As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. - Romans 11:28-32 (ESV)
Everyone loves a good comeback story. Everyone loves the forgiving nature of the God we serve. We love these things so intrinsically, that we forget there are still rules to be adhered to. What should always be foremost in our thinking should be the benefit of the sheep. The health of the flock. I remember when the apostate church celebrated the restoration of Perry Noble or Tullian Tchividjian. I wondered why we weren't equally concerned about the restoration of lives they ruined? Shouldn't Brian Houston's victims be more important that Brian Houston? Not in American churchianity where the restoration of the wolves is always more important then a few sheep lost here or there. I say this as a backdrop to the story reported today that Carl Lentz is back.
Everyone remembers the Lentz saga from lo those many years ago. When was it again? The 90's? No. It was just over two years ago. Carl Lentz held NYC in the palm of his celebrity pastor hand. He was considered the pastor to the stars with Justin Bieber and Kevin Durant frequenters of Hillsong NYC. Something always seemed awry though as the pastor to celebrities embraced becoming one himself. Lentz was the prototype for the millennial pastor. Tattooed, skinny jeaned, androgenous sunglasses and regular stops on secular shows such as Oprah where he would wax philosophically about how everything, including sin, was just a conversation to be had. The more he developed this new bad boy Evangelical persona, after it was abandoned by disgraced Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll, the more at home he seemed. Rumors about arrogant treatment of staff began to surface but what no one knew behind the scenes was that Lentz had seduced his babysitter over the years and had been engaging in adultery with her in the bed he shared with his wife. That was not what brought him down however as it was the ensuing affair with a NYC based fashion designer he had happened to meet. It turned out Carl was having multiple affairs while running Hillsong NYC and eventually Brian Houston fired him. How bad is your behavior that Brian Houston says it is too immoral? Anyway, Lentz slinked off into the night never to be heard from again until two years later when now he has been employed by Transformation Church in Oklahoma. Yet should he be back? This is the question many forgiving Christians get hung up on. Let us reason through this article linked above from Charisma, who of course is celebrating it. That alone should give you enough insight to see what side God and His word will fall on this subject.
In his first staff position at a church since his removal as lead pastor at Hillsong New York, Carl Lentz is joining Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Transformation Church is a massive nondenominational church in a city filled with them, and makes an even bigger impact on the community around it. According to Transformation Church's Executive Pastor Tammy McQuarters, the church leadership believes Lentz and his family have gone through a season of restoration following his highly publicized fall from leadership. McQuarters said Transformation Church is happy to have Lentz on board and aim to have him "help others experience restoration" who are weary from the storms of life.
Would you recommend your sheep to babysit for them? Seriously, this little blurb reveals so much wrong with this thinking. The issue is not what the Lentz family has gone through but what the sheep he left bleeding behind him have endured. Restoration should be regarding his walk and his sin, not his job. According to the bible he is now disqualified from ministry. What is the absurd inference McQuarters making here? That Lentz slept with his babysitter because he was weary from the storms of life? And why is this considered good at all? Lentz has now gone from one apostate mega-church to another. Transformation Church has admitted they will use Lentz in terms of strategy and vision! You can't make this stuff up.
"We gladly welcome Carl Lentz to our Transformation Church staff, helping TC with strategy as we continue to move forward in our vast vision," McQuarters told Religion News Service via email. RNS also reported that a source close to the Lentz family confirmed that they had moved to the Tulsa area and were attending Transformation Church. This move from the fame, temptation and spiritual darkness of New York City may be exactly what the Lentz family needs as they continue their healing process. It is no secret that Lentz made grievous errors of judgment while at Hillsong East Coast in New York City. The world flocked to read about what he had done and who was involved. For Christians, the focus should not be on his indiscretions but on his restoration and bringing him, and his family, back into the fold of grace instead of pushing him away.