‘No Longer in Ministry’: Carl Lentz Bares His Soul in Public Letter

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From going through one of the most publicly covered and intensely scrutinized downfalls a preacher can endure, Carl Lentz is now sharing the devil has not won in the battle for his life.

While many carry feelings of derision and distrust toward Lentz for his moral failings, the Bible gives clear instruction on how to handle a brother or sister who has repented of past sins.

In a post on Instagram, Lentz shared an update on where he was in his and his family’s faith walk:

“For the last 3 years my entire focus has been fighting for my wife and my kids, my family has been my only priority. In order to do that, seeking sobriety and healing had to run parallel with those goals. Honestly nothing else mattered. None of the noise, the lies, none of the half-truths that were said about me or us, mattered. All I wanted was to prove to my wife and kids that I could show up for them like I had never done before. Although we have a long way to go, with a lot of work, a lot of honesty and a lot of prayer, we have found ourselves in a beautiful, happy and deliberately honest place. So much so that we not only celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on May 5th, but we got to do that in the purest way. Unfortunately, that came through a lot of humiliation, embarrassment and heartache.”

As reported by the Christian Post, “The letter comes in the wake of a two-minute teaser released by FX Networks on April 27, promoting a new docuseries set to premiere this month called ‘The Secrets of Hillsong.'”

The upcoming documentary was also addressed in the public letter by Lentz:

“Part of the healing from that heartache led us to the decision to be a part of a documentary that we do not control, that we don’t have any say in and that we haven’t even seen yet. We’ll see it when the world does. We were not interested in blame-shifting or responsibility deflection, we focus on my mistakes and the context for what transpired. I can honestly tell you that when you get to a place of honesty and freedom in your life, when you’ve gone through hell and you realize God is still with you… It is so freeing. It’s the freedom I wish for all of the many people that I know that are called by God and wrestle with secrets and the feeling of not being worthy. Trust me it led me to some dark places.”

Lentz made headlines when it was announced that he had taken a position with Pastor Michael Todd’s Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

While many were quick to decry the decision for a church to hire Lentz in any position, as was stated by Transformation from the beginning, Lentz reiterated that as his and his family’s healing process continues, he is not a ministry leader at Transformation Church, but in the role of a strategist that can still serve the church in the spiritual covering of a Christian environment.

“Even though I’m at an amazing church that loves and supports us, I’m no longer in ministry. I’m not preaching, not overseeing people, my role is to help give perspective and insight where I can. I can also say that what gives me joy and hope is knowing that what I have been through, what I have made it past can help so many others. I can do that in so many different ways, inside and outside the church. I’m not the first man to be in this situation and I won’t be the last, but I can promise you I’ll be the guy standing with his arms open wide for anyone who’s been on this path of addiction and destruction. I can say I understand it and my relationship with Jesus in a way that I couldn’t from the pulpit. Repentance and life change are proven over time with consistent choices and that’s a road I look forward to.”

As Charisma News previously reported, Transformation Church’s Executive Pastor of Operations, Tammy McQuarters, says the church’s goal is to have Lentz “help others experience restoration.

“We gladly welcome Carl Lentz to our Transformation Church staff, helping TC with strategy as we continue to move forward in our vast vision,” McQuarters told Religion News Service via email.

“After two years of Carl being in his own discovery and healing process, he has shown readiness to use his God-given gifts toward the local church again,” McQuarters says. “We believe in Carl, his marriage, his skill set and his restoration.

“We pray that Carl, Laura and their family experience not only their own restoration, but help others experience restoration by using their triumphs and failures to create resources for the body of Christ at large. We believe that this is part of what it looks like for the church to be the church,” she added.

Lentz and his family are on a long road of recovery that many have walked before them, and their path has a spotlight on them that few understand.

Yet if Lentz’s words are true regarding repentance and life changes, then according to the unerring Word of God, he is cleansed from his past discretions and has obtained the merciful forgiveness of God (Prov. 28:13; 1 John 1:9). {eoa}

James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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