Breaking – ACA reports on “megalomaniac” Brian Houston

The Hillsong cult-leader Brian Houston, is once again making headlines with A Current Affair.

01_Hillsong cult leader Brian Houston live love lead

A Current Affair reports,

[Click to Download]

For more context on Brian Houston’s aggressive behaviour towards the woman at the Royal Commission, read our article here:

Exclusive – Brian Houston: “I got attacked by a protester”

A Current Affair writes,

Inside Hillsong

He’s the cult-like leader who loves his flock and knows just how to get to its hip pocket.

Tonight, A Current Affair goes inside the private world of Hillsong head Brian Houston.

Hillsong have responded to our story. You can read the full statement below.

Statement by Hillsong Church

Over many years, ‘A Current Affair’ (ACA) has waged what we believe to be a dishonest campaign against Hillsong Church. While Hillsong Church – like all churches – is a charity, the premise behind these stories is based on a misrepresentation by confusing a church and a welfare organisation (Public Benevolent Institution – PBI). We note that giving to churches is NOT tax deductible, while giving to PBIs is.

The primary function of Christian churches across the world – regardless of denomination – is to build people’s spiritual lives, and meet the fundamental needs of faith: discipleship, teaching, worship, missions and church planting. On top of these basic spiritual building blocks, Hillsong Church is committed to world class youth and children’s programs, ministries for all ages, pastorally supporting families and marriages, counselling services and hospital support, as well as general pastoral care to thousands within and beyond our church community. Hillsong Church also runs a successful Bible College with over 1500 students attending from all over the world who come to study. The income of the college is invested back into the costs of the college. In order to facilitate these basic church functions, we require facilities, staff, utilities and general administration – like any other church or PBI; we would not function without them. These needs are met through the income of Hillsong Church – ALL income of Hillsong Church goes toward the not-for-profit objectives of our ministry, including, but not limited to those mentioned above.

What about welfare?

On top of these basic church-focused functions, Hillsong Church has a thriving welfare arm that focuses solely ‘outwardly’ to both our local and global communities. The generosity of Hillsong Church parishioners over many years has built schools and homes in Africa, provided anti-retroviral drugs to AIDS patients, sponsored thousands upon thousands of children, rescued and rehabilitated trafficked sex workers, and provided food and education for thousands of less fortunate children in nations such as India and the Philippines. Each week, hundreds of families in Australia are provided with emergency relief services, food and beverages, basic household supplies, and utility vouchers free of charge, from our City Care department. This local arm of our church also provides free counselling to members of the community by qualified individuals.

Our partnerships with such organisations as World Vision Australia, Compassion Mission Australia and the Salvation Army are paramount to our ongoing commitment to the community.

People who attend Hillsong Church give of their own free will to the work of the church and the spending of Hillsong is in line with the expectations of those who give. People have every right to give their own money (which they have paid tax on) to whatever cause they like. Christians are passionate about the work and the ministries of the church – youth, children’s evangelism etc – and those who give to Hillsong believe in and support the work of Hillsong Church, much like those who give to other churches support whatever those churches do (and it should be noted that almost ALL Christian churches in Australia run similar types of ministries. The emphasis by ACA on money paints a very inaccurate picture. Thousands – indeed hundreds of thousands globally – are helped every year in their spiritual, emotional and physical lives. All involved with Hillsong are passionate about the Gospel and about helping people.

Source: By ninemsn staff, Inside Hillsong, A Current Affair,, Published 25/11/2015. (Accessed 25/11/2015.)

BREAKING NEWS: Royal Commission criticises Houston in report


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Brian Houston quote - cover up Royal Commission Hillsong



The Sydney Morning Herald reports,

Royal Commission sex abuse inquiry censures Hillsong head Brian Houston

Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston failed to tell police his father was a self-confessed child abuser and had a clear conflict of interest in dealing with the sex claims himself, an inquiry has found.

The high profile pastor gave evidence to the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in October last year.

Brian Houston . . . did not refer the allegations of child sexual abuse against Mr Frank Houston to the police.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

In a report released on Monday, the commissioners found that Mr Houston and the church’s executive team failed the victim, known as AHA, who was molested by Frank Houston for a number of years from the age of seven.
When the allegations surfaced almost 30 years later in 1999, Mr Houston confronted his father, who admitted abusing AHA.

The commissioners found that Brian Houston, then national president of the Assemblies of God in Australia, did not inform authorities.
“We are satisfied that, in 1999 and 2000, Pastor Brian Houston and the National Executive of the Assemblies of God in Australia did not refer the allegations of child sexual abuse against Mr Frank Houston to the police,” the commissioners wrote in their report.

The commission heard that Mr Houston suspended his father from the church but it was decided at a meeting of senior Assemblies of God members the allegation would be kept confidential and Frank Houston would be allowed to quietly retire without the reason being made public.

“We consider that a conflict of interest first arose when Pastor Brian Houston decided to respond to the allegations by confronting his father while simultaneously maintaining his roles as National President (of the Assemblies of God in Australia) and Senior Pastor,” the commissioners found.

The report concluded that senior staff at the Assemblies of God failed to follow their own protocol regarding sexual abuse claims and did not support the victim.

“The commissioners express the view that the NSW executive failed to appoint a contact person for the complainant, interview the complainant, have the state or national executive interview the alleged perpetrator, or record any of the steps it took,” the commissioners wrote.

In his evidence, AHA said Frank Houston would come into his room “nearly every night of the week” and sexually molest him while staying with his family in 1970.

AHA told the commission the abuse had “destroyed his childhood”, leaving him “full of shame, fear and embarrassment”.

The commission heard AHA was offered $10,000 in exchange for his signature on a dirty napkin at a meeting with Frank Houston and Hillsong Church elder Nabi Saleh at Thornleigh McDonalds in 2000.

Hillsong Church released a statement saying Mr Houston acted appropriately.

“We are confident that the actions of Pastor Brian, from the moment he discovered the news about his father, were done with the best intentions towards the victim,” the statement.

In their report, the commissioners also made findings against the Northside Christian College in Victoria and the Sunshine Coast Church in Queensland.

Support services can be found here.

Source: Rachel Browne, Royal Commission sex abuse inquiry censures Hillsong head Brian Houston, Sydney Morning, Published 23/11/2015 – 2:54PM. (Accessed 23/11/2015.)


Evidence, Fact Files & testimonies exposing Brian Houston at the Royal Commission

Brian Houston deceitfully changes media statement without notifications



On the 1st of July, Hillsong released a media statement about A Current Affair and Tanya Levin “harassing minors in an unethical manner” at Hillsong Conference 2015.


We published his media statement in an article on the 2nd of July. This is what it said then:

Statement from Hillsong Church re: A Current Affair story

1st July, 2015

We understand A Current Affair has been promoting a story supposedly about the Hillsong Conference.

They have also been outside our conference today harassing minors in an unethical manner.

Furthermore they have engaged in a cheap publicity stunt by bringing a so called “Hillsong insider” who has not been to our church for 20 years, to our conference today.

We are advised that her behaviour outside the venue resulted in her being apprehended by police at the request of the arena’s security staff (not Hillsong staff).

The behaviour of A Current Affair is reprehensible and this pending story will be no more than a continuation of their anti-Christian agenda and hate.

This story will be entirely fabricated and contain no truth whatsoever as do all of their stories about our church.

We note that as usual the program has not contacted us for comment.

We urge Christians and all who stand for truth in reporting to refuse to even watch or record this tabloid trash, and not give them the reward of ratings, because in the end this is no more than a grab for ratings.

Source: Statement from Hillsong Church re: A Current Affair story, Hillsong,, Published 01/07/2015. (Accessed 02/07/2015.) (Emphasis added.) [SOURCE]

Somewhere between the publication of that media statement in July and mid October, Brian Houston tampered with his media statement.

The information that Brian Houston tampered with was this sentence:

“We are advised that her behaviour outside the venue resulted in her being apprehended by police at the request of the arena’s security staff (not Hillsong staff).”

It now reads:

“We are advised that her behaviour outside the venue resulted in her being apprehended by police.”

The updated media statement  provided no additional information suggesting that the media statement was edited or tampered with.

No apology. No update. Nothing.

There is nothing wrong saying that a change has been made to a publication. However, Houston felt the need to change his media statement that was presented to the public.


Why did he do this? Why did he not release the date when he changed the media statement? By removing this detail, Houston wants to remove the idea of Hillsong or arena staff being involved in the removal by police of Tanya Levin. What he wants to do is focus on the police doing the removal and not draw attention to Hillsong and Arena staff involvement.

However, having removed this information, one has to wonder if Hillsong staff were intrinsically involved in contacting police in the removal of Tanya Levin. (Clearly it was important for Brian Houston to remove it. And how would Brian Houston know?)

The Hillsong media statement now says,

Statement from Hillsong Church re: A Current Affair story
1st July, 2015

We understand A Current Affair has been promoting a story supposedly about the Hillsong Conference.

They have also been outside our conference today harassing minors in an unethical manner.

Furthermore they have engaged in a cheap publicity stunt by bringing a so called “Hillsong insider” who has not been to our church for 20 years, to our conference today.

We are advised that her behaviour outside the venue resulted in her being apprehended by police.

The behaviour of A Current Affair is reprehensible and this pending story will be no more than a continuation of their anti-Christian agenda and hate.

This story will be entirely fabricated and contain no truth whatsoever as do all of their stories about our church.

We note that as usual the program has not contacted us for comment.

We urge Christians and all who stand for truth in reporting to refuse to even watch or record this tabloid trash, and not give them the reward of ratings, because in the end this is no more than a grab for ratings.

Source: Hillsong, Statement from Hillsong Church re: A Current Affair story, (Accessed 26/10/2015.)


An accurate report on Hillsong’s leadership and history


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Because this article on Brian Houston and Hillsong is questioning and analysing it’s history and leadership, this article is not from God but the devil. (That’s how the Hillsong philosophy goes. If it’s good, praise God! If it’s bad, it’s of the devil.)

There is so much to examine in this article which we are sure to refer to in articles to come.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports,

Inside the Hillsong Church’s money-making machine

While Hillsong’s charismatic leader Brian Houston presides over a glitzy religious empire, he has not only had to face a Royal Commission grilling, but questions over theology, money and his church’s treatment of homosexuals.

Sydney’s Allphones Arena looms out of the chilly dusk on a late June evening like one of painter Jeffrey Smart’s visions of urban dystopia.

Inside the cavernous space, the senior pastor and co-founder of the Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, is prowling the stage before more than 20,000 mesmerised souls who have flocked here for the opening of the church’s week-long annual conference, famed for its spectacle, fiery preaching and rock-concert atmosphere.

I think my father was homosexual, a closet homosexual. I’m no psychiatrist … but I think whatever frustrations he had, he took out on children. 

The faithful, the curious, the spiritually hungry: they’re packed to the roof in tight rows, eyes fixed on this master showman. At 61, Houston seems the embodiment of Hillsong’s promise: olive-skinned, unlined brow, gleaming teeth, designer stubble, and powerful build set off by jeans, open-neck shirt and tailored jacket. A veritable poster boy for the boomer generation.

Brian Houston (left) leads the Hillsong entourage at the church's annual conference in Sydney.Brian Houston (left) leads the Hillsong entourage at the church’s annual conference in Sydney. Photo: Brendan Esposito

He’s in full flight – cajoling, conversing, proselytising – when suddenly he drops like a stone to the stage and launches into a series of push-ups.

“We are lean, mean kingdom machines, all set for everything that God wants to do in this place. Amen! Amen!” he proclaims, pumping the stage as they stomp and cheer.

“Your words can frame your future,” he tells them. “Speak your faith, start seeing miracles … Owner of your first home! Best-selling author … Mother of handsome sons and beautiful daughters! Businessman who is prosperous and fruitful! Your brother’s salvation, your sister’s healing … Speak it into being! Speak it into being! Speak it into being! Amen!” The uplifting mood is punctured for me two days later when I’m hauled out of my $300 conference seat near the rafters by a burly security guard wearing a Hillsong T-shirt. My sin, apparently, is to have made people “feel uncomfortable” by writing in a notebook and asking the young chap next to me a few questions.

Brian Houston speaks to the media after appearing at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in October last year.

Brian Houston speaks to the media after appearing at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in October last year. Photo: Paul Miller

When I ask Houston some days afterwards about this subtle undercurrent of paranoia, he expresses surprise. He suggests it could have been a response to his stark warnings from the stage about Channel Nine’s A Current Affair, which had been quizzing Hillsongers outside the conference about their financial contributions to the church (a perennial sore point).

ACA just lies” he says, eyes blazing. “Full stop. You can quote me. They are just liars.”

There’s more bristling when talk turns to the darkest cloud currently sitting on Hillsong’s horizon, the fallout from his appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse last year (of which more later). “In their eyes, I didn’t do a thing right,” he says defiantly. Hillsong’s reputation for being on the thin-skinned side is starting to make some sense.

Brian and wife Bobbie.

Brian and wife Bobbie.

Our interview takes place in a private suite of rooms upstairs at the sprawling church complex in Alexandria (one of several valuable Sydney sites Hillsong owns) just as he’s about to jet off overseas for three months on church business.

Houston and his equally burnished wife, Bobbie, 58, the reigning couple of Australian Pentecostalism, are riding the crest of a wave that shows no signs of breaking. The Hillsong empire they founded (she, too, is a senior pastor) pulled in tax-free revenues of nearly $80 million in Australia last year and more than $100 million internationally. It is on the ground in 15 countries across Europe, Asia and the Americas, and broadcast in 160 nations. And it’s still growing. “I don’t feel there are any limits on how far we should try and go to reach as many people as we possibly can,” Houston says.

Their three grown children all hold leadership positions within the church (though Houston flatly rejects suggestions it’s looking like a family business).

Former Hillson regular Alex Pittaway.

Former Hillson regular Alex Pittaway. Photo: James Brickwood

Sons Ben, 33, and Joel, 37, lead the charge in the US, with Ben having “planted” a Hillsong offshoot in LA and Joel becoming assistant pastor in New York. Daughter Laura, 28, and son-in-law Peter Toganivalu are youth pastors at Hillsong in Sydney. There are bible training colleges, a Hillsong Performing Arts Academy, a Hollywood-produced film in the works, and Brian and Bobbie’s many books, CDs and DVDs. Underpinning it all is the hugely successful and lucrative Hillsong United rock band, fronted by Joel, which has soared to stratospheric heights on US Christian music charts.

It’s all too much for critics such as American pastor Chris Rosebrough, who labels Hillsong an “evangelical/ industrial complex” and Houston the “CEO of an international multimedia entertainment company” that “happens to have venues around the world where they do something they call church”.

Rosebrough runs Pirate Christian Radio, an online religious radio network that regularly takes aim at what he calls Hillsong’s “big box” approach to Christianity with its “squishy self-help inspirational messages” and “rock and roll laser light show”. More fundamentally, he takes issue with Hillsong’s theology, accusing Houston of teaching the “Word of Faith heresy”.

Brian Houston's son Joel performs for Hillsong United at a show in New York earlier this year.

Brian Houston’s son Joel performs for Hillsong United at a show in New York earlier this year. Photo: Getty Imges

“It teaches that God wants you to be rich and prosperous so that you can be a blessing to other people, and that you do this by creating the future with your words,” he tells Good Weekend from his base in North Dakota. “It distorts the scriptures, and it’s a doctrine that wasn’t even taught until American televangelists invented it maybe 30 to 40 years ago.”

A similar queasiness about Hillsong’s messaging is felt by a number of mainstream church leaders here, though there is greater reluctance to say so openly.

“Brian’s intuitive genius is marketing,” says one senior churchman, who asks not to be quoted. “Hillsong is a culture – success, beautiful people, a positive message and nothing negative. The message is, ‘You’re awesome and God is awesome and we are God’s chosen and we have to be seen to be awesome.’ And when you tease out what awesome means, it basically means prosperity. They go very close to going that to be poor is sinful, to be saved successful.”

Frank Houston.

Frank Houston.

Sociologist Andrew Jakubowicz, of the University of Technology Sydney, observes that “this is not a church where the leader washes the feet of beggars”.

But Houston is unapologetic about the self- advancement psychology embedded in Hillsong’s message. “I’d rather give people some hope than no hope,” he says. “We encourage them to look to Jesus and build their lives on the right foundations. My methods are relatable in a world where many say the church is a dying force. And I’m not prepared as a church leader to just sit there and let it die.”

Just as the Murdochs have taken three generations to build an empire, the Houstons have taken three generations to build Hillsong into the behemoth it is today. The more it grows, the more adherents see this as proof of divine endorsement.

“People are not looking for stale religion” with “dilapidated buildings filled with narrow-minded, self-righteous finger pointers”, Houston writes in his most recent book, Live Love Lead, released in July. “I am convinced beyond a doubt that God didn’t create us to live mediocre, settle-for-less lives.”

There was nothing settle-for-less about Brian’s father, William Francis “Frank” Houston, a consummate showman and gifted preacher whom Houston hero- worshipped as a boy. As a youngster, he would wave his dad off “longingly” on ministry trips, “believing that I, too, would do just that one day.”

Yet Frank, the empire-founder, was very nearly its undoing. In 1999, sensational allegations surfaced that he had been a serial paedophile, preying on boys and young men whom he had met through the church.

The revelations were shocking, perhaps less so to those familiar with Frank’s inauspicious start as a churchman. A former New Zealand Salvation Army officer who had left that organisation under a cloud when awkward discrepancies showed up in the local accounts, Frank suffered several nervous breakdowns in young adulthood. At least one episode required hospitalisation. So destitute were he and his young family that at one point they possessed nothing beyond “six forks, two pairs of blankets and an old radio”, according to his stalwart wife, Hazel.

The man who saved Frank Houston was a barnstorming Pentecostal preacher, Ray Bloomfield, who took him on as a kind of apprentice at a church near Auckland in the late 1950s.

Under Bloomfield’s tutelage, Frank became entranced by Pentecostalism, a form of charismatic Christian worship that celebrates exuberant physical manifestations of religious ecstasy such as the incomprehensible babbling known as “speaking in tongues”.

In her 1989 book, Being Frank, Hazel recalled how her husband would kneel in prayer “as close to Ray as possible so that he might experience the gushings of Ray’s tongues”.

When Bloomfield eventually left New Zealand for Canada, he handed his church over to Frank who, by some never fully explained process, became an Assemblies of God minister in his own right. He became an entertaining preacher who would “do crazy things like throw a glass of water over the congregation and make funny jokes – he endeared himself to a lot of people”, recalls one former pastor.

Frank’s enjoyment of the company of young men was noted, but rang no alarm bells at the time. It was always seen as “Frank being this father figure to young, gentle men”.

His fierce ambitions for a successor centred on his second son, Brian, rather than eldest, Graeme, who became a fireman and moved to Britain.

In early 1999, just before the first whiff of scandal hit, Frank issued his own book, The Release of the Human Spirit, in which he described laying hands on the infant Brian and beseeching the Lord to “make this boy grow to be a mighty man of God”.

The Houstons arrived in Sydney in 1977 after a divine visitation ordered Frank to “plant a church” in the harbour city. They set up the Sydney Christian Life Centre, initially in Double Bay, and ran it on a shoestring, with newlyweds Brian (then aged 24) and Bobbie coming out from NZ to help them a year later. Brian washed windows to make ends meet, the younger couple eventually buying themselves what one former friend recalls as a “tiny little bungalow in Kings Langley”.

In 1983, Brian Houston ventured out to nearby Baulkham Hills in the city’s north-west to set up an offshoot of his father’s church, calling it the Hills Christian Life Centre. He chose the Hills, he told the ABC’s Australian Story some years ago, partly because of a hugely successful car dealer out there who “used to be on the TV and sell Holdens. And I thought to myself, ‘If you could build the largest Holden dealership in Australia there, surely it must be somewhere where you could build a church.’ ”

Houston soon hit spiritual pay dirt, teaming up with the man who would become one of his closest friends: gifted musician and former ABC technical operations officer Geoff Bullock, who wrote, directed and produced much of Hillsong’s music in those years (delivering three gold albums and a platinum in the process). A trip to the US in 1989 also proved a turning point.

A wide-eyed Houston was feted by pastors involved with the American Word of Faith movement and came back wearing what Bullock remembers as “the loudest shirts we had ever seen”. Everything else changed, too, according to Bullock: “The focus of Hillsong went from the standard Assemblies of God doctrine, which was more working-class and left-wing, to suddenly the prosperity doctrine.” As Hillsong leapt from success to success, Bullock found himself struggling with the increasingly frenetic pace, his own turmoil, and Houston’s leadership style. He finally parted company with Hillsong in 1995, having taken it to the brink of its international musical success. The rupture was wounding to both men.

Bullock tells Good Weekend: “I had an unshakeable spiritual revelation that it was time to leave. There had always been tensions in our relationship. Brian had a fiery temper and domineering leadership style and I was under relentless pressure.” Bullock’s former wife, Janine, says, “They demanded blood of him, but it still wasn’t enough.”

The sense of betrayal was deep on both sides. Over the ensuing years Houston has repeatedly claimed (without naming Bullock) that he had no warning of the departure of the man he then considered his best friend. Bullock emphatically disputes this.

Most distressing to Bullock – and others who admired his work – is that he has now been effectively airbrushed from Hillsong’s history.

By the late 1990s Hillsong was in gleaming purpose- built premises, and feted enough to have John Howard open its new convention centre in 2002. Brian Houston had by now risen to the hugely influential position of national president of the Assemblies of God (AOG), a movement with which Hillsong was affiliated.

In early 1999 Frank stepped aside from the city branch, asking his son to take over. Few knew Frank was secretly fending off the first of the child sexual abuse allegations that would crash around the church with the force of a tsunami.

In evidence before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse at the end of last year, Brian Houston said he’d had no inkling of his father’s dark secrets before October 1999.

He spoke of feeling shock and devastation, described how he had confronted his father at the first opportunity and – after convening a meeting of other AOG elders to discuss the crisis – forced Frank to stand aside (albeit on a pension) from further preaching duties.

But the counsel assisting the commission, Simeon Beckett, has taken a sterner view of the matter. Late last year he recommended Houston be referred to NSW police for failing to pass on that earliest claim of abuse (others involving at least six boys in New Zealand surfaced later). And he chastised Houston for failing to recognise the conflict of interest inherent in having carriage of the complaint against his father while also being head of Hillsong and head of the Assemblies of God.

Houston can barely contain his anger at Beckett’s recommendations. He maintains he respected the wishes of the victim, by then an adult, who had wanted the matter kept in-house; and that elders of the Assemblies of God had full knowledge and oversight of his handling of the affair.

Houston tells Good Weekend: “It didn’t really matter what the facts were, the counsel assisting [the commission] had his mind made up about what happened and never moved off it at any point.”

Frank died in 2004 aged 82, yet despite the gathering storm was still a respectable enough figure for then senior police officer (now NSW police commissioner) Andrew Scipione to attend his funeral. Scipione was also spotted at this year’s Hillsong conference, raising eyebrows among some of the church’s more trenchant critics.

As Frank’s dark secrets gradually unfurled, Brian Houston slid slowly into a growing dependence on sleeping pills.

In Live Love Lead, he describes falling prey to a growing disconnect between an inner emptiness and the church’s outward success. The climax came one night five years ago with a full-blown panic attack, which washed him up on a “great reef of jagged pain, fear and sorrow”. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, though he says he has now bounced back, through “the grace of God”.

Didn’t he feel he was living a lie through those years, telling others that faith was enough to deliver the good life, even as he was “imploding” inside?

“I don’t see that I was being fake at all,” he says. “I’ve never stopped loving people, never stopped loving God. “You call it a façade, but I don’t even see it like that, because to me, I was still genuine in everything I did.”

When Frank was 78, he told Brian that Frank’s own father had once abused him after coming home drunk.

“I think my father was homosexual, a closet homosexual,” says Houston, almost as an aside. “I’m no psychiatrist … but I think whatever frustrations he had, he took out on children.”

The Hillsong United band takes the stage, its members in skinny jeans and T-shirts, frontman Joel Houston in an edgy black hat, as they pump up the volume under sweeping lights. “You take me higher than I’ve been before … You are everything I want and more.” Thousands sing along, arms upraised, eyes closed, in the grip of a kind of rapture. Somewhere here at the conference, keeping a lowish profile, is pop star Justin Bieber, who hangs out with Joel at Hillsong in New York. Joel is married to a fashion and lifestyle-blogging Brazilian model, Esther Lima Houston, who struts her stuff on, providing “an unfiltered lifestyle platform for the modern woman”.

Happy, shiny people. Bullock once said he “came to think that the patron saint of Hillsong was Gianni Versace”. Jakubowicz says he’s “fascinated by how successfully Hillsong has integrated the various elements of contemporary culture into the whole story”.

Yet while it works hard at cultivating its hip, contemporary appeal, there is still little comfort to be found here for those who are openly homosexual. Former Hillsong regular Alex Pittaway, now studying theology in the US, says he saw one friend devastated after being told by the church that “we can’t have gay people in speaking or leadership roles”. He says others were left wounded after being directed towards what was known as “ex-gay reparative therapy”, aimed at “curing” them of homosexuality. “Gay people need to know that there is only so far they can go in Hillsong,” says Pittaway.

Anthony Venn-Brown, a former Assemblies of God pastor who broke with the movement after falling in love with a man, now runs Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International, an organisation aimed at building links between religious organisations and gay and bisexual Christians. He says Houston has a “heart for people” but “like many evangelical leaders is on a journey that requires greater understanding of sexual orientation”. Houston recently referred to gay marriage as the “elephant in the room” for the churches.

Hillsong’s finances are another perennial topic for critics, aired copiously on watchdog websites. (Infamously, in 1999 Houston put out a tome entitled You Need More Money; he regrets it now, though, insisting “the idea of the book, I think, was pure”.) In the past, Hillsong has encouraged tithing (rendering 10 per cent of income to the church) and is notorious for the “love offerings” it solicits at religious services for visiting preachers. Steve West, a former Hillsong regular who attended its leadership college 15 years ago, says Hillsong and its affiliates “are the only churches I know to have sermons designed to inspire giving, every single service. I have run a church ministry. This is totally unnecessary behaviour.”

The church’s financial operations are enmeshed in nine different corporate entities registered with the federal government’s Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission, and despite Hillsong’s frequent promises of financial transparency, that’s not been the experience of West, who says when he sought access to the books he was rebuffed and demonised.

“Their response was along the lines of trying to shut me down – I got a letter from their lawyers, a cease and desist notice.” Hillsong rejects the claims and says it had to “take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from baseless and inappropriate comments”. The bulk of Hillsong’s tax-free millions appears to go towards funding its relentless expansion, and keeping its own intricate machinery running, though it does underwrite a range of charitable activities. In recent years it has raised nearly $1.5 million for victims of natural disasters abroad. It runs prison outreach services, offers free counselling to those unable to afford mental health treatment, and last year distributed more than 130,000 food and toy items. It says it reached thousands of people with its volunteer-run CityCare street teams.

In 2013 Houston attempted to quell speculation about how much he and his family were earning from the rivers of gold Hillsong was generating by posting an online letter entitled “Bobbie’s and My Finances”. He stated he was earning $150,000 that year from the church plus $150,000 from Leadership Ministries Incorporated (LMI), which he described as “the entity by which Bobbie and I conduct our broader ministry” worldwide as guest speakers. (There is a well-trodden circuit for celebrity pastors, who were thick on the ground at the Hillsong’s own conference this year.) Personal royalties were not clarified, nor were Bobbie’s earnings.

When Good Weekend asked for an update on this year’s figures, a church spokesman demurred, saying, “We do not disclose the remuneration arrangements of any individual employee due to privacy and confidentiality issues.” The 2014 return for LMI showed it had gross earnings of nearly $670,000 and two full-time employees, whose names Hillsong did not disclose.

In early July, Channel Nine’s A Current Affair took fresh aim at the church’s well-filled coffers and the heavy burden placed on church volunteers.

The segment included an interview outside Allphones Arena (as the Hillsong conference was underway) with Tanya Levin, author of People in Glass Houses: An Insider’s Story of Life In and Out of Hillsong, a critique of Hillsong published in 2007. Acting on a tip-off from a Hillsong member – who told police at the venue that Levin had previously been banned by the church from venturing onto any Hillsong property – including premises the church had hired for events – police swooped and arrested her. She now faces trespass charges and will appear in court again this month. Thus far Hillsong is refusing to comment on the case. However, it has again outraged church critics; West sees it as further evidence of an internal culture deeply averse to criticism.

“If you criticise them its because you have let in a ‘root of bitterness’ – these are the terms they use,” he claims. “Any Hillsong pastor who has strayed from the vision is quickly ostracised.”

Even those who like and admire Houston worry that the circle surrounding him may be overly deferential. Rosebrough argues that the fact that Hillsong and other family-dominated Pentecostal churches have no “traditional ecclesiastical oversight” makes them more vulnerable to potential conflicts between family interests and those of the organisation more broadly.

But Houston insists that “there are all the other incredible people around me … it’s not like I’m the king of Saudi or something.”

Reverend Tim Costello, a Baptist minister, believes Hillsong is doing good work among young Australians who would otherwise be like “beached whales who have lost their radar”.

“It’s much better being in church than doing ice in nightclubs,” he says. “Young people living in a land of plenty are yearning for both spirituality and a sense of justice, and when you bring these two things together it is a powerful statement of true Christian faith. I do believe Hillsong are trying to do this.”

Steve West is more blunt about where Hillsong’s appeal lies: “Moral certainty, community, a sense of identity. There is something so attractive about a black and white view of the world.”

Source: By Deborah Snow, Inside the Hillsong Church’s money-making machine, Sydney Morning Herald,, Published November 14, 2015 – 12:00AM. (Accessed 14/11/2015.)

Chris Rosebrough interviews Kerri Ferguson


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Chris Rosebrough from Fighting for the Faith recently interviewed Kerri Ferguson on his radio program. If you are not familiar with who Kerri Ferguson is we encourage viewers to read what we have covered on the C3 Penrith scandal so far:

C3 Parramatta Scandal Part 1
C3 Parramatta Scandal Part 2 – The cover-up Scandal that Pringle refused to deal with
C3 Parramatta Scandal Part 3 – Sex, Money, Power
C3 Parramatta Scandal Part 4 – C3 regards pastors gambling worse than pastors defending a pedophile
C3 Parramatta Scandal Part 5 – Phil Pringle’s leadership: an unresolved mess
C3 Parramatta Scandal Part 6 – C3 prophetically manipulating the abused into silence
C3 Parramatta Scandal Part 7 – Letter exposing Pringle covering up paedophilia refusing to help victim

This is footage we have had for a number of years, exposing the cover up of pedophilia in the Australian Christian City Church movement. To this day, NONE of the “pastors” Kerri Ferguson went to for help have EVER bothered checking up on her or apologized for how they refused to help her in her time of need. These “pastors” are Phil Pringle, Brian Houston, Ian Treacy, and Gary Dench.

[Click to download]

Click here to listen to the Fighting for the Faith Episode: Interview with Kerri Ferguson.

Interview with Kerri Ferguson 



• Interview with Kerri Ferguson


Source: By Chris Rosebrough, Interview with Kerri Ferguson, Fighting for the Faith,, Published 12/11/2015. (Accessed 12/11/2015.)

In Australia, some people consider paedophilia to be worse than murder. Don’t forget these “Pastors” faces that allowed these crimes to continue in the name of “Jesus.”

C3- Gary Dench Ian Treacy

03CWCPortrait_Phil Pringle

05CWCPortrait_Brian Houston

If they can get away with covering up paedophilia… then nothing can stop them. These men are before the Royal Commission. Yet Brian Houston and Phil Pringle are influencing our political leaders.

Hillsong’s homophobic leadership


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Pulpit & Pen writes,

Brian Houston Inc. (aka Hillsong) Are The Real Homophobes

The worldwide international corporation known as Hillsong Church has an excellent business model. In 2013, Hillsong Australia alone had nearly 86 million in total revenue, with nearly 39 million in total assets and over 19 million in net assets.  Bottom line, Hillsong is banking.

So why is this company so successful financially? Because they deliver a product that their customers want. They produce ear-tickling music that allows fence sitters to pretend to be Christian while not quite giving up their love of the world. They serve drugs so powerful that you can alter your state of mind without taking a single dose of physical substance. And they deliver motivational speeches designed to have people from all walks of life leave feeling like the world revolves around them. In other words, you can live as you please, do as you please, and come to our church on Sundays, and we’ll make sure you’re “personally included and accepted in our community.” [source]

In the business world, it’s well known that in order to keep your business running successfully, you must continue to deliver a product that your customers want. And when your customer base is the world, you must seek to please the world.

Screenshot from 2015-10-19 13:44:58This is exactly why Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, the two sodomites from the television series, Survivor, who are active, participating members of Hillsong Church, can continue to sit in the congregation week after week without being made to feel uncomfortable in their sin. They can do as they please, and Hillsong can pretend to preach the Gospel so they can call themselves a church while refraining from offending any of their customers.

Now this may be a good practice in the business world, but this methodology disqualifies Hillsong from being a biblical church. A biblical church does not exist to serve and please its customers–a biblical church does not have customers. A biblical church consists of born again believers (Eph 1:22-23) and seeks to shepherd the flock by proclaiming the truth at all costs (Acts 20:28). Yet Brian Houston has stated, “I think with the church, the message is sacred, but the methods have to change for the church to stay relevant”–relevant to its customers.

Further, Hillsong’s on Statement of Faith regarding baptism says this,

If you have recently decided to follow Jesus, water baptism is a great next step in your faith journey. As an outward declaration of the decision you have made to surrender your heart to Jesus, it’s a significant moment that will serve as a reminder that the old is gone. God has saved you and will be faithful to continue what He has started in your life.

Yet, Hillsong NYC has taken the step to baptize Reed Kelly.


So how can this organization that claims to be a church baptize an unrepentant sinner, make them an active and participating member of their congregation, and lead them to believe that they are saved, according to their own statement of faith?


You see, Hillsong is not a church, it’s a business, and they are in this for the money, and they’re good at it. This has already been shown. But the one thing they fear most is losing a large portion of their customers. And what would happen if Carl Lentz or Brian Houston were to tell these two sodomites that they couldn’t be baptized, and couldn’t be members of the church because they are living in unrepentant sin? Exactly! They would lose customers. Brian Houston put out a list of 30 Rules for Hillsong Australia Preaching and Teaching Team. Some of the disturbing rules put in place by Houston are “leaving people feeling better about themselves than when they came in, and having a message that easily transitions into an altar-call.”

But a real church that exists to shepherd the flock and serve Christ would not be afraid of offending people with the truth. Peter describes Jesus as being offensive to those who do not believe (1 Peter 2:8).Luke 13:3-5 makes it very clear that repentance of sin is a requirement for salvation. But that isn’t Hillsong’s message. Brian Houston, senior executive of Hillsong Corp. has explained their message quite clearly,

I do believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear…So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course! You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community.

This is exactly like I stated before. This is Hillsong pretending to proclaim the Word of God so that they can call themselves a church while at the same time delivering a product that their worldly customer base desires–without offending anyone. This is what is described in James 1:7-8 as a “double-minded man, unstable in all his ways,” and he” ought not to expect that he should receive anything from the Lord.” Brian Houston, Carl Lentz, and all of the leaders of this organization are double-minded man-pleasers who are unfit for the ministry of Jesus Christ. They fear the gay mafia more than they fear God and have caved to them on all levels. They are so afraid that they will lose customers that they would rather tell two hell-bound unrepentant sodomites that they are welcome and accepted into their church and lead them to believe that they are saved, than to proclaim the truth to them, that they are lost, in need of a savior, and must repent of their sin and turn to Christ, lest their “portion be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

That’s real homophobia.

Source: Jeff Maples, Brian Houston Inc. (aka Hillsong) Are The Real Homophobes, Pulpit & Pen,, Published 20/10/2015. (Accessed 20/10/2015.)

Pulpit & Pen rebuke Hillsong’s lies and hypocrisy over Broadway couple coverup


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Hillsong has got some explaining to do over statements about their stance on homosexuality, as they continue to mislead the body of Christ. We have researched Brian Houston and Carl Lentz extensively these past few years and see quite clearly through their obfuscation. Hillsong have used their pulpit to subtly promote gay affirming messages, messages perceived as gay-affirming by gay “Christians” in their own church community! What on earth would make people think they would stop? Why do they continue to be so misleading?

The answer is simple.

Money. Power. Success. Influence.

All this is tied up in their musical monopoly. (Don’t worry, God only receives worship in Spirit and in Truth. He doesn’t receive it from the Hillsong den of thieves.)

So how have people responded to the Hillsong saga? Jeff Maples tackles this. But before we read this, we want to confirm one thing Maples says.

“So, while he says he believes homosexuality to be sinful he’s totally fine with homosexuals being active, vibrant members of the church, so long as they don’t hold a “leadership position.” But church membership is reserved for those who are born-again believers and are expected to act as functioning members of the body of Christ… By default, being a Church member is in and of itself, a leadership position.”

It’s even worse than what Jeff Maples actually says about Hillsong. Hillsong actively affirm that all its members are, and are to be, influential leaders in “the marketplace”. (By the way, this is NAR cult strategic methodology.) All one needs to do is watch a Hillsong Vision Sunday message and Brian Houston reinforces the idea that any Christian who does not follow the Hillsong Vision/Way will not be tolerated or considered to be a Christian by Brian Houston’s definition or standard.

Houston’s 2014 God-given “Vision” (Part 1): “New grace” scrutinised

According to Hillsong Reed Kelly and Josh Canfield ARE the new Christian. And if you have a problem with that – you will not be tolerated and you will be hated for believing Jesus Christ and His Word.

We encourage our readers to READ what Jesus said to the Pharisees and how he labels them to be no different to their fathers that murdered the prophets. It was the Pharisees that hated God’s Word and hated Christ because His authority stemmed from God’s Word. Their hatred towards Christ and His Word led them to murdering Jesus Christ and His followers.

This is what we are facing on the horizon by these cults who are becoming more intolerant and hate-filled towards the Christian faith (and have the so-called “Christian” media in their hands). Christ calls them murderers simply because in his teachings, he says that if you harbour hatred in your heart, you are no different in murdering your brother. The continual propaganda from the Hillsong pulpit is to hate and to show pity or intolerance to Christians that are not keeping up with the “spiritual Jones'”. (Just try asking them to compare Hillsong’s teachings to scripture and you’ll be labelled a ‘hater’ or worse.)

Remember what the Broadway couple said about their Hillsong leaders:

“Thankfully we are led by pastors who are grace-filled and committed to continuing to try to discern God’s will on this matter.”

[Want to make your point again here MM that you did on P&P?]

Heed Christ’s WARNING. Hillsong will not tolerate you as a Christian. Speak out and rebuke them now before it’s too late.

Jordan Hall writes,

Remember back when Saiko Woods told us he had talked to Lentz personally and he said he “handled this” and Dr. White was assured by Lentz they TOTALLY handled this Biblically and Pulpit & Pen were called h8rs for not believing Lentz because people who preach lies about God typically lie about other stuff, too? Ah, good times. Good times.

JordanHallFB img Josh Canfield Reed Kelly Hillsong cult

Source: Jordan Hall, Pulpit Bunker, FaceBook,, Published 20/10/2015. (Accessed 20/10/2015.)

Jeff Maples from Pulpit & Pens writes,

Hillsong Sodomites Now Accommodated in Los Angeles

A couple months ago, a kerfuffle between Hillsong NYC’s Carl Lentz and various blogs outing the church’s mishandling of two celebrity sodomites, known as the “Broadway Boyfriends,” who are members of his church, including one who had served as choir director. The openly gay Hillsong church members, Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, told the press back in January 2015 that they had “come out” to Hillsong leadership and that “nothing had changed” since in their relationship to the church since then, thus giving the impression that Hillsong NYC and Carl Lentz approved of their lifestyle. Though Lentz denied the accusations of accommodating an openly gay couple in his congregation, this claim wasthoroughly debunked.

Now that the brouhaha has died down, the couple appears to be back it again–only this time, in Los Angeles.

Screenshot from 2015-10-19 13:44:58

Senior pastor of Hillsong Church had this to say in response to the criticism of allowing the openly gay couple to hold a leadership position at its NYC campus,

I do believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear…So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course! You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community.

So, while he says he believes homosexuality to be sinful he’s totally fine with homosexuals being active, vibrant members of the church, so long as they don’t hold a “leadership position.” But church membership is reserved for those who are born-again believers and are expected to act as functioning members of the body of Christ. Church members are expected to give and to support their local church, and to serve and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By default, being a Church member is in and of itself, a leadership position.

However, Brian Houston is actively encouraging unrepentant sinners, pagans, to participate in worshiping God. This is unbiblical, as Scripture says in John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” But unrepentant sinners do not worship in spirit and in truth. God will reject any form of worship from pagans like Reed Kelly and Josh Canfield. 1 Corinthians 10:20 says that their sacrifices of praise are offered to demons, and not to God. Therefore, why would Houston want to invite them to worship with them? Why, if you truly are a loving, bible-believing pastor, would you want to give them the false assurance that they are personally included and accepted in the body of Christ?

Hillsong LA’s lead pastor, Ben Houston, son of Senior Pastor, Brian Houston, has been largely silent on the issue. But now that Kelly and Canfield are attending his campus, will have anything to say on the subject?

We’ll see.

Source: Jeff Maples, Hillsong Sodomites Now Accommodated in Los Angeles,, Published 19/10/2015. (Accessed 19/10/2015.)

Now THIS is sexy Hillsong entertainment! (Hillsong move Broadway couple to different Hillsong church?)


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Carl Lentz portrays himself as a Christian pastor. However, people are seeing straight through his sheep skin and are now looking at a man who clearly rejects the teachings of Jesus Christ in regards to homosexuality.

Earlier this year, Chris Rosebrough from Fighting for the Faith helped break the story about the Broadway couple getting engaged towards the beginning of this year (2015). This gay couple were involved in leadership, leading Hillsong bible studies, one also voluntarily leading a Hillsong music choir.

Rosebrough stated on his program,

“Now when I covered the story earlier last week, I made it clear that I had heard through channels that Carl Lentz had said that they had addressed this and that the pastors of Hillsong were “privately counseling” the couple.” [Source]

Well this is what the result of Hillsong counseling looks like.

So grateful to have @joshdcanfield here by my side this Sunday @HillsongLA! #BroadwayFiances #BigSmiles #Hillsong

A photo posted by thereedkelly (@thereedkelly) on

The results of this Broadway “counseling” resembles how effective Carl Lentz’ “counseling” has been towards Justin Beiber. Clearly the gospel of repentance and the forgiveness of sins is failing to exist in Hillsong. Carl Lentz needs to put aside his barbie doll clothes, repent of his wickedness and start demonstrating he’s really a “Christian” he claims to be.

His refusal to take Christianity seriously as a “man of God” proves that his sheep skin is wearing thin over his lupine fur.

Reed Kelly and Josh Canfield have made it clear they believe Hillsong approves of their homosexual lifestyle. Why else would Hillsong be tagged in their pictures?”

What is also interesting with these Instagram snapshots is their @HillsongLA!  #hillsongLA tags. It appears they have been moved from Carl Lentz’ church, which means he no longer has to deal with them. This echoes Frank Houston’s case where Brian Houston hid his father in another church until the controversies surrounding his pedophilia died down.


Now THIS is sexy entertainment!
Ben Gresham exposes Houston lying in his media statement
Did Carl Lentz mislead James White of Alpha Omega Ministries?
Josh Canfield & Reed Kelly expose Hillsong leadership lying about their stance on same sex issues
Brian Houston admits he can offer “no great answer” on gay stance (Part 1)
Brian Houston exposes Brian Houston lying
Discussions with Carl Lentz
“Dr” Brown weighs in to Brian Houston & Carl Lentz controversy
Timeline of events: The Brian, the “church” and the closet
Rosebrough exposes Hillsong’s copy/paste statement of beliefs as a sham?

Houston’s 2014 God-given “Vision” (Part 1): “New grace” scrutinised

Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 1)
Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 2)
Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 3)
Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 4)
Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 5)
Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 6)
Hillsong grooming members to embrace Queerstianity? (Part 7)

Charisma Mag unhappy with Hillsong’s silent stance on queerstianity
Huffington post reports on Hillsong’s problematic stance on queerstianity.

More proof Brian Houston writes off Jesus Christ to invent his own religion


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It is all too common to hear Brian Houston insist that

“the methods have to change for the church to stay relevant.” [Source]

This is cult-talk because the Bible is absolutely CLEAR that the church has been given a mission with specific methods and commandments to adhere to.

Hillsong has clearly rejected biblical Christianity from its inception in Sherbrook Hall, Sydney, which is why it falls into the category of an anti-Christian cult.

For further proof of Hillsong’s anti-Christian agenda, Brian Houston recently released an article titled “30 Rules for the Hillsong Australia Preaching & Teaching Team.” As you read through this, it becomes clear that these rules disqualify even Jesus Christ and His apostles from preaching behind the Hillsong “pulpit”.

Brian Houston appears to surpass what the Bible clearly says about preaching and exalts his ideas and methods for what should be preached on the Hillsong stage. This only confirms that Houston speaks not from God’s authority but from his own “sphere of authority” (see Rule 21) This is what happens when someone like Brian Houston REJECTS the pastoral office and replaces it with his New Age “motivational speaker” office.

Does Brian Houston Want Credibility As A Pastor Or As A Public Motivational Speaker?

The Christian pulpit can preach positive messages – but this is not its number one goal. Christian teaching is NOT meant to motivate people but should be anchor people on the historical writings of the prophets, the apostles and Christ. The message of repentance and the forgiveness of sins through Christ’s death and resurrection is THE #1 goal.

What’s even more damning is that THE #1 goal does not even make it in Brian Houston’s top 30 rules. In fact, his top 30 rules oppose the Christian message which was given to us by Jesus and His Apostles.

If Hillsong was a Christian church – this would have been rule number one:

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

Of first importance, Christ crucified is meant to be preached. This is THE message Brian Houston blatantly rejects, which explains why this does not even make it on the list. Brian Houston says in Rule 19 that preachers need to preach “from notes you’d be proud to show me“. This means that no minister in Hillsong will be tolerated if they preached the Christian gospel message since Brian Houston vehemently opposes it.

The final authority in Hillsong is Brian – not Christ. He determines what is relevant and what is not. And relevance is governed by popularity. This is why Hillsong is so dangerous to Christianity and needs to be rejected and seen for the cult that it is.

More can be said with this problematic list and its hypocrisy but what we have said should suffice for now.

Brian Houston writes,

30 Rules for the Hillsong Australia Preaching & Teaching Team

Have you ever said something you wished you hadn’t? What about in front of thousands of people? Perhaps you don’t stand on any ‘physical platforms’… well, don’t disengage, this blog is still for you!

It wasn’t long ago that I presented these key points on Hillsong’s Culture for Preaching and Teaching to our Staff, even though many of them don’t speak on our platform on a weekend or even during the week. Yet, all of us do have opportunity in one form or another to speak into the lives of others and it’s always wise to examine the way we communicate, what we communicate and the impact it has on our audience. I’ve learned some valuable lessons over 30 years of preaching and teaching in public – many through my own error.

Culture, atmosphere and DNA in a church is not accidental. Just like culture, atmosphere and DNA of your home is not. You have to be deliberate about it – especially from the ‘platform’. Leadership in this area is about making intentional and focused choices, and taking a degree of measured risk.

So wherever you have the chance to input into others – take a look at these guidelines to building a strong platform teaching culture in your church or homegroup – many of them can also be applied to your family life or worklife. There are 30 points – one for each year of experience!

Every message…

Don’t preach to an individual – using the platform to get a personal message across to an individual is cowardly and blesses no one.
Don’t contradict basic fundamentals and doctrine. Make sure you know what they are BEFORE you take the platform.
Hillsong Church typically has a 35-minute time limit on messages. Be a good steward of people’s time. Be reliable. You can do a lot of waffling in 60 minutes! You are entrusted as a steward of the platform you are on – the moment you go over time, you are outside of your authority!
If you can’t prove it, don’t say it. The platform is not for your opinions, it is God’s Word that matters. Every Scripture reference must be in context and within the tenure of Scripture = credibility and respect.
All 3 are important. 1) Think things through. 2) Get the structure as polished as you can – it must impact. 3) Be familiar with your message so you get it across clearly and effectively.
It is not about you. People will see through a self-focused message and it doesn’t build others.
Joyce Meyer once made a comment that really helped me with this, after I had asked her if she ever gets nervous? She said: “I never think about myself, I just think about helping people.” This attitude will keep your focus on course.
Wherever you are speaking, you must respect the cultural values of that platform. Encourage the congregation to engage with what is local and relevant.
By all means use the Old Testament, but always through the lens of the New Covenant of grace – through the cross of Christ. Otherwise we are in danger of preaching law and condemnation rather than building people up.
Be authentic. The best messages come out of our own struggles and journeys. People sense authenticity as well as a lack of it. No matter how professional or eloquent you are as a speaker, you won’t build anything into people’s lives if you lack authenticity.
This was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn but one of the most important. You’ll always be your best if you are being yourself – It’s not about being perfect or about a certain ‘style’. Be your best self and don’t use this freedom as an excuse to support rebellion or negativity.
In other words, your message needs to be applicable to people’s daily lives. The greatest compliment someone who is doing well in life can give me is to say, “All I’ve ever done is to take the principles that have been taught in church and put them into practice.” – I love hearing that sort of testimony!
Stay within your boundaries. Keep learning, but don’t preach outside your understanding. Stick to what you know but also continue to grow in what you know and in your knowledge of the Word. 1 Timothy 3 in The Message says of the leader, “He must know what he is talking about”. Preparation is a discipline.
Remember, our lives should reflect what we are for and not just what we are against. Preaching always against things leaves people feeling downcast.
I intentionally approach every service by trying to create an encouraging environment. The world doesn’t input positive messages into people very much – between the newspaper and the television, people are starving for messages of hope and encouragement!
If people are being impacted and reached during your message, then the altar call moment will be a smoother and easier transition. (HOWEVER, you cannot let your confidence be measured by how many people get saved when you speak.)
Are people taking notes? Make sure people understand what you are saying, that there is substance to it, and that you are not boring. Be compelling and helpful to people.
Humour is a tool, but it is not the goal. If you are not good at being funny, don’t try. Any use of humour should serve the message – but never build your message around a funny story or joke.
You should have some content in your notes: Key statements, scriptures, examples. Content – not neatness – is the goal. Your notes should reflect the hard work you’ve put in.
Be deliberate about this. “God” means many things to many people, so ensure you are presenting Jesus. People don’t need motivational speeches, they need the Word of God and AN EMPHASIS ON Jesus Christ.
Speak within your sphere of authority, not outside of your credibility. Unless you have the right credibility or platform to confront and challenge people, then don’t. It is always better to encourage people.
Minimise “I”, “me” and “my”. Be confident, not weak or false. I know who I am and that God has entrusted me with the platform. I know I belong here, but at the same time, I recognise I didn’t earn the right and I am accountable to Him for how I handle it. It’s about bringing glory to God – keep the main thing the main thing.
It’s not about exposing and highlighting our strengths and weaknesses, but balancing these examples to enhance the message – our weakness or strength is not the message. It’s not about being ashamed of the blessing but people benefit more from understanding the journey and challenges that you had to overcome to get there. People relate to and learn more from your struggles – don’t present yourself as perfect. Conversely, don’t be negative and down all the time – people need to be encouraged in their faith; they want to listen to an overcomer.
It’s more challenging to tell people how to outwork the principles we teach. I remember early in my ministry a man came up to me after I preached on loving God with all your heat, soul and strength and he said, “I want to do that, but how do I do it?” It’s easy to tell people what they should do but more challenging to tell them how.
Don’t do post-mortems or beat yourself afterwards… AND be careful not to get too full of how great you think you were. Time moves on. Be good at walking away.
If you aren’t good at communicating your message, then no matter how good the content is, it will get lost on people. Say it in a way that best connects with the hearts of people.
The days are long gone when the possibility of being recorded in one form or another is absent – whether by individuals on phones or corporately on cameras or sound-systems. Even though you may be speaking to church family, you have to remember your message will more than likely go beyond the family – so nothing is entirely safe in that sense. Filter everything you say through this reality.
Ask for a copy of your message for review and don’t worry about appearing proud by asking – it’s a necessary part of growing as a speaker. Get used to how you sound and get past the ‘cringe-factor’. By observing and listening to yourself, you will notice habits and other distractions that you can fix. Learn to love the way you sound – if you don’t, no one else will.
Without exception. Remind people about what God says about them – there’s a lot of opposition in the world and you have an opportunity to lift people up and speak life to them – maximise it
Every message should include points that would stand alone in the newspaper. For example, years ago I wrote a book with a controversial title. I was young at the time and thought it was a great idea to use a controversial title. But as Hillsong’s profile (and my own profile grew), I may as well have drawn a bullseye on my forehead. It became fodder for journalists wanting to criticise it’s content. Let’s assume everything you say is quotable and can be published in a newspaper – how does it stand then? Think about how would you sound without your spirit and physical presence on it – quoted in black and white?

Always take responsibility for what you say and never assume anything. It is an enormous responsibility that we have when it comes to carrying the message of Jesus Christ to this world. Ignorance is never an excuse, so decide today that you are done with excuses. Apply wisdom and understanding to the message on your life and the platform you have been given – and the potential and influence on your life will continue to grow and extend well ‘above and beyond’.

Source: By Brian Houston, 30 Rules for the Hillsong Australia Preaching & Teaching Team,, 11/08/2015. (Accessed 21/09/2015.)

Maples calls out the Evangelical Intelligentsia’s game for defending creed-hating Rick Warren


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Rick Warren is famous for coining the phrase “Deeds not Creeds.” This anti-creedal statement of Warren indicates that he shows very little regard of the creeds. That is unless he can use them to give the impression he is a legitimate Christian minister.

In 2014, Hillsong leadership were quite relaxed in confessing that Hillsong is a non-creedal church. It was at Hillsong Conference 2015 this year where Rick Warren preached a rather anti-Christian message on how to hear from his god.

After Pulpit and Pen exposed Warren’s pagan teachings, Rick Warren now appeals that he does indeed affirm the Nicene Creed. This is just another slick attempt to keep his sheepskin in tact while he continues to destroy Christ’s church for his own selfish gain.

Nevertheless, Christianity Today continually fails to care about integrity when it comes to journalism or the Christian faith and allowed Justin S. Holcomb to use nice sounding arguments to say not much at all in defense of Rick Warren. If anything, it has only created more confusion over church history and clear definitions on words such as ‘heresy’ and ‘heterodoxy’. Thank you Christianity Today.

The below well written article exposes the game of Holcomb and Warren and calls out the deceit behind Christianity Today:

“It seems to be just another attempt by the Evangelical Intelligentsia to distract from the real issues–issues that are bringing destruction in the church, further leading Christianity astray. It’s their typical game strategy.” [Link added]

Paul warns the church that ravenous wolves will emerge from inside the church. The evil intentions of these men will only stop when God fearing Christians says enough is enough and call them out. Thank God for Maples.

Jeff Maples writes,

Christianity Today says Rick Warren’s Mysticism isn’t Heresy Because he affirms the Nicene Creed

Recently, I wrote an article addressing serious theological issues that the CEO of Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, preached at the Hillsong 2015 Conference. Apparently this article ruffled quite a few feathers, since it has almost five-thousand Facebook shares, and Hillsong even contacted me requesting that I remove the video of Rick Warren’s sermon from Youtube (even though it’s protected under the fair use act). Now it appears that Justin Holcomb at Christianity Astray Today has taken an opportunity to lash out at Pulpit & Pen, though without any substance. Though he didn’t mention our blog or my name, my article would seem to fit the description, along with his passive aggressive, stereotypical depiction of Pulpit & Pen. He writes:

A group of bloggers seeking reform in Southern Baptist circles recently decried pastor Rick Warren for teaching that God communicates to believers via dreams. The bloggers named Warren and other speakers at a 2015 Hillsong conference “heretical preachers that claim extra-biblical revelation from God.” To be sure, the nature of God’s revelation has been debated throughout church history, and overemphasis on dream interpretation can be theologically dangerous.

He then goes on into a rant about some British guy, of which I know nothing about, and will not comment on. However, his beef with us seems to be more about semantics than anything else. His approximately 3600-word article is dedicated to attacking Pulpit & Pen (and this other guy) about the use of the word “heresy.”

The article I penned at P&P in which appears to be the focus of Holcomb’s harangue is titled “Rick Warren Preaching Heresy at Hillsong 2015 Conference.” He then spends the rest of the article attempting to define the word, “heresy,” as well as trying to prove that what Rick Warren was teaching is, in fact, not heresy. He says:

But are these problems of heresy? Both complementarian and egalitarian leaders have taken to the Internet to call each other’s views on gender and leadership heresy. That, though their respective movements have officially existed for about 30 years.

If we stopped reading his article here, one might conclude that in order for a theological teaching to be considered heresy, it must be relatively new. However, we will see by continuing that that isn’t what he thinks. So my question would be, why mention it? If the length of existence of a given theological teaching had anything to do with it’s being considered heresy, then that would have made all of Jesus’ teachings “heresy,” in which we know is not the case–at least not from a Biblical believer’s point of view.

However, Mr. Holcomb later asserts his definition of the word as follows:

Heresy, as historian David Christie-Murray explains, is a belief that denies a doctrine “officially defined” as orthodoxy…For example, according to Protestants, the Catholic teaching that Mary was born without original sin and remained a virgin for life is heterodox. It’s not heresy, because Catholics affirm orthodox Christology…However, Oneness Pentecostalism is an example of heresy, because it rejects historic orthodox Trinitarian theology.

And then goes on to conclude,

If a believer genuinely accepts the Nicene Creed, they should not be dubbed a heretic.

Okay, there are a number of problems with this. First, I would ask him that since the pope of the Catholic Church affirms the Nicene Creed, should he not then be labeled a heretic? This is assuming, of course, that he believes the Catholic Church to be a false church that teaches a false gospel. However, according to his definition, the pope affirms the trinity and other “orthodox” teachings set out at the council of Nicea, and, therefore, should not be labeled a heretic.

But is this the proper, biblical use of the word heresy?

First of all, let’s be clear, there was no Nicene Creed while the New Testament was being written. It did not exist. The Nicene Creed was established about 300 years later after the New Testament Canon was closed. So when Paul referred to heretics in his epistles, he wasn’t referring to people who didn’t affirm the Nicene Creed. Paul says in Titus 3:10m

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, (ESV)

and the KVJ translates it as,

A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

The Greek word translated here as one who stirs up division, or “heretick,” (as the KJV translates it), is “αἱρετικός,” or “hairetikos.” Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines the word as:

1. fitted or able to take or choose a thing
2. schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine
3. heretic

So what is “false doctrine?” Obviously Paul isn’t referring to simple disagreements over non-essentials in Titus 3:10. But Holcomb is attempting to make a biblical definition of the word “heresy” that equates to a more distinguished use of the word than that of the standard definition, which is basically, “a choice.” This is fine, as I am attempting to do the same thing, however, Holcomb’s “biblical” definition fails, as it is not consistent with biblical usage. He has narrowed the term down too far in order to avoid usage on those whom it should apply biblically.

Peter actually gives us a better picture of the biblical usage of the word in 2 Peter 2:1,

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

So basically, a heresy, according to Peter, is a “destructive doctrine,” or a doctrine that will lead someone to “destruction.” Again, there was no Nicene Creed during this time, and I simply don’t see any biblical support for limiting Paul and Peter’s usage of the word to those who would only deny certain declarations of it. For example, the Nicene Creed doesn’t even touch upon soteriology, yet the doctrine of salvation is by far the most important doctrine of the Christian faith. While all aspects of the Nicene Creed are important and essential, it is rather limited in its scope. The Roman Catholic Church, as well as any other sect that asserts a false gospel, or a false way of salvation, or any other teaching that could lead one down the wrong road to destruction, would clearly be considered heretical by biblical standards.

So back to Rick Warren, in whom Mr. Holcomb believes should not be referred to as a heretic. I would then ask, why not? Is not what he teaches dangerous? Is not teaching that the Bible is insufficient for hearing from God a destructive doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16-17)? Is not contemplative prayer, and other practices of mysticism and divination strictly forbidden in Scripture? Are these practices not linked with idolatry and rejection of God (1 Samuel 15:23)?

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. – Matthew 7:13

Perhaps Mr. Holcomb doesn’t see Rick Warren’s teachings as dangerous. To his credit, he does say “Traditionally a heretic is someone who has compromised an essential doctrine, usually by oversimplification, and has thus lost sight of who God truly is or what he has done for us.” I would agree with him on that statement, however, it appears he doesn’t see mysticism, contemplative/centering prayer or denying the sufficiency of Scripture as an essential doctrine.

Or does he?

It’s unclear because he goes through a number of false teachings that, although he refuses to call them “heresy,” he refers to them as “heterodox.” Is there practically any distinction between the two words? Traditionally, historically, maybe–slightly. But Holcomb, again, writes a 3600-word article refuting my use of the word “heresy” in favor of the word “heterodox,” in which there is no practical argument to be made. It’s clear that the biblical definition of the word fits much more than he is willing to acknowledge and is a proper term to fit Rick Warren’s practices. But even if it weren’t, what is the point of his article? What purpose did it serve? It seems to be just another attempt by the Evangelical Intelligentsia to distract from the real issues–issues that are bringing destruction in the church, further leading Christianity astray. It’s their typical game strategy.

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. – Proverbs 14:12

Source: Jeff Maples, Christianity Today says Rick Warren’s Mysticism isn’t Heresy Because he affirms the Nicene Creed,, Published 08/10/2015. (Accessed 10/10/2015.)


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