The scandal-plagued Hillsong Church now faces another loss as Carl Lentz’ replacement at the NYC branch of the organization has decided to step down and move to Hawaii.
Last year, Hillsong NYC hit one of its most memorable scandals of its history–and there have been many–after its lead pastor, Carl Lentz admitted to having a sexual affair with a Muslim woman while leading the church. Lentz was subsequently fired from his role which sparked a string of structural changes within the organization, including the CEO, Brian Houston, who stepped down as top leader after admitted he dropped the ball on dealing with NYC’s scandals.
Carl Lentz’ long-time right-hand man, John Termini, was selected to replace Carl Lentz as lead pastor at Hillsong NYC. However, Termini has revealed that he will no longer be taking that role, leaving the church once again without a pastor.
“I have served at Hillsong New York City for the last decade,” Termini writes on Instagram. “Precious and God-breathed moments flood my memory. How good has God been to us? And how powerful is a new beginning?”
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Termini writes that he and his family will be leaving Hillsong to move to Hawaii to “begin the process of planting a local church close to where my brother lives .”
While the break-up appears to be cordial, it’s impossible not to consider if the tarnished image of Hillsong NYC after its multiple scandals has something to do with his decision. “I believe God is bringing us into a rejuvenating season of healing, restoration and power,” he continued. Brian Houston’s wife, Bobbie responded that she was thankful for his service during the highs and the lows. And let’s just be real, there were far more lows than highs.
Of the many scandals at Hillsong, some of them include NYC Lentz’ telling CNN that he may be open to affirming homosexuals at some point and his daughter caught on camera taking part in an anti-police protest as she screeches and screams at police. And gay advocacy groups have claimed that Hillsong is secretly pro-gay, but won’t announce it publicly. Brian Houston, says that we shouldn’t “judge” homosexuals because God is a “God of love” and threw Chris Pratt under the bus after Pratt publicly supported a biblical view on sexuality.
Hillsong has hosted Roman Catholic masses, has put on literal circus performances, held sleazy Christmas performances and paraded scantily clad women across the stage, and featured a “naked cowboy” at a women’s conference followed by a “naked Santa” at another conference. It’s easy to see why so many Bible-believing Christians refuse to even allow their presence through music in their churches — Hillsong is a prosperity gospel cult and a breeding ground of false converts. And their leaders are dropping like flies — including Marty Sampson, the worship leader who renounced his faith altogether after the fame and glory Hillsong offered him was no longer enough to satisfy his carnal desires.