God Wants You to Be Rich by Believing in Your Widget

There’s an interesting article from Portfolio over at Wallet Pop about Joel Osteen’s Prosperity Gospel entitled “God Wants Me to Be Rich.” Here’s my favorite part:

Much of the criticism of Lakewood, no doubt, stems from resentment at Osteen’s ministering to the largest and most financially successful church in America.
Yeah, we’re all critical because we wish we could gain the whole world and lose our own soul (Mark 8:34-38).

As usual, this article makes clear that what really matters (to them, I mean) is not whether its right or Scriptural; all that matters is how big the crowd is:

But there is no denying that his message, and his marketing of that message, is getting out to the world while so many other pastors are preaching to empty pews.

His venue resembles the world rather than the sacred space of a house of worship:

The resulting church is a modern technological marvel and perhaps the most family-friendly worship venue in the world. Kidslife, the $25 million children’s facility, was designed by a group of former Disney staffers and provides care and religious services for the children of parents attending Lakewood. It has the look and feel of a giant version of a McDonald’s play area, only with neon lettering that refers to a verse in Philippians on the walls. [We are told later in the article that being backstage at a “worship event” is like “being at an N.B.A. game or a rock concert.”]

When your message is weak and worldly, you have to have all the gadgets, gizmos, and programs because they mimic God’s power even though they don’t actually have God’s power. The seeker-sensitive movement has been doing it for years with their “worship bands,” dramas, movie clips, and PowerPoint shows. The world will never know it’s not God because they don’t know God or his power anyway. (See also 2 Tim. 3:5.)

One more quote, perhaps you’ve seen it on the interweb already:

He believes, resolutely, in the value of the product he is crafting in his office on those quiet mornings. “Very rarely will you find a company that produces a widget where everyone is mentally and spiritually into producing a better widget,” Osteen says. “There’s a purpose behind what we’re doing. We believe in our widget. We’re doing more than giving people a good time or a better toothbrush, because it’s hard to put in your heart and soul and sacrifice so much to make a better toothbrush.”

Yes, here is a man who believes in his Widget. All I’ll say is, it’s pretty bad when even Rick Warren thinks your theology/message is “baloney.” (I guess it takes one to know one, and he would know.)


About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
This entry was posted in False Teachers, Joel Osteen. Bookmark the permalink.

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