April 8 by The Running Son
by Jim Aldrich
I went to sleep last night lamenting the fall of Pastor Joel Osteen, the most inspiring Richard Gere look-a-like to ever grace the cable networks. When I woke up this morning I heard the Good News: He’d been reborn.
Joel Osteen, New York Times best-selling author and Pastor of the fastest growing church in America, is a hell of a speaker. On more than one occasion I landed on his show, stopped, and couldn’t switch away. And why not? His common sense attitude and chipmunky smile are completely disarming. And besides, every now and then a fellow needs to hear some simple encouragement, and Joel Osteen is as good as any for a solid hour of happy affirmation.
So last night, after I followed a link and read the article about Joel Osteen renouncing Christianity, my heart dropped. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Christian by conventional definitions, but I liked the man and knew I’d miss him. Turns out, its been a hot story all weekend on CNN, Yahoo and the Drudge Report and major headlines worldwide. Links were passed pointing to a particular WordPress blog where a notice explained Pastor Osteen had fallen to his knees during a service, cried out that he “was God”, and that he could no longer pastor the Lakewood mega-church in Houston, Tx.
But today was a new day! I woke up to this article from thehollywoodgossip.com. It explained the breakdown was all a hoax. Yes, it appears Pastor Joel Osteen, and his easy easy ways will continue to pastor and preach, and we will still see him blip across our TV screens during lazy Sunday channel-surfing marathons.
Thanks to the blessing, or curse, of instantaneous information dissemination, Joel Osteen was able to die and be born again overnight in the eyes of his faithful– and (like me) his numerous semi-faithful. I can think of several TV evangelists that could benefit from a public existential melt-down, but I am gladdened to see Pastor Joel Osteen still atop his game, born again again, and making it through a potentially disastrous hoax scare with his dignity intact. At this point, Pastor Joel really has no obligatory response save to show us that big, warm, wonderful smile, and chuckle.