An Oklahoma pastor has apologized after he smeared spit on a man's face during a sermon that went viral.
Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa was illustrating a Bible story in which Jesus healed a blind man by spitting on his hands and then touching the man's eyes, according to a video of the sermon Sunday.
After leading the man to the pulpit and continuing his sermon, Todd coughed up some phlegm and eventually rubbed it on the face of the man, who remained onstage with his eyes closed.
Todd was trying to relay in his sermon that Christians should keep faith in God even when his "vision" doesn't make sense.
Todd was trending Monday, with some people calling the illustration "horrifying" and "disgusting."
He posted a video on social media later Monday, writing: "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."
In the video, he said: "I just wanted to acknowledge what happened yesterday when the spit hit the fan. I watched it back, and it was disgusting. Like, that was gross.
"I want to validate everybody’s feelings, that 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 said.
Todd encouraged people who had seen only the viral clip to watch the whole sermon.
He also addressed the man he spit on.
"For my brother who I love and honor so much. I just called on him. He was bald before I spit on him, and he’s still bald today, so no miracle here, and next time I’ll rethink and do something differently," Todd said.
Transformation Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Todd and his wife have been pastors at the church since 2015, according to an online biography.
Todd is the author of three books: "Crazy Faith," "Relationship Goals" and "Relationship Goals Challenge."