Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mohler's Osteen Moment

Albert Mohler writes about an interview where Joel Osteen was pinned on the question of whether homosexuality was sinful. To his credit Oosteen said Yes. It is sinful. The reaction was judgmental. This is ironic because judging was exactly what Piers Morgan accused Osteen of. But it was Morgan doing the judging. Oosteen was merely stating a moral principle. Stating a principle is not the same as judging a person.

But the point is the times are changing. There was a time when guys like Osteen could make nice with the establishment and still maintain relatively orthodox Christianity. But society has moved further and further from the faith. More and more we see embracing the faith means rejecting society. This very question is going to be asked of many Christians. Are homosexual acts sinful? Mohler thinks that will be the moment of truth for many people. If they are pinned down on this question in public. To say Yes is to be labeled a bigot. To say No is to deny Christianity is true.
In any event, Joel Osteen had his moment last night. Most Christians will not face that question on national television, but on a college campus, in a family discussion, in the workplace, or in the heat of debate. But, whatever the circumstances, that moment will soon come.
I think this is a good thing. It will cost many Christians. No doubt about that. But as painful as it will be the conflict is unavoidable. The church needs to be purified. The real believers need to step up and answer the call to holiness. Those that are faking it need to leave the church. As hard as that is, there is just no other way to preserve the gospel. The gospel of Christ is our only hope. Right now there is huge confusion about what that is. Persecution has a way of clarifying things. I am not sure how serious the persecution will get. My guess is as serious as it has to get to bring us to our knees and to bring us together. How much will it take? How many will be left when we get there? Hard to say.

I do think unity will be essential before we can re-evangelize effectively. As Christianity becomes more diverse it becomes less popular. Those are the two trends that have accelerated in the west over the past 100 years. Less agreement among Christians on doctrine, liturgy, and morality. Less religious observance in those same areas. There is one way to fix it. It is to send a storm so the houses built on sand will crash and only the house built on the rock will remain. How big a storm will it take? Mat 7:24-27 is talking about a pretty big storm. Judging by the deeply entrenched divisions between Christians it will likely be a big storm. Pray that not many souls will be lost.

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