No God has blessed me a lot and I have what I need, I have my family and we are all healthy. We have a place to live and somehow we pay the bills – actually we are doing just fine. So I don’t buy into Osteen’s message. I try to remember that God doesn’t need to give me Stuff to prove that he loves me. I also remember that as a Christian – the model that my Lord and Saviour demonstrated was that he got nailed to a cross and died. There were no $1000 suits for Jesus – no smiling preachers – no fancy sports cars – no promotions. Only death which opened the door for all of us to eternal life.
By extension a few other Christians have not done to well on the Prosperity idea. I guess Paul must not have been a very good Christian because he got his head cut off. I guess Peter must have not been a very good Christian because he got Cruxified upside down. Gee if they had only realized that God only wanted them to be wealthy and to take all of their problems away – then maybe they could have done something in this life.
Osteen’s preaching is harmful. Because if the message that you send to people is that God is only going to love you and you will have no problems. Then when people do have problems they may move to the point where they assume that God doesn’t love them any more. Because if God only wants the best for me – and then I get cancer, or my child dies, or I get divorced, or I get unemployed, or my body is destroyed in a war or a car accident – if anything happens which is real human life – then I have to assume that God has abandoned me. Because, according to Joel then I didn’t pray or believe hard enough because the real God was going to bless me with money and riches and power.
I think Jesus got promised money and riches and power in the desert. The guy offering was Satan. Better watch our Olsteen. Also notice that in his “worship center” there is no cross, there are not any religious symbols. Only a gigantic rotating golden globe. The golden globe saying – look the world is yours all the wealth and prosperity take it. That isn’t the Christian message. The Christian message is that there are things which are more important than the stuff of the world. That sometimes things go bad but no matter what happens God is there. We are not judged, nor can we count how much God loves us by what we have or what we don’t have. Osteen’s message is a heresy which is trying to conform the God who made heaven and earth into an image that Man can understand. Instead of a golden globe he aught to just put up a golden calf. It’s the same thing.
So if you believe Joel are you going to hell? I don’t think so – but that isn’t my decision. It’s God’s. And the thing I know is that God tells us to beware of the false prophets and he wars those who would lead these little children away that they should have a millstone tied around their neck and they should be thrown into the sea. Hope he can swim. But I think God’s grace is enough to save us all. Unfortunately the way we are usually saved from false teaching is that we run into the truth of what it is. I hope that there aren’t too many people who encounter pain and suffering before they begin to see through this cotton candy feel good preaching.
But I will say this – I think Joel is a good personal life coach and someone who is good at making people feel good about themselves. The problem – and yes this is just my opinion – is that he is distorting the message of the gospel. I have a problem with that. None of us are promised a great life hear – and if you get it good (I’m pretty happy with mine) – but the promise is of life eternal. That is not mediated by nor can the proof of that promise be demonstrated in the material things we gather hear on earth. Because like our bodies, that stuff will rot too.