If there is anything Brian Houston of Hillsong hates, it is anyone who criticises him. If they are Christians, they are “Pharisees” and “evil people”. If it’s the media, it’s demonic, anti-Christian and not of God. Again, Brian Houston espouses to his followers that people should not listen or engage with “critics”. According to Houston, these “haters” are out to stunt your potential and growth.
This series of articles will observe how Brian Houston went against his own teachings and decided to act according to the public criticism over Mark Driscoll the last week.
Brian Houston yesterday morning had an interview with Sunrise (07/06/2015). It appears that it was this particular interview that drove Brian Houston to deal with Mark Driscoll speaking at his Hillsong Conference 2015.
We will be reviewing this script over the next few months to examine his behaviour and claims. His responses deserve it.
SUNRISE INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT
Sunrise: Hillsong church has come under fire for inviting disgraced American preacher, Mark Driscoll, to speak at their annual conference. Among other remarks, he infamously claimed that women were created to house a mans’ penis. Snr Pastor of Hillsong, s Brian Houston, joins us now from Waterloo. Good morning to you Brian, it is always good for you to talk to us, thank you and I know how busy you are on a Sunday morning.
Ah, pretty offensive comments, Brian. Ah, did you know all these things when you booked him to come out here for the conference?
Houston: Hi Monique. I didn’t know. Mark is very well known in evangelical circles all around the world so we invited him before this major controversy started. He was going to speak, preach and teach at the conference. And when so all these things began to break we changed it to an interview. I wanted to ask him. I wanted to hear if these things were true. That particular statement, the first time I ever heard that to be honest with you in in these last 2 or 3 days. And so if he did say that it is disgraceful and degrading.
Sunrise: Pastor, is part of a general doctrine of Driscoll’s over the years is that women were really created for men’s use and should be subservient and submissive to women. Just to be clear, that is not Hillsong church’s belief?
Houston: Entirely different. I would see things as absolutely the opposite, when it comes to women’s place in society and their role in the church. And of course at Hillsong we’ve got many, many women who are pastors who do speak on the platform, who are heavily involved in leadership positions off the platform, so it couldn’t be further from where we stand.
Sunrise: I understand that one of the platforms you serve under is all about forgiveness. These controversies are quite recent though, particularly him leaving his church in the States, really quite recently. Why not just cancel him Brian?
Houston: Well I am going to talk to him late on today and we’ll talk about the different possibilities. I need to hear from him directly about some of these things. I think the worse things he is quoted as saying are literally the year 2000 or 15 years ago. And it’s true he resigned from his church just last year. As I said we’d already invited him by then. But, I’m gonna talk to him this afternoon and we’ll kinda work out where we’re goon work out where to go from here.
Sunrise: So at that meeting you will seek to determine whether he truly has changed? And therefore has something to offer about a story of change and redemption, I guess?
Houston: I know Mark said “sorry” many times over. Sadly it looks like the damage was already done by then because a lot of people are not forgiving toward him at all. There’s a lot of feeling around the whole situation with Mark’s claims and some of the ways he led. And so because he is such a well-known figure in Christianity, this interview which by the way is going to be like 30 mins in the middle of a 5 day and 5 night conference. So it is a small part of the conference. But that is why I think it is of interest to people to find out exactly what is true, what’s not true, and of course, hopefully, to learn from it. Because, for a pastor to make some of those claims, even though he is using the bible to try and substantiate those claims, I just think it doesn’t help the cause of the church at all.
Houston: Or humanity generally, not only are they degrading it within themselves, but allow an attitude that feeds into all sorts of other problems like violence.
Brian, can I just ask before you go, is Hillsong paying for Mark t come out here?
Houston: Well at this point we are paying his fares, yes. But we are not paying a fee or anything like that. So, we’ll talk this afternoon and work out where to go from here.
Sunrise: Alright, Brian Houston, good to talk to you. Thank you so much for giving us your time this morning, we really appreciate it.
Houston: Thank you, good bye.