As some have pointed out – Vision Sunday is on this week. This is a time in Hillsong where their fuhrer and visionary leader Brian Houston gets a God-given “Vision” for his church and preaches a “vision-casting” message that demands loyalty and unity above all else throughout his entire Hillsong movement and those affiliated with Hillsong.
The idea is this: to question the vision and the message is to question God Himself. Why? Because Brian Houston received this “Vision” and “Message” from God. It is claiming a prophetic status – that is, Brian Houston is presented to his entire movement as an infallible prophet. (Bobbie Houston claims this same status.) So what does it mean when God gives Brian Houston a God-given vision? What does it mean when God gives Bobbie Houston a God whisper? What does this mean for Hillsong?
Below we will let Brian Houston explain what it means when he gets his God-given vision for Hillsong in his book “For This I Was Born”. (This book is worth any theologian or scholar’s time if they want to research spiritual fascism – see “Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview” by Gene Edward Veith, Jr.) Furthermore, we will be reviewing the below segment in articles to come.
Brian Houston writes,
United Around the Cause
THE DAY TWO PEOPLE GET MARRIED IS THE start of a powerful partnership for the cause of Christ. Sadly, over the years, Bobbie and I have been forced to watch as the once-happy marriage of some of our friends have broken down, ending in acrimonious divorces. It is tough to watch, and ultimately it is a losing situation for everyone.
Some 80 percent of divorces are granted on the basis of irreconcilable differences. These differences may be due to infidelity, a lack of communications, or a multitude of other reasons, but often the differences are grounded in the fact that the vision that each partner had for their marriage, their family, and their future diverged. The result? Vision became division, and where the there was once unity, there was now disunity.
In Matthew 12:25, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out demons by Beelzebub (the prince of demons), he responded, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”
Jesus here talks about a kingdom, a city, and a house. The point, as it applies to our lives today, is that just as division can bring down a nation (think coup), it can and will ultimately destroy a church, a marriage, or an individual life.
A house full of division is not a pleasant place to be. When we think of division, we tend to think of strife, anger, fighting, and people splitting away.
Division in a church is a little like division in a marriage. When the church is functioning the way God intends, it can be heaven. When it is not, it can be hell.
A house divided does not necessarily mean the people are fighting and punching each other around the communion table, or that a husband and wife are pitching plates and vases at each other. A divided house is one that is going different directions. If we are truly one, we need to be going in a single direction.
The Pharisees were often divided among themselves. John 7:43 and John 9 speak of this division. Legalism and bandage lend themselves to division. But in a house (be it a church or a home) where the people are empowered, released, and have a sense of vision and leadership that inspires, people will flourish.
A single vision united around a cause, be it in a church, a marriage, a family, or a workplace, will help guard against division.
A House Divided Has Divided Motives
When motives are pure, the house of God is awesome. There is a huge difference between people who use their vision to build the house of God and people who use the house of God to build their vision. When people’s motives are to use the house of God in a negative way, division is inevitable.
I never want to be a controlling leader, but I do need to understand and be a discerner of people’s hearts. Failure to do so would put our church at risk and thwart our ability to serve the cause and the kingdom of God effectively.
Take, for example, a businessperson who is using his or her gifts and connections to be a blessing to the house of God. This is completely different from those who come into the house of God thinking about how people in the church can help them build their businesses.
At Hillsong’s profile has gained recognition, people have come who have tried to utilize the leverage of our church’s name by attaching it to their business or ministry. You would be astounded at how creative some people can be. We have become well versed in discerning wrong motives. It is similar to what happened growing up. I was treated differently at school and in the community when people found out that my dad was a prominent pastor in our part of the world.
When your motives are genuinely driven to serve the Lord’s purposes, God will see that his house and your life flourish, but when motives are going in different directions, the house divides.
A House Divided Has Divided Vision
I often tell our church that we have one vision that is outworked in may different ways. Imagine how complicated and confusing, not to mention divisive, it would be if every one of our departments had a different vision.
We would experience utter chaos. There would be no cohesion, and in time, splinter groups would form and go their separate ways. Division in the case of a church will minimize that church’s impact, but division will also negatively affect the people of that church as they are pulled to and fro, unsure whose vision to follow and what cause they are contributing to.
The same can be said of a family or a business partnership in which one spouse or partner is pursuing one vision, while the other is going in a completely different direction. The children or employees in that family or business are put in a very difficult situation, and in time, irreconcilable differences will arise.
When your house, family, marriage, friendships, business, and church have a united vision and a focus anchored on a greater cause, there is a great sense of stability and security because everyone knows where he or she is heading, and people have something to follow.
A House Divided Has Divided Loyalties
Jesus had a disloyal friend named Judas whose divided loyalty caused him to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. He is the type of friend Proverbs 18:24 describes this way: “The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend” (AMP, brackets in original).
Proverbs 18:24 is saying that people who try to be loyal to everyone actually are not good friends to anyone. Judas tried to be both friend to Jesus and to the Pharisees, but he failed at both and ended up hanging up himself.
I am reminded of people who come to church on Sunday and lift their hands in worship, but during the week live like hell. Sadly, in time, this kind of divided loyalty will lead to destruction.
God values loyalty, and undivided loyalty is an important characteristic for all of us. Strength comes when you know where your loyalties lie. Loyalty actually forces you to take sides.
No doubt you have heard of an “us-and-them” spirit. It is one I do not let fester in our church. I ask our leaders, “On which side of ‘us and them’ do you find yourself?” Loyalty always positions itself as one of “them”. You can build the church, a marriage, and friendship on that kind of loyalty.
There will be times when you will have to make a stand about where your loyalties lie, particularly when it comes to the house of God. It is impossible to be a friend to the house of God and a friend to the world simultaneously.
Living for the Father’s cause is about making the tough decisions in life. This includes with whom and what you are “friends.” You need to position yourself to be best friends with God’s house, guarding against division and determining in your heart that nothing will draw you away from building his kingdom.”
Source: Brian Houston, For This I Was Born: Aligning Your Vision to God’s Cause, 2008, Publisher : Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, pg. 45-50.