In a lengthy Instagram caption, Justin Bieber’s pastor Carl Lentz says he was fired from Hillsong for cheating on his wife. "I was unfaithful in my marriage, the most important relationship in my life and held accountable for that," he revealed alongside a picture of his family. "This failure is on me, and me alone and I take full responsibility for my actions."
While cheating on your wife won’t get you fired from most professional positions (see: the president of the United States), Lentz explained why being faithful is important to his specific role as a pastor. "When you accept the calling of being a pastor, you must live in such a way that it honors the mandate," he explained. "That it honors the church, and that it honors God. When that does not happen, a change needs to be made and has been made in this case to ensure that standard is upheld. Laura and I and our amazing children have given all that we have to serve and build this church and over the years I did not do an adequate job of protecting my own spirit, refilling my own soul and reaching out for the readily available help that is available. When you lead out of an empty place, you make choices that have real and painful consequences."
Moving forward, Lentz plans on focusing his energy on rebuilding trust, not only with his wife, but also with his community. "I now begin a journey of rebuilding trust with my wife, Laura and my children and taking real time to work on and heal my own life and seek out the help that I need," he revealed. "I am deeply sorry for breaking the trust of many people who we have loved serving and understand that this news can be very hard and confusing for people to hear and process. I would have liked to say this with my voice, to you, in person because you are owed that. But that opportunity I will not have. So to those people, I pray you can forgive me and that over time I can live a life where trust is earned again."
In a statement released Nov. 4, Hillsong Church Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston revealed they "have terminated the employment" of Lentz "following ongoing discussions in relation to leadership issues and breaches of trust, plus a recent revelation of moral failures."
While the statement noted that they felt "it would not be appropriate for us to go into detail about the events that led to this decision," I commend Lentz for having found the courage to come forward with the reason why on his own terms.
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