LifeChat: What Pastor Lentz Could Have Said About Abortion on The View

Hello. Roland Warren here. Imagine if a pastor was asked if his church
considered racial discrimination a sin and he responded by saying, “Ya know, people
have to live their own convictions…” Well, believe it or not, this happened, sort
of. Except the question was not about racial discrimination
but abortion. Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong Church in New
York City, recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he failed to firmly
condemn abortion during his appearance on the popular TV show, The View. Host Joy Behar, who has never been shy about
her support for abortion, asked Lentz, “So, it’s not a sin in your church to have an
abortion?” Lentz responded: “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 their own convictions.” This was a perfect opportunity for Pastor
Lentz to speak truth to the culture. Unfortunately, this was a missed opportunity…one
that the audience celebrated with applause. You see, too often, conversations in our culture
about Christianity focus on the “sin” side of the equation. There is no shortage of debate about whether
or not sin exists, what qualifies as sin, or how we should condemn it. On the other side of the coin, there are not
nearly enough conversations about grace, which should be an enormous part of the church’s
response and responsibility toward sin. If a grace-filled response to the sin of abortion
was what Lentz had in mind when he was trying to avoid the question about sin, his response
could have been more like this: “That’s a great question, Joy. In our church, we believe that the intentional
taking of an innocent human life is wrong – it is sin. But we also provide unconditional love and
support to pregnant women, their unborn children, and the fathers of their children in order
to walk alongside them so that they can bring their children into the world and have what
they need to support their decision. We surround them with compassion so they can
live out the fullness of their Christian faith in both truth and love.” What a response this would have been! My guess is that the hosts and the audience
would have been pretty quiet had he said something like that. In fairness and thankfully, Pastor Lentz came
out a few days after his initial interview and clarified that he does believe abortion
is a sin. But the point still stands – his respond
tended to focus on sin alone and not how his church, or any church, should respond to it. Indeed, one of the main reasons that a typical
pastor has a hard time responding in this way is that they usually do not have an organized
ministry response to unplanned pregnancies or abortion in the church. Because our culture has framed abortion as
a political issue, pastors too often get timid when asked questions about it. They don’t want to become “political”
or come across as unloving. But, love at its core is truth and compassion
in balance and we saw this modeled by Christ’s response to the woman at the well and the
rich young ruler. That’s why Care Net launched a church outreach
and engagement initiative called Making Life Disciples to equip churches to provide compassion,
hope, help and discipleship to women and men considering abortion. To take politics out of the equation and give
the church the opportunity to do what it’s designed for: helping people and making disciples
for Jesus Christ. My hope is that in the not to distant future
churches all over the country will have life-affirming ministries in their churches that serve those
considering abortion, so that when they’re asked if abortion is a sin, they will have
confidence and conviction to speak both truth and love, about sin and grace. That their church is a place where the sin
of abortion has been overcome by the power of love, rooted in Jesus Christ. Amen? Until next time, may God bless you daily as
you serve him faithfully.

8 Replies to “LifeChat: What Pastor Lentz Could Have Said About Abortion on The View”

  1. Wow, this is a great response to the tough abortion questions. I came across your video while watching another video of an extremist Christian bashing Carl Lentz. I agree with everything you said, Carl Lentz is also human, but it's great that he clarified and you also gave your version of how you would respond while still having grace and truth in tact. Also, the video quality is fantastic.

  2. This statement of yours would have been amazing to drop on The View. Just amazing, powerful, impactful. He was given an enormous platform in front of a primarily female audience and completely dropped the ball. You raised great points throughout the video. Love = Truth + Compassion

  3. I just don’t think he wanted to offend anyone and I do not think he wanted to be a judge idk though .. he was definitely being politically correct with his response. It’s tricky.

  4. This is the problem today. When the apostle Paul had a dispute with churches, he either went to those churches, or wrote to them. Typically the letters were read in front of the congregation. When Carl was asked, it clearly caught him by surprised (which it was meant to do.) He answer in his way. I took his answer as one that could use more details but of course it’s not his show and he can’t extend the time. But I looked at as him speaking on the women who already had an abortion.

    Now there were flaws in what he said. But this is where older pastors, elders and so on—reach out to him to hear him out and to teach him!

    I wouldn’t call him a false teacher so soon. Maybe there’s so much he has to learn. If you look up his testimony you’ll see he’s different and that’s ok! Pray for him! But woe to you who condemn a man you’ve never met! Then you publicize for the world to see. Church business is church business. Smh. Not up for debate.

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