Hillsong NYC. Open gays leading the choir

Hillsong New York City. Open gay leading the Hillsong NYC choir. Josh Canfield (left) and his former gay partner Reed. 

 

Hillsong New York City 11

 

In 10 August 2015 I published an article, “Josh Canfield, gay worship leader at Hillsong New York City explains how his gayness is affecting his relationship with Hillsong NYC”

Josh Canfield was planning to marry his boyfriend Reed Kelly at Hillsong NYC in 2016. Hillsong NYC head pastors’ Carl Lentz and Joel Houston, Hillsong head pastor Brian Houston’s son were openly supportive of their relationship and marriage.

Josh and Reed split up in March 2016. Josh has publicly stated he’s looking for another man to marry at Hillsong and fulfil his dream.

Brian Houston has said publicly he sees gay marriage as inevitable at Hillsong and he supports unrepentant gays at Hillsong.

 

In this article, I’m going to reprint a Twitter message from Josh and Reed. Then I’ll reprint it again and add comments as I go.

 

Josh Canfield writes on 7 August 2015 on his Twitter site:

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

Source: Josh Canfield, To our friends…, TwitLonger, http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sn7km8, Published 07/08/2015. (Accessed 09/08/2015.)

 

I’m now going to reprint Josh and Reeds message and add comments as I go.

Josh Canfield writes on 7 August a few days ago on his Twitter site:

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.

My comment:

It’s unfortunate when people resort to hate campaigns against people they disagree with or don’t like.

Josh:

The drama that is unfolding at the moment all revolves around the fact that we have been heavily involved in our church, Hillsong NYC

My comment:

Please observe that Josh and Reed aren’t newcomers to Hillsong NYC.

Josh:

Josh has been with Hillsong for eight years in a variety of ways: choir director, vocal director, and worship team.

My comment:

So Hillsong has allowed an open gay to lead the worship to our Wonderful Holy Awesome Beyond Comprehension Creator God at Hillsong for eight years. I wonder if Pastor Brian Houston, the CEO of Hillsong was aware of this? Brian must have been.

Josh Canfield came from Hillsong London to lead worship at Hillsong NYC by the invitation of Pastors Carl Lentz and Joel Houston when Hillsong NYC was founded. A kind of gay Pentecostal Christian settlement in America.

Reed:

I’ve been there since the beginning of our relationship, over three years ago, and eventually began singing in the choir

My comment:

Reed got into a gay relationship with Josh and joined the Hillsong choir ‘eventually’. They’ve both sung in it for a long time. They’re both 110% out-there gays.

I wonder how many other 110% out-there gays are in Hillsong NYC choir.

I wonder how many open gays are in other Hillsong NYC ministries. I wonder how many open gays attend Hillsong NYC.

It seems Hillsong NYC is quite gay.

Josh:

and opening my apartment as the gathering place for a connect group for Hillsong members in the Broadway and theatrical communities.

My comment:

Hillsong NYC allowed and fostered a gay worship leader, his gay partner in the Hillsong NYC choir and even allowed a connect group (home Bible study and Christian fellowship group) to be held in Reed’s apartment, for many years.

I wonder if it was a connect group for Hillsong gays.

Josh:

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

My comment:

Josh and Reed never hid the nature of their relationship from Hillsong from the beginning.

The inference is that Josh has always been an open gay all his time at Hillsong NYC and Pastors Carl Lentz and Joel Houston, one of the CEO of Hillsong Brian Houston’s sons, were Ok with this.

They even let Josh lead the worship of the whole church at Hillsong NYC for many years.

Josh:

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.

My comment:

The buzz words of the gay community and churches that compromise with the gays are words like  ‘conversation’, ‘dialogue’ and ‘cultural change’.

Josh: 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.

My comment:

How dare a blogger speak out Biblical truth! How dare they!

It just shows how out of touch with Biblical truth Hillsong NYC are.

Josh:

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.

My comment:

Yes, people have looked up to Hillsong, but not for much longer. The truth of this corrupt organisation is gradually coming out.

God is not mocked.

“Judgment is mine”, says the Lord of Hosts.

Josh:

(We’ve never been harassed in so many foreign languages before … and we live in NYC!)

My comment:

Gays like drama and Josh and Reed, who like the limelight and have appeared, as they say, on the American reality TV show ‘Survivor’, have got a big drama on their hands now at Hillsong.

Pastor Brian Houston and his coterie don’t know what to do with these gays at Hillsong NYC.

Pastor Carl Lentz and Pastor Joel Houston have allowed them to come in and get very entrenched. They’ve got a big problem on their hands now.

Hillsong’s heartland support is from fundamentalist Christians.

Most of these supporters and ‘Hillsongees’, as I call them, don’t know or don’t want to know the corruption of the Hillsong organisation. 

Josh:

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.

My comment:

Yes, Pastors Carl Lentz and Joel Houston have gotten off-track at Hillsong NYC by letting gays and celebrities do their thing. Brian Houston is avoiding the issue and try to spin and duck his way out of trouble as is his usual style.

Josh:

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.

My comment:

There’s millions of good Christians who’d like to know the truth about Hillsong so they can stay clear of it and not listen to a word of it’s hype and deceptions.

The only reason this gay news at Hillsong NYC hasn’t come out sooner is that Hillsong has hid it from us all. This news and the corresponding issues are right at the heart of debate on these subject.

Josh:

Thankfully we are led by pastors who are grace-filled and committed to continuing to try to discern God’s will on this matter.

My comment:

Josh and Reed are allowed at Hillsong Church because Carl Lentz and Joel Houston don’t follow the Holy Bible. That’s it pure and simple.

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?

My comment:

This comment shows a deep naivety. The only place gays find full acceptance is in church organisations like the American Presbyterians, who have even voted to allow gay pastors. It seems that Hillsong NYC has compromised heavily on Biblical truth.

Josh:

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.

My comment:

It seems Hillsong NYC will let you stay Josh and Reed, so long as you don’t rock the boat and agree to hang up the leadership hat.

Josh:

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.

My comment:

I never thought I’d see the day when open gays would lead worship at Hillsong NYC, or at any Pentecostal Church anywhere on the planet. This has been the case for many years now. It took a long time to be exposed.

Josh:

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.

My comment:

Called by who? Your father the devil, the lover of gays and all things gay. Not my Holy God, the God of the Holy Bible, that’s for sure.

Josh:

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

My comment:

Hillsong NYC seems to be on your side. Hillsong is no longer a Bible-based church. More like a liberal compromised church.

Big Smiles and 110% …
Reed and Josh

My comment:

Reed and Josh, gays always seem to have a way of putting on the brave happy gay face, but in your hearts, in your conscience, you know that lying with another man is wrong.

Source: Josh Canfield, To our friends…, TwitLonger, http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sn7km8, Published 07/08/2015. (Accessed 09/08/2015.)

 

Hillsong worship leader Josh Canfield and his partner Reed

Hillsong worship leader Josh Canfield and his partner Reed

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Carl Lentz Head Pastor of Hillsong New York City. Standing with Josh and Reed and exploring gay issues.

Carl Lentz Head Pastor of Hillsong New York City. Standing with Josh and Reed and exploring gay issues.