GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Grapevine is under police investigation for using a live lion and lamb during his Easter Sunday church service.

Young said the animals were used to illustrate his biblical message — but he didn’t have a permit.

“Yeah, you know our attorneys called Grapevine and their answer was simply this, ‘we’re not sure and we’ll get back to you.’ And of course they never did and we called, so we just went ahead and went with it,” he told KRLD NewsRadio 1080.

City officials in Grapevine say they have no record of that call, and an exotic animal permit is in fact required. Police have not determined what consequences, if any the pastor or his church may face.

During the Easter sermon Young had the animals on stage with him. He held the lamb in his arms while he preached. The lion was in a cage. Some members of the Fellowship congregation are calling the sermon a circus sideshow.

Young said his Easter message is part of a series of sermons where he plan’s to have live animals from the Bible and use them as metaphors.

“We’re multi-sensory learners. We’re multi-taskers and when you can have something like that I think it just makes the Easter message bigger and better.”

Some people have criticized Young on the church’s Facebook page, saying he exploited the animals.

Young denied the accusations and said the lion on stage Sunday has a good life. “This lion lives on 55 acres in California. The average lifespan for a lion in the wild, like this one, is seven years. He’s 17. I mean this lion lives better than most of us.”

Officials with Fellowship Church stand behind their pastor and say they see nothing wrong with him “using props” to communicate God’s message.

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