Carl Lentz urges NY officials to provide clearer guidance as some restrictions lift

Lead pastor of Hillsong Church, New York City, Carl Lentz worships at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Lead pastor of Hillsong Church, New York City, Carl Lentz worships at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. | (Photo: Facebook)

Hillsong Church NYC Pastor Carl Lentz called for clearer guidelines from city officials in navigating the novel coronavirus, noting that the city is "all over the place right now."

“These are confusing times, my friends! Let’s pray this week for our government, people in leadership, anybody who has a voice to help lead us through this pandemic...NYC is all over the place right now with what’s allowed, not allowed, mask/no mask.. in all this disagreement, we can all agree WISDOM IS NEEDED!” Lentz captioned a video complaint he made on Instagram.  “@nygovcuomo@nycmayor big week ahead, praying for you.”

The pastor’s video featured Lentz and his wife, Laura, so baffled at the division in the city concerning restrictions that they jokingly made a plea to the officials of New York and the government. 

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“We're gonna need some details about what exactly the quarantine rules are right now because they seem to be different from block to block,” the Hillsong leader said. 

His wife noted, "Brooklyn was raging."

Pastor Lentz said, “I've seen stuff on the news, people are raging and there's other people that are still completely judgmental, with their eyes from behind the mask. How is anybody supposed to know what the deal is?” 

“Huge shout out to the government for giving us such opaque directions right now. We're praying for our government in New York City Mayor, and beyond, if you give us some details. We appreciate this. It's not a political Insta-story.” 

He added that he doesn't judge those who are out and about with others considering how obscure the rules are.

As temperatures rose on the east coast, hundreds of New Yorkers decided to disregard stay-at-home orders and go outside.

Photos online showed groups gathered over the weekend in Downtown Manhattan in the West Village parks and sat on blankets, picnicking without masks and gloves. Uptown, in the historic black community of Harlem, parks remained locked and social gatherings were prohibited and monitored by authorities.

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo provided additional details on the process to reopen the city as the shutdown orders are looking to lift in some regions starting May 15. However, he maintained that the stay-at-home orders are still in place.

Lentz contracted the novel coronavirus in March, which he revealed during an Instagram Live chat with pastor Judah Smith of Churchome in Los Angeles, California. He said he first contracted the coronavirus the Sunday after Hillsong NYC closed its doors at United Palace due to the city’s restrictions on public gatherings. Lentz told Smith that his "team got hit pretty hard."

In April, the popular pastor posted an update about his health on Instagram.

“I tested positive, now negative. I am very very grateful for that.. but the impact of this virus is real and the more of us that play our part, the quicker we can get to the other side of this,” Lentz wrote.  

At the time, he said social distancing is “inconvenient” but it’s “worth it,” even if it helps just one person. Lentz also said he believes it’s wise to wear a face mask whether they are effective or not. Surgeon General Jerome Michael Adams said on Wednesday that 25% of people have the virus and are nonsymptomatic, so he recommends everyone wear a mask.

Lentz encouraged his congregants and 646,000 followers on Instagram to do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. 

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