Was Victoria Osteen Really That Off Base?

victoria-osteen“When you come to church, when you worship him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”  -Victoria Osteen

This statement finished this week’s astounding viral.  Victoria Osteen proclaimed worship to be about your happiness; when we are most happy in worship and in life, God is most happy.  Worship ought to be self-serving; that’s what God wants for us.  As we all watched this 30-second clip, we sat mouth-open aghast at the audacity of Mrs. Osteen’s claim.  How could an audience of tens of thousands stand and applaud something so foolish?  It’s not even veiled–not even thinly-veiled.  The thing that shocked us most was not the content of this short statement, but the form.  She didn’t try to sugar coat it.  She plainly stated: “When you come to church…you’re doing it for yourself.”

Hold Up.

Most of us who hate on this video already have a predisposition toward hating everything that comes out of the mouth of either Osteen.  But, I think we hate what Mrs. Osteen had to say more because it hit a little too close to home.  How many times has this statement come out of your mouth on the way home on Sunday afternoon: “I didn’t really like the worship songs this morning.”  When you were looking for a church, were most of your questions about whether you liked X, Y, and Z?  We ask one another: “How was church?” What we implicitly mean is: “Did you enjoy church or was it a dud?”

I cannot tell you how many people I meet that when they find out I’m a pastor the first question out of their mouth is: “Is your worship contemporary or traditional?”  They are fishing to find out if ours is a church they might like.  People get hung up about the style of this and the order of that.  The color of the pews doesn’t suit their taste, or they actually prefer chairs instead of pews.  Again, is Mrs. Osteen really that far off base?  I mean, I feel like she just had the chutzpah and beaming smile to put into words the mantra by which we all secretly operate.

The Questions We Ask.

When we ask, “Did you like the worship this morning?” we are coming at our Sunday service all wrong.  Who cares if you liked worship?  The question we should be asking is this: “Did God like the worship this morning?”  We leave Sunday morning, and if we don’t feel the warm fuzzes, we feel like it’s been a waste.  Maybe you aren’t feeling all warm and cinnamon bun-gooey on the inside because you were so concerned with getting something out of your worship time.  Worship is not about you.  It’s about God’s people meeting with their God.

Your primary focus in coming together with your church on a Sunday should not be so that you can enjoy the music, or so that you can get something out of the sermon, or so that you can be amused by a cute video.  We should be seeking as a corporate body to worship, glorify, and please God.  The songs should be pleasing and glorifying to God, not you.  The elements of the service should do everything to direct our attention away from ourselves and toward God.

We should be asking whether God was present with us on Sunday.  If something relational is not happening between God and his people, then a church is missing the point.  Sunday gathering is about God’s people communing with their God.  It is about gathering on the first of the week with the expectation that the Spirit of the Risen Christ will descend in our midst and make his presence known among us.  It is about singing and praying to God, and expecting to hear him speak to us through his Word.

Half-truths.

You know, Victoria Osteen was about half right.  She was trying (and failing) to articulate half the answer to the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “What is the chief end of man?”  Mrs. Osteen says, “To pursue your own happiness, for this pleases God.”  She’s trying her best at a John Piper “Christian Hedonist” impression, but she’s missing the mark.  Osteen says, “Pursue happiness, and God will be happy.” Piper’s perspective is drawn from the true answer to the WSC Question 1: “The chief end of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”  We were designed to find our greatest joy in God.  When we are pursuing His glory with our entire being, we will experience our greatest joy.  We pursue God’s glory, and in doing so we find true joy in Him.

When we worship God, we need to…worship God.  Force yourself to forget your own preferences.  Allow yourself to be drawn into the presence of God and to be concerned with pleasing and glorifying Him.  Didn’t someone somewhere say once, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it”?  This is just as true in our Sunday worship as it is in life.  Lose your life.  Lay your preferences, your happiness, your personal wants and desires down for Jesus’ sake.  And when you are so wrapped up in glorifying God, you will find that even though you didn’t get your way and even though things aren’t to your taste, you are experiencing more joy in worshipping God than you could ever imagine.

(photo credit)

108 Replies to “Was Victoria Osteen Really That Off Base?”

  1. The olsteens are beyond legistest..they don’t even preach against sin..they are self serving motivational speaks…may as well listen to Depak Chopra.

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  2. The consumer mentality has infected the church to the point where we are blind to its influence. The oft-heard complaint that “this service offered nothing for me” should be the red warning flare that we have become the focus of our worship – and not God. Worship that exalts what God has done for us in Jesus Christ (his incarnation, death on the cross, and resurrection) is the is the necessary corrective to worship that exalts our feelings and expectations of what worship should be, as if WE were the object and focus of worship. Paul preached Christ crucified and resurrected as the remedy for sin and the church as gifted by the spirit to do good works as a witness of Christ; many churches preach self-esteem which too easily becomes self-concern and a shift in focus in worship from “What can I give to worship?” to “What am I getting.from worship?”, which then infects the work of the church. The focus on spiritual gifting shifts from using the gift in serving the local body of Christ to pride in a (real or imagined) spiritual gift and the creation of a spiritual hierarchy based on gifting within the local church or denomination. (All Christians are equal but those with the gift of prophecy, tongues, or healing are more equal, to paraphrase George Orwell’s infamous maxim from Animal Farm) Focus on God and the faithful are given Someone they can know and enjoy forever, whose nature is to give of Himself in love, as the catechism states. Focus on ourselves and the shallowness of our desires is soon revealed and breaks out as disillusionment, discontent, and discord, as we seek – but do not find – the One Who “has made us for Himself and [for Whom] our spirits are restless until they rest in Him. (from “Confessions: by Augustine of Hippo). Our spirits cry for living water; our churches too frequently give us treacle whose deceiving sweetness only serves to increase the burning of our thirst. Focus on God and our hearts burn within us (or, at the very least, are “strangely warmed” as Charles Wesley famously described his own experience) as we hear the Word proclaimed.

    If we must be consumers, let us be those who consume the bread and body of/representing Our Lord, fully discerning through the Holy Spirit the sacrifice that was made on our behalf, whose gratitude is expressed in the heartfelt (“in spirit and in truth”) praise and worship of God alone, and by becoming like the One of Whom we have partaken, in such a way as to proclaim in word and deed the salvation of our God for all people in Christ’s name and person. .

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  3. My husband and I are pastors and had the opportunity to meet the Osteens and their family. They are very genuine people and they love God with whole hearts. It’s so easy to criticize others. Everyone has said something “off” at times. We want everyone to extend grace to us yet we can be so intolerant of others. As Christians we need to rethink our criticism.

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  4. 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside the church? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you. Ch.6 2: Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world are you not content to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge Angels?How much more the things of this life?

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  5. On the one hand, due to the self sufficiency of God, He does not need our worship. We are commanded to worship Him alone because we become like the one we adore. Praise looks good on us. In this sense worship is for us. We worship God so we will become more like Him. But contrary to Ms. Osteen’s religious consumerism, we evaluate our happiness generally in life and particularly in worship by our success in imbibing His traits and in pursuing close union with His will. In this sense, worship is for God.

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  6. And who is so foolish as to suppose that the things offered to God are needed by Him for some uses of His own? Divine Scripture in many places explodes this idea. Not to be wearisome, suffice it to quote this brief saying from a psalm: I have said to the Lord, You are my God: for You need not my goodness. We must believe, then, that God has no need, not only of cattle, or any other earthly and material thing, but even of man’s righteousness, and that whatever right worship is paid to God profits not Him, but man. [Augustine, City of God]

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  7. I believe nobody is perfect in this life. Only God is perfect. Even preachers can make mistake in their preachings/ teachings. I have listened to different preachers & I can say they also have their limitations in interpreting the word of God. My question is: Why the Osteens are the ones noticed or criticized will in fact there are millions of preachers all over the globe? These millions of preachers also have a thousand followers? And why reach out to Osteen’s through social media if u want to correct them instead of posting a blog & make it known to the whole world their mistake. Christians should rebuke those who made mistake with love not targetting them on social media. Don’t single-out them, listen to other preachers as well & write a blog about these other preachers too. It makes me feel sad that Christians are criticising other Christians instead of correcting their mistakes with love. We should be one in Christ, not divided. It’s just my opinion.

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  8. Jesus stated that in the last days God is seeking for worshippers that would worship Him in spirit and in truth. Jesus said He is way, the TRUTH, and the light and that He would leave the Holy Spirit to guide us to all TRUTH and to JUSTICE. Thus, yeah it is all about God: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, not about us. In worship is at all times not just a moment in church that we call worship. The agenda the so call establish church has set up about praise and worship but that was never God’s agenda. We are called to be the church and be the light of the world to bad we waste our time in a building we’re most of time God is not even invited there because we make it about us and not Him. Also, read the word if you are a believer we are supposed to hold other believers accountable. We are not too judge the world but yes to fellow believers because we will be held accountable for not speaking out.

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  9. If it’s about God, let it be about him! But to say “We are no different by saying: what did we get out of church etc” is also wrong! For two wrong won’t make it right in this case! In other words, let’s address the sin and come repenting before God but clearly what this woman said is NOT biblical! Not even close if you ask me, well…maybe a bit close if like the entire sentence was stated differently! All to say, these people have thousands under their care and God will not hold that likely as opposed to going home and asking someone “How was church today?” Although they are both wrong, I believe one would be accountable to his statements much more highly than another! i could be wrong and willing to be corrected!

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  10. Gotta be honest, I don’t think you ever really even answered the question in the title or your article. You just started a rabbit trail about other things that were completely irrelevant to what this article was purported to be about, just turned it into a somewhat sorta okay message about what we need to do, and avoided the question like you were part of the Obama administration.

    She was definitely off base, against Scripture in many ways. One way that is taboo to bring up now as well is that she was in the position of spiritual authority over that congregation, which goes against Scripture as well. If it were in a setting other than as the person with the position as pastor over that congregation, such as simply a bible study teacher or something of the sort, I would not bring up that passage of Scripture. But they were out of line in allowing her to teach to that congregation, though her husband is no better or doctrinally correct in teaching them either. I am trying not to be rude or too harsh, but it deeply angers me when there are people who so clearly deceive people and lead them astray from God.

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  11. I really do not think this is where we as Christians should waste too much time. Just on the chance someone would bother reading…. For those that talk about Legalism (like Christians have to bother to have some evidence of their faith) God gave us 1st John. For those of us who think of ourselves as perfect doctrinally consider the Berians. For those who believe there can be such a thing as Christian Hedonism it is in the purest sense an oxymoron. and finally for those who think their opinion matters about the Osteens only if you build your ministry around Saul Alinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals: Rule #5 & 12.

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    1. I do somewhat agree. I usually don’t post on many things, but after reading some of the comments on here, I had to. My own opinion doesn’t matter, but I will speak up when their is clear error in people about the Word of God and things surrounding it. But as for the reason why I think the whole Osteen thing matters (yes I know this goes under the category of my opinion), is because they are clearly false teachers and should be held accountable for the things they’ve said and the thousands they have led astray. If it weren’t so obvious but for some reason always ignored, I wouldn’t speak up. But people continue to defend and listen to them, even though they are defending false teaching and things that are clearly contrary to the Word of God.

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  12. If you really want to blow your mind, look up the origins of the word “happy”… It’s not in the bible once. At least not in my KJV.

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  13. I really don’t understand why ‘Christians’ are so quick to judge & criticize other Christians. As long as we are here on planet Earth, we are human and we make ‘mistakes’. I doubt there is ANY televangelist or pastor of any church, any denomination, who has not made a mistake; said something in error. NO preacher is perfect folks. Whether what Victoria said was right or wrong, scriptural or un-scriptural, she only has GOD, her Heavenly Father to answer to. Not any other Christian.

    Whenever I hear something I don’t completely understand or agree with, I ask the Holy Spirit for Him to show me in the WORD if what was said was scriptural or not. HE knows everything about everything. I trust Him FAR more than I trust any other man or woman’s opinion about what someone said. So Victoria said something that many Christians do not agree with. OH MY GOODNESS! Whose to say that those who don’t agree with her, might be the ones in error!

    If you are a confessing Christian, then Victoria is your ‘sister in Christ’, so STOP criticizing and LOVE on her and PRAY for her and ask God to correct her, IF she was wrong; also ask Him to correct you, in case you are wrong. Hmmm. The Holy Spirit has corrected me many times over my 30 years as a born again Christian. I’ve heard things I did NOT agree with. The Holy Spirit showed me, sometimes I was the one in error, and sometimes what was said was in error, so I just tossed it out and prayed for the person.

    When I look around at ‘religious’ organizations, for example, the Mormons or the JW’s, these folks are TOTALLY supportive of each other. They are a ‘family’. Yes, they have their ‘serious’ flaws like everyone else. If anyone should be a Family, it should be Christians. We have CHRIST and CHRIST IS LOVE! I can’t believe how often when I am out and about, perhaps having a coffee or meal and I will hear Christians criticizing other Christians. As if the one criticizing is living a ‘perfect’ life. That really sickens me. If you don’t like Victoria or agree with what she teaches, or how she lives, it’s quite simple – STOP LISTENING to her. You are NOT her judge; only GOD is, and like you, she is one of HIS kids! GOD BLESS

    .

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      1. Thank you Rj and SheriC. You both have gleaned the heart of Jesus, the Living Word, instead of what many responders have done—molded Scripture to fit their preconceived doctrines. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate Teacher who leads us into all Truth as we study God’s written Word, and are willing to receive. The Body of Christ in our society is totally dysfunctional with everyone pointing fingers criticizing the rest of the Body over nonessentials of the faith. Does one believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Only Begotten Son of Father God, a Triune God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Does one further believe He was born of the Virgin Mary, that He took our sins upon Himself, taking our penalty; that He died for our sins by crucifixion, and on the third day rose again from the dead, and today sits at the right hand of Father God as our a High Priest and Intercessor? This is what Scripture says Jesus, the progenitor of Christianity is, does, and has done. He has restored us to God by removing sin from those who believe He has done so. If one believes these Scriptural essentials of the faith, then he/she is my brother/sister in Christ, and we will be together with our Savior for eternity. I can agree to disagree with my brothers and sisters in Christ as I in His love remain a Berean by taking all man’s teaching to the Word of God, allowing the Holy Spirit to bring me into all truth. It is the responsibility of every Christian to be a Berean, not to blindly follow any teaching of any person, no matter how high a regard, or low a regard others have for that teacher. If the Osteen’s believe in the essentials of the Christian faith, then they are my brother and sister in Christ. They, like all other teachers, will make their share of mistakes. The first step God requires of me as a Christian, before “judging fruit” of another Christian, is to understand what the other person’s statement of faith about Jesus Christ is. Then I know if I have a brother in Christ or not.

        Note: I am prayerfully in the Word daily for more than 40 years. If you disagree with my comments, I value your right to do so, and will agree to disagree with you. However, please do not comment with insinuations that because you disagree with these comments, you read His Word more often than I do- that is an accusation/assumption

        In the current scenario of Christianity in America, which this discussion board is a true microcosm of, how can we in our dysfunction of being accusers of the brethren ( one is my brother if he believes in the essentials of the faith), be transitioned into the spotless, blameless bride Father God says is worthy for His Son, our Bridegroom, a Bridegroom who gave EVERYTHING for His bride? How can we, as Christians who “hate” each other for differences in nonessentials of the faith, become a functional Body of Christ, a worthy bride, or the bride of Revelation who joins with the Spirit to shout, “Come Lord Jesus, Come!”

        Note: I am a teacher, and know all too well how many people misunderstand and/or take out of context what teachers teach, then refuse to talk the matter through with the teacher so that they do understand what was being taught. When a Christian is “offended” with a teaching, it is time to do a heart/Word check. Was the Word being taught? Was the offense a spiritual “idol” that got stepped on? If you disagree with my comments, I value your right as a brother/sister in Christ to do so. However, please do not comment with statements or insinuations that this reviewer needs to read the Word as if I am not doing so. I freely admit to not knowing all the Word says, and never in this lifetime will I know; yet, I have prayerfully been with God daily and in His Word daily for more than 40 years. This is not said to be competitive, just a statement of fact. I have read far too many comments on this discussion board and other Christian boards where a reviewer, because he disagrees with another, will without knowing the facts, accuse another of not reading or knowing the Word. Please, even among the most astute, knowledgeable Christians, there is disagreement on Scripture interpretation concerning nonessentials of the faith.

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    1. Dude…, RJ, I’d advise you start reading Scripture again, as it would seem you’ve relied on voices that aren’t of God far too much. I’d like you to read this, taken from part of a post from Answers in Genesis.org:

      (“Are we being loving if we allow our fellow brethren to remain in error and even deceive others? Of course not. Loving others requires that we graciously correct them when they fall into error (Matthew 18; 1 Corinthians 1:11; Galatians 6:1). Those who err do not necessarily know they are in error; they are possibly deceived or ignorant. So we gently and carefully correct the error in regard to teaching, no matter what the situation. After all, this is one of the responsibilities of the church: to teach sound doctrine and correct erroneous teaching (2 Timothy 2:25, 3:16; Titus 2:1). For example, we have to use discernment (judging between right and wrong) if we are to obey verses like 1 Corinthians 5:11–13; 6:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Timothy 6:20; and Titus 3:9, just to name a few.

      “We need to be careful in this approach, however, as we are all fallible human beings who can make mistakes in judgment. We should find out the whole story and not base our judgment on appearances. Jesus stated, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Notice the Lord’s command to judge. But before we make that judgment, we must make sure we are judging righteously from God’s Word and not relying on our own opinion. Sometimes hard judgment calls must be made, as not everything is “black and white,” which is why it is so important to know and apply the truth of Scripture.

      “Realistically, people make judgments all the time. Now, if one person commits murder, should a Christian look at that action and say, “That was wrong because God’s Word says not to murder,” or should he say, “I’m not supposed to make a judgment”? And what if someone steals from you? Would you say, “That was wrong because God’s Word says not to steal,” or would you say, “I’m not supposed to make a judgment”? Furthermore, when someone tells us that we need to stop judging others, they have actually just judged us. So they are guilty of doing the very thing they tell us not to do.

      “We make judgments on various teachings and ideas every day, including our own. The biblical mentality of making judgments applies to any situation where a person is openly committing an error against God and His Word—whether that person is living in sin, such as adultery or homosexual behavior, or compromising God’s Word and causing others to stumble and doubt His Word. We even make judgments of our children’s actions as we work to help them see their sinful condition before God, and point them to the gospel, in order that they might be saved and grow in obedience to God and His Word.

      “The key is making righteous judgments so that we can point people to the gospel. God’s Word gives us a clear standard to abide by, and the Holy Spirit guides us in what is right, wrong, true, and false. In order to make judgments righteously, we should be striving to live righteously and allowing the Word of God to be our foundation in every area of our thinking”).

      I will provide the link to where I got this at the bottom of my comment. Moving on:
      This whole movement of “Just love and turn away and it will all be okay” stuff is incredibly dangerous. This culture has turned Christians from true followers of Christ, into these american christian hippie wimps that have no backbone and simply stand idly as people continue in their sin and never be confronted and told the Gospel because their feelings might get hurt.

      There are many people who are indeed true Christians that struggle with some of things you mentioned, me and included of course, I do not deny that at all. We all have moments where we still fall short, and must repent and ask forgiveness and come back to God, being made stronger and more humble, and continue in our living as Christ lived and continue the process of sanctification each and every day.

      But Joel, his wife, and many others in the world are NOT preaching the Gospel of Christ, they are preaching the false dreams of men. The are false teachers, proven through time that they are, and in fact not teachers of the Gospel of Christ and the Kingdom of God.
      And I fear that at some point in time you, like I once did and many others are, have believed the lie of “live and let live, love is love, don’t judge (I use judge not as the culture misuses the word (to condemn), but in it’s correct form for our use (to discern). If this is not so for you, then my apologies. But in reading your input, that is all that screamed out to me from what you said. And as a young brother in Christ it is my obligation and duty to correct a fellow believer where they are erring, just as others had once done for me. And it is because I do love you and seek your best interests and edification that I tell you these things.

      Lastly I will say this. I very much would encourage you to actually study the beliefs and history of Mormonism and JW’s, as they too are not followers of Christ, but people who have been deceived by a cult. I know that may sound harsh, but is indeed the truth, whether you or they like it or not. They teach many things that greatly contradict and go against God’s Word, and many at many times logic. Please please please find resources that are legitimate and doctrinally sound.

      A book that greatly helped me with understanding the differences between what we believe and what mormons believe was “Mormons Answered Verse by Verse” by David Reed and John Farkas. There is likewise one for Jehovah’s Witnesses by David Reed.
      It sounded somewhat like you acknowledged they were in error, but just in case, I wanted to mention that last part and offer some helpful resources, likewise for anyone who happens to read all of this, though I suspect many won’t. It is quite a mouthful, haha.

      By the way, I have been to Lakewood church a few times before to give them the benefit of the doubt, both in their sermons and bible studies, it is about people pleasing and gaining things and self-seeking and satisfying. It is most certainly not what was said and written in the Word of God.

      As I said earlier, here is the link for the full article: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/does-the-bible-tell-christians-to-judge-not/

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  14. These comments among Christians is exactly why it took me so long to become one. Thankfully I claim to be a follower of Christ and I take what people, leaders, pastors, and preachers say and test it to the word of God.

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    1. “I take what people, leaders, pastors, and preachers say and test it to the word of God.”
      This is a good thing so long as we focus on the words rather than the heart of leaders. It seems “nicer” to say nothing, but we grow and become wiser through following the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11)

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  15. You make some great points. Here is another. Is it not possible, that aside from the fact that God is worthy of glory, always, He is able to absorb that praise and never be inflated by it as Satan was, which frees Him to evoke it of us – for our good, to deflect our attention from the same thing that was Satan’s original undoing … self absorption. Worship is thus a sacrifice, not a feeling, not an emotion and certainly not supposed to reflect our state of being, but His state of being. However, in so doing, He lifts us to where He is and heals us, gives us the strong tower of altered perspectives and neutralizes the enslavement of our flesh – so for all the wrong reasons, she is the other half right too, only I doubt she would grasp that.

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  16. I cannot listen to “teachers” who never mention sin or the exclusivity of Jesus. Good people??? Righteousness is given from God. My own sinful thoughts and actions burden me to the point of despair. How could we possibly think that our worship could be anything other than an act of gratitude toward our awesome Savior?

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  17. Of course she was completely off base. If she had intended her words to be ironic, or to show exactly what worship is NOT supposed to be about, then I would understand her point, but clearly this is not the case. Their ministry is all about making yourself happy – that God wants us to be prosperous and if we just pray hard enough or do the right things, God will bless us monetarily. Well, it sure has made them prosperous! To me, the “take the good out of it, leave the bad” approach just doesn’t work. If you are misrepresenting the word of God to me, I put no stock in anything else that you say. These people are charlatans, plain and simple.

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  18. Joel Osteen is a people pleaser. He won’t mention word “sin” because he doesn’t want to offend any of his followers. He and his wife appeal to many people because he tells them exactly what they want to hear. His followers don’t want to follow the God of the Bible, but an indulgent grandfather type of God who winks at sin and gives them everything their heart desires.

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  19. Victoria’s statement was plainly unbiblical. It stunningly contradicts the teaching of the Scriptures. We should not question her and Joel’s love for God or their pure intentions. We all make mistakes and say wrong things sometimes. One can only question their depth of understanding of the Word when listening to messages or assertions such as insisting that Mormonism is a valid branch of Christianity.

    Here’s the main issue: When you have the biggest church in the USA and overwhelming influence, it’s important to be biblically accurate. This is not only for their sake, but for the sake of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God. All of us in ministry, whether leading small or large churches have a responsibility to “Preach the Word” and lift up the name and finished work of Jesus Christ in our sermons.

    IT IS NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK of the Osteens to be biblically accurate and to faithfully represent others who serve in the Gospel Ministry and teach/preach the Holy Scriptures, for which many have given their lives in faithful service to Jesus Christ.

    Luke 12:48, (from a different context) “….From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

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    1. Bryan, have you chosen to write the Osteens to ask them to commit to learning more about formal teachings and doctrines of the Christian faith, so that if they ‘cross’ the line, they can better explain themselves and understand the conflict their words caused?

      It doesn’t take but a few dollars to become ‘licensed’ to pastor. It takes respect to lead. If a voice is kind, caring, and uplifting, people will follow. I’m praying that the sheep are not mislead.

      You know, in the US Army, if those in authority say you’re a doctor, whether you’ve passed any state licensing boards or not, then you are a doctor! In the civilian world, it ‘ain’t gonna’ happen, until you’ve passed licensing tests, etc. Even though someone calls someone a ‘thing’, does not mean that I’m going to not check their medical or spiritual credentials validate their legitimacy.

      Yet, when it comes to Spiritual things, WHO is ‘legit’? The person with a license? A pulpit? A following? Or degreed? What about those ‘teachers’ that disciple others? Is what they teach LEGIT? Just HOW do YOU KNOW?

      We all have to remember that it’s the Holy Spirit that teaches us all things and leads us to wisdom, knowledge, and Truth; and IF the things we are taught are by the Holy Spirit and not some other ‘spirit’, then the very things He reveals to us will not, as in WILL NOT conflict with Scriptures. Yet, they MAY conflict with traditional world views. John 14 reveals an amazing promise to us.

      If I told you the Lord has spoken to me, would you believe me? Probably not. However, if I did tell you something that the Holy Spirit revealed to me, would you believe me then? How would you **KNOW** if I were telling you the truth? If YOU are a believer and I am, too, just ‘HOW’ would you know if someone is honest?

      How did all of the people standing at the foot of Mt. Sinai **KNOW** that the Ten Commandments were LEGITIMATELY from the Lord? HOW?

      I will tell you how. God, the Holy Spirit, revealed this to their hearts and minds. There is nothing that would shake that Truth from them. “1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

      So, whether the Osteens have formal training or not, they can only be used by the Lord IF He so chooses. It is the Holy Spirit within me that reveals to me whether or not what is said is Truth or Not. With so many people aroused by them, He will use them as long as their hearts are focused on the Lord. Any yuck that is not profitable will fall away.

      We’ve all seen pastors fail, flounder, and flee. We’ve also seen those focused on the prize, persevering human obstacles and spiritual battles as they navigate through this life. We have also seen the mighty fall and repent. It does not mean they still have the same influence in the lives of many.

      Which brings me to this: Remember, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces in the heavenly realm. We should be praying for those in authority and influence. And if they continue to fail, ask Him to remove them. Right now, I see the Lord using all of this for His good purposes.

      Patience, will move God’s Word faster than any tool of manipulation used by Satan. ~ by Afflatus. 🙂

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      1. Thanks for responding.

        The way forward for all ministers, leaders, and believers is to build well on the foundation of Christ. 1 Cor. 3:10 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.” Formal or informal training does not change that principle.

        You asked me a question, “If I told you the Lord has spoken to me, would you believe me?” My answer is: “Just tell me what you are thinking. No need to say ‘The Lord told me’ unless you are 100% sure He actually said it…and we will have to judge it based on the Word.

        Remember the Bereans? Acts 17:11, “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” ….Some of us actually check things out that preachers say! We take too much for granted. Even rich, godly, smiling, beautiful people get it wrong sometimes.

        I think about this scripture , Hebrews 1:1, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.”

        Also this: 1 Cor. 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us NOT TO THINK BEYOND WAS IS WRITTEN, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other. 7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

        When I, you, or Victoria Osteen says “God says,” there is the possibility and likelihood that we will “miss it.” When we “speak the Word” (of course, in context) there’s 100% chance of avoiding error.

        For example Victoria said (and not out of context), “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy. So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy.”

        My happiness gives God the “GREATEST JOY?” This certainly sounds good, but it is not accurate…or as we preachers say, “That preaches good, but it doesn’t work.”

        “Obviously, the personal happiness of saints or sinners IS NOT God’s greatest objective. That would be salvation through Christ’s finished work on the cross.

        Colossians 1:16, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”

        You ask, “Yet, when it comes to Spiritual things, WHO is ‘legit’?” My answer,

        Regarding writing a letter to Joel: That’s not my place to “correct” Joel Osteen. We both know that the pastor of the largest church in the USA does not (cannot) read every letter. Every letter is likely screened and little to nothing perceived as “negative” will get through.

        I trust that the people around Joel and Victoria will speak to them on matters such as this. I think if his Pastor John was alive and heard this, he would address it.

        The Osteen’s are not the first eloquent Christian speakers (including your truly) who needed to “come up higher.”
        Acts 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

        We all do well drawing closer to God through Christ, further from our opinions, and studying the Bible.

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      2. Excuse the typos in my last reply….

        …NOT TO THINK BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN…

        You ask, “Yet, when it comes to Spiritual things, WHO is ‘legit’?” My answer, “Those who are building on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.”

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  20. IN MY OPINION Sheri C makes the best points. I have been a critical care nurse for 35 years, and have been at the bedside when many people have left this world, and very little of what you are all upset about matters. God’s love is unconditional. This controversy just makes people want to turn away from RELIGION and judge God as misogynistic, which is really unfair to Him! Having said that, please take good care of yourselves physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and remember God is our beautiful Creator!

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  21. hmmm. I cant believe i’ve actually started typing here. My opinion is as un-valid as the next persons so i may as well join the noise.

    She really did capture it perfectly, didn’t she.

    A concept: To glorify the God of the universe, in our “modern” context, is to “attract” others to our place of worship in order that we may fulfil the great commission. Or at least thats what it seems we’re trying to achieve.
    We Build Churches, we make them attractive. We fit them out in state of the art ways to ensure that we can capture the attention of those that we get through our doors. We Stage our worship, we preach from a platform and we host meetings, conferences and social clubs. We do our best to apply successful corporate structures to ensure that we are doing the very best we can to represent a God that is more powerful than even we are willing to accept.

    BUT THERE’s THIS ONE LITTLE PROBLEM. He’s been a pain since he first arrived and he’s kinda been a pain to us ever since. This guy called Jesus arrived. He’s main objective was simply to decentralise the “church” of his time, and rebuild it again by a redirection of Authority and relationship. UM WHAT?

    The problem we face is that when we see the instruction to rebuild we think of it as it used to be. With a temple building, leaders that act on our behalf; between us and God, a place of sanctity and repentance, a place to bring your finances and alms, a place to worship.

    Jesus came for several reasons, the main being the restoration of mans relationship with God. caught up in this though was culture, as it is today. And when our experience of God is a Cultural experience its very difficult to tear the two apart. This was the way things had been done for a long time and this was part of the problem. Jesus came against the church of the time and said simply that the current way of doing things was no longer going to work. The most powerful representation of this was the temple curtain tearing in half at the time of his crucifixion. This was a tangible representation that the great divide created by institution had now been removed. No longer did we come to God through priests, no longer was the current format valid, we entered a new covenant and a new way of doing things. But we, the modern day christians, do what we scoff at the people of Israel for doing so many times… we return to what we know rather than walking into his plans and future.

    WHAT DO I MEAN? well my “soap box” form of this statement is that we have rebuilt the church that Jesus came to pull down. But what i mean is that we have deferred the responsibility that was given to us back towards the “Church”. We have not fully accepted the great commission simply because its got cultural resistance and after all we have lives to lead. So we bring God back to a place of cultural relevance by centralising christianity in our neighbourhoods – the church building. So we then spend our time and efforts on making the experience of Church attractive so that we can try to show how relevant our God is. We give our money towards to centralisation project to fund the great commission which we have slightly adjusted to “go out into our workplaces and communities and draw people back to a central location so that they can experience our cultural version of who God is” (yes i know its a very cynical way of saying it but i’m trying to make a point only).

    BUT I AM TORN… so what if we all lived out what i am proposing here. Would the church fall apart if we actively decided that Church wouldn’t have an inward but an outward focus? And would it survive if we focused on connecting on an individual level with the poor and needy around us – giving our money, time and resources to them rather than the church building? Would we still create attractive communities where our worship not only pleases God but edified the church (maybe thats what Osteen was trying to say?)? and could we still afford to meet together to sing his praises and teach and learn?
    – My guess is YES. I think that we could well do it. Could we however resist turning the attention back inwardly when the success of this style of generous living attracts more and more to God and our communities? – I Doubt.

    So YES… Osteen was right.
    Within the context of our Churches it is important that worship makes us feel good. Because if we didn’t enjoy what we were doing then we’d have to face the reality that we have rebuilt a church that no longer fulfils or at least defers responsibility that each one of now carries as Priests of the living God.

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  22. I have lived long enough to understand this: WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES, MIS-SPEAK, AND SIN. There’s not a one of us that is perfect. NOT ONE. And I DO GET, with a capital “G”, what Victoria was trying to say. She spoke rather crudely, but good grief, she did say a partial truth, albeit a round-a-bout way. There have been mighty Tel-evangelist types of pastors fall. MEN/WOMEN ARE FALLIBLE. NO one is perfect. I do believe that someone is going to approach them about their teachings that are wrong. As for listening to FALSE TEACHERS: MY LORD… there are SO many FALSE teachers in MOST CHURCHES. To hear a beloved pastor of a mainline, conservative church claim that what happened in the Book of Acts is not for today…. or only the Apostles that walked with Jesus has Supernatural Gifts,… and non-sense to fit their world view of Christianity…. I shudder. The Scriptures clearly teach that with the RIGHT heart, RIGHT attitude, RIGHT motivation, then IF YOU ASK THE LORD FOR A THING, HE WILL GRANT IT. Now, it’s not ME or YOU that determine a man’s heart. It’s THE LORD’S BUSINESS. (Read James 4) Matthew Henry’s commentary is helpful. http://biblehub.com/commentaries/james/4-3.htm

    I know this, when I hear non-sense come from a pastor, POTUS, or other person in positions of authority, I do pray for them, sometimes write them, and sometimes do what I can to help change a situation if I am called and pressed. ANYTIME someone opens their mouth to speak, it’s time to sift through the dross. Keep your ears open, mind alert, and tongue ready to start praying. Because the Holy Spirit’s job is to convict hearts and minds… sometimes after they are corrected by elders or other Christians.

    May I suggest that you pray for the Osteens? The Lord is amazing. He is the Author and perfecter of our faith and I do believe has the Osteens in the palm of His hands.

    Focus on the good and call out what’s bad.

    Romans 3:23-26Amplified Bible (AMP)

    23 Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory [a]which God bestows and receives.
    24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,
    25 Whom God put forward [[b]before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.
    26 It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time ([c]in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus..

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    1. I would also like to add, Joel Osteen has proclaimed that he never went to seminary, but was called by the people of his church to lead them. He doesn’t claim to be an evangelist to my knowledge. He doesn’t claim to be a teacher. He claims to be a pastor. He’s trying to show people how to live a positive life in Christ in a very real way.

      I don’t watch him every week. I don’t read every word he says. The Word I listen to and believe to be true is the Word of God.

      There’s no doubt in my mind that Joel loves and trusts the Lord. I also believe that if Joel was called to step down, he would.

      As frustrating as these imperfect people are that try to share their love and faith, remember it’s your choice. Take it or leave it. Take part of it and reject what’s junk. The Lord judges a man’s heart. We all are to be working out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

      Philippians 2:12Amplified Bible (AMP)

      12 Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, [a]with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).

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      1. I appreciate you response. I know not one person, Christian or other, that is perfect. I understand that they hold an important position however, it is not for us to cast stones and judge but rather give grace, forgiveness, compassion. Are these not the attributes that God has commanded of us? I must say, that I have not yet found Pastor Osteen not using the word of God. He even encourages all to find a Bible believing church. True that they are not always articulate and you can tell that they don’t want to turn people away from God by judging them. It is God who determines a person’s heart, but it is our job as Christians to educate one another what God does expect from us in his Word. To teach what is acceptable, and I can see where Pastor Osteen should be more diligent to accomplish. I pray for them because I have seen the good that they have also created. I see where they plant a seed of hope, desire, and love so that many are turned to our wonderful, loving, forgiving, and yes even a wrathful God. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all other things shall be given unto you.” Being in His will. “Say to this mountain, be thou removed and cast into the sea, and it shall be done if when asked ye asked believing.” Sounds to me like God is willing and able to great, powerful, and wonderful things for us all if we remain in his will and grace.

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      2. SheriC, most of what you said is true, but it sounds to me like you are leaning towards doublsidedness. Correction is part of the teaching of Christ. After all, you dont want to see believers being led down a path that will lead to destruction, do you? Joel may not have gone to seminary but I would certainly hope He has read the Bible. What his wife said is absolutely opposite of what Jesus tells us numerous times. The warnings of false teachers are very clear and not to be swept under the rug because you think someone “meant well”.. God is the only one that calls someone to minestry…not the people of his or any other church. Satan wants us to be decieved by any means possible.; these types of teachings are one of those ways.

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    2. I agree – we do all make mistakes, misspeak. However, this is not a simple mistake or misspeak; this flows right from the continual prosperity gospel teaching of the Osteens, which is in fact false teaching. When we come across false teaching, we are to turn away from it, not excuse it, not soft pedal it, not shy away from calling it what it is. We are to run from it. When we stick around for more of it, we just want to have our ears tickled, to hear what makes us “happy”.

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  23. Like you said about mrs osteen I’d say you got it half right. Saying she was poorly attempting to use the Westminster catechism is speculation is giving her way too much credit and flies in the face of her husbands books.

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    1. Scott,
      I wasn’t meaning to imply that Mrs. Osteen was intentionally alluding to the WSC. However, as people made in the image of God, even in our depravity, we express desires that echo God’s original design for us as humans. Mrs. Osteen may not even know the first question of the WSC, but her statement echoes something about the chief end of man whether she knows it or not. That was the point I sloppily tried to explain in the final portion if the article. Thanks for reading, Scott.
      God bless,
      Chad

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  24. They should go to jail preaching lies, not paying their taxes, and stealing money that people think are meant for the poor but are insteading lining her and hubby’s pockets.

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    1. i’m not sure about jail, but you should check out Paul Washer’s videos on Youtube – any to do with Joel Osteen. He has very sobering words to say about false teachers.

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  25. Very good read! For those who are commenting about the Osteens please re-read. This article is not about whether or not he is agreeing with Victoria, but rather the phrase “We’re not doing it for God, we’re doing it for ourselves.” struck a chord with him about a personal conviction being brought to light. Very true, and very well-written.

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  26. The problem with your article is the question that it asks. Was Victoria Osteen really hat off base? The answer of course is yes.
    The true worshipper worships God for who God is, not for the benefits that come through worship. Pointing out that many people are actually focused on what the service did or didn’t do for them does not make it the right attitude of worship. Victoria Osteen is saying that it is the right attitude. That makes her way off base.

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    1. Exactly, she was not pointing out a flaw in our worship “preferences”, but rather exhorting us to focus on ourselves, because of course, God wants us to be happy, right? I see many places in His Word where He demands holiness of us, because He is holy, but I do not see that He calls us to happiness.

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      1. Pretty heavy accusation there, Brian. It would be more helpful if you were to articulate some coherent reasons why Chad’s post ‘really made you mad’ and why you think it necessary to call him a heretic.

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  27. Well stated sir, well stated!! Almost every church I know has given in at some level to this aim at consumerism, which is all about making self happy. The Osteens are just more open about it; other churches try to hide it behind some veneer of spirituality. Yet, as you write, most are truly only there as a consumer, and thus, do think “this is all about myself being happy with this.”

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  28. Good article. Good thoughts. Thanks for sharing. If pursuing God, then pursue God. If knowing God, then know God. If worshiping God, then worship God. As far as the Osteen’s are concerned, I take the good and put aside the other. No one has it all correct and I want to show love to all . . . not judge . . and take lessons where I can get them.

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    1. Amen! More people need to remember that old saying ” if you can’t say anything good then don’t say anything at all” . The Osteen’s have a great ministry that has helped millions of people around the world. Let us focus on the good this ministry has done and not on one single paragraph that you don’t agree with. We as Godly people need to focus on uplifting each other,not tearing one another apart and that includes lifting up our pastors. I am not a member of their church . I don’t even live in the same state, but it does not take a rocket scientist to see that Joel Osteen has a calling in his life to serve God. May God bless Joel, his wife and their ministry. Anita

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      1. Because “if you can’t say anything NICE you might as well not say anything” is biblical? Not to say you should be harsh towards everyone but calling out false teachers and sin I’m others is not only biblical but loving.

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  29. Think about it this way… what is God’s end game? What does God want? He wants a relationship with you. What did He do with Adam? Did God demand Adam crawl on his face and grovel at God’s feet? No! Did God demand that Adam not look at Him? Did God tell Adam to sing songs and talk about how unworthy Adam was to even be around such a Great Deity? No! None of that.
    The Bible states that God and Adam walked and talked. God wanted someone to talk to and enjoy a relationship with. That was broken with the original sin. God sent Jesus to die so that once again, human beings could stand in God’s presence through the wonderful sacrifice of Jesus. God’s wants YOU. Not your singing. Not your tithes. Not your church attendance. God simply wants YOU. He sent Jesus so that you could once again, be able to stand in His presence and share your life with the BEST FRIEND YOU’LL EVER HAVE.
    We have to stop treating God as if He’s some distant celebrity with whom we can only hope that one day He might acknowledge our existence. He is your Father. He loves you more than you’ll ever know. Stop playing unworthy church martyr and start acting like He’s not only your Father, but a constant companion who is interested in every single thing you do in life. Just talk to Him every day. That’s what He wants.

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    1. Steve, I appreciate your desire for people to know God personally, and to realize His purposes for reconciliation with His people. However, I have to disagree, on the basis of scripture, with what you characterize as God’s “end game.” Does God love me? Yes. Does He pursue me at great cost? Yes. Does He experience joy in His relationship with me? Yes. Yes. Yes! But what is his end game? Ephesians 1 (and many other places) says that His end game is that He would be worshiped. His love for me, and work on my behalf is genuine, but it cannot be said to be ultimate. I’d really encourage you to work through what God’s end game is looking at this scripture:

      “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”
      Ephesians 1:3-6

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      1. I agree, but I have to add, He does care about your tithe. But certainly not because He needs it; it would be absurd to think that. And He also cares about the forsaking of our assembling (Church). Too many people commenting thatvhave never actually read a Bible. But hopefully this blog will encourage them to do just that, and Glorify God in the process. You see, that is what our purpose is…

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    2. He also demanded Adam and Eve’s obedience and when they disobeyed, they were denied access to the garden and no longer “walked with Him in the cool of the evening.” He does want relationship with us, but He demands obedience also and that is not what we hear from the Osteen pulpit.

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    3. Love this response! Ultimately this is exactly how I understand the bible. Thank you! If you were/are a pastor I would love to sit under your teaching!

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  30. You are a pastor and you hate the Osteens? That’s more disturbing than what she said. It’s ok to disagree with them, but as a pastor of the same Christian faith that they profess, I think hating them or other ministers is pathetic. If you think about it, you never hear them criticizing anyone! Sad state of affairs. It time for Christians to stop killing each other. There are enough non-Christians wanting to kill us as it is.

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    1. The osteens are leading thousands of people into he’ll with smiles on their faces, the bible describes them as wolves in sheep clothing. Christians can’t just ‘ get along’ with wolves, if you have a Wolf in your midst, wouldn’t it be logical to shun them and there teaching? Scripture is probably the most harshest when it is talking about false teacher.

      The “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).

      I wouldn’t call it hating, but calling out false prophets accordingly needs to be done more these days

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      1. SheriC: Sorry for the confusion, a better word would have been ‘false teacher’. I tend to mix the words prophet/teacher/pastor as they confer the same thing, although their is some differences

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    2. Mary, Mary, Mary…

      Mary did you know? That he did not say that he hated the Osteens. He said that some have a predisposition to hate what the Osteen’s say. He did not say that he hated the Osteens. In fact, he didn’t even claim to be one of those that hate what they have to say. Mary, Mary, Mary… Don’t be so quick to anger… Look at what flying off the handle did to you? It made you look silly. You look like you can’t read for the sake of comprehension. I know that can’t be right, so please don’t do such an excellent job of making it look like you are a self righteous, over-reactor that we see in the church all too often. You know the ones I mean, right Mary? The ones that hate on people in the church for no reason because they were looking for a fight and they incorrectly reacted to something they had no idea about? Come on Mary!

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  31. They are occultist. The philosophical base of their theology comes from Madam Blavatsky not the Bible. This should be a clarian call that prosperity gospel is nothing but a pseudo panzi scheme.

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  32. They both taught many things, why did you pick up this one from your own perspective! Please put everything into a context. You have no authority to judge anyone. Your views are not truth. You may think that it true, but not truth. Put into the context of church fellowship and what she said as a full context, rather than pluging thoughts on partial hearing. Disappointing views to read! Please bring good things rather than only focusing on negative side…..

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    1. No matter the context worship is should still be all about God not about ourselves and what we can get out of it. Read the Bible and you won’t find the Osteen gospel of me worship. Only worship to glorify God and not ourselves. The Bible says we are to deny ourselves pick up our crosses and follow Christ. That is true Joy.

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    2. Logu, it is very common to hear from people what you have just said. I myself at one point believed the same thing and got angry at some who were calling out my sins, and I just walked away from what they had to say.
      But as a brother in Christ, I am telling you this out of love, that what you and I and many others, in saying what you just posted, are wrong. We have authority to judge, not in the since that the culture keeps misquoting and using the word though. Everyone always tends to things of condemn when they hear the word judge, which is entirely understandable because the English language is a terrible language that causes so many errors in interpretations. We are to judge, just as Paul write’s in his epistles, in the form of through discernment of what others are saying. In your saying that they had no authority to judge, by the way, you are in fact judging. And your views are not truth, though you think they are. Not all my views will be truth either. But we are to judge what each other (believers) say through discernment in order to compare to Scripture and know who speaks Truth and who speaks falsely. And after doing so, if we find our brother is in error, we are to correct them, that they do not continue to speak falsely and deceive others.
      We are not being loving if we allow others to continue in error and even deceive others. Loving people requires that we must graciously correct them when they fall into error.

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      1. Eric, I have read all your comments and as a pastor, you are right on. Too much humanism and even Eastern religion has crept into the church today

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  33. Article is latest edition in iInPsych – the journal of the APS – questioned the late 20th Century pre-occupation with self-esteem, (which so often seems to lead to self-indulgence) instead advocating self respect.

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  34. Osteins focus on self-esteem preaching…important in our society to understand how much God loves us in order to get to know Him. ..there are so many opposing forces…Satan if you wish. We don’t need to go crazy with it but it is the basis for health and wellness to have a good feeling of self worth, otherwise it is difficult to “love our neighbour as ourselves”.

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    1. Amen Betty amen! I really think people need to get a hold of that! Cant love your neighbor by the power of God resulting in a change life (which you hopefully are greatful for) if you’re not even focused on it! Amen Betty!

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    2. agreed these are needs God created. us with and He wants to be the source. that require dieing to the old self that is corrupted(sinful) because of deceitful lusts = When try to meet those needs outside of God’s provision. Churches are boring and irrelevant because they meet the needs of a few in ungodly ways and then they pretend its not about them.

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      1. To the last two replays to this comment I’d like to say that there’s nothing inherently wrong with encouraging peace and encouragement but the Osteens take it to the level of saying that prosperity is the measure of Gods love despite the fact that the bible explicitly states that trials and tribulations will come. The Christian walk is difficult and the gospel is offensive to those who are dying.

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    3. Betty, you are deceived. Satan IS THE opposing force. People dont like to talk about him tho. The Osteens are an abomination. What society needs is to seek Jesus and the Kingdom of God and all the things they need to walk out their salvation will be added unto them…says the Lord. The Holy Spirit living in us is what makes it possible to love our neighbors and to obey all of Gods commandments. Too many of the churches are leaving out the most important teachings of Jesus so they can fill the pews…2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sounddoctrine, but according to their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”.

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    1. I think she was saying that both Joel and Victoria Osteen are off-base and preach legalism. I could be wrong, but that was the impression I got.

      For the record, John Piper preaches grace, not legalism.

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  35. Good points. I agree our worship services should be pleasing to God in all aspects(Music,Preaching,..ect). Lord help us to remember and repent of making worship about us. May God be glorified.

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  36. They both are off base when it comes to the bible. They preach legalism instead of the gospel. Jesus tells us thay mem will become lovers of themselves. That people will not want truth. We need to contu to pray for them and those who follow them. For many are bring deceived

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    1. Kind of interesting as to how people talking about legalism and not really understand what legalism is today. People talk about wanting the good news – however, if Jesus came back today, a lot of those same people who criticize the Osteens, etc as being off base wouldn’t even recognize Jesus himself. If Jesus came back and reproofed the Church and Christians, he would be accused of verbal abuse. Guess what – Osteen isn’t my cup of tea, yet I still love him and his family. It’s not my place to judge ANYONE. Worship in churches today unfortunately is about themselves – yet the Osteens get the negative press because it is the US’ biggest megachurch. If there was true worship (and I mean true worship) – one, we wouldn’t put any part of ourselves in it. Two, we would reverence the Word of God and focus songs on Him (i.e. the Blood of Jesus, Healer in the House, Majesty, God is the strength of my heart, etc.) and thus, the glory of God (God’s presence) would fall greatly. Three, and here is the sad part – lots and lots of CHURCHGOERS wouldn’t attend church because of it. It would require RESPONSIBILITY, to which a lot of people don’t want. One more point and then I am done. God doesn’t have to accept our praise; God doesn’t have to accept our worship and even then God doesn’t have to accept our offerings. That is why it is so dangerous to criticize people because if Christians are critical and then try to offer God praise, worship, offerings, etc., he can’t accept it, plain and simple. If God can’t accept it, then what else can a person do? That is what happened with Cain and Abel – Cain’s offering what unaccepted, while Abel’s was accepted. All Cain had to do was change the attitude of his heart and then God would accept it, but he didn’t and Abel was murdered instead. Enough said.

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      1. THANK YOU!

        The mega-church epidemic of this country wouldn’t know Jesus if He walked into their church. Why? Because he’d flip over their cash registers and rebuke their materialism.

        The rest of the Christendom would be held in contempt for their pagan practices and hypocrisy.

        American Christianity is a joke and has NOTHING to do with the Hebrew Y’shua or religious context of first century Judea. Today’s religious Christians make me sick.

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      2. You are mistaken in some of your thoughts. I don’t care to leave a long message, so read these verses since God’s Word is always sufficient.
        1 Corinthians 5:12-13
        Romans 16:17-18
        Matthew 18:15-17

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      3. yes you are right,we cant judge thats god job,,,but i just did not agreed to that, cause it will confuse lots of new people Christians that are trying to get right with god cause is a little confusing ,but anyway were in the end times what could we expect?god bless you sir and we will pray for the osteens, ,,,,,god bless

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      4. I do agree with some of what you said, but there are a couple of issues with other things you said, Stephen. It is in fact your place to judge. People saying that others shouldn’t judge is in and of itself a judgement. Please read the epistles written by Paul. It is our place to judge fellow believers, and by judge (because the English language is a terrible language with double and vague meanings), it is meant for us as to be discerning. It is God’s place to condemn, only God has that right. But we, as believers in Christ Jesus, are to discern what we hear from others, to avoid false teachings, and to correct our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ when they are in error. That requires judgement from our part to evaluate what is said and discern whether or not it holds true to Scripture.
        I most certainly agree about the songs we use for that part of our worship. I can’t stand most of the foolish new songs that come out. Garbage like god’s great dance floor, and things that focus on us rather than God and His Glory.
        Secondly though, simply a change in Cain’s attitude would have made no difference. His heart, yes, but not his attitude. Cain’s offering represented what many of us do, just like the Pharisees did and many believe(d). That we can please God and be forgiven through our works. Cain brought an offering of the fruits of his labor. Abel brought a blood sacrifice to God. Both hinting at what was to come in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, and also to show that there is nothing we can do to earn salvation, but come with a repentant heart in belief of The Sacrifice that was made on our behalf. And just like what happened between Cain and Abel in his anger, jealousy, and wrong spirit, men murdered Jesus, who was righteous before God.

        And when I say “represented”, I am not saying that it did not happen and is simply an allegory. I believe it is fact, a historical record, and truth of what truly happened, and it happened in a way that was also able to teach us Truth about God and what was to come with Christ.

        I’m typically weary of megachurches and large gatherings of “believers”. As in thousands or millions in constant assembly. The Gospel was never appealing to man, but was a sword that cut to the heart. People are offended by it, and there are few who accept it, for it is a narrow path that leads to Life. So when there is an incredibly large gathering of people, I have typically (though as with everything, there are exceptions) found that there is something in error or false and things are not as they seem. But that is most certainly not to say that it can happen. It certainly can! And glory be to God when it does! But, especially in the US, it is highly uncommon to find such a thing as that.

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      5. @Doug – there are few true believing churches in America. I attend one who lifts up the name of Jesus, calls sin what it is, calls on all true believers to repent, holds to God’s Word as true, accurate and infallible, preaches salvation in Christ alone and calls all who believe in Him to follow Him, believes Christ will one day come and retrieve His bride, and calls on and equips all believers to live out the greatest commandments to love God 1st and others 2nd. But I agree that overall – the American (Laodician) church is impotent, anemic, and sick as a dog because of these attitudes and because they do not follow Christ as He commanded.

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      6. Stephen Wood, some of us do still truly worship God and not ourselves I was offended by your comments at first but instead of allowing that to infect my heart I would like to add to your revelation…the Osteens are leaders of a megachurch as you put it and people will blindly follow what they say because they believe them to be spiritural leaders so with that said they have a big responsibility not to lead those said believers in the wrong way…which is what they do…they never preach to turn from sin, what about the person who is dying from cancer, or the woman who like me has suffer her 3rd miscarriage they only preach prosperity and if you are not prospering you don’t have the right mind set.. What Victoria Osteen said made me cringe when I heard it, I felt sick, because like I said some of us do worship God with a right spirit and not the spirit of self like the Osteen’s tell us to do. Thank You and have a Blessed Day Sir.

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      7. Well, theres no sense attending if you are there for any kind of self satisfaction to worship the God you have conformed in your mind to ease your carnal conscience. Jesus said (among many other things too numerous to mention here) Matthew 10:38 “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of me.” Regarding the Osteens, this scripture comes to mind: Deuteronomy 4:2 “Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the Commandments of The Lord your God which I command you.” And Revelation 22:19 “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away His part out of the book of life…”

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      1. To me we are not judging when it’s in the Word. We are only repeating what God said. To me He is actually doing the judging through our mouth which comes from His Word. Judging to me is your opinion and it may not be in the Word of God.

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