"Joel Osteen in The Smiling" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
I know people who despise Joel Osteen. I also know people who respect him. Some hate him. Some love him. I love both those who like¬†him and¬†don't. Go figure.
This summer I was visiting my family and Joel Osteen was on TV. It was a very inspiring message. I mean, biblical scholars would probably tear their hair out, what's left of it, because of the serious eisegesis that may have occurred. Some might have been driven crazy by the false hope that may have been offered. Others may have gone made over the size of the building, its plushness, the display of success and wealth, the suits and dresses and jewelry, and the smile. Yes, the smile.
I can't believe how much insanity¬†his smile arouses!
But it was an inspiring message. It made me feel good.
I've had an interesting year. It has caused me to be even more careful
about critiquing ideas and behaviors I think are harmful to individuals and communities. So even though I may critique Osteen's theology and praxis, I don't wish him¬†harm. I hope if he sees this cartoon he would... smile! I don't wish anybody harm. I do not want to destroy anyone. I really don't.
If the kind of world I imagine doesn't include everybody then there's something wrong with my imagination.
I love diverse communities because they are microcosms of the what the world can possibly be. Well... the world is
diverse already! It's acknowledging it, celebrating it, and working with it, that matters and makes the difference.
This is exactly what we're doing at The Lasting Supper
. No matter where you are on the spectrum of belief or non-belief, you belong! Out loud too!¬†I invite you to join us!