Fighting for the Faith With Chris Rosebrough – Brian Houston Turns Liabilities Into Opportunities


[Second segment – 00:39:04 – 01:00:25]

Chris Rosebrough, “We continue…..time for a money grubbing televangelist update and Brian Houston being one of them.

Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)”

I have got the brains, you’ve got the looks
Let’s make lots of money
You have got the brawn, I have got the brains
Let’s make lots of –

I have had enough of scheming and messing around with jerks
My car is parked outside, I’m afraid it doesn’t work
I am looking for a partner, someone who gets things fixed
Ask yourself this question: Do you want to be rich?

I have got the brains, you’ve got the looks
Let’s make lots of money
You have got the brawn, I have got the brains
Let’s make lots of money

Yeah alright enough of that, alright so it is all about making money, at least that is what it is with the money grubbing televangelists. Now Brian Houston of Hillsong out there in Sydney Australia, he is one of these guys who well he is a TBN televangelist and so you know money is a very important aspect of what he does there. But that is not going to be the focus of what we are going to be listening to.

We are going to be listening to a quote, at least a portion of a sermon recently preaching by him called Turning Limitation into Opportunity and of course I have no idea what this has to do with sound biblical doctrine, Christian theology, repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus name, or His vicarious penal substitutionary death on the cross.

It has nothing to do with that and in fact I – this is just one of those times where Brian Houston again I am not even sure what the point of him quoting a biblical passage is because where in scripture, that you are aware of does it teach us listen we need to turn limitations into quote you know quote opportunities?

I am not familiar with those passages but boy this is a message that sure would make people feel good about themselves really, I mean really really good and inspire them to take you know their things in their life so they feel our limitations and turn them into opportunities. So but so see the thing is that is somebody a Christian by taking limitations and turning it into opportunities?

No, what if you spend your entire life never able to flip your limitations into opportunities and you spend your entire life and then die – somebody who is limited. Do you go to hell? I mean you know what shall we make of that? I mean I think of those passages in scripture. You know where you know the apostle Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says to you know to slaves, people who are in they don’t even own themselves, they are owned by somebody else.

Ephesians 6 v 5 (ESV – English Standard Version)

Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

Slaves obey your masters. Talk about a limitation. He didn’t talk about the opportunity of you know name it and claim it and win your freedom through your positive attitude and things and you know those passages don’t exist. Although it does say you know if you can make yourself free do so you can. But you know in the mean time ‘Slaves obey your masters.’ And you might end up dying a slave. Not that I am condoning slavery. But you get what I saying here.

This doesn’t seem to be well even part and parcel of the major biblical emphasis that we get when we read the entire counsel of the Word of God. But here is Brian Houston – let’s let him make the case we will see if this is even a biblical teaching. Here we go…..

Brian Houston, “Judges 3 v 15 very important. This message is called Turning Limitation into Opportunity. Turning limitation into Opportunity…..

Judges 3 v 15 (NKJV – New King James Version)

15 But when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord,

Chris Rosebrough, “Now this is Judges 3 v 15 that he is having us read….”

Judges 3 v 15 (NKJV – New King James Version)

15 But when the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for them: Ehud…..

He is a significant man…..

Judges 3 v 15 (NKJV – New King James Version)

15 The son of Gera….

Chris Rosebrough, “Judges 3 this is a limitation turning into an opportunity. What we might have to spend a couple of segments on this sermon.

Judges 3 v 15 (NKJV – New King James Version)

15 The Benjamite, a left-handed man. By him the children of Israel sent tribute to Eglon king of Moab.

What is significant Ehud the son of Gera the Benjamite, a left handed man, all the left hander’s in the room stand to your feet. Notice how many there are, you see I want to talk to you people because we I am a left handed person myself, we are a marginalised minority group. But I do want to make these comments that will prove to you that left handers are a marginalised group when it comes to the way the world works.

So for example the way that the paper that you write on works, it works for a right hander because you write from this side of the page to that side which means that your hand basically goes across the page, a left hander our hand goes so that we smudge the work behind us and you think that we are just untidy or not neat….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Alright let’s yeah not that I am trying to jump the gun here. But let’s take a look at this Judges 3 passage to see if we can figure out what an earth he is doing here. I bet we can kind of deconstruct this and figure out where he is going with this. Because one thing I have learned from televangelists is they have a really bad habit of telegraphing their punches. So apparently so Judges 3, now he was reading v15 about a left handed Benjamite by the name of Ehud.

Let’s take a look and see if okay so the what will be the limitation there? Oh yeah he was left handed. Huh oh yeah because we all know how limiting being left handed is, I mean you might as well cut off your left hand in order to function in a right handed world. Right I mean that is a limitation. It is practically a handicap. So we are going to answer the question here is Judges 3 the story of Ehud, a story about overcoming limitations and turning them into opportunities.

Well let’s take a look at what is going on here. We will start in v12. The reason why is because we want to get context. Judges 3 v 12, here is what it says….

Judges 3 v 12 (ESV – English Standard Version)

12 And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

Agh so the people of Israel did what was evil. You can read into that and think idolatry. They were worshipping other gods and things like that so God punishes them and puts them into the hands of you know other nations and in this case it is Eglon the king of Moab.

Judges 3 v 13-15 (ESV – English Standard Version)

13 He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel. And they took possession of the city of palms. 14 And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.15 Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man.

Now just to make this clear, I am pretty sure that being left handed wasn’t a handicap or a limitation. In fact I don’t think scripture describes it as that way. But let’s see what happens here, so Ehud…..

Judges 3 v 15-22 (ESV – English Standard Version)

15 The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 And Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubitin length, and he bound it on his right thigh under his clothes. 17 And he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who carried the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back at the idols near Gilgal and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” And he commanded, “Silence.” And all his attendants went out from his presence.

20 And Ehud came to him as he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.” And he arose from his seat. 21 And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly.22 And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not pull the sword out of his belly; and the dung came out.

Yeah this is what the text says.

Judges 3 v 23 (ESV – English Standard Version)

23 Then Ehud went out into the porch and closed the doors of the roof chamber behind him and locked them.

Uh hmm this is not a story about overcoming limitations and turning them into an opportunity. This is a story of sinful people, being sold in slavery, whom God then sends a deliverer to rescue them. That is what this story is about. It is not about overcoming limitations. It is about being delivered.

Okay so already we are this is not good. So it is pretty clear what well Brian Houston is doing here. He is equating left handedness with a limitation. But that then could be your opportunity to be used by God apparently something like that.

Brian Houston, “So for example the way that the paper that you write on works, it works for a right hander because you write from this side of the page to that side which means that your hand basically goes across the page, a left hander our hand goes so that we smudge the work behind us and you think that we are just untidy or not neat.

But the fact is we have to hold our hand over the things that we have just written and also our view is blocked of what we have written. I believe for left handers we should have learnt it and be quite encouraged to be able to write on this way on the page and it would be up to everybody else to….

How many left handers here have noticed that if ever you are given a receipt for your card. Your credit or your debit card and you have to sign it. That almost ninety nine point nine percent of the time they will put it up on the counter. But they will put it on the angle for a right handed person to sign it…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “This is so sad I mean oh Brian Houston has been suffering from a left handed handicap his entire time! He has been limited!”

Brian Houston, “Ninety nine point nine percent of the time and you just have to get used to turning around to the left hand and signing it with the left hand. How many people have noticed that presumption if you are a left hander and can identify with exactly what I am saying?

When I worked as a young guy I worked during Bible college and just after Bible college, when I was getting started in Youth Ministry and so on as a roofer. I used to put corrugated iron on roofs and so for the valleys and so I would have to cut the corrugated iron and the thing is my boss never ever did give me left handed tins nuts….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh no oh I hope you figured out how to turn that into an opportunity….”

Brian Houston, “We sure didn’t have anything electrical to cut the corrugated iron with. So this iron it is you know sizable. It is long and if I was cutting an angle, then I would be using right handed snips in my left hand which is already difficult and then you would have to hold this part of what you were doing and as you go you had to hold it in front of you and so basically curl it around you and so that you were working in the blind and sort of corrugated iron. I mean it is sharp. It has got pointy ends on it and so on….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh no did you get a paper cut?”

Brian Houston, “Anything could have happened. But that is the life of a left hander. That is just some of the stuff. We are limited. We are limited it seems…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh yeah oh no, oh man this is bringing a tear to my eye. Not really but….”

Brian Houston, “An opportunity because of our defect. When it comes to eating….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh he is really going to continue on this theme. I don’t even think the people at Hillsong really think this is a real limitation.”

Brian Houston, “You can guarantee that they are going to put your glass or your cup on the right handers side.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh no and you probably are not capable of moving it to the left hand side. Yeah oh terrible…..”

Brian Houston, “And they will put the bread on the right handers side and then you put your glass where it needs to be as a left hander on the left side and then the person next to you gets annoyed with you because they don’t know which is your glass and which is their glass…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh this is such a terrible limitation….”

Brian Houston, “And well I just think it is time there was a change. That is what I think and it is good to me to know that to my knowledge there is no specific individual to whom The Bible says “A man right handed.” The person who was esteemed above anyone else in the entire scripture for the hand that they used primarily was Ehud, a man left handed you see so….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Uh hmm…..”

Brian Houston, “Why am I telling you all of that?”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah why?”

Brian Houston, “Because it is a fun way of telling you really that in some way or another all of us have our limitation…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Sorry I am choking on air. Really? So the story of Ehud is a story about overcoming limitations. Oh man I am going to lose it….”

Brian Houston, “In 1 Samuel 17 tells one of The Bible’s most famous stories and of course it is the story where David confronted Goliath.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh boy this is by the way this is gonna, we are going to hear two different versions of how to twist the same passage here tonight.”

Brian Houston, “1 Samuel 17. So Jessie who was David’s father had a whole load of sons. His oldest son was called Eliab. His next oldest son was called Amminadab, the next one was called Shimea and then going through to the youngest whose name was David and the older sons they all were with Saul and in Saul’s armies, where as David spent time at home. But his dad sent him amongst other things to take ten cheeses.

That always makes me smile. Specifically there were ten cheeses that he had to take to his brothers on the battlefield and I guess you would have had mozzarella cheese, you would have had some goat cheese, he would have had some cheddar sliced cheese. He would have all the kind of cheese that we know. But when he got there. I am just putting part of the story in, you probably know already. But getting to the point that we need to get to….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Uh hmm….yeah please do….”

Brian Houston, “When he got through, there was quite a commotion going on. Because the Philistines were taunting God’s people and so that is the background when you get to 1 Samuel 17 v 24. It says in v23…..

1 Samuel 17 v 23-25 (NKJV – New King James Version)

23 Then as he talked with them, there was the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, coming up from the armies of the Philistines; and he spoke according to the same words. So David heard them. 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him and were dreadfully afraid. 25 So the men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who has come up? Surely he has come up to defy Israel;

They were all dreadfully afraid The Bible says.

1 Samuel 17 v 25 (NKJV – New King James Version)

25 And it shall be that the man who kills him the king will enrich with great riches, will give him his daughter, and give his father’s house exemption from taxes in Israel.”

That is quite a promise right there…..

1 Samuel 17 v 26 (NKJV – New King James Version)

26 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised….

He says and then it goes on in the next verse….”

Chris Rosebrough, “So what was David’s limitation? I am very familiar with this story. I am not familiar with David’s quote limitation.”

Brian Houston, “He says and then it goes on in the next verse….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Was it that he was young? That he was you know a teenager? I mean what was his limitation? He wasn’t left handed was he?”

Brian Houston, “He says and then it goes on in the next verse….

1 Samuel 17 v 27 (NKJV – New King James Version)

27 And the people answered him in this manner, saying, “So shall it be done for the man who kills him

So that is where the story starts. But basically what the story is about is that in a world of limitation…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “The story of David and Goliath is about you know in a world of limitation we continue….”

Brian Houston, “Obviously the Philistines were huge and you know Goliath himself was just a giant of a man and not only that but there was just a lot of disdain from them and a lot of taunting from them and….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh yeah that taunting just limited Israel. Oh yeah of course it is  terrible. I mean those poor Israelites. They were limited in stature and they were limited by the taunting of the Philistines. How is this so popular as quote biblical preaching? It is nonsense….”

Brian Houston’s, “All of Saul’s men were fearful. But David comes in and he has a different spirit. You see in a world of limitation and this is what I want you to think about….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah in a world of limitation….”

Brian Houston, “….This is what I want you to think about…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yep I am thinking…..”

Brian Houston, “David had an eye for opportunity….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh yeah in a world of limitation David had an eye for opportunity and you go what?”

Brian Houston, “Most people in a world of opportunity and I am speaking about now and today. Most people in a world of opportunity are blinded by limitation. We tend to see the limitation always before we see the opportunity. We see the barriers before we see the opportunity….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Is that a sin? What are you talking about?”

Brian Houston, “I don’t believe that Hillsong church has ever been, is now or will ever be called to be the kind of church who is ruled by our limitation. But we will be the kind….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh yeah you don’t want to be ruled by your….what does that even mean?

Brian Houston, “I don’t believe that Hillsong church has ever been, is now or will ever be called to be the kind of church who is ruled by our limitation. But we will be the kind of church that is challenging and committed to defying the odds….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh yeah you are defying the odds….”

Brian Houston, “I don’t believe that Hillsong church has ever been, is now or will ever be called to be the kind of church who is ruled by our limitation. But we will be the kind of church that is challenging and committed to defying the odds by being totally committed to opportunity….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh well good that you have got that out. So I don’t know what any of this means. In a world of limitations, David saw the opportunities. Ehud you know the left handed guy, he saw the opportunity as a result that was created in his world of limitations because he was left handed. This is utter nonsense and then of Hillsong church they don’t want to be defined by their limitations.

No they want to be defined by their commitment to opportunities. Uh huh weird that they are not known for their commitment to faithfully handling God’s Word and preaching Christ from all of scripture and proclaiming repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus name to all nations.

No they are not known for that. In fact if they were known for that would be well too constricting. It would be very you know limiting and they don’t want to be defined by their limitations. By the way that kind of preaching, oh you will fill staves with that stuff. With the preaching of the biblical gospel not so much. It is a stumbling block. Foolishness to Greeks and well a stumbling block to Jews.

But the power of the gospel, well that is the power of God unto salvation. The biblical gospel saves people to eternal life. That message makes them you know out there looking for opportunities to seize and not be defined by their limitations all the while they are heading to hell.

What did you think? I would love to get your feedback. If you would like to email me regarding anything you have heard on this edition or any previous editions of Fighting for the Faith you can do so. My email address is talkback@figthtingforthefaith.com or you can subscribe on Facebook – www.facebook.com/piratechristian or you can follow me on Twitter. My name there is @piratechristian.

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