Brian Houston is…Right? Protestia Defends Hillsong Leader After Congregant Dies of COVID

Hillsong head honcho is being slammed from all sides after announcing that one of his congregants pass away from the novel coronavirus last week, with critics saying that the embattled leader didn’t do enough to promote the vaccine, and in fact would frequently flout the rules or speak against it.

It has been a long year for Houston, who has consistently seen himself in the secular spotlight after a string of scandals has seen him close churches and lose several American pastors- so much so that two Hollywood films have been greenlit to cover the saga.

Now, he’s back in hot water again after publicly mourning the death of Stephen Harmon, 34, a much-loved congregation member who attended Hillsong for the last decade after being given a scholarship to Hillsong College in California. Harmon very publicly boasted and insisted that he would not take the COVID vaccine- writing on Twitter “If you’re having email problems, I feel bad for you son., I got 99 problems but a vax ain’t one.” Harmon seemingly also resisted medical intervention, advice, and assistance while in the hospital.

Brian Houston made the announcement of his death on various social media sites, but then later took down most of the mentions after facing intense backlash.

Elaborating further on the event, Houston told CNN

“Any loss of life is a moment to mourn and offer support to those who are suffering and so our heartfelt prayers are with his family and those who loved him….

On any medical issue, we strongly encourage those in our church to follow the guidance of their doctors, While many of our staff, leadership and congregation have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, we recognize this is a personal decision for each individual to make with the counsel of medical professionals.”

Houston is not wrong. The fact that Harmon passed away from COVID after consistently and continuously refusing to get vaccinated is a tragedy, but it is completely to be expected that a percentage of some people who get it will pass away, particularly if they have co-morbidities. If anything, his death is a rarity in that it happened to someone so young.

The decision to get vaccinated is adiaphora and a personal choice, and not something worthy of condemnation. (unless the vaccine is using fetal cells) If someone refuses to get vaccinated from it or anything else and then passes away from it, they will bear the burden and brunt of those consequences.

Some people will not get vaccinated from COVID and will die from it. Some people will get vaccinated from COVID and will also die from it. The fact that Harmon publicly condemned the virus and then passed away from it is mildly ironic, but his death should not be laid at the doorstep of Houston.

Realistically, this shouldn’t even be a news story. There are a lot of things Brian Houston should rightly be criticized over. Like, a lot of things, but this isn’t one of them.


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4 thoughts on “Brian Houston is…Right? Protestia Defends Hillsong Leader After Congregant Dies of COVID

  1. The bottom line is that fully vaccinated people are getting sick and dying from the China flu in ever-increasing numbers.

    1. I was here to say the same thing. Since you’re still able to catch and transmit COVID post vax, it really makes no sense for people to be going after those who dare to believe it is everyone’s free and personal choice to get the vax or not. Shaming and blaming is ridiculous and only increases fear and anxiety overall.

  2. Will there be the same level of outrage against pastors who are encouraging the vaccine after someone in their congregation dies from the vaccine? The numbers of “vaccinated” coming down with covid are nearly the same as the numbers who are coming down with it among the non-vaccinated in some countries…. sad to see that everything involved with this is so far removed from the truth that numbers have become irrelevant and useless. It’s purely political at this point.

  3. Vax or no vax, we are all confronted with a potentially lethal virus.
    Yes, most churches will will encourage congregants to use common sense and follow medical advice alongside prayer for healing.
    However, we are dealing with churches that falsely teach a prosperity gospel.
    One that has people told to test out their healing…do something you couldn’t before. “Tell us, how do you feel, any different?!”
    Negative comments are discouraged, only POSITIVE ones are acceptable.
    “I am healed in Jesus name!”
    Sprouting scripture, out of context, as a positive declaration over maladies.
    “By His stripes I am healed!!”
    “I am the head and not the tail!!” ETC.

    It is Brian Houstons Hillsong Church’s FALSE GOSPEL teaching that underlies this and needs to be shown as unacceptable and I agree, not someone’s choice in their medical treatments and intervention but how can it be denied that that may well be why they refused it.

    We all rely on prayer and God’s intervention for all things including healing and provision, BUT, we are not guaranteed it in this life, we are promised it eternally.
    Why would anyone preach we are guaranteed healing per scripture, (when we are NOT), and then also advise seeking medical help. Contradiction????

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