More on “hipster” pastor Carl Lentz in a moment; but first, the last time I mentioned the nefarious Word Faith haven Hillsong Church (HC), Australia here at Apprising Ministries was in Homosexuality Removed from Hillsong International Leadership College (HILC) Student Handbook.This would seem to be further indication that something’s off concerning homosexuality with Hillsong churches.
Now, you might remember that HC is where pastor Brian Houston and pastrix Bobbie Houston are the “Senior Pastors” and co-presidents of HILC::
Like Rick Warren, Brian Houston is a “vision-casting” multi-site prophet-pastor and mentor to what I’ve called an Evangelical Ecumenical Magisterium (EEM).1 This is important for you to know because Brian and Bobbie comprise the Senior Leadership2 of the HC, Australia launch known as Hillsong NYC (HCNYC), where “Pentecostal Powerhouse”3 Carl Lentz is Senior and Lead pastor.
Lentz, the alleged “Apostle of Cool,” is someone you need to be made aware of as:
Lentz co-founded Hillsong NYC with Joel Houston, 33-year-old son of Australian Pentecostal Hillsong Church founders Brian and Bobbie Houston. Together they have led the church, which has become a beacon for young people, for the last 2 1/2 years. (source)
In From Jesus to Bieber, NY Pastor Makes Church Trendy CBN News adds that HCNYC is “an extension of the main Hillsong Church in Sydney.”4 And in Meet New York’s punk pastor: Mohawked and tattooed 34-year-old who hangs out with Justin Bieber and attracts crowds of 5,500 to his concert-like services we’re told:
The church is a branch of the popular Australian-based Hillsong Church, the Pentecostal church which draws more than 21,000 weekly to its services. Hillsong is best known for its concert-type settings where they play Christian rock and praise music, which often appeals to a younger demographic of churchgoers. (source)
Perhaps Lentz knows NYC’s other “punk pastor,” the homosexual-affirming Jay Bakker. In any event, as you can see, Carl Lentz has the tightest ties to the ringleaders of the HC mothership. Charisma magazine reporter Gina Meeks also informs us that about a year ago:
Carl Lentz, the unconventional pastor at Hillsong Church NYC, [was] featured in Detailsmagazine’s October issue in an article called “Jesus Christ’s Superstar (The Gospel According to Carl Lentz).”
“With the Lord as his swagger coach, the 34-year-old pastor is turning Hillsong Church in New York City into a Pentecostal powerhouse and a destination for the in crowd,” the story says…
An estimated 5,500 people show up every Sunday to its Irving Plaza location near Manhattan’s Union Square. Lentz, who sports tattoos and a half-shaved head, has been in the spotlight recently, including being the subject of a report from the Associated Press. The hipster pastor is well on his way to being this generation’s Billy Graham.
As the magazine displays in a clever infographic, Lentz has ties with celebrities such as Justin Bieber, NBA superstar Kevin Durant, Jeremy Lin and Vanessa Hudgens. “He is going to be huge,” pastor Priscilla Shirer predicted while she was guest speaking at the church, according to the Details feature. (source)
No doubt “this generation’s Billy Graham” appears to be a star on the rise a la the way former Emerging Church rock star pastor Rob Bell once was. O, and the name Priscilla Shirer should sound familiar to you because—not only is she a close friend of quasi-elder Beth Moore—but like Moore, Shirer also happens to be promoted by Lifeway Resources5 of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Against this backdrop I point you now to the following from the Facebook page of Lentz’ HCNYC where we find out that:
The below tweet informs us Lentz was featured on Anderson Cooper 360:
The blog for Anderson Cooper 360 AC360) fills us in on the segment Inside Hillsong’s ‘hipster’ church, which aired last night:
Lord willing, another time we’ll look further at this AC360 segment; but for now, it’s where Carl Lentz hedges concerning where he stands on the issue of the deviant and sinful lifestyle of having sexual relations with another of the same sex, i.e homosexuality, that is my focus here. This is typical of the cult of celebrity megapastor because to grow their little kingdoms they cannot risk offending anyone. Anyone but Jesus, anyway.
For a bit of backstory we go to Christian Post reporter Nicola Menzie and her 12/20/13 report Pastor Carl Lentz Will Not Preach on Sexuality From Pulpit; Refuses to ‘Ostracize People’ where she tells us, concerning Lentz’ view on homosexuality, that he feels it’s not in his job description to be someone’s “Judge and Jury.” You can just hear the applause; but the problem is, it’s not exactly true. As a pastor, it’s Lentz’ job to tell people what God has said, yet apparently in this case he won’t.
It’s God’s Word which judges (cf. Hebrews 4:12); but if he’s not telling people what the Lord has said in Scripture, then people are not going to know. And if Carl Lentz isn’t going to do so, then he needs to stop pretending to be a pastor; stop calling what he does ministry, and just be a full-on entertainer:
As pleasing to the world as what Lentz says sounds, at some point, he would still have to tell those practicing homosexuality they are in sin. Menzie now continues:
Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz has made it clear that he will not take a public stance on social issues like homosexuality because, as he said during media appearances this week, that is not the example Jesus Christ models in the Bible. (source)
Um, what? I’m not sure what Bible Lentz is reading, but with his people-pleasing postmodern “Gandhi with a beard Jesus,” I’m reminded here of something the late Bible scholar Dr. F.F. Bruce correctly pointed out about the real Christ Jesus of Nazareth:
The fewer preconceptions we bring from the outside to the reading of the Gospels, the more clearly shall we see Him as He really was. It is all too easy to believe in a Jesus Who is largely a construction of our own imagination—an inoffensive Person Whom no one would really trouble to crucify.
But the Jesus we meet in the Gospels, far from being an inoffensive Person, gave offense right and left. Even His loyal followers found Him, at times, thoroughly disconcerting. He upset all established notions of religious propriety.6
During the Hipster segment last night Carl Lentz was asked about issues relating to homosexuality and below is the clip containing his hedging:
Welcome to the wacky world of postmodernism. Remember before that supposedly Lentz doesn’t preach about sexuality, yet the first thing Poppy Harlow tells us about Carl Lentz is, “Some of his positions are clearer than others. Don’t get drunk, no sex before marriage.7 I’d have to say this is good; those positions are the correct ones according to Scripture; no problem there.
So, at HCNYC people are told it’s wrong to have sex before marriage. But wait a minute, I thought Carl Lentz didn’t want to be someone’s judge and jury? Well, it seems to me that he just doesn’t want to address the issue of homosexual relations because he seems to have made heterosexual relations clear enough. As far as LGBT people being welcome in someone’s church, of course we are to welcome people into our churches; that’s a red herring.
Harlow then gets to the point as she says that, “Every article I’ve read about you guys says you decline to discuss gay marriage.” It’s Lentz reply here that I want to zero in on:
Yes, it’s a misquote because I do discuss it, just not the way people want me too. When it comes to homosexuality, I refuse to let another human being or immediate moment dictate how we approach it. Jesus was in the thick of an era where homosexuality, just like it is today was widely prevalent. And I’m still waiting for someone to show me the quote were Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people. You won’t find it because he never did. (source)
We’re mentally off-roading into the postmodern mud again. Which is it Carl; you won’t preach about sexuality, or you do discuss it? The argument Lentz uses re. homosexuality is the same one used by postmodern liberal Emerging Church pastors like the aforementioned Jay Bakker. However, as I once told Bakker, the argument has already been used by the original liberals beginning in the late 1970’s and has long ago been debunked.8
I was truly kind of surprised to hear a “hipster” like the “Apostle of Cool” Carl Lentz, supposedly a mainstream evangelical minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, actually using such a lame argument as: Jesus never spoke about homosexuality. What follows now is really basic Christianity 101. In closing this, permit me pastor Carl, to show you from Scripture—the only “record” that matters—what Jesus Christ our Lord says about having sexual relations with a member of the same sex.
The infallible, inerrant Word of God, the Bible, absolutely addresses homosexuality. For example — You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22). In addition, the Bible also clearly teaches that Jesus of Nazareth is God (cf. John 1:1). By the way Carl, this would be the Jesus “in front of people” you want to talk about. In the Bible God already addressed the issue of homosexuality in the Old Testament (OT); therefore, whatever God says concerning homosexuality in the OT, Jesus—the LORD God Almighty Himself in human flesh—also says concerning homosexuality.
You with me so far pastor Carl? In the New Testament (NT) Christ Jesus tells us God the Holy Spirit would speak for Him (cf. John 16:13-14). The Bible teaches that God does not change (cf. Malachi 3:6); and therefore, Jesus Christ does not change (cf. Hebrews 13:8). The teachings concerning homosexuality spoken by the Vicar of Christ, God the Holy Spirit, in the NT are in complete agreement with those of the OT. For example:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
Are you going to now get after me for using so-called “clobber verses” here Carl? That’s what someone like Jay Bakker or Rob Bell, who also use the argument you’re using, would do. Even so, let’s look at Romans 1:
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. (Romans 1:24-27)
The absolute Truth is that in Romans chapter one we are informed that the LORD God Almighty’s patience will (and possibly now has) run out concerning issues like this. In verse 26 we read — Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. It should be obvious enough we are being told here that what we will read next would be considered shameful lusts by the Creator.
Now notice that this has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with a particular culture may think, but rather, with what God Himself as Creator judges universally to be shameful lusts. The b part of verse 26 — Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. The logical question that should arise now is: What are these natural relations women exchange here for unnatural ones.
God the Holy Spirit anticipates this question, and then provides our answer through His inspired vessel Paul in Verse 27 — In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. We see then — In the same way as the women the men also abandoned — or exchanged — natural relations with women for unnatural ones. So now from this passage of Scripture we really should understand that according to the created order, the LORD God Almighty—the very Creator of the universe Himself—has in fact defined “natural” sexual relations to be that which occurs between one man with one woman after marriage.
As a result therefore, the Bible then defines sexual activity between members of the same sex as being “unnatural.” And this is also reinforced in the b part of verse 27 — Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Now we can put all of this together and come to the realization that, according to Holy Scripture, God refers to sexual relations between members of the same sex as shameful lusts. Homosexuality is also said to be abandoning natural relations and being inflamed with lust (a sin in and of itself) for a member of one’s own sex.
Verse 27 lists this among indecent acts and clearly refers to homosexuality as perversion. There is just no way around what these texts are saying because this passage of the Bible concerns proper sexual conduct for men and women—period. Further, this is part of the created order itself, and so it would apply to all mankind regardless of the cultural mores of any generation. Finally pastor Carl, as I recently pointed out in Jesus Already Defined marriage For His Creation, Christ is actually speaking below from the perspective of an eyewitness when He quite clearly defines His marriage covenant for us:
And Pharisees came up to Him and tested Him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that He Who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” (Matthew 19:3-7)
It’s patently obvious that Jesus has just defined marriage as a male [man] to a female [woman], which is exactly how it was understood when it was spoken by Christ “on the record in front of people.” So based upon what Jesus has just said, from a Biblical standpoint, we see that any homosexual activity will always be outside of the marriage covenant, As such then, homosexual relations are to be considered among the sins sexual immorality from which God has told us we are to flee (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18).
Pastor Carl, you should be able to see that there’s no way around this; at least for one who holds the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word of God, and to the Deity of Christ. The LORD God has spoken in both the OT and the NT condemning the practice of homosexuality as sin. And you simply cannot separate God the Father and God the Son on this issue. Jesus did address sexual immorality, which includes homosexuality, and He most likely felt that as God He didn’t stutter the first time in the OT, and so, His view was already clear enough for the NT.
So there you go pastor Carl, on the record: God the Father, God the Son, Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit, all condemn sexual relations with a member of the same sex as sin. It’s really not that hard, if you know the Word of God. This is what God has said; and it doesn’t matter at all what the professing Christian or the unbeliever feels about this. As Christians we must love precious LGBT souls, for whom Christ died, enough to tell them the truth.
Pastor Carl, it is not unloving to tell someone the truth; however, it is actually hateful to withhold it from them.
- HOMOPPRESSION IS AT LEAST AS BAD AS HOMOPHOBIA
- ROB BELL AFFIRMS GAY “CHRISTIANS” & BRIAN MCLAREN IS REALLY HAPPY
- THE SIN OF HOMOSEXUALITY IS DIFFERENT
- James MacDonald, co-host of the ignominious Elephant Room (ER) conferences along with New Calvinist Mark Driscoll have used these ER conferences as the source of what appears to me to be a new emerging self-appointed EEM. This EEM is comprised of multi-site megachurch prophet-pastors who participated in ER as well as some of those who pioneered this Seeker Driven phenomenon such as Rick Warren and Craig Groeschel. ↩
- http://brianandbobbie.com/, accessed 6/3/14. ↩
- http://katiecouric.com/videos/who-is-carl-lentz/, accessed 6/3/14. ↩
- http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2014/March/From-Jesus-to-Bieber-NY-Pastor-Makes-Church-Trendy/, accessed 6/3/14. ↩
- http://www.lifeway.com/n/Product-Family/Priscilla-Shirer-Live?type=events, accessed 6/3/14. ↩
- Walter C. Kaiser Jr, Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, Manfred Brauch, Hard Sayings of the Bible [Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2010], 18, 19. ↩
- http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1406/02/acd.02.html, accessed 6/3/14. ↩
- See e.g. Jesus Does Condemn Homosexuality. ↩