Pork is evil – thus spake Joel Osteen

If you haven’t seen this yet, here’s a short clip of Joel Osteen explaining why Christians should not eat pork.

I wonder if that suit he’s’ wearing is made of two kinds of cloth?

Fortunately, though, he does point out that it’s okay to eat buffalo. That’s good. I was just about to pound down some buffalo sausage for breakfast.


About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on August 3, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. It’s maddening that tens of thousands of sheeple pack his “church” every week and leave thinking they’ve heard biblical truth.

    • It could be worse. He could write books that are similarly filled with pseudo-biblical teaching that go on to become bestsellers and are read by even more people all over the world. Wouldn’t that be terrible. 😉

  2. What’s your “beef” with what he had to say?

  3. If pork is evil, I cannot but wonder if we can appoint him as chaplain to the US Congress 🙂 Maybe he could keep smiling like Jimmy Carter, win his way into their hearts and convert them to a porkless legislature.
    Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to dream occasionally.

  4. What’s really bizarre for the general line of reasoning is that – if my memory of the Discovery channel does not escape me – the pig is often used as a comparison for the human gut, because of the similarities. Apparently we don’t have a “highly developed” gut like a cow! Maybe we are unclean for eating?

  5. On the one hand, I wonder if we heard the rest of the talk, and not just these three minutes, we might hear him fill out his theology with a little bit more nuance (cf. Shirley Sherrod). Maybe he brings in Acts 10 or Mark 7, for example. Of course, that would destroy everything he just said before that.

    But I suspect, given that he uses himself and his family as the exemplars of “Christian kosher,” that is not where he is going. He had a great opportunity to talk about why those things were not really clean according to the “holiness code,” but instead he drifts into both folk theology and folk zoology. (Note: A good example of preachers not speaking authoritatively beyond their knowledge. Sadly, in this case it is Scripture that also trips up Osteen).

    I don’t remember AT ALL that God explains that pigs eat their own feces, and therefore that disqualifies them from being holy. He boasts at the end that he eats a lot of chicken now – chickens are both cannibals and coprophagists as well. Sorry, Joel!

  6. >>>…Mark 7, for example. Of course, that would destroy everything he just said before that…

    How so?

  7. 14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

    20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

  8. Pat, you make a good point that we should start by trying to hear someone as charitably as possible. But, like you, I simply couldn’t conceive of a broader context that would have this mean anything other than what he so clearly seems to be saying. It makes me think of the many times that I hear someone claim “You took that out of context!” and I’m left wondering what possible context could have made their statement any less absurd.

  9. Of course, there is also the broad context of his widely disseminated teaching and preaching that also is laced with the same kind of sugary moralism that lead me to assume he was going adrift here as well.

    I remember hearing him preach a sermon from Galatians a few years ago. He was actually talking about free grace, Christ’s work for us, etc. And then he went into a smiley-faced screed against drinking alcohol. Weird.

    But mainly, I just wanted to tip my hat to being fair since I’m a Calvinist and trying not to be mean!:-)

  10. Should I feel guilty that I ate bacon while I watched this?

  11. I’m grilling pork tenderloin right now!

  12. There are no words except that I really love grilled pork chops.

  13. In honor of this video, I made sure that Mary and I got sausage on our pizza last night.

  14. I like Joel Osteen but he’s wrong here for sure. I made a top 10 list of reasons not to keep kosher that proves it. I also addressed the issue here proving that it’s the Christians duty to eat pigs!

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