Skip to comments.Can Joel Osteen Help You Pay Your Bills?
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 cnn.com ...
What I have been trying state from the very beginning has to do with God blessing a person financially for the greedy selfish purposes of being wealthy. I believe God blesses us all in His own way, whether is be financially, spiritually, health wise etc.. And that we are to use these blessings to help those who a not as fortunate as we are.
I have a mentally handicapped child that I consider a blessing, as he has thought me more about love and acceptance than any one else could have possibly done which has made me much more sensitive to others with disabilities, so instead of my son being a burden I consider him a a blessing! And God has blessed much more than I deserve!
“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.”
Nope. Not at all.
I grew up in churches where they preach the stuff you are asserting here. I’m glad I don’t go there anymore.
You can laugh yourself all the way to hell. It happens, sweetie.
“I agree. I made the mistake of buying one of his books once but no more. Its amazing the number of books he and his wife manage to write and publish every year”
I know his wife, and she couldn’t write an intelligible sentence , let alone a book
“But our rewards will be eternal not temporal. “
Yes and no. The primary rewards are eternal.
But don’t forget Matt 19 where the disciples told Jesus they had given up everything to follow Him. He said they would receive all that and much more, in this life and the next. This was a consistent theme in the OT as well.
As for the widow, she gave out of her poverty, but we are promised that God would open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings when we give tithes and offerings.
God does not like to be in debt to anyone. The OT says, “Who has ever given to God and God has owed him the debt?”
You think if God blesses you then it would be for greedy selfish purposes of being welthy ..?? Sorry, but I just don’t believe that.
God blesses us ACCORDING TO HIS WORD. If we want to know how he’s going to bless us, all we have to do is read the Bible. There are tons of promises (somebody actually counted them), but what they tell me is that God will go out of His way to bless us.
The only people who can be greedy and selfish is us. God has nothing to do with that. He may bless us because He is able to read our heart and He’s sure we will do His Will with the finances.
You’re right .. God’s many blessings far exceed the financial ones .. and spending time with the Lord is probably the most special blessing of all .. but when God trusts you to bless others, it’s very special .. it’s not greedy or selfish at all.
Those people who get blessed and then act foolishly with the finances .. are soon parted from their finances. That isn’t God’s purpose of the blessing. His purpose was for them to bless others.
A lot of people don’t want God to bless them because they’re afraid they won’t be able to handle it. But .. if people are connected to God .. and are willing to do HIS Will and not their own .. then the amount of the finances has no bearing at all.
Remember this .. God gave to man the greatest gift - the power to choose. He loved us so much that He allowed us to NOT CHOOSE HIM. But .. when we do choose to follow HIM, then it’s his voice we’ll listen to when it comes to using the finances we’re given.
God bless you and your special child.
Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God (Luke 6:20).
Can't do that...Already got a place staked out in Heaven...
Don’t say that! Never agree w/the enemy.
KING: Because we've had ministers on who said, your record don't count. You either believe in Christ or you don't. If you believe in Christ, you are, you are going to heaven. And if you don't no matter what you've done in your life, you ain't.OK, a "minster of God" who denies that Christ is the only way?
OSTEEN: Yeah, I don't know. There's probably a balance between. I believe you have to know Christ. But I think that if you know Christ, if you're a believer in God, you're going to have some good works. I think it's a cop-out to say I'm a Christian but I don't ever do anything ...
KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?
OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...
KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?
OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God with judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.
It wasn't a hard question. This is what the Bible teaches. The same B ible he waves in the air during his weekly production and claims to believe every word.
You just keep sinking deeper and deeper. (James 4:1-4) Besides, I was just being glib about M.Teresa because your original comment was so overstated.
Your remarks on Deut. don't pertain to us. We're not Jews, under the law given to Moses (Levitical Priesthood), nor are we living in the promised land.
We're getting off topic here. Prosperity ministries should be our focus.
Whoops,..my post #133 was meant for you.
Matt 19 is pretty clear. Jesus answered His' disciples by telling them to forsake all their worldly things and they'd be rewarded with spiritual things. Jesus certainly didn't tell them to go and build mega-churches and keep the doors locked 5 days a week.
"but we are promised that God would open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings when we give tithes and offerings."
It seems as though you and CyberAnt (who quoted Deut 28) are hung up on the "conditional & temporal" promises God made solely to the nation of Israel. We are not Jews, we don't live in the covenant land, we're not under the condemnation of the law given to Moses, and we certainly have a perfect Priesthood compared to the Levites. (Heb 10:1-10)
The Israelites were not able to receive the promises/blessings because of their disobedience. What makes you think we would fare any better under the conditions of the old covenant? If you are trying to receive the blessings God promised Israel (by quoting Malachi) then you must also partake of the curses, too.
The parallel verse to that is in Matthew 5.
It says, ""Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "
The New Testament is replete with “poor in spirit”- The widow’s mite; the outcast lepers; the blind beggars; and of course the poor and helpless infant born in an animal manger.
By no account can one reach the “prosperity gospel” of the Osteens, Schullers, and Benny Hinns of this world as they decor-project with Hollywood vulgarity their version of the Bible and of course, truth be told, enormously enriching themselves and their families in the process.
God gives us gifts and also blesses the work of our hands to multiply what we do.
"Matt 19 is pretty clear. Jesus answered His' disciples by telling them to forsake all their worldly things and they'd be rewarded with spiritual things. Jesus certainly didn't tell them to go and build mega-churches and keep the doors locked 5 days a week."
You can take any example to a ridiculous conclusion if you try hard enough.
Saying that God is only concerned with spiritual things is such a mistaken attitude. There are so many teachings in the OT and NT concerning money and how we will be blessed or cursed depending on how we handle it. I can cite those but I bet you are familiar with them already.
"We are not Jews, we don't live in the covenant land, we're not under the condemnation of the law given to Moses, and we certainly have a perfect Priesthood compared to the Levites. (Heb 10:1-10)"
Nope, we are not Jews. But we are ingrafted in the vine. And Jesus came to fulfill the Law, not to destroy it. We have a better covenant.
"The Israelites were not able to receive the promises/blessings because of their disobedience. "
Not true. They went through many periods where they rec'd the blessings because they were obedient. They lived by God's principles and prospered during those times. There are many examples of people who prospered because they followed God's laws of handling their finances. The times they were disobedient were the times where they were taken into captivity and they became a debtor nation.
"What makes you think we would fare any better under the conditions of the old covenant? "
We aren't, both as a nation and as individuals in this day right now. Look at the current crisis we are in. If people (and our leaders) had stayed true to biblical principles of not going into debt then we wouldn't be in this position now.
"If you are trying to receive the blessings God promised Israel (by quoting Malachi) then you must also partake of the curses, too."
As I said, Jesus came to fulfill the Law, and not one jot or tittle has been replaced. Right now we are suffering as a nation (and will suffer even more) because of us turning our back on those principles laid out in the OT. We have experienced the blessings in the past and right now we are enduring the curses.
All the promises/blessings come via Abraham. There was only ONE promised Seed (Jesus) of Abraham, and through Him all the nations would be blessed. The nation of Israel was only the vessel.
Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
The law given later at Sinai do NOT affect the promises made to Abraham.
Gal 3:17And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
Thus, our justification comes solely by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
I disagree that Israel ever prospered in a secular way. Solomon called his own accomplishments vanity. (Eccl 2:10-11)
Anyone who’s eyes are constantly blinking is lieing. That’s a fact.
The guy talks about nothing but money and if people didn’t give him their money he’d find another way to get it. And if it isn’t about money why does he pass the hat? I have a problem with any so called man of God taking a 12 million dollar advance. Give it all away, Joel, and I might believe your b.s. P.T. Barnum would be proud of him. This way to the egress!
In fact, Joel, give me a million bucks of your money and God will bless you! What’s that? It only works one way?
The founder of the SLA said “If you want to get rich don’t start a business. Start a religion.”
A blind man wants links. No matter what proof you give him he wouldn’t believe it. “Blinky Eye” Osteen’s followers are no different from Obamabots. Blind as bats and brainwashed.
First of all, Satan has been granted authority over the earth.
Second, he does not preach the plan for salvation. He preaches “give your money to me and be happy.”
Obviously I feel very strongly about this. His wife pitched a fit on the airplane and said “Do you know who I am?” The flight attendent lost the suit because she didn’t have a suit. You can’t sue someone for being a fraud unless you have been defrauded. The flight attendent was simply offended. And Victoria did what it was said she did. She was upset because of the alcoholic drink she spilled. Joel calmed her down and got her off the airplane. He was trying to avoid the obvious.
I haven’t heard brother Joel say anything about charity. If he told his followers to give to charity they wouldn’t have anything left to give him.
These people actually put Osteen on the same level as Jesus. They defend him and call those of us who suspect him Pharasees. I’m sure a lot of them only “think” they know Jesus. I thought I knew Him for years until my eyes were actually opened. That’s the day I stopped watching Schuler.
You sound like one can’t make it to Heaven without Joel. I don’t need someone to tell me what’s in the Bible. I can read. And I wonder about T.V. evangelism. I think if Jesus wanted it on T.V. He’d start up KGOD on Mt. Ararat.
Allot of what you say are promises might be better understood as possibilities.
When John was deep in the dungeon of prison Jesus’s deciples told him about it, Jesus did not rescue him rather he told his deciples to...” go tell John “...you can read the rest. But Jesus did not go to him, nor rescue.
The point I’m making is Christ has never been a magic genie bottle you rub for Him to do your magic. There are certain things in life that are only learned by experience and sometimes we have to be in a dungeon or other difficult places in life. He will see us thru...but we do go thru.... Even His deciples were not men of wealth.
“I’ve never seen a poor person help a poor person”
Widow’s mite.....Jesus had much to say about her and less of those who gave of their wealth.
Typically churches don't talk a lot about giving to other charities because usually, as with Lakewood, the church itself is involved in a a lot of charitable works. And He does teach and write about the value of giving in general. So you've got a false premise and a false witness here.
If he told his followers to give to charity they wouldnt have anything left to give him.
Sorry to see you taking the Pharisee road of accusation and condemnation. Have you never read what the Lord says about passing sentence on another brother?
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Romans 2:1 Therefore thou are inexcusable, O man, whosoever you are that judges: for wherein you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you that judge do the same things.
Romans 2:3 And do you think this, O man, that judges them which do such things, and does the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
God instituted prophets teachers and pastors in the church to exhort, comfort and strengthen, not to read the Bible for us.
You sound like one cant make it to Heaven without Joel.
Whoa, that's a stretch. I was talking about spiritual warfare. In fact that's what a lot of this discussion is really all about. Satan (and the Pharisees) hate effective, joyful, powerful Christians (many besides Joel - Osteen just happens to be the latest lightning rod) who are effectively helping God's people to to have faith, hope, love, and joy in their lives as they overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.
Satan (and the Pharisees) also hate effective means of communicating God's message. If you don't think God, in these last moments before his coming has not ordained mass media in his mercy to spread the good news of the Gospel ans far and as wide and as quickly as possible, then I think you serve a fairly weak God.
You tell me not to judge and right after tell me I serve a weak God. I serve Jesus Christ-WHO WAS AND IS GOD.
You came very close to calling Joel Osteen a profit.
Sorry, but I see no difference in the Osteen cult club members than the Obama cult club members. They both start with an “O” and the members follow blindly on words they think they here.
My mother supported Jim Bakker when she could barely buy food. I tried to tell her he was a phony. She lived to see what he was. The same with Jimmy Swaggert. He could cry when he needed to. They taught the plan of salvation and it was still all about the money.
If you want to hear a real man of God listen to Pastor Johnny Hunt from the Woodstock Baptist Church in Woodstock, Georgia. He’s also president of the SBC. He’s been offered T.V. and radio shows and he’s turned them down. He has nothing to do with the money collected at the church. In fact he will tell you the only check he sees is his own. He preaches the plan of salvation and tells you when you’re wrong. And he has stated that Olsteen is not from God. (I’m paraphrasing but I was there when he said it.) With Joel Osteen you can never do wrong. If he told you that you did wrong you’d stop buying his books. He doesn’t want to offend anyone. And that “world” he stands behind is his marketing area.
And again, what about those eyes blinking 80 times a minute? He’s a liar.
I pray someday you will find a real church.
I believe,too, the end is near. And I don’t see Osteen helping anyone find salvation. There is one way to the Kingdom of God and that’s by acccepting Jesus Christ as Lord. Osteen is making people feel good about the here and now. I’m not worried about the here and now. I’m worried more about the there and then. I can get what he’s selling in an anti depression pill. And he is selling. He buys time on T.V. then sells his wares. No different from Robert Tilton. They tell you if you give you’ll be happy. And they all get around to that eventually. It’s called an infomercial. No different from Ronco. In fact, it’s almost identical. SET IT AND FORGET IT.
Nice communicating to you.
Sorry .. you missed the point.
Fine, you can read my experiences in my book, “Miracles Upon Miracles.
Sorry to disappoint you .. but Jesus death on the cross cancelled the devil’s authority. It’s just that most people who claim to be Christians have never been taught what their rights are as Christians .. so the devil continues to beat them up.
Jesus told us, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”.
Excuse me .. Abraham’s Blessings are mine. You need to study Paul’s teachings more. While we have a better covenant with Jesus, a covenant based on better promises, the blessings God gave to Abraham were given to us.
If you don’t know that .. I’m sorry for you.
So, the curses and blessings are still available to every man. Now, YOU choose (and that’s the part you don’t like).
Oh .. and I wasn’t being “glib”, because I don’t consider discussing the Gospel and Jesus as something I’m “glib” about. If you didn’t want to have a serious conversation, then you should have just avoided by post. You know, it was another one of those “YOU” choose moments.
Great comments, thank you!
I wish he could. :)
Man, you are so brainwashed. I was going to try to be nice but this takes the cake. “Claim” to be Christians? You should know. That describes scam artist Osteen to a “T”.
Jesus died on the cross for mankind’s sins. Not to take the devil’s authority away. If that was the case everything would be hunky dory. Oh, wait, in the Osteen cult world everything IS hunky dory.
Need to be taught? Oh, yeah, that’s the case in your cult, too, isn’t it. You need to be taught. You’re lucky Osteen got hold of your brain before David Koresh.
So, finally, one last chance to help you out: “Beware of wolves in Sheep’s clothing” and “Many will come in my name”. Think about that or don’t waste your time responding to me. Waste your time worshipping at the cross of Osteen. Oh, I forgot. He doesn’t have one. Worship at the GLOBE of Joel and Victoria.
And Merry Osteen!
“I’m only taking issue with your mindset that God’s covenant with the nation of Israel somehow affects you as a Christian.”
The covenant with Israel doesn’t specifically affect us. It was a type and shadow of what was to come. Each Christian has a covenant, a better one, now instead of the covenant for the nation.
“through Him all the nations would be blessed. The nation of Israel was only the vessel.”
Yes, Israel was the covenant nation where the savior was born. But it is much more than that. God wanted Israel to bring the rest of the nations to jealousy, i.e., they would become jealous because of Isral’s prosperity as a nation and Israel could teach the other nations that the prosperity was a side benefit of obedience to God (see Deut. 28, Deut. 8).
“The law given later at Sinai do NOT affect the promises made to Abraham. “
I don’t know what your point is here.
“Thus, our justification comes solely by faith in Christ Jesus.”
“I disagree that Israel ever prospered in a secular way. Solomon called his own accomplishments vanity. (Eccl 2:10-11)”
Go back and read the part where God says that he would give Solomon great rewards of wealth because he asked first for wisdom. How much more specific can you get than that? Solomon decided that all the wealth was vanity after living in disobedience but that doesn’t change the fact that God blessed him with it.
I can’t imagine how you could possibly say Israel never prospered in a secular way. Are you saying they were poor? The only time they were ever poor in the OT was when they had disobeyed and they became a debtor nation, and then they got conquered and taken into slavery.
There are tons of examples of people prospering in a secular way in the OT (and NT). There are many instances where it specifically says that God blessed them and prospered them. It’s part of the promises of the covenant that God made with them. He said that they could choose blessing or curse, life or death, and then He went on to explain the physical (secular) blessings available in very specific terms. I could point all this out to you but you seem to have a good knowledge of the scriptures, so I imagine you are familiar with many of these.
As a father, I like to give good gifts to my children — as long as they are not living in rebellion. As a heavenly father, God gave the gift of His Son, but also said He delights in giving good gifts to His children.
Why are so many Christians afraid to believe that God wants them to prosper in EVERY area of their life? There are so many verses in the Bible which state this as a desire of God. It seems so obvious that it is one of the characteristics of our heavenly father.
And there is no such thing as ONLY being prosperous financially. People who only prosper financially without having their soul prosper in the same measure wind up hurting themselves and others.
“So, the curses and blessings are still available to every man. Now, YOU choose (and thats the part you dont like).”
I can’t understand why people who don’t accept that God wants to bless them financially are wasting time discussing it. They aren’t going to receive anything anyway.
Maybe they just don’t want anyone else to receive anything, either. If you can have a ‘Prosperity Cult’ does that mean you can also have a ‘Poverty Cult’? It’s for people who believe that God expects for you to take a vow of poverty in order to be a Christian, because it’s more spiritual to be poor (shh. Don’t tell any of those rich men of God who were held up as examples in the Bible that they weren’t poor enough to really be spiritual).
Interesting you should say that (I've never heard it before).
Several years ago for about a year, I attended a Baptist church that a friend encouraged me to join. Other than the occasional funeral or wedding, I had never had any affiliation with religion in my entire life.
The one thing that was most noticeable at this church was that there was no cross inside......I asked my friend why and he tried to explain to me that the church worshipped Jesus and not a symbol which he said the cross was.......
After seeing all the scandals within the Catholic churches, the money grubbing Baptist televangelists such as Jimmy Baker, Swagert and all of them, there is a lot of doubt and cynicism in my mind about the legitimacy of churches........I met the pastor of my friend's church once and would watch him leave the stage after his sermons. There was something about his eyes that just wasn't right and sorta creeped me out........
I know that's not a fair thing to say but nevertheless that's how I felt and one of the reasons I stopped going to that church.
I don't know what a good church is or what to look for in a church. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists,....I know people in all of them and they're all good people.....I just don't know what's right for me or even if a church is the answer for me.
....I forgot to mention that the best manager I ever worked for who not only had great managerial skills but compassion for his employees was a Mormon....not that that matters any.
Swaggert and Baker were not "Baptist".
Looks like your thoughts have "legitimacy" issues.
Hmmmm ..?? Looks like you forgot, “... and Jesus took back the keys of hell and death.”
Who did Jesus take the keys from - THE DEVIL.
Guess you missed that scripture.
And ... just because I believe differently than you, you have to claim that I’m “brainwashed” .. just to excuse your unbelief ..??
Forgive my error, I always thought they were.....
The real problem is that this “poverty mentality” has been preached from the pulpit for years. If you are properous, then you can’t be HOLY! Some people have never heard about Henry Ford, and other notables who helped to build America - who were devout Christians. They certainly prospered mightly. Maybe they didn’t do all they could have with their monies, but that’s not for me to decide - God will be their judge.
I thank God everyday that I believe God sent Jesus to, “... give life and that more abundantly”. Abraham was blessed “abundantly” .. because he simply believed God. Abraham wasn’t perfect, and he failed many times, but Abraham just picked himself up and went on with God.
And .. when I read, “... above all that you may proper and be in health, even as your soul prospers”, I took that scripture for myself and I have received 2 fairly major healings in my life: removal of eye tumors (without any kind of surgery or medical intervention), and a complete healing from hypoglecemia (low blood sugar). I even heard a preacher say that he’d never heard of God healing that affliction. It’s these kinds of statements that cause people to put God in a box and inform God what He can and cannot do.
I know that’s what offends people about Joel Osteen - when all Joel is trying to do is get people to have faith in God’s ability to help them - no matter what their issue - and that God WANTS TO BLESS THEM - instead of squish them because they’re not perfect.
And .. one of the real problems is that people don’t know how to talk to God. But that is what God really wants .. He wants us to communicate with HIM.
" The best way to help the poor is not to be one."