Recently, it was discovered that Hillsong NYC Youth Pastor Diego Simila played the Hillsong’s Naked Cowboy (NC) at Hillsong’s US Color Conference. While this information was circulating, Brian Houston released a blog post on this controversy. What followed after that was the sudden removal of Diego Simila’s sermons online. We wrote an article in response to this phenomena here:
Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church NYC responded to this article. You can read his response below. If anyone wants to understand our previous conversations with Carl, read here.
We’ve spaced his comment so it is easier to read.
Carl Lentz writes,
Hey guys! Diego is 100 percent our youth pastor at Hillsong Church New York City… I’ve seen quite a few silly things on this topic, this blog is right up there w/ the most silly. I have no idea why anybody, is trying to say we are “cyber scrubbing” anything to do with Diego.
There may not be many sermons online of Diego preaching, because he doesn’t travel and preach often! He is typically busy building our local youth ministry…if he has preached at another church and they put it online and now have taken it off, that’s THIER call not ours. Has zero to do with Hillsong Church.
This is now the second time I have had to clarify bad facts and address you on the very same issue you continually attempt to throw at my church.(you stated as fact one time, I had my own YouTube channel, which in fact I do not and cannot control fake accounts posing as me. I think you issued some sort of apology but mostly re-directed…sound familiar? If I had more time, I would read more of your stuff and im sure there would be profound inaccuracy throughout..)
So again, in your rush to write blogs about us, please do your best to at least get facts right. I realize you hate our church and you get excited to get new material up as fast as you can, that’s your obvious right. But your credibility suffers when you have to retract things, and I want you to be the best church watcher site you can be.
Diego is our youth pastor, I think he’s one of the best I have ever known when it comes to serving and helping young people and if he preaches on a Sunday and we put it online, keep your eye out for it! I love his preaching too..nobody has ever tried to scrub this man, from anything, so your entire blog here? Lacks truth. That has to be disappointing when that’s supposed to be what you hold dear.
Do better and have a great day!
Sincerely: Carl Lentz..
Guy who hired Diego as youth pastor and is confirming his existence.
Source: Carl Lentz, Prankster or pastor? Where the world is Hillsong’s man Diego?, ChurchWatchCentral, http://churchwatchcentral.com/2016/06/03/prankster-or-pastor-where-the-world-is-hillsongs-man-diego/, Published 04/06/2016. (Accessed 05/06/2016.)
Do you agree with Carl Lentz’s challenge to us? Do you think he gave us enough information so we could correct our article? What are your thoughts on this?
Popular Charismatic Worship Artist, Kari Jobe, Teaching Dangerous Theology
It’s never-ending. The apostasy, the lack of discernment, the gullibility. How can anyone who proclaims the name of Jesus Christ not recognize the dismal state of the professing church? Words cannot even begin to describe the how far away the church is from Christ in these days. The attractions, the concerts, the conferences. People joining hands with those teaching for shameful gain things they ought not to teach. This is not revival, but the falling away in it’s most deceptive and extreme form–a form of godliness that denies its power.
Tickets go on sale in May for Outcry Tour 2016. The music festival will be held in several cities around the nation, and features some of the most lauded names in “worship.” The groups include Hillsong, Kari Jobe, Rend Collective, Housefires, Urban Rescue, Chad Veach, and none other than Elevation Worship.
Now, I’m not exactly sure who these people are worshiping, but it isn’t Jesus. Yet, thousands of Christians are blindly sending their children to partake in this evil.
In the Charismatic Evangelical church, there is a movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). It is a movement that elevates experience above doctrinal truth. Often times you will see many with contradictory beliefs about the basic tenets of Christianity come together in prayer and worship. This is the driving force behind this modern worship scene that’s creeping into once solid churches.
Hillsong United is among the most deceitful and subversive worship music movements. Hillsong music is popular, and is played throughout even some of the most theologically solid churches, deceptively luring people away from doctrinal truth and into an experiential form of idolatry that removes Jesus as the sole object of worship, and places the emphasis on ear-tickling lyrics and music that draws on people’s emotions. Read more about them here.
But another of Outcry’s featured singers, Kari Jobe, is also a popular musician being promoted in churches, especially to our youth. Jobe, out of seeker-sensitive NAR Robert Morris’ Gateway church, is known for popular songs like I Am Not Alone, and Love Came Down. She is also under the leadership of Gateway’s NAR Apostle and elder, Jack Hayford, author of the song Majesty, which teaches the heretical “Kingdom Now” theology. However, she is one of those who are teaching for shameful gain things she ought not to teach (Titus 1:11).
One of her most popular songs, Forever, published by Bethel Music (the same outfit that produced Jesus Culture), contains some really aberrant theology. Besides the fact that she’s a female pastor in a church, her theology alone should be enough to disqualify her as a teacher. Below is a sample of her lyrics:
One final breath He gave
As heaven looked away
The Son of God was laid in darkness
A battle in the grave
The war on death was waged
The power of hell forever broken
Then, In an interview about her song, Forever, she said,
My favorite part of the whole thing is … we talk about the death on the cross and we talk about the resurrection,but that time in between was when Jesus was in hell rendering hell. And ransacking hell. And defeating the enemy – taking those keys to death and hell and the grave to be victorious over that when he rose from the dead.
Of course, we can pick apart almost any song, even some of the best traditional hymns. But the serious error here is that she is teaching a heresy that strikes at the heart of Christian theology, which is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. She gets a pass, though, you know, because “artistic license and stuff.”
This idea that Jesus died and went to Hell stems from an old heresy that is prominent in Word of Faith circles that teach that Jesus died spiritually, and was “born again” after defeating Satan in Hell. Popular teachers of this false teaching are Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, and Creflo Dollar. Joyce Meyer writes in her book, The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make, the following:
Jesus paid on the cross and went to hell in my place. Then as God had promised, on the third day Jesus rose from the dead. The scene in the spirit realm went something like this: God rose up from his throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless son of God, “let him go.” Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus. On earth his grave where they had buried him was filled with light as the power of God filled his body. He was resurrected from the dead–the first born again man. (source)
And Kenneth Copeland similarly writes:
For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer. Some people don’t want to believe that. They want to believe that after His death, Jesus just stayed in that upper region of Sheol that the Bible calls paradise, but they’re mistaken! If He had simply stayed there, there would have been no price paid for sin. (source)
This flies right in the face of biblical truth that Christ’s death on the cross was victorious over sin. Jesus proclaimed victory in his final breath on the cross (John 19:28-30). Jesus had no need to go to Hell to finish any work, and he certainly did not die spiritually (John 17:4, Acts 2:31, Col 2:14, etc.).
But if denying the power of the cross isn’t enough to turn your head away from Kari Jobe’s music, perhaps her treatment of Jesus would be enough to make your stomach turn. Another popular song, The More I Seek You, she treats Jesus more like a lover than a savior.
The more I seek you,
The more I find you
The more I find you, the more I love you
I wanna sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breathe, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming
Besides the theology in this song just being plain horrible, she displays a total lack of understanding of God’s love for us. God’s love for us is not an erotic (Greek: eros) love, but agape. Agape is a parental, sacrificial, unconditional love, whereas eros is a bodily, emotional kind of love. The lyrics in this song pervert the nature of God’s love.
I don’t see how anyone could worship our sovereign God to music like this, yet the eroticizing of God’s love for us is gaining steam. Hillsong’s Forever Reign is another popular song in evangelical churches that does this, while Ann Voskamp, a popular women’s bible study writer, and author, pushes the same foolishness in her book, 1000 Gifts. Voskamp writes, “I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God.”
One of the Hallmarks of NAR worship is to use repetitive phrases and rhythmic cadences to draw people into a trance-like state, believing that by doing so, you can have intimacy with God. In reality, what it does is cause people to zone out, and not really think about what they are saying. Being under the influence of NAR Apostle, Jack Hayford, who has been instrumental in transforming the worship music scene, it comes as no surprise that her music incorporates this tactic. Jack Hayford claims direct, divine revelation from God, and says that while driving by a Catholic church, God directly told him not to judge them. He says God directly said to him,
Why would I not be happy with a place [Catholic Church] where every morning the testimony of the blood of my Son is raised from the altar?
Being that the Catholic Church worships a false Jesus, you can rest assured that Hayford did not hear that from God. Yet, this is a man influencing Kari Jobe, and many other modern worship music artists.
All of this and more is what the evangelical church is feeding its sheep. Wolves, snake oil salesmen, bad theology…and nobody bats an eye. Children are being sent off to church camps and “Christian” concerts to be fed goat’s milk through worship. Sadly, many truly love Jesus, and desire to worship him rightly, but have no idea that their music is leading them down a path of destruction. Music is tearing down doctrinal lines and creating unholy alliances at a faster pace than once thought possible. No longer do Evangelicals, Catholics, and other professing Christians have to stand against each other over “matters of secondary importance…like the Bible,” we can now unite around our new idol of worship music.
This article is broken into three sections, exposing the lazy journalism of Channel 9’s online report (Brian Houston speaks out on dealing with Hillsong’s nasty secret), on Hillsong Church. In section 1 we introduce the issues in Channel 9’s article. In section two we review the online report. And in section three you can examine all the sources to the material we referenced throughout our article.
Because this article on Brian Houston and Hillsong is questioning and analysing it’s history and leadership, this article is not from God but the devil. (That’s how the Hillsong philosophy goes. If it’s good, praise God! If it’s bad, it’s of the devil.)
There is so much to examine in this article which we are sure to refer to in articles to come.
Rick Warren is famous for coining the phrase “Deeds not Creeds.” This anti-creedal statement of Warren indicates that he shows very little regard of the creeds. That is unless he can use them to give the impression he is a legitimate Christian minister.
In 2014, Hillsong leadership were quite relaxed in confessing that Hillsong is a non-creedal church. It was at Hillsong Conference 2015 this year where Rick Warren preached a rather anti-Christian message on how to hear from his god.
After Pulpit and Pen exposed Warren’s pagan teachings, Rick Warren now appeals that he does indeed affirm the Nicene Creed. This is just another slick attempt to keep his sheepskin in tact while he continues to destroy Christ’s church for his own selfish gain.
Nevertheless, Christianity Today continually fails to care about integrity when it comes to journalism or the Christian faith and allowed Justin S. Holcomb to use nice sounding arguments to say not much at all in defense of Rick Warren. If anything, it has only created more confusion over church history and clear definitions on words such as ‘heresy’ and ‘heterodoxy’. Thank you Christianity Today.
The below well written article exposes the game of Holcomb and Warren and calls out the deceit behind Christianity Today:
“It seems to be just another attempt by the Evangelical Intelligentsia to distract from the real issues–issues that are bringing destruction in the church, further leading Christianity astray. It’s their typical game strategy.” [Link added]
Paul warns the church that ravenous wolves will emerge from inside the church. The evil intentions of these men will only stop when God fearing Christians says enough is enough and call them out. Thank God for Maples.
Jeff Maples writes,
Christianity Today says Rick Warren’s Mysticism isn’t Heresy Because he affirms the Nicene Creed
Recently, I wrote an article addressing serious theological issues that the CEO of Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, preached at the Hillsong 2015 Conference. Apparently this article ruffled quite a few feathers, since it has almost five-thousand Facebook shares, and Hillsong even contacted me requesting that I remove the video of Rick Warren’s sermon from Youtube (even though it’s protected under the fair use act). Now it appears that Justin Holcomb at Christianity Astray Today has taken an opportunity to lash out at Pulpit & Pen, though without any substance. Though he didn’t mention our blog or my name, my article would seem to fit the description, along with his passive aggressive, stereotypical depiction of Pulpit & Pen. He writes:
A group of bloggers seeking reform in Southern Baptist circles recently decried pastor Rick Warren for teaching that God communicates to believers via dreams. The bloggers named Warren and other speakers at a 2015 Hillsong conference “heretical preachers that claim extra-biblical revelation from God.” To be sure, the nature of God’s revelation has been debated throughout church history, and overemphasis on dream interpretation can be theologically dangerous.
He then goes on into a rant about some British guy, of which I know nothing about, and will not comment on. However, his beef with us seems to be more about semantics than anything else. His approximately 3600-word article is dedicated to attacking Pulpit & Pen (and this other guy) about the use of the word “heresy.”
The article I penned at P&P in which appears to be the focus of Holcomb’s harangue is titled “Rick Warren Preaching Heresy at Hillsong 2015 Conference.” He then spends the rest of the article attempting to define the word, “heresy,” as well as trying to prove that what Rick Warren was teaching is, in fact, not heresy. He says:
But are these problems of heresy? Both complementarian and egalitarian leaders have taken to the Internet to call each other’s views on gender and leadership heresy. That, though their respective movements have officially existed for about 30 years.
If we stopped reading his article here, one might conclude that in order for a theological teaching to be considered heresy, it must be relatively new. However, we will see by continuing that that isn’t what he thinks. So my question would be, why mention it? If the length of existence of a given theological teaching had anything to do with it’s being considered heresy, then that would have made all of Jesus’ teachings “heresy,” in which we know is not the case–at least not from a Biblical believer’s point of view.
However, Mr. Holcomb later asserts his definition of the word as follows:
Heresy, as historian David Christie-Murray explains, is a belief that denies a doctrine “officially defined” as orthodoxy…For example, according to Protestants, the Catholic teaching that Mary was born without original sin and remained a virgin for life is heterodox. It’s not heresy, because Catholics affirm orthodox Christology…However, Oneness Pentecostalism is an example of heresy, because it rejects historic orthodox Trinitarian theology.
And then goes on to conclude,
If a believer genuinely accepts the Nicene Creed, they should not be dubbed a heretic.
Okay, there are a number of problems with this. First, I would ask him that since the pope of the Catholic Church affirms the Nicene Creed, should he not then be labeled a heretic? This is assuming, of course, that he believes the Catholic Church to be a false church that teaches a false gospel. However, according to his definition, the pope affirms the trinity and other “orthodox” teachings set out at the council of Nicea, and, therefore, should not be labeled a heretic.
But is this the proper, biblical use of the word heresy?
First of all, let’s be clear, there was no Nicene Creed while the New Testament was being written. It did not exist. The Nicene Creed was established about 300 years later after the New Testament Canon was closed. So when Paul referred to heretics in his epistles, he wasn’t referring to people who didn’t affirm the Nicene Creed. Paul says in Titus 3:10m
As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, (ESV)
and the KVJ translates it as,
A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
The Greek word translated here as one who stirs up division, or “heretick,” (as the KJV translates it), is “αἱρετικός,” or “hairetikos.” Thayer’s Greek Lexicon defines the word as:
1. fitted or able to take or choose a thing
2. schismatic, factious, a follower of a false doctrine
So what is “false doctrine?” Obviously Paul isn’t referring to simple disagreements over non-essentials in Titus 3:10. But Holcomb is attempting to make a biblical definition of the word “heresy” that equates to a more distinguished use of the word than that of the standard definition, which is basically, “a choice.” This is fine, as I am attempting to do the same thing, however, Holcomb’s “biblical” definition fails, as it is not consistent with biblical usage. He has narrowed the term down too far in order to avoid usage on those whom it should apply biblically.
Peter actually gives us a better picture of the biblical usage of the word in 2 Peter 2:1,
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
So basically, a heresy, according to Peter, is a “destructive doctrine,” or a doctrine that will lead someone to “destruction.” Again, there was no Nicene Creed during this time, and I simply don’t see any biblical support for limiting Paul and Peter’s usage of the word to those who would only deny certain declarations of it. For example, the Nicene Creed doesn’t even touch upon soteriology, yet the doctrine of salvation is by far the most important doctrine of the Christian faith. While all aspects of the Nicene Creed are important and essential, it is rather limited in its scope. The Roman Catholic Church, as well as any other sect that asserts a false gospel, or a false way of salvation, or any other teaching that could lead one down the wrong road to destruction, would clearly be considered heretical by biblical standards.
So back to Rick Warren, in whom Mr. Holcomb believes should not be referred to as a heretic. I would then ask, why not? Is not what he teaches dangerous? Is not teaching that the Bible is insufficient for hearing from God a destructive doctrine (2 Timothy 3:16-17)? Is not contemplative prayer, and other practices of mysticism and divination strictly forbidden in Scripture? Are these practices not linked with idolatry and rejection of God (1 Samuel 15:23)?
Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. – Matthew 7:13
Perhaps Mr. Holcomb doesn’t see Rick Warren’s teachings as dangerous. To his credit, he does say “Traditionally a heretic is someone who has compromised an essential doctrine, usually by oversimplification, and has thus lost sight of who God truly is or what he has done for us.” I would agree with him on that statement, however, it appears he doesn’t see mysticism, contemplative/centering prayer or denying the sufficiency of Scripture as an essential doctrine.
Or does he?
It’s unclear because he goes through a number of false teachings that, although he refuses to call them “heresy,” he refers to them as “heterodox.” Is there practically any distinction between the two words? Traditionally, historically, maybe–slightly. But Holcomb, again, writes a 3600-word article refuting my use of the word “heresy” in favor of the word “heterodox,” in which there is no practical argument to be made. It’s clear that the biblical definition of the word fits much more than he is willing to acknowledge and is a proper term to fit Rick Warren’s practices. But even if it weren’t, what is the point of his article? What purpose did it serve? It seems to be just another attempt by the Evangelical Intelligentsia to distract from the real issues–issues that are bringing destruction in the church, further leading Christianity astray. It’s their typical game strategy.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. – Proverbs 14:12
A few months ago, Jeff Maples from Pulpit and Pen did an article exposing Rick Warren’s heresy at Hillsong Conference 2015.
As usual, whenever someone critiques Hillsong and it’s teachers, Hillsong attempts to hide or remove the content at whatever cost. You will notice that Hillsong have removed Rick Warren’s message from YouTube.
Quick reminder on how Hillsong works:
If you expose Hillsong (or CHC) of heresy with sound bites – they accuse you of maliciously slandering them by taking crying someone has taken them out of context. They then put defamation notices against their critics.
If you put up entire messages in context – they accuse you of breach of copyright and do everything they can to shut you down so that the content is removed.
If they can’t get you this way, they will attempt other means necessary to silence or discredit you.
Rick Warren Preaching Heresy at Hillsong 2015 Conference
At the Hillsong 2015 Conference in Sydney, Australia, where Rick Warren shared a stage with other heretics such as Joseph Prince, Warren teaches that he receives extra-biblical revelations through subconscious dreams. The theme of the Word of Faith conference that Rick is speaking at is “Speak Lord, I’m listening.” This is fitting since all of the speakers at this conference are heretical preachers that claim extra-biblical revelation from God.
He starts out by twisting Exodus 4:3 regarding Moses’ encounter with God, and God commanding Moses to throw down his staff while God miraculously turns it into a serpent, and then pick it back. He says that this passage represents that Christians today need to throw down their income and identity and let God do something miraculously with it. He says:
Hearing the voice of God starts with a willingness to give up his identity, his income, and his influence, for the global Glory of God. When you do that, you are now in a position to hear God speak.
He says that the prerequisites to hearing from God are “believing that he cares about the details of your life,” and that you must “believe that God wants to answer your questions, confusions, quandaries and problems.” He then reads Habakkuk Chapter 1 and 2 and says that this passage lays out a strategy for hearing from God. While reading, and holding up his counting fingers while reading, he says the following:
In Habakkuk, we find the model for hearing the voice of God…These are the five things you do to hear the voice of God…  I will climb up in my watchtower,  and I will wait,  and I will look to see what the Lord will say, then the Lord gave me this answer  write down what I reveal to you,  so that you may read it.
Watch, as he tells the audience that he often asks God questions before he goes to bed, the Holy Spirit works on him, then he wakes up with an answer.
While emotionally and repeatedly restating the conference theme, “Speak Lord, I’m listening,” in an effort to draw the crowd into an emotionally submissive state of mind, he goes on to say that these will become second nature to you if you practice all your life. “You must station yourself,” he says, “you don’t move… God speaks to those who wait on him.” “You calm your body, you calm your mind, and you calm your emotions… you relax your body.” He then recites Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God,” as a proof for this. He then teaches taking deep breaths while stretching and relaxing your muscles, and getting comfortable. His next statement says it all:
Until you get comfortable with silence, you will never, ever, ever, hear the voice of God…the inner-calm gives me the intercom to God…the inner channel to hearing the voice of God.
He goes on expounding on this for quite some time. Then, surprisingly he says that God speaks to us through his Word, however, he then contradicts himself by saying that in addition to this, God speaks to us through mental images and visions. This isn’t Christianity, this is mysticism. Rick Warren has been on a downhill path for a number of years, but this is outright heretical teaching.
And to the angel of the church in Sardis [Hillsong, Saddleback, Lakewood, etc.] write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.’ – Revelation 3:1
You can see the entire “sermon” below.
Source: By Jeff Maples, Rick Warren Preaching Heresy at Hillsong 2015 Conference, Pulpit & Pen, Published 05/07/2015. (Accessed 09/05/2015.)
One reason why we started Church Watch was because we noticed popular cults starting to rewrite their history. Specifically C3 and Hillsong.
In his book, ‘Live Love Lead,’ Brian Houston of Hillsong lied about his history in how he dealt with his father’s crimes and victims (he also added new information to the story that was not disclosed at the Royal Commission). The stories he told the media also contradicted his story at the Royal Commission.
He has also been promoting the lie that he started CLC/Hillsong (switching histories to suit whatever agenda). He also insists that he founded his church at Hills in 1983. This is now being refuted as well.
The philosophy with Hillsong is this: if your history doesn’t make you look good, change it or cover it up. And Brian Houston has had lots of experience with this (as we are about to find out).
EIC – no morals, no ethics, no Christianity. Just a network to promote stuff that sounds Christian to consumers.
Recently, Brian Houston was focusing on the Evangelical Industrial Complex (EIC) in America to sell his new book ‘Live Love Lead.’ Terry Meeuwsen appeared to make Houston nervous while he promoted his material on the Christian Broadcast Network. She raised the issue of Houston’s terrible experience losing his “best friend” in 1995. His body language indicated that he clearly was not comfortable with Meeuwsen throwing this experience in his face. (Watch at 7:10 onwards.)
Terry Meeuwsen: “… When I think of Hillsong, I think of praise and worship because those songs are sung in my own church and the churches of so many of us. And God actually used the disappointment and the surprise of a leader leaving – a key lead- THE leader of your worship team, and yet God did an amazing thing.
Brian Houston: “You mean right back in 1995?
Terry Meeuwsen: Yeah.
Brian Houston: So it’s 20 years ago? It’s true.
We were on the edge of recording with ah- Integrity Music here in America. And of course we’re Down Under, like, you know, its already amazing that, that um- people were reaching out to us.
And so, the week that it was about to happen – and ah- I still don’t even understand it. I still to this day don’t understand it. But our worship leader walked out. [Behaviour gets antsy] And literally walked out. Like literally left my life- left our lives- and he was like a best friend, so there’s huge grief involved. [Rubs loose tooth?] And uh-
But the incredible thing in it all is that the only person I could turn to was a lady called Darlene Zschech. And of course Darlene Zschech is well-known now around the globe. So I kind of, as well as I could, I gently pushed her forward. I rang Integrity Music. And incredibly they never had a woman lead one of their projects at that time. So it was quite a big thing for them. But it turned out to be an amazing story.”
[Drinks cup of water]
That worship leader and “best friend” to Brian Houston in 1995 was Geoff Bullock.
Geoff Bullock was the man that gave Christian Life Centre the name Hillsong and helped put Hillsong on the map for it’s outstanding musical events and it’s famous music. Just like many others who made Hillsong what it is today, Brian Houston simply rode on the coat-tails of his “friends” who made Hillsong what it is.
So how does Brian Houston treat his best friends? Did he really suffer memory loss on the CBN set? To answer that question, we will look at Brian Houston’s book ‘You Can Change the Future’, Tanya Levin’s book ‘People in Glass Houses’ and finally read what Geoff Bullock himself said about his experience.
Tanya Levin wrote about Geoff Bullock in her book ‘People in Glass Houses’:
“Geoff left Hillsong in late 1995. I knew that his marriage had broken down and had remarried but, not having stayed in touch with the Christian music scene, not much else. The Geoff that I shared cappuccinos with was the same man as always. Same piercing blue eyes, soft mannerisms, and a voice born for the BBC. Geoff is not, by nature, an AoG salesman. Rather he represents a large group of artists who are attracted to the Pentecostal church by the opportunity for creative expression for Jesus.
What I didn’t expect was the brokenness. Although I had worked with people from a diversity of backgrounds for years, I assumed all the old wise men of God were naturally of stronger character than me, Over the time we spoke I found it not to be so. It was Geoff’s openness and willingness to talk that prepared me for a world of people damaged for the long-term by the work of Hillsong and the AoG.
Geoff says he remembers having episodes of mania when he was a child, although he wasn’t diagnosed with symptoms of any kind until after he left Hillsong. He sees a therapist to work on his long periods of depression, which are often followed by episodes of intense creativity. The other obstacle in his life is the nightmares he suffers dating from the time with Hillsong, an off-shoot of his post-traumatic stress diagnosis.
As the Hillsong conference expanded in the late eighties, so did Geoff’s responsibilities and pressures. He and his wife, Janine, were expected to spend infinite hours away from their children to run the music department. International interest in the music grew and so did Geoff’s profile. The couple travelled extensively with the Praise and Worship team, and personally with their old friends Brian and Bobbie. Despite the bright lights and the glory, his music career at it’s peak, Geoff was finding less satisfaction and spirituality in what he was doing.
After the most successful conference yet, Hillsong ’95, Geoff went to Brian and told him he was leaving. It was time, he felt, spiritually, to pursue other interests. Nothing personal.
Geoff Bullock had left a career with ABC-TV as a production manager to become a pastor with the Hills Christian Life Centre in 1978. For nearly twenty years he was able to use those skills to produce Hillsong music, and the show that accompanied it. During that time he wrote, produced and performed countless songs, and released seven albums. Because Hillsong still uses those songs, has remixed them and re-released them, Geoff’s royalties are growing at the same rate as Hillsong.
Which is lucky for Geoff. Hillsong did everything in its power to prevent his future success. Due to speak at a bible college occasion soon after leaving, he received a phone call with a sudden apology. Hillsong had informed the bible college that any associations with Geoff Bullock meant no further association with Hillsong. Christian magazines were told the same thing. Piles of the CD Geoff was about to release were found dumped at a tip in Blacktown, not far from Hillsong headquarters.
In Bobbie’s I’ll Have What She’s Having, this period is clearly referred to (the emphases are hers):
In July 1995, we witnesses a wonderful HILLSONG Leadership Conference. It was our 9th conference and in our nation and in our context of influence, to put it delicately- ‘we put the wind up the devil!!!’ Stories would flood into our offices of churches and towns being turned upside down with a revival spirit. God is good (all the time). Brian and I took a week to tie up loose ends and then together with our friends Pat and Liz Mesiti we took a little holiday. (I think God was just being terribly kind to give us a rest, because he knew what lay around the next bend.)
We came home a week later, stepped off the plane (‘hello, hello … lovely to see you … we missed you all … had a lovely time!’) and literally all hell broke out with one of our key people. It was the first and only time that something like this had happened to us. (I must admit prior to that conference I sensed something brewing, and had called our pastors wives to prayer.)
… For the next several months it was as though demons came out of the woodwork on every front. When attacks come from every side it is a sure sign that you are doing something right (which is contrary to some people’s belief). We experienced a barrage of attack-cancer, accidents, stinking thinking, people throwing in the towel, disloyalty in our team that disappointed our heart, devil induced confusion, opposition and fine thread ‘cancerous attitude’ bent on contaminating and taking out this particular Body of Christ.
Eventually, a Hillsong board member had lunch with Geoff. ‘We tried to destroy you,’ he told him. ‘until we realised you weren’t a threat.’ Geoff continues to work and write music, though he gave up performing years ago.
The nightmares remain one of the most intrusive spillovers from the old days. Three of four times a week he dreams about Hillsong events, being humiliated by Brian’s demands, being screamed at, berated and bullied along the way. His psyche is deeply affected. He is very aware that he, too, became a bully. Years later, Geoff has tried to make amends to many people he treated ruthlessly in order to avoid punishment from above.
At the end of our first meeting at a café, Geoff is exhausted. He tells me he feels drained by the remembering. I realise I have stumbled into a much more serious affliction in people’s lives than I had anticipated.”
Source: Tanya Levin, People in Glass Houses, Published: Black Inc., Melbourne, VIC: 2007, pg. 242-4.
Brian Houston writes of his best friend this way in his book ‘You Can Change the Future’ (a book that attempted to cover up his father’s crimes as a paedophile and exalted as a role model for others to follow):
Commitment to the right vehicle
“When I was a little boy, I had a scooter. As I got older, I rode a three-wheeled trike before I got my first bicycle. One day my father took me down to the shops and as I sat impatiently waiting for him in the car, all of sudden [sic] he came around the corner with a shining green bicycle. It was my pride and joy. Of course getting my first car was an unforgettable moment in my life. It was a ’57 Austin A50. It was also green and it cost me $650.
Many people desire to make an impact on the generations but rely on old vehicles to get there. Imagine me trying to fulfil my overseas speaking engagements via my original scooter or bicycle! You need the right vehicle and the right associations to enable God to take you forward. You may have a great vision to impact the earth, but alone you cannot do as much as you could together with others. If you are in associations which are holding you back or on a vehicle that is moving too slowly, stretch yourself by stepping into the mainstream and being committed to going forward.
I have been blessed to pastor at least four world-class songwriters, and many others heading in the same direction. I cannot take credit for their anointing or their God-given gifts, but I do have a sense of satisfaction about their opportunity. The Hillsong Church is a vehicle that has taken their songs to the world. One of these writers, who severed their link to our church several years ago, told me how they were writing more songs than ever before. Interestingly, it is only the songs that were written within the local church that I have heard anybody singing. It seems as though the local church was the vehicle which God was blessing.
Currently, the most sung praise and worship songs in Australian churches have emerged from the life of our church. Obviously that association with Hillsong Church has been very fruitful for people like Darlene Zschech, Ruben Morgan and Russel Fragar. They have obvious talent, a beautiful anointing, but also the right vehicle. Talent and anointing on their own aren’t enough, but placing the right people, in the right place, at the right time, has enormous potential.”
Source: Brian Houston, You Can Change the Future: Living Beyond Today and Impacting the Generations Ahead, Published: Maximised Leadership Incorporated, Australia, 2000, pg. 131-2.
And what did Geoff Bullock had to say about his experience? This is a very insightful interview exposing what Bullock went through, discussing areas of Hillsong’s philosophy, methods and dirty tactics which lead to his swift removal.
And Houston claims he has no idea why Geoff Bullock, his best friend, walked? What other lies and smear campaigns has Brian Houston written about in his book ‘Live Love Lead’? What other media organisations and Christian groups has he publicly mislead and lied to about his past life?
Let the sledge BEGIN!
Terry Allen from the Christian Faith wrote this piece back in 2010:
Geoff Bullock opens up …
We all know his music and we each have a favourite. He is Geoff Bullock. But what do you know about the man? About Geoff as a Christian? About Geoff as a sufferer of bi-polar disorder?
Join Geoff as he discusses his life and ministry with Terry Allen.
Geoff, what have you been doing for the last decade or so?
Oh, what a question! What have I been doing for the last 10 years? I would say I have been learning grace and un-learning working to prove myself.
Now, that is not just in a spiritual situation, that is in a whole of life situation: in my relationships with my kids, with my friends, with [wife] Victoria, especially as a step-father. Learning how to be rather than to do.
Spiritually, that has huge impacts on my life. I wrote two books at the beginning of the century, which was the beginning of that journey. Jesus’ story painted in a way that I hope you could see or visualize the impact he was making on society and the lives of broken hearted people; people without hope.
In the last 10 years I suppose, I would say, combined with that, I have been battling with mental illness: bi-polar type two which has caused all manner of symptoms in my life which has been confronting. One of the main ones being high levels of anxiety, which has seen me come and go publically three times.
I am now 10 years on and I feel the illness is manageable and the greatest gift, I think, is that I have been forced to learn insight into the way I think and the way that I do. I have learnt that by reflection on my past and reflection on the times where I can see the illness in that.
Also, over the last decade, I have had a most surprising return to public profile to tie that journey in to the life of Christ and the hope we see in the cross. So, I think that’s what I’ve been doing.
Life as a Christian, especially with bi-polar disorder, must be difficult. Some Christians believe it is demonic & should be dealt exclusively by prayer. How have you managed it?
Well, the first thing I want to wade in swinging is that I wish the evangelists and those who visit churches, and they arrive one day and leave the other, who drop such dangerous bombs on people’s medical situations; I wish they would go and do some research by sitting down with a psychiatrist and realizing how dangerous their teaching is.
You wouldn’t dare say that to someone with diabetes, but this irresponsible message; all it does is heighten the symptoms twice. You know, they go off medication, they get worse and then, getting worse, they think they must be possessed by demons, so that makes them feel worse and then they are totally without an anchor. Of course the hope of medication and a good psychiatrist is taken away from them, so I get furious about that.
And it’s also totally irrelevant to the gospel. There’s no resemblance to the life of Christ whatsoever. So, those are my little swinging punches.
For me, I do a lot of thinking, prayerful thinking and I think about the life of Christ all the time. Trying to strip away all of the things we’ve said culturally and theologically: strip it away. The drama that was Jesus when he walked into somebody’s life or somebody’s social circumstances: that is of great help to me.
I have a little saying: receiving grace compels us to begin the journey towards becoming gracious. Receiving grace is free but becoming gracious will cost you everything. It will cost you every opinion you have in your life and every bias.
So that has made a huge difference in the way I react to my symptoms because often my symptoms are feelings of rejection and a lack of affirmation and a feeling of isolation.Then I will expect people to do as I want them to do which is to work to prove their love for me as I am working to prove my love for them. So meditating on the life of Christ helps me to challenge that works based expectation of myself and others.
Bi-polar disorder is often suffered by artistic and creative people and one of the symptoms is depression. Have you suffered depression?
Yes, I’ve been absolutely lost in it. It was in 2007, actually it started back in November 2006, I remember vividly when i suddenly realised that I was falling into depression, I was sitting on a sun drenched balcony overlooking the sea and feeling absolutely miserable and that lasted for just on a year.
Obviously, talking to my GP and then my psychiatrist, I began a journey of trying to balance medication and cognitive therapy. I ended up as a day patient at a psychiatric clinic in Sydney, which I think was the beginning of helping me to have insight and, strangely enough, 2008 saw the rebirth of what I’m doing now and I spent a good 18 months of it depressed, but it was wonderful having a mission.
Have you ever felt Christian condemnation over your condition?
No, I don’t think I’ve ever been in that situation, but look, I can be a little outspoken and I have thought really deeply about my condition and so I feel that I have ammunition now. If, for example someone said to me, “Oh, it’s the devil”, which did happen to me once: one of my very, very oldest friends: he is not a man with insight. He does not think deeply and so he has a book of rules that he applies. He started a conversation with me about my depression being demonic and I think my response was strong enough for him to realize that even if he thought I was wrong, he would be wise to step away.
15 years ago you left Hillsong. Why?
Well, I’ve got to say that I was always a round peg in a square hole there. From the beginning of Hillsong’s association with the Word of Faith churches in America, their prosperity doctrine and their very works-based doctrine of spiritual and physical rewards, I just could not tie the gospel together with what they were saying. Not when I looked at Jesus at the cross; I couldn’t understand how they combined the grace of Jesus found in the gospel with the laws of conditional blessings and rewards found in the Old Testament.
They teach that Jesus rewards us according to our works. That is not the work of Christ. Grace is never a reward. We receive grace as a gift according what Jesus accomplished for us.
I actually tried to leave in 1992, but got turned around. It’s important that I say I chose to stay and rededicate all that I could to continue being part of their vision and the outworking of it.
Then, in 1995, I had two major things happening: I had this sensation that I really didn’t know Jesus. I knew Paul’s Jesus, I knew the epistles’ Jesus and Hebrews and I knew my movement’s Jesus: all the preachers and teachers who came through and spoke about him, but in my own life I felt I did not have this sense of meeting him. And so I started a search.
That’s when I wrote the song Jesus, God’s righteousness revealed. Towards the middle of the year, I started to really burn out because I was trying so hard to prove myself worthy of being who I was and trying to prove myself worthy of God’s presence on a Sunday: I had this poor, misguided feeling that if I play really, really well, God will come. It might sound stupid to say it, but it was where I think lots of Church musicians still are.
But after Hillsong ’95 I just felt so broken and so failed, I thought, “Look, I could just fall over dead and no one would notice.” But then I had this profound sense, and it grew: in fact, I would say it was the strongest spiritual encounter I had with God, where he said, through a whole lot of ways, to do something: that I had to go.
And it took three months and a whole lot of conversations, but eventually I wrote a letter and handed it on by a friend. I didn’t have the courage to do it to their face, but I knew that if I didn’t do what I felt God was saying… I had a choice: either I follow God or follow the church.
In the end, I’d rather build my relationship, my spirituality, on trying to discern what God’s saying to me and that’s how I left. And it really was the great divorce. It was unnecessarily bitter and divisive and that I found very confusing.
By saying it was bitter and divisive, do you mean you were stabbed in the back?
Yes, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt. There were letters written to other churches, there were approaches made to other churches, there was a statement made to the whole church leadership team. They just couldn’t understand what I was doing, but in the end that’s just human and it’s very painful.
One of the hardest things was when my marriage ended three months later people jumped to a conclusion which was so far from the truth. This sad piece of gossip is still believed to be the truth.
Even last weekend I had to retell my story to put events back into the order that they occurred. It would have been lovely if Hillsong helped to put things right. However I simply became the invisible and forgotten man and that hurts deeply. Very deeply. I would have thought that my work there was seen as a blessing.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that rift has ever been repaired. There is nothing to indicate that it has.
Has there been any reaction at Hillsong in recent times to your current ministry?
Well, firstly, I made contact within six months with Brian Houston who was my very best friend at the time. This is really painful stuff and I can fully understand how he felt. I tried to explain as I was slowing gaining insight into what eventually would be bi-polar. I talked about co-dependency, I talked about my spirituality and I would often find that Brian would understand and ‘get it’. I had a chance to go and see most of the elders and senior pastors at that time and try to explain that I was sorry it happened the way it happened. I could have handled it a whole lot better: I handled it very, very poorly. I suppose we both did, but I can only be accountable for myself.
I met with Brian many, many times because I didn’t like the thought that he thought ill of me and misunderstood me, but I also felt that I had wounded him in a way that I wished I hadn’t and that somehow I could take those wounds away or help heal them. So, we’ve had good contact, but as far as the church is concerned, nothing. There’s just been silence, absolute silence.
I must say, when I left and obviously it was getting rather sad, I decided not to contact any of my friends because I felt that if I did, the worst thing they could do is try to understand me because then they would misunderstand the church and I didn’t want to put my friends in the middle of something that was unnecessary but very human. So, I walked away too and that has to be understood.
Funnily enough, I could see something of my bi-polar going way back to when I was 17 and I was at a very good school in Sydney and all of a sudden I decided I had to leave and I left at the end of year 11. I’ve had almost no contact with that school ever since.
The same thing when I left the ABC and the same thing when I left Hillsong. There is a part of me: I just cut my ties and run.
In realising this I have to take responsibility for my actions and not blame others for my sense of isolation. This is a difficult lesson to admit. I must have hurt so many people. However, no matter how I set about leaving I always come back to believing that i made the right decision.
You wrote some of our generation’s favourite songs. They are ones we all sing in Church. How does that make you feel?
Weird. I’ve always been a musician and always written songs but it hadn’t really defined me all that much, so it was very weird when all of a sudden I was writing songs that were defining me. My claim to fame in the early to mid 80’s was that I was a former cameraman with the ABC. I worked on virtually all their programs for 10 years, so that was my claim to fame.
Then I wrote The Power of Your Love and The Heavens Shall Declare and off it all went. And I have really badly battled with it at times because I would feel it placed on me a responsibility to try to be someone I wasn’t. And that was hard and unnecessary, but I would still feel this pressure. People would come and tell me these stories and I wouldn’t know how to answer.
The way I relate to it now is that I just feel like I have very successful children, which I gave birth to. They’ve now gone and travelled the world, they’ve made a huge impact in their own right and I look back remembering their birth, but looking at their independence. I think that’s by and large how I relate to it now.
Many of the songs you wrote, you now sing with revised lyrics. Why?
Well, I suppose it’s because I remember who I was when I wrote the song. I remember my approach to God and I remember what was a real disfunctionality. Yes, it was the result of an undiagnosed illness, but it was also an error of theology. An error of grace or rather an error of works in grace.
When Paul says in Galatians, “You foolish Galatians.” ‘You silly things. It had to be done by the Spirit; what are you doing completing it by works?’
Well, that was me. I sort of felt like it was a one-time grace or two-time grace. You went back to God asking for forgiveness, you hung your head in shame, but then you tried to prove yourself worthy of it all. I was constantly striving and therefore constantly burning out.
I was so fierce on myself. I would just push myself and push myself and I would never receive any comfort because I would always be measuring myself and coming up short. I didn’t count myself worthy of comfort. I could never be than man of god that significant others were telling me I should be.
In the middle of this sad and broken time I became aware, ever so gently, that grace was embracing me. I started to realise that I hadn’t fallen from grace, I had fallen into it. I was no less righteous; I had simply lost my sense of self righteousness. Yes, there were consequences but I became increasingly aware that Jesus had come to give me hope and to help me to be accountable to all these consequences.
So, grace became my only anchor, sort of like lifeboat drill. When you’re a sailor and you do lifeboat drill it is usually in an Olympic swimming pool, but when you are in the middle of Bass Strait, you suddenly discover how effective this lifeboat is.
And so the phrase, “Lord, I come to you,” I was saying that in frustration. “Oh Lord I’m sorry. I should be there with you but I’m not. Here I come again. I come to you again.” And then the prayer, “Lord, hold me close” is like saying “Please hold me close because I don’t think you are holding me close at the moment. I think perhaps you turned away again because you are as frustrated with me as I am.”
The wonderful truth is that the “Lord you come to me to let my heart be changed, renewed flowing from the grace that I found in you” that the “weaknesses that I see in me are being stripped away by the power of your love.” Isn’t that so wonderful? Sometimes I wonder if we simply don’t understand what God has already done for us in Jesus.
So I changed that song to a confession of what God has done. It’s not “hold me close” but “you hold me close”. No matter how dry and disappointed I am, to be able to say to myself, “It’s okay, he’s holding you. You’re depressed, life is tough, but nothing’s changed between you and God. You’re not a disappointment.” And perhaps that also relates back to my experience with my father.
You would hope every Christian, certainly evangelicals, would be pleased that you are looking for ways to ground your songs in God’s word, because if they are not Scriptural we should not be singing them. However, in the case of The Power of Your Love, and I’m thinking in particular of that line you mentioned: “Lord I come to you,” Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me all you who are weary and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” So the idea of us coming to God is not un-Biblical, therefore there is no need to completely re-hash all of your songs is there?
No, but you see the greatest thing about Jesus saying “Come to me,” is he wasn’t calling to me from the other end of heaven waiting for me to work and struggle all the way to him. Jesus came to mankind to say “Come to me”. And that’s outrageous when you really think about that. God put on flesh to come personally. I mean, he could have sent a postcard, he could have written in the sky, but he came personally to dwell as a human being.
Jesus has come to hold us close, to draw us to his side, to comfort us, to speak healing to our wounded souls. He comes propelled by a mission of such eternal and unconditional love.
For this current generation, singing in church has become synonymous with worship. Why is that? And how would you describe the current state of Christian music?
First, I think we need to look at ‘worship’ again. And I think ‘worship’ as our response to Jesus could be a whole lot of other things before we turn it into songs. The intimacy between a husband and wife is expressed many ways before it becomes a love song and that love song will speak of a life of love rather than a love song about love itself.
And I think we’re in error here. I’m not saying don’t sing or play. I think that’s fabulous; it gets down into the soul. Many of the lyrics we sing are great theological truths, mind you, many of them aren’t, but if we could get a grip on God becoming flesh to come to us, Jesus living a life of grace, love, forgiveness, mercy with his last dying words announcing forgiveness and then living a life that responds to his life. How wonderful could that be.
For me worship is my response to the grace of Jesus. This response is my choice to become gracious, to become loving, accepting, merciful, forgiving. This journey needs grace for every step, however, this journey will start its work of transformation in me and hopefully through my life: a worship that flows from grace becoming graciousness in us. A worship that is seen in our relationships with the world around us. A worship that cries “grace” to our leaders, the media, our friends and our enemies.
Does this mean we don’t sing anymore? Not at all. It simply means that our songs are more about worship rather than being worship. Yes, of course there is time for celebration, for adoration, for a corporate time of singing songs of love thankfulness but we will be on a wonderful journey discovering that there is so much more than we have ever realised. I think our songs would be more wonderful, but I think our worship lives would be even more wondrous and I think the way the church’s interaction with our world could be far more a work of love than us simply singing songs on a Sunday morning.
So now I’m wondering what elements have to go in to make a good Christian song. Is it difficult to write a song which has both a good “hook” and good theology?
Yes it is. I must admit, these days I write from experience first, or from meditation first. Almost every song I write is about brokenness being repaired in the most extraordinary way. So I start, I suppose, with my own sense of being overwhelmed with who God is when I see him from my own brokenness.
Then I try and work that into good poetry that has flow, a little bit of repetition but especially that each line contains a picture that is bigger than the words. Then, working that into a melody that can fly; that can float, so you can close your eyes and be caught up in just a beautiful melody.
Or you can turn the melody off, just read the words and become caught up in the words: a piece of poetry. But you put it together and I suppose I hope that people go, “Oh, my goodness, that’s me. How wonderful!” That it hits their life, not just their soul.
You have been a Christian for over 30 years. You’ve had highs and lows. Looking back over that time, what can you say you have learnt about God and what advice would you give to a young Christian about how they should prioritise their life?
What I’ve learnt about God is just the overwhelming amazement that God would do the Jesus story. He didn’t have to. He just didn’t have to. He lived in this huge creation of trillions and trillions of stars and constellations and whatever. That God would make a bee line to broken people finds me simply awestruck!
It appears to me that Jesus did not come to establish Christianity, he did not come to start a movement, he came to meet one person here, and one person there. Broken people, hopeless people, people like me, like you. Jesus did not come to reward us; there’s no reward in it. He came to give hope and he came to affirm the most unlikely people.
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why he was crucified, because he put everybody’s nose out of joint, he was a disappointment to so many people who wanted a messiah in the image of their needs and theologies. Jesus was not a preacher of righteousness, he was a bringer of hope to the unrighteous, the poor in spirit. He didn’t start a campaign to overthrow the Romans, he affirmed a Roman centurion as having more faith than all of Israel.
He allowed a prostitute to anoint him with oil with her hair… Jesus was decidedly “ungodly”. This Jesus excites me because the more I look at him, the more I meditate on his life, the more grace I see.And that’s a growing thing, it continues in my life. This is the truth, it’s not just something I’ve learnt to do to get myself seminars & concerts. It is a constant source of amazement.
So I would say to a young Christian, “Look, this is different to any other relationship you’ve got. You don’t have to prove yourself worthy. You don’t have to dress up, know the right words to say or the right actions to make. You are totally free to be just who you are. You don’t have to have faith. There is no hurry. Ahead of you is a lifetime of discovery. Jesus offers his life, he holds it out to you. It’s free. It’s a gift. God comes to bring hope to the good times and the bad times, the times when we make mistakes, some truly awful mistakes. This Jesus shows us an acceptance that gives us the hope that we can walk forward with his comfort, his peace, his grace and his love. I have found that, in my life, a life that has had its considerable challenges, that I am slowly being renewed and transformed. And that’s really quite amazing.
Geoff, thank you for what you have given in service of the kingdom over the years and for enriching the lives of so many congregations who have sung your songs over and over. We pray the Lord will bless your ministry in whatever time remains. May you make the most of it.
Thank you for the opportunity of being part of what you are doing. And if you hear of anybody who wants that message, you know where I am.
Once again, Brian Houston comes across as an unstable man, ruling with an iron fist in a movement where he demands things are done his way. If Geoff Bullock was his “best friend”, why did Brian Houston and his empire destroy him? Why is everything always about Brian Houston? How come Houston is the victim… again?
Geoff Bullock repented of his sins and sought reconciliation to those he damaged. However, Brian Houston still refuses to show any sign of the Holy Spirit. No conviction of sin. No repentance. No seeking reconciliation of those he has destroyed.
Only lies, slander and cover up in his books and on national television. Lastly, if this is the way Brian Houston treats his “best friend”, you have to wonder how he treats people he doesn’t know.
“[…] and remember all the commandments of the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the LORD your God.” Numbers 15:39-41 (Emphasis ours)
Hillsong is a classic example of what idolatrous Israel looked like in the Old Testament. In similar fashion, Hillsong are following after their own hearts and their own eyes, which they have inclined to “whore after”. The result of this never ends well.
In departing from the Word of God, they are prone to wonder into paganism, which sadly, this article will examine. Which pagan religion is Hillsong whoring after? The answer is the pagan religion of Roman Catholicism.
If Hillsong really take their worship “in spirit and in truth” seriously and want to be considered a Christian church, they will need to start cleaning up their beliefs and those they invite to speak at their conferences.
We really do hope Brian Houston and Hillsong really are listening, because at the moment, nothing can be further from the truth. This article will be looking at the speakers that “preached” at Hillsong Conference 2015, proving that Hillsong do not hear from God as their advertising suggests.
Before reading this article, we strongly suggest that you read Hillsong unashamedly and unethically manipulating Christians to embrace pagan Roman Catholicism (often through ecumenism):
Rick Warren recently spoke at Hillsong Conference 2015.
He said the following shocking statement in a Catholic video while referring to Catholics and Protestants, (see link to previous article):
“The most important thing is, if you love Jesus we’re on the same team.” [Source]
Muslims love ‘Jesus’ and Mormon’s love ‘Jesus’. Does this mean that Warren includes them on his team? Catholics also love ‘Jesus’, in fact this is a picture of the Catholic ‘Jesus’ (Eucharist) in the flesh, in a golden Monstrance.
Warren seems to think that this is the same Jesus of the Bible. However, if you love the Catholic ‘Jesus’ then you love an idol.
All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame. Isaiah 44:9
We showed in a previous article that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist turns into the actual flesh of Jesus.
Rick Warren is openly supporting the Catholic Church and Hillsong openly embrace him. Surely Warren would have nothing to do with the worship of an idol like the Monstrance right?
Wrong! This photo is from the ‘Proclaiming the Gospel’ Newsletter, September 2014 issue and it clearly shows that Warren has no problem in watching Catholic television and the worship of the Monstrance!
Here is the full video that shows Warren’s shocking support for the Catholic Church including calling Pope Francis, ‘our Pope’ and saying, ‘If you love Pope Francis, you’ll love Jesus”! This video is worth watching in full.
This is an example of Warren’s favourite TV show, ‘The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy’. Notice how the entire show revolves around praying to the blasphemous idol Monstrance, another Jesus.
So the question needs to keep being asked why Hillsong keeps Rick Warren to teach in their church?
This Twitter post is another example of Warren’s true position on how he views the Pope. Is not God our Father?
“And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.” Matthew 23:9
This Twitter post shows Warren promoting ‘Evangelical Catholicism’, saying that it should be read by all Christian leaders!
Source: Stand Up For the Truth, http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/03/is-rick-warren-promoting-catholic-evangelicalism/. (Accessed 03/12/14.)
So what is Rick Warren? Is he a Christian or a Roman Catholic? For him to flipflop over something this important only reveals that he is “unstable in all his ways”.
“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8
This next video shows Warren supporting the ‘Catholic come home’ campaign.
So what is Rick Warren? A Christian or a pagan Roman Catholic? This is important to consider when you read these next twitter posts from Rick Warren
This shows that Warren believes leadership has nothing to do with ‘what you do’, or leading by example. (This teaching would have suited Frank Houston’s ministry, no accountability for any actions. It also suits Brian Houston’s approach in dealing with his father and his choice to preach a twisted gospel.)
Hillsong Conference 2015 also had Joseph Prince speak. Brian Houston’s close friend is also leaning toward Catholicism.
Watch this next video as Joseph introduces blasphemous ‘Mother Grace’ doctrine. Joseph Prince is more subtle than Warren when it comes to promoting Catholicism; however he is just as dangerous.
Prince”…Having the same mother. We have the same Heavenly Father and the same mother grace, and our mother is not law.”
This is what Prince says about repentance in one of his best sellers, “Destined to reign, The secret to effortless success, wholeness and victorious living”.
“Stop examining yourself and searching your heart for sin” [Page 187]
“There are still people who insist that we have to preach on repentance. Well, I disagree!” [Page 232]
Please watch this wonderful video of Justin Peters explaining how speaking things into existence is blasphemous. The video at 37:30, includes Joseph Prince explaining his version of repentance.
According to Joseph Prince, we receive everything back even to overcome death itself, by the work of ‘eating’!
“One time the Lord spoke to me… How can a small piece of bread and a cup make all the difference in the world? The simple act of eating and the Lord says, ‘All the tragedies known to men, all the cancer, the diabetes, the heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, even poverty even death it’s self all came about because of Adam simple act of eating from the wrong tree’. If that is so doesn’t it stand to Holy reason then that God would, through the last Adam, Jesus Christ, cause us to receive everything back from the simple act of eating, mmmmm Amen.” Source: Joseph Prince, Sermon: ‘Health and wholeness through the Holy Communion’, (Disc 5 DVD series.)
“Only those who are saved are the ones chewing His flesh, drinking His blood”. Source: Joseph Prince, Sermon: ‘Health and wholeness through the Holy Communion’, (Disc 5 DVD series.)
We do need to keep in mind that this may be a language issue. However, the parallels are there. Joseph Prince is again pushing pagan Roman Catholic doctrine, as the Roman Catholic Church teach that the Eucharist becomes Jesus in the flesh and that salvation is through the Eucharist.
Next we come to Martin Smith the former singer of Delirious, who was invited as a guest to Hillsong Conference 2015.
Smith fits right into Hillsong culture as Delirious performed at World Youth Day 2005, just as Hillsong did in 2008.
Not only did they perform but they were even included in the official Catholic, World Youth Day CD ‘Building One World’. (Note: the last time anyone tried to build ‘one world’ God intervened at the Tower of Babel.)
The Catholic building of ‘one world’ is all part of their ecumenical agenda of uniting all religions under themselves (and with a spokes person like Warren; they are well on their way of achieving their goals).
This is a screen shot from the Delirious? Web site promoting their performance and also showing the ‘Building One World’ album cover.
In a previous article we showed that Hillsong assisted the Catholics in worship to a false god and idol in 2008. Below are photos from World Youth Day 2005, showing the idol god that Martin Smith and Delirious? helped Catholic’s worship.
“At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.” Matthew 24:23
These are some blasphemous quotes that were spoken by the Pope at that same World Youth Day about the false god in the Eucharist and Monstrance. This is what Martin Smith is aligning himself with and supporting.
Prior to Mass, the Pope said the following:On Sunday 21st August 2005, the same day that Martin Smith performed.
“The new prayer – which the Church calls the “Eucharistic Prayer” – brings the Eucharist into being.”
“The Eucharist must become the centre of our lives.”
“This is because the Eucharist releases the joy that we need so much, and we must learn to grasp it ever more deeply, we must learn to love it.”
“Let us pledge ourselves to do this – it is worth the effort! Let us discover the intimate riches of the Church’s liturgy and its true greatness…”
“Through your love for the Eucharist you will also rediscover the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in which the merciful goodness of God always allows us to make a fresh start in our lives.”
Source of quotes: Pope, The Vatican, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2005/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20050821_20th-world-youth-day_en.html, Published 21/08/2005. (Accessed 26/07/2015.)
SO WHAT ARE WE SEEING AT HILLSONG?
Essentially what we are seeing at Hillsong are leaders leading with closed minds and closed bibles, following after pagan mystical experiences and slapping “Jesus” on anything that sounds spiritual. This is incredibly dangerous considering the men that he Houston family like to snuggle up to.
If Hillsong wants to be considered Christian in any way, shape or form, they need to break their Roman Catholic church connections.
This is an important thing to do considering the fact that Hillsong are sidelining Jesus at the expense of being in the “divine” presence of the pope himself.
Below are some recent comments of Bobbie Houston from her instagram page, showing that she thinks it’s “sweet” when one of her followers says how great it is that the Pope is reaching out to Hillsong and “we are one church in Christ. Makes me proud to be Catholic.”
Interestingly, it also shows that Brian and Joel Houston did in fact meet the Pope in 2008.
If Hillsong is truly a Christian and Protestant church they would make a stand. Instead, they remain as “infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).
Again and again, we have proven that Hillsong only care about accumulating people who “will not endure sound doctrine,”are only “wanting to have their ears tickled” and accumulating “for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires”.
So who was listening to God at Hillsong Conference 2015? The answer is: none.
“… preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Tim 4:2-4
NOTE: ALL SCREEN GRABS WERE TAKEN BEFORE 27/07/2015.
Source: Bobbie Houston, Instagram, Published 25/07/2015. https://instagram.com/p/5iYEQ8IY1K/, (Accessed 25/07/2015.)
The stupidity behind this comment once again exposes that Hillsong leaders like Bobbie Houston have no clue who Jesus is nor knows how he will return in the last days. Jesus Himself said that he did not know when He will return but only His Father will know the day. Christ cannot return to earth through any form of temptation.
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Matthew 24:36
Oddly enough, it was SATAN that used temptation to lure Jesus:
“Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Matthew 4:5-7
The above scripture highlights the fact that Jesus submits to the Word and will of His Father. Jesus neither submits to temptation whether it be from Satan or us. It only goes to prove that truth means nothing to Hillsong except to sell their own vain imaginings to gullible Christians.
To be honest, we don’t like focusing on the celebrity world.
Sadly, because Hillsong makes a big deal of it, some people have contacted us privately and want us to start looking at the issues emerging with Hillsong and their desperate attempts to drag celebrities into their New Age movement. Many people have observed that Hillsong are leeching off the credibility of the celebrity to bolster their street cred in both the secular and Christian worlds.
Our apologies if this is not your type of article.
CARL LENTZ’ UNCHRISTIAN FOCUS ON BEIBER
The sin of Hillsong is made more apparent when you see they lack any form of Christian understanding of the Holy Spirit and biblical authority when dealing with celebrities that want to live their own way. While we hope people like Justin Beiber can find faithful churches that don’t flaunt their celebrity status and encourage them to live upright and normal lives, it is in the interest of our readers to see how Hillsong is failing in this duty. We can observe Hillsong’s floundering in being Christian leaders when we examine what their celebrities behave like.
The below article reveals how poor Hillsong’s “Christianity” is to people like Beiber. After making “spectacular mistakes”, Carl Lentz has been reported saying that Beiber had come halfway around the world to make sure “his heart is right” to attend the annual Hillsong Mecca conference.
So according to Lentz, Beiber is going to Hillsong Conference to make sure “his heart is right?”
Lentz is out of line
First of all, Lentz is out of line from Hillsong’s standards in judging the heart. According to Hillsong’s idea of God only judging the heart, Lentz is now playing God.
Hillsong continually reinforces the idea that no one can judge another person because only God can judge the heart. Once again, Hillsong has exposed themselves of this double standard where only the leaders are a type of “God,” judging the hearts of their followers. This time, it was Carl Lentz publicly announcing his judgment on Justin Beiber’s heart. This is a form of spiritual abuse that can manipulate members to do what the pastor wants. In this case Lentz is using Beiber’s heart to manipulate him to come to Hillsong Conference Australia. Our opinion is that he is using him to sell Hillsong Conference Australia (which worked).
The reason why we say this is because Hillsong Conference is also in America. Why couldn’t Beiber have simply attended that Conference and not the Sydney Conference?
Secondly, Lentz is out of line for disclosing personal information as Beiber’s pastor. His comment does not respect the privacy of Justin Beiber’s “spiritual walk.” It only makes Lentz look as though he enjoys this tabloid journalism experience.
RIghteousness taught by Christianity
The above is a very revealing comment considering Christians go to church to learn how God has made us right before Him through Christ and His finished work (the gospel). Christians rely on Christ’s work not just to make their hearts right before God but their entire lives. This is called sanctification and this means our spirit, mind, heart, soul and our lives are transformed for the glory of God.
Righteousness taught by Hillsong
Carl Lentz is promoting not the gospel but legalism which is the antithesis of the Christian message (salvation by works). We can’t make our hearts right before God on our own. Beiber flying to his spiritual Mecca to make his heart right before God is a useless ritual that can send him to hell and will still make him live a life of unrepentance. Lentz spouted nothing but neo-pagan mysticism, a worldly teaching which Hillsong is guilty of promoting for decades through their “worship experiences”. And thankfully, some seculiar media outlets are now seeing that Beiber is involved in a New Age movement.
As you can see, holiness and repentance of sins was NOT preached at Hillsong Conference and Beiber clearly made “his heart right” on his own terms. Tell us, can you see God working in his life after his Mecca experience?
One has to ask how on earth Carl Lentz is pastoring this poor soul.
The Daily Telegraph reports,
Justin Bieber just ‘wants to make his heart right’ says Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz
JUSTIN Bieber revealed his renewed religious fervour yesterday, declaring at Sydney’s Hillsong conference: “I was blind but now I see.”
The pop megastar came to Australia to be part of the congregation and not to preach but, as well as quoting the lines from John 9:25, Bieber spoke to #hillsong-backstage, telling its online audience: “I love you guys. Jesus loves you.”
The man behind Bieber’s surprise visit, New York’s Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz, said, after making “spectacular mistakes”, the 21-year-old had come halfway round the world to make sure “his heart is right”.
Speaking at the Hillsong Sydney Conference the pastor, who counts stars like Bono, Vanessa Hudgens and Stephen Baldwin among his church members, described his relationship with Bieber as like “regular friends who talk all the time”.
The ‘rock star’ Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz. Picture: Instagram
Justin Bieber at Hillsong in Sydney. Picture: Instagram
The former college dropout who found God in Sydney and went on to be named as one of 37 people under the age of 35 reshaping the world by Esquire magazine, spoke candidly about his relationship with Bieber, who was brought up a Christian.
“We met when Justin was 14 after his mum reached out and we’ve become close from that day. He’s a part of our lives and has lived with us for weeks on end,” Lentz, 36, said.
Attendees gather outside Acer Arena where the Hillsong Church is holding a week long convention.
Lentz, whose met his Australian wife in Sydney, said it was amazing Bieber was so “kind and normal”.
“I can’t even explain the suffocating nature of the kind of fame that he has. If he’s going through something horrible, we’ll talk about it. If he makes a decision where I think he could have done something wiser, we’ll talk about it,” he said.
Lentz was adamant his 21-year-old pal was on the right path: “He flew halfway round the world at the busiest time of the year for him just for a church conference. It shows you what matters to him.”
Justin Bieber yesterday told #hillsongbackstage that Lentz had changed his life. Picture: Instagram
Justin Bieber and Carl Lentz have known each other since Justin was 14. Picture: Instagram/Judah Smith
Sydney Olympic Park is not known as a rock star hangout but Bieber has made the five-star Pullman hotel at Homebush his low-key base for his low-key visit, next to the Allphones Arena where the conference has attracted delegates from around the world at $350 each.
Hillsong founder Brian Houston told the congregation that it left a $1.3 million shortfall in the cost and prayed for people to be generous and donate. The church he set up in Sydney 30 years ago is now bigger in the US than Australia.
Bieber yesterday told #hillsongbackstage that Lentz had changed his life and, while this was his first Hillsong conference, it would not be his last: “I’m having a great time. It’s pretty awesome.
“The music is incredible. What they are doing is incredible, I support it 100 per cent.”