NTEB Article On Gay Choir Leader At Hillsong NYC Forces Response From Brian Houston

Today, senior Pastor of Hillsong Church International, Brian Houston, issued his response to the rapidly escalating controversy. You may read the entire article in full here, and pertinent to...
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So the official position is now that Josh Canfield was a choir leader, but they were “unaware” of his homosexuality, even though it was reported by the New York Times last year. Hmmm…..

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:27 (KJV)

Two days ago, on August 2nd, NTEB published an article showing that as recently as January of 2015, Hillsong NYC Church had an openly-out gay church member, Josh Canfield, leading their worship choir, with his “fiance” Russ Kelly also singing in the choir. Josh Canfield, in an interview with Playbill.com, said this:I became truthful with my church. I’m a part of Hillsong NYC. I’m one of their choir directors. I also sing on their Worship team. They’ve been amazing as well. Nothing has changed there now that I’m completely out and with Reed. He sings in the choir as well.” Well, according to Brian Houston’s official statement released this morning, everything has changed.

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” We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle.” Brian Houston, August 4, 2015

Canfield’s story was published in multiple reputable sources like the New York Times and CNN, and as far as we could ascertain, there are no published statements to the contrary disputing Josh Canfield’s choir leadership. Our story went viral with hundreds of thousands of views over the past 48 hours from all around the world.

Hillsong responded to our article with not one but two replies. The first a personal message from Hillsong leader Brian Houston, and the second a reply posted on their main website.

HILLSONG RESPONSE #1:

Today, senior Pastor of Hillsong Church International, Brian Houston, issued his personal response to the rapidly escalating controversy. You may read the entire article in full here, and pertinent to our story, this is what he had to say on Hillsong and the LGBT Lifestyle:

“Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid. 

So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course! You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community. But (this is where it gets vexing), can you take an active leadership role? No.

This won’t make everyone happy and to some, this stance may even be seen as hypocritical. We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle.

HILLSONG RESPONSE #2:

NTEB applauds Brian Houston’s quick response, and are happy that he has, finally, issued a full and clear statement on Hillsong’s official position on the LGBT agenda and same-sex marriage. But you will note that while he now says that “actively gay people cannot hold paid or unpaid leadership positions” at Hillsong, he also said that when choir leader Josh Canfield announced he was gay, that it was a “complete surprise”, as reported on Hillsong.com today:

“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.” source

Since Canfield’s statements were picked up by the main stream media and have been circulating for well over a year, you would have to wonder why Houston has waited so long to make his statement. And certainly Canfield has not been shy about his homosexuality, it could not have been too much of a “surprise” for Hillsong to arrive at that conclusion. So the official position is now that Josh Canfield was a choir leader, but they were “unaware” of his homosexuality, even though it was reported by the New York Times last year. Hmmm…..

Hillsong said today that they were “unaware” that Josh Canfield was gay. Really? Seems no one else was.

Will Josh Canfield still feel the same way now that Hillsong has officially repudiated his LGBT lifestyle?”

Let me just conclude by saying to Brian Houston personally that his taking a stand for the lost gay person and against the deadly, perverted lifestyle of the LGBT is exactly what he should have done, and for that he is to be commended. If Hillsong holds to this position as they get pushback from the gay members of their congregations, we will publish that as well.

READ THE ORIGINAL STORY by clicking here now

 

SOURCES FOR THIS STORY INCLUDE:

Josh Canfield, in an interview with Playbill.com, said this in January of 2015: ” I became truthful with my church. I’m a part of Hillsong NYC. I’m one of their choir directors. I also sing on their Worship team. They’ve been amazing as well. Nothing has changed there now that I’m completely out and with Reed. He sings in the choir as well.”http://www.playbill.com/news/article/broadway-boyfriends-of-survivor-get-engaged-on-stage-plus-video-340487/print

From an article in the NEW YORK TIMES newspaper: Some of Hillsong’s churches appear to be open to gays and lesbians. Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, a gay couple featured on the current season of “Survivor;” worship and sing in the choir at Hillsong New York; Mr. Canfield is a volunteer choir director at the church.http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/18/us/megachurch-pastor-signals-shift-in-tone-on-gay-marriage.html

From in interview in the Christian Post: Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz said “”We have a lot of gay men and women in our church and I pray we always do.” http://www.christianpost.com/news/jesus-never-discussed-homosexuality-publicly-says-megachurch-pastor-of-his-refusal-to-talk-openly-about-gay-marriage-120918/

From Brian Houston’s official blog site: “So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church? Of course! You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community. But (this is where it gets vexing), can you take an active leadership role? No. This won’t make everyone happy and to some, this stance may even be seen as hypocritical. We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle.” http://brianchouston.com/blog/2015/08/do-i-love-gay-people/

NTEB is run by end times author and editor-in-chief Geoffrey Grider. Geoffrey runs a successful web design company, and is a full-time minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition to running NOW THE END BEGINS, he has a dynamic street preaching outreach and tract ministry team in Saint Augustine, FL.
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