Brian leverages off father’s reputation & hides paedophilia to promote himself & Hillsong

In his book Live Love Lead, Brian Houston recalls the time he found out about his father’s shocking secret in late October 1999:

“… and I thought to myself, “This is not just immoral-this is criminal.” My father had committed paedophilia.”
pg. 80.

Eight months later after that confession in late October 1999, Brian Houston published a book titled ‘You Can Change the Future: Living Beyond Today and Impacting the Generations Ahead‘, praising the life, ministry and person of his father… in which he forgot to mention his father was a paedophile (and was currently under discipline).

This article will examine excerpts of this controversial book.

YouCanChangeTheFuture - Published july 2005

Published July, 2000.

(Click to look at snippets from ‘You Can Change The Future’ in this pdf)

According to Brian Houston at the Royal Commission and in his book ‘Live Love Lead’, he expects everyone to believe that:

  1. He handled his father’s affairs with honesty.
  2. He handled his father’s affairs with transparency.
  3. He handled his father’s affairs with no conflict of interest.
  4. He handled his father’s affairs with “guts or the courage”.
  5. He handled his father’s affairs the way Jesus handled his affairs before unjust men.
  6. He did not cover up his father’s paedophilia.

So how can Brian Houston justify his behaviour by publishing his book ‘You Can Change the Future’? Do you think Jesus would be tempted to praise and uplift the Apostolic and prophetic ministry and life of CLC/Hillsong founder and serial paedophile Frank Houston?



Brian Houston made this claim in his book ‘Live Love Lead’ about how he dealt with his fathers crimes between 1999-2004:

“I believe with all my heart that I handled an impossible situation with transparency and honesty.”
Source: Brian Houston, Live Love Lead, Australia: Harper Collins Publishers, 2015, pg. 282.

When pressed by the Royal Commission if he had a “conflict of interest” when dealing with his father, Brian Houston stated:

“The whole idea of a conflict of interest, to be honest, hadn’t even occurred to me and was never suggested by anyone else until we got here to the Commission, and yesterday counsel assisting began to go along those lines. I saw it as me being in a role, having to make tough decisions, and having the guts or the courage to make those tough decisions.”
Source: Brian Houston, Transcript (Day 89), Royal Commission (Case 18), pg. 20-1. 

In his book ‘Live Love Lead‘, Brian Houston chose to portray himself to his Christian audiences as a heroic figure:

“Throughout the entire ordeal, I kept going only because I knew God was with me. I had to rely on his [sic] power to face a situation that was personally and professionally beyond my imagination.”
Source: Brian Houston, Live Love Lead, Australia: Harper Collins Publishers, 2015, pg. 82.

“The things he did were wrong, terrible, and shocking. But the only way that I knew how to move forward was to endure the pain of this difficult season.”
Source: Brian Houston, Live Love Lead, Australia: Harper Collins Publishers, 2015, pg. 86.

Similar to Kong Hee, Brian Houston parades himself in Live Love Lead as a messiah-like figure when dealing with allegations of his father’s crimes, and his fathers victims (pages 82-83).

“Yet, more than all the professional and personal pain, I also lived with the awareness that there was someone out there who was hurting so much more than I-an innocent victim whose life had also been forever changed. During this time I just knew I couldn’t bear the pain by myself and remain the leader God had called me to be for our church and denomination. I needed my heavenly Father.

Jesus handled his own suffering this same way, drawing his strength from his Father’s power.”
Source: Brian Houston, Live Love Lead, Australia: Harper Collins Publishers, 2015, pg. 82-3.

“But he [sic] also told [his disciples] about the difficult path that lay ahead of him. Jesus told them that he had to go to Jerusalem and face the wrath of the many hypocritical Jewish religious leaders before being arrested and executed and then rise from the dead on the third day.”
Source: Brian Houston, Live Love Lead, Australia: Harper Collins Publishers, 2015, pg. 85.

Houston also sees himself as ‘Christ-like’ when Peter tempted him not to go to the cross. Houston seems to think that Jesus said to Peter, “You’re trying to get me to limit my view of God’s plan and focus only on my own comfort. But that’s shortsighted. So knock it off!” (pg. 85). How did Houston want his audiences to see himself?

“We face the same temptation but have to keep our eyes on Jesus.
He didn’t take a detour around the shadowed valley ahead. So we must follow him through it.”
Source: Brian Houston, Live Love Lead, Australia: Harper Collins Publishers, 2015, pg. 85.

Brian Houston’s messiah complex is concerning. “However, in my mind, I knew I had no option but to confront this- I had to walk the difficult path before me,” (pg. 85).

Brian, how difficult is it for you to withdraw the publication of a book?

Houston generations

On the opening page of ‘You Can Change the Future’.

On the reverse page is this dedication,

YCCTF - Dedication

In the introduction, Brian Houston opens up the first sentence talking about his father. He gives his father’s testimony in the introduction, boasting that Frank “set a new course for the future generations of the Houston family” and that “the impact of his preaching and ministry has ultimately changed the lives of countless of thousands around the world” (pg 1).

Notice the theme here?

  1. The title of the book includes “impacting the generations“.
  2. The book dedication to Frank Houston with the image of Frank on the other side was about Frank impacting the “generations of the Houston family” and the “countless thousands of men and women across the globe”.
  3. The opening introduction is about Frank setting a “new course for the future generations of the Houston family”.

So how can you change your future and impact the generations ahead?

Brian Houston wants you to look at his father as a perfect example to emulate.

(Why doesn’t he mention his father is a paedophile?)

  • Chapter fourteen also sets the tone portraying Frank Houston as a spiritual model to follow, using the scriptures (Psalm 112:1-5) to present Frank Houston as a “righteous man” and a “good man”, Brian Houston insinuating he is living in the “special heritage” his father has left him (pg. 77-8).

(Why doesn’t he mention his father is a paedophile?)

Sickeningly, this chapter contrasted the blessed children (like Brian Houston) with children who have been abused (like maybe, Frank’s victims?):

“A child who has suffered abuse is not doomed. If they grow up full of anger, bitterness and resentment, and never deal with the issues of the past, then they will never walk in their full God-given potential. But Christ can set them free from these curses of the past.”

Source: Brian Houston, You Can Change the Future, pg. 78.

That’s a reassuring teaching for Frank’s vicims, isn’t it Brian? (Were you expecting AHA to read this and find comfort with this advice after your father abused him?)

On another page, Brian Houston claimed that Frank Houston showed no sign of retiring or finishing up ministering at CLC/Hillsong:

“My father is over seventy and I rarely hear him talking about the ‘good old days’, even though he has seen plenty of them. He is still dreaming and moving forward with God, and there is no such thing as ‘retirement’ in his vocabulary.”

Source: Brian Houston, You Can Change the Future, pg. 115.

On one hand Brian now wants us to believe that Frank Houston was “never to preach again”. But here he’s saying his father does not even have retirement on the agenda?

So which Brian do you believe?

The great AOG President Brian Houston who is “honest” and “transparent” or the loyal son who is receiving the heritage and baton of his father’s divine legacy?

(Which is why he didn’t mention his father was a paedophile in this part of the book?)

In Chapter Twenty-Two, Brian Houston used his father as an example of someone who helps “change the impact on generations”. Brian Houston associates his paedophile father to that of Charles Finney, Smith Wigglesworth, William Booth and Charles Haddon Spurgeon, people he thinks also impacted the generations.

“The day my father committed his life to Jesus, he didn’t understand what was actually happening in terms of impacting other people’s lives. Because of his decision, our family has been changed forever, and thousands of people have been trained up and are preaching the Gospel worldwide.

There have been some great men of God in days gone by – Wigglesworth, Finney, Spurgeon, Booth – but they are now in eternity. They made an impact during their generation but in all His wisdom, God chose to put you and me in this generation. You may imagine living in the time of horse-drawn carriages, but it isn’t coincidence or chance you are here today. You are here for a time such as this to be part of God’s eternal purpose.”

Source: Brian Houston, You Can Change the Future, pg. 122.

Just like these men, “The decision you make and the actions you take have a huge impact, not only on yourself but on the generations to come. You will pass on a baton to the next generation” (pg. 122).


* Houston was clearly capitilizing off the reputation of popular Christian figures. Spurgeon is the only one we endorse in the above image.

So what does that baton look like? Brian answers this question for us (emphasis ours):

In 1999, my father Frank Houston decided to step back from day-to-day running of his church, Sydney Christian Life Centre, and passed the baton of leadership on to me. What an honour for Bobbie and me to continue building on the foundations laid by my parents. It was also a tremendous responsibility as we were already pastoring Hills Christian Life Centre in Sydney’s north west. Today Hillsong Church continues what was started in 1977, with our two major worship centres, a city-wide network of cells, and contributing services and ministries all adding to the expansion of future generations.”

Source: Brian Houston, You Can Change the Future, pg. 122.

BIG NOTE HERE: Brian Houston acknowledges that Frank’s work in 1977 is still foundational to Hillsong and whatever Frank has passed down, (you’ve got to wonder what’s in that baton), is impacting the “future generations”. Once again, Brian Houston is leveraging off of Frank’s reputation, ministry and legacy, acknowledging Frank is pivotal to Hillsong “adding to the expansion of future generations”. Frank Houston is still the commodity at this stage to further Brian Houston’s cause. Brian is clearly capitalising on Frank’s celebrity status and reputation to further his Hillsong brand

(Which is why Brian didn’t mention Frank Houston was a paedophile in this chapter either?)

The date 1999 is also important. This means that Brian Houston was still writing this book after May 1999 when this meeting occurred, where Frank Houston handed over and merged his church with Brian’s church.

Further note: Brian was referring to Hills CLC as Hillsong as early as May 1999 (or earlier) and before July 2000.

When you read the above blurb, it sounds as though Brian Houston captured a very special and sacred moment when “Apostle” Frank Houston passed the “baton of leadership” of his church to him.

However, this is how Brian Houston described this event at the Royal Commission:

“… my father retired in May 1999 from the senior pastor role, and the idea was that he was going to be an itinerant – it may or may not be relevant, but at the time it seemed very rushed, that he suddenly asked me if I would take on the church. Now, with hindsight, I think we know some of the reasons why that is. So in May of that year, 1999, I became the senior pastor of what we now call the city campus, but then it was Sydney Christian Life Centre, and for a period of maybe 18 months or two years we ran two very distinct churches, working in cooperation.”
Source: Brian Houston, Transcript (Day 88), Royal Commission (Case 18), pg. 54. 

When asked by Mr Beckett why it appeared his father Frank Houston “seemed very rushed” to hand over his church to merge with Brian’s church, Brian stated,

“… I believe because he knew that things were coming to a head with the issues that we’re talking about here at the Commission.”
Source: Brian Houston, Transcript (Day 88), Royal Commission (Case 18), pg. 55-6. 

So according to Brian, Frank Houston passed his “baton of leadership” (his disqualified and counterfeit ministry), to Brian.

If Brian disclosed in his book that his father Frank was a paedophile, would you like to pass on your “baton of leadership” the same way Frank Houston passed on his “baton of leadership” to his son and “future generations”?

Brian Houston and his elders have emphatically tried to distance their Hillsong brand with the conduct and ministry of Frank Houston. However, Brian Houston in his book ‘You Can Change the Future’ has made sure that this scandal directly links both the ministries of Frank Houston and himself.

It took a paedophile to destroy the lives of many victims and it took the son of a paedophile to hide his father’s crimes and to keep what he inherited safe with the publication of ‘You Can Change the Future’. Does protecting one’s investment trump courage, honesty and integrity?

However we look at it, the publication of ‘You Can Change the Future’ is scandalous. Brian Houston may have changed his future and inherited his “righteous” father’s “”special heritage” but at what cost?

“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:35-6

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