Joel Osteen: The Pandering Prophet
You can almost picture the scene, can't you? Here is a blurb from the Boston Herald:
In Boston yesterday, more than 400 fans - most of them fawning females - lined up to meet Osteen at a book signing at the Prudential Center’s Barnes & Noble. Only a visit by former President Bill Clinton drew a bigger crowd, book store employees said.
Osteen and his pretty, blonde wife, Victoria, sold out the TD Banknorth Garden last night with their two-hour worship service, which fetched $10 a ticket. The couple’s visit came a month after controversial faith healer Benny Hinn came to the Hub.
If you've been paying attention for the last several years, you may be aware that the homosexualist assault on marriage is quite advanced in Massachusetts. Hence, a visit from the "most popular preacher in the country" was bound to elicit some discussion of the Christian position on "gay marriage."
When asked about gay marriage, Osteen said "I don’t think it’s God’s best. I never feel like homosexuality is God’s best."
That antiseptic response was apparently not enough to mollify the hard-edged reporters on the scene who persisted with the hard line of inquiry. Osteen finally responded, "I don’t feel like that’s my thrust . . . you know, some of the issues that divide us, and I’m here to let people know that God is for them and he’s on their side."
God is on whose side exactly? The Old Testament condemns homosexuality in no uncertain terms. Buggery is termed an "abomination," and Leviticus 20:13 established the death penalty for homosexual acts.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul provides a revealing description of homosexuality: "In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion" (Rom. 1:27).
The word "inflamed" here literally means "to burn out." Homosexuality involves the burning out of a man. The structure of the passage in Romans 1 indicates that homosexuality as a practice represents the height of apostasy and hostility toward God.
In a week when a British evangelical was arrested for merely passing out leaflets at a homosexual rally, Osteen's tepidness is really little more than cowardice. "But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death" (Rev. 21:8).
Writing about Osteen's comments, Dr. Mohler hits the nail squarely:
Mr. Osteen can be assured that his weak and evasive non-answer to this reporter's question will put him at very little risk for arrest. But then, pandering prophets are rarely at much of a risk from the public anyway.
There was no conviction in his answer; no clear declaration of biblical truth; no Gospel, no judgment, and no promise. Just a non-answer with a smile. Pathetic . . . simply pathetic.