So, as many of you folks know there is this television preacher guy on a few times a week who went and brought a basketball arena to be his church in Houston. I recently caught the transcript of an interview this preacher gave on CNN's Larry King Live. Now, I'm no fan of CNN, but Larry strikes me as a good interviewer who isn't afraid to ask tough questions, though I mark his interview of Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. last year as a man who didn't know his subjects at all. I digress though, back to the subject at hand and Mr. Osteen's interview. (Click the title to read the whole thing). I am just going to give some snapshots of it:
OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...
KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?
OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God with judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.
OSTEEN: I have thoughts. I just, you know, I don't think that a same-sex marriage is the way God intended it to be. I don't think abortion is the best. I think there are other, you know, a better way to live your life. But I'm not going to condemn those people. I tell them all the time our church is open for everybody.
KING: You don't call them sinners?
OSTEEN: I don't.
KING: Is that a word you don't use?
OSTEEN: I don't use it. I never thought about it. But I probably don't. But most people already know what they're doing wrong. When I get them to church I want to tell them that you can change. There can be a difference in your life. So I don't go down the road of condemning.
KING: You believe in the Bible literally?
OSTEEN: I do, I do.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. You're the best, and thank you, Joe -- Joel -- for your positive messages and your book. I'm wondering, though, why you side-stepped Larry's earlier question about how we get to heaven? The bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and the only way to the father is through him. That's not really a message of condemnation but of truth.
OSTEEN: Yes, I would agree with her. I believe that...
KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven?
OSTEEN: No. Here's my thing, Larry, is I can't judge somebody's heart. You know? Only god can look at somebody's heart, and so -- I don't know. To me, it's not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn't. I just say, here's what the bible teaches and I'm going to put my faith in Christ. And I just I think it's wrong when you go around saying, you're saying you're not going, you're not going, you're not going, because it's not exactly my way. I'm just...
KING: But you believe your way.
OSTEEN: I believe my way. I believe my way with all my heart.
KING: But for someone who doesn't share it is wrong, isn't he?
OSTEEN: Well, yes. Well, I don't know if I look at it like that. I would present my way, but I'm just going to let god be the judge of that. I don't know. I don't know.
Just a few things that stood out to me, and I want to be saying that Mr. Osteen may have been trying to be very cautious on a national new network and I don't disagree with everything he said, but it's the stuff he slipped in around it. Look at the first area, and in context if you want. Maybe I'm misreading (not seeing the interview I must read and not see expressions), but it appears that Mr. Osteen is doubting if Christ is the only way. In the second excerpt he not only notes failure to confront sin, but also that he takes the Bible literally. Now if he is saying that Christ may not be the only way, how can he say he takes the Bible literally? Just something that stood out. The third section follows up on this, but notice "I believe my way." It's not God's way, it's Mr. Osteen's way. Well slap me silly and stick a hot poker up my rear if I'm wrong, but I think this a wee bit incorrect.
The lack of Biblical preaching of the whole Bible, not just the feel good motivational scriptures, strikes me as lacking on many fronts and it saddens me greatly. So many folks missing out on the totality of Scripture and not coming away with a full picture of God's redeeming grace and His plan for reconciling mankind to Himself through His Son. Anyway, read it over, found it interesting, hope you do to.