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.)

2. Brian Houston, with his film department, edited and published that specific mid-morning session at Hillsong Conderence on the 5th of January, 2014. They DID NOT edit out Houston’s controversial comments. The question has to be asked, why didn’t Brian Houston edit out the Allah claims in that session when he was asked to clarify his position earlier?

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.)

4. Brian Houston/Hillsong Church then copied and pasted this peculiar response on our site and other places on the internet that were responding 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

This was 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. Lots of people watched Brian Houston’s online sermon 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?

3. Hillsong and Brian Houston stood by his original comments on Twitter and other media sites. As a result of this, it is 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 in the original video said “serve the same God” not “worship the same God”. Brian acknowldges he said these things.

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”. 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 proves 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 this 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 deceitful 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 would embrace unrepentant Muslims into the Christian faith. 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.

“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. Right? 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 are two ways he teaches you can be saved.

Brian Houston preaches in such a way that 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 he 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.

“Pull the Allah one, Brian” (Part 1)

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hillsong islam muslimIn light of the Hillslam controversy, why did Hillsong pull their sermon ‘Living for the Master’s Well Done’ from YouTube? This series of articles will be examining Houston’s “clarification” and why Houston pulled his sermon.

Brian Houston said in his clarification:

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.

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

This is a lie which we will be addressing in this article. He deliberately pulled the sermon, hoping no one could examine his claims. We have watched the sermon again and have transcribed the majority of the message leading up to his claims about Allah. Once we dissect what Brian says in his “clarification”, it will become evident that Houston is lying to his church and the general public. The context of his message was not on Psalm 119:68. The sermon was titled ‘Living for the Master’s Well Done’  for a reason. It was the parable of the talents that this sermon is founded on and this is what we will be examining.

Thanks to Ken Silva from Apprising Ministries, you can watch ‘the ‘Living for the Master’s Well Done” sermon here:

WF PREACHER BRIAN HOUSTON SAYS CHRISTIANS SERVE SAME GOD AS MUSLIMS

Here are some important quotes from his sermon:

I feel like I am in my zone when I have the chance to talk to church pastors and church leaders.

Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong TV // Living For The Master’s Well Done, Pt1 with Brian Houston: 1:40, 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.)

In this quote, we will insert diagrams so you can see how just how Houston constructed his line of reason.

The difference is that the first two were purposeful, the third one was purposeless. And this is where I want you to think about this contrast.

You see, the first two, they knew their master. The third one had an entirely different view of the master. Listen to what the first two experienced with the master: they came to the master and said, “Here! I took what you had and I invested it. Here is your Lord’s money. And they’d increased it and doubled it. And this is what they heard from the master: “Well done!”

They heard encouragement: Good and faithful servant. They heard positive reinforcement: You’ve been faithful with a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. They were given god-given opportunity – many things! They experienced abundance! Enter into the joy of the Lord! They experienced joy!

The third one. Same master, talking about exactly the same master: “I knew you to be a hard man who had gathered where you hadn’t scattered seed and reaped where you hadn’t sown.” He said, “I knew- I knew-” He knew he had that perception of His master. “I knew you to be a hard man”.

Hillslam Brian Houston Diagram 1

“Well done! Good and faithful servant!” Encouragement. Positive reinforcement. Abundance. Joy.

“I knew you to be a hard man.”

They are describing the same Master.

We all serve the same God but not everyone in the room sees God the same way. And nothing would determine the culture of your church more than your view of God. So our view of God is so important.

Without walking around judging churches, to go into a church, experience the worship, sense the atmosphere, maybe walk in the corridors, I think that I can soon see a pastors view of God. If a pastor believes that God is free-Spirited and live their life free-spirited their church will be free-spirited. Sometimes a church is stiff. Sometimes a church is conservative. Sometimes a church is legalistic. Sometimes a church is rigid. Sometimes a church is just lacking any kind of sense of rules or any semblance of any kind of order. Some churches, they just reflect in different ways but you should never underestimate your view of God.
And if your background, if your religious background, if your denominational background, if your church school background, if maybe just some of your own condemnation and guilt that your parents put into you that is determining your view of God, it will always affect your ability to live purposefully. The one who lived purposeless, he took what he was given and he hid it in the ground.Hillslam Brian Houston Diagram 2

The two who knew the Master, they took what they were given and they doubled it. Nothing would determine the way we treat people more than our view of the Master, of Jesus.

Nothing would decide the way we conduct ourselves in our marriage and the way we raise our children than the way we view God.
David said in Psalm 119 verse 68 about the Lord, “You are Good, and you do good”. You see, who you believe God is, will determine what you believe God does. You are good and you do good. Psalm 11:7 is similar. It says, “the Lord IS righteous. He loves righteousness; and his countenance beholds His favour”. His face is favour. His smile is on the upright or the righteous.

The way you see God, decides what you believe God does, what you believe God loves and what you believe God blesses, where His favour will be.

Hillslam Brian Houston Diagram 3

So I couldn’t encourage any leader who wants to live purposefully and who wants to build a church that reflects the heart of God, I couldn’t encourage you more to make sure that your view of the Master is through a New Covenant, New Testament lens. That we look at the Old Testament, which is so full of beauty and power and example and wonder and is so much of the whole tenor of God’s message, that we need to look at it through the lens of the resurrection and the cross and back into it from where we stand now and not from where they stood then. Because otherwise it’s going to affect your ability to be purposeful in building and leading and bringing release and bringing freedom and seeing those things God puts in your heart come to pass.

Hillslam Brian Houston Diagram 4

“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. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God. And of course through history, those views have changed greatly. But lets make sure that we view God through the eyes of Jesus, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the beauty of a Saviour, the loving open inclusive arms of a loving God.

Hillslam Brian Houston Diagram 5

And that way we’ll lead out of that and you’ll be purposeful about your leadership and you’ll draw people just like the Lord Jesus always does through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong TV // Living For The Master’s Well Done, Pt1 with Brian Houston: 7:06, 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.)

Finally, Brian Houston seems to embrace Muslim believers and not tolerate bible-believing Christians.

“The person who is legalistic, critical, negative in the name of God, they just don’t know God. That’s the way it seems.”

Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong TV // Living For The Master’s Well Done, Pt1 with Brian Houston: 21:30, 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.)

To end, we would like to point this glaring fault in his “clarification” in our diagram:

Hillslam Brian Houston Diagram 6

Hillsong grooming its members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 7)

Queerstianity: A group of people that supposedly push no political or religious agenda but “share” their philosophy of tolerance and love onto others.”

(Source: Urban Dictionary [slightly edited])

hillsong lgbtqi gay homosexualIs Brian Houston of Hillsong Church slowly grooming his congregation to embrace the false “Gay Christianity” doctrine? To understand the below article, we would advise you to read our previous articles:

Hillsong grooming its members to embrace Queerstianity (Part 2)

Hillsong grooming its members to embrace Queerstianity (Part 3)

Hillsong grooming its members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 4)

Hillsong grooming its members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 5)

Hillsong grooming its members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 6)

Who is Anthony Venn-Brown?

In our Part 3 article, Ben Gresham dropped an important name in his article that talked about his meeting with Brian Houston: Anthony Venn-Brown. Anthony Venn-Brown used to be quite involved in Christian Life Center, (which later became Hillsong). You can read more of his story at Hillsong here:

Amway, Hillsong & C3 – The Mesiti Connection & Restoration

Watch him be interviewed below:

People who struggle with same-sex attraction do need our love and support. However, this does not mean we lie to them about God and what God says in His Word. One very popular lie that is spread by false teacher like Matthew Vines and Anthony Venn-Brown is “Gay Christianity”. This is one of those fatal doctrines that can send the person who embraces it to hell – which is what we do not want to see happen. We are aware how sensitive this Christian issue is and wish to deal with it carefully and biblically. To understand why the ‘Gay Christian’ doctrine is a false gospel and doctrine and why it is an attack on the Christian faith, please read our article below.

Hillsong grooming its members to embrace Gay Christianity (Part 1)

We wish to make this very clear: we do not endorse Venn-Brown’s hard push on churches to embrace this non-Christians teaching. We do not endorse his false teaching and false Christian ministry.

That said, in this article we wish to high-light Anthony Venn-Brown’s important observations as to how Brian Houston is encouraging Hillsong to embrace the ‘Gay Christian’ doctrine. We can’t stress enough how much Hillsong is leading Australian churches down the apostate road of “relevance” at the expense of anything God-glorifying. Notice how Venn-Brown stresses how irrelevent “churches” like Hillsong are if they hold to the traditional Christian faith:

If churches continue to hold on to the outdated Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin then it makes them increasingly irrelevant to those who have gay and lesbian friends, family members and work colleagues. The previous Christian labels of unnatural, perverse, evil and even abominations not only do not fit, they are offensive to many straight Christians with gay friends and family.

The longer churches put this issue on the back burner the further behind the developing world and western society they become. Considering the progress made in scientific research, changes in the law, and that homosexuality has not been classified as a mental disorder since 1973; some churches are 40 years out of date on the issue of homosexuality.

We submit to God’s Word not the culture’s word. It is God’s church and not the people’s church. Society has no right to tell the church how God should be Lord and King. This is idolatry and as we are seeing, Hillsong appears to be constructing a “god” that exchanges the truth for a lie. Hillsong needs to learn from history and resist the coercion from society in a similar way church leaders did prior to Nazi-Germany. If we do not repent and return to preaching the gospel and continue to use biblical language in communicating what God says is good and evil, it will be society that becomes “god”, telling us that man is good and God is evil. We’ve seen the results of this last century. Lest we forget.

In our next article – we will expose the deceptive nature of Brian Houston’s sermon ‘Scandal of Grace’ where Venn-Brown got the video snippet from.

Hillsong: Pastor Brian Houston talks about the pink elephant in the room

Contrary to popular opinion, homosexuality is not a topic often mentioned from Hillsong pulpits; for or against. On Sunday 18 August 2013, Hillsong’s Senior Pastor, Brian Houston, preached a message that  was broadcast to all Hillsong congregations around the world in over 100 services. What was significant about this sermon was that during the message he publicly began a conversation about the Hillsong churches need to come to grips with the ‘gay issue’. You can read the relevant extract below.

Facing reality

Hillsong, like many Evangelical/Pentecostal churches, is coming to terms with the progressive LGBT changes in our western world. Whilst there have been right wing anti-gay preachers, particularly in the US, many church leaders in Australia hoped if they just closed their eyes or buried their head in the sand, eventually the issue would go away. I’ve often said that the problem is not so much homophobia but subjectaphobia; they would rather just not go into the volatile space of faith and sexuality. Possibly this is why Hillsong refused to comment on same sex marriage when approached recently by the mainstream media about it being an election issue. Other Christian groups were predictably quick to condemn Prime Minister Rudd’s promise to make marriage equality a reality in 100 days if re-elected. But now churches like Hillsong are facing the reality looming on the horizon, that in some countries, gay and lesbian couples may come into their churches who have a recognised, legal marriage. Some will be parents. They are no longer gay, lesbians or “homosexuals” they are believers, committed church members and families. What do they do about that?

Also, Hillsong has always been a church that has reached out to people outside the church. If churches continue to hold on to the outdated Christian belief that homosexuality is a sin then it makes them increasingly irrelevant to those who have gay and lesbian friends, family members and work colleagues. The previous Christian labels of unnatural, perverse, evil and even abominations not only do not fit, they are offensive to many straight Christians with gay friends and family.

The longer churches put this issue on the back burner the further behind the developing world and western society they become. Considering the progress made in scientific research, changes in the law, and that homosexuality has not been classified as a mental disorder since 1973; some churches are 40 years out of date on the issue of homosexuality. I would hope that they catch up and make it a priority. Here are 5 reasons why.

Facing the harm

For a long time many of us have known of the tremendous harm experienced by gays and lesbians in Christian churches. This is something I wrote about in detail to the National Executive of the Assemblies of God in 2005 when Brian Houston was the president (you can read that letter here). It is good to finally have this acknowledged publicly. Maybe the recent statements from Exodus of the damage their message had on individuals and Alan Chambers andRandy Thomas’s apologies have also encouraged this.

I am pleased that Pastor Brian Houston has acknowledged the weight of this personally and, as a church, but as I mentioned to him recently “I know only a handful of pastors who are actually aware just how deep and extensive the harm is. And the reason they know is that they opened their churches to gay and lesbian people and listened to their stories.”

Conclusion

When working with churches, leaders and denominations I let them know about the 10 separate issues they will face in order to become not just a welcoming but also accepting and affirming church. This is not a once off meeting or workshop it is a journey that will take several years to complete.

My hope and prayer is that this will be an ongoing conversation that takes ALL churches to a place where gay and lesbian people are treated with respect and equality. People of colour were once told to go to the back of the bus. Women were once told their place was in the home.  A paradigm change has happened in the world re people of colour and also women’s equality that is now happening about sexual orientation.

When mega-church pastor Delman Coates spoke to his his 8,000-member Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton he said he “apologized for participating in this conspiracy of silence,” and that “The people in the pew, are further along on this issue than those of us in the pulpit.”
Come on church…..catch up.

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On Sunday 18 August 2013, a sermon, ‘Scandal of Grace’ preached by Pastor Brian Houston, was broadcast to all Hillsong Church campuses around the world. Below is the relevant extract.

“The one elephant in the room for churches around the world at the moment is the gay situation. What would Jesus do? What would Jesus do? You need to pray for church pastors and leaders around the world because whichever way you turn the scandal is there. You can turn one way and you can tell there would be a great scandal amongst the Christian Church. You can turn another way and you would just cut off so many people. There’s lots of hatred out there but in the middle of it all you know there are three things: the world of the times we live in; the weight we live with; and the word we live by.

Think about that! The world has changed quickly. The world has changed and so I’m not saying that the church ever should be ruled by the way of the world but the reality is we are in a world which is changing fast. Here in Great Britain the laws have passed. The world is changing. We’ve got the world we live in to consider.

We’ve got the weight we live with. You say what’s that? Well it’s the weight when a young person growing up in a church feels like they are confused in their sexuality. They feel like “maybe I’m gay” and they go to a youth leader and they are rejected. At that moment a great hatred comes in. At that moment some of them have gone so far with the rejection and gone to parents who didn’t understand and ended up committing suicide – That’s the weight we live with.

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

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Other previous statements  

Australian Broadcast Corp., Australian Story/August 1, 2005 Pastor Brian Houston

“I think that the homosexual question and sexuality generally is one of the most challenging questions there is for the church in the 21st century. And it’s one where I feel conflict myself, as a believer in the Bible and specifically the New Testament, I think that marriage is God’s idea, and I think it’s for a man and a woman. But I also represent a God that’s merciful and gracious and kind, and having to connect those two things I think is one of the great challenges for me as a church leader.”

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Media Statement  on Issues of Sexuality 2008
As a church we always endeavour to treat people compassionately whatever they may be facing in life.

We are a Christian Church and as such believe the Bible provides us with clear teaching on sexuality and sexual expression – heterosexual and homosexual. But I do not believe this is about rules and regulations as much as God wanting what is best for each of us.

The heart of God is toward people, and I believe that is also the heart of our church.

God has created each of us as sexual beings, and I do not believe it is His will for it to be complicated. However, I recognise that people face very real issues in regards to sexuality. I have seen this both in my wider family, our church and society more generally.

This is a global challenge that most of the world’s churches are grappling with, and we, like them, are trying to balance theology with compassion.

We do not profess to have all the answers, nor has the church worldwide always got it right, but we will continue to try and connect people to Jesus because we know that hope and answers for every situation and circumstance can be found in Him.

Pastor Brian Houston
Senior Pastor, Hillsong Church

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@BrianCHouston Tweet 12:09 PM Apr 25th 2009

STOPPRESS:Hillsong r not preaching against gays. We r not stooges of the right nor teachers of excessive wealth. Just helping+loving people

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Source: By Anthony Venn-Brown, Hillsong: Pastor Brian Houston talks about the pink elephant in the room, http://gayambassador.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/hillsong-homosexuality-gay.html, Published August 30/08/2013. (Accessed 08/01/2014.)

proof_TwitterHoustonOnGaysAndWealth_11-07-2014

NOTE: SCREEN GRAB TAKEN ON THE 11/07/2014.

Anglican Minister David Ould speaks against the annual Hillsong conference.

We need more Confessing Anglican ministers like David Ould to voice their concerns before Hillsong starts targeting and liberalising their youth and young leaders within their Anglican churches. We would encourage other Anglican ministers to stop tolerating the marketing gimmicks Hillsong use to keep pushing a false gospel on Anglican youth and young leaders. We hope more Anglican ministers become as vocally opposed to the false unity Hillsong promotes, and start exposing just how they coerce churches into their “ecumenical” movement as David Ould has done.

It seems that within the Anglican church the lay members have begun to shown more concern, discernment and biblical responsibility than some of their ministers, who have not looked at the growing dangers of this movement. Remember, Hillsong is trying to “absorb” every denomination under their vision and name at the expense of truth and faithful Christian witness.

WHO IS DAVID OULD?

David Ould is the Rector of Glenquarie Anglican Church in Sydney, Australia. David Ould was ordained into the Anglican Church in 2008. He contributes to the blog at “Stand Firm”, the largest and most popular orthodox Anglican website in North America, if not the world, and also sit on the council of the Anglican Church League here in Sydney. [Source] Senior Minister David Ould serves on a number of boards in the Diocese of Sydney and is a member of General Synod.

Recently, Minster David Ould criticized the Hillsong and their 2014 Hillsong Conference:

Hillsong Conference – Sydney’s Greatest Promoter of False Teaching

Next week up to 30,000 people will attend the Hillsong Sydney Conference. That has to make it Sydney’s largest Christian conference. Our family are regular attenders at the excellent CMS Summer School in Katoomba but the numbers there, while still big, are dwarfed by Hillsong.

Brian Houston loves “Super Apostle” Steven Furtick.

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We have repeatedly used 2 Corinthians 11 to expose the false teachers that speak at C3 and Hillsong Church:

“But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.”

“[...] And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-6,12-15

Still, it seems the scriptures are ignored. And it appears false teachers like Steven Furtick know it.

Recently, Steven Furtick said he would like to be a “Super Apostle”.

“Second Corinthians from the Apostle Paul is an interesting book where his humanity is on full display. He is having a contest of sorts with a group of preachers called the Super Apostles which I think is the coolest designation. I would love for my title- it’s cool to be ‘Pastor’- but what if you could be ‘Super Apostle’? I think that’s my new title for Judah Smith. Super Apostle Smith.” - Steven Furtick, Hillsong Conference 2014, Session 1, 30/06/2014.

So be it. Spread the word. Start calling Steven Furtick a Super Apostle. He is definitely worthy of this title.

This is what Brian Houston said about this Super Apostle and his message where Furtick said the above:

“Can we give Steven Furtick a fantastic thank you for an amazing message. Bringing huge encouragement to many, many parents when we saw the reel video with the kids, that was cool! Hahaha!” - Brian Houston, Hillsong Conference 2014, Session 1, 30/06/2014.

That’s an endorsement to Furtick’s message alright.

Recently, Chris Rosebrough played the audio of Steven Furtick at Hillsong Conference and also refuted him,

Furtick Embraces Super-Apostle Title

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

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brian houston popePope Frances has been pushing the “miracle of unity” and is hoping to fulfill his “god-given” vision by uniting the ‘Protestant’ church and the Roman Catholic Church. People are watching with concern Kenneth Copeland, John and Carol Arnott, Joel Osteen and many others embrace the Pope as “their pope”. (We will be looking more into this later.

We’ve heard Christians scoff that it wont happen here in Australia. Especially in Sydney.

Think again.

Back in 2005, the AOG/Hillsong released this statement from Brian Houston.

PRAYING FOR NEWLY ELECTED POPE

National President of the Assemblies of God in Australia, Brian Houston, has congratulated the election of Pope Benedict XVI as the leader of the world’s Catholics.
Pastor Houston said the shoes of the charismatic and endearing Pope John Paul II, who taught the world so much through his life and his subsequent suffering, would be difficult to fill.

“Pope John Paul II left an indelible mark on the world, and we pray for Pope Benedict as he takes on the leadership mantle of the Catholic Church and navigates the challenges and opportunities facing the global Church in the 21st century,” Ps Houston said.

“It is important for all of us to honour and pray for anyone in a position of leadership and authority. Pope Benedict XVI is a spiritual and experienced leader and is now head over a significant portion of the Christian community, so we will pray for wisdom in his immensely influential role,” he said.

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

“Obviously, as Protestants, our views are considerably different to the Pope’s on a number of issues however, we share a common desire to exalt Christ and serve our community to the best of our ability.”

Source: Brian Houston, Praying for newly elected pope, Assemblies of God Australia, (Affiliated with ACC), 21/04/2014. (Accessed 14/11/2013.)

(Source – PDF:AOG/Hillsong: Brian Houston statement – Praying for newly elected pope)

Is Hillsong ready to take Christianity back to Rome?

Mega-church pastor summarises Hillsong & Hillsong Conference – (Part 1)

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Bobby Houston put this out on Instagram,

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE :: #hillsongconf will gather the broad and beautiful Body of Christ this week — “ACC/AOG Anglican Apostolic Baptist Bethren Catholic Charismatic/Pentecostal Christian City Church Christian Outreach Centre Church of Christ Foursquare/Elim Independent Lutheran Methodist Presbyterian Salvation Army Seventh-day Adventist Uniting Church & 000s who always say “other” ##welovetheChurch#thykingdomcome ##noothername

Source: Bobbie Houston, Instagram, http://instagram.com/p/p0Kwk1oY5q/?modal=true. (Accessed 29/06/2014.)

proof_InstagramBobbie Houston Fascism_29-06-2014

Where do we begin with this “liberal” Hillsong mess? “When worlds collide”, Hillsong calls those worlds “Christian”. Mega church pastor Charles Spurgeon had this to say about the church’s tragic state of affairs.

The Down Grade

The Act of Uniformity, which came into effect in 1662, accomplished the purpose of its framers in expelling Puritanism from the Church established by law in England and Wales. Puritanism was obnoxious to King Charles II. and his court, and a large majority of the men high in office in both Church and State, chiefly for the godliness of living which it enjoined, and for the Calvinism of its teaching. With the ejectment of the two thousand ministers who preferred freedom and purity of conscience to the retention of their livings, Calvinism was banished from the Church of England, excepting so far as the Articles were concerned. Arminianism took its place. Then the State Church, which the great reformers had planted, and which some of them had watered with their blood, presented the spectacle which went far to justify the sarcasm of an eminent writer, that she possessed “A Popish Liturgy, a Calvinistic Creed, and an Arminian Clergy.” The ejected were Calvinists almost to a man. Previous to this period, some few Free Churches had been founded, and were Independent or Baptist, the latter being mainly of the General section, and of Dutch origin.

The ejected, who were in one sense alone the first Nonconformists, were mainly Presbyterians; some, however, were Independents, and a few Baptists. The Churches they established were all Calvinistic in their faith, and such they remained for at least that generation. It is a matter of veritable history, however, that such they did not all continue for any great length of time. Some of them, in the course of two or three generations, or even less, became either Arian or Socinian. This was eventually the case with nearly all the Presbyterians, and later on, with some of the Independents, and with many of the General Baptist Communities. By some means or other, first the ministers, and then the Churches, got on “the down grade,” and in some cases, the descent was rapid, and in all, very disastrous. In proportion as the ministers seceded from the old Puritan godliness of life, and the old Calvinistic form of doctrine, they commonly became less earnest and less simple in their preaching, more speculative and less spiritual in the matter of their discourses, and dwelt more on the moral teachings of the New Testament, than on the great central truths of revelation. Natural theology frequently took the place which the great truths of the gospel ought to have held, and the sermons became more and more Christless. Corresponding results in the character and life, first of the preachers and then of the people, were only too plainly apparent.

The race of preachers which followed the first Nonconformists, that is, the ejected ministers who became Nonconformists, retained the soundness of doctrine, and purity of life, for which they were everywhere remarkable. Their sermons were less lengthy, but still long, and less burdened with divisions and sub-divisions. The life, savor, and power of the gospel remained among them, and the churches, walking in the fear of God and the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were slowly increased.

The Presbyterians were the first to get on the down line. They paid more attention to classical attainments and other branches of learning in their ministry than the Independents, while the Baptists had no academical institution of any kind. It would be an easy step in the wrong direction to pay increased attention to academical attainments in their ministers, and less to spiritual qualifications; and to set a higher value on scholarship and oratory, than on evangelical zeal and ability to rightly divide the word of truth.

Some of the ministers retained their Calvinistic soundness and their purity of character and life, and these, as a rule, gave prominence to the doctrines of the gospel, and were zealous in their ministry. But some embraced Arminian sentiments, while others professed to take a middle path, and called themselves Baxterians. These displayed, not only less zeal for the salvation of sinners, and, in many cases, less purity or strictness of life, but they adopted a different strain in preaching, dwelt more on general principles of religion, and less on the vital truths of the gospel. Ruin by sin, regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and redemption by the blood of Christ— truths on the preaching of which God has always set the seal of his approbation—were conspicuous chiefly by their absence. In fact, the “wine on the lees well refined” was so mixed with the muddy water of human speculation, that it was no longer wine at all.

There was another section among the Presbyterians who, like the former two, retained a nominal orthodoxy, and professed to believe, though they seldom preached, evangelical sentiments. Men of this stamp were chiefly remarkable for the extreme coldness of their sermons, and the extreme dullness of their delivery.

Among those who called themselves Baxterians there was little likeness to Baxter; and his zeal and earnestness, and his close, penetrating preaching, and powerful appeals to the heart and conscience were wholly wanting, except in a very few. This remark will apply also to those who called themselves Arminians.

It would appear that the Arian and other heresies did not spread at first so quickly in London as in the country. The author of a manuscript written about 1730, professes to give the sentiments of all the Nonconformist ministers in London at that time. Among the Presbyterians there were, he says, nineteen Calvinists, thirteen Arminians, and twelve Baxterians. All the Independents, he avows, were Calvinists: “twenty-seven thoroughly, one somewhat dubious, three inclined to Antinomianism, and two who were disorderly.” There were two Seventh-day Baptists—one a Calvinist, and the other an Arminian. There were sixteen Baptists, of the Particular order; of whom seven were Calvinists, and “nine inclined to the Antinomian strain.”

Antinomianism was the term applied to the teaching of Dr. Tobias Crisp. Crisp had been an Arminian, but became an ardent Calvinist, going, perhaps, a little beyond Calvin in some things. He died in 1642, and his sermons were published by his son forty-five years after his death. They were printed from short-hand notes compared with Dr. Crisp’s own notes, and therefore were lacking in that correctness and finish which the author’s own hand would have given them. This will account for the crudeness of some of his expressions. He was a man of strong faith, ardent zeal, holy life, and great devotion and faithfulness in his ministerial work. He was called an Antinomian, but the term was misapplied. Many of his statements, however, while they will readily admit of an orthodox sense, lie open to the charge of going beyond the truth.

The publication of his sermons awoke a fierce controversy, which lasted some years, and did much mischief. Dr. Williams exposed what he considered the errors and erroneous tendency of some of his utterances; and even John Flavel was among those who denounced his teaching as erroneous and Antinomian. There need not have been such an outcry. The books written against Crisp, many of them good in their way, had the effect of frightening the timid, the doubtful, and the hesitating, who, to avoid Crispianism, as it was called, went as far as they could to the opposite extreme. They verged upon Arminianism, and some actually became Arminians. The Arminianism of that day was a cold, dry, heartless thing, and many who took that name proved that they were already on “the down grade” towards Socinianism.

As is usual with people on an incline, some who got on “the down grade” went further than they intended, showing that it is easier to get on than to get off, and that where there is no brake it is very difficult to stop. These who turned from Calvinism may not have dreamed of denying the proper deity of the Son of God, renouncing faith in his atoning death and justifying righteousness, and denouncing the doctrine of human depravity, the need of Divine renewal, and the necessity for the Holy Spirit’s gracious work, in order that men might become new creatures; but, dreaming or not dreaming, this result became a reality.

It is exceedingly painful to have to state—and the conduct is no less censurable than pitiable—that among the two classes into which those who held Arian sentiments may be divided, the first were so mean and dishonest as to conceal their sentiments under ambiguous phrases. They so expressed themselves that their orthodox hearers might appropriate their statements in support of their own views, while their Arian adherents could turn them to support their scheme. It is stated on very good authority that “many wore this disguise all their days, and the most cautious carried the secret with them to the grave.” This is terrible to think of; men going down to the grave with a whole life of the very worst kind of hypocrisy unconfessed, the basest deceit and dishonesty unacknowledged, the life-long practice of a lie unrepented of. Such a course is the very worst form of lying, for it is telling lies in the name of the Lord. Others were only a little less hardened in their career of falsehood; they prepared a sermon, or other composition, revealing their true sentiments, which was made public after their decease. Still more confided their real sentiments to a small circle of adherents, who told the tale of heresy to the world only when the grave had closed over the teacher.

Such were the crafty devices of the men of “broad views,” and “free thought,” and “advanced sentiments,” in those days of “rebuke and blasphemy.” The almost blasphemous utterances of Mr. Voysey, daring and frightful as they are (see “Fortnightly Review” for Jan., 1887), have the one redeeming feature of honesty. He puts the mark of unbelief in large characters on his own brow, and does not seek in the least to hide it from any one, but rather to glory in it, that he has set himself to deny and denounce all that is sacred, and true, and holy in the gospel of our salvation. But these men deepened their own condemnation, and promoted the everlasting ruin of many of their followers by their hypocrisy and deceit; professing to be the ambassadors of Christ, and the heralds of his glorious gospel, their aim was to ignore his claims, deny him his rights, lower his character, rend the glorious vesture of his salvation, and trample his crown in the dust.

The second, and less numerous, class of Arian preachers were more honest. They boldly avowed their sentiments to their congregations, who as readily received them. In most cases, in both preachers and hearers, it was only a short step down from the Arianism which makes the eternal Son of God a super-angelic being to the Socinianism (miscalled Unitarianism) which makes him a man only, denying alike original sin, human depravity, the mediation of Christ, the personality and work of the eternal Spirit, and that new birth without which divine truth has declared no one can see the kingdom of God.

The descent of some few was less gradual, but more commonly, when once on “the down grade” their progress was slow, though unhappily sure. The central truth of Calvinism, as of the Gospel, is the person and work and offices of the Lord Jesus Christ. We love to use this Pauline and inspired description of our divine Savior and royal Master, and so to “give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name.” When men begin to hesitate about, and hold back the truth in relation to him, it is a sign of an unhealthy state of soul; and when these truths are diluted, omitted, or otherwise tampered with, it is a sign which in plain words means “Beware.”

The remark of a writer of reliable ability in reference to these times is worthy of quotation:—

“The deficiency of evangelical principles in some, and the coldness with which they came from the lips of others, seem to have prepared the way for the relinquishment of them, and for the introduction, first of Arminianism, and then of Arianism.”

Those who were really orthodox in their sentiments were too often lax and unfaithful as to the introduction of heretical ministers into their pulpits, either as assistants or occasional preachers. In this way the Arian and Socinian heresies were introduced into the Presbyterian congregations in the city of Exeter. The Rev. Stephen Towgood and Mr. Walrond, the ministers, were both reputed as orthodox, but the Rev. Micaiah Towgood, an avowed Arian, was chosen their assistant. The old ministers preached evangelical doctrine, but they complied all too readily with the wishes of their new colleague, and ceased to require a declaration of faith in the divinity of Christ in those who sought admission to the Lord’s table. Sad to say, they continued to labor on in peace, the older men dealing out the “wine of the kingdom,” and the “Living Bread,” while the younger minister intermixed his rationalistic concoctions and his Socinian leaven. A similar case occurred in London. Dr. William Harris, an avowed Calvinist, and whose preaching was in accordance with Calvinistic doctrine, had for his assistant, during the last twenty years of his life, an avowed though not strongly pronounced Socinian, Dr. Lardner, who took the afternoon lectureship. When Dr. Harris died, Dr. Lardner was elected to be his successor. For some reason he declined, when Dr. Benson, another Socinian, succeeded to the pastorate. Thus, the old, old proverb was again proved true, “The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

This down-grade course was, we have said, more rapid, more general, and more fatal among the Presbyterians than among the Independents and General Baptists. We say General Baptists, for the deadening doctrines of Socinianism had made little inroad upon the Particular Baptists. We could not point to a single case of perversion to Socinianism during more than two centuries, though other and less vital errors have dealt much mischief among the churches of that order. Will our children and grandchildren be able to say as much of this and the next generation in fifty years time? Who can tell? But we pray and hope that they will be.

The principal cause of the quicker descent on “the down grade” among the Presbyterians than among other Nonconformists, may be traced, not so much to their more scholarly ministry, nor altogether to their renunciation of Puritan habits, but to their rule of admitting to the privileges of Church membership. Of course their children received the rite of baptism, according to their views of baptism, in infancy. They were thereby received—so the ministers taught, and so the people believed—into covenant with God, and had a right to the Lord’s table, without any other qualification than a moral life. Many such children grew up unregenerate, and strangers to the work of renewing grace; yet they claimed to be Christians, and to be admitted to all the privileges of the church, and their claim was not disallowed. To such the earnest appeals of faithful ministers of Christ would be irksome and unpalatable. The broader road and easier way of the “men of reason and culture,” which admitted of laxity of discipline and pliancy of sentiments and habits, was far more agreeable to their tastes and ideas, while the homage paid to reason and understanding, at the expense of revelation, gratified their pride, and left them free to walk after their own hearts in things pertaining to religion. Thus they chose them pastors after their own hearts, men who could, and would, and did, cry “Peace, peace,” when the only way of peace was ignored or denied.

These facts furnish a lesson for the present times, when, as in some cases, it is all too plainly apparent men are willing to forego the old for the sake of the new. But commonly it is found in theology that that which is true is not new, and that which is new is not true.

In another paper we propose to trace “the down grade” course among other Protestants in this country—a sad piece of business, but one which must needs be done. Oh that it might act as a warning to the unsettled and unsettling spirits of our own day!

Source: Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Down Grade, The Sword and Trowel, Published March 1887. (Source: http://www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/dg01.htm)

Hillsong Uniting church and stage…

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The blog Jairus’ Daughter wrote this observent article on Hillsong,

THE HILLSONG PHENOMENA AND THE BLACKING OUT OF THE CHURCH

Hillsong Mt. Gravatt, Brisbane.

We have embarked upon a kind of ‘spying out the land’ jaunt over the last few weeks. We have felt that it was the right time to get a look at churches in Brisbane and to see what is going on there. Because our background is largely evangelical/Pentecostal, we tended towards either Pentecostal churches or Baptist churches. I was baptised in a Baptist church so I have a particular fondness for that tradition. We aren’t familiar with the more classical denominations like Anglican or Lutheran and find that those formalised patterns of service are not what we really want to support, especially after ten years of wandering in the wilderness. So we knocked on a few Baptist doors over recent months and this morning visited an AOG, or Australian Christian Churches church on the Northside.

We were naturally cautious since we saw what Hillsong did to Garden City Christian Church, my old stomping ground in the 80s. We have seen how Hillsong turned the sanctuary black. It had previously been high-ceilinged, well lit from both behind and the side by large ceiling to floor glass door/windows. The seating had been a rich red, the paneling a light pine and the bricks a pale cream. It was always a beautiful building to sit in, filled with natural light which certainly didn’t detract from the stage. Yet now from the outside all you can see are blackened windows. I have recently seen a photograph of it’s interior and there are the black seats and the black walls now as well. We know what Hillsong have done to the gospel, and you can read more of their particular brand of evangelical Christianity here. Many churches in Brisbane, notably the Pentecostal variety have followed Hillsong’s peculiar methods and practice of religion. They sing Hillsong music (suitably attributed due to copyright infringement laws), they set up their stages in a Hillsong way with lead singers, backing singers, drums, keyboard bass and other types of string instruments and also the brass and woodwind accompaniment.

Hillsong was not the first church in Australia to have contemporary music and audio-visual accompaniment in its worship service. But it certainly is the originator of the ‘rock-concert venue’ and ‘entertainment focused worship’ styles which are now so common.  When I attended Garden City Christian Church in the early eighties we had a large stage to hold a large band, there were screens which showed the words. None of this is particularly offensive or anti-scriptural. The music for its time was probably more popular contemporary style than old-fashioned hymns, but we sang both with gusto. We ‘sang in the spirit’ in worship services, prayed for the sick, welcomed words of prophecy or knowledge and generally accepted the moving of the Spirit. It was a relatively healthy meeting in which people were being touched by God. Presumably certain denominations, including the Baptists at the time, would have frowned on our ‘swinging from the chandeliers’, but there was nothing untoward going on. There was no rolling on the floor making animal noises, no expectations of visitations by angels or weird manifestations as there are in a lot of pentecostal churches.  Occasionally people who came for an altar call and were prayed for were ‘slain in the spirit’, but these were managed carefully and with discretion and everything was done in order. I believe there was a great deal wrong with those in charge in those days, considering Reg Klimionok was caught with his hand in the till not long after I left, but in general the services were fairly conservative compared with the meetings held in AOG chuches today.

Hillsong Command Centre

HILLSONG NEW AND OLD 

Hillsong back then was known as Hills Christian Life Centre and was pastored by Frank Houston, Brian’s dad. Even back then though, Hillsong was contributing to the worship styles of Garden City. I remember well that we had a seminar led by Trevor King, a musician and worship leader from Hillsong who in another life had been in a band called Railroad Gin. He was there to teach those who were interested in new styles of worship leading. Trevor was a musician, but he also had some strange ideas about God. I remember one cold morning he mentioned that he had been in the shower and God told him to turn off the hot water. God apparently wanted him to have a cold shower for some reason. Trevor seemed to think that any voice which came to him and ordered him to do weird things was from God. This seems to my mind to be symptomatic of the type of discernment which has been shown by those who lead churches of this nature. They are big on the mystical voices and experiences which many believe should accompany a genuine walk with God, but not so big on the testing of those same voices and experiences. Trevor came across to me at the time as a very young and enthusiastic Christian who seemed exited about sharing his faith and love of God. I don’t think Frank was fathering him in the way he needed, nor do I think any of the Houstons have the capacity for true fathering. They seem to be more interested in the superficial rather than the hidden person of the heart, despite frequent allusions to the same.

Citipointe church - Christian Outreach Centre   another Hillsong clone

So back to our visit to the Northside ACC church. We were not interested in attending a worship service with music so loud you couldn’t hear yourself or anyone else sing. We didn’t see the point of that. Nor did we want to be part of Hillsong, nor did we want to be in a Hillsong cloned church since they are more or less the same thing.

We said to one another that if this church had a blackened interior we would not bother to stay. Yes, I suppose that is a bit pre-emptive, but in our experience when a church gets to the point that they want to change the interior of their sanctuary so dramatically they have succumbed to entirely bleak and literally dark influences. They are also committing themselves wholeheartedly to the Hillsong brand. There is really no point in looking much further than this despite it being an assessment based on superficial appearance.

Once we had made it past the honour guard of  ‘greeters’ at the front door who were three deep on each side and handing out bits of paper (it was worse than election day), we emerged into the foyer. I might point out here that the multitude of people welcoming at the door is another Hillsong format. From there we could see another doorway into the inner sanctum. Six more ‘greeters’ were lined up at that doorway and the interior of this section was completely black; black carpets, chairs, walls, ceiling and stage. My daughter noticed that the children’s church which was beyond one of the corridors off the foyer was also blacked out in similar style. This to my mind is not just committing to the Hillsong brand, it is causing its little ones to stumble. Children love colour and light and are often scared of the dark. Why expose them to a wholly adult and frankly not terribly wholesome experience in the tenderness of their youth. But, if the adults are convinced there is nothing wrong with this, they are probably not concerned about their children. This is a whole ‘nother subject and not one I can do justice to here, suffice to say that the abdication of responsibility by Christian parents to the youth or Sunday School leaders has contributed to more than just the delinquency of minors in many cases.

The stage was there, the noise deflectors for the drums (not a good sign) and the Stepford wife type expressions on the faces of those asking us if we were OK when we stepped aside for a family conference to decide what we were going to do, all convinced us to take a hike. So we went out again. This time the greeters didn’t say much at all, and we managed to make a break for it without any cheery responses. They probably were not primed with appropriate phrases for those wanting to leave before the service stated. “Have a nice day” comes to mind, but then that would require thinking outside the square and or recognising that we wanted to get away from them. An uncomfortable and puzzling thought for the Hillsong devotee.

Ischgl_church_interior_from_below file4521294274937

CHURCH INTERIORS AND THE KINGDOM OF GOD

In the past church interiors and exteriors were built in a way which reflected their faith and the Kingdom of God. Churches were built in the shapes of crosses. Their windows depicted scenes from the bible. The colours chosen reflected the symbolism found in scripture ; red, blue, gold, purple, all depicting either God or man and the relationship between the two. Interiors of churches have always been detailed and exquisitely beautiful with vaulted ceilings to represent the heavens and to aid the transmission of the sound of both preaching and singing. I remember standing in Christchurch Cathedral before the earthquake destroyed it. It had a magnificent echo as many churches do. The modern day sanctuaries are not church buildings. Their exteriors resemble warehouses or commercial buildings. Their interiors are set up to facilitate artificial noise projection not to enhance natural vocal or instrumental sound. Their seating is not placed to create a sense of wonder and awe at the craftsmanship and love poured into the physical environment and in turn to encourage the meditation upon the wonder of God. Seating is entirely utilitarian and focused on the stage where the talent is lit and enhanced in order to replicate a theatre or light and sound show. They have destroyed any atmosphere of quiet reverence and worship and replaced it with a black womb in which the distortion of light and sound, preaching and understanding, communication and worship are paramount.

Hillsong Australia has both introduced and promulgated this form of church environment along with the theology which both informs and supports it. It is a hideous malformation of the gospel and the gathering of people who are supposed to be adoring the one true and living God. Instead they are worshipping the people who are singing and playing and being bodily and sensorily overwhelmed by the visual and auditory explosion which accompanies them.

Nexus church Brisbane

This kind of church service has more in common with the current ‘reality tv’ obsession with talent shows. You feel like you are joining an audience which is about to see the finale of “Australia’s Idol’s Got X Factor Voice Talent”. The huge audiences, the strobing lights, the host with the microphone, the singers, band and backing singers are all there. All you need to do is vote for your favourite personality.

You don’t have to be an AOG church or even a Pentecostal/charismatic church in order to see the Hillsong stamp. The outlines might be blurred, but the intention is there. A number of Baptist chuches we visited recently have turned their church buildings into Hillsong type venues. There are the sound systems, the sound desk, the audio visual screens and the Hillsong songs, but there is also the prosperity gospel preaching, the propensity for dividing the huge congregations into smaller easier to corral groups. There is the head pastor, the associate pastors, the pastors of the various groups in the church such as women, children, youth, young adults, seniors, various ethnic groups, evangelism, missions, creative arts just to name a few. There is the church vision, the church website, the church mission statement, the church board, the church elders or deacons and the church outreach. These are no longer churches, these are corporations. Much has already been written about the corporatizing of the church in America, but here in Australia, we are simply an extension of this phenomenon.

While my background is in the Assemblies of God in Australia, I am able to see how this denomination has always been less focused on scripture and the preaching of the gospel and more focused on enlarging it’s tent and preaching a prosperity gospel. Klimionok was informed by his obsession with Paul Yonggi Cho and his huge South Korean “Yoido Full Gospel Church” AOG church which back then boasted tens of thousands and apparently reached the million mark a few years ago. Cho was apparently convicted for tax evasion in February of this year. I remember him preaching once about his desire to have booths situated up the back of the church which would facilitate translation for ethnic groups which didn’t have a good grasp of English. We had a large prayer room situated on the top of the church in a kind of attic which was accessed by some stairs and a winding staircase much like the prayer caves in Korea. Make no mistake, Klimionok was determined to make Garden City like the church in Korea, and believed it was possible. What he forgot was that we are not Korea, we don’t have the same numbers of Christians and our population is vastly smaller. We have neither the funds nor the numbers to create another South Korean giga-church. It never happened. As I said, Klimionok fell from grace, moved to the States still pushing his prosperity gospel. Since Klimionok was caught with his hand in the til, and Yonggi Cho was recently caught for tax evasion, there was probably more in common with these two men than I initially thought. Garden City was never the same after that and after a few changes of head pastor it tended to languish somewhat. A state from which it was ‘rescued’ some decades later by Hillsong. Clearly the powers that be in the ACC administration felt that Brisbane needed a Hillsong, and Garden City needed a bomb under it. They achieved both and now the ‘revived’ Mt. Gravatt campus is home to so many faithful on a Sunday that they need the presence of the local police to ensure traffic flow on the main road outside the carpark.

Hillsong took over Garden City and it is my concern that they are also ‘taking over’ the rest of the evangelical/Pentecostal church in this country. So many churches look to Hillsong as their inamorata. Nobody seems willing to either stop and check what it is that is so appealing or why they feel that Hillsong has ‘made it’ while the rest of them need to create themselves in her image. It is a disturbing phenomenon and not one which I am proud to own as an Australian Christian.

Other Resources:

Brisbane Times

Courier Mail

Source: THE HILLSONG PHENOMENA AND THE BLACKING OUT OF THE CHURCH, http://jairusdaughter.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/the-hillsong-phenomena-and-the-blacking-out-of-the-church/, Published 07/04/2014. (Accessed 27/06/2014.)

Hillsong continuing to disgrace the name and church of Jesus

Tags

Apprising reports,

T.D. JAKES HOSTS CHRISTINE CAINE ON TBN’S PTL TONIGHT

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As I continue to battle through lingering health issues here at the online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries, I’m doing my best to carry on and document for you the sheer rapidity with which doctrinal distinctives are now being obliterated.

You may recall I explained to you that James MacDonald Was A Bit Late In Mainstreaming T.D. Jakes. For you see, e.g. modalist and Word Faith mogul “Bishop” T.D. Jakes has already been preaching for Southern Baptist pastor Ed Young, Jr for nearly ten years now.

Not a peep out of milquetoast SBC leadership.1 Jakes also appeared along with Ed Young, Jr2 and Andy Stanley3 at the Hillsong Conference 2010,4  put on by the heretical Word Faith outfit Hillsong Church (HC), Australia. As HC pastrix Christine Caine informs us:

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(source)

Jakes was also a featured speaker for Bill Hybels and Willow Creek Church in the summer of 2010 as well. Despite his denial of the Trinity, i.e. the very nature of God, there right alongside Hybels, Christine Caine, and some others, T. D. Jakes spoke at The Global Leadership Summit 2010.5

And then there was Jakes speaking the mainstream evangelical The Tension Is Good Catalyst Conference Atlanta back on October 6-8 of 20106 along with Andy Stanley once again, Francis Chan, and SBC-sponsored quasi-elder Beth Moore:

Notice how the same names keep cropping up like interlocking concentric circles of syncretism. If you think this is all by coincidence then I’d avoid anyone claiming to sell a large bridge in England. As far as pastrix Christine Caine, she is tip-of-the-spear for the advance of Word faith mythology of HC’s Brian Houston.

Yet recently we saw Word Faith Pastrix Fills In For Beth Moore during her Wednesday’s with Beth on Life Today TV of leading charismaniac ecumenicist James Robison.7 Caine’s become quite the evangelical darling because we’ve also witnessed John Piper Preaching With Hillsong Pastrix Christine Caine At Pssion 2014.

Evangelical Ecumenical Magisterium8 leader James MacDonald would have us believe that T.D. Jakes Has Repented Of Word Faith Heresy. The lineup tonight for tonight’s Praise the Lord (PtL) program on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), hosted by T.D. Jakes, says otherwise.

As I explained the other day in Tullian Tchividjian On TBN’s Praise The Lord Tonight, PtL is the main vehicle used by TBN for fleecing the gullible within the Christian flock:

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I’ll repeat again what I said in Franklin Graham Hosting TBN’s Praise the Lord—Christians faithful to Jesus send a better message by having nothing to do with TBN. As it is written:

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.
For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18)

Further reading

Endnotes

  1. You can see that back in 2007 I made then SBC president aware of Jakes preaching in an SBC church in Dr. Frank Page Responds Concerning “Dr. Ed Young To Share The Pulpit With T.D. Jakes”.
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZLxpkZtMtc, accessed 6/20/14. 
  3. http://christianvideos.orgfree.com/musicvideo.php?vid=ffcfc7f08, accessed 6/20/14. 
  4. https://www.facebook.com/events/115756188451785/, accessed 6/20/14. 
  5. http://www.willowcreek.com/ProdInfo.asp?invtid=PR34744, accessed 6/20/14. 
  6. http://www.rochestermedia.com/catalyst-2010-the-tension-is-good/, accessed 6/20/14. 
  7. For example, see this lunacy in the Lord’s Name: James Robison To Pope Francis “In Christ We Are Brothers”
  8. I explained e.g. in Steven Furtick Debuts on Trinity Broadcasting Network amid Financial Concerns that the EEM comprised of notable multi-site megachurch pastors seems to have sprung from the Elephant Room conferences of James MacDonald and his co-host  Mark Driscoll

Source: By Ken Silva, T.D. JAKES HOSTS CHRISTINE CAINE ON TBN’S PTL TONIGHT, Apprising, http://apprising.org/2014/06/20/t-d-jakes-hosts-christine-caine-on-tbns-ptl-tonight/, Published 20/06/2014. (Accessed 21/06/2014.)

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