Pastor Joel Osteen on Homosexuality and Sin

January 25th, 2011

Here is a teaser for an upcoming interview for Wednesday 26 January 2011 that appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight blog today.

Piers Morgan sits down with author and pastor Joel Osteen, and his wife Victoria Osteen.

What is interesting, is Osteen has apparently ben coaxed by Piers to call homosexuality a sin. Something Osteen has been reluctant to outright declare.

Joel Osteen, once again provided a national stage, seems to have missed a golden opportunity! I say seem, only because in TV anything can be edited… but consider the following exchange between Morgan and Osteen on the topic of homosexuality:

MORGAN: Say a friend of mine like Elton John watching this at home, who with his partner – a civil partner, David Furnish – have just had a surrogate child which was born on Christmas day. They’re going to be pretty angry what they hear. They’re going to think who are you to call them a sinner.

J. OSTEEN: Yes.

MORGAN: But why are they sinners in your eyes?

J. OSTEEN: Well, it’s strictly back to what the scripture says. I mean, I can’t grab one part and say God wants you to be blessed and live an abundant life, and not grab the other part that says, you know what? You know, live that kind of life. So it comes back to the scripture. I’m not the judge. You know, God didn’t tell me to go around judging everybody.

Osteen chose to be backed into a corner by a question from Morgan. A simple grasp of doctrine and theology would have prompted me to immediately say this back to Morgan.

ME: Piers, I believe that Elton John is a sinner. And yes, I believe his partner is a sinner, too. In fact, I KNOW it! It is not judgment or condemnation but fact.

I also know something else… I know that you, Piers, are a sinner! I know that I, too, am a sinner! The bible declares so in Romans 3:23. In Romans 3:10 it says, there is none righteous.

Homosexuality is a sin, yes. So is lying, stealing, lusting… heck even going shopping is really coveting. Yep, you got it, coveting is a sin.

But… given this predicament, What do we, as sinners, do?

That is where the good news enters. Romans 5:8-9 declares that Christ died for us and that through Him we are saved from God’s wrath. We must repent.

John 3:16-18 makes it very clear. I don’t judge you, nor do I condemn you or any other person. Your own sin does that. WE must believe on Who He is, and what He did and move from condemnation to salvation.

And John 3:36 tells us He that has the Son has life, and he who does not, the wrath of God abides on him.

Come on Pastor Joel… study to show yourself approved. (2 Timothy 2:15)

And Piers… Is not calling Joel a judge then putting you in the same supposed predicament you would like to hang on Joel?

I mean really… How can you JUDGE HIM?

One word to describe the Piers’ dudgeon! Hypocrisy! Yeah, I judged!

SPIN THE BOTTLE BONUS | Potential Church

January 25th, 2011

Checking out the message…

Spin The Bottle 1 – EXTENDED from Potential Church on Vimeo.

 The first use of the title “Spin the Bottle” is suggested as away to pick someone. O_o Hmmm… perhaps a stretch to this, but let’s keep an open mind.

A See-’n-Say is brought out and demonstrated as a n analogy to spin the bottle, even so far as calling it “the G-rated” version?

With the carnality involved in the introduction, I may not want to stick around for the rest. After all, there is promised to be a lot of questions about sex, love and dating…

Pastor Troy then sets some ground rules and what he expects to accomplish.

1. Scripture teaches a worldview.

2. Teach you how to find the answers in scripture.

3. Force you to wrestle with the truth.

He states, the enemy will try to keep you away from the teaching… but promises the series is going to radically change your life!

Great! Pastor Troy then explains how he will then endeavor to answer the questions…

First, does the bible speak directly to the issue?

If it doesn’t, then is there a biblical principle that applies?

If not, we go with Pastor Troy’s opinion. (At least he promises to let us KNOW when he does that!)

 

Marriage

And now we come to our foundational illustration and scripture, well the scripture part is up for debate.

He gets out the paints, blue and then yellow. He describes how each are different, but if blue and yellow mix, they become something different… green. He is using this as an analogy to marriage.

But then, curiously, he states sin entered the world and the enemy tried to hijack our green (our marriage?)

That is a stretch. That was a result of sin entering the world.

O_o Wait!

Sin entered the world only to destroy the relationship between man and woman?

Hmmm… no. Sin came as we (man) put ourselves in the rightful place of God.

But Troy pushes on… stating the enemy wants to replace intimacy with sex. Huh… not the way I read it.

Matthew 19:4-6 is read… it is from the Message. The Message is a paraphrase of the bible, it is not a direct translation… read the two versions for yourself and see if there is a radical difference in the idea being conveyed.

The Message: He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”

ESV: He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Do you understand the subtle difference in meaning? First, there is a command that is omitted in the Message paraphrase… even looking to other translations where the accepted phrase is “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast (or cleave) to his wife.” Cleaving is an action word… cherish has its roots in feelings, which are subject to whimsy. The idea is not to simply emotionally cherish, but to NEVER let go, as Jesus does for His bride!

The Message’s paraphrase has corrupted the picture of marriage presented in Genesis 2:24… This is the FOUNDATION for Pastor Tony’s “teaching” here!

Please consider these related passages and how they are paraphrased in the Message and translated in the ESV…

The Message: (Genesis 2:24) “Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh.”

A man does not leave his mother and father to embrace his wife. If the picture here is how Christ treats His bride, the church, something is drastically wrong. If all that Jesus does is “embrace” us we are in very grave danger, I think.

Let us look now to the ESV translation of the same phrase…

ESV: (Genesis 2:24) “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

I would guess subtly, that hold fast and embrace could connote the same idea, but not all the time. If you were sliding down an embankment to you assuredly perilous doom, would you prefer I hold fast… or embrace you?

Do you see the idea here?

Perhaps he used the reference for its inference to art. I do not know. But what I do know, is that if this is the foundation, it is indeed suspect. Using a paraphrase is much like preaching from someone else’s sermon.  It surely is not expository preaching!

Nor should it be treated as ever be treated as any other translation. It is simply a paraphrase. One man’s idea of what is being said.

 

Back to this captivating illustration…

He, God, made blue and yellow to come together to make green. Here are the points Pastor Troy makes about yellow and blue (women and men.)

1. Yellow and blue are different.

2. Yellow and blue must become one to get green.

I think I am loving this analogy, though. Women and men come together under the covenant of marriage, only.

This is a great picture of marriage, and not just a sexual union. Having the colors yellow and blue represent women and men, shows the stark differences between us, while highlighting the similarities.

But watch… how men and women, being different, come together in a marriage relationship and become something even more different… yet similar!

Perhaps there will be another point made later in the series, but I cannot resist. I ask… if two men marry, say blue and blue, when they come together, what do you have?

You see the picture, there is nothing different!

3. The tones are arrived at by yielding.

And I like this to, because this is true.

 

The Questions

Question 1a. Is it okay to have sex before marriage?

Does the bible speak directly about this?

1 Corinthians 6:16-20 in the Message is his go to verse, calling it “scripture.” While the Message presents the idea correctly… it is not a translation.

Pastor Tony answers the question correctly, sex is only permitted in a marriage relationship. Though I would have added to a partner of the opposite sex.
But he then asks why would God give me a desire I
can’t fulfill?

He backs up a few verses to 1 Corinthians 6:13, this time in the ESV. Because the idea is conveyed correctly and accurately there.

Now… he brings out the cheesecake! Marriage is like cheesecake, and sex, just the whipped cream. I guess it works… but not completely. There is no prohibition of whipped cream, nor any requirement to consume whipped cream on cheesecake. What if you have something other than cheesecake?

Whoops, Pastor Troy said it. He wants to shepherd hearts and wants you to reach your “God potential!”

Then we segue into an analogy of submitting to God’s will as being underneath an open umbrella in the rainstorm. If you are under the umbrella, you won;t get wet. But there is an implied protection under that umbrella.

Question 1b: Is petting or oral sex okay?

Does the bible speak directly about this?

No, but there is a principle that applies in Hebrews 13:4, 1 Corinthians 6:18 and Matthew 5:28.

Flee before it creates lust!

He hits a home run on this one!

Question 2: My girlfriend and I have always tried to have a Godly relationship… but we had sex. Does that mean we do not belong together?

Pastor Troy applies 2 Corinthians 6:14 about unequally yoking.

There is a principle that is missed. Instead of dating, why not court? Setting boundaries is great, but perhaps being chaperoned is better. This forces us to become accountable to someone else!

Marry! 1 Corinthians 7:9 is then applied… correctly, too.

There are other similar questions alluded to, one that will be answered later. I suspect to use for the presentation of the gospel and invitation.

Question 3: My boyfriend and I are living together for over two years, we want to do right. If we get married at the courthouse, do we have to be married at church?

It is about the commitment, not the ceremony! But he stresses the need to get married now, or move out!

There are other questions in a similar vein that are alluded to you, and Pastor Troy says to get married. If it is just a piece of paper, i.e. the marriage certificate, you would already have it!

You don’t say it with your mouth, you say it with your actions. Good on you, Pastor Troy!

His marriage is the best thing in his life? I think he has missed something.

Question 4: Me and my friend have been hooking up. I want to stop, she doesn’t. Is it okay to stop being her friend?

Yes! (1 Corinthians 15:33)

Question 5: Should you forgive your boyfriend for physically putting his hands on you?

Assuming abuse…yes, we forgive. But outside of marriage, get out of the relationship. If there is apology, make sure repentance (change) follows! Stopping the relationship until that happens!

Question 6: What should you do if your fiancée is on a dating website listed as single and what he is looking for?

Troy answers correctly. Give him what he wants, single!

Question 7: I am married to a man who is not a Christian.

(Many questions in this vein.) How will this affect my salvation?

It doesn’t. But, my husband’s non-belief is a problem. What do I do?

Sage advice is given. If your proposed partner are traveling in two different directions… no matter what they say, if you are not yet married… step away!

But if you are married, you cannot step away from your marriage. 1 Peter 3:1 is applied. You stay in the relationship and follow after Christ.

Further, 1 Corinthians 7:10, a wife must not leave her husband, and a husband must not leave his wife.

He goes on to say after the permitted reasons for divorce you can remarry. (Comments reserved.)

Question 8: What does the bible say about sexual positions?

The bible does not speak to those, but there is a principle applies. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5, things haven’t changed.

But, what about pornography if we watch it together?

1 Corinthians 6:18, Matthew 5… flee from lust.

Question 9: I lost my virginity at 15, will it make any difference that I have abstained? I still feel dirty, what do I do?

Colossians 2:14-15… the bible speaks directly to this.

The segue is made into a great presentation of the gospel.

Yes! Good on you, Pastor Troy!

Conclusions

The message is a help for some, though, using a paraphrase in the same way a bible translation is used leaves a lot to be desired. One is a faithful and scholarly rendering of the original languages… the paraphrase is not.

All in all, the principles applied are correct, and the bible is applied correctly. However, the introductory reasoning of the role of sin is misunderstood.

The consequences of sin are all too evident in our relationships. And this is what I think Pastor Troy meant to convey, he did somewhat. It is almost as if he said we sin because we wanted to have sex outside the covenant of marriage, and that is simply incorrect.

Sadly, there was no correlation applied to how Earthly marriage is a picture of the ultimate marriage. Proper understanding of this relationship is crucial to understanding our relationship to God. It includes the intimacy of the sexual union within marriage!

I think this is a series devoted to marriage. And as such, will wait to see how it continues. I sure hope Pastor Troy shows us how what we do on Earth is a picture of the future marriage supper of the Lamb. We (Christians) are the bride of Christ!

Think about that as you listen to this message series! Right thinking helps to bring everything said into proper perspective.

But the danger of the lure (Spin the Bottle) used to hook us into the series is suspect. It is way too suggestive, outright carnal!

We must be wary about using carnality to attract people to church. We then need to serve more carnality to keep the goats fed, and the neglected sheep begin to starve.

You Die Anyway, So What’s the Whole Point?

January 21st, 2011

 

Author’s note: The video clip has been removed. But in it, a pastor’s 13 year old daughter… very boy crazy, very irreverent and obviously rebellious… exclaims about Christianity “You die anyway, so what’s the point?” The parents, are at the end of their rope… is it any wonder?

 So, really? What is the whole point?

And Jesus says in Matthew 16:27…

For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Preacher’s kids… typically the ones who are the most incorrigible… but why are they that way?

Could it be that we (read non-preachers) do not hold these kids accountable, but excuse their behavior, in order to not irritate our pastors?

Can I ask… How do you stand on that, biblically?

Haiti One Year Later, Where are the Atheists?

January 17th, 2011

Haiti, one-year after a devastating earthquake destroyed many peoples lives, is still in desperate need. The earthquake, as devastating as it was, was followed by a hurricane and then a cholera outbreak. This only compounds the sadness of those affected.

It seems that most of the promised secular aid has not materialized. There is great need, and who is responding other than national governments, surely there are millions of dollars and hours of volunteer labor being provided by the likes of the Red Cross, or caring groups of humanists?

Nope… it’s just those “faith-based” organizations like Catholic Relief Services, Samaritan’s Purse, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention. These are the groups providing the lion’s share of private aid donations to help those affected.

These groups are also providing corps of volunteers to help out. They continue to do the heavy lifting, as government sorts out the red tape.

People I know have taken “vacations” to go down to Haiti to help those affected, others have donated money to help. Still others collect food and clothing, which is collected at local churches.

But, let us get back to the names of those “faith-based” groups. It is evident to me what “faith” they are talking about, none other than Christianity!

We, humans, by nature are selfish creatures… it is because ot the outstretched hand of God that we help those in need.

For all of those humanists and atheists that stress how they need no “sky man” or any other appeal to religion to care for their fellow brothers and sisters… I ask…

WHERE IS YOUR SWEAT AND TREASURE IN THIS CRISIS?

If you really care about you fellow man, how about sending $10 to help. You can do it through Samaritan’s Purse, or UNICEF.

The Crazy "Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey"

January 16th, 2011

 

Really?

Clearly… you can do nothing to be saved, so why think that you can do this “trick” and be healed?

Is God that easy to manipulate?

And we then are given the obligatory SUBJECTIVE proof.

Seriously… for those who object, please provide a scripture reference IN CONTEXT, where something like this is not to be considered foolishness!

YouTube – The Crazy “Holy Ghost Hokey Pokey”

Spin the Bottle at Potential

January 13th, 2011

With the mission statement of partnering with people to reach their God potential, Potential Church steps “puts a new twist” on an old game.

They are soliciting “the most daring questions” we have, which they will place on “the big screen.” Questions they will give “bold answers!”

pot

In the video clip posted on http://SpinTheBottleNow.com, Pastor Troy poses a sample submission and asks, very titillatingly… “Is every sexual position okay?”

Which he answers with the same goofy smirk he asked it with, “Well, some are more pleasurable than others.”

In light of what Paul say in 1 Corinthians 10:23

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

I ask, while this sort of thing may be permissible I want to know… is it helpful?

Perhaps, but does it build up?

Maybe, let us press on.

The answers to my questions are not definitive, but let us explore the context of what Paul was saying by reading further…

24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience—

But it this does not bother my conscience. Hmmm… I do not think there is anything in the Christian life that is about me, so why start here?

Paul, seemingly speaking to our me center Christianity of this generation, has to say…

29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

What is Paul saying… that I am to protect my brothers and sisters from offense?

You betcha!

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

Using titillation to attract people to church is not useful to all, and not helpful to all. It certainly may offend some brothers and sisters. To knowingly bring offense is clearly against the teachings of the bible.

So why do it?

Is it to attract people, through carnality, in hopes they will hear the gospel?

I certainly hope not. But I think Paul Washer can help to explain the reasons why. You see, if you use carnality to attract visitors… you end up with a carnal church. This is plainly evident! Watch Paul Washer explain why…

To my brothers and sisters who call this church their home, I ask… Are there any sheep in your church starving to death?

If you can answer no, I would ask frankly, how do you know?

You see, this carnality is being used to further Hegelian dialectic in the church. This dialectic is what is being used to divide the real church from the apostate church. It is happening today!

I have a hang up…

January 8th, 2011

Some of my friends wonder why I am so hung up on the creative work of God, rather than talking about grace and the fact that He saved us from our sins.

The fact is God reveals himself a little bite at a time. If you cannot get past the fact that this universe was created by God, you could not care less that he died for your sin. If God did not create this universe, if in fact their is no God required to explain why we exist, why should you believe that you have any sin that would offend a righteous God that does not exist in the first place.

Our entire culture is inundated with propaganda aimed at convincing people that evolution is a proven scientific fact. Nothing could be farther from the truth.  The evidence that the universe was designed is overwhelming. The media loves to ridicule people of faith. They call it “blind faith”, all the while conforming to the consensus view that there is nothing besides the natural universe. Science used to be a search for a true view of how things work.

Today, the scientific view is focused on finding a completely naturalistic explanation for everything. People in the scientific community are shunned or even fired if they do not toe the line of naturalism. Every now and then someone says something like “it almost appears to have been designed…” but then they start with the fancy footwork and back away form that statement. If the founder of Scientific American was alive today and writing, his own magazine would not publish his work. Because he believed in a creator.

Scientists have a for years clung to the “fact” that the speed of light was a constant. Twenty years ago Barry Setterfield and Trevor Norman tried to publish research that showed that the speed is light is slowing down. They were almost published but the publisher found out they believed in a creator and pulled the paper. For years they tried to get their views published and examined by their peers. Nada. Zip.

Curiously, twenty years after they tried to publish, scientists that are not tainted with the odious smell of “blind faith” are publishing papers saying the speed of light is slowing. Do any of these scientists have the class to give Setterfield and Norman any citations for earlier work? Nada. Zip.

I could go into a discussion about how other “constants”, like the fine structure constant, alpha, has been suspected of changing. How String theory says that the universe is actually composed of ten or more dimensions, only four of which we can actually sense and measure.  How length, time, energy, everything, come in packages of  a minimum size. How if something is smaller than that size it loses “locality” and becomes everywhere at once. Read “Inconstant Constants” (Scientific American, June 2005) for your self. They conclude that this universe is just a “shadow of a much larger reality”.  Really? The bible has been saying that all along.

Bishop Paley, around 100 years ago, had an argument that anyone could look at his watch and know that it was designed, could not designed that the hand that carried the watch was much more complex and had to be designed as well. His detractors replied that this argument only applied if living organisms were in fact machines. 100 years of microbiology and other research have shown that in fact living cells are machines composed of millions of intricately arranged atoms. Bishop Paley wins, evolution loses.

Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take your teacher’s word for it either. Investigate for yourself. Find out how bankrupt the religion of evolution is for yourself. Then taste God and see how delightful he is. If you can get past the first hurdle of truth, God will give you some more truth.

The New Congress That was Then

January 6th, 2011

 

Remember this?

Did you understand what she said?

Neither did I! But this is the BEST that western Broward county can do. Sad that.

Obama Spiritual Advisor Wallis: Confused Americans Think British Accent Makes You Smart

December 26th, 2010

 

Here is a pastor… and I use the term loosely, stereotypically calling Americans dumb.

Perhaps, in his world, where the masses are enslaved to an (seeming) all-benevolent, supporting government, it may be true. But there are some of us who know better!

Perhaps Mr. Wallis might want to familiarize himself with 1 Corinthians 13… especially those parts about love not being puffed-up!

Beware Tony Blair’s Faith Foundation, and those who sidle up to it. Test everything through scripture… be a Berean (Acts 17:10-11.)

Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ?

December 26th, 2010

Just because they hang the identifier of Christian before something, doesn’t necessarily make it a-okay.

But as I see it, is this not using the name of the Lord in vain, and therefor a breach of the third commandment?

Read the post here at Slaughter of the Sheep: Actors, Models, and Talent for Christ?