The two gay men at the center of a controversy regarding their involvement with popular and influential Hillsong Church insist they have been open about their relationship from the very beginning, and "have been in conversation with Hillsong NYC's lead pastors regarding the church's non-LGBT affirming stance."
"The drama that is unfolding at the moment all revolves around the fact that we have been heavily involved in our church, Hillsong NYC," reads a public statement written by Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, the gay couple highlighted in a viral blog post critical of their involvement with the megachurch.
"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," the statement continues. more >>
I love and care about people — from all walks of life; people with various beliefs, ethics, perspectives and lifestyles. I care that humanity and some within the Christian church can be so quick to alienate and ostracize others who are different than them; those who live differently, think differently, speak differently.
I also live by my own convictions, and hold to traditional Christian thought on gay lifestyles and gay marriage. I do believe God's word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear, as I have mentioned in previous public statements.
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. I recognize this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world. more >>
Hillsong Church founding pastor Brian Houston insists that his Sydney-based megachurch has made "absolutely no change" in regard to its "stance on homosexuality and gay marriage," after a critical blog post claimed that two engaged openly gay men were leading Hillsong NYC's choir.
"There has been absolutely no change to Hillsong Church's stance on homosexuality and gay marriage," Houston wrote on his Twitter account early Tuesday morning. The Hillsong Church Twitter account also tweeted his 140-character comment, but in Spanish.
Hours later, a "Hillsong Church statement by Senior Pastor Brian Houston" was published to the ministry's website. In the statement, Houston challenges the recent blog post about two gay men who attend Hillsong's NYC location. more >>
North Korea released video footage on Monday of detained Canadian pastor, the Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, confessing to various crimes against the Communist State. The megachurch leader, who was taken into custody by DPRK authorities in February, appears to be reading from a script.
In a video recorded on Aug. 2, Lim, the senior pastor of Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, is seen speaking to a congregation at Pyongyang's Pongsu Church, where he describes his alleged crimes to those in attendance.
"The worst crime I committed was to rashly defame and insult the highest dignity and the system of the republic," said Lim, according to footage posted by the Uriminzokkiri propaganda website. more >>
Prominent evangelical Christian leader John Piper has suggested that God allowed Mars Hill Church to collapse as a "tactical defeat" in the overall war between good and evil.
Mars Hill was an influential multi-site megachurch that officially dissolved at the end of 2014 amid controversies surrounding its founder and lead pastor, Mark Driscoll, over alleged plaigarism of books and his admitted "divisive" leadrship style.
Piper, author at DesiringGod.com and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, explained in a podcast last Friday that God was like a general. more >>
The pastor of a Korean megachurch in Canada was detained in a North Korean airport in February and appeared before media in Pyongyang on Thursday where he admitted to various alleged crimes against the Communist state, including "perpetrating a scheme to over throw the state."
"The most serious crimes I have committed are that I severely slandered and impaired the supreme dignity and system of this country and perpetrated a scheme to overthrow the state," said Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, the head pastor of Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, to a packed room of reporters at the People's Palace of Culture, a venue where North Korean authorities have arranged similar events in the past.
"In order to create the impression that it is God, and not the Worker's Party and this country's government which give things to eat and provide means to live, we intentionally drew the cross and wrote the name of the church and Bible phrases on the sacks of provisions that were donated to several parts of the country such as Chongjin and Jagang Province," added Lim in the forced statement. "The purpose that I travelled about several parts of the country on the pretext of "aid" was to build a base to overthrow the system. more >>