Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Osteens and the Airlines

The Associated Press reports that Joel Osteen's wife and children were recently asked to deboard an airplane after she caused a disturbance. According to the FBI: "She failed to comply with the flight attendant's instructions, and they were asked to leave the flight."

The spokesman for Lakewood Church said: "In semantics, they might have been asked to be removed. Really, it was more of a mutual thing."

When I saw the link on Challies' site, it reminded me of another connection between the Osteens and the airlines. In CT’s review of the “Smiling Pastor” they summarize his book Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living Your Full Potential. Amazingly enough Osteen cites his exasperating and annoying an airline employee as an example of the favor of God in his life:

One of the finest chapters shows how Christians should aim for excellence and integrity. The book undercuts the emphasis on integrity, however, by suggesting trivial examples of God's favor to the faithful: faster seating in restaurants, a last-second opening of an excellent parking space, being upgraded to first class without seeking it, and enjoying a personal exemption from an airline's baggage policy.

Osteen tells of not wanting to check an expensive television camera on a flight to India. The counter clerk insists that the airline’s policy strictly forbids him from it carrying on, and Osteen asks if he can talk to someone else. A pilot walks up and offers to stow the camera behind the cockpit.

“The woman behind the counter glared at me and shook her head, clearly aggravated,” Osteen writes. “I just smiled and said, ‘Sorry, ma’am; it’s the favor of God.” Or was it simply that an observant pilot intervened to prevent an unnecessary conflict (which some planning on Osteen’s part could have prevented) from escalating?