Hillsong Church NYC pastor Carl Lentz is hitting back at VICE News after he said that his recent interview with the outlet was “heavily edited,” as it appeared to suggest that he has had some dealings with the Trump administration.
Lentz made his claim about the edits in an interview with World Religion News after the outlet asked about Lentz’s approach of trying to find common ground while delivering biblical truth to nonbelievers. When the conversation turned to recent comments that Lentz seemingly made to VICE about his political involvement of late, the pastor expressed his frustrations.
“Man, I was frustrated at that interview that you were referring to. They know better. They know that was not the full conversation,” he said. “And my point, which they took out completely, is that it is my duty to pray for our leaders. Whether I agree or disagree I am going to pray for them passionately. That is my job as a Christian.”
Just to recap what, exactly, was presented in the VICE interview, the outlet asked, “If you could influence politics in the U.S. would you take it that far?” Lentz responded by saying, “Yeah I think I’ve had some small moments where I’ve had a chance to do that a little but … but I don’t think I’ll be doing politics solely.”
When pressed further, he said, “I’ve done some White House stuff on the sly … like been in rooms with people who make big decisions.” He then said that he was speaking about the current administration. It wasn’t clear what the pastor meant at the time, but, weeks later, he’s seemingly saying that these comments were edited.
Watch Lentz’s original comments to VICE News around the 4-minute mark below:
Lentz later told World Religion News that he was likely speaking during his VICE commentary about his attendance at the National Prayer Breakfast.
“It devolved into ‘has he done anything’ and I told them lightly ‘I have been in some rooms’ — I may be referring to the Prayer Breakfast or whatever in D.C. the conversational tone was so different and it was heavily edited,” Lentz said of his comments. “But I was super annoyed. Even talking to VICE, I held out hope that they would be super honorable which is probably foolish.”
Lentz went on to say that he would likely speak differently to a politician than he would a man on the street, adding that he would opt for “black and white truth,” as such moments when a person has a politicians’ time are both rare and fleeting.
“You never know how many shots you’re going to get like that,” he said. If they ask, ‘What do you think about immigrants’ I am not going to say, ‘Well what do you think?'” he said. “I’m going to say exactly what I think, right away. Like gun control, I am going right for the jugular.”