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Archive for the ‘Joel Osteen’ Category

 I was flipping channels on the TV early this morning, and the cable programming guide said Mythbusters was on, but instead, what I saw on the screen was deep south minister Charles Stanley.   I’ve watched and listened to Mr. Stanley before on occasion over the past 25 years, and was  not that interested this morning.  I flipped to next channel, and it was Joel Osteen’s program.     There’s an exercise in contrast for you: one man has a large, static, full color map of the World behind him, and one has a large bronze hollow globe spinning behind him.    And I was expecting Mythbusters…

 One man is in a fully lit room, and often has camera cut aways to many of the faces of the people listening to the message, and the other has the frequent cut-away to the massive packed house dimly lit auditorium he is speaking to, with a distant background view of the well-lit stage containing him and the aforementioned spinning globe.   And, most importantly, one had his Bible open and quoted from it often; the other did not.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with everything Mr. Stanley has to say, and both of these guys found a way to ask for money inside their programs this morning.     But Stanley’s message was pointed this morning: “You cannot out give God“.      Osteen was on his traditional point, God wants you to prosper.    There is that contrast again: You and God trade positions in the sentence placement, but which takes the place of prominence, the object of the sentence, in each?

My Bible does not tell me that God promises prosperity.    And, as we’ve thought about before here in our earlier consideration of Mr. Osteen and the late Mother Teresa, how can I believe in a God who wants me to prosper, but is content with those who love and serve Him around the globe suffering in poverty and distress?       Blessings, cursings, callings, and obligations in life do not equate to the message of Prosperity Theology.     Just ask Job about that.    Would we love God for nothing?     I sure hope so.    I have a lot to learn and improve my practice on in this arena.

Mr. Stanley has been preaching the same way for decades.     Mr. Osteen has only been pushing the prosperity plow for but a few years, with his daddy setting the congregational table before him.    Our friends, the Mythbusters, have been the cult stars of Discovery for a few years as well.

This brought up an interesting thought: what about a Mythbusters episode where our cable TV scientists experiment with pushing two televangelist preachers off large arena/sanctuary type structures.       I wonder which of the two discussed here would bounce the highest?    My bet is on Mr. Stanley.    Just sayin…

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The 33 Chilean miners who have been trapped underground for three weeks have been told that they may not be rescued until the end of the year.

The health minister, Jaime Mañalich, said the men – who had not previously been told how long the operation could take – had accepted the news calmly during talks with the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera.

We’ve previously discussed in this space the struggle of being mired in a fog. But, what if the condition you find yourself in is more like absolute darkness and the feeling of being trapped in isolation? I see the problems, pains, and struggles of some, and ask myself “how do they survive”? How do they endure and bear the pain? Relatively speaking, my problems pale in comparison to others.

Job 10:21-22 …before I go to the place of no return, to the land of gloom and deep shadow, to the land of deepest night, of deep shadow and disorder, where even the light is like darkness.”

So how do you escape the long dark nights that life sometimes brings? This is a heavy subject, and I am woefully unqualified to render advice on such issues. In my opinion, only God’s promises can pull one thru such moments in life.

God does not promise a life of comfort and prosperity, despite what Joel Osteen and others like him would have you to believe. He does promise not to allow temptation beyond what we can bear.

I Corinthians 10:11-13: These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

The Chilean miners have the promise of attempted rescue; they know that others are coming for them. They know that loved ones are waiting for them on top. They have a ray of light, a ray of hope, to help keep them going. Three months is a long time. They may very well not survive, and I suspect at some level that they, as professional miners, understand that potential reality. But hope keeps them going.

Romans 5:1-8 (Peace and Joy)

 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a]have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Our problems may improve in this life, or they may not. Therefore, we await rescue from those who are above.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

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