An Australian pastor has written a blog in which he clarifies his personal position on homosexual members of his church.
In a blog titled ‘Do I Love Gay People?’, Brian Houston attempts to vocalise his views on gay members of his Hillsong Church congregation – but ends up just sounding a tad confused.
Houston has something of a complicated past with marriage equality – and his latest post does nothing to improve his reputation.
He starts off well enough, by saying: “I love and care about people – from all walks of life; people with various beliefs, ethics, perspectives and lifestyles.”
However, he quickly backtracks – by using his religion to defend his resistance to same-sex marriage: “I do believe God’s word is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.
“The writings of the apostle Paul in scripture on the subject of homosexuality are also clear,” he writes.
“We do not affirm a gay lifestyle.”
“Yes, I do have gay friends … if I lived next to a gay couple I would treat them with the same embrace I would any other neighbour,” he adds.
It seems like he’s playing a game of anti-gay buzzword bingo: lifestyle? Check. The ‘I can’t be bad because I met a gay person once’ card? Check. He’s on a roll.
“So if you are gay, are you welcome at Hillsong Church?” he asks himself.
“Of course! You are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted within our community. But (this is where it gets vexing), can you take an active leadership role? No.”
Essentially, gays can join his church – as long as they aren’t too gay about it.
Pastor Houston best sums up the position of himself and his church with one final nonsensical soundbite: “We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle.”