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Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Chris Pratt, Hillsong, and Help for Homosexuals

Feb 16, 2019

Some of you may have heard about the recent stoush between Chris Pratt and Ellen Page. I must admit, I had known next to nothing about both of them. But with a bit of sniffing around, it seems that both are actors. Or should I say actor and actress? Or should I say act-persons? Whatever.

But it seems Pratt is actually a Christian who goes to church. That in itself will land you in the Hollywood sinbin. And worse yet, he might attend a church that might look askance of homosexuality. But let me piece together the background to this public controversy.

Evidently Pratt appeared last week on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” and talked about a 21-day Daniel Fast that he and his church were involved in. Said Pratt, “Daniel was a guy who only ate fruits, vegetables and grains.” It turns out that he attends the Zoe Church, which is modeled after Hillsong Church, and he has also attended Hillsong Church in the past.

Things did not stop there. It seems that Ellen Page, who is a “married” lesbian, really did not like Pratt talking about his faith. She attacked him on Twitter, saying this: “Oh. K. Um. But his church is infamously anti lgbtq so maybe address that too?”.

She then tweeted: “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed. Being anti LGBTQ is wrong, there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe.”

Pratt then replied on Instagram Tuesday: “It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. I go to a church that opens their doors to absolutely everyone.”
www.deseretnews.com/article/900055666/chris-pratt-denies-his-church-is-anti-lgbtq-hate-has-no-place-in-my-or-this-world.html

And then Hillsong put out a press release on Thursday saying: “Hillsong Church loves ALL people.” The release began:

We would like to clarify and correct the following misinformation that has appeared in several media outlets recently: Hillsong Church does not preach against anyone or any group; we are not ‘anti-anyone’. We are an inclusive Christian church that loves, values and welcomes all people, regardless of their background, ethnicity, beliefs, values, or personal identity.
hillsong.com/media-releases/hillsong-church-loves-all-people/

So there you have it. But a number of important questions arise here, not just about Hillsong but about many churches and their take on the issue of homosexuality. So let me try to pick apart the various layers of this issue, especially in light of what Hillsong has just said.

As to allowing anyone in our churches to hear the gospel, as opposed to actual membership, I have discussed that at length elsewhere. In one such article I said this:

Of course anyone is – or should be – welcome to come to church and to hear the gospel being preached. The doors of the church should be wide open in this sense. We do not exclude anyone from hearing biblical truth and the claims of the gospel. The gospel, after all, is for sinners.

But this is not always what these folks have in mind. They want to take this further and say that unregenerate sinners can not only come and hear sermons in our churches, but can become fully involved in the life and fellowship of the church as well. The reason they can think this way is because perhaps most churches today have long ago abandoned any notion of church membership – and along with it, church discipline. Thus the physical doors are just as wide open as are the theological doors.
billmuehlenberg.com/2015/07/11/church-visitors-versus-church-members/

So it really depends on what exactly they mean by saying “Hillsong Church loves ALL people.” It can be a good and biblical sentiment, or it can be a radically bad and unbiblical one, depending on where they are coming from. And sadly this is not the first time Hillsong has sent out some real worrying messages and actions in terms of homosexuality and Christianity.

I have spoken before about seemingly pro-homosexual actions and statements from Hillsong – or at least rather ambiguous ones:
billmuehlenberg.com/2013/12/27/keeping-the-masses-happy-while-keeping-god-unhappy/

But here I want to look at one more thing mentioned in their recent press release. They went on to say this: “Hillsong Church was founded in 1983 by our Senior Pastors, Brian and Bobbie Houston and in all those years Pastor Brian has been a vocal opponent of gay conversion therapy and has made it clear to our pastors that we do not support that approach.”

Now that, in my eyes, is a real worry. We expect militant homosexual activists and atheists to fully oppose help for homosexuals. But when megachurches get in on the act!? Good grief! Indeed, even the very term, “conversion therapy” is the other side’s phrase, not ours.

It is used by the homosexual lobby all the time in a derogatory and pejorative fashion, implying that Christians are going around kidnapping homosexuals off the streets and forcing them to “convert” to straightness. Of course nothing could be further from the truth.

When Christians and others speak of “reparative therapy” it has to do with just one thing: if a homosexual is struggling with his or her same-sex attractions and wants some help and counsel, and wants to maybe even get set free from all this, they should be able to get that help. That is what is being offered here.

No one is forcing anyone to do anything. But if a homosexual desperately is seeking some help in this area, he should have the right to get it. But all over the West this is being denied them. In many places this is being made illegal! For those wanting more information on this, I have written a number of articles on “Conversion Therapy””

billmuehlenberg.com/2016/01/25/our-victorian-gaystapo/
billmuehlenberg.com/2016/12/04/banning-real-help-seeking-change/
billmuehlenberg.com/2018/04/15/rainbow-bullies-denying-help-to-those-who-seek-it/
billmuehlenberg.com/2018/12/11/the-war-against-conversion-therapy/
billmuehlenberg.com/2019/02/04/victorian-nero-declares-war-on-christianity/

So a vitally important question here is this: does Hillsong believe that it is wrong to offer such help to struggling homosexuals? Yes or no? If yes, then they have placed themselves fully in the same ideological camp as the militant homosexual activists.

If no, then what exactly do they mean? What help – if any – do they offer to struggling homosexuals? Do they believe that homosexuality is a sin or not? And what help do they propose for those who want counsel or deliverance in this area?

Instead of offering us vague motherhood statements about welcoming everyone, many of us would appreciate some real clarity here. And if I and others have misunderstood or mischaracterised the position of Hillsong here, well sorry, but that is not our fault, but Hillsong’s.

In this vitally important area we are in need of precise and clear statements, not PC feel-good bumper sticker responses. We expect politicians to offer us wishy washy statements on homosexuality and other contentious issues. But we expect much better from churches, especially megachurches which are always in the public eye.

Of course I do not mean to pick on Hillsong here, as there are plenty of other churches which seem to think and act the same way when it comes to homosexuality. They are not only all over the place on the issue, but they seem far more worried about pleasing worldlings and being seen to be tolerant and accepting than they are to be seen as being radically and faithfully biblical.

That is not how we will win the world, nor how we will be salt and light.

[1244 words]

20 Responses to Chris Pratt, Hillsong, and Help for Homosexuals

  • One obvious problem with Hillsong is that Brian Houston’s wife Bobbie is also considered the “pastor.” For a woman to be a pastor is completely unbiblical. For decades, “women pastors” have been an important push for the evangelical egalitarian movement.

    By the way, egalitarianism ALWAYS leads to the acceptance of homosexuality, despite what any evangelical egalitarian may argue.

  • Well said as always Bill.
    Yes, we NEED clarification from Hillsong if they haven’t already.
    The lgbt and Christians BOTH want absolute clarity from Hillsong on this issue !
    These wishy washy answers from them are bringing MORE attention to the issue.
    They will choose God or pc culture on this.
    The church will need to be as clear as the Word of God is in regards to what is sin.

  • I woukd be more worried about their teaching, doctrine and who they invite and associate with…Bill Jonhson, joseph Prince etc etc…
    The prosperity doctine and word of faith should be enough to keep away from them….

  • Focus on the Family (FOTF) have clearly laid out their, (or more specifically the Biblical position) on ‘Homosexuality, Theology and the Church’ at: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/sexuality/homosexuality-theology-and-the-church/homosexuality-theology-and-the-church

    Hillsong, continuing to obfuscate on this subject, needs to come clean with an unambiguous position. (Refer FOTF)

  • Spot on Bill. Hillsong or any church claiming to be evangelical only has to make a clear statement such as: Yes, God says clearly in the Bible that He loves everyone as persons but God has also said just as clearly that homosexual behaviour is sin and is abhorrent to Him. For those who are willing to repent from this or any other sin, God offers forgiveness and a new life.

    Of course more could be said but too many words could obscure the core truths.

  • It is years now since the homosexual movement began to insist that homosexuality was their identity, not their behaviour, and that Christians must not be allowed to differentiate between the sin and the sinner. Thus, they declared, if you hate the sin of homosexuality then you hate me because that’s not something I do. it’s what I am. I think we have to push back on that score, whether they like it or not.

  • We must remember that the apostle Paul said in 1 Cor 5, ‘What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside.’ The churches should take a firm stand on stating that homosexuality is a sin for those who have chosen to be followers of Jesus, but for those who have not (yet) chosen to be followers of Jesus, what the church states is irrelevant to them, and should pose no threat.

  • To say “Chris Pratt is actually a Christian” is a statement that may or may not be true.

    Is Hillsong even teaching Biblical truths?

  • Thank you Bill for exposing this heresy.

    This is part of a bigger issue. You have talked about the other parts recently. The decline of the family as the fundamental unit of society and other symptoms like what young Christian women and girls wear outside the home these days, sometimes even to Church!!

    Church teachings can only do so much, the problem starts with the tolerance for sinful things inside Christian families. It is parents who have to raise their children to believe homosexuality is an intolerable sin. It is parents who have to raise their girls to dress modestly.

  • I did not know Brian Houston said that about conversion therapy. The fact is all evangelizing is conversion therapy. That’s what Christians do. They lead people away from sin.

    Does Hillsong have membership? As far as I can make out it is a concert organization that uses the opportunity to preach and make money while sort of pretending it’s a church. I don’t think they understand expelling someone from membership on the grounds of fornication.

  • I found this on Wikipedia for what it’s worth-

    Hillsong Church Stance on homosexuality and same-sex marriage,

    In 2014, Brian Houston discussed being more understanding of gay people. Later, he clarified his position after being criticised by some Christians for allegedly supporting homosexuality. In a statement released on Hillsong’s website, he stated: “Nowhere in my answer did I diminish biblical truth or suggest that I or Hillsong Church supported gay marriage.”[85][86][87][88]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillsong_Church

  • In the Hillsong press release on Thursday there was also this comment that at first raised my hopes and then let me down into the sea of confusion.

    We are also a church that adheres to mainstream biblical values shared by the overwhelming majority of evangelical Christian churches around the world, and millions of Christians across the USA. Believing the teachings of the Bible and loving all people – including those who have different perspectives – are not mutually exclusive. In fact this is the very definition of tolerance and inclusiveness.

    The two qualifications at the end, especially the last when the words “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” are used, enable the whole of the apparently noble statement to be viewed in the opposite way.

    What are the perceived beliefs of the “majority of evangelical Christian Churches’ and “millions of Christians across the USA”?
    I know what I would hope in that regard, but with the populous view being very fashionable, there are many who might think that the majority of the evangelical church has radically changed its view about LGBTI issues in the last 50 years.

    Not good enough Hillsong.
    Apparently Bill, this blog might not be the de rigueur for many of the Songsters.

  • Chris Pratt ‘claims’ to be a Christian, so- upon viewing the movie “Jurrasic World -Fallen Kingdom” with my 11 year old daughter (who LOVES dinosaurs) – was not expecting to hear him utter the phrase “Jesus Christ, Claire !” (used as an ‘expletive’). Now, some might say “Well – that’s just ACTING – he’s reading from a script !” But ..come on ..which is ‘supposed to be’ more important – being a Christian – or being an actor/actress ? He’s also recently divorced from (actress) Ana Faris. Seems he’s another example of “Hollywood’s version of christianity” (small ‘c’) , as opposed to TRUE Christianity. I pray that he comes to know the REAL deal.

  • “Hillsong Church … in all those years Pastor Brian has been a vocal opponent of gay conversion therapy and has made it clear to our pastors that we do not support that approach”
    Wow, really?
    Maybe that explains the sudden and mysterious disappearance of the homosexual healing service “Exit Ministries” that was run at the Waterloo centre. It vanished in the late 1980’s, about the same time that Brian was looming larger than his dad.
    I always wondered about that. There was a sign on a door, and then there wasn’t.

  • Mr. Pratt has thus far been a great actor and in numerous roles that are downright fun. I pray he will stand strong and not compromise in any manner,

  • Thanks Sally, Perhaps the most pertinent parts of that 2015 article are from the referred to statement “Do I love Gay People?” and are fairly clear.

    “Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid. I recognize this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world.”
    ……

    “The western world is seemingly moving quickly toward gay marriage being universally legalised, so how does that affect us as a church, and how does it affect the various individual members of Hillsong Church? I believe we can quite comfortably continue to function within that environment, presuming we are not forced through legislation to compromise our own convictions. Gay marriage is already legalised in many places where Hillsong Church exists, and we are functioning well and without impediment.”

  • Matt 24:35 says heaven and earth shall pass away BUT my word shall NOT pass away. Choose life and live, choose ye how you interpret the word of God. whether in vain humanity or by the spirit of the Lord. I wonder if we know that heaven and hell are real. As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord.

  • Sin is sin whether in the church or out of the church. If it is sin to God, then it is sin and The Word clearly states it is sin. It is against all God created when he crated male and female. The sodomites can only procreate if the men adopt and the women adopt or are inseminated by a male. We live in such twisted times and it is Satan’s direct attack against a Holy and Righteous God. He has never got over the fact he was tossed out of heaven for thinking he could rise above God so now he attacks all God Is.
    Thank you and I just found your site.

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