I just posted yesterday about judging, and one piece of the “judging” pie we should avoid as Christians (Matthew 7:1). Last night, as I browsed the CNN website, I caught glimpse of a Joel Osteen interview titled “Osteen thinks homosexuality is a sin.” Osteen doesn’t seem to talk too much about sin, so I obviously hopped on this interview.
Here are a few takes.
1.) Osteen clearly hates to be the bad guy, draw hard lines, and even speak about sin. Piers Morgan who interviewed him tried to get him to pull back from this, but Osteen actually went to “the scriptures” as the standard for what is right or wrong. Now whether (according to Osteen) sin is bad because it is spiritual adultery/rebellion against a pure, faithful, holy God or whether it is bad simply because it keeps you from living your best life now (it seemed more the latter than the former), at the very least, Osteen held to scripture as the standard. For that I commend him.
2.) Piers, like many Americans, holds this pre-supposition: If you morally (not politically-although everything political still has some moral component) disagree with something someone is doing, then that automatically makes you judgmental. We see that very clearly in this video. But the reality is that we pass good moral judgments all the time. For instance, pedophilia is wrong, and I’m guessing Osteen could have said that without much of a “You’re being judgmental” type comment. Why? Federal law. So you can be a “judge”as long as you’re using that standard.
But when you judge what is right and wrong according to the standard of the scriptures, then you automatically become “judgmental.” So if pedophilia were ever legalized, or another crime which is now illegal, then would someone speaking out against it be considered “judgmental?”
3.) Most people have no paradigm for someone who can morally disagree with them and yet still want to be their friend. And that’s probably because they rarely see it happen. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t regularly happen when Christian sinners befriend non-Christian sinners. However the church (myself obviously included) certainly has a ways to go in this area of befriending folks with whom we morally/politically disagree so that people can taste a new kind of friendship.