Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church in New York City responded to controversy over his recent comments about abortion on “The View,” clarifying in a statement that he does indeed believe that “abortion is sinful.”
“I was asked directly if abortion was sin. I did not answer the question directly for a number of reasons and that has caused some confusion about our stance as a church on this matter,” Lentz said in a statement issued on Twitter.
He continued, “I do believe abortion is sinful.”
Lentz went on to say that his goal is to “help and love” people who are dealing with pain or regret from personal choices instead of casting “shame and guilt” on those individuals.
In the end, he said Hillsong wants to teach parishioners how to “form convictions based on God’s word that will be the driving force in all their decisions.”
See Lentz’s complete statement below:
Thoughts addressing a recent interview: pic.twitter.com/WoAcFwy8UQ
— carl lentz (@carllentzNYC) November 7, 2017
Lentz’s statement came after controversy broke out over the pastor’s recent appearance on “The View,” during which he was asked by co-host Joy Behar, “So, it’s not a sin in your church to have an abortion?”
Rather than answer directly, he said that people have to “live with their own convictions” and stressed the importance of pastors starting by getting to know people before pinpointing sin in their lives.
“That’s the kind of conversation we would have, finding out your story, where you’re from, what you believe. I mean, God’s the judge. People have to live with their own convictions,” Lentz said. “That’s such a broad question to me. I’m going higher. I want to sit with somebody and say, well, where do you believe…”
That’s when Behar interrupted and asked, “So, it’s not an open and shut case with you?” Lentz again hedged, responding, “Some people would say it is. … I’m trying to teach people who Jesus is first, find out their story. Before I start picking and choosing what I think is sin in your life, I’d like to know your name.”
Watch the original clip that sparked controversy below: