‘No,’ Carl Lentz Responds When Asked By Oprah if Only Christians Can Be in Relationship With God

Photo credit: Instagram
Photo credit: Instagram

During a recently-aired episode of Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday,” hipster Hillsong NYC leader Carl Lentz replied in the negative when asked by the popular talk show host if he believes only Christians can be in a relationship with God.

The episode was recorded earlier this year, but aired this past Sunday as per the Super Soul Sunday webpage.

“Do you believe that only Christians can be in a relationship with God?” Winfrey asked.

“No,” Lentz replied. “I believe that when Jesus said that ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’—the way I read that, Jesus said that He is the road marker, He is the map.”

“So, I think that God loves people so much that whether they accept or reject Him, He’s still gracious, and He’s still moving, and He’s still giving you massive red blinking lights, for chances to take a right turn where maybe you’d take a left,” Lentz continued. “But I believe God loves people, and that’s what this whole gospel is based on—it’s love. You take the love out of it, we’ve got a moral book.”

Moments prior, after Winfrey advised of a friend who is enamored with Hillsong NYC, Lentz remarked that he hopes his assembly is “hopefully a place where you won’t feel a certain way because of how you’re dressed, what your past is, what you might have done on Saturday night, [or] your background.”

“I think it’s a place where you can come in and actually hear and be safe,” Lentz said.

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As previously reported, concerns had been raised in May after Lentz posted a photograph on social media announcing his upcoming appearance Winfrey’s television broadcast.

“I really enjoyed my time with @oprah filming for her Super Soul Sunday show,” he wrote on May 18. “She is truly a special woman and a culture changer. To come from absolute poverty in Mississippi and reach the point where she became the first African American multi-billionaire takes a passion and drive that is exceptional and tireless.”

While the photo generated thousands of likes on social media, others raised concern over the Hillsong leader’s appearance with the television celebrity, who once said, “There are many ways, many paths to what you call God. … Does God care about your heart or does God care about if you call His Son Jesus?”

“Oprah is a pagan with New Age beliefs. For many years she has stated that there are ‘many paths to God.’ She denies that Jesus said the way is narrow,” one wrote.

Lentz replied to the comments on Instagram, remarking that he doesn’t like followers arguing about the Bible on his page.

“I don’t check these comments often, and the further I read on this thread, I’m reminded to do it less and less!” he said. “I will say that I can no longer allow people to use my comment section as their own personal theology blog! Can’t do it. Wrecks my picture and becomes almost embarrassing.”

This week, Bobbie Houston, wife of Hillsong Australia leader Brian Houston, also defended the appearance, opining that it was a “God-honoring, Spirit-breathed and Jesus ‘front and center’ interview.”

“And sadly the God-haters and Hillsong-haters and Oprah-haters will be frothing and manifesting,” she wrote on Instagram. “We love you but your unrelenting contempt and hatred is only going to make us love you more fiercely.”

As previously reported, Hillsong NYC is a popular 8,000 member Pentacostal congregation, which meets each week in nightclubs, theaters, and other venues across New York City. Trendy concert-like music, strobe lights, and Lentz’s unconventional messages draw thousands of attendees every Sunday.

Celebrities often stop by Hillsong NYC to experience Lentz’s unorthodox messages, which are often replete with street slang and modern lingo. Pop star Justin Bieber occasionally attends services and was reportedly baptized by Lentz.

Despite Lentz’s burgeoning popularity, many Christians are concerned with lack of clarity on social issues, including homosexuality. Lentz says he does not like preaching about moral debates and once told Katie Couric that Jesus “very rarely” talked about “morality and social issues.”

“My Bible says, be attentive to individual needs,” Lentz told his congregation in a sermon, which was publicized by the Huffington Post. “So I’m not gonna make polarizing political statements about certain things in our Christian community right now. No matter who says what, we won’t be pressured into giving blanket statements to individual needs. Never.”


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  • Susan

    In the bible Jesus says ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life and no man can come to the Father except through me.,” He left out a big piece of the truth. He may interrupt it differently because he’s not telling the whole truth. John 14:6

    • Emmanuel

      They all do that. They leave out the answer.

  • Jennifer Prevost Morse

    Anyone, anywhere, at anytime can begin or continue or fix their relationship with God.

    • Ax2root

      But it is the RESPONSIBILITY of those who know the Truth to GIVE AN ANSWER …….for the hope in them

      That hope is only found in being born again in Jesus The Christ who is Hope.

      That pastor’s answer was confusing in that he did not CLEARLY state that family relationship with Father God is ONLY found in being born again in Jesus Christ.

      Others call him God.l( Elohim/ Creator) We who are in the FAMILY of God by being born again in Christ Jesus call GOD ABBA ( Father)

      God is not the author of confusion.

      Shalom

  • Reason2012

    “No,” Lentz replied. “I believe that when Jesus said that ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’—the way I read that, Jesus said that He is the road marker, He is the map.”

    If you keep reading the rest of that verse, Jesus makes it clear exactly what He is saying:

    “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
    John 14:6

    He twists it into “people can get to God any way they want, not just by Christ”.

    “So, I think that God loves people so much that whether they accept or reject Him..”

    Jesus says many times quite the opposite.
    “And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.”
    Luke 20:17-18

    This is why every person must read the Bible (the KJV being the most accurate English Bible) for themselves and not listen to other people TELLING you what God has said instead, opening yourself up for deception.

    “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
    John 3:17

    • Ax2root

      Agreed

  • Amos Moses

    One of the sure signs of being an heretic …… being invited on the Oprah show ….. and have her agree with you ……………… YIKES ………….

    Hillsong …. whatta ya gonna say ….. /SMH ……………

    • http://www.dontneednostinkinwebsite.com/ Deplorable Midlandr

      My thought too. Orca is awful.

  • michael louwe

    REV.22 = Jesus Testifies to the Churches

    12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”[f]

    14 Blessed are those who do His commandments,[g] that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But[h] outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

    16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

    17 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

    A Warning

    18 For[i] I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add[j] to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away[k] his part from the Book[l] of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
    .

  • Trilemma

    Can Jews be in relationship with Go? If yes, then Lentz was correct to answer, “No,” to Oprah’s question.

    • Ax2root

      My first thought. THE HEAVENLY FATHER DRAWS ALL to Himself Is that how Oprah defines ” relationship with God”?

      However , He draws all to PERSONALLY BE BORN AGAIN IN CHRIST JESUS which vital info BOTH Oprah and the pastor OMITTED.

      Jews and others can call God Creator Elohim BUT ONLY those born again in Jesus Christ can call God ABBA ( Father) and ONLY those born again ( Romans 10:9-10) are CHILDREN of God.

      The pastors answer was confusing and GOD is NOT the author of confusion.

      The Pastor should have CLARIFIED the definition of ” relationship ”

      The enemy is subtle and wants confusion by omission as well as commission

  • edwitness

    I once heard Oprah say she could not reconcile the god she learned about in
    church as a kid, with the God she thought was a God of love in the Bible. She said she believed the God of the Bible is a God of love and the one she was taught about was not. And that from the teaching she had heard she no longer believed the god of the Bible is a God of love.
    If the god someone is told to believe in is a god that was so angry, so furious at his creation, that he had to beat someone so badly they would be unrecognizable, and then gain satisfaction from seeing him suffer and die on a cross, in order for him to forgive mankind and for mankind to be made acceptable to him, how are they to reconcile this god to a god of love?
    The Bible does not teach this kind of God. But, the pulpits do. In fact, the Bible says it was those who saw the crucifixion, and not God Himself, who thought Jesus was being beaten and killed because God had to. Isaiah 53:4- “…yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” And the Bible also teaches that they were wrong. It was not God who did this. Vs 5 says “But”. This expresses a contrast to what was said before. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
    This means that He was not tortured and killed because God required it as payment for sin. It was because God had to enter into death with us so that through this He was able to experience all that man does. And in dying He was able to be separated from the Father just as we are. Then by way of the resurrection He conquered death and became the way, truth, life for all mankind.
    Oprah, Bill and others like them are wrong as wrong can be theologically. But, they are correct in one thing. The god being preached in most pulpits today is not the God of the Bible. Because the God of the Bible is a God of love. Not an anger driven maniac.
    God’s anger toward mankind’s sin did not require that Jesus suffer and die for the sin of the world. His love did. Suffering exposed the work of satan. Col.2:15.
    And His death and resurrection brought us life through faith in Him. John 5:24.

    Blessings

    • michael louwe

      HEB.12 = If[b] you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
      11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
      .
      .
      HEB.10 = The Just Live by Faith

      26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
      30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[e] says the Lord.[f] And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”[g] 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
      .
      .
      ACTS.9 = 3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

      5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”

      Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.[a] It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” …….

      13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.”

      15 But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

      • edwitness

        Again, Hebrews is written to Hebrews. Hence the name HEBREWS.

  • Sammy

    This is a perfect example of man interpreting the bible to his own good and pleasing will. But never did Jesus say that anyone who is anyone can be saved. Please people we need to wake up and see the signs. Jesus said ONLY those who do the will of my father. Please Read Matthew 7:21-23

    “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!

    • edwitness

      Sammy,
      What is the will of the Father you referred to in your comment? You did not specify in your remark.
      Blessings:-}

      • Sammy

        The will of the father is following his commands and laws just as Jesus says in the bible.

        On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
        Jn 14:20-21

        • edwitness

          Sammy,
          Are you refering to Jesus’ command to love one another or those given to Moses?
          Or both?
          Because the church is not subject to the law of moses. Eph.2:15 “Having ABOLISHED IN HIS FLESH the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;”

          Blessings:-}

          • michael louwe

            Don’t u know that JOHN.8:58/EXO.3:14 says that it was Jesus Christ, the “I AM WHO I AM” who had given His Law to Moses.?
            What does JOHN.1:1-2 & 1:14 & 20:28 and 1TIM.3:16 say.?
            Seems u do not really know who God/Jesus is.(cf; EXO.33:20, JOHN.1:18 & 5:37, EZEK.1 & REV.4)
            .
            Jesus command to His apostles to love one another is no different from the Moses command to love yr neighbor(/friend) as yrself at LEV.19:18/MATT.22:39.
            …….In fact, JC n His apostles kept most of Moses Law n quoted much from the Law n the Prophets in the Old Testament.

            Bear in mind that at ACTS.15:24-29, God has exempted Gentile Christians from any law of Moses which is a burden, eg circumcision, kosher foods, etc. They r required by God to keep any law of Moses which is not a burden, esp moral laws, eg the Ten Commandments(EXO.20:1-17) n DEUT.18:9-14. If not, they will be at grave risk of losing their salvation while suffering for their sins/evil-deeds/law-breaking, like the wife of Job who had cursed God/Jesus n died while suffering for Job’s ignorant sin/evil-deed(JOB.1:5 & 3:25) or like the incest-sinner of 1COR.5:1-5 & 11:30 or like those Christians mentioned in HEB.10:26-31 n 1JOHN.5:16-21.

          • edwitness

            Romans 2:14 “For when the Gentiles, WHICH HAVE NOT THE LAW,….”
            This means any law. I did not say it, GOD DID.
            As I said before also, Rom.4:15 and 5:13 as well.
            Until you understand this you will be done growing in the Lord.
            And it’s not hard to understand except you have to get rid of the lies you have believed, and replace them with the truth.

          • edwitness

            Hebrews is not written to Christians. Hence the name….HEBREWS.

          • david

            2 Timothy 3:16 [Full Chapter]

            All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

            —-all scripture is beneficial to everyone, so you greatly err and it would help to humble yourself in getting rebuked and being corrected. you do not know it all.

          • edwitness

            David,
            The problem here is that it is you who needs to receive rebuke. Not me. I have referenced the scripture for everything I have said and have not seen a single scripture that would refute that.
            Your reference to 2Tim.3:16 only has significance if when we are reading them we understand them IN CONTEXT.
            For instance, if you believe that the seed Jesus refers to in Mark 4 is literal seed you are to bury in the earth because you don’t keep the context correctly, then your belief in seed for salvation would not be beneficial for you or anyone you tell it to.
            The benefit comes from understanding what is written in context. The seed is the word of God. The soil is the heart of the one hearing. The different kinds of ground are the result of the difference in someone’s willingness to hear. Which, by the way, is the Biblical definition of humility.

            When kept in context the passage in Rom.7 is refering to Jews, not Gentiles. We know this because Paul says he is speaking to those who know the law. Vs.1. This means the whole rest of the chapter is speaking to Jews, not Gentiles. Because the subject Paul is talking about carries throughout the chapter. It is not some description of the battle men have with a sin nature after they are saved. Context, context, context.

          • Rex Mueller

            I hope you’re not someone who calls yourself a true believer. If so you are misleading so many people

          • edwitness

            You and those who teach what you believe have been misleading people for centuries. Because what you believe came from the whore, Catholicism.

          • Ax2root

            All humans are made in Gods image and likeness

            HOWEVER

            unless you are born again ACCORDING to The Word of God you are not a child of God.

            It’s hateful to deny that truth to questioning people.

          • edwitness

            Ax2root,
            Amen to that! I always tell them the truth about the Bible. In Rom.4:15 and 5:13 Paul makes it clear that it is the law that makes sin count against them. And that where there is no law, any law, sin, any sin, does not count against them.
            This is for Jews not Gentiles. Because the Gentiles never have been responsible to keep law. Because the law was not given to Gentiles. Only Jews.
            So, you tell me. What is their responsibility now that the law has been abolished because of Christ’s death and resurrection? Eph.2:15

          • Ax2root

            The responsibility of every human is to receive God who is Love.

            That receiving is through being born again in Jesus The Christ.

            At that moment the spirit is immediately made the righteousness of God in Christ. The soul and body need to agree with the born again spirit who agrees with The Word of God.

            Those who receive from The Word are then able to give.

            ” freely we receive, freely we give”

            Those who know who they are in Christ and have knowledge of Him also understand their power in Him. ” Steal, kill and destroy of the enemy ( JOHN 10:10 ) ” sin being just one example ; loses its power to corrupt the soul and body and human spirit of the Believer who fully knows that he is ” accepted in the Beloved”…a son of God who is the bride of Christ

            Shalom

          • http://www.dontneednostinkinwebsite.com/ Deplorable Midlandr

            Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it.

          • edwitness

            Yes, that is true D M. And when He fulfilled the law what did He say happens to it? Mt.5:17,18
            “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
            For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED.”

            The word TILL expresses that what was given as a condition formerly will make happen what is promised once the condition is fulfilled. The condition was that Jesus would fulfill the law before it passes away.

            Jesus fulfilled the law. Now the condition is fulfilled. Therefore the law has passed away.

            The writer of Hebrews said it another way. He said in Heb.7:12 “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.”

            And as I said before, Paul said in Eph.2:15 that “Having ABOLISHED in his flesh the enmity, even THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;”

            The law is no more. Not for Jew nor Gentile. Jesus changed everything. And praise Him for that.

  • Steven

    I’m thinking that Carl Lentz–Oprah has already shown her hand–may be in danger of having the following conversation with God:

    Carl: Lord, Lord, have I not done many wonderful works?
    Jesus: I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

  • jennylynn

    What we see today is a “New Age” church masquerading in the name of Jesus. Cultural Christians create a god that’s suits their desires, and make the Bible into doctrines of men. it’s unfortunate because many Cultural Christians do no even read the Bible to acknowledge Jesus’ severe warnings. True love preaches the gospel of repentance. What a different world it would be if we did as Jesus’s said and not lived to please hollywoood superstars.

    Why do you call Me Lord, Lord if you do not do what I say?
    Luke 6;46

  • Bacchus

    Jesus is the I AM John 14: 6 states “I, I AM the way” (ego eimi)

  • Timmy Wilburn

    Read Matthew chapter 7 . Then read Romans chapter 1. This person is mentioned in those two chapters. Jesus said many will claim to speak in my name but are Antichrist and will deceive Many with apostate religious beliefs.

  • Rebekah Webb

    Paganism has long been infiltrated in Christianity since the reign of Constantine. As believers we need to ask ourselves this, If the we are celebrating things that the world celebrates are we really imitating Jesus. Halloween is coming up as many other holidays are. What is Biblical about a believer doing these things? My family and I do not celebrate worldly holidays instead we celebrate Yahweh’s Holy Days found in the Bible. It’s time to get back to the Father’s ways! He calls us to live like His Son. His son would have never celebrated like the pagans do. Sadly many believers do not know what is pagan! I want to encourage my brothers and sisters in Messiah to look up Holy Days vs. Holidays. It is an eye opener. Yahweh bless you all. Shalom!

  • Ax2root

    The Word speaks of giving an answer.

    There are sins of omission as well as commission.

  • Chet

    If one continues on his own way missing those “red blinking lights” and keeps moving and shaking till one day the death rattle shakes in his own throat, and, he, the man, never repented and received the Lord Jesus Christ as his own personal Lord and Saviour, that man is lost and will open his eyes in Hell… Why confound the unsaved and unlearned with tap dancing and political jangling in avoiding the real issue at hand? He was presented with opportunity to share truth as written, not as interpreted and, perhaps, preferred…

    • Ax2root

      His answer was muddled

      Jesus is not confusing

      • Chet

        Amen!

  • BeBeX

    The Gospel according to satan is alive and flourishing on planet Earth. Beware of whose Gospel we follow. GOD’s Holy Word (Bible) is one complete Book. So many people have stressed what JESUS did not speak of in the N.T. The reason is because HE had already covered those in the O.T. Please, please, pray for discernment in whose Gospel we follow. The Earth is temporary, Heaven and Hell is eternal.

  • poppyw

    The young man is preaching, but doesn’t know his Bible. In effect, he call’s Jesus a liar. Jesus said NOBODY comes to the Father except through Him. And, the only way you can come through Jesus is to be born-again. This makes you a clean, new creation, washed pure by the blood of Christ. God says that He is holy and cannot have a relationship with a sinful person. You must be “washed in the blood of Jesus.” All people are in sin. All sinners need a Savior to gain access to God and His eternal gift of living forever with Him. That was the intention, the reason we were created. But, sin entered the world by Adam’s sin of following Satan’s deception. But, God so loved us that He sent His only Son to pay the sin penalty on the cross. God has reached down to all sinners that they still may choose Him and live forever. All other religions, belief systems were spawned by Satan and therefore all false and lead to hell.