He’s everywhere you turn. He seems to be FOX News’ favorite preacher. He’s on “FOX and Friends” and “Hannity” promoting his newest form of compromise and watered down Christianity. Yes, it’s the pretty boy from Houston—the guy who pastors a church with great music that is diluted by feel-good preaching. His worship team is willing to say things about Christ that it seems impossible for him to say. I’ve heard him over and over and over. He has nothing new to say. It’s the same old fluff like cotton candy: smile and be sweet and ignore the Word of God and its message.
The famous “I don’t know” poster boy (He said the phrase 16 times on Larry King Live) for the prosperity and psychology gospel is at it again. I believe he lacks the substance to be a real writer. I would imagine he uses a ghost writer to write his books…just my opinion. How could a guy with no substance write anything of substance?
Captain Positive Thinking thinks this is your best life now, and he has sold that lie to four million people. If this is “Your Best Life Now,” then Jesus lied about heaven. “Now” is not my best life, nor yours. His message has been called inspirational. Yes, it is. It inspires people to focus on themselves rather than the Lord. His message is “try harder,” which is the opposite of “trust Christ.” He promises material success and happiness.
His new book focuses on patience. That’s something his wife apparently didn’t have with a stewardess when she was kicked off an airline a few years ago. Maybe this book is therapy. According to an article on AOL, back in 2005 he told Business Week that “God’s dream is that we be successful in our careers, and that we be able to send our kids to college. I don’t mean that everyone is going to be rich, and I preach a lot on blooming where you’re planted. But I don’t have the mindset that money is a bad thing. . . I think we should have a mindset that God wants us to prosper in our relationships, our health, and our finances. God’s desire is that we excel.”
If the prosperity gospel really worked, people would be buying into it by the millions. We wouldn’t need a stimulus package. The banks and GM wouldn’t be broke. We wouldn’t have 10% unemployment. I was in Flint, Michigan, a few weeks ago where the number of GM plants is down from seven to two. The unemployment rate there is 30%. If his gospel works, why doesn’t he go to Flint and prove it? He can’t. It won’t work. It’s a lie, a perversion of the gospel by preachers who get rich at the expense of others.
In his newest book, which should be in the joke book section not the inspirational section, he says, “Another few days of believing, another few weeks of doing the right thing, or another few months of staying in faith and you’ll see that promise come to pass.” Tell that to the 176,000 martyrs who gave their lives for the gospel this past year. Tell it to Christians in the underground church in China. Tell it to the Christians in Iran and other areas of the Middle East who may die for their faith and rejection of Islam. I’d like to see Joel start a church in the Sudan and see how it works. He wouldn’t be smiling for long. His book is entitled It’s Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, and Increase God’s Favor. Sounds great, if you don’t believe your Bible or you are ignorant of the Word.
The AOL article noted, “That’s a bunch of garbage, according to Barbara Ehrenreich’s new book Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Plenty of people have plenty of faith and a great attitude and bad stuff still happens.” And “another few days of believing” isn’t always of much help, according to her book.
Ehrenreich writes, “If optimism is the key to material success, and if you can achieve an optimistic outlook through the discipline of positive thinking, then there is no excuse for failure. The flip side of positivity is thus a harsh insistence on personal responsibility: if your business fails or your job is eliminated, it must be because you didn’t try hard enough, didn’t believe firmly enough in the inevitability of your success. As the economy has brought more layoffs and financial turbulence to the middle class, the promoters of positive thinking have increasingly emphasized this negative judgment: to be disappointed, resentful, or downcast is to be a ‘victim’ and a ‘whiner.’”
It’s easy for Joel Osteen to preach this kind of message. He was handed his ministry on a silver platter. He’s made millions because he’s positive. His gospel is a denial of Hebrews 11 and those who died for their faith. Would he tell the prophets who were killed for preaching the Word that they just needed to be more positive? (Translated: “Don’t tell the truth. Just say what pagan, carnal, self-centered people want to hear.”) What is he going to say to Job when (and if) he meets him in glory? “Hey Job, I don’t know you, but if you had read my book you might not have lost everything.” What will he say to the martyr, Stephen? What would he say to the Apostle Paul who spent so much time in prison? How will he face the Christ who was beaten to a pulp? “Hey Jesus, Joel here. If you had just activated your faith you could have increased God’s favor.”
The pretty boy is preaching an ugly message. It’s time we stop letting this guy be the poster boy for Christianity. He’s the poster boy of a false gospel and a lie based in hell. He can’t tell the truth because he doesn’t know the truth. He can’t preach (he tells stories and jokes and mostly the same old hash warmed up) because he was never called to preach. It was a job he just couldn’t turn down. After all, look how rich he’s become preaching it.
There’s a sucker born every minute. They are listening to a seducer every week. They are buying seduction, and, sadly, they are finding it in Christian bookstores. God bless America, we’re the only people stupid enough to actually make this guy a poster child. The pretty boy is selling an ugly, unbiblical theology. You might listen to him and feel better, but it may result in the damnation of your soul.