mad-lib self-esteem sermons

I don’t understand why so many people are attracted to the preaching of Joel Osteen.  All of his sermons are the same.  They are the same message with the same examples of woes with the same prescription.  He opens up his sermons with a lame joke that makes me wonder if he has a neon sign that flashes “laughter” so the audience laughs for the television broadcast.  The he has that mantra about the bible.  And then his message which is basically the same message every week with little deviation.  It is like the Mad-Libs sermon guide by Joel Osteen.

That mantra is actually a bold-faced lie.  He has his audience hold up their bibles, recite positive phrases that alleges that the bible is all about building up self-esteem and self-image, and then claims that Joel Osteen is about to teach them biblical doctrine.  It is a lie.  If that was a true statement then his next sentence would be for his audience to open their bibles.  No, he doesn’t do that.  He goes on about how life has got you down, missed promotion, terrible traffic jam, don’t like your weight, one ear is lower than the other, your nose looks like a boxer’s nose, whatever fault you can find.  Then he tells them to stop being negative.  God never intended us to be poor, unhealthy, weak, in a poor station in life.  He always got good things in store for us and we must speak and think these good things so He can act on them.

No.  God does not promise us material comfort and free plastic surgery to improve our life.  He does not apologize for making one ear lower than the other, or for us having a pugnacious nose.  God does not promise us an easy life at all, with no problems or barriers.  He promises that we will face trials in this life and there will certainly be troubles.  What Jesus promises is peace, His peace, the peace He had when He was here before the cross.  Jesus was under the threat of physical harm from the Pharisees on a daily basis, especially as He got closer to the cross.  But He did not hide in some remote place.  He did not live in some mansion on a hill, overlooking the Jordan valley, sipping wine by His private well.

Look at the life of His disciples, the apostles who preached the gospel.  They did not have a life of wealth.  They were imprisoned, beaten, whipped, chased out of town, stoned and eventually martyred.  Only John seemed to die a natural death while the others were killed for the sake of the gospel.  Joel Osteen has taken the sacrifice the apostles had made for the sake of the gospel and for our sake, as it turned out, and is using for his own personal gain.  Is he suffering for the gospel in his multi-million dollar mansion?  Are people protesting outside his church because they believe his message is too harsh and puts people down?

His sermons seem like they are produced form Mad-Lib sermon outlines.  They have no substance, no depth, nothing eternal that affects the eternal standing of his listeners before the Almighty God.  He doesn’t warn them to repent of their sins, only to repent of the negative thoughts and self-image.  “Repent of your low self-esteem so you can have your good life now!”

When will this charlatan be exposed?  I pray that he repents of his false teaching and greedy propaganda that abuses the sacred word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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