Actor Joshua Bassett has said he does not endorse all the policies and beliefs of US megachurch Bethel after receiving criticism following his baptism there.
The star of the High School Musical franchise shared a video of him giving his testimony just before he got baptised at the church in Redding, California.
February 13, 2023
One of his followers wrote to him in response, saying: "Hey josh this church promotes conversion therapy and is extremely questionable. Happy for you for finding something you believe in but please do more research. Your queer fans are counting on you to promote the right ideals here."
Bassett himself identifies as being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Responding to the criticism, he said: "I visited this church and happened to get baptised here. I was unaware of some of their policies and beliefs, and do not endorse all of them. My heart is for Christ and Christ alone!
Bethel Church, known for its worship music and supernatural ministry, has faced wider criticism for its traditional Biblical teachings on numerous issues.
Speaking recently to the Christian Post, worship leaders Brian and Jenn Johnson discussed how they dealt with critics who form opinions after seeing clips online.
"With YouTube, they take a five-minute snippet, something that's a thought, a question from a leader, he's processing on stage. Then people just go, 'They believe this!'," they said. "No, he's posing a question, and in the last 15 minutes is him answering that. So, it's like the sound bites.
"The truth is, yeah, there's some stuff that's crazy. Crazy people come to our church, yeah, it's true. But everyone's in a process; everyone's on a journey.”