There's an old saying. If you don't want someone to join a crowd, you ask them, "If everyone were jumping off of a cliff, would you?" Well, I have. So my answer would be "Yes". True story. Profile continued . . .
this entry brought to you by jim guthrie, "the maelstrom"
I don't really know much about Joel Osteen. All I knew was I didn't like him. There's just something about his face. He looks untrustworthy. Like someone trying to sell you a used car.
But then I saw this clip of him being interviewed by Oprah:
In the above clip, Osteen says that he does, in fact, believe that homosexuality is a sin. But he doesn't think that a homosexual will necessarily be unable to get into heaven; he doesn't think God measures one sin worse than another.
And you know what? That's actually completely reasonable.
I do not believe homosexuality is a sin. For that matter, I do not believe in sin at all. I believe that the whole concept of the Christian God to not only be untrue, but weird.
But according to the Christian Bible, homosexuality is a sin. It's not really negotiable, although when I was younger and still thought I believed in God, I believed that the Bible wasn't really saying that homosexuality is a sin. As an atheist, I admit that I was just wanting that to be true, but now I can definitely admit that it's true: the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. But so is not working on Sunday. Yet somehow we find it in ourselves to forgive people who do that, and not throw stones at them. It seems assumable that if there is a God, then he would do the same.
So yes, homosexuality is a sin, but why wouldn't a homosexual get into heaven just for being homosexual?
The thing is, the idea that homosexuality is a sin is still a negative one. It still creates a psychology of haves and have nots, it still assumes that it's somehow a choice, it's still just wrong. But you know what? This is still a reasonable stance, a stance that I can respect and tolerate, it is a stance that I can agree to disagree on. And, frankly, that's something I haven't been able to say about virtually every other Christian who talks in public about this subject. -----