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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Joel Osteen, Prosperity gospel - My Take

Tonye Brown // 3:48 AM //
To see just my take without my dissecting of this issue, scroll down to the My Take heading.


That is an old interview by CBS News of pastor Joel Osteen, that you may have seen before.


When Prosperity gospel preachers are being talked about, Joel Osteen is often brought up... Creflo Dollar too.
I have seen a whole lot of their sermons; A lot. I'm more a fan of Creflo Dollar though... but haven't watched or listened to them in months, so my opinion on both of them may be dated. Now before I get back to their sermons (and methods), let's switch it up a bit.


What is the prosperity gospel
In my own words and understanding, the prosperity gospel is this: Trust God, have faith in Him, confess positively and things will become perfect.


Now, if you know me personally, here's something else to add to my bio: I believe everything stated above. Don't freak out yet. I believe they are "part of" and required in the Christian walk. Ok, you may freak out now. lol jk. But there is a whole lot more.


Like What? Like this: Trials and tribulations. 
I believe life has ups and downs. Seasons of plenty and seasons of less, be it physical, spiritual, etc. I believe very much in the tongue's power and know for a fact that confessing things positively (from the Bible) in the name of Jesus gets God interested and active. I believe that I did nothing to earn my salvation. I believe that I have the Holy Spirit to convict me of sin (and He does often). 
My only issue with the prosperity gospel is the use of Jesus as a means to some earthly gain alone (earthly gain we may desire is to see the gospel preached, souls saved, etc). Jesus is not some means to gain, He is the way to God. And if finding God (or God finding you as some put it) results in God blessing you to bless others, so be it.


MY TAKE
I started off this article with the intention of defending Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar... but that is not my job... or is it? If they are right in God's sight, God will vindicate them in His time (in this life or in that we Believers look forward to).
I honestly have not watched a Joel Osteen sermon in forever. I do believe that he (and others) as pastors should preach the gospel more completely and well rounded. What they preach is missing something vital: humans need trials (pruning).... God's discipline to mature and grow. When we seek God's Kingdom first, everything else is added. It may be much. It may just be sufficient. But in it and through it, God will be enough if your heart is in the right place.


SOME MORE
I am proudly African... the heck with it, I'll say it: I am Nigerian. I lived in Naija for almost 17 years, then moved to Botswana, then the United States, now I'm blessed to live in Canada.
In my years of living in Africa, I never once heard or saw the preachers (who you know) "call out" the famous prosperity gospel preachers... they were never on TV. In fact, the only televangelists that were on TV were the so called prosperity gospel preachers. Shocking isn't it? It should be to any Christian. I'm pretty sure it's the same in any developing continent. 
Why is this? Only God knows.


Why are my beloved (and rightfully said) theologians not acting out the gospel they study a lot?
Why is it that the only people who care about sowing seeds in the developing world in Africa, the very fertile soil, are the prosperity gospel preachers?


But like Paul says (Philippians 1:15-18), ...Some do it for the wrong reasons (even out of spite, or to get us in trouble), but I rejoice in this, that the name of Jesus Christ is being proclaimed. That is enough to bring me joy. 

MORE MORE
2 Corinthians 6:3. Do not discredit another person's ministry. If you are a minister, get in contact with a minister at fault. Do not put a stumbling block in the path of someone who may have come to salvation through a so called "heretic". I hate that word. People just throw it around like it's something to be proud of. Would you be proud and announce to the world that a member of your family is a heretic? I didn't think so. And they are your family... the "heretics".


The excuse of some people in mega-churches living lives that are not godly is not proof that a mega-church is bad. These type of people (humans), I believe, are in almost every church, if not all. True, some are wolves in sheep's clothing. Conviction is done by the Holy Spirit, not by any man. God can work at anytime and anywhere at all if He pleases, be it in a mega-church or not.


Do not let our beliefs and differences prevent and repel souls from the gospel. 
Philippians 1:15-18. 2 Corinthians 6:3.

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