Various internet sites are reporting that Joel Osteen, the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas and head of a television ministry followed by millions has resigned:
“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.” He goes on to say that he has informed his closest colleagues that he is leaving the church, which will continue in a “bare-bones fashion as we liquidate our assets and fulfill various financial obligations.”
But the whole story appears to be a hoax:
Images of articles on CNN, Drudge Report and Yahoo News show headlines announcing Osteen’s resignation, but actual links to those articles were unable to be found. Instead, the announcement seemed to originate from a WordPress blog named Joel Osteen Ministries in which the only post is an alleged article from CNN claiming that the megachurch pastor released a statement on his website, Joel Osten Ministries.
My guess is that someone engineered the hoax for the same reason that groups like the “Yes Men” infiltrate major corporations and make false statements that reveal uncomfortable truths about the true nature of what the corporations are doing. That is only a guess but, in any case, I doubt it is ever a good strategy to try to lead people to truth by telling lies. There is plenty to criticize about a megachurch that does not require deception.
If the the piece is intended as a satire, it is missing two important elements of that art, insights and humor.