During a recent appearance on “Fox & Friends,” the pastor was asked to share his thoughts on whether Christians are losing their place in society in light of “The View” co-host Joy Behar’s recent attacks on the faith of Vice President Mike Pence and actor Jim Carrey’s targeting of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“These are interesting times, aren’t they? I think Christians are an easy target sometimes,” Houston said . “I mean, after all, Jesus taught ‘turn the other cheek,’ which is maybe a little different than others. At the end of the day, I don’t feel like it’s gonna have that huge an impact on the Christian Church. I think it says more about the people making the attacks than it does what they are actually attacking.”
Houston referenced Matthew 15:18 in contending that “we all speak out of what’s going on in our heart.”
“So when people start making pot-shots at other people that sometimes are uncalled for, unfair, it shows what’s inside of them,” he said. “I think that Christianity’s always been attacked. The message of Jesus is stronger, so I don’t feel we have a lot to fear. The Church is strong, it’s resilient, it’s going forward.”
The pastor said that instead of focusing on the negatives, he chooses to be encouraged by the thousands of young people who fill Hillsong church campuses every week.
“Our church is filed with young people, young people who are hungry for God, hungry for the things of God, so I think we shouldn’t get too distracted,” he said. “In these days, Jesus said problems will come, trouble will come, persecution will come.”
Still, amid continued opposition from secular culture, Houston encouraged Christians to be “absolutely committed and resilient with the great news because the Christian faith is great news.”
“It’s not just looking after a set of principles that go back a long way, it’s great news for people today in the 21st century,” he explained. “As long as we keep focusing on that great news, His name is Jesus, and He has so much for people, and if we keep on that, then we don’t have to concern ourselves too much about those who chip away from the outside.”
Since founding a single church in 1983 in Sydney, Houston has launched churches located in some of the world’s most-influential cities, three record labels, a film and television platform, multiple worldwide conferences, and an international college, according to the Hillsong Church website. Additionally, Hillsong worship has sold more than 20 million records and garnered over 1.5 billion album streams over the past 20 years.
Houston told “Fox & Friends” that he and his wife, Bobbi, started Hillsong Church in a “small suburb way down under in Sydney, Australia,” because they cared about people. The church’s rapid growth, he said, amazed and astounded them.
“It’s a miracle story, really. It helps you to realize there really must be a God,” he said.
The There is More author encouraged those starting out in ministry to trust God entirely with their lives and simply “live this great adventure called the will of God.”
“God can lead us into the more,” he said. “The theme of Scripture is, God can do anything you can imagine, exceeding and abundantly and above anything you can ever ask or think.”
He added, “I feel like if people understand that and live their lives with an expectation of that, then no matter what this new step is, God can do great things for them.”