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Lessons From Piers Morgan's Interview With Joel Osteen (Osteen refuses to take any firm stand)
Christian Post ^ | 10/07/2011 | R. Albert Mohler Jr.

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 Morgan’s 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, Joel’s presentation could be reduced to his own brand of highly therapeutic prosperity theology. For Joel Osteen, it’s 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, it’s a complicated issue, Piers. I haven’t thought a whole lot about it but, of course, you know, and I’m for second chances and mercy, yet, the flip side is there’s consequences for what we’ve done and, so, I - I don’t 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, that’s the troublesome thing, if we don’t know for sure and, you know.”

There, that clears it all up nicely. The saddest thing about Joel Osteen’s 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 I’d have to - let me study it and I’ll 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 Osteen’s appearance earlier this year, when Osteen gave Morgan this statement on homosexuality: “Yes, I’ve always believed, Piers, the scriptures shows that it’s a sin, but, you know, I’m not one of those that are out there to bash homosexuals and tell them that they’re 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 - mine’s based out of the scripture. That’s 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, I’m not after - I’m not mad at anybody. I don’t dislike anybody. But, you know, you know, respecting my faith and believing, you know, in - in what the scripture says, that’s the best way I can interpret it.”

But the host’s 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, I’m going to respect the law and I’m 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 I’m 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, that’s where I think the rub comes in with people like myself. It’s not that I’m against anybody or, you know, if people want to live together, that’s 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, I’m not against anything but I just believe that’s what the Bible teaches . . .”

Morgan would not let the topic drop, clearly sensing an opportunity to find a crack in Osteen’s 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 Osteen’s previous statement: “Well, I haven’t been to many weddings lately to begin with and I’m talking about somebody that was, you know, dear to us. I’m not going to disrespect somebody that’s dear to us and say, you know what, you’re not good enough for us or something like that. That’s the way that I would see it. Now, I’m not going to just run off and go attend, you know, certain marriages just to make a statement because that’s not who I am and that’s not what I stand for and, again, I don’t look down on those people.”

In other words, Joel Osteen sees homosexuality as a sin and same-sex marriage to be contrary to God’s 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 Osteen’s 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 God’s 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, shouldn’t 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, doesn’t it have to move with the times and isn’t it down again to people like you to interpret it in a way that evolves when you’re known as a very progressive preacher?

Shouldn’t 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 didn’t 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 Morgan’s unforgettable phrase, “dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age” - and we know exactly what that means.


TOPICS: Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: enabler; joelosteen; lakewood; mohler; osteen; piersmorgan
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1 posted on 10/07/2011 1:15:17 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Joel Osteen just creeps me out. His entire demeanor says “slick used car salesman”.


2 posted on 10/07/2011 1:19:03 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (When life gives you lemons, throw them back and demand chocolate.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why does it seem Victoria Osteen accompanies Joel on all his interviews?

Is she working levers in his back?


3 posted on 10/07/2011 1:19:43 PM PDT by PGR88 (I'm so open-minded my brains fell out)
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To: SeekAndFind

I wonder what Bible he’s reading out of.


4 posted on 10/07/2011 1:21:00 PM PDT by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: SandyInSeattle

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 ).


5 posted on 10/07/2011 1:22:18 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SandyInSeattle

Amen - gives me the willies...


6 posted on 10/07/2011 1:23:28 PM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: demshateGod

RE: I wonder what Bible he’s reading out of.

I believe he uses the New International Version (NIV) in his sermons.


7 posted on 10/07/2011 1:23:33 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

He is a snake oil salesman in the truest sense..


8 posted on 10/07/2011 1:23:41 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


9 posted on 10/07/2011 1:25:15 PM PDT by Average Al (Forbidden fruit leads to many jams.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


10 posted on 10/07/2011 1:29:40 PM PDT by grumpygresh (Democrats delenda est)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


11 posted on 10/07/2011 1:30:04 PM PDT by SandyInSeattle (When life gives you lemons, throw them back and demand chocolate.)
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To: SeekAndFind

And most people in the world will be in hell. Shows the allure of Satan.


12 posted on 10/07/2011 1:35:45 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


13 posted on 10/07/2011 1:37:56 PM PDT by Pinkbell
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


14 posted on 10/07/2011 1:38:57 PM PDT by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: SandyInSeattle

I am with you. There is just something about him that screams, “fraud”.


15 posted on 10/07/2011 1:41:45 PM PDT by MamaB
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To: SandyInSeattle

I only watched this guy twice 10 years ago and I never heard him mention Jesus so I turned him off.


16 posted on 10/07/2011 1:42:02 PM PDT by personalaccts (Is George W going to protect the border?)
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To: Average Al
I’ve heard some TV preachers don’t even want crosses in their churches. Has anyone ever seen one in Joel’s church?

I don't see it in the outside of his church


Hard to see anything on the inside as well...

17 posted on 10/07/2011 1:46:38 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: Average Al
No cross near the pulpit either...

18 posted on 10/07/2011 1:47:59 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: demshateGod

From what I understand,
he doesn’t give much “bible” in his church,

mostly the new agey “god within you” crap.


19 posted on 10/07/2011 1:49:52 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: SeekAndFind
Joel Osteen is more Anthony Robbins than he is Joyce Meyer. I try to avoid all of the aforementioned.
20 posted on 10/07/2011 1:54:55 PM PDT by liberalh8ter
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To: SeekAndFind

“But, I mean, shouldn’t the scripture be dragged kicking and screaming into the modern age.”

What then is it’s value?


21 posted on 10/07/2011 2:01:04 PM PDT by TalBlack ( Evil doesn't have a day job.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


22 posted on 10/07/2011 2:10:11 PM PDT by Jim Scott
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To: SeekAndFind

This picture reminds me of an Amway convention.


23 posted on 10/07/2011 2:15:33 PM PDT by cblue55 (It's either America, or Obama. It cannot be both!)
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To: demshateGod
I wonder what Bible he’s reading out of.

"I'm OK, You're OK."

24 posted on 10/07/2011 2:16:55 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


25 posted on 10/07/2011 2:20:26 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: SeekAndFind

Worth a read

http://www.ordinarypastor.com/?p=8837


26 posted on 10/07/2011 2:21:49 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: SeekAndFind

Joel knows as much about the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Obama knows about leading a country.


27 posted on 10/07/2011 2:26:46 PM PDT by swampfox101
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To: SeekAndFind
You cannot celebrate what you say you know to be sin.

Amen! And that goes way beyond gay marriage.

28 posted on 10/07/2011 2:29:38 PM PDT by mombonn (God is looking for spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.)
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To: SandyInSeattle

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.


29 posted on 10/07/2011 2:53:51 PM PDT by Paradox (The rich SHOULD be paying more taxes, and they WOULD, if they could make more money.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Yep, all I have seen is a big metal globe behind him when he speaks.


30 posted on 10/07/2011 3:55:57 PM PDT by Average Al (Forbidden fruit leads to many jams.)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

I caught that story too. I think he mentioned he just took over his dad’s church and was never ordained.


31 posted on 10/07/2011 3:58:46 PM PDT by Average Al (Forbidden fruit leads to many jams.)
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To: cblue55

Same goals, too. It’s just that Amway conventions are very honest that it’s all about making money.


32 posted on 10/07/2011 4:59:30 PM PDT by FourPeas ("Maladjusted and wigging out is no way to go through life, son." -hg)
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To: RnMomof7

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?


33 posted on 10/07/2011 5:10:04 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


34 posted on 10/07/2011 5:18:52 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


35 posted on 10/07/2011 5:27:41 PM PDT by jwalsh07 (t)
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To: stfassisi; RnMomof7
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.

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.

36 posted on 10/07/2011 5:38:01 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: SeaHawkFan

“”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


37 posted on 10/07/2011 5:53:19 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: Jim Scott

Indeed. Attending would make Osteen an enabler.


38 posted on 10/07/2011 9:14:18 PM PDT by ReformationFan
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

To be fair I saw thbat one. It was a joke he was telling about a guy praying for a parking space with a promise but reneged when a space opened up. fwiw


39 posted on 10/07/2011 10:08:53 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: Average Al

I have not seen a cross either. Just the globe you describe.


40 posted on 10/07/2011 10:17:05 PM PDT by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: stfassisi; RnMomof7
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

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.

41 posted on 10/07/2011 11:27:01 PM PDT by boatbums ( Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us. Titus 3:5)
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To: boatbums
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.

42 posted on 10/08/2011 1:11:11 AM PDT by .30Carbine
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To: Paradox
Bad news is, he creeps me out too, like a Stepford person or something.

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.

43 posted on 10/08/2011 1:33:15 AM PDT by csense
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To: boatbums
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.

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

44 posted on 10/08/2011 5:42:03 AM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: stfassisi
Don’t say the Bible because protestants don’t have dogmatic teaching that is concrete and can never change

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...

45 posted on 10/08/2011 8:41:55 AM PDT by Iscool (You mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailerpark...)
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To: SeaHawkFan
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.

There are essentials and non essentials... Catholics seem not to separate one from the other

46 posted on 10/08/2011 9:41:56 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: stfassisi; SeaHawkFan
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.

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..

47 posted on 10/08/2011 9:46:25 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: Iscool
You mean like the dogmatic teaching your religion invented such as clergy must be unmarried

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

48 posted on 10/08/2011 9:52:58 AM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: boatbums
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.

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

49 posted on 10/08/2011 9:57:18 AM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: SandyInSeattle

What’s a Joel Osteen?


50 posted on 10/08/2011 9:59:09 AM PDT by A CA Guy ( God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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