The Houston legacy is proving to be an utterly clueless legacy. Like father, like son – Joel Houston appears to be as clueless about the gospel, as his father Brian Houston.
A few days ago, Joel Houston informed his followers on Instagram that he took time to gather the church to “have an open conversation about the realities of racism and injustice experienced by many across our nation today.” What Joel Houston doesn’t realize is that he’s promoting racism and injustice.
Since the 1980s, Hillsong has been trying to influence Christianity to get on board with their own ‘agenda’. Thirty years later, this movement, and secular society, are on a modern day downgrade – because of the advancement of the Hillsong ‘industry’ that has touched churches and communities all around the world.
For Joel Houston to advocate that he, along with Hillsong, cares about racism and injustice is laughable. Joel Houston and Hillsong need to actually believe the bible so they can be recognised as a legitimate church with legitimate pastors. The biblical misrepresentation of this organisation and those they associate with are a blight on Christianity worldwide.
If Joel Houston wants to have a conversation, he needs to demonstrate that he believes the true gospel of Jesus Christ and obey what Jesus and His Word teaches as to what the role of the church is.
The proof that Joel Houston hasn’t a clue about the Christian faith is in his misplaced promotion of the (leftist group) ‘Black Lives Matter’ and their hashtag. This same misplaced social gospel of the Houston family is demonstrated here, exploiting a hashtag to further themselves through the latest social ‘slacktivism’ fads. As long as it makes them look good, they’ll promote the idea that they care for people. Christianity does not work like that.
Background on #blacklivesmatter:http://www.aim.org/special-report/reds-exploiting-blacks-the-roots-of-black-lives-matter/
ALL LIVES MATTER
But of course Hillsong wouldn’t get this because they don’t preach the true gospel. The real Truth is this: we have all fallen in Adam. We can all receive the forgiveness of the second Adam. All lives matter.
Instead, Joel Houston is peddling the false liberal gospel known as the social gospel (which is no gospel at all). It’s a gospel that’s all about humanitarian justice. A gospel that makes people look good and feel good about themselves – but still not dealing with the sin problem that Jesus Christ came to deal with.
Fortunately, Christians can ignore Hillsong’s futile attempt in starting this pointless humanitarian “conversation”.
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.” Hebrews 1:1-4
Hillsong do not listen to the voice of the prophets. Furthermore, they constantly demonstrate that they do not care about Christ and what he has said in these last days. Until Hillsong repent and believe Jesus Christ and His gospel of forgiveness and stop twisting God’s Word (thereby blaspheming God’s name) on a daily basis, they can be rejected. And we do reject them because Christ has rejected them. And Christ has rejected them (spat them out) because…
Hillsong and Joel Houston think it more important to turn Christ’s church into a social justice-driven institution and keep Jesus knocking on their Loadicean doors:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:15-19
Joel Houston wrote the following on Instagram:
Grateful for these people… We took time tonight to gather the church and have an open conversation about the realities of racism and injustice experienced by many across our nation today. I can’t begin to truly understand what it’s like; but I want to at least hold my opinion long enough to LISTEN and EMPATHIZE with those who are afraid and hurting and frustrated. This was the start of many conversations that need to be had; and even when the media goes quiet, The Church will remain loud at fighting injustice of all description. Thank you Niyah, PJ, and Sam… And SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to ALICIA who so beautifully and transparently described the tension between being African American and in law enforcement with the LAPD for the past 18 years… You touched my heart tonight. #blacklivesmatter
Source: Joel Houston, Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/BKpW0Q5BVE0/, Published 22/09/2016. (Accessed 22/09/2016.)
Glenn Robinson said:
Can someone there at hillsongwatch advise me on my stance against the C3 church who advocate that it is good for women to speak and NOT keep silence in the churches. I made an honest enquiry about this matter to someone on the staff at C3 and was met with strong opposition of my views and my stand AGAINST women taking the platform to preach when St. Paul states clearly against this practice in 1 Cor. 14:34,35. In my view the issue of women speaking seems to fade in comparison to the fact that they are just plain DISOBEYING the Word of God. I think it boils down to the fact that C3 must be like their hillsong counterpart who seek to look good to others and to society which advocates gender “equality”.
Glenn – we gave you a great link over on ChurchWatch Central that should be of great assistance in refuting their approval of women in the pulpit.
Our views align with those discussed biblically here:
Does the Bible support the idea that women can be pastors and elders? No, it does not. According to Scripture women are not to be pastors and elders.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, the Garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve. He put Adam in the garden and gave him the authority to name all the animals. Afterward, God made Eve as a helper to Adam.1 This is an important concept because Paul refers to the order of creation in his epistle to Timothy when he discusses the relationship between men and women in the church context. Let’s take a look.
1 Timothy 2:12-14, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.”
1 Timothy 3:15, “but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God,, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
At the very least, there is an authority structure set up by God. The woman is not to have authority over the man (1 Timothy 2:12) in the church context, “the household of God,” (1 Timothy 3:15). This verse is not about political, social, or economic aspects of the secular realm. It is not about a “patriarchal society” at the time of Paul. This is the instruction to the household of God and anchors its teaching on the doctrinal truth that Adam was created first.
When we look further at Paul’s teachings, we see that the bishop/overseer is to be the husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2), who manages his household well, and has a good reputation (1 Timothy 3:4-5, 7). Deacons must be “men of dignity” (1 Timothy 3:8). Paul then speaks of women in verse 11 and their obligation to receive instruction. Then in verse 12, Paul says “Let deacons be husbands of one wife…” Again, in Titus 1:5-7, Paul says, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward…” Notice that Paul interchanges the word ‘elder’ and ‘overseer’.
The Greek for “husband of one wife” is found in these verses
1 Timothy 3:2, “andra mias gunaikos”; andra = man/husband; mias = of one; gunaikos = woman/wife
1 Timothy 3:12, “andres mias gynaikos”; andres = men/husbands; mias = of one; gunaikos = woman/wife
Titus 1:6, “aner mias gunaikos”; aner = man/husband; mias = of one; gunaikos = woman/wife
In other words, each is saying a “man of one woman”, or a “one woman man”. Notice that the biblical instruction is that the elders, biship, overseers must be men. ‘Andra’, ‘andres’ and ‘aner’ all are cognates of the same word in Greek meaning man, husband. In each case, the one who is an elder, deacon, bishop, or overseer is instructed to be male2. He is the husband of one wife (‘aner mias gunaikas’, ‘man of one woman’), responsible, able to “exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9). We see no command for the overseers to be women. On the contrary, women are told to be “dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things,” (1 Timothy 3:11). Why is it that it is the men who are singled out as the overseers? It is because of the created order of God that Paul references (Gen. 1-2; 1 Timothy 2:12-14). This is not merely a social custom that fell away with ancient Israel.
Being a Pastor or Elder is to be in Authority
God is a God of order and balance. He has established order within the family (Gen. 3:16; 1 Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-21) and the church (1 Timothy 2:11-14; 1 Cor. 11:8-9). Even within the Trinity, there is an order, a hierarchy. The Father sent the Son (John 6:38), and both the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26).3 Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me,” (John 6:38). It is clear that God is a God of order and structure. This applies in the Christian church as well.
In creation, God made Adam first and then Eve to be his helper. This is the order of creation. It is this order that Paul mentions in 1 Timothy 2:11-14 when speaking of authority. Being a pastor or an elder is to be in the place of authority. Therefore, within the church, for a woman to be a pastor or elder, she would be in authority over men in the church which contradicts what Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:11-14.
What about Deborah?
In the Old Testament Deborah was a judge in Israel and had authority over men. This is true, but the Old Testament judge was not a New Testament elder. The contexts are different. Paul’s instruction is to the New Testament church, not Old Testament judges.
What About Galatians 3:28?
Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
This verse is often used to support the idea that women can hold the offices of elder and pastor because there is neither male nor female in Christ. The argument states that if we are all equal, then women can be pastors.
Unfortunately, those who use this verse this way have failed to read the context. Verse 23 talks about being under the Law “before faith came” and how we are brought closer to Jesus and have become sons of God by faith. We are no longer under law, but grace and we are “Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise,” (v. 29).4 The point of this passage is that we are all saved by God’s grace according to the promise of God and that it doesn’t matter who you are – Jew, Greek, slave, free, male, or female. All are saved the same way – by grace. In that, there is neither male nor female.
This verse is not talking about church structure or offices therein. It is talking about salvation “in Christ.” Therefore, it cannot be used to support women as pastors because that isn’t what it is talking about. Instead, to find out about church structure and leadership, you need to go to those passages that talk about it: 1 Timothy 2-3 and Titus 1.
But Doesn’t This Teaching Belittle Women?
Male leadership does not belittle women. Jesus was given his authority by God the Father (Matt. 28:18). He was sent by God (John 6:38). He said the Father was greater than He (John 14:28). Did this belittle Jesus? Of course not. Women are of great value in the church and need to be used more and more according to the gifts given them. But it must be according to scripture.
Does the wife’s submission to the husband mean that she is less than the husband, less important, or belittled? Again, not at all. Not having a place of leadership in the church does not mean a woman is less of a person, less important to God, or inferior. All are equal before God whether it be Jew, Gentile, free, slave, male, or female. But in the church, God has set up an order the same way he set one up in the family. It is not an issue of being belittled. It is an issue of being faithful to God’s word and those who are not, belittled the word of God.
What About Women Who Say They are Called By God to Be Pastors?
There are women pastors in the world who love their congregations and have said that they are called by God to be pastors. Of course, I cannot agree with this considering the previous analysis of the biblical position. God would not act in a manner to contradict his word. Instead, they have usurped the position of men and gone against scriptural revelation. Additionally, those who state that they are called by God because of the great job they are doing and the gifting they have received, are basing their theology upon experience and not scripture. This is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in the Christian church today where experience, desires, and wants are often placed above Scripture.
What About a Missionary Woman Who Establishes a Church?
Scripture establishes the norm. As Christians, we apply what we learn from the word to the situations at hand. So, what about the situation where a woman missionary has converted a group of people, say in the jungle somewhere, and she has established a church? In that church, she is then functioning as a pastor and teacher having authority over men in the church. Should she not do this?
First of all, she should not be out there alone. She should be with her husband or, at the very least, under the oversight of a church body in the presence of other women and men. Missionary work is not a lone endeavor to be handled by single women.
Second, if in some highly unusual set of circumstances there is a woman in a lone situation, it is far more important that the word of God be preached and the gospel of salvation go forth to the lost than not. Whether it be male or female, let the gospel be spoken. However, I would say that as soon as there is/are males mature enough to handle eldership, then she should establish the proper order of the church as revealed in scripture and thereby show her submission to it.
Does this also mean that women shouldn’t wear jewelry?
1 Timothy 2:9-13, “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; 10 but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness. 11 Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. 12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.”
Some argue that if we are to forbid women to be elders, then the context of 1 Timothy 2:9-13 demands that we require women to no have braided hair, wear gold, or have costly garments. Since no one wants to put that sort of a demand on a woman (since it is cultural), then why should we also demand that they not be elders since it would logically follow that it was also a culturally based admonition?
The problem here is that multifaceted. First, the objection ignores what the scriptures plainly teach about the elder being the husband of one wife. Second, it fails to address the real issue of biblical headship residing in the male. Third, it fails to properly exegete the scripture in question.
In 1 Timothy 2:9-13, Paul tells us that women should be modestly dressed. He uses the example of the then present-day adornment as an example of what not to do. This is a culturally based assessment by Paul. Notice that Paul emphasizes good works and godliness as a qualifier (as does Peter, see 1 Pet. 3:2). This is not a doctrinal statement tied to anything other than being a godly woman in appearance as well as attitude.
In verse 11, Paul says that a woman should quietly receive instruction. Please note that “The word, hesuchia, translated “quietness” in 1 Timothy 2:11 and silent in verse 12, does not mean complete silence with no talking. It is clearly used elsewhere (Acts 22:2; 2 Thes. 3:12) to mean “settled down, undisturbed, not unruly.” A different word (sigao) means “to be silent, to say nothing” (cf. Luke 18:39; 1 Cor. 14:34).”5 It is not used here. So, Paul is advocating orderliness in this verse, not absolute silence.
Then in verse 12-13, Paul says, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.” Notice that Paul directly relates the authority issue with the created order. He does not do this with the woman’s dress code. Therefore, the dress code is cultural and the authority issue is doctrinal, since the latter is tied to the creation order and the dress code is not.
God’s word clearly tells us that the elder is to be the husband of one wife. A woman cannot qualify for this position by virtue of her being female. Whether anyone likes it or not is irrelevant to the fact that this is what the Bible teaches.
IfIf you’re in a church where there is a woman pastor, then ask for the biblical reason for her being in that position. of course, to do this is to go against the status quo and you will be met with resistance. Therefore, consider leaving that church. After all, if they can’t get this simple truth right, how can you trust them to get other things right?
If you’re the husband of a woman pastor, then hold your wife to biblical standards as revealed by Paul the apostle. it does not matter if she likes it or not. The issue is the submission to the word of God.
If you’re a husband and wife pastor team, then submit to God’s word and do things right. She needs to stop being called pastor. She needs to stop taking the role of the man.”
Cheers, Team ChurchWatch.
Glenn – who did you speak to?
Cheers, Team Churchwatch.
I don’t agree with the social ‘gospel’ at all, however, Jesus came to free the oppressed. Christians are quite often at the forefront of social justice movements, fighting for the basic rights of oppressed peoples.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind.
The blacks in America are an oppressed group and I need no evidence to prove this – it’s a known fact. I think it’s good that Joel is standing up for them. Yes, it could be for show or superficial (or ‘exploiting a hashtag’) but that’s for God to decide. Advocating for social justice is a good thing. To be silent on these matters isn’t an option. Consider that many, many Christians through the ages have fought for social justice, leading to the establishment of foundations, societies, changed cultures and lives. It is because these Christians knew the Lord’s love and wanted to show love and take actions to benefit others, through fighting against injustice, poverty, racism etc. I don’t know the figures but likely many of those helped have come to know the love of Christ through such actions.
Can we say for any certainty that particular Christians of old involved in social justice actions/advocacy had pure motives or were just doing it for show, or a bit of both? Of course, generally we can’t see the motive but God knows. In any case, good came out of such actions no matter what the heart motive.
Of course receiving the good news of Jesus is true freedom for all. There is nothing in this world that compares to salvation and in receiving the Holy Spirit. That is what we wish for everyone; to believe in Jesus and receive his gift of salvation. It goes without saying that the good things of the world, like social justice advocacy are no comparison to this.
Whilst I agree with most things on this website Churchwatcher, we need to avoid generalising and interpreting everything Hillsong (and/or the Hillsong family) does and says as evil. We need to look at a thing on its merits and be careful not to call good, evil.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
AJ, I agree with you that Hillsong is not the ONLY example of the social Gospel. Google results show lots of different churches throughout the centuries have used a form of it with generally very good motives.
In the areas of Christian apologetics, discernment and polemics this classic quote is helpful:
“Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.” —C.H. Spurgeon
The promotion of a social Gospel is yet another example where of where Hillsong strays off the straight and narrow path. This time it is Joel Houston (just like some other Christian churches and charities have done in past/ currently do) forgetting Christianity’s original purpose – to lead people to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
From C.S.Lewis’ classic novel Screwtape Letters (letters of an uncle demon writing to nephew, chapter XXIII, spacing added):
“….About the general connection between Christianity and politics, our position is more delicate. Certainly we do not want men to allow their Christianity to flow over into their political life, for the establishment of anything like a really just society would be a major disaster.
On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything – even to social justice.
The thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy [i.e. God] demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. For the Enemy will not be used as a convenience.
Men or nations who think they can revive the Faith in order to make a good society might just as well think they can use the stairs of Heaven as a short cut to the nearest chemist’s shop. Fortunately it is quite easy to coax humans round this little corner.
Only today I have found a passage in a Christian writer where he recommends his own version of Christianity on the ground that “only such a faith can outlast the death of old cultures and the birth of new civilisations”. You see the little rift? “Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason….”
Whole book: http://readnovelonline.com/classics/u5583.html
Cheers, Team ChurchWatch
Thanks Thinker and Churchwatcher. Will mull over. I know what you’re saying. Yes, substituting social justice alone for preaching the word and getting people saved is not the way to go.
I’m finding it difficult to explain but hope you understand this….
To say/do nothing about injustice because we know that that on it’s own isn’t going to save people – and just preach the gospel to them instead would allow injustice to continue.
What sort of society would we be living in if Christians of old had just let things be – and only preached the gospel, rather than take action for better lives? We’d likely still be living as they did in medieval times.
Black lives do matter. Rape is wrong. Domestic Violence is wrong. Child abuse is wrong. Drug abusers need help. Etc.
Many years ago I was an abuse victim and I had counselling through a Baptist church. Through that counselling I came to know Christ. I went to the church because of the care and help I received through Christian counselling and I heard the gospel.
Thanks AJ – probably the problem lies in a #BlackLivesMatter agenda that seems to slip under the radar when we talk about social issues from a Christian perspective.
Cheers, Team ChurchWatch.
Doc Gospel said:
“To say/do nothing about injustice because we know that that on it’s own isn’t going to save people – and just preach the gospel to them instead would allow injustice to continue.”
The problem is… many in the so-called “Church” have REPLACE the Salvation Gospel with a new Social Gospel. That is a BIG NO-NO.
Sure, helping people has its place, is even expected of us, but it CANNOT BECOME THE NEW ‘GOSPEL.’ It is Works, and as a ‘gospel, it will send people straight to hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Doc Gospel, I haven’t seen/experienced the replacement of the true gospel with the social gospel in churches here in Australia (though I haven’t been to Hillsong to know if they actually do this, Joel Houston’s post aside). It’s possible it’s happening here but just haven’t come across it, as you have.
However, regarding organisations I think I know what you mean. The Salvation Army and YMCA (and other Christian-based welfare type organisations) should be upfront about the gospel (e.g. on website and tracts) besides doing good works/providing services in the community. Wouldn’t that be great? No one doubts the value of such organisations but the gospel which is part of their foundation should be visible, rather than hidden. People would understand the foundations are Christ-centred and become aware of the gospel (and their own spiritual condition) – thus having an opportunity to respond. As it is, the foundations are hidden and people are generally oblivious to the reason the organisation was created in the first place.
Thanks Churchwatcher for the link ‘Reds exploiting Blacks the Roots of Black Lives Matter’. These are complicated issues with political ramifications/reasons – I’m a beginner in my understanding. Simplistically, It seems a case of not everything is as it seems.
Joel Houston is another so called ‘Christian’ merely pandering to public opinion, in order to make himself look concerned, politically correct, and good.
He is another chameleon, just like his father Brian Houston. Whichever way the winds of public opinion blow, these two go with the flow. They profit from being in the majority, popular, politically correct group.
They would rather be popular, just like Rick Warren, instead of taking a stand for the truth. The truth is usually with the minority. Christians are usually in the minority. But the Houstons thrive on being in the majority, because that is where the money is. The money is not in being unpopular nor in the minority. Money dictates the Houstons’ every move, and their every decision. They are obviously money-driven, and money-motivated.
Fat Man said:
If Joel Houston wants to take up a social justice issue, he should take a stand against CHILD SEX ABUSE BY CLERGY and DENIAL OF JUSTICE FOR SURVIVORS.
The church is under no obligation to solve humanity’s problems but it is under obligation to keep its own back yard clean. Joel would do well to use his mega wealth and mega platform to deal with CORRUPTION IN THE CHURCH, a mandate he has already been charged with by Scripture.