If you are not convinced that Hillsong is part of C. Peter Wagner’s global New Apostolic Reformation cult, let Wagner explain to you the “New Wineskin” church of the NAR and then listen to Brian Houston talk about how Hillsong is a “New Wineskin” church.
WAGNER’S NEW APOSTOLIC “WINE SKIN” CHURCH
According to the Wagner, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) churches label Christian churches as “old wineskins”, (they are irrelevant, religious, boring, mediocre, not filled with the Spirit nor serve a purpose, lack visionary/apostolic leadership and are dead or boring). However, Wagner talks about how the NAR Charismatic changed all that with the arrival of Apostolic “new wineskin” church model.
“Unless I’m mistaken, the most radical of all the changes from the old wineskin to the new wineskin is this: the amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit to individuals. The two operative words are authority and individuals.”
Source: C. Peter Wagner, Charisma Magazine, http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/church-ministry/15676-where-are-the-apostles-and-prophets, Published 25/06/2014. (Accessed 18/11/2015.)
In the case of Hillsong, according to Wagner, Brian Houston is that individual who gained a huge “amount of spiritual authority delegated by the Holy Spirit.” On this basis, Hillsong does NOT resemble a church in the slightest. Wagner states,
“The old wineskin final authority in the Protestant churches never was entrusted to an individual, but always to a group. The final spiritual authority became a church council, a deacon board, a presbytery, church elders, a congregation, a synod, a general council, a state convention, a vestry, a national assembly, a session or any number of other ecclesiastical terms, all signifying a group but never individuals.
On the local church level, the new wineskin pastor is the leader of the church, not an employee of the church as he or she was in the old wineskin. If the church elders, for example, could hire a pastor, they could also fire a pastor. To keep the job, a pastor had to please the church. That partially explains why in America’s two largest denominations, the Southern Baptists and the United Methodists, pastoral tenure averages only two to four years. In apostolic churches, pastoral tenure is much longer—frequently for life—because the pastor does not report to the elders; rather the elders are appointed by and report to the pastor.”
Source: C. Peter Wagner, Charisma Magazine, http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/church-ministry/15676-where-are-the-apostles-and-prophets, Published 25/06/2014. (Accessed 18/11/2015.) (Emphasis added.)
Did you catch that?
“In apostolic churches, pastoral tenure is much longer—frequently for life—because the pastor does not report to the elders; rather the elders are appointed by and report to the pastor.”
This apostolic church model did not start with Brian Houston but with his father Frank Houston. The self-appointed Apostle Frank Houston first established this apostolic “new wineskin” model in his CLC Church in New Zealand back in the 1970s. We wish to remind readers that Apostles in the NAR have the spiritual authority to claim what is of God and what is of the devil. Frank Houston was no different in the way he treated people who questioned his authority, telling them that God would kill them if they questioned him. Hazel Houston even recorded this new apostolic wineskin church being set up in her book ‘Being Frank’:
“‘We are not here to fight each other. Our enemy is the devil.‘ Frank declared. Only one felt that he could not accept the change. Frank regretted his resignation for he was a good man, but he was determined the new way was for the best.
‘The pastor will become a dictator in this situation.’ The accusation was leveled at Frank.”
Source: Hazel Houston, Being Frank, pg. 125-6. (Emphasis added.)
The accusation is fair – and Frank Houston indeed was a “dictator” within the apostolic system he set up. He was accountable to no one. He claimed, “Our enemy is the devil.” But Hillsong, since its inception, will accuse anyone of being of the devil if they get in the way of what their leadership want. Brian and Bobbie Houston have publicly called Geoff Bullock, and others back in 1995, an attack from the devil. Is this true? This from an insider of Hillsong to Geoff Bullock himself:
“Eventually, a Hillsong board member had lunch with Geoff. ‘We tried to destroy you,’ he told him. ‘until we realised you weren’t a threat.’” [Source]
Watch Brian Houston infer that Geoff Bullock and a group of Christians are “old wineskins” and talk about how he embraced the New Wineskin church structure for the future of Hillsong, claiming that God told him to remove people so he can further his own apostolic church kingdom.
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“We in our church enjoy blessing, after blessing, after blessing. And sometimes we have so many wonderful blessings to enjoy, that you just have to stop and breathe and really think about the greatness of God.
But through the seasons of our church, I tell you, we’ve had some challenging things, Bobbie and I while leading our church have had some pretty dark days to lead the church through. And we thank God always for unbelievable church in terms of your consistence and your support.
But I think for me personally, the most grief filled time, in many ways, when it came to leading our church was, in 1995 almost 15 years ago. And even then, we rarely had it in our heart to really be a church whose praise and worship was sung by the church and I believe for the praise to go out around the world. And it was beginning at the time to happen.
And you know in 1995, we recorded an album, whatever that album was called that year, one year later, we recorded what I think might have been ‘God is in the house’, And almost all of the key people who one year before, had been part of our church and part of the worship ministry were gone.
As a matter of fact, within a few months, they were recording another live worship album somewhere else in another church nearby here. And as I look at it, and think about it, the drummer he was gone, the base player was gone, the lead guitarist was gone, the key board player was gone, the worship leader was gone, quite a number of the front line singers were gone, the guy who played the brass was gone, the sound man was gone.
I mean it really was a tough time, and I can remember for me personally, just a sense of confusion, didn’t really understand exactly what was happening and in terms of the size of the church it was only a small group of people, but they were significant people and it was a big deal. And I remember feeling a literal grief over friendships and over the situation. And also just a sense that something had come to an end, in a devastating way, and the church moved on.
But here’s the amazing thing, pretty well that week, a 16 year old girl wrote a song called, ‘Jesus what a beautiful name’. One of the great songs that came out of the life of this church. Pretty well, exactly at that time, a young Baptist guy came up from Melbourne, called Rubin Morgan and wrote songs on the next album like, ‘This is my desire’, ‘Let the weak say I am strong’. Darlene stepped up to the plate, and the rest is history.
And do you know what, something, it can be so easy to look and say, that was so obvious, but is wasn’t, it actually wasn’t. No, I would so in my own strength have wanted to hold onto an old wine skin, and believing that all God was going to do was in a wine skin, but the reality is, and this is no disrespect to any individual or any person – this is about the principle – the truth is that the old wine skin was not going to handle the new wine that God had for us and that’s the way it is in life.
That’s the way it is often in our own lives, and we are wanting to hold onto the familiar and the old wine skin, not understanding that the way that God works, the way creation works. You know creation was just not a repeat one day of the following day, no out of every night came a day and every one of those days was progressive. In other words one day built on the last day, which built on the last day.
But what God does is cyclical. In other words after, every Summer is an Autumn, and after every Autumn there’s a Winter, and after every Winter there’s a Spring, and then there’s a Summer, and then there’s an Autumn, and then there’s a Winter. There’s a day, and then there’s a sunset, and then there’s a night, and then there’s a sunrise, and there’s a day, and there’s a sunset. Everything God does, whether its seed and harvest, whether it’s any other thing, when it comes to creative things, God does things in a cyclical way.
And if we have an unexpectation that the blessing of God means in our life, unbroken success, just never facing any challenges, never facing any tough days, then the first time, the first time that you face a loss, or a seeming negative, or a darkness, an evil, you’re going to feel like God abandoned you. You’re going to feel like God’s word doesn’t work, you’re going to feel like God left you behind.
But the reality is, many times the old wine skin was simply not going to contain what’s ahead. And whilst there’s certain things in our life that are irreplaceable like loved ones and people, it doesn’t mean because a season is over that God is finished working in you. And if we can just realise that the way that God works, means yes there are seasons in every human being’s life, every human being’s life. And all you have to do is live long enough to find out that that’s the truth.
But the great thing about God, is that His faithfulness, and His higher, higher, eternal purpose, means that God can use things for His glory and often He takes away because there’s something to be established that is greater, more wonderful, more powerful, and that’s what I would love to speak into your life.”
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