There is one more thing.
It’s puzzling for us all to see Israel Houghton placed on indefinite leave from leading praise and worship at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.
According to Israel Houghton, a few years ago, he was going through a divorce. After the divorce was settled, this year, if I am correct, while the final touches were about to be placed on the divorce, he entered into a time of legal separation from his wife.
Then according to Israel Houghton, he was in a friendship for two years with his new girlfriend and recently were in a resort in Mexico, taking things to the next level. Seems innocent right?
Apparently, there would be no reason to put Israel Houghton on indefinite leave if there weren’t any further “indiscretions.”
The common practice for “ministers” and even some “worship and praise leaders,” is that regardless of your status (righteousness or unrighteousness), you continue ministering as if nothing happened. This is common. What is uncommon is for a person of any ministerial stature to voluntarily or by force (news of what’s going on,) cease ministering until there is true repentance which leads to verifiable restoration.
Or a church “two stepped” to continue deceiving the people.
That is if, of course, any future “indiscretions” were committed.
If it was just a simple divorce and then engage in a new relationship, then that’s it, there isn’t a story here, and there would be no need to have Israel Houghton stand down.
But it’s not as simple as one would like for us to think.
Something warranted Israel’s temporary departure.
Here’s something to think about.
It is a clear distraction for Joel Osteen, because when Israel Houghton is on the stage with Joel, there can be no conflict with others. The headline attention completely obscured Joel Osteen, so something had to be done to “refocus the attention back on Joel Osteen.”
We all know that the attention shifts from Joel’s message to Israel’s situation that gives the appearance that something is unravelling. Then again, maybe not.
More time away from Joel’s message is an unwanted and untimely distraction.
When you are off message or when there is a serious distraction, untold millions of dollars is at stake.
So to keep Joel Osteen’s message at the center of it all……Israel Houghton must step aside until the heat is off.
In a small backwoods church, no one would have noticed.
So the best thing to do is to get Israel Houghton off the stage, let his avoidable conflict simmer down a while and when people aren’t noticing (like we weren’t paying attention for the last 5 years or more), resume as if nothing had happened.
And really, it wasn’t because we weren’t paying any attention.
All parties elected to keep this silent.
Which is par for the course in church these days that when a minister’s marriage is suffering because of “indiscretions,” to keep the show (Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church) on the road, they kept it a secret for as long as possible.
If and when the story comes out, then they will deal with it.
Which they’ve done.
An answer for every contingency until…….
The events that we are seeing played out, were played out way before we were born. Since God created us all, He knows in advance what we will do. Nothing surprises God.
The statement from Lakeview Church could be read here.