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Can Joel Osteen Help You Pay Your Bills?
CNN ^ | 12/18/09 | Christine Romans

Posted on 12/19/2009 6:37:28 PM PST by marshmallow

Houston, Texas (CNN) -- Joel Osteen strides into the former Compaq Center. Some 20,000 people are standing and singing. Purple lights softly pulse across the ceiling, and mist floats around two giant screens flashing words to the songs.

It's not a pulpit but a podium. It's not an altar but a stage. There is no cross. Instead a huge globe spins, and two massive bubbling creeks flank the stage. A lighting system softens distant corners of the massive arena and spreads colored light and smoke in strategic spots. Somehow, the space that will hold 40,000-plus on Sunday morning doesn't feel like a sports arena.

In the control room, producers watch multiple camera angles and feeds.

Smiling broadly, Osteen bounds up the few stairs to the stage, closes his eyes, lifts his hands and leads a prayer.

"God, I'm going to start this week off in faith. Expecting your goodness. Expecting to have a blessed and a prosperous week. Amen. Well, God bless you. Give him your very best today."

Welcome to Sunday morning at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. It's reportedly the nation's largest congregation and probably one of the most diverse places in America. One third of these churchgoers are Hispanic, one-third African-American and a quarter white. There are dozens of nationalities.

Osteen will give this sermon twice. He later said he knows immediately which segments to edit together into a sermon that will air on television to millions three weeks later.

Between services, he is signing his most recent book in the lobby, just past the bookstore that is one of the highest-grossing Christian bookstores in America.

His wife, Victoria, is co-pastor of the church and a best-selling author in her own right. In fact, the Osteens are not paid to be pastors at Lakewood, according to .............

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Current Events; Evangelical Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: moapb; tbnhucksters
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To: webstersII

And .. “unbelief”

Looks like the doubting Thomases are still with us.

I wrote a book, “Miracles Upon Miracles” - telling of all the good things God brought into my life.

The bottom line is .. people believe what they want to believe.

101 posted on 12/19/2009 9:06:35 PM PST by CyberAnt (Healthcare is not a RIGHT guaranteed by the Constitution)
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To: Steelfish

“Osteen preaches a Gospel that is antithetical to what took place in an Animal Manger in Bethlehem; on Mount Calvary; and the Empty Tomb.”

Where do you get that? Just because he says God wants us to improve our lives? You’re saying that God wants the opposite? I’m not getting your point about Osteen.

102 posted on 12/19/2009 9:07:07 PM PST by webstersII
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To: marshmallow

I used to wonder about the ‘unfairness’ of circumstances among people whether they are Christian or of any other faith or without a faith. I felt it most keenly one night when I was upset about something I thought was ‘big’ in my life but I lay in a modest dwelling with a favorite blanket wrapped around me. It was about 45 degrees outside and I knew quite well that the homeless would be lucky to find a place for the night and they probably wouldn’t have their ‘favorite’ blanket with them. In the eyes of God, I do not ‘merit’ a blanket and others the cold hard ground in the winter.
If I remain unemployed much longer I will lose my house but I do thank God that I ever had a house to begin with…and He never promised me a house – He promised me a lasting home, with Him.
Why, if we are all to prosper literally, do some dig through rubbish for food (in our country or any other)? Why am I ambulatory and another confined to a wheelchair if God wants us to prosper (in health) in this life? In the past few years I have come to agree with the pastor of the church I attend – God loves us and wants us to prosper but it is not always material things or physical health that he uses to prospers us.
God also promises ‘in this life you will have struggles’ and my pastor jokes that he has yet to see that particular promise in a inspirational Hallmark figurine (like the little waif holding a sign that reads ‘I wuv you’) or a lovely Hummel figurine.
I think Joel Osteen preaches half the message – the encouraging half – and by omission does a disservice to those who are undergoing struggle, financial or otherwise. I read his book and was at times encouraged by his positive mindset and other times repelled by his confidence that God wants him to have a luxurious house (my paraphrasing of a passage in Joel’s book).
I think there is room and need for both halves of the Word – the struggle half and the prosperity (in all its forms) half. Why did Job struggle? It wasn’t because he didn’t love God or wasn’t faithful. This recorded (mp3) sermon, titled “Surviving Life’s Unanswered Questions” finally makes sense to me and has given me the best explanation, so far, for the ‘unexplainable’ (the concept of suffering)

I feel Joel doesn’t help his followers prepare for the hard times we all face.

103 posted on 12/19/2009 9:09:54 PM PST by ransomnote
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To: Jim 0216
I enjoy listening to Joel but I couldn't take a steady diet of it...Joel is self admittedly pretty shallow when it comes to preaching...He claimed he wasn't called to preach or teach the deeper things of the bible...Unfortunately that's can't be true...

They're supposed to preach and teach the whole council of God...That's alright though, there is no shortage of places for one to get the meat of the word...

104 posted on 12/19/2009 9:10:15 PM PST by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: CyberAnt

“The bottom line is .. people believe what they want to believe.”

True. Even though their beliefs are not scriptural they still hold to them.

I choose to believe that not all the good stuff has passed away.

105 posted on 12/19/2009 9:14:23 PM PST by webstersII
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To: Gapplega
Where do you think you got that Bible you carry to your church every Sunday? Mars? It was collated by the Catholic Church. You guys took out the parts that offended you, but it was collated long before Martin Luther ever took his first breath.

Wrong...They took out the phoney books that didn't cut the mustard as being inspired, the same books which contradicted each other and the rest of the scriptures and were found to be inaccurate when referring to people and places...

106 posted on 12/19/2009 9:15:31 PM PST by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: ransomnote

“I think there is room and need for both halves of the Word – the struggle half and the prosperity (in all its forms) half.”

Interesting that you make this statement. Your post only spoke of the struggle half, not the prosperity half.

107 posted on 12/19/2009 9:17:45 PM PST by webstersII
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To: presently no screen name

Perhaps jumping off the deep end comes

when folks take the solid Biblical preaching and truths

and make of them . . . a magic formula regardless of other factors.

Also, God is sovereign.

Kenneth Hagin once had a dear sister . . . widow of an evangelist, I think . . . was dying of cancer or heart trouble, I forget. Hagin went and prayed for her several times.

He KNEW she believed AND PRACTICED faith to the utmost—as well as he did.

And she died.

He queried God about her. God emphatically and sternly told him it was none of his business and to NEVER ask about it any more.

Hagin’s disciples tend to avoid mentioning that case.


Everything is fodder here to prepare us for then—THAT WE MIGHT BEAR THE GREATEST WEIGHT OF GLORY POSSIBLE.

AND, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

Those truths seem to get lost in the dust of such discussions.

I’m convinced that all fiery furnace life paths are engineered for maximum glory eternally. AND that some folks—perhaps in consult with The Father before birth . . . somehow choose them or Father chooses them in His Wisdom.

That may be Hagin heresy and I wouldn’t want to have to defend it utterly by Scripture. I can argue against it more easily from Scripture.

It just seems inescapable that some very righteous people still end up on the short end of the stick in terms of worldly comforts, resources and options. Have they consciously chosen to claim spiritual treasures in Heaven above and beyond what would otherwise be available to them?




Most folks have too hard a time insuring that GOD IS THE PARAGON FOCUS OF EVERY ASPECT OF THEIR/OUR LIVES.

That’s the crux of it.

Easier to blame folks who are calling us to a higher standard of living . . . in any respects.

108 posted on 12/19/2009 9:26:35 PM PST by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 TRAITORS
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To: Iscool

I’m very similar in my feelings toward him.

Occasionally is fine.

109 posted on 12/19/2009 9:28:38 PM PST by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 TRAITORS
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To: CyberAnt
“It's sad really. You don't believe you don't want anybody else to believe either; because if others believe, then it makes you look bad.”

I have seen a lot of sanctimonious statements before but this one is right up there with the most sanctimonious.

When God says he wants you to prosper, why does it have to be about finances? God rewards his children in more ways than just finances, by growing closer to Him and loving with the heart of God. Did Jesus not say it would be easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than a rich man go to heaven.

God may bless you with greater finances if that is His plan for your life, or he may bless you in other ways.God is sovereign and he blesses in the way that will most Glorify Him.

110 posted on 12/19/2009 9:29:01 PM PST by longhorn too
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To: longhorn too

Language context, usage and dictionaries have no influence with you?

prosperity . . . prosperity . . .

oh, dear, what could it possibly mean?

. . . what first 3 things come to mind . . .

oh, yeah, . . .

more contrition, more humility, more servant-heartedness.


wrong . . . THAT’S part of AS YOUR SOUL PROSPERS!



111 posted on 12/19/2009 9:32:05 PM PST by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 TRAITORS
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To: webstersII

“Lay Not Upon Yourself Treasures on Earth” that is the message of the abandoned Oxen Manger in Bethlehem where was born a helpless infant in the bitter cold of the night to a poor maiden, the Crucifixtion on Calvary and the empty burial tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea.

Sure God wants us to improve our lives but only for emptying itself out for Him. This is NOT what the Benny Hinns, Rick Warrens, and Joel Osteens instruct from their Hollywood-type production theatrics.

Here’s the story of a former atheist and her experience with Joel Osteen. Worth a full read.

112 posted on 12/19/2009 9:33:43 PM PST by Steelfish
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To: Quix

There are quite a few Christians that are a lot more in tune with God than you and I who have not seen prosperity yet but I am sure if they listen to Joel Osteen it just a matter of time. Kinda like Obama spending us out of this recession.

113 posted on 12/19/2009 9:40:43 PM PST by longhorn too
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To: webstersII

I was letting Joel ‘anchor’ the prosperity half. Also, I think my comments about having a house and a favorite blanket, and a home with God, speak to my gratitude for my portion of prosperity.
One morning, the pastor asked those of us in the congregation who own a car to raise our hands, many hands up, of course. He then said that we should marvel at our blessing because 97% (or was it 99%) of the worlds population does not own a car.
This year I have received wealth far better than gold, silver, or the deed to the house I may lose. Against all odds and what I came to expect of my life, I have been given a piece of my heart back that the world and all it’s harshness had chipped and worn away. I never thought I would see it again as it has been gone so long, I had long resigned myself to life without it.
I went through so many years believing that we embrace life by contending with it and our fears. A few examples: I worked in life threatening job situations, was literally almost killed 3 or 4 times - the rest of the time the job was just extremely dangerous. Another time, I literally stared down (successfully) ‘The Stockton Rapist’ and became a person who walked away unharmed when others didn’t. A year or so later I was the only person in my crowded appt. complex who tried to come to the aid of a woman being attacked on the other side of the fence from my apartment. After all these years, her wild pleadings (she tried to get him to release her by promising him he could have her silverware from her apartment - he laughed in response) still stand my hair on end. DId she wonder why the windows of her neighbors remained dark despite her screams? She didn’t survive - he ‘selected’ her from one side of the fence while I stood about 10 feet away on the other side. Why didn’t he take from my side and not hers? Was it a blessing, a gift, a form of prosperity? I did not deserve to be spared any more than those women deserved to be raped and killed.
What is prosperity? I can and do thank God that He allowed the Holy Spirit to stare down the rapist in the prior year(”The Holy Spirit, after 2000 years, still kickin’ backsides and taking names!”) for me because it was not in my then timid nature to do so, and again that the monster that grabbed the woman next door ‘chose’ the other side of the fence, but if I thank God for this gift do I insult those who’s wife or daughter didn’t come home safely?

This year, the painful past and the difficult (and still difficult) life I lead and the pain and suffering I see on TV or a drive to the store, came together in a gift of healing that I never dreamed was possible. MIRACLE. MY MIRACLE. I GET TO HAVE A MIRACLE!!!! ME???
No human accomplished this for me - it was the persistent, unfailing grace of God. And it felt like I finally knew that God could see my face ( I have loved Him since I was 10 but I didn’t understand the way he felt about me - I really misunderstood) and it feels better than anything I could want or need, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything I own or once owned or dreamed of owning. It is not tied to any person or thing on earth, just God, so it can’t be taken away. My prosperity does not need an armed guard or FOrt Knox.
I certainly don’t have all the answers and I expect to fall back many times into my fearful ways - but I have proof that what the world does to us, not God but the harsh world we live in, God washes away in His own time. But the world and living in it, can be so very harsh and unfair. Life is unfair, God isn’t. Pardon the long ‘Christmas Rant’ but I am feeling so grateful and,, I wanted to tell someone...couldn’t keep it in.

114 posted on 12/19/2009 9:54:37 PM PST by ransomnote
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To: Quix

Amen! Amen!

And God wants none to perish and Scripture shows many will. Can't say God did make salvation accessible for EVERYONE but many reject it.

Yes, many are better off financially, and there's teaching about not comparing ourselves to one another. God knows the reason why that teaching is important. We, more than likely, see things half cocked. ;) And then there is the tithing that is part of receiving.

I hope all open their hearts to God's blessing and, thankfully, give Him all the praise, honor and glory before they receive it. And that is standing on His Word in faith.
115 posted on 12/19/2009 10:06:52 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: CyberAnt
"I’ve never seen a poor person who helped another poor person. In order to help someone you have to have the finances to bless someone else. You can’t give what you don’t have."

Uh yeah...Mother Teresa

You're confusing carnal with eternal blessings/promises.

116 posted on 12/19/2009 10:09:29 PM PST by Dallas
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To: presently no screen name


117 posted on 12/19/2009 10:26:17 PM PST by Quix (POL Ldrs quotes fm1900 TRAITORS
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To: ransomnote
I wanted to tell someone...couldn’t keep it in

I'm glad you did and thank you for sharing. He has angels camped round about us! We are truly blessed. And I believe in my heart and say w/my mouth that no weapon formed against me will prosper..... Isaiah 54:17
118 posted on 12/19/2009 10:56:44 PM PST by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name

the total WORD of God is about faith towards God.

There are many witnesses (preachers)in the Bible from front to back,each are in a different phase of life,a circumstance that is revalent to our lifetime right now.where ever we are in life.

Some of those witnesses were filthy rich lived long lives full of faith.Some were dirt poor and depended on others,but were full in faith.Some were in between,full of faith. They searched for God..wanted, had to know him,..must find him.That’s Faith..believing in a God that you can’t see with a total trust knowing w/o a doubt that you can call things that are though they were. And it will change.

If one ever experiences that(faith)in God. Well... I don’t know how anyone could turn back.

People are in different facets and situations in their lives and God even tells you how to get out of trouble,how not to get into traps(and I fell into every one of them) every,every thing about life is written.A seeker needs to read the Word,live in it cause that’s who HE seeks...the ones that are hungry and thirsty. the blink of an’ll hear his voice and you’ll be consumed with HIM....’for a man that comes to God..must first believe that he is and that He is a rewarder of those that DILIGENTLY seek HIM’.

Also..’God is a Spirit and those that worship HIM...must worship Him in spirit and truth... those.. God seeks to worship Him.’

John Osteen raised up his son in the way that he wanted him to “GOD we trust.”

God forbid I say anything against a man that preaches the WORD of won’t come outa my mouth cause I know many things of God.He may wink at some of you here because you know little of him....but I won’t even entertain the would be dangerous for me.

If someone just... refuses God to me.I say the Word Of’re in there. In spanish...como de mirarte en el espejo....and you’ll find yourself.

At that point..repent, it’s GOOD to repent...unload it all.
Then Confess Jesus Christ.

119 posted on 12/20/2009 1:42:35 AM PST by bobaloobob
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To: Iscool
I've been a believer (sometimes more than others) for over forty years. Along with severe, sometimes seemly crushing trials, I been blessed of the Lord to sit under the ministries of well-respected men of God from all over the world. I have been spiritually fed by hearing and reading from the wonderful depths of God's Word by his Spirit through anointed men and women of God.

One thing I've learned is there's nothing more profound or deep than the revelation of the cross of Christ and the depth of love that represents from a Heart that longs for intimate fellowship with each of His children. There's nothing greater in all of Heaven and Earth than knowing Him. God had graced Joel with an anointing that captures God's heart and "the simplicity of Christ" that many (including maybe Joel himself) mistake as shallow. Referring to I Cor 13:13, another man of God, one of the most respected and loved of our time, said that an effective message should always leave the hearer with more faith, hope and love than they had before. Joel knows that God has dropped that ardor for his sheep in his heart, but I don't think he knows the rarefied place he shares. Admitting that he's shallow would be just like him - Joel doesn't put on any airs - he seems like a regular guy (like Jesus, I think).

He doesn't have the anointing Paul did but few if any do. Paul was an apostle who wrote much of the new Testament. Most are either prophets, pastors, evangelists, or in some area God has fitted them for ministry. It seems God had called Joel to to feed God's sheep who are starving to hope in and know the goodness of God.

Sorry I'm going on and on. Joel and Victoria aren't prefect by any means and I some issues with some things with them. But I think he's anointed with a surprising depth that he may not even realize and God is using him at such a time as this. (I'm sure sitting under his man-of-God father for his whole life has something to do with this.) I have never seen a pastor express such love for his sheep as Joel does. He humiliates and embarrasses himself sometime by breaking down and crying while sharing a touching story or something else with his congregation. I've never seen a heart like his for his people. It's refreshing.

120 posted on 12/20/2009 3:13:12 AM PST by Jim 0216
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