Monday, August 18, 2008

Victory Rally

As I was watching the news last night before I went to bed, I saw a story that disturbed me. No, this was not about another murder, a child dying in a hot car, or the economy. This was about the Osteens. As much of America knows, Victoria Osteen was recently sued in civil court by a flight attendant who claimed Victoria assaulted her on a flight a couple of years ago. It was a frivolous lawsuit, because while Victoria did, indeed, throw a hissy fit (an FBI friend who knows people who were there gave me the lowdown), she did not assault the flight attendant. And the jury agreed.

Yesterday was the first church services at their Lakewood Church after the verdict. And the news video showed them celebrating - in my opinion, gloating - their "victory" during the church service. In fact, the entire service was dedicated to their celebration. They shared details of the trial, and believe that they are their very own proof that good things happen to you if you keep the faith. Joel Osteen said, "We feel like it’s not just a victory for us. It's a victory for God's kingdom. It's a victory for all of us together."

I've never been on the Osteen bandwagon, myself. I believe he is more of a motivational speaker than a pastor - in fact, he has never had any formal theological training. He preaches a "feel good gospel", rarely using Biblical references, and I believe he leans strongly towards preaching the "prosperity gospel", which basically says that wealth and power are rewards for devout Christians. This is NOT something that I personally believe in.

I am happy for Victoria that she was cleared of the allegations against her. I believe it was a good thing for them to pray about the trial - I certainly would have! But I also believe the trial was a personal thing, not a church thing. It's one thing to thank your parishioners for their prayers and support during the highly-publicized trial, but I think devoting an entire church service to celebrating their victory - a church service where people came to hear about God - was inappropriate. Oh yes, God is good. And as Christians, our faith is everything. And yes, good things happen when you keep the faith. But you know what? Bad things happen sometimes, too. That's life. Bad things do not happen because of your lack of faith, but it is your faith that can get you thru those hard times. We live in a world of free will, a world of sin. Indeed, we are all sinners (Osteen doesn't like to talk about that much). Jesus Christ paid our debt. But saying that keeping the faith gets you good things and that they are living proof? Well, that's just a bit misleading.

Of course, all this is just my opinion. What do YOU think?

12 comments:

Katie Lady said...

COMPLETELY agree, dude. That guy gives me the willies. It's crass, inappropriate, and just plain wrong.

Julie said...

Hear, hear! I completely agree that the Osteens should have kept talk of the trial out of their church service. Thank your parishioners for their support and move on.

forgetfulone said...

I actually went to school with Joel's brother and sister (they are older than he is), and I met their father back in the day. They were a nice family, and the father certainly knew his theology. Not sure about Joel. We grew up in the Humble/Kingwood area.

Did you know we don't live too far from each other?

D... said...

My opinion is your opinion. I have never thought much of Joel Osteen. I think his wife should be ashamed of herself for her hissy fit. And they both should be ashamed for devoting a church service to the victory. I could get on a soapbox about all this. Instead, I'll just say I couldn't agree with you more.

Pleasing Procrasinator said...

I haven't really seen anything to do with this trial because when my tv is on I am watching Dora, Backyardigans and Wonderpets and the Olympics. I know pathetic.
Anyhow, I am in total agreement with everything you are saying!!! Their celebration should have been somewhere other than the service where they should actually be worshiping their Father.

Jennie said...

I totally agree with you. We saw Osteen months ago on a 60 minutes segment and I said virtually the same things you did about him. I always ask want to ask Osteen,
"If faith brings you prosperity, why wasn't Jesus rich???"

I am really uncomfortable with the celebration of the lawsuit. That just didn't seem in line with Christian faith. But what do I know?

kris said...

Your opinion is mine also... if we as Christians are supposed to act like Jesus and let His life shine thru us, what was her testimony when someone made her mad? Why not just ask for a towel and sit your butt down. You are no better than anyone else, honey... but no, she threw a hissy fit like she is a queen! I don't care for them... nuff said.
kris

Stacey said...

Oh gosh I need to catch up on this! And just reading what you wrote, wow, you are straight up right in my opinion. No, not opinion, it's a fact. Jesus paid our debt for us. xoxo

Well Behaved Krissy said...

agree!

Dawn @ Coming to a Nursery Near You said...

See, it's guys like that that give everyone who stands on the outside the idea that's what you ALL believe.

Tales From the Eurovan said...

I couldn't have said it better myself! I agree with you completely. I too have felt like he was a motivational speaker. Thanks for the good words! Take care, Julie

Jenny 865-53oh9 said...

Oh, Sister B/S...bringin' the house down on the uppity Christians!

"Go B/S - It's your birthday - You can do it" (I'm pathetically stuck in the 80's or was that the 90's?)

Every time I hear stories like that one, I remember that verse in the bible that talks about people who think they will enter Heaven and Jesus will turn his head and say, "I knew you not". I'm not even going to attempt to judge them on whether they will be those kind of people or not, but I'm just saying. Personally, they make me ashamed to be called a Christian.