Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 1, 2015

Joel Osteen shoots his Word of Faith Theology in the foot at Super Bowl XLIX

super bppwl 2015This article, Joel Osteen on whether God cares who wins the Super Bowl, was posted today, the day before the 2015 Super Bowl. Here is what Osteen said in the video when asked that question.

“I think that God cares about us doing our best but obviously someone has to win and someone has to lose, so I don’t know……..”

But this article on the question was written last year for the Super Bowl and featured here on this blog. Which says…..

“When it comes to this weekend’s Super Bowl, 3 in 10 Americans are betting on God. A new study by the Public Religion Research Institute found that one-third of the country believes that God plays a role in determining which team wins.

Americans are even more certain about the players themselves. A majority believe that God rewards individual athletes who are faithful to God with good health and success.

This kind of thinking about faith and success follows a broader religious trend. Over the last 50 years, American Christians have gravitated toward spiritual explanations for why winners deserve their rewards. The default rationalizations — Good things happen to good people! Everything happens for a reason! — are no longer simply cliches. They are the theological bedrock for one of the most popular contemporary movements — the American prosperity gospel.

Millions of American Christians now agree that faith brings health, wealth and victory. This movement, which began in the Pentecostal revivals of the post-World War II years, has become a commonplace theological framework for how faith works to secure God’s blessings.”

That article also notes of Osteen and his Theology.

“Soft prosperity loosely equates faithfulness and success, allowing for temporary setbacks on the steady march to victory. Joel Osteen, senior pastor of America’s largest church, has made a career of encouraging people to embrace their identity as victors. His weekly television audiences of seven million tune in to hear his message of unstoppable success: “You were born to win; you were born for greatness; you were created to be a champion in life.”

My question is does God cancel out his truths for the Super Bowl? If it is true as Osteen alleges that success and victory comes through positive thinking (also see here) and speaking positive things by faith, then does it not follow that the team who wins, or maybe the player that might make the game winning play and get the MVP award, should be the ones/one with the most faith, positive thinking and positive confession? If the universe is subject to the Law of Faith as a Force, as Kenneth Copeland and Joyce Meyer still teaches, then does God suspend this law of faith on Super Bowl so it is mostly up to skill and luck or happenstance who wins. Or is God in charge of who wins, or is the so called law of faith that Osteens occultic teachings are derived from determines who wins?

And since Osteen admitted that obviously someone has to be the winner and someone has to be the loser, does that not invalidate the WoF theology because just like there will be winners and losers in sports games, there will also be winners and losers in life – will there not be times when we win and times when we lose in our Christian walks and lives here on this earth? And might there be times when we could have long protracted slumps and it seems like we are not being very much victors over anything for a long time? If the so called law of faith is always applicable shouldn’t the most faithful be victorious all the time in anything competitive?

If Joel really believed what he teaches about the power of words he would have spoken up and stated his theology clearly (although he would not like that term) and touted the winning team or individual as exemplary of victorious faith. But it seems to me that Osteen just shot himself in the theological foot and once again relied on his steady. fast and proven to work ducking measure of saying “I don’t know”. I pray others can see the epic irony here. Does God really care who wins, in my opinion no. And if Joel thinks the same then why did he just not say so?

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