June 14th 2004, 11:02 AM #1
The Lord's Profits A revealing article about Brian and Bobbie Houston and Hillsong
This article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday, 30 January, 2003, and was written by SMH reporter, Greg Bearup.
The Lord's Profits
By Greg Bearup
(© Copyright Sydney Morning Herald. Used With Permission)
The music is catchy, the mood euphoric and the message perfect for a material age: believe in God and you'll be rewarded in this life as well as the next. Greg Bearup reports.
A sexy young Christian, a walkie-talkie clipped to her hipsters, greets us on our walk from the car park. "Hiya, howya doin'?" she says, with a flick of her mane and a smile. "Welcome to God's house - what an awesome day!" She points us in the direction of God's pad, a massive Olympic-style stadium up on the hill, and returns to conducting traffic with a fluoro stick.
All around, beaming young folk (and they are mainly young) are decked out in their coolest threads - no Amish-skirted Christians here. Hundreds walk with us, and beneath the awnings and in the foyer of the building - all tubular steel and glass - thousands are milling excitedly. By the end of the weekend, almost 12,000 people will have made this walk. Once inside, the first thing the faithful strike is not a crucifix or stained-glass window (the building is devoid of Christian symbolism), but a vast bookshop, of sleek frosted glass and wood, where dozens wait by the till for books and tapes and CDs - or, as they like to call them here at Hillsong Church, "Christian resources" - from around the world. Most prominent, and with almost half the shop to themselves, are the titles by Brian Houston and his wife Bobbie, Hillsong's senior pastors.
As 6pm approaches, the crowd spills into the church, a massive 3500-seat auditorium in Sydney's Baulkham Hills. Australia's newest, wealthiest and largest single church, it holds almost twice as many people as that city's St Mary's Cathedral, its closest competitor (which has total weekend attendances of fewer than 2000). They are crowds no one can afford to ignore and, the day after he returned from visiting the scene of the Bali bombings in October, Prime Minister Howard put aside his war on terror to open this house of worship.
Today a 12-piece band with five back-up singers and a choir of 50-odd youngsters literally bounce into action. Behind them, three massive screens hang from the walls - the middle one morphs through different shades of red and blue, only the message, "Glory to God", remaining constant. The momentum builds with the tempo of the band as the packed stadium sings along to the words flashed up on the screens, swaying in a one-armed, open-palm salute to the band, to the Lord.
After 20 minutes, the warm-up pastor takes to the stage, chiming in with the band - "Come on, church, you can groove" - and then segues into his spiel. Our God, he says,is a God who delivers miracles, a totally awesome God. He rattles off stories, true stories, from this very congregation, of cancers cured, of cripples healed, of sinners saved. Why, the Lord even saw his way to finding $4000 for one student to pay his fees at the Hillsong Bible college. The congregation hoot and clap; a young fellow beside me has his eyes closed and as each miracle is proclaimed he shouts, "Amen, man. Awesome."
But you, too, should honour the Lord, the pastor tells his flock, and He will deliver these miracles, because the Bible says so, right here in Proverbs, chapter 3, which says that "if you honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the fruits of your increase, your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine". He makes the point numerous times, lets it sink in, then informs the throng that credit card facilities are available, and cheques should be made out to Hillsong. "Amen," shouts the pastor, thumping the air with his fists. "Amen, let's pass those buckets along."
And the faithful oblige - last year they filled the Hillsong buckets to the tune of $10 million. The church's music arm also bought in a tidy tax-free $8 million, and one of its albums, Blessed, debuted at No4 in the pop charts, above Shakira, and stayed there for weeks. Hillsong has bought into medical centres. Its Bible college has close to 1700 full- and part-time students, some paying annual fees of more than $4000. It has a staff of almost 200, including 70 pastors. It has built a state-of-the-art conference centre-cum-church worth $25 million. No fewer than five television cameras are mounted in the auditorium; the services are recorded and then televised in more than 80 countries.
June 14th 2004, 12:30 PM #2
Re: The Lord's Profits A revealing article about Brian and Bobbie Houston and Hillson
and what does all this stuff about hillsong prove?
have you checkd how much it costs to broadcast to other countries or how much lighting costs or how much it cost to build the church in the first place? how much they spend on charities?
I believe all of what you are saying is very biased and judgemental... If your going to critisize people make sure you present all the facts... how many people are getting saved?
all I have seen so far in this 4 posts of yours attacking a Christian Chruch is biased posts.
would God prefer his church to be poor so they can't help anyone and instead are always holding cake stalls or garage sales taking money from the community?
how tasty is the gossip of the world how we love to swallow it.
by the way what the heck does someones fathers sins have to do with how a person runs a church or their character?I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
June 14th 2004, 12:58 PM #3
Re: The Lord's Profits A revealing article about Brian and Bobbie Houston and HillsonOriginally posted by luv1another
Brian and Bobbie Huston are FALSE teachers and will not listen to sound doctrinal correction from anyone. They have become a law unto themselves and what I tell you, is the TRUTH.
Are you heading in the same direction? Are you already in that deception? Most are these days. Study your Bible and you will see.
Brian and Bobbie Huston are being exposed before the whole world for the false teachers THEY are because they are spreading heresy out before the whole world.
Do you worship Hillsong or God alone?
I worship God alone, in spirit and truth, twenty four hours a day seven days a week. My whole life is praise and worship and prayer unto God, 24/7.
I know more about it than you will ever know in this lifetime, I have been there, done that!
• Edited by a Moderator •
The ugliness of the heart is just under the surface. The heart is deceitfully wicked, who can know it?
Frank Houston's gross sins were being swept under the carpet and not being dealt with and he continued on in them with the full knowledge of his son and others!!!
Frank Houston was kicked out of the A O G church in New Zealand. But set up again in Australia????
And not like Jimmy Swaggart, the *DEVIL* did "NOT" make him do those gross sins. The Devil did not make Jimmy Swaggart do those gross sins, Jimmy Swaggart lied about that too! He did those gross sins by his own sinful radically corrupt nature eg: Himself!
Soli Deo Gloria
Last edited by Aseity; June 14th 2004 at 01:15 PM.
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