Article On Gay Choir Leader At Hillsong NYC Forces Response From Brian Houston
Our story went viral with hundreds of thousands of views over the past 48 hours from all around the world.
“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)
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.
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 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.
We applaud 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 does not say or in any way reference Josh Canfield’s previously published statement that he was a worship choir leader at Hillsong NYC.
Either Josh Canfield did in fact hold the position of worship choir leader, as he has been reported to have said in CNN, NY Times, and Playbill.com, or he is lying. Only Hillsong Church can make that final determination, and we hope that after they read this Brian Houston will issue an official clarification regarding Josh Canfield’s previous leadership position claim at Hillsong.
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.
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.
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/
Hillsong’s Recent Statement On Openly-Gay Choir Leaders Now Proven False
“We have been open and forthright about our relationship from the get-go.” – Reed Kelly
“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15,16 (KJV)
Last week, we brought you the story of how it came to light that Hillsong NYC church had had openly-out gay members leading the worship choir during their services. The story immediately went viral, and caused Hillsong to issue not one but two statements of denial. They did acknowledge that, yes, the two openly-gay men has been active in worship choir leadership for a number of years, but they have insisted that they were “unaware” that they were gay and were “completely taken by surprise” at the revelation. But not so.
Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston in an interview with ABC News Nightline done in 2014, is quite aware and seemingly pleased as he freely admits to knowing that Hillsong NYC church has 2 openly-gay men leading the choir. So how it is possible that in last week’s denial statement, Hillsong repeatedly states that were “unaware” of what was going on? Here is the official Hillsong denial:
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.
Not only that, in a blog post just a few days ago, Reed Kelly, one of the two openly-gay choir members, came right out and said that him and his boyfriend led the choir for years, were very active and that Hillsong knew all about it and had no problems with it. He says this:
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.
So evidentially, this has been going on openly at Hillsong NYC for about 8 years. Why Hillsong chose to lie about it when it was so well know remains a mystery that hopefully they will explain at some point.
It also remains to be seen, now that they have said that they “do not affirm the LGBT lifestyle”, if they will hold to that position. Pushback from the LGBT community was immediate and we are sure the pressure on them will be overwhelming to retract their newly-stated position. Jesus says in Revelation 3, that the last church before the Rapture will be the Laodicean church that He will “spew out of His mouth”. This is why we are seeing denomination after denomination crumbling to pieces and falling by the wayside.
What The Bible Has To Say About Homosexuality And The LGBT Lifestyle
All love is not love, not by a long shot
“And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; ” Genesis 19:1 (KJV)
We live in a day and age where God’s opinion no longer matters, and where man’s opinion and human relativism is the standard of the day. Sin is no longer sin, it’s a “disease”, and rehab has replaced true biblical repentance.
Gay rights and gay marriage have become the clarion issue of our day, and what gets decided on and what laws get passed will well determine our future as a nation. Every dispensation of man in the bible ends in failure. The awesome promise of a perfect creation mentioned in Genesis 1 ends with Joseph dead and buried in a coffin in Egypt. Both the Greek and Roman empires came to an abrupt end when they began to promote a national ordinance of homosexuality.
The Law Of First Mention In The Bible
“The law of first mention may be said to be the principle that requires one to go to that portion of the Scriptures where a doctrine is mentioned for the first time and to study the first occurrence of the same in order to get the fundamental inherent meaning of that doctrine. When we thus see the first appearance, which is usually in the simplest form, we can then examine the doctrine in other portions of the Word that were given later. We shall see that the fundamental concept in the first occurrence remains dominant as a rule, and colors all later additions to that doctrine. In view of this fact, it becomes imperative that we understand the law of first mention.” source – Biblical Research
The law of first mention in the bible is important because it usually sets the tone for every other place in the bible where that doctrine will appear. The very first place that the mention of homosexuality shows up is in Genesis 9, where we see the misdeeds of Ham towards his father.
“And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.”Genesis 9:20-24 (KJV)
It is obvious from the passage that Ham’s sin was more than simply seeing his father naked. If all Ham had done was looked, then Noah would have had no idea that had happened in his drunken state. Are you aware of your wife “looking at you” while you sleep? No, you are not. But Noah awoke from his wine, and the memories came flooding back that his son, Ham, had taken advantage of him and engaged in sexual intercourse with him while he was passed out.
Because of what Ham did, he and his generations to come were cursed. So we see that the very first time homosexuality is mentioned in any context in the bible it is connected with a curse.
The Sin Of Sodom And Gomorrah
A few chapters later in Genesis, we read about the sins of a place known as Sodom and Gomorrah. The bible says that the people in those cities had commited grevious sin, and God called them all wicked:
“And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” Genesis 18:20,21 (KJV)
Now, before we comment on Sodom and Gomorrah, please note the following:
The word “sodomy”, which is connected with a sexual act of anal intercourse between two men, comes from the biblical account of the city of Sodom being destroyed by God because of homosexual behaviour. The word “sodomite” is a slang term for a gay men who engages in homosexual acts with other men. The reason why Sodom is remembered this way is because the Biblical account tells us that the sin of Sodom was homosexuality; not pride, greed or inhospitality as some have so ridiculously suggested.
In Genesis 19, we see that two angels have come to pull Lot and his family out of Sodom. They lodge with Lot in his home for the evening, and as soon as this is noised abroad, there comes a crowd of men to Lot’s house, demanding that the two angels be handed over to them for sexual purposes. They mean to rape the angels.
“And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” Genesis 19:5-7 (KJV)
This second mention of homosexuality in the bible, like the first mention, ends badly. We all know the story…the angels tell Lot that he must take his family and flee because God is planning on destroying both Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness.
“For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.” Genesis 19:13 (KJV)
Homosexuality In The New Testament
People very passionately debate over the two passages we have mentioned from Genesis, saying that neither passage is a direct indictment against homosexuality, only against violent behaviour. So, let’s go to the New Testament to see how God is dealing with the topic there.
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 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 1:26,27 (KJV)
Here we see in Romans the acts of both male and female homosexuality mentioned. The Holy Spirit, writing though the Apostle Paul, minces no words about the topic. God here labels homosexual activity with the term ‘vile affections’ and says that the practice is ‘against nature’ and unnatural.
No where in the entire bible is homosexual activity ever mentioned in a good or positive way. Not even once. It is always connected with a curse, sin, judgment or destruction. The bible offers no stories of happy homosexual unions or gay “marriages”. In point of fact, gay marriage doesn’t even exist. Like the rainbow, it’s just another thing stolen from the Bible and appropriated for their own ends. Marriage in the bible, which was ordained by God, is always between a man and a woman. All love is not love.
So you have a choice.
You can agree with what God has written in the bible, or you can rebel against it and claim any one of a number of reasons why what is in the bible doesn’t apply to you. But understand one thing. Whether or not homosexuality is a choice is besides the point. God says that it is a sin that needs to be repented of. The bible does not say that people were created as homosexual anymore than it says that people were created to do any other sin of any kind. The “I was born this way” argument receives no support in the pages of scripture.
God created a man and woman, and He gave them the gift of sexuality.Homosexuality appears exactly 6 chapters after the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but it does not happen in the time in which God says that things were perfect and right. Homosexuality shows up after sin had entered into the world, and the world itself had been cursed.
Christianity cannot be reconciled with homosexuality anymore than it can be with drunkenness, murder, fornication or gossip. You cannot have both as they are opposed to each other.
You must choose Now!