WORD FAITH PREACHER BRIAN HOUSTON ATTEMPTS TO CLARIFY HIS RECENT STATEMENT CONCERNING ISLAM

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You might have seen the March 18, 2014 Apprising Ministries piece WF Preacher Brian Houston says Christians serve same God as Muslims. In it I shared the following clip from Houston’s Hillsong TV // Living For The Master’s Well Done, Pt1 program:

I then provided you with a transcription of what he says in that clip:

How do you view God in a desert? There’s two types of birds. There’s vultures, and there’s hummingbirds. One lives off dead carcasses, rotting meat.

The other lives off the beautiful, sweet, nectar in a particular flower, on a particular desert plant, in the same desert. They both find what they’re looking for.

Do you know—take it all the way back into the Old Testament—and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah, to a Muslim; to us, Abba Father, God.

It would seem pretty clear above that Houston has just told us those who adhere to the world religion of Islam, the followers of the prophet Muhammad, are serving the same God as those of us who are regenerated believers in the one true and living God of the Bible, the followers of Christ Jesus, the Lord.

But later on Brian Houston, who is Senior Pastor of the nefarious Word Faith haven Hillsong Church (HC) Australia along with his wife pastrix Bobbie,1 could be seen going around the Internet proclaiming: Wait a minute, that’s not really quite what I meant.

Well, now pastor and pastrix Houston have issued the following joint statement attributed to Brian Houston on their Facebook page:

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(source)

Being one of those “critics” I wanted to make sure that in the interest of fairness you’d have the chance to see this for yourselves. I also wish to point out a couple of things here, speaking simply for myself as I have no way of knowing the intentions of whatever other critics Brian Houston is talking about; whomever they may be.

First of all, I didn’t say Houston believes Muslims and Christians worship the same God. I have no way of knowing what he believes unless he specifically states it. However, apparently Brian Houston shares with God the ability to know what others believe:

 I realize that some critics WANT to believe their interpretation,…

In my case the title of my article is clear: Brian Houston says Christians serve the same God as Muslims. That is exactly what he did say:

Do you know—take it all the way back into the Old Testament—and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah, to a Muslim; to us, Abba Father, God.

He can claim that’s taken out of context, but that statement sounds/reads as if he personally believes this. There’s nothing in the prior part of his message that changes this, which is why I only highlighted the previous clip. That’s also why I also put in one of Houston’s attempts at clarification:

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(source)

As I explained before, his clarification really doesn’t help him. It makes it look like he does hold a common, but erroneous, view that Islam is an Abrahamic faith. If Houston does believe that, then the statement below is indicative of his own beliefs and not merely that of some Muslims:

[T]ake it all the way back into the Old Testament—and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God. Allah, to a Muslim; to us, Abba Father, God.

Notice that Houston says you—to the Christians he’s addressing—then appears to include himself with them as he says “we actually serve,” etc. ” Now we know that Christians holding the view that Islam is an Abrahamic faith usually also believe the Muslim has wrong beliefs about the one God.

The problem really isn’t with someone like myself who is trying to understand what is being said by attributing the meanings to words I find in dictionaries and text books. No, the problem stems from Christians who use what seems to me to be purposely vague language when it comes to the false religion of Islam.

For example. there’s A Common Word” Christian Response where we read:

As members of the worldwide Christian community, we were deeply encouraged and challenged by the recent historic open letter signed by 138 leading Muslim scholars, clerics, and intellectuals from around the world. “A Common Word Between Us and You” identifies some core common ground between Christianity and Islam which lies at the heart of our respective faiths as well as at the heart of the most ancient Abrahamic faith, Judaism…

Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world… What is so extraordinary about “A Common Word Between Us and You”… lies,…in something absolutely central to both: love of God and love of neighbor…

We applaud that “A Common Word Between Us and You” stresses so insistently the unique devotion to one God, indeed the love of God, as the primary duty of every believer. God alone rightly commands our ultimate allegiance… We find it equally heartening that the God whom we should love above all things is described as being Love. In the Muslim tradition, God, “the Lord of the worlds,” is “The Infinitely Good and All-Merciful.” (source)

Unfortunately, such language is a bit disingenuous because does give the Muslim the impression that the Christian signers of that document, e.g. Rick Warren, are saying that they believe in the same God as those in Islam. Keep all of this in mind, and then let’s take a look at the following from Houston’s new statement:

If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that; who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves.

I was contrasting their harsh perspective of (their) god, with who I believe God is – (a Loving God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ) and therefore what I believe God does and what I believe God loves.

The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from was clearly a (clumsy) way of me explaining that though both Christians and Muslims believe they serve the God of Abraham, they are very DIFFERENT ‘entities’ or ‘deities’ in both nature and action.

The botheration begins when Houston’s words in his original message are combined with his later Twitter statement, “Islam descends from one of Abraham’s sons.” They could easily seem to indicate that, in spite of their differing views about God, he meant Muslims and Christians do serve the same One.

As I get ready to close this out, I offer that if Brian Houston wishes to address such important and sensitive subjects as the nature of God and the religion of Islam then he needs to learn to be more precise in his language. That said, Islam cannot be an Abrahamic faith because it doesn’t believe in the God Abraham believed in.

First of all, Islamic history says its faith originates with an extraterrestrial visit:

Muslim tradition states that the angel Gabriel visited Muhammad and gave him the words [of the Qur’an] directly from Allah. (source)

However, if there truly was such a visit, then it was a lying spirit, possibly sent by God Himself (cf. 1 Kings 22:19-23). In other words, it would have been a demon who was impersonating the angel Gabriel. It’s also important at this point to understand that:

The Qur’an (Koran, Quran) is the Holy Book of Islam and the religion’s most sacred writing.  Muslims consider it the actual word of Allah and not the word of Muhammad to whom it was given. (source)

Now, since the Qur’an was supposedly brought by that being, who allegedly appeared to Muhammad, contradicts the Bible on the nature of God, then we know that this being could not have been an angel sent by the LORD God Almighty. If anything appeared at all, then it would have a lying, deceitful, spirit i.e. a demon.

As I told you in Keeping You Apprised of: Islam, while Islam does teach the existence of just one God (Qur’an 5:73; 112:1-4), Allah is so transcendent, incomprehensible and unapproachable, that it could not possibly be the one true and living personal God of biblical revelation, Who shows Himself to befriend men (Exodus 33:11).

The God of Holy Scripture is shown to be merciful to them because He loves them (Romans 5:5-8), and, in the doctrine of the Trinity, He reveals Himself as God the Father, God the Son–Jesus the Christ, and God the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:42 Peter 1:17John 1:1,14Acts 5:3-42 Corinthians 13:14).

In fact, the Qur’an itself actually admits that Allah is not the God of the Bible in Surah 5:73-75 where it states:

They do blaspheme who say: God is one in three in a Trinity: for there is no god except one.

Finally, the Qur’an portrays a different Jesus from the One we meet in the Bible. It says Jesus was not crucified (4:157), is not Deity (5:17, 75), nor is He even the God the Son (9:30). So, in the end, Islam is not an Abrahamic faith because Allah, the god of Islam, is nothing at all like the Biblical revelation of the only God there is.

Further reading

Endnotes

  1. http://myhillsong.com/senior-pastors-eldership, accessed 3/28.14.