Owen Strachan, fellow member of the Center for Pastor Theologians, has written a punchy critique of Hillsong. The long and short of it is that Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, Broadway actors and leading members of the New York campus of Hillsong Church, have been outspoken about their homosexual relationship and plans to be married next year, and the Hillsong leadership has failed to confront the issue. Presently, the Hillsong policy is that “[LGBT people] are welcome to attend, worship, even participate as members.”

Strachan’s assessment of the situation is blunt: “By allowing Kelly and Canfield to live as a gay couple for some time and continue to be members of the church, Hillsong has failed to offer them the true gospel.” He makes some excellent points. I encourage you to read the full article, which can be found here. He concludes the piece as follows:

There is no special spiritual program for megacities. There is no unique gospel for the theater community, or the athletic world, or the political superclass. There is not one message for food critics and another for plumbers. There is one Lord and one baptism. To argue otherwise is to miss the significance of Paul’s message to the Corinthians. Corinth was an enhanced New York, a city shot through with iniquity. It celebrated sexual license and encouraged people to find their identity in their depravity.

Paul would have none of it. “Such were some of you,” he reminds his struggling friends. “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:9-11). If ever there was a climate for “spiritual gradualism,” Corinth was it. Paul shows us that there is no mushy middle of spiritual half-transformation.

3 Comments

  1. Dillon, thanks for the post, for the helpful article. I hope you and your family are loving Colorado and the church! Blessings, Doug

    Douglas D. Webster professor of pastoral theology and preaching Beeson Divinity School, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229 205-726-2414 | office | 205-789-5712 | mobile dwebster@samford.edu | http://www.douglasdwebster.com

  2. A good article and a difficult topic to address. May those much wiser than this simple everyday believer, seek God’s wisdom in not being afraid to speak of the true and entire gospel of Jesus, in such a way that true transformation will happen not just amongst those in the LGBT community, but every sinner.

  3. An interesting article and a subject that must be addressed by His church if we are live in the world without being of the world. Reading Owen Strachen’s article brought questions to mind but not a whole lot of answers. His title “Hillsong, Homosexuality and the Half-Gospel confused me a bit. Is homosexuality even addressed in the 4 Gospels? If so, where is it found? If it’s not there, what is meant by “the Half Gospel”? How does one feel welcome—with limits in any situation with out making the welcomed one feel lesser than other? Welcome to sing in the choir but not direct it is given as an example. Hmmmm? The statement is made that “We keep His commandments. My question is do we or do we strive to do so in the power of The Holy Spirit? Am I a lesser Christian if I don’t always keep all 10 Commandments? And finally, Which Commandment deals with the LGBT issues? Thanks for a very thought provoking article.

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