Most of you have no doubt heard the news about the elaborate hoax perpetrated against Pastor Joel Osteen and the fake announcement that he is leaving the Christian Faith.
This elaborate hoax was so well staged and orchestrated that it brought a plethora of emotions to many in the Christian community. Utter disbelief, betrayal and anger were reactions expressed by a number of Christians and hit the internet, making their way through the social networks such as FB, Twitter, and Google+.
Included in this hoax, were two video clips with fake Headlines from CNN, Drudge Report and The Christian Broadcasting Network as well as Yahoo! Some of the Headlines read things like “Pastor resigns, cites doubts in God!”
Below are excerpts from this fake announcement that Mr. Osteen was alleged to have stated:
“I am now at the point that I am comfortable enough in what I believe that I am ready to announce to the world that I am no longer a Christian. I am no longer a believer in Christ. I no longer believe the Bible is the word of God.”
“I believe now that the Bible is a fallible, flawed, highly inconsistent history book that has been altered hundreds of times. There is zero evidence the Bible is the holy word of God. In fact, there is zero evidence “God” even exists.”
But the next quote, was the one that brought me to tears, the one that felt as though I had been sucker punched in the gut, and took my breath away: “I believe I am more like God than the God of the Bible, a fictional character.”
Yes, I bought into the elaborate hoax, hook, line and sinker! For about 30 minutes I just sobbed, in utter disbelief and sorrow by such horrible news. I have been an avid listener to Mr. Osteen for several years now, and find his sermons to be uplifting and inspiring, so this news was not received at all well.
In an exclusive interview with the Huffington Post, the perpetrator of this elaborate hoax tells Meredith Bennett-Smith, “I wanted to send Joel a message, to hopefully motivate him to talk about more serious subjects, such as Monsanto, GMOs, the poisons in our food and water, alternative cancer cures,” he wrote in an email. “He has a worldwide stage he isn’t using to do enough good, but rather he’s wafting lightweight sermons peppered with clichés across the Sunday airwaves.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/09/joel-osteen-hoax-discredit-televangelist-lost-religion_n_3044562.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false
What have we become as a culture, as a society? That anyone would think that this was an appropriate way to encourage anyone to listen to your cause? We watched in disbelief last summer as the Occupy Wall Street gang hit the streets in protest, and the mayhem left in their path of destruction. Again instead of using their “words”, they chose a more violent path to make their point. It appears to be a sign of the times we are living in; no longer do we pursue the course of civility, or courteousness. No, instead individuals destroy private property they defecate in the streets or on cars, or like our mystery man, orchestrate elaborate hoaxes, in an attempt to destroy the character of another person, because they disagree with their approach. Imagine the hours it must have taken for our mystery man to piece all this together! How pathetic and sad.
Incidents such as these only make me more certain that we are indeed entering very dark days. Not dark like a storm is coming, but dark in terms of evil. Everyone feels the ominous dark cloud above us; they know instinctively that something is not right, something is very wrong in our society. Most of us know that it is the removal of God that has brought this darkness and evil to our country, but no one says the words out loud, for fear of being made the fool! Well those days have ended my friend. Because we continue to witness for ourselves that evil does exists that the devil is very real and he is among us now. He will fight for the souls of the righteous, for those who are closest to God, and possess God’s favor. As we draw ever closer to the end days, we will see more and more outrageous behavior, more signs and proof that the devil is very real, and that he has a very firm grip on our country and indeed in the world.
As each day passes, with it brings more bad news, more news of financial devastation on the horizons, more wars and rumors of wars. Matthew 24:6 states: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” We cannot deny any longer the work of evil in our government with a President who is hell-bent on being King, and reducing his countrymen to mere serfs to attend his every need. You cannot deny that many leaders across the world are working together to form a One World Government, it is spoken of freely and openly, we watch in horror as Christians across the world are persecuted and even beheaded for their belief in Jesus Christ! Revelation 20:4 – “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
It seems that everywhere you turn these days, you are faced with evil, we live in a society that has lost its moral compass a society very much in a crisis of virtue, for it no longer possesses virtues….and with that loss of these virtues mayhem and self-destruction are on the horizon. John Adams said in a speech to the military in 1798 warning his fellow countrymen saying, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion… Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Interesting to note is that John Adams is a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and our second President, for those of you who are low information voters.
As a Christian, I cannot help but mourn for my country, for simpler days when I was a girl, and life seemed to have some order about it; people were civil to one another, they used their “words,” and did so graciously and politely. Manners were taught to children, respect of your elders was taught to children, both at home and at school. That is no longer the case in today’s society and culture.
Today, everyone is focused on themselves, what’s in it for “me!” We have become a culture of takers, no longer concerned for our neighbor. We have become a culture that no longer values human life; a culture that has lost its moral compass, and has little or no virtues to speak of. I fear that these are just the beginning signs of what dark and evil days lie ahead. May God help us all! Having said that, as Christians we must remember Jusha 1:9, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” I leave you with this quote from the Bible to ponder:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints…” Ephesians 6:10-18
by: Andrea K. Robson