It takes Brian Houston to try and convince people that Hillsong believes the bible and it takes his wife Bobbie Houston to prove to people that Hillsong don’t believe the bible.
It is a fact that Brian Houston does not embrace the biblical stance on same sex issues. He has deceitfully been grooming his churches to embrace the homosexual agenda. However, since more direct pressure has been put on him to take a side, to save his brand image, Brian has to take what he calls the “conservative” stance. (He cannot afford his Hillsong record label be tarnished thus financially affected by the conservative Christian market.)
Here he is using the bible to justify why homosexuality is wrong (Transcript of Houston at the bottom:
[Click to download video]
There is one major farce Brian Houston pulls in this show. He states,
“As far as I can see in the New Testament in the writings of the apostle Paul, homosexuality is listed as sin. So what I think doesn’t really matter, its what the Bible says that I have to live by.“
Have you ever heard Brian Houston EVER stand on the bible’s authority in his sermons or on other Christian matters in the public domain?
You’re not seeing a man who stands on the Word of God because he is a Christian minister. Rather, you’re watching a man hide behind the Word of God to give the impression he follows Jesus and His teachings.
If Brian Houston honestly believes what he thinks “doesn’t really matter, its what the Bible says that I have to live by,” then what does he do with the clear “writings of the apostle Paul” on this scripture?
“Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” 1 Timothy 2:11-15
Here is his wife Pastor Bobbie Houston to prove that Brian is not “conservative” or a follower of Jesus Christ and His teachings:
Brian and Bobbie are still presenting to people what they think people want to hear, capitalising on their audience’s good will and ignorance. And Paul commands to have such frauds silenced and expelled from God’s assembly.
“Look the thing with gay marriage in Australia – some people won’t like me saying this – but its inevitable. Its going to happen. And Hillsong church and me personally we can live in our society. I mean the most important thing is that we are not forced to do things that would violate our conscience. I am a conservative, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, but I also see that everyone deserves to be happy, and so where I sit is, “This is my belief” but if that’s what’s going to happen – I’m O.K. with that. We’ve got many gay people in our church and not only in Australia but around the world.
As far as I can see in the New Testament in the writings of the apostle Paul, homosexuality is listed as sin. So what I think doesn’t really matter, its what the Bible says that I have to live by. So if I was to summarise it, again, I think you’ve got to live and let live. I’m not going to try to tell everyone else how they should live their lives. But where I stand is, yes, gay marriage is, I think, between a man and a woman.
I wouldn’t have any problem if there was some form of union for gay people, you know what I’m saying, and, I’m not trying to tell everyone else how to live their lives. People believe they’re happy that way – I’m OK with it. As long as I’m OK, you’re OK with me holding onto what I believe as well.”
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.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
The sad thing is that Brian Houston clings to a love that no Christian should desire. He cannot claim to love when he abuses words and uses people to further his own name and reputation. In this article we will be delving into Brian Houston’s clarification on his blog article earlier this year titled, “Do I love Gay People?”
Because we know what he believes and how he uses people to his advantage, what he says overall in this article rings hollow. He lies, twists scripture and speaks from both sides of his mouth to please absolutely everyone for his own selfish purposes. And when a so-called “minister” does this, there is no credibility. People do not see love.
And no right-minded person would want that love. So to make the words of a clanging cymbal bearable, we decided to have fun and use Captain Subtext to pick apart what he’s actually saying in his blog article.
THE BLOG IN BRIAN’S EYE
I love and care about people – from all walks of life; people with various beliefs, ethics, perspectives and lifestyles.
Translation: I’m only saying this so you agree with me. Please accept this candy comment from a stranger. Now get in my Hillsong bus.
I care that humanity and some within the Christian church can be so quick to alienate and ostracise others who are different than them; those who live differently, think differently, speak differently.
Translation: Hopefully you didn’t pick up the fact that I don’t love and care about Christians. They’re getting in the way of my movement. You must alienate and ostracize them like I do.
I also live by my own convictions, and hold to traditional Christian thought on gay lifestyles and gay marriage.
Translation: Since I can’t let the media and Christians pin me down on anything (or else I’ll get in trouble), I’m still trying to figure out what my own convictions are. I’ve got to sound like a conservative Christian somehow even though I’ve been bagging them out during my entire ministry… That’s it! I’ll say I’m a traditional Christian!
I do believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Translation: Even though I don’t want to believe this, I have got to say what Christians want me to say, otherwise our music sales may suffer. (I hope no one browses my past sermons and discovers how absent or vague my messages are on this topic.)
The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear, as I have mentioned in previous public statements.
Translation: Even though I reject:
Paul’s teaching on the Holy Spirit,
Paul’s teaching on the church governance and the pastoral office/responsibilities,
Paul’s teaching on church structure,
Paul’s teaching on what a Christian is,
Paul’s teaching on faith, hope and love,
Paul’s teachings on the end times,
Paul’s teaching on family,
Paul’s teaching on finances,
Paul’s teaching on women in the pastoral office,
Paul’s teaching on godly behaviour and sexuality.
I will give the allusion that I believe Paul’s teachings on homosexuality.
Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles.
Translation: That’s what the Apostle Paul would say, right? Because we’re “traditional!”
Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle…
Translation: …Hehe. I said “we,” not “I.” We’ve emphatically claimed it’s not our job to change anyone. We do the affirming, God does the changing.
… and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid.
Translation: So the collective “we” might not know, but “I” know…And we wouldn’t tell them to change their sinful lifestyles anyway. After all, Jesus didn’t condemn homosexuality, right?
I recognise this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world.
Translation: Because there’s no right answer.
I love and accept people on a personal level and if I lived next to a gay couple I would treat them with the same embrace I would any other neighbour because – surprise, surprise – not all my neighbours think like me.
Translation: See? I AM affirming! [I hope no one realizes that having a gay next door neighbors is NOT the same thing as having gay members in leadership positions within the church].
Everyone has the right to pursue happiness.
Translation: Unless you gain happiness from critiquing me when I twist the Bible. Aka: Bloody Christians.
I may totally disagree with you on what will bring people true happiness, and I will always teach and preach according to my personal convictions and the teachings of scripture…
Translation: Because clearly my opinion is much more important that Scripture, and the scriptures would agree with me. Don’t you Scriptures? DON’T YOU!?!?
…but I cannot make other people’s choices for them – and quite frankly, I don’t want to.
Translation: Even though my job as Pastor is to call out unrepentant sinners, I won’t do it because it conflicts with my personal convictions. Isn’t that right Apostle Paul? ISN’T IT!?!
That’s not my job. Even God created humanity with a free will.
Translation: It really is my job to call out homosexuality as a sin, but if I do that then I’ll become unpopular with the world.
The western world is seemingly moving quickly toward gay marriage being universally legalised,
Translation: The world is moving quickly toward gay marriage since Hillsong has refused to preach on this since or take a stance since it’s beginnings. (A bit like my friend Guglimucci.)
… so how does that affect us as a church, and how does it affect the various individual members of Hillsong Church?
Translation: Well the great news is there aren’t that many real Christians left in Hillsong church! So soon we can affirm the homosexual lifestyles. And for “individuals” of Hillsong church, you think you have rights? *cough*Tanya Levin*cough*
Gay marriage is already legalised in many places where Hillsong Church exists, and we are functioning well and without impediment.
Translation: Like I said, find a sermon where we’ve ever preached a biblical message on homosexuality.
Everyone is welcome at Hillsong church except for known predators, [*]
Translation: * Except my serial pedophile father.
… those who are disruptive, [*]
Translation: * Except me whenever I put my foot in my mouth and lie publicly in my media statements. (That’s not disruptive, that was a fumble.)
or those who have adversarial agendas. [*]
Translation: *Myself, my preaching friends (Joel Osteen, Mark Driscoll, Rick Warren, Stephen Furtick, Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, Joseph Prince, etc.), my family and my leadership excluded.
I would like to add that everyone is welcome at Hillsong church except critics, haters, anyone who actually reads and believes their Bibles- Oh! And of course ANYONE who reads the slanderous, spineless, faceless, pompous, finger-pointing material on the evil ChurchWatch sites.
So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course!
Translation: Of course! We financially fleece everyone equally! Lying and stealing from you is a sign that we love you.
All sinners are welcome, and that includes you, me, and everyone else.
Translation: Dropping the sin card and including myself in this makes me and Hillsong look humble, imperfect, less religious, pious and embracing differences on the standard of imperfection.
You are welcome to attend, worship with us,
Translation: Because Hillsong and non-Christians worship the same god.
[…] and participate as a congregation member
Translation: Because Hillsong and non-Christians serve the same god.
[…] with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community.
Translation: Because our community doesn’t give a s#!+ what you believe anyway. #LoveGodLoveNeaigbor #JudgeNot
But (this is where it gets vexing),
Translation: Because I don’t ever like dealing with issues (or being black and white).
[…] can you take an active leadership role? No.
Translation: Accept the one’s that I already know are in leadership. (And if you are a homosexual in Hillsong leadership reading, please keep your lifestyles discreet for me sake. Please keep our trojan hor– um- I mean, Hillsong image in tact as we bully encourage other churches to join our movement.)
This won’t make everyone happy
Translation: Because our standard is happiness! 😀
[…] and to some, this stance may even be seen as hypocritical.
Translation: Hypocritical meaning that for once, we are giving a somewhat biblical defense for once in our ministry on something that we really do not want to do. (Sorry other master!)
We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle.
Translation: But we do affirm Justin Beiber’s reckless, raunchy lifestyle! And THAT’S not being hypocritical!
I began this conversation with, “I love and care about people – from all walks of life; people with various beliefs, ethics, perspectives and lifestyles.
[…] I care that humanity and some within the Christian church can be so quick to alienate and ostracise others who are different than them; those who live differently, think differently, speak differently.”
Translation: I can’t believe I just said that! Haha!
Bobbie and I were in an elevator today with a Saudi Arabian woman dressed in Muslim attire.
Translation: See! This Saudi Arabian woman dressed in Muslim attire is a Christian too! She can’t help but practice her beliefs in our church. #I’llRiseWithYou
We had a conversation in those few moments and her face lit up with the biggest, warmest smile. As she left we said to each other, ‘what a lovely lady’.
Translation: That is because she didn’t cause a disruption by questioning us.
Does that mean I now endorse her religion? No it doesn’t,
Translation: Well I actually DO believe that the Muslim and the Christian “actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim; to us, Abba Father God.”
[…] but if she was my neighbour I would definitely invite her over for a cup of tea, or be there for her if she was in need.
Translation: Bending the knee to Muslims, homosexuals or anyone else apart from Christians is my specialty.
I care about people and yes, I do have gay friends.
Translation: Anyone can be my friend – as long as they don’t criticise me!
Jesus had many friends that angered the religious and brought him condemnation from many.
Translation: Don’t you like it how I just compared unrepentant homosexuals to “humble sinners” and Bible believing Christians to “self-righteous Pharisees?” That’s my Jesus! He doesn’t like Christians either!
He would be the same if His time on earth as a man was in our generation, confronted with the social issues we face and are forced to address today.
Carl Lentz translation: What Brian Houston meant to say was that Jesus didn’t DEAL or CONFRONT social or moral issues. He dealt with issues of the heart. Right Brian???
If God had wanted to condemn the world He would have sent a condemner. But He didn’t, He wanted to save the world so He sent a Saviour. John 3:17.
Translation: I’ll only reference the scripture and not quote it in case people get offended that the only time I actually handle God’s Word on this blog was grossly perverted.
And now that I have finished writing my blog post, I know the world will still misunderstand my words and intentions. No one understands me but I’ll try.
WELL THERE YOU GO
We had fun “translating” this blog piece by Brian Houston. As you can see through our jest, his lies and gimmicks are repulsive. If you do not think that this man is a repulsive and compulsive liar, all one needs to do is look at the scripture he twisted at the end of this blog article. Rather than preach the gospel, he in his shame not only hid it under a bushel, but perverted it to save his name and reputation.
Here is the scripture in context:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18
Below is Brian Houston’s statement in it’s entirety.
Do I Love Gay People?
I love and care about people – from all walks of life; people with various beliefs, ethics, perspectives and lifestyles. I care that humanity and some within the Christian church can be so quick to alienate and ostracise others who are different than them; those who live differently, think differently, speak differently.
I also live by my own convictions, and hold to traditional Christian thought on gay lifestyles and gay marriage. I do believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear, as I have mentioned in previous public statements.
Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid. I recognise this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world.
I love and accept people on a personal level and if I lived next to a gay couple I would treat them with the same embrace I would any other neighbour because – surprise, surprise – not all my neighbours think like me. Everyone has the right to pursue happiness. I may totally disagree with you on what will bring people true happiness, and I will always teach and preach according to my personal convictions and the teachings of scripture, but I cannot make other people’s choices for them – and quite frankly, I don’t want to. That’s not my job. Even God created humanity with a free will.
The western world is seemingly moving quickly toward gay marriage being universally legalised, so how does that affect us as a church, and how does it affect the various individual members of Hillsong Church? I believe we can quite comfortably continue to function within that environment, presuming we are not forced through legislation to compromise our own convictions. Gay marriage is already legalised in many places where Hillsong Church exists, and we are functioning well and without impediment.
Everyone is welcome at Hillsong church except for known predators, those who are disruptive, or those who have adversarial agendas.
So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course! You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community. But (this is where it gets vexing), can you take an active leadership role? No.
This won’t make everyone happy and to some, this stance may even be seen as hypocritical. We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle.
I began this conversation with, “I love and care about people – from all walks of life; people with various beliefs, ethics, perspectives and lifestyles. I care that humanity and some within the Christian church can be so quick to alienate and ostracise others who are different than them; those who live differently, think differently, speak differently.” Bobbie and I were in an elevator today with a Saudi Arabian woman dressed in Muslim attire. We had a conversation in those few moments and her face lit up with the biggest, warmest smile. As she left we said to each other, ‘what a lovely lady’. Does that mean I now endorse her religion? No it doesn’t, but if she was my neighbour I would definitely invite her over for a cup of tea, or be there for her if she was in need.
I care about people and yes, I do have gay friends. Jesus had many friends that angered the religious and brought him condemnation from many. He endorsed a humble sinner and condemned a self-righteous Pharisee. He would be the same if His time on earth as a man was in our generation, confronted with the social issues we face and are forced to address today.
If God had wanted to condemn the world He would have sent a condemner. But He didn’t, He wanted to save the world so He sent a Saviour. John 3:17.
Source: Brian Houston, Do I Love Gay People?, Hillsong.com, http://hillsong.com/collected/blog/2015/08/do-i-love-gay-people/#.VcGAyPmqqkp, Published 04/08/2015. (Accessed 05/08/2015.)
Recently we posted an article explaining how we are concerned that Carl Lentz had made misleading statements to Dr. James White about Hillsong’s position on the acceptance of gay people within the Hillsong Community. Our unease stemmed from a recent episode of The Dividing Line in which Dr. White discusses some email interaction he had with Carl Lentz, and his concerns about a recent statement made by Brian Houston about the inclusion of unrepentant homosexuals as congregation members of Hillsong Church.
In this episode, Dr. White demonstrates that both Brian Houston and Carl Lentz have made contradictory statements about Hillsong’s position (e.g. that gay people are not allowed to be in positions of leadership, yet current news reports show that they are in fact in leadership positions). The transcript of Dr. White’s program is at the end of this piece.
Carl responded to our article with the following comment at ChurchWatch Central:
Hi! I actually don’t have a YouTube channel, so that’s unfortunate here in regards to your attempt to discredit me. Hard for me to upload videos on a site I don’t actually have. Make sure you do just a little bit of homework before you build your attack, might make it a little more believable. James white is a respectable man, who actually called to check facts. What’s funny is he actually talks about people like you the podcast you posted! Hilarious. In your eagneress to tear down, don’t rush the fact checking part. God bless you!
While we make every attempt to be accurate in our articles, we are more than willing to take on board Dr. White’s exhortation to research carefully and check facts. Therefore we accept Carl Lentz’ assurance that he does not have a YouTube channel. [Doing further homework we found that Carl Lentz responded to another person back in June saying he doesn’t have a YouTube account.]
That’s Funny @arielscomedy I don’t have a YouTube channel, a podcast or anything! But I’m glad you were encouraged by it, God bless!
The YouTube channel in question does bear Carl Lentz’ name, and clearly has fooled a number of people who have left comments and even tweeted to Carl how much they appreciated his sermons. Due to this confusion we would like answers from Carl Lentz to the following questions:
1. Since you claim not to own a youtube channel, why are you discrediting Church Watch rather than going after the person (or persons) posting videos under your name?
2. On 25/06/2015 you posted on Twitter “That’s Funny @arielscomedy I don’t have a YouTube channel, a podcast or anything! But I’m glad you were encouraged by it, God bless!” There is someone posting videos in your name and falsely representing you. It is currently the month of August. Why have you not fixed this problem yet?
3. It’s not uncommon for a pastor to give the job of creating a youtube channel and uploading the Pastor’s sermons to someone else. Our homework has always taught us to parse your words. Is it not reasonable to conclude that although you do not have a personal youtube account, someone else you know runs it?
4. Our most important question to you is this: When will you speak or write about your Biblical stance on homosexuality in a clear, unambiguous way that is backed up by Scripture thus proving you believe it by not having unrepentant homosexuals in positions of leadership or in any position within any and all Hillsong churches?
5. We would encourage you to start doing your own homework. Have you investigated what has emerged in the Royal Commission involving Brian Houston and his father’s crimes? Click here for homework.
We apologize for any error made in regards to this matter.
However, what is gravely concerning is that Carl Lentz chose to focus on this error rather than address his own grievous sin in allowing unrepentant homosexuals membership and leadership positions at Hillsong NYC. We are also amazed that he would raise such a minor error, rather than address what came to light in Dr White’s program. That is the blatantly contradictory and deceptive statements currently being made by both Carl and Brian Houston in relation to the context in which unrepentant homosexuals are allowed to participate in the Hillsong Church community, worship and leadership. Hillsong claims to be part of the body of Christ, and claims to hold to the biblical position on marriage and homosexuality. But their practices clearly show that this is not at all true.
This is the real issue: If Hillsong pastors such as Carl and Brian allow homosexual people to be church members, without calling them to repentance, then they are leading people to hell for eternity.
It is grievous to us here at Church Watch Central, and to the body of Christ at large, that Carl and Brian would allow people to remain dead in their trespasses and sins, believing themselves to be reconciled to God when they are not. That is why we are raising these issues and exposing the deception that continues to abound in the Hillsong empire. We care deeply about the souls of these people who are being deceived by Hillsong and its “pastors”.
If at times we err in our zeal to warn others, then we are truly sorry and take to heart Dr. White’s rebuke. But sadly, Carl Lentz has chosen to ignore these issues and instead has just created a distraction from matters far more egregious and soul destroying than whether he does or doesn’t have a YouTube Channel.
Because we cite all of our sources we fail to fall into Dr. James White’s category. However, we would encourage you to start doing your own homework.
We look forward to Carl Lentz’ response.
TRANSCRIPT – Dr James White: Alpha and Omega Ministries || 5 Aug 2015.
Dr James White: “Popped in the channel and there was a discussion about what was going on in Twitter. And what was going on in Twitter was a discussion of Carl Lentz and the Hillsong Church in New York. And of course there’s the stuff of Brian Houston, who is the big Hillsong leader out of Australia. And basically the two sides were talking past each other unfortunately.
Um, what I was concerned about the whole thing was the accuracy of the articles that have been distributed. I started seeing them a few days ago and they came up every once in a while but there was a new spate of them in regards to Carl Lentz and comments about homosexuality.
Now I’m a Reformed Baptist. My ecclesiology is significantly more developed shall we say, and traditional, and historical than Hillsong ecclesiologies, as we are going to see here in a moment.
I am obviously not a fan of ‘seeker sensitivity’ or anything like that at all. The church is the Body of Christ, it is where God is worshiped in Holiness. There is to be church discipline. There is to be a call for Holy living. The church is not to look like the world, act like the world. The world should be very uncomfortable as Paul said, an unbeliever comes in should be convicted by whats going on.
So what really bugged me about the Twitter debate that was going on, was one side was saying, ‘look you need to check the sources. You need to be accurate in the facts that your using. You may be right in your conclusions, you may say you know these folks, they’ve got some serious problems here and we need to be careful about what’s going on here and this seems to be symptomatic of that. That’s one thing, but you have to do so accurately, you’ve got to make sure of your facts, you can’t be making, ‘well it looks like I think they went to a Conference one, this person was there and therefore…’ And-‘ you’ve got all these connections being made.
No one should be surprised that I’ve got a problem with inaccuracy and use of information because, am I not the guy who sits here for half an hour talking about being careful in talking about Muhammad and Niesha, or the history of the Koran or etc, etc, etc?
Yeh. That’s- that’s me. The same guy.
So I would think you would need to be just as careful in talking about these issues – (And what had happened was, I almost talked about this on Monday but we did we did the Radio Fee Geneva, so I couldn’t fit it in) – but I had seen a quote attributed to Carl Lentz, in one of the articles going around saying, ‘ah see Hillsong’s collapsing on homosexuality and here’s how it’s happening’ and so on and so forth and when I read it, it was the standard ‘Jesus never said anything about homosexuality stuff.’ And I’m like, I have decimated that argument so many times on this program and I’ve told people, I’ve said to people that if you hear anybody saying, ‘Jesus never addressed homosexuality’, that person is either deceptive or ignorant or both, but it can’t be neither.
And. So. I don’t always do this, I don’t have a big black book of contacts and email. But some of you will remember that September of last year I think, almost a year ago, Carl Lentz contacted us. I made some comments about something I had seen, it was actually a video as I recall at that point. I played the video and I said, ‘I’ve got a problem with this and here’s why.’ Well somebody sent it to Carl Lentz and he wrote through the contact page.
And so I had an email. We had actually exchanged some emails back and forth. And so I, you know, did the standard search thing and pulled up an email and I said, ‘Yeah! I’m going to ask him,’ because there was no attribution in the article.
He didn’t say where it was from.
It had a ‘he said’ at the end.
Well okay, I don’t trust it. Especially the sources, you know if it’s like Huff Post, CNN and whatever else, ‘he said’ means nothing. They may have strung those words together from three hours worth of conversation, but anyway.
Other host: “That Contact by the way, came through on October 28 2014”.
Dr James White: “Okay. October, so last year.
And so I wrote. And I said- I gave the quote and said, ‘Is this accurate?’
And he wrote back fairly quickly and said, ‘Who is this?’
And I wrote back and said, ‘Well you contacted us last year. Alpha Omega Ministries. We saw this quotation. It’s unattributed. Before I comment on it, I would like to know if you actually said this’.
And he was very appreciative of that and said, ‘I’m taking my girls to their dance lessons [or whatever it was], I’ll get back to you,’ and said, ‘I’ll get back to you faster than that’. And so he did. And we’ve gone back and forth.
And in fact I have here- this is from yesterday- you know- I- we went back and forth and I said, ‘Can I quote you as saying- ‘quote’ (and this is a quote from him):
‘What Jesus often did explicitly outline as you well know, is marriage between a man and a woman. I made that point clearly in an interview and that was edited out. Our church has never wavered, ever on our clear stance on what is Biblical marriage or Biblical sexuality for that matter.’
Alright? Now we’ve continued [inaudible] going back and forth cause I found some more quotes.
And he said, ‘Look I would not say it the way that I said it. You know this was CNN.’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah! I know CNN now! Been there done that! Got the t-shirt. And man, you’ve got a- you’ve got to go straight for the heart, if your on CNN. You can not try to make yourself look nice to these folks, it’s not possible. You’ve got to go straight to it and press it.
And- so we’ve gone back and forth.
I basically said, ‘look Jesus did address this issue when He used the term porneia. There is no-one that I have ever found anywhere- I don’t care if it’s Boswell, [inaudible names], it doesn’t matter who it is, Vines, I’ve never found anyone who’s even started to make a meaningful argument- that in the context of second temple Judaism, in the context of the Gospel writers, that porneia would not have included homosexuality. I’ve never seen anyone even try to argue it because anybody who knows anything about that time period, knows that porneia when it was written by Paul, when it was written by Matthew, was written by Mark, included homosexuality. There’s no question about it! None!
So when someone says, ‘Jesus never addressed this issue’, they’re just ignorant, they just don’t know what they’re talking about.
And Carl says, ‘I know that. I agree. It was a combination of my not speaking clearly enough and them not following up with what I said afterwards where I said those things.’
So, you know. Okay I hear you. Got it. Alright.
I tried to be- if I’m going to criticise, I want to try to be fair, and I want to try to be accurate. And the fact is, there are sources amongst conservative Christians that are trusted that shouldn’t be. We re-post stuff that isn’t always overally accurate.
And my concern was exactly that. My concern was exactly that. Because, these are important issues. And when we are not- when we don’t do our homework and we just go with the twelve-gate shotgun blast from the start, we may think we are doing the Elijah thing. But in reality we are only hurting ourselves. Because then people can just focus on that and not focus upon what the real issue is.”
Now I’m not saying that even when you focus upon the real issue that people are necessary, sadly going to listen to what you have to say but it’s worth the shot.
But then in the middle of all of this, Brian Houston who speaks more for Hillsong than Carl Lentz does, puts out- I think yesterday- […] an article called ‘Do I love gay people?’.
[Quoting Brian Houston’s statement] ‘Because I also live by my own convictions, hold to traditional Christian thought on lifestyles and gay marriage…’. Now could I just say, if we, if we have a passionate love for God’s truth, if we really believe that it is divine truth, (that God has made us in a certain way, that we have the owner’s manual, that the Creator has specific purposes and therefore our lives would be experienced, there’s basics here, you know if you don’t get the basic’s right there’s not going to be anything up the road), if we really believe that, it’s going to influence how we speak.
And it seems to me, that we need to really be putting some thought into how we can speak with more clarity about these subjects. It sounds like, well yeh I’ve got my convictions, I do the traditional Christian you know. It’s like we’ve already been beaten into the ‘I’m sorry don’t through things at me’, rather than ‘I believe in actual marriage and I believe that this is divine truth and this is vitally important and this is exciting and it’s worth living for’. There’s a big difference between those two, big difference. But anyways.
‘…The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear…’ Good to hear! Lot’s of folks are telling us the opposite of that. Just the opposite of that.
‘…as I have mentioned in previous public statements. Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people-‘ (now here’s where I’m confused), ‘we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid.’
Foul, blow the whistle, what?!
See here’s where ecclesiology comes into view. Here’s where your doctrines of church comes into view.
Because later on, here’s what it says later on, ‘… so if your a gay are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course! You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community. But (this is where it gets vexing), can you take an active leadership role? No. This won’t make everyone happy and to some, this stance may even be seen as hypocritical. We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle…’
Excuse me! Time out! The poor little Reformed Baptist is confused. [laughs]
Yeh, um, so do you have a church membership role? Do you have a Statement of faith? How can you be a member of the congregation, a part of the community, while living a lifestyle that the church says is sinful and just won’t allow into leadership, but will allow in the church? Is that what I’m reading?
If it is, here’s where ecclesiology comes into it, because you see, there are some people who view church incrementally. You bring people in. We’re inclusive. Open. We’re loving. You bring people in. And then over time you sort of hope that they are going to start seeing that selling those drugs is a bad thing, the gang-banging is a bad thing. You might loose a few members in the process. You know before they really get that idea, but hey you know. It’s this inclusive, incremental thing slowly get them, you know.
The church is called holy!
It’s made up of Saints!
I mean again, 1 Corinthians verse 5: “you have a man who’s had his own father’s wife.” It’s incest. You should have known better. It’s right there in Leviticus 18. CAST HIM OUT! Right?
So do you bring people into the congregation in incestuous relationships? Hey your part of the community, have some Lord’s supper, hey you know. But you can’t be in leadership until you stop that incestuous stuff. What??
Ok maybe this is just a really, really badly written thing and I’m completely missing. But it seems to me that um we have a really fundamental problem here in um- ‘worship with us.’
Well I thought we were to worship in holiness and that there was to be repentance. Doesn’t the church gather, repentance, proclamation of God’d truth, brings repentance and holiness so that we can worship in spirit and in truth? Do we want people who are unrepentant? Isn’t the constant prayer, ‘may your words shine into our hearts to show us what we need to repent of?’
So if you don’t tell people what you stand for then how can there be any meaningful unity in worship? I’m completely lost at this point. I really am. I don’t get it.
So, ‘worship with us and participate as a congregation member’, what does that mean? Sing? partake of the Lord’s supper? Are unrepentant, practicing homosexuals allowed to partake of the Lord’s supper in Hillsong Church? Baahhh but you can’t be a leader! So what? Who cares?
I think leadership is drawn out of the congregation anyways. I mean if you start making up rules like this to where- have we not seen this in so many of the mainline denominations?You know whats the big thing-? You know, all these half way measures where, ‘Well, you know as long as your a celibate homosexual, then you can be a Bishop.’ And how long did that last? You know before, ‘well we can’t do that, they have to be able to express their love and blah blah blah blah’.
You’re creating a Clergy Laity distinction that New Testament knows nothing about here in [glitch] moral standard here.
No, the standard for membership in the church is called regeneration, ah isn’t it? Repentance, baptism you know that stuff. So are these folks baptized? Will you baptize unrepentant practicing homosexuals? How else do you become a member of the church? Or is there no membership role at all? I mean that wouldn’t surprise me because that’s the Calvary Chapel model. The Calvary Chapel model’s no membership, that’s why you have no church discipline. I’m not sure how your suppose to shepherd the sheep that you don’t know who are in your flock, but there you go. Umm… wow.
This is what happens when you don’t have a Statement of faith, when you don’t have a sound ecclesiology. It’s um- it’s a mess.
So I don’t get it. I don’t get how you can say on the one side one thing and then on the other side you turn around and your saying, ‘Hey! You know, you’re welcome to come to Hillsong church, participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community, only thing you can’t do is be a leader.’
Would that count for shacking up with your girlfriend or girlfriends, boyfriends, girlfriends whatever? So the only difference between the people of the church and leaders is that leaders actually have to be repentant, people of the church don’t? I don’t get it, I don’t get it, but there you go. There you go. Great confusion. […]
Host voice: ‘The next step in being a member as I understand it is, you have a say in calling of leadership’.
Dr James White: ‘Maybe’.
Other host: ‘Would they be allowed to vote for leadership and calling of a Pastor’?
Dr James White: ‘I don’t know. I do not know, I do not know. But there you go’.
So what I’m calling for. Katie Hall said to me, ‘I don’t understand why all these reformed people are defending Hillsong.’ Katie, it’s not a matter of defending Hillsong. It’s a matter of saying you need to be accurate in your criticisms for them to be lasting and meaningful criticism, that’s the point.
We can see the problem but isn’t it interesting that on both this and the prior situation, who got to actual heart of the matter by being careful about the criticism [raises hands]. That’s my point. That’s my point. Got to be careful. You’ve got to do your homework. That’s my point.’
For decades we have watched Hillsong act underhanded to Christians who question their practices and towards media who do their best to accurately report on the Hillsong movement. We are very concerned seeing similar games played by Hillsong behind the scenes to respected ministers and leaders.
Dr. James White is a respected Christian man in the field of discernment and apologetics. He sometimes weighs in on important church issues and recently decided to tackle the controversy surrounding Hillsong’s vague stance on homosexuality. We wish to highlight what James White recently said on his show titled ‘Seer Stones, Hillsong Church, and KJVOnly Deceitfulness’:
“So when someone says, “Jesus never addressed this issue,” they’re just ignorant. They just don’t know what they are talking about. And Carl says, “I know that. I agree. And it was a combination of my not speaking clearly enough and them not following up with what I said afterward where I said those things.”
So, you know. Okay I hear you. Got it. Alright.
I tried to be- if I’m going to criticise, I want to try to be fair, and I want to try to be accurate. And the fact is, there are sources amongst conservative Christians that are trusted that shouldn’t be. We re-post stuff that isn’t always overally accurate. And my concern was exactly that. My concern was exactly that. Because, these are important issues. And when we are not- when we don’t do our homework and we just go with the twelve-gate shotgun blast from the start, we may think we are doing the Elijah thing. But in reality we are only hurting ourselves. Because then people can just focus on that and not focus upon what the real issue is.”
One has to wonder what Carl Lentz disclosed in that conversation with James White.
This is because we have the impression that Dr. James White had trouble finding the source of this quote from Carl Lentz and we find it odd that Carl Lentz didn’t give him the audio/source or apologise for his sloppy witness on the CNN program.
You can find this uploaded media presentation with the relevant quote (9:18-10:08) in the Poppy Harlow interview, on the ‘Pastor Carl Lentz’ YouTube channel.
Below the video, you can read:
Carl Lentz 2015 sermons | Carl Lentz sermons.
Directed by Carl Lentz
Be Blessed As You Grow In Grace And Knowledge and share the videos with your friends so that they maybe blessed too.
Just in case it may be pulled by Hillsong, here is another screen grab of this video from the ‘Pastor Carl Lentz’ channel (titled ‘Carl Lentz | Tattooed Megapastor Carl Lentz The Next Joel Osteen Mar 12,2015‘):
If Carl is protesting to James White “that it was a combination of [him] not speaking clearly enough and them not following up with what [he] said afterward where [he] said those things,” then why has he supposedly uploaded this video on his own YouTube channel?
[09:18-09:20] Announcer: “Are gay men and women welcome in the church?”
[09:21-09:24] Carl Lentz: “Absolutely. We have a lot of gay men and women in the church and I pray we always do.”
[09:25-09:30] Laura Lentz: “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live. That’s there journey.”
[09:31-9:37] Announcer: “Every article I’ve read about you guys says, “he declined to discuss gay marriage.’”
[9:37-10:08] Carl Lentz: “Yeah, it’s a misquote because I do discuss it just not the way people want me to. When it comes to homosexuality, I refuse to let another human being or a media moment dictate how we approach it. Jesus was in the thick of an area where homosexuality, just like it is today, was wildly prevalent. And I’m still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people. You won’t find it because he never did.”
In Australia, Hillsong has been saying for decades that the media are great (only when they look good). However, whenever the Australian media report Hillsong peddling Word of Faith or prosperity heresy; reported on scandals; report on leadership abusing or ripping off it’s members financially, etc, Hillsong are quick to demonise, distort, defame and damn the media organisation.
When you watch the CNN media report, it is not tearing into Hillsong. This would make sense as to why Carl Lentz would record this and upload it.
Now that he is being rightly condemned as being “ignorant” or “deceitful” by using that argument in the report, both Lentz and Houston are now defaulting to their typical defamation statements against the media, that being that they were taken out of context or misrepresented.
Thus Carl Lentz’ dialogue with White appears to be disingenuous in regards to the media misrepresenting him. [edit 11/08/2015] If he thought they misrepresented him to begin with, why did he [supposedly] upload that video to his YouTube account? [/edit]
Dr. James White, if you are reading our site, please understand that we respect your work and are perturbed that Carl Lentz was not upfront and honest with you about his views regarding homosexuality. We believe that if you are given well documented evidence against Carl Lentz, you will confront him for his rejection of God’s Word.
[Edit: Carl Lentz has responded to this which we will be addressing:
Carl LentzAugust 11, 2015 at 3:49 am
Hi! I actually don’t have a YouTube channel, so that’s unfortunate here in regards to your attempt to discredit me. Hard for me to upload videos on a site I don’t actually have. Make sure you do just a little bit of homework before you build your attack, might make it a little more believable. James white is a respectable man, who actually called to check facts. What’s funny is he actually talks about people like you the podcast you posted! Hilarious. In your eagneress to tear down, don’t rush the fact checking part. God bless you!
We can see why Carl Lentz said nothing about this growing controversial in his own church but why Brian Houston on the other side of the planet did.
Because Hillsong have deliberately mislead Christians on their position on homosexuality in their media statements, many people have suffered. And sadly, both Christians and closeted homosexuals within Hillsong will suffer.
Christ’s name has been bought in to disrepute, Christians will feel betrayed with Hillsong’s lies and cover-ups. And people like Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly will suffer backlash because of Hillsong’s forever-changing social popularity contests because members will see their latest publication as an attack against Brian Houston and Carl Lentz’s spiritual authority.
Brian Houston and Carl Lentz: don’t you DARE condemn Christian’s for your spinelessness. You are the spineless cowards who have rejected the bible, hidden behind word games and created this apostate mess. And don’t you dare insight your Hillsong members to demonise, sledge and bully this poor gay couple for sharing their experiences publicly.
What is disclosed in these below insights has only confirmed that Brian Houston over the decade has been duplicitous behind the scenes to groom Hillsong church to be a gay-affirming church (See links at end of article). We will be reviewing the serious implications of what was said in another article in light of what we know of Hillsong.) For now, in light of the statement,
“This only confirms to us that personal relationships are transformative. This isn’t difficult to accept after one looks at this through the lens of personal relationship being a foundational tenet of the Christian faith,”
please understand that we created the below graphic for a soon to-be-released article. We think it is an appropriate graphic to release so you can see the dynamics at work in Canfield’s below response:
Josh Canfield writes,
To our friends…
We’re writing this post in response to so many of you who have kindly reached out. You’ve been wondering why we have been getting so many hateful comments on all of our social media in the past week, in which some of you have been tagged or engaged.
The drama that is unfolding at the moment all revolves around the fact that we have been heavily involved in our church, Hillsong NYC. Josh has been with Hillsong for eight years in a variety of ways: choir director, vocal director, and worship team. I’ve been there since the beginning of our relationship, over three years ago, and eventually began singing in the choir and opening my apartment as the gathering place for a connect group for Hillsong members in the Broadway and theatrical communities.
We have been open and forthright about our relationship from the get-go.
Due to our openness and very public appearance together on CBC’s “Survivor”, we have been in conversation with Hillsong NYC’s lead pastors regarding the church’s non-LGBT affirming stance. Hillsong has many campuses around the world, many in places where gay marriage is now legal, so this has been an ongoing dialogue trying to figure out how and where we, as part of the LGBT community, fit in. As a church family, we have been wading through these uncharted waters of shifting culture and social change.
Several days ago some faceless, end-of-days blogger decided to attack us and our church for allowing us to serve when we are “unrepentantly embracing [our] sin” as homosexuals. Sadly, yet unsurprisingly, most super-conservative news sources picked it up and ran with it — giving this man’s voice worldwide amplification it never should have had. Not to mention it worked up Christian communities around the world, as many look to our church as a model of modern Christianity to be emulated. (We’ve never been harassed in so many foreign languages before … and we live in NYC!)
This has now forced our church to globally reaffirm their hard stance as a non-LGBT-affirming institution and disallow any gays from being in a position of leadership within the church. It’s been frustrating and a bit crushing that one crazy person could interfere so easily with the healthy and steady dialogue we’ve been having, but in a new world of social media and instant exposure, we are left unsurprised. Thankfully we are led by pastors who are grace-filled and committed to continuing to try to discern God’s will on this matter.
All this being said, many of you ask: “why are you staying somewhere that doesn’t fully accept you?” This leaves us with a tough decision. If we, as gays, pack up and leave every church we feel less than welcomed in or where we feel spiritual resistance, how will there ever be growth? The flip side of this is: why would we, as part of the gay community who have been primarily outcast for all our lives, willingly subject ourselves to more marginalization? It’s been a lot to personally work though.
Many try to discredit biblical scholars and laymen alike who have shifted their stance from non-affirming to LGBT-affirming by saying “the only reason they have changed their mind is because they know a gay person”. This only confirms to us that personal relationships are transformative. This isn’t difficult to accept after one looks at this through the lens of personal relationship being a foundational tenet of the Christian faith.
After we inadvertently and unintentionally became public representatives for gay Christianity, we feel like we have been called and have a responsibility to continue to stand authentically in our truth — especially within the church family that we call home, Hillsong NYC — we are seeking the Lord, we are Christian, we are gay, and this is our journey.
We thank you for your concern, your prayers, and your support.
“Hillsong’s position on homosexuality and gay marriage has not changed and is consistent with Scripture.”
This article will prove through the writing of Ben Gresham (a close gay friend of Brian Houston) that Houston is still following through with his promises to Ben Gresham after his meeting with him back in 2010 to bring changes to Hillsong.
In other words, Brian Houston has been caught lying… again.
ALONG CAME A GRESHAM
Later, Brian Houston tweeted his blog article on Hillsong’s stance towards homosexuality (an article we will review). Ben Gresham and Houston exchanged the following:
Do I love gay people? My thoughts and my heart toward gay people and Hillsong Church. LTL blog: http://bit.ly/1VZ8yUK
Although Houston protested that “There has been absolutely no change to Hillsong Church’s stance on homosexuality,” Ben Gresham praised Brian Houston and Hillsong for bringing change towards embracing same sex people and same sex issues. In other words, Ben Gresham accidentally exposed Brian Houston of lying once again to the general public in his media statement.
Ben Gresham – Met with Brian Houston in 2010 to discuss what changes Hillsong can make over same sex issues.
Remember that Ben thanked Houston for “being clear and upfront” and how Houston thanked him for it, saying, “This means so much to me?” Ben decided to point out the positive changes and developments he saw in his journey and discussion with Hillsong’s Brian Houston in this below article.
Although we have pointed to these changes ourselves, it is good to have Gresham reveal the changes he has seen behind the Hillsong machine in regards to how it has slowly changed it’s stance on same sex issues.
We willhighlight the lines where Gresham exposes how Hillsong CHANGED their stance on same sex issues.
Gresham notes that Hillsong has changed, saying:
Hillsong has taken some steps forward in the past few years.
The church is now talking about the issue more
they no longer support or refer gay people to harmful ‘ex-gay’ or reparative/conversion programs and therapies.
the church will allow gay and lesbian people to attend and you won’t be kicked out for having a partner […]
“This is a step forward, no matter how you look at it!”
And he is right. No matter how you look at it, Brian Houston is STILL not calling homosexuality a sin and he is still not using the bible as the ultimate authority.
Gay people and Hillsong Church? At last… some clarity
Early this morning, Brian Houston, the Senior Pastor of Hillsong Church, issued a statement in response to the controversy surrounding reports that Hillsong NYC had an engaged gay couple leading the church choir. Many people on both sides of the fence (right-wing Christians and left-leaning LGBTs) quickly spread the word that “Hillsong was now gay-affirming” without really checking the facts or asking anybody in senior leadership at Hillsong church what their position really was.
Hillsong’s position on homosexuality has been rather murky and misunderstood by many. Pastor Brian Houston and the church have done a better job in recent years communicating with the public, however, they have often been wary of discussing their stance on homosexuality, marriage equality and gay people in leadership.
In an effort to clear up the matter once and for all, Pastor Brian Houston issued this statement today – “Do I Love Gay People”. This statement answers the questions that many of us have been asking for some time. I have quoted parts of the statement from Pastor Brian Houston below some key observations.
Hillsong still views homosexuality as a lifestyle choice:
“Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid. I recognise this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world”.
Hillsong reaffirms its position against same-sex marriage:
“I also live by my own convictions, and hold to traditional Christian thought on gay lifestyles and gay marriage. I do believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear, as I have mentioned in previous public statements”.
Gay people can attend Hillsong but not be part of leadership roles:
“So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course! You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community. But (this is where it gets vexing), can you take an active leadership role? No”.
I understand that this statement can be upsetting for many people, particularly if you are gay or lesbian and part of Hillsong Church. I know that there are many of you hoping that the church will move forward on this issue and one day welcome you to participate fully in the life of the church. Although I am upset too, it’s important to remember that Hillsong has taken some steps forward in the past few years. The church is now talking about the issue more and they no longer support or refer gay people to harmful ‘ex-gay’ or reparative/conversion programs and therapies.
This statement includes a really important note from Pastor Brian confirming that the church will allow gay and lesbian people to attend and you won’t be kicked out for having a partner – “So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course!”. This is a step forward, no matter how you look at it!
If you are looking for an affirming church, then sadly Hillsong isn’t the place for you but thankfully there are a growing number of welcoming churches who fully support and include LGBTI people and recognise that being gay is not a choice, nor is it a sin. There are also a growing number of support and social groups like freedom2b in Australia and the Gay Christian Network in the United States that can connect you with other people like you and support you on your journey.
Keeping the conversation going:
It can be easy to dismiss this recent statement from Pastor Brian and Hillsong and label the church as homophobic, but I think that does a disservice to other LGBT people in the church and to those in leadership who are trying to handle this the best way that they know how to. It’s important to acknowledge small steps and to encourage leadership to keep moving forward. We owe it to the many gay and lesbian people who call Hillsong church home and to the many church members who have a gay son, lesbian sister, transgender daughter, etc. The conversation must continue and it must always be full of grace, on both sides.
After reading the statement this morning, I took the time to send a quick tweet to Pastor Brian just to thank him for his clarity and to keep the conversation going. We may not agree 100% but I won’t let our disagreements get in the way of a friendship or an important conversation.
Why is Brian Houston SO hellbent to reject the “writings of Paul [which] are clear on this subject” on homosexuality and instead follow the journey and discussion with a young man that cares only about his hormones? (Hormones can’t save you.)
You have to wonder what Brian Houston will be teaching people at Bill Hybel’s Leadership Summit.
How to leave your bible in a coffee shop? How to exchange the bible for an opinion?
The bible that Houston left behind with Ben Gresham back in 2010…
The fact is, Lentz is someone you need to become aware of because the man “[w]ith the Lord as his swagger coach,”2 and touted by some at Charisma magazine as “this generation’s Billy Graham,”3appears to be a star on the rise a la the way former Emerging Church rock star pastor Rob Bell once was.4 Why, even the SBC’s Priscilla Shirer is on record enthusiastically declaring of Lentz, “He is going to be huge.”5
One of the reasons why we are monitoring the Hillsong Church is because of it’s ecumenical bullying. Hillsong has been pushing on Christianity various beliefs that oppose essential truths of the Christian faith. If you oppose their ecumenical love you are accused of being “critical” or “religious”.
The point of this series of articles is not to make this about what people think is the “Gay Issue”. The issue we are about to address is more important.
The problem is the “Christian Issue” and the Christian issue is this: we have Brian Houston of Hillsong Church operating as a spiritual fraud, claiming to represent the Christian faith in Australia and supposedly speak[ing] on behalf of God. (source)
As I see it, rather than deal openly with the deviant lifestyle of having sexual relations with another of the same sex, i.e homosexuality, there does appear to be a real ecumenical bent lately in the HC camp where critics like myself are merely dismissed as unloving religious folk. Take for example, the other night onAnderson Cooper 360 Poppy Harlow said to Carl Lentz, “You take issue when people call[ing what you’re involved with at HCNYC] religion.”
Lentz replied in agreement:
You can be religious about being a car thief, you can be a religious, you know, criminal but we have a relationship with God. (source)
More postmodern obfuscation (being obscure, clouding the meaning of words). Ok, pastor Carl, but one only gets to have a relationship with God through the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness in Jesus Name. And I find it a bit odd that Lentz would disparage religion when the Facebook page for his HCNYC literally says that it’s a Religious Organization:
Be that as it may, as part of her Keeping the Faith6 series in December of last year Carl Lentz appeared on Katie with Katie Couric and “made it clear he will not take a public stance on the controversial issue [of homosexuality].”7 Below you’ll see Lentz with his usual obfuscation concerning homosexuality. To her credit, Katie Couric did try to get Lentz to more clearly articulate his position; but her attempt to cut through the postmodern fog in which he likes to hide would prove unsuccessful.
Couric asked Lentz, “Do you guys have positions on, say, gay marriage, and things like that?” As you’ll see following, his response shows us the evil impact of leaders in the Emerging Church within mainstream evangelicalism like the aforementioned Rob Bell and his friend Doug Pagitt.8 The reason being, Lentz sounds just like those Emergents in “the conversation” circa 1997. Lentz tells Couric, “We have a stance on love; in everything else, we have a conversations.”
Perplexed, Couric asks him, “So, what does that mean?” But all Lentz offered was, “Exactly that.” Sadly, we just more obfuscation on the part of HCNYC pastor Carl Lentz:
From what I’ve seen, Carl Lentz appears to run down the same track in each interview when asked about homosexuality. So for our purposes here, I want to focus in on Lentz’ appearance on HuffPost Live (HPL) with host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin later that same day (December 19); because he dealt with quite similar questions concerning homosexuality. Before I show you the clip from the interview with HCNYC hipster pastor Carl Lenz that was conducted by Shihab-Eldin, one of the founding hosts of HPL,9 let me walk you through a couple of things I want to highlight before you view it. My hope is that it’ll help you cut through the postmodern fog.
As you’ll see, the clip begins with Lentz reading the last part of 1 Thessalonians 5:14 in the corruptMessage paraphrase10 and attempting a little standup comedy routine using God’s Word a la every other cult of celebrity pastor—whether evangelical or emerging. Then he focuses in on the phrase, “[be] attentive to individual needs” as his launch point for personal commentary. Lentz opines:
That’s interesting. Isn’t that cool? That’s why some churches want us to give blanket answers on huge issues. Well, my Bible says, “[Be] attentive to individual needs.” that’s why I’m not going to make polarizing, political, statements about certain things in our Christian community right now. No matter who says, what, we won’t be pressured not giving blanket statements to “individual needs.” Never.11
Let’s leave aside that the Greek text of 1 Thessalonians 5:14 doesn’t actually say anything about individual needs. I say, sure, the kind of rhetoric employed above by Lentz plays very well to the world. However, it isn’t that some churches want blanket statements concerning the issue of homosexuality, it’s God Himself Who has already stated that same-sex sexual relations is sin.12 Now, we need to ask a couple of questions here: Is Carl Lentz trying to say that some “individual needs” of homosexuals would make their sexual relations not sinful? And, if that isn’t the case, then why can’t Lentz just come out and plainly state that same-sex sexual relations is sin?
You’ll see that Shihab-Eldin then asks Lentz “are people of all sexual orientations welcome” at HCNYC? But this only serves to further divert us away from the key issue. It’s not that people who are caught up in sin are not welcome to come to a church service; the issue is: Can such a one—unrepentant in their sin—be a member in good standing at HCNYC and fully participate as a Christian considered in right relationship with Jesus? Unless the question is framed in a way like this, it allows people like Carl Lentz to give the impression that they may actually be fully homosexual-affirming.
And this gets us to the heart of the matter here with people-pleasing “conversationalists” like Carl Lentz or his predecessors more aligned with the Emerging Church such as homosexual-affirming “pastor” Jay Bakker. They cloud the issues with their practice of obfuscation and then refuse to address an issue like homosexuality head on. The more I watch Carl Lentz, the more it begins to appear to me to amount to a bait and switch; unless, he is actually gay-affirmig and just hasn’t formally announced it yet. A la a politician, by carefully using his words publicly—that don’t really mean anything—as to what his position re. same-sex sexual relationships might be, Lentz does leave one with the impression that he may approve of homosexual relationships.
So, in essence, he appears to be employing this technique as the bait with which to draw LGBT people who are under this impression into HCNYC. In other words, they would attend HCNYC because they believe they’d be accepted as Christians even though they are practicing homosexuals. However, this actually leaves Carl Lentz between the Rock and a hard place as he tries to be all things to all people, so to speak. For you see, Christ Jesus, our Creator, deems same-sex sexual relations as sexual immorality because, at the very least, it’s sexual relations outside His marriage covenant.13 So, if Lentz is affirming of homosexual relationships, then he’s going to be at odds with the Person Who would have sent him forth as a minister of His Gospel.
But on the other hand, if Lentz actually isn’t affirming of homosexuality and considers it sin, then he has yet another problem. That’s because, at some point, he is going to have to take the bait away from these LGBT people and then present to them the switch that now they will have to repent of their sin. In the long run, Carl Lentz really isn’t going to win either way. Such is the problem for vision-casting prophet-pastors who, like Lentz, are trying to appeal to pouty postmoderns. Since the “in” thing for them is tolerance—then to grow his little kingdom in downtown Manhattan—Lentz has to, at least, give the outward impression that he is tolerant and affirming of same-sex sexual relations. Such is the dilemma faced by Carl Lentz and his Seeker Driven HCNYC.
So keep this in mind now as we move forward; being vague is 1) not living up to the role of a pastor in Jesus’ eyes, and 2) this all will eventually leaves Lentz in a no-win situation. That fact is, the time will come when he’s either going to have to come out publicly, and openly, as affirming of same-sex sexual relations. Or, Carl Lentz is going to finally act in accordance of what God has commanded His pastors to do, and tell the truth to members of his HCNYC, as well as to the LGBT community whom he has misled. Now we’re ready to come back to the video clip and Ahmed Shihab-Eldin’s opening question “are people of all sexual orientations welcome” at HCNYC.
Lentz begins his spiritual tap dance by telling him:
What I was referring to there [the last part of 1 Thessalonians 5:14 quoted above] was, you know, some people be like, “you need to make be—you—you need to answer our questions about the homosexuality issue.” And I say, “I do. You just don’t like my answers.” And here’s exactly what I mean by that. Some media wants us to use our pulpit to, ah, have a soapbox for social issues. I don’t believe that’s our job.”14
Frankly, I haven’t heard Lentz give any answers to “questions about the homosexuality issue” to not like in the first place. Ah, but I digress. Let me point out that in the prior interview with Katie Couric, Carl Lentz had said something quite similar, which is the main concern here because he stated:
Often people want you make these big statements about things and I don’t believe it’s fair. I don’t think a public forum is always the best place to talk about something that’s so, sensitive, and important to so many; because a public forum—there’s no discussion there—and everybody’s situation is unique. So, I’ve been with some people who’d be like, “Make a statement about this.” And I’ll say, “Why?” I’d rather have a conversation,…15
Well, I’ll tell you why pastor Carl, because as a pastor it happens to be your job to “make a statement” by telling people what God has said. 2 Timothy 4:2 — preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. Notice here that we’re not told the pastor is supposed to have a conversation about what God has said. Quite the opposite, he is to proclaim the Word of the Lord in the Bible. Yet instead, pastor Carl chooses to wallow in postmodern mud just like some cheap imitation of Rob Bell.
If We Do Love LGBT People For Whom Christ Died Then We Will Tell Them The Truth
Lentz goes on to share a fable through pious-sounding talk about the way Jesus supposedly did ministry:
You go look at what Jesus did. He was always talkin’ about the heart of an individual, and the soul of a person; not these symptomatic, societal, problems. And people hate that; because a lot of churches are about what they’re against. We’re about what we’re for.
And when it comes to people’s sexuality, I don’t wantna use a public forum, to talk about private things. Because how in the world could you have a dialogue? How in the world can I hear your story? How in the world can someone have a question?
So, if I—if I stand up in a pulpit, and I just start railing at somethin’—or, make a statement in a—in a newspaper about somethin’, I—I believe it’s insensitive to the journey that people are walkin’ on, and our church is gon’ protect people. No matter where you’re from; no matter what you carry; no matter, um, what kind of orientation you feel like is your, um, you know, lane of life to run in—um, you know, I wanna have a conversation about it.
We have a stance on love, and we have conversations about everything else.”16
Now, we’re really not surprised at all to HPL host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin say immediately, “Why—I mean—I love that.” For, it is written — They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them (1 John 4:5) . If you’re a regular reader of Apprising Ministries, you’ll have heard this same lame rhetoric over this past nine years coming from the likes of the unholy Emergent Church trinity of apostates, Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren, universalist EC pastor Doug Pagitt, and his friend Dr. Tony Jones, the progressive “theologian in residence” at Solomon’s Porch headed by Pagitt, whom I had mentioned earlier.
You can thank your evangelical publishing houses for infecting this next generation of evangelical cult of celebrity pastors with this emerging kind of centered of the self spirituality. Yes, no doubt this blather plays very well to the postmodern world today; but the fact is, it’s just not true. One need only to look e.g. at Mark 7:1-23 to see what Jesus addressed publicly concerning false religious leaders and about the corrupt heart of mankind. It’s beyond question that the Biblical record shows us that our Lord often used very public forums to talk about things people wish could have been kept private.17
To try and claim that Jesus didn’t publicly address sexual issues is just plain foolish on the part of Carl Lentz. Consider the following from Christ Jesus during his Sermon on the Mount:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)
And there certainly wasn’t any having a conversation with Christ Jesus, the LORD God Almighty in human flesh, when He made such proclamations. Shihab-Eldin next turns conversation with Carl Lentz to the subject homosexuality once again:
Shihab-Eldin: Why—I mean—I love that. And that makes sense to me, because when you say you have a stance on love, and you’re talking about hearts and souls (pause) I often see, you know, people wanna focus on homosexuality and the gay marriage issue—
Shihab-Eldin: And whether they should be allowed to get married; and a lot of homosexual couples are looking around saying “I just love this person with all my heart—
Shihab-Eldin: And soul, so, I’m looking for some support.
Shihab-Eldin: Do you feel like it’s—you’re—you’re not in a position to give them support on that issue; or do you feel like it’s just not your lane?
Lentz: It’s, ah, I dotn’t—it’s not my job to be people’s judge and jury.
Lentz: If I sat down with a homosexual couple and they ask me what I thought about their relationship, I would tell them, and it would be at their table, and it would be our business. But, their situation’s different than the next situation.18
No, it’s not our job to judge people’s motives; but as I pointed out previously in NYC Hillsong Hipster Pastor Carl Lentz Hedging On Homosexuality, we are to share with people what God has said because it’s His Word which judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart (cf. Hebrews 4:12). Lentz’ last statement sounds so respectful, but in actuality, it really makes no sense. On the one hand Lentz says he’d tell this hypothetical homosexual couple what he thought of their relationship if asked. Fair enough, but what does Lentz mean by “their situation’s different than the next situation?” Is he talking about other types of sinful conduct in general?
If so, that wasn’t the subject of the question Lentz was asked, which has to do with homosexual couples. Or, is he trying to give us the impression that apparently each homosexual relationship is different? Which would then beg the questions: How so? Could one same-sex couple be in sin while another homosexual couple may not be? Here’s what someone in the media needs to ask Carl Lentz to answer plainly, and publicly, on the record: Are you personally gay-affirming? As far as you personally are concerned, are homosexual relations always to be considered as sinful? Let’s just say, I’m not holding my breath.
Lentz continues now with his seeking the approval of the world:
And often people get these two words mixed up: acceptance and approval. Like, I don’t necessarily—if someone comes to my church, I don’t have to approve of every single thing in their life, because that’s not my job. I’m not God. My job is to accept you, as I have been accepted—with everything in my life, God accepted me. So acceptance and approval, we draw a really cool line in there, cuz it’s like, look, I’m not gonna tell you—there’s a lot of people who will come into our church, leave, and go, ‘No thanks. I don’t wanna change my—I don’t wanna live—I don’t wanna believe that.’
And I say, ‘Good for you, that’s your job. You have to answer to God for your life, not me.’ So why is this on me? Some people are always like,”What do you think about homosexuality?” I’m like, “I love my wife. I’m married; you’re asking the wrong guy.” Um, but, that’s just to be funny. But I—I do believe it’s such a—a sensitive issue. I have gay friends. I have, ah, people that I love that are right in the thick of that kind of debate. And I just refuse to, ah, ostracize people any longer, I hate it. I think that there’s been so much hate, and so much bigotry and so much insensitivity, that, um, I’m done with that.
And so, the people who criticize us for it; I li—I like making those people mad. Cuz I—they—they are who they are.19
What’s missing with this topic of a person’s acceptance by God is the repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus; the Gospel. Here’s another curious thing; Lentz says, “I’m not gonna tell you—,” as if he was almost going to say, “I’m not going to tell you what to believe.” And yet, he goes on to tell us that “there’s a lot of people who will come into our church, leave, and go, ‘No thanks. I don’t wanna change my—I don’t wanna live—I don’t wanna believe that.’” Well, pastor Carl, where did these people get the idea about changing, or living a certain way, or not wanting to believe certain things? Would it have been from your own preaching at HCNYC?
Remember now, just the other day on Anderson Cooper 360 Poppy Harlow did tell us that:
Some of [Carl Lentz’] positions are clearer than others. Don’t get drunk, no sex before marriage. (source)
Alright, then why doesn’t Lentz make his position concerning homosexuality just as clear? I’ll tell you. He can’t risk offending anyone; and if Lentz does make it clear where he stands on the highly volatile issue of same-sex sexual relations he is sure to offend many. So, we resort to obfuscation, red herrings, and rabbit trails to throw people off. As the clip to follow closes, after Carl Lentz’ little people-pleasing polemic cited above, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin sings the postmodern mantra of today, All You Need Is Love,20 which oddly enough was penned back in 1967:
Shihab-Eldin: And I think if we focus on love, it’ll all fix itself out. If all people just focus on love. I—at least that’s my personal belief. Um, I do wanna—
Lentz: Just so you know, before you go—before you—eh, Jesus said to do two things. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind.” And then He said, number two, “Love your neighbor.”21
As nice as it may sound to say that as long as we focus on love things will all work out, it’s actually a meaningless statement. Whose love; and love of what? Pastor Carl Lentz is correct here; Jesus does tell us that the greatest, i.e. the most important, commandment is — “‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’” (Mark 12:30). However, the only One Who could ever do this is Jesus of Nazareth Himself. And Jesus also added that — “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31).
That teaching is also consistent with what’s known as the Golden Rule as Christ Jesus teaches us — “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). So, pastor Carl, let me ask you: Is not being clear publicly on what the Bible says concerning homosexuality loving your neighbor and treating them as yourself? No, it isn’t. Withholding the truth from precious LGBT souls, for whom Christ died, is what I call homopression;22which is the opposite of homophobia. It is to leave them locked in the prison cell of their sin and not letting them know that Jesus holds the key to unlock their freedom.
No, it’s not unloving to tell someone the truth; you can get in a lot of trouble for doing it, but it’s not unloving. In fact, the true haters in this forum are the ones who refuse to tell the truth to the LGBT community; same-sex sexual relations is a sin of sexual immorality because, as I said earlier, it will always be outside of the marriage covenant instituted by our Creator God, Christ Jesus of Nazareth. These are some of the things you need to keep in mind as you now take a look at the smoke and mirrors show of Carl Lentz as he dodges the rather softball questions of Ahmed Shihab-Eldin below on his HuffPost Liveappearance:
As I close this out, for now, let me say that, just as pastor Carl Lentz has, I also have gay friends. One of whom was actually my boss when I worked quite closely with him in a group home for people who were “developmentally other enabled.” And believe me, he was very out about his sexuality. In fact, we’d often all be joking about it together at the house, with him leading the way. He and I got along great; and he understood that I cared about him as a friend, even though as a Christian I believed his lifestyle was one of sin. As a matter of fact, after I’d left briefly for another position, he even fought to get me back.
After I came back, we were in a car together on the way to accomplish a task; and as he drove along he was complaining to me about another person on the house team that professed to be a Christian, but was always causing grief to everyone around. He finally made a negative comment about “Christians like that person,” and I stopped him and said, “You do know I’m a Christian, right?” The Lord be praised, he said to me with quiet respect, “Yes, but you act like one.” So you see, strictly on a personal level, one’s sexual orientation doesn’t matter to me at all. However, as a Christian, I must never forget that I represent the Lord Jesus Christ
That understood, the problem for people like Bell and Pagitt and Bakker,and maybe even Carl Lentz, is they just don’t really believe what Jesus actually said. My point was pretty clear years ago when I asked the question: But Do Emergence Christianity And Brian McLaren Really Love Gay People? When all their verbose rhetoric fades, the answer is a resounding no, they don’t. If they did, then they’d tell the LGBT community the truth. Rodney King aside, no one ever said we will all get along. In fact, Jesus said He came along and insured that we won’t always:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39)
Well, pastor Carl, today is your day of reckoning:
“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15)
I leave you now with the following critique of HCNYC pastor Carl Lentz from Christian apologist Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith, which deals with the huge problem of these cult of celebrity vision-casting prophet pastors presenting a worldy image at the expense of the substance of the Gospel. I think you’ll see that Rosebrough makes a very strong case that Lentz does not meet the qualification to even be a pastor in the first place:
As I explained in Homopression is at Least as bad as Homophobia, the homoppression I refer to here is not telling the truth to someone, claiming to be Christian, who self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered (LGBT) and thereby leaving them under oppression in their sin. ↩
Queerstianity: A group of people that supposedly push no political or religious agenda but “share” their philosophy of tolerance and love onto others.”
(Source: Urban Dictionary [slightly edited])
Brian Houston of Hillsong Church is slowly grooming his congregation to embrace the false “Gay Christianity” doctrine. To understand why this doctrine is such a blatant attack on the Christian faith please read our article below. We are aware how sensitive this Christian issue is and wish to deal with it respectfully. James White in the below article thoroughly refutes this false teaching.
For years I’ve been covering the issues surrounding those, like Jay Bakker, who’re working within evangelicalism to make the deviant and sinful lifestyle of having sexual relations with another of the same sex, i.e homosexuality, a viable one for the regenerated Christian.
Such as these have already succeeded in capturing much of its younger sectors to their perverted position. Now with the influx of feelings-oriented charismania and Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism spreading throughout the mainstream, “soon” much of the rest will also follow.
Evangelicalism is set to pay a huge price for turning away from the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura and toward the subjective spirituality of personal mysticism. It’s only a matter of time before more and more people cave-in on homosexuality. Perhaps, we have one more example.
Under the subheading We believe in your God-given potential we’re told at the HILC website:
We invite you to prayerfully consider how investing one or more years here at Hillsong could prepare you for your God-given destiny. We passionately believe in the potential of all people, so we invite you to come to beautiful Australia to embark upon a life changing time of preparation.
We exist to champion the cause of the local church and see people reach their God-given potential, thus changing the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We look forward to having you join us for what will be an amazing journey. (source)
This professed Christian perspective is significant as I inform you that homosexuality has now been removed from the HILC Student Handbook (SH). It’s also important to note that the SH makes it clear that:
Any behaviour that contravenes the Student Code of’ Conduct will result in disciplinary action (Ref: Student Behaviour and Course Progress Policy). Any behavior that compromises the welfare of other students will result in immediate termination of enrolment [sic].
So obviously, SH lays out what the student of HILC must adhere to in order to remain a student at the college. As we come to the Student Code of Conduct, on pg.13 of this HILC SH, it used to read (click to enlarge):
Now, this prior HILC Student Code of Conduct also informs us that:
One of the College’s most important goals is to facilitate the growth and development of Christian character in line with biblical principles. It is expected that College students live in such a manner that brings glory to Christ in their behavior and attitudes both in and outside of College settings. Therefore each student is expected to…
Nothing out of the ordinary, so far, in that these are the kinds of things we’d expect at a college whose goal “is to facilitate the growth and development of Christian character in line with biblical principles.” This would all be consistent with bringing “glory to Christ.”
Well, as of this writing, a check on pg. 13 of the HILC student handbook reveals that the word homosexuality has since been removed (click to enlarge):
Curiously, in addition, the beginning section of the Student Code of Conduct has also now been expanded to include the following paragraph:
Since students are also being trained for Christian ministry, and are engaged in ministry as part of their course, it is expected that they will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the moral, ethical and behavioural standards expected of Christian leaders and ministers, and the churches in which they are ministering and being trained. With these issues in mind, the College has developed a Student’ Code of Conduct, which reflects the leadership required by the Australian Christian Churches (Assemblies of God in Australia) and other similar denominations. (source)
With the omission of the word homosexuality from the Code itself, the closing section re. “behaviour that contravenes the Student Code of’ Conduct,” also contains this additional section:
Since it reflects the standards expected by churches of those in ministry, behaving and ministering consistently with the Student Code of Conduct is also a requirement for several assessments across the College’s courses, especially Practicum Passports.Breaching this Code will result in a student being assessed as Not Yet Competent for the relevant subjects / units. A student will subsequently need to provide verifiable evidence of meeting the requirements of the Code of Conduct for a reasonable period in order to achieve competence. (source)
Again, we would certainly expect this from a Christian college; only now, it would seem the practice of homosexuality isn’t included as something which would “result in a student being assessed as Not Yet Competent,” etc. The question becomes why HILC made this change.
You wouldn’t think that homosexual relations would be consistent with the admonition that HILC students “will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the moral, ethical and behavioural standards expected of Christian leaders and ministers, and the churches” they are involved with.
Lord willing, another time I’ll have more on Australian activist Venn-Brown, author of A Life of Unlearning, but for now I’ll just tell you his bio informs us that he’s a:
Former leader in the Assemblies of God and regular preacher in Australia’s mega churches. Anthony now lives as a proud gay man, committed to educating others about the issues of faith and sexuality. (source)
Contrary to popular opinion, homosexuality is not a topic often mentioned from Hillsong pulpits; for or against. On Sunday 18 August 2013, Hillsong’s Senior Pastor, Brian Houston, preached a message that was broadcast to all Hillsong congregations around the world in over 100 services. What was significant about this sermon was that during the message he publicly began a conversation about the Hillsong churches need to come to grips with the ‘gay issue’. (source, bold his)
He then goes on to tell us more about his personal agenda, which is the very same one that more and more LGBT activists here in the United States also have in store for weak evangelical churches:
When working with churches, leaders and denominations I let them know about the 10 separate issues they will face in order to become not just a welcoming but also accepting and affirming church. This is not a once off meeting or workshop it is a journey that will take several years to complete. (source)
Sadly, because people won’t believe what Scripture says, this is all part of the coming same-sex storm within mainstream evangelicalism. And I find myself beginning to wonder if Brian Houston and Hillsong coming “to grips with” homosexuality means moving closer toward its acceptance…
By his own admission Venn-Brown has turned away from the historic orthodox Christian faith telling us that he once “was a leader in the Assemblies of God denomination (now Australian Christian Churches) and a high profile preacher in the largest Pentecostal churches of Australia and overseas,,, [H]e became a Christian at 18 believing that God would provide the answers he was looking for. In the church”…
Venn-Brown offers more proof of his apostasy listing that he was formerly an:
Ordained Assemblies of God minister; pioneered several churches
Founded Youth Alive NSW and the Australian Evangelists Association
Organised and led study tours to cutting edge churches in the USA
Crossed denominational barriers and was the first Pentecostal appointed to the Lausanne Congress for World Evangelization Australian Board
Founder and Director of Every Believer Evangelism involved in equipping individuals and churches in the areas of evangelism through training and crusades
Evangelist, conference speaker and popular preacher in the mega churches of Australia as well as overseas
Influenced paradigm shifts within the Assemblies of God that contributed to denominational growth: http://bit.ly/1srBbbw, accessed 5/13/14. ↩
Queerstianity: A group of people that supposedly push no political or religious agenda but “share” their philosophy of tolerance and love onto others.” (Source: Urban Dictionary [slightly edited])
Brian Houston of Hillsong Church is slowly grooming his congregation to embrace the false “Gay Christianity” doctrine. To understand why this doctrine is such a blatant attack on the Christian faith please read our article below. We are aware how sensitive this Christian issue is and wish to deal with it mindfully.
In Part 2, Ben Gresham taught us that when he met with Houston, Houston was committed to have “discussions with other pastors (such as Rob Buckingham of Bayside Church, Melbourne)” over sexual orientation. Who is Rob Buckingham of Bayside “Church”?
Christian Sh*tty Church censors Pastor Rob Buckingham
Pastor Rob Buckingham
Andrew Strom blogs…
“It all started with a 2009 blog post by Rob Buckingham, pastor of a large Pentecostal megachurch called ‘Bayside’ in Melbourne, Australia. His blog post was entitled, “Is Jesus Anti-Gay?” and made the case for ‘acceptance’ being the true Christian attitude toward Homosexuals. Now bear in mind that this is not some “liberal” church or ‘liberal’ congregation here. This fellowship is part of the “C3″ (Christian City Church) denomination – one of the largest mainstream Pentecostal groups in Australia. That is why the Gay community was so delighted by it all.
In the ‘comments’ section after his article, Rob Buckingham made his views even clearer: “As a Christian, and pastor of a church, I sometimes find the attitudes of fellow Christians embarrassing. We have a number of gay men and women in our church and they are accepted just the way they are – just like everyone else is.” So you are no longer willing to preach what Jesus preached, Rob? “GO and SIN NO MORE.”
Rob Buckingham later went on to preach a message at Bayside that was entitled, “Real Christianity is Accepting”. (You can find it on Youtube). In it the pastor overturned the usual understanding of the ‘Sodom & Gomorrah’ story and advocated “Christian acceptance” of homosexuals. The Pentecostal congregation literally gave him a standing ovation at the end of his sermon.
This message was heralded by the Gay press as a huge leap forward inside the Pentecostal movement. One Gay activist called it, ‘The Bayside Breakthrough’. The Star Online trumpeted, “Church Advocates for Gay Acceptance… minister at Melbourne´s Pentecostal Bayside Church received a standing ovation earlier this month for preaching just that in a special sermon on how the church should embrace GLBT [Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender] people.”
The official Bayside website also published the following statement: “Bayside Church welcomes GLBT people to find God´s love and grace and to worship Him freely within our community.”
Even though this whole affair became very well-known, the leadership of the C3 (Christian City Church) movement apparently “declined to comment” on it – even though the C3 movement is led by Phil Pringle, a very well-known preacher in Australia. It seems Bayside is still welcome to be part of ‘C3′ and Rob Buckingham remains a high-profile pastor in the movement. All of his blog posts on this subject are still proudly featured on the church website. Which surely leads one to believe that Rob Buckingham’s views must not be too different from the overall church’s views on this subject. Isn’t that reasonable to assume, since they have said nothing to the contrary? I wonder if Australian Pentecostals are aware that this huge compromise is now taking place under their own banner?
And so, Homosexual Acceptance is free to enter into the Pentecostal movement by the back door, since leaders no longer dare to actually make a stand on the issue. Please write to Phil Pringle and the C3 movement if you would like to know why they have been so “silent” about this – even to their own members. Here is the email to write to- firstname.lastname@example.org
Isn’t it sad that “political correctness” is now overtaking even the Pentecostal churches worldwide? Perhaps the fruit of years of no real ‘Repentance’ being preached? And I have recently heard of large Baptist churches in Australia also starting to head in the same direction. Who will stand and defend the truth?”
“Just for the record, my big concern in this was that homosexuals were being welcomed right into actual Pentecostal ‘fellowship’ – with no sign that it was being called “sin” at all. In fact, complete “acceptance” of homosexuals ‘just as they are’. I personally have no problem with reaching out in love toward homosexual people for the sake of their salvation and cleansing through Jesus. I do believe in compassion for the sinner. But this is very different. This is total “acceptance” of Homosexuals into actual Pentecostal fellowship. Where is the repentance? Where is the stand on what God calls “SIN”? That was my big concern.
I am delighted to say that the overall C3 church has now issued a firm response concerning this issue. However, there are still real question marks, as we shall see. But first – their response. Here it is-
Thank you for your email and expression of your concerns regarding this issue. We wanted you to know our position on this matter so there is no confusion regarding our beliefs. Below is a short statement that we trust will help clarify our stance.
C3 Churches hold to the historic Judeo-Christian view of sexual union being between a man and a woman in marriage. We do not recognise the practice of homosexuality as biblically valid for a follower of Christ, nor do we promote it. We do however promote and expect God’s great love and grace to be shown to all, regardless of their orientation.
Also we wanted you to know that Ps Buckingham has removed his blog at our request as it does not reflect our beliefs.
Kind Regards, C3 Church Global”
ANDREW AGAIN: An excellent response, and I am very happy that the C3 movement has been so clear about it. However, it is not actually true that Rob Buckingham has removed his blog post. In fact, the worst two are still up, including – “Is Jesus Anti-Gay?” and ‘The Acceptance Controversy’. And his comment is still there for all to see- “As a Christian, and pastor of a church, I sometimes find the attitudes of fellow Christians embarrassing. We have a number of gay men and women in our church and they are accepted just the way they are – just like everyone else is.”
The C3 statement said that Rob Buckingham had already removed the blog post concerned. But actually none of them have been removed yet at all. And Bayside’s Youtube video – “Real Christianity is Accepting” is also still up for all the world to see.
And anyway, even if they do take them down at some point, does that mean Rob Buckingham’s attitude has truly changed? He is the pastor of thousands of C3 people, after all.
If you want to clarify if and when any of this stuff will be removed, you can contact C3 – email@example.com
And in the meantime, I have received a great deal of confirmation that mainstream Baptist churches in both New Zealand and Australia are also preaching or practising “Homosexual Acceptance” and no longer treating it as ‘sin’. This is a crisis. The walls are down. Is it already too late?
-PLEASE COMMENT on this topic below-
Yours in Christ – Andrew Strom ( firstname.lastname@example.org )”
Through the magic of the internet archive, here is Pastor Rob Buckingham’s ‘Is Jesus anti-gay?’ blog post before it was censored by Christian Shitty Church…
“So often Christianity is linked with being right wing, anti-gay, anti-Obama, anti-Muslim and pro-Israel.
Now I have strong views on all of these topics, but sometimes our strong views need to be kept to ourselves in order to be effective in reaching out to others. For example, sending out an anti-gay message does nothing to reach gay people for Jesus. All it does is ostracize them from the church and force them to find refuge amongst their own community instead of finding love, acceptance and forgiveness in the community of Christ.
The apostle Paul discusses this in Romans 2 where he rebukes judgmental people and reminds them that it is God’s kindness, tolerance and patience, which ultimately leads people back to God.
WWJD? What would Jesus do? A simple look at the gospels reveals the answer to this question. The only people Jesus judged were the rightwing, religious fundamentalists who thought they had it all together and were the sole bearers of religious truth (see Matthew 23). These people were harsh in their judgment of others; Jesus was harsh in His judgment of them.
But to others, the marginalized and disenfranchised, Jesus offered a gracious and loving view of God. He said nothing about homosexuality (except some words in Matthew 19:11-12 that could be an insight into Jesus’ views of those with same-sex attractions). He had plenty to say about a woman with a dubious past who let her hair down (literally) and anointed him with perfume. When criticized by the religious, Jesus defended her and established a memorial in her honor.
He saved a woman who was divorced and remarried five times and living in a defacto relationship with someone else’s husband. He forgave a woman, caught in the act of adultery, that the religious fundamentalists wanted to stone to death. You get the picture. All these people had their lives (and behavior) changed by the gracious acceptance of Jesus, not His harsh criticism and condemnation.
WWJD is a good question that we all need to ask. The only problem is when some people ask themselves the question they come up with the wrong answer and become cruel critics instead of those who demonstrate the kindness, tolerance and patience of God. One repels, the other attracts. WWYD? What will you do?”