This article is an expose on Brian Houston’s deliberately misleading public statement on his stance with same sex issues.
You can read Brian Houston’s statement here.
REVIEW OF HOUSTON’S STATEMENT
“I encourage people not to assume a media headline accurately represents what I said at a recent press conference.”
You can hear the bells of ‘Chrislam’ jangling somewhere in the background, can’t you? It is an all too familiar pattern nowadays, isn’t it? To hear the media report one thing, and then for Brian Houston to come along afterwards and say: “I didn’t say that”.
Houston’s statement from Hillsong website, as presented for comment here:
“Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage. “
Now Brian, that’s not exactly true, is it? You offered your opinion – not a Christian response. Not a biblical response. You did diminish biblical truth.
I mean, “nowhere have I taken a solid stand against ‘gay marriage’ or homosexuality…” would be a much more accurate statement, wouldn’t it? In fact when it comes to the issue of homosexuality, you actually met and ‘did coffee’ with Ben Gresham, one of the recognised leaders of the ‘gay community’ in Sydney, didn’t you Brian?
According to Gresham’s own website, the following points were mentioned by Houston:
* Brian stated clearly that Hillsong church (and himself) no longer support ex-gay ministries
* Brian acknowledged the involvement of Hillsong church in ex-gay ministries in the past such as Exit Ministries, Living Waters and Exodus. Brian mentioned that he was never truly convinced of the idea of ex-gay ministries, although his father Frank Houston supported them.
* Brian does not want an ex-gay message preached from the pulpit of Hillsong.
Clearly, it would be an embarrassment for Hillsong, if the testimonies of those who had succeeded in giving up their gay lifestyles, were to impinge on those who had failed to do so, or worse still, had failed to even try. That would also imply that “being gay” was all about choice. In other words, if you could choose to give up ‘being gay’, then all of those who did not give it up would be tarred and feathered as being decidedly gay. They weren’t ‘born that way’ after all. So much for psychology and so much for any pretence on the part of Hillsong, who appear to simply allow gay people to sit there in their sins, with no call for repentance and no signs of a changed life either.
Was that why Houston met with Gresham – to reassure him that ‘all is well’ for ‘gay Christians’? It would seem so.
Furthermore, if Brian Houston wasn’t diminishing biblical truth, why was he adamantly pushing his mythology on the church needing to be “relevant”? Where in the bible does it teach the church needs to be relevant to be effective in people’s lives? If anything, Brian Houston was more concerned of the church failing to be relevant rather than the church failing to be faithful in preaching the gospel and God’s Word. No matter what way you look at it, that’s just pathetic.
Now let’s see what Houston further said in his online statement:
“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.”
Oh dear Brian, I’m afraid that your words on the Hillsong site, don’t quite match what you said to Ben Gresham all those months ago, now do they? Nor do your words line up to your sermon ‘Scandal of Grace’. (So which Brian do you want us to believe?)
Also notice how Brian is appealing to his audience that he now holds a view of homosexuality “with most traditionally held Christian views”. He’s lying again. Since when has Brian Houston not opposed traditional Christianity and it’s values?
“I was asked a question on how the church can stay relevant in the context of gay marriage being legal in the two states of the USA where we have campuses. My answer was simply an admission of reality – no more and no less. I explained that this struggle for relevance was vexing as we did not want to become ostracized by a world that needs Christ.”
Well now Brian, here is the perfect opportunity to preach the reality of the Gospel from Romans chapters one and two, as those lengthy passages of Bible truth are more than adequate in exposing all manner of sins – sexual, idolatrous, rebellious:
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.” Romans 1:18-23
It is clear from the pages of holy writ, that when mankind decided to abandon the one true God of the Bible, God also abandoned man, to an extent. They buried their knowledge and experience of God (post flood) and so God gave them over to building the Tower of Babel, and in so doing, making idols of themselves, which they then called “other Gods”. They began to practice all manner of vile practices – immorality of every kind, human sacrifice, and witchcraft. They literally ‘changed the truth of God into a lie” (verse 25) and in so doing, sealed their fate as to their ultimate downfall come judgment day.
I’m just wondering, if something similar has happened in this post-modernist ‘church’ that we see before us these days? Has Brian Houston “exchanged the truth of God for a lie”? Has he wittingly or unwittingly, become an idolater before God and man? Does Hillsong’s particular brand of entertainment, during its meetings, resemble more that of a pagan temple, or more of a company of Godly people, who have forsaken this world and its evil distractions in surrendering their lives to Jesus, through the accurate preaching of the Gospel?
“I made the point that public statements condemning people will place a barrier between the church and the world (and I note that Jesus came to save and not to condemn), which is why at Hillsong, we don’t want to reduce the real issues in people’s lives to a sound bite.””
That ‘barrier between the church and the world’ needs to be there Brian – it’s called “separation” and is the very meaning of the word “holy” – separated from the world unto God, for His service, His pleasure and to His satisfaction. And guess who put that barrier there Brian? God did. And he established that barrier through His Word. Now you are using Jesus as an excuse to attack the very thing Jesus himself established.
If you don’t teach separation/holiness, then you end up with a tangled mess wherein some of your congregants may well be saved, but many may not be. How can you tell? Those who have separated (holy) lives will be obvious even to the casual observer, but then again, those same people may not be welcome any more, inside the worldly kingdom of Hillsong.
Yes, indeed Brian, Jesus came to save, but only those who will repent, and how can they repent of their devious ways if no one preaches a true Gospel message to them? One which demands that they recognise themselves as lost sinners, before a Holy God, and that they are without excuse? (Verse 20)
“This – like many other issues, is a conversation the church needs to have and we are all on a journey as we grapple with the question of merging biblical truth with a changing world.”
Honestly Brian, there is no need to ‘have a conversation’ at all. What you are advocating clearly, is how best to compromise with the world for maximum effect.
What is really needed is the sound expository preaching of the glorious Gospel of our Lord and Saviour – Jesus Christ. Try doing that one Sunday night and you might even surprise yourself with the results!
Of course, if Brian was to do so, he would probably lose large chunks of his worldly congregation, and that wouldn’t look to good when the bottom line is examined at the end of the month, now, would it?
In closing, Dr. James R. White from Alpha and Omega Ministries weighs in on Brian’s ‘relevant’ stance;
“Brian Houston says, “He notes that the Western world is shifting its thinking on this issue, and churches are struggling to stay relevant.” Relevant to whom? The Church has an audience of One before whom “relevance” is to be judged. Our aim is to be pleasing to Him (2 Cor. 5:9), not to the “Western world.” In fact, a biblical worldview would lead brother Houston to recognize that the more pleasing we are to Christ, the more of a stench of death we will be in the nostrils of those who have been given over in judgment to their own lusts and rebellion. Relevant? Was Elijah relevant during the judgment of drought and famine? Was Jeremiah relevant as the armies of Nebuchadnezzar marched on Jerusalem? I guess it all depends on one’s perspective as to what “relevance” is all about.”
Source: James R. White, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/prosapologian/posts/855416661149854, 18/10/2014. (Accessed 21/10/2014.)
James White also observes,
“While exhorting grace as the medium of criticism, we need to realize that this situation is exposing the foundational problems that have actually existed in the mish-mash we call “evangelicalism” for a very, very long time.”
Source: James R. White, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/prosapologian/posts/855414134483440?comment_id=855417537816433&offset=50&total_comments=68, . (Accessed 22/10/2014.)