Oklahoma-based megachurch pastor apologizes for rubbing spit on churchgoer

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A Oklahoma-based megachurch pastor apologized on Monday after a video surfaced online of him rubbing his own spit on a churchgoer during a sermon.

"It's never my intention to distract others from God's Word and the message of Jesus... even with illustrations!" Michael Todd, the pastor of Transformation Church in Tulsa, wrote in a tweet.

"I apologize for my example being too extreme and disgusting! I Love Everybody," Todd added. "#REPRESENT"

A video of Sunday's sermon showed Todd and a man standing on stage while the pastor talks about how "receiving God's vision can be nasty." Todd then proceeds to spit in his hand twice before rubbing it on the churchgoer's face.

The moment seemed to catch caught the audience off guard, as gasps and "ewws" could be heard in the video.

"How you just reacted, is how the people in your life will react when God is doing what it takes for the miracle," Todd told the audience.

Many social media users criticized Todd for the sermon, particularly amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and spread of the omicron variant in the U.S.

"Had never heard of 'Pastor' Mike Todd before today," The Atlantic columnist Jemele Hill wrote in a tweet. "But I truly understand now why the elders used to frequently tell us that we're in the last days."

"If your pastor rubs spit on your face (looking at you, Mike Todd), find a new pastor," United Church's the Rev. Chuck Currie wrote in a tweet.