Last year Brian Houston, the founder of Hillsong Church, commended Israel Folau’s bravery for his stance on Same-Sex Marriage.
But now things have soured, with the mega-church pastor hitting back after a series of Instagram posts by Folau criticising prosperity preachers, which means he’s speaking out against HILLSONG
Houston, author of ‘You Need More Money,’ took offense to at least four of Folau’s recent posts. The first stated, “The mega church preaches happiness not holiness. Without holiness no one shall see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14).”
In the comments section, Houston replied, “The message [is] not holiness or happiness. The message is JESUS. And its our focus on him that brings holiness.. And happiness. Sad post.”
I like how Brian can throw in theologically correct statements.Yes it is true that if our focus is Jesus then Holiness is the natural outcome.
Unfortunately however Brian’s Jesus is an all loving, non judgemental Jesus, who loves and accepts you as you are therefore holiness is never considered by those who are under his ministry. i know examples of young people in current defacto relationships, and people coming just for the music, and NOT for Jesus and the true gospel, but for a good time.
The next post Houston objected to criticising pastors who soften the gospel message by removing difficult topics like sin and hell. The post reads: “There’s a name for pastors who never speak of sin, repentance or hell – they’re called false teachers.”
Houston responded, “ROMANS 2:4 (NKJV.) ‘ Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that THE GOODNESS OF GOD LEADS YOU TO REPENTANCE?’ > NB: The context is judging the sin in someone else while ignoring your own sinfulness.”
Brian here has learnt well from Joseph Prince of Singapore who quotes the same verse in his book “Destined to Reign” Prince suggested a similar thing, that God’s goodness leads to repentance so you don’t need to preach about Hell, or sin.
Here is the verse in Romans 2 in context. Forgive me for quoting the whole section, but it’s important to see the context.
Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasure up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
In other words, the goodness of God doesn’t automatically mean someone will repent. When we judge others we must be living holy lives ourselves yes, but it is important to expose those who aren’t preaching the truth.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
We know that in one aermon at Saddleback church in California at a New Year’s eve service Brian preached a whole sermon from 2 Cor 7, and manged to avoid using the word repentance by mainly using the Message bible.
Next, Folau posted a message that warned, “Too many preachers today preach prosperity but not repentance, blessing but not obedience, abundance but not self-denial. Buyers beware!” To which Houston responded by simply directing Folau to Titus 3:9 which says, “Avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.”
Finally, Folau shared an image of a quote by evangelist Leonard Ravenhill which said, “If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today he would never have been crucified.” Surrounding the quote was images of well-known prosperity preachers such as, Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and Paula White, all of whom have been endorsed by Hillsong Church.
Houston again responded by citing Titus 3:9, including verses 10 and 11. Houston then added, “Ha Izzy. You are even including a man in your pics who is dead. What are you doing?” Houston was referring to Eddie Long, a prosperity preacher who died of cancer early last year.
Yesterday Folau responded to Houston’s comments in the caption of a post that reads, “False teaching: Come to Jesus to get health/wealth/prosperity. NO. Come to Jesus to get Jesus.”
Folau said: “Brian Houston head pastor of Hillsong church responded to my last few posts with Titus 3:9-11, which isn’t relevant and out of context to what I posted. Verses 9-11 are talking about people who are arguing about the LAW. Those who cause divisions in disagreement we need to reject, after they are warned once and twice. Read these scriptures EVERYONE and do not be deceived by these false pastors/preachers. Be very sober and spiritually discerned in who you listen to and watch out for such people…”
Folau then cited: Micah 3:8-11; 1 Timothy 6:5-6; Matthew 10:6-11; 1 Corinthians 9:18; Ezekiel 33:8