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Houston even called Hillsong “a gay-welcoming church” in a statement.While this may sound regressive to many unfamiliar with Christianity, it is astounding given the history of evangelicalism’s treatment of LGBT people.The couple’s demeanors do not darken when they speak of the ordeal.
Kelly even hosted (but did not lead) a Bible study group in his home for the church. Carl Lentz, the lead pastor in New York,that they were getting engaged, which triggered a series of personal and ongoing conversations.
Like many conservative churches, Hillsong holds a traditional view of sexuality but wants to welcome and include all people.
Canfield and Kelly, like many gay couples, disagree with the church’s views on homosexuality.
Canfield and Kelly have decided to keep singing each Sunday at Hillsong, despite the restrictions.
They recognize that the decision they’ve made is not one that every person in their position should make. “If every gay person leaves their church because they have been treated poorly, nothing will change,” Canfield said. And we’re telling all our gay friends at Hillsong to do the same.” Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and author of “Jesus is Better Than You Imagined” and “A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars.” He resides in Brooklyn, N. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Merritt The tale of Canfield, Kelly and Hillsong Church is something of a love story.