“And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:27-30
The scriptures clearly teach that those who are called by God are those who believe in God and what He’s done through Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul states that the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God so that we be conformed to the image of his Son. The scriptures also say:
“But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.” Romans 3:21-27
It is clear that a Christian is made right before God by faith alone in Christ’s righteousness alone. We are made right-standing with God by simply holding to our faith alone in Jesus Christ. If anyone preaches another message, the Apostle Paul says this:
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9
If anyone preaches another gospel that is contrary to the gospel that the Apostles teach, Paul says let them be “accursed” (anathema). Those are incredibly strong words. So what would the Apostles think of Brian Houston?
Brian Houston says:
“Well, if we want to prosper, and we want all the right things to prosper in our life, by all means! I’ve personally, (and this is a big statement, and I know I’ve said it before), but personally, I don’t think you can be in the will of God and not put Him first in your finances. I think I make some people mad when I say it, but I actually believe it. I actually believe that you can’t be right with God if you don’t get that basic right. That foundation right.” – Brian Houston, Sermon: A Leaders Measure, http://www2.hillsong.com/podcasts/Brian%20Houston%20-%20A%20Leaders%20Measure.mp3: (21:34), 18/01/2008.
This is called salvation by works. If the Spirit is conforming us to the image of Jesus, then shouldn’t we view money the way Jesus did as “unrighteous wealth” (16:9,11) and “deceitfulness of riches” (Mark 4:19)?
The truth is that we cannot serve God and money. Brian Houston would agree with this statement and has often stated this in the past. But for some reason Brian Houston sees no problem linking one’s finances to one’s salvation, that is: being made right with God. It is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible for Brian Houston to keep teaching at all if he personally believes this. After reading Galatians 1:6-7, according to the Apostle Paul Brian Houston is “accursed” (anathema) for preaching another gospel that truly is no good news at all.
If someone is an ‘anathema’, that means God has set a certain someone apart for cursing and for destruction. God has set that person apart to be destroyed. As various lexicons and concordances say, “devoted to destruction”. This is a serious statement made by Paul the Apostle.
What is worse with the above statement is that Brian Houston knows that his personal beliefs “make some people mad”. Do you think that the Apostles would be mad about Brian Houston’s beliefs? Do you think the early apostles would be happy that the church has done nothing to correct this man’s dangerous beliefs?
Believers are right standing with God and are IN the will of God because they BELIEVE in Jesus, not because they put God first in their finances. Our faith in Christ alone is THE foundation because Christ is the object, the center of our faith. The cornerstone. According to Brian Houston, the foundation is putting God first in your finances. That salvation by works.
Please pray for both Brian Houston and the Hillsong Movement. This is a serious conundrum that the church must deal with.
EDIT: People might want to hear more of what Brian Houston said above. Hear is what he said in the greater context.
“Well, if we want to prosper, and we want all the right things to prosper in our life, by all means! I’ve personally, (and this is a big statement, and I know I’ve said it before), but personally, I don’t think you can be in the will of God and not put Him first in your finances. I think I make some people mad when I say it, but I actually believe it. I actually believe that you can’t be right with God if you don’t get that basic right. That foundation right.
But on top of that, some people, they are legalistic tithers. It’s like a bondage in their life. They’re thinking they’re not planted in living water. So their thinking is so… Basically they’re building on one hand and tearing down with another.
And so let’s make sure that we’re… yeah… we’re putting God first. But also let’s make sure that what is in us; our delight, where we’re planted, our meditation; is leading towards the right things prospering in our lives. I had resonated onto my spirit, since I was five years of age, that I wanted to build- I wanted to be a part of the kingdom of God… … …
That’s the thing that has been in my spirit all my life. And I believe I’ve done much, much more. But that’s what’s prospering in my life- but it’s a combination of things. Over the years, it’s just making sure that you delight, and that your meditation, and where you’re planted is lining up with that thingthat’s in your spirit… … …
… So I just really want to encourage you: whatever we do does prosper. It’s not the measure someone else used that ultimately determines where our life ends up, it’s the measure we use. You have something happen that is not fair, that wasn’t right, that wasn’t just, it actually doesn’t have to be the measure that determines your life.
I mean theirs the inspiring stories of people who end up in wheel-chairs that do incredible things for God because they didn’t let somebody else’s measure, (the person who hit them from the side drunk driving). They actually didn’t let that person determine ultimately what prospered in their life. And if someone in that kind of situation is able to keep the right things prospering in their life, how much more can you and I? How much more?
So lets really decide that our delight, our meditation and our planting is going to cause all the right things to prosper in us. Don’t be down on yourself if you find yourself entertaining the wrong kind of thinking. Because you’re just doing the exact thing that I said: you are allowing the wrong things to prosper. Don’t be down on yourself, but also don’t accept it. Challenge it and replace it with the word of God. And it’s an active choice to do that.” – Brian Houston, Sermon: A Leaders Measure, http://www2.hillsong.com/podcasts/Brian%20Houston%20-%20A%20Leaders%20Measure.mp3: (21:34), 18/01/2008.