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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Be Hypocrite in order not to loose your Customers: Hillsong’s Brian Houston says church won’t take public position on LGBT issues


 Australia's Hillsong Church has locations around the world with tens of thousands in weekly attendance.  - Image courtesy of Michael Chan (http://bit.ly/1tywEdv)



 Rules were set aside by the executive of the Pentecostal movement when it came to dealing with allegations against Frank Houston the national inquiry was told last week 



Hillsong’s Brian Houston says church won’t take public position on LGBT issues



Jonathan Merritt | |




 Mr Houston is the senior pastor at the Hillsong Church, located in Sydney's north-western suburbs

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler declared from his blog in June of 2014, “There is no third way on [same-sex issues].”

But Brian Houston, pastor of Hillsong Church, a global family of congregations comprising more than 30,000 weekly attendees and millions of worship music album sales, apparently disagrees with Mohler. At least, for now.

At a press conference for the Hillsong Conference in New York City today, Michael Paulson of The New York Times asked Houston to clarify their church’s position on same sex marriage. But Houston would not offer a definitive answer, instead saying that it was “an ongoing conversation” among church leaders and they were “on the journey with it.”

 (From left: Joel Houston, Bobbie Houston, Brian Houston, Carl Lentz) - Image courtesy of Jonathan Merritt

Houston says that he considers three things when evaluating the topic: “There’s the world we live in, there’s the weight we live with, and there’s the word we live by.”

He notes that the Western world is shifting its thinking on this issue, and churches are struggling to stay relevant. The weight we live in, he added, refers to a context where LGBT young people may feel rejected or shunned by churches, often leading to depression and suicide. But when Houston began speaking about the word we live by or “what the Bible says,” he refused to offer a concrete position.
“It would be much easier if you could feel like all of those three just easily lined up. But they don’t necessarily….” Houston said. “The real issues in people’s lives are too important for us to just reduce it down to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in a media outlet.”

Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong’s New York City location, made similar statements on CNN in June, saying Hillsong in New York City has “a lot of gay men and women” and he hopes it stays that way. But he declines to address the matter in public because, in part, Jesus never did.

“Jesus was in the thick of an era where homosexuality, just like it is today, was widely prevalent,” Lentz told CNN. “And I’m still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people.  You won’t find it because he never did.”

Lentz’s wife, Laura, chimed in: “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live. That’s their journey.”

No doubt Mohler and other conservative evangelicals will find such answers disconcerting if not downright dangerous to what they believe is the Biblical position. If the leaders of Hillsong, one of the most influential evangelical ministry conglomerates in the world, refuse to draw lines on these issues, it could influence other churches and pastors to reconsider their own positions.

And that is why this issue has become a litmus test for many on the left and right. Because in a moment when so much is at stake a non-statement statement is, well, quite a statement.



Also see:


'You never forget the moment you find out your dad's a paedophile': Hillsong's Brian Houston tells of the 'devastating' 10 seconds when he realised his father, Frank, was a paedophile

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2785983/You-never-forget-moment-dad-s-paedophile-Hillsong-s-Brian-Houston-tells-devastating-10-seconds-realised-father-Frank-paedophile.html#ixzz3GadeQ7Zd


Hillsong's Brian Houston on Gay Marriage: 'I Believe the Writings of Paul Are Clear on This Subject'

Megachurch Pastor Issues Statement After Reports Suggest 'Shift' in Approach to Same-Sex Marriage

By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post Reporter
 
October 18, 2014|2:20 pm
Pastor Brian Houston appears on stage during Hillsong's 2014 conference in New York City at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. (Photo: Hillsong Church)
Pastor Brian Houston appears on stage during Hillsong's 2014 conference in New York City at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Hillsong Church pastor Brian Houston has issued a statement specifying his position on marriage and homosexuality after a news outlet reported that he "won't take (a) public position on LGBT issues."
The news report came after Houston brought up the topics of homosexuality and same-sex marriage at a press conference held on Thursday with New York City media, on the occasion of Hillsong Conference being held at Madison Square Garden.

"I encourage people not to assume a media headline accurately represents what I said at a recent press conference," Houston says in a statement emailed to The Christian Post on Saturday.

"Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage," he adds. "I challenge people to read what I actually said, rather than what was reported that I said. My personal view on the subject of homosexuality would line up with most traditionally held Christian views. I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject."
Pastors Brian Houston and Bobbie Houston of Hillsong Church appear at a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, at The Eventi Hotel in New York City. The press conference came on the occasion of the Hillsong Conference being held at Madison Square Ga (Photo: The Christian Post/Scott Liu)
Pastors Brian Houston and Bobbie Houston of Hillsong Church appear at a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014, at The Eventi Hotel in New York City. The press conference came on the occasion of the Hillsong Conference being held at Madison Square Garden from Oct. 16-18 in NYC.
The question that resulted in Houston's remarks on homosexuality centered on how his church tries to remain relevant. In his response, the Hillsong pastor offered homosexual marriage as an issue that is a challenge for some churches. Traditional Christian teachings define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
"I think with the church, the message is sacred but the methods have to change for the church to stay relevant," said Houston. "And it's challenging. It's challenging to stay relevant. I mean, if we go to the one big hot topic maybe for churches ... now with homosexual marriage legalized, and churches for generations, they hold a set of beliefs around what they believe the Word of God, the Bible says. All of a sudden in many circles the church can look like a pariah, because to many people it's so irrelevant now … So staying relevant is a big challenge. I think it's more than just singing more contemporary songs and the colors you paint your walls or whatever."

As CP noted in a previous report, Hillsong Church has among its 12 global campuses two operating in Los Angeles and New York City, both diverse and progressive cities where same-sex marriage is legal.
Houston, prompted by The New York Times' question for clarification, went on to emphasize that, for him, questions about his position on homosexuality were "too important for us to reduce" down to a "yes or no answer in a media outlet." His remarks were similar to those previously made by Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz, who has declined to take a public "yea or nay" position on homosexuality.

The New York Times published a report on Houston's remark under the headline "Megachurch Pastor Signals Shift in Tone on Gay Marriage," and notes that the Hillsong Church pastor's "spokesman said on Friday that the pastor personally agreed with traditional Christian teaching on sexuality."
The Religion News Service published in its report (under the headline "Hillsong's Brian Houston says church won't take public position on LGBT issues"):

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler declared from his blog in June of 2014, "There is no third way on [same-sex issues]."
But Brian Houston, pastor of Hillsong Church, a global family of congregations comprising more than 30,000 weekly attendees and millions of worship music album sales, apparently disagrees with Mohler. At least, for now.

The RNS report goes on to state that after the Times' request for clarification, "... Houston would not offer a definitive answer, instead saying that it was 'an ongoing conversation' among church leaders and they were "on the journey with it.'"




Hillsong’s Brian Houston says church won’t take public position on LGBT issues

- See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/10/16/hillsongs-brian-houston-says-church-lgbt-issues/#sthash.SfhVmOEp.dpuf


Hillsong’s Brian Houston says church won’t take public position on LGBT issues

- See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/10/16/hillsongs-brian-houston-says-church-lgbt-issues/#sthash.SfhVmOEp.dpuf