Growing Spiritually in the Public Eye
What prominent preacher made this statement? “It’s the Holy Spirits job to convict, it’s Gods job to judge, and it’s my job to love them.” Sounds a lot like this guy, right?
Actually the quote above was made by Billy Graham. In fact, if Billy Graham was a young 30 or 40 something year-old, popular preacher in today’s society, he would probably be getting publicly bashed by his peers left and right.
My attempt here is not to liken Joel Osteen to Billy Graham; the two have completely different styles. I am not attempting to defend Joel Osteen and sing his praises. I haven’t watched him in several years. I am, however, quite fed up and embarrassed by fellow believers perched like vultures waiting for Osteen to do or say something they can pick apart and criticize.
In the video above, you see a humble young man who openly admits he doesn’t understand it all, and he is not afraid to answer some questions with, “I don’t know.” Having no seminary degree and only preached one time, he reluctantly took the leadership of Lakewood Church at age 36 after his father’s death. Now it is the largest church in the country, double the size of the next largest.
Twelve years ago Osteen had never spoken in public, then all of a sudden he was thrust into the public eye, and fellow Christians everywhere turned on him. So why is he trying to lead a church that size? Why has he taken on such responsibility? Well, ask God.
It isn’t always a matter of whether we agree with another’s style or even every word they speak. What you have here is a man put in a position he felt totally unqualified for (sounds like something God would do, huh) and who is growing up spiritually and otherwise in front of us all. I wonder how many of Osteen’s critics are sincerely praying for him. I shudder to think of what the world thinks of us when they see Christians attacking their own.
Maybe we should be more concerned about drawing others to God than giving them one more reason to stay away.
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