Due to Pastor Joel Osteen's recent shift in message on the gay issue, stating conclusively that he believes "homosexuality is a sin," I felt compelled to communicate with him and urge him to clarify his position.
We have shared this third letter with Pastor Osteen's team and await their reply.
Dear Pastor Osteen,
This is my third open letter. The first and second having gone without significant reply.
Thursday morning we received a brief email from Cassie Malone, Media Relations on your behalf.
To re-iterate, here is Ms. Malone's response to my publicist (who has been graciously working tirelessly), Jenée Arthur:
Dear Jenee,My response back:
Thank you for contacting our ministry.
At this time we are unable to accommodate to your request.
Dear Cassie,You may be aware that this last week, Shirley Phelps-Roper, an adamant nationally recognized anti-gay protester from Westboro Baptist Church, daughter of the founder Fred Phelps, has agreed to an open dialogue concerning an Over Coffee Conversation. I am excited for our conversation and am so grateful for her openness and willingness to converse. As such I must confess it disappointing that a minister such as yourself is not willing to converse at all and hope that you will open up a dialogue to clarify your unique isolation of gay persons in our churches and your congregation.
Thank you for acknowledging, on behalf of Pastor Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church, after two weeks, that our attempts for communication are being received by your team. It is disheartening that Pastor Osteen has chosen to provide no reply, thought, or reflections, in any form, to the tremendous amount of work (by many concerned persons) that has been put into offering opportunity to converse, in any form.
I continue to offer my prayers and sincere requests for conversation, as a fellow person of conservative faith. We look forward to continuing our attempts for open conversation in hopes of Pastor Osteen's timely reply.
Again, as you represent a significant voice for our faith, it is my hope to assist you in clarifying your recent swing in position. Unfortunately your lack of response thus far continues to position you as a substantial representative of Christ who makes blanket, national statements singling out gay persons in our churches and your congregation as uniquely sinful. I'm sure you would agree, these statements ostracize gay persons as somehow unique in their particular human context, while not holding the same standard for all other persons in your congregation whose context is equally complicated. Additionally, I hope you would agree that Christ's Church-doors have no gay-detectors, and that the message of grace is available, without condition or cost to all persons.
We continue to offer opportunities for open conversation by way of an Over Coffee Conversation (http://overcoffeeconversations.com) event with Pastor Joel Osteen.
Your Brother in Faith,
Your Brother in Faith,