Hill$ong NYC gay choir director – jumped or pushed out? – updated*

Josh Canfield writes…

“To our friends…

We’re writing this post in response to so many of you who have kindly reached out. You’ve been wondering why we have been getting so many hateful comments on all of our social media in the past week, in which some of you have been tagged or engaged.

The drama that is unfolding at the moment all revolves around the fact that we have been heavily involved in our church, Hillsong NYC. Josh has been with Hillsong for eight years in a variety of ways: choir director, vocal director, and worship team. I’ve been there since the beginning of our relationship, over three years ago, and eventually began singing in the choir and opening my apartment as the gathering place for a connect group for Hillsong members in the Broadway and theatrical communities.

We have been open and forthright about our relationship from the get-go.

Due to our openness and very public appearance together on CBC’s “Survivor”, we have been in conversation with Hillsong NYC’s lead pastors regarding the church’s non-LGBT affirming stance. Hillsong has many campuses around the world, many in places where gay marriage is now legal, so this has been an ongoing dialogue trying to figure out how and where we, as part of the LGBT community, fit in. As a church family, we have been wading through these uncharted waters of shifting culture and social change.

Several days ago some faceless, end-of-days blogger decided to attack us and our church for allowing us to serve when we are “unrepentantly embracing [our] sin” as homosexuals. Sadly, yet unsurprisingly, most super-conservative news sources picked it up and ran with it — giving this man’s voice worldwide amplification it never should have had. Not to mention it worked up Christian communities around the world, as many look to our church as a model of modern Christianity to be emulated. (We’ve never been harassed in so many foreign languages before … and we live in NYC!)

This has now forced our church to globally reaffirm their hard stance as a non-LGBT-affirming institution and disallow any gays from being in a position of leadership within the church. It’s been frustrating and a bit crushing that one crazy person could interfere so easily with the healthy and steady dialogue we’ve been having, but in a new world of social media and instant exposure, we are left unsurprised. Thankfully we are led by pastors who are grace-filled and committed to continuing to try to discern God’s will on this matter.

All this being said, many of you ask: “why are you staying somewhere that doesn’t fully accept you?” This leaves us with a tough decision. If we, as gays, pack up and leave every church we feel less than welcomed in or where we feel spiritual resistance, how will there ever be growth? The flip side of this is: why would we, as part of the gay community who have been primarily outcast for all our lives, willingly subject ourselves to more marginalization? It’s been a lot to personally work though.

Many try to discredit biblical scholars and laymen alike who have shifted their stance from non-affirming to LGBT-affirming by saying “the only reason they have changed their mind is because they know a gay person”. This only confirms to us that personal relationships are transformative. This isn’t difficult to accept after one looks at this through the lens of personal relationship being a foundational tenet of the Christian faith.

After we inadvertently and unintentionally became public representatives for gay Christianity, we feel like we have been called and have a responsibility to continue to stand authentically in our truth — especially within the church family that we call home, Hillsong NYC — we are seeking the Lord, we are Christian, we are gay, and this is our journey.

We thank you for your concern, your prayers, and your support.

Big Smiles and 110% …

Reed and Josh”

From http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sn7km8

 

Brian Houston writes…

“I wish to correct reports that Hillsong church has “an openly gay couple directing a choir” at our New York City campus.

Hillsong’s position on homosexuality and gay marriage has not changed and is consistent with Scripture.

As I have stated previously, I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject.

Several months ago when one of our choir directors made an unexpected public statement regarding his engagement to a man who sometimes sang in the choir, it was a complete surprise to us as well.

It is my understanding that they have not been involved in an active leadership or ministry role since. That said, we still love them and acknowledge that they – like all of us – are on a journey, and our role as a church is to assist them on this journey with grace and compassion.”

From http://hillsong.com/media-releases/hillsong-church-statement-by-senior-pastor-brian-houston/

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11 thoughts on “Hill$ong NYC gay choir director – jumped or pushed out? – updated*

  1. Since Wazza mentioned the war ….

    Especially you Bones but I’m sure Wazza, Greg etc would appreciate this.

    Mel Gibson is making a movie “Hacksaw Ridge” about a medic Desmond Doss an SDA who believed it wrong to kill under any circumstances. Regardless of what you think of Gibson etc there’s an incredible documentary.
    Maybe the most amazing story I know of. Sorry this is off topic – but maybe it isn’t because it shows again the various interpretations of the Bible and different ways of looking at things.
    Those interested in WW2 history, faith, and inspirational men would definitely love this.

    If you watch it, let me know what you think. Extraordinary man who makes me feel like – well nothing.

    It’s long but worth it – and good for remembering the sacrifices but also the insanity of war – in this 70th year commemoration.

    Like

  2. So it was Lionfishy who dobbed on them.

    Good to see Hillsong care more for it’s own reputation then it’s people and it’s principles.

    Oh look people are watching.

    Let’s be tough on gays so we can be real Christians and not get bad media.

    I wonder if Brian thinks Paul is clear on men with long hair or women speaking in church. But the Brian’s eisegesis has always been fairly infantile.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Greg.
    But …. It was written out of frustration and my typical anger. Most of my posts I’d delete if I could. Esp the ones to Bones.

    But they haven’t allowed a comment of mine at the watcher site for months.

    They’re absolutely dictatorial and hypocritical.

    They keep attacking Hillsong for not being forthcoming but I wish they’d be forthcoming that they are against gays, Catholics, women teaching and anyone who shares a stage with the above .

    Though they stand with them when it suits them.

    Mr Groupsects allows any dissenting opinions. Respect!

    Ps bones, disregard all my posts mentioning you.

    And Wazza, I get your post – but just remember that sites like this and others list the sexual sins of evangelicals too.

    People seem to take delight in remembering the failings of people from years ago. I feel sorry for someone who serves in church for years , has a moral failing then has it come up in google searches for all eternity . Feel sorry for them and their kids.

    So much for me staying away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You can do anything with your business and money, pig out 7 nights a week, gamble, misuse power – but you cant do anything sexual. Put hundreds of people out of work, start a war or enslave a whole generation – very little opposition will come from the church – sometimes they will cheer. But put your pink bits near someone else’s pink bits when you don’t have the right certificate to do it, and you are condemned as a sinner, unworthy of leadership or even to sing the latest Christian songs. Even worse if you put your pink bits near other pink bits that look the same as yours.

    I loe you too Wazza..wanna get into an omni-marriage with Q and I?

    Like

  5. Well done Calvinists.
    Now – YOU guys go out and preach your gospel to the gays and love them.

    No you won’t do it. And you won’t tell them they are going to hell according to your theology yo their faces either.
    Yes rich lady , I’m talking to you.
    Maybe your Pirate Radio wonderboy can interview Josh and Reed and unleash the full fury of Calvinist thought on them.

    Absolute hypocrisy!

    I love you Q – truly – you have said some great things – this is the best of your best!

    Like

  6. “if the consistent pattern of your life is the practice of sin and the deeds of the sinful nature that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:3-7, then you must question your salvation.”

    Those quotes were obviously picked out to emphasize sexual sin but they also talk about greed, hatred and factionalism. These three sins are often committed in churches, but they are debatable – ie. if you take a $300,000 salary and also receive love offerings are you being greedy? What about if you say you are believing in a private jet and ask your congregation to believe for it too? You can always argue that it will strengthen the kingdom of God. Factionalism comes up all the time – Neo-Calvanism, Neo-Pentecostalism – every couple of years a new movement emerges and there is a lot of condemnation and even hatred. Of course these people would argue they are just standing up for historical Christianity – and who is to judge?

    In the end although Christians go on and on about the remission of sin, they remain very non-committal about what sin actually is. With one exception – sexual sin. You can do anything with your business and money, pig out 7 nights a week, gamble, misuse power – but you cant do anything sexual. Put hundreds of people out of work, start a war or enslave a whole generation – very little opposition will come from the church – sometimes they will cheer. But put your pink bits near someone else’s pink bits when you don’t have the right certificate to do it, and you are condemned as a sinner, unworthy of leadership or even to sing the latest Christian songs. Even worse if you put your pink bits near other pink bits that look the same as yours.

    Christian leaders inevitably get found out for putting their own pink bits where they told others not to, but this is not their worst hypocrisy. Far worse is turning a blind eye to the many sins of State religion and narrowing their gaze entirely to the bedroom.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I agree with BH’s stand on this issue:

    False Converts and Fashionable Christians

    “We continue to water down the gospel and forget the message of holiness and sanctification.

    If you are walking in willful disobedience to God’s Word, if the consistent pattern of your life is the practice of sin and the deeds of the sinful nature that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 5:3-7, then you must question your salvation.

    Any teaching that opens the door to false assurance and loose living is not from God.

    A wave of watered-down and milquetoast “Churchianity” has flooded the church world. A nonconfrontational gospel has failed miserably to deal with sin and repentance. We have forgotten that the central message of the gospel is that Jesus came to save us from our sins (Matt. 1:21), not in our sins. He didn’t just come to forgive us of our sins, but to free us from our sins. This is one of the most tragic fundamental errors we have made in our contemporary gospel, and it largely explains the degradation in our society today. A weak church has opened the way for the devil’s onslaught.

    Not only has our gospel been watered down, but the themes of holiness and sanctification in the church are hardly ever mentioned. As a matter of fact, there’s been a diabolical silence on it as the “I’m OK, you’re OK—once saved, always saved” mantra gains popularity. And all at the expense of the many urgent appeals of New Testament writers to warn the early saints of the dangers of deception (1 Cor. 6:9), falling back (2 Pet. 3:17), drifting (Heb. 2:1), stumbling (1 Pet. 1:10), changing the grace of God into a license for immorality (Jude 4), and giving heed to seducing doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1). The church world is fast adrift into an “easy believism” salvation void of His Lordship that Christ would not recognize today.

    Men who profess Christ are not meeting God’s own conditions for true conversion. “Christian” is almost a meaningless word to the masses today, because so many believe they are Christians, when in fact, they are not. And sadly, there are very few voices today strong enough to change that and stir the church and shake the world”

    Like

  8. On that note Mr Groupsects,
    I wish gays would realise that there are some people who are trying to understand you and work through this.
    But who still honestly see things differently.

    You can attack Hillsong over money and some things but if I were gay I’d be realising that they are trying to be as accepting as possible. And who knows – maybe there are differences of opinion between different leaders within Hillsong but this controversy forced a stronger articulation which wasn’t necessary at this stage,

    Like

  9. The irony of this is that Hillsong was in a hard situation. They were doing everything they could to be living and accepting of people like these two gays and wanted to relate out of the public eye. And maybe, Hillsong being as high profile and reaching young people to the extent they are were slowly trying to study and think and work through this issue.

    But it was the hillsongchurchwatch sites and other sites lived by the Calvinist “women can’t teach but the other churchwatchers listen to ME” Queen over there.

    But in the other hand that crowd get inside with the other gays and lesbians who want to attack Hillsong .

    The real people being inconsistent are the churchwatcher anti-Hillsong Calvinist crowd.

    Houston and Hillsong are trying to be as sensitive and loving as they can. But in the end they CANT say the approve of gay marriage if they honestly haven’t come to that position – and you can’t expect them to change on such a position held for so long historically.

    So while I am against gay marriage and don’t believe homosexual activity is right I feel sorry for Lentz, and those two gay guys and Houston.

    These gays have been used by the Calvinist crowd to attack Hillsong.

    Maybe just maybe Lentz genuinely loves people – including gays and things everyone is on a journey – including others whose lifestyles would traditionally disqualify from leadership roles.

    Well done Calvinists.
    Now – YOU guys go out and preach your gospel to the gays and love them.

    No you won’t do it. And you won’t tell them they are going to hell according to your theology yo their faces either.
    Yes rich lady , I’m talking to you.
    Maybe your Pirate Radio wonderboy can interview Josh and Reed and unleash the full fury of Calvinist thought on them.

    Absolute hypocrisy!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “Several days ago some faceless, end-of-days blogger decided to attack us and our church for allowing us to serve when we are “unrepentantly embracing [our] sin” as homosexuals. Sadly, yet unsurprisingly, most super-conservative news sources picked it up and ran with it — giving this man’s voice worldwide amplification it never should have had. ”

    Is he talking about HillsongchruchwatchSeveral days ago some faceless, end-of-days blogger decided to attack us and our church for allowing us to serve when we are “unrepentantly embracing [our] sin” as homosexuals. Sadly, yet unsurprisingly, most super-conservative news sources picked it up and ran with it — giving this man’s voice worldwide amplification it never should have had. ”

    Is he talking about Hillsongchurchwatch? Lol

    Like

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