Thursday, September 28, 2006

Joel, Meet Paul!

I know, I know, I keep picking on Joel, but it's such a temptation.

Joel Osteen's word for today:

God...wants you to feel good about yourself and have a positive vision for your life....[God] I thank You...that I have discipline and self-control, and that I can make good decisions.

Paul responds:
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! (Romans 7:14-24 NIV)
Oh, come on Paul, cheer up! Joel says God wants you to feel good about yourself! Now, Paul, Paul, put that rock down. We don't stone people in the 21st century anymore!


At September 29, 2006 10:06 AM, Blogger Der Bettler said...

No, you're right for picking on Joel. As a matter of fact, we Lutherans (who know better) don't do enough picking on Joel.

A Jesuit priest one proposed the (heretical) idea of "anonymous Christians." These are people who have lived moral lives and followed God's laws (obviously not The Law), but maybe didn't believe in things like the Immaculate Conception or the Resurrection. According to this theory, one could live as a Buddhist, Jew, or atheist and still "receive God's grace".

I say that along those lines, Joel is an "anonymous false prophet." I think if he were pressed, he would likely acknowledge the Resurrection and perhaps many other basic doctines of the Church. It's comparatively easy to demonstrate the dubious nature of the teachings of Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn, or Jimmy Swaggart. However, Joel is so believable because, well, it seems as though he believes it himself! I see no reason to think that there is much more to Joel than we see on TBN. I fully believe that Joel thinks what he teaches is the Gospel. This gives all the more reason to "tell the truth in love" about him.

At September 29, 2006 12:30 PM, Blogger The Heresy Hunter said...

Osteen once apologized on his website for not being clear on Larry King that Jesus was the only way to salvation. So, he IS correctable. I don't think he's deliberately deceiving anyone and hope he'll see the errors of his teachings one day. If so, I know a good Lutheran church in Houston he could attend!


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