Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston's Continual Abuse Of Scripture

Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Church in Australia (and it's rapidly expanding global empire) has just visited Saddleback Church in California which is just a couple of hours down the road from my current address. I became immediately interested when I found out that Houston would be preaching from 2 Corinthians 7:8-10. I had to ask myself how Brian Houston would preach from a passage explicitly about repentance:

For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it - though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:8-10).

Those who know me or are regular readers here know of the years I have spent pursuing Hillsong Church and its leaders over their relentless failure to preach the core salvation doctrine of repentance. Not only is this doctrine historically recognized as the necessary corresponding reality of true saving faith, it is also a core element of Hillsong Church's very own doctrine statement (which is somewhat difficult to find, although this may be due to my severe lack of nerd capabilities). To quote from their "What We Believe" page:

We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and the 'new birth' we must repent of our sins, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and submit to His will for our lives.

Time and time again I have cited example after example of this violation of their own doctrine statement (several of the videos previously cited have since been removed). In fact, of the services I and others have attended, the books we have read, the CDs we have heard, and the videos we have downloaded or streamed, none of us have ever heard anything about repentance coming from any Hillsong source. Even if it has been preached on an occasion that I am not aware of (and I gave an open invitation to my many critics to prove me wrong with nothing ever forthcoming), such a core doctrine essential to salvation should be strongly evident in all their outreach arms. Hillsong even had the audacity to edit the Bible verse on the back cover of their "Mighty to Save" CD to sanitize repentance out of it (yes, they REMOVED the line from 2 Chronicles 7:14 that says "turn from their wicked ways"). Can anybody else smell a rat?

Fast forward to Pastor Brian Houston's sermon at Saddleback. I polled several friends and colleagues of mine at the Master's Seminary (where I am a student) and asked them if they thought it was possible to preach a sermon out of 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 without mentioning the word repentance. None of them thought this to be possible but Brian Houston proved them all wrong. That's right, he preached directly out of a passage that explicitly and obviously centers on repentance without even once talking about it. How did he get out of even mentioning repentance when reading the text itself? By switching to a very liberal translation (The Message) when he got to verse 9! Preachers are called to submit to the biblical text, not submit the biblical text to their own agenda. If you don't believe me then you can see it for yourself (the translation switch happens at the 15:30 mark). Chris Rosebrough's brutal review of the sermon can be heard here (start listening to the program at the 93 minute mark).

I cannot put into words my personal grief at seeing Houston butcher and pervert a passage of such immense beauty that describes the godly sorrow over sin that leads to repentance and salvation. Furthermore, he twisted the passage into something completely irrelevant to its obvious meaning from a plain reading. Brian Houston believes that the problems at Corinth were caused by Paul's angry letter and that the Corinthians needed to make the decision to stop being bitter and wounded about it so that their pain would be "only for a while". Earth to Brian! Houston we have a problem! Hello!!!!! Paul's angry letter was written because of the incest (1 Corinthians 5:1), immorality (1 Corinthians 6:12-20), lawsuits between brethren (1 Corinthians 6:1-8), idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:1-14), and turning the communion table into a place of drunkenness and gluttony (1 Corinthians 11:17-22). The Corinthians grieved "only for a while" because Paul's rebuke had brought about deep conviction and saving repentance in their lives. As I watched Houston's sermon I was left wondering if he had even read Paul's letters to the Corinthians. My criticism is not the deep theological insight of a Seminary student. It is the obvious conclusions of anyone who would take the time to read these letters in the same way that they read their own mail. It's just not that difficult . . . unless you are determined to avoid the subject of repentance.

Oh how tragic that a church would pay a lot of money for a man to fly a long way and then obscure the glorious truth that is so obvious to anyone who would read that passage. It is perhaps almost as tragic that Brian Houston's continual avoidance of the subject of repentance makes him oblivious to his own need to repent. And repentance of the unbiblical nonsense he is preaching is the single greatest contribution he could presently make to the Body of Christ.


Donny Pauling said...

You don't think you're nitpicking a bit?

Cameron Buettel said...

Donny, how could this possibly be nitpicking? Exactly which part of this is unimportant? The doctrine of repentance? The altering and perverting of Scripture's plain meaning? The fact that their own doctrine statement condemns this? Brian Houston's profile as the most prominent Australian preacher at this time? What exactly is the nitpicking here?

Anonymous said...

This makes me angry that someone can so blatantly take Scripture and twist it without any thought that THIS IS THE WORD OF GOD!

I watched the movie about Spurgeon (Thanks for the heads up for what is now my favorite movie.)It showed that he had so much awe of God and reverence for His word that Spurgeon would loose his breakfast before he preached. Oh that all who proclaim to be preachers or teachers would have that kind of fear.

As far as paying to have Brian Houston speak, I suspect that since it was Saddleback the "church" got it exactly what they wanted to hear.

Keep Fighting for the Truth!

Anonymous said...

Wow - it sounds like you should really get something new to focus your life on than talking bad about people who are building church - we are after all ONE church. Perhaps they focus more on 'mercy' and 'forgiveness' instead of repentance in their sermons - but no doubt they believe in it and teach it in different areas such as connect groups where people meet each week to talk about God. So instead of being bitter and writing stuff like this, being very angry and spending negative energy - maybe just stop and do something meaningful instead? What is your goal with this? That everyone should stop going to Hillsong? That you become a person who knows best? Cause OBVIOUSLY you know it all - and everyone else is just blinded and does not read their Bibles.. (?hmm?)If God wants it stopped then I'm sure He will without your help. Live your life the way you think is right - and be happy! I don't think God loves it when people critizise His bride either (THE church= one body!).

( I guess you only allow comments that agrees with you - so I just hope it makes you think a bit.)

Cameron Buettel said...

Anonymous, are you judging my motives for writing this? Are you sure you know? That is the difference between me and you. I am dealing with what Brian Houston actually said rather than speculating on his motives. You, on the other hand, speculate about my motives without bothering to deal with the content of my critique. It would be nice if you could extend me this courtesy next time! Perhaps you could entertain the possibility that I want to obey Scripture's command to "mark" those who preach doctrine contrary to Scripture? is it possible that I agree with the Apostle Paul when he pronounces damnation on anyone who preaches any other gospel than what he preached? Is it just possible that I love Jesus and His Word and grieve over those who use it to teach things contrary to what it plainly says. Could this be possible anonymous? Is it possible that I don't think I know it all but God has made His Scripture clear enough for simple people like me to understand it? Please come back again when you are ready to discuss this over Scripture, and may even find out that I am a reasonable person to deal with. Maybe?

Unknown said...

That is scary, don't know what else could be said!but what is a faith without repentance, or where in Scripture can grace be found without a context of repentance? It's just scary to remove such a huge part of the gospel!

Unknown said...

That's just scary, I don't know what to say! Where in Scripture is grace found without a context of repentance?!

Anonymous said...

Cameron likes to ask his critics "are you judging me"? Like Cameron would never judge anyone ... "Brian Houston's continual avoidance of the subject of repentance makes him oblivious to his own need to repent" ...

Cameron Buettel said...

Newtaste, Hillsong's own doctrine statement is passing judgment on Brian Houston.

Anonymous said...

Cameron said: "It seems like some Hillsong defenders are marking my blog as spam." Not me!

I realised I had to say sorry to God for my sins, ask for forgiveness and tell God I would try not to sin again. Really doing it rather than going to Mass and thinking that that was the only way. I only realised that after I started going to Hillsong - if I hadn't I'd probably still be sitting in Mass and hoping that the Virgin Mary would help pass on my prays to Jesus. (That's the real heresy I was taught).

Donny Pauling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donny Pauling said...

Your article is just plain weak and unnecessary. I'm not sure why you're making such a big deal about switching to the Message version.

People aren't stupid. This entire country knows we must repent (turn away) of sin. A preacher doesn't need to explicitly point that out each time he preaches.

If this is your pet peeve, don't let it overshadow your outlook. I see nothing at all offensive with what was done here. Don't veer towards legalism.

Cameron Buettel said...

Newtaste, I rejoice that you have left the idolatrous works righteous religion of Rome. I am less thrilled that you attend a fellowship pastored by a man who said (while describing the election of Pope Benedict XVI), “We pray too that this papacy, like those before it, is marked by a commitment to seeing the Christian message continue to go forward and people changed by the power and truth of the gospel”?

Nonetheless, if Hillsong are preaching the Gospel rightly and calling sinners to repentance then I will once again invite you to send me an example of this. I have been waiting for several years now but I am willing to give it a fair hearing if you send me an audio or video link. So the ball is in your court Newtaste if you want to continue discussing this.

Cameron Buettel said...

Donny, I don't think you are considering several things when reading this post. Firstly, it needs to be read within the wider context of the longer history of my debate with Hillsong over this issue. This latest sermon has built upon a lengthy track record of contiually avoiding the subject of biblical repentance - staggering in the light of hillsong's own doctrine statement. No one has yet exposed any factual errors in my research but you are welcome to try and I will give you a fair hearing and post your comments (the only comments I block here are those that contain expletives and misuse of God's Name). Secondly, aside from the issue of the very erroneous Message translation (and I can gladly back that up), the switching of translations at that point in the sermon was the only way possible that Houston could have avoided the subject of repentance (an idea that even surprised me for it's cleverness). Thirdly, the switching of translations is far from the totality of problems with this sermon. Houston was flat out wrong about the reasons for the Corinthian problems cited in the passage, he interpreted "putting away filthiness" to dealing with those who criticize people like him and Rick Warren (again dead wrong), and preached a sermon that has nothing to do with the text he was preaching from, and furthermore had nothing to do with any other text in Scripture. The ideas being preached can be found in psychological and therapeutic theory, but are contrary to the biblical doctrine of man. But other than that everything was ok and I am just a nitpicker.

Anonymous said...

> he interpreted "putting away filthiness" to dealing with those who criticize people like him and Rick Warren

wow. that is class.


Donny Pauling said...

Hillsong isn't your enemy, Cameron. There are far more important battles to fight.

Also, are you insinuating that Catholics cannot be Christian?

Anonymous said...

Hi Cameron, I really appreciate your zeal with regard to the gospel being preached correctly (and have no doubt about yore motives) . I have carefully followed the message that many contemporary speakers proclaim, and I totally agree with you, that more and more of these guys are neglecting, or rather omitting, the word "repent." I have wondered about this for a while, and often I find a twisted pragmatism, like Donny Pauling said above: " People aren't stupid. This entire country knows we must repent (turn away) of sin. A preacher doesn't need to explicitly point that out each time he preaches."
But we have to realize that people (the country) really don't know. It was for the same reason that John the Baptist proclaimed: "repent ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 3:2). The same did Jesus say: "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). That was also the message that Jesus instructed the disciples to preach: "..repentance and remission of sins should be preached among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." (Luke 24:47)
When the people on the day of Pentecost, were pricked in their heart as a response to Peters sermon, and asked what to do, he said unto them: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:36). Peter says it again in Acts 3:19 ; Paul uses exactly the same term in Acts 17:30 and Acts 26:20. We see this proclamation as a guideline throughout the scriptures, and it isn't difficult to grasp.
My point is, that God has chosen some people to preach the gospel, and He has given them guidelines to follow. So it is actually very simple: people that follow these guidelines are sent by God, and people who don't want to follow these guidelines, are not.
God bless you Cameron
Keep on the good work

Cameron Buettel said...

Donny, once again your comments are as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle. If my claims are correct then Hillsong is an enemy of the true Gospel and there is no more important issue to fight for. If my claims are false then I need to be corrected and repent. Telling me that Hillsong are not my enemy serves neither of those purposes. Please engage with the subject matter and outline where you stand on these issues.

Secondly, I am not insinuating anything. I am stating the historical and theological fact that Roman Catholicism is a works righteous religion that explicitly denies (and pronounces damnation upon) those who believe and/or teach salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 9). The only way a catholic could be a Christian would be due to ignorance of Catholic teaching rather than because of it.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who think that Cameron is causing division and think it is bad.-- Truth divides!

Matthew 10:34-36 "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father and a daughter against her mother, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies with the members of his household.”

John Whitcomb Jr. has great quote on unity.

"Diversity and division is infinitely more precious than a satanic unity. The problem God's people are facing today: Satan wants unity in what? -- in error. God would infinitely prefer division because of truth. Do you know what Jesus said in Matthew 10? He said, 'I have come not to bring peace, not to bring unity, but to bring division, to set a son against his father, a daughter against her mother, so that people within their own households will be enemies of each other.' That is what Jesus said he came to do ... God's smashing of satanic ecumenical unity was an incredible blessing [Genesis 11: the Tower of Babel] ... The potential for satanic depravity is infinite, as long as what continues? -- a unity in error -- organized blasphemy. Measure this friends. Grasp it. Satan will, in his brief hour, at the end of this world, be given his opportunity to demonstrate what total unity is like in the human race, when every person will have a mark on the forehead or right hand, and will walk lockstep under incredible blasphemy ...

"You say, 'We want unity.' Oh, really? What kind of unity? 'We want all the churches to get together.' Oh, really? You mean in error, in confusion, in heresy? That is, dear friends, the ecumenical movement of our hour, in which all the great denominations and all the great church leaders are becoming more and more unified. In what? -- in compromise and theological error; and this is the ultimate horror" (from Human Races, a message delivered at Indian Hills Community Church, Lincoln, Nebraska, Fall of 1984).

Donny Pauling said...

Truth divides, anonymous, because of how it butts heads with pharisaical legalism. Jesus' way of dealing with things made pharisees angry. To the pharisees, hoops needed to be jumped through. To Jesus, freedom was incredibly important (he even let his disciples do things on the sabbath that drove those legalists insane!). Pharisaical legalism is exactly what Cameron is doing here (and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the supportive "anonymous" comments are actually Cameron).

Unknown said...

I like Brian. I think he's awesome, and I can only have a great deal of respect for the way he and his team builds churches all over the globe. A generous man he is, taking no pay to be the pastor of Hillsong. We can't get it all right, and our focus should be to pray over the subject of repentance in his future teachings. I mean, I wanna know Jesus, not use precious time on complaining about what words Brian Houston do or do not use. Just saying Cameron, but I did like your post which incourages me to be more critical when I hear "the big pastors" teach. Jesus and the Scripture is the whole truth, not neccesarely Brian Houston, T. D. Jakes, Steve Gambill or others.

Bless ya'll!

Cameron Buettel said...

Once again Donny, you resort to name calling and insinuation without even understanding what you are talking about, nor whether these things are true. Furthermore, you still refuse to even discuss the matters that I have raised.

Is it important to preach repentance - yes or no?
If not, why not?
Regarding repentance, do you agree with Hillsong's doctrine statement or Brian Houston's preaching?
Is it ok to change the meaning of a biblical text - yes or no?
What is 2 Corinthians 7:8-10 about?
Are you going to apologize for insinuating that I am posting the "supportive anonymous comments" here?

Also, if you are going to accuse me of being a legalist then you should back it up. What have I said that was legalistic? Do you even know what this means? Are you aware that Jesus rebuked the legalistic Pharisees for not knowing the Scriptures (Matt 21:42, Matt 22:29, Mark 12:24)?

I have actually been very tolerant of your comments Donny. Right now you need to go away and do your homework and come back when you have something worthwhile to contribute to the discussion.

Cameron Buettel said...

Mikkel, I am not asking whether you like Brian Houston nor insisting that he has to get everything right. I am saying that all preachers need to get the gospel right. Brian Houston (and Hillsong) has a long history of not preaching a gospel message that includes repentance. Not only is this biblically wrong, it is also violating his own doctrine statement. Now I have highlighted a sermon where the biblical text was explicitly about repentance and Houston completely changed the meaning of that text. I have factually argued my case and presented the evidence on all of these issues.

Mikkel, please state whether you think this is acceptable or not? If Houston is not a faithful gospel preacher, nor faithful to the Scriptures he presents, then he is not building Christ's Church. If he is a faithful Gospel preacher then show me where I am wrong. There is no middle ground on the Gospel. It is unique and exclusive and you need to take a side.

Pearl said...

“‘It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to speak the truth that hurts and then heals, than falsehood that comforts and then kills. Let me tell you something, friend, it is not love and it is not friendship if we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. It is better to be hated for telling the truth, than to be loved for telling a lie. It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated. It’s better to stand alone with the truth, than to be wrong with a multitude. It is better to ultimately succeed with the truth than to temporarily succeed with a lie. There is only one Gospel and Paul said, ‘If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” – Adrian Rogers (cited in The Berean Call, December 1996) “

My husband insisted we go to Hillsongs Christmas spectacular this year. I usually wont go as it riles me that they dont preach the truth and saving power of the gospel, he takes the kids without me. I went this year but told him if they again did not take the opportunity to properly present the good news of the gospel to a captive audience filled with non believers that was it and i'm never going again. Well guess what sadly i wont ever have to go again. The pastor got off to a good start and I was really really hoping that this year for once they would actually get it right. But it wasnt to be and the chance for all those people to hear the truth that could save them for eternity was lost.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cam,

Just wondering if you can explain what Repentance is exactly.

Is it 'turning away from sin', in the sense that you make a concerted effort to no longer sin (despite the fact you will continue to sin), or...

Is it 'changing your mind about who God is, who you are as a sinner etc'?

I find the whole topic of Repentance confusing.

Andy B said...

Repentance is a whole hearted giving up of self rule, it is a yielding of oneself utterly to God, a death. It is brutal, agonizing, and altogether serious. Yet paradoxically the 'fruit' of true repentance is profound joy and an assurance of a new and living hope - based totally in Christ.

Repentance cannot be fabricated, induced, or mimicked. It is birthed in the conviction of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth. If the true gospel is preached, a sinner will be convicted by the Spirit of truth, and is faced with the greatest moment of truth in their life. To yield, to submit, to repent, or to harden, to resist and to continue on in darkness and bondage.

A full gospel message must include the full story, from creation, to the fall, the law (which defines sin), the consequence of sin, the gift of Christ, hope in Christ (only). The gospel reveals the complete and utter powerlessness of our human condition, the real and devastating consequences of this condition and the absolute need of a sin-less atoning sacrifice. Christ is magnified in this gospel.

John's gospel describes Jesus as being a light that penetrates the darkness. The problem these days is we (the church) have bought into a culture of tolerance where all people are assumed to be intrinsically good in their own way, and that we should all respect one another's views etc. So our gospel becomes Jesus being a light in the light, which is meaningless. However, if we are true to the Scriptures, we should be teaching the true condition of the unregenerate heart, the coming judgement, the final destination of sinners, and uncovering the true king of this world system, before we can move into the next stage, which is revealing the outrageous, majestic gift of Christ, and our need to repent - in the 'light' of this gift. If we truly, truly realized the preciousness of the gift that is Christ, the world and its lusts would seem trivial if not down right offensive.

Sorry could go on but will turn into a sermon.. :)

Cameron Buettel said...

Thank you Andy

Jim W said...

Nicely said, Andy.

Jim W said...

Nicely said, Andy.

Donny Pauling said...

I find it interesting that you didn't post my last comment. You asked for a decent contribution, I wrote one and posted it, and you failed to approve it. I can understand how it might have been a little problematic for you.

Cameron Buettel said...

Sorry Donny but I have posted everything I have received from you. It may have got lost in the system or spam. Please send it again and I will post it.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit sad when you get more gospel content in a Colin Buchanan song than a Brian Houston sermon.

Anonymous said...

You are right that distorting scripture is a terrible thing to do. I'm not sure how one can preach on that passage without mentioning repentance.

It does seem however that you have something against Brian Houston though. Closely watching his moves seems like a waste of time. Furthermore to be honest with you I'm not a fan of Brian Houston personally, Hillsong Church has greatly blessed the Christian world at large and there's no denying that imho(especially musically).

Still great point about his omission on repentance. That's ridiculous that a preacher would do so, even if he didn't do it on purpose.

BTW it is very easy to get to their "OUR BELIEFS" page. You don't have to be tech savvy to get to it at all. lol

Soldier of Kurios said...

Hi Cam,

Good to see you guarding the treasure of the Gospel.

Mate, aside from Hillsong, I have to call into question so many evangelical churches in Sydney. They are doing the exact same thing as Houston; unclearly preaching the gospel, just in a different way.

Sermon after sermon, week after week, we are pounded with boring, mind numbing behaviour modification based sermons - don't covert, don't lust. Why???? Well, most preachers don't say. The word starts with "J" my friends. He's the King who wants our hearts and our lives!

I say guard the treasure like a bulldog, Cam. But I think the disease of Isaiah 29 is far more widespread than just Hillsong mate.

Sydney, fullstop, is dead! Hillsong are just indicative of the wider climate.

alan jacobsen said...

i think you are a sad and unhappy man. you are perfect in every way, and deserve all the glory. wow so arrogant. i have a question all knowing one. if a person attends his church in australia and ask god into his heart , and goes to heaven, is that not a victory for god?
stop hating and look at yourself . get alive, a life filled more with humbleness.

Cameron Buettel said...

Alan, are you judging me? Where did I say I was perfect in every way? Where did I say I deserve glory? Where did I suggest I am all knowing? What have I done that was hateful? If you are going to say those things about me could you please give examples?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Cameron for your post. We need to be watchman of Christ, and I really appreciate what you're doing to expose the false teachers in such a time as this. Don't be bothered by those who disagree with you. You can't please everyone, and what you're doing is commendable as you are standing up for your faith and the one true church of Jesus Christ. Continue fighting the good fight! God bless!

Anonymous said...

By the way Cameron, I will probably not check back here again, but most likely, the negative comments you're receiving are from Hillsong church and their leaders themselves trolling your site as damage control. I don't see why anyone would take anything written here personally to the heart as I see it being expressed. I think what you're doing is brave and I respect that you're not afraid to stand up for the gospel. - Your brother in Christ

Soldier of Kurios said...

Alan, could you give examples where Cameron is wrong?

Anonymous said...

See this verse in the bible.

2 Corinthians 10: 3-6

-I felt sad reading this article.. you don't have to post such things to criticize anyone, just because their way of deliving their faith is far different from yours.
instead of looking at other's way of teachings why not pray for them. Do you think you glorified God for this?

If you will depend yourself, and say that it's just your way of delivering your opinion, well, did u get possitive feedback out of it??

It's just like saying that u know everything about the scripture.




Anonymous said...

once again, i heard a discussion upon the Scriptures! perhaps will we need to read simultantly 2chronicles 7:14, Luk 5:32 and in another hand, read Act 11:18, 2Timo 2:25, Heb 6:4-6, 2Peter 3:9, Mat3:11. you will find out that: in one hand, the Scriptures say "the man have to repent" in order to receve forgivness. in another hand, the Scriptures say" God grants repentance to the sinner".. do we see the thing?
if yes, now we have to understand the Scriptures. be carefull, don't think that the Scriptures are wrong, no!

let's go further in the Apostle Paul's Letters. in all of them he teaches : "we are not saved by our willing".
the Apostle John gives the same instruction (John 1:12-13)
and THE LORD Himself said: (John 15:16 )

when we put the two options on the balance, we have to consider that only God is the almighty to save and that we are died before the salvation. and the salvation comes from God.
seen in this way, we can already understand that the repentance which is granted by God to the man is the God one rather than the salvation which comes from the man decision. because how can a died man do anythng? how can he repent? i beleive repentance has a link with the spirit. but spiritualy, the man is died. but we now that without repentance, no salvation possible.

so i'm afraid of Mrs Cameron position. i'm not meaning that he is wrong, but i think on that point, we need to be very carefull. He sems to defend only the point thta the man must repent" in order to be saved". that true. but don't forget that the verse is in the old testament! that means it is a contextual verse. the died man need the repentance that is grated by God to him.
if the repentance lead to forgivness, and forgivness to salvation and that we can decide by ourselves to repent i'm afraid. that would means "we can do something in order to be saved!" and here is the false gospel preashed all over the world by false prophets.
when god wants to save someboody, he grants him the repentance because He is almighty.
please read Rom 9:16 ok.

i can be wrong also!
rigobert from cameroon
you can directly write to me here:

AZARIO said...

I am a member of the AOG in Africa, and I want to say that, may be, some churches of AOG are not talking about all the Gospel, but here, we are preaching about "Full Gospel", I mean repentance, baptism, salvation, Holy Spirit and so on. Yesterday, in the church I was, the sermon was on Osea 4 v 6, but also about all the book of Osea. The Pastor teach us to have well know of the scripture, and I think that, this important for each of us. I really appreciate Hillsong music, and some time, downloading sermons on itune; but, I also want to pray for them, may God open they eyes, talk to their mind, and put the full gospel in they mouth. at least, I also want you to know that, we are not preaching "prosperity" in ours churches, because, our model remains Jesus Christ. I read your blog, good Job, but, I think that, an itw between You and Brian&Robert can help them. Please, dont criticize all AOG, just pray for them. we are all God instrument of peace, Gos instrument of his Holy Word. I will continue to pray for Hillsong, and you too. love them please, dont hate them, share your love with them. If they are on the bad road, just pray, and our God will help them. If God tell you to talk to them, do it, but, dont work against the Kingdom of God. In January, you said, Brian was in US. why didnt you talk to him? why? may be, if you show more love to them, more attention, if you pray, God will make a way for repentance if needed. I remember Revelation 22v19, and I want to cry. the devil is working to let us fight one to another; please, we must keep in touch in the Holy Spirit. 2 Chronicle 7 v 14 have been misreported (intentionally or not) I cannot say, but, we must keep in mind, Osea 4 v6, and preach "all the Gospel of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation without compromising". God bless you all. I love you in the precious name of Jesus. we are brothers and sisters :)

your brother in Jesus from Burkina Faso, west Africa (pseudo: AZARIO)

Anonymous said...

Cameron keep exposing the word of faith preachers. I think your blogs are very well researched . Having attended Hillsong Church for several years you are so right about the preaching. It is shallow and not doctrinally sound. There has never been a sermon on repentance or on Hell. There is absolutely so much focus on self absorption and prosperity teaching that it gets called the till on the hill. I am ashamed that I did not recognize it as part of the New Age Movement. It is very gradual and so subtle.

shark said...

I have just listened to an awesome message from Brian Houston and Googles 'Brian Houston criticism' to see if anyone condemned him, because he is one of my favourite preachers and I wish there was a Hillsong in my country.

Nobody has a perfect revelation of the Word. So you may have a point. However,

1. The woman who broke her Alabaster jar didn't say, "I repent of my sins." The woman caught in the act of adultery didn't either. In fact, Paul said that salvation is confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believing that God raised Him from the dead. That you're so concerned about turning from wicked ways says that you have a very narrow view of salvation.

2. Romans 1: It is the goodness of God that brings us to repentance. In 2 Corinthians 3 Paul says that when we behold the glory of God, we are being transformed into that same image by the Holy Spirit. Give me a preacher who is constantly teaching me the goodness of God. Because that is what we are to do: we are to fix our eyes on Jesus. Not our sins. The book of Hebrews is very good at explaining this.

3. What is repentance anyway? It means to change your mind. I don't have to wear sackcloth and beat my chest to show that I have repented.

Yes, I think you're nitpicking. And I disagree with you almost entirely. I have never found Brian Houston to preach anything but the Gospel of grace, which is what you seem to have a real problem with. Well, I can testify from my own life that it is the goodness of God that brings me to repentance and I will continue to pursue and preach that goodness.

Unknown said...

Hi.... We can't judge pastor brian houston teachings due to the fact that we do not know his ministry. He may have used the verse to preach for example about grace or forgiveness... Is that such a bad thing? He does not necessarily have to preach repentance to the church. Repentance is a duty that an individual has before God and has to be carried out. Personally, I didn't see anything wrong or whether he's leading the church astray with the message and the message was clear enough to understand. You are the problem not him cameron

Cameron Buettel said...

Daniel, do you believe the Bible has any authority and can pass any judgment in a situation like this?

John Hutchinson said...

Dear Cameron:

You make the point that repentance is "the necessary correlating partner to saving faith". Perhaps this nitpicking, but it is to establish the right relationship between faith and repentance.

Rather than repentance being a correlating partner, it is more a necessary entailment and corollary of faith that indicates that one truly believes in the counsel and promises. If I truly believe in the counsel and promises of God for my benefit and His glory and cause, I will act upon my reliance on such.

Otherwise, we transmit the message that we are not justified by and saved through faith alone.

John Hutchinson said...


You make the point that repentance is "the necessary correlating partner to saving faith". But rather than repentance being a correlating partner, it is more a necessary entailment and corollary of faith that indicates that one truly believes in the counsel and promises. If I truly believe in the counsel and promises of God for my benefit and His glory and cause, I will act upon my reliance on such.

Otherwise, we transmit the message that we are not justified by and saved through faith alone.

Perhaps this might appear as nitpicking. But in establishing the right relationship between faith and repentance, your position is less vulnerable to criticism that it is adding to the Cross.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I have been attending a church that is linked to Hillsong London, I notice there is a lot of "tithe talk", the Pastor knows Brian, this is concerning.

Anonymous said...

God's Word is The Word! May Holy Spirit give us discernment, in the Only name of Jesus Christ! Amen! I pray for the world to know Jesus Christ and our Lord and Savior in Jesus Christ name I pray! We were and are warned of John 10:10! D devil is out there to steal, kill and destroy the Word of God! God have grace and mercy on us ALL!

Anna Fairgrieve said...

I recently read a very informative article on Finney and his theology. The author showed how both Finney and fellow preacher Moody have influenced pentecostal and evangelical preaching and were in fact the predecessors of many seeker-sensitive and church growth movements. Finney was apparently the originator of the early 'altar call' which focused on the numbers of people saying a quick prayer to invite Jesus into their lives and really nothing very much about repentance. Finney's theology was completely at odds with most of the accepted theology of the day and he disagreed on just about every point of the Westminster Confession which although I have not read it all appears to simply re-state the gospel as it is in the Bible.

All of this was very enlightening to me. I attended Garden City Christian Church for a number of years, helped out in administration for a while and went to the Bible College there. I was deeply disturbed to discover that Hillsong had not only taken over GCCC but had renamed it and clad the inside of the light-filled auditorium with what appear to be black-out curtains and send the congregation mad with loud music. I do not endorse Houston's version of seeker-sensitive type theology and now that I know the origin of it, it does not surprise me that he does not preach repentance.

What super-pastor in his right mind is going to shoot himself in the foot and risk losing millions of dollars with people walking out the door of his church because it no longer provides supply for their idolatory?

Ironically, should he himself repent,(the real reason he has a problem with the term) he would find that God would bless him with far more than he could ever hope think or pray for. Yet what God provides is not very often worldly success. Paul himself said that not many wise, rich or influential (paraphrase) people were part of the kingdom of God.

I would not wish that Mr. Houston and his brothers and sisters would perish, but I would wish that we who see the error of his ways would stop being so surprised.

By all means show him his error, and do so more than once if you can get him to listen to you, but once he has rejected the gospel a couple of times, even Paul tells us it is futile to continue to remonstrate with such a man.

These blog posts are good and are there on the internet for all who need them, but I think it more important for us to speak to those who will listen to us rather than those who have cloth ears.

Shake the dust off your feet and keep walking.

Lyla Stevenson said...

Cameron, bless you for the work you are doing. I am really saddened when I see all around me people being duped by these preachers who are leading everyone astray by not telling the truth which is written in the Holy Bible. They are fooling people left right and centre, by posing as Christians, when they are in my opinion not at all... leaving out important parts of the bible. People think they are hearing the truth, when theyare not at all. You are doing exactly what God has required that we do, expose wrong teaching and teachers. God bless you Cameron, and keep up the good work......Lyla

Lyla Stevenson said...

Cameron, bless you for the work you are doing. I am really saddened when I see all around me people being duped by these preachers who are leading everyone astray by not telling the truth which is written in the Holy Bible. They are fooling people left right and centre, by posing as Christians, when they are in my opinion not at all... leaving out important parts of the bible. People think they are hearing the truth, when theyare not at all. You are doing exactly what God has required that we do, expose wrong teaching and teachers. God bless you Cameron, and keep up the good work......Lyla

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Brian Houston is in the same group of people who promote universality of faiths. This movement's ultimate goal is to establish a one world religion.
Christians who do not have solid knowledge of the scriptures will not be able to see Hillsong's doctrinal errors. When Brian implies that bible believing christians and koran believing muslims serve the same God,
that is for me the mother of all deceptions.
Born again christians with a solid foundation in the scriptures should not leave Hillsong, but remain there to support the babes in Christ who are vulnerable to false teachings.

Fifty Plus said...

Wow interesting. I'm a bit of a skeptic so I've met some people who attend hillsong church in Sydney over the years and asked them about repentance. They seemed genuinely repentant and had had amazing changes in their lives. If Brian didn't teach them about repentance they must have worked it out for themselves.

Just an observation.

Anonymous said...

I couldnt even finish reading your entry... It makes me so sad reading someone talking more about what others Christian do wrong or not than even talking about God... Do you think you own the perfect doctrine? Are you free of any misunderstood doctrine? So don't throw the first stone. You know what? Even Jesus didn't come to condemn us but to give us Hope. Be careful for the way to measure others you will be measured.

Anonymous said...

Look again, the what we believe does in fact state repent. Get it right!

Anonymous said...

Cos the message is an extremely poor /inaccurate and loose translation and NOT reliable. That's why.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with anonymous' post on Jan 18 as 12:26. And I get that you are a serious biblical scholar/pastor and feel the need to call out those who don't reflect the ideals you perceive to be the most biblically correct. This whole critiquing situation reminds me of the bible theme "Jesus of Nazareth vs. the Pharisees". I'm not a bible scholar but I know the story well enough to know that the High Priests of Jerusalem used scripture to put Jesus Christ on trial for blasphemy and whatever other crimes against Jewish law. Sorry but that kind of sounds like the same thing going on here with your opposition to Brian Houston. Maybe he should have not preached from 2 Corinthians without thinking of the message a little more? Why did he pick that passage? I mean we'll never know for sure but all that really matters is that he is trying to extend the kingdom of God, right?