Skip to comments.Lessons From Piers Morgan's Interview With Joel Osteen (Osteen refuses to take any firm stand)
Posted on 10/07/2011 1:15:11 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
An interview that begins with a statement like, Well, Piers, to me, faith is all about learning to be happy where you are, is probably not going to end well. Piers Morgans interview with Joel and Victoria Osteen Tuesday night was very revealing about the Osteens - but little Christian truth was revealed. At the same time, the interview deserves closer attention than you might expect.
After introducing the Osteens, Morgan let Joel talk about his latest book, Every Day A Friday, How To Be Happier 7 Days a Week. Like the book itself, Joels presentation could be reduced to his own brand of highly therapeutic prosperity theology. For Joel Osteen, its not a theology that is reducible to money alone. Instead, his focus is more on individual happiness and self-fulfillment. In his rendering, God might not want everyone to be rich, but he does want his creatures to experience every day as . . . a Friday?
Then, the conversation shifted to issues in the news, such as abortion and capital punishment. On both topics, Piers Morgan pressed Joel to speak clearly, which he was clearly reluctant to do. On both topics, Osteen steered clear of disaster by saying as little as possible, in what can only be described as a garble.
On capital punishment: You know, its a complicated issue, Piers. I havent thought a whole lot about it but, of course, you know, and Im for second chances and mercy, yet, the flip side is theres consequences for what weve done and, so, I - I dont know what my total stance is . . .
On a moral link between abortion and capital punishment: Well, I think there could be when you say may or may not. You know, thats the troublesome thing, if we dont know for sure and, you know.
There, that clears it all up nicely. The saddest thing about Joel Osteens incoherence on all this is the fact that he seems to be totally unaware that Christians have been engaging these issues seriously for centuries. When even Piers Morgan chided Osteen for his fuzziness and lack of an answer to questions, saying to Osteen, you need to be more definitive, Osteen responded: Yes. Well, if I could I would but Id have to - let me study it and Ill come back with a great answer someday for you. Not exactly a here I stand moment, to say the very least.
But, with all that as prelude, the interview really got interesting when Morgan turned the conversation to the issue of same-sex marriage. Morgan replayed a clip from Osteens appearance earlier this year, when Osteen gave Morgan this statement on homosexuality: Yes, Ive always believed, Piers, the scriptures shows that its a sin, but, you know, Im not one of those that are out there to bash homosexuals and tell them that theyre terrible people and all that. That statement, as Morgan indicated, made headlines.
When pressed, Osteen affirmed his statement: You know, Piers, it really never changes because mine was - mines based out of the scripture. Thats what I believe that the scripture says that - that homosexuality is a sin. So, it - you know, I believed it before and I still believe it now. Again, I would just reiterate what I said, Im not after - Im not mad at anybody. I dont dislike anybody. But, you know, you know, respecting my faith and believing, you know, in - in what the scripture says, thats the best way I can interpret it.
But the hosts real intention was to steer Osteen toward the same-sex marriage issue. Would Osteen perform a same-sex marriage?
His answer: Well, you know what, Im going to respect the law and Im going to respect gay people like I do now, you know, have plenty of people that come to our church and friends, I would call, that are gay so Im going to respect that. I think where it puts a difficult situation is me being a Christian pastor believing the scripture, you know, it would be against my faith to marry two gay people. Later, he added: No, it would be against what I believe the scripture teaches and, so, thats where I think the rub comes in with people like myself. Its not that Im against anybody or, you know, if people want to live together, thats up to them. But, my faith, when we say marriage, I mean, I think about it, Piers, and all through the Bible there are, you know, hundreds of marriages but none of them are shown as between, you know, the same sex. And, again, Im not against anything but I just believe thats what the Bible teaches . . .
Morgan would not let the topic drop, clearly sensing an opportunity to find a crack in Osteens position. The host then asked the Osteens if they would attend a same-sex marriage ceremony. Joel Osteen said that he would, if the individuals were friends.
Morgan pressed further. How does this fit within Osteens previous statement: Well, I havent been to many weddings lately to begin with and Im talking about somebody that was, you know, dear to us. Im not going to disrespect somebody thats dear to us and say, you know what, youre not good enough for us or something like that. Thats the way that I would see it. Now, Im not going to just run off and go attend, you know, certain marriages just to make a statement because thats not who I am and thats not what I stand for and, again, I dont look down on those people.
In other words, Joel Osteen sees homosexuality as a sin and same-sex marriage to be contrary to Gods will. He cannot perform same-sex marriage ceremonies or endorse same-sex marriage, because he is bound by Scripture. On the other hand, he can attend a same-sex ceremony, if the participants are friends, and thus endorse by his presence the credibility of the ceremony itself and join in the celebration of what he believes, or says he believes, is sin.
This is beyond mere incoherence. It is moral and theological nonsense. More than that, it is a massive statement of ministerial malpractice. Piers Morgan had the sense to see that much. You cannot celebrate what you say you know to be sin. You cannot honestly say that same-sex marriage defies the law of God, and then join in the celebration of that ceremony.
Joel Osteen should know better, but you can add that to the things that someone like Joel Osteen should know, if indeed he is to present himself as a Christian preacher and leader.
The larger problem is that many evangelical Christians would follow Joel Osteens logic without a second thought, or without even what the psychologists would describe as cognitive dissonance. They say they believe that homosexuality is a sin, and that same-sex marriage is contrary to Gods will. But they allow personal relationships and social pressure to override their (evidently) lightly-held convictions.
The hypothetical case Piers Morgan invented for his interview with Joel and Victoria Osteen is precisely the reality many American Christians will face - or have already faced - with the legalization of same-sex marriage. Unless convictions are deeply held, they will melt away in the face of cultural pressure.
Oh, one final and very significant statement from the interview demands attention. Piers Morgan looked at Joel Osteen and asked the million-dollar question:
But, I mean, shouldnt the scripture be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age. I mean, we were talking before the break about the issue about eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, not everything in the scriptures, really, is, in my view, conducive to modern life. I mean, like everything else, doesnt it have to move with the times and isnt it down again to people like you to interpret it in a way that evolves when youre known as a very progressive preacher?
Shouldnt the Bible be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age? There you have the modernist worldview reduced to a single question. The Bible will simply have to give way to modern moral authorities, and have to be interpreted in a way that evolves.
To his credit, Joel Osteen tried to stand his ground. To his discredit, he didnt stand very well, and he seemed to lack all of the vital faculties for holding theological traction. We can only hope that other pastors - and other Christians - will do better. Sadly, without developing deeper biblical commitments and without drawing from the full wealth of Christian conviction, that is not going to happen.
Sadly, without a deep, humble, and faithful commitment to Christ, the Gospel, the Bible, and the structures of Christian thought, both the church and the Bible will be, to use Piers Morgans unforgettable phrase, dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age - and we know exactly what that means.
Joel Osteen just creeps me out. His entire demeanor says “slick used car salesman”.
Why does it seem Victoria Osteen accompanies Joel on all his interviews?
Is she working levers in his back?
I wonder what Bible he’s reading out of.
RE: His entire demeanor says slick used car salesman.
44,000 people seem to buy him on Sunday ( not to mention the millions worldwide who watch him on TV ).
Amen - gives me the willies...
RE: I wonder what Bible hes reading out of.
I believe he uses the New International Version (NIV) in his sermons.
He is a snake oil salesman in the truest sense..
I’ve heard some TV preachers don’t even want crosses in their churches. Has anyone ever seen one in Joel’s church?
I haven’t on his TV broadcasts.
You know what Jesus said about those who were lukewarm. He might say that he loves the Lord, but he does not seem to be a defender of the faith. He can’t take a stand on anything, how courageous.
Yes, they do.
My impressions are just mine. I just can’t connect with him at all. I felt the same way about Robert Schuler.
Maybe it’s his delivery... way too rehearsed. I’m accustomed to pastors who speak from their hearts, without looking like they’re acting in a movie.
And most people in the world will be in hell. Shows the allure of Satan.
He’s afraid of taking definitive public stances because he knows it will hurt his popularity. He has a mega church and books. Some of his followers are cafeteria Christians who like the feel good sermons but reject Biblical teachings on social issues like abortion and gay marriage. A priest or pastor has to be bold and proclaim the word of Christ without fear of retribution, and Osteen is afraid to do that.
You may find that strong, but I assure you, Osteen belongs to his father, the devil.
He is not of God and is definitely not saved. There are few people we can say that about, but you can tell by his “gospel” and message.
He is a person working for his father, the devil to infiltrate the church.
I am with you. There is just something about him that screams, “fraud”.
I only watched this guy twice 10 years ago and I never heard him mention Jesus so I turned him off.
From what I understand,
he doesn’t give much “bible” in his church,
mostly the new agey “god within you” crap.
“But, I mean, shouldnt the scripture be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age.”
What then is it’s value?
It’s quite obvious that Joel Osteen, like his father, John, is a fraud. Oh, I’m sure he believes in God and Jesus and is baptized but he has allowed fame and money to become his real god, thus drifting away from true Christianity. Osteens lame responses to Piers Morgan’s obviously loaded questions should have been easy to answer but instead, Osteen dithered and looked foolish. He was weak in his answer but correct in stating that the scriptures define homosexual behavior as a sin. However, he tried too hard to make it clear that he held no animosity for those living in that sin. Most Christians don’t hate ‘gays’ but we don’t need to keep stating it, over and over, which makes the statement seem rather desperate. Osteen saying that, out of friendship (respect) he would attend a wedding of two same-sex couples was just lame. It undercut his previous position of being (barely) against ‘gay marriage’ and even Piers Morgan could see that. Joel Osteen has become (or always was) a lukewarm Christian that is far more desirous of men’s approval (and their money) than the approval of the God he claims to worship. In that respect, Joel Osteen is a fraud.
This picture reminds me of an Amway convention.
"I'm OK, You're OK."
I was interested in him for a while but got really uncomfortable with his message. When he recounted that he prayed while driving in a crowded mall parking lot to find a parking space and one opened up near the front door of the mall, I stopped listening.
Worth a read
Joel knows as much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Obama knows about leading a country.
Amen! And that goes way beyond gay marriage.
I dont know why the media is so attracted to this guy. The good news is that he is a nice guy, and a good spokesman. Bad news is, he creeps me out too, like a Stepford person or something.
Yep, all I have seen is a big metal globe behind him when he speaks.
I caught that story too. I think he mentioned he just took over his dad’s church and was never ordained.
Same goals, too. It’s just that Amway conventions are very honest that it’s all about making money.
What I find really strange is that you cozy up to some people here on FR who have greater heretical teachings than Olsteen,like those who deny the Trinity
Is it that being part of a crowd of public acceptance is more important to you, or is it that you really are not confident in what you believe, which is understandable to me why there inconsistency on how you judge other people?
I was up late that night and turned to CNN to see how Osteen would do. It was pathetic. The man has not core principles and looked like a bowl of jello. I ended up turning it off before it was over because it made me sick to my stomach.
Ask Father Frank Pavone about abortion, homosexual marriage or capital punishment and you will get answers direct and on point. You may not agree with him but you will not have to divine where he stands.
I think you have RnMomof7 confused with someone else. I have some theological issues with RnMomof7, but she is well within the basic tenets on the historic Christian faith.
“”I have some theological issues with RnMomof7, but she is well within the basic tenets on the historic Christian faith. “”
Of course you have issues,this is no surprise to me
In protestantism where are the basics of the Christian faith found so that if some person wants to become protestant they can find these basics.
Don’t say the Bible because protestants don’t have dogmatic teaching that is concrete and can never change and they all claim they can find what they teach is in the Bible even though they disagree
Indeed. Attending would make Osteen an enabler.
First of all, the Roman Catholic Church has had and continues to have its own Osteen personalities. Go back and read about some of the medieval popes and then tell me about dogmatic teachings.
Perhaps to your surprise, though I doubt it, people don't need to have a "Protestant" catechism and they don't seek to "become" Protestants, rather we seek to know Christ and follow him. You say to discard the Bible as the source for "dogmatic" teaching yet even the Roman Catholic Church must use it - or they say they do anyway - to develop what ARE the basic tenets of the Christian faith. Anyone who wishes to learn about Christianity can read the Holy Bible and there is not anything that would prohibit an earnest seeker of truth from finding it through the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit.
Saying "Protestants don't have dogmatic teaching that is concrete" is a straw man full of such hot air it is in danger of spontaneous combustion. The Bible is God's gift to the whole world and is the Divinely inspired authority for all the truths of the faith. No organized religion owns the patent on truth. It belongs to God and he is generous and merciful to all who seek him diligently.
You think and write very clearly. What a pleasure to see a follower of Christ using his or her gifts to glorify God.
That's the impression I get to. Some of these televangelists are like stepford preachers. There's something just not right about this notion of Christianity as cupcakes, smiles and serenity now, serenity now.
I don't trust anybody that doesn't get angry every once in a while. It's not only human, but a lot of times it's healthy. Anybody that walks around with a snile on their face all the time, is wearing some kind of mask.
Weak argument ,dear sister, because even if a Pope, Bishop or anyone else goes against concrete Church teaching it can never change the dogmatic teaching. They make themselves heretics and it has no effect on dogmatic teaching of Faith and Morals
Saying "Protestants don't have dogmatic teaching that is concrete" is a straw man full of such hot air it is in danger of spontaneous combustion.
You might not want accept this reality,but protestantism does NOT have a source of core teachings of their own or you would be united, and you should know very well that the Bible does NOT unite protestantism ,it separates protestantism into many different beliefs which goes against what the Bible even says
"Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. " -Ephesians 3-5
What actually is a straw argument is for you to point out cafeteria Catholics who do opposite of Church Dogma as a flaw in the Dogma.
My whole point is that Olsteen types can flourish with no dogma and many protestants jump all over him as in error when protestantism does not agree on what is an error on many issues of faith and morals
Ohhh...You mean like the dogmatic teaching your religion invented such as clergy must be unmarried and celibate and Mary is the Queen of Heaven that you couldn't find in the bible with a searchlight and a microscope???
and they all claim they can find what they teach is in the Bible even though they disagree
That just shows your ignorance of the bible, and the Protestant denominations...
There are essentials and non essentials... Catholics seem not to separate one from the other
The very fact that one needs to ask... is a sign of spiritual trouble...becoming a protestant saves no one.. one is not saved by their church..but Catholics can not understand that, because they believe that is where they are saved..
Sorry to burst your bubble ,dear friend,but unmarried clergy is NOT a dogma,it can be changed. In Fact , there are Anglican converts to Catholicism who are married priests
Amen... they think they are saved by their church..so they do not understand or know the gospel, that binds us together the children of God
What’s a Joel Osteen?