“Pull the Allah one, Brian” (Part 2)

Before we return to refuting Brian Houston’s bogus clarification, please read the article that started the Hillslam controversy:

Brian Houston: “the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God”

When we deconstruct what Brian Houston is actually doing in his “clarification”, are we witnessing a man operating just as deceptively as the serpent himself? We say this in light of our previous article here:

“Pull the Allah one, Brian” (Part 1)

What makes the entire “clarification” unreliable is the time line leading up to us revealing the clip and the behaviour of Houston that followed. Here is the time line of the events:

1. A commentor on our site gave his witness about the comments Brian Houston made last year in a mid-morning session at Hillsong Conference 2013:

“Brian made the original statement statement in a mid-morning session at Hillsong Conference. At the lunch time Q&A meeting he was questioned over the statement. He clarified to all pastors and leaders present that God and Allah are NOT the same, that he pointed to the prophesy [sic] over Ishmael in Genesis 16:11-12 whose rebellion ultimately against the God of Israel would lead to the foundation of Islam.”

Source: Harry, Brian Houston: “the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God”, Hillsong Church Watch, http://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2014/03/17/brian-houston-the-muslim-and-you-we-actually-serve-the-same-god/#comment-1977, March 23, 2014 at 9:52 am. (Accessed 18/07/2014.)

What does this mean? Brian Houston does not understand Jewish/Christian/Islamic history when supposedly correcting his views.

2. Brian Houston, with his film department, edited and published that specific mid-morning session at Hillsong Conference on the 5th of January, 2014. They DID NOT edit out Houston’s controversial comments.

What does this mean? Well in spite of being asked to clarify his position earlier, Brian Houston did not edit out the Allah claims for YouTube.

3. When we did break the story, the following tweet exchange occured:

@BrianCHouston, actually did say that #muslims & #Christian worship the same God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frnSIOhlobQ&sns=em … Did he mean it? @hillsong

Source: Matthew Johnston, https://twitter.com/iMatthewJ/status/445644310742958082, Twitter, 12:34PM – 17 Mar 2014. (Accessed 18/03/2014.)

Brian Houston responded:

@iMatthewJ @hillsong Yes it is what came out but No it’s not what I meant Meant that Islam descends from one of Abraham’s sons.. Ishmael.

Source: Brian Houston, https://twitter.com/iMatthewJ/status/445644310742958082, Twitter, 12:55PM – 17 Mar 2014. (Accessed 18/03/2014.)

What does this mean? Brian acknowledged what he said on the day to be, “Yes it is what came out”. In his original session Houston said Muslims and Christians “serve” the same God. This means he sees no problem with people saying he said Muslims and Christians “worship” the same God. (This is important to note.) His tweet also indicates that he still has not decided to research or understand Jewish/Christian/Islamic history. Instead he continues to hold to error.

4. Brian Houston/Hillsong Church then copied and pasted this peculiar response on our site and other places on the internet that were reacting to his controversy:

I wanted to address the issue directly myself and agree that the statement was indeed clumsy in the moment and did not clearly communicate my intention. I was simply making the point that Christians and Muslims both believe that the God of Abraham is their God. I apologise for any confusion and obviously my allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ alone.

Source: Brian Houston, Brian Houston: “the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God”, Hillsong Church Watch, http://hillsongchurchwatch.com/2014/03/17/brian-houston-the-muslim-and-you-we-actually-serve-the-same-god/#comment-1903, March 21, 2014 at 10:39 am. (Accessed 18/07/2014.)

Brian Houston/Hillsong Church even went so far as to respond to individuals who took issue with what Houston said. For instance, on Facebook “Hillsong Church” responded with the following to a woman by the name of Sandy Miller:

Hillsong Church Hi Sandy, this is not a belief that Hillsong Church holds. Here is Pastor Brian’s response “I wanted to address the issue directly myself and agree that the statement was indeed clumsy in the moment and did not clearly communicate my intention. I was simply making the point that Christians and Muslims both believe that the God of Abraham is their God. I apologise for any confusion and obviously my allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ alone.”
– Brian Houston

Source: Hillsong Church, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/hillsongchurch/posts/10152678256965410?comment_id=36559417&offset=0&total_comments=5, Published 26 March at 13:56(Accessed 18/07/2014.)

proof_FaceBookHillsongCorrectsListener1_18-07-2014

These were Hillsong’s two responses to Andrew Casebier:

Hillsong Church “I wanted to address the issue directly myself and agree that the statement was indeed clumsy in the moment and did not clearly communicate my intention. I was simply making the point that Christians and Muslims both believe that the God of Abraham is their God. I apologise for any confusion and obviously my allegiance is to the Lord Jesus Christ alone.” – Brian Houston

Source: Hillsong Church, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/hillsongchurch/posts/10152669911310410?comment_id=36559452&offset=0&total_comments=7, Published 26 March at 14:00(Accessed 18/07/2014.)

Hillsong Church Hi Andrew, someone asked Pastor Brian about this on Twitter, this was his response “Yes it is what came out but No it’s not what I meant Meant that Islam descends from one of Abraham’s sons.. Ishmael.”

Source: Hillsong Church, FaceBook, https://www.facebook.com/hillsongchurch/posts/10152669911310410?comment_id=36452516&offset=0&total_comments=7, 19 March at 09:58(Accessed 18/07/2014.)proof_FaceBookHillsongCorrectsListener2_18-07-2014

5. Brian Houston then offers this correction – which should now look very questionable to anyone with a discerning mind. Here was Houston’s clarification which we will be analysing for this article:

2014 March

Recently there have been false claims on social media that I believe Muslims and Christians worship the same God. This is incorrect. Those propagating these false statements have taken one sentence from an entire message out of context. I realize that some critics WANT to believe their interpretation, but my prayer is that reasonable people will take my comment in context, accept my acknowledgment that I did not explain this sentence as I intended, and judge me on 40 years of pointing people to Jesus – not one sentence.

For further clarification, here is the context of my message:

King David said about His God in Psalm 119:68, “you ARE good and you DO good”. Who David believed God IS, determined what He Believed God DOES.

The spirit of the message was exactly the opposite of what some critics are claiming. If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that; who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves.

I was contrasting their harsh perspective of (their) god, with who I believe God is – (a Loving God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ) and therefore what I believe God does and what I believe God loves. The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from was clearly a (clumsy) way of me explaining that though both Christians and Muslims believe they serve the God of Abraham, they are very DIFFERENT ‘entities’ or ‘deities’ in both nature and action.

I have always believed and will always believe that there is only one Way to God and that is through His Son, Christ Jesus. I also believe that anyone – irrespective of their religious upbringing, culture or background – can find grace, peace, freedom and eternal life through Christ.

Brian Houston

Source: Brian Houston, 2014 March, Hillsong, https://hillsong.com/media/2014-March-Correction, Accessed 18/07/2015.

What is clear in this timeline is:

1. When after making the original statements, Brian Houston “clarified” what he said to the pastors when they questioned what he said about Allah. So why was the video posted, knowing it was contentious?

So it is not just the critics who were alarmed. It seems the pastors were just as concerned as the critics. Does Brian include these pastors as “critics” and unreasonable people who need his prayer to understand what he is saying?

2. Before we saw this session online, lots of people watched Brian Houston say the Allah comment and did not make a complaint. This says a LOT about how biblically illiterate and lacking in discernment people are at Hillsong.

It also reveals how teachers like Brian Houston spin these errors into their sermons without people noticing until “critics” point them out. Why didn’t members of Hillsong point out this error to Hillsong or Brian? Would they be seen as critical? Too judgmental? Unreasonable? Unloving? Why is critical thought absent in these emotionally charged conferences? Why is it that there is no such thing as a critically-minded Christian in Hillsong

3. Hillsong and Brian Houston stood by his original comments on Twitter and other media sites. As a result of this, it should be clear to anyone that Brian Houston hasn’t a clue about the Muslim faith or the Christian faith. (This also comes across in his “clarification”.)

4. When Matthew Jonhston asked Brian Houston if he actually said, “muslims & #Christian worship the same God” in the Allah video, Brian responded, “Yes it is what came out…”

Point 4 is IMPORTANT. Brian acknowldges he said ” “muslims & #Christian worship the same God”. However, Brian in the original video said “serve the same God” not “worship the same God”.

5. Brian Houston didn’t offer a sincere apology. Instead, faithful Hillsong followers and supporters of Brian Houston were clearly upset and critical of his comments. According to Brian in his clarification, these people are now unreasonable, slanderous critics.

All these points serve to help us understand Houston’s sinister approach to his clarification. We need to go through his clarification bit by bit.

===========================================

BRIAN HOUSTON INVENTING A FALSE CRITIC?

Brian Houston opened up with this false claim:

“Recently there have been false claims on social media that I believe Muslims and Christians worship the same God.”

This is false. We originally broke the story and claimed that Houston SAID Muslims and Christians SERVE the same God. Other popular critics such as Chris Rosebrough from “Fighting for the Faith” and Ken Silva from Apprising Ministries stayed within Houston’s own words. Frances and Friends likewise used Houston’s own words. Houston constructed a false critic that made false claims against his own words. We would agree with Houston: “This is incorrect.”

Houston continues to attack these “supposed” critics:

“Those propagating these false statements have taken one sentence from an entire message out of context.”

We can say this with confidence, Brian Houston is lying. We are confident people can come to the same reasonable conclusion if they heard the entire sermon of Brian Houston. And people like Andrew Casebier and Sally Miller did.

BRIAN HOUSTON SPREADING FALSE RUMOURS?

There is another element to this sentence that we need to address:

Those propagating these false statements have taken one sentence from an entire message out of context.”

If people say that Brian Houston claimed that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, they have good reason too.

It was Matthew Johnston who asked if Brian Houston “actually did say that #muslims & #Christian worship the same God”. So did Brian Houston just condemn Johnston for taking that “one sentence from an entire message out of context”? Brian Houston didn’t correct this false statement. In fact Brian answered back saying,

“@iMatthewJ @hillsong Yes it is what came out”.

So Brian reiterated that he had said that Muslims and Christians “worship the same God”. It was both Brian and Hillsong who then forwarded this error to their “critics” such as Andrew Casebier.

It was Brian Houston who spread this error and then condemned even his own members for his own inability to think clearly as to what he said in the first place.

BUT WHY DID BRIAN HOUSTON PULL HIS SERMON?

Still there is a third element in this sentence that needs to be addressed:

“Those propagating these false statements have taken one sentence from an entire message out of context.”

We put up his sermon so people could see the quote in context. We had nothing to hide.

But it appears Brian Houston does have something to hide.

We didn’t take him out of context. It was Brian who pulled his own sermon thus removing any proper context of his problematic statement. To use his own words, it was Brian who took “one sentence from an entire message out of context”. If he wants people to see that the “critics” were wrong, he should have left it up. The only reason why Houston can falsely blame critics is because of his decision to remove his sermon. Once again, this is deceitful on his part.

If Brian Houston has nothing to hide, if he wanted to be clear, he should have encouraged people to look at his sermon to make up their own minds to see if critics took him out of context. The fact he has removed this sermon appears to prove that he had something to hide and that his critics might be right about his misleading claims.

(Notice also how Brian doesn’t specifically name his critics.)

THE CRITICS “OWN INTERPRETATION”?

He continues:

“I realize that some critics WANT to believe their interpretation,”

This is false again.

Brian Houston confirmed to Matthew Johnston (a critic), what Houston actually said. Go figure that one out!

Critics ACCURATELY reported what Houston said. All they did was quote him. There was no misquote. There was no interpretation necessary. Why is it the fault of the critics for accurately reporting something he, Brian Houston, said and confirmed to be true?

His defense against critics continues:

“… but my prayer is that reasonable people will take my comment in context, accept my acknowledgment that I did not explain this sentence as I intended,”

Firstly, if you take it in context, his statement was consistent with the rest of his sermon.

Secondly, reasonable people will see the quote and look at the context. It’s plain.

Thirdly, his sentence above is contradictory.

Fourthly, if you come to your own conclusion as to what he said – you are automatically a critic. If you don’t come to your own conclusion but Brian’s, you are a “reasonable” person who needs to put his “comment in context” by accepting his “acknowledgement that [he] did not explain [his sentences] as [he] intended”.

Typical of cult leaders, rather than encouraging his members to engage in critical thought to think for themselves, Houston wants “reasonable people” to agree with him. Rather than clarify, Houston simply manipulated people to be on his side. If you want to be reasonable – accept Brian Houston… or else remain a critic. Similar to his lecture, “Living for the Master’s Well Done”, he has set up this false dichotomy: are you for Brian or against Brian?

You can start to see how this clarification is far from honest.

SO DON’T JUDGE BRIAN! SWEEP HIS CLAIMS UNDER HIS 40 YEAR OLD CARPET RUG!

He finishes this sentence with this:

“[…] and judge me on 40 years of pointing people to Jesus – not one sentence.”

Once again, Houston is constructing a false dichotomy. The growing criticism against Brian Houston is that he has been pointing people to a false Jesus, and is operating under a false spirit because he preaches a false gospel. We’ve documented Houston doing this a number of times. His claims about Allah have only confirmed many people’s understanding in regards to Houston’s false theology. But 40 years? That wouldn’t be exaggeration would it be Brian?

Brian MAY have been pointing people to Jesus before he started his CLC church. But we know from as early as 1999 (and possibly earlier) that he was preaching a false Jesus and a false gospel. Going on from his book blurbs, he was more busy being a motivational speaker than a pastor. In spite of this, he is expecting people to sweep his lies under his forty year old “evangelical” rug. The problem with his evangelical rug is that it has serious holes in it.

BRIAN HOUSTON THE LIAR?

Brian continues:

“For further clarification, here is the context of my message:

King David said about His God in Psalm 119:68, “you ARE good and you DO good”. Who David believed God IS, determined what He Believed God DOES.

The spirit of the message was exactly the opposite of what some critics are claiming.”

This is not clarifying anything. Instead, Brian Houston is hiding something from you. He is being deliberately deceitful to his readers at this point in his clarification. You need to watch the beginning of his sermon. While he quotes a lot of scriptures, he twists every single one of them to push his prosperity gospel agenda (now refined to the purpose driven agenda). After twisting the scriptures to set up his desired purpose driven message, he kept building on this deceptive framework towards his comment on Allah.

For Brian to say it started with Psalm 119:68 is a lie.

THE SENTENCE THAT UNDOES HOUSTON’S CLARIFICATION

If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that; who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves.”

“If you?” Brian is talking to people who can’t see his “message in its entirety” because he pulled it down. He is wanting them to take him on his word. Brian, could you please put the message back up so people can see the context?

We did listen to his “message in it’s entirety”. It appeared to us that he was deliberately grooming ministers to shake off their traditional and biblical views of God to embrace Houston’s politically correct “purposeful”, 21st century view of God. His liberal agenda was hidden until we exposed his comments in this sermon. Now magically, this is what he was saying?

In his message, he does not make his “point” clear nor did he say, “who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves”.

But if this was his “point”, lets examine it.

What point is Brian Houston trying to make if we “listened to the message in its entirety”?

“Who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves”

This is a confession. If Brian wants us to believe he made this point in his sermon – then this whole clarification is pointless. He still is implying that Muslim’s and Christians serve the same God. Notice the parallels he has made again in his clarification between King David and Muslims.

“For further clarification” and for “the context of [Brian’s] message”:

“who David believed God IS, determined what He Believed God DOES

“If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that”:

“who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does

Remember, he never actually said in his sermon “who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does“. The conclusion Brian wants us to draw with his guidance is still consistent:

The good servants and the bad servant served the same Master but have different perspectives.

Likewise, the Christian (King David) and the Muslim (extremist) serve the same God but have different perspectives.

“… the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God.”

Brian still has not clarified the issue at all. What is his clarification meant to be saying?

THE TWO-TONGUED HOUSTON?

The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from…”

This is not true. We specifically focused in on three sentences AND the fact that he twisted every scripture in his sermon. We specifically highlighted Brian’s third and final sentence that claimed Jesus was INCLUSIVE. This is the liberal agenda and Brian Houston is deliberately playing sleight of hand – diverting attention to this fact. This is why we put Alistair Begg’s sermon in our original article because Brian Houston’s false Jesus is inclusive, when in fact Jesus is exclusive until they repent.

“The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from…”

Huge conclusions Brian? So the pastors at your Hillsong Conference session, good people like Sandy and Andy, Matthew Johnston and YOURSELF – were “drawing huge conclusions”? It’s not possible that they took what you said at face value? You wouldn’t be exaggerating would you Brian? You do realise that exaggeration is a form of lying? In this instance, slanderous?

“… was clearly a (clumsy) way of me explaining that though both Christians and Muslims believe they serve the God of Abraham, they are very DIFFERENT ‘entities’ or ‘deities’ in both nature and action.”

Let’s think this through for a second. Houston admitted his fault learlier by saying “I did not explain this sentence as I intended” and now stating, “The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from was clearly […] (clumsy)”. This raises another issue.

What was this clarification about?

Was this clarification meant to be an apology from Houston admitting what he said was “clearly (clumsy)”? (He admits this but doesn’t apologise for his error.) Or was this clarification one of Houston’s campaigns to persuade people that he is right in spite of what those “unreasonable” critics think, say and do?

He appears to be double minded on this issue.

IS BRIAN HOUSTON A POLYTHEIST?

He says some other odd things in this sentence,

“… was clearly a (clumsy) way of me explaining that though both Christians and Muslims believe they serve the God of Abraham, …”

Brian did say something along those lines.

“they are very DIFFERENT ‘entities’ or ‘deities’ in both nature and action.”

And that’s the bit Brian didn’t say on the day. That’s kind of the crucial bit right?

Well this is where it gets even more confusing. We are fine with Houston saying ‘entities’. But ‘deities’? Why would a “Christian” pastor say that a Christian and Muslim worship different deities? From a Christian world view there is only ONE God. It is a monotheistic religion. It appears that Houston begs to differ and in doing so, may be endorsing polytheism? And this doctrine is forbidden by scripture. Is this why he strongly endorsed the highly polytheistic “Noah” movie? Does he need to offer yet another clarification? Surely this is an error. Pastors should never say this.

HOUSTON ROLLING OUT MORE LIES?

Brian continues,

“I have always believed and will always believe that there is only one Way to God and that is through His Son, Christ Jesus.”

While Houston is offering lip service to please his fanbase, his teachings prove likewise. Depending which false confession Houston would have you believe, there is another way he teaches you can be saved.

Brian Houston preaches you can get right with God through your works – especially when you put him first in your finances, which means tithing to Hillsong 10% of your gross income plus a big offering on top of that. According to Houston, you don’t need Jesus if your works can make you right before God.

Houston ends with this:

“I also believe that anyone – irrespective of their religious upbringing, culture or background – can find grace, peace, freedom and eternal life through Christ.”

And we are expected to believe this? Maybe Houston wants to call the deities of different culture’s, Jesus?

Notice what he is saying and what he is not saying here. It sounds great, but he does not specify that such people from such diverse backgrounds have to repent of their previous beliefs in favour of acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God.

By being so vague, he sounds so seeker-friendly, but unfortunately is not alone in this fuzzy thinking. Many pastors of churches all over the world would say similar things without realizing that they have lost the core truth of the Gospel in the process. Specifically that salvation comes through Grace Alone, by Faith Alone, in Christ Jesus Alone.

It is sad that in Brian Houston’s clarification he has chosen to be internationally dishonest. Hillsong should be ashamed of the conduct of their Senior Pastor. This is no way a pastor is to ever behave.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: