“Abundant life” for Christians in Orissa?

Imagine a pastor in Orissa, India, or Sudan, or Indonesia, or Nigeria preaching in the burned-out church of his congregation mourning the martyrdom of several of their members:

God has the power to meet your needs. He not only has the power, He has the desire to meet your needs. He wants you to live this abundant life.

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At the end of the service, he autographs his book that tells them, “God has planted seeds of greatness in you. You have everything you need to fulfill your God-given destiny… It’s all in you. You are full of potential.”

Stop imagining. It’s real, only the setting is different. It’s the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. packed with 19,000 cheering, prosperous Americans oblivious to the stark poverty, persecution and martyrdom their Christian brethren around the world are enduring. But the pastor doesn’t tell them to expect suffering (1 Pet 4:12) and to pray for those who are mistreated or are in prison (Heb 13:3).

Instead, Joel Osteen uplifts them in “A Night of Hope, “Have a good attitude, expect good things.”

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