I just watched an interview with Joel Osteen this evening, conducted by Oprah Winfrey. I’ve always liked Joel from the moment I clicked onto the televised Lakewood church and heard Joel’s messages.
I’m as cynical as the next person about televangelists, but there is something sincere and believable about Joel and I honestly believe he’s not a fake, liar, or someone who is just all about prosperity preaching. I think Joel Osteen is a simple believer who has strong faith in God. I believe Joel Osteen is blessed by God. He has been brought up in a family ministry, and God has used him in a mighty way to bring everyday people who have trouble with organized religion, to God.
Tonight, Joel was pinned down on a few specifics. This should help many Christians who were critical of Joel, breathe easier. Joel stated that He firmly believes that there are not “many ways to God,” but that there is one way, and that way is through Jesus Christ our Lord. He clarified as well, however, that there could be many ways to Jesus Christ, and that Jesus could use these ways to bring people to God through Himself.
I didn’t have a problem with the way Joel answered Oprah. He was straightforward and didn’t flinch from the confrontation on this tough question.
Nor did he avoid the other difficult question about homosexuality and whether he considers it to be “sin.” Anyone could see, despite the question, that he was not about exclusivity and did not want anyone to feel less than or uncared about. He stated again and again that gay people are welcome at Lakewood, but he answered straight up that he believes that the lifestyle/behavior is sin, according to what the bible tells us. That had to be tough for him. It’s been tough for me to answer this question in a similar fashion, not wanting to exclude anyone or make someone feel less than.
I respect the willingness to take a difficult stance in today’s politically correct society and know Joel will take heat because of it. No matter which direction he wiggles or turns, or how he tries to please, he will hear criticism either from other Christians or the homosexual community. For the more conservative Christians, you can bet Joel may find it difficult if he doesn’t come off conservative enough.
Frankly, one just can’t please everyone no matter what one does, so one’s best bet is to strive to please God and just leave it at that. If we stay true to God’s word, we may not please everybody, but we’ll please God, and thus we’ll be doing the next right thing. Who can argue with that?
The interview went wonderfully and I recommend it to anyone who may not have caught it. It was on the Oprah Winfrey Network, OWN, and the program was Oprah’s Next Chapter. It should repeat again tonight, and will repeat on OWN over and over, certainly. Should someone upload it to YouTube, I’ll certainly share it here on this blog.
You can have a look at some of the after the show sneak peeks here:
- Oprah’s Next Chapter: Joel Olsteen talks megachurch label, financial success (examiner.com)
- So that’s how it is (piedtype.com)
- False Shepherd – Osteen – Soft and Gooey on Obama (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Joel Osteen, Doing God’s Work? (nickbabineaux.wordpress.com)