I've been thinking a lot more about Joel Osteen. My last post got several great comments and they've had me on my toes thinking about this. One of the thoughts I had the other day about Joel is that in my mind he is sort of like a Christian rock star. He leads the biggest church in the country, and there are a great many people listening to what he is saying. His ability to please them all is limited just as yours or mine would be. He cannot meet everyone's expectations.
Take Switchfoot for instance... a Christian rock band, or a rock band of Christians? They have been selling records since 1996 and have released at least six full length albums and one EP over the course of their career. I love their music. In my opinion "The Beautiful Letdown" was one of the best albums of 2003, regardless of genre, and perhaps one of the best of the decade so far.
But of all the great songs on "The Beautiful Letdown", of all the beauty and meaning and inspiration, there is not one mention of Jesus by name. In fact, Jesus is never mentioned in ANY Switchfoot song. 72 tracks on 7 CDs... I searched all the lyrics to all the songs... Jesus is never mentioned.
What are your expectations of Switchfoot? Is it okay that they never mention Jesus by name?
And then there's Joel Osteen. He mentions Jesus in every message. He points people to Jesus BY NAME every week. He believes that Jesus is the only way, and his actions and words week after week support that.
So what are your expectations of Joel Osteen? Do you want him to take it upon himself to announce the eternal damnation of a billion muslims on international television? If so, why?