Did Hillsong’s church elder Nabi Saleh miss a tithe?

The Sydney Morning Herald writes,

Gloria Jeans owner is insolvent, court told

The parent company of Gloria Jeans Coffee, co-owned by the Hillsong Church elder Nabi Saleh, is in ”financial dire straits” and should be put into liquidation and an investigation held into its affairs, the NSW Supreme Court has been told.

It is the latest shot fired in the multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the coffee giant’s parent company, Jireh International, by a small US-based coffee supplier, Western Export Services.

On June 11, the court ruled that Jireh must pay the export company millions in commissions and interest after it found Jireh had breached a joint venture agreement. Yesterday the parties were back in court, fighting over the formula used to calculate the total owed to Western Export Services.

Both parties were required to submit evidence to the court on their financial circumstances. ”The defendant is hopelessly insolvent,” said Jim Johnson, counsel for Western Export Services. ”There are public policy issues as to whether this company should be allowed to keep trading.”

After revising the formula, Justice David Hammerschlag ordered that Jireh pay more than $12 million to Western Export Services, plus interest and court costs. The judgment also requires that Jireh honour the original joint venture agreement, which provides ongoing commissions on sales of Gloria Jeans coffee and products to franchisees, worth $1.865 million in the year to June 2010.

Mr Saleh and his co-owner, Peter Irvine, a former chief executive of the now-closed Mercy Ministries, sought a stay in the judgment, leaving the way open for them to appeal the decision.

The judge granted the stay order, but instructed Jireh to provide assurances that it would not ”dispose of any assets or conduct any dealings other than in the course of normal business”.

In December, Mr Irvine and fellow Mercy Ministry directors admitted engaging in false, misleading and deceptive conduct following an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigation into the practices of the Hillsong-connected organisation. They were required to pay $1050 and apologise to each person affected by Mercy Ministries’ conduct, all young women with mental health and drug and alcohol problems.

Source: By Ruth Pollard, Gloria Jeans owner is insolvent, court told, Sydney Morning Herald, http://www.smh.com.au/small-business/franchising/gloria-jeans-owner-is-insolvent-court-told-20100816-126wz.html, Published 17/08/2010. (Accessed 22/11/2014.)

A news report on Frank Houston’s funeral…

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Some people have asked us when Frank and Hazel Houston passed away. We hope you find this article informative.

Hillsong farewells a lost sheep pioneer

Frank Houston, considered the father of Sydney’s Pentecostal churches, began preaching to nine adults and five children and built a congregation of thousands that is still growing.

Mr Houston, who died on Monday aged 82, founded the Sydney Christian Life Centre in 1977 at Waterloo and spent 22 years building a movement that became the Hillsong church.

He was the most senior Assemblies of God figure in NSW before was sacked by his own son after he admitted having sexually abused a boy in New Zealand more than 30 years ago.

Yesterday, Hillsong and Mr Houston’s son, Brian, the national president of Assemblies of God, welcomed him back to the fold to send him out properly.

“He was a man who perhaps made some big mistakes a long time ago,” Brian Houston told more than 1000 mourners in Waterloo’s Hillsong assembly hall. “But everyone here knows that he was a man who stood for what he believed in.”

Mr Houston was credited with helping to convert the jockey Darren Beadman.

Mourners yesterday included were the federal MP for Greenway, Louise Markus – a member of Brian Houston’s Baulkham Hills Hillsong church – and the federal MP for Mitchell, Alan Cadman.

The Deputy Police Commissioner, Andrew Scipione, also attended.

A friend, Jonathon Wilson, said one of Mr Houston’s favourite sayings was “To hell with the devil”. “I don’t believe the church would be where it is today if it wasn’t for his life and for his ministry,” Mr Wilson said.

William Francis Houston was born in Wanganui, New Zealand, and began training to become a Salvation Army officer shortly after turning 18.

He founded his first Assemblies of God ministry at Lower Hutt in 1960, later became the superintendent of the New Zealand Assemblies of God, and set out for Sydney in 1977.

The church he built at Waterloo merged with his son’s church at Baulkham Hills to become Hillsong after he exposed himself as a pedophile.

Brian Houston told mourners his father was the greatest evangelical preacher he had ever seen. “In my biased opinion, he was in a class of his own.”

Frank Houston, whose wife, Hazel, died six months ago, suffered a massive stroke last Sunday night and died about 8am on Monday.

Source: By Stephen Gibbs, Hillsong farewells a lost sheep pioneer, Sydney Morning Herald, http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Hillsong-farewells-a-lost-sheep-pioneer/2004/11/12/1100227581958.html, 13/12/2004. (Accessed 20/11/2014.)

Pastor Lentz: “You don’t have to sell a good party”

As you read this article posted below, you could almost be tempted to think a Hillsong member wrote it as an infomercial for selling their ‘product’?

Fresh approach to faith draws thousands in NYC

“Every Sunday, thousands of people gather in New York City to get in line for a church service that is full of hand-raising, heart-thumping, hipster-style Christianity.

That is Hillsong Church. Their followers, which include celebrities like Justin Bieber and Kevin Durant, are mostly 20-somethings, many of whom grew up in church, but are drawn to Hillsong’s style and substance. In this “come as you are” congregation, tattoos and leather jackets are welcome for a 90-minute experience that’s part rock concert and part gospel.

The pastor leading Hillsong New York is 36-year-old Carl Lentz, who comes with Brad Pitt looks andBilly Graham theology, and has enough tattoos to make a rapper blush. He is even the New York Knicks’ official chaplain on the road.

“We aren’t trying to have this cool trendy packed church,” Lentz said. “The story is not the clothes people wear. It’s the lives they lead.”

In short, this is not your granddaddy’s church.

Hillsong New York was started four years ago and is now the church’s United States flagship. They host close to 8,000 people over six Sunday services in a rented New York City theater, but in years past, Hillsong has met in nightclubs.

With very few paid staff, the church [relies] on an army of 20-something-aged volunteers. Some members said Hillsong helped them overcome addiction or reconnect with their faith. Others said the weekday community service work and small group meetings provided both a connection and purpose.

“This generation has seen multiple wars, seen things no one expected,” Lentz said. “It seems like a pretty tumultuous time in culture, and I think the response to that has been the really shallow world of social media. A real smoke and mirrors way of living … so you come into church and there is a realness to it.”

Hillsong Church was started in Sydney, Australia, 30 years ago by Pastor Brian Houston, and has grown into a worldwide Christian phenomenon, with satellite outposts across the globe from London and Paris to Kiev and Cape Town.

“If you walked into all of them you would see a similar demographic of people,” Houston said. “You could close your eyes and think I am in any one of our Hillsong churches anywhere in the world.”

For many in their flock, the church’s Christian rock music group, Hillsong United, is a huge draw to come to services.

“Definitely the initial draw for many, many people,” Houston said. “We started singing and writing songs in our church and we were surprised when they started singing them in other churches in Australia and then suddenly for those songs to be sung all around the world like they are now… it’s something that God has given us as an arrow to a bigger message.”

Hillsong United is one of the hottest bands on Earth. With hits like “Oceans,” and “Break Free” Hillsong United has sold over 16 million albums worldwide, playing to packed venues across the globe and is now nominated for its first American Music Award this year.

Joel Houston, the son of Pastor Brian Houston, is co-lead pastor in New York but also guides Hillsong United.

“Music has the incredible ability to break down walls and to reach people’s hearts. It was given to us by God for the very purpose of worship,” he said.

But when asked how vital the money is that the music brings into the church, which is a non-profit, Brian Houston didn’t give a straight answer.

“To be honest I really genuinely can’t answer the exact amount [of annual revenue],” he said. “Of course we are a non-profit so all of the finances come into the non-profit and are used for the ministry.

Like many mega churches, Hillsong is shy about discussing their finances and how much money they bring in. At the service “Nightline” attended in New York, they asked us not to film the offertory.

“The fact that these lights are on, these chairs are here, it’s because single mom’s young couples, young people, single people, older couples, believe in the cause,” Lentz said. “So the collective sacrifice of many is what you see in our church.”

And also like many mega-churches, Hillsong has not escaped scandal. Fifteen years ago, Brian Houston discovered that his father, who was also a pastor, was being accused of sexually assaulting a child.

“We received a complaint that my father had abused children, males, and you can imagine that was the hardest day of my life to find out that my hero was a [pedophile],” Houston said.

As a leader for his denomination, Houston said he removed his father from the ministry immediately. He said he later came under attack for not alerting the police. Houston’s father died in 2004.

Brian Houston recently testified before an Australian commission investigating institutional sexual assault to try to prevent it from happening.

“It brings all of that rawness back to the surface pretty quick,” he said. “Just accepting that my father has devastated and destroyed the lives of children is just a really hard thing to accept.”

While Hillsong seems like a “hip and modern” church, some of its beliefs are quite Christian conservative. One area critics, both liberal and conservative, have seized upon is the church’s stance on social issues like homosexuality.

“We see it as a conversation,” Brian Houston said. “It’s quite clear in the New Testament the apostle Paul describes homosexuality as a sin and I can’t un-write the bible… but on the other hand we are not a church that can just make big blanket sweeping statements that dismiss people.”

When asked what the pastor would say if a gay couple walked into Hillsong, Houston said, “the short answer is I think all of us need to be changing. So that’s what serving Jesus does.”

“We would never be the kind of church who when people joined the choir asked them are you heterosexual? Are you homosexual? We will never be that kind of church,” he added. “I think it was Billy Graham who said it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict. It’s God’s job to judge and it’s our job to love.”

Another part of Hillsong’s job, as Pastor Brian sees it, is growth. His son Ben Houston just opened Hillsong Los Angeles, and already long lines are forming for Sunday services they hold in a rent theater on Sunday.

“You don’t have to sell a good party,” Lentz said.”

Source: Fresh approach to faith draws thousands in NYC, CBS News, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-york-city-hillsong-megachurch-draws-thousands-every-sunday/, 06/11/2014, 6:57 AM. (Accessed 15/11/2014.)

Bobbie’s girls…

“They’re changing the world
But the world’s not changing them”

That’s a statement from the Hillsong movie trailer “Let Hope Rise” from Warner Bros. The above statement couldn’t be more misleading. Though the world is not changing the church, the world is definitely changing Hillsong.

Houston recently published a public statement offering his stance on the same sex issue. This section caught our eye.

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

Do you think Brian Houston is speaking from both sides of his mouth? Do you think Brian Houston’s teaching’s “would line up with most traditionally held Christian views”? Do you think Brian Houston even believes the tough “writings of Paul”?

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 1 Timothy 2:11-14

Don’t forget that Hillsong says they believe “that the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our everyday lives”. [Source]

So which Hillsong do you believe? The Hillsong that submits to the Word of God or the Hillsong that rejects the Word of God?

The Christian Post reports,

Pastor Bobbie Houston Explains Why Hillsong Church Does Not ‘Sideline the Girls’

NEW YORK — Hillsong Church co-founder Bobbie Houston recently explained why she believes “the church needs to come of age sometimes and just grow up” when it comes to fully embracing women in various roles in Christian ministry.

“It’s a good question and for some, it’s a theological debate. For us, it’s never been that,” said Houston when asked Oct. 16 by The Christian Post for her thoughts on empowering and raising up female leaders.

Protestant denominations vary in their stances on women in leadership positions within churches and other Christian institutions. The Southern Baptist Convention, for example, restricts pastoral ministry and any ministry role requiring ordination to men. Hillsong Church, which belongs to the Australian Christian Churches (formerly the Assemblies of God in Australia) embraces and equips women pastors and preachers, as evidenced by Houston’s own work in the Australia-based ministry.

“It’s basically, we just have a conviction and a belief that Jesus Christ created men and women together, said to them together, ‘Go multiply, be blessed, have dominion, flourish in life, be awesome.’ So our experience is that women have always been on the page, always been invited in, always welcomed.”

Houston added, “I personally believe that there’s a wealth of fabulous potential within the feminine heart and I think down through history it’s been quenched at times. I think that, you know, the secular world doesn’t have an issue with women and I think really the church needs to come of age sometimes and just grow up and realize that there’s a wealth of wonder and goodness and potential and all sorts of things within the feminine heart and that together we can actually make the church more beautiful and more vibrant and more relevant to society.”

Houston, who has been serving alongside her husband, Pastor Brian Houston, for 30 years, is described on the Hillsong Church website as “a beloved pastor with a prophetic teaching gift” who has “redefined the face of ‘women’s ministry,’ raising up a strong and capable company of women through a local Hillsong Sisterhood, global Colour Sisterhood and flourishing annual Colour Conferences that take place across four nations.”

As Mrs. Houston told CP, “It’s not even an issue in our world. And I think the fruit bears witness to that. And I think there’s a great strength within our church and churches of like spirit because we don’t sideline the girls as such. I think it’s exciting.”

Preacher, author and activist Christine Caine is one popular example of a Hillsong Church-reared female minister. The Sydney-born evangelist has spoken at many leading U.S. churches and Christian conferences, and created a magazine called Propel, for “women who lead.”

“I have had the honour of being the first woman in most of the leadership or church settings I have spoken in. I never set out to do that; I just wholeheartedly and faithfully followed God to the best of my ability,” Caine told Christianity Today last year.

Pastor Houston made her remarks on women pastors and preachers during a press conference held on Thursday, Oct. 16 in New York City, ahead of the Hillsong Conference that started that night and ran through Saturday.

The conference was held at The Theater at Madison Square Garden and was “at capacity” throughout its run, according to a Hillsong Church representative. The figure shared with CP for attendance was 5,366 plus Hillsong Conference volunteers.

Hillsong Church was founded by Pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston in 1983, and welcomes about 30,000 worshippers weekly at gatherings around the globe. Outside of Australia, the multi-campus church has congregations in New York City, Los Angeles, London, Copenhagen, Barcelona, and in six other cities.

Source: By Nicola Menzie, Christian Post, http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-bobbie-houston-explains-why-hillsong-church-does-not-sideline-the-girls-128563/, Published 25/10/2014, 9:08 am. (Accessed 25/10/2014.)

Hillsong’s “What We Believe” sheepskin

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Hillsong for a long time have tried to convince the Christian church that they are not a cult. Since Hillsong is under more scrutiny with their stance on social issues, it is of our opinion that they may start to tamper with their belief statements.

Therefore, we thought it was worth distributing their “What we believe” statement so people can see how much they don’t follow it.

Hillsong writes,

We believe that the Bible is God’s Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our everyday lives.

We believe in one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. He is totally loving [except critics] and completely holy.

We believe that sin has separated each of us from God and His purpose for our lives.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ as both God and man is the only One who can reconcile us to God. He lived a sinless and exemplary life, died on the cross in our place, and rose again to prove His victory and empower us for life.

We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the ‘new birth’ we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives.

We believe that in order to live the holy and fruitful lives that God intends for us, we need to be baptised in water and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to use spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues.

We believe in the power and significance of the Church [that's Roman Catholic cult teaching] and the necessity of believers to meet regularly together for fellowship, prayer and the ‘breaking of bread’.

We believe that God has individually equipped us so that we can successfully achieve His purpose for our lives which is to worship God, fulfil our role in the Church and serve the community in which we live.

We believe that God wants to heal and transform us so that we can live healthy and blessed lives in order to help others more effectively.

We believe that our eternal destination of either Heaven or hell is determined by our response to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again as He promised.

Hillsong Church is a member of the Australian Christian Churches.  A movement of almost 1100 churches and more than 250,000 believers across Australia.  For the ACC’s full constitution, history, leadership and statement of belief, please visit: www.acc.org.au

Source: What We Believe, Hillsong, http://hillsong.com/what-we-believe, Accessed 10/10/2014.

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

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

Semper deformanda

Semper deformanda

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

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

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

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

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

golden calf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pope

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

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

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

This process of creating the Creator is called Transubstantiation.

Transubstantiation

here is christ

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

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

Massthis=this

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

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

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

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

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

Brian letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Then again – Brian Houston teaches something similar.)

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

Catholic image3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WYD

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

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

WYD2

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

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

WYD jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The second commandment:

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

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

This does not seem to bother Hillsong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ROMAN CATHOLICISM PROMOTED AT HILLSONG CONFERENCE 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOU DON’T THINK HILLSONG HAS AN AGENDA?

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

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

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

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Read the pdf here:

NO OTHER NAME – Your Hillsong Conference Diary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Once again the scriptures say,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The BuzzFeed reports,

Hillsong Megachurch Denies Supporting Marriage Equality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosebrough critiques Caine’s toads & Brian’s frogs

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

OCTOBER 23, 2014

Are Your Frogs Holding You Back?

Click Here to Download this episode

Program segments:

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

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

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

Christine Caine Hillsong

Don’t let this Caine Toad into your church…

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

The Huffington Post reports,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

h/t Jonathan Merrit

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

Charisma Mag unhappy with Hillsong’s silent stance on queerstianity

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

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

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

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

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

Understand this: Hillsong will always feel misunderstood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brian Houston, the Golden Rule and the Golden Calf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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