“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.” –James 3:1
There is danger in becoming what might be called the modern ‘celebrity preacher’. Including the temptation to behave more like a celebrity than a faithful servant of a Holy God.
Laboring away in relative obscurity has its share of temptations, to be sure, but limelight and celebrity status only magnifies them — especially if you’ve not had the time (or effort) put in to get those fundamentals right.
Flash and dazzle might please the masses, but it takes more than that to impress a thrice Holy God. Some might (appear) to ‘get away with it’ for a long time. (Their reckoning though it may seem delayed, is surely coming.)
For others, is well able to bring their charade to a crashing halt.
Which brings us to the story of Carl Lentz.
Some of our readers may remember the name Carl Lentz. A quick search shows how he turned up in two previous columns.
Before introducing the scandal he’s found himself neck-deep in, a quick recap of who he is might prove helpful.
The first one was from 2017, when the Coven invited him on ‘The View’ so that he could waffle when asked whether abortion is a sin in front of a national audience. (Not a hard question. The answer is ‘yes’.)
He side-stepped it by saying he prefers ‘relational’ ministry to making judgments or denouncing sin. More about his unorthodox approach to ‘relational’ ministry in a second. (Don’t get ahead of us here.)
You know the example he’s setting is pretty lame when even Joe Rogan — who is by no means a Buckle-shoed Puritan — had a few choice things to say about ‘Pastor Lentz’ when he saw a photo of the guy.
ROGAN: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, ho! What the f**kin’ d*ck root, priest..?! Hold up! What’s goin’ on with his f**kin’ shorts? Bro! No. No, no, no, no, no. Any guy that’s showin’ d*ck root, you know what I mean? The base of your c**k. You’re pulling your shorts down to the base of your c**k like that, you’re doin’ that ’cause you’re tryin’ to get laid. Stop. Pull your f**kin’ shorts up to a normal height. Those should be 5 inches higher. I know what you’re doing. Your c**k is slappin’ against your thing–you probably don’t even have underwear on you f**kin’ creep. Jesus does not want you to dressin’ like that. NO! And look at him. He’s got abs–big ol’ handsome guy. He probably d**ks chicks down for the Lord. D**ks ’em down for Jesus. Look at him, big ol’ handsome charismatic guy. — Read the rest HERE
Joe Rogan’s moral compass shoots straighter than a pastor.
That story ran on July 3 of this year, but the show was older than that.
Which brings us up to speed for today’s story.
Lentz is now suddenly dusting off his resume.
The show just came to a screeching halt.
Hillsong founding pastor Brian Houston told church staff in an email that Lentz had been terminated his position, citing “leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.” Houston did not specifically give more details, saying it “would not be appropriate.” —Disrn
They didn’t give the reason. But Joe Rogan nailed it.
In his Instagram post, Lentz admitted to being “unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life.”
“This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions,” according to the post.
“When you accept the calling of being a pastor, you must live in such a way that it honors the mandate. That it honors the church, and that it honors God. When that does not happen, a change needs to be made and has been made in this case to ensure that standard is upheld,” Lentz said in the post.
He expressed gratitude for his time at the church and said leading Hillsong NYC “has been an honor in every sense of the word.” ReligionNews
As for the ‘celebrity preacher’ status? GQ calls it something else.
Lentz, 41, was one of a number of pastors GQ Magazine has described as “hypepriests” who lead churches frequented by celebrities. Friends and congregants include Justin Bieber and his wife, Hailey Baldwin Bieber, as well as the Jenner sisters. –ReligionNews
When that’s what the world sees you as, you might want to take a moment for self-reflection.
Fortunately for him, he’s now got all the time in the world.
Is Carl now a ‘lost cause’? By no means.
God could still salvage him IF Lentz meets the Lord on Christ’s own terms — including true repentance — rather than by whatever game Lentz was playing before.
It might not feel like it right now, but God loved Carl enough to feel the sting of his stupidity while there’s still a chance to do something about it.
That’s the power of the gospel.
If you’ve not yet experienced transforming grace and forgiveness for sins yourself, we encourage you to ask Jesus Christ for guidance. And if you need help? Find a trusted Christian. If you don’t know one, contact one of us.
The WarriorsAndWildmen Facebook page features Doug and Rich, two down-to-earth ordained men who’ve ‘been there, done that’.
My Twitter handle’s out there too, I’m happy to help you how I can.
If any of you need a resource that can help you walk strong and help you from making the same mistakes that hurt Carl and his family? The Bible is the Ultimate resource, obviously.
But you can try this, too.
Get Doug Giles’ new book:
Rules For Radical Christians is not a survival devotional designed to help the young Christian adult limp through life. Rather, it is a road-tested, dominion blueprint that will equip the young adult with leadership skills and sufficient motivation to rise to a place of influence in an overtly non-Christian culture. Rules For Radical Christians gives the reader the keys to become strategically equipped to move into an anti-theistic environment and effectively influence it for the glory of God.