Wednesday, December 21, 2005

They have time to snow ski?

We found the news item on the Osteens getting kicked off a Continental Airlines flight somewhat amusing. Kind of like a throwback to the days of Jimmy and Tammy Faye, except the Osteens are better looking.
The wife of the pastor of the nation's largest church was asked to leave a plane after she failed to comply with a flight attendant's instructions, the FBI said Tuesday. Houston Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen, his wife, Victoria, and their two children boarded a Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Vail, Colo., Monday. The plane's door had been closed when Victoria Osteen and a flight attendant had a disagreement.

"She failed to comply with the flight attendant' instructions, and they were asked to leave the flight," FBI spokeswoman Luz Garcia said without elaborating on the disagreement.

Naturally a spokesman for the ministry says it was a mutually-agreed upon retreat to a later flight.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect, from our perspective, and absolutely ignored by the AP reporter, is the fact that the Osteens are going snow skiing in Vail just before Christmas. You'd think this would be the busy season. Our pastor is meeting himself coming and going taking care of all the details that make Advent and Christmas such a beautiful season. This is the time of year when people who've left the Church come back seeking reconciliation and a second chance. They need attention. It's also a peak time for the less fortunate to seek direct aid; that takes time too.

Granted, our parish does not fill a 30,000 seat arena, but it's still hard to see that as a justification for a ski trip at the peak of this yuletide. Of course, our priest manages on a somewhat more modest budget than the Rev. Osteen. A Vail, Colo., ski trip could easily use up a month's salary. Still, even if we had the money to give him the trip, we doubt we could make him leave. Especially right now.

We also doubt he'd get into a row with a flight attendant.

Different strokes, we suppose, for different folks. If it's prosperity religion you're looking for, you can easily find it. But understand that people will definitely be watching to see how well you handle that prosperity.


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