This series of articles will be examining Houston’s “clarification” and why Houston pulled his sermon.
Brian Houston said in his clarification:
For further clarification, here is the context of my message:
King David said about His God in Psalm 119:68, “you ARE good and you DO good”. Who David believed God IS, determined what He Believed God DOES.
The spirit of the message was exactly the opposite of what some critics are claiming. If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that; who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves.
I was contrasting their harsh perspective of (their) god, with who I believe God is – (a Loving God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ) and therefore what I believe God does and what I believe God loves. The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from was clearly a (clumsy) way of me explaining that though both Christians and Muslims believe they serve the God of Abraham, they are very DIFFERENT ‘entities’ or ‘deities’ in both nature and action.
Source: Brian Houston, 2014 March, Hillsong, https://hillsong.com/media/2014-March-Correction, Accessed 18/07/2015.
This is a lie which we will be addressing in this article. He deliberately pulled the sermon, hoping no one could examine his claims. We have watched the sermon again and have transcribed the majority of the message leading up to his claims about Allah. Once we dissect what Brian says in his “clarification”, it will become evident that Houston is lying to his church and the general public. The context of his message was not on Psalm 119:68. The sermon was titled ‘Living for the Master’s Well Done’ for a reason. It was the parable of the talents that this sermon is founded on and this is what we will be examining.
Thanks to Ken Silva from Apprising Ministries, you can watch ‘the ‘Living for the Master’s Well Done” sermon here:
Here are some important quotes from his sermon:
I feel like I am in my zone when I have the chance to talk to church pastors and church leaders.
Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong TV // Living For The Master’s Well Done, Pt1 with Brian Houston: 1:40, Sermon: Living For The Master’s Well Done, YouTube, Pt1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVE2j_aeZ8M, Published on Jan 5, 2014. (Accessed 17/03/2014.)
In this quote, we will insert diagrams so you can see how just how Houston constructed his line of reason.
The difference is that the first two were purposeful, the third one was purposeless. And this is where I want you to think about this contrast.
You see, the first two, they knew their master. The third one had an entirely different view of the master. Listen to what the first two experienced with the master: they came to the master and said, “Here! I took what you had and I invested it. Here is your Lord’s money. And they’d increased it and doubled it. And this is what they heard from the master: “Well done!”
They heard encouragement: Good and faithful servant. They heard positive reinforcement: You’ve been faithful with a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. They were given god-given opportunity – many things! They experienced abundance! Enter into the joy of the Lord! They experienced joy!
The third one. Same master, talking about exactly the same master: “I knew you to be a hard man who had gathered where you hadn’t scattered seed and reaped where you hadn’t sown.” He said, “I knew- I knew-” He knew he had that perception of His master. “I knew you to be a hard man”.
“Well done! Good and faithful servant!” Encouragement. Positive reinforcement. Abundance. Joy.
“I knew you to be a hard man.”
They are describing the same Master.
We all serve the same God but not everyone in the room sees God the same way. And nothing would determine the culture of your church more than your view of God. So our view of God is so important.
Without walking around judging churches, to go into a church, experience the worship, sense the atmosphere, maybe walk in the corridors, I think that I can soon see a pastors view of God. If a pastor believes that God is free-Spirited and live their life free-spirited their church will be free-spirited. Sometimes a church is stiff. Sometimes a church is conservative. Sometimes a church is legalistic. Sometimes a church is rigid. Sometimes a church is just lacking any kind of sense of rules or any semblance of any kind of order. Some churches, they just reflect in different ways but you should never underestimate your view of God.
And if your background, if your religious background, if your denominational background, if your church school background, if maybe just some of your own condemnation and guilt that your parents put into you that is determining your view of God, it will always affect your ability to live purposefully. The one who lived purposeless, he took what he was given and he hid it in the ground.
The two who knew the Master, they took what they were given and they doubled it. Nothing would determine the way we treat people more than our view of the Master, of Jesus.
Nothing would decide the way we conduct ourselves in our marriage and the way we raise our children than the way we view God.
David said in Psalm 119 verse 68 about the Lord, “You are Good, and you do good”. You see, who you believe God is, will determine what you believe God does. You are good and you do good. Psalm 11:7 is similar. It says, “the Lord IS righteous. He loves righteousness; and his countenance beholds His favour”. His face is favour. His smile is on the upright or the righteous.
The way you see God, decides what you believe God does, what you believe God loves and what you believe God blesses, where His favour will be.
So I couldn’t encourage any leader who wants to live purposefully and who wants to build a church that reflects the heart of God, I couldn’t encourage you more to make sure that your view of the Master is through a New Covenant, New Testament lens. That we look at the Old Testament, which is so full of beauty and power and example and wonder and is so much of the whole tenor of God’s message, that we need to look at it through the lens of the resurrection and the cross and back into it from where we stand now and not from where they stood then. Because otherwise it’s going to affect your ability to be purposeful in building and leading and bringing release and bringing freedom and seeing those things God puts in your heart come to pass.
“How do you view God? In a desert there’s two types of birds: there’s vultures and there’s hummingbirds. One lives off dead carcasses, rotting meat. The other lives off the beautiful, sweet nectar in a particular flower on a particular desert plant. In the same desert, they both find what they’re looking for.
Do you know – take it all the way back into the Old Testament and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God. And of course through history, those views have changed greatly. But lets make sure that we view God through the eyes of Jesus, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the beauty of a Saviour, the loving open inclusive arms of a loving God.
And that way we’ll lead out of that and you’ll be purposeful about your leadership and you’ll draw people just like the Lord Jesus always does through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong TV // Living For The Master’s Well Done, Pt1 with Brian Houston: 7:06, Sermon: Living For The Master’s Well Done, YouTube, Pt1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVE2j_aeZ8M, Published on Jan 5, 2014. (Accessed 17/03/2014.)
Finally, Brian Houston seems to embrace Muslim believers and not tolerate bible-believing Christians.
“The person who is legalistic, critical, negative in the name of God, they just don’t know God. That’s the way it seems.”
Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong TV // Living For The Master’s Well Done, Pt1 with Brian Houston: 21:30, Sermon: Living For The Master’s Well Done, YouTube, Pt1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVE2j_aeZ8M, Published on Jan 5, 2014. (Accessed 17/03/2014.)
To end, we would like to point this glaring fault in his “clarification” in our diagram: