Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz on Justin Bieber, church's stance on politics, social issues

Lentz spoke about his relationship with Bieber and his reaction to the events in Charlottesville.
8:58 | 10/30/17

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Transcript for Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz on Justin Bieber, church's stance on politics, social issues
Pastor Carl Lentz is not your mama's preacher. He's a leather jacket wearing bike riding buff hip Ster who rolls with music's "A" list celebrities and sports superstars. He even baptized Justin Bieber. The hillside millennial church packs them in by the thousands every weekend to hear him spread the word in a way no one's ever heard. We say we're going to reach everyone from the faceless to the famous. Well amen. Please welcome author of the new book "Own the moment" pastor Carl Lentz. Before we get started you don't look like any pastor I've ever seen. Priests sort of dress like this when they're not in a collar. This is the way you dress normally? No I have a collar and a robe? I'm kidding. We have try to be ourselves. I've heard that before. You've heard that before? Yes, ma'am. You've got tattoos. Some are real. Some are sticker. How many do you have? Most have to do with my family, a couple, maybe ten or 12. Hillside is seen as this hip Progressive church that's drawn huge millennial crowds. Where do you stand on issues that young people are passionate about like gay marriage, abortion? How do you address those types of things? We're going to go right there? We'll go hard and come down. It's only an hour show. I think our job is to help people -- not necessarily to change what they think. To point them what god has said and what we believe the bible says. I grew up in a church system and I think people understand the discussion is limited. You get told a lot of views but you can't work it out. We believe the bible is clear. God is good he loves everybody and Jesus was here to set people free. Our fight in New York is to try to make sure everyone can get in and hear it. We've been told if you disagree you're disconnected. We don't believe that. Who told you that? I don't think anybody told me that. I think it's the cultural religious Normal if you and I disagree we're done and I don't believe that's the case. You feel the religious groups are putting that out? I do and other sides. I think people are so caught up in disunity on every front. In our church you have different races, faces and different background where people -- It's not a sin in your church to have abortion. We would figure out your story, your truth. We work through it. God's the judge. That's such a broad question to me. I'm going higher. I want to sit with somebody and say where you want to believe -- It's not an open and shut case with you? Some people would says. I'm trying to teach people about Jesus first. Before I'm picking and choosing what's sin in your life I like to know your name. We talk to other leaders whether politics an religion mix tot. You're not supposed to endorse any candidates from the pulpit. Do you do that? I don't want to get in trouble. We keep it straight laced. When people say keep politics off the pulpit I say how do you do that politics affects people. To not do that -- Where's the line where your infringe upon the separation of church and state? My dad's a lawyer. Dad if you want to text me I'm getting in hot water. I don't know. Jesus came to destroy the political Normal of the day. I think we're supposed to speak directly to politics and things that affect people. I'm going to preach what I feel is right. I don't want to argue with you -- I don't want to argue. If you endorse president trump from the pulpit you're infringing upon that law of the separation of church and state. First of all I didn't do that. I'm just saying that would be the line. In our church we wouldn't do that. That's what I'm driving at. In the black church politics has been -- has always been an instrumental part of the word. Preaching because it affects the black community, because it affects the church community. I grew up knowing that this is something that would be can discussed in the church. But you can't name a person to vote for because your tax exemption will go out the window. That's different. Let's be clear. One thing I want to commend you on you have been very vocal in support of black lives matter and against racism in this country. While many Christian leaders stayed silent after charlottesville you did not. You called out president trump on Twitter. I thought that was very brave. Did you worry about losing parishioners and did you get a lot of push back for that? Yeah. Yes and yes. It's my job I think -- you spoke briefly before about white privilege. I have a double issue with white privilege and preacher privilege. If you're white you have a platform others don't. If you're a preacher you now have people that are going to listen to you even more because they believe you're a religious figure. I have thought it was my job to speak what was obvious. When you look at some of the issues of race in our country, people are going are we serious? Of course this is an issue an of course this is wrong. You've can't look at charlottesville and say there's good people on both sides. No. We have an issue. Those things need to be said out loud upfront. We have racial problems. People are trying to act like this isn't real. Just part of the Normal logical majority in our country is saying we're not going to ignore this. We're going to at least talk about it. I believe it's my duty as a Christian people to say truth regardless whether people love it or hate it. We saw a lot of pictures when we first started you've got tons of celebrity friends. One particular we've seen you with a lot is Justin Bieber? Who's that? He was all over the headlines because he canceled part of a tour. You've been with him and on the ride kind of through his ups an downs. Can you tell us how he's doing? He's doing good. He's been famous for a long time. We've seen what fame can do to people in this culture. The fact he's as kind and humble as he is with his failure as much as his success. He's got his own stuff he's had to own publicly. If anyone judges him I say shudder at the thought if your life was on the front page at his age. We all got stuff. Yeah. I think he's doing well. He is who he is. He's a guy getting better day by day like all of us. What do you do for him? Two questions. Forget about this question. Let's ask this question. You've get flack for cozying up to celebrities. Only that people say I'm cozy up. They say you cozy up is that true? No I think that's what people say when they don't understand something. The only way you figure it out is if you intentionally try to find out for yourself. We don't cozy up to anyone. We love anybody. Celebrities need help like anyone else. Right. Sometimes more so. His new book "Own the moment" is coming out tomorrow. Guess what? Our entire audience is going

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