Warning: Sexual References Contained Herein
You know, it is difficult to know what goes through the mind of a person who seems to be infinitely more occupied with the acquisition of material wealth than he is with the nurturing of a deep, spiritual (non earth) relationship with Jesus Christ *.
What is even more amazing is that this same individual shamelessly seeks to justify his psychobabble from the very Word of God he so blithely defiles. I speak of a man whose popularity appears to be more important to him than his commitment to the truth of Scripture. A man whose wife equates even moderate weight gain with mental retardation, and who also advocates plastic surgery in order to keep hubby happy between the sheets **.
A couple who enjoy the status of ‘big cheeses’ in one of the fastest growing charasmatic mousetraps in the southern hemisphere which by the way, enjoys an annual turnover of 50 million tax free dollars, and a man concerned fundamentalists have (not without reason) labelled, “a biblical heretic”.
Of course I am referring to the Ken and Barbie of Australian Charismaticism : Brian and Bobby Houston – hehehe – yeah like totally!
2 Peter 2:3: And through covetousness they will use you for gain with well-turned words; for whom judgment from of old does not linger, and their destruction does not sleep. NKJV
Interestingly the word translated ‘well-turned’ is the Greek word ‘plastos’ from which comes the English word ‘plastic’. The word means ‘moulded’, ‘fabricated’ or ‘artificial’.
And that pretty much sums up the ‘ministry’ of Bri-Bri and Bo-Bo
Sadder still is the clone-like effect their influence seems to have on not only Pentecostalism in general, but also on those eager to bolster flagging numbers and dwindling coffers in less ‘evangelical’ denominations.
Dilemma: How do we attract more people from the world into the church?
Solution: Become like the world. Adopt its methods, business stratagem, look, feel, music, appeal, desires – THEN, wave a little ‘christian’ wand over the whole mix and wallah . . instant . . . something.
Wrong Bri-Bri, what you have is what Daddy’s Word calls the ‘Trimming of the Ways’. Hey, just for something novel Brian lets take a look at what God’s Word says on the subject shall we?
Jeremiah 2:33: How trimmest you your way to seek love! therefore even the wicked women have you taught your ways. Also in your skirts is found the blood of the souls of the innocent poor: you did not find them breaking in; but it is because of all these things. WEBV
Seduced in by all means of craftiness as Paul warned would be the case in 2 Timothy 3:4-6.
And to what was Jeremiah referring when he used the term ‘trimmest your way’? The word translated ‘trimmest’ is the word, יטב ‘ yâṭab - pronounced: yaw-tab' and it means, ‘to make to sound beautiful, happy, acceptable – to trim as in to compromise in order to accommodate’.
Barnes Dictionary explains thusly: literally, “Why makest thou thy way good,” a phrase used here of the pains taken by the Jews to learn the idolatries of foreign nations.
The Complete Apostle’s Bible translates the verse this way: “What fair device will you yet employ in your ways, so as to seek love? It shall not be so; moreover you have done wickedly in corrupting your ways; and in your hands have been found the blood of innocent souls; I have not found them in holes, but on every oak. CABV
And that’s where it’s at folks – the heart and soul of the Church Growth Movement, the thrust and unspoken ethos of the Houstonites; The End Always Justifies The Means – Conciliation at ALL costs for the sake of the prize – and that prize would be??? Why, little sugar coated converts of course! Shallow, deceived drones of Barbie Ville, living [deceptively] happily ever after in a BIG dream home with a BIG white picket fence, in a BIG dream neighbourhood where a BIG dream sun never sets, with a BIG dream car in the driveway, and a LITTLE dream pet that doesn’t poop, wagging its boo-boo tail at the gate when they come home from their BIG dream job in . . . LA LA LAND.
Of course this observation is clearly ‘satire’ and satire is ‘negative’ by definition and as such must be rejected at all costs by Houstonites because ‘negativity’ does not fit in with Ken & Barbie’s dream prosperity doctrine – even though ‘negativity’ also effectively negates the teachings of 98 percent of the Old Testament prophets. But who needs prophets when you have profits right Ken? . . er . . Brian? – Bo-Bo?
It may come as a surprise to some, but
But the US Assemblies of God weren’t the first to smell the ill wind. Years beforehand Charles H Spurgeon had this to say of that which is not so new under the sun . . .
An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most short-sighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.
My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’ That is clear enough. So it would have been if he had added, ‘and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.’ No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him. Then again, ‘He gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers, for the work of the ministry.’ Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.
Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the Church to the world? ‘Ye are the salt,’ not the sugar candy—something the world will spit out, not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, ‘Let the dead bury their dead.’ He was in awful earnestness!
Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of his teaching. I do not hear him say, "Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!" Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them. In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of the gospel of amusement. Their message is, ‘Come out, keep out, keep clean out!’ Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon. After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, "Lord, grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are." If they ceased not for preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. ‘They turned the world upside down’. That is the only difference! Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her and bring us back to apostolic methods.
Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the Church met them half-way, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment had been God’s link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today’s ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.
* More Information: Brian Houston: ‘You Need More Money’
** In Bobbie's
three-tape boxed set ‘Kingdom Women Love Sex’ ($22, also available on CD).
Bobbie explains why it is important for Christians to be good at
"it". "We need to be good
at sex ourselves so that if the world happens to come knocking [presumably not
we can tell the story of God in our
lives," Bobbie says, on the tape. "Without being lurid or untruthful - hello! - we can say [she whispers],
'I have a great marriage and a great sex life' - wink wink, nudge nudge. Yeah,
Bobbie also offers some practical advice. . .
”Fat is out. Do some exercise. If I carry weight I feel like a retard ... How are you going to do anything to surprise your man when you need a hydraulic crane just to turn over in bed?" Have plastic surgery, if it makes you feel better and it is for the right reasons, and "girls, pelvic floor exercises - can you believe I am saying this? - you know, I have heard that orgasm is not as strong if you are really sloppy in that area".
As Bobbie says, "When you are doing what is correct in God there is a protection over your life. Like - hello! - it is just there. So it is a very powerful thing. Amen. Yeah, fully."
Sydney Morning Herald Magazine -
Praise the Lord and Pass the Chequebook
by Greg Bearup