Hillsong Church issued a statement Thursday afternoon, Feb. 14, clarifying its position on same-sex attraction and its welcoming of LGBT attendees. The statement emphasizes that Hillsong Church "loves all people," following critical comments made against the denomination over the last week.
Hillsong's full statement reads:
We would like to clarify and correct the following misinformation that has appeared in several media outlets recently:
Hillsong Church does not preach against anyone or any group; we are not "anti-anyone." We are an inclusive Christian church that loves, values and welcomes all people, regardless of their background, ethnicity, beliefs, values or personal identity.
We are also a church that adheres to mainstream biblical values shared by the overwhelming majority of evangelical Christian churches around the world, and millions of Christians across the USA. Believing the teachings of the Bible and loving all people—including those who have different perspectives—are not mutually exclusive. In fact, this is the very definition of tolerance and inclusiveness.
Hillsong Church was founded in 1983 by our senior pastors, Brian and Bobbie Houston, and in all those years, Pastor Brian has been a vocal opponent of gay conversion therapy and has made it clear to our pastors that we do not support that approach.
At Hillsong, we want to be known by who we are for. We are for people finding hope in Jesus; we are for people finding love and acceptance; and we are for helping people in any way we can. Our focus is on pointing people to Jesus as "the way, the truth and the life." No matter where you are in the world, when you enter our doors, you will be greeted with a sign that says, "Welcome Home." That is the heartbeat of Hillsong Church. Indeed, that is the heartbeat of God.
Just minutes before the statement's release, Hillsong founder and senior pastor Brian Houston tweeted, "It is completely false that Hillsong Church practice, recommend, or suggest 'gay conversion therapy' to anyone. I have always been a vocal opponent in fact. Again, it's built on a false narrative."
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