Pastor draws criticism for Carrie Underwood's performance at Passion 2017

(YouTube/Elevation Church)Louie Giglio appears in a screen capture of a video from Elevation Church.

Louie Giglio, a pastor of Atlanta's Passion City Church, has been criticized by the American Family Association (AFA) for allowing Carrie Underwood to perform at an evangelical conference he founded.

Underwood was not scheduled to perform at Passion 2017 in Atlanta's Georgia Dome, but she appeared as a surprise guest. She sang her hit song "Something in the Water" with scheduled performer David Crowder.

In an open letter to Giglio, AFA outreach director Wesley Wildmon expressed his disappointment about letting Underwood perform at the event, claiming that the singer encourages and supports homosexual marriage.

"With the many Christian artists who believe and teach the full counsel of God's Word available to lead worship at Passion, why would you choose one who publicly states homosexuality is not a sin?" Wildmon wrote.

"Your approval gives thousands of unsaved or weak Millennials an untruthful image of what the Bible says about marriage," he continued.

Underwood first expressed her views about homosexual marriage in an interview with The Independent in 2012.

"As a married person myself, I don't know what it's like to be told I can't marry somebody I love, and want to marry. I can't imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love," the singer stated.

Giglio, on the other hand, had faced scrutiny in the past for his traditional views on marriage. According to USA Today, he was chosen to offer the benediction prayer at President Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony in 2013, but it was withdrawn due to criticisms over his opposition to same-sex marriage.

The Passion Conference grew out of a Bible study in Texas started by Giglio and his wife, Shelly, in 1995. It is aimed at reaching college students and leaders who are seeking a deeper understanding of Christianity and God.

Other Christian artists who performed this year include Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Hillsong United, and Christy Nockels. The conference also featured several prominent speakers including Beth Moore, Francis Chan, John Piper, Christine Caine, Levi Lusko, and Katherine and Jay Wolf.

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