Carl Lentz: Another Flashy False Teacher

The words in the Holy Bible are pretty clear.

And yet, as evidenced by the few comments in response to this post, those who object to the points and warnings I'm trying to make here today completely ignore them.

Let that be all you need to know as you continue reading this heartfelt plea to be careful when it comes to another flashy false teacher like Mr. Carl Lentz.




Matthew 7:15-17 (ESV) 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.

Matthew 24:24 (ESV) For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

Mark 13:22 (ESV) For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.

2 Peter 2:1 (ESV) But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Acts 20:29-31 (ESV) 29
I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.


Galatians 1:6-10 (ESV) 6
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel -- 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.


Galatians 2:1-2 (ESV) 1 Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in -- who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery -- 2 to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

2 Timothy 4:2-5 (ESV) 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2 Corinthians 11:4 (ESV) For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 (ESV) 12 And what I do I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

1 John 4:1 (ESV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Jude 1:3-4 (ESV) 3
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.


Like I said, God's Word is pretty clear to us.

In other words, our focus today shouldn't be all that surprising to us...if we've been reading the New Testament.


Furthermore, our response to the things that will be highlighted today shouldn't be all that surprising either...since they have their source in the very holy and divinely inspired Word of God.

Chris Rosebrough's Fighting For The Faith Video Blog officially began with an expose on one of America's most popular "Celebrity Pastors" out there right now -- Mr. Carl Lentz.





Of course, he's absolutely spot on with everything he had to say about Carl Lentz.

See, this is what we must be on constant guard against. The Old Adam loves to have his ego stroked and his ears tickled (2 Timothy 4:3). It breaks my heart to think of the people deceived by this kind of teaching, which is Carl's brand of Christianity, and not Christ's.

My dear friends, this is what is masquerading as "Biblical truth" and "preaching" these days. So you wanna be a Pastor? Great! No formal education or training is necessary. Just get a few people together with deep pockets and open a "church" somewhere and just throw in some Christian words, but be sure to change their definition to suit the public and to suit your needs. Sorry, but it doesn't work that way I'm afraid.

Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time Mr. Lentz and I have crossed paths. Back in July 2013, before my conversion to becoming a Confessional Lutheran, I shared the following story and comment on my Facebook page...




NOTE: For what it's worth, in the picture above, which flashy fellow is the false teacher, Carl Lentz, if you had to guess? Here's a hint -- it's not the guy with the upside down "P" on his hat (although that would've been appropriate and a good guess I suppose if the "upside down P-like image" symbolized an "upside down Pastor" like Lentz!) because that young man is none other than Justin Bieber. Now, I realize that that little exercise may not be fair. I mean, I want us to KEEP OUR FOCUS firmly upon the content of Lentz's preaching and teaching and not his personal appearance and/or character as well as that of those he keeps company with. At the same time, how can we ignore the reality when it's clear that he is becoming "all things" (1 Corinthians 9:22) AT THE EXPENSE of a clear proclamation of Christ crucified for the sins of all of mankind? That's the point of this piece today, because such a disconnect is not Biblical whatsoever.


Unconventional Pastor Leads Booming NYC Megachurch


MY COMMENT ON THE ABOVE ARTICLE AT THE TIME:
More "Emergent Church"/"Seeker Sensitive" nonsense, which breaks my heart whenever I see God's church being used as a carnival act. Someone once asked, "Why do we find it so easy to be amused by behavior that God hates and that Jesus Christ died to save us from?" I would add Paul Washer's comment here: "Over the epitaph of this generation it will say ENTERTAINED TO DEATH." Lord, have mercy! Maranatha!


As you can imagine, that didn't sit well with some of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

One person simply cited Isaiah 55:11. Sure, Isaiah 55:11 and another specific example I believe the Apostle Paul commented on in one of his Epistles (sorry I don't recall the specific reference right now) explains how there can be some preachers/teachers in the world who may be in it for the wrong motivations/reasons (i.e., personal fame and fortune let's say), but we are to still praise God in such cases because the Gospel is still being preached to the world.

However, that's assuming it's the true Jesus and the true Gospel that's being preached. Any alteration, any distortion, any perverted version of Jesus Christ and/or His Gospel unto salvation is to be confronted by believers by speaking "the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15).

That article about Carl Lentz that I referenced above certainly falls into that latter category I'm afraid. As Rosebrough clearly demonstrated, his is definitely a false gospel.

Others came to his defense rather quickly...



Have you heard the message he preaches yet!? If its denying Jesus as the One true Christ and coming in the flesh then it's not of God. 2 John 1:7 We can't look at his appearance, his church style of music, or even the people he eats with. He might be trying to become all things, to all people for the sake of the Gospel. New York is a way different place than where I live. If salvation is truly happening then praise be to God. Just my thoughts. Not saying he is or isn't biblical. Haven't heard a message yet.


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People need to get over themselves and stop thinking they know the mind of God and judging others...I highly doubt this pastor has any other motive but to spread the gospel of Christ. He has a powerful testimony.


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I heard this guy speak. He is friends with Levi Lusko my pastor here in Montana and he is incredible. Many come to know Jesus through his preaching. He has a heart for God. I think we need to quit bashing each other. Satan loves that.


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I don't know Jeff...I listened to one of his sermons and I think he's spot on (Carl Lentz: That Girl Is Poison)


That last comment and the "sermon" referenced was from a dear sister in Christ...who attends the same LCMS Church that I do!

The "That Girl Is Poison" stage show that she referenced is Lentz's most famous "sermon" out there. It was the one and only time that I ever felt like Chris Rosebrough, because I had to force myself to sit through the ENTIRE performance taking copious notes so that I could put together a heartfelt and serious response to these people I care about who I had just learned were being seduced by Carl Lentz's brand of "Hipster Christianity" from New York City.

Let's just start by recalling that we are to be known for our confession of faith in Jesus Christ who saved us from our sins -- not our confession of how Jesus Christ gave us a better life and can give others a better life too. Jesus died for our sins to be forgiven and not for our worldly dreams to become a reality!

We should be baptizing and making disciples in His name -- not making disciples of Hillsong and Carl Lentz. We should be known for our desire to help others out of the mire of self-deception, self-righteousness, and sin -- not encouraging them that it's "ok" to sin since "God is love" and it's not that big of a deal to Him.


My dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must be more discerning and recognize that this is a classic case of style over substance, or "image over substance" like Mr. Rosebrough called it. In essence, it really about half-truths and outright lies over the uncompromising truth of God’s Word.

We must remember that there’s a reason why every Epistle in the New Testament issues a strong warning to us believers to be on guard against the reality of False Teachers who are so dangerous and deceiving because they look and sound the part as though they were the real deal (2 Peter 2, for instance).

It’s why we read in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."

There’s really so much I could share, but this is a lengthy response already, so let’s just start with the final words in the original article I referenced from that Facebook post.




"Lentz declined to discuss same-sex marriage, a polarizing issue that young evangelicals have said in repeated surveys that they do not want to be a focus of church. Many evangelical pastors starting churches in New York avoid addressing the topic from the pulpit, a decision that has drawn criticism from evangelical leaders who consider the issue one of the most important for traditional Bible-believers. Lentz said he enjoys having critics. 'They give me fuel for the fire,' he said."


So now we have been shown not one -- but two! -- prime examples of why Carl Lentz is not qualified for be a Pastor just as Chris Rosebrough asserted. The first was this excerpt from the July 2013 article and the second and most recent was from his appearance with Katie Couric.

A couple of things should be readily apparent to us here.

First, any time any Pastor is reluctant to preach and teach on ANY truth from the Word of God because they're concerned about "offending" their congregation (whether it’s on what the Bible says about homosexuality or any other topic for that matter), or because they'd rather use "surveys" to "give the people what they want" rather than what the Lord says they need, then that’s a major red flag in regards to that Pastor.




Galatians 1:6-10 (ESV) 6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.


Second, and in his very own words, Lentz says he enjoys having critics as if he relishes being the cause of the controversy, and it's not the kind of criticism that typically comes from non-believers for preaching the Gospel accurately and faithfully.

The sad irony? We know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "controversial" by its very nature...but only when it’s preached faithfully.

   

Romans 9:33 (ESV) as it is written, 'Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.'


We see Paul’s similar charges against the False Teachers in Galatia and his divinely inspired words about the "offense of the cross" in Galatians too (Galatians 5:11).

So, in essence, Mr. Lentz is choosing to be "controversial" for the wrong reasons -- out of pride and to gain man’s approval rather than God’s approval. Tragic indeed.

Since many Pastors like Carl Lentz are afraid to speak on anything the public deems "controversial" these days, the end result is that it's the culture that is capturing Christian hearts and minds by default when it is the Body of Christ that should be the salt and the light instead (Matthew 5:13-16).

Come to think of it, Christians should want to hear their Pastor’s perspective on relevant moral and social issues too, because they should expect and trust that their Pastor will merely point them straight to the Lord by parroting God's perspective on relevant moral and social issues while keeping personal opinion out of it.

Look, if the Bible is clear about a certain issue, then we should speak about it with boldness. Yes, with grace and in love, but with boldness and no shame or act like a particular topic is somehow "off limits" due to it's polarizing nature. Besides, people want their questions addressed. They want the nuances.

Believe it or not, there are some of us who actually want to represent our Lord and Savior well in our daily vocations -- both at home and in the culture (2 Corinthians 5:20). Seems to me that's part of equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:12), isn't it? It should be. 

There's one caveat though. Scripture, Jesus, and the Christian Church are to have a unified position. We are to be unified in love and unified in truth. Guys like Carl Lentz want to unify in love at the expense of unity in doctrine and truth. Such is the nature of Postmodern Christianity I'm afraid.  

So people are left to turn to NPR, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, MSNBC, or even inward to themselves for the answers in life instead of to the Means of Grace, which are the Word of God and His Sacraments. What happens is that they’ll end up taking a "Politically Correct" position rather than a Biblical one.

Pastors need to fulfill the calling of their God-given ministries. Where the Bible is clear, they need to preach boldly, but lovingly. Where the Bible is silent, the need to preach humbly, but with continued reverence. But they should never shy away from preaching on certain passages and topics simply because they're deemed "controversial" or because some "survey" said people in their congregation and community won't like it -- of course they won’t like it when sin (and their acceptance of it) is challenged, confronted, and exposed!
For me, that’s my main concern with Carl Lentz based on his own actions and his own words that are a matter of full public record. Such a non-response is not a "loving" response to people who are dead in their sins. That's loving them to Hell actually by giving them a false sense of security, a false hope.


Worse, he has the only cure that can be found in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It's a cure that can be rightly explained and taught through faithfully preaching the proper application of the Law and the Gospel while also rightfully administering the Sacraments.

For someone like Him who claims to know that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind and that this is the one thing we all need to hear about (Christ crucified for our sins so that we may be forgiven and have eternal life), and yet, he refuses to give proclaim His name and His ministry of reconciliation to the sinner is downright despicable.

Normally, that would be enough and we could stop right there. However, given his continued rise in popularity (as evidenced by the numerous comments below defending him), this is a very serious issue and there are a few more things I'd like to call attention too.

Chris Rosebrough mentioned the affiliation with Hillsong. Unfortunately, any quick Google/YouTube search will also reveal that the Hillsong churches that Lentz is a part of are also of the "Prosperity Gospel" and "Word of Faith" variety, particularly its founder and Lentz’s mentor, Brian Houston, which we all know is truly un-Biblical. Again, this is why we must be careful and learn to exercise discernment, especially in these cases when a so-called "man of God" is loved by the world.

By the way, that sermon by Lentz ("That Girl Is Poison") was first delivered at the Jesus Culture Conference in 2012. For those who haven’t been exposed to Jesus Culture, please take some time to do a quick search with your Bible open and in hand.

I also have to question Lentz’s repeated admission that he is a huge secular Hip-Hop/Rap fan who still attends concerts whenever he can, and who regularly hangs out and tweets photos of himself with celebrities like Jay-Z.

I'm no Pietist. I know we all probably like certain artists/music/songs, books, movies, and TV shows that we shouldn’t (Philippians 4:8; Matthew 6:24). I know I do! I'm not bragging about that. I'm just sayin' so that you don't think I'm being a hypocrite here.

Still, is that the kind of Christian Pastor we should be imitating? After all, 1 Corinthians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 11:1, and Philippians 3:17 all speak to the need for Christian Pastors to set an example of Christlikeness for us to follow (see also 1 Timothy 4:12; Hebrews 13:7).

Wouldn’t you have to agree that it’s impossible for Carl Lentz to fulfill those commands given to Him from God when he regularly exhibits a worldly lifestyle and an affinity for secular artists and their music, or those who constantly sing about blatantly anti-Christian and sinful themes all the time?

If you're going to respond with the whole "Yeah, well, Jesus ate with sinners too!" bit, then let's also keep in mind that He also preached the cold, hard truth to them at the same time. Has Carl Lentz fulfilled his vocation as a minister of God's Word by preaching the Law to those who he routinely hangs out with so that they might respond to God's Word with repentance?

I'm sure he has, but I still think it's fair to ask our Pastors to BE CAREFUL about the company they keep, especially in light of 1 Corinthians 8:9, don't you?  

This is what we see all throughout the "Hyper Grace" movement today -- a license to downplay and minimize sinful behavior to the point where we're not convicted by it anymore since it's almost akin to nothing more than a "pet peeve" rather than the true offense that it is to our Lord. Worse is when sin isn't even mentioned at all!

Dearly beloved, I'm sure Carl Lentz is a nice guy. He might even sincerely love our Lord and Savior. I have no idea. But just because men like him are sincere, flashy, gifted speakers doesn’t mean we should blindly accept, believe, and follow their every word.

Remember, the Bereans tested what the Apostle Paul himself taught them and they did so on a daily basis (Acts 17:11). That was the Apostle Paul for crying out loud! That's the Biblical approach we always need to take.


Why? Well, isn't it obvious by now? Sincerity and the ability to communicate effectively does not "automatically" equal Biblical truth or give you a free pass when it comes to preaching.

People must be preached the full weight of the Law followed by the full hope of the Gospel. They need to see their unrighteousness and need for forgiveness, mercy, and righteousness found only in the Savior, Jesus Christ, and His atoning sacrifice on their behalf on the cross at Calvary.

A failure to talk about sin, and the need to repent from that sin, or to be baptized and to place your faith in Christ is short-changing the glorious Gospel at its foundational level.

At the end of the day, such men like Carl Lentz and their messages noticeably do not include consistent mention of sin, repentance, or sanctification, but only love, self-righteous works, and supernatural experiences.

The focus is on "lifestyle" and "vision" and Jesus Christ is merely a means to that end. That is not the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and that is not what we find in the Holy Scriptures. Again, Jesus died to save you from the wages of your sins, not to fulfill all the dreams of your heart.

I know I haven't specifically addressed every point in that "sermon" of his that I mentioned earlier, but I’ll say this: "That So-Called Pastor And His Man-Centered False Gospel Is Poison So Buyer Please Beware!"

Sure, the message was sprinkled with a Bible verse or two here and there, and Christian words with the occasional mention of Jesus, but where is the preaching against sin, about grace and justification by faith, or of sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit, let alone just a mere reverence for Him and His Word? There were more references to worldly people, places, and things than to God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the holy Word of God.

Since when is this life about "your vision" too? I thought we were made to serve Him and to be faithful in our daily vocations. I thought this life was about His vision for our lives as revealed to us in the Bible (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Finally, while I’ve already pointed out how we should be very cautious when it comes to Carl Lentz due to his association with Brian Houston/Hillsong, his love for the world more than the Word, and the un-Biblical messages he's been preaching, did you catch when he said that one of his "closest friends" is Pastor Judah Smith? Please let that be another clear warning to you!

Why? Because of things like this and this. That's why.

Surely, it further shows a disturbing lack of discernment on the part of a man who should know better. Otherwise, I guess you're content with saying that blaspheming the name of God isn't a big deal anymore even when a Pastor gets caught doing it.

As always, please don't just take my word for any of this. Be like the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1) to see if what I'm simply relaying to you from His Word is true or not.

You can start by identifying what God's will is for each and every one of us, which is not what men like Carl Lentz preach and teach.

No, His will for us is actually everything guys like him don't preach and teach about -- sin, repentance, grace, justification, sanctification; they don't preach or teach Christ crucified.


Heresy can never be restrained with force. It must be grasped in another way. This is not the sort of battle that can be settled with thee sword. The weapon here to be used is God's Word. If that does not decide, the decision will not be effected by worldly force, though it should drench the whole world with blood. Heresy is a thing of the soul; no steel can cut it out, no waters can drown it.

*- Martin Luther


In a Lutheran Layman's terms, yes, wolves in sheep's clothing do exist among us, and it's never wise to pet and play with wolves.

Now, go warn a family member or friend about this flashy false teacher named Carl Lentz and pray that he repents of his false teachings and returns to "
the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people" (Jude 1:3).




NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!

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51 comments:

  1. You say lentz is a false preacher but you have not shown anything to prove that other hating on his dress
    dressing style and appearance. You said lentz promotes homosexuality but I don't see that indication in the video you showed other than that lentz would rather talk about sensitive issues in private other than public comments which I believe he has reasons why. I'm sorry but If there was anything I got from your video is that you use Scriptures and the name of Jesus to attack and misinterpret people's intentions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Surely if you would take the time out of your life to instigate this analysis on Carl's character and pastoring abilities, then I'd assume you've taken the time to get to know him personally. If so, I'd like to hear about your conversations with him and how he responded to these assertions. If not, I'd request that you take this article down until you've even spent a few moments with him.

    I'd also be curious if Jesus would have posted such an article as this or if he would have found it an utter waste of time. If he'd be making remarks about a person or if he'd be making friends with them. Maybe a less "theological" comment, then again, maybe not... isn't right theology intended to lead people into deeper childlike love…just a thought...

    ReplyDelete
  3. How dare you throw stones at a man who lives and breathes the word of God and whom the Lord has gifted to speak to thousands of people- including celebs because let's not forget they're human too. This man has helped save the lives of thousands of people. He leads an AMAZING church which I personally attend. So what if he refuses to make a statement on homosexuality. Its not his place to judge or make a statement which casts judgement. Let each person have the tools given by God to make judgement in their own lives. Instead of focusing on how this man is a "false prophet", focus on your own life and faith. We are called to love one another, regardless of our lifestyle. Did Jesus not love the lepor? Did Jesus not love the prostitute and allow her to wash his feet? Does he not love you and I who sin about a dozen times before lunch?! Ask God to show YOU the areas where you need to change. Unless you know Carl personally, and attend all his services, don't sit here and warn people against that which you are ignorant to.
    Here's a verse for you:
    Romans 2:1
    "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John 8:11 ►

      " neither do I condemn you,"Jesus declared". But how about :"Go now and leave your life of sin. Go and sin no more. "?!

      Delete
  4. I'm sorry but... I live in NY and went to Hillsong for a year.... and when I asked (via e-mail to the church staff) if the church could help someone I'd met who was young and homeless... they said "we'll pray for them". They had no advice, no resources, no money to give... it's rather interesting really. And then I went to a small group. They all seemed well, not focused on God. And seemed pretty lost and sick (mentallly/spiritually). Not really growing in the Lord. I'm not saying everyone is like this at the Church, just something I kept witnessing. And to be fair, a congregation will reflect its leadership at some level. It's too showy. You're uplifting and glorifying Bieber, yet look at all his mistakes. He's not a testimony for Jesus Christ in his current actions. In the Bible, in the text, he would be talked to, reprimanded and eventually banished from the church. It's just sending a confusing message to followers. Also, Shouldn't a pastor stay local? Carl Lentz travels all the time. I understand he's so great. But like, settle down, stay and build your sheep. Build others to be as good as you and send them out to travel. I went to a sermon for the first time in awhile last weekend and... it was... so boring. Literally. It was not Carl. I'm just being honest. If you're going to foster and build a church, stay stable, stay local and build it. Focus on it. Just like you would your family, and your children. Look we're all not perfect, but there's some glaring issues with Hillsong NY at the moment. And I wish I could say differently, as I feel I have a balanced approach and perspective at looking at things. Please improve your congregation, focus on your local sheep, organize it, address tough issues locally and within. Stop feeding for more outside, when the inside it sick. That is all. - Nicole

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nicole,

    I thank you for stopping by and for deciding to open up to share such a personal experience with all of us strangers. I hope you will come back again and comment. In the meantime, I pray that you would find a local church that preaches Christ crucified for the sins of all mankind while feeding you the Body and Blood of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins.

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jeff, I do disagree with much of how Lentz approaches certain subjects.

      But stop being religious. Most people are simply jealous because Lentz is cool and relevant. There is too much bashing on people and not enough people doing what God tells them to do. You are wasting your time and wasting your words with a blog that rags on little things.

      Get the plank out of your own eye so you can get the speck out of your brothers. You are focusing on specks.

      What are you trying to accomplish by bashing on Lentz? I really do not understand when people write posts or make videos about people they disagree with theologically. It is a waste of time and unfruitful. Be fruitful and focus on helping people yourself.

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    2. With all due respect, if you've even read a single Epistle from the New Testament than you would clearly understand that identifying "false teaching" and those who peddle it as "pure Biblical truth" is precisely "doing what God tells them to do" and certainly not "a waste of time and unfruitful" when Jesus Himself did as much (and instructed His faithful to do the same through the divinely inspired words of His Apostles), because doctrine matters to Jesus (Jesus is doctrine in the flesh!) since it's the most loving thing a believer can do for another believer who's caught in the sin of believing half-truths and outright lies.

      JKR

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  6. Jeff, I think you're lost. I will keep you in my prayers.

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  7. For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere human beings?- 1 Corinthians 3:4

    Your argument immediately becomes invalid when you claim to follow anyone but Christ. Claiming to be a Lutheran defines you as a follower of Martin Luther,a man. Although you may also follow Christ, you are claiming to follow a man openly. You are immediately discredited by not defining yourself as a Christian. You can attend a Lutheran church if you choose and still be a Christ follower, but make sure you make that your primary.

    While I don't entirely disagree, I do think Lentz has some good content and does spread the gospel. I do disagree with Hillsong's stance on not confronting homosexuality. However, I think that instead of attacking someone over an article one should communicate with them openly. It's sad to see Christians saying they "converted" from one denomination to another. We all follow Christ, and simply let our man made traditions get in the way of that. I understand your point of view, I was actually born and raised in the Lutheran Church, and went to Lutheran grade school and high school. However, I think we should stand behind the bible instead of a catechism or any man made writings. I apologize for my rant, but essentially what I am saying is that your article is, in my point of view, not an appropriate corrective. It seems more like slander than anything else. I would suggest having an open conversation with the man first. I do agree that we should be wary of false prophets and test everything. Even test what our own pastors say against the word of God. God's word is always primary.

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    1. You may have missed this quote I've had on the bottom of this site's Home Page since day one...

      "I No Longer Apologize For Being A Lutheran, But...

      'The first thing I ask is that people should not make use of my name, and should not call themselves Lutherans but Christians. What is Luther? The teaching is not mine. Nor was I crucified for anyone. How did I, poor stinking bag of maggots that I am, come to the point where people call the children of Christ by my evil name?' Martin Luther"

      I'm also curious how someone like me could ever expect to gain an audience with someone like Carl Lentz. I mean, his preaching and teaching is quite public and available for mass public consumption, and in direct contradiction to the Word of God, which means we Christians have a responsibility to issue a public response, otherwise, what's the alternative? Someone of Lentz's popularity and stature is never going to respond to little old me (especially if I'm not a member of his "church"). Am I supposed to simply remain silent and never try to warn my dear brothers and sisters to just "be careful" when it comes to him? Please tell me how that would be the most "loving" response from one Christian to another. It wouldn't be. I would be a hypocrite of the worst kind and would be succumbing to fear for not speaking up. That wouldn't be very Christian of me either, now would it?

      This whole idea that whenever someone like me merely challenges what another person is preaching and teaching in the name of God and then humbly asks how any of it is justified when compared to SPECIFIC passages from God's Word is akin to somehow "attacking someone" is just ridiculous, IMHO. When did we become so soft and easily offended that we cannot seriously debate and discuss serious spiritual truths like we're supposed to?

      I just don't understand how you can end your comments by writing "God's word is always primary" and yet come away with the belief that that's not what this entire article was trying to emphasize itself. The funny thing about the Lutheran Confessions, as I'm sure you know since you went to a Lutheran Grade School and High School, is that is that they don't add to the Word of God at all, but actually say what the Scriptures already say. In other words, they only emphasize and underscore our faith, and because they're all written down and in writing they can be easily scrutinized, tested, verified by ANYONE at ANY TIME. Unlike Mr. Lentz, a Lutheran like me does not feel "attacked" or "threatened" when people question my beliefs since I can point them to such things and tell them to go ahead and see if they can find any inconsistencies between God's Word and the Confessions...it's stood the test of time for nearly 500 years now and will continue to do so for reasons that I hope are now obvious.

      Thanks for sharing your two cents.

      Grace And Peace,
      Jeff

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  8. Instead of condemning Carl Lentz for taking a photo or hanging out with Justin Bieber, I would encourage you to take you religious glasses off in exchange for Christian ones. It is so easy for some to become to Pharisee like, so quick to judge others and criticize and pick them apart despite the many verses in the bible that warn us against judging others. If you cared to look upon the heart as Jesus does, you would see that you and mr. Lentz see the same thing in Justin Bieber - a troubled young man. However instead of acting like Justin has some contagious disease that you don't want to catch, Carl Lentz has decided to try to help and be encouragement and point Justin back to Jesus, as apposed to you sir, who points fingers and blacks false judgements and accusations. You are looking on the outward appearance. Carl Lentz was looking on the heart. How do you expect these people to be reached for Jesus without those who are willing to go reach them? I'm guessing you stand by the "we are to be separated" point of view. Separated in action? Yes. But Did Jesus not say to love your neighbor? What if Justin Bieber gas your neighbor? What if Carl Lentz was your neighbor? Do you think John the Baptist, a man who lived in the wild looked all nice and neat? Did Jesus himself not eat with publicans and sinners? If you've never seen the video on Youtube by Jeff Bethke called Why I Hate Religion but Love Jesus, I would encourage you to do so followed up with a good long look in the mirror. The church "is not a museum for good people, it's a hospital for the broken". Jesus came to save the lost. To be like Jesus is to go after the lost. To get out of your comfort zone. You're not going to become an alcoholic or drug addict by doing for them what Jesus would do. I pray that your eyes may be opened to truth, that the grace and mercy of Jesus would fall upon you and shower you with love, and in turn you would be able to love others the way Jesus does - unconditionally!

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    1. Another "Anonymous" response. Ok, I'll try to exercise some patience here and respond accordingly myself. Sorry, but I could NEVER love others the way that Jesus does...and neither can you or anyone else b/c we're all sinners in need of His saving grace. That's why I'm so grateful that He lived the perfect life that I couldn't (and could never) live here on earth. Even so, yes, I am called to love my neighbor so if Mr. Lentz or Mr. Bieber lived next door I would do just that...by sharing the Gospel and pointing out (in the same way I've done here in this post) why they might want to strongly reconsider what it is they believe to be "Biblical truth" since it's error masquerading as such. Still, even on my best days I could NEVER love them "the way Jesus does -- unconditionally" and I'd love to meet just one person who is arrogant enough to claim that they can. Let's just start with that since that's where you decided to end things.

      Friend, all of that begs the question though...

      If that's the case, and if what I just wrote above is all true and Biblically accurate (and it most certainly is!), then why does a man like Carl Lentz never preach it to the masses? Why does he spend so much time on his own appearance/image let alone on preaching and teaching messages that stroke one's ego by constantly saying that one's OUTWARD life (i.e., "a better life"; "a transformed life"; "a new life"; etc.) is evidence of a "true conversion" or something? I mean, SHOW ME the so-called "sermons" where Jesus Christ is mentioned more than you are. SHOW ME the so-called "sermons" where he mentions the word "sin" more than once and actually goes one to preach how Jesus is the atonement for our sins. Friend, he's ADMITTED PUBLICLY (as highlighted in the above piece) that he REFUSES to preach on one sin in particular! That is not a "pastor" that we should trust. If "What Would Jesus Do?" is the model you want me to stick to, then please explain to me why you can defend Lentz when he is clearly not playing by the same rules in that case. Besides, as noted in this piece (which I'm starting to suspect isn't being read by any Lentz fans beyond the "controversial" title):

      "Let's just start by recalling that we are to be known for our confession of faith in Jesus Christ who saved us from our sins -- not our confession of how Jesus Christ gave us a better life and can give others a better life too. We should be baptizing and making disciples in His name -- not making disciples of Hillsong and Carl Lentz. We should be known for our desire to help others out of the mire of self-deception, self-righteousness, and sin -- not encouraging them that it's 'ok' to sin since 'God is love' and it's not that big of a deal to Him.

      My dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, we must be more discerning and recognize that this is a classic case of style over substance, or 'image over substance' like Mr. Rosebrough called it. In essence, it really about half-truths and outright lies over the uncompromising truth of God’s Word."

      Finally, yes, I'm well aware of Bethke's video. Here are a couple of EXCELLENT rebuttals for you to prayerfully consider and share with your family and friends from Pastor Jonathan Fisk and Worldview Everlasting: http://youtu.be/TbsadOQK_6A AND http://youtu.be/MiEiChf92D8

      Let me know what you think about both (especially the first one).

      Grace and peace from an admittedly broken, wretched sinner.

      "The Heart Is Deceitful" -- Jeremiah 17:9,
      Jeff

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    2. You used all your energy to look up all these bible verse to tear and mans faith down. Great job bet you that's why God gave us the bible for.

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  9. I think Mr jeff your just plainly insecure of Pastor Carl, im sorry.. So many judgementals here on earth, i think you have no "growing ministry" ps carls ministry is blessed by God because He sees His heart is pure to share Jesus. Sir jeff i have heard messages from ps carl and he always mentioned Jesus is the cure for sin.. Listened his message "Scandalous" you will be changed by God.. And excuse me he has formal trainings from Hillsong College. You dont know him personally so dont judge! So if I were you go and preach the gospel to the lost like bieber and everyone else, sinners like you and me just what ps carl is doing not wasting your time being too critical to the man of God like any other critics out there. And the person who visita to the church and sayong hillaong is not doing anything for poors and less fortunate but to pray, nah.. I dont believe that, Hillsong is very generous because they understand the heart of God- justice and love.. Hillsong NYC is booming because there is no stoping the message of Jesus, message of Love and Grace and Power and Freedom that he uses Ps Carl in a extra ordinary way. Jesus too was critisize who is from the devil because He is weird like Ps Carl but Jesus just keeps on working for God's plan and it prevailed! God bless you and change you jeff! Peace!

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  10. I think Mr jeff your just plainly insecure of Pastor Carl, im sorry.. So many judgementals here on earth, i think you have no "growing ministry" ps carls ministry is blessed by God because He sees His heart is pure to share Jesus. Sir jeff i have heard messages from ps carl and he always mentioned Jesus is the cure for sin.. Listened his message "Scandalous" you will be changed by God.. And excuse me he has formal trainings from Hillsong College. You dont know him personally so dont judge! So if I were you go and preach the gospel to the lost like bieber and everyone else, sinners like you and me just what ps carl is doing not wasting your time being too critical to the man of God like any other critics out there. And the person who visita to the church and sayong hillaong is not doing anything for poors and less fortunate but to pray, nah.. I dont believe that, Hillsong is very generous because they understand the heart of God- justice and love.. Hillsong NYC is booming because there is no stoping the message of Jesus, message of Love and Grace and Power and Freedom that he uses Ps Carl in a extra ordinary way. Jesus too was critisize who is from the devil because He is weird like Ps Carl but Jesus just keeps on working for God's plan and it prevailed! God bless you and change you jeff! Peace!

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    1. Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. (1 Timothy 5:19-20 NIV)

      Not only is Jeff not being judgmental he is operating in the commands of the bible to expose the works of darkness. We are to expose false teachers of which Carl Lentz is absolutely one.

      "You have a right to your beliefs as I have a right to mine." Carl Lentz - response to questions of sin. As a so called "pastor" this is outright heresy and an ideology of the world not of the bible. I emplore you to take the time to listen to his messages and compare them with scripture. He clearly knows the word in part, but lacks or refuses to share the full knowledge of the truth. He says Jesus never spoke of moral issues in the public, this is pure lunicy since we know from Jesus ministry he NEVER failed to call sin sin. Ask the Lord for revelation. The false teachers will decieve even the very elect of Christ. Do not be decieved.

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  11. Great post. Seems to me the people here standing up for Carl Lentz love him more than they do of the Truth.

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  12. I thought your article was good. It's been never popular to use God's Word as a standard of measuring stuff, so I applaud you being so "controversial." Would love to see Carl take a page from your playbook, even if he loses some Twitter followers.

    "the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness.." 1 Corinthians 1:18

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  13. Thanks Jacob! And that verse you referenced is so appropriate too.

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

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  14. Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. (1 Timothy 5:19-20 NIV)

    Great post and I stand as a witness with you of this man as a false leader teaching a gospel other then that of the word of God. Amen brother!

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  15. sigh.. the man reason why Carl Lenz won't speak against homosexuality from the pulpit... Is that if you call out people's sin making people immediately feel inferior to your "perfection" then you are going to have very little effect on reaching people for Christ. Now would Carl if he knew a homosexual person personally for a long period of time tell them..., yes I think he would talk to them about it....

    If you give blanket statements saying "You're a bad person because of ............" then you are immediately hurting the people you are trying to reach.

    The issue is two fold; do you preach about every single sin from the pulpit? Including the ones you commit on a daily basis? Holding those sins in the same regard as any other sin?
    Now if you were consistent then you would be a doom and gloom style preacher or some variation on the topic. Which historically is just ineffective.

    Now did Jesus each first time meeting someone tell them to repent from the get go (at soon as he met them)?
    No, he first impacted them in some form changing their life forever then and only then the resulting command of "go sin no more" is commanded...

    In the same way Carl is an instrument in helping bring change of heart in people's lives and as a result they would over time/ or immediately change their sinful lives after a relationship is already formed....

    I chose to write this as anonymous, because I don't wish to come back to this site... So i pray that you would think over the reasoning and logic in what I said.

    That's really all I can say, God loves you and I pray that he would always bring you to the truth of building up the church, not tearing it down.

    God Bless
    Ash (member of Hillsong church's main Australian campus for 17 years)

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  16. Ash,

    It's a real shame when asking a pastor to preach "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27), that is, to preach about sin AND to preach about grace, is considered tearing the church down.

    I prefer to prayerfully consider what God's Word clearly says and not "think over the reasoning and logic in what I said." Remember, Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."

    The simple fact of the matter is that a person needs to hear the Law before they can hear and receive the Gospel. Otherwise, how in the world will a person know that they are a sinner in need of God's saving grace offered as a free gift in the atonement of His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on the cross for them, for you, for me, for all of us UNLESS you tell them what sin is, and preach about sin from the pulpit so that they know what they need to be saved from? This is Christianity 101.

    My goodness, your comments here betray you, because it's not about "your 'perfection'" as you put it, but God's standard of perfection, which no one -- not even pastors -- can ever live up to. Friend, that's the whole point of the Gospel. Christ did what we couldn't do and could never do! If this is considered "doom-and-gloom" preaching, then I guess all the Prophets, Apostles, and yes, Jesus Himself were all guilty by your standards then.

    Galatians 1:6-10 (ESV) "6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ."

    Praying,
    Jeff

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  17. shame on you for attacking a man preaching nothing but Christ.
    i attended hilsong for 2 years and was blessed by every sermon he.preached,
    Christ was glorified in every sermon.so i dont know how that would qualify him as a false teacher when he is leading.people to Christ.something i see you are not doing,stop.slandering your brother in Christ who is preaching the gospel,so what you dont like his dressing,you dont like his haircut,or his speach,he's not suitable for you,he's reaching young people, sinful people, and sinners, witch.i thought that the message was for sinners,maybe i read the wrong bible, so like jesus called the Pharisees a broad of vipers and dogs so i call you the same.
    repent from attacking people who preach Jesus Christ.

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  18. Quick question (and one I'll keep repeating as long as I have to since it's what my criticism is all about)...

    "How can we say a man preaches nothing but Christ if he is not only willing to remain silent about what Christ said, but if he's also perfectly willing to remove the word 'sin' from his sermons and vocabulary since he and others believe that's 'too offensive' when the prophets, Jesus Himself, and the apostles never thought so?"

    On a quick side note, it's amazing to me how so many Carl Lentz supporters here are getting sidetracked by the secondary issues. I guess it's my fault for making any sort of commentary on his appearances (which are still quite relevant, by the way). Even so, I think I went out of my way to provide numerous passages from the Bible to support why I'm bringing this up and to clearly explain where I'm coming from. Yet, I still haven't seen a Carl Lentz supporter write anything that SPECIFICALLY REFUTES any of the examples I gave from God's Word.

    Please, by all means, feel free to share your opinions, but we should recognize that I'm trying to discuss this Biblically using God's Word as my guide and I'm encouraging everyone else to do the same without much success I'm afraid. Sadly, I get called the "Pharisee" for merely raising legitimate questions.

    I think someone else said it much better than I did: "When pastors and their sermons mirror the culture, the culture is what you see and hear in their churches."

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

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  19. Jeff...Hi ..I have read your comments here and though I seldom make comments like this, felt I wanted to share this with you. I have been a christian for 44 yrs. and attended quite a number of churches during those yrs....some were denominations..some were charismatic or non-denominational. I have heard many,many different "takes" on the gospel of Christ , and while I do understand where you are coming from, I am not certain you are accurate in all you are saying here. If you look at Phillippians..especially chapter 1 verses 12-20..in verse 18 you will find Paul saying that no matter the motive, he will rejoice in that Christ is proclaimed ....also, in Matthew 7:1-6 we are warned against judging a brother lest we too be judged in the same way... I am concerned for you as I see you clearly doing this.. I have listened to most of Carl Lentz's sermons online..I do not find evidence of him being a false teacher. Please understand I am not a part of his church nor am I a "follower" of his...but I have known Christ personally for many,many yrs. and as I said have been involved in ministry and many different churches. There are many scripture references where Jesus gave people the truth but did not necessarily point out their sin first..now I believe this is because in many cases those people already knew what their sin was...such as the woman caught in adultery...his message to her was ..go and sin no more. Now ..while you may feel that Carl Lentz does not stress sin enough..I cannot see how that brands him as a false teacher. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was..his reply was..Love God with all your heart,soul,and mind and love your neighbor as yourself...the Bible also stresses that of all the gifts the greatest is..love. It seems to me that pastor Lentz is preaching from this perspective..and again, I go back to Phil.1:18..rejoice in that Christ is being preached. Also,it may be good for you to see what else goes on in this church..do they have new believers classes,other Bible studies,etc.etc...which may stress the sin issue more?? I have found in all my yrs. as a christian you cannot disciple someone from a Sunday morning sermon..it takes time and one on one mentoring to really bring people to an understanding of the gospel and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. I do know much about this particular church, but being that you are concerned with it, you may want to do a bit more research to find out what happens there apart from just the sermons pastor Lentz preaches. Again, please be very careful here. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ and are to pray for one another. While I am certain Carl Lentz is not perfect, please be careful in trying to "label" him as a false teacher and consider the fact that you may be incorrect and in doing so, may lead others to a wrong conclusion, and put yourself in danger also...on many spiritual levels. Thank you for allowing me to share my input..

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  20. The scriptures teach that we will know them by their fruits. Carl Lentz has been instrumental in leading many to Christ...these lives have been changed by coming into a relationship with Jesus and they are growing in Him. He does not deny Christ but rather seems to point people to Him as the way. He does not preach anything contrary to scripture. While he may not focus as much on in depth Bible teaching, he does seem to be more evangelistic in his messages. He is reaching a segment of society that surely needs reached..especially in these times in which we live. Because of these fruits that I see, I cannot understand how you are labeling him a false teacher. As for mirroring the culture...isn't that what Jesus did in some respects?? He received criticism because he ate with and hung out with sinners?? Many missionaries have learned to adapt..dress like,talk like,etc. the people of the culture in which they have been called to minister. Carl lentz does seem to be ministering to a specific group of people also..I am considering what you are saying about not preaching specifically about sin,redemption,justification, and though yes, Jesus taught on these, He did not always"preach" in a hard condemning way but rather met people where they were and ministered to them. Is this not what Carl Lentz is doing?? In our culture, which has a very definite bias against Christianity, might it be wise to take an approach of love and not be wrong as you are saying?? Maybe it is wisdom to try to reach people with the gospel of love,especially given the society in which we live..I wonder where we would find Jesus if He walked the earth today..I am pretty confident you would find Him on the streets touching the lives of those that are hurting and broken. Yes, He may point out their sin specifically but if someone truly finds God and salvation in Christ, the Holy Spirit will convict them of sin..without us saying anything. It happens all the time. To take it a step farther, there have been entire people groups saved just because someone gave them a Bible..and Muslims being saved by dreams they have had...the Spirit doesn't actually need us at all. But God chooses to use us..and we are all flawed..but He uses us anyway.God's love,mercy, and grace are all far beyond anything we could ever think or imagine..that is the good news!! God desires all men to be saved and if we but take one tiny step towards Him, He takes leaps and bounds towards us. He is NOT a hard taskmaster but desires for us to be His more than anything...that's why Jesus died and Carl Lentz does preach that...

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  21. Romans 2:4 His kindness leads us to repentance. 1Corinthians 6:9-11 all these people shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Proverbs 16:27,28 a worthless man digs up evil,while his words are as a scorching fire. A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends. The first scripture states God's kindness leads us to repentance..is it necessary to always preach peoples sins to them to lead them to God ?? The second scripture names many sins which keep us from God, including slander in one translation. Are you slandering Carl Lentz as you do not really know him or the intent of his heart?? The scripture in Proverbs states a worthless man digs up evil. Though I don't know the intent of your heart, is this what you are doing ?? Are you really concerned about your brothers and sisters being led astray or do you just have a dislike or distaste for anything of an evangelical nature?? Proverbs 17:3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold,but the LORD tests hearts. Get to know Carl Lentz before you pass judgement. He is learning and growing in Christ. He is sincere in his desire to reach others for Christ regardless of what you may think you see. There are false teachers out there. Carl Lentz is not one of them.

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  22. Is it "slander" when one judges another person based on that person's very own public statements that are a matter of public record? Are we going to claim that "sincerity" equals "truth" now too? Yes, I do not doubt for a single second that Carl Lentz isn't "sincere" about things, but he is most certainly sincerely wrong about so much and that concerns and saddens me for him and those who are under his preaching and teaching.

    Again, I'm open to having a sincere dialogue here, but it's very difficult to do with "Anonymous" visitors let alone those who simply refuse to address ANY of the Biblical concerns I've raised while citing Scripture every step of the way to support those concerns.

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

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  23. I think that any time you make a charge against a person such as you are making it is important to do some research. There is a recent video on youtube called LOVE IS RED Q&A with Carl Lentz. It is a youth leaders conference which was open to allow the leaders to question Carl, as he spent considerable time in youth ministry before becoming the pastor of Hillsong. I am suggesting you watch this video to see where he may be coming from in terms of ministry. While you still may not agree with his methods or what you feel designates him as a false teacher, you may see that he is trying his best to follow Jesus. If nothing else you will have more understanding of how to pray for him. I would be interested in hearing your response after viewing the video..Thank you.

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  24. There is a very good video on youtube in which Kirk Cameron interviews Ravi Zacharias and asks his thoughts on the Emergent church..I think you would appreciate his answer. I think the emergent church arose partly because people weren't finding the denominational churches relevant in many ways..what Ravi alludes to though is where do you draw the line between trying to make your church relevant and truth. I would say Hillsong church falls into the category of an emergent church. I am not sure there is anything wrong with wanting to be relevant but you do have to be very careful that you do not compromise the truth as you do so. I don't know alot about Hillsong church but asked a friend who did say they have gotten away from teaching the prosperity doctrine..not sure..just hearsay. As for Carl Lentz..his messages seem to be deliberate in focusing on certain subjects while avoiding others..but the messages themselves do not seem to be unbiblical..in that he is not twisting scripture,etc. The issue is more in what he does not preach or teach on. I have no way of knowing what he shares in private with those he disciples,counsels,etc...all though I do believe he does believe homosexuality is a sin. I do have questions though in that there are many people coming to Christ through this particular church. Would you feel they are all deceived ? Is God using this church to reach those the mainline churches haven't been able to reach? Only God knows the heart but it seems these people wouldn't be coming to Christ if He wasn't drawing them. I understand what you are saying and what the scriptures are saying. Is Carl Lentz truly a false teacher or just allowing his own ideas to interfere in how God would truly want to use him?? Is it possible to be a false teacher and still feel that you are carrying out the call of God on your life? Is he deceived? Each church has their own particular facets or rules in which they want their people to adhere. While I am not Catholic I have friends who are but also love Jesus and consider him to be their savior. I could never attend or accept some of the Catholic doctrine but also cannot deny that these friends have a relationship with Christ. Could it be Carl Lentz is in a church which feels he is not to address so called political issues and so he does not?? I am not quite sure on the answers to these questions but do know I was able to glean from his messages and also felt convicted in my spirit at some points he made. I am sorry I do not have much scripture here but it is not that I disagree with you or the scriptures you are using. I just have some questions. Thank you and God bless.

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  25. Betty Berkey,

    I appreciate the thoughtful response and you do raise some fair points. I get what you're saying. Personally, I just firmly believe that no Pastor (regardless of their denomination) should omit certain subjects from their preaching and teaching, especially if God's Word has something to say about it.

    Acts 20:26-27 (ESV) "26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God."

    Thus, "avoiding certain subjects" is not "declaring to you the whole counsel of God" as he should be.

    I also think we need to be very careful in assuming that "there are many people coming to Christ through this particular church" because we know from God's Word that EVERY CHURCH/EVERY DENOMINATION has at the same time both "true converts" and "false converts" within it.

    1 Corinthians 11:18-19 (ESV) "18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized."

    Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV) "21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"

    Interesting how the people being described in that passage from Matthew would certainly consider themselves to be "faithful Christians" if not also "on fire for the Lord" (using contemporary language to make my point), and yet, what does Jesus Christ Himself say to them?

    Please understand that this is not to suggest that EVERYONE who belongs to a Hillsong Church and/or to Carl Lentz's church in NYC is not a true Christian. God's Word is also very clear that He will always preserve a remnant within Christ's Church even despite the false teacher/"wolves" and "goats"/"tares" at the helm and within it. Still, this also doesn't mean that we excuse false doctrine when we encounter it, especially from the pulpit -- quite the contrary!

    Finally, you wrote "could it be Carl Lentz is in a church which feels he is not to address so called political issues and so he does not??" which leads me to want to reiterate that I did not mean to make this entire commentary strictly about "homosexuality" per se. However, when a so-called servant of God's Word to God's people refuses to speak publicly on a subject that God clearly calls a sin over and over again, then that should raise a major red flag for us.

    It's not "being political" it's "being Christian" and if we truly believe that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23), then how can we excuse a Pastor for not publicly warning people to flee from that sin if that's part of their unique job description?

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

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  26. Thank you for your response Jeff. I understand where you are coming from also. I guess I am still wondering if Carl Lentz in particular could be deceived himself or just "not understanding" the need to preach or stress certain areas of the Bible.? As I said, in listening to his messages, I was able to glean some things and did feel convicted in my spirit at some points that he made.The scripture in Matthew does point out that it is very possible that he could feel he is following God and in His will but not know the Lord. It's just that this is a difficult scripture to accept as it also says only he who does the will of the Father. We may think we are doing God's will but be deceived. The heart is deceitful above all else. I am a very compassionate person also so at times I guess it is difficult for me to accept that this person/pastor who seems to want to do the right thing may indeed be wrong and not be following God. But I know from what you are saying that it is very possible and may indeed be the case. I have seen some things in him that cause me to wonder but again just was questioning if these indeed meant he was a false teacher...or a bit deceived himself. Again, I apologize for not using much scripture here..I agree totally with the scriptures you are using. My prayers at this point will surely be for this pastor for if he is indeed spreading a false gospel, I would pray for God to open his eyes to the truth of what he is doing and that he would repent and get on the right track. Thank you and God bless..

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  27. I just listened to a sermon entitled Occupy All Streets...in this sermon Carl Lentz preaches grace,the blood of Jesus for the forgiveness of sins,redemption, and the importance of spreading the gospel to everyone we know..it would be worthwhile for you to listen to this message.

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  28. Anonymous @ 5/21/15,

    Boy, I hope you're right! I'll be sure to look for that, listen to it, and then share my thoughts.

    Grace And Peace,
    Jeff

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  29. It is is sad to see you hating on a man only trying to bring glory to the kingdom of God. Yes there are false prophets out there but Carl is most definitely not one of them. Maybe you should stop spending hours trying to dig up information on Carl and actually try leading people to Jesus like Carl is currently doing. It really makes me sick to see post like this. You are a very lost man and I will pray for you! Think back to when you first fell in love with God. Did you fell the need to condemn others then?

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  30. Simon Peter had no education. Most of the disciples had no education. To be honest, Paul had way more experience with the Scriptures than any of the disciples. Yet Paul is chosen last to share the gospel of all these men. Jesus walks up to a couple of fishermen, and tell them to follow him. He chooses ordinary fishermen to change the world!

    How can you be annoyed that nowadays you don't need an education to preach. To preach the word of God, sure you need understanding of it, but you don't have to study the Bible for 5 years at some university for that. What matters most is the Holy Spirit's guidance.

    Now, you sit at home hating on people like Carl Lentz. Because he's different. You find his style of preaching poor, and you find his messages distasteful. You actually take the time to sit through one of his sermons for the sole purpose of finding flaws with it.
    Is this really what Jesus wants you do to? No preacher is without fault, surely. But the theology behind the preaching of Carl Lentz is not off at all, and he quite often references scripture. He is not preaching "prosperity" in the sense that all our worldly dreams will be fulfilled, no he actually explains that we'll still have trouble. But the joy in the Lord is our strength, is it not? The joy in the Lord starts whilst we're still here on earth, it does not start when we go to heaven. The life Jesus has for us starts once we accept him into our lives.

    You started this thread by quoting many verses warning of false teachers. Someone pointing fingers at preachers who preach truth are false teachers... aren't they? These pieces of scripture, to me, are more a warning towards people like you, than people like Carl Lentz who's actually evangelizing to those who still do not know the love of Jesus. The pharisees didn't like Jesus eating with Zacchaeus... Zacchaeus was not a godly man... was Jesus a false prophet?

    Please, let this bitterness go. As the body of Christ, we must work together, not be at odds with each other. And should the holy spirit convict you, then do not resist.

    I will pray for you.
    Have a pleasant day.

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  31. Aleks,

    Again, the Bereans were commended in God's Word for doing the same thing in response to anything and everything that the Apostle Paul was preaching and teaching to them when he arrived in Berea so I'd say I'm in pretty good company for trying to simply apply the same Biblical approach to Carl Lentz and his sermons, my friend.

    Acts 17:10-11 (ESV) 10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

    If St. Paul was not above examination and reproach, then surely Carl Lentz shouldn't be either (none of us are).

    By the way, this story is making the rounds today: http://broadwaytour.net/survivors-reed-kelly-josh-canfield-made-first-splash-on-broadway

    It's about a famous gay couple who are on the popular show "Survivor" and who attend Hillsong NYC -- Carl Lentz's church -- and who claim to be devoted Christians, because they volunteer with Hillsong's choir and say they’ll remain abstinent until marriage. Is that what makes you a Christian nowadays?

    There are so many things we could say about this (like the un-Christian belief that they somehow think if they abstain from sexual intimacy then they somehow aren't sinners b/c they won't commit any other sins or something!), but I would just like to point out that this is clearly "Exhibit A" of what can happen when a so-called "Pastor" does not preach the full counsel of God's Word to include preaching about the Law and sin and not just the Gospel and grace all the time.

    In short, this is hardly surprising to me due to all of the points I've patiently and repeatedly tried to make in both this commentary and the comments that follow it. It's truly heartbreaking to see it all manifest itself in such a public proclamation of sin like this.

    Now, in fairness, it has been brought to my attention that supposedly they are no longer members and that Hillsong church has dealt with them (whatever that means). However, if that's true, then why are they allowed to still attend church there if they have been confronted about their sin (by Carl Lentz and church leadership I'm assuming) and are still quite unrepentant about it? If they still attend like they say they do, then they must not be under very heavy confrontation or conviction, right? What a shame indeed. Is that a Biblical and "loving" response to unrepentant sinners given what Scripture says about how we are to respond to such people in such circumstances?

    Please Prayerfully Consider These Truths,
    JKR

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  32. Good stuff Jeff,. I wish Carl Lentz was my brother, uncle, cousin, maybe even Dad but not my Pastor. I attended a few Hillsong LA "services," I use quotations because it was more like a concert than an bible teaching service, anyways, it was obvious that these people were not very Bible based as they used "the message" translation to teach with. They use lots of "cool" sounding, "edgy" sayings to fillost of thier sermons instead of just laying it Down like a Jack Hibbs (CCCH) or Raul Ries (CCGS) would. Nevertheless, my hope is that peole who attend and get saved thier will natrually start reading thier bibles and know they have to leave or maybe take control and make that church Legit as heck. People who totally back up any of these guys are obviously not BIbLE scholars by any means and are just delusional if they cant see whats happening!!! hillsong is relevent for the wrong reasons.

    Love Nelson.

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  33. Did you really ask why the gay couple is still "allowed" to attend church? You have got to be kidding me. The doctrine states if you are homosexual you cannot take on a leadership role or anything like that in the church, but that doesn't mean they cant attend church! You have to be one of the most closed minded and hypocritical people I've ever met. Keep talking about how bad Carl is but while he's out sharing the gospel and loving thy neighbor and not judging or turning someone away because of their sins-you know, like God did, you're trying to spread the message that if you're gay you can't go to church. A sin is no greater than any other sin, and considering I was brought up in church and my father is a pastor I'm not naïve about the bible or what the bible teaches. You however, seem to be putting your foot in your mouth every time you try to make a point about why Carl is so fake or whatever you're trying to do. Spend less time trying to act like you're helping others by "exposing" him and more time doing something productive, like I don't know, spreading God's word? Because if you're going to come from a stance of judgment, how do you expect people to follow Christ?

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  34. Ok, how's this for "doing something productive, like I don't know, spreading God's Word"...

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (ESV) "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

    So, my question would be whether or not a gay person is actually repentant and struggling against their temptation to sin. By the way, you might want to check out the Archive for all the pieces I've published on the issue of homosexuality and our need to be compassionate in sharing the Gospel with them.

    Like I've said before, this piece is not about homosexuality. It's about Carl Lentz and his preaching and teaching. Yet, we can't seem to keep our focus on that. I wonder why.

    In Christ,
    JKR

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  35. Wow- this thread has been going for quite some time-

    The message of the cross is going to cause division. People don't care be discerning and will listen with their ears perked because the person is motivational.

    Carl Lentz is all about prosperity- you wont find messages with him preaching on doctrine on putting your hand to the plow and not looking back, you wont find him teaching on Luke 6 where Jesus states "why do you call me Lord and do not do what I say".

    If He does- its watered down.
    People on here say dont judge- I'll say read your bible before you make a statement like that.

    Most people on here who are defending Carl Lentz aren't serious about defending the Word of God, their not serious about the seriousness of sin and the damage it causes and how repentance must be preached, a true turning away from sin.

    They are following a man rather than God- search things out - look at the fruit- read your bible- Read the gospels over and over. Look at the life of Jesus look at how much He loved and He loved enough to confront issues.

    A man may be cool and say "Jesus is love" but thats not the whole counsel of God, other false religions say that too. Paul had to confront issues with the people of Corinth and also the Jews in Rome, look at what he faced.

    Most people who are responding on here and defending Carl Lentz already made up their mind that whatever he says is golden and they wont question it.

    Look how far we come from being sold out to Christ.

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  36. There are too many "lost souls" out there that need to hear this good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be declaring the good news rather than to be condemning and point fingers at people we think are doing it wrong. Get the Holy Spirit and fire and go ye in to all the world and preach the gospel. Don't get caught up trying to dishonor Men of God.

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  37. Dear Jeff,

    How many people have you spoke into and brought to the house of God...? Probably not as many as Carl Lentz. Instead of spending time writing negative content on a blog, you should consider speaking the word of God into those who need it most.

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    1. I have read this article several times and find it beyond offensive. Carl Lentz does not hide from the truth. He does not bludgeon people with it in a smug and self righteous way. I cannot comprehend the purpose of this attack. Hillsong is probably not a perfect church but they have been instrumental in
      tens of thousands accepting Christ. I am sure they struggle with care ministry. I am sure they struggle to build community. I am also sure they do not struggle with the type of arrogant self righteousness of this article. I am self editing but it is hard not to get more personal. Can you read your own words and see why people hate Christians?

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  38. I'm not a Christian, I don't believe in any of that cockamamie nonsense. I used to be but then I realized how insanely idiotic it is. If we all came from Adam and Eve then we are all incestuously bred. I don't know about you but that is a clear violation of the Jesus book of ethics. Do you have kids? I don't think you do because then you would know that if the omnipotent God who is the source of all love could send his children to hell for not saying a little nursey rhyme you would know that can't be real. Considering God's so called unfailing love and my feeble love in comparison, I could never send my kids to detention let alone hell. I digressed a little, your entire argument against Lentz encompasses a giant judgment, according to your little truth book you should be in terrible trepidation in waiting for your judgment coming back to you my friend. You want to talk about "words of the bible being changed"? Well in the mid 1600's 14 books were taken out of the bible. They took them out because they held information that was in direct contradiction of everything in the bible. I would know I read them all. If you were any sort of intelligent and could think for yourself instead taking everyone else's word for it you would know that, like the one when you were a kid or whenever you "found God", they pointed to a book you have never read and neither have they all the way through nor have they studied other faiths, mythologies, or anything for that matter and they have the gall to say "this is the truth". You are so hell bent on arguing about something that isn't real. It's all made up my people who couldn't make sense of what was going on around them or were just very creative, not unlike J.K Rowling or J.R.R Tolkien. Any one creative mind can come up with a fable and make people believe it. I would bet my life you have never even read either of those there most famous writings. Its blasphemy right? your whole life is based on a children's story and something that was brought into the world to limit a people thinking, control there actions and instill fear in them to keep them from leaving the Church. True wisdom is not based on fear and control but love an respect. You might want to take up something cooler anyway. As for me I like Norse mythology. One of there god's has a hammer(Thor) and your's got nails hammered in Him. Pick something that play to your manhood rather than being a little bitch cowering behind your little computer using a keypad as your weapon. I was an Army Ranger so don't even think of counteracting the aforementioned with the same attack because in person I'd fuck you up just like I am now. My intent of writing this is in hoping you realize what a lie you live and either change or kill yourself so at least maybe the next life your soul travels into will be one full of real knowledge. I have nothing against Carl Lentz, belief systems or the bible because they all have very sound wisdom that I have learned much from. My problem is with little bitches such as yourself judging everyone else instead of looking inward. Lentz is actually a really good person, it's you who is a halfwit who displays himself as some higher deity than him. Go fuck yourself faggot.

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  39. You need to learn more about the Bible. You are a bad name for Lutheranism.

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    1. Says the Anonymous person who commented without using a single Bible verse to refute anything I wrote.

      Thank You,
      JKR

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    2. Jeff, I don't know how you've managed to stay patient with this thread. The readers who are bashing you and questioning your faith remain "Anonymous" so as to avoid having a conversation with you based on biblical support. No-one can bring up biblical verses that can refute your main points in this article and can keep repeating petty arguments such as that you are being too critical, too harsh and judgemental. These same people bash you for questioning Lentz's faith but proceed to patronize you and question your knowledge and faith themselves, hypocrites. I tried to not get too personal in my reply but I was honestly shocked by the support for Lentz and lack of sound doctrine in my fellow Christians. I thought it was common knowledge that Christians are called to denounce false teachings and teachers but this thread was a good reminder that there are still misguided/misinformed believers. I recently discovered Carl Lentz and I was skeptical of what he was teaching and looked for articles that could confirm my suspicions and ended up on your article. Keep up the good work Jeff, I know this is a late post but I'm hoping you see this and know that I really liked your article and agree with your input.

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  40. Anyone seems to have an opinion, I just wonder how many of your opinions are Biblical and within context. It is very easy to take Matthew 7:1-6 out of context, but what about Ephesians 5:11? Are we not to judge but also expose false teachers? and if I am told not to "judge" aren't you judging me by telling me I am "judging"? Guys READ SCRIPTURE over and over again, if you have trouble understanding ask God for wisdom which he gives freely and also read commentaries on scripture, we have great resources. I personally believe that Carl Lentz is a cool, hipster person but make no mistake, he is no preacher. Different Gospel, different Jesus. I wish I was wrong but once you read the Word you cannot deny its validity and authority. "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV)

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  41. After reading this article and all the responses. I can see why people shy away from religion. Carl Lentz and JKR are not that different. Both are fooling themselves and others.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with...Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all mature spiritually (myself included) then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!