Tag Archive: joel osteen


 

moscarb

There have been two stories dominating my Facebook feed the last day or so [i’m not even going to touch on the Renee Zellwegger face thing – we created that circus!] and they are both ones i have tried to keep largely clear of. Until now.

OSCAR GOES TO…

The Oscar Pistorius sentencing saga [because if the Twitterer is to be believed, it WAS that] which has been lurking on news headlines stuck to lampposts, Tweet Hashtags and Facebook status updates, meant that the whole trial soap opera [because it really became that, i imagine that so many of the people glued to their screens might have forgotten at some stage that they were watching a murder trial] from a year or so ago, was brought back ‘for a new season’ complete with media attention and cliff hanger.

Soon there was  commentary happening all over the place on how just or unjust the sentencing was and comparing this case to other ‘less serious’ cases with bigger sentences and focusing on how soon he will be able to get off and so on.

In the midst of it all, there was a much forgotten woman, and murder [or culpable homicide] victim, named Reeva Steenkamp. Who, in many stories had simply become ‘the girlfriend’.

This article by Kat Lister on the Huffington Post provided helpful commentary in terms of reminding us that as much as the media [and many of us] made the whole thing about Oscar, the famous guy, the celeb, the international athlete, at the heart of the story was a woman who was killed – people lost a daughter and a sister and a friend. How this has “ruined Oscar’s career” should not even be up for discussion.

Within minutes of the sentencing there were jokes happening all over the internet, with the delightful Twitterer tag #ThingsLongerThanOscarsSentence leading the way, because ‘humour helps us deal with tragedy’ or some other crap like that.

The reason i avoided [as much as was possible] the trial from the beginning was because of the vile fact that because Oscar Pistorius was a celebrity meant that his case was going to be treated differently. Because, having lived through O.J.Simpson and other celeb murder trials, it was obvious that it was going to become entertainment from early on. Entertainment. A murder trial. Can we just take that in for a second?

THE MARK OF GRACE

Meanwhile, across in Americaland, Mark Driscoll had finally been relieved of his position heading up one of the larger church congregations over there. Another celebrity, some less serious but still completely significant crimes and misdemeanors. There had been a number of incidents over the past couple of years and more so in recent months and eventually someone saw fit to pull the plug on is ministry.

Then today a mate posted this video where Mark was attending a conference and was called on to stage by Robert Morris, who is one of the pastors helping him through this difficult time, with this quote from Morris who says, “We’ve always got two reactions to someone in the spotlight falling…. crucify them, or forgive them, like we’ve been forgiven.”

Having followed a little bit of the Mark Driscoll story, mostly through different articles people post or tag me in, that statement really concerned me to some extent. I finally got to watch the video clip this evening and they basically call him on stage, to a standing ovation, and give him the mic, so he can talk about how badly his family has it at the moment [which is a really tragic thing on the one hand, but after announcing that Mark was humbly attending the conference just like a normal person, they then allowed the spotlight to once again be put firmly on him].

My friend Micah J. Murray summed up my thoughts really excellently in his statement that reads, “When Jesus said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” he was talking about protecting vulnerable people from abusive religious leaders. He was NOT talking about protecting abusive religious leaders from accountability.'”

Yes, there absolutely must be grace and forgiveness for anyone who messes up [and especially one of our own, regardless of how ‘our own’ some of us might want to see him] but that does not mean giving someone licence to unrepentantly do the same things again.

AND ME

Because really, the only person i have any control over in this situation is myself.

With scenarios like the Oscar Pistorius trial, do i allow myself to be caught up in it until it becomes an entertainment thing and is that okay? i don’t think so.

Am i sharing, liking or retweeting the jokes that are being made at his [or maybe more accurately nameless Reeva’s expense]?

Do i get caught up in the mistaken belief that this case should be any more important than any of the other hundreds [thousands?] of murder cases that are being brought to court in South Africa [some that were presumably delayed so that Oscar’s could assume center stage]?

With a situation like Mark Driscoll, am i baying for his blood [not okay] or am i screaming that he should be forgiven and shown grace to the exclusion of any form of accountability, repentance, consequence to his actions [also probably not okay]?

Am i getting caught up in judging Mark Driscoll for his actions as if he was any worse than me? Or perhaps judging those who are judging Mark Driscoll and refusing to just let him be?

Both Oscar and Mark will stand before God one day and account for their actions. And i will do the same.

[For Micah J Murray’s post, ‘When we throw stones’ which i believe is very helpful and clear, click here]

[For a post i wrote a while back after a Joel Osteen hoax on Throwing Stones, with some helpful question checks, click here]

so according to wordpress stats, these are the 5 most visited posts of mine this last quarter which means people must have liked them [or really hated them i guess, altho i don’t think i’ve had one of those for a while – must be doing something wrong] so i thought i’d display them here in case you missed one or more of them:

First up there was Kate Hurley sharing on Singleness which always gets a lot of views – her alias being The Sexy Celibate no doubt helped a little

Next up was another guest post, this time in my ‘One Way To Love Your Spouse Better’ series by the always delightful and depthful Dalene Reyburn

Then there was one actually by me with a simple explanation of the two times that i feel it’s permissible for you to leave South Africa

The next most popular blog featured the Did-Joel-Osteen-resign-from-Christianity-or-was-it-a-Hoax [and even if he did, how do we respond] saga.

Then there was the true life drama excitement of Valerie trying to fly out of South Africa actually wearing her wedding ring which was discovered to be missing, presumed drowned, just an hour or so before she had to be on the plane…

And this? Oh this is just a link to a picture of a pair of flip flops/slip slops that look like fish [so don’t click on it, you can’t get those thirteen seconds of your life back. oh man, now you’re going to, hey? don’t say i didn’t warn you.]

i have called Google ‘Uncle Google’ for a long time now – i’m not sure why i do that cos it’s very silly but it’s become my thing [which is probly why i do that]. i guess one reason is that when someone asks me something i don’t know i will either tell them to ask Uncle Google or i say that i will and it feels like bringing another person into the conversation.

joel osteen or martin short?

i read on Facebook this morning that well-known christian speaker and writer Joel Osteen has resigned and quit the faith. i’ve not been a huge fan of his writing as even his book titles suggest that he belongs to a group of christian writers/speakers who have a very strong focus on you – it’s all about you and becoming the best you you can be and being comfortable and happy and loving life, and so a brand of feel-good christianity that i’m not sure Jesus would be very comfortable with.

so when i read on Facebook that he had resigned and even quit his faith, my initial reaction was a bit of relief and “phew for Christianity” but then quite quickly i had another far more sobering thought… something along the lines of “Is that a Christ following reaction to have?”

as i read the article the announcement was linked to and how a church member said something along the lines of, “we gave him all our money and now he’s doing this to us. no ways, we’re not going to let him get away with that” i thought to myself, ‘wait a second, am i standing in line with all the other people ready to throw rocks at Joel?’

so question one that is asked of me is what is my attitude and posture when someone else falls [especially if it’s someone i’m not a big fan of] – is that a reason to celebrate, to quietly feel relieved or happy that someone else is not in a good place? doesn’t sound very Jesusful

then for some reason, i decided to check in on Uncle Google and get his thoughts [yes, i get that he’s not a real person and with all the knowledge he has i should be referring to him as she, right?]

and so i do the customary search i do every time i see the words when i come across the maths problem:

[thing i would really like to have – money, computer, latest phone] + [Facebook]

which is to type [thing i would like to have] and the word [hoax] into Uncle Google…

and sure enough, there are links to the Joel Osteen thing being a hoax [to be honest, not as many as there normally are with a blatant Facebook hoax so i am not even sure yet whether it is or isn’t]

WHAT TO LEARN FROM THIS LITTLE LESSON:

#1 would be to always verify information received before acting on it – in the virtual world we have of hoaxes and misreporting and photoshop and so on, there is a lot of misleading information going around there.

#2 would be to question why am i sharing information – someone dies, someone falls from grace, celebrity scandal etc – why am i so quick to become part of the gossip chain of passing this on?

#3 would be to question if sharing the information is “me doing my bit” – this is definitely a different blog post but it is a valid question that came to me while i was giving us some stuff to think about – the whole thing with Kony2012, with articles on poverty and violence to women etc is that me feeling like i’ve done my bit so i don’t need to get involved or is that me trying to get some momentum for the action i am going to be doing?

ready to throw?

#4 would be where do i stand when someone falls? [regardless of my feelings towards that person] – am i holding a rock and waiting for the signal, or am i on my knees praying for them and their family, crying out against injustice done, am i writing them a note of encouragement or offering to cook them a meal if they are someone i know? how would Jesus have me respond to crisis of any type?

these are important questions i need to ask myself. and i hope some of you will join me…

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