Hillsong NYC pastor Carl Lentz recently said the fact that culture demonizes disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein but honors the late "pornographer" Hugh Hefner proves "we have very, very murky water right now with morality."
During a recent appearance on the Breakfast Club radio show to promote his new book, Own the Moment, Lentz was asked by host Angela Yee asked if it would be hard for him, as a Christian, to embrace someone like Harvey Weinstein.
"It wouldn't be hard for me, because Harvey Weinstein, he needs Jesus like I need Jesus," Lentz replied. "Are the consequences of his sin heavier? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, that man needs help, and if there's any place he could ever come that would open up the doors, it would be ours. It doesn't mean that we absolve or endorse or advocate or excuse his behavior, it just means our answer is the same. No matter what your problem is, no matter what your sin is, no matter how big or small we might make it, I feel like we know what the answer is."
He added, "So Harvey, you know, we're praying for him, like we would anybody. It's sad, and it's gonna get worse."
Dozens of women have publicly described inappropriate conduct by Weinstein that spanned three decades. Weinstein was subsequently fired from his own company and disowned by many in Hollywood.
Lentz pointed out that while Weinstein continues to be condemned for his actions, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was celebrated by many when he passed away in September.
"It's interesting how on one hand we honor Hugh Hefner when he passes away, the dude was a pornographer, but yet Harvey Weinstein is this demon in culture right now and I said we gotta pick our poison here," the pastor said
Lentz clarified that he wasn't trying to compare the two men's actions or "liken" them to one another, but rather what each of them represents.
"How can one thing be acceptable and then we not expect things like the Harvey Weinstein thing to happen for so long? We're mad...about what Harvey Weinstein has done, right, but the culture that created it we also honor," he continued. "What I'm saying is, we have a culture that can't pick which direction we want to go. Is Playboy's Hugh Hefner worthy of honor right now, yet we go to Harvey Weinstein and we vilify him?"
The point, Lentz said, is that "we have very, very murky water right now with morality."
When asked if he thinks pornography is immoral, Lentz said he believes the "evidence is there that pornography is destructive to anybody that's involved in it."
"I think it definitely devalues what is right and what is holy," he said. "I think you can get to a point in culture where you're so ingrained to think some things are right, we start to lose our sensitivity. I think from what I've studied, from what I know, the people that I've walked through some pretty nasty journeys with, sometimes pornography is an ever-present factor in all these scenarios."
He added, "It looks to me, hypocritical."
The pastor pointed out that porn has become so normalized, that it "breaks down your defense systems."
"If someone can look at me and say, 'Porn has really helped my life, it has really blessed my marriage, I feel better about myself, I think women are amazing because of the porn I look at and I want to honor them with my life,' hey, I'm willing to be wrong on this, but I don't know," he said.
You can watch the full interview with Carl Lentz below.