40 Days of Repentance | Day 8: Joel Osteen

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Joel Osteen Preaching

There are a lot of rumors floating around about Joel Osteen’s refusal to help Hurricane Harvey victims by opening his church to those seeking shelter. I’ve read several accounts about what a hypocrite he is as well as several accounts claiming that the rumors simply aren’t true.

Did Joel Osteen refuse to help the hurricane victims? I honestly don’t know. I’m hours away from the state of TX and don’t go to his church.

Is he a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Perhaps…

Does any of that matter?

I’m going to assert that no, it doesn’t.

We see this sort of thing all the time. Some famous pastor who’s a millionaire doesn’t go out of his way to help the less fortunate during a time when the media is looking for any excuse to give Christians a bad rap, and what do we do? We give the media exactly what it’s looking for by doing the most un-Christ-like thing possible: wasting our time and energy contributing to the slander of said famous pastor’s name.

I get it. We feel the need to defend Christianity and to make sure the whole world knows that a few bad wolves don’t make the whole flock bad. But as I’m reading through some of the comments on these articles, it makes me start to wonder if the whole flock hasn’t been seriously tainted…

Who’s the real enemy here? Is it Joel Osteen? I highly doubt it.

And by spewing hateful comments into an already hate-filled conversation, are we accomplishing the task that’s been set before us? The honored task of serving as ambassador to the King of the universe and bringing His Kingdom to earth?

Probably not.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not pointing the finger here. For one thing, I’m usually pretty oblivious to things going on in the world and honestly didn’t even know about this hurricane until well after it hit. (Sad, I know.) Second, if you read my day 2 post, then you know I struggle with the temptation to quietly pass judgment on others while browsing social media. And when all these articles about Mr. Osteen popped up in my feed today, I had to resist the urge to pass judgment on those who had chosen to join the conversation. In fact, I had to repent of my desire to throw a few slanderous words into the mix myself.

Instead of calling famous, rich pastors hypocrites when they don’t do what we expect them to do, how about we spend our time doing our part to make the world a better place? Here are a few ideas:

  • First, let’s stop spreading rumors on social media without bothering to corroborate the facts.
  • If we’re close to the area affected by the disaster, let’s find a way to get involved in the nearby relief efforts.
  • If we’re not close to the disaster area, let’s pray for those affected by the storm. And, if we feel so led, perhaps we can donate to a charity of our choice to help the victims get back on their feet.
  • Finally, if we find ourselves angry at Joel Osteen for failing to represent our God, then let’s pray for him! Isn’t that what Yahshua told us to do?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than anyone else? Even the pagans do that, don’t they? Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5: 43-48

This post is day 8 in my 40 Days of Repentance series. Click here to read day 7.

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