The relationship between the celebs and church Hillsong
Recently, you may have heard some rumors about the Hillsong church. An international church is creating a lot of titles with a wealth of famous believers.
Hillsong includes a network of churches. Along with a record label, multiple charities, conferences, and a university. It bills itself as a Pentecostal church and contemporary “global movement located at the intersection of Christianity and culture.”. In 2014, The New York Times has described it as an “empire” and “businesses worth millions of dollars. It attracted lots of people to the concert performances.”
So what is the deal with this mega church and its Hollywood connections? Read on for all the information.
1. It’s from Australia
According to its website, Hillsong started in Sydney, Australia in 1983. Since then, it has established churches on five continents in 19 countries. Including locations in the United States, France, Argentina, Russia, etc… According to the citation, “the average number of attendees is nearly 112,000 per week”. Hillsong has nearly three million followers on Instagram and Facebook combined.
2. Brian Houston
Brian Houston with his wife, Bobbie Houston co-founded Hillsong. And today, he holds the title of the organization’s global senior pastor. He remains an active figure in the church. From book publishing, distribution frequently lectures to appear on the media as the face of Hillsong. However, his term is not controversial, but we will start immediately.
Part of the strategy of Houston with Hillsong founded churches in big cities. Including New York City and Los Angeles, to build wider recognition. “This is a dry town, harsh, dry for the contemporary church,” he told the New York Times. “We want to become strategic, and really impact cities of influence. So that the influence may be far ahead.”
3. Music has been central to the faith
Said gently, music is an integral part of the foundation of Hillsong. The church has established his own record label, Hillsong Music Australia. It represents The HillsongYoung & Free Group, a band playing in the services and also has recorded many albums. Pop star Selena Gomez even joined the band to perform in a concert in 2016.
According to the site of the church, the church’s other bands include Hillsong has released 24 albums giant and Hillsong United. Global popularity recorded in the movie Hillsong: Let Hope Rise in 2016. Cathedral declared that “Approximately 50 million people are singing Hillsong Music in 60 languages” each week.
Hillsong services frequently feature musical performances. Business Insider has described one of them at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City in 2017 as “incredibly concertlike”. With some Christian-pop performances. According to the New York Times, a service in December 2017 at the same venue has combined the songs of The Beatles.
4. Carl Lentz is its most famous pastor
Perhaps the most recognizable face of Hillsong United States Carl Lentz.One of the main pastors at the church’s New York City outpost. In recent years, he has appeared on a number of mainstream media to discuss church and celebrity then. He’s even criticized for his fashion style. “Fashion is a part of New York City. So it’s a part of our church,” he told Harper’s Bazaar.
According to Cosmopolitan, Lentz born in Virginia. And he studied at the College of Hillsong International Leadership in Australia. This is the place where he met his wife, Laura, and Joel Houston, son of the founder of Hillsong. According to reported GQ, they started up the New York City Hillsong location in 2010.
5. Justin Bieber attracted a lot of attention
Hillsong extremely popular with a variety of celebrities. And it quickly became the # 1 spot for those celebrities to practice and to honor their Christian faith. In a special way, famous people are members of one of 19 church Hillsong worldwide. It is bringing refreshing visibility to Christian celebs we already know and love.
The main cause behind Hillsong’s sudden recognition is its ties to pop star Justin Bieber. According to NJ.com, church leaders Lentz met Bieber in 2008 through a different pastor. According to GQ, Bieber moved into Lentz’s New Jersey home to work through various issues. Also, he asked Lentz to baptize him (an undertaking that infamously required the use of NBA star Tyson Chandler’s bathtub.). Lentz later told Oprah on SuperSoul Sunday that the baptism of Bieber was “probably one of the most special things I’ve been a part of.”
Bieber and Lentz are still friends. Both regularly post photos together on social media. In July 2017, TMZ reported that the decision of the Bieber of the cancellation of the day touring the world of him can relate to Lentz and church Hillsong. A statement that both Bieber and the church adamantly denied.
6. It caters to celebrities
Along with Bieber and Gomez, some other high-end celebrity detected attend Hillsong service. Or even associated with Lentz. Including Bono, Nick Jonas, Hailey Baldwin, Kendall Jenner. There is also Jay-Z, Kylie Jenner, Hailee Steinfeld, Chris Pratt, and Vanessa Hudgens.
When asked about the relationship written clearly of the church with famous people, Lentz told GQ: “People say we serve famous people. And I say, yes, we do. The celebrity deserves a relationship with God.
7. Lentz has big ties to basketball
Along with music, TV and movie characters. Lentz has also developed great relationships in the world of professional basketball.
According to Bleacher Report, Lentz plays basketball in college. And after moving to New York City, he has connected with some of the characters NBA. Including Carmelo Anthony, Jeremy Lin and Kevin Durant (whom Lentz baptized in the pool at the Hotel Gansevoort.). The church leader reportedly sports close relationship to the New York Knicks and “sometimes help assist in the tasks of the day game and leading prayers at the team’s practice facility.”
Lentz has solved the connection side of his court. He said with the Bleacher Report: “I speak the same language as them. That’s a huge advantage for me. Basketball and life are parallel. Everything in a team dynamic is a dynamic life. Typically, athletes expelled the church world because nobody understands them. NBA guys are part of one percent will be playing at that level. I understand that athlete psyche.”
8. The church has waded into controversial topics
Despite its shiny social media presence. Hillsong has lost into some less-than-PC territory with its main figures’ views on issues such as abortion and gay marriage.
When asked about abortion. Lentz said to GQ: “If you sit down with me. And you say, ‘Carl, I’m abortion. I will say,’ I think you may have this child. So you should select an option others. I will not turn his back on you. I love you regardless. But my prayer is somehow, you will see my point about this.”
After appearing on The View in 2017, where he seems to suggest a more neutral position on this issue. Later he qualified his statement. “I believe that abortion is a felony.” Lentz tweeted.
The leadership of the church has been conservative about its stance on sexuality too. A blog post in 2015 from founder Brian Houston said: “The church Hillsong welcome ALL people. But we do not affirm all lifestyles. Specifically, we do not affirm homosexual behavior. And because of this, we do not have homosexuals proactive initiative in leadership positions. Or get paid or not get paid. “. Houston also reacts with Australia’s decision to legalize gay marriage. And give a statement seems to state that the church will continue to oppose it from the spiritual angle.
The controversial position. Along with rumors of gay conversion therapy and misuse of money the church, have earned Hillsong a number of critics.
9. It involved in a sex scandal
According to Cosmopolitan, Hillsong entangled in scandal when founder Brian Houston investigated in Australia about a sexual abuse case involving his father, Frank Houston. Houston, a pastor who died in 2004, admitted in 2000 had molested a boy many years earlier (before Hillsong exists.). Brian then ended the helm of his father. But in 2014, a Royal Commission on the institutional response to child sexual abuse investigated Brian. Because he not reporting abuse to police when he first knew about it.
In the course of the investigation of the commission, Houston admitted his father’s behavior and the pain that it has caused. But also publicly (via Huffington Post) that the victim’s father asked him not to go to the police
Australia’s ABC News reported that the committee had discovered that there was a conflict of interest between individual roles and career of Brian while handling the situation. And finally, he ultimately did not follow protocol, thus failing the victim.
10. It has its detractors
Hillsong has many critics. Including some who previously was a member. One of the detractors of its most notable is Tanya Levin, who has published books about People in Glass House: An Insider’s of a Life in and Out of Hillsong in 2015.
The Sydney Morning Herald depicted the book as “an impassioned and witty expose of the Sydney phenomenon now known as Hillsong.”. It depicted the church like “a highly profitable enterprise with a male-dominated power structure run on ‘can do’ corporate principles. Turnover of it comes from soaring music sales and large donations, constantly criticized by the new members.”.
Levin has compared Hillsong’s famous relationship to the Church of Scientology courting famous followers. She said that Hillsong is looking a lot more and more like Scientology these days. “Just like in Scientology they’ve got Tom Cruise. Now Hillsong has Justin Bieber.”
Other critics allege Hillsong harness parishioners’ and taxpayers’ money for its own gain. An in-depth in 2016 in the Daily Beast described it as a “church coffers with millions of tax-exempt donations, with little accountability over where the money goes.”
Hillsong is bringing modern Christian ideals put up top. And it looks like its platform and the different artistic mediums used to transmit its message. No doubt, as time passed, the presence of Hillsong in pop culture will expand. Will be interesting when seeing which other celebrities to become part of this famous church when the expansion that continues.