Sunday, December 23, 2007

quality rather than quantity

I've just read this article on Joel Osteen > a while back I didn't know who this chap was... but now I know. He is the pastor of the largest congregation in the USofA... and a successful writer. As I read the article something didn't sit right with me. I realised what it was when I read this:
“The reason [Osteen is] so popular is because of the spiritual infantilism of America. Not just spiritual, the infantilism of American culture,” Anthony says. “And he feeds the Paris Hilton, Britney Spears culture. It’s all me. Benefit me. What can I do for me? How can I feel better? What can I do about me? How you can get the best of your life? It’s all me-centered.”
I get the fact that he can reach out and bring people to God... that he helps people in need... and crosses cultural boundaries in doing so... but its all about the individual. The Prosperity Gospel that is preached is NONSENSE and, imho, false teaching.

In my experience following Jesus is about the individual but that is one small part of the whole. It is also about the community... and the wider-world of creation. We get ourselves right and then seek to bring the Kingdom of God to this world through our love... peace... patience etc.

We will benefit only in so far as we benefit others... we need to destroy our egos and our selfishness and look beyond our infantile selfs to others > whoever these others are. Self-worth is important... but it is superseded by people-worth, community-worth and creation-worth. We are there to help the healing of this world... which includes the healing of individuals but is far wider than that.

Let's stop thinking of ourselves and start thinking of others. When it comes to Joel and the Prosperity Gospel preached by the MEGAchurches and by others... the old adage is the truest > its about quality rather than quantity.


OK...OK... I have way too much love for Roy to get all fixed on this. As I continue to reject the Prosperity Gospel... I have rejected Joel and possibly judged him unfairly > this is a baby with the bathwater kind of thing > I am big enough to say that I am going back to the metaphorical drawing board to do more research... give him a chance... before I form a view on Joel's ministry. I will respond sometime in the new year.
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