Some blogs I write and then some blogs write themselves as is the case with the most recent actions of Pastor Karl Lentz, the senior pastor of Hillsong NY. I’m certain that the accompanying picture (which I had to edit) to this blog is not what Jesus meant when He exhorted us in Matthew 5:16 to “let our lights shine before the world in such a way that they would see our good actions and glorify our heavenly Father”.
I don’t care who you are, where you pastor, where you work or minister, as Christians we are portraying Christ to the world 24/7. The most important question we MUST ask ourselves in light of that fact is “what is the world seeing?”. I read well over 100 comments attached to the original article as well as subsequent Tweets about the pictures seen here of Pastor Karl Lentz and Justin Bieber. Not one, I repeat, not even one came anywhere close in anyway to defending or giving the benefit of the doubt to Pastor Lentz’s display. They were fraught with mockery or sensual comments from girls & men. I will let Twitter comments and the comment section of AOL Entertainment speak for what the world (and perhaps many Christians) thought.
what religion is this:)
if that’s his “pastor/boyfriend” no wonder he’s so f…… up!
Whose man is this???
Daddy Lentz! Sprinkle you holy water on me!
Everyone who is a parent in this church needs to watch their kids,
Well, it looks like he lost the “cloth” somewhere.
A pastor running around showing darn near his private areas?
Holding JB like he’s a female around the waist?
What’s wrong with this picture?
Looks like JB is a choir boy and pastor a molester.
No straight pastor would walk with his shorts hanging down his legs like that!
And these were the nice comments. I have no idea what either of them (Karl or Justin) were thinking or what is in their hearts but I can say, as plainly as James – “these things ought not be!”
Brian Houston, the founder of Hillsong, has made statements in the past as to the challenges Pastor Lentz has created for leadership. Much of this has been in the position Karl took in refusing to take a stand on gross sexual sin even when present in some levels of leadership in the church (feel free to read my blog entitled “Did another one bite the dust? We’re not quite sure” from Aug. 6 2015). I believe it is time for him (Pastor Houston) to take what action he can to remove Karl Lentz from any leadership role in Hillsong in an attempt to possibly regain or salvage some level of integrity at the church in NY. Believe me, the world is watching and even the un-churched understand enough of the bible to know when things have gone horribly wrong.
#1 – Your business is NOT you. If you have a business you should ALSO have a Facebook page for your business and invite people to like/friend your business page. To mix your personal and business post on the same personal page is to presume upon others an interest in your business. Most of you know that Barbie and I make almost 100% of our income from our online business and apart from a rare update (maybe 3 or 4 times a year) you do not endure daily, weekly or even monthly business post for our lock company. If your business is indeed legitimate then you should conduct yourself accordingly and invite friends to subscribe to your business page and let them make that choice instead of making it for them and everybody else who sees their thread.
#2 – Think twice before liking something which is not of a personal nature. All of us like stuff. But all of us do not necessarily like ALL the same stuff. Limit your likes of random non personal stuff like the most recent gadget, political, religious or vacation spot. Just this week I scrolled through almost 30 “likes” in a row which had nothing to do with me or my interest. Most of us do want to see your personal pictures, plans or passions but not necessarily your most recent shopping or restaurant experience.
#3 – I love scripture, God and Godly exhortations. But sharing a bunch of spiritual memes, pictures of Jesus in the clouds with a scripture or pre-packaged motivational messages often (actually almost always) feels impersonal and trite. If you have an encouragement feel free to IM a personal note or at least take the time to write it out yourself instead of just clicking like or share on something canned.
#4 – Please consider carefully when you share something with curse words, gross or vulgar images. Not everyone is as mature as you in their ability to handle that type of stuff (read sarcasm).
#5 – We get it, you exercise. We do not, however, need to know every time you go to the gym. You can also substitute various other repetitive activities to this rule i.e. eating out, shopping, golfing, etc.
#6 – We get it, you are against (fill in the blank) and you are in favor of (fill in the blank). We do not need to be reminded daily or multiple times a day of these facts.
#7 – Take the time to check the validity of something before you share it. There are lots of bogus stories, fake pictures, scam free stuff etc. etc. out there. PLEASE, the old adage still holds true today, “if something sounds (looks, feels) too good to be true is probably is.” Google stuff or check it out on Snopes.com before you pass on questionable stuff. Oh, and for the record, the gargantuan cat hedge sculptures are photo shopped, Mel Gibson was never attacked and beaten in his youth and Mercedes is NOT giving away 10 cars.
#8 – As a general rule, try and stick to making comments about your own country. I really don’t think Americans should be giving strong political critiques of another countries election, immigration policy or other cultural practices and I believe the same should be true about other nationalities towards America. I am not speaking about expressing sympathy for tragedies or promoting positive or interesting news.
#9 – Don’t request or share stuff with the expressed desire for it to “GO VIRAL”. Going viral is a spontaneous explosion of interest or activity about a video or product not manufactured interest because you “begged” for it to go viral.
#10 – And last but not least, Do NOT, I repeat do NOT try and test or define any friend’s friendship with a challenge to like or share a post. Really???
Many are aware that about a week ago Eugene Petersen was “put on the spot” by the question of whether he would perform a same sex marriage. Eugene answered in the affirmative and thus ensued 24 hours of social media backlash against this oft revered pastor. So, as is so often the case these days with politicians, reporters, entertainment or sports figures, Eugene walked back his comments saying “on further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that”. The fact that Eugene “saw the error of his ways” garners little respect from me since it took an almost overwhelming flood of reaction to cause his eyes to be open to what is already clearly pronounced in “The Message” (with full double meaning!)
This, unfortunately, is just another example of how social pressure is dictating church policy and practice in a modern world controlled by the click of a mouse or the posting of a poignant mem. The church is losing respect and participants in droves today and it’s not for the reasons one might think. Society is not impressed when Christians “get on the right side of history” by acquiescing to rapidly changing social practices any more then ISIS is impressed with efforts to appease their message of hate. Giving in like this makes us (the church) look like spineless milquetoast minions with no guiding principles – and who wants to be a part of that?
I believe principled people who practice their beliefs with grace and kindness will be the ones looked to for guidance and wisdom for the seismic challenges in the years to come as well as being pleasing to the Lord – if that even matters anymore!