Hillsong Church is arguably the most influential religious organization in the world. Through its music program, Hillsong is known throughout all of Christendom and is either loved or hated by most. The reality is, most of the professing Church love Hillsong and sadly, Hillsong leads many astray.
Hillsong has straddled the fence on the issue of homosexuality and sin for some time — never making a clear and concise statement of belief one way or the other. While not actually giving verbal affirmation to various forms of immorality, much of what they say and do give tacit approval to a sinful lifestyle.
Israel Folau is an Australian Rugby player who courageously took to Instagram to declare the biblical truth that unrepentant homosexuals will not receive the Kingdom of God. Anyone who has ever read the Scriptures cannot deny that this is what the Bible actually says. On Instagram, Folau posts,
Apparently, this was too much for the founder and leader of the largest church in Australia, Brian Houston. Houston took to the Sydney Morning Herald to rebuke Folau, stating that Jesus, John the Baptist, and the Apostle Paul — the writer of the very verse Folau quotes that Houston has a problem with — “all kept their harshest criticism for those who were religious and judgmental.”
“The world doesn’t need more judgmental Christians,” Houston writes, “In the eyes of many, the church is not relevant to their lives and is seen to be stuck in the past.”
Of course, this is absurd if you actually hold to a biblical worldview. Jesus said that if people hate the Church — which is made up of Christians — it is actually that they hate Him first (John 15:18).
The central storyline of our faith is a story of love and redemption, a story of forgiveness and acceptance … I would never compromise the integrity of Biblical teaching and I believe that the Bible is clear about the consequences of sin. However, as Christians we are first called to love God and love other people, including those who believe differently to us.
This is exactly antithetical to what the Scripture teaches. To differentiate between love and truth is an artificial distinction. Essentially, what Houston is saying is that we should love people enough to keep the truth about their sins to ourselves. What Houston is actually doing is the most hateful thing one can do. We are not called first to “love” apart from giving others the truth.
This isn’t the first time Folau has stood up to Houston on social media. Last year, Folau had no problem defending his stance against the prosperity gospel huckster, Brian Houston, as he posted on Twitter,
The Great Commission — Jesus last words before leaving this Earth — is to go out into the world and make disciples. And Paul tells us exactly how to do that in Romans 10:14-17,
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.