Friday, January 25, 2008

Joel Osteen...Give Him Some Credit

Bloggers of all faith stances love to poke fun at Joel Osteen as a fraud, a fake face, a prosperity preacher, etc.

I won't lie...I have been tempted to several times, but who am I to judge? I don't know the guy; I don't have a church of 40,000 members; I don't bleed charisma. But I had to give Osteen credit after reading this article in Newsweek.

Osteen could benefit from publicly supporting a candidate, and certainly 40,000 (at least...Osteen is televised) votes would benefit any candidate. But Osteen prefers to keep his political prefrences private. He claims he takes after his dad in this matter...probably so...but maybe he actually knows that Federal regulations are placed on non-profit organizations when it comes to this sensitive subject.


Jason said...

I'm not a huge fan of "health and wealth" teaching, but I've seen a few interviews with Joel and I think he's actually a standup guy!

addison said...

federal regulations my butt. i know they exist, but why do so many politicians speak at churches? i see joel in the same light as norman vincent peale. just focus on the positive and run with it.

Nate Watson said...

Thanks for the comments guy...Yeah I am no Osteen fan, or Peale for that least Osteen combines a LITTLE bit more God with positive thinking.

I didn't put this in the post, but I thought perhaps Osteen took note of the huge Dobson investigation. (he was accused of crossing that dreadful line of God/Political Propoganda). Dobson and Focus on the Family were cleared, but it was quite a trial.

Either the health and wealth message is wrong, or I am one faithless guy; based off my income, that is!

Oh yeah, Addison, remind me sometime to tell you about the Toledo version of Peale/Shuller!

2Pete said...

I'm very anti-Mark Driscoll, but I once tried to play devil's advocate for him in talking with an Anglican Priest in Portland. I conceded, "but for all my disagreements and frustrations, his church is huge and growing, so God must be at work there."

The Priest, a lovely, gentle man nearing 70, recoiled: "God most certainly must NOT work there or anywhere. Numbers mean nothing. They are the world's accounting." Perhaps like David's census.

Personally, Osteen may have a heart of gold (truly) but he is wittingly or unwittingly feeding the Body of Christ lies about happiness, prosperity, and the true nature of the Kingdom of God. It's deception, whether smiling and well-meaning or not. Whether 40 congregants or 40,000.

Now let me get back to blogging some heresy...

Nate Watson said...

arghhh peter!!!
everyone keeps misreading this post! I agree with you!!! (and Addison and Jason as well). I despise the message that says if you love God enough, tithe enough, had enough faith, give preacher sweet car for christmas, YOU WILL BE BLESSED FINANCIALLY. Not to mention Osteens theology that eliminates dependance on God because the power of postitive thinking is just as viable.

What I was saying was, OSTEEN DID SOMETHING RIGHT!!!

Speaking of Heresy, check this post out and tell me what you think...

2Pete said...

I feel you, Nate. I still think your posted sounded overly generous (how emergent!) but that's just because I'm bitter, small and petty. No, actually I think I was all right with it until Jason, the first poster wrote "he's a standup guy." That just pushed me over the edge. Sorry Jason ;)

I like that heresy post at Nick's Musings. Reminds me of an argument I've been making for some time to stop using the term "Born Again." Except it's quite a Biblically-supportable term.

I just think that once words are co-opted or associated with something unhelpful, they need to go away. Yes, it's trite and cheesy to say "I'm not a Christian, I'm a Christ-Follower" but the idea underlying is valid: in SOME contexts and cultures, the word "Christian" does more harm than help. Same with "Born again." Perhaps also with "heresy," "prosperity," and "Star Trek: Voyager."

But it's a slippery slope. I can't deny the name of Jesus (even if it wasn't has actual name...)

Ah, but I'm rambling.

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