Posts Tagged ‘Joel Osteen’

In Christendom, there are several arguments… er, healthy debates that will last until the rapture:

  1. If God wants his children to prosper while on earth, why is there so much ado about prosperity?
  2. Does being a real Christian mean living in poverty, or at least driving a hooptie?
  3. Glossolalia: Praying under divine influence or speaking under the influence?
  4. If Jesus healed people by faith, and we have Jesus’ power inside of us, then logic says… ah, you get it.
  5. AND, this one, as noted in the story from the Houston Business Journal:

Critics claim ‘big box’ churches are more focused on entertainment than religion, but today’s religious facilities are using technology and savvy marketing to transform themselves into community hubs.

It's the new Hollywood Squares. God help us.

It's the new Hollywood Squares. God help us.

So, are they? Many critics, pundits and Christians say a resounding, “AMEN!”

“The goal is to reach the ‘unchurched,’” says Pete Ed Garrett, Studio Red Architects partner. “The business side of that is to find out who your customers are and find a way to reach them. They want the exterior to inspire curiosity and draw people inside. This means the religious iconography is purposely left off. There are usually no big steeples, crosses or stained glass.”

Working in and with the media pays the bills for the HiScrivener clan, so this is a issue close to my heart. There is always a place in this world for the old rugged cross at the old dilapidated church.

Those picturesque houses of worship are the backbone of Christianity, but these days, some of the people leading those houses make up the wishbone… and honestly, it ain’t helping the whole Great Commission thingy.

And regretfully, as it appears in this riveting article, the wishbone is for plasma TVs over platforms for the Gospel; stained-walled frescos instead of stained-glass windows; and a good con game over righteous conviction. So, where did the design for the house of the Lord go anyway? What attributes are inside these “big box” churches – and the people inside them?

Coffee bars, book stores and even a bowling alley — leaders of large churches want their church to be an integral part of the community surrounding it, and they are willing to invest in it. Even smaller to midsized churches draw in outsiders through “fellowship” facilities. Megachurches take this to a new level with video games, concerts and food courts.

Question: Is the big box craze currently seen on TBNer, a neighborhood street near you truly a quest to become involved in the community, or is it a modern-day voyage upward in the Tower of Babel?

It seems we are more concerned about being “seeker-sensitive”  than being seekers of the will of God. There are several blogs dedicated the reality of Christ (note “Another Brick on the Wall” – just pick one), and many, many more readers of said blogs who carry the “Acts 28” message wherever they go (let it stew, you’ll get it).

Yeah, I thought so.

Yeah, I thought so.

What this article made me ponder is the very premise for “The Writing on the Wall”: God is desperately trying to get our attention despite the lukewarm pablum of some of those preaching his word.

We need truth. We need real messages that will empower us and make us agents of change. Do we get that when preachers would rather talk about married couples should have seven straight days of sex, convince their members to join multi-level marketing scams or even better, lie to the world about having cancer and then, uh really just have a hankering for porn?

Not so much. And it probably breaks his heart.

People, those big boxes full of fluff, pomp and circumstance are not the churches God envisioned when the Holy Spirit descended and the praise of the Lord ascended in Acts 2. Rather, WE ARE!

I’m sorry to still be steppin’ on my proverbial soap box, but we are supposed to be living epistles, not pseudo apostles. There is no problem with big boxes, if God is directing tens of thousands of people to be in one building at one time, sweet. Let’s just ensure through demanding more of Jesus, of his ministers and his people what is being shared inside that box isn’t just “jack”.

If you know what I mean. And I think you do. But if not, unfortunately, the “show” will go on.

Definition of Christian irony: Telling the world you are a bible-believing Christian; yet not believing the entire Bible.

get-real-in-jesus-nameNote the latest Barna poll and this story from World Net Daily that extols the following mind-numbing statistics:

  • 50 percent of folk who call themselves “Christian” don’t believe Satan exists
  • 35 percent of those dunderheads believe Jesus, while on earth, sinned
  • 40 percent of them say they do not have a responsibility to share their Christian faith with others
  • And 25 percent of these dolts don’t believe the Bible is the inerrant, infallible word of God

“Americans are increasingly comfortable picking and choosing what they deem to be helpful and accurate theological views and have become comfortable discarding the rest of the teachings in the Bible,” [Pollster George Barna] said.

See, this poll is awfully misleading; yet amazingly alarming.

There are tens of thousands of people who say, “Yeah, I’m a Christian” and the closest they have been to a church was last Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day.

You know the type. They believe God’s last name is “damnit”, have no issues with drinking… I mean, getting tanked, has a Bible… in the trunk of their car collecting dust mites and somehow believe they are “deeply religious.” Oy!

However, one of the most fascinating findings in this poll is this:

By a margin of 71 percent to 26 percent adults “noted that they are personally more likely to develop their own set of religious beliefs than to accept a comprehensive set of beliefs taught by a particular church,” the report said.

wwjd-for-real1This is the homogenization of America, where people – sensitive people, we’ll call them “seekers” – can go to church, get bent out of shape because of a little conviction. So, they leave the service in a huff bound and determined to find a house of worship that doesn’t ruffle feathers, only combs their hair. Anyone feeling me yet?

It’s pathetic and a harrowing indictment of where Christendom is headed unless the Body of Christ gets active about evangelism and living out their salvation rather than hording it to themselves like the last piece of chicken in the bucket.

I’m sure these megachurches that house pastors who never preach hellfire and damnation are enjoying their um, “prosperity”. Tens of thousands of people warm pews across the states and around the globe watching animated messages, multimedia productions and pastors who prefer people call them “Ed” or “Joel” or “Bill” or even “Rick” rather than you know, “pastor“.

Which leads me to a question: What’s worse? A pulpit pimp who has no issue with where he stands biblically and publicly, nor with the Ferrari collection in his garage; or some of the pablum whores who refuse to minister God’s word with conviction for fear of offending someone?! I’d say that is a wash – a scalding, bubble-induced wash.

Before you answer, read this story and think about all the deceived people you know who believe they are completely Christian but believe that yin-yang tramp stamp they have makes them closer to “god”. Church, we have work to do because those pastors obviously have dropped the Bibleer, ball.

The man set atop of a hill has belonged to the same church for more than 50 years – First Baptist of Dallas.

I KNOW! Billy Graham has always been known for his Tar Heel ties, so who knew his home church was in the Lone Star State. (PR, anyone? IJS.)

Well, all that is about to change according to the Dallas Morning News.

Mr. Graham joined First Baptist Dallas during his first crusade in the city, held at the Cotton Bowl in 1953. First Baptist Dallas was then led by the Rev. W.A. Criswell, and was widely considered the preeminent church in the Southern Baptist Convention. But the globe-trotting evangelist has never lived in Dallas, and visited the church only rarely through the years.

And there you have the ubiquitous rub.

Sure, Dr. Jeffress (Dallas pastor) is sorry to see his most notable member uproot his church ties closer to home. And yes, Rev. Don Wilton (Carolina pastor) is humbled and honored to accept Billy Graham’s church membership in his twilight years.

But the story behind the story is this is a church has claimed a member who never attended for more than five decades!?

prosperity-gospel-for-dummiesNot that I am going to name any names, but you think this is the mystery behind all those outrageous numbers behind megachurches that claim tens of 1000s of members, all in an effort to keep up with the Osteens… er, the Joneses.

The modus operandi of these miniskries is typically, “If someone attends, fills out a card then they are ‘member emeritus’.Seriously?

What’s the shame in havng 9,500 REAL members of your church? But no! It has to be 25,000 because… why again? You expecting a federal grant and have member requirements? I can go for that, maybe. But if this sheep-on-steroids-counting is for the sheer awe of it all and to validate your fake ecumenical title, then I call B.S.

Just because you are among the privileged to have a prosperous megachurch, doesn’t mean the Gospel is spread any more effectively if you blatantly fudge who is warming your pews.

Which proves the moral of this quaint story: Once again, Billy Graham is teaching us the mysteries of the Church. Well done, sir.

Public Relations 101: Never start a whizzing match with the media.

Apparently, while Victoria and Joel Osteen are “loving their life” and boring people to tears with sanctified psychopablum, no one ever told them that.

The two latest non-fans of New York TV

The two latest non-fans of New York TV

Check out this interview with Rochester, NY reporter Evan Dawson who apparently had a serious weed to yank with one Vicky Osteen. You will gleefully note she could have answered his question, “Evan, you are a lilliputian twit who can’t say my name right.” And dude would have sped on by with his line of vitriol.

Personally, I’m still full of giggles. Thank you, Evan.

And to maintain my cachinnation, first-class dolt Donald Iloff, Jr., chief of communications from Lakewood Church, thought it would be a good idea to scribe a snarky retort to one Mr. Dawson. Um, bad move. Yeah, he printed it:

I read your interview (one of several she did that day via satellite) and I was struck by your depth of insight.  After all, I have been with the ministry since before Joel was the pastor and I have never once heard him say God wants us to be rich.  Yet, you seem to have found it.  You are surely destined for a national network gig.  They are looking for smart guys like you.  God bless. –Don

To which, young Evan, replied… and posted it online. If you want to experience the same joy I have, please visit the link on WHAM 13 to read whimsical jibes like:

I assume you didn’t appreciate the interview. Let me assure that your judgement [sic] of me – as an anchor angling for some national gig – is incorrect. I feel very fortunate to be here in Rochester, and my wife and I plan to remain here.

Well played, sir. Keep us posted and maybe it will be Donald looking you up again… for a job. You see, thanks to Donny boy’s dimwitted e-mail, the Osteen’s armor has a few more chinks and that life wasn’t as enjoyable, if only for a while.

It’s a new month, new weekend and a new opportunity for video evangelism.

And THIS is laugh out loud, wet your Depends, my ribs hurt funny. You know, with the exception of the chocolate milk stain on his chin, because believe me the day JOEL OSTEEN grows out that peach fuzz while occupying the pulpit, he hires me as his director of communications.

Guess what? There won’t be any business cards printed with “H-I-S-C-R-I-V-E-N-E-R” on it any time soon. If he did however, these persnickety and pithy videos wouldn’t get quite the pub this does.

So, please enjoy. This video is not “Victoria’s Secret” any longer.