Joel Osteen wavers, his Brother-in-Law doesn’t

This post is not meant as an attack on Joel Osteen, and if it comes across as this, my apologies in advance, and yes I have attended services at Lakewood Church.

Some time ago, my wife and I were tuned in to Texas Monthly Talks on KUHT (the local PBS station) as editor Evan Smith interviewed Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen who at the time was promoting his best-selling book (click here to download the interview).

Osteen looked uncomfortable at times especially when Smith’s questions were of a controversial nature. Osteen has a propensity to waver in the face of tough questions which have even tougher answers, tougher to those who are unable to appraise them.

Inevitably, Smith asked for Osteen’s take on so-called “gay marriage” (around on 7:40 on the mp3). If you can believe it, this is what transpired:

Smith: Let’s talk about gay marriage, for instance, because obviously the church played a very large role in driving the discussion over gar marriage. A lot of people of faith are opposed to it for moral reasons, and I wonder if your church or if you personally have talked on this subject or feel that the church ought to have a place in talking about, say that issue or abortion, another issue that has tended to divide people along religious lines.

Osteen: Yeah… You know it’s interesting Evan, I’m new at this, been doing it for 5 years. My dad was never political and we’ve just never been political. It’s just not in me, I’m just for everybody.

I know there’s right and there’s wrong and there’s people that are called to that and I know that church and certain leaders are called to take a stand on that, but you know what? I just have not…

Smith: You just soon not do that…

Osteen: No, I’m just for people

What God’s decree that marriage is between one man and woman as well as Jesus’ affirmation of said decree have to do with politics I do not know and I assure you neither does Osteen.

Of utmost interest was the fact that even though it’s not in him to ‘be political’ his response to Smith’s inquiry was incredibly political.

I do not know what Joel’s stance on homosexuality is, but according to this article, his brother-in-law’s (Rev. Gary Simons) church, High Point Church in Dallas, is taking heat from the homosexual community for refusing to hold funeral services for a deceased gay man. On the grounds that the funeral as the family wants to do it allegedly promotes the homosexual lifestyle,

“It became clear to the church staff that the family was requesting an openly homosexual service at High Point Church – which is not our policy to allow,” said the church’s statement.

“Allowing an openly homosexual service in our facility would condone homosexuality as a lifestyle,” read the statement. “We could not allow the homosexual lifestyle to be celebrated, flaunted or glorified in our church facility. We could not put inappropriate images on our screens or subject our members and possibly even our children to an openly homosexual service. We cannot condone what the Word of God condemns.”

The last sentence is very interesting, in light of Osteen’s comments above, where he practically equates homosexuality (in the context of so-called “gay marriage”) and its acceptance/rejection as a political exercise.

I wonder if Reverend Simons has discussed with Joel Osteen, his famous brother-in-law, the serious lapse in judgment which he displays on local as well as national television (no, I am not referring to his sermons).

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35 Responses to Joel Osteen wavers, his Brother-in-Law doesn’t

  1. Kimita says:

    To be fair, I read online that Osteen issued an apology to his church after the Texas Monthly interview. The statement was at one point on the church’s Web site but I could not find it today. Another website indicates that in his statement Osteen said he apologized for being “unclear on the very thing in which I have dedicated my life.” He also said: “In my desire not to alienate the people that Jesus came to save, I did not clearly communicate the convictions that I hold so precious.”

    While this apology is not an excuse for his backing-down during the interview, at least he was willing to recognize and admit that his words were not worthy of the Gospel. However, I can’t say how that has changed him or subsequent interviews because I haven’t been following his publicity.

  2. Andrew says:

    Actually, High Point Church’s behavior on this issue is appalling.

    What would Jesus do?

    Not break his word to a grieving family and throw them out of the church, I can assure you.

    Bottom line, though: This type of church is dying out. The younger generations don’t understand all the hand-wringing about homosexuality. It’s a big world. Some of us are gay. End of story. Jesus says nothing about gay relationships, and the rest of the “Scriptural” basis for High Point’s bad attitude is pretty shaky, especially those Old Testament purity codes, which nobody follows anymore. I guarantee you that High Pointers eat shellfish and mix the fibers of the their clothing, so why hold so slavishly to the verse about gay people? (Which, while we’re at it, isn’t about denying them funerals… it’s about CAUSING their funerals. Leviticus calls for the homos to be stoned, so why isn’t High Point hurling rocks, if they’re so damn holy?)

    Finally, I wonder…

    Would High Point hold a funeral for a glutton? Would they include a picture of them eating if the family submitted it?

    Would High Point hold a funeral for a gossip? Would they include a picture of them talking if the famiily submitted it?

    I could go on and on, but I won’t.

    Love God and love other people, that’s the Gospel. Is that what High Point did? Eh, I have my opinion, but I’ll leave it for others to decide.

    • Bill Purtin says:

      Andrew, you are extremely misguided. The greatest example of homosexuality, its resulting demoralization, and end consequence is found in the old testament. Read about Sodom and Gomorrah. The word “sodomy” gets its origin from there. Churches may grow, churches may die, but the Truth is always the same, whether or not man chooses to accept it is entirely up to him

  3. maxdaddy says:

    This is not an attack, it is a statement of the facts. People with so much influence need to be called out when they misuse God’s teaching. We are instructed to do so. We cannot sell God out in order to not upset anyone. I hope a lot of people read your post. Especially those at Lakewood.

  4. Laz says:

    Thank you all for your input.

    Andrew,
    Yes some who follow Christ are “gay” (insofar as they struggle with homosexual thoughts and the temptation to act upon them), no question about it. It could be argued that some also struggle with gossiping, alcoholism, adultery, lying, hypocrisy etc. so does that mean that these things are to be done by those who profess to follow Christ? No it does not, and engaging in homosexual acts is a sin like the things I listed above.

    Fine, the Law does state that we shouldn’t eat shellfish but that’s because as Christians we are not under Law but under Grace, a truth which people of all sorts seem to forget, whether they be legalists or libertines.

    As far as your comment regarding this type of church dying out, you are incorrect. For the most part the dying churches seem to be the Mainline Protestant churches who have embraced homosexuality as a suitable lifestyle for Christians to practice.

    I will grant that within evangelical circles, homosexuality is given more attention than other sins. Truth be told, it is far easier to motivate the ‘base’ by condemning external sins which tend not to be as serious as the most damning of all, spiritual sin or Pride, from which all sorts of sins derive from.

    Before we get to the condemnation of homosexuality in the New Testament, as well as Jesus’ “silence” on homosexuality, who do you say Jesus is?

  5. Bee says:

    I have quite a few gay friends. My very best friend is a gay man. But that is besides the point. I am a Joel Osteen fan. And I just wanted to say the key words in your post are “his brother-in-law.” This was not Lake wood nor was it Joel that denied the funeral. Just because you are related to someone does not mean you should be held accountable for their views or actions. You dont know what conversations Joel and Gary have had on the subject matter. And you cant make someone change their belief system to be congruent with yours if they arent willing. With the above said its a shame the funeral was refused.

    Kindest Regards,
    Bee Bradford

  6. Laz says:

    Bee,
    You misunderstand me, I’m not holding Joel accountable for what his brother-in-law did. I’m just asking why he waffles on things in forums such as the one mentioned above, as well as on “Larry King Live”?

    I publicly wondered if his brother-in-law confronted him about his waffling (which I referred to as a lapse in judgment).

    You’re right, the fact that you have gay friends brings nothing to this topic. I have gay cousins, so what? It doesn’t change what God has said on this issue.

    Thanks for the input.

  7. healtheland says:

    And what is wrong with attacking Joel Osteen?

  8. Mickie says:

    As a Christian I believe this stance by the Dallas church is a black eye for the rest of us. It is part of the problem that causes the rest of the world to see us as some kind of wild eyed, fire breathing, unforgiving, self-rightous prudes. I do agree with the other comment, would they have a service for a gossip, a fornicator or a glutton? I cannot understand where we get off saying that a man who voulntarily went over to Iraq to fight for his country and for our freedom and who was murdered by the enemys of christians isn’t good enough to be buried. Please, God doesn’t need us to judge – we are supposed to love one another as he loves us. In all his teachings Jesus never said everybody follow me except for the queers – they are going to hell! I can tell you that my daughter is gay and I first had my suspicions about her when she was in jr. high school – if people had a choice, why wouldn’t they be “straight” who would chose to be ridiculed, spat on, marched against – from the followers of Christ “the religion of love and peace”

  9. Laz says:

    Mickie thanks for your comment.

    As a Christian

    What do you mean by “Christian”?

    I do agree with the other comment, would they have a service for a gossip, a fornicator or a glutton.

    I tell you what, funeral services are held for the people you describe, HOWEVER, at these services, is gossip, fornication or gluttony celebrated as lifestyles which these folk had no control over? Unless you agree that gossiping, fornication, and gluttony be celebrated, then your reasoning is faulty.

    The family of the dead homosexual man intended to celebrate homosexuality in the services via a series of pictures which in the church’s estimation (in one a gentleman was grabbing another’s genitalia), that is why the church declined to do the services.

    God doesn’t need us to judge

    You’re right but what do you think you are doing with the comment you just posted?

    I can tell you that my daughter is gay

    What this has to do with homosexuality being a sin, I don’t know. It is argued that alcoholism is genetic and thus can be said that it isn’t a choice. So should we excuse an alcoholic’s lifestyle because of it? If one has a family history of alcoholism (as do I) then the wise thing to do would be to abstain. But if one indulges and then one discovers that one is an alcoholic, it would be foolish to blame one’s genetics.

    Mickie, honestly the church should have never accepted to do the service. I blogged about it here.

  10. NICCI says:

    I AM GAY , IT IS THE WAY I FEEL RIGHT ABOUT MYSELF,I TRIED THE STRAIGHT LIFE-WOULD RATHER BE DEAD,DOES NOT FEEL NATURAL TOO ME. I LOVE JOEL AND I LOVE GOD. WHEN I DIE I KNOW I WILL BE WITH GOD ALMIGHTY. I DO THE BEST I CAN DO , I DO NOT HURT ANYONE AND I TRY AND HELP ANYONE I CAN.
    KNOW ONE CAN JUDGE ME – NO ONE SHOULD JUDGE ANYONE. GOD HAS THE FINAL SAY AND AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED HE GAVE ME THIS LIFE AND FOR WHAT EVER REASON I AM TO LIVE IT AS A HOMOSEXUAL!

  11. NICCI says:

    CORRECTION- NO ONE CAN JUDGE ME

  12. Laz says:

    Nicci,
    Thank you for your passionate comment, though be advised that yelling (at least that’s what all-caps means online) does not lend more credence to your words.

    I cannot add much to what already has been said, but please consider this: Homosexuality is condemned throughout Scripture (whether or not you consider Scripture to be the Word of God is a separate issue, for the moment I’ll assume that you do) so then substitute “gay” for anything else that is condemned in Scripture, let’s take hypocrisy for example and substitute it into your comment,

    I am hypocritical, it is the way I feel right about myself, I tried the non-hypocritical life-would rather be dead, does not feel natural too [sic] me. I love Joel and I love God, when I die I know I will be with God Almighty. I do the best I can do, I do not hurt anyone and I try and help anyone I can. Know [sic] one can judge me – no one should judge anyone. God has the final say and as far as I’m concerned he gave me this life and for what ever reason I am to live as a hypocrite!

    That is about how much sense your comment makes, hope that clears things up a bit.

    You’re right, no one can judge you, but you must understand that includes yourself. You did not create yourself, God did and thus only He is to be your judge. The problem is that God has condemned homosexuality in His Word, so when it comes down to it, either you’re lying about it being right or He is. I’m going to have to side with Him.

  13. NICCI says:

    1st off i was not yelling second off i am not a hypocrite!!! i believe in God and we are as he made us. but who i have sex is my business – i am not concerned what you think . i also am not worried about the after life- i know i will at some point come back but you may not believe that – and i (remember i said i ) believe what we go through here on earth is hell. also ,laz, i have to be the one to look myself in the mirror -so i can judge myself but i can not judge you and you have no right to judge me. i believe in God,read the bible,but i do not live my life totally as the book is written. remember it is written by man not God. the new testament i find a little more believable as far as where the info came from. SO do not be so righteous – you are only human.

  14. Laz says:

    Nicci,
    Fine you weren’t yelling, but usually when one types in all caps, it is because one is yelling.

    I did not call you a hypocrite. How did you figure that I had? Please read comments carefully before making inaccurate judgments. All I was trying to say was that your argument to justify your sin (homosexuality) can be made by a hypocrite to justify his sin (hypocrisy), yet I don’t think you would give our hypothetical hypocrite the same pass as you obviously give yourself.

    Obviously we at numerous points in our lives are guilty of the sin of hypocrisy. A hypocrite is one who knowingly and willingly makes it a habit to commit hypocrisy. Not everyone who has been hypocritical falls under this definition.

    Why do you believe in God? What do you know about this god you say you believe in? Why do you believe that ‘we come back’? From where does this knowledge which you possess come from?

    You say that I have no right to judge you, and you are correct. In fact, if you had taken the time to rationally read my comment you would have read this,

    You’re right, no one can judge you, but you must understand that includes yourself

    When I said “no one can judge” that includes me.

    Again, please stay within the bounds of reason and do not succumb to the emotionalism you seem to rely on. We cannot have a civilized dialogue when one party is given over to emotionalism, for then irrationality is not far behind.

    Fine, you read the Bible. Why read something which is false? If you don’t think it false then why don’t you live by what it says? Yes the Bible was written by man, but uniquely inspired by God.

    Let me ask you this: How do you determine which parts of the Bible end up on the cutting room floor? Who is the final judge as to what will be followed and what is to be ignored?

    SO do not be so righteous – you are only human.

    Nicci, read what you typed up. You vehemently tell me that I have no right to judge you, then you turn around and judge me (“SO do not be so righteous”). That is hypocritical, now I’m not saying you are a hypocrite but this one action you chose to do is hypocritical.

  15. NICCI says:

    LAZ -READ YOUR MESSAGE TO ME AGAIN-I THINK YOU ARE BEING JUDGEMENTAL AND I KNOW MORE THAN YOU EVER WILL. SO not yelling i just usually have my stuff on caps. anyway why not read the bible? what kind of question was that to ask me why i read the bible. i believe in God because of my own reason which is none of your business nor are your questions. anyway live your life as you choose and i shall live mine as i choose but God Almighty is with me 24/7 . i only wrote on here to make a point about Joel Osteen not to get into a debate with you about God or my beliefs or yours. i do not really care what anyone thinks about what i believe as long as i know and God knows i am a very good person, and i know i am safe from evil. so have a nice life .

  16. Laz says:

    Nicci,
    I do not have to belabor the points I made in the comment before, for your emotional-laden response makes my points very clear indeed.

    Thank you for your readership and I hope that you realize this: when one expresses a point of view (as you did in your initial comment, and as I did by posting about this), one must be ready to explain (rationally) as to why one holds that particular point of view.

  17. NICCI says:

    there you go again being a judge again, by calling me emotional…….whats with you? i think you need to re-examine your own emotions.

  18. Laz says:

    Nicci, at least have the courtesy to address the points which were raised. I did so with your concerns and I don’t think it’s too much to ask that you return the favor. My inquiry as to how you know what you know about God is still unanswered.

    I would add, how do you define a “good person”? To what standard is this measured against?

    Once again, you accuse me of judging yet what do you call this?

    i think you need to re-examine your own emotions.

    Is that not a judgment?

    Thank you for your continued readership.

  19. Peter says:

    Wow…

    I am posting this after a brisk walk so I could get my thoughts together.

    I am 100% siding with what God’s word says and it so happens Laz is there too.

    God’s word is to be taken literaly. We cannot chose and pick what applies to us and what does not. Its black and white. Simple as that.

    If someone does not like it they will eventually, in HIS time, face the judgement of God.

    Nicci, are you saved? Have you accepted Christ as your savior? You write about God but not Jesus. You do know that He is THE ONLY WAY to get to The Father in Heaven correct?

    As to Joel Osteen, I cannot say much since I don’t listen to “his teachings” but I will state that it was quite cowardly to avoid clearly stating his “precious convictions” and then posting an apology on his website. Yep. Cowardly. Simple as that. Write what you want but it was the easier way to take.

    Dag Hammarskjold once said, “Never for the sake of peace and quiet deny your own experience or convictions.”

    Mr. Osteen did. He chose to quiet.

    Great website. God bless you folks.

    Peter

  20. NICC says:

    I GO DIRECT TO GOD PETER NO IN BETWEEN-YES I KNOW JESUS IS GODS SON BUT WHAT MOST OF YOU FORGET IS GOD IS THE ALMIGHTY AND WHY SHOULD I NOT PRAY OR SPEAK TO HIM DIRECT. I AM SURE YOU AND LAZ HAVE NOT LIVED YOUR WHOLE LIFE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, BECAUSE NO ONES IS THAT PERFECT EXCEPT FOR GOD. EVEN SOME PRIESTS ARE LIARS,MOLESTERS AND WHAT SINS THEY MAY HAVE COMMITTED. I AM GLAD TO SEE THAT YOU HAVE JUMPED ON HER BAND WAGON. IF YOU THINK MOCKING ME IS GOING TO HELP YOU GET TO HEAVEN BEFORE ME YOU ARE SADLY MISTAKEN. I FEEL SORRY FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU BOTH WHO HAVE VERY CLOSED MINDS. LAZ YOU NEVER EXPLAINED ANYTHING TO ME -BECAUSE I DID NOT ASK YOU TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS….I AM A GOOD PERSON BECAUSE I DO NOT HURT PEOPLE,DO NOT STEAL AND PRAY TO GOD EVERYDAY,AMONGST MANY OTHER THINGS I DO RIGHT. OH AND BY THE WAY AM I YELLING, YOU DECIDE.

  21. Laz says:

    Nicci,
    The reason we are able to directly to God is because of Jesus, I hope you understand that. No one is asking you not to pray to him “direct”.

    I AM SURE YOU AND LAZ HAVE NOT LIVED YOUR WHOLE LIFE ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, BECAUSE NO ONES IS THAT PERFECT EXCEPT FOR GOD.

    You are right, but did Peter or I ever claim to be perfect? Nicci, why did Jesus die on the cross, if not to save sinners from their sin?

    Sorry but no one is mocking you, and no one said such mocking (if it were taking place) would help anyone get to heaven.

    I FEEL SORRY FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU BOTH WHO HAVE VERY CLOSED MINDS.

    Again, you accuse me of something which is untrue, while your mind is shut. Your indignation at my questions, questions which addressed why you believe what you believe, shows a very closed mind. For you just accept things without actually examining why it is you accept them, if that doesn’t show a closed mind I don’t know what is.

    I AM A GOOD PERSON BECAUSE I DO NOT HURT PEOPLE,DO NOT STEAL AND PRAY TO GOD EVERYDAY,AMONGST MANY OTHER THINGS I DO RIGHT.

    So this is what defines a good person, according to you? Where did this standard come from? Where did you get this criteria?

  22. NICCI says:

    laz, i am open minded -if i chose to hurt you would that not make me a bad person? I do not have to go thru Jesus to get to God that is your belief not mine and you are close minded because you think i should believe as you do. i also feel you are a fool if you can not understand why i do not have to explain what i believe to you. this will be my last note to you so say what you like i can not waste my time anymore on a person who feels i should keep explaining myself to her ,him whom-ever you may be. one more thing if you think stealing, harming people or any of the other commandments are that states what we should not do(there’s my criteria !!! ) then you are one lost soul!

  23. NICCI says:

    laz, i am open minded -if i chose to hurt, you would that not make me a bad person? I do not have to go thru Jesus to get to God that is your belief not mine and you are close minded because you think i should believe as you do. i also feel you are a fool if you can not understand why i do not have to explain what i believe to you. this will be my last note to you so say what you like i can not waste my time anymore on a person who feels i should keep explaining myself to her ,him whom-ever you may be. one more thing if you think stealing, harming people or any of the other commandments are that states what we should not do(there’s my criteria !!! ) then you are one lost soul!

  24. Laz says:

    Nicci,
    It depends what you mean by hurt. If I am about to fall off a bridge and you reach out and save me from certain death but in the process you break my arm, then since you hurt my arm does that make you a bad person? Of course not. Hurting is not always a bad thing.

    Who do you say Jesus is?

    You don’t have to explain anything to me, but if you don’t like your views challenged then you might want to examine the reasons you hold these views.

    Let me show you how you are close-minded: You call me (someone who does not share your views) close minded because I do not think as you do. So basically someone who does not agree with your way of thinking is close minded, so what does that make you?

    you are close minded because you think i should believe as you do.

    No, no and no. I don’t think you should believe as I do. I never said that. God will judge, not me. All I’m saying is that there will be consequences for rejecting Jesus Christ as God Incarnate. You are free to believe as you wish just be ready to face the music, when the time comes.

    if you think stealing, harming people or any of the other commandments are that states what we should not do(there’s my criteria !!! ) then you are one lost soul!

    God tells us in His Word that these things are not to be done. We also know that because of our conscience, these things are written in our hearts. So despite what you say, I believe these things ought NOT to be done.

    Interesting that you can call someone a “lost soul”. What exactly do you believe that means?

  25. Sharon says:

    Wow! I know this is an extremely late posting for the preceding conversations, however I must give a ‘shout out’ — a word of encouragement to Laz. Thanks for the conviction of the cross that you share. Your reasoning is very simple, very logical, and extremely inviting. Know this, even though some protested too much, your still were able to touch their lives. Well done… well done :)sharon

  26. Carlton says:

    Laz, I know I’m late in reading this, but hey, I just found you!

    Anyway, I have to say that I really admire your Biblical stand on these issues, and your unwavering devotion to the Word of God, as it Stands, unvarnished to appeal to the flesh. I am no fan of Mr. Osteen, mainly because his sermons never address the issue of SIN. And apparently, those of you posting here, need to remember that 3-letter word. Sin is mentioned in both Testaments, and lest you forget, Christ Himself said that He came not to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it…and that anyone who taught others to disobey or disregard the Law, would be considered “Least”. And anotherPoster (Mickie, I believe) mentioned that Jesus said for us to “follow Him”…that is correct FOLLOW. And where does Christ lead? To Righteousness!!!

    People, I cannot stress enough that you need to read your Bibles!! All of it! You cannot get by with a shallow knowledge of a few key verses, for then you’ll make erroneous judgements like those you’re making which contradict clear Biblical directives. For example:
    1. Christ tells us we ARE to judge–“Stop Judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgement”.(Jn.7:24)
    2. Living in Sin will kill you–“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom.8:13-14) which leads to:

    3. Human Nature leads to death but The Spirit Leads to Rightousness–“For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

    “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will NOT inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”-(Gal.5:17-23).

  27. Carlton says:

    To emend what I wrote, I would like to say that “some” of the posters need to remember the issue of Sin. Re-reading the material, it seems a good portion of the posters are on the right track.

    Oh, and I also apologize for the long-windedness of it all. I usually try to keep things short, but I wanted to include those verses verbatim, in case no one looked them up.

  28. Rafael says:

    Once again, Joel Osteen’s utter failure to uphold Christian truth in an age of apostacy only further supports what is all too clear about his teaching: it is spiritually bankrupt.

    Here is a link to articles our ministry has created on Osteen’s heretical compromise that is anointed as “Christianity” today.

    http://www.spiritwatch.org/behindsmile.htm

  29. Laz says:

    Thanks for the comment Rafael, I’ll have to check out the site. Have you tried to contact Osteen directly?

  30. sellgen says:

    I just found this site and read it with interest, as I watch Joel Osteen’s program each week and tape it for my elderly mother. I do not consider Joel a minister of the gospel, but a skillful motivational speaker. Many of my friends deride him because he does not preach the gospel; but I believe that people need good, basic instruction in how to live their daily lives, which most churches fail to provide. I do think that the topics Joel talks about on his show, such as being the person who takes action to stop the “iniquities” within our families, such as alcoholism, poverty, negativity, destructive criticism, etc, are very good advice – if people actually apply them to their lives. I recognize that with our modern stressful lifestyles and with the barrage of negativity, rudeness and criticism with which people are confronted on a daily basis that many people are drawn to those who encourage them; and that we are all called to be encouragers, one of another. Therein lies the secret of Joel Osteen’s success.

    However, a friend told me that on a Larry King Live interview of Joel and his mother, Mr. King addressed the topic of Joel not preaching the gospel and talking only about prosperity and various feel good topics. My friend stated that Joel’s mother stated “this is what people want to hear”, inferring that Joel is giving people what they want and is prospering because of it. The problem I have with this is that if one calls oneself a minister and one’s building a church, then one must realize that occasions will arise when one must speak the truth, no matter who is offended by the truth.

    I had tuned in to listen to and to tape this LKL interview rerun several nights ago, but the Bhutto assassination took precedence and the Osteen interview was not shown. The incident described in this blog is equally troubling, as many of today’s “minister/pastors” refuse to make any controversial statement, in an attempt to keep their attendance numbers high and the money flowing in.

    Where would America be, had Martin Luther King, Jr. been afraid to stand up and be counted on the issue of racial inequality and abuse of African Americans? America needs more, not less, pastors/ministers with the personal integrity and the determination to speak out on topics which need to be addressed. I’m not talking about ministers who revel in getting attention for making outrageous and inflammatory statements, but about ministers of high integrity and unsullied personal lives, who recognize that we have all fallen short and who are able to lovingly address the areas in which we all need to improve our lives.

    Christians are admonished to be discerning and to not be deceived by those who claim to speak the truth, yet are telling us lies; even if we like hearing those lies. I Corinthians 6:9 states: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders.” That applies to all people who are sexually immoral, whether with persons of the same or the opposite sex. That applies to a heck of a lot of people walking around these days, as so many single women have been convinced that they must “give it up” to get a man, and so many men think it is their right and privilege to sleep around. And, there are a lot of married people who are not faithful to their spouses. These topics are just as important as is homosexuality.

    Our lives, our very destinies, are determined by our choices, and we are capable of making choices that are good for us, regardless of our genetic predispositions.. We are all drawn to things which are not good for us and which can easily take over our lives and become addictions/obsessions. Sexuality is one of the things which can easily become an addiction, whether is is heterosexuality or homosexuality.

    Several questions immediately came to mind when reading about the decision made by the leaders of High Point Church to not to allow an openly homosexual funeral service to be held at their church:

    One: was this man even a member of High Point Church? I kinda’ doubt it.

    Two: members of various homosexual groups appear to look for people to endorse their choices. If the church allowed an openly homosexual service to be held in its facility, this would be tantamount to a nonverbal endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle by the church and its leaders. Why could the family of this man have not asked one of the churches that publicly endorse homosexuality to allow the funeral to be held in one of those facilities? This whole situation smacks of an attempt to make a public statement and to make trouble, on the part of the people making this inappropriate request. They had to know that the leaders of High Point Church would never allow a service of this type in their facility, thereby giving them an opportunity to create trouble for the church and its leaders.

    Three: most, if not all, churches have written policies and procedures about who is allowed to have services of various types in their facilities, and it is totally their right to allow or disallow any person or group to use their facilities. Church members have paid for the facility and have the right to vote on policy and to elect people to make these types of decisions. Last time I checked, it was still a free country.

    Four: the blog states: “The family of the dead homosexual man intended to celebrate homosexuality in the services via a series of pictures, which in the church’s estimation (in one a gentleman is grabbing another’s genitalia) that is why the church declined to do the services.” Are those of you upset with High Point Church CRAZY?????

    What is wrong with the brains of people in this country, these days? How could anyone question why a church would refuse to allow any type of service in which totally inappropriate pictures of this type would be displayed? Come on people! You’re not dumb! This was a blatant attempt to create a situation that would cast a negative light on the church. This is a House of the Lord, for Pete’s sake! Learn to be discerning and to not be sheep following every troublemaker over a cliff.

    Bravo to Gary Simons and his congregation for taking a stand. Shame on every one of you who attempt to foist inappropriate behaviors on the rest of the world and to call those behaviors appropriate and everyone who disagrees as being unfair or unChristian.

    Get a copy of the Bible and read how Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers in the Temple, because of their unfair and cheating practices. Read how he looked those men in the eye who asked about following the practice of stoning a prostitute, saying “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”, and the crowd of men all melting away. And, about Jesus then telling the prostitute, whose life he had just saved, to “go, and sin no more.”

    What do you think that Jesus would have said to those people demanding to allow a House of the Lord to be defiled with their wicked, pornographic pictures?

    Come on, people!

  31. Kimita says:

    just reading these comments today and…whoa! but all i gotta say is amen sellgen! c’mon people!!! get with it!!!

  32. J says:

    Funny to see that Osteen is getting so much press. Do a http://www.google.com search and you will no doubt be pleased to learn that only his own churches website (at least of the first few dozen) touts his beliefs as being Christian.

    Many, many, bloggers, theologians, and pastors are afraid of the type of medicine he is selling. It is free of sound Scriptural basis, free of correct interpretation, free of grace, free of punishment, and free of Christ.

    If anything, Osteen is a stick in the mud, indicating for those watchful few, how near to the end we draw.

  33. Jonathan says:

    God Will Judge Us the Way We Judge Others…

    This is His word:

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV – Matthew 7:1-2)

    So why don’t we let HIM judge gays? At the end of the day, we all answer to God. Who are we to judge gay people?

    I like how New King James puts it;

    1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    Especially verse 5.

    To all the gay-haters and gay-bashers, we are all sinners, so worry about your own sins and shortcomings and let Him judge the gays at His appointed time.

  34. natepolean says:

    I like Joel Osteen, because he’s nice and understanding. He’s the forefront of modernization of church, which is becoming more moderate and aligning to our general social values. Church has to change with time. The Pope just changed his view on condom use. Eventually, homosexuals will be recognized as a genetic condition and won’t be viewed as a sin by the church. Go Joel Osteen!

    Nathan
    http://www.imperfecteconomy.com

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