earnestly contending for the faith

What was Joel Osteen Thinking? Maybe he wasn’t.

Is the media being too hard on Joel Osteen? Perhaps, but he did choose to tweet religious platitudes instead of first revealing his plans to help. Secular people do not understand that tactic.

I cannot say regarding Osteen’s initial response that he is heartless. I can only point out that when you are highly popular, and you represent Christianity, it comes with a price. That price is that your every word and action is scrutinized. Everyone who seeks fame knows that is the price. Call it unfair if you wish, but it is the same for “haint” or saint.

That said, some Osteen apologists are slamming Christians for chastising Osteen. They claim the seats are bolted down in the sanctuary, which does not allow rooms for cots. I’d personally rather sleep in a padded chair than stand in floodwater. However, there are probably plenty of rooms attached to the sanctuary that have removable chairs. So bolted down chairs in the sanctuary is not an excuse. Now he has the appearance of responding to pressure rather than genuine compassion.

I think the reason Osteen did not present his plan to help the flood victims before he tweeted his religious cliché’s is because he didn’t think about it. Consider his past numerous whacky statements, the shallowness and heresy-ridden preaching, books filled with pabulum, association with Oprah Winfrey, et cetera. Obviously, we give him too much credit as a quick or deep thinker.

In all possibility, the failure Osteen is guilty of is not contacting his PR person before he responded to the disaster. Apparently, he has corrected that mistake. However, he will have a much more difficult task correcting public opinion of his absent compassion. A consolation is that he has a mansion he can sequester in until the storm passes by. Hopefully, he will deep think about his response to the crisis and realize that in such catastrophe actions speak. Without them words may be repelled as odoriferous.

The Charlottesville Fiasco

People are becoming so flakey that they now insist that if I do not speak out concerning the Charlottesville incident I will be considered a “white supremacist” (or perhaps a “black racist”). I do not wish to indulge in fruitless word wrangling with individuals whose minds are cemented with their opinions. But if they insist…

The truth is, one cannot present any truth or balance whatsoever without a cadre of loutish-mouthed howlers insisting that he or she is a hater. Now about that term “hater.” It has been misused and overused so long that it is about as effective as calling a politician a liar.

Hate was no more the problem in Charlottesville than was racism, or politics, or the fashion statement of KKK cone-heads. Individuals would like for society to believe that hate was the motivation because it justifies their own hatred. They wish to own the exclusive right to hate, thus their actions are just. However, when people behave licentiously to indiscriminately destroy, kill, maim, rob, rape, and otherwise break the law, their character deficiency is far worse than hate.

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Guest Commentary: The Assemblies of . . . God?

By Jim Fletcher

A controversy erupted this past week when Lighthouse Trails published an article by former Assemblies of God pastor Cedric Fisher.

Just ahead of the AG’s General Council (August 7-11 in Anaheim CA), Fisher notes some troubling trends with regard to Israel in official AG documents, including upcoming resolutions.

In particular, Resolution 3 gives pause to those of us who have always appreciated the fact that the AG overall has been staunchly pro Israel. I think of people like David Lewis, a champion for Israel. David was an AG evangelist for 50 years, but he’s been gone now for 10 years.

No one has replaced him.

In fact, whether it is AG influencers like Prof. Paul Alexander, or pastors with Pentecostal roots like Jonathan Martin, a sea change has occurred in the past few years: “Palestine” is now a thing.

Added to this troubling development is the infiltration of such communities by change agents like Brian McLaren (who cleverly networks with Pentecostals and Baptists, even though– my description–he is much more of a mystic and New Ager).

Alexander, Martin, and McLaren are anti-Israel, pro Palestinian speakers and authors.

Back to the AG resolution. I encourage you to go to the Lighthouse Trails website and read the documents for yourself, but essentially, Fisher says that a “peace and justice/peacemaking” theme has emerged within the Assemblies of God, and this does not bode well for Israel support.

I agree with him.

There are few sources willing to inform the laity what is really going on within Evangelicalism, but Lighthouse Trails does. There are a handful of individuals like Pastor Fisher who are willing to do that, as well.

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