I do not think that there is a deliberate attempt to cover, conceal, or divert. I do believe that not being clear is part of the puzzle in trying to figure out what went on with Israel Houghton. Also, I may be missing it or something.
Then again, maybe not.
While I believe in transparency, I also believe in protecting people not associated with an incident.
Point blank questions require post blank answers.
We must concede that no one really is obligated to provide unambiguous answers. A person could stay silent and not provide anything.
But when you want to put something to rest for good, give an answer or answers that answers the question satisfactorily.
I believe that Israel Houghton may have attempted to provide point blank answer(s).
But did it answer any and all questions?
According to Israel, it appears that Houghton entered a relationship (which gives the appearance that it was a non sexual/adulterous relationship) with an individual after his divorce.
Now, I’m trying to understand the brother. When you tell the world on FB that your marriage failed and that you have “sinned” in your marriage, it would help, not that we have to know, if we knew what the sin was in his marriage that he mentioned and rule out other sins.
Because when you say “indiscretions,” there is an automatic definition applied. There is no way around it. Now when you say that there was no adultery or fornication and stick to that story, it undoubtedly rules out “indiscretions.”
So one has to be careful not to use words of the world to describe what may or may not have happened.
If you’ve “sinned in your marriage,” it is a dead giveaway that sexual sin took place.
Like using the word “mistress” instead of adulteress, whore, sexually immoral women” as the Bible uses.
Like using the words “mistake, indiscretion, affair, my problem, and cheating” to describe a man as a whoremonger, adulterer, fornicator, homosexual, bisexual, porn addict, or masturbator.”
But Israel has an undeniable point.
It’s between him and God.
If all that took place in his marriage was just mending relationship or two headstrong people having a difficult time navigating differences, then if he were to say that and not use the word “indiscretions,” once again, sexual immorality would be definitively and conclusively ruled out.
We could be over analytical regarding the timeline of events. We can be ambiguous with the details until clarity is provided. We could COME CLEAN and be as transparent as possible. Disclosing all the details takes the story out of the story. Dragging people through the mud is unbecoming a child of God of anyone.
However, when you read, in portions of what Houghton posted, when you see the words “…past indiscretions…” it is important to understand that ambiguity where clarity is requested, potentially further distorts what really happened.
Were there any other persons of the opposite sex involved during the marriage?
Did you commit adultery during your marriage?
At what point in your marriage were there any “past indiscretions?”
What, if any, were these “past indiscretions?”
Who was involved, if any persons, in any “past indiscretions?”
You’ve mentioned “sinned in your marriage.” What, if any, were those sins that you’ve mentioned were “sinned?”
These are precise questions that require precise answers.
At this point, only Israel Houghton and God knows the answers.
Also, we must point out that this was concealed for quite some time.
A lot can happen in five years.
For this story to unfold after five years, a precise timeline potentially destroys any attempt of cover ups. Then to mention who you are in a relationship now probably took its toll where you are forced to give more details. Details that are believed to be none of our business.
And that’s respectable, to a degree.
The easiest way out of putting all this to an end is to divulge as much as possible any potentially missing information. Gossip, presuppositions, here say, and deception all comes to an end when the full story is released.
We must leave it at that because it could get ugly.
Luke 12:2 has a way of bringing things up to the surface sooner or later.
For now, we as believers must take heed to ourselves lest we fall into temptation. It is an example of what married couples must do to keep the devil from destroying our marriages.
When you are in leadership, whether it’s preaching the Word or leading Praise and Worship, if we fail to keep our inner vertical relationship with the Lord strong, every other relationship, horizontally must fail.
It doesn’t have to.
While watching a man of God, he mentioned that people come to church to hear a sermon, not to meet God.
When listening to music performed by today’s premier “artists,” I look to hear the brokenness in a person’s heart. I listen for those who have heard from God and have been in His presence, and stay there. I look for the people that may be in that recording to be truly affected, not by the music or the words. But did they actually meet God?
No one that has ever met God remained the same.
NOT AN ENCOUNTER.
Because people leave after the encounter.
How do you know that you have left an “encounter?”
When something outside of an encounter with God has a hold on your heart that keeps you off your knees and away from true obedience to His Word. It’s when God has such a hold on you that you can’t break covenant, you can’t sin, and you can’t violate the fellowship.
That love for God transcends everything. To walk away when the yearning for God increases is a detriment. You can’t breathe when you are under water. You can’t breathe without God. To break away and not breathe God is certain death. Where it is a sin to stop fellowshipping with God. Where His Word has a permanent hiding place where sin is not welcomed and sin can’t come in any more. Where the devil despises your relationship with God and the devil, and devils assigned radiates such burning hatred that you feel the heat of their hatred but they run in terror of the overwhelming heat of your passion for God.
Dwellers stay because of His presence.
Even after the meeting ends, they do not go home to resume business as usual habits, cycles, and patterns.
A true believer patterns after the Lord according to John 8:29.
A true believer never goes back to his or her old sins.
They never let one moment of sinful pleasure plunge them into eternity in a burning hell.
Where are the people that walk with God like Jesus, Enoch, Jeremiah, Elijah, Daniel, and others? Where are the secret place dwellers? Where are the seekers of God? Where are the true worshippers that worship God in spirit and in truth? Where are the believers that live in righteousness and true holiness? Where are the clean hands and pure hearts that bear the vessels of the Lord? Where are the presenters of gold while refusing to bring brass into the temple? Where are the truth dwellers and truth walkers?
Where are the ones that are allowed to enter the holy place with clean hands and a pure heart? Where are the ones that will fight sin, the devil, and their own desires, and win?
The correct approach to this situation is to pray and seek God that Israel Houghton would stand his ground and fight to stay holy no matter the cost. That his repentance sticks. That he would shun hypocrisy because even the hope of hypocrites is taken away. That Israel would stay true to the Lord no matter the cost. That the Body of Christ would continue to fast and pray and seek the Lord, and be true to the Lord no matter the cost. That we would guard our hearts against not just the devil, but guard our hearts against ourselves.
That we would refrain from gossip, here say, and learn to be obedient about our tongue. To pray for Israel and not entertain the words of false witnesses and divisive agendas designed to infiltrate the false, the myths, and to add to the confusion, to distort the truth and facts.
To shun hypocrisy and be true to God, no matter the cost.
Galatians 5:1 “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
The Israel Houghton revised statement article could be read here.
In the “gospel music industry,” we see that another noted “artist” is announcing his marital failures and possibly “sin.” The devil’s trophy case of noted singers, musicians, and preachers is filling up. Israel said that he sinned in his marriage, but few are willing to say that “they’ve sinned against God.”
Israel never mentioned on his FB page that he sinned against God.
And that’s more important.
You can’t cheat or commit adultery against your wife until you commit adultery against God.
Obviously from sources, his mistress was a gospel artist. Either a Jezebel driven woman and or just a sexually immoral woman as Proverbs teaches men to avoid.
When you read into the statements of many failed ministers and gospel singers, the pitfall into sin is obvious. If this is to be true, the preponderance of evidence suggests that porn and masturbation is a strong probability in his life. Not every man is caught in this whirlwind, but the statistics are strongly in favor that many men are into porn and masturbation.
Consider the fact that this was kept hush hush until now.
What was he protecting or keeping SECRET?
Protecting his music and keeping his sin a secret.
Never mind keeping his relationship with God and salvaging his marriage.
It was all about maintaining his reputation because as a result of his divorce, the sin was rising to the top to be exposed.
That’s how we do church these days.
Keep ministering, forget our relationship with God. Marriage fails. Oh well.
The pitfalls of marriage is always, sex, money, and relationship management.
It is very easy to read into the “sinned” part.
Secret Sexual Sins.
It takes discipline to stay away from the sexual immoral women. The interconnectedness of music and sex knows no boundaries. Psalm 90:8 (NLT) says this, “You spread out our sins before you—our secret sins—and you see them all.”
As I have said, the Lord was never caught off guard. The Lord seen this happen before the world was founded. So we need to take another look at what always happens that lead up to physical adultery.
Matthew 5:27-28 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
In order for you to commit physical adultery, you must commit spiritual adultery first.
You must disregard your relationship with the Lord. You must cast aside prayer, worship in spirit and in truth is cast to the side. Deliberately disobey the Word of God to abstain. The Holy Spirit and discipline is suppressed.
satan demands that you leave your holiness, prayer and Word life at the door of darkness. He demands you to snuff out your light to enter the place of darkness.
Leave the Lordship of Jesus at the door.
And whatever wounds a person may have in their marriage becomes the false reason to sin against God.
You then begin to eye a female for sexual connection. She agrees to give you what you refuse to get from your own wife according to Proverbs 7.
But something else was burning. Releasing sexual tension through masturbation. You do not need porn to masturbate. Just an image or imaginations that lead to fulfilling a sexual fantasy. But as with all men, it gets boring. That line you said you never cross was a lie.
You arrange to “hook up” with a member of your church, praise and worship singers, or someone from the outside to attempt to be discreet within the frame work of a false sense of security.
All sexual sins is a result of lust in the heart.
James 1:14-15 and 1 John 2:15-17 reveals this.
Hurting in the soul over something that happened in a marriage is a pitiful excuse to commit adultery. Not that any excuse to sin against God is ever good enough. Sinning against God is not outright hatred of God unless you were never born again.
As John the apostle said, “Anyone that is born of God cannot sin.”
Because true believers prove their love for God by keeping His commandments (see John 14:15).
In the Charisma article, it is very easy to try to smooth over the fact that sexual sin took place. It goes to show you at what lengths the “Charismatics” will use vague terminology to cover the sin of an international gospel artist.
The Bible is clear that “love covers a multitude of sins.”
But the Bible also says in 1 Corinthians 13 that “love rejoices not in iniquity but rejoices in the truth.”
The gospel music industry is noted for bringing some of the most exciting contemporary music into the house of worship. Some are amazing and straight from God. Others just have too much of the world in it to focus on God, holiness, righteousness, sanctification, redemption, discipline, consecration, and total devotion.
Evident is the combination of marital situations that push a minister beyond boundaries and limitations to maintain a strong impenetrable healthy bond and the thirst to perform.
When a man or a woman is consumed and defined by what they do, they lose who and whose they are in Christ.
As with sexual sins, there is always the preponderance that when sexual neglect takes place, the man is “Wired for Intimacy.” At some point, if he isn’t as disciplined as he should be, the tempter will tempt him to entice his desires. Lustful desires that lurk in a man’s fleshly needs one hot moment.
One match starts the fire.
Ministry is full of these four things.
This is what Pastor Roger Jamison of Sword Of The Spirit Tabernacle in Brooklyn NY taught me. These are the emotional tell tale signs of an individual in ministerial overdrive. His soul is wide open to be tempted sexually. The devil opens up the matchbook and strikes the match.
A hot looking woman or man.
Infatuated and obsessed after a sexual separation due to marital issues makes a man or woman ripe to commit adultery.
The late David Wilkerson said this while praying.
“God, keep me humble. Keep me on my knees.”
The one place where there is power is prayer. Prayer. Prayer. Obedience. Obedience. Obedience.
Pastor Roger Jamison also said that we must “Guard our unguarded moments.”
Jesus said in Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
Peter said, “Be sober, be vigilant. For your adversary, the devil walks about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
When you are watching over your life, you constantly tell the devil that you are not on his menu. You have to tell him this every time till your last dying breath or when the Lord returns.
As many of us have said, Israel Houghton will not be the last gospel artist to fall into sexual sin. There are many others that have and will never reveal it to save their “ministry.”
But Jesus said this in Matthew 10:39 “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Jesus said in Luke 12:2 “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.”
Come Clean! Or Be Exposed. (A chapter in my book Secret Sexual Sins).
More and more, we are finding that people are willing to lose their relationship with the Lord to find life. But Jesus requires and demands that we lose our lives for His sake to find it.
Sin always leads to death.
The one thing that the Holy Spirit tells me that keeps me from sinning against God sexually is the fact that if I entertain that sin in thought, deed, and words, what if Jesus were to come at that moment?
Would I be eligible to be raptured or will I remain on the earth to watch the wrath of God be poured out? What if my soul was required at that moment?
Meaning, what if I were watching porn and masturbating, and I happen to die? Would I go to heaven to appear before God, or will I die and go to hell?
Ezekiel 18:24 answers this question.
“But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.”
It’s a fearful thing to know that you missed out when you could have disciplined yourself to abstain.
One moment of sinful pleasure is not worth an eternity in hell.
We pray that Israel Houghton has repented as he has said. But more than this first step must be taken.
If he is involved with porn and masturbation, he is still caught in the whirlwind of sexual immorality. There has to be a clearing of the deck. A clearing of the heart. A full renunciation of sexual immorality. And a renewed commitment to abstain from every form of sin.
Avoid fornication, adultery, homosexuality, bisexuality, porn, masturbation, and bestiality.
It’s not worth going to hell over.
The Charisma article could be read here.
It is clear that she is in damage control because her first statement went viral on YouTube, FB, Twitter, and the blogs.
Here is her “defensive” remarks.
“While I admit that I could have been more articulate in my remarks, I stand by my point that when we worship God and are obedient to Him we will be better for it,” she stated. “I did not mean to imply that we don’t worship God; that’s ridiculous, and only the critics and cynics are interpreting my remarks that way.”
Here is what she said before her defensive remarks.
“So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy,” Osteen continues. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”
Now, let me ask you.
What is there to “interpret?”
One of the things that we have to be very clear about is that we never say things unless we mean them. Anyone that is articulate will sometimes catch what they said or at the very least, correct what was said before it gets out of hand. It is clear that she is standing by her point.
Which means that instead of humbling herself, pride is before her.
All she had to say was, “In light of the Scriptures, my remarks were entirely inaccurate. In the future, I will ensure that I anchor my remarks with concurring Scriptures. Please keep me in your prayers as we seek to worship God and not ourselves. God is concerned about our holiness far above our happiness. Our goal is to fully please God and not ourselves.”
One of the things that we must never do is allow ourselves to get so puffed up that when we say something that is inconsistent with the Scriptures, we fail to correct it.
Was it an honest or deliberate mistake?
After watching what the Osteens have been saying lately, and I could be wrong, it is deliberate.
Since the passing of John Osteen in 1999, there has been a deliberate change of direction. Every pastor that assumes the pulpit want to establish themselves as the new leader. To be like your predecessor is not healthy. However, when it comes to the Word of God, it is always best to be consistent with the Word of God.
Lakewood Church was a place where you knew that you were going to get the Word of God.
The late John Osteen always, as a former Baptist preacher, told the congregation to open their Bibles. He would always anchor his text with Scripture. On the TV screen, there would be Scriptures so that the people (hospital bound or in prison) could follow.
Correct me if I am wrong, but we have yet to see Joel Osteen anchor one text with Scripture.
The only time Joel touches his Bible is when they make that confession originated by John Osteen.
And then he puts the Bible away.
Yes, throughout Joel’s motivational speeches, he cites stories in the Bible but notice that the people in the front seat would have their Bibles opened but there is no searching of the Scriptures. They take notes while not turning to any Scriptures.
To me this is a clear violation of Acts 17:11.
Everybody is “happy.”
Same thing with Jakes and a few others. Although from time to time, Jakes opens the Bible. Here, I could be wrong too.
Folks, when we are in denial, we will continue to deny the truth and go about our business as if no wrong was committed.
It’s almost like a “What’s the big deal? Lakewood members know what I meant by what I said.”
Yes, they were conditioned to accept it over the years because the Osteens apparently trained them for the last 15 years.
This means that to search the Scriptures to correct error will not happen.
Also, Joel Osteen would have “seasoned” preachers come and give the Word but they come and preach safe messages so that they would be invited back. You can’t resist a large crowd and a generous honorarium.
It is my prayer that people would wake up and see what is happening.
When there is a usurping of the Scriptures with our own thinking, we’ve replaced God and His Word for ours. And they can do no wrong. Sadly, Lakewood members will defend the Osteens to the death.
The danger is clear.
As long as God’s Word is absent, sin is present.
You may say “What sin?”
Exodus 20:3-5 “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image —any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,”
We begin to worship ourselves.
We become God.
That’s why we must never, as Pastor Darren Butler of International Good News Fellowship in Freeport, NY once said, “Never worship the manuscript.”
When you like the way you sound, you have spoken an oracle that came from another source. And as Paul said, “Spreads like a cancer.”
It is just a matter of time before you will say something and it will not be the Bible. Then when people say the Scriptures that refute what was said, we become their enemy. We are the cynics and critics.
But we didn’t say what Victoria Osteen said.
We only quoted what Victoria Osteen said, commented on it, gave refuting Scriptures, and moved on.
Paul said this, “Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”
That’s why all throughout the Bible, you will see people in the Bible citing other places in Scripture that validates their points.
Victoria Osteen has yet to provide supporting Biblical Scripture or solid Biblical foundation for what she said. And she won’t be able to because there is no Scripture to validate what she said. There is no excuse any more because the real time application of the Internet will be quick to point out the error.
Either you are Scripturally accurate or you are not.
Truth is an enemy to lies, false statements, sin, deception, misrepresentations, and mistakes.
At this point, it would be best for Victoria Osteen to hold her peace, repent, and get some help in understanding the Bible. With cameras and YouTube these days, we must all be careful with what we say because it will be addressed.
She doesn’t have the luxury of being defensive and her statements are defending an indefensible position.
The link for this defensive remark came from……
Here is a concurring statement from Christian News, please click the link for more info.
I am off subject about sexual immorality in the church, however, the buzz this past week has been the statements that Victoria Osteen, wife of famed motivational speaker, Joel Osteen, made.
The direct quote from YouTube is below.
Then you have another person on a different YouTube video attempt to defend an indefensible position.
My response is not a personal attack on Mrs. Osteen. My response is a simple rebuttal of her statements from the Scriptures.
For it is in the correctly taught Scriptures that we find safety and security.
John 4:23-24 says, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Revelation 4:11 says, “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
Colossians 1:15-18 says “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”
Romans 14:7:9 says “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.”
With these Scriptures, we were created for Him to please Him and not to please ourselves.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarded of those that diligently seek Him”
When you see the videos, you’re probably going to say, “What’s the big deal?”
The big deal is that for the last few years, statements have been made without harmonious Scripture, or they have been made out of context of Scripture that violate the basic or fundamental Biblical rule of interpreting the Scriptures.
2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 2:15 says “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
We can readily determine that what Mrs. Osteen said did not come from the Spirit of God because the Spirit of God will never contradict Scripture or say anything contrary to the Scriptures because the Holy Spirit and the Word agrees. Therefore, Mrs. Osteen wrongly divided the word of truth.
In fact, she never used Scripture at all. The words came from the soul; intellect and emotional compartments, absent of the Spirit of God and concurring Scriptures.
1 John 5:6-8 says “This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.“
Because Jesus is “the Word” (John 1:1), and because Jesus is “The Truth…” (John 14:6), and because the Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth,” and because the Word that the Father gave for Jesus to speak is the truth “Sanctify them through Your truth, Your Word is truth,” (John 17:17), there is no way possible that Mrs. Osteen’s word is acceptable, neither should it be received.
When the Bible is wrongly divided, we give ourselves a license to make the Bible say what we want it to say. Hence, we are no different than followers of the world that follow the satanic bible that says, “DO AS THOU WILT.”
Also, a person must resist the temptation to “Be wise in their own opinion.”
In other words, never allow your opinion or words to supersede the Bible. So much so that your opinion is exalted above the Word of God.
Sadly, people will be gullible according to Proverbs 14:15.
A lot of folks will think that we are gang raping her with the Bible.
Let’s be clear.
This is not about jumping on her to score points.
This is about the continuity of Biblical accuracy of the presentation of the Scriptures.
When we fail to be accurate with the Scriptures, we are brought back to Genesis 3:1-4.
In Isaiah 28:9-10, revelation of the Scriptures is given by the Lord, “line upon line, precept upon precept….here and little, there a little.”
So that truth is correctly given.
Also, we must never defend error. Especially when the light of Scriptures comes to correct error. Sadly, people will defend an indefensible position and hold on to that position to their own peril. One of the most important reasons why people defend error is because they are emotionally attached to error that they will not receive correction to let it go.
Some would rather die before giving up their error.
It’s all about pride.
Humility and humbleness of mind prevents humiliation.
“Pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Pride is what got the devil kicked out of heaven and pride will kick us out too. When you are standing before thousands of people, you feel confident, powerful, and it’s an intoxication of power. When you believe that you are full of yourself, nothing that you say is wrong. There is a sense of invincibility and power that is demonic. Even though the video abruptly ended, I wondered if Joel Osteen corrected what Victoria said? This I highly doubt because I believe that it was a deliberate co-conspired event. Planned and executed with the agreement (applause) of the people.
Hence, Matthew 15:6-9.
“Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Paul told Timothy these words in 2 Timothy 4:2.
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
But for the last few years, we’ve been seeing 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
This is that time that Paul, by the Holy Spirit warned us about.
There is a deliberate departure from the truth embedded in God’s Word.
This is an overt plan to increase sin in the lives of believers which is part of the apostasy in the Body of Christ.
The more we depart from the Word, the more we justify sin in our lives. We make up the rules and live the way we want to live. Hence…
“…you are doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy.”
The falling away of the believers is underway with a good head of steam. Anyone that is not willing to go with the crowd of error will be mocked and ridiculed as you will see in the video below Victoria Osteen’s.
If we fail to walk by the accuracy of the Scriptures, we are walking in great deception according to Proverbs 14:15.