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Howl

LGBT perspective: Chris Pratt + Hillsong Church

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Waffle Time
Hane

A large local recreational venue, formerly used for business gatherings, weddings, school celebrations, etc., was recently acquired by an evangelical group called New Life.

Its website gives a heartwarming little story about Will Marotti, his wife, and half a dozen friends starting a cozy little ministry in a former drug store—a “church for people who don’t like church.” In short order, it absorbed two local congregations, started having services at a large entertainment venue, and bought the recreational facility.

It leaves out the fact that they have definite Falwell roots, and that their founder and pastor is best buds with our ousted Republican governor John Rowland,  who was convicted twice on felony counts of fraud and spent a term in the slammer, where Marotti became his “spiritual advisor.” The two of them had a radio show called “Church and State.”

Not long ago, a friend told me that her granddaughter “Mia” had a friend at my UU church, and asked me to make her welcome if she should visit. I readily agreed, but never happened to see her there. It turns out that my friend was mistaken—Mia was attending the New Life Not-a-Church.  She told her grandma she liked the feeling of inclusiveness, but was uncomfortable because it was expected that all members hold certain core beliefs. Now that my friend is moving back to town and intends to visit my UU church, we’re hoping Mia will visit, too.

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HarryPotterFan
2 hours ago, acheronbeach said:

I'm not surprised that this sort of shallow church appeals to Chris Pratt.  He's pretty to look at but when he speaks he doesn't come across as an intellectual powerhouse. 

Surely someone else has read this solved blind item about him being a halfwit?  

https://blindgossip.com/dating-a-manchild/

But he’s so funny! Though so is Andy Dwyer, and he isn’t exactly the sharpest crayon 

1 hour ago, NachosFlandersStyle said:

He just put out this statement:

https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/chris-pratt-slams-ellen-pages-claim-that-his-church-is-anti-lgbtq/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

It sounds like he is making the assumption that his church is welcoming based on the fact that he is welcome there as a divorced person, but I get the feeling he hasn't spoken with anyone who has that experience from an LGBT perspective. It's nice that he is personally disavowing homophobia but he is also brushing aside legitimate concerns simply because he hasn't witnessed anything himself, which is not a good look.

Classic privileged dude attitude. It doesn’t affect me, so it’s not happening 

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Palimpsest
1 hour ago, NachosFlandersStyle said:

It sounds like he is making the assumption that his church is welcoming based on the fact that he is welcome there as a divorced person, but I get the feeling he hasn't spoken with anyone who has that experience from an LGBT perspective

Well he doesn't come over as being very intelligent.  Perhaps he should research the history of Hillsong and other people's perspectives and experience of his church before he holds forth.

31 minutes ago, Letizia said:

She was raised Catholic and her mother has long been heavily involved with St.Monica Catholic Church. Katherine has been going to non-denominational churches for a few years though. 

Maria Shriver has long identified as "cafeteria Catholic."  If some of her children are attending famously anti-gay Hillsong, she failed to instill some of her pro LBTQT beliefs in them.  What a real pity, Maria.

Quote

 California First Lady Maria Shriver likes the "compassion and justice of Jesus Christ" advanced by her Catholic religion, but can't abide the church's positions on gays, divorce and a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, she reveals in a Washington Post interview. "I'm a cafeteria Catholic," she declares, referring to her habit of following only Catholic teachings she believes in. 

http://www.newser.com/story/42816/maria-shriver-why-im-a-cafeteria-catholic.html

 

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VelociRapture
44 minutes ago, Hane said:

A large local recreational venue, formerly used for business gatherings, weddings, school celebrations, etc., was recently acquired by an evangelical group called New Life.

Its website gives a heartwarming little story about Will Marotti, his wife, and half a dozen friends starting a cozy little ministry in a former drug store—a “church for people who don’t like church.” In short order, it absorbed two local congregations, started having services at a large entertainment venue, and bought the recreational facility.

It leaves out the fact that they have definite Falwell roots, and that their founder and pastor is best buds with our ousted Republican governor John Rowland,  who was convicted twice on felony counts of fraud and spent a term in the slammer, where Marotti became his “spiritual advisor.” The two of them had a radio show called “Church and State.”

Not long ago, a friend told me that her granddaughter “Mia” had a friend at my UU church, and asked me to make her welcome if she should visit. I readily agreed, but never happened to see her there. It turns out that my friend was mistaken—Mia was attending the New Life Not-a-Church.  She told her grandma she liked the feeling of inclusiveness, but was uncomfortable because it was expected that all members hold certain core beliefs. Now that my friend is moving back to town and intends to visit my UU church, we’re hoping Mia will visit, too.

Woah, wait. Some of this shit started in Connecticut?! As a Nutmegger, I need details please (or a simple shove in the right direction so I can figure it out myself.)

ETA: Is this their website? Cause if so they’re located way too close to where I live for comfort. They might be the people I occasionally see holding Jesus related signs close to one of the area highways. 

Edited by VelociRapture

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Palimpsest
5 minutes ago, VelociRapture said:

Woah, wait. Some of this shit started in Connecticut?! As a Nutmegger, I need details please (or a simple shove in the right direction so I can figure it out myself.)

http://www.newlifect.com

They aren't KJV Only but a mere glance at them makes me want to run for the hills.

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SilverBeach
8 hours ago, PennySycamore said:

Our PBS station aired a documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? about Fred Rogers on Saturday evening.  When the documentary got to Fred's death,  I was appalled to see the Phelps clan protesting.  How absolutely vile of them!  

Francois Clemens (Officer Clemens) is gay and that was okay by Fred.  

I watched this over the weekend, fantastic documentary. I needed Mister Rogers in my life then, and now. His acknowledgement of children as humans with feelings that should be recognized was phenomenal. I did not understand the insane Phelps clan protesting Fred Rogers. What the actual fuck. He was one of the best humans ever.

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HarryPotterFan
19 minutes ago, Palimpsest said:

http://www.newlifect.com

They aren't KJV Only but a mere glance at them makes me want to run for the hills.

Maybe that’s how Hillsong got its name. People run for the hills to escape, while people like Justin Bieber run after them singing.

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SecularMusic
On February 10, 2019 at 7:32 PM, luv2laugh said:

There have been certain instances and general vibes over the past few years that make me wonder if Chris Pratt is fundie lite.

Given he lives with his fiancé, I doubt he's fundie lite. I think of fundie lite as being like my favorite virgin quarterback Tim Tebow who attends a traditional Baptist church that is openly and unapologetically anti-gay. BTW, I wonder if Tebow's fiancée understands how conservative the Baptist church is. She seems like a normal, self-assured woman whose comfortable with her sexuality, based on the bikini and cleavage revealing photos  posted on her social media.

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Soulhuntress
13 hours ago, formergothardite said:

I'm glad attention is getting brought to Chris Pratt joining a church that teaches hate. I did not know he had been involved with Jews for Jesus. Sounds like he is a regular evangelical. 

I'm sure he could find a church that doesn't hate on an entire group of people, so I am left wondering if he has some anti-gay beliefs.

I guess their "we were raised Jewish" line is pure bullshit?  Sorry a Lutheran from Minnesota as staff kind of destroys their already dubious schtick?   So confused!

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CaricatureQualities
Quote

 

 “Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. 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. ...”


 

This sounds like the church the Busby's from "outdaughtered" attend....Clear Creek Community church in Texas. It's pretty new and hip and Gospel based and the approach to the LGBTQ community is exactly this. Gay people are of course welcome as all sinners are welcome but not affirming of the "lifestyle" or willing to let members of LGBTQ have any influence of leadership in the community. It's expected that the gay person will see gay as being a sin and shed the lifestyle once on a true walk with Jesus. Or, I suppose, die and go to hell trying and not succeeding anyway. So, bullshit.

The thing is, I listened to a 'sermon' from this church on their website about this issue and the pastor in the recording sounded surprised that this was an issue the church had to address. Like, they just wanted to make a church and preach the gospels and make a community to lead (and do it all tax exempt) and then gay people showed up and wanted to know if they could attend and it was like they were stumped that this would come up at all and that they had to come up with something to address it. And they don't want to come off as one of those "crazy anti-gay churches or anything"...they want to seem nice and accepting not mean and bigoted so they say they love homosexuals and welcome them. But really, if you're gonna insist on being gay all you can do is listen to the gospels(how could we deny you that?)...you can't be a part of the community really....you can't be saved. And honestly, I think it's a topic they like to avoid. They (the CCC church) don't seem to be targeting LGBTQ community as much as they are closing their eyes and doors and hoping it will go away.  And it was infuriating because they really think they are being NICE and reasonable about the whole thing! Like they refuse to realize how awful it is to suggest that gay people should try to repress themselves entirely in order to be saved by Jesus and be a part of his new little hip TAX EXEMPT community.  I don't care how many good deeds they do as a community, I don't understand why they just get the right to raise tax free dollars for themselves while excluding a whole portion of the community they are actually in AND influence those people to ruin their lives. But, on the surface it seems alright, you have to look a little bit to find this and I wonder if some attendees even think about what their churches stance on the "whole gay thing" is if it's not something that they think affects their lives and then if they do find out, do they care? Do they realize how hateful it is or do they falsely buy into the idea that their church is loving and accepting? 

In Canada most of our churches just accepted gay people and now we have a ton of lesbian ministers and whatnot and it's been fine, people like it just fine, it's not a big deal. Why would a new church that's trying to attract attendees actively alienate potential members unless they specifically were against homosexuality?

 

 

 

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Rachel333

I'm really glad that this church is starting to get more attention. It's frustrating how many churches seem nice and normal but still have some reprehensible teachings.

10 hours ago, caitrona said:

if you put your kid in child care for services, if something happens where they need you there's a scrolling screen in the main chapel that "pages" you to go get them.

I've seen that in smaller churches too. You get a number when you check your kid into childcare and if you're needed they put the number on the screen. I actually thought it was a pretty convenient and unobtrusive way to let parents know that they need to go be with their child.

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Pecansforeveryone

@Rachel333, amen to that. I can't tell you how long I have waited for these "hipster" fundie churches to come under Free Jinger's watchful eye. And there are a lot of them. If you scroll thru the largest churches in America, they tend to be of the fundie hipster variety. Another "celebrity-driven" church is The Rock in San Diego. It's founded by Miles Macpherson who used to play for the San Diego Chargers. They have had a number of celebrity guest speakers over the years. The Rock is the largest church in San Diego  and the 10th largest church in the United States. These insidious ideas and strategies are very widespread. 

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CaricatureQualities

The thing is there is so many of them and a lot of them fly under the radar because they seem so shiny on the surface and might be associated with people with positive public personas. Even worse than flying under the radar they get to be perceived as good and wholesome because they are churches. I think a lot of people don't bother to look deeper because they assume a church must be "good" and a positive influence. And the thing that really upsets me is the tax exemption! It just angers me so much that just being a religious organization entitles a group that calls itself such to tax exemption without having to establish that the group is actually helping the society they are in AND not actively harming large and specific groups in that society.  And if it's a christian group it  will go about it's tax exempt business without too much scrutiny! 

 

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Jencendiary
15 hours ago, Palimpsest said:

 

Also famous for Gay Conversion Therapy, although they try to keep that under cover these days.

 

1

Don't forget the forced labor and exorcisms for girls with anorexia and bulimia. 

 

Edited to add: And the sex assault payoffs. And the refusal to be transparent with parishioner donations. 

https://www.culteducation.com/group/971-hillsong-church.html

Edited by Jencendiary
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FecundFundieFundus
14 hours ago, JermajestyDuggar said:

. People can worship naked in a church made out of cream puffs for all I care. 

I want to join THIS church. The Spirit is leading me. 

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Waffle Time
Hane

@VelociRapture, that is indeed their website, nicely sanitized for their own protection. “Pastor” Will Marotti’s god-buddyism with convicted felon and ex-governor John Rowland reeks out loud. You’ll notice that Rowland’s Wikipedia page and New Life’s website have been neatly tidied up to erase any clue of Marotti and Rowland’s relationship.

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seraaa

Hillsong is absolutely the type of church that believes that we must all be nice and pleasant and polite to one another, but has no compunction about taking action to vote to block the civil rights of fellow citizens .

 

Does he attend there, or a similar one?

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formergothardite

Hillsong as Zoe Church and the pastor on their website. If Zoe church really wasn't anti-gay then they would release a statement saying so. I was trying to find out their beliefs but they keep those pretty well hidden. They teach baptism, so aren't they just hipster baptist? All the leaders also seem to be men. 

 

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WiseGirl
12 hours ago, VelociRapture said:

Cause if so they’re located way too close to where I live for comfort.  

Waayyy too close! I also have the "compound" North of me (that locals refer to as a cult) and a branch of another church just like this in my town (It has other churches closer to you).  So yeah, the hate is alive and well in The Nutmeg state. The first church, which is huge it has a school, coffee shop, etc.) was started by a businessman.  That's all I need to know. 

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lilwriter85
23 hours ago, Terrie said:

Not shocked, on either side. The man bled decency in a way few people do. He was a rare person of faith who had a very solid, foundational sense of himself and his beliefs, so had no need to posture about it, conform to what others want, or pressure people about it.

I remember seeing this meme about Mr. Rogers years ago and it was so true.

5851f97de4df711de6c87a10d717c24c.jpg

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Palimpsest
2 hours ago, seraaa said:

Hillsong is absolutely the type of church that believes that we must all be nice and pleasant and polite to one another, but has no compunction about taking action to vote to block the civil rights of fellow citizens .

 

Does he attend there, or a similar one?

Chris Pratt attends http://zoechurch.org/ which is a Hillsong church plant.  It is pastored by Chad and Julia Veach.  It is proudly complementarian (patriarchal spelled differently IMO) about marriage.  Here's their youtube channel if you want to watch.  Chaddie-boy is seriously annoying.

 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4_wOVkU-vGCs2TU133jXzA

And this article has a list of similar hipster pastors over the yeasr: https://slate.com/human-interest/2018/03/chad-veach-and-the-medias-long-love-affair-with-hipster-pastors.html

Excerpt:

Quote

The New York Times reported last weekend on a surprising development out of Los Angeles: There is a pastor in that fair city who dresses not like Ward Cleaver, but like a Supreme model. His name is Chad Veach, and he is the founder and head pastor of the fast-growing Zoe Church—pronounced “zo-AY, like, be-yon-SAY,” as Veach likes to say. (Note: That is not, as far as I know, how you pronounce Beyoncé.)

To be fair, the Times piece probes beyond Veach’s on-trend streetwear and friendship with Justin Bieber, and delves into his church’s growth strategy along with where Zoe fits into the larger landscape of 21st century evangelicalism. Still, Veach and his fellow Instagram-savvy pastors have been relentlessly covered by the secular press since they emerged on the scene a few years ago. The crew also includes Judah Smith, who texts Bible verses to Bieber; Rich Wilkerson Jr., who has discussed Bieber’s faith with Entertainment Tonight; and Carl Lentz, who baptized Bieber in Tyson Chandler’s bathtub. GQ called the crew “hypepriests” last year, noting that Veach favors Fear of God hats, Vans, and long socks, with occasional pops of Bieber tour gear. Veach and his cohort seem to have converted as many style writers as they have souls. “Is church merch the next big thing in streetwear?” Fashionista asked last year.


Historians, surely, can trace the cool-pastor phenomenon back to first-century Galilee. In the 1990s, there were “new and edgy” Acquire the Fire rallies to attract teenagers to the faith. In the 1960s, there was the Jesus Movement, which combined counterculture aesthetics and conservative theology. In the 1940s and 1950s, it was organizations like Youth for Christ and Young Life, which appealed to teens through energetic rallies and campus Bible clubs.

 

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lilwriter85
1 hour ago, formergothardite said:

Hillsong as Zoe Church and the pastor on their website. If Zoe church really wasn't anti-gay then they would release a statement saying so. I was trying to find out their beliefs but they keep those pretty well hidden. They teach baptism, so aren't they just hipster baptist? All the leaders also seem to be men. 

 

I think they are going to be really pushed to release a statement especially since Pratt says they don't discriminate against people regardless of sexual orientation or race. 

I have the feeling that the war of words between Pratt and Page is going to end up giving more media focus about celebrities who attend churches that are against homosexuality and gay marriage. Outside of popular celeb hangout churches like Hillsong or Zoe, there are some celebrities who could be attending churches or religious communities that aren't too gay friendly. Those celebs may be flying under the radar since their churches don't get the media attention that Hillsong and their plant churches get. 

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Terrie

The problem with Pratt and people like him is that they want a pat on the back for not being Westboro, as if lack of attack is the same as support. 

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Waffle Time
FeministShrew

I'm so glad Chris Pratt is in the spotlight. I used to follow him on Facebook until his "sharing his faith" got too blatant & annoying. I was so disappointed in him.
Hillsong sounds like Newspring around here; hipster church with lots of "campuses" throughout the state.  Always packed to the point of needing traffic control. One of my daughter's best friends went there for awhile, until they showed their true colors. He's gay, and kept bragging about how accepting they were, until the Sunday the pastor said something like "we love everyone & encourage you to come as you are, but once you're here you need to deal with your sin before you can join the church or volunteer;" then he made specific remarks about gay people that I can't remember now, but basically calling them sinners but assuring them that they could change & then they'd be saved & could fully participate in the church. Our friend was crushed & hasn't been to any church since (religion, faith, & Christianity is very important to him).
I won't even get into the scandal involving their former pastor, Perry Noble. Let's just say they threw him out for sinning, but now he's started a new church that draws som many people they had to turn people away.


 

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HarryPotterFan

One thing Pratt said was the church accepts him as a divorced man, so clearly they’re accepting. That is such a low bar.  That means nothing. I’ve said this elsewhere, but there are churches near me with giant pride flags and BLM signs. One church has a big sign welcoming refugees and immigrants.

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