Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church (fabulous worship) in New York recently appeared on The View in what was no doubt an orchestrated interview by the producers to use a prominent pastor to confront and condemn historic Christianity. Joy Behar is accomplished appearing interested in exploration but her mission is manipulation. Sadly, Lentz played along.
Asked if abortion is sin, Lentz side-stepped the issue, saying he prefers relational ministry to making judgments or denouncing sin.
Pastors on both sides of the aisle have no problem denouncing the sin of slavery. Denouncing murder is also a bipartisan pastoral tradition, unless we are talking about murdering babies in the womb. When it comes to decisions based on “personal convictions” versus transcendent truth, many pastors come down on the side of compromise, the “lukewarm” option.
Jesus pointedly rejects the lukewarm. (Revelation 3:15, 16)
Why focus on Lentz? After all, there are thousands upon thousands of pastors in this country preaching against the very Scripture they claim to love and revere. They promote communism, endorse homosexuality, encourage lawlessness with sanctuary cities, accommodate abortion, embrace Jihad, and contradict the Word of God often, parading about like the prophets of Baal.
Well, Lentz is very consequential, the millennials’ man, the leader of a huge church, now the darling of the Left and media. By commission or omission, he is leading people astray. Either he is a false prophet, or, he simply does not have the courage to take a firm stand for righteousness, or he does not know what he is talking about, and is thereby disqualified. These are not judgments concerning his eternal soul but they are offered as evaluations of his statements measured against the words of Jesus, the One Lentz claims to represent.
Let’s dig a bit deeper.
Pastor Lentz proclaims his preference for teaching people about Jesus rather than nitpicking them about sin or sitting in judgment.
On the one hand, it is not sitting in judgment to call sin what God calls sin. He has already ruled! The verdict and the sentence are already in!
The Scripture is clear about murder, as it is clear that unborn human life is still human life. No one condemning abortion as sin, therefore, sits in judgment: rather that person is simply agreeing with God, the wise choice. It is also the loving choice, for denouncing sin was and is the business of Jesus Christ motivated to save us from hell, once the chief concern of pastors as well, one now overridden by talk shows spreading the virus of political correctness.
Finally, to teach people about Jesus requires a great deal of intimate familiarity with his teachings and a tremendous devotion to understanding his mind and his heart and his work. Treating sin as a negotiable item when it leads people to hell fails meeting those requirements. Christ denounced sin. He never compromised with the culture. He is about the business of saving souls to the Glory of God by the Holy Spirit. He is not about television ratings and popularity and head count on Sunday morning.
Try as we might, it is impossible to find Jesus calling for minced words. He never preached on the virtue of equivocation. Jesus never accommodated sin in the name of promoting friendship. He never suggested counseling sessions involving the worship of feelings and personal preferences. (Although, in counseling a woman anguishing over her abortion, mercy and compassion should be front and center.) You may very well attract an enthusiastic crowd by using soft words and seductive shepherding, but you betray the One you claim to know, leading people astray, becoming the devil’s dupe.
The Truth of the Gospel remains: repent of sin by believing and receiving Christ, the only path to righteous living on earth and to eternal life in heaven; or, die in your sin and go to hell.
The leather-lunged preachers of old denounced sin and presented the Gospel, honoring God and saving souls. That is historic Christianity: people in love with God and people, knowing souls hang in the balance.
Image: Fair use; Screen Shot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIaUmGiuGQ4