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Pratt: Guilt by Distant Association


Chris Pratt has been criticized because he attends a church that a lesbian actress, Ellen Page, thinks is anti-gay. The church is called Zoe and it actually does not take positions on hot button issues like gay marriage, or the gay life style.

You might think that the mainstream press was concerned that Zoe is trying to be neutral instead of supporting the gay agenda, but that is not the problem. Zoe openly admits that they copy much of their style from another church called Hillsong. Hillsong does oppose gay marriage and the gay lifestyle.

So this is guilt because of a similarity in style. It is sort of like blaming vegetarians for the Holocaust because Hitler was a vegetarian.

Hillsong

Hillsong does not emphasize gay issues. As you might guess by the name, Hillsong is famous for their music. In fact they are one of most important sources of contemporary religious music and their music is very popular with Christians that are not associated with Hillsong.

Hillsong Church started as a mega church in Sidney Australia. Its original name was Hills Christian Life Center.

They had a popular music ministry that started a music publishing business, Hillsong Music Australia, to market their music. The music became so popular that the church renamed itself Hillsong Church.

Hillsong Church spread around the globe. The denomination has eighty local churches and claims about 100 thousand in attendance per week.

In 2018 Hillsong separated from The Assemblies of God, which it was formerly a part.

The date of this separation is significant because the evidence that Hillsong is anti-gay is based on essay that the pastor of the Sydney Hillsong church, Brian Huston, published on his blog in 2015. At that time Hillsong was still part of The Assemblies of God, and the blog post probably reflects the teaching of The Assemblies of God.

Note the issue is not a sermon, or some more important message, the issue was merely a blog post.

Furthermore, this was a blog post by the pastor of one of the eighty churches that are affiliated with Hillsong. While Chris Pratt has attended services at a Hillsong church it seems likely that he never attended a service where Brian Huston gave the sermon.

Finally, for the fans of Hillsong Darlene Zschech, the second worship leader and the author of "Shout to the Lord" an early musical hit is likely far more important than Brian Huston. In Hillsong's Wikipedia article Darlene Zschech was mentioned four times, Huston was not mentioned once.

The Assemblies of God

The Assemblies of God is the world's largest Pentecostal Church. It has about seventy million adherents. It grew out of the Azusa Street Revival, in Los Angles, California, a central event in early development of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. If you do not count the Anglicans as Protestants The Assemblies of God is the largest Protestant denomination. It is the fourth largest Christian denomination after Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans.

Many of The Assemblies of God's churches and adherents are in the Third World, including sub-Sahara Africa. It is therefore not surprising that the teaching of The Assemblies of God is not fashionable in Hollywood.

Furthermore, as many of the adherents of The Assemblies of God are from desperately poor Third World countries it not clear that Ellen Page has a better claim on being a victim just because she is a woman and gay. Ellen Page after all is a wealthy movie star. The poor, hungry adherents of The Assemblies of God might see Ellen Page's famous tweet as an expression of a First World problem. But even more than that a problem of the First World's top one percent.

Lecture the Hungry, Shame the Naked

Jesus told us to feed the hungry and cloth the naked, but apparently that is old fashioned. Now the good person lectures hungry and naked about trendy ideas on gay marriage.

But remember this, do not associate with the poor because they often have unfashionable ideas and you will be declared very much guilty because of your association with them. And discourage your friends and relatives from associating with the poor also. In today's world any association with someone who has objectionable opinions, regardless of how distant, may compromise your career.

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