Thursday, April 9, 2009

Two examples of why Evangelicalism is no longer a relevant force in U.S. culture

Case study #1- Joel Osteen on Larry King just two days ago. King asks him about gay marriage. View his response-

Very simply, for a person in the position of Joel Osteen to say "I'm not sure I understand" at least three times is inexcusable. Every biblically faithful pastor should be able to give a well-reasoned, biblically based, compassionate reason for why marriage and homosexual practice are not related. Instead, Osteen does his very best to offend no one and simply say what might keep the masses buying his self-help excrement. Osteen is someone who should not be anywhere near a pulpit or a ministry position that is charged with preaching the Word of God.

Case Study #2- Rick Warren also appeared on Larry King addressing the same basic issue Osteen waxed poetically on. Rick Warren, unlike Osteen, is not one to say "I'm not sure I understand". Watch his interchange with King in it's entirety-

Rick Warren appears to be a more articulate version of Joel Osteen. Did you catch his basic mode? He takes the pulse of culture and morphs his approach and much of his message to accommodate. He talks of how his church has recently developed programs to meet the masses of recession-provoked "seekers".

In this clip Warren typifies what is wrong with evangelicalism today. Instead of being a prophetic (yet compassionate) voice speaking in to a culture desperately needing redemption (which only Christ can bring), he tries to be America's empathizing buddy hoping to get a chance to tell people God cares for and loves them, especially when their 401k's have been wiped out. Yuck! Just Yuck!

If Warren is typical of evangelical thinking today, the problem is clear- We have ceased to lead. We have become a group of reactors instead of leaders.

Instead of confidently, compassionately, and honestly teaching and proclaiming God's Word, we try to avoid those issues addressed by Scripture that might offend people in this particular culture.

Yes God cares about the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the genocide in Darfur, however, when He has placed pastors in a land that is moving rapidly to re-define the very foundation of society (marriage) and is complicitous in the murder of over 1,000,000 unborn human beings every year, it is clear what should be a major part of our prophetic effort. To infer the gay marriage issue isn't that important to him seems cowardly (he doesn't want people mad at him) and pastorally unfaithful. Yes, address the various injustices around the world, but be sure to confront the particular issues in your own back yard- that's what the Church must do in each unique setting. It's almost humorous that we (America) think we have some kind of moral clout that allows us to address the aforementioned issues plaguing Africa. We're all confused about what marriage is and when life begins and we're going to help stem the AIDS epidemic in Africa? Seriously? Guess how America is addressing it- by giving Africans condoms and abortions.

What I see in this video is a guy who has a potion for whatever ails you. Just tell him your symptoms and he'll concoct a God-fix.

What America so desperately needs is for the Church to regain it's prophetic voice and moral clout. May God grant such a reformation and revival. The thing called "Evangelicalism" is no longer a relevant force in U.S. culture- almost completely saltless.


Rick Calohan said...

I like to shoot for God’s best? Joel and Victoria why not explain God’s best is His Son Jesus Christ, who was crucified, dead and buried, He descended into Hell. The third day He rose again from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

And Rick MLK? Gandhi? Are your heroes and not Jesus Christ? Saving Lives by working with Homosexual Groups, how about saving lives by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Oh don’t want to offend therefore I am not a Protestant, then what are you Rick Warren, your not Roman Catholic, your not Eastern Orthodox, so I guess your Saddlebackerest, the quote from C.S. Lewis at the end is about physical suffering not about financial suffering.

Yet neither told Larry King an Orthodox Jew married to a Mormon that only Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one will come to the Father, but through Him.

Frontier Forest said...

It was more than I could take, just couldn’t finish listening to either one of these sickeningly “luke warm” Laodicean’s spew forth such vomit! The lost are starving for someone to tell them the truth! Where is love when the church cowers to culture, making a feeble and fleshly attempt to sugarcoat sin? The power of Christ’s love can only be manifest when we as the church, care enough to show people TRUTH.

jeff said...

Joel osteen - My beautiful bride, Danielle, put it best..."He's like a wet noodle."

Rick Warren - I'm not sure how you can call yourself a pastor and say that "gay marraige is not on the forefront". Is this a back burner issue? Remembering Darfur is more important?

I'm so thankful for pastors like my pastor and Tony who aren't afraid to teach the Truth of God.

KY ICU NURSE said...

Earlier in this same interview they also said that they believe that Obama is a Christian.....I WAS SHOCKED...He is muslim /not muslim, he's He Goes to a church/ his bishop? is a racist, he now is having a Sader supper for all his "jewish" friends/contributers...perhaps that is why the Olsteens think that Obama is a Christian....Because they are just as "gray" and fence walking as Obama is.....I will never watch him again....

tom kessler said...

I hate to consider what Joel considers to be God's 2nd and 3rd best.

Not realizing what Rick's beliefs/opinions are, I had thought how great it was that Obama had an "evangelical" at the inauguration - not that I saw it.

I submitted a maintenance request last night at work and my reaction to the issue at work and Joel/Rick's statements are one in the same. The odor was so bad at work that it caused an uncontrollable urge to vomit.

Zach said...

I think "mealy-mouthed", a term coined by Luther, describes these guys perfectly.

Adam said...

Osteen: “I’d love to see it (marriage) stay between a man and a woman. Not knocking anybody else” …but Mr. Osteen you are knocking those who define marriage as between anything other than a man and woman….you just didn’t say it explicitly.

Osteen regarding gay marriage “Will it undermine the basis of society, I don’t know.”

Genesis 2:24 ESV Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

…I will notify Osteen of this verse when I am really sure God created marriage between a man and a woman as the basis for perfect society before the fall.

Anonymous said...


You know me. However, I am posting this anonymously for reasons of discretion. Let me assure you (and your readers) of one thing . . .

Those of us who are/were sexually broken do not find comfort in such rhetoric. The way that God brought me to Himself was by making me face the TRUTH. That truth was that I was totally and completely a sinner, living in open and defiant rebellion against His holiness and utterly incapable of doing anything to make myself right with Him. I look back with a little bit of a chuckle now when I think back to that original prayer card I filled out at Redeemer, when I identified myself as a "seeker." I was a "seeker" alright -- I was seeking a way to have my conscience quieted while still living in my sin. It was not until God, in His grace, chose to open my eyes to my sinful condition that I was able to have any hope at all. When I was confronted with my sin, I had no hope but to run to Christ with all the urgency of a man dying of thirst in the desert, who was brought to an oasis of water. In this case, the Living Water. All of those years I spent listening to people telling me that I was okay and that God loved me just as I was (a practicing sinner), did NOTHING to ease my mind. God chose me in Him from the foundation of the world and He opened my eyes to the glories of the Gospel when He confronted me with truth. Preachers who pussyfoot around the truth in the name of not offending others have it all wrong. The Gospel is offensive. It offends because it tells me that I am in a fallen state and utterly incapable of doing anything about it. Newton was right when he said, "'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear." He was also right in saying, "'Twas grace my fears relieved." And I concur that "How precious did that grace appear, the hour I first believed!" It hasn't been easy and I have had some "off the charts" failures since my conversion, but I can say with confidence that the God who brought me to life through regeneration WILL finish the work HE started. I am not a seeker and was NEVER a seeker. I am a dead person who was raised to new life. Thanks be to God. Keep preaching the truth and don't be afraid to offend. The wounds received from being pierced by the Word do not injure, they bring life. Bless His holy name. Lord, send a revival and start the work in me if it be Your will. Amen.

Frontier Forest said...

Dear and Brave Anonyomous, WOW what a powerful testimony! If you have just recently come to faith in Christ, I would say, II 5:17 has been made manifest in you! I will be praying for you! If I might be so bold.... I would like to invite you to our men's saturday morning Bible study, "Iron Sharpens Iron." You can get the details off the CCB but in brief: We meet in room 43 at 7:00 to 9:30. This is a great time of fellowship for new and old believers alike. And all of us, just like you, are sinners saved by His wonderful grace!

Frontier Forest said...

Anonymous; That is II Corinthians 5:17