Jan 21, 2009

My wife thinks Joel Osteen is Mother Goose


So I think Joel Osteen is a good preacher at times. Meaning that he is able to weave stories into theological platitudes well. His theology is far from mine and certainly far from anything that is relatively complex--but perhaps that is the beautiful part of his church. He appeals to a large number of people who are looking for direction and his accessible style and friendly demeanor makes him an appealing person to watch. He also fits his message into media pockets very well (a half-hour TV show and short podcasts).

So I'm watching him the other night and he says the following (I'm paraphrasing here):

"The other day I saw a store clerk be very rude to a customer. But the customer decided not to yell back at him. I asked him if the clerk was that mean every day. He replied to me that he does. I asked if he responded in the same way each time he goes to that store and he said, "Every day. I've decided that he's not going to ruin my day." Just because someone has decided to be rude or nasty to you doesn't mean that you have to give away your power of self-control to them. Just bless them as you leave. You don't need to give into their rudeness. They have every right to be rude and you have every right to ignore them."

My wife deadpanned:

"This guy's theological message can be summed up as follows:

'I'm rubber, you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!'


And that ladies and gentlemen, is why I married her.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I think I've been most troubled by how Osteen has articulated the "Prosperity Gospel" -- the idea that God wants us to be prosperous.

To me, it's a radical departure from several teachings of Christ on wealth and poverty (particularly in the Gospel of Luke) and from the examples of St. Francis of Assisi, Dorothy Day and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

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