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JoelOsteen

A Message to Mega Church Pastors: Stop Apologizing for Biblical Morality!

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In my last column I tore a strip off pastor Andy Stanley for throwing Christians in the State of Kansas under bus by stating, he finds it: “offensive that Christians would leverage faith to support the Kansas law.”

Needless to say, some of you commented that my tone was too harsh and the column was unfair. Perhaps I was harsh. But it needed to be said. Which leads me to my next point: today’s mega church pastors are mealy-mouthed apologists.

See video interview with Joel Osteen and Piers Morgan

Convoluted? Now, I’m not revealing anything new about the cadre of mega church pastors who appear on national media (there are exceptions – John McArthur to name one).

But in my opinion the most egregious aspect of all of their mealy-mouthed politically-correct-pastor-speak is the incessant concessions and apologies they make every time the media asks them about gay marriage.

Roll the chorus of “apologies” please… (see video)

Overtures like these every time they get asked about gay marriage really don’t work at all. It’s certainly not changing public perception about Christianity, and it doesn’t help Christians who need to see real leadership.

In my view its totally counterproductive. Here is why:

First, it plays into the media’s hand.

What those smug pugnacious media type really need is a plain-spoken two-by four of truth upside their head. We should consider them the modern equivalent of the ancient scribes and Pharisees, because the media – like their viperous predecessors – are always using trickery of speech and gotcha journalism to trap Christians.

Unfortunately, instead of being shrewd with the media – the way Christ was with the Pharisees (WWJD) – most mega church pastors (and many Christians) treat the media with kid gloves; that, and a whole lot of pastoral hand wringing, back peddling and overtures about how many gay friends they have yada, yada, yada.

Second, it’s not believable.

What do they mean that they love gay people? Every gay person? Not even gay people love all gay people. Oh, I know Christians are commanded to love. But love is firstly not about liking people or being nice, and it’s certainly not a feeling –  which I think is the real point being communicated by these pastors – they want people to know they’re nice and likeable.

But Christian love is not a feeling. It’s a choice we make to do what is in the best interest of another. And frankly, what is in the best interest for all concerned isn’t whether we are “nice” and “likeable” it is that we speak plain truth and defend the institution of marriage and the future of this civilization from a bunch of hedonists.

Its about loving the future children who will inherit this colossal mess.

Third, it’s ridiculous and totally unnecessary.

Do we talk like this when we’re dealing with other controversial matters?

A case in point. So finally a clinical psychologist, Dr. James Cantor of the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health has come out and “AMAZINGLY” stated what we all knew was coming: “pedophilia is a deep-rooted, unchangeable predisposition.”

In other words, its a sexual orientation and pedophiles are born that way. I totally expect mega star pastors to start saying: “I just want pedophiles to know I love them.”

And finally, fourth, it treats gay people as the ultimate class in society.

No other group of people get treated with this much deference. Do Jews? Drug dealers? Do Mechanics? Do smokers?

Smoking is considered by most unhealthy, dirty and taxing. In fact, for a while the media ganged up on big tobacco. They had discussions about the social impoliteness of smoking. Even their allies in Hollywood no longer show smokers in sitcoms.

Can’t smoke indoors. Not in restaurants, pubs, bars, or shopping malls and certainly not in a hospital. In fact, in some places you can’t light up unless you’re thirty feet from the front entrance. The public looks down on smokers. The media looks down on them. Governments looks down on them. Even smokers look down on smokers.

Was it a moral issue? For many it was and is. Was it political and controversial? Sure was.

So how are smokers as a class treated? Do we defer to them? I recall pastors rail against the sin of smoking, even discussing the social ramifications of second hand smoking. And did any of the mega church pastor nuance or back pedal on smoking? Did they preface their comments with: “I just want smokers to know I love them.”?

Oh, but I’m being silly??? Smoking isn’t an orientation like homosexuality (or pedophilia, now)?

The point is no other group of people – who define themselves by what they do – are treated with as much deference as homosexuals. And frankly, that should offend anyone’s sense of dignity and worth.

Gays are not more special than Blacks, Whites, Jews, Asians or Smokers for that matter.  And, since we don’t begin conversations with a reminder of our mutual love and admiration for those with whom we have principled differences it is high time we stop telling gays how much we love them simply because we disagree with gay marriage.

It is counter intuitive, it plays in the media’s hand, it’s unbelievable, totally unnecessary and its baseless political correctness.  If gays aren’t intelligent enough to understand that disagreeing with them on something as fundamental as the nature marriage does not make someone a hater or homophobe, then do as Jesus would do: stop throwing your perils before swine.

As for our mealy-mouthed mega church pastors: stop trying to get everyone to like you. The fear of God, not man should be your starting point on this issue.

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