Skip to comments.The Osteen Moment — Your Own Moment Will Come Soon Enough
Posted on 01/28/2011 1:59:05 PM PST by wmfights
Joel Osteen didnt get where he is today by staking out controversial positions on biblical and moral issues. Americas prophet of Your Best Life Now built his reputation and his international following on an updated version of prosperity theology, laced with ample doses of pop psychology. The ever-smiling and effervescent pastor of Americas largest congregation has done his best to avoid association with doctrinal matters. More to the point he has done his best to avoid talking about sin.
Osteen would rather offer platitudes about attitudes. God wants you to be a winner, not a whiner, he asserts. Talking in any detail about sin would be to insert negativity into his relentlessly upbeat message.
But now, Osteen finds himself in the midst of controversy. Last night, Joel and Victoria Osteen appeared together on CNNs Piers Morgan Tonight and, boxed in by Morgan, Joel Osteen reluctantly confessed that he believes homosexuality to be a sin.
Yes, Ive always believed, Piers, the Scripture shows that homosexuality its a sin, he said. He added: But you know, Im not one of those that are out there to bash homosexuals and tell them that theyre terrible people and all of that. I mean, there are other sins in the Bible, too. I think sometimes the church and I dont mean this critically but we focus on one issue or two issues, and theres plenty of other ones. So, I dont believe homosexuality is Gods best for a persons life. I mean, sin means to miss the mark.
Pressed even harder by Morgan, Osteen was asked if singer Elton John is a sinner. He responded: Well, its strictly back to what the Scripture says. I mean, I cant I cant grab one part and say God wants you to be blessed and live an abundant life, and not grab the other part that says, you know what? You know, live live that kind of life. So it comes back to the Scripture. Im not the judge. You know, God didnt tell me to go around judging everybody.
Morgan appeared shocked at Osteens statements and accused the pastor of being hateful and judgmental. He also asked what Osteen would say directly to Elton John or any other homosexual. Osteen made no reference to the Gospel at all, but he did say that God would give strength in the struggle.
At one dramatic moment, Morgan rebutted Osteens claim to be non-judgmental: Im not so sure though, you see. I think you are a kind of judge. And I I think you cant abrogate that responsibility. I think what because of your influence theres seven million eight million viewers every Sunday, when you say things like homosexuality is a sin, its a big statement to make. You are a judge, and youre encouraging your congregation to believe that.
To Morgan, making any moral judgment amounts to judgmentalism. Of course, this leads logically to total moral insanity, since the only way to avoid being identified with judgmentalism is to make no moral judgments whatsoever which no sane person can do.
Osteens statements, verbally cushioned in every way he could imagine, fell far short of the full wealth of biblical conviction. Nevertheless, he experienced what might be called the Osteen Moment, when his entire ministry, in the public eye, came down to his answer to Piers Morgans forced question. To his credit, Osteen did answer his question, and by staking his position on the Bibles teaching that homosexual acts are sinful, he took the only road available to anyone with any substantial commitment to the truthfulness of the Bible.
Piers Morgans response was entirely predictable as was the eruption of press coverage hyped by CNN itself. The network claimed that the Osteen interview was Morgans most controversial since he took over the time slot previously held by Larry King Live.
Compare Osteens comments last night to this report from The Boston Globe in 2006:
I dont think its Gods best, the handsome Holy Roller said of homosexuality. I never feel like homosexuality is Gods best.
When pressed on the issue, Osteen said, I dont feel like thats my thrust . . . you know, some of the issues that divide us, and Im here to let people know that God is for them and hes on their side.
Joel Osteen found himself forced to answer a question that every Christian and certainly every Christian leader will be forced to answer. When that moment comes, and come it will, those who express confidence in the Bibles teaching that homosexuality is a sin will find themselves facing the same shock and censure from the very same quarters.
What happened last night on Piers Morgan Tonight is a sign of things to come. After this interview, Joel Osteen will never be seen in the same way by the secular media and a good segment of the public. His efforts to avoid talking about sin failed him, and he ran out of options. Thankfully, he did not deny that homosexuality is a sin. We can only have hoped that he would have given a more bold answer, followed by an equal boldness in the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In any event, Joel Osteen had his moment last night. Most Christians will not face that question on national television, but on a college campus, in a family discussion, in the workplace, or in the heat of debate. But, whatever the circumstances, that moment will soon come.
Who isn't a sinner?
Osteen is nothing more than a properity gospel talking life-coach.
Ashamed of the gospel, he is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPeYUXuuRUM
Thanks for posting I just watched on you tube. I put the exact video url up. Interesting!
If he studied his doctrine, the right answer would have come, and he would have been absolutely sure to offend EVERYBODY.
The answer is, everyone is a sinner, that’s just basic Christian philosophy.
Is one sin more important than others? In God’s eyes, we are all wearing filthy rags. No one need be singled out. That’s why salvation through Jesus Christ is necessary.
I’ve been on Facebook too much. I was looking for the “like” button for your comment. Lol!
piers morgan is picking on sissy boys again!
Then he accuses him of influencing his followers with a POV he had to have his arm twisted to even talk about. Morgan is a snake in the grass looking to incite division and hatred in any way he can manage to do so. People like that should be rejected by everyone.
I heard a replay of that interview.. I never thought Olsteen would admit God calls it sin, so I was surprised..
Mohler is right at some point every Pastor will have to answer that question..
“Who isn’t a sinner?”
That would have been the wise way to use this before addressing a specific individual. In truth we are ALL sinners. Is Elton’s homosexual behavior sin...yes it is.
Some Pastors are more ready then others. I always respected Jerry Falwell after I saw him on some lib news show with a group of other theologians of various faiths and he jumped on the question what do you need to do to be saved. He preached The Gospel right then and there, no hesitation.
I'm hoping this is a moment for Osteen to really embrace Biblical Christianity.
One of the reasons I love John MacArthur is he pulls no punches.
Larry King had him on quite often and when asked if a jew could be saved..He always presents the Gospel
Like Phil Johnson a cohort of macs for the same reason
I like Todd Friel because he never fails to come back to the gospel
Chris Rosenblate ( a Lutheran apologist )
There are truth tellers out there that shame the ego maniacs
I noticed that he was on this show but I didn’t watch it. The lesson here here for the christian is that no matter how “nice” one might try to be when defending Biblical truth the world will call you nazi, racist , bigot, homophobe etc....so you might as well take a stand for biblical truth. The result may be that the world despises you but one the Lord will say to you “well done good and faithful servant.”
For someone so successful in a career in public speaking, the guy has the oratory of a third grader. Don't get me wrong, I agree with him about the sinfulness of homosexuality, but the way he softpedals around it, instead of being steadfast in repudiating it, is reprehensible.
Returning to Biblical Christianity isn't easy for those that get caught up in pop culture, but he did take some baby steps. We will see if he keeps going in the right direction.
Maybe so, and I have high hopes that he does return to Biblical Christianity.