God Loves Joel Osteen

I have been following the sham of a trial that was Sharon Brown suing Victoria Osteen for assault.  Many people simply hate ‘religious’ people for some reason.  Sharon Brown sought to cash in on the hatred of these people.  I have no doubt that Victoria Osteen felt that she was not receiving service commensurate the price of her first class ticket, but I also have no doubt that she expressed her feelings to attendants in a way that may have come across as pretentious or licentious.  This being said, as the foreman of the jury correctly said, “My personal point of view (the lawsuit) was a complete waste of time because the incident didn’t rise to any kind of level. I fly all the time. I’ve seen a lot worse than that happen on airplanes.”  This puts the whole thing in perspective. 

The only thing left now is for Continental to fire Sharon Brown.  Here we have an effective, objective determination of what happened.  A jury of her peers, no less, determined that Sharon Brown is a lying person who is willing to go to extremes when attacking a person.  For its own financial safety and the financial security of its customers, they must terminate her.

I was pleased with the verdict, but I was a little disturbed by some of the Osteen comments after the trial was over. I really liked what Joel had to say, “We’ve grown through it and learned to trust God and do the right thing,” he said. “Life is a test. We really have tried to live out our faith, what we teach (at church) and that is love your enemies, do the right thing when the wrong things happen, have a good attitude even when things aren’t going well.”  This is a very appropriate statement and basically put the whole thing into a nice theological nutshell that can be used to teach other Christians how to deal with trying times such as this.

Victoria’s comments, while endearing, were not nearly as theologically sound as most of her husband’s were.  She said, “I expected it because it’s the truth and I know the truth always stands firm.”  If she is speaking in an eternal sense, which I doubt, she is correct, but though this sounds nice, it is hard to support the statement temporally (in the world where we live).  There are two was to determine what God says: Specific Revelation and General Revelation.

Specific Revelation is best described in terms of the Bible itself.  This occurs when God decides to speak to someone directly with a person and reveal Himself or His will.  It is best to find this sort of revelation in the Bible.  At times this may occur when God actually does speak directly to someone, but it is important to remember that anyone can claim that God has spoken to them (see David Koresch).  Always be cautious when someone tells you God told them something he wanted to tell you.

General Revelation is how God speaks through His creation.  God indeed has chosen to reveal himself through his creation.  General Revelation is just as legitimate a form of revelation as Specific Revelation.  If you ever find that God’s General Revelation does not match up with your interpretation of His Specific Revelation, then you probably have a problem with your interpretation of what the Bible is saying.

When I heard Victoria’s statement, I thought, “if the truth is so apparent, and ‘the truth stands firm’, then why would God withhold the truth of the situation involving Caylee Anthony from the world?”  Does God feel that this situation with Victoria Osteen is more important?  I think not.

 Just because a statement sounds good does not mean it is theologically sound.  A good example of this is the old ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness” adage.  It not anywhere in the Bible in case you were wondering.

The point I am making here is that there is little support for the statement, “the truth always stands firm.”  I looked in twenty different version of the Bible and found that these things ‘stand firm’:  God’s word, God’s love, the house of the righteous, God’s solid foundation, the family of God, and the Earth.  It also states that “…he who stands firm to the end will be saved” in several places.  While it may be argued that several of these verses can be applied to this situation, it is difficult to apply any of them wholesale to a Christian who is standing on principle. 

If anything, the Bible promises persecution for Christians who stand on their beliefs with an accompanying promise of salvation for those who ‘stand firm to the end.’  God’s General Revelation does not support the statement that ‘the truth always stand firm’ in a temporal sense either.  It is a fact that lies are sometime accepted by people as the truth.  Christians have to simply weather this storm, and realize that if they stay true to the end, they will be rewarded (often in eternity).  As the Bible says, “The Sun shines on the righteous and the wicked.”  Osteen’s statement comes off a little as the health, wealth and prosperity doctrine that television preachers are often accused of supporting.

Joel’s statement, “It’s a great vindication and shows us the faithfulness of God,” left me thinking, what about those who have to suffer through the trials and tribulations that Christians are promised on this earth?  Does their inability to find vindication in this life speak to God’s faithlessness?  I am all for praising God, but the Osteen’s myopic response to this situation, could confuse people who experiencing their own trials.