Christianity…just another pointless therapy? (part 2)

Is Christianity just another pointless therapy? Surely the church doesn’t think so…but consider a sample of what you would hear on Sunday morning if you went to Lakewood Church in Houston, TX:

“We have a right to live in total victory. Not partial victory, to where we have a good family, we have good health, but we constantly struggle in our finances. That’s not total victory. If God did it for ya in one area, He can do it for ya in another area. Get a vision for it. Don’t get stagnant…You see, too often we just accept things; defeat, mediocrity, addictions. People tell me, ‘Joel, that’s just who I am.’ But with all due respect, that’s not who you really are. You are a child of the most high God and he has paid the price so that we may be totally free. That means free from bad habits and addictions. Free from fear and worry. Free from discouragement and depression. Free from poverty and lack. Free from low self-esteem. God wants us to be totally free. The scripture tells us to take hold of all Christ died and rose again for. It all starts right here (pointing to his head). You’ve got to know that you not only have a right to be free, but God has already empowered you with everything you need to overcome. You need to start seeing yourself the right way. You are not a sick person trying to get well. You are a well person fighting off sickness.”

Doesn’t that just make you feel good? I don’t know where Joel Osteen got that stuff from, but I can tell you where he didn’t get it from – it didn’t come from the Bible. Do you hear what he is selling? He’s selling “a God without wrath [bringing] men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through a Christ without a cross.” (Neibuhr)

I have to agree with one statement that Osteen makes – God has paid the price that we may be totally free. The Bible does in fact teach that. But the Bible’s definition of “totally free” is much different than the muddled gospel message that Osteen and many others are preaching today. You need to be set free. That is for sure. But set free from what? Did Christ die on the cross so that you could be healthy and wealthy? Is this the message that Christ commands us to preach to the nations? You and I need a savior, but what do we need saving from? – bad habits and addictions? Fear and worry? Discouragement and depression? Poverty and lack? Low self-esteem? What was it that God was saving us from by sending his son to die on the cross? Did Christ come to prescribe just another pointless therapy for us? No. This brings us back to the Biblical concept of penal substitutionary atonement. In my next post we’ll break down that three word concept.

1 comment so far

  1. Chris on

    Not the God of the Bible and definitely not God’s Church. Just another form of entertainment in the Compaq Center. At least their website will give you the path down which they are leading people…”Pastor Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria are leading this generation with a practical message that is transforming lives.”…they just don’t mention the final stop.

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