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12.27.2005    |    Fallen nature, even for pastor's wives
Why does it make news whenever a churchman, or woman, or one of their spouses, does something that that is out of the ordinary? Today we've got the report of a minor incident involving Victoria Osteen, wife of Joel. From the Washington Post story, the basics:
Last week, Victoria Osteen, wife of the televangelist Joel Osteen, pastor of the Houston-based Lakewood Church, was removed from Continental flight 1602 to Vail, Colo., after she "failed to comply" with a flight attendant's request, according to a report filed by the airline to the FBI.
As with any incident, there are (at least) two sides to the story. But my point is not whether Mrs. Osteen was at fault or not. It is that the mainstream media seems to think it rich when what I'll call a "public Christian" is involved in any conflict.

The sense I get is that the MSM, and, perhaps secular society at large, expects much, much better behavior from Christians. Well, it is true that many, many "Christians" do violate our Lord's warning in Matthew 6:1
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
This must especially be applied to some televangelists and their wives. Who can forget the scandalous Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker?

Can you spell hypocrisy, boys and girls? Because this is what preachers get nailed with as soon as they stray from some model of perfection. The Bakkers earned the sobriquet, to be sure. It's far from clear the Osteens have, even if I don't especially approve of how they put forth God's message. They don't need my approval, after all.

But are we not all fallen in our natures? Even the best among us is less than he or she should be. The Osteens no less, nor more, than I. Or you. We'd all like for public Christians like the Osteens to be blameless; it's less embarrassing for the rest of us. Well, some of us would...others just love to wallow in that good ol' schadenfreude.

We should resist taking joy in anyone's sorrow. We are them; they are us. Sinners, all. Some of whom may be redeemed.

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Anonymous Quattr0ne said...

What good is your Christianity when it obviously has no impact on the reality of who we are. A lot of posturing and lip service, and yet there you are, lamenting your fallen nature. Absurd.

Accept it. Move on with your life. Stop tormenting yourself into a model of excellence you will never reach.

11:24 AM, January 02, 2006  
Blogger Peter Shaw said...

You are correct that Christians cannot be expected to be perfect, however the secular society will expose any semblance of hypocrisy at every opportunity. Darkness & light cannot coexist. Christians are what the name implies...representatives of Christ. We should try and walk in that awareness as much as possible. Christ calls us to let our lights shine for His glory.

4:36 PM, January 04, 2006  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.