Monday, September 24, 2018

The Truth About Hillsong

Let me begin by saying that I have numerous issues and concerns with the Hillsong Church. Rather than re-write what has already been well-documented by others, I will share a few of my comments and provide links, so that you can do your own research and prayerfully reach your own conclusions.

In case you are among those who believe that we should not take a critical look at a church movement like this, I'd suggest you read my articles called Exposing Heresy and Purge the Evil from Among You. But the Bible clearly teaches us that we should judge those inside the church (1 Cor 5:12-13) and expose the fruitless deeds of darkness without having anything to do with them (Eph 5:11).

Hillsong's Occult Connections
For example, an article called Hillsong "The church of Satan!" reveals the occult connections in this church. (Please note that the author of that article did not close his quotation marks in the second paragraph, which is important, since he is clearly quoting a New Age source and not making that declaration himself). The article shows many examples of satanic and occult symbols used by Hillsong.

The following article reveals Hillsong's preference for illuminati and New Age symbolism. It's called Hillsong United Church Steeped in illuminati and New Age Symbolism.

Pastoral Indecency 
Hillsong NYC's pastor, Carl Lentz is pictured walking half naked in public with Justin Bieber in a video called Meet the 'Shirtless' Pastor Helping Justin Bieber With Spirituality. Pastors are supposed to be examples to the flock (1 Pe 5:3), but what kind of example is this?

In another video called Hillsong's 'Pastor's' wife -Esther Houson wife of Joel Houston- Sexy Images cussing EXPOSED, Laura from Last Days Ministries reveals seedy photos of Esther Houston, the wife of Hillsong's pastor Joel Houston, who is Brian Houston's son. Laura begins to show these indecent and shameful photos of Esther at 6:22 in the video. There are many of these vile images picturing Esther half naked in sensual poses, which I cannot even describe without making some people stumble. At 9:04, Laura also plays a portion of one of Esther's music videos, which is also sensual and shows her wearing a shirt with an obscenity (the F-word) written in large letters across the front. The camera focuses on her hand and buttock, as she gently strokes a metal pole back and forth and sings the words, "lookin' you over."

Scripture says: " But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." (Eph 5:3-5, NIV).

This video is not for children or men who struggle with pornography, as the material is definitely rated R! In fact, it is best for men and children not to even view the portion of the video from to 6:22 to 12:46 at all, since it could present a temptation. Joel Houston clearly does not meet the basic qualifications for an overseer given in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, since these images reveal that he is not managing his own family well. Likewise, his wife Esther is not abiding by the basic Christian dress code of decency and propriety given by the apostles in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:1-6. Her attire and outward adornment are by no means godly, pure, or holy, but quite the opposite. She obviously has no shame, and neither do those who recorded her on camera.

Scripture says, "They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness."

The Love of Money
Pastor Brian Houston
In one video it is reported that the annual sales for the Hill$ong record label was $100 million. We have no Scriptural basis for that kind of greed, which is merely serving money as a god. Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (Mt 6:24, NIV). The apostle Paul taught that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Tim 6:10, NIV), and that greed is idolatry (Col 3:5). For more on this, please see my article called The Sale of Christian Music and Art.

Furthermore, the founding pastor and his wife Brian and Bobbie Houston are living a luxury lifestyle, and he promotes the prosperity gospel in his book You Need More Money. If you don't see any problem with that, then I would encourage you to read my articles, Wisdom for Wealthy Preachers and Prosperity Teachers and What's Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel?

Homosexuality Allowed in the Church
According to the following article by Pulpit and Pen, Brian Houston acknowledged the ministry of a gay couple at Hillsong NYC in 2014. He said in one video interview I watched that the church will never ask someone who wants to be on the worship team if they are a homosexual. Hillsong is a sodomite-infiltrated entity, which I will cover in more detail below.

Hillsong Founder a Child Rapist
Pastor Frank Houston
Another important point to note is that the original founder of the church, Frank Houston, the father of Brian Houston, was a pedophile, which he confessed to near the end of his life. All of this was investigated by the Australian Royal Commission.  For more on this please see the article by Donald Elley called Hillsong Founder a Child Rapist.

As the author of that article reports, Brian Houston tried to cover up for his father and when he had to admit what happened, he down played the magnitude of it as if it was a single incident. The author states:

"What is still lacking from Frank’s son, Pastor Brian Houston and the Hillsong Movement, which Brian controls, is any real degree of honesty and openness about Frank Houston...Why didn’t Brian admit his father did numerous pedophile and homosexual acts, and not just one, like Brian portrayed for 14 years, until the Royal Commission exposed his lies?"

Brian also allegedly blamed one of his father's victims, who was 7 years old at the time and is now 52, for tempting his father into committing those shameful acts with him. The article states: "It is interesting to note that victim AHA, who spoke anonymously at the Royal Commission, stated that Pastor Brian Houston accused victim AHA of tempting his dad and being the cause of all the trouble for his dad."

Voodoo Dance in Hillsong Church
In one of their services, a Hillsong church performed an evil, voodoo dance in front of the congregation. For more on this, please see the video Voodoo Dance in Hillsong Church.

Other Serious Issues and Concerns with Hillsong
In the following video called The Truth Behind The World's Hipster Church, numerous other issues are presented that are quite troublesome for Hillsong. Here are some salient points:

Naked Youth Pastor at Ladies' Meeting
There was a naked cowboy performing on stage at a ladies' conference at Hillsong New York City. Beside him were women dressed like cheerleaders with short skirts doing a broadway dance kicking their legs up high in the air. The naked man was actually the youth pastor (see 32:54 in video) from Hillsong Church. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God (Jude 1:11).

Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?
Brian Houston says the God that Christians serve is the Muslim God Allah (see 34:33 in video). This is the false teaching of the New Age, and it is the basis upon which the pope has established a one world religion. Those who espouse this philosophy believe in a "universal brotherhood" and participate in "inter-religious prayer" meetings. The Muslim God Allah is not the God that Christians worship, because Allah -- who is always angry -- is not a father and he has no son (sūrat l-isrā 17:111), but the Great God Jehova (Yehova) is the gracious and compassionate Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is known throughout Scripture as "Father" by those who know Him (Deu 32:6; Ps 68:5; Isa 9:6; 63:16; 64:8; Jer 3:4, 19 ; 31:9 ; Mal 1:6 ; 2:10; Lk 11:2; Jn 15:6). He is slow to anger and abounding in love, and even the Hebrew Scriptures teach that He has a Son (Psa 2:7-12; 80:17; Prov 30:4). God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). It's false to teach that Christians worship Allah, or that Muslims worship Jehova. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (Jn 14:6, NIV)

Not Against Anything
In response to a question about preaching against sin, Carl Lentz, the pastor of Hillsong New York says, "We're not against anything." (see 39:03 in video). That's typical for an emergent church or seeker-friendly church. However, the Lord is against all sin, according to Scripture, therefore we must also be against it. Jesus certainly preached publicly against sin. And the apostle Peter, quoting the psalmist, wrote: "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (1 Pe 3:12, NIV). Moreover, Peter quoted the proverb that says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (1 Pet 5:5).

Here is what the Lord said through the prophet Jeremiah:

“'I am against you, you destroying mountain,
    you who destroy the whole earth,'
declares the Lord.
'I will stretch out my hand against you,
    roll you off the cliffs,
    and make you a burned-out mountain.
No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone,
    nor any stone for a foundation,
    for you will be desolate forever,'
declares the Lord." (Jer 51:25-26, NIV)

This is very appropriate for Hillsong, since their name and brand imaging include hills, pyramids and mountains. If you look at my article, The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught, you will find that he warned a lot about hell and will see that His messaging was not exclusively positive like the seeker friendly churches, as I point out in my article, Was Jesus Seeker Friendly? Moreover, neither the Lord nor his apostles were seeking to be popular, as I point out in Persecuted or Popular? Whatever we see Hillsong doing must be compared or contrasted to what we see Jesus and His apostles doing and saying in Scripture, because there are certainly Sins That Will Keep You from Heaven, and it would not be loving or responsible to neglect to warn people about those sins.

Evasive Answer About Fornication
When Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC was asked point blank by a reporter in an interview what he teaches about fornication, he was evasive and did not give a direct answer (see 38:19 in video). If that had been the apostle Paul, he would have explicitly said, "You must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people...Don't you know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Cor 5:11; 6:9-10, NIV). Unlike Carl Lentz, Paul the apostle would not have been evasive or afraid to answer the question directly, and neither would Jesus.

Leadership Issues, Breaches of Trust, and Moral Failures
UPDATE: In November 2020, two years after this article was originally published, Carl Lentz publicly confessed to being unfaithful to his wife after he was fired from his position as lead pastor of Hillsong New York. He was specifically fired for leadership issues, breaches of trust, and moral failures. Subsequent to firing Lentz, Brian Houston announced that Hillsong was "launching an independent investigation into the inner workings  of Hillsong NYC/ East Coast." CBN News reported:

"In a letter emailed by Brian Houston, the Hillsong Church's founding pastor, to Hillsong East Coast members and staff in New York City on Wednesday, Houston announced Carl Lentz had been terminated from his position as lead pastor. 

In the email obtained by CBN News, Houston indicated the reason for Lentz's termination as 'leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.'"

"Lentz, 41, was dismissed by Houston after it was revealed he had engaged in a months-long sexual affair with a woman known only as Ranin." 

Tragically, this is further evidence of the widespread apostasy within Hillsong that I wrote about in this article in 2018, two years prior. 

Welcome Atmosphere for LBGTQ 
As I have already mentioned earlier in this article, openly gay couples are welcome in the church (see 38:43 in video). Yet as I have just quoted, the apostle Paul explicitly said that homosexuals "will not inherit the kingdom of God." If Paul were asked what he thought about the gay lifestyle, he would say as he did to the Romans that homosexual behaviors are "shameful acts" and "unnatural sexual relations" that stem from "shameful lusts" (Rom 1:24-27). He would have called this a grave "error" (Rom 1:27) deserving "due penalty" from God, and it is only those with "depraved minds" who do such things that "ought not to be done" (Rom 1:28). He would have said "that those who do such things deserve death" (Rom 1:32).

However, Carl Lentz says that at Hillsong NYC they will never say such things publicly in church. He would only tell a homosexual couple what he thought of their lifestyle if he was in private with them "at their table" and they asked him specifically what he thought of it. He claims the reason for this is their love and acceptance of all people. While we should certainly love all people and accept them, we cannot neglect to tell them that they are living in sin. Someone said, "If Carl Lentz told his sodomite friends the truth that God finds homosexuality an abomination he wouldn't have any sodomite friends."

The Apostasy of Hillsong
In yet another video called The Apostasy of Hillsong. Entertainment For The Millenials, Jacob Prasch further exposes the great falling away that has occurred within this movement. One example is at 0:50 in the video, where Jacob shows on stage a bearded man intended to resemble Jesus Christ portraying Lady Liberty, which is a statue of the female Roman goddess Libertas. A male singer with a top hat is walking arm-in-arm with the transvestite Lady Liberty character, while the naked cowboy and mini-skirted cheerleaders mentioned earlier are also on the same stage. What message is the church trying to convey?

Silent Night, Unholy Night
Hillsong London produced a Christmas Carol video that featured Silent Night. It was performed by a woman dressed in a mini-skirt that revealed her bottom, who danced around the stage erotically like I suppose they do in a burlesque show. In addition, there were other indecently dressed women dancing around the stage in the same fashion, in this blasphemous parody of Silent Night.

In a similar Christmas Carol video done by Hillsong Sydney Australia, at 1:01:04, just as the vocalist begins singing, "Hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king," there are seven women in short shorts that begin dancing erotically in a squatting position with their legs spread-eagle facing the audience. What kind of message is this supposed to convey? It's another obscene, blasphemous performance that makes a mockery of the angels singing on the night Christ was born.

Pastor Wearing Tattoos 
In his interview on The View, pastor Carl Lentz proudly says he has about ten to twelve tattoos, which are obvious in most of the photos of him, including the one of him walking half naked with Justin Bieber. However, Scripture clearly says that we are not to have tattoos (Lev 19:28). For more on this, see my article on Tattoos and Body Piercing.

Compromising on Abortion
In that same interview at 2:57, when he was asked whether it was a sin in his church to have an abortion, he would not give a direct answer. Rather he said that would need to have a conversation with each individual, since God's will would be determined for each person individually based on their situation. That's a man-pleasing approach to handling this very serious matter. God hates innocent bloodshed (Dt 29:10; Prov 6:17). He commanded us, "Thou shalt not murder" (Ex 20:13). Jesus loves the little children and wants us to protect them (Mt 19:14). This is especially important for pastors to do in their shepherding role over the Lord's flock, so that not one of these innocent little ones is murdered.

The Pattern of This World
Many of the things I have cited above are evidence that Hillsong is worldly. However, the Scriptures clearly tell us, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Rom 12:2, NIV).

Further Research
Before I conclude this documentary, here are some suggested articles of mine that reveal from Scripture why the things I have just covered in this article are displeasing to God:

The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness

Separation from the World

Avoiding Worldly Worship

Purge the Evil from Among You

Persecuted or Popular?

Holy Living in a Perverted World

Garments of Godliness

Tattoos and Body Piercing

Testing the Spirits of False Prophets

Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?

Abominations in the Sight of God

Pope Frances Supports Homosexuality

Other articles I have already suggested or linked to above include:

The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught

Was Jesus Seeker Friendly?

Persecuted or Popular?

Sins That Will Keep You from Heaven

The Sale of Christian Music and Art

Exposing Heresy

Purge the Evil from Among You

Pope Establishes One World Religion

New Age-New World Order

The False Gospel without Repentance

Putting it All Together
If you do your own research on Hillsong, you will find that this church has occult connections, which should have no place in the house of God. People apparently go to Hillsong to be entertained, not to read the Bible or to hear the whole counsel of God preached. Hillsong is an apostate, social church that is full of worldliness. One of their prominent NYC pastors has no problem indecently walking around half naked and nearly exposing himself in public. One pastor's wife (the founder's daughter-in law) is posting obscene photos and videos of herself online half naked in sensual poses, even wearing a shirt with an obscenity printed on it. The original founder of the church was a self-confessed child rapist. A voodoo dance was performed in one of their services openly on the platform. The founder teaches the New Age heresy that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. They greedily make tens of millions of dollars per year on the sale of their worship music. They welcome the LBGTQ crowd with open arms, but never preach against such lifestyles. And they believe a person can be an LBGTQ, loving the lifestyle, not once ever condemning it from the pulpit. They don't preach against sin or that men must repent, but rather preach the false gospel without repentance. When you consider all of the above, you should come to realize that this is a satanic, mass deception. It's rebellion!

My advice to anyone considering the Hillsong church is to run from it as fast as you can.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB, copyright Lockman Foundation, used by permission. Other Scriptures from The Holy Bible NIV, copyright Zondervan, used by permission. Images may be subject to copyright and are used per the Fair Use Act for commentary and education purposes only.

Author's note I also recommend reading Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught, Only the Holy -- Three Shocking TestimoniesAsk for the Ancient PathsHolding Fast the Faithful WordAvoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian, Is Obedience Optional?, Faith Works!, The Cost of Discipleship, and Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God. I also recommend my daughter's poem, The Dazzling Wine of Deception. You can access the Home page of this blog for more articles on Truth and heresy, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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