Who cares about Hillsong Pastor Carl Lentz slamming shots with Justin Bieber?

Fans of celebrities barely bat an eye anymore at the drunken antics of superstars. Instead the public displays of carnality of the rich and famous are celebrated. Smiled at. Wink wink.  Are we seeing this same blasé attitude in the visible Church?

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Celebrity Pastor Carl Lentz, who pastors Hillsong NYC and megastar Justin Bieber, a close friend whom Lentz personally shepherds, were photographed partying in a  tavern. The world is now seeing the fallout of the spectacle, in which the two slammed back shots. The pictures show Lentz smiling as Bieber began removing his clothes at Blue Door Bar in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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The singer started out his night fully clothed like any other patron, then stripped off his camouflage jacket and white singlet which saw some unstoppable smiles from the two female bartenders serving him. Shots and cocktails were on the menu for the US singer and his mate, Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz.

We aren’t posting the images. But if you need to see them, an Australian news outlet has them here.

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What’s the big deal?

We share this not for the buzz, if you’ll pardon the pun. This event is not about what celebrities do. It’s not about whether Christians can drink alcohol (see below). It’s not even about whether Justin Bieber is a regenerated soul (although his fruit is troubling and he is in desperate need of discipling under a real Shepherd). There is a much bigger picture to be considered.
Bieber considers Pastor Lentz his “second father” in the faith. As do many others. The Hillsong Empire and Carl Lentz himself influences hundreds of thousands of young people around the world. So when Justin Bieber makes an announcement that he is canceling his concert tour because he has rededicated his life to Christ, those sheep celebrate and marvel at what Jesus has done in this man’s life.

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But which Jesus?

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Is it the Jesus of his famous mentor and pastor, who denies that Jesus is the only way to a relationship with God? Or the one who smiles and nods at Hillsong’s carnal youth pastor, who posed as a Naked Cowboy to the squeals of attendees at a recent women’s conference?  The blatant pattern of sheep stumbling of Carl Lentz is documented here.

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Be careful little eyes, what you see.

Who cares about this little party in New Zealand?  Well, Christian, if you care about the souls of those sheep following Lentz and the Hillsong dynasty, those sheep whose faith is being shipwrecked not only by a prosperity gospel that does not save, or a carnality gospel that tells young people their “fruit of repentance” is nothing to worry about, then you should.
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Mark, Matthew and Luke quote Jesus’ strong warnings about causing “one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Matthew 18:6
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Romans 17-23 tells us:

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.  Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.  It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.  But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

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