In a candid interview with NFL linebacker-turned-ESPN pundit Emmanuel Acho on his YouTube series Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, Hillsong Pastor Carl Lenz describes the church as being possibly one of the biggest propagators of racist ideology in the world where racism undoubtedly permeates every part of the church.
When asked by Acho why America is as segregated as it is, Lentz responds:
It’s hard to listen to a preacher preach if you know that preacher believes in systems that are hurting your people.
So it’s safe sometimes to go to a black church, especially if you’re a black American, than it is to go to a “diverse church.” Keep in mind that’s the biggest air quote of all time. Because you don’t – I don’t know if I can trust somebody who claims to love Jesus and professes to teach me about this man yet you’re silent on issues that hurt my people.
You’re silent when I need you in areas that I’m desperately oppressed.
When asked why the white church is silent on racial issues, Lentz compares it to cleaning a house – you want to do it and deal with it, but you quickly realize that the house is so messy and there’s dirt under every nook and cranny and the uncleanliness is so pervasive, that it because easier not to deal with and it and just say “you know what, I’ll just let my house be dirty because it’s too much work.”
This is what happens with racism [in the church]. The moment you start looking into this, you realize, ‘Oh wow, this goes all the way to the top! This is in our church choir. This is on our church administration. This is in the way we taught the bible.’
And there are a lot of Christians who set out to clean house until they find out how close to home it might come.
When asked if racism and prejudice exist inside houses of worship, Lentz is emphatic.
I think, in fact, it could be said that churches might be one of the biggest propagators of racist ideology in our country.
Lentz also makes the claim Jesus would be in the streets marching for Black Lives Matter and posting a black square on his Instagram for blackout Tuesday, compares racism to COVID-19 in that everyone should be assumed to be racist, and offers Pascal’s Wager on white privilege.
The whole 19-minute video can be seen here: