Here We Go: ‘Engaged’ Homosexual Couple at Hillsong NYC Church Contradict Pastor Brian Houston and Say They ‘Have Been Open and Forthright About Their Relationship from the Get-Go’

Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, billed as the Broadway Boyfriends on the reality show “Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water,” were engaged at their Jan. 28 concert, From Broadway to Survivor.
Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly, billed as the Broadway Boyfriends on the reality show “Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water,” were engaged at their Jan. 28 concert, From Broadway to Survivor.

BCNN1 Editor’s Note: Ladies and gentlemen, we at warned churches about the leaven of homosexuality and homosexual marriage in the church. This is not about Christians not loving all people; this is about Christians loving God, loving Jesus Christ, loving the Holy Word of God, and loving the church first. Brian Houston is like most great pastors — he has a great big loving pastor’s heart for his sheep, and especially for his sons and daughters in the ministry. This will be very hard for him to do, but we would lovingly encourage him to at least pray about placing Carl Lentz on an extended sabbatical and bringing up one of his sons in the ministry from Australia or some place else who will have the courage and biblical conviction to stand for God, Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and to protect the local church from the leaven of homosexuality and homosexual marriage in the church and from all other sins in the church, particularly in church leadership. Remember, the Bible says in Galatians 5:9, “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” However, if he makes this decision, he should expect to eventually lose one-third of the current church attendance at the New York City campus and over $600,000.00 in offerings. This decision may affect some of his other campuses, but probably will not touch the church in Australia. Again, this is not about hating homosexuals; this is simply about loving God, loving Jesus, and loving Him enough to obey all of His Holy Word. Many people quote the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 which says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” However, they fail to understand that a part of the Great Commission is “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”. Since Jesus Christ is God, this means teaching the saints to obey all the commandments of both the Old Testament and the New Testament. If Carl Lentz had simply done this, we would not be dealing with this worldwide fiasco. However, Carl Lentz is the one who said that he would not preach on homosexuality because he is “still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it [homosexuality] on the record in front of people.” We are aware that Hillsong is an independent church and that they will do what the Lord leads them to do. But if they do not sit Carl Lentz down now, this situation is going to get worse, and they could eventually lose the entire New York City campus.

On August 7, in response to a statement from Brian Houston, Reed Kelly and Josh Canfield posted on Twitter:

To our friends…

We’re writing this post in response to so many of you who have kindly reached out. You’ve been wondering why we have been getting so many hateful comments on all of our social media in the past week, in which some of you have been tagged or engaged.

The drama that is unfolding at the moment all revolves around the fact that we have been heavily involved in our church, Hillsong NYC. Josh has been with Hillsong for eight years in a variety of ways: choir director, vocal director, and worship team. I’ve been there since the beginning of our relationship, over three years ago, and eventually began singing in the choir and opening my apartment as the gathering place for a connect group for Hillsong members in the Broadway and theatrical communities.

We have been open and forthright about our relationship from the get-go.

Due to our openness and very public appearance together on CBC’s “Survivor”, we have been in conversation with Hillsong NYC’s lead pastors regarding the church’s non-LGBT affirming stance. Hillsong has many campuses around the world, many in places where gay marriage is now legal, so this has been an ongoing dialogue trying to figure out how and where we, as part of the LGBT community, fit in. As a church family, we have been wading through these uncharted waters of shifting culture and social change.

Several days ago some faceless, end-of-days blogger decided to attack us and our church for allowing us to serve when we are “unrepentantly embracing [our] sin” as homosexuals. Sadly, yet unsurprisingly, most super-conservative news sources picked it up and ran with it — giving this man’s voice worldwide amplification it never should have had. Not to mention it worked up Christian communities around the world, as many look to our church as a model of modern Christianity to be emulated. (We’ve never been harassed in so many foreign languages before … and we live in NYC!)

This has now forced our church to globally reaffirm their hard stance as a non-LGBT-affirming institution and disallow any gays from being in a position of leadership within the church. It’s been frustrating and a bit crushing that one crazy person could interfere so easily with the healthy and steady dialogue we’ve been having, but in a new world of social media and instant exposure, we are left unsurprised. Thankfully we are led by pastors who are grace-filled and committed to continuing to try to discern God’s will on this matter.

All this being said, many of you ask: “why are you staying somewhere that doesn’t fully accept you?” This leaves us with a tough decision. 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? The flip side of this is: why would we, as part of the gay community who have been primarily outcast for all our lives, willingly subject ourselves to more marginalization? It’s been a lot to personally work though.

Many try to discredit biblical scholars and laymen alike who have shifted their stance from non-affirming to LGBT-affirming by saying “the only reason they have changed their mind is because they know a gay person”. This only confirms to us that personal relationships are transformative. This isn’t difficult to accept after one looks at this through the lens of personal relationship being a foundational tenet of the Christian faith.

After we inadvertently and unintentionally became public representatives for gay Christianity, 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.

We thank you for your concern, your prayers, and your support.

Big Smiles and 110% …

Reed and Josh

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