prosperity gospel to prove he doesn’t preach a prosperity gospel.

BRIAN HOUSTON HAS NEVER BELIEVED IN A PROSPERITY GOSPEL?

Eternity magazine had an article on Brian Houston this August, 2014.

Houston_EternityMagazine_17-08-2014

Brian Houston was reported saying the following at a press conference,

“Brian Houston has never believed in a “prosperity gospel”, he told Eternity at a press conference marking the start of this year’s Hillsong Conference.”

Brian Houston has never believed in a “prosperity gospel”?

Really Brian? Then how on earth do people reconcile your statement to this?

Why did the ABC’s ‘Chaser War on Everything’ do this skit on your prosperity gospel? (Even the Chaser team knows what the prosperity gospel is. And for someone who gets paid $300,000 annually as a pastor motivational speaker, you don’t know?)

Even your ex-members will tell you Brian that you are a “peddler” of the prosperity gospel.

Even you Brian have been caught by the media preaching the prosperity gospel. They even have other Hillsong teachers and members repeating your false gospel in their report.

So you still don’t know what it is?

Eternity reports,

Brian Houston has never believed in a “prosperity gospel”, he told Eternity at a press conference marking the start of this year’s Hillsong Conference.

The leader of the family of Hillsong Churches that stretches across the globe says “There’s a huge difference between living rich and living blessed” using the Laodicean Church of Revelation 3 as an example of a church that was rich but not receiving God’s Blessing.

“The prosperity gospel is… not a term I’ve ever heard used in our church in any context whatsoever,” he says referring to Hillsong Church, suggesting the term has been invented by critics.

“There’s really only one gospel: it’s the gospel of Jesus, the gospel of grace.”

“Do I believe God wants to bless his people? 100 per cent. Do I believe he’s come to give us life and give it to us in abundance? 100 per cent. Do I believe he wants us to just get really, really, really rich and spend all and whatever blessing comes our way on ourselves? Absolutely not,” Houston told the press conference.

According to Houston, there’s no denying that Hillsong is a blessed church, though he says that’s relates to more than just finances.

“Financially, we’ll always have more vision than resource.” But he says the church, just like individual Christians, have a choice with what to do with the many blessings of God: use it for ourselves, or use it for others.

“Do we spend all that blessing on ourselves and become introspective and introverted with it? Because I think that’s the way to lose the blessing on your life.

And so, when it comes to personal blessing, I see it the same way. God blesses you to be a blessing… that’s the essence of what we are all about.”

Source: John Sandeman, Blessing and riches different, Eternity, Number 50, ISSN 1837-8447, August 2014.

Hillsong’s deceitful marketing gimmicks (Part 1): Replacing Jesus with ‘Hillsong’ in ‘No other name’ campaign?

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HOW HILLSONG CONVINCES PEOPLE THEY ARE A CHRISTIAN MOVEMENT

For years it has been proven that Hillsong is an unbiblical Word of Faith cult. This is what is noticeable of Hillsong,

1. They have redefined the Christian church,

2. They undermine and attack biblical Christianity orthodoxy by labelling them as “critics”, “dead”, “dying”, “religious”, etc.

3. They have redefined the pastoral office, 

4. They preach a false gospel,

5. They present a false Jesus,

6. They reject the authority of scripture,

7. They elevate Brian Houston above the Word of God to an infallible Messiah-like prophet/teacher/leader/visionary who cannot be questioned.

8. They redefined the role of Christian worship in church

9. They use music as an agent to infiltrate churches by influencing youth and other less discerning people.

10. They take over churches and rebrand them into their movement.

So how does Hillsong get away with it?

Well it’s called marketing. And not just marketing – Hillsong engages with ‘brainwashing’. That is, they trick people’s minds to believe irrational concepts and contradictions. Not only is this done in their music and preaching, it’s done in their manipulative and misleading markteting campaigns. And we know how manipulative the marketing world is.

We say all this to bring your attention to the marketing of this year’s Hillsong Conference 2014 just past.

NO OTHER NAME CAMPAIGN

If a group is trying to look Christian, they tend to blend in so as to look as orthodox as possible. They will often try to use fallacious arguments (which Hillsong uses), convince you that your ‘feelings’ are God telling you to join their movement (which Hillsong uses), rewrite their history to look more legitimate (which Hillsong does) and use other distracting means to convince you they are a legitimate movement.

Rather than take any form of biblical stance to give the impression they are orthodox, Hillsong simply uses mass media to mislead people into believing they are an orthodox Christian movement. Hillsong again is showing this to be the case in their latest ‘No Other Name’ campaign.

You may think we are overreacting. “You’re being harsh!”

Perhaps. But are we wrong?

When a Christian thinks ‘No Other Name’, what do you think might come to their mind?

1. Jesus     2. God     3. Hillsong     4. Stuart     5. Brian Houston

Every Christian shoud say ‘Jesus’ as their answer. The answer is implied if you know the sciptures,

But is this how Hillsong marketed Jesus? We monitored the very slick Hillsong campaign operating at the conference and we demonstrate why their marketing was so misleading with their ‘no other name’ slogan. Below is an image that illustrates the deceit of this campaign. Do you think they are implying Jesus in their slogan… or something else?

NoOtherName_18-08-2014Bear in mind, the slogan backdrop was marketed everywhere at the Hillsong Conference. To anyone watching online, you were continually bombarded with the implication that there was no other name but Hillsong.

proof_HillsongConference_18-08-2014A very clever marketing strategy – in Christ alone, or in Hillsong alone? This is a carefully crafted marketing campaign. And this would have been given a lot of thought. (Looks like Jesus was not worth putting on their.)

If you can’t prove theologically that you are a legitimate Christian movement, bombard Christians with misleading advertising gimmicks to make them think you’re orthodox.

The bottom line is that if a church is saying ‘No Other Name’, you would think that they would be promoting Jesus, not their church brand. They are putting links that should not be there.

You have to ask the question, why replace Jesus with ‘Hillsong’?

“This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11-12 

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

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WARNING! Article may contain explicit content if you choose to visit links. Please think twice before clicking on articles on Mark Driscoll.

The visionary leadership model, the totalitarian church structures, the bullying, the intimidation, the betrayal, the queries into church financial mismanagement and the dishonesty.

We’re not talking about Brian Houston’s friends Phil Pringle and Kong Hee. We’re not even talking about Brian Houston’s friends Ed Young Jr or Steven Furtick.

We’re talking about Brian Houston’s latest guest speaker invited to Hillsong Conference 2015:

“Anyone interested in who some of the speakers are next year? We’ve got some different ones. We’ve got some different ones. Well let me tell you firstly, we’ve got Joseph Prince speaking from New Creation Church in Singapore. That’s going to be amazing. Some of the New Creation people up there. How cool is that!

So we’re looking forward to having Joseph back. Always a favourite. Always fills our heart with Jesus and with grace.

And then Rick Warren from Saddleback Church in California. He’s gonna be speaking. Author of Purpose Driven Life and pastor to pastors and uh- well Bill- ah, Rick was coming last year but of course with the tragedy in his life, he put that off. And so- now it’s going to be this coming year.

Then, a good favourite of Hillsong Church: Jentezin Franklin from Free Chapel Church, USA. Is going to be speaking.

And here’s one that’s different: Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, is going to be speaking next year at Hillsong Conference. And Mark’s a great teacher of the Word and be the first time here.

And I think it is gonna be a great eclectic mix which is what I love doing. I love bringing people together from all sections of the body of Christ. And it’s amazing how you put it all together and it just seems to work.”

Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong Conference 2014.

We are kind of curious. How is this going to work? These “teachers” will either be pretending to get along with each other in “unity” or diplomacy or otherwise rebuking each other either personally or publicly. In other words, Hillsong might need to reconsider their guest speaker line up.

As usual Hillsong is inviting yet another disgraced minister to speak at Hillsong Conference 2015. But this is where it gets really bizarre, (and where we need to give Driscoll some credit): he calls out false teachers by name. Mark Driscoll in the past has publicly exposed Brian Houston and Joseph Prince’s friend Joel Osteen as a false teacher.

And from what we have researched, false teachers like Rick Warren are no fan of Mark Driscoll either. In fact, for many years faithful ministers and apologetic experts have rightly expressed their concerns over Mark Driscoll’s behaviour, teachings, practices and methodologies.

Below you will find an extensive list of articles exposing the controversial ministry of Mark Driscoll. We STRONGLY advise our readers to exercise caution while browsing the below material. You may be shocked with the explicit language and rude nature of Mark Driscoll’s ministry.

Mark Driscoll clearly has a bad reputation since ministers, leaders and elders are:

1. publicly calling Mark to repentance,
2. addressing him to step down from ministry
3. and/or dropping their connections with him.

This is incredibly sad to see. We would encourage Christians to pray for Mark Driscoll. Sadly, what’s left of his reputation will only worsen if he chooses to speak at Hillsong Conference 2015. Hopefully Mark will wake up and not lower his standards to that of speaking at Hillsong Conference 2015.

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Here is a list of articles on Driscoll arranged by Sola Sisters,

Documenting the Problems with Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll [UPDATED]

[UPDATE: New links continue to be added regularly]

 Driscoll bought his way onto the New York Times bestseller list 

Mark Driscoll bought his way onto the NY Times bestseller list through anonymous 3rd parties

Mark Driscoll Repents? Not So Fast, Say Phil Johnson and Chris Rosebrough

Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability: Buying Place on Best Seller Lists Violates Standards

Chris Rosebrough interviews Janet Mefferd about Driscoll’s latest scandal

The signed contract that helped get Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage book on the New York Times bestseller list

 Mark Driscoll’s plagiarism 

Janet Mefferd’s Interview With Mark Driscoll

Allegations That Mark Driscoll Plagiarized Dr. Peter Jones

Driscoll’s Citations Errors At-A-Glance (Chart)

Former Colleague Provides Evidence Mark Driscoll Plagiarized Material in Two Books

The Evangelical Celebrity Machine: Janet Mefferd accused pastor Mark Driscoll of plagiarism then deleted all her proof. Why’d she back down?

More on the Silencing of Janet Mefferd, the Shamefulness of Tyndale Publishers, and How Mark Driscoll the Plagiarist is Getting Away With It

College professor James Duncan evaluates evidence of Mark Driscoll’s plagiarism, assigns him an “F”

American Copy Editors Society: Leading The Charge Against Plagiarism

The Atlantic Asks Can Megachurches Handle Mega Money? Puts Focus on Mark Driscoll Controversy

This Was No Boating Accident

Of Mefferd and Driscoll and Integrity

On Plagiarism, Tone and Tribalism

Evidence of Plagiarism or Swatting at a Hornets Nest

Mark Driscoll Reacts to Janet Mefford’s Questions About Plagiarism and Strange Fire

New Twist In Mark Driscoll Plagiarism Scandal: ‘You May Not Go Up Against The Machine’

Mefferd producer reportedly resigns over Mark Driscoll controversy

The Best Dumbest Excuses Made by Plagiarists

 His lies, slander toward a Christian brother, and shameless publicity stunt 

Mark Driscoll’s Failed Publicity Stunt At John MacArthur’s Strange Fire Conference That Ended With Him Lying About What Really Happened

 Pastor Driscoll’s abusive nature toward the flock in his care 

Mark Driscoll Proud of the Dead Bodies Behind the Mars Hill Bus?

Audio of Mark Driscoll chuckling about the “pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus”

Mark Driscoll: “Shut Up and Do What You’re Told.”

Mark Driscoll Brags About Pile Of Bodies Behind Mars Hill’s Bus

“Break their nose”

A Former Mars Hill Pastor Speaks Out and Why Others Are Afraid: The Mars Hill Church Non-Disclosure Agreement

 Driscoll’s pornographic mindset 

Mark Driscoll: “Look, I had this vision. Let me tell you about it.”

Dreamweaver: The Visions of Mark Driscoll

Pornographic Divination

Mark Driscoll and His Rated R Sermon in Scotland - transcript here, audio here (**Warning: Very Explicit Content**)

 Explicit Sexual Discussion/Recommendation on Mars Hill Website 

***Please note that the links below contain strong, explicit sexual content. My desire is not to cause anyone to stumble, so please prayerfully bear this in mind. The links are here for documentation purposes ***

Mark and Grace Driscoll Comment on a Mars Hill Q&A Regarding the Use of Sex Toys

Link to Sex Toys Site From the Above-Referenced Mars Hill Q&A

 Driscoll’s unbiblical view on spiritual warfare 

Mark Driscoll speaking to demons: “I want to know who all is involved here and what we’re dealing with.”

 Mark Driscoll affirms false teachers as Christian brothers  

Mark Driscoll calls Word of Faith heretic Joel Osteen his Christian brother

Mark Driscoll affirms Trinity denier T.D. Jakes as a Christian brother at his Elephant Room event

 Former Mars Hill pastor claims violations of city ordinances  

Former Mars Hill Pastor: Mars Hill Leaders Ordered Violation of City Ordinances

The Mars Hill Orange County Discrimination Narrative: The Rest of the Story?

 Former Mars Hill leaders and church members going public with concerns 

Dozens Protest Mars Hill Church after Leader Resignations and Mark Driscoll Apology

Former Mars Hill Pastors Repent At New Website (RepentantPastor.com)

Former Executive Pastor Repents for Culture of Fear at Mars Hill Church

Former Mars Hill Pastor Dave Kraft Explains Charges Against Mark Driscoll

Former Mars Hill Pastor Dave Kraft Speaks Out About His Relationship with the Church

Bent Meyer, Fired Mars Hill Pastor: On His Silence and His Views on Suffering

Former Mars Hill Leader Jeff Bettger Speaks Out in Support of Dave Kraft’s Concerns About Mars Hill

Twenty Former Mars Hill Pastors Seek Mediation With Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Leadership

The Seeds of Trouble: Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll and the 2007 Purge

More Mars Hill Church Grievances: Former Member Calls For Evacuation

Firing of Mars Hill Pastors Causes Turmoil at Mars Hill

A Former Mars Hill Pastor Speaks Out and Why Others Are Afraid: The Mars Hill Church Non-Disclosure Agreement

Amended and Restated By-Laws of Mars Hill Church (UPDATED)

Mars Hill Church to Former Employees: Don’t Talk

Becky Garrison: Mark Driscoll’s Revisionist History About the Founding of Mars Hill Church

How To Revise History the Mark Driscoll Way

Former Mars Hill Church Worship Leader Luke Abrams to Current Members: Vote With Your Nickles and Noses

[NOTE: All patheos articles about Mars Hill/Mark Driscoll can be found here]

 Pressure being brought for Mark Driscoll to step down from spiritual leadership 

Mark Driscoll: “A lot of the people we were dealing with in this season remain anonymous, and so we don’t know how to reconcile or how to work things out with people because we’re not entirely sure who they are.”

New Group To Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church: We Are Not Anonymous

Dear Pastor Mark and Mars Hill: We Are Not Anonymous (Facebook group)

I. Am. Not. Anonymous. (Acts 29 co-founder Ron Wheeler pens open letter to Mark Driscoll)

Former Mars Hill Members Protest Mars Hill, Call For Driscoll’s Resignation (The Seattle Times)

James MacDonald Resigns From Mars Hill Board; Paul David Tripp Resigns But Continues To Work With Mars Hills As Consultant

Why Mark Driscoll Might Go Down and Why He Should……

Rock Star Pastor Loses His Luster (USA Today)

Mars Hill Church and Pastor Mark Driscoll Removed from Church Planting Network (Acts 29) That He Co-Founded

Acts 29 Pioneer Ron Wheeler Sends Open Letter to Mark Driscoll, Asks Him to Resign

Acts 29 Network Removes Co-founder Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church From Membership (UPDATED)

 Questions About Mars Hill Global Fund 

Mars Hill Member Wants Accounting of Global Fund Donations

Mars Hill Church’s International Mission Ministry: Mars Hill Global

Mars Hill Church Scrubs Three Mars Hill Global Videos

 Websites of former Mars Hill leaders 

WenatcheeTheHatchet

Joyful Exiles – Website of former elder Paul Petry and his wife Jonna

Jonna Petry’s Testimony (Jonna Petry is the wife of former Mars Hill elder Paul Petry)

 Miscellaneous 

Lifeway Christian Stores Pulls Mark Driscoll’s Books

Mars Hill Church in May and June of 2012: Systemic Deficits and a Million-Dollar Home Purchased in Snonohomish County

An Open Letter To Mark Driscoll (Pyromaniacs)

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

1 Timothy 3:1-13 – Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

Titus 1:5-10 – Qualifications for Elders

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.

Source: By Sola Sisters, Documenting the Problems with Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll [UPDATED], http://www.solasisters.com/2013/12/documenting-problems-with-mars-hill.html, Published 27/03/2015, Updated 11/08/2014. (Accessed 13/08/2014.)

You know something is wrong with a church when its pastor attends a Hillsong Conference…

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It’s nice to know that people are not falling for Brian Houston’s lies and are starting to examine the influences and sources of Hillsong’s false teachings. Anyone is more than welcome to take any of our articles or resources to educate people on the dangers of the Hillsong Word of Faith/Liberal cult. A good example of people using some of our resources is the ‘Exposing Error @ MPBC’ blog.

Exposing Error @ MPBC writes,

A Baptist Pastor goes to a Hillsong Conference!

*** This article was received as a comment from a Moonee Ponds Baptist church member and published as requested.***

A Baptist Pastor goes to a Hillsong Conference!

What??? Certainly you are joking?

No? But why??

What true Christian, even with a bit of theological familiarity goes to a Hillsong conference?

Did he go there to find out how messed up Hillsong church and theology is?

No??? He went there to learn how to “grow the church” and “worship” (with) music and (with) Brian Huston?

So, Greg must have gone there on his own time and money?

No?? It appears that he went there on Church’s time and money!!

And the church leadership knew about this and supported it? What hope is there for MPBC, if this is the reality of our circumstances?

Before we go all crazy on the matter, let’s get some perspective here.

What’s the big deal? Is there anything wrong or sinful for a true Christian to go and support a conference such as the Hillsong one held in Sydney?

Who spoke at Hillsong 2014?

What was the cost?

Let’s answer the questions briefly and direct the readers to additional material so each one can read, verify and establish the truth for themselves.

  • It is a big deal because Hillsong is not a godly “church” in the context prescribed and categorized in the bible (in the book of Revelation). No discerning Christian, let alone a Senior Baptist Pastor, should be seen in such places. The whole model of the Hillsong “church” is based on prosperity preaching. Baptists have completely different theology as compared to the one that the Hillsong church espouses. Do you see any Baptist speaking in Tongues – No? or Prophesying – No? or Taking about giving 26% tithe of your gross income on top of the weekly offerings to the church? Ah, Yes!! At least Greg has that in common with the “Word of Faith” movement. As a Baptist church, we believe that spiritual gifts such as Tongues, Visions, and Prophesy were given at a time and place for Christians for specific purposes; they were mainly gifts to edify the church before written scriptures were made available and because we have the complete bible now, we believe such spiritual gifts are uncommon today (if they exists at all) and would not serve the same purpose as they did back then. If Greg believes that these spiritual signs and gifts still exists now and are an evidence of spiritual maturity or even confirmation of one’s salvation (as most Pentecostal such as the Hillsong church believes), then why does Greg not speak in tongues? But if Greg believes that the Hillsong’s prosperity gospel is ungodly and immoral and that their theology is wrong, why did he spend so much time and money, promoting, and going to such a spiritually unhealthy place? Something is not right here.

Hillsong 2014 Speakers: numerous Special Guest Speakers such as “Brian & Jen Johnson”, “Bill Hybels”, “Louie Giglio”, “Matt Redman”, “Robert Madu”, “Steven Furtick” (and Brian Huston) spoke at the conference.

All the speakers mentioned above are popular for propagating the prosperity gospel – but let’s look at one particular person – Bill Hybels.

Here are some excerpts fromhttp://eliora.hubpages.com/hub/ELEPHANT-IN-THE-ROOM-WHAT-IS-WRONG-WITH-WILLOW-CREEK-CHURCHBILL-HYBELS

“Bill Hybels founded the church on the marketing ideas of Peter Drucker who successfully applied them to business management before directing his attention towards the mega-church. Rick Warren (remember that name? – Greg’s favourite Pastor), Bill Hybels and Bob Buford were all mentored by Peter Drucker and all three of them seem to have been almost mesmerized by him. Drucker plainly denied being a “born again” Christian  and was heavily influenced by the mysticism of Kierkegaard (http://apprising.org).” (So, a non-Christian mystic is the coach of Greg’s teachers and idols? Can an ungodly source produce a godly fruit or outcome? The Bible warns us not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. You’ve got to read it sometime Greg.)

“The desire of Willow Creek (Bill Hybels’s church) is to attract “customers” to the church with the market-driven seeker -sensitive model, and numerically this has been extremely successful (listen carefully to Greg’s “sermons” and you’ll hear similar market-driven, seeker-sensitive pandering). After surveying the community, Hybels designed his Sunday morning services to meet the “felt needs” of non-believers with programmes and entertainment, his focus being on “personal fulfilment”. There are problems biblically with this method because the perceived needs of people are often not what God defines as their real need i.e. salvation. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55/9) The seeker-sensitive method avoids offending people with the core message of the gospel – the seriousness of sin, repentance and eternal punishment. Instead it is based upon self-esteem rather than self-denial and personal fulfilment rather than on repentance of sins, in other words it is all about the individual rather than Jesus Christ. The seeker sensitive approach is a method that promotes men-pleasing as against God-pleasing. (1 Thessalonians 2/4) The danger is that this method produces false converts because attendees of seeker-sensitive churches have never repented of their sins and believed the gospel message in its entirety (Colossians 1/25).”

So, this is who Greg went to listen to. We have to wonder if Greg has similar plans i.e. seeker sensitive model for Moonee Ponds Baptist Church. All evidence seems to point in that direction. (All this in the name of growing and building the church – but Jesus says, in Mathew 16:18that He is the one who will build the church. – not Greg, not Brian Huston, not even Rick Warren – all the Pastors are called to do, is to faithfully preach the Word of God, and God will do the rest. No need for all this worldly management gimmickry, as it serves no godly purpose)

So what about Brian Huston – the Hillsong “Pastor”?

“One by one, the huge mega-churches with their 5,000+ member congregations are beginning to reveal their true agenda. The Emergent Church, powered by the Rick Warren machine, is a huge promoter ofChrislam, the demonic hybrid of Christianity and Islam. Now Hillsong United in Australia has thrown their hat into the same ring.”

Here’s a quote from Brian’s sermon back in December 2013.

http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/?p=17743

***

“How do you view God? In a desert there’s two types of birds: there’s vultures and there’s hummingbirds. One lives off dead carcasses, rotting meat. The other lives off the beautiful, sweet nectar in a particular flower on a particular desert plant. In the same desert, they both find what they’re looking for.

“Do you know—take it all the way back into the Old Testament and the Muslim—and you, we actually serve the same God,” he said in the sermon. “Allah to a Muslim; to us, Abba Father God.”

***

You can listen to part of that “sermon”, from the link above or find the whole sermon online but taking a hammer and pounding it on your ears would be a better use of your time than listening to that satanic drivel.

To be fair, Brian made an attempt to retract what he said, but ended up lying and contradicting himself.

Any guesses who was one of the speakers for the 2013 Hillsong  conference and also will be the speaker for 2015? Yes, the one and only Rick Warren! I know someone who won’t miss that.

What was the cost?

$199.00 to $329.00 – that’s how much the entertainment costs. If you want the Gospel, that’s free, but you probably won’t hear that at Hillsong.

Even the media recognises the Hillsong  “church” for being money hungry. To get an understanding of the damage Hillsong has done to the face of Christianity in Australia, read the articles from the site below -

http://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2012/10/11/why-you-need-more-money-introduction-2/

Source: By Paul Aletheia, A Baptist Pastor goes to a Hillsong Conference!, Exposing Error @ MPBC,  http://exposingerror.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/a-baptist-pastor-goes-to-a-hillsong-conference/, Published 25/07/2014. (Accessed 01/08/2014.)

Gnostic Brian Houston (Part 2) Tackling the deceit of the Noah campaign…

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Before reading the article, we would like to point out how intentionally deceitful the marketing of the movie Noah was to Christians. While some of the imagery does appear odd in the trailers, the mind of the average Christian may have concluded how Aronofsky may have interpreted some scriptures. For example, in the trailer there is a shot of ethereal beings coming to earth. The Christian might think that Aronofsky was portraying the nephilim in this light. However, you never see what they become in the trailer and what they do. To do so, would have cause many Christians not to see the movie Noah.

In the below snippet of the film, you will hear a golem-like being describe how ‘god’ tried to prevent these ‘beings’ from helping Adam and Eve. These beings are not the nephilim in Chapter 6. They appear to be archons (the rulers). The being who is telling the story said they were created on the second day. In the archon’s telling of the story, archons are good, God is bad. Archons gave fallen human beings knowledge that God didn’t want given to Adam and Eve’s offspring.

Also in the above trailer, you will see Noah’s father raise a flaming sword and strike the ground. From the blade, a firewall goes out from it and consumes the entire barren grassy field. However, when you watch the movie take note who is in the field. Why did Aronofsky feel it was important to leave out the special effects? Would you consider this honest marketing?

Yet Brian Houston thinks this is all fine and dandy and that only religious people will have problems with the film Noah?

There are many dishonest things we can point out in Aronofsky’s trailers in his attempt to entice Christians to watch his gnostic Noah movie. However, the one segment in the trailer that would play on the Christian’s heart-strings is when Noah turns to Tubal-Cain answers his threat with, “I am not alone” (Trailer: 1:15). The trailer blacks out to credits. The average Christian we would think would say, “Amen! Noah has put his faith in God alone! Hallelujah! Looks like a good movie to inspire my faith!” It sounds like a great reason to see Noah!

Not so fast. Did Noah say that because he had put his faith in God? Who emboldened him to stand firm in his convictions? God or something else? Watch the segment here for yourself.

If Brian Houston was fed these trailers, it may be possible to explain why he was against Christians who had issues with the film. He may have been badly duped by Aronofsky. Or Brian might have been pushing this pagan portrayal of Noah onto Christians for other reasons. We can’t read his mind on this. All we know is that he has pressured Christians into embracing the film Noah as a good film.

Gnostic Brian Houston (Part 1) What ‘Ps’ Brian Endorses Dr Brian shames

As a result of “pastors” like Brian pushing films like this on non-discerning Christians, Dr Brian Mattson wrote the following article,

THE REAL ISSUE

I had no particular interest in seeing the movie, Noah. I never originally planned to. I saw it because I needed to prep for a segment on my Web TV show with Brian Godawa (see it by clicking here) and I wanted to speak intelligently about it. I saw it, came home, wrote a review that I figured might get a decent viewership. There’s no way I expected a 2,300 word blog post to attract a ton of attention. But it’s now a lightning rod in a rather massive cultural controversy.

[By the way, please read Brian Godawa's post today. It's really good.]

Let me back up and recap a few things.

I saw a movie loaded with imagery and themes drawn from a variety of monistic, esoteric, mystical, and speculative religions that have their source in Neoplatonism. Among them, Kabbalah and Gnostic sects.

My critics openly admit that Aronofsky drew on a variety of these sources.

But, they seem to insist, his reliance on these sources is relatively harmless to the film, and these themes can be interpreted in healthy directions.

That’s interesting and all (and I’ll say more about it in a minute), but it isn’t the primary issue in this controversy.

The issue is this: should Christian leaders have endorsed this movie, either outright or being used as part of a Hollywood promotional machine?

Given the fact that Aronofsky drew from these types of sources, and given the themes and imagery of his final product, I say the answer is no way. Others, obviously, do not share that conclusion. I say let Aronofsky and Paramount gin up their own clientele. To me, it seems perverse for them to lean on the Christian community for it, which they did, holding private screenings for leaders and people of influence.

That, friends, is the issue. I’m not condemning or shaming anybody for seeing the film, talking about the film, debating the film, or even enjoying the film. I’m concerned that certain Christian leaders were basically asked to “vet” the film for their constituents, and they came to conclusions that simply missed the themes I’ve highlighted. I find that to be a bit of theological malpractice. Not enough to “lose your license,” be kicked out the kingdom, ostracized or condemned as a pagan or “enemy of the faith,” or anything of the sort. But enough to warrant a censure, and to be encouraged to beef up theologically and do better next time.

Now, if you want to go on to debate ways to interpret all of these themes and imagery, that’s fine. That’s partly why seeing and talking about movies is fun in the first place! Just so long as we’re clear that the Director did not get these ideas from the Bible; he got them from esoteric, mystical traditions that have as their purpose to subvert the original story.

[By the way, many people failed to grasp the rhetoric of hyperbole in my claim that it has "nothing" to do with the Bible. Obviously, all mystical re-interpretations of Noah have Genesis as their foundational source text. It's the very thing they're trying to subvert. I didn't think that needed to be said. I was wrong.]

So, with my view of the major issue clear, feel free to find ways of interpreting the monistic/Gnostic/Kabbalic imagery any way you please (that’s one of the attractive features of these religions in the first place). But I’ll just note an irony: It is not me who is stretching for fancy interpretations here. That was what I expected at first with my movie review: “Boy, this guy’s really stretching. He’s crazy!” The fact that my critics are the ones searching for ways to interpret the symbolism of the texts and motifs they admit Aronofsky used means that it is not they who are on the solid ground.

But, as I say, those are all less important issues, in my view.

One final thing to clear up on the interpretive side of things. A number of people challenged my idea that God wanted to kill Noah and his family too, because Emma Watson’s character explains, “Maybe The Creator wanted you to decide” whether the human race lives or dies. Well, fine. The Creator doesn’t reveal anything about himself or his purposes in this film, so you’re certainly allowed to take her word for it. But it gets you no closer to anything resembling a biblical doctrine of God. And Christian criticsshould have had a response equally objectionable. God throws up his hands and says, “I have no opinion on the matter. You can live or die. I can go either way. You decide, Noah”? That’s not evidence of God somehow exhibiting love or mercy instead of wrath; it’s evidence of coldest of cold indifference.

And it represents pretty much the exact opposite of the Bible’s account. God chose Noah. God commissioned Noah to build the ark and, after the flood, to undertake the original Adam’s mandate to be fruitful and multiply. It was his purpose to save humanity. He didn’t leave it up to a potentially vacillating, half-homicidal Noah. So even if this interpretation of the film is right, it is still no closer to being an acceptable rendering of the biblical story.

It’s an interpretation that is not to the film’s credit.

Source: Dr Brian Mattson, The Real Issue, DrBrianMattson.com, http://drbrianmattson.com/journal/2014/4/1/just-once-more, 02/04/2014. (Accessed 01/08/2014.)

Why is controversial Mark Driscoll speaking at Hillsong Conference 2015 (Part 1)

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Brian Houston announced that Mark Driscoll will be speaking at Hillsong Conference 2015. One has to wonder what on earth Brian Houston is thinking. The web is full of reports on the controversial conducts of men like Steven Furtick and Mark Driscoll. Notice how many of Brian’s friends conduct themselves in similar ways to Brian Houston as listed in this report.

1. They appear to have a, “[...] lack of transparency around [the pastor] and church funds.”

The media pressured Brian Houston to disclose the following – “My total personal income from Hillsong Church in its entirety is just on $150,000 including fringe benefits plus currently the use of a Holden Caprice, along with just over another $150,000 from Leadership Ministries which makes up my complete personal income.”). [Source]

2. They appear to have, “[...] non-disclosure agreements that [...] pastors and staff members must sign when they depart”

3. They appear to lack anyone “[...] who holds [the pastor] accountable on money or any other issue.”

4. They appear to blur lines, “[...] between advancing the gospel and advancing the preacher.”

5. They appear to enjoy, “massive popularity”.

Frankly, the teachers joy should be seeing salvation and people growing into the fullness of Christ. Is it only because these preachers share the same totallatarian-like methods that they consider each-other valid teachers?

In the below article, we would like to point out that we do not endorse the New Age writer William Paul Young.

USA Today reports,

‘Rock star’ pastors lose luster: Column

It’s not easy being a celebrity pastor these days with that pesky Internet around.

Consider the struggles of Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Faced with mounting accusations circulating online — plagiarism, misusing church funds to prop book sales, silencing anyone in his church with the temerity to question him — Driscoll has urged his followers to stay off the Web. “It’s all shenanigans anyway,” he explains.

Steven Furtick, a megachurch pastor in North Carolina, and Dave Ramsey, an evangelical finance guru, have been taking hits, too, as have the wheeler-dealers on the Preachers of L.A. reality show. This, against a backdrop of culture shifts creating strong headwinds against the leader-and-follower model typified by today’s Christian superstars.

What are a megapastor and his followers to do? Remembering the biblicaladmonitions against idolatry would be a good start.

Some media outlets have dubbed Driscoll a “rock star” among pastors. He is hip, brash, very interested in sex and, for a reverend, unusually irreverent. He doesn’t throw televisions out of hotel windows in the manner of bad-boy rock musicians. But he comes close in the rhetorical sense, tossing out insults about gay people, women and his theological rivals.

Ongoing enterprise

Also true to his rock-star status, Driscoll enjoys massive popularity. His Mars Hill Church (including its 15 franchised satellite locations) attracts nearly 15,000 weekly. Driscoll’s podcast has 250,000 regular listeners worldwide, and his 2012 book, Real Marriage, topped a New York Times best-seller list.

Ah, that chart-topping book. Driscoll has admitted to using more than $200,000 in church funds to hire a consultant to game the system, boost sales and add that magical reference — No. 1 best-selling author — to his glittering résumé. This questionable allocation of church money is indicative of a wider problem that rankles those in Driscoll’s growing flock of critics: the lack of transparency around Driscoll and church funds.

His salary? Unknown. Who controls church funds? Good luck finding that out. And because of the non-disclosure agreements that Mars Hill pastors and staff members must sign when they depart, little is known about who holds Driscoll accountable on money or any other issue.

One of the problems with celebrity pastors is that it’s very difficult to draw a line between advancing the gospel and advancing the preacher. When a famous pastor grows his audience and fame, doesn’t this mean that more people are hearing his saving message about Christ?

Well, yes.

But as revealed by the long history of church authority and its periodic abuse, the dynamic also gives the preacher on the pedestal a too-easy justification for seemingly everything he wants to do. You don’t want to be against God’s will, do you?

Scrutiny shared online

Now, however, there’s a wild card that older-school religious celebrities did not have to contend with. Thanks to the Internet, any disgruntled current or former follower can write a scathing blog post, add nasty comments to reader forums or, as creator of@FakeDriscoll does, voice a spoof Twitter account in the target’s name. This can take a toll — as demonstrated by Driscoll’s church, which has had to lay off staff due to declining attendance and giving.

Because of the Internet, “the audience is now at least as much of a celebrity as the pastor, if not more,” says Jim Henderson, a Christian author and producer in the Seattle area who is convinced that the era of the celebrity pastor as spiritual paragon is waning. Henderson produces a live show called Where’s God When featuring a very different kind of “celebrity” Christian — William Paul Young, author of the megaselling faith-themed novel The Shack.

Young is, seemingly, everything the megapastors are not: small of stature and ego, quietly reflective, and open about his painful journey and struggles (including his being a sex-abuse victim).

Henderson might be right about this being the beginning of the end for celebrity megapastors. Until that process runs its course, however, fans of the Driscolls, Furticks and the rest have a big question to ask themselves. Who, ultimately, are they following? Jesus? Or their pastor?

Source: Tom Krattenmaker, ‘Rock star’ pastors lose luster: Column, USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/07/31/rock-star-pastors-church-celebrity-internet-column/13422869/, Published 4:16 p.m. EDT, 31/07/ 2014. (Accessed 01/08/2014.)

Gnostic Brian Houston (Part 1) What ‘Ps’ Brian Endorses Dr Brian shames

We think it is necessary to re-look at some of the criticisms around Noah and Brian Houston’s endorsement of the satanic film. We believe this will benefit future articles on Hillsong Church Watch. Forgive us if you think likewise.

BRIAN HOUSTON’S PRESSURES CHRISTIAN’S TO EMBRACE THE SATANIC MOVIE NOAH?

It should not surprise us that Brian Houston endorses a very occult and gnostic centered movie like ‘Noah’. The roots of both Brian Houston and Phil Pringle’s prosperity gospel and word of faith heresy are founded in the metaphysical cults which dabble in gnosticism and the occult.

Phil Pringle Influenced By Occult/ New Thought/ Metaphysical Cult Teachings

It should be clear by now that Brian Houston has no basic hermeneutical skills or any basic idea how to function in the area of biblical discernment. Brian Houston’s latest endorsement of ‘Noah’ should indicate to Christians everywhere just how inept he is a pastor.

Brian Houston offers the following criticism,

“I’d much rather be an artist than an art critic. A chef than a food critic. A movie maker than a film critic. A musician than a music critic. and a church builder than a church critic.”

Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong TV // Living For The Master’s Well Done, Pt1 with Brian Houston, Sermon: Living For The Master’s Well Done, YouTube, Pt1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVE2j_aeZ8M, Published on Jan 5, 2014. (Accessed 17/03/2014.)

Brian Houston saw the movie Noah and (knowing the movie critic that he is) offered this criticism to Christians who do not like the movie,

“You’ll enjoy the film — if you’re not too religious.”

Source: By Kim Masters, Rough Seas on ‘Noah': Darren Aronofsky Opens Up on the Biblical Battle to Woo Christians (and Everyone Else), http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/rough-seas-noah-darren-aronofsky-679315?mobile_redirect=false, Published 7:00 AM PST 12/02/2014. (Accessed 02/04/2014.)

Quite frankly, Houston didn’t need to say that. Statements like this only force Christians to embrace error at the expense of not being seen as Christian. This is an attack on people’s reason and simply a form of emotional manipulation. Interestingly enough, this is a form of brainwashing. We are personally becoming more and more convinced that these are deliberate tactics deployed by Brian Houston to encourage Christians to embrace his brothers and sisters who have these occult leanings. We will explore this in future articles.

DR BRIAN MATTSON REVIEWS NOAH & TELLS HOUSTON TO BE “BETTER EDUCATED”

The below “religious” critic Dr Brian Mattson identifies the source of the movies ‘inspiration’. It is important to note that Dr Brian Mattson quotes the early church father Irenaeus and his work ‘Against Heresies’ to identify this form of Jewish gnosticism which Brian Houston seemingly endorses. Dr Brian Mattson takes to task in explaining what the movie Noah was about and rebukes Christians leaders who endorse the satanic film.

Below we will publish both articles by Dr Brian Mattson. At the bottom of the video we will provide a snippet of the transcript in Dr Brian’s YouTube video.

I RESPOND TO A FEW CRITICS

TRANSCRIPT

[...] First, there were people who complained about my tone, that I was publicly shaming Christian leaders for endorsing this movie. Yeah, that is very strong language. I agree. But I am afraid that I have to stand by it and here’s why.

I cannot very well say, “Good job Christian leaders. Good job vetting this movie for your constituence. People that look up to you for wisdom and guidance and discernment in navigating this entertainment saturated world. Good job! Except that there’s that little detail where the sustained emphasis in the movie was that the serpent of the garden is a blessing. And Noah and his family are receiving the blessing of the serpent at the end of the film”.

That’s just not going to do. I cannot say say “good job” when the job was poor. It was a very bad job.

I am calling on Christian leaders to elevate their game, to do a better job, to be better informed, better educated, better equipped so that we can equip others. To watch entertainment with wisdom and discernment. We really are- I believe- living in a replay of the second century. This stuff will be more prevalent and we cannot be- we cannot afford to be asleep at the wheel.

Source: Dr Brian Mattson, I respond to a few critics, http://drbrianmattson.com/journal/2014/4/1/i-respond-to-a-few-critics. (Accessed 02/04/2014.)

Dr Brian wrote the following movie review on Noah:

SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL

In Darren Aronofsky’s new star-gilt silver screen epic, Noah, Adam and Eve are luminescent and fleshless, right up until the moment they eat the forbidden fruit.

Such a notion isn’t found in the Bible, of course. This, among the multitude of Aronofsky’s other imaginative details like giant Lava Monsters, has caused many a reviewer’s head to be scratched. Conservative-minded evangelicals write off the film because of the “liberties” taken with the text of Genesis, while a more liberal-minded group stands in favor of cutting the director some slack. After all, we shouldn’t expect a professed atheist to have the same ideas of “respecting” sacred texts the way a Bible-believer would.

Both groups have missed the mark entirely. Aronofsky hasn’t “taken liberties” with anything.

The Bible is not his text.

In his defense, I suppose, the film wasn’t advertised as such. Nowhere is it said that this movie is an adaptation of Genesis. It was never advertised as “The Bible’s Noah,” or “The Biblical Story of Noah.” In our day and age we are so living in the leftover atmosphere of Christendom that when somebody says they want to do “Noah,” everybody assumes they mean a rendition of the Bible story. That isn’t what Aronofsky had in mind at all. I’m sure he was only too happy to let his studio go right on assuming that, since if they knew what he was really up to they never would have allowed him to make the movie.

Let’s go back to our luminescent first parents. I recognized the motif instantly as one common to the ancient religion of Gnosticism. Here’s a 2nd century A.D. description about what a sect called the Ophites believed:

“Adam and Eve formerly had light, luminous, and so to speak spiritual bodies, as they had been fashioned. But when they came here, the bodies became dark, fat, and idle.” – Irenaeus of Lyon, Against Heresies, I, 30.9

It occurred to me that a mystical tradition more closely related to Judaism, calledKabbalah (which the singer Madonna made popular a decade ago or so), surely would have held a similar view, since it is essentially a form of Jewish Gnosticism. I dusted off (No, really: I had to dust it) my copy of Adolphe Franck’s 19th century work, The Kabbalah, and quickly confirmed my suspicions:

“Before they were beguiled by the subtleness of the serpent, Adam and Eve were not only exempt from the need of a body, but did not even have a body—that is to say, they were not of the earth.”

Franck quotes from the Zohar, one of Kabbalah’s sacred texts:

“When our forefather Adam inhabited the Garden of Eden, he was clothed, as all are in heaven, with a garment made of the higher light. When he was driven from the Garden of Eden and was compelled to submit to the needs of this world, what happened? God, the Scriptures tell us, made Adam and his wife tunics of skin and clothed them; for before this they had tunics of light, of that higher light used in Eden…”

Obscure stuff, I know. But curiosity overtook me and I dove right down the rabbit hole.

I discovered what Darren Aronofsky’s first feature film was: Pi. Want to know its subject matter? Do you? Are you sure?

Kabbalah.

If you think that’s a coincidence, you may want a loved one to schedule you a brain scan.

Have I got your attention? Good.

The world of Aronofsky’s Noah is a thoroughly Gnostic one: a graded universe of “higher” and “lower.” The “spiritual” is good, and way, way, way “up there” where the ineffable, unspeaking god dwells, and the “material” is bad, and way, way down here where our spirits are encased in material flesh. This is not only true of the fallen sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, but of fallen angels, who are explicitly depicted as being spirits trapped inside a material “body” of cooled molten lava.

Admittedly, they make pretty nifty movie characters, but they’re also notorious in Gnostic speculation. Gnostics call them Archons, lesser divine beings or angels who aid “The Creator” in forming the visible universe. And Kabbalah has a pantheon of angelic beings of its own all up and down the ladder of “divine being.” And fallen angels are never totally fallen in this brand of mysticism. To quote the Zohar again, a centralKabbalah text: “All things of which this world consists, the spirit as well as the body, will return to the principle and the root from which they came.” Funny. That’s exactly what happens to Aronofsky’s Lava Monsters. They redeem themselves, shed their outer material skin, and fly back to the heavens. Incidentally, I noticed that in the film, as the family is traveling through a desolate wasteland, Shem asks his father: “Is this a Zoharmine?” Yep. That’s the name of Kabbalah’s sacred text.

The entire movie is, figuratively, a “Zohar” mine.

If there was any doubt about these “Watchers,” Aronofsky gives several of them names: Semyaza, Magog, and Rameel. They’re all well-known demons in the Jewish mystical tradition, not only in Kabbalah but also in the book of 1 Enoch.

What!? Demons are redeemed? Adolphe Franck explains the cosmology of Kabbalah: “Nothing is absolutely bad; nothing is accursed forever—not even the archangel of evil or the venomous beast, as he is sometimes called. There will come a time when he will recover his name and his angelic nature.”

Okay. That’s weird. But, hey, everybody in the film seems to worship “The Creator,” right? Surely it’s got that in its favor!

Except that when Gnostics speak about “The Creator” they are not talking about God. Oh, here in an affluent world living off the fruits of Christendom the term “Creator” generally denotes the true and living God. But here’s a little “Gnosticism 101” for you: the Creator of the material world is an ignorant, arrogant, jealous, exclusive, violent, low-level, bastard son of a low level deity. He’s responsible for creating the “unspiritual” world of flesh and matter, and he himself is so ignorant of the spiritual world he fancies himself the “only God” and demands absolute obedience. They generally call him “Yahweh.” Or other names, too (Ialdabaoth, for example).

This Creator tries to keep Adam and Eve from the true knowledge of the divine and, when they disobey, flies into a rage and boots them from the garden.

In other words, in case you’re losing the plot here: The serpent was right all along. This “god,” “The Creator,” whom they are worshiping is withholding something from them that the serpent will provide: divinity itself.

The world of Gnostic mysticism is bewildering with a myriad of varieties. But, generally speaking, they hold in common that the serpent is “Sophia,” “Mother,” or “Wisdom.” The serpent represents the true divine, and the claims of “The Creator” are false.

So is the serpent a major character in the film?

Let’s go back to the movie. The action opens when Lamech is about to bless his son, Noah. Lamech, rather strangely for a patriarch of a family that follows God, takes out a sacred relic, the skin of the serpent from the Garden of Eden. He wraps it around his arm, stretches out his hand to touch his son—except, just then, a band of marauders interrupts them and the ceremony isn’t completed. Lamech gets killed, and the “villain” of the film, Tubal-Cain, steals the snakeskin. Noah, in other words, doesn’t get whatever benefit the serpent’s skin was to bestow.

The skin doesn’t light up magically on Tubal-Cain’s arm, so apparently he doesn’t get “enlightened,” either. And that’s why everybody in the film, including protagonist and antagonist, Noah and Tubal-Cain, is worshiping “The Creator.” They are all deluded. Let me clear something up here: lots of reviewers expressed some bewilderment over the fact there aren’t any likable characters and that they all seem to be worshiping the same God. Tubal-Cain and his clan are wicked and evil and, as it turns out, Noah’s pretty bad himself when he abandons Ham’s girlfriend and almost slays two newborn children. Some thought this was some kind of profound commentary on how there’s evil in all of us. Here’s an excerpt from the Zohar, the sacred text of Kabbalah:

“Two beings [Adam and Nachash—the Serpent] had intercourse with Eve [the Second woman], and she conceived from both and bore two children. Each followed one of the male parents, and their spirits parted, one to this side and one to the other, and similarly their characters. On the side of Cain are all the haunts of the evil species; from the side of Abel comes a more merciful class, yet not wholly beneficial — good wine mixed with bad.”

Sound familiar? Yes. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, to the “T.”

Anyway, everybody is worshiping the evil deity. Who wants to destroy everybody. (By the way, in Kabbalah many worlds have already been created and destroyed.) Both Tubal-Cain and Noah have identical scenes, looking into the heavens and asking, “Why won’t you speak to me?” “The Creator” has abandoned them all because he intends to kill them all.

Noah had been given a vision of the coming deluge. He’s drowning, but sees animals floating to the surface to the safety of the ark. No indication whatsoever is given that Noah is to be saved; Noah conspicuously makes that part up during an awkward moment explaining things to his family. He is sinking while the animals, “the innocent,” are rising. “The Creator” who gives Noah his vision wants all the humans dead.

Many reviewers thought Noah’s change into a homicidal maniac on the ark, wanting to kill his son’s two newborn daughters, was a weird plot twist. It isn’t weird at all. In the Director’s view, Noah is worshiping a false, homicidal maniac of a god. The more faithful and “godly” Noah becomes, the more homicidal he becomes. He is becoming every bit the “image of god” that the “evil” guy who keeps talking about the “image of god,” Tubal-Cain, is.

But Noah fails “The Creator.” He cannot wipe out all life like his god wants him to do. “When I looked at those two girls, my heart was filled with nothing but love,” he says. Noah now has something “The Creator” doesn’t. Love. And Mercy. But where did he get it? And why now?

In the immediately preceding scene Noah killed Tubal-Cain and recovered the snakeskin relic: “Sophia,” “Wisdom,” the true light of the divine. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Okay, I’m almost done. The rainbows don’t come at the end because God makes a covenant with Noah. The rainbows appear when Noah sobers up and embraces the serpent. He wraps the skin around his arm, and blesses his family. It is not God that commissions them to now multiply and fill the earth, but Noah, in the first person, “I,” wearing the serpent talisman. (Oh, and by the way, it’s not accidental that the rainbows are all circular. The circle of the “One,” the Ein Sof, in Kabbalah, is the sign of monism.)

Notice this thematic change: Noah was in a drunken stupor the scene before. Now he is sober and “enlightened.” Filmmakers never do that by accident.

He’s transcended and outgrown that homicidal, jealous deity.

Let me issue a couple of caveats to all this: Gnostic speculation is a diverse thing. Some groups appear radically “dualist,” where “The Creator” really is a different “god” altogether. Others are more “monist,” where God exists in a series of descending emanations. Others have it that the lower deity “grows” and “matures” and himself ascends the “ladder” or “chain” of being to higher heights. Noah probably fits a little in each category. It’s hard to tell. My other caveat is this: there is no doubt a ton of Kabbalistimagery, quotations, and themes in this movie that I couldn’t pick up in a single sitting. For example, since Kabbalah takes its flights of fancy generally based on Hebrew letters and numbers, I did notice that the “Watchers” appeared to be deliberately shaped like Hebrew letters. But you could not pay me to go see this movie again so I could further drill into the Zohar mine to see what I could find. (On a purely cinematic viewpoint, I found most of it unbearably boring.)

What I can say on one viewing is this:

Darren Aronofsky has produced a retelling of the Noah story without reference to the Bible at all. This was not, as he claimed, just a storied tradition of run-of-the-mill Jewish “Midrash.” This was a thoroughly pagan retelling of the Noah story direct from Kabbalist and Gnostic sources. To my mind, there is simply no doubt about this.

So let me tell you what the real scandal in all of this is.

It isn’t that he made a film that departed from the biblical story. It isn’t that disappointed and overheated Christian critics had expectations set too high.

The scandal is this: of all the Christian leaders who went to great lengths to endorse this movie (for whatever reasons: “it’s a conversation starter,” “at least Hollywood is doing something on the Bible,” etc.), and all of the Christian leaders who panned it for “not following the Bible”…

Not one of them could identify a blatantly Gnostic subversion of the biblical story when it was right in front of their faces.

I believe Aronofsky did it as an experiment to make fools of us: “You are so ignorant that I can put Noah (granted, it’s Russell Crowe!) up on the big screen and portray him literally as the ‘seed of the Serpent’ and you all will watch my studio’s screening and endorse it.”

He’s having quite the laugh. And shame on everyone who bought it.

And what a Gnostic experiment! In Gnosticism, only the “elite” are “in the know” and have the secret knowledge. Everybody else are dupes and ignorant fools. The “event” of this movie is intended to illustrate the Gnostic premise. We are dupes and fools. Would Christendom awake, please?

In response, I have one simple suggestion:

Henceforth, not a single seminary degree is granted unless the student demonstrates that he has read, digested, and understood Irenaeus of Lyon’s Against Heresies.

Because it’s the 2nd century all over again.

Postscript

Some readers may think I’m being hard on people for not noticing the Gnosticism at the heart of this film. I am not expecting rank-and-file viewers to notice these things. I would expect exactly what we’ve seen: head-scratching confusion. I’ve got a whole different standard for Christian leaders: college and seminary professors, pastors, and Ph.Ds. If a serpent skin wrapped around the arm of a godly Bible character doesn’t set off any alarms… I don’t know what to say.

Source: Dr Brian Mattson, Sympathy for the Devil, http://drbrianmattson.com/journal/2014/3/31/sympathy-for-the-devil, Published 31/03/2014. (Accessed 02/04/2014.)

“Pull the Allah one, Brian” (Part 2)

Before we return to refuting Brian Houston’s bogus clarification, please read the article that started the Hillslam controversy:

Brian Houston: “the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God”

When we deconstruct what Brian Houston is actually doing in his “clarification”, are we witnessing a man operating just as deceptively as the serpent himself? We say this in light of our previous article here:

“Pull the Allah one, Brian” (Part 1)

What makes the entire “clarification” unreliable is the time line leading up to us revealing the clip and the behaviour of Houston that followed. Here is the time line of the events:

1. A commentor on our site gave his witness about the comments Brian Houston made last year in a mid-morning session at Hillsong Conference 2013:

“Brian made the original statement statement in a mid-morning session at Hillsong Conference. At the lunch time Q&A meeting he was questioned over the statement. He clarified to all pastors and leaders present that God and Allah are NOT the same, that he pointed to the prophesy [sic] over Ishmael in Genesis 16:11-12 whose rebellion ultimately against the God of Israel would lead to the foundation of Islam.”

Source: Harry, Brian Houston: “the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God”, Hillsong Church Watch, http://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2014/03/17/brian-houston-the-muslim-and-you-we-actually-serve-the-same-god/#comment-1977, March 23, 2014 at 9:52 am. (Accessed 18/07/2014.)

What does this mean? Brian Houston does not understand Jewish/Christian/Islamic history when supposedly correcting his views.

2. Brian Houston, with his film department, edited and published that specific mid-morning session at Hillsong Conference on the 5th of January, 2014. They DID NOT edit out Houston’s controversial comments.

What does this mean? Well in spite of being asked to clarify his position earlier, Brian Houston did not edit out the Allah claims for YouTube.

3. When we did break the story, the following tweet exchange occured:

@BrianCHouston, actually did say that #muslims & #Christian worship the same God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frnSIOhlobQ&sns=em … Did he mean it? @hillsong

Source: Matthew Johnston, https://twitter.com/iMatthewJ/status/445644310742958082, Twitter, 12:34PM – 17 Mar 2014. (Accessed 18/03/2014.)

Brian Houston responded:

@iMatthewJ @hillsong Yes it is what came out but No it’s not what I meant Meant that Islam descends from one of Abraham’s sons.. Ishmael.

Source: Brian Houston, https://twitter.com/iMatthewJ/status/445644310742958082, Twitter, 12:55PM – 17 Mar 2014. (Accessed 18/03/2014.)

What does this mean? Brian acknowledged what he said on the day to be, “Yes it is what came out”. In his original session Houston said Muslims and Christians “serve” the same God. This means he sees no problem with people saying he said Muslims and Christians “worship” the same God. (This is important to note.) His tweet also indicates that he still has not decided to research or understand Jewish/Christian/Islamic history. Instead he continues to hold to error.

4. Brian Houston/Hillsong Church then copied and pasted this peculiar response on our site and other places on the internet that were reacting to his controversy:

I wanted to address the issue directly myself and agree that the statement was indeed clumsy in the moment and did not clearly communicate my intention. I was simply making the point that Christians and Muslims both believe that the God of Abraham is their God. I apologise for any confusion and obviously my allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

Source: Brian Houston, Brian Houston: “the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God”, Hillsong Church Watch, http://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2014/03/17/brian-houston-the-muslim-and-you-we-actually-serve-the-same-god/#comment-1903, March 21, 2014 at 10:39 am. (Accessed 18/07/2014.)

Brian Houston/Hillsong Church even went so far as to respond to individuals who took issue with what Houston said. For instance, on Facebook “Hillsong Church” responded with the following to a woman by the name of Sandy Miller:

Hillsong Church Hi Sandy, this is not a belief that Hillsong Church holds. Here is Pastor Brian’s response “I wanted to address the issue directly myself and agree that the statement was indeed clumsy in the moment and did not clearly communicate my intention. I was simply making the point that Christians and Muslims both believe that the God of Abraham is their God. I apologise for any confusion and obviously my allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ alone.”
– Brian Houston

Source: Hillsong Church, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/hillsongchurch/posts/10152678256965410?comment_id=36559417&offset=0&total_comments=5, Published 26 March at 13:56(Accessed 18/07/2014.)

proof_FaceBookHillsongCorrectsListener1_18-07-2014

These were Hillsong’s two responses to Andrew Casebier:

Hillsong Church “I wanted to address the issue directly myself and agree that the statement was indeed clumsy in the moment and did not clearly communicate my intention. I was simply making the point that Christians and Muslims both believe that the God of Abraham is their God. I apologise for any confusion and obviously my allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ alone.” – Brian Houston

Source: Hillsong Church, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/hillsongchurch/posts/10152669911310410?comment_id=36559452&offset=0&total_comments=7, Published 26 March at 14:00(Accessed 18/07/2014.)

Hillsong Church Hi Andrew, someone asked Pastor Brian about this on Twitter, this was his response “Yes it is what came out but No it’s not what I meant Meant that Islam descends from one of Abraham’s sons.. Ishmael.”

Source: Hillsong Church, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/hillsongchurch/posts/10152669911310410?comment_id=36452516&offset=0&total_comments=7, 19 March at 09:58(Accessed 18/07/2014.)proof_FaceBookHillsongCorrectsListener2_18-07-2014

5. Brian Houston then offers this correction – which should now look very questionable to anyone with a discerning mind. Here was Houston’s clarification which we will be analysing for this article:

2014 March

Recently there have been false claims on social media that I believe Muslims and Christians worship the same God. This is incorrect. Those propagating these false statements have taken one sentence from an entire message out of context. I realize that some critics WANT to believe their interpretation, but my prayer is that reasonable people will take my comment in context, accept my acknowledgment that I did not explain this sentence as I intended, and judge me on 40 years of pointing people to Jesus – not one sentence.

For further clarification, here is the context of my message:

King David said about His God in Psalm 119:68, “you ARE good and you DO good”. Who David believed God IS, determined what He Believed God DOES.

The spirit of the message was exactly the opposite of what some critics are claiming. If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that; who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves.

I was contrasting their harsh perspective of (their) god, with who I believe God is – (a Loving God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ) and therefore what I believe God does and what I believe God loves. The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from was clearly a (clumsy) way of me explaining that though both Christians and Muslims believe they serve the God of Abraham, they are very DIFFERENT ‘entities’ or ‘deities’ in both nature and action.

I have always believed and will always believe that there is only one Way to God and that is through His Son, Christ Jesus. I also believe that anyone – irrespective of their religious upbringing, culture or background – can find grace, peace, freedom and eternal life through Christ.

Brian Houston

Source: Brian Houston, 2014 March, Hillsong, https://hillsong.com/media/2014-March-Correction, Accessed 18/07/2015.

What is clear in this timeline is:

1. When after making the original statements, Brian Houston “clarified” what he said to the pastors when they questioned what he said about Allah. So why was the video posted, knowing it was contentious?

So it is not just the critics who were alarmed. It seems the pastors were just as concerned as the critics. Does Brian include these pastors as “critics” and unreasonable people who need his prayer to understand what he is saying?

2. Before we saw this session online, lots of people watched Brian Houston’s this with the Allah comment and did not make a complaint. This says a LOT about how lacking in discernment people are at Hillsong. It also reveals how teachers like Brian Houston spin these errors into their sermons without people noticing until “critics” point them out. Why didn’t members of Hillsong point out this error to Hillsong or Brian? Would they be seen as critical? Too judgmental? Unreasonable? Unloving? Why isn’t shutting down critical thought considered dangerous in these emotionally charged conference? Why is it that there is no such thing as a Christian critic or a critic FOR Christians?

3. Hillsong and Brian Houston stood by his original comments on Twitter and other media sites. As a result of this, it should be clear to anyone that Brian Houston hasn’t a clue about the Muslim faith. (This also comes across in his “clarification”.)

4. When Matthew Jonhston asked Brian Houston if he actually said, “muslims & #Christian worship the same God” in the Allah video, Brian responded, “Yes it is what came out…”

Point 4 is IMPORTANT. Brian acknowldges he said ” “muslims & #Christian worship the same God”. However, Brian in the original video said “serve the same God” not “worship the same God”.

5. Brian Houston didn’t offer a sincere apology. Instead, faithful Hillsong followers and supporters of Brian Houston were clearly upset and critical of his comments. According to Brian in his clarification, these people are now unreasonable, slanderous critics.

All these points serve to help us understand Houston’s sinister approach to his clarification. We need to go through his clarification bit by bit.

===========================================

BRIAN HOUSTON INVENTING A FALSE CRITIC?

Brian Houston opened up with this false claim:

“Recently there have been false claims on social media that I believe Muslims and Christians worship the same God.”

This is false. We originally broke the story and claimed that Houston SAID Muslims and Christians SERVE the same God. Other popular critics such as Chris Rosebrough from “Fighting for the Faith” and Ken Silva from Apprising Ministries stayed within Houston’s own words. Frances and Friends likewise used Houston’s own words. Houston constructed a false critic that made false claims against his own words. We would agree with Houston: “This is incorrect.”

Houston continues to attack these “supposed” critics:

“Those propagating these false statements have taken one sentence from an entire message out of context.”

We can say this with confidence, Brian Houston is lying. We are confident people can come to the same reasonable conclusion if they heard the entire sermon of Brian Houston. And people like Andrew Casebier and Sally Miller did.

BRIAN HOUSTON SPREADING FALSE RUMOURS?

There is another element to this sentence that we need to address:

Those propagating these false statements have taken one sentence from an entire message out of context.”

If people say that Brian Houston claimed that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, they have good reason too.

It was Matthew Johnston who asked if Brian Houston “actually did say that #muslims & #Christian worship the same God”. So did Brian Houston just condemn Johnston for taking that “one sentence from an entire message out of context”? Brian Houston didn’t correct this false statement. In fact Brian answered back saying, “@iMatthewJ @hillsong Yes it is what came out”. So Brian reiterated that he had said that Muslims and Christians “worship the same God”. It was both Brian and Hillsong who then forwarded this error to their “critics” such as Andrew Casebier.

It was Brian Houston who spread this error and then condemned critics for his own inability to think clearly as to what he said in the first place.

BUT WHY DID BRIAN HOUSTON PULL HIS SERMON?

Still there is a third element in this sentence that needs to be addressed:

“Those propagating these false statements have taken one sentence from an entire message out of context.”

We put up his sermon so people could see the quote in context. We had nothing to hide. But it appears Brian Houston does.

We didn’t take him out of context. It was Brian who pulled his own sermon thus removing any proper context of his problematic statement. To use his own words, it was Brian who took “one sentence from an entire message out of context”. If he wants people to see that the “critics” were wrong, he should have left it up. The only reason why Houston can falsely blame critics is because of his decision to remove his sermon. Once again, this is deceitful on his part.

If Brian Houston has nothing to hide, if he wanted to be clear, he should have encouraged people to look at his sermon to make up their own minds to see if critics took him out of context. The fact he has removed this sermon appears to prove that he had something to hide and that his critics might be right about his misleading claims.

(Notice also how Brian doesn’t specifically name his critics.)

THE CRITICS “OWN INTERPRETATION”?

He continues:

“I realize that some critics WANT to believe their interpretation,”

This is false again. Critics ACCURATELY reported what Houston said. All they did was quote him. There was no misquote. There was no interpretation necessary. Why is it the fault of the critics for accurately reporting something he, Brian Houston, acknowledged wasn’t right? His defense against critics continues:

“… but my prayer is that reasonable people will take my comment in context, accept my acknowledgment that I did not explain this sentence as I intended,”

Firstly, if you take it in context, his statement was consistent with the rest of his sermon.

Secondly, reasonable people will see the quote and look at the context. It’s plain.

Thirdly, his sentence above is contradictory.

Fourthly, if you come to your own conclusion as to what he said – you are automatically a critic. If you don’t, you are a “reasonable” person who needs to put his “comment in context” by accepting his “acknowledgement that [he] did not explain [his sentences] as [he] intended”.

Typical of cult leaders, rather than encouraging his members to engage in critical thought to think for themselves, Houston wants “reasonable people” to agree with him. Rather than clarify, Houston simply manipulated people to be on his side. If you want to be reasonable – accept Brian Houston… or else remain a critic. Similar to his lecture, “Living for the Master’s Well Done”, he has set up this false dichotomy: are you for Brian or against Brian?

You can start to see how this clarification is far from honest.

SO DON’T JUDGE BRIAN! SWEEP HIS CLAIMS UNDER HIS 40 YEAR OLD CARPET RUG!

He finishes this sentence with this:

“[...] and judge me on 40 years of pointing people to Jesus – not one sentence.”

Once again, Houston is constructing a false dichotomy. The growing criticism against Brian Houston is that he has been pointing people to a false Jesus, and is operating under a false spirit because he preaches a false gospel. We’ve documented Houston doing this a number of times. His claims about Allah have only confirmed many people’s understanding in regards to Houston’s false theology. But 40 years? That wouldn’t be exaggeration would it be Brian?

Brian MAY have been pointing people to Jesus before he started his CLC church. But we know from as early as 1999 (and possibly earlier) that he was preaching a false Jesus and a false gospel. Going on from his book blurbs, he was more busy being a motivational speaker than a pastor. In spite of this, he is expecting people to sweep his lies under his forty year old “evangelical” rug. The problem with his evangelical rug is that it has serious holes in it.

BRIAN HOUSTON THE LIAR?

Brian continues:

“For further clarification, here is the context of my message:

King David said about His God in Psalm 119:68, “you ARE good and you DO good”. Who David believed God IS, determined what He Believed God DOES.

The spirit of the message was exactly the opposite of what some critics are claiming.”

This is not clarifying anything. Instead, Brian Houston is hiding something from you. He is being deliberately deceitful to his readers at this point in his clarification. You need to watch the beginning of his sermon. While he quotes a lot of scriptures, he twists every single one of them to push his prosperity gospel agenda (now refined to the purpose driven agenda). After twisting the scriptures to set up his desired purpose driven message, he kept building on this deceptive framework towards his comment on Allah. For Brian to say it started with Psalm 119:68 is a lie.

THE SENTENCE THAT UNDOES HOUSTON’S CLARIFICATION

If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that; who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves.”

“If you?” Brian is talking to people who can’t see his “message in its entirety” because he pulled it down. He is wanting them to take him on his word. Brian, could you please put the message back up so people can see the context?

We did listen to his “message in it’s entirety”. It appeared to us that he was deliberately grooming ministers to shake off their traditional and biblical views of God to embrace Houston’s politically correct “purposeful”, 21st century view of God. His liberal agenda was hidden until we exposed his comments in this sermon. Now magically, this is what he was saying?

In his message, he does not make his “point” clear nor did he say, “who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves”.

But if this was his “point”, lets examine it.

What point is Brian Houston trying to make if we “listened to the message in its entirety”?

“Who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves”

This is a confession. If Brian wants us to believe he made this point in his sermon – then this whole clarification is pointless. He still is implying that Muslim’s and Christians serve the same God. Notice the parallels he has made again in his clarification between King David and Muslims.

“For further clarification” and for “the context of [Brian's] message”:

“who David believed God IS, determined what He Believed God DOES

“If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that”:

“who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does

Remember, he never actually said in his sermon “who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does“. The conclusion Brian wants us to draw with his guidance is still consistent:

The good servants and the bad servant served the same Master but have different perspectives.

Likewise, the Christian (King David) and the Muslim (extremist) serve the same God but have different perspectives.

“… the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God.”

Brian still has not clarified the issue at all. What is his clarification meant to be saying?

THE TWO-TONGUED HOUSTON?

The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from…”

This is not true. We specifically focused in on three sentences AND the fact that he twisted every scripture in his sermon. We specifically highlighted Brian’s third and final sentence that claimed Jesus was INCLUSIVE. This is the liberal agenda and Brian Houston is deliberately playing sleight of hand – diverting attention to this fact. This is why we put Alistair Begg’s sermon in our original article because Brian Houston’s false Jesus is inclusive, when in fact Jesus is exclusive until they repent.

“The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from…”

Huge conclusions Brian? So the pastors at your Hillsong Conference session, good people like Sandy and Andy, Matthew Johnston and YOURSELF – were “drawing huge conclusions”? It’s not possible that they took what you said at face value? You wouldn’t be exaggerating would you Brian? You do realise that exaggeration is a form of lying? In this instance, slanderous?

“… was clearly a (clumsy) way of me explaining that though both Christians and Muslims believe they serve the God of Abraham, they are very DIFFERENT ‘entities’ or ‘deities’ in both nature and action.”

Let’s think this through for a second. Houston admitted his fault learlier by saying “I did not explain this sentence as I intended” and now stating, “The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from was clearly [...] (clumsy)”. This raises another issue.

What was this clarification about?

Was this clarification meant to be an apology from Houston admitting what he said was “clearly (clumsy)”? (He admits this but doesn’t apologise for his error.) Or was this clarification one of Houston’s campaigns to persuade people that he is right in spite of what those unreasonable critics think, say and do?

He appears to be double minded on this issue.

IS BRIAN HOUSTON A POLYTHEIST?

He says some other odd things in this sentence,

“… was clearly a (clumsy) way of me explaining that though both Christians and Muslims believe they serve the God of Abraham, …”

Brian did say something along those lines.

“they are very DIFFERENT ‘entities’ or ‘deities’ in both nature and action.”

And that’s the bit Brian didn’t say on the day. That’s kind of the crucial bit right?

Well this is where it gets even more confusing. We are fine with Houston saying ‘entities’. But ‘deities’? Why would a “Christian” pastor say that a Christian and Muslim worship different deities? From a Christian world view there is only ONE God. It is a monotheistic religion. It appears that Houston begs to differ and in doing so, may be endorsing polytheism? And this doctrine is forbidden by scripture. Is this why he strongly endorsed the highly polytheistic “Noah” movie? Does he need to offer yet another clarification? Surely this is an error. Pastors should never say this.

HOUSTON ROLLING OUT MORE LIES?

Brian continues,

“I have always believed and will always believe that there is only one Way to God and that is through His Son, Christ Jesus.”

While Houston is offering lip service to please his fanbase, his teachings prove likewise. Depending which one Houston would have you believe, there is another way he teaches you can be saved.

Brian Houston preaches you can get right with God through your works – especially when you put him first in your finances, which means tithing to Hillsong 10% of your gross income plus a big offering on top of that. According to Houston, you don’t need Jesus if your works can make you right before God.

Houston ends with this:

“I also believe that anyone – irrespective of their religious upbringing, culture or background – can find grace, peace, freedom and eternal life through Christ.”

And we are expected to believe this? Maybe Houston wants to call the deities of different culture’s, Jesus?

Notice what he is saying and what he is not saying here. It sounds great, but he does not specify that such people from such diverse backgrounds have to repent of their previous beliefs in favour of acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God.

By being so vague, he sounds so seeker-friendly, but unfortunately is not alone in this fuzzy thinking. Many pastors of churches all over the world would say similar things without realizing that they have lost the core truth of the Gospel in the process. Specifically that salvation comes through Grace Alone, by Faith Alone, in Christ Jesus Alone.

It is sad that in Brian Houston’s clarification he has chosen to be internationally dishonest. Hillsong should be ashamed of the conduct of their Senior Pastor. This is no way a pastor is to ever behave.

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