Brian Houston, Driscoll, hillsong conference, Hillsong Conference 2015, houston, Mark Driscoll, statement
If there is anything Brian Houston of Hillsong hates, it is anyone who criticises him. If they are Christians, they are “Pharisees” and “evil people”. If it’s the media, it’s demonic, anti-Christian and not of God. Again, Brian Houston espouses to his followers that people should not listen or engage with “critics”. According to Houston, these “haters” are out to stunt your potential and growth.
This series of articles will observe how Brian Houston went against his own teachings and decided to act according to the public criticism over Mark Driscoll the last week.
Houston bends knee to critics and media (Part 1): Lateline
Houston bends knee to critics and media (Part 2): Sunrise Interview
We will hopefully get time to analyse this statement in full over the coming months.
Statement from Pastor Brian Houston, Hillsong Church
After personal interaction with Mark Driscoll today, we have agreed that he will no longer be coming to Australia or the UK to attend Hillsong Conference. It is my hope that Mark and I will be able to speak in person in the coming weeks to discuss some of the issues that have been raised, what – if anything – he has learned, and for me to understand better how he is progressing in both his personal and professional life.
The teachings of Christ are based on love and forgiveness, and I will not write off Mark as a person simply because of the things that people have said about him, a small minority of people signing a petition or statements he has made many years ago for which he has since repeatedly apologised.
However, I do not want unnecessary distractions during our conference, particularly as this 30 minute interview was only a small part of this five day event. It was clear to me that Mark’s attendance had the potential to divert attention from the real purpose of Hillsong Conference, which is to see people leave encouraged in their own spiritual journey.
Clearly Mark has held some views and made some statements that cannot be defended. One or two of the more outrageous things he is purported to have said, I have heard for the first time through the media exposure over the past week.
Source: By Brian Houston, Statement from Pastor Brian Houston, Hillsong Church, Hillsong, https://hillsong.com/media/statement-from-pastor-brian-houston-hillsong-church/, (Accessed 07/06/2015.)
Poor old Brian Houston, that anointed man of God, that great and esteemed “pastor”, has been faced down by the ever-malicious media and a motley mob of malcontents whose only weapon was a petition. How embarrassing! Oh the shame! In recent times we’ve had Yongii Cho and his son getting done for fraud and tax evasion, we’ve had the Kong and Pringle show (where the popcorn is still flowing as freely as ever), and now we have this: Brian “I’ve Changed my Mind” Houston has tucked his tail between his legs and run away at the first whiff of gunpowder, faint though it may have been.
When are the public humiliations of these mega-church “pastors” going to end? Isn’t Brian Houston meant to be “filled with the Spirit”? How is it, then, that he has been caught out so badly? How is it that he has shown such poor judgement and placed himself in such an invidious position? Isn’t he meant to hear directly from God? Why didn’t God warn him?
I trust that all of the hillsong hangers-on who are reading here will take note: Brian Houston has feet of clay – and pretty poor quality clay, at that. It is sadly apparent that this man, who is held up by so many as being a paragon of Christian virtue and an outstandingly successful leader, has no stomach at all for a fight. In fact, from his propensity to go to water at the drop of a hat, it appears that Brian has jelly where his spine should be, and that he lacks entirely the courage of his convictions (one actually wonders if he even has any convictions, or is whether he is only ever seeking to please men and preserve his own reputation).
This whole sorry episode is a sad indictment of both the hillsong cult and those who run it – and to think that it is all Brian Houston’s own handiwork. It will be interesting to see how Brian’s followers will spin this most grievous of self-inflicted wounds into anything other than the unmitigated P.R. disaster that it is; personally I think they really have their work cut out for them this time (good job, Brian!)
Houston:”…..and I will not write off Mark as a person simply because of the things that people have said about him, a small minority of people signing a petition or statements…”
Translation (yes it shows my age!) Scooby Doo villains’ final words at the end of every “Scooby-Doo, where are you!”:
“…and I woulda got away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”
The Tragedy of No Discernment – What We All Need to Learn from the Hillsong-Driscoll Fiasco
“So Hillsong have folded to the typical media firestorm and revoked their invitation to Mark Driscoll to speak at their upcoming conference here in Sydney later this month. The Herald have the story…
The Australian visit of a controversial US pastor who once described women as “penis houses” has been cancelled after a public backlash.
Hillsong’s founder Brian Houston decided Mark Driscoll would no longer attend the church’s Sydney conference this month after a “personal interaction” on Sunday.
“It is my hope that Mark and I will be able to speak in person in the coming weeks to discuss some of the issues that have been raised, what – if anything – he has learned, and for me to understand better how he is progressing in both his personal and professional life,” Mr Houston said in a statement.
“The teachings of Christ are based on love and forgiveness, and I will not write off Mark as a person simply because of the things that people have said about him, a small minority of people signing a petition or statements he has made many years ago for which he has since repeatedly apologised.”
“However, I do not want unnecessary distractions during our conference, particularly as this 30 minute interview was only a small part of this five day event. It was clear to me that Mark’s attendance had the potential to divert attention from the real purpose of Hillsong Conference, which is to see people leave encouraged in their own spiritual journey.”
All true, and I particularly like “not writing Mark off”; none of us should. But the final paragraph is so horribly telling:
“Clearly Mark has held some views and made some statements that cannot be defended. One or two of the more outrageous things he is purported to have said, I have heard for the first time through the media exposure over the past week.”
“I have heard for the first time…”
For the first time.
Get your head around that. They invited Mark Driscoll, they kept the invitation in place after he stepped down from pastoral ministry, but Houston claims he had no real idea about these allegations. You have to ask, why not? How could you possibly not? It’s one thing to be a reader of the Sydney Morning Herald who wouldn’t know Mark Driscoll from Deepak Chopra, quite another to be a lead pastor in a major Christian church inviting your main platform speakers to what is Australia’s largest Christian conference. How can one move in evangelical circles and not be aware of the allegations and controversies surrounding Driscoll, even before he finally resigned? How can you invite someone to speak at that conference and not make sure that they’re not going to bring your organisation into disrepute?
Moreover, in this particular case, how could Hillsong so flagrantly undermine the disciplinary and pastoral process that Driscoll should still be under? He was asked to step down from ministry at Mars Hill and to go through a period of no public ministry while restoration was sought. Driscoll has, in recent months, chosen to decide for himself when this was over and Hillsong have placed themselves in a position that undermines the whole process; it’s a great disservice to those faithful church leaders in Seattle.
Mind you, this is the same Hillsong that has had false teachers lined up at the conference year after year; people who deny the Trinity and preach all sorts of prosperity gospel nonsense. Don’t they know? Don’t they care? How can one move in evangelical circles and not be aware of T.D. Jakes? How can one in any way breathe the air of American Christianity and not understand the criticisms levelled against Joseph Prince, who will preach from the Hillsong 2015 Conference stage? I think it’s the claimed naïvety that troubles me almost as much as the invitations themselves.
And yet there is a danger for all of us to do exactly this, to prize something else over and above simple Biblical faithfulness. Where have I thought that numbers was the main game in measuring success at church? Where do I fall prey to the temptation to make sure the music, above all things, is right? What else do I naïvely and without discernment accept something when actually I should know far better? We ought to take this latest round of foolishness from Hillsong as a somber warning for all of us.
And let me make something clear. I long for Hillsong Conference to be something I could confidently send people to. Long for it. But something will have to change.”
That was funny.
And to a certain commentator *waves*: your ability to type such glowing words (you really deserve some recognition, even payment for that latest entry) and still see the (cracked) glass half-full on behalf of Hillsong in this situation is quite admirable. Your many words are almost convincing in fact *IF a reader has no knowledge/ doesn’t *want* to know about of how abusive Driscoll was to his church members. Have you read what they were put through? Google Mars Hill church abuse. e.g. http://joyfulexiles.com/.
Houston appears to have chosen the second option and look how that laziness(?) has backfired on him. He is a laughing joke internationally, hilarious to anti-theists and a sad joke to Christians who know the full story. He is a fool but intelligent people like yourself who know what’s going on but refuse to face the truth are way worse.
I meant the Scooby Doo reference.
I agree with you churchwatcher. Even if they didn’t know of the controversies before he was asked to step down from church leadership, once he was asked to step down from Mars Hill, Hillsongs leadership should have moved to review and cancel his speaking engagement at that point, especially when there were allegations of fiscal impropriety (among other things).
In leaving it so late in the day, they have waited until it has become a media controversy which has given the media more ammunition against them and Christianity in general.
Even though many Facebook comments related to Hillsongs decision around this talk about cancelling MD being an example of great leadership, I think it should have been dealt with last year after he was asked to step down (which would have been a better example of great leadership).
“One or two of the more outrageous things he is purported to have said, I have heard for the first time through the media exposure over the past week“.
Riiiight….. big scandal and and BH has done no homework to figure out why, is that what he wants people to believe? Nothing was passed on to him through senior evangelical channels or contacts as to what has come out? All Brian had to do was Google something like “Mark Driscoll scandal” and it’s all right there, it’s not exactly hidden.
Brian Houston is either completely incompetent or he he just lied to the press and everyone else.
Icarus: All anyone had to do, including Houston, was “google” Mark Driscoll anytime over the past 5-6 years to see that he and his teaching was highly controversial, hidden under the guise of reformed theology. The alarm bells sounded by many godly men over that time, including Driscoll’s own leaders.
Houston’s duty of care to his current campuses and conferences is as “remote” as his warning to the church he sent his father to (after stepping him down), telling then that his father was an admitted pedophile. Remote as in non-existent. Duty of care = non-existent. Due diligence = non-existent.
Cheers, Team Churchwatch.
He sees it the same way he sees criticism against himself. Lies by bitter, jealous, angry, evil people. Even his response hinted at this and that he still doesn’t believe that Driscoll has done anything wrong.
ray e jones said:
Perhaps Brian should have consulted his dear friend Rick Warren first.
In fact any of Brian’s fellow tares would have been able to inform him.
Maybe it would have been interesting to hear, what he had to say?
Why should a bully be given an audience?
“Maybe it would have been interesting to hear, what he had to say?”
I’m not interested in any more of Mark Driscoll’s lies.
“Maybe it would have been interesting to hear, what he had to say?”
Maybe it would have been interesting if the Bible had included “The Gospel of Judas”.
JERRY Z said:
“Maybe it would have been interesting to hear, what he had to say?”
Maybe it would have been interesting if Brian had asked Chris Pringle, Jimmy Giggle, and Hoot to fly on a Trapeze at Hillsong 2015.
I just thought him being a rather anointed man of God, his insights would have been interesting. A prophetic run down on what has happened in his life. After all everyone needs a little mercy don’t you agree?
‘I just thought him being a rather anointed man of God, his insights would have been interesting.”
Oh, definitely. Probably almost as interesting as my toenail clippings.
“After all everyone needs a little mercy don’t you agree?”
Well, not *everyone*. When my toenails are too long, the clippers come out – no haggling and no discussion. And bear in mind that my toenails are even more anointed than Mark Driscoll is (although I must admit that even between the ten of them, they haven’t managed to publish a single book yet, the lazy beggars).
“A prophetic run down […]”
Isn’t that what happens to someone when Mark Driscoll drives over them in the Mars Hill bus?
TF surely your not implying that Pastor Mark Driscol is to be compared to excess toenails that are thrown in the bin? Nails support and protect the sensitive tips of our fingers and toes. Fingernails also help us to pick up objects, scratch an itch or untie a knot. So maybe there will be a use in the body after all.
Please do not take this the wrong way, because I am very new to all this. If not everyone is not deserving of mercy, then I suppose there are people in my life; because of circumstances I do not wish to go into. I can cut off and go my own way. Is that right? If there undeserving of mercy then I can ignore them, like I guess Pastor Mark. I no longer need to be merciful to him or people who have wronged me????? If that’s true than I find that empowering.
Kenny Abrams said:
Mark Driscoll had to be thrown out of his own church that he started, and he did not leave peaceably, he left kicking and screaming. Thrown out after multiple attempts, even the church having banded together, and taking it to the media.
What are you hoping to learn from this man?
After reading your posts, this Gal 1:6 comes to mind….
“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;”
How many times must you be told. Mark Driscoll is a mess. Stay far away. This is not a case of extending mercy. Mercy had already been extended to Mark Driscoll several times. He was on probation so to speak. He was also being mentored to clean up his act, yet he did not.
Furthermore, James 3:1 sets an even higher standard for someone like Mark Driscoll, although he did not even meet basic qualifications for a leader in timothy and titus, as he was lording his power over his church….
“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”
Someone in Mark Driscoll’s position is expected to act in utmost integrity at all times.
As a Christian, noone is empowered to use and abuse people, at any level. We are expected to live in integrity. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Remember you too will face a holy God one day. Best to live like that day is tomorrow.
“TF surely your [sic] not implying that Pastor Mark Driscoll is to be compared to excess toenails that are thrown in the bin?”
I admit that the comparison was stretching things a little: fingernails are made of keratin, whereas Mark Driscoll is made of low-grade slime. (Also, you wouldn’t throw Driscoll into a bin, because he’d make it smell).
“[…] Pastor Mark.”
Driscoll is entitled to call himself “Mark”, because that’s his name. However, he is not entitled to call himself “Pastor”, because he is not now, nor has he ever been, any such thing. Since that is so, you yourself should also refrain from referring to him as such (note that doing so only reinforces his entirely misplaced notions of adequacy).
“[…] I can ignore them […]”
If you made a list of people worth ignoring, Mark Driscoll would certainly be up near the top.
“If that’s true than I find that empowering.”
Quite. Once one realises what a pack of ignorant, narcissistic dullards the vast majority of contemporary “church leaders” are, one has taken a very big step towards the freedom that God always intended for those who belong to him.
Hey TF what about Pastor Brian Houston then, if as you say if Pastor ” Mark Driscoll is made of low-grade slime.” Then am I doing the wrong thing by going to Hillsong? There’s a couple of guys at our school and they run a prayer group during lunch, what do you think? There from Hillsong youth… Causr I have been thinking about a bit. Another mate told me about this site. I’ve heard Padtor Mark before and I sort of liked him, he didn’t come across wimpy and all that, you know.
” There’s a couple of guys at our school and they run a prayer group during lunch, what do you think? There from Hillsong youth… ”
Befriend them first. Later, ask them what the gospel is. (Use 1 Corinthians 15 as a starting point.) There is a good chance they won’t know it and say something like “Love God, love neighbour”, “do unto others”, “having a relationship with God – not a religion” or a nice sounding mantra.
Invite them over for a bible study either individually or as a group – and make sure they only bring their bibles (politely decline their Hillsong bible study notes).
Feel free to use some of the sites here for resources and commentaries to help encourage the group to understand what it is exactly that Christ has done for them. And see if you can get them to identify (discern) the current false church movements like the NAR, WOF, Purpose Driven Movement, Liberalism, etc.
The problem with Mark Driscoll is that he didn’t get the Jesus of the bible right. Jesus never compromised. Mark’s Jesus did compromise to suit the needs of our postmodern culture.
It’s subtle but you can hear it in his sermons. And it is this ‘Jesus’ that has caused him to operate so poorly and lawlessly in Mars Hill.
“I’ve heard Padtor Mark before and I sort of liked him, he didn’t come across wimpy and all that, you know.”
If that is the criteria you use for selecting a Pastor or Bible teacher, you are in trouble.
‘Wimpy’ has nothing to do with it.
Find a man who rightly divides the Word of truth AND lives what he preaches.
PS. There are ‘tough’ pastors who meet your criteria but will lead you astray. Examples:
Christian Harfouche, or Bill Scheer (GUTS Church).
“Invite them over for a bible study either individually or as a group – and make sure they only bring their bibles”.
Are you going to lead the way and have an open invitation bible study?
Today I was talking to one of the Hillsong guys about baptism. He says you need to do it by fully getting dunked, but ive been springled as a baby and been to confirmation classes. So I am right or what?
“[one of the Hillsong guys said] you need to [be baptised] by fully getting dunked […]”
Sheer luxury: when I were a lad, I needed a baptismal bathysphere to best the briny breakers.
“[…] I’ve been sprinkled as a baby […]”
Well at least you’re doing better than Houston or Driscoll – they were both dropped as babies (probably on more than one occasion).
“[…] [I’ve] been to confirmation classes.”
So have Mark and Brian – we have confirmation that they are both clueless, classless heretics with no breeding and less discernment.
“So I am right or what?”
Just give pernicious pretend pastors a wide berth and stay away from crackpot cults like hillsong and mars hill, and you’ll be fine.