Brian Houston calls Christian pastors “intellectual pride-filled Pharisees” & “evil people”

Brian Houston Hillsong theo-jelly-cal

“It is better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt, yes or no, Brian Houston?”

It is not uncommon to hear Brian Houston, his leadership, and Hillsong’s adoring fans telling people, “judge not lest you be judged”, and “if you are without sin, cast the first stone”. And Hillsong would say that their movement never “demonizes” Christians for questioning the powers that be. At least up until now….

Brian Houston recently tweeted the following,

Leaders goal: Toughen up and lead when the heat is on; yet stay authentic and transparent. Better days are coming!

Source: Brian Houston, @BrianCHouston, Twitter, https://twitter.com/BrianCHouston/status/500981890208129024, Published 5:26 AM – 17 Aug 2014. (Accessed 10/09/2014.)

proof_Twitter-BHAuthenticTransparentLeadersGoal_19-09-2014

Live your life in a transparent & authentic way. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear & nothing to lose!

Source: Brian Houston, @BrianCHouston, Twitter,https://twitter.com/BrianCHouston/status/497431278049062912, Published 10:17 AM, 07/08/2014. (Accessed 10/08/2014.)

proof_Twitter-HoustonTransparency_17-08-2014

Leadership doesn’t bully. – doesn’t manipulate – doesn’t ‘control’ – & doesn’t crush or diminish others! Leadership leads!

Source: Brian Houston, @BrianCHouston, Twitter, https://twitter.com/BrianCHouston/status/512647263483887616, 18/09/2014 10:00AM. (Accessed 20/09/2014.)

proof_Twitter-BHLeadershipDoesntBully_20-09-2014

Let’s see if Brian Houston went.

UNFATHOMABLE IGNORANCE 

It’s astounding to think that someone like Brian Houston can sit on an annual salary of $300,000 a year and operate out of such willful ignorance.

Brian Houston Responds To The Steve West Media Saga

Not only that, our most recent articles looked at how far removed Hillsong is from the orthodox Christian faith. The first article below is a report on how Hillsong wrote the song ‘This I believe’. The second article is a testimony of someone’s experience at Hillsong explaning how they discovered their rich historical Christian faith once they left the Hillsong bubble.

Mega-fail: Mega-church hiding under mega-rock

“I was a Christless, creedless, and clueless Christian in Hillsong”: A testimony of God’s grace.

With all this in mind, we can begin to understand where Brian Houston is speaking from.

 THE ‘DEMONIZING’ INTENSIFIES:

Below, Brian Houston tweeted lyrics from his church’s latest song, “This I Believe”.

proof_01Twitter-CreedyBrian_17-09-2014

A commenter, Matt Rollings responded to Brian Houston’s tweet.

 Words matter. You do know modalists affirm the same, right?

Source: Matt Rollings, @Matt_Rollings, Twitter, https://twitter.com/matt_rollings/status/512196877391917056, 4:10 AM – 17 Sep 2014. (Accessed 20/09/2014.)

Matt Rollings summed up our thoughts exactly on the issue of this song. Furthermore, Rollings bought Pastor Christ Rosebrough from Kongsvinger Lutheran Church into the discussion, also an apologist for his radio show Fighting for the Faith.

So what was Houston’s response to Matt Rollings?

proof_07BrianUsesADictionary_19-09-2014

Rollings obviously replied to Brian Houston. And Brian Houston responded with this:

proof_03bTwitter-BriansWords_19-09-2014

If you aren’t laughing now at least you should be raising your eyebrows with this comment. Brian, yes, you can find the word ‘modalism’ in both the Oxford Dictionary and Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary. And you most definitely find the definition of modalism in Christian encyclopedias or systematic theology books.

Obviously ‘the great white shark’ Houston felt out of his league and started chomping and thrashing around on Twitter.

proof_03Twitter-BrianInsultsMatt_17-09-2014

It is important to notice the words he used around “pharisaical”. Pride? Well, obviously. But intellectual? Being intellectual makes you a Pharisee? Weren’t the Pharisees false teachers who loved to parade a form of godliness (in a similar way before Brian Houston removed all his shocking comments from this Twitter conversation)?

By the way Brian, nothing is ever ‘deleted’ permanently from the internet i.e. your ‘deleted comments’, you do realize that? We found them as easily as we found ‘modalism’ in the dictionary. Just saying.

proof_07BrianUsesADictionary_19-09-2014

In response to @BrianCHouston, Matt Rollings introduces Prof. Nathan Busenitz (Instructor of Theology. B.A. M.Div. Th.M – The Masters Seminary) into the ring…

“religious people?” As a pastor are you not familiar with church history? HT Source: Matt Rollings, @Matt_Rollings, Twitter, https://twitter.com/matt_rollings/status/512247653078286336, 7:32AM, 17/09/2014. (Accessed 20/09/2014.)

Ps Chris Rosebrough joined the ‘conversation’ to help explain to Brian Houston exactly what Modalism is, Matt having alerting Chris in the twitter stream as to what Houston had said earlier.

proof_06ChrisLecturedByMatt_19-09-2014

BECAUSE HILLSONG IS OPEN TO “CONVERSATION”…

It appears about this point in time, Brian Houston blocked Matt Rollings from commenting on his wall. In response, Matt put out these tweets:

 Brian, you have blocked me. I can’t respond to you. Please please!!! pick up a theology text book.

proof_04bTwitter-BrianBlockingMatt_21-09-2014

Source: Matt Rollings, @Matt_Rollings, Twitter, https://twitter.com/matt_rollings/status/512267540177776640, 8:51AM, 17/09/2014. (Accessed 20/09/2014.)

proof_08HoustonBlocksRollins_18-09-2014

But the conversation did not stop there. This, from the Pulpit and Pen blog site:

P&P Transcript: Brian Houston Asks if Modalism is a “Made Up Word”

The following is a transcript of a segment from Thursday’s Pulpit & Pen Program.

Brian Houston, pastor of the Hillsong United – whatever it is – “church,” had a conversation with one of my friends, Matt, from Canada “eh.” On Twitter, Brian said, “I believe in God the father, I believe in Christ the Son, I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe all three are one.” This is Hillsong’s attempt to say, “Hey! We have a theology! We’re not watered-down and all about worship music!” And so, he’s going to show his theological prowess by affirming the Holy Trinity, and the way he phrased it left open room for interpretation. Matt says to him, “Words matter. You do know that modalists affirm the same, right?” Like, “You know that modalists can actually agree with that, right?”

So what do you think Brian Houston said? Now, he has like 354,000 people following him on Twitter. Yes, three hundred and fifty-four thousand people following him on twitter. Probably, when you count churches and people and followers throughout the world, we’re talking about a huge number of people look to this man for spiritual guidance. I’m not talking about some podunk pastor from Goober Town Arkansas (yes, there is a Goober Town, Arkansas) or Possum Grape or Bald Knob or some place like that in the middle the country. We’re talking about a huge international so-called “church.” Here’s the main guru. What do you think was [Houston’s] response when Matt was like, “Could you be more specific? Modalists agree with this.”

This is his response… This is his response; “Are you one of those religious people who make up words?” He says, “Not even a dictionary has the word modalist in it.”

Listen, if you’re a layperson I understand you may be like, “You guys are snobs, just because he doesn’t know a word.” Listen, if you’re layperson, if you don’t understand… I’m glad you listen to the Pulpit & Pen Program because you need to know what this means. But if you’re a pastor and you don’t know what the word means, get educated. A leader of worldwide movement and you don’t know what modalism is? Why are you the leader of a worldwide movement bounding off towards anything, let alone heresy? How did Brian Houston become a pastor? When Brian Houston became a pastor, did he look a lot like the guy that should have preached that night and they accidentally put him behind the podium instead? Is there a body double? Is he a Manchurian candidate?

He doesn’t know what modalism is, so he actually looks it up and he says “there are no definitions available in the dictionary for modalism?” He said [to Matt], “I don’t even see the definition anywhere? Did you mean medalist or modelist?” And then, finally his response was to (of course) block him for being one of “those religious snobs who throw around big words” like “modalist” – three syllables, for crying out loud. It’s three syllables.

Is it too much to ask that we project leaders who are people that have read a theology textbook at some point in their life? Who might know what ‘modalism’ or other major heresies are? Because you can quote the creeds all day long, Nicene Creed or the Apostle’s Creed, to make yourself sound Orthodox, but you haven’t the ability to provide an apologetic against Oneness Pentecostal heretics like TD Jakes? You see, Satan hates the Trinity – he can’t stand it – and every cult under the sun attacks the Trinity (Mormonism Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc…) every single cult attacks Trinity. So you’re the leader of a movement? Was has come of us? That’s why you, sir -Brian Houston – are in the Daily Downgrade.

Source: P&P Transcript: Brian Houston Asks if Modalism is a “Made Up Word”, Pulpit and Pen, http://pulpitandpen.org/2014/09/18/pp-transcript-brian-houston-asks-if-modalism-is-a-made-up-word/. (Accessed 19/09/2014.)

Baptist Pastor Jordan Hall notified Brian Houston of winning the daily downgrade award. Brian seemed to receive the award well…

proof_05HillsongDowngradeAward_19-09-2014

In the above screen grab you can read this cheeky response from Pulpit & Pen:

The P&P staff gives our apologies. What do you mean by “evil”? We can’t find it in the dictionary. Is that a word?

Source: Pulpit & Pen, PulpitAndPen, Twitter, https://twitter.com/PulpitAndPen/status/512685576579854336, 18/09/2014 12:32 PM. (Accessed 20/09/2014.) 

Brian Houston chomped back with this comment:

proof_09DemonicChristians_18-09-2014

Right. So Jesus refers to Christian ministers and elders as heretics in Romans and Galatians… Huh? What is Brian Houston thinking? Didn’t the Apostle Paul write Romans and Galatians under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?

Pulpit & Pen later followed with this comment:

 Are you sure you’re an expert on heresy to be accusing us of it? “Is Modalism a word?”

Source: Pulpit & Pen, PulpitAndPen, Twitter, https://twitter.com/PulpitAndPen/status/512708352275513344, 18/09/2014 2: 02PM. (Accessed 21/09/2014.)

Yet another twitter response to Brian Houston came from Baptist Elder Gene Clyatt:

If you’re ignorant of both theology & church history, “pastor” is not the job for you…

Source: Gene Clyatt, @Shinar_Squirrel, Twitter, https://twitter.com/Shinar_Squirrel/status/512689297724407808, 12:47 PM – 18 Sep 2014. (Accessed 21/09/2014.)

Tony Miano from Cross Encounters also weighed in and rebuked Brian Houston,

. To which savior are you referring, Brian? Jesus of the Bible, or the false Jesus of TD Jakes?//REPENT!! (Acts 20:29-30)

Source: Tony Miano, @TonyMiano, Twitter, https://twitter.com/TonyMiano/status/512955263653908480, 6:23 AM – 19 Sep 2014. (Accessed 21/09/2014.)

Now Brian likes to think of himself as being transparent. Authentic. Rising above, when under fire. So what did you think Brian Houston did when he was ‘under fire’ by Christian pastors, brothers in Christ who rightly, and with polite restraint, corrected Brian Houston’s ignorance about modalism?

What does he do? He deletes his tweets. Calls other Christian pastors demonic.
Sounds like he has the “spirit of a pioneer”.

DOCTRINE IS IMPORTANT

So why the big kerfuffle over Brian Houston’s original statement about the Trinity? In light of Brian Houston’s ‘confusion’ about the god of Islam, former Muslim Abdul Saleeb really demonstrates why it is important for Christians to understand the Trinity in this Ligonier podcast:

Opposing Foundations

We thought we would leave you something that Matt Rollings put together with his encounter with Brian Houston.

proof_10Exposed-_19-09-2014

“I was a Christless, creedless, and clueless Christian in Hillsong”: A testimony of God’s grace.

Before reading the article, please read the following:

Mega-fail: Mega-church hiding under mega-rock

HILLSONG: WHERE WERE THE CREEDS?

Our family attended Hillsong back in the early days of CLC.

During our entire time at CLC/Hillsong, we never heard about creeds. If you mentioned the word ‘creed’ to us back then, we would have no idea what you were talking about. In the very early years, people we knew didn’t remember any creeds – even as far back as the late 70s.

HILLSONG TODAY: TRYING TO LOOK ORTHODOX AND CREEDAL.

Move forward to 2014,  I am disgusted to see Hillsong trying to appear orthodox. They’re not! Marketing themselves as ‘orthodox’ when they’re aren’t. That’s dishonest!

It was noticable this year that Hillsong, in their marketing, was trying to look as though they are part of the historic Christian faith, appearing to be orthodox. However, the attached video actually reveals the fact that leaders and members of Hillsong, to this day, are unaware of the creeds and still do not recite them in their church. (Listening to the dialogue you can tell they don’t know why the creeds were written.)

At Hillsong Conference 2014, this interview was streamed from their Hillsong conference website.

Rich Langton: So the creed. The apostle’s creed. I can remember as I think probably others will as well in high school reciting that week on week- week in, week out. And um, it was always meaningful because of the exactly what was on the video we just saw. But Ben, for you, did you know about the Apostle’s creed? What did you know about it before writing this song?

Ben Fielding: Well I did know it. I actually went to an Anglican school. Ans so we recited the Apostle’s creed, And so I knew of it. It had been a few years since I had revisited it. And so I probably couldn’t have recited verbatim, like so many people can throughout the church.

And what I did know of it, is that it was an incredibly unifying body of text and that it was a core statement of belief that literally you know, pushes aside all the other things that might divide us and distract us from the main thing. And it just goes and states all the things  that we hold to be most true. And um, there is an incredible power when we can come to together in agreement and in unity. And the creed brings that and our hope is that this song brings that.

Rich Langton: That’s great. And so Ben again, we’re not really a credal denomination.

Ben Fielding: No.

Rich Langton: So then what place do songs hold for us and churches like ours?

Ben Fielding: Yeah. Well I mean I guess in many respects songs are the contemporary creed. And they don’t replace the creed or the creeds but they become our theology contained in song. And I think as a song writer, I mean I hold that responsibility with great value and I don’t want to treat likely the responsibility that we have because we’re stewards of the truth of the gospel. And we put words in the mouths of our church and potentially churches outside of our church. So it is imperative that what we’re singing is true. And that we’re singing the kinds of things that would hold up for centuries upon centuries. And I think that challenge is a great challenge.

Source: Interview, Hillsong Conference 2014.

CHRISTIAN ‘BASHING’?

What makes me angry is how, in the past, Hillsong had always portrayed a bias against churches that are traditional. It was infused into my thinking that I was involved in something that was Spirit-filled and divinely relevant. I was told to think of traditional churches, like the Anglican or Baptist churches, as religious, spiritually dead, white-washed tombs, dull, boring, lifeless, full of religious spirits and so on.

I’m now seeing how Hillsong has changed tactics. They are introducing their false theology and influence into those same ‘traditional’ churches (those same apparently ‘dead, white-washed tombs’ etc) through their music. They’re trying to impact on all denominations by pushing their all-inclusive ‘Jesus’, that same ‘Jesus’ who lacks any form of biblical integrity, with Hillsong leadership showing a total absence of sound doctrine pointing to Him.

Looking back, I can see why. The Hillsong movement’s ‘theology’ keeps evolving. I can now identify times when we were exposed to Word of Faith, Latter Rain and even when they started emphasising Church Growth teaching (Yonggi Cho with his cell groups). It is a movement that is tossed by every wind and wave of doctrine, based on the most popular teaching or the most popular preacher. It’s sad for me to reflect on the fact that these teachings weren’t Christian. If I knew then what I know now, I would have approached my relationships with friends in other denominations, in a more biblical way.

MY JOURNEY OUT.

Did anything really ‘bad’ happen to me at Hillsong? Well, without realizing it, something bad was happening – at the time I just didn’t understand how dangerous their theology was. However, when I found myself ‘stumbling’ across resources on the internet; when I started studying and learning about the Christian faith, I felt completely violated.

Christianity was so much more than what Hillsong offered me. From my discovery, I ‘felt’ that these Hillsong thieves robbed me of so much over the years. And I say thieves, because they robbed me of discovering the riches of a glorious God and His saving grace, and the amazing heritage of the Christian faith that I have come to love and appreciate. I have so much catching up to do. All these truths I should have received if they actually bothered to preach the bible faithfully!

I felt all ‘hacked up’ with no place to go. For years, Hillsong had deliberately cut themselves off from the rest of the body of Christ because they always wanted to be in the so-called will of God doing the next “new thing”. Looking back, my experience at Hillsong reminds me of Mormonism. It’s kinda like I got that ‘warm feeling’ (also described as ‘burning in the bosom’ in Mormonism) in my chest – that God ‘wanted’ me to know that Hillsong and their ‘prophet’ were truly of God, that the rest of Christianity needs to keep up with us.

The mainstream church needed to change with us or die without us.

When I left Hillsong, I felt like a complete alien. I am about to step into a ‘dead’ church? What would I see? Would I like it? Is the ‘Spirit’ there? What does the ‘Spirit’ look like now?

I left Hillsong with a bunch of people because we were so sick of what we felt was a very shallow, plastic, exhausting, religious environment. I’m grateful to have found more freedom and depth in my local church. Yes, we do recite and appreciate the spiritual depth of the creeds, yes, we do go through some of the confessions and yes, we learn about church history. Most importantly, I hear a biblical gospel and hear God’s Word rightly handled.

MY GROWTH IN CHRIST.

After all the songs I had sung, after all the sermons I heard, after all the conferences I attended and all the guest speakers I ‘idolized’, I’m still growing in my ‘new’ faith. Before, I sadly confess, I was ‘always learning but never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth’ (2 Timothy 3:7).

I am now someone who Hillsong would probably call ‘religious’, or label a Pharisee. But I would say this: it was me they were shutting out of the Kingdom of Heaven. It was the Hillsong leadership who were denying me access to our God through their lack of faithful preaching of His gospel and His Word and their integrity.

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.” Matt 23:13

Hillsong tried to make me feel ‘good’ but I felt plastic and insulated. I was never sure if I was good enough for God, or if I was what He wanted me to be. When someone actually asked me the gospel because they needed Jesus, I didn’t even know what to say! That was the start of my journey out of Hillsong. I’m ashamed to say that I was a Christless, creedless, and clueless Christian in Hillsong.

But not any more. I find myself evangelizing more effectively, and know how to present my faith honourably before God and friends.

I thank God I am out.

The Hillsong cult under scrutiny…

The Sydney Morning Herald reports,

Hillsong Church to come under scrutiny at royal commission into child sex abuse

The popular Hillsong Church will come under the scrutiny of the child sexual abuse royal commission when it examines Australia’s Pentecostal institutions at its next public hearing in October.

It will look at allegations made against Frank Houston, who admitted sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand in the 1970s.

Houston was sacked by his son Brian Houston, now the Hillsong Church’s senior pastor, when the allegations became public in 2000. The disgraced evangelist died in 2004.

Frank Houston, widely regarded as the father of Australia's Pentecostal movement, admitted sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand in the 1970s.

Frank Houston, widely regarded as the father of Australia’s Pentecostal movement, admitted sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand in the 1970s.

Houston snr is widely regarded as the father of Australia’s Pentecostal movement, through his work with the Australian Assemblies of God, now known as Australian Christian Churches.

Hillsong has grown into one of Australia’s biggest movements with 30,000 weekly churchgoers.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will also look at the response of Australian Christian Churches to allegations of child sexual abuse made against former church youth worker Jonathan Thomas Baldwin.

Baldwin was sentenced to eight years’ jail in 2009 after being found guilty of molesting a teenage boy he met through his role as a youth pastor at a Sunshine Coast church.

Maroochydore District Court heard the abuse started in 2004 and continued for an 18-month period, occurring at a church sleepover, a car park near the church and during a Gold Coast holiday.

The royal commission will also examine the response of the Northside Christian College and the Northside Christian Centre, now Encompass Church, to allegations of child sexual abuse made against former teacher Kenneth Sandilands.

Encompass Church pastor John Spinella said the church welcomed the inquiry and said it was co-operating with royal commission staff.

“As a church we have recognised these past failures and take the opportunity to apologise for the suffering and pain endured by those who were abused,” he said.

The public hearing will begin in Sydney on October 7.

Source: By Rachel Browne, Hillsong Church to come under scrutiny at royal commission into child sex abuse, Sydney Morning Herald, http://www.smh.com.au/national/hillsong-church-to-come-under-scrutiny-at-royal-commission-into-child-sex-abuse-20140918-10il3c.html, 18/09/2014 – 4:18PM. (Accessed 18/09/2014.)

(EDIT 19/09/2014: This article was also published in the Brisbane Times:

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/hillsong-church-to-come-under-scrutiny-at-royal-commission-into-child-sex-abuse-20140918-10il3c.html)

Faith fights, snake bites and a Hillsonger’s insights

Jesus said,

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.” Matthew 23:25-31

The above scriptures are highly applicable to the leadership at Hillsong Church.

Pastor Chris Rosebrough once again critiqued Brian Houston on his “Fighting For The Faith” program. In this sermon review Ps Rosebrough asked a question about the leaders who sit on the front row of Hillsong church and cheer Brian Houston on,

“Does he pay people to sit on the front row and say, “Yes boss! Oh amen! Oh that’s so great”?” (1:09:55)

Well, before an ex-Hillsong/GCCC pastor answers that question, listen to Chris’ excellent review of Brian Houston’s sermon below. He accuses Brian Houston quite rightly of using the skillful heresy two-step technique to trick people.

SEPTEMBER 08, 2014

Snakes And Ladders

Source: Chris Rosebrough, Snakes and Ladders, Fighting for the Faith, http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/#sthash.gig64Qnx.dpuf, Published 08/09/2014. (Accessed 10/09/2014.)

So does Brian Houston “pay” those leaders who sit on the front row to be ‘yes’ men? Well, this following insight from a Hillsong/GCCC pastor will help open our eyes to the manufactured Hillsong preaching and worship environment.

We are thankful that he is this courageous to stand up and show us these insights into Hillsong. It is our prayer that other leaders like this do likewise for the sake of Christ and his church.

He writes,

Hi there,

Thanks for the updates, really appreciate it.

My name is David (real name by the way) and I was a full-time pastor at Garden City Christian Church in Brisbane (2006-2009) when Hillsong took it over; I still worked in that same capacity under the Hillsong banner until July 2010 when decided to resign. Actually, I preached on that Sunday morning service at Garden City when the “voting” to become Hillsong took place (April 2009).

The reason for this email is to share my own personal experience with Hillsong, which wasn’t positive at all. What I witnessed first hand there as an “insider member of the pastoral team and staff” really shocked me (back then I already had over 23 years in full-time ministry). I had a glimpse of how that religious business operate. Among many things, I would like to mention a couple at this stage:

1) One weekday, right after the “take over”, Donna Crouch came from Sydney to teach and show us “how to create the atmosphere” during a Hillsong service. We were told straight away that preparing the room with dimmed lights, darker paint, loud music, smiles, cool dressing, could help create an atmosphere for God to operate in our midst (her words). She then (together with a few helpers) demonstrated to us how to do it (either at the auditorium or up the platform); rehearsal then followed by some of us practicing how to “do church service at Hillsong as a staff member.” Basically, we were told to: “choreograph our worship with raised arms, closed eyes, ocasional jumping and ocasional shouts.” If rostered to go up the platform for announcements, prayer, offerings or preaching, to make sure we would go up the steps fast, on a hype, expressing joy and excitement, really “pumped”. Looking downcast in front of the crowd was an “absolute NO.” We were told that, in Hillsong culture, verbal and body language is everything (“your language locates you”).

2) One Sunday morning during the service, I was sitting in the front row with my wife paying attention to the preacher when I received a text message from a guy brought up from Sydney – Steve Mawston – to help implement Hillsong culture in Brisbane. He was there in the same service sitting opposite to me at the other aisle. I showed my wife the text message which read: “David, your aisle is very quite during the service. Now is the time for you to start shouting “yes”, “yeah”, “amem” and “preach it” , raise your arms and make some noise to liven it up a bit so others might follow suit and do likewise.” That really saddened my heart when I noticed how things are fabricated and simulated in order to create a hype during the service and portray an apparent image of “revival, worship and spirituality.” I really feel for those who still work there as I believe they must be lost in what’s true worship and what’s just done to impress the crowd and please others. Young people are surely the most vulnerable and easy victims of brainwash.

Hope it helps shed some light on the “hillsong phenomena.”

Keep up the good work in exposing them.

God can’t be mocked!

Bless you heaps,

David

Source: David, A Hillsong victim’s experience…, Hillsong Church Watch, http://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2014/09/09/a-hillsong-victims-experience/#comment-8414, September 11, 2014 at 7:40 am. (Accesse 16/09/2014.)

Looks like Brian Houston, (who gets paid 300k a year), took a page out of his friend’s book.

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

One has to consider how Brian Houston can reconcile his facade with his “tweeted” wisdom to his faithful followers:

Live your life in a transparent & authentic way. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear & nothing to lose!

Source: Brian Houston, @BrianCHouston, Twitter,https://twitter.com/BrianCHouston/status/497431278049062912, Published 10:17 AM, 07/08/2014. (Accessed 10/08/2014.)

proof_Twitter-HoustonTransparency_17-08-2014

Hillsong scrutinised on Echo Zoe Radio

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Andy Olson from Echo Zoe radio recently had Cameron Buettel on the program to discuss the problems with Hillsong.

Cameron Buettel: Hillsong

Cameron is a seminary student at the Master’s Seminary in the greater Los Angeles area. He also works at Grace to You, the media ministry of pastor John MacArthur. Cameron has a blog called “The Bottom Line“, and he also has a website at onceuponacross.com. It was on that blog that Cameron published years worth of correspondence and critique of Hillsong, which is a mega church movement and franchise based in Sydney, Australia. Cameron joins me to discuss Hillsong.

- Cameron began his Christian life in an Assemblies of God church in Australia in the early 1990s.

- Hillsong began about the same time, and gained popularity because of their music. Just a few years later, the Assemblies of God amalgamated into a denomination called the Australian Churches of God, a conglomeration of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. It was headed by Brian Houston, the pastor of Hillsong church. The definint traits of charismatic churches (tongues speaking, etc.) was pushed to the periphery, and positive thinking began to be pushed much more. They also had a greater focus on marketing, and grew in popularity with their conferences.

- Cameron began to notice their failure to talk about key aspects of the gospel, particularly sin and repentance. He began to write to them to question the message they were preaching, and seemed to get nowhere.

- Eventually, Cameron received a reply from Robert Fergusson. The correspondence they had is posted at Cameron’s blog.

- An example of Hillsong deleting sin and repentance from their preaching and materials is their deletion of “turn from their wicked ways” from a quotation of 2 Chronicles 7:14 found on the CD cover of their album “Hillsong Live – Mighty To Save”

- Cameron wants people to know about the problems with the gospel that Hillsong preaches especially because they have a number of churches found all over the world.

- Even Hillsong’s good songs leave huge gaps in a person’s understanding of the gospel.

- Hillsong has such a strong focus on marketing that they will have just about any big name out to speak at their conferences. Past speakers include: Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, Bill Johnson, and Steven Furtick. It appears that the only common thread is a big name. The leadership of Hillsong is very pragmatic.

- A strong-sounding statement of faith can be a trojan horse to bring in bad doctrine. This is the greatest danger that Cameron worries about in regard to Hillsong.

- A couple of listener questions: Cameron’s analysis of this video, and what would Cameron suggest people who attend a Hillsong church (or similar) do, in light of God’s word. Also, what does think of some of Hillsong’s better songs?

Scriptures Referenced

2 Chronicles 7:14

Titus 1:9

Romans 16:17

Galatians 1:8-9

Additional Resources

The Bottom Line – Cameron’s Blog

Once upon a Cross – Cameron’s ministry website

Bob DeWaay: Bill Johnson, IHOP, & Ancient Heresy Reborn – Echo Zoe Radio Episode 46

Debunking the Holy Ghost Movie – Chris Rosebrough (podcast)

Source: Cameron Buettel: Hillsong, Echo Zoe, http://www.echozoe.com/archives/3028#sthash.ZIrMakUz.dpuf, Published 13/09/2014. (Accessed 14/09/2014.)

New York Times critically examines the Hillsong movement

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Brian Houston recently tweeted,

Live your life in a transparent & authentic way. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear & nothing to lose!

Source: Brian Houston, @BrianCHouston, Twitter, https://twitter.com/BrianCHouston/status/497431278049062912, Published 10:17 AM, 07/08/2014. (Accessed 10/08/2014.)

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How “transparent & authentic” do you think Brian Houston will be after this recent New York Times article was published about him and his movement?

What are the chances that Brian Houston will use the same-old slanderous accusations and criticisms against people who question his movement? Do you think it will be possible for Brian to “Shun the negative” and to “Ignore the critical” overt this?

Let’s hope that Brian Houston doesn’t turn into a critic himself in light of this recent article published by the New York Times.

Megachurch With a Beat Lures a Young Flock

LOS ANGELES — A toned and sunburned 32-year-old Australian with the letters F-A-I-T-H tattooed onto his biceps strode onto the stage of a former burlesque theater here and shouted across a sea of upstretched hands and uplifted smartphones: “Let’s win this city together!”

The crowd did not need much urging. Young, diverse and devoted to Jesus, the listeners had come to the Belasco Theater from around the city, and from across the country, eager to help an Australian Pentecostal megachurch that is spreading worldwide establish its first outpost on America’s West Coast.

The church, Hillsong, has become a phenomenon, capitalizing on, and in some cases shaping, trends not only in evangelicalism but also in Christian youth culture. Its success would be rare enough at a time when religion is struggling in a secularizing Europe and North America. But Hillsong is even more remarkable because its target is young Christians in big cities, where faith seems out of fashion but where its services are packing them in.

Powered by a thriving, and lucrative, recording label that dominates Christian contemporary music, it has a vast reach — by some estimates, 100,000 people in the pews each weekend, 10 million followers on social media, 16 million albums sold, with its songs popping up in churches from Uzbekistan to Papua New Guinea.

Founded 30 years ago, Hillsong has churches in Amsterdam; Barcelona, Spain; Berlin; Cape Town; Copenhagen; Kiev, Ukraine; London; New York; Paris; and Stockholm, as well as multiple campuses in Australia and, now, an embryonic congregation in Los Angeles.

The Hillsong empire might appear to be a musical powerhouse first and a church second. It is, after all, a multimillion-dollar enterprise, drawing large crowds to arena concert performances; one of its bands, Hillsong United, is even the subject of a documentary scheduled for release by Warner Bros. next year.

Its songs, with a folk rock sound and simple, accessible lyrics, pervade theChristian charts and have transformed the Christian songbook.

“They are without a doubt the most influential producers of worship music in Christendom,” said Fred Markert, a Colorado-based leader of Youth With a Mission, a Christian organization. And Ed Stetzer, the executive director of LifeWay Research, an organization based in Nashville that studies practices in American Christianity, declared in an analysis of Hillsong, “In sensory stimulation, Hillsong’s productions rival any other contemporary form of entertainment.”

But its critics, and there are many, deride Hillsong as hipster Christianity, suggesting that its theology is thin, its enthusiasm for celebrities (Justin Bieber is among its fans) unbecoming, its politics (opposition to abortion and a murky position on homosexuality) opaque.

“It’s a prosperity movement for the millennials, in which the polyester and middle-class associations of Oral Roberts have given way to ripped jeans and sophisticated rock music,” said R. Albert Mohler Jr., the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “What has made Hillsong distinctive is a minimization of the actual content of the Gospel, and a far more diffuse presentation of spirituality.”

For young Christians in cities where Hillsong has churches, it has become a magnet, combining the production values of a rock concert, the energy of a nightclub and the community of a megachurch. Many of the worshipers say they are drawn by the music but have stayed because of the opportunity to be with other young Christians, and because they believe that the churches can help transform cities, both through prayer and through direct social services.

“I want to be part of something bigger than myself,” said Tricia Hidalgo, 29, who said that she first heard Hillsong music played in her childhood church in Ontario, Calif., and that as a young adult she gave up studying to be a teacher to move to Australia to attend Hillsong’s Bible college. Now, she is volunteering for the church in Los Angeles.

“We’re going to love the city, love the people, and, to me, I feel like love can break any walls,” she said.

Amanda-Paige Whittington, 32, recalled hearing Hillsong’s first huge hit, “Shout to the Lord,” as a girl in a Southern Baptist church in Mississippi.

“I told my mom, ‘One day I’m going to Hillsong,’ ” said Ms. Whittington, who also attended Hillsong’s Bible college in Sydney and now lives in Orange County. “The music drew me to the church.”

Hillsong Los Angeles, as well as Hillsong New York, which opened four years ago, is an example of a growing phenomenon in global Christianity: big church brands taking on big secular cities. This year, Saddleback Church, the Orange County megachurch led by Rick Warren, opened its own campus in Los Angeles, while several years ago, Willow Creek, the megachurch based in South Barrington, Ill., opened a campus in Chicago.

“There’s no question there’s a real current of evangelical enamorment with cities,” Mr. Stetzer said. “Evangelicals have been a rural people historically, and the cities were the places where sin was. But cities are also where the people are.”

Hillsong chooses cities not only because of population density, but also because of their impact on culture.

“These are tough, hard, dry towns for contemporary churches,” said Brian Houston, the Sydney-based senior pastor of the Hillsong empire. “We want to be strategic, and really impact cities of influence, so that the influence can reach far beyond.”

Hillsong has critics who monitor speakers at its conferences, and utterances by its leaders, for deviations from Christian orthodoxy (of concern to the right) or evidence of social conservatism (of concern to the left). Its financeshave been scrutinized by the Australian news media; its preaching is tracked by a critical blog. This year, Mr. Houston issued a clarification after being criticized by other evangelicals for suggesting that Christians and Muslims serve the same God.

Hillsong, founded by Brian Houston and his wife, Bobbie, has been anti-abortion and has described gay sex as sinful. But recently, church leaders have moderated their tone; the pastor of Hillsong New York, Carl Lentz, passed up two opportunities this year to express a view on same-sex marriage, in interviews with Katie Couric and The Huffington Post.

One of Brian Houston’s sons, Joel, is Hillsong’s creative director, performs with Hillsong United and serves as a pastor at Hillsong New York. Another son, Ben, is the pastor of Hillsong Los Angeles. Ben has the “Faith” tattoo on one arm, as well as tattoos of the characters +=♥ (Jesus Is Love) and the names of his three daughters, surrounded by images of flowers and butterflies, as well as that of a lion, “to remind me I’m a man.”

Hillsong’s worship style is charismatic, meaning there is an emphasis on the Holy Spirit and on divine healing, but there is little speaking in tongues, which is seen at more conventional Pentecostal churches.

The Houstons like to say that worship should be enjoyed, not endured. Services are often held in dimly lit concert venues: In New York, the church started at Irving Plaza and then relocated to the Grand Ballroom at the Manhattan Center; in Los Angeles, a debut was held at 1 Oak, a West Hollywood club. There are lines to get in, and fewer seats than worshipers. Some worshipers share images and thoughts on social media during services.

The sound has evolved over the decades, but is now sometimes compared to U2’s. Tom Wagner, an ethnomusicologist at the University of Edinburgh, said Hillsong’s music was characterized by rich orchestration, but simple harmonies, and was often regarded by listeners as “spiritually anointed.”

“They’re very good at writing songs that are catchy,” Mr. Wagner said. “They know what works.”

Source: By Megachurch With a Beat Lures a Young Flock, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/10/us/hillsong-megachurch-with-a-beat-lures-a-young-flock.html, Published 09/09/2014. (Accessed 11/09/2014.)

Take heed that no man tweets you…….

 

Ever wonder why Brian Houston often tweets “theology” that shuns “the negative” and encourages people to “ignore the critical”?

Brian Houston recently tweeted,

Shun the negative – Ignore the critical – Despise the rumors – Reject hearsay – Disregard the gossiper –

Source: Brian Houston, @BrianCHouston, Twitter, https://twitter.com/BrianCHouston/status/487467997078904833, 10:26PM 10/07/2014. (Accessed 09/09/2014.)

To which someone responded with this,

And quite possibly ignore what God might be trying to say….just saying

Source: Brian Houston, @SandyLynRyan, Twitter, https://twitter.com/SandyLynRyan/status/487515671501099008, 1:36AM 11/07/2014. (Accessed 09/09/2014.)

So what is the answer to the question? If they can shut their critics up – does it enhance their theological credibility? Given that these pastors have sold out to the purpose-driven leadership model rather than being undershepherds who guard the flock under the Chief Shepherd’s watchful eye, don’t they see that censoring criticism chokes off feedback vital for their form of “ministry”?

And as @SandyLynRyan clearly indicates – criticism often comes with a morsel of truth attached.

Just saying……

A Hillsong victim’s experience…

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If you aren’t aware of our page, we are starting to record people’s experiences from Hillsong Church.

Hillsong Testimonies

Recently, we were informed of this person’s testimony.

‘S’ writes,

I had first hand experience of being part of Hillsong. I attended the church in london and as a person of 16 at the time it all seemed incredibly appealing. This was not my first experience of church, My whole family are christians. I found a friendship group, a new spiritual out look on life and for the first time I had found hope in humanity. This was not to last though. I gave extensive amounts of money to the church through purchasing bibles, books, CDs and tshirts (also not forgetting donations). All of this to feel more a part of what I thought was my family. I was a musician and was told I had a gift from God and that I should utilize that to help win others over to christ. the problems began as the years went on. I became more involved not just on a sunday but almost every day of the week. Soon I was working more then I was sleeping but I was being told that this was all for God. I finished college and soon after was following my dreams (like I had been taught). this started to take up more of my time so I started to drop some of my commitments with the church, as soon as I had done so suddenly I had fingers pointed at me. I was ‘backsliding’ and I was told to quit my dreams. If I frowned during a service or failed to smile then it looked bad on the others. I was now being told how to think and feel. The less time I spent at the church the more I was shunned by those that had called me their ‘family’. I soon found out people were talking about me behind my back. I felt judged and my relationship with God died. I finally found the courage to leave but it wasn’t easy. My heart felt broken and my soul felt crushed. I had put so much time, money and effort into the church, I was 100% committed, I gave my heart and soul only for it to be thrown back at me. I still feel nervous every time I pass the theatre where they hold their services. It’s safe to say I will never go back to that place nor will I ever support an organization that treats their members this way. I have not been the only one who has gone through these experiences. I have met others who have very similar stories.

Source: Brian Houston lies about the bible to sell his book, Hillsong Church, http://hillsongchurch.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/brian-houston-lies-about-the-bible-to-sell-his-book/#comment-86, January 9, 2012 at 5:47 am. (Accessed 03/09/2012.)

Bobbie biffs it again…

BrianAndBobbieNoOtherName

Bobbie Houston recently put this out on Instagram:

Ladies … if you’ve lost perspective and are having a meltdown over spilt milk or whatever, let this image remind you of what “hard” really is. #sisterhood #forsuchatimeasthis #sisterskeeper #helpthemJesus

Source: Bobbie Houston, Instagram, http://instagram.com/p/sf8dC1IY1Y/, 04/09/2014. (Accessed 04/09/2014.)

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Quite frankly, it’s hard to know what is worse:

1. A pastrix proving she is unqualified to speak on such serious matters, setting off a firestorm of comments from Muslims on Instagram.

2. A pastrix who falsely promotes awareness about an “evil act” against women, at the same time plugging her “#Sisterhood” conference/movement.

So what is this image actually about?

Pastor Gervase Nicholas Charmley has this to say about the picture:

These pictures are well known, and (as the fact that the “guard” is carrying a sword rather than an AK-47 should indicate) are from a Shia religious commemoration called Ashura, which commemorates the battle of Kerbala. Part of Ashura is the re-enactment of scenes from the battle, one of which is the leading away in chains of the women and children. Basically it’s the Shia Muslim equivalent of a Passion Play, the re-enacting of a significant time in their history.

The women are all willing participants, who are playing the role of prisoners.

There is [also] an image from Ashura that has been circulating for a while with the caption “Muslim girls are led off in chains to meet their husbands”, a caption as ludicrous as it is false.

Source: Ps Gervase Nicholas Charmley, Written 04/09/2014.

Speaking about the image, one commenter, Suheild says “I’m glad someone out there is educated enough to know the difference.”

We appreciate that there are followers on Bobbie Houston’s Instagram account prepared to point out the facts about the image. Exposing those who take liberties with the truth to create a false “outcry”, especially during a time of truly great suffering for both Christians and Muslims.

UPDATE (05/09/2014):

Bobbie Houston decided to follow up with this comment on her instagram page:

Ok everyone —so another day has passed and this timeline and post is probably history in everyone’s Instagrams. I hope you found some peace amid “the various dialogue” and that we considered the human heart at stake. These are crazy days. A world of diversity and contrast, a world in need of kindness and love. May God’s “good and kind and gracious and pure and compassionate and righteous and HOLY Spirit” overshadow all our thoughts and endeavors. Be blessed and like the saying goes … “go make the world (your world) a better place”. Selah. Xoxo

Source: Bobbie Houston, Accessed 05/09/2014.

If there is anyone making these last days crazy, it’s uneducated “teachers” like Bobbie Houston. Her Instagram which promoted falsehoods was neither kind nor loving.

Even though she was corrected by those on her Instagram feed, don’t expect an apology from Bobbie. Instead Bobbie band-aids the harm she caused with an American Beauty pageant “world peace” response. 

Hillsong Colour Conference advertises that “at its core”, it is not about Jesus…

Jesus said that you will recognize false teachers (wolves in sheep’s clothing) by their fruit. A classic example would be Hillsong dressing up their conference with their “Jesus-following” wool but completely throwing Christ under the bus to further their humanistic movement.

We certainly appreciate that Hillsong is at least up front with their Colour Your World Conference. Is it about Jesus?

“Colour Conference is about you,” Hillsong says.

However the Colour Conference is not about you or Jesus. It is “a humanitarian conference at its core”

Hillsong Church writes:

AN ATMOSPHERE OF WORSHIP

Encounter God and rest in His presence. Our guests and team prepare to present the Word of God for your hearts to absorb and outwork.

This is a humanitarian conference at its core, so we inform, educate and awaken you to the plight of thousands in desperate situations, and equip you with practical tools on how to make an impact in your own world and globally as we work together.

Colour Conference is about you; it is about value, being valued and placing value on others. We can’t wait to share Colour with you!

Source: Hillsong, http://hillsong.com/colour/experience. (Accessed 02/09/2014.)

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HILLSONG PUBLICLY LYING TO THEIR AUDIENCE

In the above blurb, Hillsong mislead their audiences,

“Our guests and team prepare to present the Word of God for your hearts to absorb and outwork.”

No. They present anything but the Word of God. For instance, they have invited two questionable speakers. One is Word of Faith leader, Joyce Meyer, who is far outside of biblical orthodoxy and must be considered a false teacher. She exposes many to the errors of the Positive Confession movement where she even says that Jesus lost his divine nature, went to hell, finished the atonement in hell, and was born again!  This is a serious error since it implies that Jesus, who is God in human flesh, needed to be changed.

The other is Beth Moore who reduces her audience’s spiritual IQ whenever she attempts to preach anything from the scriptures. She cannot to be trusted to properly teach from the word of God, she is leading many astray with her approval of contemplative prayer, personal revelations, and faulty biblical exegesis. It wouldn’t take much effort for Hillsong to research these false teachers and the false doctrines they peddle. So why does Hillsong insist that their guests, like Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore, “prepare to present the Word of God for your hearts”?

What also stands out in this blurb is how Hillsong associates their “humanitarian conference” with the idea to “awaken” people to worldly causes. You may think that we are overreacting. But consider for a second what a Christian often associates the word “awaken” with – revive or revival.

Not so with Hillsong here. They deliberately link the idea of “awaken” with their “humanitarian conference”. Why?

This only links yet again that the definition of “awaken” used by Hillsong is interchangeable with pagan origins. This is not the Christian idea of ‘awakening’. This is self-actualisation disguised in Christian talk. This type of thinking stems from Buddhism. Although Hillsong insists that they preaching Christ even, they are really only using his name (in vain) as a buttress for their social “gospel”. The problem with the social gospel is that it emphasises we are the answer – not Christ.

Dr. Michael Horton informs us that in C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, the devil’s strategy is not to remove Christ altogether from the scene, but to propagate a “Christ And…” religion:

What we want, if men become Christians at all, is to keep them in the state of “Christianity And.” You know–Christianity and the Crisis, Christianity and the New Psychology, Christianity and the New Order, Christianity and Faith Healing, Christianity and Psychic Research, Christianity and Vegetarianism, Christianity and Spelling Reform. If they must be Christians, let them at least be Christians with a difference. Substitute for the faith itself some Fashion with a Christian colouring. Work on their horror of the Same Old Thing (Letter XXV).

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