Unless you haven’t been following the news at all, or simply don’t care about happenings in Christendom — which is a good possibility for many — then you’re probably aware of the scandal involving former Hillsong NYC pastor, Carl Lentz, who has admitted to at least one affair and has now been accused of multiple affairs.
Lentz, who was fired last year amid “moral failures” — which were not mentioned in the original letter sent by Brian Houston, founder and CEO of Hillsong, to Hillsong NYC staff — admitted to being unfaithful in his marriage, but did not go into detail. According to Lentz’ mistress, after she found out that they had been exposed, Lentz came over again to “say goodbye in person” where they were intimate, once again.
In an email to church members obtained by Reformation Charlotte, Houston echos our sentiments in the leadership failure of the organization as a whole. The issue wasn’t just that Lentz, a biblically unqualified pastor, had committed moral treason against his church. The problem was much greater than that and Lentz should have never been elevated to that kind of position to begin with.
The email reads in part below:
I’m sorry to say that we found significant ways that Hillsong East Coast culture has failed to reflect Hillsong global culture in the past. Every Hillsong location must honor our commitment to creating a caring and healthy environment for our team, volunteers and members.
Under the previous lead pastor, this was not always the case. Serious concerns and incidents must never be ignored. When problems arise, proper and effective reporting mechanisms must be in place. And proper guidelines should be enforced. And when failings occur, especially among senior leaders, they must be addressed.
Although I wasn’t aware of the moral failures until late last year, I regret that I did not deal with the leadership issue much earlier. I chose to trust at times when I should have taken more decisive action. I gave the benefit of the doubt when I shouldn’t have. Our global team is determined to reflect carefully on what we’ve learned and make any changes necessary, even difficult ones, to guarantee that all our leaders are held to the highest standard.