An Oklahoma pastor is apologizing for getting a little "too live" during a recent sermon.
During his sermon on Sunday, Transformation Church Pastor Michael Todd was referencing the Bible passage Mark 8:22-25, which tells the story of the blind man of Bethsaida. In the passage, Jesus rubs his spit into the eyes of a man who was born blind, restoring his eyesight.
As Todd preached, he cupped his own spittle in his hand and rubbed it across the face of a constituent who had been called to the stage. His actions were met with groans from the audience, as he said: "What I'm telling you is how you just reacted is how the people in your life will react when God is doing what it takes for the miracle."
Clips from the sermon went viral on social media, as many criticized his decision to rub his spit on another person — especially as coronavirus cases continue to rise in Oklahoma.
On Monday, Todd addressed the response to the sermon in a video posted to social media.
"I watched it back and it was disgusting," he admitted. "That was a distraction to what I was really trying to do. I was really trying to make the word come alive and for people to see the story, but yesterday it got too live. And I own that."
He continued, "I just want people to know that we want to help people. 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'm passionate about that. So much so that I try to do extreme things to help people get it. Yesterday it crossed a line."
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Todd ended his message on a lighter note, letting his followers know that he'd called the man whom he spit on to talk about the incident with him.
It’s never my intention to distract others from God’s Word and the message of Jesus… even with illustrations!
I apologize for my example being too extreme and disgusting!
I Love Everybody 🧡#REPRESENT pic.twitter.com/YfzFmySCPe
— Michael Todd (@iammiketodd) January 17, 2022
"I just called him. He was bald before I spit on him, and he's still bald today," Todd joked. "So, no miracle here. Next time I'll rethink it and do something different."
Todd is the lead pastor at Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since he took on the role in 2015, the congregation has grown from roughly 300 people to over 4,000 at in-person services, according to Tulsa World.
Since the pandemic began, Transformation Church has begun live-streaming its online church services — boasting over 24,000 viewers each week, the newspaper reports.