Though Hillsong has branches in LA and New York City, the church’s origins are actually in Australia. It was founded in New South Wales in the 1980s by Brian and Bobbie Houston. Though there are branches globally, the Australian branch has over 100,000 attendees each week.
Hillsong was put on the map when Bieber began leaning on Pastor Carl Lentz for guidance as he worked on his addictions and some mental health issues. Now, Lentz has been fired from Hillsong for a shocking reason.
Hillsong Church is huge among celebrities
While celebrities have flocked to Hillsong, which practices Pentecostal Christianity and focuses on Bible study, faith in Jesus Christ, and baptism, the church has also come under fire for homophobia. Actor Ellen Page called out Pratt for attending the church.
“His church is infamously anti lgbtq, so maybe address that too?” Page tweeted. “If you are a famous actor and you belong to an organization that hates a certain group of people, don’t be surprised if someone simply wonders why it’s not addressed. Being anti-LGBTQ is wrong; there aren’t two sides. The damage it causes is severe.”
The church claims that it opens its doors to everyone, but it also says that homosexuality is a sin.
Carl Lentz was fired from Hillsong Church
Until recently, Lentz and his wife, Laura, ran Hillsong New York, which had thousands of members, and he personally mentored Bieber. At one point, the singer was even living with the pastor and his family.
However, the church has also been accused of being a cult. There have also been whispers of sexual abuse scandals and exploitation of members. Now, Lentz has been fired from the church.
In a statement, co-founder Brian Houston revealed that Lentz had been terminated from his role. “Today Hillsong Church East Coast advised our congregation that we have terminated the employment of Pastor Carl Lentz,” he said, “This action was not taken lightly and was done in the best interests of everyone, including Pastor Carl. There have been ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures.”
Pastor Carl Lentz cheated on his wife
Now, Lentz has come forward about those moral failures, revealing that he had cheated on his wife. “When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences. I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life, and held accountable for that,” he shared in a lengthy statement on Instagram. “This failure is on me, and me alone, and I take full responsibility for my actions.”
There is no word yet on what Lentz will do from here. However, according to his statement, he is focused on his family. He said,
I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need. I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process.