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Brian Houston reflects on ‘weapons’ God uses to fight devil before hearing on alleged abuse cover-up

Brian Houston
Hillsong Church Senior Pastor Brian Houston of Sydney, Australia speaks at Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016. |

Hillsong Church founder Brian Houston reflected on the “mighty weapons” of faith God gives His people to defeat the devil just days before he's slated to go to court over allegations that he helped cover up his father's sexual abuse of a boy.

In a video posted to his Instagram account last Friday, Houston, who founded the global evangelical church network in the suburbs of Sydney in 1983, spoke about 2 Corinthians 10:4.

The verse reads, “We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”

“You have mighty weaponry, an armory available to you and it will pull down strongholds,” said Houston. “The thing about strongholds is the devil tries to use them to put a stronghold on you on your mind, your thoughts, on your life. And so we decide no, I have mighty weapons.”

Houston stated that he believes “one of the most powerful weapons we have” is prayer. He thanked the many people across the globe who were “committed to praying for” him and his family.

“Prayer changes things,” continued Houston, labeling prayer one of the “most underestimated” spiritual weapons. “I love being part of a global family. … I thank God that we are armed for battle.”

In August, Australian police charged the 67-year-old Houston with concealing child sex offenses, with him being required to appear at a Sydney court on Oct. 5.

At issue was the allegation that Houston had known about, yet failed to report to authorities, the sexual abuse of a young man by his father, the late Frank Houston, during the 1970s.

In a statement emailed to The Christian Post by Hillsong Church, Houston said that the charges were “a shock to me given how transparent I’ve always been about this matter.”

“I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges, and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight,” stated Houston.

Earlier this month, Houston announced that he was stepping away from his positions on Hillsong leadership boards, though he was retaining his title as senior pastor of the multisite church.

“I did this so that these boards can function to their fullest capacity during this season,” said Houston in an email, as quoted by the Roys Report.

“This doesn't change my role as Global Senior Pastor. I thought it was important to let our church family know in the interests of transparency, and I wanted you to hear it from me directly.”

The allegations surrounding Houston mark the latest in a slew of scandals that have plagued the megachurch in recent years. 

In late 2020, Hillsong New York City pastor Carl Lentz was fired for moral failings and "leadership issues"

In April, a senior Hillsong staffer in New Jersey resigned over an inappropriate message on social media. That same month, the church's Dallas branch closed after it was revealed that the lead pastor and his wife used church funds lavishly.

In May, Houston told NBC co-host, Savannah Guthrie, that this season has been “difficult” for them as a church. 

“[This season in the church] has been difficult, clearly, because of a lot of disappointment in some of the things that have emerged,” he said. “Some obviously are false. Other things are real."

Houston added, “I have reflected many, many times, and I'm acknowledging that mistakes have been made and that there are things where we need to get far better, much better. I'm not shrinking back from that.”

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