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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: Steelfish

“empty burial tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea”

I guess ol’ Joseph of Arimathea is going to hell because he was rich, right?

“Sure God wants us to improve our lives but only for emptying itself out for Him. “

Actually, we are supposed to prosper and then use our prosperity to help the poor (the financially poor and the poor in spirit) and promote the gospel.

“I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers”. I’m sure you are familiar with this very clear statement in the NT. This theme is consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments. It is talking about prospering of the soul, which is the mind, will, and emotions, and how GOd wants us to prosper in finances, in health, and all aspects of our lives.

Prosperity is not just about money, it’s about improving all aspects of our lives so we can serve others. Look at the divorce rate in the US. Certainly prospering in our family relationships, for example, is something we are called to do.

121 posted on 12/20/2009 6:11:46 AM PST by webstersII
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To: longhorn too

“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.”

I’m glad you mentioned this verse.

Have you looked at it in context? The disciples were obviously distressed at what he said (”who then can be saved?”). Sounds like some of them might have been wealthy, too, because they took Jesus’ words very personally. If they had been poor they would not have had that reaction. Jesus replied that, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

And how about the next couple of verses? The disciples said that they had left everything to follow Jesus. He replied, “So He said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.’”

“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.”

That’s not what the Bible says. There are clear instructions about how to live in blessing or curse — God left that up to us. The OT and NT are both about how to live a blessed life in all areas of life. For example, see 3 John 1, Deut. 28.

122 posted on 12/20/2009 6:25:25 AM PST by webstersII
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To: ransomnote

Wow. You’ve had some amazing experiences.

I think the prosperity message gets lost because so many people think only of money. But most Christians miss out on the many blessings that are freely available to us because they focus only on the money part of it. Both rich people and poor people can be guilty of having a focus only on money.

Blessings of love, peace, joy, health, protection, shelter, etc., these are all spoken of in many places in the Bible as part of our Covenant. Seems like we see so few people who actually receive any of them, though. For some reason it can be difficult to receive what is freely given; they can’t accept that God wants to provide for them. You have obviously received some of His provisions, as have I.

God bless and Merry Christmas.

123 posted on 12/20/2009 6:47:22 AM PST by webstersII
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To: Dallas

“Uh yeah...Mother Teresa”

Uh no. . . she didn’t pay for it herself because she had nothing. I don’t want to take away anything from this amazing woman, but she collected money from people who tithed it or made an offering. Some sacrificed to give to her but most I am sure did not have to sacrifice to give an offering. She may have organized it but, as always, she had to collect resources from people who actually had them.

It’s hard for alot of people to accept but God prospers people so that they can help others. This is a scriptural principle. If we had more people prospering then there would be more available to help others.

124 posted on 12/20/2009 7:02:22 AM PST by webstersII
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To: Jim 0216
I understand what you are saying...And as I understand it with these mega-churches, after the lights are off and the cameras quit rolling, 'church' isn't over with...

The massive crowd is broken into small sections with the groups being led by asst. pastors and deacons and they carry on something like a smaller, local church might...

As can be seen from visiting many churches, people are drawn to different types of preaching perhaps perhaps depending upon their circumstances or upbringing...

125 posted on 12/20/2009 7:22:41 AM PST by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: marshmallow

“Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, 16 go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
17 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
18 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?”
19 Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.
20 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
Chapter 19USCCB

126 posted on 12/20/2009 7:34:20 AM PST by OpusatFR (Tagline not State Approved. Thoughts not State Approved. Actions not State Approved)
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To: Iscool
Right. Alive and thriving small groups are wonderful and essential in our lives and are also indicators of the overall health of the church.

Personally, I prefer a smaller churches. But as you say, it actually doesn't matter how big the church is if you've got good small-groups.

127 posted on 12/20/2009 7:36:11 AM PST by Jim 0216
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To: marshmallow


128 posted on 12/20/2009 7:42:58 AM PST by sport
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To: Steelfish
Joel O is a fraud of monumental proportions using Christianity to pack his bank balances by tens of millions of dollars. Will these imbecile followers ever learn?


I can't stand that smarmy snake-oil salesman.

129 posted on 12/20/2009 7:44:03 AM PST by humblegunner
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To: webstersII

By your logic God should have set an example to all of us and had the Son of Man born as a wealthy King and generously distributed his goods to the poor.

130 posted on 12/20/2009 9:26:25 AM PST by Steelfish
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To: Iscool

You should preface all your posts that way.

It certainly works perfectly in this case.

131 posted on 12/20/2009 10:03:16 AM PST by Petronski (In Germany they came first for the Communists, And I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist...)
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To: Quix

Nicely put.

132 posted on 12/20/2009 10:13:00 AM PST by Diverdogz
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To: webstersII
Yes, we should be good stewards over the things God has given us. But our rewards will be eternal not temporal.

Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,worth only a fraction of a penny.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."

133 posted on 12/20/2009 10:15:26 AM PST by Dallas
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To: bobaloobob
you know little of him.....must first believe that he is and that He is a rewarder .......God forbid I say anything against a man that preaches....At that point..repent, it’s GOOD to repent...unload it all. Then Confess Jesus Christ.

Hey - you wanna check and see if you sent this post to me in error. And if it were meant for me - in order for you to appear honest, compare what I said against what you are 'advising' me on EACH and EVERY 'advice' statement of yours.

As we know, anyone can preach - the test is - can they back it up with actions? "You'll know them by their fruits". And we are taught to 'test everything' so I'm testing your words to me against what I posted.
134 posted on 12/20/2009 10:34:06 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: Petronski
You should preface all your posts that way. It certainly works perfectly in this case.

Wrong...I do, when I post to you...Because you're always wrong...Go figure...

135 posted on 12/20/2009 10:53:37 AM PST by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: presently no screen name

You got me wondering now PNSN...I certainly could have misqued on the one I wanted to post to...and it was late at nite.If you call it an error...I will confess and apoligize that it was MY error...please accept it.

Sorry...I did post to the wrong recipient!

All things aside...that is a good thread lots of comments.
Talk with you again sometime. Bye

136 posted on 12/20/2009 11:03:39 AM PST by bobaloobob
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To: webstersII
I agree. Mother Teresa knew God is her Source and HE will make a way for her to fulfill the destiny on her life. And God uses people (who will be obedient) to accomplish His Will.

As you said - it's because of people giving that The Word is spread. You can't give if you don't have.

2 Cor 9:10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

Luke 6:38 - Give and it will be given to you, a good measure pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

137 posted on 12/20/2009 11:08:17 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name

Oops!! yes...wrong one...I feel terrible about that.That what I get for leaving my post and going back and forth before finishing.

I sincerely apologize!! Have a wonderful day.


138 posted on 12/20/2009 11:12:51 AM PST by bobaloobob
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To: bobaloobob
and it was late at error...please accept it.

That's why I asked - I have done the same so I know how it is. ;) No harm done - your post was right on - there was nothing to dispute with it.

Merry Christmas.
139 posted on 12/20/2009 11:29:30 AM PST by presently no screen name
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To: marshmallow

Big Dan Teague. People are looking for answers, and Big Dan delivers. And let me tell you, there’s good money to be made ...

140 posted on 12/20/2009 11:43:03 AM PST by meadsjn (Sarah 2012, or sooner)
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