Homosexuality, Hypocrisy, and the Bible
About a year ago I chastized Pastor Joel Osteen and others for what I called “hiding behind Scripture.” In particular, Pastor Osteen had just told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he was locked into his anti-homosexual position by the Bible. He is not, and, I believe, he knows it.
Pastor Osteen just confirmed to Oprah Winfrey that he believes that “homosexuality is shown as a sin in the Scripture,” noting that he encourages people to be “willing to change and grow.”
On the other hand, when Piers Morgan asked him in October whether he supports the Biblical position of a life for a life, Pastor Osteen admitted (in this video): “I don’t know,” because the death penalty is a “complicated issue.”
In other words, Pastor Osteen doesn’t feel compelled to support everything in Scripture. He openly ignores Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, and Dueteronomy 19:21. He reserves the right — as we all do — to pick and choose.
This is why I don’t think there’s any merit or integrity to his argument that he is forced to condemn homosexuality because Scripture calls it a sin.
As it happens, I don’t believe that Scripture says that, but I do support Pastor Osteen’s right to interpret Scripture as he chooses.
What I don’t support is the way he presents his opinions as unbiased fact.
As far as I’m concerned, until Pastor Osteen takes responsibility for his own words, he’s no better than any other coward who hides from the people he attacks.
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- The Bible Doesn't Say That: 40 Biblical Mistranslations, Misconceptions, and Other Misunderstandings (2016, St. Martin's Press)
- The Bible's Cutting Room Floor: The Holy Scriptures Missing From Your Bible (2014, St. Martin's Press)
- And God Said: How Translations Conceal the Bible's Original Meaning (2010, St. Martin's Press)
- In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language (2004, NYU Press)
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