Do Not Be Deceived

March 25th, 2007 | 30 Comments | Church Issues, Discernment Do Not Be Deceived |  Facebook

The Lord has clearly told us that it is not our job nor our place to judge the hearts of men.
Romans 14:10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
We are, however, instruced to be discerning and ready to point out false teaching. What I have compiled is a series of quotes taken from interviews with Hillsong Pastor and AOG Chariman, Brian Houston, and have simply lined them up with scripture, that a light may shine in darkness.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Do not be deceived.

We are scratching people where they are itching.

(“The Lord’s Profits,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 30 2003)

2 Timothy 4:2-4 (NIV)
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

I believe in creation. The Bible starts in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. If I waver on the first 10 words of the Bible I think I’m going to have problems properly representing the rest of the Bible. However, timeframes, over what period of time that was, whether there was room for any evolving in some areas of life as well, I’m more than open to that. I’m happy to leave that to the experts.

(“Interview with Brian Houston,” Australian Story, August 1 2005)
(emphasis mine)

Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31
5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
8 God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.
19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.
23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.
31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Genesis 2:2
2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.
Exodus 20:8-11
8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. 11 “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

I think that the homosexual question and sexuality generally is one of the most challenging questions there is for the church in the 21st century. And it’s one where I feel conflict myself, as a believer in the Bible and specifically the New Testament, I think that marriage is God’s idea, and I think it’s for a man and a woman. But I also represent a God that’s merciful and gracious and kind, and having to connect those two things I think is one of the great challenges for me as a church leader.

(“Interview with Brian Houston,” Australian Story, August 1 2005)
(emphasis mine)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

In the church we can point the finger so easily. On the subject of abortion, I’m pro-life. But in a way I’m pro-choice as well, because I believe in the sanctity of life and I believe that life begins at conception. But I also believe that ultimately human beings have to make their own choices, and I ultimately can’t tell you what you should do. I can only give you the parameters that I believe.

(“Interview with Brian Houston,” Australian Story, August 1 2005)
(emphasis mine)

Exodus 20:13
13″You shall not murder.

Although I can’t vouch for everyone who attends, in the same way a football club can’t vouch for everyone sitting in the stands, overall I know them to be genuine, free-thinking, everyday Australians. Ordinary, yet inspiring and dedicated people who love God and love their church.

(“The Love Connection,” The Bulletin, March 13 2007)
(emphasis mine)

1 Peter 5:2-3
2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
Acts 20:28-31
28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.

All scripture references have been taken from the NASB, except where otherwise stated.

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30 Responses to “Do Not Be Deceived”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow.

  2. Nato says:

    Hey Goochy! Very true! You have done well

  3. Russell says:

    dude, you need to talk to Brian Houston if you think he is a false teacher…as it says in Matt :18-15-17. Blogging about him is a cheap way to take a shot, spreading gossip and slander. If you don’t have the courage or evidence to meet with him, or at least email him, please stop posting stuff about his character on the net.

    He is not a perfect man, but a lot people will be in heaven because of him…Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and Brian is clearly doing that through his life and ministry. Try using your energy to lead some people to Christ…you’ll feel heaps better mate, trust me.

  4. Jam says:

    Russell, brother, let’s not be silly. Do you honestly believe Brian has never been rebuked on these issues before?

  5. survivor says:

    Russell, I agree with Jam, I have for the past TWO year been trying to contact Brian Houston on another yet more serious matter and another church which have failed me both. What are you to do when they don’t respond to you? You warn others so they don’t get sucked into the same brainwashing as Houstan does among many other things. That man does NOT run a church, he is running a business and all he has on his mind is $$ at the end of every Weekend Service. Tsk, Tsk, on you!

    Thank-you SO much Shane for having the BALLS to post this among all your other awesome blogs. Keep them coming and may God Bless you and continue to work in your life. You are doing some amazing things. AMEN!

  6. Shane Gooch says:

    As is probably clear, the title to this post was “Do Not Be Deceived”. It was written not as an attack on Brian Houston but rather as a revelatory teaching for the discernment of the flock. The post itself contains little more than quotes from Houston, accompanied by scripture and so if Houston or anyone else should take offense to the things written, then I would recommend they take up their complaint with the one who gave us those scriptures. As to addressing Houston directly, I would agree with other comments that Houston himself has been challenged on such issues many times. I would also suggest that anyone humbly studying the scriptures for themself would not need be told as God reveals these things quite clearly in His word. However, at the risk that I am wrong, I am forwarding this article to Houston, and my prayers are wth him.

  7. Luke B says:

    This entire article is incredibly weak.

    All you have done is cut and paste bible verses, but have not explained your viewpoint or even demonstrated how the single verses even contradict what Brian is saying. A lot of those verses actually SUPPORT what Brian has said in those interviews, so you have in some cases already shot-down your own argument.

    Now, before you jump to conclusions, no, i do not go to Hillsong, nor even follow or actively support what Brian teaches.

    I just have an issue with slanderous articles being thrown around, without any critical analysis or thinking being under taken.

    If you are not able to comprehend the importance of this, then you neither have the maturity or the responsibility to be posting these articles in such a public forum.

  8. Ben Davis says:

    I find it interesting that people are taking offence to this, not because of what Brian has said, but because of the Scripture you quoted that contradicts him. In the end, these people have a problem with God, whom they hate (John 3:20).

    “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.” (Titus 1:9 NASB)

    “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;” (Ephesians 5:11 NASB)

  9. Lina says:

    Hmmmmmmm.

    Perhaps why people can not accept the scriptures that prove Brian Houston wrong, is because they know deep down, that logically, these same scriptures convict them also.

    Be convicted. Repent of your ways and turn to God.
    This is the correct response that God wants.

    PS… it could be helpful to remember this just for furture… Shane is doing God’s will by providing scriptures along side a person who claims to be teaching ‘scripture’. Now, surely if you are honest with yourself you have to admit this: If someone tells you that they are an expert and fan of, for example, the show SIMPSONS… but then tell you the main characters names are Bob, Fred, Mary, Josie and Gretel – you know they are not talking about the same show. IF someone is talking about God, and what God teaches and claims to take it from Scripture, but then when you place scripture next to what he claims and it does not match …. well, it is plain. They are not teaching scripture, the word of God.

    Shane’s job is not to judge, and he is not. His job is to present what God says, present the bible. That is what we do as believers of God. God judges. Through His powerful, living Word. Amen.

  10. Henry says:

    Luke B Said:
    A lot of those verses actually SUPPORT what Brian has said in those interviews

    Which ones?

  11. survivor says:

    I like what you wrote Lina, great way of getting the whole point across :)

    Bless you sister in christ

  12. Sandra T says:

    In reply to Russell, who says you should have contacted Brian Houston first, then my reply to that is have you heard of the movie “Mission Impossible”??? I have been trying to contact him personally for two months on another issue (ie T D Jakes, who advocates modalism/oneness pentecostalism – a denying of the biblical “Father, Son, Holy Spirit -ONE god, yet three distinct persons). He is a guest speaker at this years Hillsong conference – what great judgement that is!!
    I only get a reply from a Hillsong secretary, who told me to trust Brian’s judgement/leadership, and that this years conference was all about finding “Commonality” with people of differing opinions. My reply was that if that was the case, then Hillsong could be inviting Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, because we can find some common ground with them also!!!!!
    So Russell, Brian refuses to personally answer my concerns. I have been warning as many people as I can over this issue – there will be many christians from Queensland who will NOT be attending the conference. The line MUST be drawn, with scripture as the ONLY foundation. Not following a man/church/popular christian personality…THE WORD is our standard.
    An Australian sister in Christ,
    Sandra

  13. Luke B says:

    In response to Henry.

    Here is the most obvious one.

    God’s concept time is completely beyond our understanding. By His sheer nature, God is above all laws of science (physics, chemistry, maths etc.)

    Now, I do not like taking single verses of scripture out of their context (another discussion in itself), but as this is the way the people on this site seem to operate, I will do it here in my answer.

    2 Peter 3:8 says:

    “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

    The human concept of ‘time’ has no relevance to God. The notion of the 24hr day, 7 day week, is entirely created by man.

    Therefore, why do you use this measurement when interpreting God’s Word?

    I do not doubt for one second that God created the world in 6 days, and on the 7th, he rested. (After all, it is clearly written in the scripture.)

    The point I make is that, for all intensive purposes, those 6 days could have been 6 ‘human’ days, or 6 seconds, or 6 billion years!

    Therefore, there is biblical evidence; proof is you will, that gives rise to the possibility of at least some form of evolution occurring. What I mean by this, is that evolution could be a scientific remanent on earth, of the creational events that God inspired. Again, to make this clear, I DO NOT believe that we arose from some blob of primordial slime. I’m highlighting that SCRIPTURE itself gives room for some form of evolutionary interpretation.

    Now that you understand this full meaning of the scripture mentioned, lets revisit the original post.

    The quote from Brian was:

    “I believe in creation. The Bible starts in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. If I waver on the first 10 words of the Bible I think I’m going to have problems properly representing the rest of the Bible. However, timeframes, over what period of time that was, whether there was room for any evolving in some areas of life as well, I’m more than open to that. I’m happy to leave that to the experts.”

    In light of what I have just shown, and I trust what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you, it is clear to see that the thoughtless cut and pasting of scripture that Shane used in his original argument actually SUPPORTED the stance Brian had taken on the issue. Therefore my original post stands firm, in claiming the article was weak and poorly constructed. (In answer to your question Henry J ).

    To reiterate, I have not written this post to support or attack any individual’s comments.

    My purpose here was to highlight the incredible importance and absolute necessity of critically analysing the scriptures IN THEIR FULL CONTEXT, whilst also approaching all issues of misunderstandings with a spirit of openness and willingness to learn

    Anything less is doing a grave disservice to God and his message to us to live as Jesus did.

    Thankyou for taking the time to read this. I pray that God has used it to open your eyes just a little but more.

    Luke B

  14. Nay says:

    Goodness me. Luke B, all you seemed to highlight here was your ignorance to the Bible. I think you’re trying to sound smarter than you really are :P

  15. Luke B says:

    Nay, that comment was entirely pointless.

    I showed a clear, logical, biblically relevant and accurate argument.

    At what point in that post have I showed ignorance of the bible? Not once.

    Again, you have no argument or evidence. You are merely offended that I used God given judgement and thought to highlight the ineffectiveness of one of your buddy’s arguments.

    You have tarnished the credibility of this website. I’m sure the other contributors would agree.

    Please do not write back until you have something intelligent to say.

    Luke B

  16. Ben Davis says:

    Hey Luke B,

    When attempting to put forth a “clear, logical, biblically relevant and accurate argument,” try not to “tarnish your own credablity” before hand by stating:

    Now, I do not like taking single verses of scripture out of their context (another discussion in itself), but as this is the way the people on this site seem to operate, I will do it here in my answer.

    If anyone would like anymore information on any of the topics mentioned here, please feel free to email us.

  17. Greetings Luke B. I understand your anger in this situation but your judgments are based upon the article being a clear and concise message with expositions and scripture to back-up the introductory point, when the poster seems to want to leave the Biblical interpretations up to the Holy Spirit. I disagree with discrediting our site with needless bickering but I do want to bring up two simple points: If one day didn’t mean one literal day, then the darkness(night) would have been for extenuating periods of time(thousands/millions of years). Also, if God had rested for a day, and that day was thousands or millions of years, does this mean God rested for millions of years? Was the Bible written in a language so that we could understand it? So then why was the word “day” used when the words “many years” could more likely have been used? The Bible wasn’t written so that those reading it would have to take every single word to scrutiny, else I’d be asking whether or not the words “walked on water” meant “walked in water” or instead of “made water into wine” meant “chose water instead of wine”. Yes The Bible is written in a way that the Holy Spirit needs to discern it for us, but that does not mean that these words should be under such dramatic scrutiny.

    I don’t see evolution as much as I see growth. This concept was taken entirely from Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries so I ask you to think on it. If lizards grow for as long as they live, and they (before the flood) lived hundreds of years, how big would they be? They would be gigantic. So instead of evolving(because why would God make his creation anything aside from what it should be? A fish swims and a bird flies not the other way around.)they have grown. This I find to be fine, but allowing evolution as a possibility seems to ME as a way to get more people into a common ground into Church who don’t want to believe what The Bible says.

    These are just my $0.02 and you can take them how you please. I mean nothing in a manner of attacking anyone as I didn’t feel it was my place.
    In Jesus Christ our Lord,
    Ryan Patterson

  18. Luke B says:

    Hi Ryan.

    I agree with your point that not every single word in the bible should undergo dramatic scrutiny. I just wish some of your colleagues believed that same thing.

    As for the term ‘evolution’, it means so many different things, so that is also a source of disagreement between the readers on this page.

    What I am referring to mainly is the evidence of evolution within species. I think that most of the anger towards my views has been from people thinking I was advocating we evolved from pond slime (which I wasn’t). This was a point I made very clear in my original post, yet appears to have been missed. Yet more evidence that some of the members of this site really need to learn how to read critically.

    Either way, at the end of the day, every single article on this website is utterly meaningless, because they do not reflect the lives we lead in the real world. I could post the most brilliant theological masterpiece ever seen, but it would ultimately mean nothing, as my actions in the everyday are all the only truth that God is concerned about.

    Thank you, God Bless.

    Luke

  19. Ben Davis says:

    Luke said:

    Either way, at the end of the day, every single article on this website is utterly meaningless, because they do not reflect the lives we lead in the real world. I could post the most brilliant theological masterpiece ever seen, but it would ultimately mean nothing, as my actions in the everyday are all the only truth that God is concerned about.

    For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
    (1 Corinthians 1:18)

    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    (1 Corinthians 2:14)

  20. Luke B says:

    You have no ability to reason Ben Davis.

    All you can do is cut and paste. (It’s ctrl + C and ctrl + V for anyone out there wondering).

    Explain your last post. Using your own cognitive abilities.

    You hide behind scripture, because you are scared to help the suffering with your actions.

    Show me how many homeless men have been feed, or dying mothers been healed, by the blogs on this site. Show me REAL stories, REAL people.

  21. Ben Davis says:

    A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.
    (Proverbs 18:2)

  22. The world is ripe for harvest. All whom dwell in it CAN be saved. To the thousands who read these blogs, which take very little time to do in the first place, we may be doing a great service. Living a real life for Christ does detail outside of what you show everyone here, but this blog, along with many others, can be an information resource for those seeking knowledge about Jesus Christ.

    In Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior,
    Ryan Patterson

  23. C. Pearson says:

    This breaks my heart. Everyone here is claiming to be of the same body, and yet are attacking eachother. The only cells in the body which do not work toward enriching the body are cancer cells and parasites. Why aren’t we working together?
    Everyone commenting believes in the same Jesus Christ who died for us and rose again-giving us His spirit-to sustain us! And THATS what matters! We should be REJOICING in that, and realizing that we are all made/rationalize/react differently-and that’s OK because we are different parts of ONE body.IF we were all the same–> we wouldn’t be able to function!

    Are we more concerned with being right than we are about people’s souls?

  24. Ben Davis says:

    Thank you C. Pearson. I’m not sure what direction you’re coming from though.

    Paul tells us to teach what is in agreeance with sound doctrine (Tit. 2:1). To hold firmly to the trustworthy word taught, so that we will be able to encourage others with true teaching, to expose error and rebuke those who oppose and contradict it (Tit 1:9). Because there will be a time – and that time is now – when people will no longer put up with sound doctrine (2 Tim 4:3). So we must keep a close watch on ourselves and our teaching. We are to persist in this, and contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3), because if we do so, we will save both ourselves and those who hear us. (1 Tim 4:16).

    Don’t get the wrong idea, I agree. Paul urges us in Ephesians 4 to bear with one another in love, eager to maintin unity of the Spirit in this bond of peace. Because there is one body and one Spirit. 1 John 5:6 says that the Spirit is truth.

    Understand that we cannot attain unity in the truth with believers so willing to compromise with error. I find it interesting that it is always those in truth who are expected to compromise their faith, never those in error.

    Love rejoices in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6)

    If only more believers were concerned about truth and sound teaching so that more souls could be saved by coming to know Him who said “I am the truth”.

  25. Sam says:

    Ben-

    I would ask you how you can be so sure that “those believers” are “so willing to compromise with error”? Is it your OWN understanding and interpretation of scripture that determines who is in error? Just because someone else agrees with you does not mean that you are right. Also, simply because you think that you understand what the Scriptures say does not mean that you really do understand them. Where is the room for humility and the possibility that there are things that God can teach you through “those believers” who you choose to villify and berate?

    Why are you so much more concerned about “other people” and the “horrible” things that they have done (at least in your eyes) than you are with the sin in your own heart? You are NOT God and you cannot understand Him fully until you are with Him. Do not allow your high opinion of yourself to cloud your judgment. God is a jealous God and He does not like it when His children assume roles that are His and His alone! You will be judged by God for the condition of your heart and you may surprised at what you hear. “For if you have done it to the LEAST of these, you have done it as unto me.”

    What would happen if you heard “I never knew you.” ?

  26. Sam

    You say: “Is it your OWN understanding and interpretation of scripture that determines who is in error?” No, it isn’t. The Bible says what is says, but could it be your OWN understanding and interpretation of Scripture that determines who YOU think is not in error?

    Then you press forth the common argument of this relativistic age: “Just because someone else agrees with you does not mean that you are right. Also, simply because you think that you understand what the Scriptures say does not mean that you really do understand them.”

    And so I simply reverse your argument to you: Just because someone else agrees with YOU also does not mean that YOU are right. Simply because you feel that maybe you think you don’t understand what the Bible says doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to understand its doctrines. What use would the Scriptures be if we couldn’t?

    And finally this false type of humility sounds like it’s straight out of Emergent: “Where is the room for humility and the possibility that there are things that God can teach you through ‘those believers’ who you choose to villify and berate?” Jesus told us that we would recognize these false teachers by their fruit, in this case they sow confusion as you have, perhaps inadvertantly, attempted to do here.

    This is a sinful judgment you should repent of: “Why are you so much more concerned about ‘other people’ and the ‘horrible’ things that they have done (at least in your eyes) than you are with the sin in your own heart?” You have no way of knowing what Ben or me feel inside or what we pray about.

    Then you define this statement as a straw man: “You are NOT God and you cannot understand Him fully until you are with Him,” By adding the word “fully” you then attack a position we don’t hold. Frankly, you would benefit from heeding your own advice:

    “Do not allow your high opinion of yourself to cloud your judgment. God is a jealous God and He does not like it when His children assume roles that are His and His alone! You will be judged by God for the condition of your heart and you may surprised at what you hear. ‘For if you have done it to the LEAST of these, you have done it as unto me.’ What would happen if you heard ‘I never knew you.’ ?”

  27. Sam says:

    It is amazing how little of your own teaching that you actually follow. I wish that you could see how you sound to other people.

    Whether you like it or not you are declaring yourselves the authority on what the Bible does and does not say. You are saying that you get it and the Emergent Church doesn’t. You say that your fruit is good and theirs is bad.

    The only fruit I see of your teaching is hate and scorn of anything different. You claim that they confuse people at yet you cannot show that they are actually confusing anyone. You claim that they are false teachers but can’t show that beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is true.

    I don’t know what God will say to me when I meet Him face to face but I do know that I admit I don’t have it all figured out. I am only objecting to your truth claims and beliefs that say that you can point out who is wrong and in error.

    You continue to say over and over that the Scripture says this and it says that… however, there are many who would disagree with what you say. There are many who do not see the love or grace in your words, they only hear condemnation. this is the fruit that others see in your words. This does not appear to be a whole gospel or even a biblical one. We are not here to condemn but to love.

  28. Joe says:

    Sam,

    I honestly believe you were brought to this site by the devil by whom you are greatly deceived. There is no lukewarmness with Jesus. You are either for Him or for the devil. You decide. You either defend God’s Word which is the only TRUTH or you defend the father of lies. You decide!

    The saddest thing is that most christians are more interested in supporting Brian Houston, etc. whom they follow than the Lord Jesus Christ whom THEY CLAIM to follow! If we are disciples of Jesus we will be doers of His Word.

    Most who claim to be followers of Jesus do not read the Bible and that is where their problem is!! The devil has deceived them into following a human instead of the Living Word.

    Joe

  29. Sam says:

    Joe-

    I speak truth and not lies. I do not claim anything other than what I can find in Scripture. You have no idea what I believe or what I stand for. You can ask people who know me what I stand for and they will know. I don’t believe that God’s word needs to be defended. God doesn’t need ME to defend HIS word. The Word stands on its own, truth exists whether people believe it or not.

    I know my Bible inside and out and you are making claims about me that are completely unfounded and untrue. Be careful! I agree that there is a deceiver but I do not believe in this situation that I am the one who is decieved.

    I do believe that you have grieved the Holy Spirit and thus our Heavenly Father with the words you have written in your above comments.

    I would ask that you take King David’s lead when he writes ” 23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts 24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps 139:23-24

  30. best says:

    Im agree with autor


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