I like Joel Osteen.
I think that he’s a great motivational speaker.
It’s inspiring to listen to him.
And there’s just enough “God Talk” to make me feel good about it all the time.
It’s a good veneer of spirituality.
It’s just enough.
He just launched a channel on Sirius that I listened to for the first two days of its operation. It’s (so far) a collection of his past sermons and some studio interviews, call in comments from celebrities, and a constant celebration of the ministry.
I guess that it should be a celebration of the ministry….a Sirius channel is a big deal. It’s a chance to reach a lot of people with your message.
I love a good positive message….and this channel is full of them.
But, listening to it, I started to think that maybe there was something a little screwy about it all.
I thought that it seemed like these people were looking for the best genie….that they’d been led to believe that if they thought of God in a certain way, that God’s blessings would pour down on them and their worries would be over.
Now, I believe that we are constantly blessed in ways that we miss all the time.
We are BLESSED….you have to write that with some emphasis….highlighted and bold.
It’s a given…it’s a truth….it’s constant.
But it’s not because of something we do….some good trick….some alliance with the right guru who can stand on a stage somewhere and hold up a “blessed” and a “cursed” hand and encourage everyone to move under the “blessed” umbrella by changing their attitudes about tithing.
There’s probably a lot more to it than that….but….
God is not the fulcrum that you use to manipulate.
God is not a good “genie”.
He doesn’t give us things because we rubbed the lamp in the right way.
He gives us more than we need because He loves us.
It’s not what we do….it’s who He is.
I have friends who probably stopped reading right about now…..”Oh, GOD….more GOD TALK!!!! Goddddd…..”
I don’t understand God any better than most folks who aren’t standing on a stage.
I believe that I am loved.
Most times, that’s enough for me.
The Bible leaves just enough room for tweaking that people can get away with a lot in the “name of God”.
The Hare Krishnas that I met at the airport were pretty open to a lot of things.
I guess that I still like Joel Osteen…but his ministry has me a little curious about what’s really going on out at Lakewood.
I don’t need to hear a bunch of celebrities call in with their congratulations to think a ministry has validity.
“Big” isn’t a measure of success…not when it comes to things of the spirit.
I guess that it’s all about gratitude….and appreciation, anyway.
You find what you can see.
I guess that I like Joel Osteen….but I know that God is not my genie.
I just don’t think that it works like that.
“Psalm 61” Matthew Ward