A gay couple is at the center of controversy at Hillsong NYC after a conservative blogger pointed out that one of the men is in a leadership position at the church. Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, both successful Broadway actors, are now speaking out, claiming that they did not hide their relationship from the church, and have no intention to leave.
Christian Today reports Canfield was honest about the relationship in a January Playbill interview.
"I became truthful with my church,” Canfield said. “I'm a part of Hillsong NYC. I'm one of their choir directors. I also sing on their worship team. They've been amazing as well. Nothing has changed there now that I'm completely out and with Reed. He sings in the choir as well. I found that being an honest person has actually come with a lot of benefits. People are more sincere with you, and you find out a lot more about other people when you become honest."
Brian Houston, lead pastor of Hillsong Church has now clarified the church’s stance on homosexuality, insisting the church’s views remain “consistent with Scripture.”
Kelly says he and Canfield have now inadvertently became representative for gay Christianity. The couple says that they will remain at the church, though they will not be permitted to service in leadership positions.
"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?” Kelly said.
“...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."
Publication date: August 11, 2015