Brian Houston Announces an Investigation as Allegations Surface That Carl Lentz Had Multiple Sexual Relationships and Hillsong Knew

The Spider Nebula-JPL/NASA

“What’s the whole point of being pretty on the outside when you’re so ugly on the inside?” ― Jess C. Scott,


The problem with celebrity church culture

I have come to the conclusion that many megachurches have a serious flaw in their theology. They may spout that *it is all about Jesus* but it is really all about the numbers. Ed Young Jr used to like to pretend that it had nothing to do with the size and the celebrity of the church but his entire being appeared to revolve around celebrity and the numbers. (I know, I attended there for a short time.) He used to say “We count people because people count.* Then, when another church moved in on *his territory* and *stole* some of Ed’s sheep, he complained about *sheep stealing.*

For many of these churches, it is all about the acquisition of followers, buildings, houses, etc. People tell me that their church is really doing God’s work because so many people attend the church and there are some *famous people* who attend which means…what, exactly? This celebrity culture within a church that has thousands of attendees is, in my opinion, a set up for scandal and problems. There are good megachurches. I used to attend one. However, to keep a church’s eyes focused on the goal involves a backbreaking commitment on the part of the pastors and church leaders. It is difficult to eschew the lure of money and celebrity.

Where are the truth-tellers within such a celebrity church setting? Heck, if Justin Bieber is attending, along with Selena Gomez and the obligatory Kardsaians, doesn’t that mean this is a really, really good church? Years ago, I knew one mom who was always trying to get her 10-year-old kid into TV ads and shows. She told me her son was going to bring Jesus to the movie industry. I told her that I had observed that celebrity culture often ends up changing most everyone for the worse,

I remember Ed Young jr showing off his new, very expensive boots, discussing his new auto, and his well-known friends. Ed appeared happy when the rich and famous paid attention to him by appearing on his stage. It seemed important to build his fragile ego. Sadly, many folks who attended the church also needed the celebrities and the famous pastor to feel good about themselves. “See, we must be going to the right church. Look who goes here. Look who likes to hang with our pastor.”

Carl Lentz is a celebrity hound.

There is no doubt in my mind that Carl Lentz loved celebrity life. He loved hanging with his ex-friend Justin Bieber and he loved the celebrities attending his church. It’s obvious they felt safe around him. This wasn’t a pastor who might challenge their status quo because he was one of them. He dressed like them and he lived well, almost as well as they did. Did his celebrity life change him or was he always, deep down inside, looking for what celebrities look for-acquiring fame, money, sycophants, and love interests?

The Muslim woman who had a relationship with Lentz has come forward.

According to DISRN: Muslim woman comes forward as being in a relationship with fired Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz

…The 34-year-old woman, identified as Ranin, said she had no idea Lentz was a popular Christian minister and decided to speak out because she was greatly hurt after he told his followers about his infidelity. Ranin said that she and Lentz were in a relationship for more than five months before last week’s break up.

…Ranin said that Lentz approached her in May at Domino Park in Brooklyn, New York.

“I have no knowledge of the Christian world; I’m Muslim,” Ranin said, claiming she had no idea he was a celebrity pastor when they met. “He told me the most beautiful women come from the Middle East, and we kept talking from there. We walked and talked more for a little bit and exchanged numbers.”

…There was another person on the other side of his statement that got hurt,” said Ranin, saying the Instagram post about Lentz’s firing was “offensive” because it implied that they “just had a fling.”

What a way to introduce a Muslim woman to the Christian faith, huh?

Brian Houston, head of Hillsong, announced a church investigation into the Carl Lentz scandal.

As I suspected, this problem is far more complicated than a *one and done* affair. The NY Post wrote Hillsong pastor who fired Carl Lentz puts NYC branch under investigation

  • We are launching an independent investigation into the inner workings of Hillsong NYC/ East Coast,” (Brian Houston)
  • the church has “decided to appoint a New York-based legal firm that is not associated or affiliated with Hillsong to conduct an in-depth review and investigation into all concerns and any wider cultural issues. We are taking this extremely seriously and on the basis of this report, we will be better positioned to take whatever actions are deemed necessary to right the wrongs and see Hillsong East Coast move forward in a way that enables many more people to find hope in Jesus.”

Whoa-what is going on here? Notice all the plurals in this announcement:*issues,* *actions,* *wrongs.* Houston is practically begging people not to gossip but he lost that battle a long time ago.

“It’s always a time when there is speculation, rumor and gossip when change is made, and especially when radical change is made.

Hillsong may have known about multiple problems as early as 2017 and allegedly covered it up by kicking people out of the church.

Uh oh! The US Sun reported NOT SO SORRY? Justin Bieber’s pastor Carl Lentz ‘only confessed to cheating because he got caught’ following ‘years of infidelity’

A woman, who was involved with Hillsong for years before allegedly being “silenced” and “kicked out,” exclusively told The Sun that the affairs have been going on since at least 2017 – and the church apparently knew about them.

…“My friend and I were leaders at the church so people came to us as their leaders about other transgressions with other leaders and pastors, including Carl. “Women came to us and said Carl was sleeping around with people who were members of the church,” a former Hillsong group leader claimed. She continued: “There have been many sexual transgressions at Hillsong NYC. We tried to address them in 2017 and we were told that we were spreading gossip.

…According to the source, those who brought up Carl’s behavior at the time “were kicked out and told they were unfit for leadership.” The ex-Hillsong member concluded by speaking of the popular minister’s scandalous behavior.

Did anyone in the church or Hillsong central find anything odd about the bizarre “I, too, am a celebrity” by a man who was supposed to be a pastor, not a sex symbol? It appears that church leaders weren’t doing their jobs. Then again, Brian Houston has a history of allegations of a cover-up of his father’s abuse of children in the church

Boz Tchividjian tweeted:

The Lentz homestead just sold.

Apparently Lentz was given the news ahead of the public announcement. It looks like he is preparing for a change.

I am pretty sure there are more accusations to come. Carl Lintz lived quite a life, enjoying the limelight. Somehow he forgot (or did he ever know) that he was supposed to be a light on the hill. I don’t think this outcome is what Jesus envisioned.

How long do you think it will be before he makes a comeback? I’ll start. It looks like he needs an inflow of cash so I give him 3 months. Maybe the Kardashians could find a bit part for him.

For all Star Trek fans who remember the Ferengi, whose entire culture revolved around the rules of acquisition, here is a synopsis. We need a laugh.


Comments

Brian Houston Announces an Investigation as Allegations Surface That Carl Lentz Had Multiple Sexual Relationships and Hillsong Knew — 53 Comments

  1. It will be interesting if any of his “celebrity” friends stick with him or speak out? Probably not the young ladies.

    Some of the clothes he wore…most men would not dress like that-let alone a Pastor. It is fine to be happy with one’s hard work, but he chose “looking for love in all the wrong places”.

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  2. It will be interesting if any of his “celebrity” friends stick with him or speak out? Probably not the young ladies.
    Some of the clothes he wore…most men would not dress like that-let alone a Pastor. It is fine to be happy with one’s hard work, but he chose “looking for love in all the wrong places”.

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  3. “How long do you think it will be before he makes a comeback? I’ll start. It looks like he needs an inflow of cash so I give him 3 months.” (Dee)

    The “restoration” period for other bad-boy preachers ranged from 6-18 months before they launched unrepentant comebacks. Lentz may be able to pull it off sooner … after all, he is a Hypepriest.

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  4. Hillsong needs a truly independent investigation, not just of the New York City branch but the entire organization. And Brian Houston should be among those investigated.

    When will Carl Lentz be back? My preference is that he never preach again, but I’m not holding my breath that will happen. He might be back in one to two years if he and his wife divorce, sooner if they reconcile.

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  5. This is one of the parts that sickens me:

    “see Hillsong East Coast move forward in a way that enables many more people to find hope in Jesus”

    Why not use the word sink?

    Is this one of the churches that told the public not to use their minds?

    Is this one of the churches that has abolished the gift of discernment, first in the congregation (which was blasphemy), lastly in the elite?

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  6. From “the other woman” & how it all came down:

    “While they both made mistakes, she acknowledged, ‘people like him shouldn’t preach’ or drink so much. ‘There’s no deepness there,’ she said of Hillsong — which reportedly has more than 150,000 members. ‘It seems like it’s a cult.’”

    https://nypost.com/2020/11/10/celebrity-pastor-carl-lentzs-alleged-mistress-ranin-tells-all/

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  7. This is what happens when people ignore everything in the Bible about sexual continence and self-control, about restraint, about the danger of covetousness “which is idolatry.” The whole Instagram life of Mr. Lentz, his wife, and Ms. Ranin is simply an old-fashioned phallic cult, as illustrated in wall mosaics in Pompeii, among other locales.

    One cannot serve both God and Mammon, and one can’t serve both God and one’s own “belly” (see certain pictures of Mr. Lentz, if one has a strong stomach).

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  8. Is there an accessible “model” for response to situations like this that does not involve the hiring of investigators by stakeholders who have an interest in the outcome?

    I’m tempted to think that what is really needed is adversarial discovery, which would require some kind of legal process.

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  9. Promiscuous pastor. Run, the other direction, & get away from him. No investigation needed. It’s all seen.

    His greed is also evil.

    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.” DD Eisenhower

    Every megachurch mansion paid for by donors exhibits resources that should have gone to orphans and widows.

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  10. Ava Aaronson:

    Every megachurch mansion paid for by donors exhibits resources that should have gone to orphans and widows.

    I can’t help but compare the Lentzs’ house to the modest rectory, owned by the church where I grew up, that was provided for the rector (senior pastor) and his family. Or the even more modest parsonage in which one of my uncles lived when he pastored a small rural congregation. Don’t forget that the typical pastor doesn’t live like Carl Lentz and his family lived.

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  11. Michael in UK: This is one of the parts that sickens me:

    “see Hillsong East Coast move forward in a way that enables many more people to find hope in Jesus”

    Why not use the word sink?

    Can you explain what you mean about the word “sink”?
    This part sickens me also . He’s afraid revenues will fall off. Especially sickening to me is the context:
    “It’s always a time when there is speculation, rumor and gossip when change is made, and especially when radical change is made. But I just want to encourage you … stay close to Jesus, keep him your focus… And let’s decide we’re gonna continue with our love for this great church and lean in. And you watch, there’s great days ahead, there’s good things coming.”
    Again he’s afraid of empty offering plates while predicting a rosy future for the franchise. “But that can’t happen if you dumb sheeple don’t just sit down and shut up!” Any questions, suggestions, or reports of Clergy Sexual Abuse will be squashed like bugs— not in keeping with “love for this great church”. This statement, combined with his previous sadness for the perp, refusal to elaborate on the other reasons he fired him, and the command for an immediate continuation of business as usual indicate this Houston fellow is a very bad man who won’t change anything unless the pews empty out.

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  12. Report: “She continued: “There have been many sexual transgressions at Hillsong NYC. We tried to address them in 2017 and we were told that we were spreading gossip.“

    If so, what a shock that one of the tried and true ways to proof-text someone into silence was reportedly deployed. Could it be another case of not really being enlightened as far as updated but authentic approaches to evangelism and church structure as much as have a workable and profitable sales pitch, one that be part of hiding the same old priorities of some of the hirelings / grievous wolves?

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  13. IMO, Hillsong started to drift away after Darlene Zschech, worship leader, left the ministry. To many, she ‘was’ Hillsong – an anointed praise and worship singer. Worship under her leadership merged into an entertainment mode after her departure. Lentz was obviously an entertainer who took advantage of his Hillsong stage. Houston has never impressed me much – his preaching comes across as artificial and shallow. It’s not surprising that he would have mentored folks like Lentz.

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  14. I think it’s possible many Christians want what the world has to offer: pleasure, comfort, power, influence, wealth. I’d include myself in that category as well. We don’t want humility, accountability, monogamy, a reasonable wage, lower-middle class lifestyle. We want to crush our enemies and live like kings. Just like many of the kings and rulers in the Bible as well as their followers. Maybe if we realize that, we can change. We won’t be looking for leaders like Carl Lentz and we won’t enable them when we discover their sins. I think looking at Christ’s life in the Gospels helps contrast my character with God’s. It’s an antidote to the flesh and the world. I don’t think it’s necessarily a “mega church” problem. It’s in all of us to various degrees and it manifests in tiny churches and large churches. This is not an excuse for Lentz or Hillsong, but we don’t have any authority in those matters. We do, however, have some measure of influence in our own churches and lives.

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  15. Paul K: I think it’s possible many Christians want what the world has to offer: pleasure, comfort, power, influence, wealth. I’d include myself in that category as well. We don’t want humility, accountability, monogamy, a reasonable wage, lower-middle class lifestyle. We want to crush our enemies and live like kings. … I don’t think it’s necessarily a “mega church” problem. It’s in all of us to various degrees and it manifests in tiny churches and large churches.

    Sure, we’re all sinners, but please don’t generalize that all Christians, or all US Christians, want to crush our enemies and live like kings.

    Does anybody on TWW want that? I don’t. I have never belonged to a church that had a TV show or a fleet of aircraft. We have an organ and handbells.* Our sound system is barely audible. We sit on hard pews. Our clergy don’t show their abs.

    Speaking of clergy, ours preach humility, kindness, justice, mercy, and God’s boundless love.

    *In the Before Times. Right now we’re worshiping on Zoom, or outdoors by advance registration.

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  16. Dave A A,

    ““It’s always a time when there is speculation, rumor and gossip when change is made, and especially when radical change is made. But I just want to encourage you … stay close to Jesus, keep him your focus… ”
    ++++++++++++++++

    i bet Jesus just LOVES it when ‘trusted’ leaders use him to manipulate others so they are ot held accountable so they can better hold on to their money and power.

    yep, that sounds like Jesus, alright.

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  17. Paul K: I think it’s possible many Christians want what the world has to offer: pleasure, comfort, power, influence, wealth. I’d include myself in that category as well. We don’t want humility, accountability, monogamy, a reasonable wage, lower-middle class lifestyle. We want to crush our enemies and live like kings.

    Sounds like you’ve been hanging out with the wrong church bunch, Paul! That certainly doesn’t describe the average Christian in my neck of the woods.

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  18. Dan Davis: “10,000 flies that flock to eat dung can’t be wrong.” – African Proverb

    You got to love it. Very appropriate for a style of Christianity that is conspicuously void of anyone carrying a cross, except for Jesus. Jesus said the road is wide that leads to destruction and so it is with pretty much everything that is pop and popular. This is an appropriate topic as immorality in practice but not word has always been more popular by far then a morality that goes so deep that one is forced from within to live it out.

    On other news I ran into the ghost writer of the first three books that KP Yohannan claims to have wrote (I expect that he actually wrote none of the 200 books that he claims as his own) on Julie Roys blog mercilessly defending KP as innocent, inspite of the pictures of massive stacks of 145 million rupees of black money that were seized. I challenged him because I bought “Revolution in World Missions” a long time ago. It is a book that greatly helped KP become the world’s richest “Christian” conman. I want an apology for the thousands that I donated to a scam. I am not holding my breath on that one…

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  19. Pingback: Hillsong launches investigation after allegations surface that the church covered up multiple affairs by its celebrity pastor – Worship.Global

  20. Friend: my favorite pastor … a quiet and very dignified man who would like less attention than he receives … He did go down the water slide at the church picnic…

    If that’s the worse thing he ever does …

    While we focus a lot on the bad actors in Christendom on TWW, the vast majority of church leaders are humble servants of the Lord who are serving in obscure places with no desire to be mega. IMO, things started going South in the American church when Bill Hybels and others introduced seeker-friendly Christianity Lite to the church … which was followed by one aberrant movement after another (the latest being mega-mania and New Calvinism). We have seen products of this counterfeit church in pulpits across America (Driscoll, Tullian, MacDonald, Lentz, “Peeing Pastor” etc. etc. etc.)

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  21. “A woman, who was involved with Hillsong for years before allegedly being “silenced” and “kicked out,” exclusively told The Sun that the affairs have been going on since at least 2017 – and the church apparently knew about them.

    …According to the source, those who brought up Carl’s behavior at the time “were kicked out and told they were unfit for leadership.” The ex-Hillsong member concluded by speaking of the popular minister’s scandalous behavior.”

    ********************

    In addition to poor oversight by Houston and other top leaders at Hillsong, we need to look at current leadership surrounding Carl, in particular, throughout the Hillsong East Coast campuses. It appears that members and group leaders attempted to bring Carl’s “behavior” to the attention of the surrounding pastors, and were allegedly dismissed from their roles.

    So, who are these campus pastors and surrounding leadership? If others who tried to confront were thrown out or removed from roles, what does it say about the remaining leadership on the East Coast? How much do they know? Why weren’t they sounding the alarm years ago, since it sounds like these abuses and indiscretions have been going on for a long time? Every single one of these leaders needs to be questioned and held to account. Even if they were “well-meaning,” they failed to protect the sheep from a brazen wolf. This must be reconciled.

    Boston Campus Pastor: Josh Kimes (his wife, Leona, is the Care Pastor)
    Other pastors listed as contacts: https://hillsong.com/usa/eastcoast/online/staff-chats-boston/

    Connecticut: Pastor John Termini, East Coast Executive Pastor and Hillsong Global Board Member Tolu Badders, and Executive Pastor Brenda Thorn https://hillsong.com/usa/eastcoast/online/staff-chats-ct/

    New Jersey: Matt Bartgis, Pastor Darnell Barrett, Liz Nolz
    Other leaders listed as contacts: https://hillsong.com/usa/eastcoast/online/staff-chats-nj/

    New York City, Manhattan Campus Pastor: Todd Crews (his wife, Nicole, is also a Pastor)
    Other Pastors and leaders listed as contacts: https://hillsong.com/usa/eastcoast/online/staff-chats-nyc/

    It is important to note that the 2 designated Campus Pastors, at Boston and Manhattan locations, also indicate their wives as pastors as well. Based on the firing of East Coast Head Pastor Laura Lentz due to her husband’s indiscretions and abuses, it stands to reason that these campus pastors and their wives are likely unable to contribute holding someone like Carl accountable in any meaningful way, even though they may claim they do.

    Every pastor and leader associated with the East Coast locations needs to be questioned as to the knowledge of Carl’s years of indiscretions and abuses. Whether these leaders were enablers or outright complicit, all must be held to account. Unfortunately, with Houston’s announcement of an “independent” investigation, which we know will not actually be independent, but internal and controlled, I highly doubt we will obtain any kind of real answers about how there was a massive failure at local leadership level on the East Coast team. Hopefully, as more of these scandals come to the surface, more attention will be given to the enabling and complicit leadership surrounding these abusive, disqualified pastors.

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  22. S. Jane: In addition to poor oversight by Houston and other top leaders at Hillsong, we need to look at current leadership surrounding Carl, in particular, throughout the Hillsong East Coast campuses. It appears that members and group leaders attempted to bring Carl’s “behavior” to the attention of the surrounding pastors, and were allegedly dismissed from their roles.

    This is very common in the Christian Industrial Complex. Celebrity “pastors” surround themselves with yes-men elders … when they stop saying yes, the pastor says no and sends them packing. There is very little accountability in cults of personality. Stick-together pastor/elder teams characterized Willow Creek (Hybels), Mars Hill (Driscoll), Harvest Bible Chapel (MacDonald), and a host of other “ministries” that continue to be subjects of TWW posts.

    S. Jane: Whether these leaders were enablers or outright complicit, all must be held to account.

    They should, but this almost never happens. The fallen leader takes the hit, and the elders avoid scrutiny. There is very little genuine spiritual leadership in the Christian Industrial Complex. Folks who attend cool churches with a man in the pulpit who has charisma, a gift of gab, and a bag of gimmicks will just have to put up these characters until fate catches up with them.

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  23. S. Jane: poor oversight by Houston and other top leaders at Hillsong

    I suspect Mr. Houston received phone calls from concerned Hillsong members/others along the way about Lentz’s behavior. He most likely acted only when he had no other recourse. After all, as Dee noted “if Justin Bieber is attending, along with Selena Gomez and the obligatory Kardsaians, doesn’t that mean this is a really, really good church?”

    “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43)

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  24. Darlene “served” the Houstons from when she was a mere 21 years old. Then eventually was “incredibly … excited” to become an “Unlimited” pastor.

    Is the mind supposed to boggle about what this vocabulary is intended to convey? Is this not my same question as a few days ago, articulacy?

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  25. “This celebrity culture within a church that has thousands of attendees is, in my opinion, a set up for scandal and problems.” (Dee)

    IMHO, there has been more bad than good coming from mega-mania. Too many celebrity “pastors” have gone into the ministry for money, sex, and/or power. A multitude of nickels and noses ensure their climb to fame … the more gullible and spiritually immature the flock, the better. The allure of limelight and lust has got the best of them because they had little to no spiritual well to draw from to keep them pure and holy. Beware of mega! Less is better if it keeps your focus on Jesus and not man.

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  26. Max: put up [with] these characters

    They are $upporting them. They are their lifeline$. This is beyond tolerance, it is complicity. $tamp of approval. Codependency. $wimming in $ame $oup. Bedfellows. Idolatry. What happened to Israel when they worshiped idols? (We can be alert to that same outcome. God has the final say.)

    Aaron when the people built a Golden Calf: “Choose whom you will serve.”

    We all make that choice.

    Is the power-money-vice preacher/system a Golden Calf? an idol? Power-money-vice has nothing to do with God. Attending, attuning-into, tithing to, following after, (walking in the counsel of, standing in the path of, sitting in the seat of … ) – what is that if it is not worship?

    Jesus said “Render unto Caesar” but he never said render unto a religious institution. As followers of Jesus, we don’t owe any religious institution or religious leader anything.

    The Acts followers of Jesus $upported individuals who went out to share the Gospel, on a case-by-case and day-by-day basis, for their actual daily basic needs (no private jets or private ships on the Mediterranean Sea, no grand estates, luxury lifestyle). The Acts followers of Jesus also collected for and distributed to needy orphans, widows, believers.

    Followers of Jesus have nothing to do with the power-over-others, collect-their-money, do-whatever-vice-pleases-my-flesh life.

    Jesus died to deliver us out of the power-over-others (Herod), collect-their-money (Zacchaeus), do-whatever-vice-pleases-my-flesh (Paul, Romans 8.8) life and into the love God (Jesus) and love-one-another-as-self (Jesus) life.

    Thank you, Jesus!

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  27. Ava Aaronson: They are $upporting them … their lifeline$ … $tamp of approval … $wimming in $ame $oup.

    Yes, as I’ve said before … actors would have no stage if they didn’t have an audience willing to buy tickets to the show. The pew is as much to blame as the pulpit for the counterfeit church. In their effort to push back the boundaries to be culturally relevant, they have become irrelevant to the Kingdom of God.

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  28. > She continued: “There have been many sexual transgressions at Hillsong NYC. We tried to address them in 2017 and we were told that we were spreading gossip.

    Well, this is a sign that it’s run as a business and not a church, when these kinds of issues get treated as a PR problem rather than the moral issues that they are.

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  29. Max: “This celebrity culture within a church that has thousands of attendees is, in my opinion, a set up for scandal and problems.” (Dee)

    IMHO, there has been more bad than good coming from mega-mania. Too many celebrity “pastors” have gone into the ministry for money, sex, and/or power.

    I posted in the other post about Andy Stanley and his claim to be only for the Great Commission. If that were true, why are his churches planted in the most affluent parts of Atlanta and not the most populous? People seem to have great respect for Stanley as the great minister to the masses, and yet, he doesn’t seek out the masses, he goes to less populated areas that happen to be fairly wealthy, and then expects the masses to come to him (even if he’s on a video feed and not in person).

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  30. ishy: I posted in the other post about Andy Stanley and his claim to be only for the Great Commission.

    Andy Stanley has been criticized by mainstream Christianity more for his Great Omission than the Great Commission. He has deemphasized the virgin birth of Christ and teaches that we should “unhitch” the Old Testament. His teachings border on heresy, so his claim to be only for the Great Commission lacks credibility, IMO.

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  31. Funny you should reference Ferengi. We are Star Trek fans.
    My son dressed up as Quark for Halloween this year. He came up with several original phrases about how candy being the new “latinum” or that Rule of Acquisition #395 states that trading candy is good for profit.
    He was cracking me up!
    I don’t think anyone else knew who he was…

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/e96Lv82UCQN61QAE7

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  32. e l: Maybe he cheated because he wanted to cheat and not because he was chasing celebrity.

    Lentz was a celebrity because it was heaped upon him by adoring followers who fell for his touch of charisma, gift of gab, and bag of gimmicks. But, he was a cheater because it was in his heart to do so.

    “Each one is tempted when he is dragged away to commit sin by his own worldly desire, lust, passion. Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death.” (James 1:14-16 AMP)

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