The bot’s name? Joel Dongsteen.
And the advice turns out to be pretty damn good…
That is way more helpful than anything you’ll find in the Bible.
Pastor Joel Osteen, who loves tweeting inspirational word salads, would like to remind you not to let the facts get in the way of your fiction:
Sounds nice if you’re in a hospital where the doctor tells you the “fact” that you’re dying. (Though, if you survive, then your impending death wasn’t really a “fact” in the first place.)
Sounds horribly illogical in every other situation. If you’re trying to prove 2 + 2 = 5, or that evolution is a conspiracy, or that President Obama is a Kenyan Muslim, then there’s no breakthrough coming. Stop trying.
And if Osteen ever retires from preaching, he always has a backup job writing horoscopes.
Pastor Joel Osteen gets a lot of criticism for not using the Bible very much when he preaches — though that’s also part of his appeal. He might want to take a second look at it, though, since a recent Facebook post hinted that he doesn’t know his own biblical history:
God said in Numbers 11:23, “Moses, is there any limit to My power?” He was saying, “Moses, you saw Me part the Red Sea, stop the sun for Joshua, keep three Hebrew teenagers safe in a fiery furnace, don’t you realize that I can bring water without rain?” There’s no limit to God’s power.
Moses was dead when all of that supposedly happened.
Minor detail, I know.
Somewhere, someone sitting in seminary school just shed a single tear.
(Thanks to Jaynee for the link)
Here’s Joel Osteen‘s predicament: His success hinges on his ability to inspire and uplift people. But, as a successful pastor, he knows he’s going to have to take stances on “controversial” issues like gay marriage. So what does he do?
He stays ignorant. It’s just easier for him. When he gets asked about whether homosexuality is a sin, he tries to avoid the line of questioning by saying he never talks about that in church and he “stays in his lane” and his areas of expertise. He purposely keeps those areas to a minimum.
Still, the man has thoughts, and those thoughts are important. Not talking about homosexuality is just a pastor’s way of avoiding the “bigot” label… even though, deep down inside, that’s what he is.
“You are known for these uplifting services… and I always wonder when you say, homosexuality is a sin and there’s a bunch of people who clearly are gay who are in your church, you’re calling them sinners,” O’Brien said. “I mean, that is the opposite of uplifting, I would think.”
Osteen quickly responded, saying that homosexuality isn’t really an issue that he focuses upon. The faith leader went on to say that there are a plethora of sins and that Christians have a tendency to categorize them (something he doesn’t support).
Osteen has no real response. He admits he never chose to be straight, but somehow, homosexuality is still bad because the Bible said so, as if that makes it true.
But here’s how this will play out (and it’s what’s most upsetting about this whole thing): Osteen won’t solidify his views. He won’t get educated. He won’t talk to LGBT groups, he won’t talk to other pastors, he won’t read up on the issue. He’ll just bask in his ignorance, promoting a faith that he thinks is wonderful, while knowing that the faith has caused so much harm to so many people.
This isn’t a complicated issue. It’s not like most people can’t quite grasp it. Hell, even schoolchildren understand that it’s ok to be gay. But Osteen can’t rise up to that level of understanding. He’d rather just say he doesn’t know enough about the issue and mimic the other pastors who say homosexuality is a sin without getting into the specifics about how the laws based on those misguided views affect people all over the country, presumably including many who attend his church.
You can’t whitewash the problems away by not talking about them. Journalists need to keep pushing him on this issue — it shows his true nature. He’s all for making people feel better, but he can’t muster the courage to stand up for all those people who aren’t allowed to get married or adopt children because of the faith he wants to propagate.
It’s cowardice, and it’s coming from someone whose approval of homosexuality — something that many, many Christians have had no problem giving — might actually make a difference.
(Thanks to Dr. Matt for the link)
I really enjoyed watching this interaction between Larry King and Joel Osteen/Victoria Osteen for one reason: It’s awkward as hell.
Just like Rick Warren, Joel just can’t bring himself to say he absolutely opposes gay marriage. So he tries to work around it and he fails.
Here’s what journalists need to do: keep questioning Christian leaders on their position on this issue. Don’t let them hedge around it. They obviously have an opinion. They can’t have the best of both worlds. Get them on record as saying they’re against it (if that’s the case, which it probably will be).Then, let that statement spread.
When gay marriage becomes as commonplace as interracial marriage, their opposition to equal rights will come back to haunt them. Better for everyone else.
Also, if anyone want to make a really popular YouTube video, I suggest making a compilation of all the Joel Osteen clips in which he says “I don’t know” or “I don’t understand” or “I never think about that.”
(For the record, I actually like Osteen’s sermons. He normally doesn’t get into political issues, so yay for that. But if he wants to comment on social issues, he should be taken to task for what he says.)