Australia’s Seven network featured a fifteen minute segment on Hillsong Church recently on its flagship current affairs program, Sunday Night.
Hillsong’s leader, Brian Houston is interviewed at some length.
Even if you have little interest in Hillsong, the questioning provided by Monique Wright, the journalist that features in the piece, is fascinating.
They reveal astounding ignorance about Christianity in general, and the worldwide pentecostal movement in particular. She seems ignorant of the existance of similar congregations in the major Australian cities. She seems ignorant of the fact that Hillsong reflects a model of church that is growing aournd the world, particularly in the place where it originated, the USA.
I thought Houston’s best reply came when asked if he was nervous about the interview. He deadpans ‘fatalistic’, which Wright just let go sailing by.
At some points she looks so perplexed over Houston’s answers to her questions that her eyebrows threaten to crawl all the way up her forehead and escape completely. Maybe she had a head cold and was trying not to sneeze while they filmed her reaction shots.
Despite the somewhat triumphalistic introduction about getting Houston to speak, the only piece of information that I don’t think I’ve heard before is Brian finally giving a figure for his annual income.

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20 thoughts on “Hillsong’s Brian Houston Interviewed On Sunday Night

  1. al bain says:

    I think it was an excellent interview. I don’t think the questions were that bad. And he did a great job I reckon.

    And as for his 300,000 income – I have no problem with that. It’s what he does with it that is the real question.

    Thanks for the link.

    1. gjware says:

      I think the questions were about as good as I’d expect a secular journalist to ask.
      What is unknown is what ended up not being used.
      As with your recent experience with the print media, it doesn’t matter what you say and particularly how many times you bring your comments back to the Gospel, the finished product usually shows the journalist’s intent going in.
      The piece did show a more personal and human dimension to Houston and I wonder if that was the intent.
      The look on his face when asked if he’d forgiven his father was compelling.

      1. al bain says:

        It was a tough question.

        The bloke getting drunk on the Holy Spirit (or whatever he said) should read Acts again.

      2. Billz says:

        Hey GJ. I believe that Hillsong are salt and light, and that Bobbie and Brian nailed it when she said, people haven’t been close enough to us. It’s exactly the same with Jesus, as you get closer to him you start to feel his love, grace and mercy. Regardless of if you’ve had an abortion or you are gay god forgives because he looks at us through the blood of jesus christ which is perfect. Its hard for the secular world to understand and actually lots of christians that Grace is a gift that is given to all sinners. Not just some. Salt and Light is really the key. How many times have you seen people say, im a christian, and then they go and act like judgemental and rude. No one is going to want a piece of the pie they’re after, however..im sure we would see the prosperity and reign of hillsong and say, right there is forward thinking and living in that church, yes please serve me some of that pie. Amen to God for igniting Brian and Bobbie to have a real current heart for Jesus. Something relevant and not outdated.

      3. gjware says:

        Billz,
        I know how challenging it is for everyone to maintain an attitude of sacrificial teamwork in a small church.
        In a church of thousands it would be so much harder.

    2. Dylan Bolt says:

      Hi my name is Dylan Bolt,
      I think that Brian Houston has a calling from God and is walking in it, some people get so worked up about money and they end up being lead by it. For the person who said Brian was satans employee let me quote one of my best friends sayings and that is how can a divided house stand? that is my question to you?

      and for the person who wrote the main blurb above I’m sorry but everything else may have started from America but Christianity did not begin in America it began at Pentecost.

      Christianity enables human beings who have accomplished so much who are made in Gods image but in a fallen state to have a relationship with the creator of everyone and everything how do you ask? by our great accomplishments on this earth, walking on the moon ,finding new creatures that God already knew that they were there. oh I know by his grace yep and it matters not how much money you have because God gives it some on this earth and whether you use it for Gods kingdom or not is upto each persons who he gives it to he trusts each person to use it for his kingdom.

      So Christianity is a relationship with God through Jesus who died for everyone and it mattered not if you had lots of money or sinned everyday with out a care because God loves and is love.

      the ‘final step’ as stated in other comments which is to accept abortions and homosexuality.

      the world as I see it is in a fallen state you see it in the news all the time tornadoes, tidal waves, fires spanning thousands of k’s killing people,earth quakes. Homosexuality and abortion are never mentioned as a good thing in the bible people choose to these things out of Gods will for their lives and they wonder why the church doesn’t ‘go the final step’ its because the church in Gods will knows his will and doesn’t bow down to people whims of wanting to be accepted while living in sin, Jesus never came on his dads foot stool to meet peoples whims so neither should the church.

  2. Anja says:

    He has no conscience about fleecing the gullible. If there is a Satan, Brian is his number one employee.

    1. gary porter says:

      No the catholics and anglicans have done a much better job

  3. Amie says:

    I thought Brian did a wonderful job in the interview. I thought he answered each question graciously and calmly. I also thought that Monique tended to look down her nose a bit at Brian and Christianity in general as a backwards thinking ‘religion’; as stated in one of her final questions, “why not go the final step and accept homosexuality and abortion?” I thought Brian’s patience accentuated her ignorance and arrogance. He was a good example of Salt and Light.

    1. gjware says:

      I thought that question and the way it was framed provided a telling insight into what an outsider views as the ‘final steps’ in making Christianity relevant to the wider culture.

  4. al bain says:

    what do you mean?

    1. gjware says:

      Running two different interactions here.
      What I said above pertains to Amie’s comment.
      Expanding on the thought of ‘final steps’, my observation is that putting aside biblical authority and morality, along with gender issues, is portrayed as the solution to making church relevant and appealing to society at large.
      Whether that happens in a cathedral with a choir or an auditorium with a rock band is hardly even acknowledged as important.
      The position sidesteps the issue that churches who have followed those ‘final steps’ largely stumble to oblivion while churches that have refused to take them more generally grow.

  5. serendipity says:

    Was rather concerned at the degree of discomfort and the hesitancy in Ps Brian’s responses toward homosexuality and abortion- the line is very clear in the Word.
    To this part I sensed a sense of feeling apologetic in what the Word clearly states – .. this to me suggested a sense of discomfort in not being able to please people ( as so often seems to be the case)

  6. Amie says:

    I know would also be hesitant and reluctant to answer those questions knowing full well that the interviewer fully intends to entrap you with your answer.

  7. Jelome says:

    I would be definitely hesitant around the the media in Australia. It has taken statements out of context and portrayed the church in highly ignorant, inaccurate ways for so many times…and Hillsong has borne the brunt of such unethical practices in recent years. Brian and Bobbie are imperfect humans who are used by God in a place of influence they didn’t even dream of initially…so I think we should just pray regularly for them to walk right with God and be guided by Him…

    1. gjware says:

      Hi Jelome ~
      Thanks for the comments.
      I’m somewhat amazed that people are still searching up last Sunday’s interview, but there’s a steady and significant stream of traffic searching for it.
      The Houstons certainly attract a lot of interest.

  8. Justin says:

    Brian Houston is an amazing leader. God has used him to inspire and lead thousands and thousands to Christ. The truth is that you can look and be negative in every circumstance, if that’s the kind of person you are. Or, on the other hand you can see the positives. I pray a day would come when Christians would stop blasting each other and focus on impacting those that don’t know Christ. We only have a certain amount of energy each day. Let’s focus on using that for good!

  9. Stuart Heath says:

    Thanks for posting this. I just heard about this interview last week, and I couldn’t find it on the Sunday Night site.

    Really interesting interview. There’s a humility there that doesn’t come out in print. And it was encouraging to hear him talk about sin and forgiveness. I’ve been out to Hillsong and listened to recorded talks and read one of his books, and sin’s absence has been really notable. I don’t know if this is a change for him, or if I’ve just happened material where he hasn’t mentioned it much.

    In contrast, sin and forgiveness were big features of the Frank Houston talks I listened to. Such a sad story.

    1. gjware says:

      Good to know the video link still works. It still gets a steady stream of search engine generated views.
      The part where Houston responds about his father was/is very affecting.

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