Monday, June 9, 2008

Self-Promotion

Last night, while working on VBS stuff we watched Joel Osteen on 60 Minutes (okay I didn't go to church last night - we haven't been home for more than sleep in a week and we really needed the rest - and yes that is an excuse - but honestly, we never miss church). I have always been skeptical (to say the least) of Osteen's message. As I watched him, I saw a man who is trying to promote himself while throwing in a little bit of God. Apparently he hasn't heard that God will not share the spotlight.


Osteen's message of finding joy, wealth, health, and happiness is not from God. Of course there is nothing wrong with any of those things, but I do not for one minute believe that God intends for a Pastor, especially one with such a large following, to continually preach such a shallow feel-good message. What about the blood? What about sin? What about repentance? Where is the cross in Osteen's message of how to live your best life?


Here is an example of Osteen's gospel. It doesn't match up with what my Bible says:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfwYU2pmWYQ


And another example......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di9-PebV634&NR=1

Now for the truth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IuiUOapK1w&feature=related


I know some people might be saying, "Wow, she is really being hard on this Osteen guy". Maybe I am, but the truth of the matter is that the Gospel is being watered down tremendously by the Osteens of the world. He is just one of many (and one who happens to be highly accessible on youtube). There are examples all over America (and everywhere else) of "Pastors" who refuse to preach the real Word of God and worry more about making people feel good than about seeing souls saved.

I suppose with all the fame that comes along with being a preacher of a mega church, self-promotion is expected. It would be easy to lose sight of the Goal while signing books and seeing yourself on television everyday. Also, there are so many who don't really want to hear the Truth - they WANT the watered down version so they can continue to do what they have always done without having to change their lives and do what Jesus asks them to do. The feel-good version is the easy version, but what is right is not always easy. Jesus didn't say things would be easy for us, actually quite the opposite. Remember when He said people would hate us because of our love for Him? Yeah, that's not easy.

The sad part here is that I see a little of Joel Osteen in myself at times. Don't we all love a pat on the back? A little 'good job' goes a long way for most of us. So many times we say we don't want any credit, all the while our hearts are crying "look at me, look at me". Sometimes we witness with an attitude of haughtiness - I am saved, I go to church - you should do the same, be like me. We do things in the church for our own praise and not the praise of the Most High. When we are placed in a position of leadership, don't we want people to comment on how Godly we are? How spiritually mature we are? How God is using us? Sometimes.

God detests it when we honor ourselves and when we allow others to honor us instead of honoring Him. It is His pedestal, not ours. His throne, not ours. For His glory, not our own. All eyes on Him. All hearts and heads bowing to Him. All our wills bent in submission to Him. We have nothing without Him - we are nothing on our own. IT'S ALL ABOUT HIM. All of it. Everything we do, say, and think --Him. Only Him.

God is disgusted by our self-glorification and I pray that I would be disgusted by it in my own life. I pray that God would rid me of any arrogance, self-promotion and pride that I currently possess and that He would keep me from falling into the trap of glorifying myself in the future. I want to be a speaker of Truth that leads people to the Throne of Grace, not someone who spreads a feel-good Gospel that leads people to eternal hell. I want me to be invisible so that Jesus can be seen in all His glory.

13 comments:

Eddie said...

WOW! Maybe you ought to lay out of church again! Just kidding. The world is full of people who want recognition as if they created the gospel message. Your best life now. If that isn't stupid, I don't know what is. That really speaks high of "hope" doesn't it. If heaven doesn't surpass earth, then what's the use. Speaking of wanting praise, your right we all do want praise and that's not all bad except when we want to be raised above Christ.
Proverbs 27:2 says, Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth: A Stranger, and not your own lips. Nothing more invigorating than a little encouragement, however we need to remember not to take our own press and believe it. Proverbs 25:11-12 are very fitting for your blogg today. Love you bunches Dad

Mari said...

I agree with you. The real message is often not being told - there is too much "feel good" stuff being said. I too have an ongoing problem with pride. It needs to be constantly checked and nipped!

Cheryl said...

You go girl!!! I'm right with you!
Way to speak the truth.

Mommyluann said...

I'm with ya, friend. I told you I heard him on Larry King and he danced all around the salvation issue. Larry kept asking how to go to heaven and Joel would NEVER give a plain simple answer.

A good blogging friend we all know who lives in Chicago reminded me when I decided to take the k-5 position this fall that "it's not about me anyway...it's all about Him".

Good word you truant church member! Just kidding...I'll vouch for ya... I see you there all the time!!!

Greg P. said...

The sad thing about Osteen is that his father started that church and spoke the TRUTH from the pulpit, not a feel good message.

I think Joel Osteen is caught up in his success. I can't believe he doesn't remember how his dad did it by being true to the cross.

Earen said...

Hey friend..I'm sorry I've been behind and have missed reading your blogs! I will continue to be praying for your mom too.

There is truly so much of the Christian following that is caught up in pleasing people. I know that we need to judge things according to the Word & that's what I try to do. One of the many things I SO appreciate about the church that we attend is that our pastor doesn't beat around the bush and preaches it like it is. He tells us that he gets emails all the time thanking him for being so bold and he just simply says..."I'm just preaching what the Word says!" It's refreshing!

Kellie said...

YOU GO GIRL!! Joel is a big sissy. He couldn't answer a question straight if he wanted too. This world wants someone to stroke their boo boo's and tell they can be rich and happy, and well, they've got it in "good ole Joel". He makes me so mad I would love to tell him to shut up. That's not very christian but it is just how I feel.

Dionna said...

GREAT post.

Jeremiah said...

This is amazing! I know what you mean about Joel Osteen. I have had strange vibes about him and his message since the first time I saw him on tv. I hear practically no mention of Jesus in his message and only vague refrences to God. His "feel good" health and wealth doctrines just don't make sense with what the Bible says.
Thanks for the awesome blog!

ocean mommy said...

While I LOVE the music his church does, I just can't listen to him preach. The few times I have, something in my spirit becomes so unsettled.

I think what burdens my heart the most is that there are so many listening to him, buying books, and applying his principles to their life....BUT I just wonder, do the really know Jesus? Are they acknowledging HIM as their Savior, or are they putting all their hope in a human?

{patty} said...

Well missy for days I have been reading about your 'self promotion', really! LOL

I have been packing thank you very much, what have you been doing??

**hugs**

LynnSC said...

Amen! I totally agree with what you had to say about Joel Osteen. It breaks my heart to think that so many people are being led astray because of his candy-coated message.

Then... ouch! I really hate it when I want to just be critical about someone else and God turns the tables on me. But... in His mercy and grace He reminds me that it is for my own good when He shows me areas in which I am still falling short. Is God good or what???

Thanks for sharing this with us.
Lynn

Kay Weathers said...

Amen sister, finelly someone else who sees through the smoke and mirrors.
"K"