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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Prosperity Gospel

I found this brief preview of Joel Osteen's latest book on The White Horse Inn blog. Osteen's prepub statement says that you can achieve your dreams with this new book.

Think about that for a minute.

Here are some other prepub statements released with the book. The WHI blog wonders, "how some of the following pick-me-ups would sound to believers in Africa, right before they are martyred for their faith."


Get your hopes up. Raise your expectations. Expect the unexpected. In challenging times, it may be hard to see better days ahead.

You may feel as though your struggles will never end, that things won’t ever turn around.

This is exactly the moment when you should seek and expect God’s blessings.

It’s your time to declare your faith, to look for God’s favor and to give control of your life to Him so that you can find fulfillment in His plans for you!

God wants to breathe new life into your dreams. He wants to breathe new hope into your heart. You may be about to give up on a marriage, on a troubled child, on a lifelong goal. But God wants you to hold on. He says if you’ll get your second wind, if you’ll put on a new attitude and press forward like you’ll headed down the final stretch, you’ll see Him begin to do amazing things.

Tune out the negative messages. Quit telling yourself: I’m never landing back on my feet financially. I’m never breaking this addiction. I’m never landing a better job.

Instead, your declarations should be: I am closer than I think. I can raise this child. I can overcome this sickness. I can make this business work. I know I can find a new job.

Take your dreams and the promises God has put in your heart, and every day declare that they will come to pass. Just say something like, “Father, I want to thank you that my payday is coming. You said no good thing will You withhold because I walk uprightly. And I believe even right now you’re arranging things in my favor.”

When you’re tempted to get down and things are not going your way, you need to keep telling yourself “This may be hard. It may be taking a long time. But I know God is a faithful God. And I will believe knowing that my payday is on its way.”

Whenever life grows difficult, and the pressure is turned up, that’s a sign that your time is near. When lies bombard your mind. When you are most tempted to get discouraged. And when you feel like throwing in the towel. That’s not the time to give up. That’s not the time to back down. That’s the time to dig in your heels. Put on a new attitude. You are closer than you think.

God promises your payday is on its way. If you’ll learn to be a prisoner of hope and get up every day expecting God’s favor, you’ll see God do amazing things. You’ll overcome every obstacle. You’ll defeat every enemy. And I believe and declare you’ll see every dream, every promise God has put in your heart. It will come to pass.

The WHI Blog ends with this statement:

"Just for the record, out of the fourteen free pages of teaser text about “faith, favor, and fulfillment,” there isn’t one, not one mention of Jesus."


Anne L.B. said...

WITH Jesus, those statements can be true. Even for those persecuted for their faith, dependence on Christ brings hope and victory.

But withOUT Jesus,

Philangelus said...

So let's see. Jesus, who had perfect faith, was poor, had no place to lay His head, and was not given that the cup of suffering should pass Him by. And he was made perfect through suffering.

But we, I guess, are greater than our Master, because we can extort whatever we want from God because we have faith, and on receipt of the invoice, God has to pay up?

Thanks, but I think I'll go back to working out my salvation in awe and trembling.

Kat Heckenbach said...

I enjoy listening to Joel Osteen, but I always take what he says with a grain of salt. The impossible IS possible with God, but following Him does not mean you will get everything you dream of. Actually, quite often things will get worse once you turn to God, because that's when the enemy begins his attack on your life.

Leslie said...

I had distrusted Olsteen for quite awhile before I caught one of his sermons on TV. I stopped to listen for awhile and was so incredibly disturbed when he "quoted" James 4:10 by saying "God will life you up" and listed the verse on the wall for everyone to see.

I felt like something was missing so I grabbed my Bible and was sickened when I realized he totally left out the first part of the verse "Humble yourself before God...."

Made my stomache church; I labelled him as a false teacher and moved on.

Amy Deardon said...

Anne, absolutely! Philangelus, you're right, and I have often wondered how the health-and-wealth preachers got past Jesus' impoverished lifestyle. Kat, I agree. Leslie, I really agree!

This life is often more difficult if you are Christian -- only in America, we take our freedom to worship for granted, and forget the often horrifying persecution from faith.

I think we must always be cautious in looking at this life as being our fulfillment. GOD is our fulfillment, Him alone. He is not a Santa Claus who gives us what WE desire. We worship Him because He is Holy. He is the center, not us.

Philangelus said...

Moreover, our payday is in Heaven.

Sarah Salter said...

Amen, Anne!

Gwen Stewart--Singer-Scribe said...

Amy, forgive me for missing your blog (and you!) for so long! The JO post caught my eye. I find most of his "interpretation" very disturbing. Notice that when he preaches, his pulpit has the spinning world and NOT the cross.

Then there's the whole Larry Kind denial...wherein he hemmed and hawed when asked, "Is Jesus the only way to heaven?"

There is no room for hemming and hawing there. Yes or no, especially if you claim to be a leader of the faith.

God bless you richly, Amy!