The Sydney Morning Herald reports,
Brian Houston, c3 paedophile coverup, c3 paedophile scandal, c3 pedophile coverup, c3 pedophile scandal, Ferguson, houston, Kerrie Ferguson, paedophile, paedophile scandal, paedophilia, phil pringle, pringle, scandal
We have been covering the paedophile scandal cover-up of Phil Pringle of C3 Church. If people tuned in to 2SM radio this morning, they would have learnt that this scandal also found it’s way into the Hillsong movement.
This morning, Grant Goldman from 2SM radio publicly challenged Scott Morrison’s associations with cult leader Brian Houston of Hillsong. Goldman also introduced the serious issues behind Hillsong by introducing cult leader Phil Pringle and his C3 movement into the mix, highlighting the fact that both men have covered up paedophilia in their church’s. Goldman focused on Kerrie Ferguson’s story as well.
You can read Kerrie Ferguson’s ongoing story here in how this was covered up:
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 1)
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 2) – The cover-up scandal that Pringle refused to deal with…
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 3) Sex, Money, Power
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 4) Pringle regards pastors “gambling” worse than pastors defending a pedophile?
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 5) Phil Pringle’s leadership – an unresolved mess
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 6) C3 prophetically manipulating the abused into silence
C3 Parramatta Scandal (Part 7) Letter exposing Pringle covering up paedophilia & refusing to help victim
You can listen to the radio segment here:
Scott Morrison attends ShireLIVE and has close ties with the better-known Hillsong community. Brian Houston is one of Morrison’s mentors and we have a personal email claiming that Scott Morrison has boasted that his mentor is Brian Houston.
If you don’t know how to navigate what surfaced from the Royal Commission regarding Houston covering up his father’s crimes, please read the below link:
[EDIT: 23/09/2015 – Transcript added.]
TRANSCRIPT: Grant Goldman to Scott Morrison, Monday 21 September 2015.
“On August 24th, less than a month ago, I had something to say about Scott Morrison, I stated that in 2007 Morrison as State Director of the Liberal Party was the beneficiary of a totally unfounded and unjustified smear campaign against a man by the name of Michael Towke, the telecommunications engineer who had been preselected by the Liberal Party for the seat of Cook. The effect of that smear campaign was that Morrison, who in contesting the preselection, had received less than one tenth of the votes won by Towke. But Morrison was able to gain the Liberal endorsement as the Member for Cook.
In recent days supporters of Tony Abbott have suspected the loyalty and sincerity of Scott Morrison who appears to have been rewarded for his failure to defend the then Prime Minister against the Turnbull attack. In his Maiden Speech to the Federal Parliament on 14 February 2008, Scott Morrison made favourable mention of Pastor Brian Houston who operates the Hillsong religious organisation.
So who is Pastor Brian Houston, the mentor to Scott Morrison? Is he?
This is the fellow who told a Royal Commission that he had no legal or moral obligation to the victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by his predecessor in the leadership of Hillsong, his father Frank Houston. In October 2014 the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse was told by a witness known as AHA that when he was seven years only, Pastor Frank Houston would come to his room, lie on him, fondle him and masturbate him. When Brian Houston found out that in 1999 that his father was a pederast taking advantage of a young boy, he failed to tell the Police. Instead, Brian Houston and committee of the Assemblies of God suspended Frank Houston’s preaching credentials, for just two years.
It gets worse. I have in my hand as I write a copy of testimony given to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse by a lady named Kerri. I shall put this document on my website. Kerri told the commission the tragic story of how her son was raped by the man she had married. Her son reported the crime to two Pastors, Gary Dench and Ian Treacy. They did not tell the police. They did not tell the victim’s mother. They admonished the victim, telling him he was partly to blame.
After Kerri learned from her son what had happened, she told the Police and also asked for help from the Head Pastor of the Christian City Church, Phil Pringle who provided no assistance. Pringle had suspended Dench, not because Dench had concealed a crime against a child, but because Dench’s wife had won a prize in the lottery.
Later Kerri asked for help from Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church knowing him to be a close friend of Pastor Phil Pringle. I’ll quote what Kerri told the commission:
“I related our circumstances to Brian Houston who became very irritated, told me he did not believe that such a thing had happened, turned his back on me and walked away.”
That is Brian Houston, who I understand with his wife Bobbie still calls the shots at Hillsong.
I am inviting Scott Morrison to come on my program and repudiate Pastor Brian Houston. I want Scott Morrison to express disgust at a Christian Leader who fails to report the sexual abuse of a child. I want Scott Morrison to express disgust at a Christian Leader who turns his back on member of his own congregation, a mother whose son has been betrayed by other pastors in the network, who refused to report to police that that boy had been raped, and instead told the boy he was partly to blame.
If you agree with me, back me up. If you disagree, prove me wrong.”
[TRANSCRIPT COMING SOON]
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.
Source: James White, Seer Stones, Hillsong Church, and KJVOnly Deceitfulness, Alpha & Omega Ministries, http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2015/08/05/seer-stones-hillsong-church-and-kjvonly-deceitfulness/, 26:17-27:50, Published 05/08/2015. (Accessed 10/08/2015.)
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!
Carl Lentz: guy who has no YouTube channel.
Source: Carl Lentz (guy who says guy who has no YouTube channel), Church Watch Central, http://churchwatchcentral.com/2015/08/10/did-carl-lentz-mislead-james-white-of-alpha-omega-ministries/, Published 11/08/2015. (Accessed 11/08/2015.)
Carl Lentz also sent the following tweet to his followers on Twitter:
I don’t have a personal YouTube channel. If there is one, I have zero control of what’s on there and have never looked. God bless America!!
Source: Carl Lentz https://twitter.com/carllentzNYC/status/630950093252919297, Published 10/07/2015 (Accessed 11/08/2015.)
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.]
@arielscomedy I don’t have a YouTube channel, a podcast or anything! But I’m glad you were encouraged by it, God bless!
Source: Carl Lentz, Twitter, https://twitter.com/carllentzNYC/status/614268539596189696, Published 25/06/2015 (Accessed 11/08/2015.)
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.
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.
[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.’
Brian, Brian Houston, crocodile tears, Driscoll, Grace Dirscoll, Grace Driscoll, Hillsong, Hillsong Conference 2014, Hillsong Conference 2015, hillsong conference scandal, houston, interview, kangaroo court, lie, lies, manipulation, Mark Driscoll, scandal
We have decided to transcribe the interview between Brian Houston and Mark/Grace Driscoll that was aired at Hillsong Conference 2015. Brian Houston stated that he talked with Mark and Grace Driscoll for “an hour and fifty three minutes” but managed to edit the interview to be “fifty minutes” long. So we would greatly appreciate it if people can help fix any errors or fill in words or phrases that we could not understand. To listen to the audio of this interview – click here.
CROCODILE TEARS IN A KANGAROO COURT
Brian Houston has given Driscoll a platform to repackage, re-market and re-launch as a Pastor on the preaching network. The result was a one-sided, orchestrated, kangaroo court where Driscoll elicited sympathy and support.
Before reading the interview, we would emphatically encourage you read to read the below article, researching all the things Mark Driscoll has done to people in his church. Does Mark Driscoll come across as someone who qualifies the biblical requirements of “pastor” in Titus and 1 & 2 Timothy?
We believe with certainty that Brian Houston’s interview with Mark and Grace Driscoll was crafted to rebuttal the negative media attention. How did we come to this conclusion? If you re-listen to Sunrise and Lateline’s broadcasts concerning Mark Driscoll coming to speak at the Hillsong Conference, both make mention of his derogatory remarks towards women and his bullying behavior towards staff and congregant members. In this interview, Mark Driscoll is given the opportunity to clarify and apologize for his misogynistic messages along with his abusive attitude.
So what’s the problem? What if you were told that Mark Driscoll misused church funds to buy his way onto the New York Times Best Seller’s List? What if you were told that several of Mark Driscoll’s books contained plagiarized material? What if you were told that on page 105 of Mark Driscoll’s book, “Vintage Church,” he wrote, “plagiarism… subverts God’s work in and through you…If you use the work of others, you are not a teacher, and you should quit your job and go do anything but speak?” What if you were told that Mark Driscoll was teaching young pastors to throw people “off the bus” and “run them over” if they didn’t get behind their visions? (“I believe in blessed subtraction. There is a pile of dead bodies behind the Mars Hill bus [sycophantic laughter] and by God’s grace there’ll be a mountain by the time we’re done.”)
After reading the transcript below, ask yourself these questions:
1. Did this interview shed light on any of Mark Driscoll’s past sins or only offer eye candy?
2. Why hasn’t Brian Houston called Mark Driscoll to repent of ALL the sins he’s committed?
3. Since Mark Driscoll did NOT publicly repent for any of these past sins and attempt to fix his wrongs and be up front, is he truly repentant?
4. What were Brian Houston and Mark Driscoll implying other Christians were if they did not embrace Driscoll’s crocodile repentance?
5. Where was the gospel that makes people accountable to Mark Driscoll’s sins?
What was on display was their low standard of godliness, repentance, their low standard of church discipline and behaviour towards others; and their low standard of responsibility to those they shepherd. Which doesn’t surprise us considering how Brian Houston has let leadership immorality slide in the past regarding the Guglielmucci scandal, the Pat Mesiti scandal and Brian Houston’s own personal scandal involving him covering up his father’s paedophilia.
Please consider this as you read the below transcript. Take time and ponder each of the points made and consider the implications. A lot is done under the guise of ‘nice’ in this interview.
We will offer a more deeper analysis of this interview in a later post.
BRIAN HOUSTON’S INTERVIEW WITH MARK DRISCOLL
Brian Houston: “I, uh, appreciate you taking the time to talk to me, and looking forward to having a conversation about you guys, your past, and where you’re at right now. And some of the pain perhaps, and some of the joys that have gone with your journey. And ultimately, what you see for yourselves ahead. So, welcome.” (00:01-00:19)
Mark Driscoll: “Thank you, yeah, thank you for making time for the both of us we really appreciate it.” (00:19-00:22)
Grace Driscoll: “Thank you for having us.”
Brian Houston: “Great. And so you Mark, how did you come to faith?” (00:24-00:26)
Mark Driscoll: “We, uh, Grace graduated a year before me, and went off to college and then I graduated and went off to a different college and she came back to a little vibrant relationship with the Lord at that time. And, uh, she had given me actually this bible, it’s why I brought it, it’s a special Bible as a gift and I started reading it in college as a freshman and God saved me reading the Bible.” (00:25-00:48)
Brian Houston: “That’s good and so how old were you, were you then?” (00:48-00:49)
Mark Driscoll: “I got saved when I was 19 a freshman in college.” (00:50-00:53)
Brian Houston: “Good age to get saved.” (00:53-00:56)
Mark Driscoll: “We got married in college.” (00:56-00:57)
Grace Driscoll: “Before our senior year we got married in college. And, started a church community together and started teaching bible studies right away. And anything he learned he’d teach right away to someone else because we was so excited about the Gospel.” (00:57-01:12)
Brian Houston: “So now you’ve been married how long?” (01:12-01:14)
Grace Driscoll: “Twenty-five years.” (01:14-01:16)
Brian Houston: “Children?”
Grace Driscoll: “Five kids.”
Brian Houston: “Five kids?”
Grace Driscoll: “Nine, eleven, thirteen, fifteen, and seventeen.”
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, three boys two girls. We’ve been together 27 years. Neither of us was a math major.” [Laughter]
Brian Houston: “I hope the door’s not open.”
Mark Driscoll: “We’ve dated 4 years so uh, we’ve been married 23 years. I think.” [Laughter]
Grace Driscoll: “Yeah, maybe two.” [Laughter]
Brian Houston: “Those kids, those kids. So what was the journey towards starting Mars Hill?” (01:14-01:46)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah when I was uh, a new Christian in college I went to my first men’s retreat uh, with the church. And uh, was just getting time out praying with the Lord. And he spoke to me and said, “I want you to marry Grace, preach the Bible.” And so, I had with me [Inaudible] Bible with me at the time, “to train men and to plant churches.” And he spoke to me on those four things and to confirm that I brought that back to my Pastor. And said, “I think the Lord spoke to me,” and said, “What did he say?” So here’s what he said, “Well that sounds like something the Lord would say so that sounds reasonable.” So, um, so we felt called to move back to Seattle, we were about a 5 hour drive from the college back to Seattle. We moved back and um, interned in a church doing college ministry as a volunteer for a year or two. And then started a Bible study in our home that we taught together that was the core for Mars Hill. And uh, and then that ultimately got planted as Mars Hill church um, 18 years ago would be now.” (01:47-02:48)
Brian Houston: “So you were 25 I was 29 when I started Hillsong church. So, I felt like I was young. Well, at the time I didn’t really, but I look back now and think that’s young. So 25 is quite young, so.” (02:48-02:58)
Mark Driscoll: “I’ve made a lot of mistakes, and one of them was going too fast. There’s the Lord’s calling and then there’s the Lord’s timing. And, uh, I should have waited, uh, longer, I should have been under Godly spiritual authority for Grace and I to be under a Godly couple that was senior pastor so that we could learn and grow. And I, I, my character was not caught up with my gifting and uh, and I did start too young. And I believe God called us to start the church and he was very very very gracious to us uh. But had I do it over again I would not look at a 25 year old and say do what I did.” (02:59-03:35)
Brian Houston: “Well your heart for the church then. And what was, your, what were you really, what did you have in your heart, what did you have in mind for the type of church that you wanted to pastor?” (03:35-3:44)
Mark Driscoll: “Um, I’m a Bible teacher, and I wanted to see people to meet Jesus. Um, Seattle at the time was one of the least churched cities in America and we went into the urban core and we felt called specifically to go after young college educated males. Um, and uh, that was really my heart. I wanted everybody to meet Jesus, but I, I felt particularly uh, if we were going to make a difference in the city and in the legacy of families. And the way, you know, women and children and culture is is, is, is treated that getting young men to love Jesus would be paramount. So that was really the focus, and I didn’t think, we didn’t think the church would amount to much. The first three years we didn’t collect a salary, it was very small, we met at night, we moved a lot because we kept loosing our well locations, the offices were in our house. And so it wasn’t a big deal and we didn’t anticipate that it would become what it ultimately did.” (03:44-04:40)
Brian Houston: “So when, what stage did you start really getting attraction and momentum?” (04:41-04:43)
Mark Driscoll: “Um, well, we got a small building given to us a couple of years in and started our first morning service. And we had only done night to that point, and that went from 40 to maybe 800 in a year. And at that time the church was small, maybe 100 people, and so a lot of people got saved, massive conversions. And so, um, we had some surges like that in the history of the church, it was really amazing, it was God’s grace, we were able to baptize altogether, um, around 10,000 people. I think the majority of which were single college educated men who didn’t come from Christian families. And so, we would have seasons were just a lot of people get saved. And uh, it was just the grace of God, there’s no other way to really, uh, to really explain what God was doing, yeah.” (04:44-05:32)
Brian Houston: “So the last year obviously has been a turbulent year for you both, personally, and for your family. In fact, I’m sure more than the last year, the last three years, uh, and, obviously for your former church as well, Mars Hill. I guess the first question is how you’re both doing.” (05:33-05:48)
Grace Driscoll: “Thank you for asking. [Laughter] Um, it has been a hard year, and uh, we’ve seen God’s faithfulness and it’s the trail, we’re thankful for that. There’s been a lot of loss and we love our church, and loved being apart of it, and felt honored that God would call us to help lead such an amazing, um, group of people. So, that has been hard and watching the kids and the pain that they’ve had to, to experience in the grieving process.” (05:49-06:24)
Brian Houston: “You know, I’m totally sorry, I don’t mean to cut you off, but I totally understand that with your children. I always find that children feel things for us more deeply than we even feel, and uh, that’s always been a pastor’s son and understand as a Pastor’s kid, you know, in my own family I think maybe only those who’ve been in that situation can understand.” (06:25-06:46)
Mark Driscoll: “Well when, the, the kids grow up in the church it feels like an extension of the family. So, like for our oldest, she uh, she was born right around the time we sort of, started the church. So, all the original bible studies were in the living room and she was on people’s laps. And she was, you know, part of that church. And so she was, she was someone who grew up in the church and grew up with the church. And so you have that line as the founding family between church and family it gets a little blurred. And so when the church family transitions it leaves the kids in a difficult place. And you don’t want them to become embittered, you don’t want them to be angry, you don’t want them. I mean, even for my contributions and my sins and my faults I feel something I don’t want my kids to become embittered against me or anyone else or with the Lord. And so, we’ve been walking through that with them.” (06:47-07:44)
Brian Houston: “Alright. If I could change track a little, you’re reformed in your theology?” (07:45-07:48)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah.” (07:49)
Brian Houston: “So, can you explain to me in two or three sentences what that means, to be reformed?” (07:50-07:58)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, I, I would say it’s God centered not man centered. Uh, that the whole Bible is ultimately about the personal work of Jesus, and that when it comes to salvation it is a work that God does. Uh, and we respond to that but we don’t participate in that. Uh, I, I wouldn’t want to argue over the five points of Calvinism or get into all the details back and forth. Um, but historical protestant christianly, um, and I’d say in the past. I, uh, would’ve fought for reformed theology since it’s supposed to be a theology that’s centered in grace, fighting for it is probably not the best representation of it.” (07:59-08:43)
Brian Houston: “If I asked a third thing broad question. Obviously in recent years, you as a, as a person, as a leader, as a pastor, has become more and more controversial, and in the minds of some people, toxic, and, is there any, I mean, big picture how do you feel about that?” (08:44-09:03)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah this whole season I’ve been largely out of public ministry for around a year with a few, you know, exceptions. I have a Godly wise older pastor somebody that we really look to as a pastor in our lives he said that we need to put down the binoculars and pick up the mirror. You know, stop looking at what everyone else is saying and doing and look at yourself. And so that’s really been the focus, particularly for me, uh, but to a lesser degree for us this past year. And uh, and I think that, uh, there’s no way for me to say, uh, that I have, um, always acted with grace or with, um, uh appropriateness. There has been anger, there’s been, uh.”(09:04-09:09:49)
Brian Houston: “Were there mistakes did you ever respond with grace?” (09:51-09:24)
Mark Driscoll: “I I believe so, yes, I don’t believe every day I was a, uh, a combative, and uh, maybe uh, loud mouthed person. But certainly, um, that has been sadly, part of my, uh, ministry leadership. And so, um, and I think that can be confusing for people. Some people see me primarily as a loving, gracious person, and others have seen me as a person whose angry or short tempered or careless with words and harmful. And, and so, and so that contributes to the confusion.” (09:25-10:28)
Brain Houston: “Yeah, at the very least you become polarizing when I say because at the Hillsong Conference interestingly now that you’re not one of our speakers or even being interviewed at the conference, we’ve had some, not too many, but we’ve had some delegates who want a refund. They don’t want to come anymore because you’re not coming. And of course, there was protests and so on because you were coming.” (10:29-10:49)
Mark Driscoll: “I apologize that you were put in that position, um, that is my doing, and, and I would say-“ (10:49-10:55)
Brian Houston: “I don’t feel like you owe me any apology though.” (10:55-10:56)
Mark Driscoll: “Well, but I do, and you’ve uh, and I mean even this is an act of grace and you don’t owe me anything, and uh, and I, I, man, I hope there’s a way in the future to be a person of peace and not a point of division. Uh, and so I appreciate this opportunity to, to make an effort that…” (10:57-11:13)
Brian Houston: “Sure… You once said Mark [Applause] I had a good mission that some of my tactics were born out of anger and burned out, and I did a lot of harm and damage, what attracted a lot of attention. Um, so I guess my question is, do you feel like it’s been sort of your tactics, your message, and the message of the Gospel has been lost to the controversy.” (11:14-11:35)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, there were times that I uh, I drove myself to a point of uh, you mentioned some of the physical I’ve had, fatigue to drainal glands to intestinal ulcers. There were times where I drove myself to a point of not being well. And, and what that does as well as it drives your team uh, beyond their limits, and they feel unloved or uncared for. And uh, and now taking this time off, and really reflecting on all of that I see that. And I regret that and I hope whatever the Lord has for me in the future that I will draw people in and not drive people and that my empathy level will increase.” (11:36-12:18)
Brian Houston: “So so would the word bully be would’ve been an accurate description you think?” (12:18-12:22)
Mark Driscoll: “I think for sure on occasions yeah. I think, um, I think on occasions sometimes, um, strong leaders there’s a line where you’re, you’re wanting to advance a mission and you need everybody to be aligned with that. And there are other times where there is a lack of grace or empathy. I mean one of the things that’s been really helpful in this season for me is some godly older families. Pastors and their families who have opened their lives to us and we get to enter more in that grandparent season and we get to see them with their spouse and with their children and then see them on the stage and then see them with their board and see them with their staff. And there’s a, there’s a, a more parental leadership style, like a mom and a dad that love, and still carry a lot of authority and create unity.”
Grace Driscoll: “More good.”
Mark Driscoll: “But more good for the people. And um, and so, you know, my hope and my prayer for myself through all of this is then to learn how to grow in that kind of uh, strong, but parental loving, nurturing, affectionate leadership. Um, you know, and one of the things that was convicting in this more recent season we were talking through the spiritual gifts and my sons when we got to encouragement and mercy they said. “Oh, like you dad,” and uh, I thought wow, nobody has ever accused me of that, but I thought but they’re seeing it all somehow I, I do love them. And I, I want good for them and they know that, and like I said observing some of these other families that are mature in leadership how to transition that sort of parental affection into pastoral ministry.” (12:23-14:09)
Brian Houston: “You, obviously you can’t live in regret. But if you did have your time over again what would you change?” (14:11-14:16)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, I mean I would’ve waited longer um, to start the church. I would’ve brought us under a godly spiritual couple and oversight to pastor us. I would’ve not went out until they said it was time. I would’ve had them service my over sighting governance. Um, I would’ve paid more attention to, uh, emotional health and well being and any bitterness in my own soul so that there wasn’t anger or hurt or defensiveness that was driving some of my motivation. Uh, and uh, I would’ve been, uh, more keen to draw grace out, um, so that we could work through some issues in our past so that we would’ve been more aligned and better friends early in the ministry. In more recent years we really worked on the friendship and we’re really close, but the early years we, we didn’t have that kind of connection that we do in more recent years. And that, that contributed to my, to my tone and my anger and affected my disposition negatively, and that’s my fault.” (14:17-15:20)
Brian Houston: “I think for me over the years my perception of strong leadership has changed dramatically. I think what I thought was strong then was probably hot head basically and what I see as strong now is coming out of a place of security, Godly confidence, knowing where you’re going. So I can identify to a point at least in your journey, and, and the truth is everyone’s made mistakes, some obviously much bigger mistakes with much more difficult outcomes than others. But anyone who has been in the ministry for any period of time and especially started young have made mistakes. Uh, I don’t feel personally like you’re on your own in that, but obviously there’s been a huge fallout from some of the mistakes you have made.” (15:21-16:10)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah.” (16:10)
Brian Houston: “Yeah.” (16:11)
Grace Driscoll: “There’s better progression from youth and trying to control things to make them happen verses over maturing years influence and loving people through that influencing them. Um, by loving them to what’s best for them and so I’ve watched that progression and it’s been wonderful to see.” (16:12-16:36)
Brian Houston: “May I ask you the next question by telling you a story. Many years ago I knew a pastor in another part of the world who very legalistic, very rigid, very legalistic, and in that very hard on other people. And then, came to a point in his life where he made a mistake and he desperately needed people and the people weren’t there for him and he basically because a victim of his own world. You know, his own world devote. And so if I look at your world and the way you’ve ministered even publicly in your earlier years, and, you know, you created a name for your world. Um, and you feel like perhaps it was that angry world that devoured you, the world that you yourself created?” (16:37-17:21)
Mark Driscoll: “I think there, there is a measure of truth in that and I have no one to blame but myself. You can’t, um, have a certain tone or um, disposition and then when that is reciprocated toward you feel that you’re a victim. Um, so, and what’s been interesting in this too the people that have walked towards us with their hands out to love and encourage are people that are outside of our tribe. Um, there are some old friends that have stuck with us and have been very wonderful towards us but a lot of new friends too and people that, um, that we would disagree on some secondary theological issues. And uh, I have a friend who is maybe more like this person, or pastor, pretty legalistic, and, there’s a box for everything and you gotta to check all the right boxes. And he said, you know, I don’t some of these people’s theology is right. And I said, well, I think love and grace is good theology. And it’s not just what we put on paper, it’s how we treat one another.” (17:22-18:24)
Brian Houston: “I know some of the people who have stuck with you, and was that a surprise to you? Some of the people who have come and sort of just stood quietly with you?” (18:25-18:33)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, and it’s been very humbling. Um, and it’s been very encouraging and very hopeful, like, knowing whatever God has for us next these are the people that are wise counsel, um, we’re just very richly blessed by that.” (18:34-18:46)
Brian Houston: “I guess one of the, the things that you were known for several years that’ve gone by was public criticism of other pastors and leaders. And probably the first time I’ve actually ever heard of you wasn’t because of your Bible teaching or because of your books. Or, it was actually because of your attacks on other people. So I guess would that be another area where you have regrets? Or, would you still defend that?” (18:47-19:11)
Mark Driscoll: “I would not defend that. I feel like I’ve lost any right to criticize another pastor or leader. I believe that the lack of the cause made to think I knew what they were going through or what they should say or what they should do. Having gone through this very complicated season, I don’t know what I’m supposed to say, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, and I certainly don’t feel the right to tell others what they should say or do. And, um, yeah, I think going forward with the fact that some of the people that I’ve criticized have been the most loving and kind toward me. Um, it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance and sometimes that kindness comes through others who have no obligation to be kind and gracious because you have not been with them. And so, um, yeah, so we’ve seen, we’ve seen some remarkable grace and kindness from people that, I did not give that to them, but they’ve given that to us. And that has been deeply convicting and brought about repentance, and there’s a list of people pastors who I have contacted to call to apologize to, to ask forgiveness from. And I don’t want to do that publicly because I don’t want to cause them more drama or pain, but that has been part of the journey.” (19:12-20:32)
Brian Houston: “I’ve always had a huge personal problem with, people doing that, people criticizing other pastors even though perhaps were are different on some issues. You know, and Joel Osteen is a personal friend of mine. And so, again, one of the first things I knew about you was, you know that you talked and made a joke publicly. So when I first met you I was paranoid because the last thing I wanted was Mark Driscoll speaking against me publicly.” (20:32-21:00)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, I can, I think through the providence of God I can honestly say it was a couple of weeks ago that the Lord convicted me of that sin against Pastor Joel. And so I, through a mutual friend, have contact with his team, and have asked permission to send him a private apology. But in addition to that I appreciate this opportunity to publicly apologize to him. When anyone dies they’re going to stand and give an account and it won’t be to Mark Driscoll.” (21:00-21:25)
Brian Houston: “Yeah, I just feel that life has too much to hold us all together. We can so easily build around the things that pull us apart and difference. I’ve often said at pastor’s gatherings I don’t know who your enemy is but they’re not of this room. [Murmurs] And, you know I just feel like God is big, God is diverse and none of us have all of the truth. And uh, in our hands and in our power, and so I just love to have an attitude where, sure right and right and wrong is wrong, but at the end of the day we’re all on the same side. I think if I look at our own world I think if you talked about the tone, the tone of voice, if you’d like, of our church and our minister leaders is definitely grace oriented. Hopefully it’s definitely generous not just with finance but with words and heart, and being spirited. And that’s why I guess some of that, you know that anger that’s in some sections of the body of Christ feels so shocking to me.” (21:26-22:32)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah and, and I think that, uh, the age of internet and social media increases that. Um, because you can make a lot of statements and declarations without relationships. And uh, I am theologically reformed in my core convictions and I am also charismatic so I kind of flow between both worlds. But um, but once Martin Luther nailed his 95 Thesis it seems like every 20 year old guy with a blog is going to try to do the same thing on the internet. You know, here’s my declaration to the world of how the church should be. And so um, I think Luther had some good things to share, guys like me and others, perhaps didn’t have as much crid to share.” (22:32-23:11)
Brian Houston: “My my flesh when it comes to sometimes the angry people the angry brothers on the, on social media is uh, obviously relatively big high platform. And often times the interview is a very small platform. And my, my temptation often is to react which is really just giving them a leg up onto my platform, and so.”(23:11-23:33)
Mark Driscoll: “I’ve failed at that many times. And it’s shameful.”
Brian Houston: “Well I have to admit I’m ashamed when it happens.”
Brian Houston: “Good, well listen, just on the area of theology, and in the outworking practice of that theology, you’ve obviously had some time to reflect and to meditate. Is there any aspect of what you believe that you would soften or the outworking the every day outworking of what you believe you would soften from days gone by?” (23:40-24:03)
Mark Driscoll: “Just, overall a massive increase in evaluational relationships. I was talking to, as I was traveling just to go meet with pastors and learn one said, he said “your life is defined by your relationships, for good or for bad.” And uh, I’ve been journaling a lot, cause I, there are some days I’m a little brain foggy, and I don’t want to forget. I want to remember these things and integrate them into my repentance and integrate them into my life and revisit them. And I wrote that down and thought, “Yeah, I think for sure, you look at the Bible and it’s so simple but it’s so obvious. I mean, God is a relational God, Father Son and Spirit, it’s not good for us to be alone, that sin separates and Jesus reconciles and part of the outgrowth of good, Biblical thinking and practice is loving, healthy, functional, supportive relationships. And so, we’ve learned a lot, I’ve learned a lot, but that this is grace centered relationships. And so this season has been okay, relationships, what needs to grow and mature um, in me and around me?” (24:04-25:18)
Brian Houston: “So do you I guess take accountability for the breakup effectively of Mars Hill Church?” (25:19-25:25)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, I think as the leader I have to bear the lion’s share of responsibility for that.” (25:26-25:29)
Brian Houston: “So again, you know, looking at you from a distance. When I first heard about you, your theological belief about women and women in ministry and women in leadership. Uh, my feeling was, if there was one thing that was going to be a red raid to the bull to the secular media it was that subject right there. Has that proven to be the proof?” (25:30-25:55)
Mark Driscoll: “Well, the fact that I can’t even come see you in Australia indicates that you were on to something. Um, yeah for me I would start by saying that some of the misperception is entirely my fault. On some things I said and did that were ungodly, they were lies, and they were unhelpful. And it was on a chatroom in 2000 getting angry, taking a character roll fighting, very ungodly, nothing defensible, things that I’m completely sorry for and the offense is completely justified.” (25:56-26:33)
Brian Houston: “How old were you then?” (26:34)
Mark Driscoll: “Uh, I was in my late 20’s.” (26:35-26:36)
Brian Houston: “In your late 20’s.” (26:36)
Mark Driscoll: “And then, uh, had that taken down, met with the people that I knew were involved and weren’t under pseudonyms and apologized to them. Uh, thought that it was, you know, removed. In 2006 I wrote a book where I listed it as one of the failures in my leaderships, things I had done wrong. And then in 2014 that content was reposted on the internet. I made a public apology and acknowledgement for that, um, it is one of the grave regrets of my life um, especially now that I’ve got a daughter who is a godly, strong leader. It’s just like, I can’t read some of the things that I said because I feel so horrified that I should’ve, um, [Inaudible] I wouldn’t seek to justify or blame anyone or make any excuses. I publicly want to apologize for that, I want to sincerely apologize for that and that perception of what I think about women is entirely my own fault and I have no one to blame but myself.” (26:37-27:45)
Brian Houston: “For me what was strange the stone that was being repeated over and over in mainstream media, was what is quite vulgar, it was, that, women are penis homes. The Israel women as being a home for a penis. And of course, that’s, that uh is very inflammatory. So what was going on in your own life at the time that you would say something like that?” (27:46-28:06)
Mark Driscoll: “That is not a position, that uh, what I said um, is not representative of what I think or how I feel. Looking back on that, um, that was not a healthy person working from a godly place. And so I would have a hard time explaining it I wouldn’t even make an effort to defend it.” (28:07-28:30)
Brian Houston: “The other thing that the Australian Media was showing over and over was something I had actually seen before. And it was when I think you were talking to men and you were screaming, “Who the Hell do you think you are?” So I’m sure you remember that moment.” (28:31-28:44)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah that was uh, that was a moment in first Peter where it talks about husbands, you know, be compassionate and kind and tender with your wives. And I started talking about men who abuse women. Um, I, the times that I do sometimes get angry is when men are physically sexually assaulting women. And it’s uh, and I think that pornography helps men have a mindset that causes women to be devalued.” (28:45-29:17)
Brian Houston: “So that was the context.” (29:18)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah.” (29:18)
Brian Houston: “You were talking to people.” (29:19-29:21)
Mark Driscoll: “To men who abuse women like men who hit their wife or girlfriend and who sexually assault or abuse that was the context that was first Peter.”(29:21-29)
Brian Houston: “But you did sound very angry.” (29:29-29:30)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah.” (29:30)
Brian Houston: “It was very passionate. And the fact again, one of the first preaching clips I’d saw of you was someone showing me that.” (29:31-29:36)
Mark Driscoll: “I yelled a lot.” (29:37) [Laughter]
Brian Houston: “So the heart behind it was good. But the-“ (29:38-29:40)
Grace Driscoll: “Yes, the desire was good, the method was not mature or Godly.” (29:41-29:46)
Brian Houston: “And again I think going from where I stand, you’re not the only one whose got the method wrong from time to time. The thing about life is, it’s long. And we, as believers, and especially as preachers and teachers we say a lot of words. Yeah, a lot of words come out-“ (29:47-30:02)
Mark Driscoll: “Paul says when words are many sin is not absent.” (30:02-30:05)
Brian Houston: “Yeah. Unfortunately you can’t pull them back again. So I don’t know of any public speaker who has done it for any length of time who wouldn’t have said something sometime that was a little silly or with a bit of regret. But it’s amazing how we can look at someone else and somehow seems worse when it’s them then when when it’s us.” (30:06-30:22)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah but then again I think if we’re fair. I you know, as you treat others you’ll be treated in kind, and so I brought some of that on myself too.”(30:23-30:30)
Brian Houston: “When it comes to women and ministry, and especially in ministry and in church life and in leadership, you would know indefinitely be taking a different stance as Hillsong. We’ve got women involved in leadership roles at most areas of church life. Pretty much in everything else women are involved. So that’s why I’m intrigued with women and where we stand on it.” (30:32-30:59)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, um. First of all, I don’t want to be critical or negative, and I hope that maybe even the way we interact on this on can um, a graceful way to set the beginning of an example for people to disagree. Um, I would say, uh, one of the primary issues of the trinity in the bible and the resurrection of Jesus and the forgiveness of sin and those close-handed matters, you and I agree.” (31:01-31:23)
Brian Houston: “Uh-uh!” (31:24-31:24)
Mark Driscoll: “On the secondary matters, they’re not unimportant but people who are going to heaven uh- disagree on those matters, this may be one that we do. I would say that uh- um- the culture at Mars Hill would have been different and better with the increased involvement of Godly women. And I think uh, at least what I have learnt today is. Uh, I believe in male and female ministry and that men and women are created equal and likeness and image of God. That they receive all of the spiritual gifts. And that when it comes to governance, in the home, a man the husband is supposed to be the humble, sacrificial Christ-like leader of the home. And then his wife and him walk together like a right hand and a left hand, complimenting one-another. And then in the church, I would feel comfortable with male governance, with male and female ministry. Um, and that being said-” (31:25-32:24)
Brian Houston: “So by male/female ministry works for certain people, what does that mean..?” (32:25-32:29)
Mark Driscoll: “Leading worship, being on staff, going to seminary, umm… serving communion and baptizing-“ (32:29-32:34)
Brian Houston: “So where’s the barriers?” (32:34-32:35)
Mark Driscoll: “I would say governance. And really what we’re down to there Brian, uh I don’t want to do this on camera I want to do this privately I’m enough of a nerd I would [Inaudible]. It comes down to like 1 Timothy 2 the second half, you know, I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man and then it goes into 1 Timothy 3 where it talks about an elder. And uh, what we’re down to there is a bible study about how would you go with that and how I would go with that. What I would say, however, is uh, I don’t feel that it is my position to critique you, it is not my position to correct you. Um, if anything, I want to come into different families of churches to learn and not to argue. And to see the areas that they’re right and I’m wrong and the areas that they can teach me where I can grow, and that has not been largely my disposition up till the point. It’s been more “I’m here to teach, and I’m here to correct, I’m not here to learn and I’m not here to be corrected.” And if there’s a way for me to not violate my conscience and my convictions while also not separating my relationships I’m hoping to get to a point of doing, um, better. I’m a guy whose had a tremendous failure and it’s not looking to tell everyone else how to do it right I don’t think I have the right I don’t think I have the authority I would feel comfortable with male governance, with male and female ministry. And, yeah, and as long as the people involved are Godly I think that the details will get sorted out in the context of relationships. Alright I really appreciate this opportunity, and you probably thought I’m come out and fight you, I, I just-“ (32:35-34:25)
Brian Houston: “No I didn’t know, I probably wouldn’t have asked the question if I didn’t think you the second half of the question if [Inaudible] were in the fighting mood at all. But uh, you’re a very bright man, and I mean that, you’re very bright, you have a very sharp intellect. When I first met you you were like Google. You knew more about Australia than I do. And Sydney than I do, so I understand that you’re a learning person. I’m a simple man, so let me ask you-“ (34:24-34:46)
Mark Driscoll: “I’m an unemployed guy, so.” (34:47-34:48) [Laughter]
Brian Houston: “Let me ask you one more thing, that’s good, I like it. Just from a very simple point of view, but I kinda grew up being taught that women would be silent in church that we had a situation where the men sat on one side of the church and the women sat on the other side. While the men were conducting the very spiritual business of church, the women were, you know, if I were to exaggerate a little, submitting and talking and chatting. And that’s kind of how I was taught that you would sit totally different.” (34:50-35:22)
Mark Driscoll: “That sits totally different with me. I, I don’t wanna put my wife on the spot but we’ve raised, we have five kids our oldest is a girl. Leader, driver, um, led mission trips, raising money for international relief traveling, um, she’s a great writer.” (35:23-35:42)
Grace Driscoll: “She’s using her gifts. And we’re not holding her back from what that looks like.” (35:43-35:46)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, she won the principle’s leadership award and we hung out with the principle and she may have been the only female in the history of the school to win the award at least in the last 20 years and so-“ (35:46-35:55)
Grace Driscoll: “But it’s again it’s a condition of the heart. Her desires are not to impress men and women, they’re to serve the Lord. And if that’s in mind there’s a lot of things women can do, if that’s not in mind there’s a lot of things men and women can’t do.” (35:55-36:09)
Mark Driscoll: “So I guess we needed to delve details into what we talked about earlier like what’s a father’s heart. And I wanna have a heart for the women that in the future that allow me to be their pastor that I had for my daughters, and that is if they have leadership gifts and are called from God and they’re Godly I want to help them achieve that potential and encourage and nourish that and be a support for that.” (36:11-36:34)
Brian Houston: “So when in Australia your visits started to rise to the floor in secular Australia that word misogynistic. Uh, started being thrown around fairly liberally. I looked it up in the Oxford Dictionary and it says, “dislike of, contempt for, or engrained prejudice against women.” Are you, were you ever misogynist?” (35:35-36:55)
Mark Driscoll: “No, but because of things I have said foolishly, that impression is entirely my fault, and I have no one to blame but myself. That’s now how I feel, that’s not what I think, um, but for certain, have uh, allowed that to become an impression.” (36:56-37:15)
Brian Houston: “Sure, and those are things you said when you were in your late 20’s.” (37:16-37:18)
Mark Driscoll: “Yeah, and I have a heart to see, part of this Pastor Brian is, young men aren’t going to church, young men aren’t going to college, young men aren’t marrying women young, young men are not raising their children, and I have such a deep burden and passion to see men. You know, 1 Corinthians 13 when I was a child I thought like a child I spoke like a child I acted like a child, when I became a man I put childish ways behind me. I want to compel young men to grow up to take responsibility and sometimes in doing that I have communicated that in a way that demeans women and that’s not helpful and that’s not right and in the grace of God I need to repent and do better at that. But I still want, I mean no one would say that young men are in the western world highly impressive and we’re all encouraged. There’s a lot of work to be done. And so, I regret the times that I have not communicated in such a way trying to compel them and up and it seems I’m pushing the women down and that’s my fault.” (37:19-38:20)
Brian Houston: “That’s how you feel. You can change moving forward?” (38:21-38:23)
Mark Driscoll: “I hope to with the Grace of God yeah, absolutely.” (38:24-38:27)
Brian Houston: “Good.” (38:28)
Grace Driscoll: “I mean, I’ve never seen him as a misogynist, and never even thought that him of that at all. So, I’ve witnessed the opposite and so, and I’ve known him 27 years And so I can say yes there were methods that were wrong in the beginning but I knew his heart.” (38:29-38:46)
Brain Houston: “I know you’ve tried to apologize a lot of times, I’ve heard some of that myself. Um, it seems there’s a lot of people who just aren’t prepared to accept for his apologies. Do you feel like maybe it was too little too late when it came to apologizing?” (38:47-39:03)
Mark Driscoll: “That’s a good question I don’t know. Um, you know I had someone in the middle of this say. I wrote it in my journal so I wouldn’t forget it it says, it’s never the wrong time to do the right thing. And uh, yeah I don’t know if I’m going to place it I have a great answer for it, I think I’m in the process of processing and praying with wise council. Kind of revisiting the 18 years of my life and trying to learn from it all, yeah.” (39:06-39:31)
Brian Houston: “So in your resignation letter, you you detailed, I feel that about, mistakes you had made and offenses that you had caused. And did you feel like that was received by people?” (39:32-39:44)
Mark Driscoll: “I never got to say goodbye to the church and to the people, um, and so what went public was uh, actually the resignation letter that went to the legal governing board that was in authority over me. Um, and so, um, I uh, I know under the circumstances that there wasn’t a way to do that would’ve been clean or easy. I don’t have any criticism of the board. I think for the people it, it meant there wasn’t closure and I didn’t, we didn’t get to say anything. And so, we didn’t expect to resign I met with the board there was a whole list of things that were charged by current former leaders and there was an internal governance struggle, and threats of legal action, and it got very complicated. And a lot of it was anonymous and through the internet so you don’t know who’s saying or doing what. And so I invited the board to do a full examination interview anybody anything, and we would submit to whatever verdict that they determined. Um, and when I think about 8 weeks we met Friday and Saturday, October 10th and 11th, I remember because the 11th was my birthday. And so Grace and I were present with the Lord. And they said, uh, we see in your history of leadership less in more recent years, more particularly in the past, pride, anger, and domineering leadership style. That would be the three exact words they used. We don’t see anything disqualifying, these are areas we want you to grow, we want you to return to leadership of the church soon. They wanted to do some clean up internally. We want you back on January 4th in the pulpit give you time to heal things to cool down and for some changes to be made. We agreed to that. I sent in a go forward plan and then we went home to have birthday cake with the kids. Um, I think it was on Monday night I was in the bedroom Grace was in the living room and so we had told the board and told the kids you know, come back and was done preaching and love and serve and fix what was a struggling church. And uh, and God had provided a way for us to do that as volunteers and so I was to come back as volunteers. And then on that Monday night I was in the bedroom and Grace was in the living room. And um, he spoke to me and he spoke to her in a supernatural way that neither of us anticipated or expected. And so Grace walked in and she said, “I feel like the Lord just spoke to me and said what we were supposed to do.” And I was like, “I thought the Lord just spoke to me and said what we were supposed to do.” It’s not what we wanted, it’s not what we agreed to, it’s not what we planned for, and so I asked her well what did the Lord say to you because I didn’t want to influence her and so she said, uh, she said we’re” (39:45-42:42)
Grace Driscoll: “We’re released.” (42:43)
Brian Houston: “We can take a moment.” (42:52)
Mark Driscoll: “So, she said well what have you heard so I can hear it. “Well the Lord revealed to me that, you know, a trap has been set there’s no way in which to return to leadership.” And I didn’t know what that meant or what was going on at the time. And um, I said, he said well release too we need to resign. And so, um, you know, this is not what we anticipated, and uh a lot of people thought you know, maybe he’s got another plan, or, we didn’t. We didn’t know what we were doing. And Grace fell to the floor and she was just sobbing uncontrollably and I’ve never seen my wife like that she was devastated. Um, so we prayed and slept on it decided that we would make sure we got this right, and uh.”
Grace Driscoll: “Speak with wise council.”
Mark Driscoll: “Sought the pastors of those we trust and sent in our resignation in on that, it would’ve been that Tuesday, yeah, and resigned.” (42:53-43:57)
Brian Houston: “So there is a lot of grief, uh, delusion of the church [Inaudible]” (43:58-44:00)
Mark Driscoll: “Well, and, for the people, you know, who. I mean it was a great honor to be their pastor for 18 years. And uh, amazing to see 10,000 people baptized, and people married and kids born, and people helped and healed out to see churches get planted. And mean that was, it’s, it’s, there was a lot of joy and a lot of gratitude. But, um, but also just uh, for the people in the church who have been hurt, and uh, some have scattered, and not attending church, and, that’s the part as a pastor that’s devastating.” (44:01-44:43)
Brian Houston: “Yes, yeah, it’s always the fallout.” (44:44-44:45)
Mark Driscoll: “Yup… Yeah…” (44:46-44:48)
Brian Houston: “Well I guess we can all believe that God’s our restorer and he’ll work in each of those people and bring them back to a place of wholeness.” (44:49-44:57)
Grace Driscoll: “They’re still his people, the way he’s got to minister to them.” (44:58-45:01)
Brian Houston: “So understanding, um, that you’re not trying to defend you know I totally understand you’re not trying to defend your actions or anything that relates to your leadership. But are there any particular things that were said that were just so untrue and just so hurtful that you would like to mention them?” (45:02-45:22)
Mark Driscoll: “I would like to, but, yeah, [Whispering] I don’t want to. In this, my, my, and I appreciate you hearing me Pastor Brian, in all honesty my goal in all of this is not to win, and so,” (45:25-45:44) [Applause]
Brian Houston: “Well that’s a good answer. [Inaudible] hold your piece.” (45:47-45:52)
Mark Driscoll: “And and I am not good at holding my peace, but I believe that that would be, um, I believe that would be best for the Gospel.” (45:52-46:00)
Brian Houston: “We believe you’re getting better at it, at holding your piece. [Laughter] So from the whole thing experience that would last 1-4 years, what if you had to bring in 3 to 5 key lessons that you’ve learned what would they be?” (46:01-46:22)
Mark Driscoll: “Oh boy. I mean that’s a, yeah, I’m not very good with short. [Laughter] Um, it was a tremendous honor to be a pastor and to teach the Bible. And um, to have the things that God did are remarkable and God works through his people. And so, I have come to more than ever be grateful for the 18 years that I got to serve, for the opportunities I got to teach and the things I got to see God do through his good people. Um, and so just a deeper appreciation for the people of God and for the grace that we enjoy. I mean very genuinely. Number 2 I’m exceedingly grateful for my wife. I know I have a wonderful woman but the fact that she’s still with me and my dearest friend and loving and gracious and confronts me and is a truth teller in a loving way. Um, so, I just publicly want to thank you. I mean, she’s the best and I’m really blessed to have her so thank you, [Applause] and um, and faith that we don’t know what’s next. We, people have, you know, speculated, I don’t know. I would like to teach the Bible and love people what that looks like we don’t know. And I’m a planner and a driver. And and right now, um, you know, the plan is to seek wise council, to not get ahead of the Lord, to not rush like I did the first time.”
Grace Driscoll: “To wait in line.”
Mark Driscoll: “To wait in line and not try to prove myself or have my comeback, I, I really, I really am not motivated that way at present. And so it’s just sticking close to Jesus, and to Grace, and the kids. And as we have opportunity thanking the people that were really wonderful for us and then waiting to see what the Lord has next.” (46:23-48:15)
Brian Houston: “My last question really was along those lines it’s, what now?” (48:16-48:19)
Mark Driscoll: “I don’t know, I mean this would be the time I would tell you my next thing and it’s the public launch, and I don’t know. We’re going to go home, and kiss the kids and pray and see what’s next. Yeah, um, I hope to teach the Bible, yeah.” (48:22-48:35)
Brian Houston: “Well I personally think that you’re anointed to do so.” (48:36-40)
Mark Driscoll: “Thank you.” (48:40-48:41)
Brian Houston: “Yeah you’re an outstanding teacher. I’ve already told you we’re probably a little different on some things. But, you know, I personally find your teaching very stimulating and very, very powerful. And I know a lot of people even in my team do as well. So personally I think you should do some teaching again, and my personal feeling for you is to see you flourish in ministry and have your best days ahead of you. [Applause]
And I guess it’s [Inaudible] restitution with individuals as well as collectively and corporately. And- you know endings always- good endings help good beginnings. Bad endings don’t have good beginnings. So I guess if I could- uh- be- uh- officious enough to offer counsel. I would say, just be sure that- you know- you really have done all that you can to heal people, the past, heal up yourselves, stay with good counsel like you are, moving to all that God’s got ahead for you. I’m a great believer that the best is yet to come. And I’d love to speak that over both your lives. I pray in Jesus name that the best is yet to come- and that’s in every way. [Applause] I have found [Inaudible] so let’s believe in God for that together. In Jesus name.” (48:40-50:10)
Mark Driscoll: “Thank you pastor Brian. Thank you for giving us an opportunity.” (50:11-50:15)
Brian Houston: “Thanks for giving me the honor in asking you the questions. I- uh- really, I think I asked you some of the tough questions. I am sure there would be some people who would think that the questions should have been tougher. But- uh- I know, I know, Pastor Mark and Grace, there are a lot of people out there who want good for you in the future. And [Inaudible], just like all of us, that you learn from your past.” (50:16-50:38)
Mark Driscoll: “Thank you. Thank you for the opportunity.” (50:40-50:44)
Brian Houston: “Great.” (50:45-50:55)
[INTERVIEW ENDS] [Applause]
Brian Houston: “Thank you! We had great conversation. We actually talked for um, an hour and fifty three minutes. So that is cut down to just over forty five minutes. I think fifty. Fifty minutes. But the entire interview is an hour and fifty three minutes. So once we get past Hillsong Europe, Hillsong London Conference, we may put excerpts of all the interview, the rest of the interview, uh, so up on to the web as well.
And uh- when we had that conversation it was a really powerful conversation. I could feel the power of God in the room. And so, it was an honor [inaudible] to uh, have the opportunity to talk so frankly and so boldly to- to Mark. And ah- you know, as grace-filled Christians, let’s just believe in the best of them both.
Everyone’s made mistakes as leaders. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. If I’d been held in to all of my mistakes, I’d probably be out of my church too. But thank God I had kinder more to gentle people in our church who uh, turned one blind eye and kept loving me.
So fantastic.” (51:11-52:20)
Since the 2014 Royal Commission which was looking into Hillsong’s handling of the Frank Houston scandal, we have obtained a letter written by Brian Houston to “encourage” his church to “rise above” increasing “opposition”.
The below letter offers a glimpse into the modus operandi of Brian Houston and Hillsong’s leadership between 1998-2004. It is interesting comparing this to the information disclosed at the Royal Commission in 2014.
Brian Houston mailed the following letter to Hillsong members back in 2003.
28 January, 2003
As you may be aware, our church has recently received further press coverage. The article contains many inaccuracies and misrepresents Bobbie and Hillsong Church.
I am writing this letter to encourage you. With the increasing profile of our church, there will always be opposition. We have to learn to rise above this and keep our focus on the reason why we are here – to build His Kingdom.
Our church has always operated on an open book policy regarding our finances. If, at any time, a member of our church has concerns and wished to discuss these, they can make an appointment with George Aghajanian, our General Manager.
Let me also remind you that the issues relating to my father, Frank Houston, happened over 30 years ago while he was a pastor in New Zealand. They are in no way related to Hillsong Church.
Bobbie and I wish to thank you for your continued support and love.
P.S Don’t forget Vision Sunday on 9 February, 2003.
Source: Read below.
Recently the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Hillsong was under scrutiny by the royal commission over child sex abuse.
Early this year, Brian Houston shared the following about his dad’s sexual offenses at Hillsong Conference 2014:
1. Don’t cover up things that can’t be covered up?
This was a bit of odd advice that Houston gave in this session about “manning up” when facing tough times in church leadership:
“In this whole subject of manning up, don’t be tempted to cover things up that can’t be covered up; it’s never going to do you any good.” [Source]
And yes, it appears the context around this quote was how he dealt with his father’s sexual failure.
2. Things he didn’t teach when things went wrong…
When things do go wrong he didn’t talk about scriptures on discipline, restoration or reconciliation. There was no mention of seeking God in times of crisis. Maybe this is a given?
3. No empathy for the victims?
We understand how hard it would be for Brian to deal with his dad’s sinful behaviour and the hurt it caused the victims, Brian, his family and his church.
However, it was noticeable in his retelling of the events that he paid very little attention to the victims of Frank Houston. Instead, Brian Houston talked all about his own pain. (And to an extent, fair enough.) We can only read into what Brian Houston addressed here. He may have really addressed their issues personally, thoughtfully and professionally.
We wonder at this point if reconciliation seriously took place at all. If it did take place, this would have been a wonderful opportunity for Brian Houston to teach how biblical repentance and reconciliation can take place in the body of Christ. Oddly, this is absent.
The victim’s were mentioned in this retelling in such a way that it seemed as though nothing happened for them. Hopefully all things ended well for them.
4. Brian Houston’s view of God’s sheep?
For leaders in the church dealing with hard issues, Brian Houston used the passage, ‘be wise as serpents and harmless as doves‘.
However, Jesus said, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matt 10:16.)
Dear Brian – sheep aren’t wolves. Why do you have that view (and why do you think other leaders should have that view) of their sheep? Or maybe sheep in your church started alerting others that you are the wolf in sheeps clothing? This is quite the confession you made in this session:
“We’re not just manipulative and controlling and trying to contrive situations. You receiving this?”
If you are a sheep in Hillsong, receive the Matt 10:16 advice from Brian Houston. Be wise as serpents and start discerning who is leading you astray.
6. Where is the gospel and redemption when the times get tough?
It was sad to hear that when Brian Houston went through this dark time, he didn’t give mention of anyone coming to him with the gospel. Nor did he mention the gospel at all when he went through any scandal or bad church experience. He needed it more than anyone else in that time of pain.
This would be torturous in this type of false ministry. If you are a false teacher preaching a false gospel, who can comfort you in your moment of absolute darkness if all those around you believe your false gospel? He’s a victim of his own false teaching.
If anyone could have pulled Brian Houston out of his pain, it could have been Jesus and His cross. (Notice how Jesus isn’t Brian Houston’s saviour in any of his experiences.) He went through his pain alone. All he could offer people at Hillsong Conference was his worldly wisdom.
No cross. No Christ. No redemption.
This is a tragedy for Brian Houston, Hillsong and unrepentant sin’s many victims. Please pray for them.
“Well I enjoy these sessions when we get to talk practically about the Church and speak specifically to leaders in all areas of church life, just about the church so in this session this year let’s talk church leadership.
And today where you can see we are loading up our little studio audience here, and ah these guys [glitch] with all the leadership pastors, many of them, most of them I think and all of them in their own way at different times have had to negotiate seasons of real crisis, real pain and I thought it would be great to talk about some of those things and just find out how people have navigated some of those challenges, some of those things and hopefully there’s something in it for everyone to learn from.
So I just wanted to start, if you want to take notes, if you want to write something at the top of your page perhaps, just write ahh ‘leading and navigating, seasons of crisis’ or ‘navigating and leading through seasons of crisis’. That’s what we are talking about.
I think in life, especially as faith people, we believe for the best, but let’s be honest we have those days when we hear the worst. And all you have to do to face some very difficult times in life is live long enough. So I sure don’t want this to become a negative session but perhaps I can start by talking about what I would consider probably the worst day in my life so far.
It was in October 1999 and my great offsider George Aghajanian has ahh worked with me for many, many years and every Tuesday, he and I have a meeting. He oversees. He’s the General Manager of Hillsong Church, so globally he oversees all of the administration facilities. He oversees so much of our church. Much of the staff and so many things. He always comes in with this list that he is going to talk to me about and this day in October 1999, that he started going through his list and he said ‘oh there’s just one more thing’ he said ‘it’s not about you, it’s about your father’.
I can kind of remember the blood running out of my face, I kind of didn’t know what to expect, but I could tell by his demeanour that this is not going to be good news. And so he proceeded to tell me how a phone call had come into our church office, just one of our pastors ahhh had answered the phone to a guy who started telling them that he had been ministering at a church and a lady came to the front, I think he had been talking about abuse, the lady came to the front afterwards and said ‘Frank Houston abused my son’.
I couldn’t even begin to tell you what that moment felt like [glitch] I can’t even begin to tell you, it kind of came at me like degrees. First of all I couldn’t get past the fact that he was talking about eh, you know, eh a man a a boy. And it kind of hit me at degrees, first of all that’s kind of homosexual, then the second thing, that err it was someone underage. This is something that had happened maybe 30 or 40 years before that and it happened when he was a New Zealand pastor.
Umm but for me it just hit me at degrees and to be honest I think I had to deal with it as at those time, at that time I was president of a denomination 1100 plus churches. And I was pastor of a church, of which only 9 months before that we had taken on what was my parents church and it had become a campus of our church, so I also had to negotiate it as, if you like pastor of the church he had pastored for over 20 years. And then of course they had to navigate it and negotiate it as a father. A husband and a father.
Talked to my own kids about their Grandad who to all of us was an absolute hero. And then finally I had to look after myself. The end result was just not so long ago, I’d slowly I was keeping everything going outwardly, but I was slowly decaying inwardly. To the point where two or three years ago I had a panic attack and I was told that I would have them for the rest of my life but I said I don’t think I am ever going to have one of these again, and by God’s grace I never have.
And it took its toll, and as a result of that talking to Doctors I was pretty much told that I had post traumatic stress. So between that and other pressures, many people know the story of some of the, some of the battles we faced with the media in Australia and so on.
So, I think you can look at anyone and think well everything just goes well for these guys, nothing ever, but people want sometimes what you have but they don’t want to know what it takes to get there. And everyone’s got their story and your story may be different to my story. That story went on, I won’t take too much time on it but, maybe twelve or eight- so then I-
By the way I had to confront my own father. Again, hardest day of my life.
I talked to him about this, he had just come back from overseas. In my office, he went all dry in the mouth. You ever talk to your hero and your father about something so horrible and-? He went all dry in the mouth and he confessed that that had happened, all those years before.
So maybe twelve or eighteen months later, a psychologist actually from New Zealand made an appointment to see me. I met him down town and I had a feeling this was going to be bad news as well. And he went on and told me a similar story about when he was fourteen. And so the problem had grown and I- I-I, by God’s grace, in the middle of it was clear enough in my mind to know what I can do and what I can’t do. And everything in you wants to protect your own father. But I did what I had to and took it to our denomination, which I led and they asked me to stand aside from the investigation. And they investigated it fully and ahh- the end result was he never preached, he never ministered, he was never in leadership again.
As a result of that, I’ve got members of my own brothers, of my own family siblings, who to this day don’t talk to me, because they believe I put the church before my father. So, it’s a personal pain and I’m not here to tell you all this to say ‘woe is me’. But I never forget when I talked to each of my kids they all responded differently but in my mind responded so incredibly well. Ben, my second son, just becoming pastor of Hillsong Los Angles, he, he listened carefully, I said ‘Ben I so hope this doesn’t affect your faith’; he would have only been a teenager still. He said, ‘Dad that’s not going to happen, I’ve had my own revelation of Jesus’. I think they were the most golden words at the time, I heard.
So a lot of people knew my father, he blessed a lot of people and to this day, I know thousands of people who only have good memories of him. And err I’m grateful for that. But obviously this caused pain, real pain for real people. There’s victims involved there’s you know, it was horrific.
So I thought I would start there because I, I want this to be a bit of a tender and a bit of a vulnerable moment where we don’t just talk around stuff, but without getting into a pity party, we really, we really talk about stuff and I feel like people respond to pain in different way and as leaders there’s crisis we deal with in a church and then there’s crisis in our own lives, personal and corporate.
So those are the things I just wanted to talk about and I will just take a few minutes and then we are going to really hear the gold from some of these other people here. I will just talk about some of the things I have learned about over the years when it comes to pastoring in crisis. Handling it personally and leading other people in crisis.
Because I’m convinced, and we talked about it briefly with Bill Hybels yesterday, I’m convinced that leadership’s not proven of the good times, anyone can go along for the ride in the good times. I think what’s really in us comes out in the tough times and your leadership is always proven in the tough times.
So just a few thoughts very quickly:
Number one, I think facing crisis, facing pain.
You’ve got to understand that pain has a process.
[words on screen]
“– 1) Understanding the process of pain!!”
And we wish it would go away tomorrow, but often times it’s just not going to go away tomorrow.
The Bible talks quiet often about in the process of time. And if I think about the fact that time has a process within it and we often want to progress out of our challenge without really taking on the process. You know the scripture in Ecclesiastes where everything is a season and time for every purpose under heaven. Well if, if every season has a purpose, sometimes there’s a process for that purpose to be worked out. And I know that we often feel that I can’t see any good purpose in this whatsoever but it’s amazing how God can use anything and everything to take you forwards and actually to make you a better person. Maybe give your ministry a bit more depth.
And so to me the process is very important. Now look at the process of time, there’s different scriptures that talk about it, but in Exodus 2 where err of course Egypt were holding captivity God’s people, they were in bondage and there’s a scripture in Ezekiel 2 that says that the Kind of Egypt died and in the process of time, God heard the people’s cry, saw their burden and deliverance came.
But of course there was the process of time. Don’t’ try to avoid the process of time, cause I think it’s all part of it. And Cain, he did at the end of time what he should have done at the beginning. The bible talks about his brother’s offering that he gave to God and Abel’s offering was of the first fruit, it’s really the first mention in the scriptures of the idea of first fruits, so Abel gave what was first whereas Cain gave in the process of time, so he did at the end what he should have done at the beginning, and it ended up bringing calamity.
And I feel like sometimes we try to procrastinate and leave things off and don’t deal and address things but it can bring calamity. But on the other hand, Hannah she couldn’t have a child, she was desperate, the bible says she was in anguish of heart and she wept and finally it says in the process of time. There it is again, that she had a son called his name Samuel.
So don’t underestimate the importance of the process, let’s be doing at the beginning of the process what needs to be done at the beginning, because it can make the process a whole lot less painful and ultimately it will always bring a better result.
So imagine if in the beginning, I decided I’m going to try and cover this up with my dad. I know right now with where Australia’s at, we wouldn’t even have a church. So you’ve got to sometimes you’ve just got to decide to man up and guts it out, you’ve just got to make the tough decisions.
One of the things I decided was to always try to honour my dad, which not always easy because my dad to me was and to my brother and sister was just an incredible loving, generous man and that’s the person many people knew.
And by the way, that psychologist, he talked to me about disassociation. He was saying the father you knew was your father and this other thing this other part of him was disassociated from the rest of him and that kind of helped me at the time.
But number one, you’ve got to give it the process.
Number two, (if I can just move along here), it’s always good to respond not react.
At Hillsong Church we had a little upset with someone earlier this year and I was talking to Joel A’Bell who’s a great, great err co-worker with Bobbie and I, he and Julia. We were talking about what we need to do and he said ‘make sure that we are responding, not reacting’. And that was the best advice at the time I could have given because by nature I’m a reactionary, you know I could be a volcano. I got much, much better as I got older but that would be my natural, my natural way.
And I think sometimes in life especially –
– came out of positive, I had a desire but obviously it can be very negative. And often times, the things that are our weaknesses, the things that whatever that desire might be for you, it might be to lean toward a ditch, and it might be to do something to that – to build some kind of emotional attachment, do something crazy and it’s your way of coping. And the worst thing you can do often, is isolate yourself. When you feel like having fellowship the least, is often when you need it the most.
So that’s why the bible says in Hebrews Chapter 10, don’t forsake the gathering of the assembling of yourselves together as is the habit of some, ahhh but encourage one another. And you get into a great, positive, faith filled environment where there’s a spirit of encouragement, it’s the best thing you can do. And sadly people in churches, they make the great mistake, when they need it the most of drawing back, isolating themselves, fully cutting everybody out and it’s sad.
David, his most negative Psalm was 142, he says I’ve been brought very low, he says everyone is out to get me, they’ve set a snare for me, no-one really acknowledges me, who really cares for my soul. Those are the things he said, ultimately he says I’ve been brought very low. His dark day, I’ve been brought very low. The next verse, bring my soul out of prison that I may praise your name- Listen to it! “The righteous shall surround me.”
He decided he was going to get amongst crazy people and when we feel like it the least, let’s make sure we get ourselves always into an environment where praise gets our mind off ourselves, it’s impossible to be negative and praise God at exactly the same time. You simply can’t do it! It just doesn’t work! So let’s understand the importance of not isolating ourselves.
And the next thing I think when leading people, let your human side show.
Be transparent but don’t be pitiful, cause there’s a difference. Some people go to water and they become pitiful: “Woe is me!” – negative! But on the other hand some people put all the walls up and pretend nothing’s wrong and you know, ho hum, ra ra, and you know what, that’s not helping either especially if there’s a challenge inside a church because they think you don’t even care about this, you don’t even care! And I think, I think when the time is right and in that process of time, when I’ve had to face big issues in Hillsong Church, (and believe me we’ve had some! And by God’s grace he has brought us through every single one of them), there’s a time when you need to be with yourself a little bit, just have to be a little bit human, a little bit vulnerable.
Us macho Australians, we don’t like doing that sometimes. But I found that if you do that at the right time and you don’t overdo it, people warm to you and rally behind you. Life moves on, which is good, ha ha ha.
So don’t be afraid to be human and eliminate blame and excuses.
Don’t get, don’t get defensive whatever you do.
You know when I ride my motorbike, which is not much these days, I ride it with the attitude any accident that happens is my fault. Cause it’s a motorbike and you don’t get too many second chances. So in other words, whether a guy pulls out of there, whether that happens, whether any accident that happens is my fault. Because that way, I ride in a way that basically is taking responsibility for what that guy might do and what might happen over there, makes me ride my bike different and I think life’s a little bit like that too. You can blame, you can excuse and you can be completely right, obviously some motorbike accident is not technically your fault, you’re not the one the Police are going to book, if your still breathing, it’s not always technically your fault but if you ride that way, I think if you lead that way as well.
Cos blaming and excusing, justified as it might be, it’s actually not helping anything. And so I think lead, always taking accountability, always taking responsibility and say ‘what could I have done different’ ‘what do I need to change’. And again I feel that’s a great way to respond to challenge, to crisis and all of these things.
Number six, focus on the good things.
I’m talking about leading other people and leading yourself. Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are good, whatsoever are true, whatsoever things are noble, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, think on these things. Think on these things and hang around people who are going to get you thinking on those things. Written by Opposite World Translation. The Opposite World Translation is the same scripture with a NOT on the end.
And here’s my Opposite World Translation,
“Finally brethren, whatsoever things are rumour or hearsay, whatever things are negative, whatever things are mean, whatever things are trashy, whatever things did up the dirt, whatever things bring a juicy report, if there are any skeletons in the closet, anything gossip worthy, think on these things.”
Are you living according to the Opposite World Translation or are you living according to the word of God? Cause it’s good to focus on the good report when you are surrounded completely by the bad report.
Hahaha! I quite like my Opposite World Translation, I’m kind of proud of it, I don’t know, I don’t know if I will find anyone to publish it yet but…
Number seven, wise as serpents harmless as doves.
Some people are all dove, other people are all serpent. Wise as serpent doesn’t mean wriggle your way out of things and spit venom to everyone. It does mean when you lead you’ve got to be harmless as doves. No guile. You got to, you got to lead in a way where, where ahh, your pure-hearted. But you also can’t be stupid. You’re leading people. God gave us a brain to think. You got to get the mind of the Spirit. You gotta- you gotta get the wisdom of God.
Sometimes you can react to a situation and it’s justified, especially if it deals with people, someone causing you problems in the church. It’s justified. But if that person has a whole huge following in the church and you just go ‘bang’ and cut them off, you’re going to pay the price. Be as wise as serpents, this is where we need to get to, where’re going to follow this process to get there, we’re going to take people on the journey harmless as doves. We’re not just manipulative and controlling and trying to contrive situations. You receiving this?
[Looks to audience for reaction]
Number eight, Man up or woman up, don’t go to water.
I mean everyone’s allowed a bad night, you know a tough day. But big picture, it’s time for your character to shine, not your flaws.
Now like I was saying in (not sure) desires, we could easily go quickly to our flaws, but this is a time when your Godly character is needed more than at any other time. So if we think about our personal reactions, if we are determined that we are going to face our own demons, whatever those demons are. If we decide we are going to challenge our reactions not justify them, challenge them.
So in other words things that have no, no good purpose. Whatever your facing right now don’t just, don’t just allow your reactions to run rampant, challenge them, man up, man up to things, face things, confront it. And I think it’s so important, this is where all of us in leadership, we run close to the red zone on the (not sure) any way the way we lead.
And you get a couple of things added on and all of a sudden you go into the red zone, which of course is the dangerous place to be leading from. And that’s why we’ve got to make sure we leave plenty of room in our emotional bank. So when you’ve got to withdraw on it, there’s something there to withdraw from.
And I talked about a panic attach that I got to and being told I had post traumatic stress, I could kind of believe it was true to be honest and I haven’t got time to go into my whole story but I can tell you this, that in the middle of all of that, basically, I saw myself especially when I was a younger leader, that stuff was for other people, I really thought I was invincible, I was never going to be hit, I was never going to be that person.
And it’s kind of scary, other leaders can relate to it when you suddenly realise, you’re that person. This is where I’m at. And ahh I had completely run out of emotional energy, I had nothing left and thank God for Bobbie because Bobbie is an absolute God send, all the time.
But I would have to say at that time, Bobbie ‘manned up’, she ‘womanned up’ because she was taking me upwards, not downwards. Which is a pretty good thing for a spouse to remember, when we need to be bringing someone else up, let’s make sure of where where’re at, if where’re in a better state than them it’s going to bring them up and not bring them down.
Again, be aware of your coping mechanisms, you know sometimes we turn to things for coping that we wouldn’t normally do.
You know around this time of the story I told you about in 1999, some close friends of Bobbie’s and mine, as a joke, sent uh- sent me a cigar. So they sent me this cigar and said ‘here maybe this will help you feel better’. Well, one thing I’m anti smoking, it’s not personal because there would be people who smoke in this crowd, so it’s not personal. But for me and our team of staff, we don’t have too many rules per say, but the one thing I do say is we don’t smoke and we don’t smoke.
And, ahh, so I was really very low one day. This story by the way, could cost me my credential by the way, but that’s alright I could just print off another one.
The only time I ever used it was once, to get into a hospital car park for free.
Besides the President of our movement had to go yesterday to do something up in far north, so I’ll tell you this story, it’s a little secret ok.
I’m home entirely by myself, it’s late at night, there’s no one around. I have a look at this cigar and I thought, you know I’ve never smoked a cigar, I thought, I just felt rebellious.
I just felt rebellious. So it was pitch black, no one was home, I walked out to the garden, sat down their entirely by myself, and smoked entire cigar. I didn’t even know you weren’t supposed to draw in.
No one had told me that. It kind of felt good. Hey be careful of your coping mechanisms.
One thing you can do is take it out on the people who are closest to you and that’s dangerous too. All of a sudden you’re lashing out at everyone else and it’s nothing to do with them. It’s good when your being lashed out on sometimes to remember this is not actually about me, this is about them.
But it’s so easy when you need those around you the most, let’s not make sure that we don’t just start lashing out at the people we love because that’s kind of a coward’s way but it’s an easy thing to fall back on. In this whole subject of manning up, don’t be tempted to cover things up that can’t be covered up; it’s never going to do you any good. You’ve got to address things.
I’ve had to deal with many issues with people over all my years and some things you can deal with personally and confidentially and maybe with one or two other elders or board members. Some things obviously it’s going to take a little more than that. Some things you, you have no choice but to address it even publicly, ahh hopefully not too often.
I think some pastors do that far too quickly, take things public that never, ever needed to be public and you can help people through things that’s going to save their future, their ministry and their career. And if I ever have that option that’s exactly what I would do, if the options there but sometimes, the nature of it, that option’s just not there.
Number nine, you’ve got to gather trusted confiders, people you love and trust but not just anybody.
The bible talks about a multitude of Council not a multitude of opinions. So don’t just trust anyone, the lady of the hedge or outside the school gate may not be the best person. Or the hairdresser may not be the best person to vomit all over.
And if I were talking about confidence and people you surround yourself with, number one just make sure there people who are fore you and who love you and wouldn’t want to get any personal mileage out of this whatsoever. Not the kind of person who’s going to say, well you know because it makes them feel like a bigger person if they have information that no one else has, and so they… find people in your life who love you and want what’s best for you.
And in that, sometimes might be afraid to tell you what you need to hear. It’s incredible, one Old Testament king, you know he was ‘the man’. He went to 400 different prophets and every single one of them told him what he wanted to hear, none of them had the guts to tell him what he needed to hear.
Then ultimately there was one prophet who actually was courageous enough to tell him what he needed to hear. So when it comes to confidence, to me, I want people to live in a big world, the last thing I need is someone going ‘oh my God, this is the worst thing I have ever heard in my whole life’. You know you need people who, to me maybe their further ahead in life than you, not someone who’s behind you when it comes to experience and leadership and wisdom.
Because I don’t want someone who goes into panic and goes to water, I want somebody who they might have been there, that they’ve faced some of those things. The kind of counselling they are going to give you again is going to take you forwards and upwards. Don’t, don’t arr don’t talk to people who your issues are just going to through them into a mess of spin, and all of a sudden all they are giving you emotional and reactionary and doesn’t have any Godly wisdom to it whatsoever.
So to me generally (not sure what he says) are living in a big world and people are not going to be thrown too easily by your challenges cause they’ve faced a few themselves. Obviously, you are going to want people who are wise, Godly wisdom. You know common sense is not as common as we think and use people who have that ability to get a word of wisdom in that situation, Godly wisdom talk to those people. Talk to people who are generous hearted, they’re generous hearted means they are only going to want what’s best for you, whatever that is cause they are generous, they’re for you.
And I, I think it’s important to find positive people, I really do.
[Words appear on screen]
“Anxiety in the heart of a man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. Proverbs 12:25 (NKJV)”
Get around people who are going to give you a good word. An overcoming word. You know, a positive break-through-type word.
And, and, err not just people who are sympathetic. Jesus was never moved with sympathy, every time he was moved with compassion something powerful was about to happen. So we can bound to people who are sympathetic, you know sympathy at times is the last thing we need. We diffidently need people who care, who understand. I think one of the toughest things in a crisis is people who want to be everyone’s friend. ‘I don’t want to get involved we just want to be everyone’s friend, we just want to be neutral.”
And there’s a Proverb, which I think is a great Proverb just in my NKJ version it says something really simple, it just says something like ahh, “He who’ – ahh – has many friends needs to show themselves friendly.” But if you look it up in the amplified bible it says ‘the person of many friends, the friend to the whole world is a bad friend’ and so it’s interesting when you think about that.
There are some situations we want to be everyone’s friend and you actually can’t then be anyone’s friend. And when you’re in a tough time you need people, they put their mast to the, you know whatever it is, they put themselves to the mast and they know how to be a friend to you at this time.
So not just anybody whosoever things are of good report.
Number ten, (and I’m going to go quickly), bring those around you on the journey.
I’m talking about your family, your loved ones. Bring them with you because you’re going to need them, so make sure you’re bring those around you on the journey and be an example to those who are leaning on you. Ahh be an example, that’s a game when you can show real strength, some real leadership. Even though your life’s hell right now you can help people around you who love you and who feel for you through this journey as well cause I know for example when Bobbie and I have been attacked, as much as I may feel it, my kids always felt it a whole lot more.
And ahh so the people who love us and all of us have got those people in our world, when you need them the most make sure the way that you are dealing with people is keeping them with you and bringing them with you on the journey.
Number eleven, just resolve what to do.
I talked about being wise as serpents, harmless as snakes. There’s that guy that lost his job (not sure what he says) and so his boss says ‘you’re fired’. The bible says in Luke 15:4 he resolved what to do.
[Words flash on screen]
“What man of you having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness (Luke 15:4).”
And you know things get so much better if you take the meditation time, you do the prayer, you trust God, you come to a point of resolve and you think, well look, this is what I’m going to do, we haven’t got a clue what to do, you don’t know what, you know that’s when your still in anxiety and panic mode.
But it’s good if you just take the time sometimes and think, look I need to do this, in leadership, I need to do this, I need to talk to these people, I need to this, I need to do that. Resolve what to do; it’s amazing how already internally you feel stronger with that already.
The last thing (then we are going to move onto the second part of this) is just vision, vision, vision.
If there’s ever a time to put the vision back out there, to re-vision ahh and to re-imagine it’s at times like that I can focus on the problem, I can focus on the crisis.
There was a crisis in Australia, which a lot of people know about where a guy put on a sickness and he wrote songs. Put on a sickness and attended our, attended to be a, you know – just a great big lie and it was, you know just a crazy time for the church in Australia. I know at that time I just resolved in our church, because this happened when he was attending our church, what we needed to do and there were certain things we needed to do.
I was away on holiday, with an overgrown beard I used my iphone to just talk to the church about it. I wrote a blog and on the blog I just explained the whole story from my experience. I made sure I sured up the people I needed to around and about me. And you know our church remarkably just went through that so well. And our youth group too who had been affected, our youth group as well, they came through it so well.
It’s important to resolve what to do, so that you’ve got strategy, you, you really think what you need to do.
But vision is critical, it’s critical, you know when you lose the wind out of your sails, I’m not a sailor but I do know if a boat loses the wind out of its sails, the quickest thing he needs to do is reset its sails so it gets the wind back in it or else he’s becalmed. And your leadership get’s becalmed if you ahh lose the wind out of your sail.
The best thing you can do as quick as you can is reset your sails. Just talk life, just talk hope, just get to the parts of the word that are going to build people up, put faith into people. While you’re putting faith into other people, you’re putting faith into you. One of the best ways to get happy is to preach yourself happy and we can either preach ourselves sad or we can preach ourselves happy. And I want to be the guy who preaches myself happy.
You know for me, praise God, learning the power of praise, I’m a believer, the gifts of the Spirit for the day, so you know God gives us a Heavenly language, that the bible says edifies us, it builds us up. So at that time, ahh I’m going to be not necessarily walking around screaming in tongues everywhere, but I will be internally, I will be using the language of the Spirit that the bible says strengthens me. So let’s go to those things that help us then to re-vision and set the sails forward and move on to all that God has got for us, Amen.”
Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong Conference 2014, Sydney, 2014.
What are your thoughts? Did you see anything outstanding in the video/transcript that you would like to share?
[Edit 26/09/2014: If you want to comment on this article, please be sensitive and respectful to the persons involved in this scandal. Any immature or abusive comments aimed at Hillsong, the Houstons or the victims will have their posts removed.]
WARNING! Article may contain explicit content if you choose to visit links. Please think twice before clicking on articles on Mark Driscoll.
The visionary leadership model, the totalitarian church structures, the bullying, the intimidation, the betrayal, the queries into church financial mismanagement and the dishonesty.
We’re not talking about Brian Houston’s friends Phil Pringle and Kong Hee. We’re not even talking about Brian Houston’s friends Ed Young Jr or Steven Furtick.
We’re talking about Brian Houston’s latest guest speaker invited to Hillsong Conference 2015:
“Anyone interested in who some of the speakers are next year? We’ve got some different ones. We’ve got some different ones. Well let me tell you firstly, we’ve got Joseph Prince speaking from New Creation Church in Singapore. That’s going to be amazing. Some of the New Creation people up there. How cool is that!
So we’re looking forward to having Joseph back. Always a favourite. Always fills our heart with Jesus and with grace.
And then Rick Warren from Saddleback Church in California. He’s gonna be speaking. Author of Purpose Driven Life and pastor to pastors and uh- well Bill- ah, Rick was coming last year but of course with the tragedy in his life, he put that off. And so- now it’s going to be this coming year.
Then, a good favourite of Hillsong Church: Jentezin Franklin from Free Chapel Church, USA. Is going to be speaking.
And here’s one that’s different: Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, is going to be speaking next year at Hillsong Conference. And Mark’s a great teacher of the Word and be the first time here.
And I think it is gonna be a great eclectic mix which is what I love doing. I love bringing people together from all sections of the body of Christ. And it’s amazing how you put it all together and it just seems to work.”
Source: Brian Houston, Hillsong Conference 2014.
We are kind of curious. How is this going to work? These “teachers” will either be pretending to get along with each other in “unity” or diplomacy or otherwise rebuking each other either personally or publicly. In other words, Hillsong might need to reconsider their guest speaker line up.
As usual Hillsong is inviting yet another disgraced minister to speak at Hillsong Conference 2015. But this is where it gets really bizarre, (and where we need to give Driscoll some credit): he calls out false teachers by name. Mark Driscoll in the past has publicly exposed Brian Houston and Joseph Prince’s friend Joel Osteen as a false teacher.
And from what we have researched, false teachers like Rick Warren are no fan of Mark Driscoll either. In fact, for many years faithful ministers and apologetic experts have rightly expressed their concerns over Mark Driscoll’s behaviour, teachings, practices and methodologies.
Below you will find an extensive list of articles exposing the controversial ministry of Mark Driscoll. We STRONGLY advise our readers to exercise caution while browsing the below material. You may be shocked with the explicit language and rude nature of Mark Driscoll’s ministry.
Mark Driscoll clearly has a bad reputation since ministers, leaders and elders are:
1. publicly calling Mark to repentance,
2. addressing him to step down from ministry
3. and/or dropping their connections with him.
This is incredibly sad to see. We would encourage Christians to pray for Mark Driscoll. Sadly, what’s left of his reputation will only worsen if he chooses to speak at Hillsong Conference 2015. Hopefully Mark will wake up and not lower his standards to that of speaking at Hillsong Conference 2015.
– – – – –
Here is a list of articles on Driscoll arranged by Sola Sisters,
Documenting the Problems with Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll [UPDATED]
[UPDATE: New links continue to be added regularly]
Driscoll bought his way onto the New York Times bestseller list
Mark Driscoll’s plagiarism
His lies, slander toward a Christian brother, and shameless publicity stunt
Pastor Driscoll’s abusive nature toward the flock in his care
Driscoll’s pornographic mindset
Explicit Sexual Discussion/Recommendation on Mars Hill Website
***Please note that the links below contain strong, explicit sexual content. My desire is not to cause anyone to stumble, so please prayerfully bear this in mind. The links are here for documentation purposes ***
Driscoll’s unbiblical view on spiritual warfare
Mark Driscoll affirms false teachers as Christian brothers
Former Mars Hill pastor claims violations of city ordinances
Former Mars Hill leaders and church members going public with concerns
Pressure being brought for Mark Driscoll to step down from spiritual leadership
Mark Driscoll: “A lot of the people we were dealing with in this season remain anonymous, and so we don’t know how to reconcile or how to work things out with people because we’re not entirely sure who they are.”
Dear Pastor Mark and Mars Hill: We Are Not Anonymous (Facebook group)
I. Am. Not. Anonymous. (Acts 29 co-founder Ron Wheeler pens open letter to Mark Driscoll)
Former Mars Hill Members Protest Mars Hill, Call For Driscoll’s Resignation (The Seattle Times)
Rock Star Pastor Loses His Luster (USA Today)
Websites of former Mars Hill leaders
An Open Letter To Mark Driscoll (Pyromaniacs)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
1 Timothy 3:1-13 – Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Titus 1:5-10 – Qualifications for Elders
This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.
Source: By Sola Sisters, Documenting the Problems with Mars Hill Pastor Mark Driscoll [UPDATED], http://www.solasisters.com/2013/12/documenting-problems-with-mars-hill.html, Published 27/03/2015, Updated 11/08/2014. (Accessed 13/08/2014.)
Brian Houston, bully, C3 Presence Conference, c3 scandal, chc scandal, china wine, david yonggi cho, david yonggi cho scandal, Hillsong, hillsong scandal, kong hee, kong hee scandal, phil pringle scandal, Presence 2014, Presence Conference, Presence Conference 2014, pringle, scandal, sun ho
If you were Phil Pringle…
Before reading this article, please read the below article on C3 Church Watch:
Phil Pringle must be feeling pretty insecure standing beside Kong Hee as things progress “from bad to worse”. If you were Pringle standing all alone beside your best mate Kong Hee, how would you go about furthering Kong Hee’s cause and your image before Christianity around the world? If there was a blog out there connecting you to your now convicted mentor Yonggi Cho, what would you do?
Your critics are growing daily within your church and outside your church. The Singaporean and Australian media want answers. You are feeling cornered.
Wretched man that you are! Who will deliver you from your sinful ministry? Thanks be to God through Brian Houston your “friend”.
As Phil Pringle, you’ve already done a great job convincing people not to judge you and Brian (“Judge not lest ye be judged”). Now if only you can get Hillsong to stand with you – you should be fine. All this mess can be swept under the Hillsong & C3 rug and both Hillsong and your C3 movement can stand together against your critics, whether they be Christian or the secular media. Neither movement questioning the other. That sounds good – they are both standing together. Both movements are standing against their critics.
Best buddies – standing together. C3 and Hillsong – standing together.
Whatever Brian Houston does, both Hillsong members and your C3 members don’t have to question Brian – C3 and Hillsong are standing together. Whatever you do with Kong Hee and Yonggi Cho, both Hillsong members and your C3 members don’t have to question you – C3 and Hillsong are standing together. It sounds like you can smuggle in a lot of your agenda at this Presence Conference 2014 if you push this notion somewhere in the conference. Do you think Brian would mind? Probably not. Brian can’t judge you, his best friend publicly!
You can get away with using your “friend” Brian Houston to further Kong Hee’s cause at Presence Conference 2014. If you get in trouble, Brian Houston and his movement will stand with you. Just use the typical mantras, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and “He who hasn’t sinned cast the first stone” to shut up the dissenters on either side (it worked for Mike Gugglielmucci at Hillsong). Now… how can you smuggle this notion in?
Hillsong and C3 commanded to “stand with one another”
One of the largest criticisms made by Christians and the secular media are the the number of scandals that continually occur in the Hillsong and C3 movements. Not only that, the world also notices how Hillsong and C3 promote and peddle false doctrines and gospels contrary to Christianity. It is not uncommon to hear the general public drop one liners that these “cults” want your money. The world can see it and more and more Christians are starting to see this to be the case with Hillsong and C3.
Since we began monitoring Brian Houston and Phil Pringle, it is our opinion they have grown much closer together in recent months, since more Christians are scrutinizing their ministries and starting to classify them as unethical or immoral churches or Word of Faith cults. (Read: Same Tribe, Different Smell.) It is interesting to note that both Brian Houston and Phil Pringle have no problem accepting each other and their associates as legitimate ministers of the gospel. For example, here is Phil Pringle rubbing shoulders with Brian Houston’s friends:
In the above article, Casey Treat is with Brian Houston. This is the same Casey Treat that Phil Pringle worked with to make this video to support Kong Hee as he goes through his trial in Singapore.
Now we can’t tell what Brian Houston and Phil Pringle talk about when they get together. But we find it hard to believe that Pringle would have kept Brian Houston in the dark over his involvement in Kong Hee’s scandal and what is happening with his mentor David Yonggi Cho.
Phil Pringle’s mentor David Yonggi Cho has also been recently charged by South Korean courts as a convicted felon for mishandling church funds of up to US$12 million. Furthermore, Phil Pringle’s protege Kong Hee, currently is in court over mishandling church funds of up to U$42 million.
Furthermore, C3 has been dragged into the spotlight with it’s may scandals including their recent C3 Asheville scandal.
C3 Asheville Scandal – C3 Pastor Facing Prison (Part 1)
C3 Asheville Scandal – C3 Pastor “Pleads Guilty In Bank Fraud Case” (Part 2)
C3 Asheville Scandal – Sweetmans Do Nothing Against Fraudulent C3 Pastor? (Part 3)
C3 Asheville Scandal – Four “People… Have Pleaded Guilty” Including “[C3] Minister… Nicholas Dimitris” (Part 4)
C3 Asheville Scandal – C3 ‘Pastor’ Nick Dimitris: The Liar (Part 5)
C3 Asheville Scandal – Massive Financial Judgment Against C3 Asheville Pastor Nick Dimitris (Part 6)
C3 Asheville Scandal – While Dean’s Playing Slick, Nick’s In The Knick (Part 7)
C3 Asheville Scandal – The Wolf & The Ostrich (Part 8)
In spite of this, Brian Houston has refused to break ties or friendship with Phil Pringle and they remain close friends.
This may now be hurting Hillsong’s image considering how Pringle decided to use Brian Houston’s authority at his Presence Conference 2014. That is, Pringle used Houston’s authority and friendship in such a way that he encouraged both his C3 movement and Brian’s Hillsong movement to stand against their critics. Below Phil Pringle deliberately associates himself as a close and solid friend of Brian Houston and hopes out loud that all people from Hillsong, C3 and other churches, “have got the fight […] to follow and just stand with one another” and to “not to engage in the criticism or to listen to the fault-finding gossips or anything else”.
“That song, as many of you would know, comes from the mighty Hillsong Church. I said the mighty Hillsong Church. [Crowd applause]
Not just one church but many churches all over the world. Large, growing, influential and have changed, changed the course of Christian music and Christian worship throughout the entire world, in an amazing move of God. And ah- Pastor Brian Houston would be one of the most world changing leaders on the planet today. He has done so much to change culture on so many levels in language, in how congregations are to behave and the way that leadership should should conduct itself. And it’s influenced not just the world of Pentecost but also traditional church world and has entered into all kinds of ah- debate and challenges, I guess, to actually do the following that he’s been called to do.
And he’s certainly had to fight to follow. I admire Brian – ah – with great admiration as one of the greatest heroes of the Christian world today. Not only for having influenced culture here – [crowd applauses] and ah – the fact is, we were born about sixty miles from each other in New Zealand [crowd applauses]. And ah- so we have not only been fellow ministers in this city and managed to- get along, we’ve been good friends.
I remember many years ago when we had what- I started a thing called “the Jesus march”. And we marched all the way down Pittwater Rd. And, I lived at that time in Manly, I think. Or somewhere near there. Brookvale or Manly and ah- came out and joined us and we got photos of him with- ah- the then famous mullet and moustache combination.
Happily Simon McIntyre was able to compliment that as well with his mullet and moustache. But we’ve been in this same city for many, many years and believing in this city will be won for Christ together and seeing a massive move of God that has not only affected this city but the world.
There’s one thing to stand for Jesus- I think it’s kind of easy actually to say it, “I’m for Jesus”. Cos not a lot of persecution comes because of that. You don’t really. I mean you get a little rub from a few people. But standing with his followers when they’re under pressure – now that’s a different matter.
And Paul found that there was no one in Rome who sought him out to visit him and look after him. People had to come all the way down from Philippi and Macedonia. And he said, “The- You’re the only guys who’ve done this”.
And even when Jesus lost the favour of public opinion, (I mean he lost a lot of his closest friends at that moment and then it past), I would like to think that we have got the fight in us to follow in just stand with one another. Not to engage in the criticism or to listen to the fault-finding gossips or anything else because it does have a price to accomplish something for God. And Hillsong is often been the subject of media attention that isn’t that positive. Happily recently, there’s been a few more that are positive. And I’ve experienced that myself. Ah- both sides of that. And it’s a very unpleasant feeling.
But I salute Brian Houston today because he has stood the course and stayed the line and said we will build the church. I would like you to stand up and support Brian Houston this afternoon. Thank you very much.”
What was Brian Houston’s reaction? Did Brian Houston mind Phil Pringle using his authority to stand together as one apostate movement?
Watch Brian’s response here:
Now that Phil Pringle publicly established a unified brotherhood between C3 and Hillsong, he has opened up a way to financially con the Australian public to finance Kong Hee’s defense lawyers. What makes this so immoral is that Pringle and Houston disguise this under the banner of “Christian unity”.
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Is this journalist warning us against ‘Pastor’ Brian Houston from Hillsong Church?
Is this journalist warning us against ‘Pastor’ Phil Pringle from C3 Church?
Is this journalist warning us against ‘Pastor’ Pat Mesiti who ministers at both C3 and Hillsong and is close friends with Pringle and Houston?
Before reading the article below, please read how Phil Pringle of C3 Church mentored Pat Mesiti and restored him to be a ‘legitimate’ pastor again in 2006. It’s worth further noting that Pastor Brian Houston from Hillsong Church is close friends with Pat Mesiti and was also with him though this restoration process.
Therefore, ask yourself these questions while reading the below article:
1. If this journalist is asking people to be wary of Pat Mesiti’s “get-rich-quick schemes,” don’t you think it is worth being concerned who restored this Hillsong/C3 pastor back into ministry?
2. If Brian Houston and Phil Pringle see themselves as motivational speakers like Pat Mesiti, use similar ‘money magnet’ language like Pat Mesiti, spread similar teaching like Pat Mesiti and still endorse Pat Mesiti, how are they any different?”
3. How are Brian Houston and Phil Pringle’s prosperity-driven churches any different to Pat Mesiti’s “get-rich-schemes” organisation?
4. Does slapping Christian language on Pat Mesiti’s work and getting people “handing their cash over taking a leap of faith,” make his content 100% authentic Christianity?
5. If Pat Mesiti provides “no audit trails, no published success rates to prove it one way or the other,” then why is it also rare to hear these success stories in Hillsong and C3 Church?
6. What are the chances that Pat Mesiti got his prosperity theology from his ‘pastor’ friends Brian Houston and Phil Pringle?
Please keep these questions in mind as Fairfax NZ News reports the following:
BY ROB STOCK
Books have always been used by salesmen to enhance their credibility, though a new series arriving in New Zealand takes that to a new pitch.
The nine books in the Millionaire Makers series ($14.99 each) tempt buyers with promises of “$100,000 in 100 days”, achieving “financial abundance for life”, or “Cracking the million dollar sales code”.
But these are really advertisements disguised as books, trying to drum up bums on seats for seminars in Auckland’s Aotea Centre in August, November and February at which the nine authors – some of the biggest names of the Australian wealth seminar scene – will attempt to sell mentoring schemes, high-risk options trading systems, boxed software programs and even franchise-style online marketing businesses to Kiwis who want to barely work at all and yet be fantastically rich.
Each book contains a “free” invitation to a seminar “worth $1994” (a very specific sum derived by comparison to the pricing of the seminars of US motivational speaker Tony Robbins).
In effect, punters who pick the books up from the natty black display stands in bookstores around the country are being asked to buy the advertisement for the seminar.
It’s brilliant marketing really, as befits the man behind the series, former evangelical pastor Pat Mesiti, now a preacher in the secular church of financial abundance.
Mesiti is a fascinating and charismatic man to meet, not least because of his colourful background as a preacher with the evangelical and highly commercial Hillsong church in Australia.
There’s no doubting the energy of the diminutive Mesiti (who is in great nick for a man whose brows now sport receding grey locks) nor his acute awareness that any journalist he meets is a single internet search away from learning about his past.
In fact, Yahoo’s new helpful habit of trying to anticipate your searching requirements suggested I add the word “scandal” to my search command even before I finished typing Mesiti’s name.
Consequently, it is he who brings up his public disgrace in 2001 when he was stood down as a preacher at Hillsong for visiting prostitutes, a scandal that led him to reinvent himself on the wealth-creation speaking circuit.
It’s still a sensitive point. As we talk the phone goes. A current affairs show producer calls as we talk, asking Mesiti to front for an interview. “Are they dirt-diggers?” he asks nervously, clearly weary of constantly revisiting his sexual sins.
Hillsong church and Mesiti still have much in common, including the message that God and Jesus want their believers to be rich, and, unusually, that Jesus was himself wealthy.
Mesiti sums it up for me. He doesn’t believe Jesus was broke. If Jesus was poor why did he have a treasurer? How could he have afforded to keep such a retinue of disciples? How else could he have afforded to take so much time off work?
Mesiti adheres to the school of thought among predominantly US preachers with a penchant for the good life that Jesus was wealthy, and what’s more, the mainstream churches know it, but are keeping the truth from people in order to amass riches for themselves (Mesiti points out that mainstream churches are among some of the biggest landowners in the world).
Mesiti’s stance is not far from Hillsong head man Brian Houston’s claim that true Christians are money magnets. “If you believe in Jesus, he will reward you here as well [as in heaven],” he once told a Sydney Morning Herald reporter.
Mesiti claims that despite having left Hillsong, he has a similar mission to the wealth- dispensing God. “I tell the people, their prosperity is my passion,” he says.
The nine authors of the Millionaire Makers series share that mission, Mesiti claims. That’s handy, because it is the only way to address the key paradox of the motivational speaker/ professional mentor: If they are so wealthy and successful, what are they doing on the speaking circuit flogging their books and mentoring systems?
“Those that can, do. Those that can’t, teach,” is the old saw that comes to mind, particularly for a journalist who has met many financially successful people.
The standard response is that they have a mission to teach and to free humanity from the shackles of society/poor schooling/bad parenting, which all combine in a malign conspiracy to keep us from the secrets of wealth.
Of course, the way to break free from the shackles and achieve wealth quickly and painlessly, according to the Mesiti school of thought, is to buy the book/the mentoring scheme/the software. Such mentoring brings “wisdom without the wait”, he tells me.
For the record, this cynical journalist for one is deeply sceptical about get-rich-quick schemes. I have no doubt they work – the problem is, I think they work for those selling them, not those buying them.
There are no audit trails, no published success rates to prove it one way or the other.
That leaves those handing their cash over taking a leap of faith.
I wouldn’t dispute that speakers like Mesiti can be a powerful force to motivate people to get out there and improve their lot, but it’s hard not to see that as secondary to the sales pitch. Pick your gurus carefully.
Source: Rob Stock, Just who’s getting rich quick?, Fairfax NZ News, http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/2548780/Just-whos-getting-rich-quick, Last Updated 29/06/2009. (Accessed 02/12/2012.)
Why would Hillsong’s Darlene and Mark Zschech associate themselves and work with Kong Hee and Sun Ho? Why would they endorse Sun Ho media?
Here is Sun Ho in her music video ‘China Wine’. Why would Hillsong endorse this skanky-like video?
(Warning! If this image next to you is offensive, you will not want to watch this video!)
Sun Ho is called a ‘Geisha’ in the video. While we get the idea of a geisha being an 18th Century asian female entertainer, the word has changed in context in contemporary asian culture. This is why Kong Hee informed Christians that “pastors … wrote me angry emails calling Sun a “whore,” “hooker”.” They were right – Sun Ho was a geisha in the film clip.
So why do Hillsong leaders endorse this sexually foul video clip? What message are they sending to young Christians, children and non-believers?