The Pen

Hillsong: Slouching Towards Jerusalem

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Behold, your house is forsaken.”  Luke 13:34-35

Hillsong’s “apostle” Brian Houston took to Instagram in mid-February to officially announce the expansion of its New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) cult into Israel, as well as two other international locations (Bali, Indonesia and Perth, Australia).

“Let me be the first to tell you this is happening,” he wrote. “Hillsong church is going to add a room to our church family in ISRAEL.”  It would have actually been more appropriate, perhaps, for Houston to have announced they were adding an Israeli express lane to heresy on an already very wide and destruction-sure path.  (Matthew 7:13-14)  But then, false teachers aren’t recognized by their proclamation of truth.

(For more on the many toxic risks of all things Hillsong, see HERE.)

Hillsong is a dangerous, non-Christian cult that presents a Jesus and a gospel far-removed from the pages of Holy Scripture. Promoting a Word-Faith, charismatic prosperity gospel, the chic, tanned cult-leader Houston, himself the preeminent prosperity preacher of the multi-continental church, confirmed their expansion to a site in Tel Aviv.

Started in 1977 in Sydney, Australia, Hillsong, driven by its prosperity gospel message and infused with revenue from Hillsong Music (and your church just may be aiding and abetting Hillsong heresy) has locations on five continents.  It has what it calls “churches” in London, Paris, Sao Paulo, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and New York.  In the U.S. alone, its New York and L.A. locations reach over 100,000 people weekly.

According to an article in Christian Today, the goal – as would be expected of any anti-biblical, anti-christ agency of false teaching – is to establish a “church” in Jerusalem. As Houston noted in his Instagram announcement, “From Jerusalem to the ends of the earth and from the ends of the earth back to Israel.” He tagged his post with #prayforhillsong and #TelAviv hashtags.

While our Lord, as recorded in Luke’s Gospel, lamented Jerusalem’s history of slaying the authentic prophets of God, the response of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem –  should Houston reach his goal of installing an NAR-house of Hillsong heresy there – probably won’t be nearly as Old Testament in its tone.  Israel won’t slay this false prophet, for the Lord Himself warned that such charlatans would arise. (Matthew 7:15) Instead, it will be Hillsong in Israel that will continue to slay the Truth of God’s Word, will hurl huckster-like its false, damning gospel, and will continue declaring, in true wolf in sheep’s clothing style, a sexy, chic, and easy-to-sell Jesus that will attract the crowds.

Hillsong’s modus operandi is to latch onto anything that promises crowds, glamor, glory, and cash.  From its own “naked cowboy” in its New York club to its “naked Santa Claus” to, most recently, pastrix Bobbie Houston’s gushing praise for the movie of epic heresy, The Shack, Hillsong visibly reeks of worldliness.  If it were 2,000 years ago and located in Corinth, Hillsong could easily have been the poster child exemplifying the “fellowship of light with darkness” sinfulness that prompted Paul’s apostolic epistle of correction.  (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

But, just as the Apostle Peter warned, with Hillsong “truth will be blasphemed” and, “in their greed, they will exploit you with false words.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)  Paul echoes this as well, emphasizing that false teachers, driven “by their appetites,” will “by smooth talk and flattery, deceive the hearts of the naive.”  Paul adds the pithy, pointed, and Hillsong-relevant command … “Avoid them.”  (Romans 16:17-18)

Last night I got to view a preview of this movie. I found it moving and beautiful, and I came away more in love with Jesus, more in love with my own Abba-Heavenly Father, and more in love with the gentle and precious Holy Spirit. ???For me it’s a story that exemplifies so much of the character and nature of God amid the human struggle. Multitudes are in the valley of decision asking “where is God in the midst of my confusion, horror and suffering”. So many great questions were asked in this movie. I believe the Lord will use this story to open and heal the human heart and ultimately lead them to Truth.??? AND I pray that those who can’t remotely think beyond the “creative box” of storytelling (or more so, the fierce and scathing naysayers and watchdogs who seem to attack everything), will not diminish it for its creative boldness and genius. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s okay. Enjoy your own tea and let God use it as He will. With enough prayer this film will help awaken a lost and despairing world to the Father’s pure, flawless and uncomplicated LOVE! ???Have a great week. Love you. Let’s believe for godly conversations and divine appointments this week to share His goodness and grace … You’re the best. Jesus loves you. You’ve got this. He’s very FOND of you, you know! ???Bobbie

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.  2 Peter 2:1-3

Bobbie Houston’s praise for this heretical flick indicates the exact dangers warned about by Christ and His Apostles. Hillsong is dangerous.  Smooth talk and flattery? Check … “He’s very FOND of you, you know!” Following their sensuality?  Check.  See the “naked Hillsong” links above.  Contrary doctrine as Paul warned in Romans? Check. The movie lauded by Mrs. False-Teacher-Houston portrays bonafide heresy.  (See HERE or HERE or HERE or HERE or HERE for more on the heresy of this NON-Christian movie.)

Not to mention the subtle “many paths to God” suggestion of fraulein Houston’s “enjoy your own tea and let God use it as He will” remark.  For Hillsong and Houston, there may be many delicious and enticing paths to God, served to satisfy your particular palate, just as there are many different “Jesus-es” proclaimed across the planet.  But there’s only One who is “the way, the truth, and the life.”  (John 14:6)   And Hillsong ain’t singing His song.

“The pastor ought to have two voices: one, for gathering the sheep; and another, for warding off and driving away wolves and thieves.  The Scripture supplies him with the means of doing both.”  John Calvin

But perhaps the most telling thing is the pastrix’s dismissive attitude about “naysayers and watchdogs.” If her husband were an authentic shepherd, he would be the one protecting the sheep.  He would be the one tasked to defend the flock from the certain and dangerous wolves that seek to devour them. (Acts 20:29)  He would be preaching and teaching “what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1) and be found contending for the faith. (Jude 3)

But not Houston and not Hillsong.  They are the wolves.  Theirs is the error.

Hillsong’s expansion into Israel, with eyes on Jerusalem, won’t elicit the stoning crowds of a prophet-slaying Israeli citizenry.  But it will evoke much the same words that the Lord uttered over Jerusalem…

“Behold, your house is forsaken.”  (Luke 13:35)

Beware the house of Hillsong and … please  … pray for those ensnared by its deception.

[Contributed by Bud Ahlheim]