Facing criticism for a racy wedding photo, Chandler Moore, the lead singer for the popular Christian worship band, Maverick City Music, yesterday offered a conditional apology that took aim at his critics.
The photo, which remains posted to Moore’s Instagram, features Moore and his wife, Hannah Moore, in what appears to be a sexual position. Moore, however, says his wife was merely dancing on him at his June 8 wedding.
The comment posted with the photo reads, “@hgracemoore knows how to twerrrrrrk. #hallelujah JEESUS.” (The controversial photo is the second of four photos posted here. The Roys Report has chosen not to publish the photo.)
In a follow-up post Friday, Moore wrote, “We weren’t doing a ‘sexual act.’ As I said in caption, she was dancing. . . . That’s all. If it offended you that I posted it, I apologize.”
Some on Moore’s timeline criticized the post for being “soft porn,” “salacious & ungodly.” Another said that as a leader, Moore should be “above reproach. Twerking and compromising positions are not for public viewing.” Someone else asked, “Would you want a picture of your future daughter and her Godly husband on the internet like this? . . . You are a man who represents Jesus for a living… that’s a big responsibility.”
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According to Chandler, some critics went so far as to predict that the couple would “struggle in the future” and have a “rough marriage.”
“No part of that is Christlike,” Chandler wrote. “The first principle of correction is… you need proximity to someone to give healthy correction. 100% of those who posted publicly or commented literally do not know me.”
Chandler added, “Shame me & post about me all you want. Don’t care lol. But to have people who call themselves CHRISTIANS speak against my wife, our marriage, and our union is super heartbreaking.”
Many responded positively to Chandler’s latest post.
“You don’t have to apologize!,” one person commented. “Ignore the naysayers and the hypocrites. . . . Your marriage is blessed and will be fruitful.”
Someone else added, “You don’t owe any over-entitled strangers any explanations for what you and your wife do. Quite frankly it’s none of our business.”
A few, however, criticized the public nature of the post.
“The twerking is NOT the issue. It’s the POSTING,” one wrote. “Once you post, you make it everyone’s business. Enjoy your marriage and keep things like this away from social media . . .”
Similarly, someone else wrote, “(Y)ou should have asked yourself before posting this, ‘how does this glorify God?’ All things are permissible but not all are beneficial.”
Worship leader Israel Houghton, who recently contributed to a Juneteenth double album with Chandler Moore and Maverick City Music, defended Moore on Moore’s initial Instagram post. And Houghton took a lot of heat, as a result.
“I’m blown away by the ‘saints’ in these comments . . . ” Houghton said. “We wonder why people don’t want to come to our churches . . . it’s because of the ‘saints.’ Stop it. Let these lovebirds live. Unfollow if you’re offended.”
Houghton added, “If you’re a Christian – please stop fighting other Christians. Thanks.”
Some responded with “Amen” and clapping emojis to Houghton’s remarks. But others took offense.
“We’re not here to lower our standards to make sinners more comfortable. If this is what you’re doing, you’re not leading worship – you’re putting on a concert,” one commented.
A few noted Houghton’s past, which includes a scandal concerning infidelity in his first marriage. Houghton is now remarried to Adrienne Bailon, a singer and talk show host.
Maverick City Music recently released an album with Elevation Worship, the music band at Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church. That album, Old Church Basement, set a new worldwide record for the most streams in its first day for a Christian and gospel album on Apple Music.
Maverick City Music also won Billboard Music’s Top Gospel Album for its April 2020 release, Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 1.
According to Maverick City Music’s website, the band exists to “break the unspoken rules” in Christian contemporary and gospel music,” and to be “a mega phone for . . . creatives that have been pushed to the margins” of church music.