Oklahoma pastor and author Michael Todd has upset a lot of people after a video showed him rubbing his own spit in the eyes of a churchgoer during a sermon.
“Receiving vision from God, might get nasty,” Todd of Transformation Church in the Tulsa suburb of Bixby is heard saying in the video before the act. Members of the church were shocked.
“Do you hear and see the responses of the people?” Todd says. “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.”
Many people expressed shock and disgust when the video went viral on social media. “There’s no way you can defend what Pastor Mike Todd did,” sports reporter Chris Williamson wrote. “One of the most repulsive acts I’ve seen in the name of Christianity and he did it during a whole panini (still would be gross pre-pandemic).”
Another Twitter user wrote: “The rest of the message is lost because YOU SPIT ON SOMEONE. How we suppose to just move on from here!”
Todd has since apologized. He said he never meant “to distract others from God’s Word and the message of Jesus…even with illustrations!”
“I watched (the sermon) back and it was disgusting. That was gross. I want to validate everybody’s feelings,” Todd said. “That was a distraction from 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.”
“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.”
Since February 2015, Todd and his wife Natalie have served as the Lead Pastors of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Bishop Gary McIntosh, the original pastor, named Todd as senior pastor after moving from south Tulsa to north Tulsa.
After taking over the church, Todd became a New York Times Best-Selling author and now speaks at various churches and events across the world.