Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The Apostle Paul told his son in the faith, Timothy, the following: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2Timothy 4:3-4)

"Sound doctrine" in Christianity is the Gospel of grace, or God's unmerited favor bestowed on all those who trust God over and above seen circumstances! It's this Gospel that is at the heart of Christianity, as it reflects Jesus' life, ministry, and teachings! There is no other Gospel than the Gospel of grace that one appropriates through faith in Christ!

Rhetoric of legalism and perfectionism, the do's and don'ts that all too many clergy ram down people's throats in the name of the Bible, Christianity, and God is a perversion of the faith, does an injustice to Christians, to non-Christians who might wish to know more about Christianity, and to God!

Unfortunately, the sound doctrine of grace is rarely to be heard within most of the institutional Church, and those with "itching ears" who long for gurus to tell them what to think and how to live are in abundance to the degree that even megachurches exist where, as in the case of Joel Osteen, pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, has memberships as high as 40,000 or even higher.

And why not? Most people who attend most churches within the institutional Church are told what they want to hear by someone who presumes to know what God wants from others; what they say God wants usually reflects their own prejudices, so that someone like Osteen has the temerity to say that being Gay is "not God's best."

He doesn't say that being Gay is a sin, because he doesn't have to! The confident smile on his face and his sanitized rhetoric regarding this subject is sufficient to get this message across without his having to resort to virulent homophobic remarks, and thereby not risk offending even many of those who consider themselves to be "liberals."

No one asks him how he knows this seeming fact that being Gay is "not God's best," and how his oracular pronouncement on this subject jibe with the Gospel of grace; how his pronouncements jibe with the fact that Jesus never condemned same-sex love; same-sex love is never mentioned in the Ten Commandments; same-sex love is not condemned by any of the prophets.

Indeed, no one even thinks to asks such questions of him or of many other clergy because the constant inundation visited upon us by homophobic clergy has transformed a big lie into what is considered "the truth" in the eyes of gullible people who have "itching ears."

With a perpetual smile on his face, bespeaking to me a self-satisfied confidence in himself and his "knowledge" of "God's best," Osteen's smarmy rhetoric is difficult for me to bear or even hear, and it is, therefore, difficult for me to even watch him in action in the following video.

However, I did have enough stomach to listen to the following five minute video so that I could share with you what I consider to be the bankruptcy of so much of what purports to be "Christianity."

All too often there are clergy who equate and even enmesh "Christianity" with Americanism, jingoism, capitalism, and militarism, and do so in the name of God, and craft their messages so that people can leave church "feeling good," even amidst the injustices of life, and amidst the oppression of others for which these very clergy provide the principle "justifications." This is not the "Christianity" that I know and that I see in the Bible!

Here is the video with Joel Osteen: [Thanks to Gay Agenda.]

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