If you are considering commenting or sending me an e-mail objecting to the fact that I warn against certain teachers, please click here and read this article first. Your objection is most likely answered here. I won’t be publishing comments or answering emails that are answered by this article.
This article is kept continuously updated as needed.
This article is what I call a “clearinghouse article”. It is a collection of articles written by others on the teacher, ministry, or unbiblical trend named below. Either I have not had the time to write a full blown article on it myself, or I felt that the articles listed did a fine job of explaining the biblical issues and there was no need to reinvent the wheel.
Disclaimer: I did not write most of the articles below, and I am not thoroughly familiar with all of the websites used in my clearinghouse articles. I do not endorse anything on these sites that deviates from Scripture or conflicts with my beliefs as outlined in the “Welcome” or “Statement of Faith” tabs in the blue menu bar at the top of this page.
Here are the biblical criteria I use when deciding whether or not to recommend a teacher, ministry, etc.:
Generally speaking, in order for me to recommend a teacher, speaker, author, or ministry, he/she/it has to meet three criteria:
a) A female teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly preach to or teach men in violation of 1 Timothy 2:12. A male teacher or pastor cannot allow women to carry out this violation of Scripture in his ministry. The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be living in any other sin (for example, cohabiting with her boyfriend or living as a homosexual).
b) The pastor or teacher cannot currently and unrepentantly be partnering with or frequently appearing with false teachers. This is a violation of Scripture.
c) The pastor, teacher, or ministry cannot currently and unrepentantly be teaching false doctrine.
I recommend against any teacher or ministry who violates one or more of these biblical tenets.
If you’d like to check out some pastors and teachers I heartily recommend, click the Recommended Bible Teachers tab at the top of this page.
Hillsong/Brian & Bobbie Houston
Brian Houston stepped down as head of Hillsong in 2022 (see below) and has been replaced by Phil and Lucinda Dooley. For the present, Brian’s and Bobbie’s names and the information below about them will remain in this article. They led Hillsong for nearly 40 years. It will take a while before Hillsong leaves them and their legacy behind.
Primary issues with Hillsong/Brian & Bobbie Houston: Heresy (Word of Faith/prosperity gospel/New Apostolic Reformation – NAR), false teachers/heretics, women “pastors”/preachers (Bobbie and others)
New Apostolic Reformation
New Apostolic Reformation articles
The Mailbag: What is the New Apostolic Reformation?
Articles by Unbelievers*
(May contain profanity)
Can Jesus Close the Wage Gap? Inside Hillsong’s Instagram-Fueled Women’s Movement at Elle
11 Things To Know About Hillsong Church at Cosmopolitan
Sunday service: one writer investigates the truth behind Hillsong church at Vogue
Hillsong: A church with rock concerts and 2m followers at BBC (this article also covers the homosexual worship leaders incident- see “Specific Incidents at Hillsong” below)
*More articles by unbelievers below
Is Hillsong a biblically solid church? at Got Questions
You Need More Money by Brian Houston
Hillsong Church at Apologetics Index
The Heresy of Hillsong at The Protestant Standard
Why Our Church No Longer Plays Bethel or Hillsong Music (or Elevation or Jesus Culture), and Neither Should Yours (multiple videos/articles)
Hillsong’s Theology of Music and Worship
Should we Listen to Hillsong Music? by Justin Peters
Specific Incidents at Hillsong
Brian Houston’s resignation, scandal, and replacement
Australian megachurch founder steps down amid allegations of misconduct at CNN*
Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston resigns after revelation of misconduct at The Christian Post
Phil and Lucinda Dooley appointed new global senior pastors of Hillsong Church at The Christian Post
Brian Houston covers up his father’s child sexual abuse at Hillsong
Hillsong’s Brian Houston failed to report abuse and had conflict of interest – royal commission at The Guardian*
Hillsong pastor Brian Houston stands by decision not to report dad’s child abuse to police at Christian Today
Pedophiles being protected-at it’s finest. Hillsong and Houston, September 2019, Parliament Address*
Naked Cowboy at Colour (women’s) Conference
Homosexual worship leaders / Hillsong’s homosexuality policy
Why TV’s ‘Broadway Boyfriends’ will keep singing with Hillsong Church by Jonathan Merritt*
Hillsong’s Brian Houston says church won’t take public position on LGBT issues by Jonathan Merritt*
Sleazy Christmas performance
Hillsong’s “Sleazy Silent Night!” at Fighting for the Faith (here is the video to which the article refers)
Carl Lentz on abortion
Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz Provides Moral Cover For Abortion On ‘The View’ at The Federalist
Apostate worship leader
Hillsong Worship Leader Leaves the Faith by Gabriel Hughes
Fraud and Finances
Hillsong leaders accused of money laundering, tax evasion, shopping that would ‘embarrass a Kardashian’ at The Christian Post
Collections of Articles
The Brian Houston & Hillsong Cornucopia of False Doctrine, Abuse, Obfuscation & Money Generation at Messed Up Church
Hillsong articles at Grace to You (enter “Hillsong” in the search bar)
Hillsong posts/episodes at Fighting for the Faith
Brian Houston posts/episodes at Fighting for the Faith
Hillsong articles at Berean Research
If you came here looking for a critique of individual Hillsong songs, that’s not really what this is about. Everything connected to Brian Houston – Hillsong “Church,” Hillsong Music (as an entity and all individual songs), all Hillsong personnel (including Bobbie Houston), materials, programs, and events – are all fruit of the poisonous tree of false teacher, Brian Houston. No, you cannot biblically pick and choose songs from Hillsong that don’t seem to overtly violate Scripture. The Bible never tells us to “chew up the meat and spit out the bones.” It says:
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. Romans 16:17-18
“Watch out” for false teachers. “Avoid them.” That includes everything about them: all their materials, books, events, music, social media, etc. Would the God who breathed out these words of Scripture be pleased if we ourselves, or our churches, use materials by people who “do not serve our Lord Christ”?