Carl Lentz Reveals Why He Was Dismissed From Hillsong Church In Official Statement

Photo: Shareif Ziyadat/WireImage.
Updated November 5, 2020: Carl Lentz has issued a statement about his firing and shared the surprising reason for his departure from Hillsong Church — infidelity.
The pastor shed light on his exit in a length Instagram post hours after the news broke. The caption, which accompanies a photo of Lentz with his wife Laura and their children, reveals that he was dismissed from Hillsong because he had not been faithful in his marriage.
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Our time at HillsongNYC has come to an end. This is a hard ending to what has been the most amazing, impacting and special chapter of our lives. Leading this church has been an honor in every sense of the word and it is impossible to articulate how much we have loved and will always love the amazing people in this church. 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. Laura and I and our amazing children have given all that we have to serve and build this church and over the years I did not do an adequate job of protecting my own spirit, refilling my own soul and reaching out for the readily available help that is available. When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences. I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need. I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process. I would have liked to say this with my voice, to you, in person because you are owed that. But that opportunity I will not have. So to those people, I pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again. To our pastors Brian and Bobbie, thank you for allowing us to lead, allowing us to thrive and giving us room to have a voice that you have never stifled or tried to silence. Thank you for your grace and kindness especially in this season, as you have done so much to protect and love us through this. We, the Lentz family, don’t know what this next chapter will look like, but we will walk into it together very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God..

A post shared by Carl Lentz (@carllentz) on

"When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences," the pastor wrote on social media. "I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that."
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The caption went on to ask forgiveness from the people who may be impacted by the news of his cheating, also thanking Hillsong head pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston for the opportunity to lead the church for all those years. Lentz didn't mention what his next step post-Hillsong is, but he hinted that he and his wife would be facing their future together.
"We, the Lentz family, don’t know what this next chapter will look like, but we will walk into it together very hopeful and grateful for the grace of God," he concluded.
This story was originally written on November 5, 2020.
Mega-church Hillsong Church just let go of one of their most prominent staff members, Pastor Carl Lentz, and the shocking move is making waves in Christian communities around the world.
Hillsong shared the announcement in an official email sent out to its church members on Wednesday that was later posted on its website for public review. The email stated that Wentz had been fired for "moral failures."
“Today Hillsong Church East Coast advised our congregation that we have terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz,” read the statement, written by head pastor and Hillsong founder Brian Houston. “This action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl.”
"This action has been taken following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures," it continued. "It would not be appropriate for us to go into detail about the events that led to this decision. Our focus at this time is to honor God and pastorally care for our East Coast church community as well as the Lentz family."
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While church drama isn't necessarily anything out of the usual — anyone who grew up in a church has seen their fair share of scandals — the decision to fire Lentz is major considering his influential role in Hillsong's history. The pastor famously served as a lead pastor at the church's massive New York City campus, and as a result, attracted the likes of Justin Bieber. Lentz became close friends with the pop star, mentoring him in the faith and even baptizing him. Other famous Hillsong members and attendees include Hailey Bieber, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Kevin Durant, and even Bono.
Chris Pratt was also once a member of the Los Angeles branch of the church, and his connection to Hillsong led to the outing of its anti-LGBTQ stance. In 2019, Ellen Page pointed out that Hillsong's founder himself had publicly stated that the church does "not affirm a gay lifestyle" or "have actively gay people in positions of leadership," leading to public backlash (and the subsequent branding of Pratt as the worst Hollywood Chris).
Lentz has not issued a statement about his firing.

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