02 May 2014

This 'n' That

Osteen Theology:
Sending people to Hell
one smile at a time.
I know, I know. After last week you may have been expecting some deep, profound thoughts. Well, it’s Friday, so you should have known not to let your expectations soar too high. I like to affectionately refer to Friday as Fried-day, as in “my brain is now fried.” Why in the world Joel Osteen wants every day to be a Friday, I’ll never know. That would be a cruel, Groundhog Day movie-esque joke to play on anybody. Every day a Friday? Every day destined to wake up, go to work, come home and do it all over again the next day without rest? No Saturday? No Sunday? No starting the week by gathering with the saints to hear God’s Word proclaimed and heralded? I love Fridays, but if every day were a Friday, I’d have to seriously consider curling up in the fetal position and willing myself into mental oblivion.

Now, I’ve never read Osteen’s book, but I have heard Osteen preach. I’ve seen the ridiculous tweets that his “ministry team” sends out. I’ve played the Your Best Life Now board game (in fact, I own that game. You’re jealous, aren’t you?), so I have a pretty good idea of Osteen’s theology, or lack thereof, and think I can safely criticize anything with his name and toothy smile on the cover. In a 2011 interview with ABC News about this book, Osteen said:
"Our message is about the goodness of God," Osteen told ABC News. "It seems just [sic] that people come alive when they realize God is for me, he's got a plan for my life and I can do something great. I can be who he wants me to be."

From Scripture and life, Osteen shares principles for happiness. "Jesus talked about everyday life, not just doctrine but how do we live, how do we forgive. How do we keep a good attitude when the economy is down," he said.

“People come alive when they realize God is for me, he’s got a plan for my life and I can do something great. I can be who he wants me to be.” Well, duh, of course people like this message! This false god wants exactly what you, a fallen and depraved sinner, want for your life. Do you have great plans for your life? Well, so does God! Yippee! And you know what? You don’t have to worry about anything else, like sin or repentance or understanding the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of those who believe. Nope, you just have to believe that God is “for” you—whatever that means.

You know what else God is “for”? Holiness. Righteous, holy wrath poured out as the just punishment for sin. It’s true. Just read passages like Romans 1:18; 2:5; 3:5–6; 5:9; Ephesians 5:3–8; or Colossians 3:5–10. So the fact that God is “for” something does not necessarily mean that we want to be on the receiving end of that thing. God also is “for” holy living, death to self, the pursuit of righteousness and the mortification of sin. These are things we ought to pursue if we profess to be His. He never promises the Christian that every day will be like 5:00 on Friday. The Christian’s world is not a 5:00 world. If we want to stick with this work-week analogy, for the Christian, life often seems like a Monday morning world, filled with trials and unexpected tribulations or persecution. We should not seek our rewards here on this earth. This life is but a fleeting moment and our comfort here will not matter one iota when we awake in eternity. What a shame it is that a man with the audience and influence that Joel Osteen has can be so utterly blind to the great riches that are provided in Christ to those who believe. How sad it is that this man, unless he repents and turns to Christ, has truly found his best life here on this earth, with an inexplicably dreadful eternity awaiting him.

Well, on that sobering note, the truth of the matter is that today is Friday, and that means I have another list of the good, the bad and the ugly headlines of the week. So while I know you wouldn’t want every day to be a Friday, I still hope you enjoy this particular Friday that God has given us and I especially hope that you enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • New Age Mormon Glenn Beck spoke at Liberty University. Again.
  • Here's another report on that.
  • No, that guy didn't really go to Heaven.
  • Speaking of gimmicks: physical fitness is good. Substituting 'workouts for Jesus' as worship? Not so good.
  • A 2008 article about Benny Hinn that a few people *cough*Michael Brown*cough* might need to read.
  • Hey look! Benny Hinn ecards!
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Do we believe the Bible is enough?
  • A little Roman Catholic folly for you.
  • Now we finally know what Jesus looked like.
  • Well, I'm glad this kid didn't seem to hurt himself, but honestly, what a stupid thing to do.
  • Good grief, Oprah starring in 'The Shack'? Isn't this one of the signs of the apocalypse?
  • Hey, if you want so-called 'marriage equality,' you can't speak against this at all.
  • Could it be that the cubicle isn't such a curse after all?
  • A Pyromaniacs conference? Can it be true? But alas, unless it's in my backyard I won't be able to attend. Will you send me a postcard if you go?
  • Sigh. Sad that this accurately portrays American evangelicalism.
  • The Fall and need of redemption:


  1. "Hey, if you want so-called 'marriage equality,' you can't speak against this at all."
    This is more of a fallacy, first of all there a big difference between a guy marries a dog because he is enslaved to false religion, than rational is supporting gay marriage. I quote:

    "The marriage took place on the advice of the man's astrologer who said it was the only way to atone for his actions of more than 20 years ago.

    He was reported to have suffered a series of physical ailments after stoning the dogs to death and hanging their bodies from a tree. "

    Second its t is a slippery slope fallacy. I do not see a rush to marry there dog.
    Gay marriage is a good reason to get our collective head out of the judeo-christian clouds and realize we always lived in a Romans 1:18-32 world and proclaim the Gospel Christ died for our sins and resurrected for our justification.

  2. I've seen Osteen a few times on the tube. People I know talk about him, respect his offering and some folks even feed from his table. Just last month when stuck out in middle Tennessee and a Sunday off I took in the Osteen show. It had been a while. And for 4 Sundays in a row I found myself again in front on the TV watching Osteen.

    The takeaway? He's a motivational speaker. He doesn't really quote chapter and verse, nothing profoundly revealing, doesn't get into the word too much (if at all). But he does motivate. I've seen some motivational speakers in my day, from team coaches, to Marine Gunny's, to all the organizational speakers Du Jur... and Joel is a motivational speaker. No ifs, ands, or buts. Did he motivate me? There was some value there - as a motivational speaker.


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