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'Humiliation, embarrassment and heartache': Former Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz shares update ahead of documentary release

by Kelly Valencia
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FX

Former Hillsong New York pastor Carl Lentz says he and his family are now in a "happy and deliberately honest place" following his dismissal from the megachurch.

Lentz was let go from Hillsong in 2020 after he admitted to being unfaithful to his wife of 17 years.

"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. This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions," Lentz said at the time.

Writing on Instagram, the 44-year-old shared that his focus for the last three years has been "fighting" for his family while "seeking sobriety and healing."

"None of the noise, the lies, none of the half-truths that were said about me and 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," Lentz wrote.

The former Hillsong leader made the statement as a new documentary covering a myriad of scandals facing the megachurch is due to premiere later this month.

Lentz wrote he and his wife participated in the documentary as "part of the healing" but warned they "don't have any say in and that we haven't even seen yet".

"We were not interested in blame shifting or responsibility deflection, we focus on my mistakes and the context for what transpired," he continued.

Last month, Transformation Church led by sometimes controversial pastor Mike Todd, announced Lentz had joined the church's staff team to help as a "strategist" as they continue to pursue their "vast vision".

Many had criticised the former pastor's come-back to ministry as it's understood to be his first job since news of his adultery came to light. However, addressing this in his Instagram post, Lentz said his new job does not involve preaching nor overseeing people but helping "give perspective and insight" where he can.

Lentz concluded his post by saying he hopes his story can help others in similar situations.

"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 l'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 1 couldn't from the pulpit. Repentance and life change is proven over time with consistent choices and that's a road I look forward to."

The Secrets of Hillsong will premiere on 19th May.

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