oprah and joel osteen

The last week there has been HUGE controversy brewing over the Osteens. Joel Osteen  is considered to be the pastor of America’s most successful church. He has five New York Times best-selling books, a weekly TV audience of seven million, a congregation of some 45,000 and a $120 million stadium to call ‘church’.

Here is the footage that has spurred the swirl:

Mrs. Osteen,  told an audience:

“Realize that when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God… we’re doing it for ourselves. Do good for your own self. Do it because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God, really — you’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?

Victoria has defended her remarks by claiming that she could have expressed herself more clearly, that she really meant it is better for us when we worship God, and that only critics and cynics would interpret her remarks in such a negative way.

Superstar gospel artist Carmen, who has sold millions of copies of cds and has legions of fans  took to his Facebook  page:

I usually don’t comment on this stuff but I feel I need to speak up. For some reason many credible church leaders are finding the need to dissect Joel Osteen as a speaker and even his credibility as a Christian. Even going after his wife and dissecting her words by the phrase as if they’re prosecutors and she’s on a murder trial. Folks this has got to stop. Joel is one of us. He is a God ordained bridge between the mainstream world and the church and we really need to protect our bridge. He’s a pastor. He’s not an evangelist. Though he does offer prayers for salvation, he doesn’t have to in order to fulfill his call. We have to see him for everything he is instead of terrorizing him for everything he’s not. He can not say everything we want him to say. But if we keep him in place he creates a hunger in people to go to their local churches and hear “the rest of the story”. The Bible says Some are called to reap, some to water and some to sow seeds. Joel is a world class seed sower. Who, by the way, is not afraid to water and reap. So let’s back off this key representative in the mainstream world. Satan loves it when we partner with him and destroy our own leaders. God has a seed sower for every generation. Wether it’s Norman Vincent Peale or Robert Shuller or Joel Osteen. We support our troops in the military, now lets support our troops in the church. Joel Osteen is one of our finest soldiers and he needs our support. Can I hear an Amen ?

For many of us this is simply, “kitsch” theology. Good theology is a lifesaver, bad theology is a killer. The real Good News is somewhat different. Yes God does want you to live an obedient life. But you can’t. You are not only a person who makes a few mistakes on your way to being a better you. You are corrupt and rotten at heart, dead in sins and trespasses. You can’t become a better you. You were created with free will that can you lead you astray.

Hopefully, people will have sound counsel to understand something like this.

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