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Hillsong reiterates stance on homosexuality and gay marriage

He was responding to a blog which suggested its church in New York had an openly gay couple leading the choir. The post by Geoffrey Grider on nowtheendbegins.com stated: "When it comes to the topic of same-sex marriage, however, their official position is shrouded in half-answers and obfuscation.

"But one thing is quite clear: they allow an openly and unrepentantly gay couple to lead their choir."

Brian Houston/YouTube

The post was shared (at the time of writing) almost 70,000 times.

What is Hillsong:

- Founded by Brian Houston in 1983
- Headquarters in Sydney
- Congregations in major cities around the world
- Known for celebrity worshippers like Justin Bieber
- Been at the forefront of worship music over past decades

In a statement released on Brian Houston's website, he said: "I wish to correct reports that Hillsong church has "an openly gay couple directing a choir" at our New York City campus. Hillsong's position on homosexuality and gay marriage has not changed and is consistent with Scripture.

"As I have stated previously, I believe the writings of Paul are clear on this subject. Several months ago when one of our choir directors made an unexpected public statement regarding his engagement to a man who sometimes sang in the choir, it was a complete surprise to us as well. It is my understanding that they have not been involved in an active leadership or ministry role since.

"That said, we still love them and acknowledge that they - like all of us - are on a journey, and our role as a church is to assist them on this journey with grace and compassion."

Pastor Houston went further in a second post in which he explained the Church's policy.

"Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles," he said.

"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 recognise 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.

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