The pastor of a Tulsa, Oklahoma megachurch has sparked outrage and revulsion following a stunt in which he smeared spit onto a man's face during a Sunday sermon.
Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church used the stunt as a metaphor for how "receiving vision from God might get nasty." But his congregation--as well as the internet large--found it far more revolting than illustrative.
As Todd performed the stunt, his congregants audibly gasped in horror. See the moment below, at approximately the 41:00 mark.
Clearly // The Vision For Invasion // Vision Sunday 2022 // Michael Toddyoutu.be
Todd both spit and coughed into his hand before smearing its contents on the face of the congregant, his brother, and a copious amount of saliva can be seen dripping off his face.
But to Todd, his congregation's and online audience's horror was the entire point. As he said in his sermon:
“Do you hear and see the responses of the people? 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.”
Suffice to say, Todd's medium quickly overshadowed his message--especially given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently surging in the state of Oklahoma. People were so appalled that Todd began to trend on Twitter on Monday.
And soon, Todd himself was acknowledging that his stunt was ill-conceived. In a video posted to Twitter, he apologized for what he called a "disgusting" and "too extreme" attempt at a metaphor.
As Todd put it in his video:
“I watched it back, and it was disgusting. Like, that was gross. I want to validate everybody’s feelings. That was a distraction to what I was really trying to do. ... I own that.”
On Twitter, people heartily agreed with his characterization.
Todd took over Transformation Church in 2015, when it was composed of 300 people who worshipped in a small storefront. He has since turned it into a multi-million dollar empire that saw the church buying up some $66 million worth of Tulsa real estate in the past two years.