God says through the writings of the Apostle Paul (emphasis ours),
“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 [good news]— 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.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” – Apostle Paul, Galatians 1:6-9.
It is important to stress that Paul would consider himself “accursed” (eternally damned), if he preached a different gospel. That is, he did not see himself exempt from his own judgment. Interestingly enough, Paul claimed that his gospel was given to him through “revelation of Jesus Christ”. So this should give us a good idea what the gospel should be about: Jesus Christ.
Paul often writes how he is “eager to preach the gospel” to the churches (Rom 1:15) and claims that he is “not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (vs 16). Paul would “come proclaiming… the testimony of God…” not with lofty speech but would preach the simple message of “Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor 2:1-2). This message would be in relation to how our sins are forgiven and are made right with God through Jesus when we repent from our sins.
This is one example of Paul’s gospel defined in a nutshell:
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
With this in mind, do you think Brian Houston comes even close to preaching the biblical gospel? While Brian Houston’s gospel might change lives, does it save lives? Does his gospel focus or glorify Jesus and his work on the cross, His resurrection and ascension? Or does Houston’s gospel focus on wealth and the individual?
It is typical for Word of Faith teachers to react against red herrings within Christianity. A common one is the idea that the ‘religious church’ keeps you back from your potential, “success and prosperity”. Similarly, Brian Houston reacts against these false uderstandings, jumps to an extremely false theology. Thus we find that his gospel is founded on his personal reaction rather than the Word of God. Brian Houston tells us what his gospel is below:
“To glorify mediocrity is a tragedy. The sad fact is that far too many people make choices which flatly reject success and prosperity.
Religion has often been guilty of this, and yet the gospel is GOOD NEWS. The good news is ABUNDANT LIFE. Abundance means plentiful.
- Adam was told to be fruitful and multiply.
- Joshua was challenged to make his way prosperous and have good success.
- Solomon’s writings are filled with promised prosperity as the fruit of wisdom.
- Jeremiah believed it and prophesied “a future and a hope”.
- Jesus spoke about one hundredfold return, telling many stories and parables that encouraged us to multiply our talents.
- The apostle Paul reminded us that though Jesus was rich he took poverty upon Himself. Why? So that YOU through His poverty might be rich.
- The apostle John wished prosperity and good health on his friend.
Never excuse mediocrity by rejecting success. It is withing our “created fibre” to succeed.” – Brian Houston, Get A Life (Revised Business Edition), 1999, pg 93.
In light of Brian Houston’s gospel, Pastor Gervase Nicholas Charmley kindly offered his view on Brian Houston’s gospel.
“I would say that this so-called ‘Gospel’ is no gospel at all. It is merely coating the rapacious and selfish pursuit of gain that has blighted Western society for the last century and then some with a veneer of religion. Quite simply it is the mantra “greed is good, greed works” dressed up in Christian-sounding words with a generous dose of misused Bible verses, usually from the KJV to disguise what the text is actually saying. Paul, on the other hand, speaks of contentment. To the poor this teaching is deadly – it either legitimises get-rich-quick schemes and a wealth at any price mentality, or, when people fail to get rich, it sinks them into deep depression.
God may not want you rich – you may not be able to handle it!” – Gervase Nicholas Charmley, 04/03/2013.