James Jacob Prasch

Scandal Rocks Australian Assemblies of God

by James Jacob Prasch

Following the removal from ministry of Frank Houston, father of Australian General Superintendent Brian Houston for immorality, a new scandal is publicly discrediting the Australian Assemblies of God which has sought to expand itself under another name to absorb other Pentecostal churches under its umbrella. Since the tenure of the previous General Superintendent, Andrew Evans, and his cohorts Philip Hills and Alun Davies (who advocate New Age visualization techniques at his Harvest Bible College), the Assemblies of God in Australia and New Zealand have ‚   promoted every deception and form of hype-artistry masquerading as Christianity imaginable. This included featuring Benny Hinn at the same time Hinn's fund raising scandals and bogus healings were being aired on Prime Time Australian TV.

Under Brian Houston and Pat Mesiti, leaders of the "Hill Song" enterprise, things have degenerated further into the realm of moral failure with Mesiti as the next hyper-Pentecostal leader to have been found in immorality. Mesiti's demise follows the exposed homosexuality of Roberts Liardon (seen by many as the ministry counterpart of Elim's Colin Dye) and Kiwi Toronto Experience guru, Elim's Ian Bilby in New Zealand. Other sex scandals involving the Australian Pentecostal Jim Williams, and the New Zealand Assemblies of God General Superintendent Wayne Hughes, have also been exposed in the public domain. The secular press is, of course, predictably having a field day with those who go the way of Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart. It is interesting that those religious hypocrites with the biggest amount of religious hype always fall the hardest.

Moriel and Jacob Prasch reserve public comment on what was reported in the secular press, such as religious correspondent Kelly Burke's article on Mesiti and Houston in the Sydney Morning Herald on March 27, 2002.

However it does demonstrate the damage done to the Christian message and the credibility of the church by men like Houston and Mesiti, in which Mesiti was portrayed as someone who hyped up the young with an emphasis on money.

Biblically, the Lord's ministers must be without reproach (1 Timothy 3:2). That Mr. Mesiti was engaged in publicly exposed sexual immorality precludes and excludes him from any future eligibility for the Christian ministry.

If there is a genuine repentance, such men as Mr. Mesiti can be restored to fellowship and marital reconciliation, but they can not scripturally be in the ministry they discredited since they are no longer without reproach. King David of course, in his sorry saga with Bathsheba lamented in Psalm 51 as a King, not a Levite. His office was political, not in the clergy. Some have sought to draw on this Old Testament episode to argue for restoration to ministry in view of there being no New Testament basis for their returning to ministry, but in doing so they falsely equate the Old Covenant with the New, and make a false comparison of a political office to a clerical one.

Pat Mesiti was publicly found in utter immorality; he disgraced the church, and has no scriptural right to continue in any Christian leadership or to be a minister.