Following a weekend of backlash to a sermon illustration that went viral for all the wrong reasons, author and pastor Mike Todd took to social media (where else?) to apologize for what he called a “distraction” from the message.
On Sunday, while preaching at Transformation Church in Tulsa, Todd rubbed his spit all over a congregant’s face as a way of illustrating how God’s plans can “get nasty.” A clip of the sermon went viral, along with the cries of shock and disgust from people in the audience. (You can see the video here but, be warned, it’s grosser than it sounds).
Todd said as much in his apology, calling the illustration “disgusting.”
“We wanna help people,” Todd said. “We want people to see Jesus. We want people to feel loved. We want people who are desperate to be able to find hope and I am passionate — so much so that I try to do extreme things to help people get it. And yesterday it crossed the line.”
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Most of the people who commented on social media about Todd’s sermon illustration were pretty weirded out by it, but a few drew comparisons to Jesus’ actions in Mark 8. In that story, Jesus spit into some dirt to make a mud paste that he then smeared on a blind man’s eyes, healing him. As Todd notes in the video, the man who received Todd’s spit (who is Todd’s brother) had no such miracle.