Mega-church Pastor Carl Lentz responded Tuesday to criticism about his recent comments on abortion, saying he does believe abortion is a sin but he chose to emphasize grace instead of the sin.
Lentz, who leads the influential Hillsong Church in New York City, faced a lot of criticism this week after he side-stepped a question about abortion during his appearance on “The View.” His answer disappointed a lot of pro-life Christians. Many want their clergy to speak boldly about the value of unborn babies, the atrocity of abortion and the love that should be shown to both mother and child.
On Tuesday, Lentz posted a statement on Twitter explaining why he responded the way he did.
“I do believe abortion is sinful,” Lentz wrote. “Our prayer is that we can continue to help and love those that deal with the pain of regret from personal choices, rather than cast further shame and guilt on those already carrying so much and create a church that can teach people how to form convictions based on God’s word, that will be the driving force in all their decisions.
“I will continue to point people to Jesus, above all else, every opportunity I get. The story of God’s redemptive grace, available to all, is the best news available,” he continued.
Thoughts addressing a recent interview: pic.twitter.com/WoAcFwy8UQ
— carl lentz (@carllentzNYC) November 7, 2017
Lentz appeared on “The View” last week (watch the video here) to talk about his ministry. And the panel – a group of pro-abortion women who love to bash pro-life advocates – asked Lentz about his views on abortion.
Rather than speak boldly about loving both the mother and her unborn child, Lentz side-stepped the question, The Federalist reports.
“So, it’s not a sin in your church to have an abortion?” pro-abortion host Joy Behar asked.
Lentz responded: “That’s the kind of conversation we would have finding out your story, where you’re from, what you believe. … I mean, God’s the judge. People have to live to their own convictions. That’s such a broad question, to me, I’m going higher. I want to sit with somebody and say, ‘What do you believe?’”
“So it’s not an open and shut case to you?” Behar asked.
“Some people would say it is,” Lentz responded. “To me, I’m trying to teach people who Jesus is first, and find out their story. Before I start picking and choosing what I think is sin in your life, I’d like to know your name.”
James Silberman criticized Lentz’s response, writing at The Federalist:
This position might be received as a moderate stance on the issue or a lack of stance altogether. But in this case, to be on the fence is to be on the side of child sacrifice. “Live to your own convictions” is practically the slogan of the abortion lobby. Lentz might as well have said “My body, my choice,” or “Keep your rosaries off my ovaries.”
Studies indicate many pastors are hesitant to speak about abortion. A 2016 Pew Research Center poll found that just 29 percent of respondents heard their clergy member speak about abortion during a religious service. Most who did said their clergy spoke out against abortion (22 percent), while a few (3 percent) said their clergy spoke in support of abortion.
Mega-church pastors, popular Christian authors and other ministry leaders can make a huge impact by speaking out against abortion, and some do. Author and Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church, Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse, Todd Wagner at Watermark Church and popular author Ann Voskamp are just a few. They use their voices to speak a message of love and compassion for the hundreds of unborn babies who are being slaughtered daily in abortions and their mothers who are being deceived and broken by the abortion industry.