|Joel Osteen condemns gays!|
Pastor Joel Osteen is the Senior Pastor of a US super mega church, the 48,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston. His ministry has a weekly viewership of over 7 million across 100 nations around the world. He is well known for his prosperity theology. In 1999, Pastor Joel Osteen succeeded his father, John Osteen, who was a Southern Baptist Pastor who had embraced the Charismatic movement and formed the church in 1959. John Osteen hosted the weekly "John Osteen" television program for 16 years reaching millions in the US, and this ministry was taken over by Joel Osteen. Joel is where he is now to a large degree because of his father's ministry.
In the CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight”, when asked about homosexuality, Pastor Joel Osteen reaffirmed that he had always believed that the scriptures said that Homosexuality was a sin. Osteen quickly reverted that although Homosexuality was like any other sin, he does not believe that “Homosexuality was God’s best for a person’s life”, and then defined sin as “to miss the mark”. In Singapore, Pastor Joseph Prince of New Creation Church when asked of Homosexuality said the same about not being God’s best for a person’s life as if it is choice or lifestyle.
Surely, they have missed the mark, for being gay is innate just as heterosexuality is. We should not tag what is innate as sin just as we should not blame straight people for having adultery, divorce and abortion simply because they are straight.
The Catholic Church has until a hundred years ago reserved the bible only for the clergy. Perhaps, they were afraid that the truth may set people free. Scripture often has its meaning based on a narrow context and outside this situation has little meaning. For example, others quoting the same passages that Osteen used to condemn gays could also say that eating pork (Lev 11) is a sin and then deduce that Chinese people are especially sinful! At face value, the real meaning could be easily distorted.
The context of same sex acts in Leviticus is much more religious than just pleasure or same sex orientation. Having anal sex was seen as joining to be of one spirit to the gods, much like a man and a woman having sex resulting in two flesh becoming one. Sex is seen as fusing our spirits together and in a spiritual religious sense, an identification with the spiritual entities that was worshipped. We become a temple with an unholy spirit.
Joel Osteen couldn’t have derived his understanding on gays based on the Ten Commandments which is a broad summary of the laws and does not mention homosexuality. The commandments talked about the attitudes and the motives of the heart rather than just religious actions such as sex. In rejection of God, they had sex with the temple priests hence violating of the foremost first two commandments of worshiping other gods. They were not gays.
(Deu 5:7 NKJV) 'You shall have no other
gods before Me.
The use of idols were not like a flag of a country representing a nation, but the idol represents the fullness of the deity being worshipped and the spirit resides in the statue/idol itself. The Lord God of Israel is “one God” (Deut 6:4), a declaration of the uniqueness of God Almighty that His glory will not be shared by us worshiping other gods as if they were God Himself. Surely, it would be difficult to confuse God with the quite sexually explicit and sacrifice hungry gods such as Baal and Ashtoreth which demanded human sacrifices and sexual orgies. Yet, the mega churches are often confused and preach what the congregation would like to hear. Gays are just the scapegoat to pacify the religious mob.
Few are entirely free of being in bed with the spiritual principalities. As a church we often yearned for power, growth, control, wealth and following and more often than not willing to sleep with many partners. The church of Jesus Christ really lasted no more than 300 years before it became one with the Emperor of Rome which represents the powers of this world.
The church have been focusing on gays and paint them as vile sinners, because there is much darkness within the church and we go on a guilt trip to sacrifice the gentle lambs for our sins. The church has many partners, many agendas, with the yeast of hypocrisy arising for all to see.
“That coward…. When Larry King said is Jesus the only way to heaven … he said … that’s up to God he said … I got so angry … I wish I could have gone through the TV set and punched him out… How dare they! … to sit on a Larry King program and be so cowardly in case they offend Larry King’s viewers …” Pastor Benny Hinn on Joel Osteen
Pastor Osteen has been often criticized for not talking about sin or referring to Jesus. His appearance at Larry King where he was hesitant to proclaim the centrality of Christ in Salvation would have perturbed many Evangelists such as Benny Hinn who has called him a coward.
Pastor Joel Osteen is no coward but a fantastic strategist and orator, and gays are just convenient scapegoat to re-establish his conservative credentials. Perhaps its worth it for the USD 50 million a year income the church receives. It's not only one single sin of false witness that Osteen is guilty of, but he has to answer to every gay person and one day to God for it. Then, money alone cannot help him.
We have a lot to learn from Pastor Osteen who has managed to maintain his ministry by preaching a positive message of Gospel blessings, his church much bigger than possibly the entire gay affirmative MCC churches which are more intellectual and reflective in nature.