Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Muddling the Message, Ashamed of the Gospel
06/23/2005 - James WhiteMost everyone has already seen this, but I thought I'd join the wave....Joel Osteen, pastor of one of the largest "evangelical" churches in all of America, was on Larry King a few nights ago. Can you just imagine Paul or John responding to these direct questions the way Osteen did? What a wonderful opportunity to present the awesome holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, and the unique truth of salvation through the cross of Christ, squandered out of fear of the faces of men! Just amazing.
KING: Because we've had ministers on who said, your record don't count. You either believe in Christ or you don't. If you believe in Christ, you are, you are going to heaven. And if you don't no matter what you've done in your life, you ain't. OSTEEN: Yeah, I don't know. There's probably a balance between. I believe you have to know Christ. But I think that if you know Christ, if you're a believer in God, you're going to have some good works. I think it's a cop-out to say I'm a Christian but I don't ever do anything ... KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all? OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ... KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they? OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God will judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus. .... CALLER: Hello, Larry. You're the best, and thank you, Joe -- Joel -- for your positive messages and your book. I'm wondering, though, why you side-stepped Larry's earlier question about how we get to heaven? The bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and the only way to the father is through him. That's not really a message of condemnation but of truth. OSTEEN: Yes, I would agree with her. I believe that... KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven? OSTEEN: No. Here's my thing, Larry, is I can't judge somebody's heart. You know? Only god can look at somebody's heart, and so -- I don't know. To me, it's not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn't. I just say, here's what the bible teaches and I'm going to put my faith in Christ. And I just I think it's wrong when you go around saying, you're saying you're not going, you're not going, you're not going, because it's not exactly my way. I'm just... KING: But you believe your way. OSTEEN: I believe my way. I believe my way with all my heart. KING: But for someone who doesn't share it is wrong, isn't he? OSTEEN: Well, yes. Well, I don't know if I look at it like that. I would present my way, but I'm just going to let god be the judge of that. I don't know. I don't know. KING: So you make no judgment on anyone? OSTEEN: No. But I... KING: What about atheists? OSTEEN: You know what, I'm going to let someone -- I'm going to let god be the judge of who goes to heaven and hell. I just -- again, I present the truth, and I say it every week. You know, I believe it's a relationship with Jesus. But you know what? I'm not going to go around telling everybody else if they don't want to believe that that's going to be their choice. God's got to look at your own heart. God's got to look at your heart, and only god knows that. KING: You believe there's a place called heaven? OSTEEN: I believe there is. Yes. You know, you've had a lot of the near-death experiences and things like that. Some of that is very, to me, not that you need that as proof, but it shows you these little kids seeing the angels and things like that.
UCC Can't Figure Out if Jesus is Lord
06/18/2005 - James WhiteThe United Church of Christ, the denomination in which Barry Lynn is a minister (the same Barry Lynn I debated on the issue of homosexuality a few years ago), is currently debating, and will probably reject, a resolution simply stating that Jesus is the Lord. Here's a quick summary. There should be some means of burying the corpses of former Christian denominations, but there doesn't seem to be any truly effective means of doing so. Write "Ichabod" over the door and lock it up.
Haven't Mentioned These Folks in a While
06/16/2005 - James WhiteWhen I travel I try to remember to bring some extra "Precious Feet" with me to give to the pastors of the churches where I'm ministering. The Precious Feet are the international pro-life symbol, and you will note that unless I forgot to put one back on after having my suit coat pressed, I have one on my lapel when I'm dressed to speak. Well, the folks at Heritage House 76 (www.heritagehouse76.com) have come up with a whole line of pro-life stuff. I get the feeling at times that this issue has disappeared off of the cultural radar screen, and we are reaping the results today: the secular world-view that allows us to treat life so lightly, and human life in particular as nothing but the random result of purposeless chance, is behind much of what we see in the evil in our society. We cannot stop speaking out against the murder of the unborn, especially in light of the fact that science continues to prove us right with each and every exploration of our life prior to birth. Give that site a visit and don't forget to wear your own Precious Feet. They are real conversation starters (or conversation killers if the other person is hyper-emotional, which has happened a few times!).
Want Evidence of Total Depravity?
06/07/2005 - James WhiteFirst, read Matthew 19:3-6. Then read this. Then read Romans 3:10-18. God's judgment, illustrated, and another reminder: judges need a divine standard upon which to judge. God has given it. Woe to those who ignore it.