So you’ve probably heard by now about the firing of celebrity pastor Carl Lentz, the spiritual adviser to celebs like Justin Bieber who became the face of the Hillsong Church in Hollywood.
Hillsong dropped the pastor after it uncovered what they called “moral failures” in their vague public statement — but which turned out to be infidelity.
After Lentz publicly apologized for cheating on his wife, the whole story of his extramarital affair came out. But that was not the whole story.
No, we found out just this week thanks to leaked audio from a meeting about his firing in which Hillsong Church higher-ups said Carl had actually had “more than one affair” and a whole host of other behavioral issues which made him incapable of his position as a moral leader.
Only… they acted in the meeting like this was all brand new information. In their statement they called it “a recent revelation.” But we’re now learning something even worse than cheating on his wife came to their attention long before now.
In leaked internal emails (also obtained by DailyMail.com — they clearly found a whistleblower in the organization), there’s evidence church elders heard about sexual misconduct by Lentz over THREE YEARS ago.
According to the report, a Hillsong New York community group leader first emailed one of the church’s directors in July 2017 to report that more than one Hillsong leader had sent nude photos to young female volunteers, the kind of sexual harassment that gets men fired from positions in secular organizations all the time — because it’s wrong! Lentz was singled out as making a volunteer “extremely uncomfortable”; the letter claimed he “acted inappropriately” and was “extremely flirtatious” with the young woman.
Not only that, the email straight up accused the pastor of what he was ultimately fired for, having “been involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with different women.” The volunteer had told him she witnessed this in the Green Room of the megachurch — just feet away from where he delivered his sermons. Gross.
The email also claimed the whistleblower had approached the church leaders with the information on her own and had been ignored. But even getting a higher ranked male member on her side didn’t do much.
After a month a senior member of Hillsong New York wrote back saying there had been an “internal review” which found all the allegations were false — and accused the group leader of doing “more harm than good” by trying to push this “false narrative.”
And that was that. For the next three and a half years anyway. Oh, except the guy who emailed? Yeah, his community group got shut down. So it seems like there were consequences for someone.
This hasn’t all been anonymous either. Jessica Inyere, Hillsong member who tried to get the word out back then came out swinging in response to news of the firing, tweeting:
“What Carl Lentz got fired over has been happening for years and those of us that knew were interrogated, threatened, monitored, and eventually silenced.”
A church covering up sexual misconduct accusations? We are clutching our rosary beads.
Seriously though, it sounds like Hillsong the organization really should be answering for this. Because it sounds an awful lot like they knowingly let an accused sexual predator run rampant over impressionable young women for YEARS. And that is a sin we can’t forgive.
[Image via Hillsong/YouTube.]