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Friday, April 27, 2012

Prayer? Pray Tell!


How important is it to know what Jesus meant when He talks about praying?



οὕτως οὖν προσεύχεσθε ὑμεῖς, Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου.
Matt 6:9


The following quote is an excerpt from a comment I read on a news story about the new “drive-thru prayer1 outreach program at the Christian Life Center, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
JESUS SAID DON’T GO TO CHURCH, because it’s full of hypocrite priests and hypocrite people. He said you should go to your ROOM to pray (Matthew 6:6). And notice, you can’t be at church if you’re supposed to be following Jesus by praying in your room.
This idea that Christians shouldn’t ever pray in church kind of intrigued me so I decided to look into it a bit more. Utilizing the information in the English text of the KJV, in a way that further bolsters the case for keeping it as the Authorized English Bible, I discovered the actual meaning of Jesus’ words.

Here’s Matthew 6:6 from the KJV:
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
It certainly does seem like Jesus is saying not to pray in public. However, if we look in the next verse, we find another instruction on how to pray:
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Now, laying aside what Jesus is saying for the moment, look at who He is addressing in both of these verses (the red text). In the first, He is talking to “thou”; in the second, “ye”. Thou is the old 2nd person singular pronoun; ye is the old 2nd person plural pronoun. In v.6, Jesus is speaking to a single person; in v.7, He switches pronouns to address two or more people.

In using these two words the KJV translators were able to more accurately reflect the separate singular and plural pronouns used in the original Greek text of the NT. In modern translations, with no way to distinguish singular and plural in the 2nd person, the two different Greek words are both rendered “you”.

So, clearly, v.6 is an instruction for individual prayer; that it should be done in secret—in contrast to what hypocrites do—and v.7 is an instruction for communal prayer; that it shouldn’t be just thoughtless babbling—in contrast to what heathens do.

Later, in the course of telling Sandy about this newfound insight, I happened to mention that what we modern Christians call “praying” isn’t what Jesus called “praying”. This statement, and the explanation of it, came as a bigger surprise to her than my newfound insight. To her, where to pray isn’t nearly as important as is the very nature of prayer itself.

In the KJV, there are five different Greek verbs, each with different meanings, translated “to pray” and four Greek nouns translated “prayer”. Several of these mean “to ask”, “to express a need” or even “to offer supplication”, but the one occurring in Matthew 6:5, 6 & 7, and every other time when referring to Jesus praying, is the word προσεύχομαι, proseuchomai, which means to demonstrate and express your submission to the Will of God.

Here’s a 58 second video clip of Jim Brown of Grace & Truth Ministries on the word proseuchomai:



This is the kind of praying that Jesus did and it is the kind of praying He instructs us to do. When He prayed privately—He always prayed privately—in Gethsemane, He said “thy will be done” (Matt 26:42), demonstrating and expressing His submission to the Will of God. When He taught us to pray individually, He taught us to do so privately, with no one but God present to see or hear us, where we would make an honest demonstration and expression of our submission to the Will of God. When He told us how to pray together, He taught us to say “thy will be done” (Matt 6:10), so we would demonstrate and express our submission to the Will of God.

This is the kind of praying that matters to God; this is what Jesus means when He talks about praying. It is not the kind of praying they’ll be doing at that convenient drive-thru in Florida.








1. This is a link to the Fox News version of the story. The comment I read was on a CBS Miami page that I didn’t link to in order to spare you their annoying habit of “auto-refreshing”. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry; you will thank me when you find out.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Name Changes


ὅτι οὓς προέγνω καὶ προώρισεν συμμόρφους τῆς εἰκόνος τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν πρωτότοκον ἐν πολλοῖς ἀδελφοῖς.
Romans 8:29

Sorry, but I'm currently (and annoyingly) experimenting with new names for this blog. So far, the sting of salt and light is the best I can come up with. If it doesn’t change over the next couple of weeks, it’s a keeper!

Cheers,
jim

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Page 2 of the DD3 is Posted


We are all slaves to, or filled with guilt over not being slaves to, The Great Commission, but is this truly what Jesus had in mind?



πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος·
Matthew 28:19


Page Two of the third installment of the Deconstructing Doctrines series has finally been completed and posted. The study is called There’s a Great Commission? and, if you’ve already read Page One, you can access Page Two by clicking here. To read the whole thing, just go to the tab at the top of this post labeled DD3: There is a Great Commission?

In this series I’m taking a look at ten doctrinal statements, some composite and some actual, held and taught by most Christians today, that contain what I see to be critical interpretive errors. The poor teaching we hear in the majority of our church services is a direct result of the faulty, unscriptural notions produced by these misinterpretations.

1.           The Not-so-Great Commission

Cast a wide eye over the beliefs of modern Christianity and you will see few doctrines as foundational as the Great Commission. It is the quintessential Christian teaching. Acceptance of it is nearly universal among denominations and it has been the driving force behind English-speaking evangelism for over 250 years.

The end result is today’s composite Great Commission. Here’s a typical formulation:
Every Christian! Go into each country in the world and preach the gospel in order to convert and baptize every creature in that nation in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Teach them to believe everything I’ve said. And, remember, I am with you in spirit forever.
So, in order for everyone to pass on their version and get to work, a great deal of generalization has taken place with regards to the Great Commission's form. But, while the abbreviated versions have broader utility, they are, by definition, less scriptural. There is simply no way for them to remain biblically sound, once they've been bullet-pointed to conform to the theology of every denomination and passed on without question or comparison with the source material.

This is how everyone has got it so terribly wrong.

Read it all...



Thursday, April 19, 2012

They Have No King but Caesar


Christians are monarchists and our King is never on the ballot.



λέγει αὐτοῖς ὁ Πιλᾶτος, Τὸν βασιλέα ὑμῶν σταυρώσω; ἀπεκρίθησαν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς, Οὐκ ἔχομεν βασιλέα εἰ μὴ Καίσαρα.
John 19:15
The term “democracy” comes from the Greek word δημοκρατία [demokratia] "rule of the people", which is made up of δῆμος [demos], meaning “people, rabble, or mob”, and κρατία [kratia], meaning "rule".
Various Greek Lexica
A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.
Thomas Jefferson1


My clock-radio is tuned to KJNP Alaska and every weekday morning it goes off at 07:30. After hearing some atrocious piano solos, I sort of half-listen to 10 minutes of Ravi Zacharias’ list of favorite philosophers, vacation spots, and books he’s read or written, then fall back to sleep, only to be awakened after eight by the jackhammering expositions of Dr Tony Evans.

G.W. Caesar and Citizen Evans

Over the last four days, KJNP has been re-broadcasting a sermon series Evans gave sometime during the Obama/McCain election campaign. I am not so churlish as to suggest that the only reason these sermons are being re-broadcast four years later is to help push his latest book How Should Christians Vote?, sensibly released in an election year. I am sure that Evans’ only concern is for the Christian franchise and he couldn’t care less if he doesn’t make a dime off of the book. His sole aim, surely, is to provide Christians the tools with which to make an informed and godly choice this November; if he happens to make a few bucks in royalties in the process, where’s the harm?

Well, to answer that, let’s first look at this video of the ad for the book:



This jumped out at me:
God expects us to be involved in politics, but what He doesn’t expect is to allow politics to corrupt us to the point where we loose sight of this other Kingdom we are a part of.
There are so many theological errors undergirding this sentence, it would take a week of blog posts for me to fully excavate and correct them all. I will spare you that (for now), but I do want to briefly examine one aspect of Evans’ misguided political theology: The politicians he thinks God wants us to vote for.

Now, in fairness to Evans, I admit that he is by no means the only pastor in America with these views. To my continual disgust, except for Jim Brown of Grace and Truth Ministries, every single preacher, pastor or bible teacher I’ve heard here believes that “God expects us to be involved in politics”. Their reasons are as varied as their hairstyles, but their blinkers are all identical. To a man, they have bought the lie that we Christians are to use the power of the state to corral the godless majority and compel them to live as we are commanded to live and that we are to do this through representatives who have been elected by the Christian minority along with the godless majority.

So, what insight does the Bible give us with regards to the nature of these representatives?

Well, in James 4:4 we are told:
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
That sounds bad enough in English, but in the Greek it carries even more force. Here’s the first sentence of the verse (to skip the Greek lesson, click here):
μοιχοὶ καὶ μοιχαλίδες, οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἡ φιλία τοῦ κόσμου ἔχθρα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστιν;
The words in red text are the nouns translated “friendship” and “enmity”. “Friendship” is the Greek word φιλία [philia], which is an extension of the word φίλος [philos], meaning “friend”, in the most emotional sense of the word. The verb form of philos is the word φιλέω [phileo], which is often translated “to love” in the KJV, and means “to have a deep affection for”. It is the closest equivalent in NT Greek to our English word “love”. Therefore, philia, “friendship”, is a deep affectionate friendship—a loving friendship.

Knowing the extreme positive nature of philia gives us an idea of the extreme negative nature of its opposite, the word translated “enmity”. This is the Greek noun ἔχθρα [exthra], which comes from the adjective ἐχθρός [exthros], the substantive (noun form) of which Strong tells us means someone “openly hostile” or “animated by a deep-seated hatred”. We see this substantive form in the next sentence of the verse translated as “enemy”.

The second sentence of the verse looks like this in the Greek:
ὃς ἂν οὖν βουληθῇ φίλος εἶναι τοῦ κόσμου ἐχθρὸς τοῦ θεοῦ καθίσταται.
The words in red text are those translated “will be” and “is” respectively.

“Will be” is the Greek verb βούλομαι [boulomai] and means “to will deliberately or purposefully”, with the sense of “to resolve resolutely”.

“Is” is the verb καθίστημι [kathistemi]; which is not equivalent to the English verb “to be” (that’s the verb εἰμί [eimi]). Literally kathistemi means “to set down” or “put down”, but carries the same idea as the English idiom “set over”, as in a ruler. In fact, it was translated “to make a ruler” in Matt 24:45, 47, and Luke 12:42. It is also translated “ordain” (in Titus 1:5, Hebrews 5:1, 8:3) and “appoint” (in Acts 6:3).

So, with that, we see that the sense of James 4:4 is better expressed in English as:
Adulterers and adulteresses, do ye not know that the loving friendship of the world is hostile hatred to God? Whoever, therefore, wills deliberately to be a loving friend of the world is a hostile hater of God and appointed over Him.
What is a politician in a democracy but a wannabe friend of the world? Isn’t that what winning elections is all about? Should we be supporting their attempt to be an enemy of God?

Clearly not.

It is apparent to anyone not blinkered by the same theological lie that narrows Tony Evans’ vision that, if the Bible teaches us that a Christian can’t be a politician, then a politician can’t be a Christian. So if there’s no such thing as a Christian politician, then there’s no such thing as a Christian polity. And if there’s no such thing as a Christian polity, then we’d better stop trying to choose between Caesars and leave the outcome of elections to God.






1. Even though he wasn't a Christian, Jefferson is quoted here because, being one of the American founding fathers, as well as a deist, whose hatred for the miracles and virgin birth of Jesus was so strong it compelled him to compile his own bible, his apt description of democracy is doubly poignant.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Rich Young Ruler was Elect


Sound doctrine and the Greek text prove the rich young ruler was saved.



ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ἠγάπησεν αὐτὸν, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Ἕν σοί ὑστερεῖ ὕπαγε ὅσα ἔχεις πώλησον καὶ δὸς τοῖς πτωχοῖς καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι ἄρας τὸν σταυρόν.
Mark 10:21


I’m not sure how many times I’ve heard sermons or read commentaries that concluded that the rich young ruler was damned because he wouldn’t give up his “great possessions”. Those who draw this conclusion do so mainly from two points: one, the fact that he went away sad, rather than rejoicing; and two, that nowhere else in the Gospels is it mentioned that he returned to follow Jesus after having sold all his possessions.

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Before going into the doctrinal and grammatical proofs of the young man’s salvation, allow me to answer those two points first. It is true that we never read of the young ruler’s returning to follow the Lord, but, conversely, we never read that he didn’t. The text only says that he went away unhappy, not that he went away and refused to obey Jesus.

That the young man left sad confirms that he believed Jesus was telling the truth. He was grieved because he knew that he had to sell all his stuff and give the money to the poor. Jesus had answered the young man’s question about inheriting eternal life by giving him an honest rebuke and the sole remedy for his one spiritual failing. The young man felt the sting of conviction from the rebuke and accepted the truth of the remedy. After all, if he thought Jesus was talking nonsense, he would’ve gone away annoyed, bemused, or disappointed because Jesus wasn’t the “good master” he thought he was. He wouldn’t have gone away “sorrowful” because “he was very rich”.

This repentant response to Jesus’ words leads into the doctrinal proof of the young ruler’s being one of the Elect. Everywhere in the Gospels, those who are unbelievers (therefore not Elect) uniformly respond to Jesus’ accurate descriptions of their spiritual state with anger; their pride is always inflamed.
But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. Luke 7:30
The self-righteous Pharisees and scribes never went away depressed by the changes they had to make in their lives, because they didn’t believe they had to make them. Not that Jesus ever gave them any! He reserves advice for those of His sheepfold. It is completely pointless to tell goats to behave like sheep.


Of the three synoptic accounts of this event, it is Mark’s Gospel that mentions Jesus “beholding” the young ruler and then “loving” him. Independently these details might be disregarded as unimportant, but together they take on a profound significance that is hard to ignore. The Greek word translated “beholding”, ἐμβλέπω [emblepo], means “to turn one’s eyes on”. The word translated “love” is the verb ἀγαπάω [agapao]. Agapao means “to welcome (to a household), to entertain” and also “to be fond of in a familial or dutiful way”, like a man to his family and vice-versa. In the NT, it is the word used to indicate God’s vessels of mercy (Romans 9:22-24), those whom He has chosen for salvation. That Jesus’ “love” follows His “beholding” indicates a this-so-therefore relationship between the two. What Jesus saw—the heart (mind) of the young ruler (see 1 Samuel 16:7)—was reason to “love”, or “welcome”, him to the family of God.

I examined this connection between God’s agape and His election in great detail in the first installment of the Deconstructing Doctrine series:
Loving to God is the same as choosing; the same as being faithful to; the same as being merciful to. It is, in short, the activity of favoring above another.

Take a look at Matthew 12:18, where we read [my emphasis added]:
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles”.
Matthew is citing Isaiah 42:1 where it says of Messiah:
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Notice that Matthew has revealed to us that the OT idea of God's elect (Hebrew בחר [bachar]) is equivalent to the NT idea of God's beloved (ἀγαπητός [agapetos]).
Of course, the doctrine of Election is anathema to those who insist—against all biblical evidence to the contrary—that God loves everyone. Only they can countenance the idea that Jesus loves this rich young ruler but refused to save him. It is this kind of perverse thinking that led Billy Graham to say that, because He created him, and even though He damned him, God must love Satan!

Ah, no.

Sorry, Billy, but God only saves those He “loves” (agapao), and only “loves” those He saves.

We also know that believing (having faith), which is the gift of God (Eph 2:8) to His Elect, is what saves. Faith (or belief) is the Greek word πίστις [pistis]; “to save” is the verb σῴζω [sozo]. Nine times in the Gospels, Jesus says that faith, pistis, saves, sozo (Matt 9:22, Mark 5:34, 10:52, 16:16, Luke 7:50, 8:12, 8:48, 17:19, 18:42; the phrase "made whole" in the KJV is the word sozo in the Grk NT). The rich young ruler was said to lack one thing to be perfect (Mat 19:21) and it wasn’t faith. Remember, Jesus wasn’t rebuking his lack of belief, but his covetousness. Thou shalt not covet was the one commandment of the Decalogue that the young ruler hadn’t been “following from his youth”.

Of course, guilty of one is guilty of all, but it is not keeping the commandments that saves; it’s faith. And this the rich young ruler had.

As for commandments, there are more than ten. In the Greek NT, every time Jesus says something in the active imperative mood, it is another commandment. It is not a suggestion or a conditional request; it is a direct, face-to-face command to someone; a command that is always obeyed. Jesus didn’t ask the disciples to follow Him (Matt 4:19, 9:9; John 1:43), he commanded them to follow him. And they did. Every. Single. Time.

Why? Because, as Jesus said in John 10:27:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
He wasn’t saying that they aren’t saddened by what they hear (see Prov 3:12 & Heb 12:6), but that those who hear Him follow Him. The rich, young ruler obviously heard, and understood, the Lord, because he went away saddened.

Also, the Greek word for “hear” is ἀκούω [akouo]. As we see in Mark 12:29, where Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4, akouo is equivalent to the Hebrew word שָׁמַע, [shama]. When used exhortatively, as imperative commands, both of these words mean “to hear and obey”. So, just as anyone who will obey Jesus, heard Him; anyone who hears Jesus will obey Him.

Nowhere in the NT does anyone ever disobey a direct command from Jesus. After loving the rich young ruler, Jesus gives him five imperative commands:
Go! Sell! Give! Come! Follow!
Without a doubt, the rich young ruler went, sold, gave, came and followed. So, clearly, he was one of the Lord’s Elect and was surely saved.



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Nothing Good about It


When are Christians going to give up all these wicked Roman Catholic practices and start following the commands of God?



ὥσπερ γὰρ ἦν Ἰωνᾶς ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ τοῦ κήτους τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας οὕτως ἔσται ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ τῆς γῆς τρεῖς ἡμέρας καὶ τρεῖς νύκτας.
Matthew 12:40


Okay, before I debunk Good Friday, so-called, let’s first deal with Easter.

No serious Christian should be observing this (un)holiday. It is, like Christmas and all the other special days on the Roman Catholic ecclesiastical calendar, another pagan ritual dragged into the church by Constantine in his staggeringly successful effort to create a Judenrein Christianity. Look at all the unbiblical symbols surrounding Easter and you can plainly see its ancient spring/fertility cult origins; things like rabbits, lilies, eggs, and even hot cross buns.




The biggest giveaway of these is the name “Easter” itself. You can trace the linguistic lineage of the name “Easter” from Ishtar, the ancient Assyrian goddess, through her ancient Greek name Astarte, the Queen of Heaven, to Eostre, the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxons. That Catholics call Mary the Queen of Heaven is no accident.

As well, the connection between “Easter” and the direction East is no linguistic accident, either. It’s a direct result of the connection with the spring/fertility cultists’ veneration of the vernal equinox and where the sun rises.

As to the word “Easter” appearing in the Bible, this is the result of another abominable Catholic practice. In the KJV, it shows up in only one place, Acts 12:4.
And when he had apprehended him, he put [him] in prison, and delivered [him] to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
In the original Greek text, the word translated “Easter” is πάσχα [pascha]. This is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew פֶּסַח [pesach], which is “Passover”. The other 28 occurrences of pascha in the Greek NT were translated “Passover” in the KJV, only this occurrence held to the Catholic custom of translating it Easter.

Right, now for Good Friday:

Traditionally, Good Friday is so called because it commemorates Christ’s crucifixion. The idea that Jesus was crucified on a Friday is one part Catholic myth and another part poor biblical exegesis. Jesus was not crucified on Friday, but on Wednesday.

There were two Sabbaths the week Christ was executed, the yearly one, Passover, and the weekly one, Friday. At the beginning of the first one, He was buried; after the second one, He rose. This gives us the three days and three nights Jesus said he would spend in the grave in Matt 12:38-40. If he’d been crucified and buried on Friday, then rose on Sunday, that would only be two days and nights.
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Again, this was a result of Constantine’s eschewing of Passover for Easter, thereby losing the notion of two Sabbaths in one week, and erasing all the Jewish significance of Christ’s dying on the one and resurrecting on the other.


So, you see, there really is nothing good about Good Friday.











Friday, April 6, 2012

Another (partial) Deconstructed Doctrine Posted


We are all slaves to, or filled with guilt over not being slaves to, The Great Commission, but is this truly what Jesus had in mind?



πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος·
Matthew 28:19


Part One of the third installment of the Deconstructing Doctrines series has been posted. It’s called There’s a Great Commission? and you can access it on the Pages tabs at the top of this blog or just click here.

In this series I’m taking a look at ten doctrinal statements, some composite and some actual, held and taught by most Christians today, that contain what I see to be critical interpretive errors. The poor teaching we hear in the majority of our church services is a direct result of the faulty, unscriptural notions produced by these misinterpretations.

1.           The Not-so-Great Commission

Cast a wide eye over the beliefs of modern Christianity and you will see few doctrines as foundational as the Great Commission. It is the quintessential Christian teaching. Acceptance of it is nearly universal among denominations and it has been the driving force behind English-speaking evangelism for over 250 years.

The end result is today’s composite Great Commission. Here’s a typical formulation:
Every Christian! Go into each country in the world and preach the gospel in order to convert and baptize every creature in that nation in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Teach them to believe everything I’ve said. And, remember, I am with you in spirit forever.
So, in order for everyone to pass on their version and get to work, a great deal of generalization has taken place with regards to the Great Commission's form. But, while the abbreviated versions have broader utility, they are, by definition, less scriptural. There is simply no way for them to remain biblically sound, once they've been bullet-pointed to conform to the theology of every denomination and passed on without question or comparison with the source material.

This is how everyone has got it so terribly wrong.

Read it all...



Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Flying Pig Report and a Comment on Judgment


Well, one pig we know can fly! Mega-rich conman and professional Christian Joel Osteen gets it right in spite of himself on CNN.



Μὴ κρίνετε, ἵνα μὴ κριθῆτε.
—Matthew 7:1


I heard about Piers Morgan’s roasting Kirk Cameron on his CNN show within a day of it happening; which was just over two weeks ago. I caught the video on Youtube soon after and commented on it here. Yesterday I came across a video of Piers Morgan interviewing another famous “Christian”, Joel Osteen. Once again, Morgan pulled out the kryptonite of camera-hungry preachers: The Gay Challenge.

And, once again, the professional Christian is left sounding like an auctioneer with a stutter.

My first reaction after watching the skewering was “what was Osteen thinking? Didn’t he see the Cameron interview? He should sack all of his media people.” But today, going over the video again researching for this post, I realized that the Osteen interview had taken place back in January...of 2011!

Oops! Looks like it’s Cameron who should sack all of his media people.

In any case, just like Cameron was to do a year later, Osteen cast his pearls before a swine and, just as Jesus warned it would, it turned around and bit him. Here’s the vid:



I have to say, just like Morgan, I’m extremely surprised that Osteen actually used the word “sin”. I’m doubly surprised that he used it in connection with homosexuality. If Osteen is known for anything, it’s for steering well clear of the whole sin thing—even Piers Morgan knew that about him. He’s one of the most successful prosperity preachers today because he absolutely refuses to mention sin at his church meetings. Osteen wants his punters to think about what they’re doing right (especially tithing to his church), not what they’re doing wrong. That’s where the cash is.

So, wonder of wonders, Osteen managed to admit to believing an unpalatable biblical truth: Homosexuality is a sin!

But there’s no way to talk about sin without also talking about judgment; they go hand-in-hand. So, knowing this (sinners are hyper-sensitive to judgment), Morgan accused him of judging gay people by calling them sinners and Osteen was immediately thrown. He’d been preaching to the converted so long, he’d forgotten that, to unbelievers, calling someone’s behavior sinful is the same thing as judging him. And that to then insist that pronouncing someone a sinner is not the same thing as judging them, doesn’t sound like incontrovertible wisdom, but lame hypocrisy.

To be fair to Osteen though, he’s absolutely right. A Christian calling someone a sinner is not the same as him judging that person, it’s the same as him saying he believes God is judging that person. The distinction is subtle, even to believers, and Osteen wasn’t up to explaining it.

Actually, it’s doubtful that Osteen even understands it that well. In fact, it’s doubtful that most Christians understand it that well. Many of them have been so misled by the wrong interpretation of Jesus’ words regarding judgment, that they are wary to the point of apoplexy of pronouncing any kind of judgment regarding any type of human behavior, except maybe child-molestation and smoking.

One of these misinterpreted verses is found in the Gospel of Matthew:
7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
The militant atheists love this verse, because they, like too many confused Christians, think it means we are not allowed to call anyone out on their behavior, period. But this interpretation is clearly faulty when we read in the Gospel of John that we are to judge:
7:23 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
What Jesus is saying is that human beings are not to judge according to their own flawed vision, but by the perspective of God as revealed in His Word. We are to use His judgment, because only His is righteous (Rom 3:9-10). Regardless of what we think or feel about someone, we are to judge them guilty or innocent according to what He has said.

When we do this, we are truly just and judging is a joy:
[It is] joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity.
(Proverbs 21:15)
Of course, unbelievers will call that a cop-out. They’ll say it’s just our way of rationalizing away our hatred of gay people (or whomever), because, like I mentioned in my Cameron post, they just can’t understand spiritual things (1 Cor 2:14); which is why I also mentioned in my Cameron post that Jesus said we aren’t to give godly wisdom to the ungodly—we are not to cast our pearls before swine.

In actual fact, our righteous judgment is to be reserved for other believers who have sinned; believers aren’t supposed to judge unbelievers at all. That is the exclusive preserve of God. As the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:
12For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
The word translated “without” is ἔξω [ekso], meaning “out of doors”. It is used figuratively in the NT for those who are outside the Household of God, or, in other words, unbelievers.

After all is said and done, then, and no matter how it pains me to say it, Osteen is right, with regards to homosexuality and his insistence that he is not to judge gay people; even though he might not know why he’s right.

Of course, we shouldn’t even know his opinions on these matters, because he’s wrong for going on TV for the purpose of increasing his fame and fortune disguised as a Christian.

All of which means that that pig in the sky is only half-flying, I guess.



P.S. Don’t ever use the unbiblical phrase about God “loving the sinner, but hating the sin”. That’s a nonsense. God hates sin and the people who practice it. It’s why they don’t fair so well on Judgment Day.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
(Psalm 5:5)