Carl Lentz to Oprah Winfrey: You Don’t Have to be a Christian to Have a Relationship with God
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. – 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (ESV)
In a recent interview on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Carl Lentz explains that he hopes that churches like his will “transform the way people experience their relationship with God.” Oprah then asks Carl Lentz, “do you believe that only Christians can be in a relationship with God.” His reply,
No, 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 when maybe you’d take a left, but I believe God loves people, and that’s what this whole gospel is based on, it’s love….
This is nothing less than the Gospel of Oprah. It’s a universal, “God loves everybody,” version of the Gospel. Lentz tells Oprah that people spend way too much time “doing it in their own strength, … and that isn’t working,”
Our thing is to say, hey, if you allow God, if you bow your knee, admit your need of God, and if you do that, and Lord … there’s a moment where my repentance matters, and it’s right now, I am handing over the keys, if you do that…I think the premise of Christianity is looking in the mirror going, alright, I’m not going to make it, I can’t do enough, God I need you, and in that moment, I believe there’s a rescue of salvation that you can’t counterfeit any other way.
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So this is his presentation of the Gospel to Oprah. Did you notice what his “premise of Christianity is?” It isn’t Jesus. In fact, there was no mention of Jesus in his “gospel” presentation. His premise is looking in the mirror, and telling God you can’t make it.
Carl Lentz is a false teacher preaching a false Gospel. His gospel appeals to the masses, and people like Oprah, because it’s inclusive, and does not place Jesus Christ as the premise of the Gospel. It places man and his “choices” at the center of this false Gospel.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. – 2 Peter 2:1
You can read about Bobbie Houston’s preemptive strike against discerning Christians regarding the Carl Lentz interview here: Bobbie Houston: If You Hate Hillsong, You Hate God.
[Contributed by Jeff Maples]