(Image: Private Media)

This is part seven of the series God in the Lodge. Read part one here, and find the previous entries here.

Scott Morrison has never hidden his admiration for Hillsong pastor Brian Houston. It is the most enduring of public relationships, ostensibly based on faith but now fully cemented in power. It appears unshaken by Houston being charged in New South Wales for concealing his late father Frank Houston's history of sexual abuse. Brian Houston denies the allegations.

Morrison proudly acknowledged Houston as one of his significant friends in his first speech to Parliament in 2008. This year Morrison again paid public homage to Australia's most influential pastor. From the stage of the Australian Christian Churches national conference on the Gold Coast, the prime minister, tired and under pressure from a pummelling by the secular world, singled out the globally recognised Houston as the one who had given a younger Morrison faith in his destiny to lead.