Apparently Joel Osteen appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight and did his familiar soft shoe shuffle on hardball questions, including a question on same sex attraction. Al Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary and man who only wears army boots, weighed in quickly. He gave Osteen a grade of “Epic Fail.” You can read all about it Over at Ourofur.com I’ve pasted my response below and then followed up with some further thoughts for this blog. My response:
I suppose it depends on if you equate going to same-sex ceremony to ‘eating with tax collectors and sinners.’ Didn’t Jesus spend a large amount of his time with people who’s actions he didn’t endorse? That’s what got him into trouble with the pharisees – not that he loved sinners, but that he liked them. Oh boy.
Following Jesus involves not just his teaching, but going to the places He goes. I understand that I’m presuming Jesus would go, but I think he would. I think he’d be the life of the party and I think a whole lot of people at that ceremony would rethink who God is because of Jesus.
I’m nothing like Jesus and my presence isn’t electric like his, but I’m trying to follow Jesus.
Oh, and not for nothing, I’m thrilled Jesus chose to eat with sinners, otherwise I likely would never have ended up following Him if he hadn’t first reached out to me. For the record, my sin is of the hidden variety. I sin like a pharisee, not like a prostitute. My sin can even get me promoted in churches. But because Jesus invited me to eat with him, I joined his team. Best. Decision. Ever. Now I don’t have to think I’m better than anyone else. My identity is in Christ, not in self.
I’d probably go.
And some follow up thoughts for this blog: Gay marriage, homosexuality, same sex attraction. It is the new litmus test for churches. Out of all the questions I answer about Discovery for people, the most common question revolves around same-sex attraction. The tone and content of our answer determines for people if we are a Christ centered church or not. People want to know if we are welcoming and Biblical. And yes, we believe (and have experienced) that you can be both.
On its own, this would not be a difficult question to answer, but we’ve inherited the damage caused by an entire generation of public Christians with their radio shows and mass mailers who attempted to win “the culture wars” never realizing that Jesus did not call us to win a war, but to love. So after 25 years or so of public Christians denouncing specific sins and giving a pass to others, the question around homosexuality is hyper charged with tension.
How would you answer the question? Would you go to the ceremony? I’d love to hear your thoughts.