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    11 Facts About Hillsong, Justin Bieber's Fave Church

    Do you beliebe in God?

    This week, Justin Bieber announced his engagement to Hailey Baldwin via Instagram, posting this very sweet and VERY Bible-infused caption:

    A few days later, it was revealed that the couple is taking a premarital course at Hillsong Church, a Pentecostal megachurch that he, Hailey, and many other celebrities attend.

    So what exactly is Hillsong about and why are so many celebrities so into it? Time for a Deep Dive™!!!

    1. Hillsong is freakin' MASSIVE.

    2. It was founded in Australia in 1983.

    3. One of its lead pastors is friends with all the A-listers.

    4. It has its own ~THRIVING~ record label.

    5. They make music that follows current music trends.

    6. Sermons tend to tiptoe around hot-button social and ethical issues.

    Thoughts addressing a recent interview:

    In a 2017 interview on The View, Carl Lentz notably tiptoed around his stance on abortion, saying: “I’m trying to teach people who Jesus is first, and find out their story. Before I start picking and choosing what I think is sin in your life, I’d like to know your name.”

    Criticized for not taking a concrete position, Lentz later posted the above statement to Twitter, writing: "I do believe abortion is sinful."

    ALSO, Hillsong's founder Brian Houston wrote an article in an attempt to clarify his stance on gay marriage, aptly titling it "Do I Love Gay People?" He writes: “Hillsong Church welcomes ALL people but does not affirm all lifestyles. Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle.”

    7. They asked openly gay choir members to step down after getting married.

    Robin Marchant / Getty Images

    After Hillsong choir director and choir member Josh Canfield and Reed Kelly announced their engagement, pastor Carl Lentz asked the couple to step down from their leadership roles. However, he still encouraged them to stay with the church, inviting them to hold other, less-significant roles.

    8. They don't have a dress code.

    9. The founder kept his father's sex scandal under wraps.

    10. Pastor Carl Lentz is an outspoken supporter of Black Lives Matter.

    facebook.com

    Lentz preached this message just two days after two police shootings happened, leaving two unarmed black men dead.

    According to The Washington Post, Lentz said: “I clearly said and loudly said that anybody with a functioning brain does not debate that all lives matter! Of course we believe that. Our contention is that there is a debate on what lives matter MOST. To highlight one issue or one need does not disparage another. To me, it’s just common sense and completely uncomplicated. The question has been asked ‘Do black lives matter?’ Our answer is ‘Yes, black lives matter.' The question was NOT do all lives matter.”

    11. Former Hillsong attendees have spoken out against the church.

    amazon.com, Nine Network

    Tanya Levin, a former congregant of Hillsong, not only wrote an ENTIRE BOOK bashing the church, but also openly criticized how expensive the tickets to the annual five-day Hillsong Conference are (Over $250 a head!).

    She's also likened Hillsong to Scientology, saying: "Scientology has Tom Cruise, Hillsong has Justin Bieber."

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