Hillsong & God - Abba, the Father to Gays
July 29, 2005. The couple at the helm of the Australia's fastest-growing church, Hillsong, have used a church association to offload their own personal properties. Property searches have revealed Brian and Bobbie Houston have sold at a very large profit a property in the Hawkesbury region north of Sydney and a beachfront apartment in Bondi, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, to Leadership Ministries Incorporated, of which Mr Houston is a director.
Any comparisons with the recent NKF saga in Singapore is inadequate. Whilst Mr Durai was essentially getting what he would have obtained as an experienced lawyer or in the role of a CEO, what Rev Houston alleged to have done borders on criminal charges. The incident at Hawkesbury river was a case in question where they sold their own property to the church (i.e. themselves), at $780,000 at a massive profit of $535,000. (or 318% of the cost price!). Perhaps it is not poor communications that the church suffer, when caught red handed, it is best to remain quiet unlike NKF i.e "Nothing to say Loh".
In the current climate of the prosperity Gospel in Singapore, whilst it is so noble that one desires to earn millions so that in return millions could be given to charity or to christian missions which desparately needs this money, it must be done in integrity. It is not right to cheat, lie, and steal to prosper in order gain money. When we are so caught up in doing good works, we tend to justify the means even though it is wicked. God's judgement appear so far as we become a god onto ourselves.
Some years ago, a Lesbian Couple in the Hillsong leadership was totally rejected from the Hillsong church because of their sexual orientation. There have been many other similar cases over the years. There is a lot of hurt caused by these churches yet we seldom take them to task for it but instead demand that the poor Gay victims to react in love and put the onus on them to somehow educate the church!. People change but they do not change much. It must be a revelation from God to change the hearts of such hardened Christians. In the bible, it was God who revealed to Apostle Peter in Acts 10:14-15. that Gentiles are clean - if not the Church would have remained a Jewish sect.
We should not give Hillsongs a waiver to harbor their homophobic views even though they are a great church mightily used by God. Whilst they preached about morality and responsibility, they should bear the responsibility for the choices they make against the Gay community. It is God's mercy that Hillsong do not get what they deserved. Despite persecuting Gays, God has blessed them. But they have continually percuted the poor in their midst, Gays who have come to Hillsong with the desire to seek and serve God as do many thousands of straight Christians. Yet, they are singled out and ridiculed and cast out Gays. In pride, Hillsong have so considered themselve so high in morality above Gays, that they condemned and persecute not knowing that that pride comes before a fall. Our cry to God is as per the Psalmist in Psa 10:2 that because they have persecuted Gays ,they may themselves be caught in their own schemes to illegally gain from the property sales which they have devised.
Under normal circumstances, Gay Christians have no standing whatsover against Hillsong. They are one of the greatest church and christian music group. Among the evangelical community they could do no wrong. It must be the fault of overzealous Newspaper with a critical spirit they claimed not even bothering to examine the facts. But we have a God who takes cares of the outcasts, who take care of Gays and especially Gay Christians.
This morning, the message to Gay Christians is that in the midst of our overwhelming struggles and persecution we faced against the mainstream churches where we cry out to God just as in Psa 10:1 "Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide in times of trouble?", know that God is in our midst. It's been a long wait. For the last thousand years, Gays have faced tremendous persecutions mostly in the name of religion. The mainstream churches are so full of curse, deceit and opression against Gays (Psa 10:7). In 1450, Spanish Inquisition in the Catholic religion was enpowered by Pope Nicholas to punish homosexuality. In 1641, the newly esthablished British colony of Massachusetts in America instituted death penalty for homosexuals. Homosexuality is still on the death penalty list in many muslim countries. Only in the last two hundred years, was the death penalty liftted in most other countries - 1786 in Pennsylvania, USA, 1794 in Prussia, and 1861 in London. The mainstream churches is very still very much against Gays. In 1986, the late Pope John Paul II issued a letter calling gay people as " intrinsically disordered" and that the church will never be reconciled with homosexuality. Recently, in 2003, the Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola compares homosexuals as being worst than animals. In this time of troubles God has been and is continuing to do a new work. God is still speaking. When the burdens got too heavy, God always have a way to lighten the load.
Despite the mainstream churches persecution of Gays, their ways appear to be prospering (Psa 10:5 NKJV). They are seemingly getting away with injustice and not taken to task in any way. Gays continue to be hurt and treated badly and rejected in the church. But God is in control. He is in awares of the trouble and grief that gays are going through. Many our us have no fathers whether spiritually or physically, we have been outcast and rejected by our family and church. But we have a Father in heaven. As Gay Christians being totally helpless against our self righteous mega church oppressors even in Singapore, let us commit ourselves to God for He is the helper of the fatherless (Psa 10:14). For God has heard us, has heard our cries (Psa 10:17), and in Christ Jesus we will have justice in the midst of our oppression that we as Gays will one day be opppresed no more (Psa 10:8).
Father God in humility I come to you today. In the eyes of the world I am nothing when compared to the great churches such as Hillsong who persecute my people. But I am a child of God in Christ Jesus and that is all that matters. I come before You O Lord in this sweet hour of prayer that you may be a Father to Gays in Singapore, a Father to us who are fatherless and are oppressed. In this season of distress and grief when the churches continually condem our very Gayness as a sin, and even some in our midst have called themselves as being of a "fallen nature" or in sin, we know better Lord and will not despise ourselves nor how you have created us wonderfully. Be with us, O Father in Heaven, do not be far away from us for many a times it feels that you are so so far. But let your grace and mercy fall upon us today because of your son Jesus Christ that we may have a zeal to know you more and to accept how you have created us. Give us rest O Lord, rest and relief from our oppressors. Send us your Holy Spirit again and again so that we may call you Abba, Father.