John G Lake: Holy man who loved the Bible and who didn't love money

John G Lake: Holy man who loved the Bible and who didn’t love money

Pastor Brian Houston. Likes gold, affluence and boy toys. Prosperity gospel preacher.

Pastor Brian Houston. Likes gold, money, affluence, luxurious overseas holidays, exclusive high0end restaurants, and boy toys. Prosperity Gospel preacher.

 

I was at the Icebergs Swimming Pool in Bondi Beach, Sydney. A fellow swimmer and I were having a yarn. Somehow the subject of Hillsong came up. My fellow swimmer shared  how he’d been holidaying at an expensive boutique hotel at Positano on the Amalfi Coast in Italy. The Amalfi Coast is a really beautiful spot to visit on the Mediterranean Coast of South Italy. The small boutique hotels on the cliffs along the Coast are for the well-heeled Italian, European and visitors from elsewhere. We aren’t talking about backpacking

My fellow swimmer shared how he was in this expensive hotel and he spotted Pastor Brian Houston at a table with his family. He is not a church goer but he recognised Pastor Brian from the media. He commented that he was struck by the affluence of Pastor Brian. The gold accessories, expensive watch and the fine clothes.

“It is harder for a camel to pass through a needle than for a rich man to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven”

These are the immortal words of Jesus.

Jesus Christ, who the Christians believe is God manifest in human form, was giving instruction about the kind of lives that we should live. He was commenting on the difficulties facing the rich man.

A certain rich man was captivated by what Jesus was saying and the miracles of healing He was doing. Challenged by the Master the rich man asked what he must do to inherit eternal life

Jesus said that yes he can inherit eternal life but first he must give away all his riches and follow Him. The rich man couldn’t do this and walked away.

Jesus commented to his disciples “How hard it is for a rich man to inherit the Kingdom of God”.

There is a Prosperity Gospel preached at Hillsong Church Australia by Pastor Brian Houston, the Head Pastor. Pastor Brian’s message is that riches are the inheritance of Christians. It is a blessing to “get rich”.

Pastor Brian has even written a book saying Christian’s should get rich and have heaps of cash. The title is “You Need More Money”.

 

 

Pastor Brian is an exponent of what is called “The Prosperity Gospel”.

I don’t know exactly why Pastor Brian is so keen on riches. I suspect it has something to do with his upbringing and his aspirational nature.

I was raised in Khandallah, Wellington. New Zealand. It is Wellington’s most affluent suburb. My dad was a prominent Presbyterian pastor. Pastor Brian was raised in Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand. It was a working class suburb with fibro and plain brick simple houses and bland shopping areas. His dad was Pastor Frank Houston, a prominent AOG (Assemblies of God) pastor.

Neither Pastor Brian or me had a lot of cash in our childhood and youth. There was not a lot of spare cash in our respective families once the bills had been paid. We were definitely not from a privileged background. For example, the most expensive family outing for my family was having fish and chips at the beach. Dad used to like to toss chips to the seagulls and build a fires on the rocks and cook sausages.

When Pastor Brian came to Sydney Australia in the late 70s he didn’t have any wealth. Nor did Pastor Frank his dad.

Once things got rolling at Christian Life Centre, Darlinghurst a lot of cash came available.

Pastor Frank had his hand firmly on the money bag. The large offerings were stashed in a safe in his office and only a few people knew the combination. I don’t know if Pastor Frank knew the combination. I am not implying that Pastor Frank helped himself to any cash in an improper fashion.

Pastor Frank liked to jaunt around Ausrralia and overseas on ministry trips. Like his son Pastor Brian he was hard working and industrious. The church bought a nice home for Pastor Frank and his wife Hazel in the well-heeled North Shore suburb of Gordon.

Pastor Frank preached about prosperity but not at all in the way his son pastor Brian does.