In previous articles CWC has reported that Hillsong promotes a theology called ‘The Seven Spheres‘ – which is why movements like Hillsong target successful businessmen, celebrities and influential figures in law/politics such as the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. It’s common knowledge that Brian Houston, the leading Apostle of Hillsong Church, is acknowledged as one of Scott Morrison’s mentors.
Joel A’bell introducing the ‘Seven Spheres’ at Hillsong:
With Brian Houston ‘mentoring’ the Prime Minister of Australia, has this potentially advanced Hillsong’s influence across Australia and around the world? Could Hillsong consider this to be a milestone within their movement, claiming this to be ‘Kingdom influence’ over the ‘sphere of government’?
All this to say that an interesting story has been doing the rounds in newspapers both here in Australia and overseas. And if the highly respected Wall Street Journal and their report is true, it appears that Brian Houston’s ‘influence’ has a hit a wall – that wall being the White House.
The Wall Street Journal reported, in part:
“Mr. Morrison was determined to bring as part of his delegation Hillsong Church Pastor Brian Houston – the man he frequently refers to as his “mentor” -but the White House vetoed the idea, telling his office that Mr. Houston was not invited, according to a person familiar with the discussions.”(Link)
Vivian Salama tweets:
But now we have to ask the question, did the noted Wall Street Journal’s Vivian Salama, (White House reporter for @WSJ, former AP Baghdad bureau chief, with previous posts including Iraq, UAE, Egypt, Pakistan, IsPal, NYC & RI), report a true story or, as Brian Houston himself claims in response to the WSJ story, it’s all false:
“I have had no invitation to the White House and I have had no discussion with the prime minister or anyone else about this. Hillsong Church received no enquiry from any party as to my details or availability. As far as I’m conv=cerned this is baseless rumour and totally false news. It is extremely disappointing that media outlets spread these unfounded rumours and attemps to link this untrue story to the Royal commission are unconscionable.” (Link)
Brian Houston tweets:
Brian Houston then ‘retweets’ Fergus Hunter, Sydney Morning Herald author of the article attached below:
Given that the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, while not denying the report, has dismissed it as ‘gossip’, it would be interesting to hear what the noted WSJ reporter Vivian Salama would have to say, now that her integrity and credibility has been questioned. Perhaps there could be an update in the next few days?
The Sydney Morning Herald later reported the Wall Street Journal story in an updated article:
Fergus Hunter writes:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison reportedly wanted Hillsong pastor Brian Houston to be part of his delegation to the United States but was rebuffed by the Trump administration.
The Australian government put forward Mr Houston as an attendee for the official state dinner at the White House but gave up after the Americans “vetoed” the invitation during negotiations, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing several unnamed sources.
A spokesman for Mr Morrison told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald the guest list was a matter for the hosts.
“Invitations to the state dinner are entirely at the discretion of the White House as has been the case previously,” he said.
Mr Houston rejected the story on Saturday, saying he “had no invitation to the White House” and had not discussed it with Mr Morrison or anyone else.
“Hillsong Church received no enquiry from any party as to my details or availability. As far as I’m concerned this is baseless rumour and totally false news,” he said in a statement.
The founder of the multimillion-dollar Hillsong mega-church has a long-standing relationship with Mr Morrison, who is a member of another church in Australia’s Pentecostal Christian movement.
In his first speech to Parliament, Mr Morrison said he had been “greatly assisted by the pastoral work of many dedicated church leaders” and specifically thanked Mr Houston.
At a Hillsong event earlier this year, Mr Morrison appeared on stage with the pastor and called for more prayer and worship in Australia.
“I speak about my faith with [wife] Jenny because I want everyone in this place to feel comfortable about talking about their faith in this country. It’s not a political agenda, it’s just who we are, it’s who you are,” Mr Morrison said.
Hillsong and Mr Houston were censured by the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for their response to abuse by his father, Frank Houston.
The commissioners found that the younger Mr Houston and the church’s senior leadership had failed a victim by not reporting abuse to the police.
The state dinner at the White House this weekend was attended by a slew of high-profile American and Australian figures, including golfer Greg Norman, mining magnate Gina Rinehart and News Corp co-chairman Lachlan Murdoch.
Source: Fergus Hunter, Sydney Morning Herald, https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/scott-morrison-wanted-hillsong-pastor-brian-houston-at-white-house-dinner-report-20190921-p52tk2.html?fbclid=IwAR05x62UhmQTuJveVAGjNs8VwlV7ic2xjIUHxjfi_L4XbBGI2LgIZGb0O1M. Published September 21, 2019. (Accessed September 22, 2019.)
“Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16
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