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More On: hillsong church Hillsong admits church was aware of disturbing abuse claims against it ‘It’s a cult’: Ex-Hillsong members claim church demanded ‘slave labor’ Hillsong founder Brian Houston responds to church homophobia claims Former Hillsong members accuse megachurch of exploitation, homophobia

Scandal-plagued megachurch Hillsong is being crucified for failing to mention Jesus in a Christmas email and instead dedicating the greeting to clarify details about a pastor’s child abuse.

 

“It’s the only Christmas email I have ever seen that doesn’t mention Jesus. It’s quite bizarre,” longtime Hillsong critic and Australian pastor Bob Cotton told The Post of the internal email, which was shared with him via a current Hillsong member. The letter, signed by the international institution’s board, was sent to church members on Monday, the source told him. 

“Dear church,” it begins. “It’s certainly been a year to remember, but the great news is that Christmas, the most joyous time of the year, is almost upon us.” The email then proceeds to dismiss recent reports of members being abused, subjected to “slave labor,” homophobia and a general lack of empathy as “primarily gossip.”

Despite admitting that at least some of the allegations are true, the holiday letter says “we ignore [the allegations] in the knowledge that we know the truth and God is in control.” 

The rest of the email is dedicated to bringing “some clarity” to an ongoing investigation into Hillsong founder and current senior pastor Brian Houston’s failure to report “his father’s abuse of children.” The late Pentecostal pastor and pedophile Frank Houston confessed to sexually abusing a boy in 2004 and was accused of abusing up to eight others. (Frank founded the Sydney Christian Life Centre which, in 1999, merged with a church pastored by Brian to become Hillsong.)

The Christmas email sent to Hillsong Church members on Monday. Courtesy Bob Cotton

“From the moment Pastor Brian discovered this shocking news, around 20 years ago, he has always been very open and clear about the circumstances around this, and our church has stood with him and his family,” the email reads. 

Its final sentence expresses thanks to the congregation’s “ongoing prayers for the Houston family as they continue to deal with the legacy of Pastor Brian’s father with grace, humility and strength.” 

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Hillsong admits church was aware of disturbing abuse claims against it “Sadly, we learned that some of the allegations were true,”...

Cotton, who is not affiliated with Hillsong, finds the letter to be anathema to Christian values not only for not naming Christ, but also for encouraging members to pray for abusers, not victims. 

“Frank Houston repeatedly raped 7-year-old Brett Sengstock. That is not gossip, it is a fact that was well established by the Royal Commission,” said Cotton, a former family friend of the Houstons who now calls Frank a “shameful and evil man” whose real “so-called “legacy’” is being a “child rapist.” 

By framing media reports as “gossip,” Cotton added, “the abuse and crimes committed against victims seem intentionally minimized.” He said the victim Sengstock and “the other children who were raped” are the ones who really “deserve our prayers.” 

“There is no grace humility and respect to being choked raped & brutalized by Frank Houston then Brian Houston tells me it’s my fault you tempted my father,” tweeted Sengstock alongside the email. 

Hillsong did not immediately return a request for comment.

Filed under christmas ,  hillsong church ,  religion ,  12/24/20

News Source: New York Post

Tags: hillsong church christmas hillsong church religion

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Teen Mom Maci Bookout slammed for her ‘dangerous’ driving with her young children in the car in resurfaced photo

TEEN Mom Maci Bookout has been slammed for her dangerous driving with her young children in the car in a resurfaced photo.

Maci's unsafe driving while with her children was further showcased and subsequently criticized in another recently resurfaced clip.

5Maci Bookout was slammed for using her phone while driving with her kids in the carCredit: MTV 5The resurfaced clip depicts Maci ignoring Bentley to text on her cell phoneCredit: MTV

The photo was screengrabbed from an episode of the long-running MTV series and shared on a Teen Mom dedicated Reddit board.

Titled "But she can text!!!", the post shows Maci, 30, texting while driving as her sons Bentley, 13, and Maverick, six, sit in the backseat.

At the time the episode was filmed, Maverick was only a toddler and still needed to be sat inside a car seat.

The subtitles depict Bentley asking his mom to "watch" as the texting Maci denies this request, responding "I can't, I'm driving".

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The post's creator continued describing the photo, writing "Doing a rewatch and this made me LOL. Cmon Maci, you know there [are] cameras in the car, do better.

Redditors rushed to the post's comment thread to give their reaction to the Teen Mom OG star's hazardous driving.

One person wrote, "dangerous" with a second adding "dumb."

A third critic commented" "Not only [is] texting is dangerous but also driving with your leg up like that. If they crash that leg is gonna be snapped!"

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A fourth Redditor added: "That car seat handle should be up too! It protects the baby in case the car rolls."

While another person chimed: "Not one of the teen mom girls ever drove safely. I swear every scene that they were driving, they all had a phone or something else in their hands."

NO TO GO-KART

Fans recently criticized Maci after a throwback clip resurfaced of her on a go-kart ride with her oldest son, Bentley.

In the show excerpt, the reality TV star took her son Bentley, who was just a baby at the time, on a go-kart ride with no helmet or protective gear.

One follower reshared the video on Reddit, captioning it "Watching OG for the first time while home with COVID.

"Maci just introduced Bentley to her first bf (Kyle) post-Ryan. Bentley was obviously uneasy with this Guy and was hiding, and Maci dragged him out to put Bentley on the couch next to Kyle," they explained.

"Then asked Bentley to 'give him a kiss' AND she put Bentley in a go-kart without a helmet or any kind of protective gear… Now, she and Kyle can get more serious BECAUSE Bentley 'likes him.'"

The fan concluded: "I know she’s young but good GOD way to put your kid in some not great situations there."

Others were stunned by the old video, taking to the comments to slam Maci's decision.

"Idiot," one put shortly, while a second complained: "No helmet and the seatbelt is across his neck. The go-kart place shouldn’t have allowed this."

"I’ve never seen this. I can’t believe he was allowed to ride with her. The seatbelt literally goes across his neck," a third noted.

"I mean, she drinks while pregnant soooo...." a fourth claimed.

"Maci was also due to birth Bentley any second and riding on the back of a 4-wheeler with RYAN driving. Sketchy as hell," a final reminded.

MISTREATMENT

This wasn't the first occasion where Maci was berated for her parenting choices, and just last month she was ripped for her "disturbing" treatment of her son Maverick when he was a baby in a resurfaced video.

In an old Teen Mom OG episode, she was seen threatening to let her husband Taylor McKinney beat Maverick if he didn't stop crying.

The MTV star also admitted to beating her older son Bentley when he acted out.

The scene was in the kitchen at Maci's house, where the reality star and Taylor were eating with Maverick and their daughter Jayde.

The mother of three said to her son, who was sitting in a high chair: "Maverick turn around and sit down."

As Maverick burst out crying, she added: "You know your daddy will whip your butt."

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Taylor leaned over to the toddler and said: "Hey. Turn around and sit down. You're alright. You're selling it a little bit."

Maci then said: "My God, I'm so glad the dad's here now. I used to have to whip Bentley's a** and hug him at the same time."

5Maci was recently slammed for a throwback clip of her taking Bentley on a dangerous go-kart rideCredit: MTV 5Bently was not equipped with any safety gear for the activityCredit: MTV 5Teen Mom Maci Bookout with husband Taylor McKinney and children Bentley, Maverick, and JaydeCredit: Instagram

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