Posts Tagged ‘brian houston’

buddha2

“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8

 

There is a simple fact that every believer must acknowledge in their walk with Christ, and that is this, you and I are not God. Nor are we little gods. Nor do we have the same power or ability to think and act and create like God. Even more so, neither do our words have the same power as Gods words. The simple fact is, man is a creation of God, made a little above the angels itself, without the ability nor power to imitate God in action or in deeds, or in this case – words. The truth is, our words are not on the same level as God almighty and have virtually no power within themselves. In other words, when we speak nothing happens, but when God speaks everything happens, because he’s God and we’re not.

Yet there is a teaching which has gained prominence within the Charismatic/Pentecostal circles by suggesting that not only are we little gods, not only can we duplicate what God can do, we can equally speak things as a god and see those words literally transform nothing into something. It is called Positive Affirmation, or what is generally referred to by some as the power within the tongue. The belief is very simple, and very dangerous, but it goes something like this; A believer has a special need (money, health, career change, relationship, etc.) and they desire this with great fervor, but they don’t know how to bring it to pass. The answer? Simply speak it into existence. Sounds far fetched right? Yet if the truth be told, there are millions of Christians within the Charismatic/Pentecostal circles who have bought into this lie that says if one desires to change their circumstances in life, all one has to do is simply speak it into being and it will come. The problem is that it never works.

Teachers such as Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Jesse Duplantis and a boatload of others, have made millions of dollars in book sales all in trying to convince an unsuspecting Christian that they have the power within themselves to speak something out of nothing and gain whatever they want. The problem is, A) It’s not scriptural, and B) It’s not possible. To be clear, Jesus told us that if we followed him, that we too could (and would) perform miracles – but as the Spirit leads. The fact remains that while the gifts of the Holy Spirit are valid today (1 Corinthians chapter 12), the ability to just speak something is not only foolish, or unscriptural, it was never taught by the early church leaders, or Christ himself.

Believe it or not, the Positive Confession movement has no actual basis within the early church, nor was it rooted at all within modern or even past Christian teachings, it literally came from the occult world and went by another title, The Law of Attraction. This occult method is standard 101 information for anyone involved in the secret world of witchcraft and sorcery. The idea is simple, whatever you are attracted to, or desire, all you have to do is channel the strong desire within your mind to receive it, and by doing so, you can have it. This method has been utilized for hundreds, if not thousands of years by those who perform the dark arts of gaining whatever they desire. The problem with the confession, speaking it into existence, law of attraction is, it’s tapping into the spiritual realm, and certainly not what is of God.

It is amazing that when we examine the teachings and ideas promoted by a select few who claim to receive a revelation from God that is never based on the word of God, we begin to see its true source – Satan. Yet this is exactly the facts as it relates to the Positive Confession movement that has unfortunately polluted the church world today. From its roots from the early druids and pagans, the teaching of the Law of Attraction remains to this day the tool by which some within the modern church world has cleverly utilized which would deceive many by its false teachings. One would think that if they understood that ours is not to simply call forth everything into being that it would become true, nor by simply suggesting that if one merely spoke something by faith that it would happen. The truth is, God desires us to pray his will for whatever we need, not ours. This is the problem of self, it does not desire to submit to God’s perfect plan, but instead, rely on self and self desires (money, material things) to gain something simply by declaring it so. It’s all a clever ruse to blind the believer to a belief that he or she is able to do things on a thought, or word, and not rely on God’s word.

So how did this particular teaching come into the church today?

His name was E.W. Kenyon. Kenyon was born on April 25, 1867. He was introduced to the faith from the Methodist movement of that particular time. It was there he was introduced to the early teachings of the New Thought movement, and subsequently became aware of this new teaching which stated that if one speaks something, one will receive something, all by faith. Kenyon would go on to become affiliated with the growing Pentecostal movement which was happening in that time, the re-birth of the advent of the Pentecost in the book of Acts, and would find himself learning as well as teaching at the Emerson School. From the early writings of E.W. Kenyon, his works would include many gleanings from the occult world, new age spiritualism, and the Law of Attraction that would be taken and used by later generations, namely one Kenneth Hagin, who equally was influenced by Kenyon’s claims of Positive Affirmations.

Yet even though Kenyon was a contributor to what we now call “Positive Talk”, it has literally taken on a life of its own. But not just by the church world, even today, New Age teachers such as Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle, Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret), as well as many more. This Law of Attraction, the ability to think and then say something into reality is not a product of man, far from it. The teaching itself dates back to one individual who said to himself “I shall be like the most high. I will place my throne above his.” – Satan. It was Satan who was the originator of Positive Confession, and it was Satan who went into the garden and said to Eve, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”(Genesis 3:1) For when Eve reminded Satan of what God said not to do, it as Satan who then presented a different way of thinking, “You surely will not die.”“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)

Satan presented a positive affirmation, which was literally the foundation to Law of Attraction with Eve. Satan simply said, ignore what God says, confess that you shall have great wisdom and great understanding and I will not die. In other words, think it, say it and believe it and it will come to you. The reality is, Eve did receive understanding, but it was the understanding of what God strictly forbid, and thus, because of Adam, sin entered into the world. Thus, the Law of Attraction, power of the tongue to say something into existence is rooted directly from pride. It is sin.

If we could simply say things into reality, then why is there great trouble in the world? If we can simply speak something into being, then why is there hunger? Or war? Or death and disease? If there is power in our tongue, then why did Paul, the great Apostle who faced many a hardship pray three times that God would remove the thorn in his side, but God said “NO!”, but that his grace was sufficient for him? (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

The fact is this, our authority is limited to what Christ has given to us in his word because of the cross, and nothing more. Yes, we have the power (authority) to claim some spiritual matters as it relates to our faith, but it must always be found consistent with the word of God, it can never go beyond God’s word. If we pray his will, then we will find our will and prayers will be aligned perfectly, even if some things we confess or pray for do not come, sometimes God simply says “No” and we must learn to trust him regardless, for he knows better than we.

Jesus only gives us authority to do what he commissioned us to do – preach the gospel, disciple the nations, heal the sick, cast out demons, etc. He does not give us ALL authority. Nor does he give us the power to speak things into being simply because we want it or desire it, that is the lure of the garden and the tree itself that Satan continues to tempt fallen man with, even Christians, that if we think it and say it, we can have it. But God says otherwise. Don’t fall for this trap, but instead trust God, pray with faith with what he has faithfully given to us, the cross, and believe for those things which he desires, that souls be saved. Everything else will come, or not come based on God’s determination and plan, not by our words.

From my office in China,

Christopher

Contact me at christopher152@gmail.com

http://www.chinamissions.org

 

Hillsong-logo

For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” (Luke 8:17)

In the past week I wrote up an article concerning the problems occurring over at Hillsong, why, not to mention among other things besides using secular music as a means to bring young people to worship, but equally having an openly gay man serving as worship leader and involved in the choir. (article) Equally, I addressed Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston’s attempt to silence the rising tide of critics which he (Houston) refuted that such a person was not involved in ministry. (source)

Yet throughout this ordeal one person had been mysteriously absent from the media news which was making the rounds – Josh Canfield. But that ended yesterday when, as expected, Mr. Canfield and his partner (Reed) released a joint statement refuting Pastor Houston’s denial that there was not any openly gay men serving in the role of leadership. Here is the entire statement which Mr. Canfield posted on his Twitter account (link provided):

To our friends…


We’re writing this post in response to so many of you who have kindly reached out. You’ve been wondering why we have been getting so many hateful comments on all of our social media in the past week, in which some of you have been tagged or engaged. The drama that is unfolding at the moment all revolves around the fact that we have been heavily involved in our church, Hillsong NYC. Josh has been with Hillsong for eight years in a variety of ways: choir director, vocal director, and worship team. I’ve been there since the beginning of our relationship, over three years ago, and eventually began singing in the choir and opening my apartment as the gathering place for a connect group for Hillsong members in the Broadway and theatrical communities. We have been open and forthright about our relationship from the get-go. Due to our openness and very public appearance together on CBC’s “Survivor”, we have been in conversation with Hillsong NYC’s lead pastors regarding the church’s non-LGBT affirming stance. Hillsong has many campuses around the world, many in places where gay marriage is now legal, so this has been an ongoing dialogue trying to figure out how and where we, as part of the LGBT community, fit in. As a church family, we have been wading through these uncharted waters of shifting culture and social change. Several days ago some faceless, end-of-days blogger decided to attack us and our church for allowing us to serve when we are “unrepentantly embracing [our] sin” as homosexuals. Sadly, yet unsurprisingly, most super-conservative news sources picked it up and ran with it — giving this man’s voice worldwide amplification it never should have had. Not to mention it worked up Christian communities around the world, as many look to our church as a model of modern Christianity to be emulated. (We’ve never been harassed in so many foreign languages before … and we live in NYC!) This has now forced our church to globally reaffirm their hard stance as a non-LGBT-affirming institution and disallow any gays from being in a position of leadership within the church. It’s been frustrating and a bit crushing that one crazy person could interfere so easily with the healthy and steady dialogue we’ve been having, but in a new world of social media and instant exposure, we are left unsurprised. Thankfully we are led by pastors who are grace-filled and committed to continuing to try to discern God’s will on this matter. All this being said, many of you ask: “why are you staying somewhere that doesn’t fully accept you?” This leaves us with a tough decision. If we, as gays, pack up and leave every church we feel less than welcomed in or where we feel spiritual resistance, how will there ever be growth? The flip side of this is: why would we, as part of the gay community who have been primarily outcast for all our lives, willingly subject ourselves to more marginalization? It’s been a lot to personally work though. Many try to discredit biblical scholars and laymen alike who have shifted their stance from non-affirming to LGBT-affirming by saying “the only reason they have changed their mind is because they know a gay person”. This only confirms to us that personal relationships are transformative. This isn’t difficult to accept after one looks at this through the lens of personal relationship being a foundational tenet of the Christian faith. After we inadvertently and unintentionally became public representatives for gay Christianity, we feel like we have been called and have a responsibility to continue to stand authentically in our truth — especially within the church family that we call home, Hillsong NYC — we are seeking the Lord, we are Christian, we are gay, and this is our journey.

We thank you for your concern, your prayers, and your support. Big Smiles and 110% …

Reed and Josh

-end-  (source)

So there we have it, yet another fact proving what many of us have been stating from day one, that something is wrong at Hillsong. Why is this important? Because there is a rising chorus of opposing figures rising up who have another agenda, and that agenda is to force the church to accept, even if violently thru social/political pressure, something which God reminds us in his word we cannot accept – homosexuality.

The only hope for the homosexual is the same for the drunkard, the prostitute, the adulterer, or the liar, which is the cross.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

Hillsong-logo

Three days ago I posted a picture of two gay men (stars of the CBS reality show SURVIVOR) who stated in several interviews (the New York Times being one) that they were engaged to be married AND were worship leaders at Hillsong NYC church (a satellite church of Hillsong Australia). That picture and my commentary, along with a follow-up article on my blog site (which to date has neared 5,000 views) garnered a strong reaction from the faithful followers of Hillsong, as well as a response from pastor Brian Houston.

In fairness, here is Pastor Houston’s official response to my article as well as the other online comments and articles over what has occurred that only now is he even releasing a public statement:

“I wish to correct reports that Hillsong church has “an openly gay couple directing a choir” at our New York City campus. Hillsong’s position on homosexuality and gay marriage has not changed and is consistent with Scripture. As I have stated previously, I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject. Several months ago when one of our choir directors made an unexpected public statement regarding his engagement to a man who sometimes sang in the choir, it was a complete surprise to us as well. It is my understanding that they have not been involved in an active leadership or ministry role since. That said, we still love them and acknowledge that they – like all of us – are on a journey, and our role as a church is to assist them on this journey with grace and compassion.” (source)

Now, here is where Pastor Houston’s double talk actually begins. When the NY Times and Playbill (among others) ran the original story (source), it was in January of this year (2015), at that time (and since) neither Hillsong NYC Carl Lentz, nor senior Pastor Houston issued a response, nor did Hillsong Australia distance themselves. As a matter of fact, Pastor Lentz doubled down in an interview on CNN by saying this; “Jesus was in the thick of an era where homosexuality, just like it is today, was widely prevalent. [False.] And I’m still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people. You won’t find it because he never did. [Yes, He did] “…We have a lot of gay men and women in our church and I pray we always do.” (Carl Lentz)

Pastor Houston echoed his support for Pastor Lentz by saying the following: “What Carl [Lentz] always says for us, it’s a conversation. For us, it’s easy to reduce what you think about homosexuality to just a public statement. And that would keep a lot of people happy. But we feel at this point, it is an ongoing conversation, that the real issues in people’s lives are too important for us to just reduce it down to a “yes” or “no” answer in a media outlet.”

So why now does Pastor Brian Houston only issues a response to the flurry of news reports citing what was going on over at their NYC church, which Carl Lentz to this day has not even replied to the issue itself, nor has even attempted to refute this gay couple, why did it take Pastor Houston eight months to make an official statement over an online article (which I contribute to my blog as well) in less than 24 hours to refute the story? It simply does not make sense, hence, doubletalk.

I contend it’s because Pastor Houston is by the product of his own creation, is a victim of tolerance and religious political correctness. Why has Pastor Carl Lentz still not addressed the issue eight months after the fact when this original story came out? Because they are attempting to silence the truth to be told, that they are indeed on a path of religious reconstruction of scripture when it comes to homosexuality. Let’s examine Pastor Houston’s “response”:

1. Houston states that it was a surprise to him that an openly gay couple was currently active in the church. How? He and Carl Lentz are close friends, and it’s obviously a given that Lentz would do nothing which would hinder Hillsong’s influence (as well as financial support). But now we’re made to believe that he too is just as surprised at this news? Eight months after the original story announced to the world that a gay couple was in a position of authority in one of his churches?

2. Pastor Houston states in his response that the gay couple in question are on a “journey” – really? Have you noticed that one of the terms often used by those who attempt to twist the word as it regards to sin (such as Joel Osteen) is the use of the word “journey”. Make no assumptions to this choice of wording, for it’s used as a term to soften the sinner by suggesting that the path they are on is not a dangerous one, nor one which is leading them astray, they are just on a “journey”. This is selective wording to make the person comfortable with their sin and it does not confront them of their sin. This is simply another politically correct term to remove the gospel out of the equation.

3. Pastor Houston’s response is disingenuous simply for the fact that if he truly did not believe (as he claims) that homosexuality and Christianity are not compatible, then why is he speaking and participating at the Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit 2015? Willow Creek has an openly gay worship leader (Darren Calhoun) who is attending Matthew Vine’s Reformation Project conference designed to train and equip leaders to advocate for homosexual Christians. (source)

Pastor Houston’s response is no response, but yet another illuminating example of someone attempting to silence the rising tide of voices that are beginning to see thru the thick clouds of smoke and mirrors of deception Pastor Houston is trying to mathematically steer the church world away from investigating before his true agenda is realized, and that is to become the first Pentecostal mainline church to be the first to bring the modern church into the 21st century and the acceptance of homosexuality. This makes Pastor Houston’s response insincere, and worse – a lie. And still Pastor Lentz has yet to refute one word of what has been printed for nearly eight months. I find that amazing.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

hillsong

 

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,” (2 Timothy 4:3)

The apostle Paul states in Ephesians 5:11 “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Paul’s meaning was simple, anything which is rooted in the darkness of this world, be it false doctrine, false teachings, sin – anything which would hinder the believer, have no fellowship with it. The term “fellowship” is simply referring to defiling oneself. Yet for over a decade, millions upon millions of believers, especially young people, are being seduced by something which has (and is) proving itself to be something other than what it originally had represented itself to be. I speak of Hillsong out of Sydney Australia and the ministry of Brian Houston.

In the very beginning of 1990, the church took notice, along with the rest of the world, of a clever, but convincing series of commercials which began to sweep The United States as well as the U.K., it was the marketing genius of Hillsong which used contemporary music as a way to influence many to this new wave of a fresh injection of modern Christianity the church was particularly ready for. Yet what has come out of this style of worship is anything but holy or good.

Paul warns us in scripture that our priorities in this life is subject to the cross and less to self, following the admonition of our Lord Jesus Christ to have us deny oneself and follow him. Paul stated in Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The idea Paul is speaking of is simple, to conform our thoughts, ideas, beliefs and behaviors to the patterns of this world, not only strikes at the heart of the cross, it strikes at the heart of the faith. When we compromise our walk by allowing things into our spirit which are not only harmful, but spiritually deadly, it begins a seed within the believer that will eventually lead to compromise and ultimately placing their faith into something other than the cross.

The problem with Hillsong is that they have sought the path to being socially or culturally relevant at the sake of compromise. Such is the case with any teaching or ministry which removes the core foundation (the cross) and replaces it with a more appealing message. In this case their (Hillsong) message is two-fold; the prosperity gospel and worldly music. The messages being delivered out of Hillsong is nothing but a departure from the truth, with its focus on entertainment and new age teachings. One of them being a lack of preaching out of the word of God and resorting to story telling, which Pastor Houston is very found of, much like that of current popular speaker and pastor Joel Osteen. Yet the problem lies with the belief which says that to draw young people into the church, one needs to remove themselves from scriptural truth and biblical teaching. In other words, the gospel (the message of the cross) the demand for repentance, the warning against sin and worldliness in the life of a believer has been forfeited to a more pleasing message. Such is what is occurring at Hillsong.

In recent months those within the leadership at Hillsong have begun to accommodate false teachings, and worse, a false religious system, that being the Roman Catholic Church. Darlene Zschech, Hillsong’s former worship leader, recently found herself catering to the Roman Catholic church and the Pope. Zschech went to Rome for an ecumenical gathering of Catholics, Protestants mega-fest worship event where thousands of young people had gathered together to celebrate diversity, as Darlene stated on her blog after returning from the event where she met Pope Francis, “A message was preached about the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our midst, and about the great grace of God which we are all dependent. Pope Francis asked the crowd to declare loudly,’Jesus is Lord’ three times and each time it grew in confidence and intention. Worship was lifted up which had the many thousands of people who attended all singing in free-flowing moments which to be honest, was reminiscent of a time I sang on a John Wimber crusade in New Zealand many years ago.” (source)

The push for worldliness, the mixture of secular entertainment such as rock music and even pop stars such as Justin Bieber (who happened to be a delegate at the Pentecostal assembly at Hillsong – source) and the introduction to a more positive, social gospel (minus the cross) makes Hillsong a dangerous mixture which is deceiving and seducing millions to its mystical new age tune. No other place can we see this fact than in the recent slant Hillsong is taking toward homosexuality and same sex marriage. One of Hillsong’s American branch churches run by pastor Carl Lentz has recently brought onto the stage two openly gay men who are to be married soon as its worship and praise leader. (source, source)

What is happening with Hillsong is simple, it is the grooming of millions of viewers and attendees to accept a soon coming deception on a global scale. When pastors remove the preaching of the word and resort to gimmicks, when worship teams use secular rock music in its forum, when the message of Christ and him crucified is regulated to just a past heritage fact and not a present truth, then it sends the signal that another message entirely is being preached, one which will never set people free from sin, from the bondage of addiction due to a lifestyle of sinful choices. The only thing which can set the captive free is still the cross by which Christ came and died – the cross. Take for instance pastor Brian Houston’s comment when asked about same sex marriage, “The world we live in, whether we like it or not, is changing around and about us,” he said. “The world’s changing, and we want to stay relevant as a church, so that’s a vexing thing.” (NY Times)

I believe that what is now occurring at Hillsong is anything but truth, but a lie. I believe that in the very near future we will see Hillsong begin to openly accept gay christians and the lie which says one can be a christian and still live contrary to the gospel as outlined by the writers of the word. Hillsong is a deception and a counter to the truth, not because it chooses to use the things of the world to draw people into their web of deceit, but because they have forfeited the truth (the cross) for a lie. Anytime one substitutes the gospel and replaces it with the things of the world to lure others into the fold, they are substituting the only thing which can save and set free the one who is needing to be free from sin – the cross. This makes Hillsong a preacher of another gospel of another Jesus and presenting another way, which will lead those who hear its message deceived and ultimately, spiritually ruined.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com