Recent years have seen Chris Pratt become more public about his Christian faith, but some fans are taking issue with the church the actor is attending.
Pratt attends Hillsong Church, which has also notably been attended by Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin, Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, Vanessa Hudgens and other celebrities. The church was originally based in Australia but arrived stateside in 2010, setting up multiple locations including one in New York City, which is led by Carl Lentz.
Throughout its run, the church has been criticized for its views on gay people, which Lentz addressed in a 2015 interview with GQ, saying he believes homosexuality is a sin and that he would never allow an openly gay person to hold a leadership position in his church.
During the interview, Lentz referenced a relationship between a male leader of the New York choir and a male singer in the choir.
“These two men in particular are amazing human beings,” Lentz said. “And they are going through a really amazing journey called life. Yes, their sexuality is involved with it, but it’s not as cut-and-dry as you think it is. And if they make a decision to live as gay men, they are going to get married, our stance in this church is there’s going to be a limited involvement when it comes to leadership, because you don’t believe what I believe."
"This would create friction that wouldn’t be fair to the people that we’re serving," he continued. "If you believe that homosexuality is God’s will for your life, and I disagree, well, what if you’re a leader and, you know, a young man comes up to you, and he has questions about his sexuality? What are you going to tell him? What I believe or what you believe?”
In a 2015 blog post, Hillsong senior pastor Brian Houston echoed Lentz's statements when he wrote that the church does not "affirm" a gay lifestyle, though it welcomes gay members.
“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, either paid or unpaid. I recognise this one statement alone is upsetting to people on both sides of this discussion, which points to the complexity of the issue for churches all over the world,” Houston wrote. “This won’t make everyone happy and to some, this stance may even be seen as hypocritical. We are a gay welcoming church but we are not a church that affirms a gay lifestyle.”
It's possible that some of Hillsong's attendees are unaware of the views of those in its leadership positions, though none of the church's famous members have publicly commented on said views.
"Sweet Katherine, so happy you said yes! I’m thrilled to be marrying you," he wrote. "Proud to live boldly in faith with you. Here we go!"1comments
"They go to church together and spend time with Maria," the source said, "and it's something they really enjoy doing together and connect on."
Photo Credit: Getty / Robyn Beck