Hillsong Founder Brian Houston’s Immoral Behavior

Brian Houston

Brian Houston, former senior pastor of the Hillsong association of churches (Pentecostal) headquartered at Hills Christian Life Centre, Sydney, Australia, has been exposed by his own church for “inappropriate behavior” with women. A letter sent to church members last Friday, March 18, acknowledged that two women complained about Houston’s behavior in 2013 and 2019, but only now was the matter being addressed publicly (“Hillsong Founder Breached Code of Conduct,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Mar. 18, 2022). In the first case, Houston sent sexual text messages to a female staffer. He blamed the matter on sleeping pills! In the most recent case, Houston spent time in the hotel room of a female that he met during a church conference. He had been drinking. Afterward Houston took three months off and promised to abstain from alcohol, but “he didn’t abide by that,” according to the church’s letter. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Pr. 20:1). “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. … Thine eyes shall behold strange women…” (Pr. 23:29, 33). Earlier this year, Houston stepped down as director of all Hillsong boards after being indicted for concealing his father’s sexual child abuse. In 2003, Brian’s wife, Bobbie (who was co-pastor of Hills Christian Life Center at the time), published a tape set entitled Kingdom Women Love Sex. In May 2016, Hillsong New York City hosted a Hillsong Women’s Conference that featured, among other things, scantily-dressed ‘cheerleaders,’ an Elvis impersonator, and a “naked cowboy” wearing only a cowboy hat, boots, and a guitar. The cowboy was Hillsong NYC’s own youth pastor, Diego Simla. In August 2019, Marty Sampson, worship leader and song writer for Hillsong, said he was seriously entertaining atheism and was “so happy now, so at peace with the world.” In 2020, Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong New York City, was fired for adultery. In 2021, Darnell Barrett, pastor of Hillsong Montclair, New Jersey, resigned after posting filthy photos of himself on social media. A short time later, Hillsong Dallas, Texas, shut down due to the worldliness of its husband-wife “pastor team,” Reed and Jess Bogard. It was reported that they had “been using church money to fund their lavish lifestyle, including insanely expensive designer clothing, frequent stays at expensive Airbnb rentals, and thousands of dollars on single meals” (“Hillsong Caving in on Itself,” Reformation Charlotte, Apr. 12, 2021). Hillsong is one of the most influential producers of contemporary worship music, but its worldly rock & roll is a reflection of the worldliness of its leaders and people. Observers need to understand that Hillsong churches are not true New Testament churches and Hillsong does not represent biblical Christianity. It is the apostasy described in 2 Timothy 4:3 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” In fact, in 2003, Brian Houston told a Sydney Morning Herald reporter that the church is so successful because “we are scratching people where they are itching” (“The Lord’s Profits,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 30, 2003). Bible-believing churches that use contemporary praise music are playing with fire. This music brings with it a philosophy that will change the character of any “Biblicist” church. Worldliness produces the climate in which contemporary Christian music is embraced, and the embracing of it increases the worldliness and leads to apostasy.

(Friday Church News Notes, March 25, 2022, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)