Carl Lentz, the pastor of Hillsong Church, has been under fire recently for failing to unequivocally condemn abortion, but he also recently spoke out in support of the biblical definition of marriage.
Lentz, who is senior pastor of Hillsong’s New York City megachurch, says he and the church receive criticism from both the far left and far right.
Recently, in an interview with HBO’s “Vice News,” Lentz acknowledged that the law of the land allows gay couples to marry, but that personally, he and his congregation believe in the biblical definition of marriage.
"My opinion is secondary to what we believe the Bible's opinion is. So Hillsong Church, traditionally, for 30 years, we would say the Bible is really clear that marriage is between a man and a woman. And I believe the Bible says what it says, and I interpret it exactly as the Bible says,” stated Lentz.
"The Christian right thinks we're too open; the super left thinks we're not loud enough in our affirmation," Lentz added.
This comment could also apply to Lentz’s recent appearance on “The View,” in which he garnered both support and criticism for his answer to what he believes about abortion.
When “The View” co-host Joy Behar asked Lentz whether or not he believes abortion is wrong, he responded, “That’s the kind of conversation we would have finding out your story, where you’re from, what you believe. I mean, God’s the judge. People have to live to their own convictions. That’s such a broad question, to me, I’m going higher. I want to sit with somebody and say, ‘What do you believe?’”
Many Christians criticized Lentz for not being more forthright on the issue of abortion.
Christian leader Albert Mohler even stated, "I think there is a determined effort on the part of these churches, to avoid dealing with hard theological questions that might offend people."
Following the pushback on his abortion statements, Lentz clarified his views:
"I do believe abortion is sinful,” he explained in a statement. “Our prayer is that we can continue to help and love those that deal with the pain of regret from personal choices, rather than cast further shame and guilt on those already carrying so much and create a church that can teach people how to form convictions based on God's Word, that will be the driving force in all their decisions.”
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Publication date: November 16, 2017