Depart From Me I Never Knew You, Eaters of Bacon

It seems that some of the Houston folk are picking up on Joel’s recent turn to Old Testament dietary standards.

Did you know that Joel Osteen is kicking it old school now?  And by old school, I mean Old Testament.  Straight outta Hebron!

The new-agey motivational speaker preacher at Lakewood Church took a bizarrely old-fashioned approach recently when he advised his congregation against eating both pork and seafood, saying that “…for our health’s sake, we have to be willing to make some changes.”

He further explained his newfound nutritional path to salvation with deeply theological phrases like “back in the Bible days” and “this is kinda gross” before launching into a detailed diatribe about the inherent filth and evil associated with porcine digestive tracts.

He appealed to his followers, “I know some of you love pork chops.  You love ham and cheese sandwiches.  I grew up on all that.  I love…bacon.”  (The marked pause makes me think Joel doesn’t really love bacon.)  But that they should follow the example set by his family — who now eats turkey bacon — and give up pork “to honor God.”

He goes on to declare that his congregation should also avoid shellfish: “Shrimp, crabs, clams, oysters, lobsters…” because they eat the “excreetment [sic]” of other animals.

One can only assume that someone inadvertently left a Bible in the men’s room at Lakewood, opened to Leviticus, and Joel — since he hadn’t brought his copy of The Six Figure Speaker with him that day — read it to pass the time.

And having little to no theological education — by his own admission — nor context within which to understand the Old Testament’s strictly-defined dietary laws, Joel interpreted the Bible’s weird front pages that no one ever reads to mean that pork and seafood should be off-limits to Christians.  Because, clearly, other Biblical scholars have been mistaken about this for years.

Good work, Joel!  I look forward to your next sermon, wherein you discuss the segregation of women into red tents during their scary menstrual cycle each month.  In the meantime, I’ll be eating a SCCOLBLT.  That’s a shrimp-crab-clam-oyster-lobster-bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich, Philistine.

This is my point about the 613 commandments found in the Law of Moses. It is not merely diets and festivals, but animal sacrifices, and the stoning of unruly children.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

6 thoughts on “Depart From Me I Never Knew You, Eaters of Bacon

  1. Great … Joeley-O. finally opens his Bible for the first time and what he reads is Leviticus?

    Unfortunately, since his followers don’t read the Bible, they don’t know better.

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