When you show God you don’t want it, that’s when God will give it to you – according to Joel Osteen – I disagree

When you show God you don’t want it, that’s when God will give it to you – according to Joel Osteen – I disagree

I don’t intend on expending a lot of time composing this post. I’ve discussed this topic before on the blog.

On this past Sunday’s (Dec 7, 2014) sermon on TV, Houston mega church pastor Joel Osteen made a comment that went something like this:

  • When you show God you don’t want it (whatever it is you’ve been wanting and/or praying for), that’s when God will give it to you

I appreciate that Osteen is trying to tell Christians to hang in there, when they’ve been praying for YEARS and their prayers have not been answered, but I don’t buy into this theology of “if you stop wanting X, that is when God will send it.”

Nor do I accept or agree with variations of that teaching, such as, “be content in your singleness, and when you are, that is when God will send you a spouse,” or, “if you WANT to be married, you have made marriage into an idol, and so you have to stop wanting marriage before God will send you a spouse.”

Most of that thinking is not biblical.

Although there is a comment by Apostle Paul that people should be content where ever they find themselves in life, he does not say that this is true only for singles who want to be married, nor does Paul ever say, “and if you do not find yourself content in situation X, God will not help you or answer your prayer and send you X.”

Continue reading “When you show God you don’t want it, that’s when God will give it to you – according to Joel Osteen – I disagree”

Extrabiblical is Not Necessarily Unbiblical or Anti Biblical – Rosebrough, Osteen, Extrabiblical Revelation and Promptings – Denying one of the Works of the Holy Spirit

Extrabiblical is Not Necessarily Unbiblical or Anti Biblical – Rosebrough, Osteen, Extrabiblical Revelation and Promptings – Denying one of the Works of the Holy Spirit

I listened to this Rosebrough critique of Osteen’s sermon:
(Link): Osteen Proves That God is NOT Speaking to Him

I sometimes agree with Pirate Radio / Fighting for the Faith host Chris Rosebrough, but this is one of those times where I’m not in total agreement.

In the Osteen sermon portions aired on Rosebrough’s show (see link above), Osteen describes how, years ago, he got an inner feeling, or message, to start preaching at his father’s church. Osteen feels that this was God speaking to him.

That Osteen preaches in a style that Rosebrough disagrees with, or that Rosebrough believes that Osteen does not rail against sin and Hell enough, is proof enough for Rosebrough that Osteen’s inner prompting was not of God but of Satan – which I first of all find to be overstating one’s case.

I do not always agree with Osteen’s preaching style or focus of his messages, but I think it’s going overboard to attribute his ministry, or all his views, to Satan.

(As a side note, does Rosebrough grasp or not that two people can be sincere Christians but still have legitimate disagreements on some matters?

Sometimes I listen to Rosebrough’s show, or read his writings, and he makes it seem as though unless you agree with him 100% of the time on 100% of topics that you are an anti-Christ, or unsaved heretic.

Nobody but nobody (including Mr. Rosebrough) has across- the- board absolutely perfect biblically- related opinions, positions, or doctrine on everything – and that does not mean that person is unsaved, a pagan, or an anti-christ.)

Getting back to Rosebrough’s insistence that Osteen heard a prompting from Satan and not God:
I can see how a man can be a false teacher without necessarily being under direct Satanic control.

Some preachers are motivated by greed, control or power, not Satanic influence. Or maybe Osteen only thought he was hearing from God but was simply mistaken. Maybe Osteen’s inner prompting was due to emotions, feelings, and not from God. But Satan?

I mean goodness, Satan? We’re really going to go there? That’s pretty drastic.

I think Rosebrough is totally wrong on gender complementarianism (ie, women should not be preachers, etc).

How charitable would it be for me to accuse Rosebrough of being under Satanic influence, since his views on gender roles is so obviously wrong and unbiblical, and he is in error on this?

Secondly, whether Osteen’s claim that God prompted him to preach or not does not really prove or disprove if such a thing – God speaking to folks outside the Bible – is possible.

I also am not seeing a connection between these points:

1. Some Christians claim that the Holy Spirit speaks to them inwardly

2. Osteen is supposedly a Satanic or false teacher who believes the Holy Spirit speaks to him inwardly

3. Ergo, claim number one is supposedly false

That’s a bit like saying,

1. Some Christians say that two plus two equals four

2. Christian church piano player Mr. Hank Smith beats puppies for fun and says that two plus two equals four

3. Ergo, point one, that two plus two equals four, is incorrect

Sorry, but I don’t see how point 2 contradicts or disproves 1.

One point does not necessarily cause or lead to another, or the guy in point 2 being a heretic or puppy beater does not necessarily negate or disprove the claims, beliefs, and experiences of people in point 1.

What if I could find a Christian preacher who agrees with Rosebrough almost 100% on doctrinal matters, who preachers in a manner that Rosebrough approves of, EXCEPT for in this one area: that the preacher in question believes that God does speak to people today outside of Scripture?

This would make Rosebrough’s argument against Osteen rather moot, it seems to me.

As the Bible says, God did in fact communicate with people outside of the written word – sometimes audibly, through jackasses (literally; see Numbers 22:30), in or through burning bushes, and via angelic messengers in the Old Testament, and God spoke to humans via angels in the New as well.

God also spoke to people in dreams and visions – on record in both Old and New Testaments. Samuel heard God’s voice; Paul and John claimed to be taken up to Heaven and heard God.

Where is your verse saying these things are applicable to ONLY John and Paul? Where’s your one single verse or passage?

Bearing in mind that the first Christians already had the Scriptures: they had the OLD TESTAMENT. However, the New Testament records that the Holy Spirit spoke to them inwardly.

These first Christians did not always consult the written Old Testament to figure out what God wanted them to do.

The Holy Spirit spoke to some of the earliest believers; for example,

“2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)

And,

“4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. (Acts 13:4)”

And,

“It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements… (Acts 15:28)”

And,

“I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. (Acts 20:23)”

And,

“Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” (acts 21:11)”

And,

“I speak the truth in Christ — I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit … (Romans (9:1)”

He did not have his conscience confirmed by reading the written word of God, but by God speaking to him in his conscience.

Regarding the story of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts Ch 5),

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?

4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing?

You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

(— end quote —)

Now, how did Peter deduce that this couple had lied, if the Holy Spirit did not tell Peter in his spirit or mind about it?

There is no Old Testament passage that explicitly says, “Ananias will lie to Peter about the money.” It’s not as though Peter could consult the written word of God (for his era, the Old Testament) to figure this stuff out.

Rosebrough kept asking for an explicit passage of Scripture that says that God can or will or does speak to Christians today, outside of the Bible, or in addition to.

I want to see the opposite: where does the Bible clearly state that God never, ever will, can, or does speak to believers outside the Bible today?

As far as I can recall, there is no single passage or verse that says, “After the time of Acts (early church), God will never speak to believers outside the written word, not ever.”

Because I don’t see any such passage.

I see no indication that God limited any of this only to Peter or Old Testament believers only.

2 Tim 3.16 only supports the importance of Scripture but does not say, “And God will never speak to people outside the written word.”

Continue reading “Extrabiblical is Not Necessarily Unbiblical or Anti Biblical – Rosebrough, Osteen, Extrabiblical Revelation and Promptings – Denying one of the Works of the Holy Spirit”

British Church for Atheists Sounds Sadly Like Most Seeker Friendly or Evangelical U.S. Churches – but they are getting one thing correct

British Church for Atheists Sounds Sadly Like Most Seeker Friendly or Evangelical U.S. Churches

This British church for atheists sounds pretty similar to many evangelical, Baptist, and seeker friendly churches in America.

The article (linked to much farther below in this post) describes a group of atheists who want weekly community (some of the atheists are former Christians), and these atheists sing rock songs during their “church” services.

If that doesn’t sound like American churches today I don’t know what does.

A lot of seeker friendly, Baptist, and evangelical American churches have turned into nothing but impersonal, social clubs with cool rock bands, with the sermon consisting of mainly pop culture references and a series of practical how-to steps (like how to get a raise at work).

Not that I am opposed to rock music in church (though I prefer traditional music in church myself), nor am I opposed to a little humor being interjected into a church service, but.

If your church service is identical to that of this atheist church in Britain, you may be doing church wrong.

I do think the “atheist church” is doing at least one thing correctly that Christian churches have failed to do: meet the emotional needs of every day people.

This article mentions how atheists want to meet with each other regularly to discuss any difficulties in life they are experiencing; they need friendship to help them through tough times.

The Bible instructs Christians to do this very thing for other Christians: to bear one another’s burdens and to weep with those who weep, to provide a community and a sense of belonging to all, regardless of age, marital status, etc. Churches have failed at this.

People are lonely, and not everyone has a flesh and blood family to turn to. A lot of adults such as myself have never married, and I’m in my 40s now, and some of my family have died off already.

Churches, however don’t give a crap about meeting my needs.

They don’t care about older, childless, never married adults, or other demographics that fall outside their nauseatingly cherished “mommy and daddy with 2.5 children at home”.

Depending on which denomination or church one belongs to, some Christian groups have a “suck it up” attitude towards the ‘average Joe’ hurting Christians: many Christians don’t care to help the average Joe, middle class, guy or gal who is having a problem.

If you’re an average Joe who just got laid off from your job, and you’re afraid and nervous and need financial help or just need to vent about this situation to someone, Christians doesn’t want to hear it.

Most Christians won’t even offer to help you through your tough financial time, either, such as, by giving you free groceries from the church pantry for a couple months. (I have not been in this situation myself but have seen it played out by others.)

If you are an average Jane Christian who has been hurt because a loved one just died, your spouse divorced you, or whatever issue you are having, and you are needing emotional support (or even would appreciate concrete help, such as your rent paid a month, someone from the church mowing your lawn for you while you recover from surgery in bed), you can forget about it.

Most Christians do not give a rat’s ass about an average Joe or average Jane Christian who is going through a trial in life.

Most Christians only show and demonstrate compassion to a very narrow set of groups:
domestic abuse victims; child abuse victims; homeless drug addicts and alcoholics; sex workers (adult and child); starving and homeless orphans in Africa and third world nations.

For example: (Link): Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church Is on Mission to Fulfill Isaiah 58 – this story says Osteen’s church is giving free toiletries to homeless people in his city. That is great, but how do his church members help other church members? Do they do anything to help the never married, childess adults among them? Here’s a quote from the page about Osteen’s church:

    Members of Pastor Joel and Victoria Osteen’s Lakewood Church who have a calling for missions take part in a variety of local opportunities to serve their community, and many were volunteering their time and spiritual gifts on Saturday, wearing T-shirts that read “Serve God, help people, Isaiah 58” at Feed the Children food pantry, the Beacon, a support center for the homeless, and ministering through street evangelism outside a Harris County jail.

Again, that is all great, but what is that church doing to help the Christians among them, and Christians from other churches or other non-church-attending Christians in their area?

Is Osteen’s Lakewood church offering to pay the rent for an elderly church member who is on a fixed income and so on? If all they are doing is running around helping Non Christians in their city, they are failing.

One reason Christianity is supposed to look appealing to Non Christians is that they should see Christians loving and helping each other. If I were a homeless person, I don’t think I’d see the benefit in joining a church or believing in Christ, if His own followers are not even helping one another.

If you’re a Christian already, and do not belong to any one of those groups I mentioned above (such as homeless person, starving African orphan, stripper at a sex club, etc.), most Christians will not help you, even if you go to them and ask.

Rather, most American Christians will chide you, accuse you of having a “pity party” (one wonders if they would ever consider telling one of their precious orphan Africans, homeless crack addicts, or stripper women they minister to: “stop having a pity party!”); or, they will feed you religious cliches (Romans 8.28 is always a favorite); they will give unsolicited, heartless advice, and all in all, refuse to sit with you as you weep, which is what you really need (and maybe practical assistance, like money or free food). You know, like the Lord commands them in the Bible to do.

No, no, American Christians don’t actually want to love their Christian neighbor as themselves.

The vast majority of American Christians only want to love on African orphans as themselves, but see, that’s easier, because it only involves sending a check or a bucket of rice over the mail.

Mailing off a check to some charity, or visiting a homeless shelter once a month for an hour, doesn’t take as much effort and time investment as inviting a hurting Christian to your home for a few hours a month and letting them talk to you, uninterrupted and without judgement, as they pour their heart out over whatever they’re going through.

Churches are failing to provide honest to God community and support that people are looking for and really need.

Most churches are headed by greedy preachers who only care about how much money they can make off their members and they treat church as though it’s a business.

Of course, the members are at fault here. A lot of them don’t care to create a real community. They want to zip in for their 40 minute service, not get really close to anyone, and zip out. Some of them want to be entertained with rock bands and preachers wearing Hawaiian print shirts. The preachers are happy to oblige.

I do think there are a lot of Christians who want a real church, not the whiz bang entertainment spectacle, but I fear there are some Christians who do want the shallow church experience because they’re not willing to do the deeper work, which means, investing lots of time with relationship building with people they are not related to by blood.

Volunteering once a month at a domestic violence shleter where you read a Bible story for an hour to a group of the shelter residents does not make you a stellear Christian especially if you are ignoring and blowing off the everyday Christians with everyday problems who come across your path who ask you for on-going help (ie, emotional support/friendship) but you blow them off with speeches and platitudes.

Continue reading “British Church for Atheists Sounds Sadly Like Most Seeker Friendly or Evangelical U.S. Churches – but they are getting one thing correct”

The Gospel Doesn’t Deliver People From Depression – brief critique of Chris Rosebrough’s comments / Chuck Collins blog

The Gospel Doesn’t Deliver People From Depression – brief critique of Chris Rosebrough’s comments / Chuck Collins blog

I imagine I don’t get many regular visitors to this blog, but for anyone who visits regularly, I’m sorry if I sound like a broken record. I do tend to repeat myself. This will be another one of those occasions, I’m afraid.

I used to have depression. I was diagnosed with depression by a psychiatrist at a young age. I was not freed of it until a year or so ago.

Yes, Christians get depression.

“Being saved,” and being a devout, daily- Bible- reading- Christian who loves Jesus, does not keep a person immune from psychological or mental problems any more than it does physical issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, poor eye sight, or in-grown toe nails.

Despite the fact I accepted Christ as my Savior before I turned ten years of age and took the faith seriously, read my Bible, prayed to the Lord for a healing, etc and so forth, I still had depression.

I was listening to this Pirate Radio (aka “Fighting for the Faith”) radio show by Chris Rosebrough today (by the way, I happen to like the guy, though I do not always agree with him about everything):

(Link): Joel Osteen: Be Positive or Be Quiet

Before Chris R. discusses the Osteen sermon, he quotes from some guy’s blog over at the Gospel Coalition ((Link): There Are Only Two Kinds Of Sermons).

The guy Chris R. quotes, Collins, talks about how there are only two kinds of sermons: ones about the Gospel, ones about self-help.

Chris R. agrees with guest blogger, Collins, that it’s the Gospel that delivers people from depression, not sermons such as “a ten series sermon on how to cope with depression.”

Here’s a quote from the Collins blog that Chris R. agrees with:

When you get to church to find out that the preacher is in the third of a 10-sermon series on “10 steps to cure depression” get up and run out of there as fast as your depressed legs can take you.

It’s self-help, not the gospel.

Chalk it up to a well meaning preacher who hasn’t yet realized that our real hope is in God, in the sufficiency of his work on the cross and in the salvation that is not found in get-better sermons.

(— end quote —)

While I agree that sermons alone can’t or won’t heal someone of depression, NEITHER WILL THE GOSPEL, contra Chris R and Collins.

I wrote a similar post to this one several months ago, so I will direct you there – preacher Bayless Conley made similar claims about depression, and I wrote about that here:

(Link): Bayless Conley and Depression – Sorry, dude, but depression can’t be cured by will power & sometimes not even by faith

“The Gospel” doesn’t heal depression any more than it does asthma, diabetes, headaches, cancer, or broken arms.

Continue reading “The Gospel Doesn’t Deliver People From Depression – brief critique of Chris Rosebrough’s comments / Chuck Collins blog”

Weird Dating / Marriage Advice by Joel Osteen

Weird Dating / Marriage Advice by Joel Osteen

In addition to (Link): old cliches for Christian singles and (Link): new cliches for Christian singles, there’s weird Word of Faith marriage / dating advice for Christian singles.

Example: Joel Osteen’s May 19, 2013 telecast, “Keep Your Vision in Front of You.”

In this broadcast, he advises singles who want to be married to put an empty photo album or photo frame by their bedside. Somehow this will usher Mr/Ms Right into their life.

Or something. I’m not really clear how that works. What if I think the male model in the free photo that comes with the frame is a real dream-boat, can I keep that in the frame and expect Mr. Male Model to wind up being my Mr. Right?

I know that might be shocking to some Christians, depending on what denomination you come from, because Christian males (and even some females) have been brainwashed into thinking that Christian women don’t care what a man looks like at all, as long as he’s “Mr. Spiritual,” we single women will over-look the beer gut.

I remember in a similar sermon from a few years ago, Osteen told a similar story, but that time, he told of a single woman who wanted to be married, so she bought a pair of men’s pants and put them on at the foot of her bed and prayed nightly that God fill the pants – ????? Yes, that’s how Osteen told the story.

Putting empty photo frames and empty pants around one’s room seems to be a very strange way of trying to get a spouse.

I really like chocolate. I had an empty wrapper for M&M’s candy on my desk for a long time, but God never replenished my M&M bag, like he did with the oil in (Link): 2 Kings 4. But then, I didn’t pray about it, so I have M&M’s not because I asketh-ed not for my M&M wrapper to be refilled, I suppose. See James 4:2.

But overall, I guess I can’t get into the “God will fill empty pants and frames” idea.

Here’s the sermon on You Tube:

Someone filed a complaint and the video was removed. I’ll see if I can find a copy. This might be it (“Keep Your Vision in Front of You”).

Dec 2014. The second video I put in here was removed, I’m trying to find a 3rd copy.

Edit. Aug 2016. The third copy was removed, on to find a 4th copy. 

Edit Dec 2016. Okay that version was taken down as well. Let me try again.

Seriously, if the chuckle heads at Osteen’s church have all these yanked, go to (Link): You Tube and do a search for “Joel Osteen Keep Your Vision in Front of You” and you can get a copy

Audio only:

Or try one of these copies:

————————————–

Related posts:

(Link): When you show God you don’t want it, that’s when God will give it to you – according to Joel Osteen – I disagree

Added Blogroll – A few words about the sites I’m linking to

Added Blogroll – A Word About the Sites I Am Currently Linking To on my Blogroll

I added a blogroll to my blog a day ago.

Word Press won’t let me add a link to this site for some reason:

(Link): World – News Site from a Christian View

Please understand I am not always in agreement with all sources I link to, and that includes links in my blog roll.

I have currently linked to the Christian Pirate Radio Show (aka “Fighting for the Faith” blog, whose host is Chris R.), and the Janet Mefferd Radio Show.

I do not agree with Mefferd on some topics. She is a gender complementarian – I am not.

Mefferd tends to fret a bit too much over topics such as abortion, homosexual marriage, the deterioration of marriage (i.e., people delaying marriage) for my taste. These topics come up regularly on her radio show.

I do not support homosexuality, homosexual marriage, or abortion, but, it is now my view that many other Christians need to spend more time “lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness.”

Get out there and help people, instead of ranting endlessly on radio, blogs, in books, and on TV shows, about how evil abortion is etc. and so on.

As far as the Pirate Radio show. I have so far listened to only about 6 or 7 of show host Chris R’s broadcasts. His shows are quite long. I will be listening to more in the future.

I have not confirmed it yet, but I take it that Chris R (the Pirate Show host) is also a gender complementarian (again, I am not).

While I am in agreement with Chris R. on some issues (such as: it’s not entirely good or proper for preachers to defer from the written word of God to make all sermons about themselves, or to turn all sermons into stand-up comedy routines; many mega church pastors are greedy and seeking to fleece people out of their money; preacher Ed Young Jr is shallow and his “Sexperiment” was tacky; and Mark Driscoll is a weirdo who needs to repent), I never- the- less depart with Chris R. on some points.

Chris R., in my view, is a bit of a “hyper- sola- scriptura-ist,” as many Calvinist types are (I assume Chris R. is Calvinist / Reformed).

If I remain a Christian (I have been flirting with agnosticism lately), yes, I do believe Christians should not accept or embrace doctrine that cannot be backed up by the written Word. I am there with Chris R. and guys like him on that one.

However, I believe many hypers (hyper – sola scriptura-ists) unnecessarily toss out any and every Christian report of hearing from God outside the Bible (i.e., the hypers do not accept “personal experience” or inward leading of the Holy Spirit).

I have discussed my views about sola scriptura vs personal experience a little bit (Link): here.

(In short, I believe God can and does communicate with believers outside the Bible today, but of course, if someone’s experience, if what they claim to hear from God, obviously contradicts the written word, their testimony should be rejected.)

The “hypers” seem to feel the Holy Spirit does not work in and through believers today, that we are to use the Bible only as a means of communication from God, or God limits His communication through the Bible alone (this is also a topic that comes up with various guests on the Janet Mefferd Radio show).

Out of the other Christian Pirate Radio programs I’ve listened to thus far, I would say there was one where the host was nit-picking the “Bible” mini-series, which was a turn of for me (see this post).

Not that I’m a huge fan of the Bible mini-series – I was rather “meh” about it, but I can’t understand the extreme critical spirit of the show by some Christians.

Continue reading “Added Blogroll – A few words about the sites I’m linking to”