Blab It and Grab It
I’m not a fan of the kind of religious yellow journalism that is constantly out to nail heretic hides to wall. I think we have better things to do than sift through someone’s web site sermons and articles looking for heresy. I’ve had that happen, and it can be annoying. Anyone who preaches and teaches long enough are going to say things that are imprecise and therefore erroneous. It isn’t helpful to root around and find those and publish them on your blog.
Saying that, I stumbled across a video on you tube of Joel Osteen's TV show. Osteen preaches for Lakewood Church, largest church in America; his sermons are broadcast to millions each week. Osteen is a leading advocate of the Prosperity Gospel, sometimes called “Word of Faith” or “Health and Wealth” or “Name-It-and-Claim-It” (or as someone put it, “Blab-It-and-Grab-It”). Whoever posted the video put in their own comments, and while most are fairly accurate criticisms, they aren’t exactly done in a sweet spirit. Watch the video and try to ignore the comments.
What Osteen says in his sermon is that Jesus died on the cross so that we could have a financially prosperous life. He doesn’t say it quite that bluntly, but then he ALMOST says it that bluntly. He suggests that Jesus resurrection gives us the abundant life, which is a life of total victory—
Not partial victory where we have a good family and good health but we constantly struggle in our finances. That’s not total victory.
The point of the death and resurrection of Jesus is financial prosperity? Osteen says nothing about sin or forgiveness. He talks about, well, health and wealth. One of us is missing the point of the cross, and I don’t think its me!
Here’s my point. I wonder how many of us act like the point of the cross is finances? What do we focus on, spend our time on, and worry the most over? Maybe ol’ Joel is just preaching like many of us are acting. Maybe that's why so many people listen to him.