Church, Uncategorized

Osteen and the Seeker Sensitive Heresy

Shane at Caffeinated thoughts has been discussing Joel Osteen, and what he is calling the “Prosperity Gospel.”  Now, you know how sensitive we are about using that term to describe flakey “Name it and Claim it” teachings, and seeker sensitive drivel, but it’s certainly worth a look, if for no other reason than to take a look at the odd, and frankly scary, interview with Osteen.  He stutters and stumbles over his words when asked why his ministry isn’t like a church.

My favorite was his argument over whether he used a podium or a “pulpit.”  Ridiculous.  One of his commenters said, “Truly…I cannot believe that there was not a massive backlash from the church as a whole after his pathetic interview with Larry King where his favorite expression during the whole thing was ‘I don’t know, Larry.’ Scary.”  Scary indeed.  Why hasn’t there been a backlash?  Has the church been lulled into complacency by the spirits of witchcraft coming out of the seeker sensitive movement, or is there no one left to really care?

Check it out…and I’ll be responding soon to Shane’s question: “What do you say to the faithful in the global south who are being persecuted. That God isn’t blessing you? That you don’t have enough faith? That you aren’t living your best life now?”  Biblical teachings on God’s plans to prosper his people are so far removed from this brand of flakiness, that you shouldn’t even call them the same thigns.  Stay tuned.

christianity, Christians Gone Wild!

Prosperity Flakiness

If you’ve read my stuff for any length of time, you’ve no doubt caught me defending the message of prosperity being taught in some Christian circles today (and on TV), and encouraging you not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.  However, after a recent event at Books-A-Million, I’ve come to realize that maybe my exposure to certain teachings in this doctrine have been limited.  I don’t watch Christian TV (TBN, etc), and my views on God’s plans for prospering his people have largely come from my own study, and from my pastor.  Because my Pastor is so Biblically sound, and makes so much sense, I assumed everyone else did as well, and were being unfairly criticized due to the loud, but few, flakes out there.

Maybe I was wrong . . . I overheard an apparently lonely, middle-aged, obese man acosting a Books a Million Employee in between the Christian Section and the Comic Books (I was in the Comic Books, thank you very much).

Fat Christian:  “Churches have really gotten away from reaching out to people and from being mission-oriented, and instead have built large mega-churches”

Employee:  “That’s right.”  (While putting books up on the shelf)

At this point, I thought the Fat Christian might be a good Christian, and was making a point about Charitability.

Fat Christian:  “But God doesn’t want to make us rich just for Mega-Churches, he wants to make us rich so we can use our mega-churches to reach out to people… tell them how to become rich also.”

Employee:  “Uh…Yeah, God wants us to help people.”  He was clearly uncomfortable, and left a sitting area and walked to my aisle in the comic books…Fat Christian followed

Fat Christian:   “People think that we’re preaching that we’re all supposed to be like super-rich billionaires, but I don’t think that’s really the case.  I think God just wants us to be well off.  God may not give me millions, but I could sure use 100,000 or so!  God wants to give his people money, so that while everyone around us is losing their jobs, and getting their homes repossessed, we can come right in and buy them up for really cheap.”

The Employee the left and the Fat Christian followed close behind, clearly ambivalent to the fact that the guy just wanted away from him.  I finished making my comic book selections and went to other side of the store, with a new understanding of why Christendom, at large, hates the prosperity preachers.  Jesus wants us to teach people to be rich, so we can really screw the people who are already victims of the predatory bank lending.  YAY JESUS!

Sheesh.

christianity, Online Living

Christian Carnival CCXLV

Welcome to the Christian Carnival, CCXLV, which a handy Roman numeral converter tells me means 245!  Wow, I should learn Roman some day.

Before I get right to the posts, I want to thank you all for the honor of hosting the Christian Carnival here at my little site.  I’ve participated, off and on (mostly off), in the Carnival since 2004, but this is my first time hosting.  So, today I’m very pleased to present the following submissions, in no particular order:

And that wraps it up for this week!  Some great reads.  Unfortunately, a crazy week at work prevented me from submitting my own post this week, and also weighed in on the time it would take to properly categorize the postings.  Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your Christian Carnival!

christianity

Prosperity and Christianity

I’ve attempted posts on this topic occasionally, generally trying to point out that while many criticisms of the prosperity movement are valid, the teachings are sound.

Cerulean Sanctum has an excellent post up on just that topic.

To sum it up from my point of view, God can and does bless those who follow after him.  The problem with many followers of the prosperity message is, they’re following after the not-so-almighty dollar. . . not God.  Having been through quite a few hardships (including financial) in my life, I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’ve seen God prosper me, and work financial miracles for me (which I will detail soon) that were beyond the scope of natural occurence, or me getting a just reward for hard work.  As Dan eloquently points out…that’s scriptural.  However, those victories came after I submitted myself to serving God in the midst of terribly trying times, and I was joyful, no matter my situation.  Once I had stopped begging God for more money, and quit trying to make things happen for myself, like stressing out all day trying to find a better job, and more ways to provide for my family, and I started submitting my life to prayer, witnessing, and living to serve God, his purposes, and his kingdom, I saw an equally dramatic shift in my financial situation.

Am I rich?  Far from it…but my situation today is drastically different than it was even 1 year ago.  And as I learn to submit to God in other areas of my life . . . I see God continuing to bless me financially.  Perhaps, as I’ve heard a preacher put it, God is seeing that he can “trust” me with his money.  Meaning that I don’t hold any back from Him during offerings, or from people in need.  Why wouldn’t God prosper you if you were sharing that prosperity with the rest of his people?