You don’t think Brian Houston and the Hillsong empire brainwashes their congregants into submission? We would encourage you to do a bible study on this sermon by Brian Houston, given this year (2016).
Think hard of the ramifications of his advice and see if you notice any reoccurring hypocritical behaviour of Brian Houston throughout this sermon. If you are a loyal follower of Hillsong, what are do you think you are allowed to think after this sermon?
Listen to how Houston deliberately leads them on a journey to conclude they must “die to [their] opinion or know when it’s right to hold our opinion and live our lives with an openness to Godly counsel”.
Then, step back and consider what he is saying. Why isn’t Brian Houston promoting the idea that Christians are to be governed by God’s Word? Does God grow the church or does man? Does he use the bible to explain what governs and grows the church?
… Or is this all Brian Houston’s opinion? (“I believe”, “I think”,etc.). Furthermore, what do you think this type of false teaching does?
Essentially it conditions his listeners to NOT think biblically or critically engage with what is said by Hillsong’s established infallible ‘magisterium’. And according to Brian Houston, does he even submit to them?
In essence, Brian Houston is like Goldilocks. He claims he doesn’t want ‘yes’ men (their opinions are too hot). He claims he doesn’t want policemen (their opinions are too cold). He wants to be ‘governed’ by opinions that are ‘juuuust right’.
Once again, Hillsong’s ‘fuhrer’ has reinforced his congregants not to question him or his counsel.
#SpotHouston’sLie: Clues – Romans 11:25-7, John 12:36-43
TRANSCRIPT: What Are You Soaking In?
“What are you soaking in? That’s what this message is called. What are you soaking in?
Every single person who can hear my voice has a right to your opinion, but I’ve never seen opinion build a church. As a matter of fact there’s very little I’ve ever seen opinion build.
So what are you soaking in? I’m thinking in terms of being opinionated, cause it’s kind of like being marinated, you are soaking in opinion and sadly some people, they are soaking in opinion. And because they are soaking in opinion, number one, their contribution is actually smaller not greater and the reality is what it adds and what it contributes is often not helpful it is entirely the opposite.
And so, there’s nothing wrong with opinion, it’s all about wisdom and when’s the right time to share our opinion and what an opinion can actually build, what in fact at times instead of building diminishes.
And so, Romans chapter 12, verse 16, says, ‘Be of the same mind toward one another do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.’
The scripture says, ‘let’s not be wise in your own opinion’. The world holds very closely to its right to have an opinion, ‘I’m entitled to my opinion’ and of course you are, you’re entirely entitled to your opinion. I just know it’s not opinion that builds ministries it’s not opinion that builds churches and ultimately it’s not your opinion that will build your own life and I think it’s good to think about that.
You see, it’s not always right to give your opinion and a wise person knows even when they know so much and there’s so much they can tell, a wise person knows when is the right time to share and what is the spirit to share with and they out of a spirit of counsel rather than opinion often speak words like the Bible says, ‘be slow to speak’ that because they don’t constantly put their opinion out there at the front, their words have actually more resonance, have more power. I wonder how much power your words have.
Some things about an opinion. Firstly, opinions can rule you, so many people are ruled by opinion, your own opinion, other’s opinions, public opinion, popular opinion, and we can get so ruled by opinion. And so you can’t live your life being ruled firstly by your own opinion because that will always diminish and limit you and second, you cannot live being ruled by the opinions of others.
We’ve all got to be able to listen, we’ve all got to receive counsel, we all need guidance in our lives, we all need spiritual fathers, spiritual mothers, mentors, people whose counsel we value. Strong leadership is being strong enough to be able to be taught, to be able to listen and to be able to receive from other people.
So, opinions can rule you and I think a lot of people, a lot of believers are intimidated, completely intimidated by the opinions of others and they’re ruled by the fear of what other people think and you know that can become a prison for you.
You cannot build anything on opinion, in James chapter 2, verse 1 [MSG] it says, ‘don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ originated faith’. Don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ originated faith. Opinion can rule you and I think the less confident, the less assured you are of who you are in Christ, the more likely you are to be bullied by everybody’s opinions.
Second thing is, opinions can bind you. I mean people literally do diminish their lives, I believe through being bound up in their own opinion.
You see, your opinion can be holding you rather than you holding it and if your opinion holds you, then you are being led by your opinion and sadly if people are being led by their opinion all the time then they’re not receptive, they’re often not listening, they are not easily corrected and so consequently, they are bound by their own opinion and it’s keeping their world smaller.
And I’ll say this, sadly, often the smaller the person the bigger the opinion. I’m not talking for one second about stature naturally speaking, I’m talking about the smallness of spirit and often times it’s the person whose spirit is the smallest, who has got the most to say. And that’s where we can get so bound up by our own opinion.
So you can be bound by your own opinion and of course you can get bound by other people’s opinions and untimely you can get locked between opinions because there’s so much opinion in the world.
1 Kings chapter 18, verse 21, [NKJV] ‘and Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘how long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God follow Him; but if baal, follow him. But the people answered him not a word.’ So the people were caught between two opinions, one that God is God the other is the worship of baal, they’re caught in the middle. And if you are not strong in your faith or not strong in yourself you will find in life constantly caught in the middle.
I think you can hide behind your opinion and I think sometimes people do hide, they hide the need to change, the need to grow, the need to perhaps be more flexible, the need to listen and to be taught. You can hide and, you know, your opinion can be quite bullying in many ways and so that’s where I talk about some people, who, you know, opinionated is a little like being marinated, they’re just soaking in opinion and if you lead with your opinion sometimes that can cause you, the real you to hide behind that opinion.
And if you look at God’s Word, God’s Word is filled with Godly counsel and not opinion and there’s a huge difference between having a culture of counsel and a culture of opinion because opinion tells, counsel is invited. You know, opinion is basically inflicted on you, counsel is invited into your life. And God’s Word is filled with His counsel, not His opinions and so yes as a church, I don’t think you could ever build a church on a million opinions but you do need to have an environment where counsel is invited and I’m not just talking about me as the Pastor of our church but for everyone whose part of a church, that we invite counsel into our lives, the right counsel, rather than opinion because you’ll find Godly counsel will build the house, Godly counsel will build your life.
Proverbs chapter 19, verse 21, [NKJV] says, ‘There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless it’s the Lord’s counsel that will stand.’ The Lord says, ‘my counsel will stand’. And so let’s live our lives understanding the difference between opinion and counsel and let’s if we’re leaders not ruled by opinion, but be ruled by Godly counsel.
Proverbs chapter 15, verse 22, ‘without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.’ I need counsel in my life, I just need to keep making sure I keep getting it from the right people. And so I think every person here you never, ever graduate from needing Godly counsel in your life, sometimes from mentors, sometimes from friends. But I think, you know, true you know, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful iron sharpens iron, friendships will help build your life and keep you from disaster because a man, his plans go awry when there’s a lack of Godly counsel in their lives.
So we need to know the difference between a culture of opinion and an environment of counsel and often is that difference between telling and listening, inviting and basically, ramming it down people’s throats, massive difference, massive difference.
So listen, opinion blocks truth, counsel invites truth. You know, it’s knowing the truth that should set you free, you shall know the truth it’s not just the truth will set you free it’s knowing the truth that will set you free and it’s knowing the truth that will bring freedom within the life of any church, any ministry as well.
And so, Romans chapter 11, verse 25, [NKJV] it’s interesting because it’s talking about the Jews and look at what it says, ‘For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.’ And so speaking of Israel, you know, sadly because they were so ruled by their opinion about what the Messiah should look like and what the Messiah would look like and what type of person the Messiah would be and they’re so ruled by their opinions when the Messiah was right there with them and under their nose, they rejected Him, didn’t accept Him and if only, if only they weren’t ruled by their absolute, you know, blinded opinion about the things of God, what the Messiah would look like and where the Gentiles fit and a whole range of other things.
The scripture says, talking about that blindness and it says, ‘…that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.’ In other words, they missed out, they were missing out because they were blind and they were blind by often times just their own opinions.
If you read 1 Corinthians chapter 1, you will see it right there where you know you can soon see they were expecting, what the Jews were expecting and what the Greeks were expecting and so because they were so filled with their opinion, sadly when the real Messiahs right there they missed out on the opportunity.
Here’s another thing, opinion is opposed, counsel is invited. You know, opinions are kind of, a bit more like smash and barge and so that’s how some people that’s how they live their lives. They are just ruled by opinion and they’re just smash, bang, barge and they do damage, they do damage because they’re just ruled by their opinion and opinion is opposed and that’s the difference counsel is invited.
And so counsel it recognises the gap. It recognises the opportunity. It’s a different way of approaching life altogether. And so if you are a person who on the inside, your insecure, you’ll find that you start crash and barging sometimes with your opinion and it can come because you think too highly of yourself, or it can come because you think too lowly of yourself.
The Scripture says, ‘let’s not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think, but think soberly.’ The person who thinks too highly about themselves, they’re just telling, telling, telling they’re so filled with their own opinion, they don’t ask, they don’t ask, they just tell, tell, tell. And so I would encourage everyone here in life to just really think about your interpersonal relationships and the way you listen and the way you talk and let’s be people who live by Godly counsel, we invite that into our life, rather than opposing opinion which is a very different thing altogether.
And so with opinion, their spirit really is, ‘I’m going to hit you with whether you want it or not, its crash or barge. And as soon as you get that in a group of people, there’s not going to be any progress, there’s not going to be any movement forward, there’s not going to be the opportunity to have the kind of harmony, the united force that God wants His church to be. Blessed are those who dwell together in unity because that’s where God commands a blessing, not where people dwell together in opinion because we will never agree, we will never agree on a multitude of things inside the house of God, let alone outside the house of God.
And so Proverbs 1, verse 5, [NKJV] says, ‘A man of understanding will attain wise counsel.’ In other words, will invite it. Wise counsel, Godly counsel that’s what we need to invite into our lives.
So, I said opinion blocks true counsel, counsel invites truth. Second, opinion is opposed, counsel is invited. Third, opinion judges, counsel guides. And it’s true, you know, it’s literally in the dictionary if you look up the ‘opinion of the Court’, the ‘opinion of the Court’ it means, ‘this is the Court’s judgement’. And so, in a sense opinion is judgement, that’s what it is, you’re making a judgment on somebody, you’re making a judgment on that person, you’re making a judgement on this thing, you’re making a judgment on the worship team, you’re making a judgement on whatever it is that you may have a million opinions about.
And so, opinion judges but counsel, it guides. And it’s different because when you get that environment of opinion, you know, it becomes a very hard, mean environment, it really does and in a church, it’s all built on everyone’s opinion, it actually, all of the sweetness goes out of the air, all of the sweetness goes out of the ministry, all the sweetness even goes out of the services cause you’ve just got all these people who crash barge with their opinion.
And, you know, I just think when you do have this openness to learn, and to grow, and to be taught, ahhh you know, there’s a sweetness, there’s a sweetness that often you take it for granted if you’ve got it, but believe me it’s when you don’t have it that you know exactly what I am talking about.
So, opinion judges, counsel guides. Isaiah 28, verse 29, [NKJV] ‘This also comes from the Lord of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.’ And the two go together, wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. So, if we are people whose spirit and heart is open to guidance rather than living our lives by opinion, then you will find Godly counsel will bring the right guidance in your life.
The first place to go is of course, the Word of God which is all Godly counsel and God’s counsel will stand. But I just really pray and hope that you are secure enough to be who God called you to be, which means, ‘yes I am teachable, I’m open, I receive, I appreciate Godly counsel, I know where to get it, where not to get it. And it’s amazing how that will keep your life on course because it will bring guidance, God is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance, the Scripture says.
Number four, an opinion divides, counsel unites, and this is true. Opinion divides and strife and division comes because people fiercely protect their opinion. A culture of opinion is so divided but in an environment of counsel, it’s amazing how often our opinions concur. You know, even inside our own marriages and families, if you try to build your marriage on two opinions, oftentimes you’re gonna be so far apart and you’re gonna be so many poles apart, but you know if we really genuinely, I mean if we genuinely want to build the kind of relationship that has depth and strength to it, then you’ve gotta be able to speak to each other, you gotta be able to talk truth to each other, you gotta be able to speak counsel into each other’s lives.
Opinion’s change, counsel stands, number five. If you are just opinionated, marinated, you know, soaking in opinion all of the time, so locked into your own opinion, then sadly, you know, not being able to change your opinion sometimes, you will be, you’ll be wrong. Sometimes if I’m just ruled by my opinion, I’m gonna be wrong, so I can imprison myself when it comes to potential, possibility.
And so, let’s not ever be people who get too locked up in our own opinion. Opinions change, counsel stands, I mentioned. It’s amazing how many things where, you know, what I thought was so important when I was younger, now the 61 year version of me, I’m still the same person, but I gotta tell you some of my ideals have changed dramatically. Some of my ideals have changed dramatically just by being more seasoned in life, and less judgmental of other people, and less idealistic about how everything should be. And, you know, I think sometimes in younger people, it’s a trap, it’s a danger, and it actually, it’s toxic, basically. It’s toxic so it will cut you off, again, from possibility.
And number six, opinion shrinks, counsel enlarges. So opinion will shrink your life and it will shrink your possibilities. I’ve talked a lot about this but Proverbs chapter 1, verse 30 and 31 says, ‘They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way.’ Put another way, they get what they deserve because, ‘They would have none of the counsel, despise my every rebuke, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way.’
Can I say to all of us, you know, there are times in life no matter how wise you are where if we all got the fruit of our own way, it’s called reaping what you sow, life would be pretty sorry. We ought to thank God for the grace of God but we also need to make sure we never live our lives so ruled on the front foot, crash and barge, with opinion that we don’t understand the kind of counsel that will keep you on course and you end up eating the fruit of your own way, the Bible says, and be filled to the full with your own fancies.
You know, opinion is for strangers, number seven. Counsel comes from friends and I believe counsel is, if you like, the currency of friendship. Opinion is the currency of crowds and a church should be built on Godly counsel whereas a crowd, often, is built on opinion. You know what? We’re not here to be a pack of strangers with a million opinions. We’re here to be a family. We’re here to be a community. We’re basically friends. We’re in relationship and if we live our lives in relationship, and in friendship and in community, then absolutely we respect each other. We actually invite, we invite other people’s thoughts, other people counsel in our lives. We listen, we learn, we grow.
But the slam, and crash, and bang, that sadly, sometimes, Christians feel they have the right to, if you do live your life that way, even at a small level with your friends, with your family, with your husband, with your wife, inside any kind of connections or group you have, you are seriously limiting your life because your opinion will blind you, it will keep you small and ultimately, it’s the smallness in a person who feels so fiercely that they have to be able to inflict their opinion on everybody everywhere all the time.
So, it’s wisdom that builds the house and I don’t believe Godly wisdom is ruled by opinion. And if you invite really Godly counsel into your lives, you’re gonna get what a friend will give you. The Scripture talks about the kisses of an enemy and the truth is, friendship, sometimes, you know, if you’re open, you want counsel. We’re not good in putting each other down and saying mean things to each other. And you know, it’s a Godly grace to be able to tell the truth with love, but I do believe that anyone who’s not open to counsel, they tend to be very filled with opinion and well, just won’t ever enter into all God’s got for them.
I think there are keys to sanctified opinion and Godly counsel, and one of those things is value yourself and value others, cause I already mentioned Romans chapter 12, verse 3, that talks about the person who thinks more highly of themself, and I think the person who thinks more highly of themself tends to get filled with their own opinion, but the person who thinks so lowly of themselves, they are insecure.
And so sometimes, you know, the person, who wants to prove that they’re not a ‘yes’ man, so they have to be a ‘no’ man, they’re not the kind of person who you’d ever want on a board because they don’t come with perspective, Godly perspective. They come like policemen and they feel big if they can say no to stuff and feel small if they feel like they’re a ‘yes’ man. And so, I would really encourage everybody here to understand the importance of having the right value. When it comes to you, don’t think too much, don’t think too little, and sadly, some people they just think too often of themselves. Just don’t think about yourself so much at all. Let’s start thinking about other people. Think about the people in our world.
Opinions comes from two poles, thinking too much of yourself, or thinking too little of yourself. And the other thing I think, if you want to have sanctified opinion, and Godly counsel is live your life big spirited. Be a big spirited person. The smaller your world, the bigger your opinion.
And you know, sometimes in life if you find yourself sweating the small stuff, I mean if I think of, you know, the kind of thing that you might hear as a pastor. ‘You know, I went to Hillsong Church, they sang one song, I never heard Jesus once. I never heard Jesus once. I heard Brian Houston do a leadership teaching, he never mentioned Jesus once.’ You know, it’s an amazing thing because anyone who really truly comes to our church knows that Jesus, you know, Jesus gets a pretty regular mention in pretty well every song we write.
So, here’s the point; do you know the Book of Esther in the Bible never mentions the name of God once? God, the Lord, Spirit of the Lord, obviously Jesus, not once. You’re gonna write the whole book out of the Bible? See, small people make these big judgments, and sadly, in Christianity, sometimes it’s just far too prevalent that people live their lives small spirited because that’s what it is.
And do you know what? I think sometimes if we’re gonna live our lives as sanctified in opinion and Godly counsel, then I think, you know, we really prove our loyalty to each other when we have a spirit that invites counsel. The Scripture talks about a multitude of counsel. A multitude of counsel doesn’t mean you got a million different voices, but it does mean that you’re open to a spirit of counsel, but the Scripture never ever talks about a multitude of opinions, cause a multitude of opinions will never build anything. If you believe it say, ‘amen.’
So, why do I take time? Why do I take time to talk on subjects like that is because, you know, to be honest with you, I think it all helps us build our own lives but in a church, it’s invaluable. If you care about the soul of a church, ‘Beloved I wish above all else that you prosper, be in good health the same way as your soul prospers.’
I’m talking to the soul of our church and if that’s in good health, then the church will flourish in the same way as its soul flourishes. Little things like that are the things that make all the difference to the soul of a church, and it’s the things that make all the difference to the soul in your own life as well.
So, come on, let’s sometimes die to our opinion or know when it’s right to hold our opinion and live our lives with an openness to Godly counsel. Praise God.
Well, tonight you were included in the heart and soul meeting of our church. I believe that every church has a soul just like we are ourselves have a soul and if the soul of the church is in good spirits and in good heart, then the church itself will be flourishing as well. So, I also had the chance to speak to you and it means a lot to me to see people building their lives by Godly counsel because I really feel that we live in a world that’s so saturated with opinion and we get it, of course, on the web. We get it so many other places, but you’ll never build your life on opinion but you will build it by inviting counsel.”