“bigger and better”

Joel Osteen hit Washington D.C. in an event that, as reported by the Washington Post, had to be rescheduled because of rain. How tacky of God, to postpone the foremost proponent of the “gospel of prosperity.”

The essence of Joel Osteen? A mega-church pastor who prefers not to call himself an evangelical, he preaches prosperity, with Jesus thrown in.

If you’ll pardon the use of the term, here’s one of the many “money quotes” one may find from Joel Osteen: “I’m going to start believing God for bigger and better things.”

God, according to Osteen, wants us to be happy, joyful, and successful. He wants us to be “great.” Which is another way of saying “bigger and better.” Do we really think that God wishes His children to be “great?”

My reading of the true Gospels, not the false gospel of prosperity, is that God wishes us to be good. Not great.

There’s obviously nothing wrong with being all you can be (thank you, Army; the Navy had the lame “join the Navy and see the world”). What’s wrong is to think that this is the only acceptable outcome according to God.

God loves us unconditionally. Whether we achieve prosperity or poverty. To preach prosperity as the goal of the Good News of Jesus Christ is to preach something that Jesus would not have recognized. Just one among many examples? Matthew 19:21:

Jesus said to him, If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

There’s no better rebuttal to the notion that we need to be “bigger and better” on this earth in order to achieve God’s love.

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