May 02, 2012

'Joel Osteen Worships Himself'


Joel Osteen's message is not biblical, Reformed pastor Brian Lee writes in The Daily Caller. He sells out stadiums by selling out.

Meanwhile over at Salon, Chris Lehmann, who doesn't necessarily appear to be writing as a Christian but who is more theologically astute than Osteen, notes succinctly that "Joel Osteen worships himself." Commenting on "the overweening self-absorption of the Osteen faith" -- a faith "tailor-made to sustain narcissistic delusion" -- Lehmann points out that Osteen's "theology-free success gospel" actually works to "subtly downgrade the divine presence into a glorified lifestyle concierge."

What is the chief end of man? In the Osteen catechism, Lehmann says, man's chief end is "to ratify the preexisting divine script of success in his or her individual life -- and then to bear testimony to that joyous transformation in a community of like-minded success believers." Unlike Osteen, Lehmann realizes that "the divinity does not, in fact, have your own personal happiness occupying pride of place on his exhaustive to-do list." Indeed, "the Bible is not actually about you."

With Joel Osteen selling out stadiums and Christianity, Al Mohler's latest article ("Is the Megachurch the New Liberalism?") couldn't have come at a better time.

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