An emotional Adrienne Houghton talked about how God used former Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz in her decision to come back to church.
The 37-year-old wife of Israel Houghton spoke out on a segment of the TV show 'The Real,' which she co-hosts. She urged everyone to remember the good things Lentz did despite all the controversies he is facing today.
She explained that she went to Hillsong NYC and said that Lentz's preaching spoke to her. She said that she doesn't know Lentz on "a personal level" like her husband does, but when she attended Hillsong NYC, the former pastor's preaching had an impact on her life.
"And I can truly say that Carl was a part of me wanting to come back to church," she said.
"I remember hearing Carl preach and I absolutely do believe that God has used him, because it affected me," she said. "I remember being in the balconies of Irving Plaza and being like, 'wow, like his words spoke to me.' I don't want to erase that because he did something wrong."
Reflecting on Lentz's influence on her own life, she urged everyone to "not erase the good that he did."
Houghton acknowledged that what Lentz did was wrong. She sympathized with Lentz's wife and children, adding that while so many people are disappointed in the former pastor, no one is more disappointed than his wife, Laura, and their three kids.
However, she argued that pastors are humans just like everyone else. According to her, Christians are not flawless and are basically of equal importance; they just receive "different giftings" from God.
She emphasized how Christians should "reassess" how church leaders are viewed. Pastors are not higher than anyone else and Christians should only look up to God and no one else, she added. Furthermore, people should not completely forget the good that church leaders have done when they do something wrong.
Houghton could not help but express how she felt about people's reaction to the issue. She said sometimes the church is so good at lending a hand to and seeking the lost, yet so terrible in dealing with those already found, those in the ministry, and even those in the church leadership.
Lentz was terminated from Hillsong Church after issues of moral failure and breach of trust surfaced. The pastor admitted through an Instagram post that he had been unfaithful to his wife. He also said his time at Hillsong NYC is over. He apologized to his wife, his family, the church, and the public.
A woman by the name of Ranin, who is a Muslim and a New York designer, spoke out about her alleged relationship with Lentz, which became the reason for Lentz's termination. The relationship apparently went on for five months and ended after Lentz's wife discovered it.
Reports about complaints and experiences regarding Lentz also surfaced days after the announcement of his termination. Hillsong founder Brian Houston commissioned an independent investigation on Hillsong NYC/East Coast. Houston said the church needs to establish a good foundation before it can move on to a fresh start.