I'm writing this post while watching Joel Osteen on TV. No joke. I was bored by the football game so I started flipping. He's going on and on about not being just an average 5, but focusing on where you can be a 10. Blah, blah, bull.
Watching him, however, reminded me about this post series. So here's the first reason I hate the prosperity gospel - it makes he hesitant to preach great gospel truths. This week, Bob and I both preached truth's that I could hear Joel preaching.
I preached, in part, about God's delighting in his children, and that God brings great gifts to his children. I hope I ended somewhere on the oppostite pole of where Joel would end. I talked about God's gift of salvation. Joel would talk about God's gift of a nice life. It almost causes me to balk and not preach on truths like this for fear of being lumped in with ear tickling preachers like Joel.
I know Bob had a similar thought. When he told me his sermon title, "Claiming your Rightful Heritage", he asked, "Or does that sound too much like an Osteen message?". I affirmed it was a good title, but also told him that if I heard him say even once that we have royal blood coarsing through our veins, I'd have to throw a hymnal at him. Tonight, Bob said, "you can't fail". You and I knew what he meant. But I can hear Joel saying the same thing, then adding, "go for it. apply for the promotion. sign the mortgage. You can't fail. You are a child of the most high God".
I hate the fact that in the back of my mind, anytime I talk about our heritage or our power or our destinies or God's love for us, I have the immediate impulse to say, "I don't mean...". At the same time, I refuse to allow the prosperity preachers get a corner on the market of great gospel truths. I won't allow them to own and pervert them. I'll keep loving them, meditating on them, being moved by them, and commending them to others.