Hillsong pastor Carl Lentz under fire after refusing to say on air if abortion is sinful

Hillsong Church pastor Carl Lentz has come under fire from Christians and other pro-lifers after he appeared as a guest on "The View" and refused to directly condemn abortion as a sin and instead urged people to live according to their personal convictions.

(REUTERS / Cathal McNaughton)A pro-life campaigner holds up a model of a 12-week-old embryo during a protest outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast October 18, 2012.

During an appearance on "The View" on Nov. 6, Pastor Lentz was asked by Joy Behar if abortion was sinful or not. The megachurch pastor drew loud applause from the audience when he refused to condemn abortion and instead said God should be the one who would judge a person for that, The Federalist detailed.

"That's the kind of conversation we would have finding out your story, where you're from, what you believe. I mean, God's the judge. People have to live to their own convictions," Pastor Lentz told Behar. "That's such a broad question, to me, I'm going higher. I want to sit with somebody and say, 'What do you believe?'"

When asked for further explanation, Lentz said he first wants to know the person's story and tell them about Jesus before pointing out their sins.

However, The Federalist criticized Lentz for giving "harmful" comments that could affect the faith community's battle against abortion. The publication said Christians ought to bear God's image to others and church leaders are called to defend the life of the innocent.

On Tuesday, Pastor Lentz addressed criticism about his statement on abortion on "The View." The Hillsong Church leader posted a message on Twitter that explained the comments and insists that he believes abortion is a sin, Life News reported.

According to Lentz, he wants people to help others who have regretted their past decisions instead of rubbing shame and guilt on them. He also said he was praying that churches would teach people to form their personal convictions based on what the Bible says.

Furthermore, Pastor Lentz vowed to continue leading people to Jesus every chance he gets. He said the Gospel of God's grace was "the best news available" to all.