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.”

“Abundant life” for Christians in Orissa?
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10 thoughts on ““Abundant life” for Christians in Orissa?

  • October 2, 2008 at 10:57 am
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    Not very funny: we bank with WaMu, now JPMorgan Chase Bank.

    Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
    All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
    Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

  • September 27, 2008 at 11:36 pm
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    That was funny… AIG, Leihman, WaMu, and Merill Lynch probably lost faith too, or maybe just their BODs, and then there’s a hundred more Filipino churches losing faith, and probably in Indonesia.

    Gotta go and pray for them. Don’t want any more financial institutions closing…

    And hmmm, I guess Pacquiao is faithful afterall, and Mike Arroyo, and Chavit Singson…

  • September 18, 2008 at 10:16 am
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    Mac, Bill Gates’ faith in God must be weakening. His wealth decreased by $2 billion the last year, now totaling only $57 billion. He grieves, “Booo hooo! Give me more faith!”

  • September 16, 2008 at 12:55 am
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    Joel’s preaching is about positive mental attitude….similar to Norman Vincent Peale. there’s nothing wrong with PMA but I have to agree with Nollie on this one.  the Gospel is about all of us being sinners and the only way to heaven is thru Jesus thru faith……that’s it in a nut shell!!! True, Joel offers the invitation at the end  but it’s such a  rush…that should be the highlight. The problem is he can’t make it the highlight bec. he doesn’t preach sins. He is afraid to use the word sin bec. it’s politically incorrect to use that word. It might offend someone! 

  • September 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm
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    This is why I feel sorry (not jealousy!) for Osteen’s and TBN’s millions of deceived followers. And this is also why I wrote in my other post that the “signs and wonders” movement, like these prosperity gospel preachers on TBN, is a sign being used by God to preach judgment against apostate false teachers and their followers.

  • September 15, 2008 at 3:12 pm
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    No, it is not a sin to be rich, but the problem with the prosperity gospel is this implication that a person is poor because he is not faithful enough, not doing enough to please God.

    Sure, David, Abraham, Solomon, Jabez et al. were good men who were rich, and Scripture at the very least implies that their wealth was a blessing from God. But does that then mean that every rich and prosperous person is pleasing to God (and conversely, that every poor person is displeasing to him)? Archeological evidence suggests that King Omri was one of ancient Israel’s most powerful and wealthy kings, but God evaluates him harshly (1Ki. 16:25). And think “Bible heroes” like Elijah, Jeremiah and Paul — by the logic of prosperity gospel, such people should be living in dream houses, but instead we find them them kicked out of society, fearing for their lives, and getting beaten and thrown in prison. It is better to remember Jesus’ words that God shows graciousness towards both the evil and the good, regardless of their apparent righteousness or unrighteousness (Matt. 5:45). It may not seem very fair, but God doesn’t always play by the rules we want to impose on him.

    I think followers of Christ should of course be thankful whenever they receive material blessings in this world, but it’s not something they should expect. How could they? When Jesus came to this earth, he was so poor that he was essentially homeless during his ministry (Matt. 8:20). If our master was poor during his tenure on this earth, should we, his servants, really feel entitled to something more?

  • September 14, 2008 at 10:59 am
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    “Abraham was not poor nor David nor Solomon. It encourages people to reach their potential and encourage other people around them instead of moping that God has forgotten them or we have a stingy God.”

    This is exactly what the heretical prosperity gospel people on Trinity Broadcasting Network teach: God owes his people wealth and health. They say that even Jesus himself was rich!:

    John Avanzini: “I’ve discovered that Jesus was rich – He had a wealthy band of disciples, and He had a high-priced advance team. So, because Jesus was rich, I’m going to be rich. Because Jesus wore designer clothes, then I should wear designer clothes. Since He lived in a big house, then I should live in a big house.”

    Frederick Price: “The whole point is I’m trying to get you to see – to get you out of this malaise of thinking that Jesus and the disciples were poor and then relating that to you thinking that you, as a child of God, have to follow Jesus. The Bible says that He has left us an example that we should follow His steps. That’s the reason why I drive a Rolls Royce. I’m following Jesus’ steps.”

  • September 14, 2008 at 10:39 am
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    At the end of every broadcast, he offers the gospel and he is not offering good works first before salvation. Let us not be jealous that he is being used by God in a mighty way.

  • September 14, 2008 at 10:38 am
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    Joel Osteen’s gospel is the prosperity gospel. It’s not the gospel that Christ and the apostles preached. The gospel is that sinful man is saved from God’s wrath through the works of Christ. Osteen does not preach this. He might read a few verses when he preaches, but that doesn’t mean his preaching is based on Scriptures. He uses these verses as sugar-coating for his false prosperity gospel.

    Paul says in Galatians1:9, “If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” As Christians, the only basis for our faith, worship, and life is the Bible, not man’s wisdom. If Osteen is not preaching the gospel of Christ, he is accursed by the word of God, not man’s opinion.

    If the gospel is about good works, then we are lost. A person could do all kinds of ministries and pray all kinds of prayers, but if he doesn’t preach Christ, then all his deeds are in vain. Read Matthew 7:21-23.

    There are all kinds of sound evangelicals from all kinds of backgrounds who are dismayed by these prosperity gospel teachers. One of them is Michael Horton, whose essays on Osteen are here:

    http://www.wscal.edu/faculty/wscwritings/horton.osteen.php

    I hope this helps.

  • September 14, 2008 at 10:36 am
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    Abraham was not poor nor David nor Solomon. It encourages people to reach their potential and encourage other people around them instead of moping that God has forgotten them or we have a stingy God.

    You do not know that Jo has also ministry outside his world and you do not know that he prays for others in need as well. His sermons are based on scriptures. He is just an instrument of God to inspire and give hope to people especially at this time when jobs are going down houses being foreclosed and 401(K)s going down. He is not preaching on his own.

    I think we should be open-minded instead of criticizing him, are we doing our share of ministry around the world or even praying for the destitute first in our own backyard and extending to our family and neighbors. Let’s not judge him for if he is not doing right i think God is not asleep but is fair and just.

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