The disgraced, ousted pastor of Hillsong Church in New York City, Carl Lentz, was hired by a Tulsa, Oklahoma megachurch called the Transformation Church, which evidently condoned what many saw as an Easter service that bordered on demonic and blasphemous.
The service was considered by many to be “inappropriate” with performers in black leather twerking onstage with fire blasting in jets around them and a crucified female “Jesus” in the background.
The predominantly black, nondenominational church claims on its site, “We exist to Re-Present God to the lost and found for transformation in Christ. We are a multi-church. Meaning we are a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, multi-plying, and multi-campus.”
The church hired Lentz as a strategist in March. He was fired from Hillsong after he an extramarital affair came to light in 2020. Other alleged sex scandals were also exposed. He was pastor at one time to celebrities such as Justin Bieber, whom he baptized, and Kendall Jenner.
The New York Post reported in March of last year on Lentz’s former church: “‘Hillsong: A Megachurch Exposed,’ a new three-part docuseries premiering March 24 on Discovery+, dives into the jaw-dropping history of the religious institution and its founder Brian Houston, who has been accused of everything from embezzling church funds to covering up child sex abuse. Houston, 68, stepped down as the church’s director in January (amid a court case accusing Houston of hiding his late father’s sexual abuse of children — all of which the church has denied), and he resigned for good March 23, after an internal misconduct investigation, which found Houston had behaved inappropriately towards two women.”
(Video Credit: Doctrinal Watchdog)
Pastor and YouTuber Michael Todd led the musical performance at the church on April 9. It was called “Ransom” and the spectacle was denounced by fellow pastors for being unholy and “blasphemous.”
Lentz and Todd claimed that the performance showed how “God’s love conquered sin, death, and the grave” after a female figure appeared on the cross while others cavorted around her in very un-Christian mannerisms. Performers wore skin-tight skimpy outfits as flames shot around them. A rapper used money as a theme onstage. To many, it looked far more hellish than holy.
Todd claimed that 500 people “gave their lives to Christ” after hosting the performance, according to the Daily Mail.
Frederick Clement, who is a pastor and the founder of “By The Book Ministries,” declared that the production was “nothing short of blasphemous.”
“Pastor Mike Todd never ceases to amaze me,” Clement remarked. “Mike Todd’s Easter service was nothing short of blasphemous and it was a complete mockery of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! His remarks, the service, the performances were only meant to entertain the goats and mocked the sheep!”
(Video Credit: By The Book Ministries)
“It is entirely inappropriate. You have women basically twerking on stage but hey, it’s twerking for the kingdom. We’re twerking for the Lord out here,” Blaze TV’s, Allie Beth Stuckey commented concerning the performance. “Woohoo. Apparently, that is supposed to bring people to God. That is supposed to share the Gospel with people.”
The church defended the performance. They claim they “transformed” lives with it.
“We believe that so many lives were TRANSFORMED today because He’s not DEAD,” the church declared in a Facebook post on April 9. “This weekend over 500 people gave their lives to Christ and we want to let you know that TC and all of heaven is rejoicing because of your decision!”
Todd said that he had “never preached an Easter message” before, prompting him to “come up with a play.”
“I said, ‘But it can’t be no whack, raggedy, just, He got up. I was like, this gotta move people. And I really want it to be focused on people who don’t know God or are far from Him,” he asserted.
Transformation Church's Easter production.
— Pastor A.B. Harris (@pastorabharris) April 15, 2023
“I want the person who feels lonely and isolated, like God doesn’t care. I want them to see how amazing Jesus actually is and what God actually did for all of us. So I said, ‘We goin’ go to the edge on this. So they said, ‘Pastor, how far on the edge are we gonna go?’ I said, ‘We’re gonna do everything short of sin,” he added.
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