The alleged mistress of former Hillsong NYC Pastor Carl Lentz said that people look highly to the dismissed pastor, so much that he looks like "God to them."
In an interview with Good Morning America, Ranin Karim, the alleged mistress of former Hillsong East Coast Pastor Carl Lentz, said people look at Lentz "like he is God to them," the Christian Post reported. She explained that this kind of treatment usually happens when someone is given "so much power," to the point that the people under them think of them too highly.
"When you give somebody so much power, they become God to people," she said. "I think people forgot the concept of religion and beliefs. I think that people look at Carl like he's God to them."
Karim, a Muslim designer, came out to air out her side of the story weeks after news of Lentz's termination broke online. She gave a few details regarding how their liaison started, as well as how people inside Hillsong treated the celebrity pastor.
The 34-year-old New York-based designer admitted to her 5-month long affair with the former megachurch pastor. She said Lentz didn't tell her his surname, and that he saved his number on her phone's notes app instead of saving it on the Contacts list. She also said he told her not to search for him on Google.
Furthermore, Karim said that when she asked him about what he does for a living, he didn't give specific details about his job. All that he said was that he "manages" celebrities and "travels" with them. She indicated that it was as if Lentz didn't want her to know who he really is.
The designer said she noticed these "red flags," but she didn't "judge" Lentz because she likes "to meet people, and feel like they're a blank canvas." Things only changed when she discovered who he was.
According to Karim, she searched for Lentz online and found out more about him, including his job as the pastor of Hillsong's New York church. She also found out that he was already married to Laura.
She then confronted the pastor about his marital status and asked him if directly if he was married. He answered her with a straight "I am." He never wore his wedding ring, however, Karim said.
Karim reportedly tried to end their affair several times, but Lentz kept coming back, she said. Soon, however, their affair did end - with a call from the former pastor.
"He called me at midnight and he said ... 'My wife find (sic) out. And I gotta go. She saw the text messages," Karim said of the call that ended the liaison.
The Muslim designer said she'd been to Hillsong once, about six years ago. She also said she feels "bad" for Laura, saying "I don't think she deserved to be hurt," adding that she didn't mean to hurt her.
Carl Lentz rose to fame as Justin Bieber's hipster pastor. He was known for being the pastor of several celebrities and personalities, among them Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner, Kevin Durant, and Justin and Hailey Bieber.
Lentz was terminated from his position for several reasons, including leadership issues and an admission of moral failure. He himself admitted via an Instagram post that he was unfaithful to his marriage.
Hillsong is now investigating the inner workings of its NYC/East Coast branch. Hillsong Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston said they are hoping for the congregation to have a fresh new start after this sad incident.
Carl Lentz is now on a journey to restoring his marriage with his wife of 17 years, Laura, and rebuilding his family's trust.