I checked out Tim Challies blog today and noticed an entry called “The Osteen Moment”. I had to check it out:
Dr. Mohler: “Osteen’s statements, verbally cushioned in every way he could imagine, fell far short of the full wealth of biblical conviction. Nevertheless, he experienced what might be called the ‘Osteen Moment,’ when his entire ministry, in the public eye, came down to his answer to Piers Morgan’s forced question.”
So I went over to Mohler’s blog. He’s written quite an extensive article commenting on Osteen’s time on Piers Morgan’s recent show. Morgan challenged Osteen on whether homosexuality is a sin. Now, I think we all can agree that Morgan picked the hottest topic possible for a good show. In any case, it seems that Osteen squirmed until he finally had to admit it was. Morgan challenged him on being judgmental. “Is Elton John a sinner?” and so on.
One of Mohler’s conclusions from this interview is that Osteen’s statements,
verbally cushioned in every way he could imagine, fell far short of the full wealth of biblical conviction.
Mohler continues (and this is the sentence that caught my attention):
To his credit, Osteen did answer his question, and by staking his position on the Bible’s teaching that homosexual acts are sinful, he took the only road available to anyone with any substantial commitment to the truthfulness of the Bible.
The famous biblical scholar N.T. Wright admitted in an interview:
Interviewer: So a Christian morality faithful to scripture cannot approve of homosexual conduct?
Wright: Correct. That is consonant with what I’ve said and written elsewhere.
It is obvious by now that endless exegetical analysis of the scriptures will only take us so far. So many things besides what the text itself is saying, such as the culture, time, the ad hoc nature of the documents, the human aspect of the texts, etc., must be taken into account. We now realize that the biggest problem is our hermeneutic… our own biases, blind-spots, prejudices and ignorance as we approach the texts.
Case in point: In Mohler’s words, I believe I possess a “substantial commitment to the truthfulness of the Bible“, but Mohler and I differ on what that means.
Is it possible that things haven’t changed much since Jesus’ day: we are more concerned with the letter of the law rather than the spirit of it?
In keeping with this blog post, I came across another sad story about gay activist David Kato beaten to death in Uganda. American evangelicals visiting Uganda insist that a “strictly biblical” attitude be taken towards homosexuals. This is the result.
How “strictly biblical” do we want to be?