So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” - 1Peter1: 14-16 (NLT) Pastor Joel is back in the news, doing another media blitz in front of his newest book release, "Break Down: 5 Keys to True Humility Before God and Leading a Holy Life." OK, OK, just kidding. That is obviously NOT a Joel Osteen book title. Too much God and not enough "you." No, the new work is called "Break Out: 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life."Ahh...That's more like this is your best life now! The king of toothy encouragement stopped by to interview with the Huffington Post as part of his pre-release promotional campaign. You would think after all of the mistakes and missteps previously made on Oprah and Larry King that Osteen would be better prepared for these but this is the problem when you don't know what you actually stand for. You inevitably end up forced into a corner of circular reasoning. As always, the interview turns to the subject of homosexuality and as always, Pastor Joel discards the Bible for what he feels that day: "I believe that God breathed life into every single person, we're all on a journey, nobody's perfect," Osteen said. "I believe every person is made in the image of God and you have to accept them as they are, as they're on their journey. I'm not preaching hate or pushing people down." Let me state up front that the church has done a horrifically poor job of answering this question as well. The bottom line is sin is sin and if we commit one sin we have committed them all. The interviewer could have been asking about people in adulterous relationships and this answer would have been just as ludicrous. Yes God breathed life into each one of us and we are all on a journey. While God does not expect perfection from us - He does expect obedience. But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. - James 1: 22-25 (NLT) Osteen then jumps off the seeker-friendly cliff he lives on by conflating the truth that we are all made in the image of God with the lie that thus, we must accept everyone as they are. Say What? So in the doctrine-less world of Joel Osteen we must accept whatever condition we find our fellow man in. Regardless of whether that condition is killing them. Regardless of whether that condition is consigning them to hell. Regardless of what God has to say about it. Does the Bible support such nonsense? Let's take a look at the Church at Corinth: I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship. - 1Corinthians 5: 1-2 (NLT) So yes Pastor Joel, they are on a journey but what is our Christian responsibility when we see our brother or sister marching gleefully down the broad path that leadeth to destruction? Hold their hands, sing kumbya and say everything is going to be OK? The man in this fellowship at Corinth was not going to be OK. He was living in sin and reveling in it. He was flaunting his sin lifestyle. To make matters worse, the church must have looked at him and thought like Pastor Joel - who am I to judge? We see this a lot from Christians raised in the seeker friendly watered down gospel. Just enough Scripture to feel pious without all the pesky knowledge needed to truly understand it. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” - 1Corinthians 5: 12-13 (NLT) It is not judgment to correct a brother or sister in love regarding sin. That is not preaching "hate" as Osteen casually infers here. What pushes people down is sin Joel. It pushes them right down to hell. We do have a responsibility here as dividers of the Word of Truth and it is not to make television interviews. It is not to compromise the Word of God with the carnality of man. It is to preach the Word and let the Word convict people of their sins, whatever they may be. You must understand beloved this is the insidious danger of Joel Osteen. In his world, doctrine is a dirty word. In his view, doctrine weighs people down - not sin. In his world sin is something that differentiates us from each other and the Gospel of repentance pushes people down. This is Bob the adulterer or Betty the homosexual. We can't point these things out to them because hey, who are we to judge? The danger is in the reasonableness of it all. From a worldly point of view this all makes perfect sense. It tickles the ears because it is what we truly want to hear. We want to hear that our sin is not sin - it is just what makes us different! That is is all part of our wonderful journey! Of course we will all die one day and we do not know the date or the hour and then it will matter a great deal to God if we are in a real relationship with Jesus Christ or with the sins we refuse to let go of. Pastor Joel will not be there that day for you beloved. He has his own music to face; as we all do. We will find out quickly that this was not our best life and there never were seven steps to a better us. We will find out that we do not have the right to redefine sin or recreate God in our own image. We will find out that the key verses today matter greatly to God. We will find out exactly how important doctrine really is. Heaven help us if we had been getting our doctrine from Joel Osteen. Heaven help us indeed. Rev. Anthony.