The only thing worse than a false story is a partial one.
That was the real lesson behind an article published on a conservative Christian website last week claiming that the Hillsong Church was allowing an “openly homosexual couple” to lead worship. The article, about the New York City campus of the Australia-based super-church where tens of thousands worship weekly, drew from a seven-month-old article about two Survivor contestants and Broadway actors, Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly from Playbill.com.
The post triggered statements from Hillsong’s senior pastor, Brian Houston, reaffirming the church’s belief that “marriage is between a man and a woman,” and stating that neither man is serving in a leadership role any longer. But Houston also said that Hillsong wants gay couples like them to feel welcome.
Like many conservative churches, Hillsong holds a traditional view of sexuality, but wants to welcome and include all people. Josh and Reed, like many gay couples, disagree with the church’s view of homosexuality. But unlike some others, they say they want to stay with the church they love and work for change.
Their story — a story echoed by so many LGBT Christians — is one that needs to be told.