Carl Lentz, The View and Abortion

Let's pray for the Hillsong pastor and encourage him rather than throw him under the bus.

Carl Lentz attends 2017 Aces Charity Celebrity Basketball Game at Madison Square Garden on August 13, 2017 in New York City.

By Michael Brown Published on November 9, 2017

After his appearance on The View on October 30, Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong Church in New York City, was blasted for what appeared to be a total cop-out answer on national TV.

When asked by Joy Behar if abortion was considered a sin in his church, he replied, “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,” at which point the audience broke into raucous applause. “People have to live to their own convictions,” Lentz continued. “That’s such a broad question, to me, I’m going higher. I want to sit with somebody and say, ‘What do you believe?’”

“So it’s not an open and shut case to you?” Behar asked. “Some people would say it is,” Lentz responded. “To me, I’m trying to teach people who Jesus is first, and 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.”

For this answer, he was taken to task on the Federalist (“Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz Provides Moral Cover for Abortion on ‘The View’”), the Daily Wire (Lentz wouldn’t answer “a slam-dunk of a theological question that a two-year-old could answer correctly”), and Life News (“Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz Refuses to Say If Abortion is Sinful: ‘Live to Your Own Convictions”). The popular blogger Matt Walsh called for him to resign on Twitter (see also here.)

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To be perfectly honest, if I didn’t know Pastor Lentz personally, my response would have been just as strong (and swift). It appeared that he dodged a very simple question, one that required a very simple answer.

Really now, is there any ambiguity when it comes to abortion? We’re talking about taking the life of a preborn child. What is unclear or uncertain about that?

I absolutely wish that Pastor Lentz had replied directly and said something like, “Of course abortion is sinful. If you recognize that it is a baby in the womb, then to slice it up or poison it or kill it in any way is wrong in God’s sight. But having an abortion is not an unforgivable sin, and there is hope for every woman who has aborted her child. Jesus died for that sin too and he offers forgiveness through the cross.”

What Lentz Said Before — And What Happened on The View

But because I have found Pastor Lentz to be both approachable and teachable, rather than comment on his interview first, I reached out to him directly.

What I learned is that he is passionately pro-life and feels this is something he needs to address much more in the future. (I was not aware of this because we never discussed it before.)

He also pointed me back to an extensive, 2015 article in GQ magazine, in which he told journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner this when asked about abortion:

If you sit down with me and you say, “Carl, I’m having an abortion,” I’m going to say, “I think that you can have this child. I don’t know how hard it’s going to be. I could never imagine. I do know that my prayer is that God will give you peace to stand on this side with me. Should you choose another option, I will not turn my back on you. I will not vilify you. I will not hate you. I will not, I cannot, live your life. I love you regardless, but my prayer is that somehow, some way, you will see my view on this.”

(This particular comment was featured as well in a Cosmopolitan magazine article titled “10 Things to Know About Hillsong Church.”)

Why, then, did he give such an ambiguous answer on The View?

Reading between the lines, it appears that he was told to expect one thing during the interview and when Joy Behar decided to change direction, he refused to play into her game. He chose to make clear that before he talks to a lost person about abortion, he wants to get to know them personally. As he said, “Before I start picking and choosing what I think is sin in your life, I’d like to know your name.”

Again, do I wish he did things differently? Absolutely, but he gives account to God not to me.

Pastor Lentz’s Statement

That being said, in the uproar after the interview, Pastor Lentz issued this statement on Twitter:

Recently in an interview, 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. I do believe abortion is sinful. Our prayer is that we can continue to help and love those that deal with the pain of regret from personal choices, rather than cast further shame and guilt on those already carrying so much and create a church that can teach people how to form convictions based on God’s word, that will be the driving force in all their decisions. I will continue to point people to Jesus, above all else, every opportunity I get. The story of God’s redemptive grace, available to all, is the best news available.

I know that many remain disappointed in Pastor Lentz and some believe his Twitter post was too little too late. But since he had made his position clear in 2015 (in a totally secular context) and has now reiterated that he believes abortion is sinful, I suggest that we pray for him and encourage him rather than throw him under the bus.

My prayer is that God will make Carl Lentz a champion in the pro-life movement, a clear voice of grace and truth, and one who also helps many of those who have had abortions to find new life in Jesus. To the best of my knowledge, Pastor Lentz would warmly welcome such prayers.

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  • Paul

    Doesn’t sound like at this point he sees the error.

  • m-nj

    There are many other reasons to “throw him under the bus”.

  • Here you are again Dr. Brown. Apologizing for another celebrity minister who doesn’t have the backbone to express their real beliefs during high profile interviews. You never disappoint. 🙂

    • Patmos

      He didn’t apologize for anyone. I hope the scales one day fall from your eyes.

    • tz1

      Technically the greater evil is that he WAS “expressing their real beliefs during high profile interviews”.
      Superficial Christianity, which is not Christianity.

  • Charles Burge

    I would think that a man in his position would be better prepared to face what he certainly knew would be a hostile atmosphere. All Christians need to be ready to speak the truth with love but also with conviction, but all the more so someone who has an international platform.

    • Josh Leake

      Since he has confirmed he is against abortion publicly more than once, it really seems like Carl was trying to model the situation with Jesus and adulteress in John 8. Come to God as you are first, then God’s love will move you to change.

      • Patmos

        “Come to God as you are first, then God’s love will move you to change.”

        Sorry, there is no scripture to back that up. Why would a person change if they already have that love? There would be no need for repentance.

        • Josh Leake

          The people I know who are serving Jesus with everything decided to turn their life around because they experienced who He was. It wasn’t because someone said, “You’re sinning when you do drugs and God condemns that as sin.” It was because they had an encounter with Jesus and then realized, the only thing worth it in life is following Jesus so I need to stop sinning. You said “why would a person change if they already have that love?”. The answer is because they now realize God loves them and they want love him back. THAT is what moves them to change. It’s my favorite thing to watch, when someone understands the love of God and they begin to change because of it.

          • Patmos

            That’s an incredibly sloppy interpretation of the gospel, and so lazy that it’s no wonder that divorce rates in the church roughly mirror that of the world, or so many believing kids at Christian colleges are into drinking and drugs. You’re not reconciling anyone to God with this backwards approach that is fairly easily refuted through even a casual reading of scripture. You’ve swapped out the miraculous power of God for a bland feel good message.

            When Paul spoke to the church at Corinth he did so with Spirit and power. There’s a reason he could shake off a poisonous snake into a fire and still live. When you compromise the gospel and settle for something other, you will receive the fruit of that other. God is not mocked, you reap what you sow.

          • Josh Leake

            Okay, we can agree to disagree. This conversation clearly won’t go any further without me being a heathen who is steering people to false truth. God bless!

          • Patmos

            Your anecdotal experience is quite simply not a reflection of the gospel and God’s power, and doesn’t align with scripture. Does not that occur to you?

            No one’s calling you a heathen, or at least I’m not, I’m saying there is far more to God’s glory than you are letting on.

            Forgiveness of sins is not a bad thing, it is a good thing!

            Imagine if you mismanaged your money and got into debt through some bad decisions. You’d probably feel a bit of shame and embarrassment. Now imagine if someone came along and said I will pay that debt for you. My guess is you’d be pretty excited.

            Thing is forgiveness of sins is just the beginning.

            “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10

            Can’t get to that much more though without first going through the reconciliation.

            Again I emphasize, reconciliation to God is a good thing! You should be jumping for joy right about now, because yes you have one who has paid your debts!

          • Josh Leake

            I would argue that most people know that they are mismanaging money but don’t believe in the consequences. In other words, they know they’re wrong by the Bible’s standards but they don’t care. But when they understand Jesus’ love through his sacrifice, then they realize how bad the debt really is. That’s what I was saying through my anecdotes. Romans 2:4 is actually a scripture that perfectly sums up my thoughts.

          • Patmos

            Romans 2:4 does no good without Romans 2:3, which talks about judgement. Acknowledgement of sin for the purpose of propitiation is not judgement, how could it be? That wouldn’t make any sense.

            You’re really missing the mark, and I wish you could see it. I suggest for starters not isolating verses, because verses and chapters were added in later. Beyond that, take an honest look at what these people were preaching. Every single time there is call for repentance first, or at least some hint of it (because for example Acts is such a broad overview you don’t always get the full description), and then grace.

            Again I say for the umpteenth time, repentance and the ability to even do so is a good thing! A great gift! With every little bit you repent you draw closer to God, not by works but by grace. God is the vine dresser, John wrote.

            It really seems like you’re trying to overcompensate for those who leave out grace, by leaving out repentance. Both approaches are wrong, because the two go with each other in order, repentance then grace. If grace went first, there would be no need to repent, you would already have his grace.

          • Josh Leake

            I understand the concept that Romans 1 & 2 are preaching repentance. I really did read through them before posting that. I’m not sure where you’re getting that I’m leaving out repentance. I promise, I fully understand the importance of it. If you could maybe use a few scriptures to refute what I’m saying because I don’t actually think we’re disagreeing here.

          • Patmos

            The goodness of God is that we get to repent, that he is longsuffering, and that we can draw closer to him by his grace. By merely taking the short cut of saying “God loves you” you skip over that whole process. While it is technically true that God loves us and desires all to be saved, that love comes in the form of being able to change and become a new creature in Christ, which is done through the process of acknowledgement of sin and then grace by faith. Sure you may lure some people in with the “God loves you” message, but no reconciliation with God will take place by it alone, and you run the risk of hardening that person’s heart as they might believe that they are already reconciled without any repentance.

            Nobody is throwing stones when they merely acknowledge sin. People need to understand that they actually literally threw stones, which was the condemnation, but Jesus came not to condemn but to save.

            You should be joyfully sprinting towards the Lord right now if you are getting any of this (addressing that to anyone really, not just “you”).

          • Josh Leake

            Yeah, see I agree with you. I think maybe where we got mixed up was between “grace” and “love”. Repentance comes first before you receive God’s grace. You can’t pretend to be a follower of Jesus and not have turned from wrong behaviors. My thoughts were directed towards people who grew up feeling like God actually hated them and wanted nothing to do with them even if they stopping sinning because they believed they were too far gone. I’m not suggesting that they can say “God loves me” and keep doing the same things. But the turning point was when those people felt like God spoke to them and said “It’s not too late for you too change, I still love you” and they repented and are now serving God wholeheartedly. That’s what I meant by the phrase “Come as you are” – not “don’t worry about repenting” but instead “it’s not too late for you to change, God loves you and has better for you”. I really do think that was at least the intent behind what Carl was saying. There are women who have had abortions who are emotionally shattered and feel like God hates them and wants nothing to do with them. I understand we can’t dance the line on what’s sin and what isn’t: I believe abortion is wrong. But I believe as followers of Jesus, we also have to be sensitive to those who are emotionally scarred and feel like there’s no hope for them. Those are the kinds of people that Jesus would’ve had one on one talks with to help change and restore them. Anyway, good talking with you!

          • childofjehovah

            church at cornith is the key here. Jesus spoke to non believers in parables. he was gentle. The apostle paul said “I will become all things to all men as to win them to salvation. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

          • Elaine

            There are babies dying daily. Who will be a voice for them….they cannot speak for themselves.

          • Josh Leake

            I 100% agree with you. And as someone who lost a child at 26 weeks, I feel very very strongly about this. But at the same time, I try to be careful in my online conversations because most people are actually willing to be open-minded about this topic face to face where as online, everyone already has their opinions and aren’t looking to have an honest discussion, y’know?

        • childofjehovah

          Rom 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

          its the kindness of the Lord that leads people to repentance. Jesus was as gentle as can be with people who didn’t know any better, reason he taught them in parables. Now the Pharisees who did know better he was different. Joy behar and that whole audience needed parables. They don’t know any better. He was just walking out 2 Timothy 2:25-26.

          • Patmos

            “its the kindness of the Lord that leads people to repentance”

            You missed it too. Longsuffering affords people the time to repent, it does not by itself lead people there. Acknowledgement of sin has to be part of the equation, because if not what then are people repenting from? And if there is no repentance then there is no grace, there is no reconciliation.

          • Patmos

            To make myself more clear, the goodness of God in the form of his longsuffering leads people to repentance the same way a road might lead somewhere, but a road is useless unless it is taken. Spend your time given tarrying with the ungodly and you run the risk of getting the short end of the stick.

            Romans 2:4 does not back up the false notion that his love leads to change. His love gives you the opportunity to change, and that a good thing! Where would we be without it?

      • tz1

        “I’m personally against Abortion…” is an uncertain trumpet.
        It is not merely some abstract though against something but practical oppositon. The latter wasn’t presented.

      • Chip Crawford

        It also appears he bowed to pressure.

  • Jennifer Hartline

    “rather than cast further shame and guilt on those already carrying so much”
    I don’t know who he thinks is casting shame and guilt, but it isn’t the Church or any pro-lifers that I know. I can’t know how sincere his pro-life convictions are, but from what I’ve seen and heard from him, it seems he’s trying to be pro-life without actually being against the “right” to abortion.
    There are no two ways about this. And if killing the child in the womb isn’t something we can simply, clearly, unequivocally condemn at all times, then nothing is. We can do that AND still ask people their names and stories and reach out in love.

    • Jennifer, I don’t know him personally, face to face, but I have been in contact with him, and I follow his ministry. He’s passionately anti-abortion. I knew that way before this all happened. I hope you can trust me on that.

      • Chip Crawford

        Perhaps you are not hearing all that is being said. It’s not what stand someone has in their heart, we have to gain the fortitude to keep it in the midst of challenges to it. The Pastor very much appeared to soften it so as to distance himself from disagreeing with a very strong personality. He knew the climate on The View. It can be withstood without compromise with sufficient grace. You cannot talk things two different ways in public and have a true stand. He may believe one thing in his heart, but lack the fortitude to stand up for an unpopular belief with a strong personality.

    • tz1

      This is the point. He is “pro choice” since he won’t unequivocally condemn Abortion, even if the woman “chooses” to murder her baby.

  • Avril Brown

    I think he INELEGANTLY side stepped a road bomb intended to take the impetus off of Jesus and get into an ugly debate. Maybe a bit more panache would have been desired, but this woman clearly wanted to blow him up. I hope a lot of women in NY heard this and go to his church because they heard Mercy. Where are the hearts of this church age? I think a lot of people care more about party lines than the Tender Heart of Jesus!

    • Patmos

      You mean, the tender heart that called for repentance everywhere he went? The tender heart that said, “Go forth and sin no more or else something worse will happen to you”? The tender heart that let us know that heaven and earth will pass before God’s law does?

      • Patmos, Jesus chose NOT to condemn the adultress before telling her to “go and sin no more,” friend. She knew what was up.

        • Patmos

          That’s right, the sin was already acknowledged. Just showing mercy in the general sense, as implied by Avril Brown and Lentz’s response, does nothing to get a person right with God.

    • Charles Burge

      To elaborate on my point below: He needs to learn how to elegantly answer questions like that. By agreeing to do interviews on national TV, he implicitly accepts the role of being a spokesman for God’s Kingdom. It’s his responsibility to learn how to answer hostile questions with grace and truth, and without compromise.

      • He wasn’t intimidated by that den of hyenas. Trust me. He knew what he was doing, even after being misled.

        • Chip Crawford

          You appear to have your mind set on this, but there can be things for all us to learn, so we don’t really need to defend everything the Pastor did. He thought better of some of it later himself.

      • Chip Crawford

        Amen and Amen.

    • m-nj

      The story stated…When asked by Joy Behar if abortion was considered a sin in his church, he replied, “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,” at which point the audience broke into raucous applause.

      The fact that the audience “broke into raucous applause” means he failed to state the clear and correct Biblical response that abortion is sin…. mankind (in this case, mostly women) love to applaud for what their itching ears want to hear.

      He is right that God is the judge, but he miserably failed in representing the Judge’s stance on this issue. Pathetic.

    • Chip Crawford

      Lule 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay [disagree with, argue with, dissent from] nor resist.
      Acts 6:10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.

      God is able to provide anointed speech that will be effective. If there is a huge struggle in the preparation and then something that very much sounds like a compromise later, again, maybe it was not for him to go, at least now. Where he (the lord) guides, he provides. He’s never let anyone down whom he sent.

      I know of a national teacher who was confronted by the BBC in England about homosexuality. Wow … he took the opportunity to lay out a response full of facts and heart and word that made God look like he is – smart, loving and ahead of the game instead of behind it. The BBC is one of the brutal ones if you don’t know about them, and were gunning for him. He was so on it that they let him speak as long as he wanted without challenge. Whether or not they clipped him unfavorably later, I don’t know, but the vitality was there in every word and resonated in his tone. That’s available to all. He was prepared. His heart was established on the subject. You punched him on it, and an anointed word rolled out of him.

      • Patmos

        Amen, got to love that anointing. One of my favorites from Acts:

        “18 And they (the council of the temple) called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
        19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.”

  • Patmos

    “at which point the audience broke into raucous applause”

    This is probably the most revealing thing here. I won’t get into the implications, because they should be self evident.

    • Dant e

      Indeed. This seems to be all contemporary media with their handpicked audiences run by the principalities and powers in high places and little by little the incremental influence of the majority sways toward the enemy

  • Elaine

    Reminds me of the New Kids On The Block. Let’s try the cool, hip church. We can win the world over by being hip. Have a cool band with flashing lights and they won’t even know they are at a church. So weary of the church looking no different than the world.

    • Josh Leake

      So if they get rid of the cool band and flashing lights, does that fix the problem?

  • Håkon Hovda

    My main problem with what he said is that it’s not up to him what he thinks about different issues. It’s what the Bible says that should be his concern.

    • Patmos

      And if people have issue with God’s word, they should really take it up with him.

    • Chip Crawford

      Yes, he went the route of distancing himself from the confrontation — he deferred it. That’s why I say don’t go unless you are sent, and then hang tough, and the grace for it will be there. Some are sent; some just went. No condemnation, but not the best. We all need to come up in these areas.

  • Patmos

    Ever notice how one of the first things Jesus did was preach the law, in The Sermon on the Mount? And not only the law, but even expanding on the Torah by saying things like that it’s not just murder but also hate that will lead a person to the fires of hell?

    You sort through these things and these little details so they CAN be forgiven, so that you don’t carry them with you, but they can’t be forgiven unless they are brought into the light.

    Ever notice how in James it says to confess your faults one to another? Some translations have it as sins, but the true meaning there is faults, that is ones not necessarily even addressed by the law of Moses.

    Do you see now how our perfection and righteousness is not made by our own works, but by the cleansing of repentance? Such is the the grace of God.

  • Patmos

    The message that there is no sin, no grace, and no repentance? You are clueless, seeking approval of the world through things like church attendance numbers, rather than the approval of God. You’re doing yourself and others a great disservice by distorting the process. You are lukewarm and the Lord will spit you out.

    The good news is of course, that you can change, and earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.

    • Josh Leake

      That’s not his message. Carl twice confirmed that abortion is sin. His message is that Jesus cared more about the person than their sin. In John 8, an adulterous woman was brought before Jesus and they said “This woman is a sinner, the law says to stone her”. Jesus didn’t condemn her even though he agreed it was a sin. On live TV, Carl was trying to respond like Jesus and was trying to say “We care more about each person and their story than about condemning them. When they experience God’s love, then they will understand sin, grace, and repentance.”

      • Patmos

        “Carl was trying to respond like Jesus”

        And he failed, or else there would be no need for clarification.

        Have you not read in God’s word where it says, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”

        How can a sin be forgiven if it is not acknowledged first? How can you know the love of God without bring forgiven?

        • Josh Leake

          I agree with you! But Jesus didn’t get into debates with Pharisees when they asked him for a stance on sin. Carl could’ve been clearer, but I think he was trying to avoid the same debate and was trying to say “Let’s handle this face to face rather than in a debate”. I don’t think it does any good to be upset with Carl.

          • He knows what they do on “The View.” The more controversy, the better. They — well, Behar for sure — were looking for a debate. That’s not what we’re called to do. Yes, part of it bothered me too, but it wasn’t the way some people are saying for pity’s sake.

    • And, you are making a ton of false assumptions about myself, my personal life, and my creed, sir.

  • Josh Leake

    Here’s my stance: I think being angry with Carl doesn’t help the kingdom of God. You don’t have to agree with how he handled it, but being upset in conversations or online doesn’t actually create any solutions, right?

    • Patmos

      Is anyone here angry? I thought he handled it just fine. When you make a mistake, you do what you can to correct it. God bless him for going out as a sheep among wolves and sticking his neck out. I pray that he is given utterance to reconcile people to God’s glory, to make the mightiest of men break down crying in the face of God’s mercy, to make people shout with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

      • tz1

        But there can be no mercy without repentance, and the weak non-condemnation doesn’t even say abortion is evil.

        He’s pro-choice as in “I disagree with your choice [to commit cold blooded murder] but I will still love you”.

        • Patmos

          To be clear, I meant handled the correction fine, and his twitter follow up by him clarifies where he stands.

          • tz1

            But even the clarification is weak.

             I do believe abortion is sinful. Our prayer is that we can continue to help and love those that deal with the pain of regret from personal choices, rather than cast further shame and guilt on those already carrying so much and create a church that can teach people how to form convictions based on God’s word, that will be the driving force in all their decisions.

            White lies are also “sinful”. Murdering innocent babies in the womb is sinful. Is there no difference?

            “Personal choices” that cause pain? The painful guilt you caused a murder is different than saying you should wear the wrong clothing to some gathering.

            If they are “carrying so much” it is real guilt over monstrous sin like murder. This must be repented of and forgiven, not dismissed.

            Somehow, someone who has no convictions doesn’t seem the proper teacher to teach others to “form convictions based on God’s word”.

            Mushy Churchians are 10x the evil that actual demonic liberal idiots claiming to be Christians are. Because you can recognize those who say “Abortion isn’t evil” far more easily over those who will fog the issue and either not address it or do so in vague and abstract terms never actually calling it evil.

  • You know, if it were me, I might have started by reading them the first 17 verses of the Gospel according to John, then proceeded from there. In the World English Bible, that passage concludes as, “For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”

    Does anyone else notice the contrast, there?

    Far too many people think that the 10 Commandments are the basis of Biblical Law. They are not. They are, rather, examples of how to obey the basis of the Biblical Law, which is “You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”

    When you love someone, you will tell them the Truth.

    Is the Truth in the Law, or is it in Jesus Christ?

    What would Christ do?

    I think that Christ would bring them to an understanding of how impossible it is to be acting by love, terminating the life of one that has done no wrong.

    • Josh Leake

      I agree with you, but I think Jesus would do that in a one on one conversation. Most of the time, Jesus didn’t allow himself to be baited when the Pharisees tried to get him to make a public stance on things. I think that’s what Carl was at least attempting to do.

      • Dant e

        Agreed, although the Lord hadinfinite wisdom and knowledge and the ability to perceive their thoughts and intentions and had the answers which destroyed them when He was challenged before many people because he was in perfect union with the Father. It`s difficult to always have the right words when put on the spot like this as much as we try to remain in the Lord and let Him speak for us.

        • Josh Leake

          That’s a great point!

      • Chip Crawford

        Huh? The questions the Pharisees were using as bait were niggling details of the law, their chief fascination, not a life or death issue like abortion? Sheesh No comparison. Any Christian should have words from the heart on that even without preparation. Certainly a liberal city pastor of experience should have a statement ready to set out the word, God’s position. The Holy Spirit would get in on that to help him. For me, I wouldn’t go on The View in the first place unless I had a very, very strong leading. Of course it is hard, but God is up to all of this. It’s time we bus loose on these walls that are up out there. Let them fall back aghast. Despise the shame of it; refuse to compromise. The pressure … ohhh yeah. Mainly, I could not see sitting down cozy on such turf something the Lord would have us in. Most secular interviewers can cause even seasoned pastors to choke over these issues. That needs to change. Christians need to get up to speed on the apologetics on all current issues in our world.

        • Chip, you may want to consider that abortion was completely unfathomable in Jesus’s day. That said… I believe Carl DID have a strong leading or he wouldn’t have gone. He understands that the walls that need busting are the walls of the church. We’ve got to get outside of the church building and out into the community where the tax collectors and prostitutes and thieves are!!!

          • Chip Crawford

            Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is still up to the challenges. You’ll not find him out of touch with anything that we have today that wasn’t prominent in his. It just doesn’t work that way with God.
            How can you know someone’s leading? An old inner city minister once said, you don’t put anyone’s righteousness up against the righteousness of God.

            We don’t have to fix anything here. I’m not judging the man, but the issues alive in this are critical in our world today – to each one of us.

          • Charles Burge

            …abortion was completely unfathomable in Jesus’s day

            That’s demonstrably false. The ORIGINAL Hippocratic oath contained the following sentence:

            “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.”

            Hippocrates lived about 400 years before Christ.

          • Chip Crawford

            Interesting. And there are passages in Leviticus which seem to deal with it, drinking certain things.

      • Agree.

  • tz1

    If someone went around molesting children, would the statements be so non-judgmental, I’ll love you regardless, I will not villify you, I cannot live your life?
    What if the shooter in Texas that killed all those baptists lived?

    And the pastor was NOT talking to an individual considering Abortion who might have been in need of Pastoral care.

    Abortion is a Holocaust. Where were the good Germans? Saying the Nazis were just making bad decisions, and should be loved regardless, etc. We can’t call murder “murder”? Or murderers or accessories thereto “murderers”?

    Let me expose the horrible hypocrisy. Would these soft words be used for those who were on the alt-Right in Charlottesville – some who reject violence but are racist? Would he say such pulled-punches statements to David Duke or Richard Spencer? The demand is to disavow! hate! vilify! condemn! the mere thought-crime of “racism”. We can even ignore due process when someone being attacked by anti-fa hit – not the antifa crowd but another car, apparently creating a chain reaction, and Heather Hayer died – not of trauma but of a heart attack. Can you find me even one pastor calling for calm and evidence and using the same kind of weak pastoral softness words about this?

    David Duke has not killed anyone to my knowledge nor sought the deaths of anyone.
    Richard Spencer has not killed anyone to my knowledge nor sought the deaths of anyone.
    Abortonists have the innocent blood of those they murdered on their hands – literally.
    Women who seek abortion are seeking the murder of their unborn innocent baby.

    You Pharisees! You hypocrites! You condemn everything convenient when the SPLC calls a person or group “haters” with total villification, dumping the most vitrolic invective at them, even when they are anti-violence. But you are friends or act friendly to those who make excuses for those who don’t directly condemn in clear terms, much less actually murdered innocent blood – 60 Million over the last few decades!

    If “The View”, GQ, or whereever asked not about Abortion but about Charlottesville, or David Duke, or even The Daily Stormer (which specifically on its front page rejects any and all violence) would the response have been as soft and indirect, and would you have accepted it and made the same excuses?

    Really. Put “David Duke” in the place of “woman seeking an abortion” in the above post and quotes and see how the words and the responses feel.

    • As much as I would love to sit down and go through this line by line — and I could without compromising The Gospel — , I’ve got to take care of my mother. God bless you.

  • Hmmm…

    We just have to come up to the moment we live in …

  • The line us being drawn, those who are fir the Lord on one side, and a pit to fall in on the other. Carl’s right answer should have been, Yes Joy, abortion is sin, but not an unpardonable one.

  • Charlotte Morriss

    I would agree with you and im glad he stands for life, BUT…. the yhings that he has allowed in his church, the comments he has made to Ophra on the tv screen, some of the Bibical moral stance (siding against what the Bible says) leads me to say his is a dangerous person to listen to.

  • Jim Walker

    He gave a usual politically correct reply.

  • Ken Follis

    “Before I start picking and choosing what I think is sin in your life…” 1. That isn’t his job. 2. Even if it was, the weasel wouldn’t do it. 3. People don’t get to choose for themselves or others what is a sin.

    • Chip Crawford

      Sin is the violation of light. Bottom line, it is only God who knows how much light you have.

  • John

    The 2015 comment above is not clear at all on his stance. That aside, his clarity in the tweet is good and would have been nice if that was said to the audience of The View. No condemnation here.

  • I love how Dr Brown actually approaches people instead of impulsively blasting them on social media. Do we disagree with Carl Lentz? Ofcourse, but, why are we so quick to pick up the theological hammer instead of looking to engage PEOPLE first? Pray for Carl Lentz, hes really on a delicate pedestal

    • Sharon


  • Sam Setliff

    Dr. Brown, I appreciate your approach with Lentz, but I do not see his 2015 comment in GQ as being unambiguous. Reread that quote, he never says abortion is sin, is murder. His comment is all about “me”, and never references God’s position.

  • rasqual

    I can just imagine an ancient Israelite prophet ambiguously alluding to his remarks about Moloch from a couple years before, hedging his bets with a potentially hostile audience.

    The record of scripture leads us to admire the clarion prophets. Including in our own time.

  • Trilemma

    Mr. Lentz chose to not answer the question, “Is abortion sin?” Instead, he answered the question, “What would you say to someone considering abortion?” When it comes to talking to someone about abortion, I think Mr. Lentz has the right approach.

    • Chip Crawford

      Answering the question and the questioner before you is kind of important. It’s not like in a written brief where you can reference something previous in lieu of a fresh and direct answer. However, even in that venue, it is subject to being discounted by the reviewer.

  • Jason Winn

    So sad; it sounds exactly like what Joel Osteen would say. Be bold and diligent. Proclaim the Truth!!

  • Hmmm…

    A seasoned minister of the Gospel has admonished not to be interviewed by secular people – period. They will always distort and are experienced at keeping it on their “turf” and control it for their listener’s interest. Some newspapers just flat out call up and ask for an answer to something and print something opposite. Then they reference they contacted. There’s an article on this site right now about whether Jesus would carry arms, but another question might be whether he would give any time to a reporter. How about that?

  • Ruth G

    Pro-lifers can always answer with these two questions: 1) do you agree it is wrong to take an innocent human life? 2) do you agree with the scientific fact that human life begins at conception? (you can throw in another Q depending on your audience: If abortionists used guns wold you be more upset?)

    • Paul

      “If abortionists used guns wold you be more upset?”

      Now that there is funny, I gotta remember that one!

  • Paul Flynn

    Michael Brown, once again, defending the indefensible within the Charismatic movement (while claiming he isn’t).

    • Sharon

      This has nothing to do with the Charismatic movement. Whatever your opinion about Carl Lentz, there are charismatics and non-charismatics who are strong prolifers, and charismatics and non-charismatics who waffle on the issue.

  • John

    Lentz is clearly not prepared to be the spokesperson. He should find another role. By bringing up the 2015 interview, Michael Brown, all you do is confirm that he should have been prepared because the topic has arisen before! That makes his answer on “The View” worse, not better. Even his clarifying Twitter statement is based on “belief,” not Truth.

  • Paul Trey

    I wonder if the ladies on The View, Carl Lentz, and the rest of us share a common definition of “sin”. While I might consider sin to be that in me which separates me from God, something I don’t want, but a gap which a loving Christ can bridge, others, especially secularists might have a hopeless condemning definition, inducing a rebellion against the concept (their concept) of sin. I suspect Pastor Lentz was trying to be sensitive to his immediate audience.

  • disqus_ygpK72fH4L

    If you cant say abortion and homosexzuality are sins against God/Christ then you are simply NOT born again..get behind me satan

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