Pastor Apologizes for Wiping Spit on Man's Face during Sermon Illustration: 'It Was Disgusting'

Michael Foust | Contributor | Tuesday, January 18, 2022
a man holding a Bible, pastor apologizes for wiping spit on the face of a man during a sermon illustration

Pastor Apologizes for Wiping Spit on Man's Face during Sermon Illustration: 'It Was Disgusting'

An Oklahoma pastor who drew worldwide attention for wiping spit on another person's face is apologizing, saying the sermon illustration went too far.

Michael Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Okla., spit multiple times in his hand on Sunday before he rubbed it across the face of another man while preaching from Mark 8, where Jesus healed a blind man. The chapter says Jesus "had spit on the man's eyes and put his hands on him."

Video of the shocking illustration went viral and led to stories across the world, including in London newspapers.

The man was his brother, Brentom Todd.

"I watched it back. And it was disgusting. ... That was gross," Michael Todd said Monday in an Instagram video. "I want to validate everybody's feelings. That was a distraction to what I was really trying to do. I was really trying to make the Word come alive and for people to see the story. But yesterday, it got too live. And I own that. And I just want to make sure people know that we want to help people. We want people to see Jesus. We want people to feel loved. We want people who are desperate to be able to find hope. And I'm passionate about that – so much so that I try to do extreme things to help people get it."

At the moment he wiped spit on the man's face, he was making a point: "receiving vision from God might get nasty." Following God, the pastor said, may require selling much-beloved possessions.

The illustration, the pastor said Monday, "crossed the line."

"I love you guys," he said. "I appreciate everybody that's been praying for us and sending us messages. And to anybody who just saw that three-minute clip, I really encourage you to go back and watch the whole message. There's some truth and some life in there that could potentially change your whole life.

"Next time, I'll re-think and do something differently," he added.


Pastor Faces Criticism for Wiping Spit on Man's Face to Illustrate Jesus' Miracle

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Digital Skillet

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.