Hillsong Church now called GLOBAL Senior Pastor Brian Houston said while his influential church, which has locations around the world, has been described as “Pentecostal,” he would prefer to be considered a “contemporary church.”
“To be honest, we are not classic Pentecostal. Charismatic, yes. We believe in the gifts of the spirit, we believe in the freedom of the spirit, absolutely,” Houston said in an interview with Christian Cultural Center Pastor A.R. Bernard on TBN earlier this month.
Editor: As a way of clarifying, the following from wikipedia gives a brief outline of what Classic Pentecostalism is;
Pentecostalism or Classical Pentecostalism is a renewal movement within Protestant Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, the Greek name for the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts.
Like other forms of evangelical Protestantism, Pentecostalism adheres to the inerrancy of the Bible and the necessity of accepting Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. It is distinguished by belief in the baptism in the Holy Spirit that enables a Christian to live a Spirit-filled and empowered life. This empowerment includes the use of spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and divine healing—two other defining characteristics of Pentecostalism. Because of their commitment to biblical authority, spiritual gifts, and the miraculous, Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power and teachings that were found in the Apostolic Age of the early church. For this reason, some Pentecostals also use the term Apostolic or Full Gospel to describe their movement.
The church’s website describes the ministry as a “contemporary Pentecostal church,” but Houston said he likes to label his church a bit differently now.
“I would describe myself, if I could, [as a] contemporary church,” he said.
Editor: You will notice with these types of interviews there is a fair amount of christian jargon or ‘Christianeze’ thrown around, without any knowing what the interviewee means, and of course no one is prepared to ask.
Brian Houston’s Law of Attraction
Brian Houston’s — You need more money
Brian Tracy’s Law of Attraction
Do you notice the similarities??
Houston was on the TBN program to discuss his recently released book, There Is More. He emphasized that he hopes to renew the minds of the lost and hopeless with the message and love of Jesus Christ. “When the world says you can’t, God says you can,” the book’s promotional video says.
He also talked about Hillsong’s humble beginnings in Sydney, Australia, 35 years ago. Houston called their growth always “two steps forward and one step backwards.”
Hillsong now has churches in major cities throughout the world, including New York City, Los Angeles, London, Barcelona, Paris, Bali, and more. Houston said he always had it in his heart to reach the unreachable cities of the world and God has blessed them to do so. Combined, the ministry reaches over 100,000 people weekly.
The U.S.-based churches often attract the attention of many A-list celebrities. Justin Bieber, Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, and Selena Gomez, to name a few, have attended Hillsong Church.
When asked why he believes his ministry is so successful, Houston said, “We dare to be ourself wherever we go and we’re not squeezed into a mold.”
Editor: However contrary to Brian’s idea of non–conforming, the scripture coincidentally warns against being molded by the world, which I think by now is fairly plain this is the case within the culture of Hillsong.
Be not conformed [molded; to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, (fashion one’s self according to)] by the World, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” — Rom 12:2
As for his objective when preaching, he said he wants to help people live “according to the thinking of God’s Word.”
“I’m very intentional about speaking into people’s Mondays, not just their Sundays, not just their devotional life but their vocational life, and teach in a way that people can bring into the things that really matter in life — their children, their family, their home, their work, their career, their business, etc.
“I feel like when we speak and we teach and we use the Word of God, the whole idea is to bring transformation and change. And transformation starts often with our thinking.”
Editor: Yes Brian, but you are teaching the philosophy of men, and NOT the bible’s instruction for living. The idea that you’re doing something transforming, and innovative at Hillsong is a non-sense, because God’s wisdom is contained in the scripture and has been available to believers for centuries — see Colossians 3 and 4.
With Hillsong widely known for their world-renowned worship songs, including “Shout to the Lord” and “Oceans,” Houston said that all their songs are reviewed by theologians and that they have been “more intentional” about vetting their songs in the last decade.
“We do put more effort into the theology of our songs than we ever have before for that very reason (of being able to reach into the hearts of people around the world),” he said. “So we have people specifically who, every single song has to fit through a system of being tested by theologians.
Editor: Theologians? Hillsong Theologians non-the-less.
“There’s often a lot of grind, hopefully in a positive way, between the songwriter and getting it to a point where we feel like it’s not going to be too easily misrepresented.”
He noted that they usually do not throw a song out but they work on it until it’s theologically sound. Otherwise, if they release a song “that’s going to be misunderstood or theologically weak, believe me, we hear about it.”
Editor: How many has there been Brian, a list as long as your credit card wallet, which fail the misunderstood test. e.g. Oceans
Bernard was pleasantly surprised and commended Houston for that, lamenting that often songs are created by “momentary feelings” with no review of how those words will impact people.
Later in the discussion, Houston also talked about protecting himself from being offended, sustaining the Christian faith, and the dichotomy of weakness and strength.
Watch the full TBN episode with Pastor Brian Houston here.
To learn more behind the guise and deception of Hillsong read —