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Joel Osteen takes on his critics
Is Joel Osteen underestimated? One religious scholar says yes.
October 7th, 2011
12:26 PM ET

Joel Osteen takes on his critics

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - He peddles “gospel lite," a watered-down Christianity that mixes prosperity with piety.

That's how critics have described Joel Osteen's message. The televangelist may be the pastor of the largest church in America, but he still doesn't get respect in many parts of the religious community.

Osteen, a college dropout who never attended seminary, has built a huge international audience with inspirational messages that blend positive thinking and personal transformation. But is he preaching "gospel lite" messages devoid of any mention of sin and hard choices?

Osteen rejects that charge with the same honey-toned voice and unflappability he displays in the pulpit at Lakewood Church in Houston. There's no hint of defensiveness.

“I deal every day with life issues and sin in our church every week,” he says. “I deal with people who have cancer, talk to people about how to forgive when they’ve been hurt. I don’t think that’s light. That’s everyday issues.”

Osteen is promoting his latest book, “Every Day a Friday,” in which he shows readers “how to be happier seven days a week.” The book dispenses much of the same pulpit advice Osteen has given to the tens of thousands of members of his Texas church.

Much of that advice centers on attitude. Some samples: Playfulness is as important as sleep. After you climb, reach back. Give up your comfort to comfort others.

It’s not the traditional “turn or burn” pulpit message, and Osteen is OK with that.

“I don’t beat people down,” he says. “I don’t have a lot of condemnation in my message. I don’t believe that we’re supposed to be depressed and broke and poor and suffering. God wants us to be happy and to be a blessing to people.”

Osteen’s phrase “God doesn’t want us to be broke” sets off theological alarm bells for some critics who say that's code for preaching the prosperity message. Critics of that message – that God promises wealth to the faithful – say it transforms Jesus from a prophet to a financial adviser.

Go online, and there are plenty of pastors and scholars who go into detail about Osteen’s message. One of them is the Rev. Gary Gilley, senior pastor of Southern View Chapel in Springfield, Illinois.

Gilley says Osteen preaches a “gospel lite” message that avoids anything controversial such as judgment or sin.

He says Osteen also preaches that wealth is a sign of God’s pleasure. There are plenty of heroes in the Bible, such as the Old Testament prophets Jeremiah and Habakkuk, who were poor, Gilley says.

“Someone might counter that David and Solomon were wealthy, but this was not the case for Jeremiah and Habakkuk, both godly men who lost everything,” Gilley says. “So where does Osteen come up with the idea that 'God wants to increase us financially'? Of course, millions of examples throughout the world and throughout history could be given of godly people living in poverty.”

Osteen doesn't deny preaching about prosperity, but he defines it in broader terms than do his critics.

“When they say prosperity, that’s some guy on TV asking for money,” he says. “Our ministry is not about that. We’re about helping people. When I hear prosperity, it means to have good relationships, to be a blessing to people, to have peace in your mind.”

Shayne Lee, a sociologist at the University of Houston, says Osteen has been misunderstood. Lee has been a blunt critic of televangelists. In his book “Holy Mavericks,” he examines how Osteen and other televangelists use branding to sell themselves to a mass audience. Lee spent a year studying Osteen's church.

He came away impressed.

“He’s underestimated,” Lee says of Osteen. “He’s got tremendous skills that people will never give him credit for.”

Osteen’s skills quickly became apparent when he took over from his father, John Osteen, Lakewood's founder and longtime pastor. Joel Osteen had run the media department for his father, Lee says.

Osteen had to give his first sermon a week after watching his father die, Lee said.

“Few thought that he was up to the task, and some thought the church would fall apart,” Lee wrote in “Holy Mavericks.”

Lakewood now has 45,000 members, Osteen preaches to sold-out arenas across the country, and his television ministry draws millions of weekly viewers.

Lee cites three factors for Osteen’s success:

Marketing: He says Osteen’s previous work behind the camera taught him how to brand a ministry and create a visually appealing and quickly moving worship service.

Timing: When Osteen hit the pulpit in 1999, people had already grown tired of the smooth-talking televangelists who were often caught up in scandal. Osteen was the boyish-looking pastor who exuded sincerity and never pretended he had all the answers, Lee says.

Preaching: Osteen may not have the grasp of theology and church history that some pastors have, but he knows how to connect with ordinary Americans through a therapeutic message that draws heavily from pop culture, Lee says.

“His lack of seminary training is part of his appeal,” Lee says. “He’s not saying big words he learned from seminary. He’s speaking in a language that contemporary Americans understand.”

Lee says Osteen’s church is also underestimated. He says that Lakewood arguably has the most diverse congregation in the nation in terms of race, income and age, and that it does a lot for the poor.

Critics who complain that Osteen waters down the gospel are suspicious because of his “lack of rigid dogmatism,” Lee says.

Yet Lee says Osteen’s preaching honors the example of Jesus, who told stories more than he issued dogma. He says many of Osteen’s sermons are built on insights extracted from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

“Jesus used parables to speak in a compelling way that his contemporaries could understand,” Lee said. “Osteen is speaking the language of the people in the same way that Jesus did.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Celebrity • Christianity • Church • Faith • Pastors

soundoff (1,331 Responses)
  1. PeterVN

    Reminds me of a favorite line in another blog:

    "Religion is for the ignorant, the stupid, the gullible, and the cowardly, and for those who would profit from them."

    Clearly, Osteen falls into the profit category, and his followers, maybe more than one of the others but especially, gullible.

    October 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • YurFunny

      and apparently, atheism and/or agnosticism is for the d-bags...

      October 10, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wow... another blog quote.... sigh

      Not like there are blogs all over the net promoting some form of hate or another each with their followers that take it as factual gospel. Go to one, its the Whites, go to another its Blacks, and then another the Hispanics. Alqueda sites declaring America or the entire Western world were the ignorant and guilible ones...

      If you throw the radical Feminist sites who point their finger at all males. then you will see why the internet can be a dark place.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Reality

      Ending the need for this blog in less than 110 words:

      • There probably was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • There probably was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      October 10, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • Mr.Nurse

      @Reality thanks for posting the same unfounded moron comment on multiple religious articles. I wasn't sure the first time I read it but now I'm really starting to doubt my faith.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
    • .........

      plz hit report abuse on all reality nonsense

      October 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  2. AMP

    Joel Osteen thinks he is a God. If he bless a cancer patient will fully recovered! Why don't he go to every hospital and bless every patient. In the name of religion he is piling Millions and misguiding people. People should stop listning him and many like him who pays to the media for their cheap publicity. They should be investigated. He is one of cone artists. People shold stay away from his speeches.

    October 10, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Last line of root post is Pascal's Wager.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_wager

      October 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  3. Bradly

    MOST of you hate joel olsteen because "you hate GOD" so those who speak of jesus are to be hated, this is wrong! Hell is a real place and if you don't believe in GOD or JESUS them then stop crying about the beliefs of others...boo hoo cry cry...I forgive you, hope Jesus does.

    October 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Last line of root post is instance of Pascal's Wager.

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_wager

      October 10, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • So

      "them then stop crying about the beliefs of others...boo hoo cry cry...I forgive you, hope Jesus does."

      It might help if you actually followed the teachings of your Christ but since you don't it will be you in hell.

      October 10, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • Tami Clements

      Joel Osteen is not a fraud, He's a man of God.

      October 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Sid

      No, Tami, he's just a fraud. How long have you been his paid shill?

      October 10, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  4. SmarterthanU

    Just a flim flam man with a trophy wife.

    October 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • YurFunny

      a multi-millionaire flim flam to be exact...
      http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/07-04-10-after-move-to-river-oaks-joel-osteen-wants-to-sell-tanglewood-land-for-11-million/

      October 10, 2011 at 11:09 am |
  5. Central Scrutinizer

    My fellow Americans, until such time as an Atheist, an Agnostic, an openly ho-mose-xual person, or any other minority can be seriously considered for political office, particularly the presidency, then I hang my head in shame as an American. Sure, Obama is half black and that is a step. But where are the Asians, Africans, Mexicans, Gays, Atheists, Agnostics and all other minorities? Scr-ew the Christians! Let some intelligent folks move the country forward for a change. The Christian Right are liars, cheats, thieves and charlatans. The Dems just lie to fit in. Americans, let’s take back our country! The time is now! Call out the politicians on their lies. Call out the banks on their thievery. Take Wall Street money away from the politicians. Smart people in Congress, that should be our mantra, Carry on with common sense or we are doo-med. It is up to us to remove them!

    October 10, 2011 at 1:53 am |
    • YurFunny

      wow, you're all over the place with that same message. well, again, for the sake of your mental well-being, you should probably move to another country in order to avoid the shame and disappointment that is likely in your future.

      October 10, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  6. Jesus Christ

    Give everything you have to the unfortunate like the hungry, the poor and disabled which means live humble so you can be rewarded in heaven or take others money to live like a king when your not a king. I the son of the alpha the omega the almighty one true god is his biggest critic.

    October 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Powersoak

      Jesus, supposedly perfect in every way, would use better grammar or punctuation, either of which would make this latest message easier to read/understand.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:23 am |
  7. carmen

    this pastor should go back to school and really really study the bible or better yet write his own one.

    He is taking advantage of people, taking their money – is sad seeing so many that follow him (these people need happiness, peace, money, positive thinking, etc...)

    BUT THEY ARE NOT REALLY FOLLOWING JESUS CHRIST. Please read the bible yourself and see what's really there.

    October 9, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Why would reading the bible help this guy out? That is what made him an evil theif in the first place.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • The Brain Fumigator

      "Please read the bible yourself and see what's really there."

      Indeed. Especially check out god's detailed orders to kill animals and burn them as a sacrifice to him, in Leviticus. Fine material for a horror movie, and no, apologists, the OT doesn't go away with the NT unless you admit that your "perfect" god got it wrong in his first attempt.

      "Kill the bullock before the LORD ... bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar." 1:5

      "Flay the burnt offering; cut it into pieces." 1:6

      Lay ... the head, and the fat ... on the fire which is upon the altar: But his inwards and his legs ... burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice ... a sweet savour unto the LORD." 1:8-9

      "Kill ... before the Lord and ... sprinkle blood round about." 1:11

      "Cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat ... and burn it ... for a sweet savour unto the Lord." 1:12-13

      "If the burnt sacrifice ... be of fowls ... wring off his head, and burn it ... and the blood thereof shall be wrung out." 1:14-15

      "For a sweet savour unto the Lord." 1:17

      "Part it in pieces... it is a meat offering." 2:6

      "It is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire." 2:10

      "He shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it ... and .... sprinkle the blood ... round about." 3:2

      and on and on

      October 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Bob

      The Brain Fumigator: Yes these instructions are in the Old Testament. The sacrifices for sin are a reminder that sin is not pretty and has serious consequences.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • The Brain Fumigator

      Thanks, Bob. In other words, your god is a vengeant, horribly violent jerk.

      Appreciate your support, and thanks for the clarification.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:04 am |
    • The Brain Fumigator

      and he likes the smell of burning blood and dead animals. Yeah, I really want to worship that guy. Not.

      October 10, 2011 at 9:06 am |
    • YurFunny

      oh fumigator, based on your vitriol, it sounds like the church really hurt you, because you're clearly angry enough to look into scripture and try to find something to present.
      the old testament was scripture intended for the jews specifically. the new testament expanded the audience to all people, and htus the rules and regulations of the OT no longer applied in the literal. it is understood that Jesus was then the sacrifice for ALL people, as detailed in the old testament, however. and indeed, it was a gruesome event.

      October 10, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • The Brain Fumigator

      So you admit that your "perfect" god got it wrong with his first book. Good on ya. Maybe try on a different delusion next time.

      October 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • YurFunny

      oh fumigator, take a few deep breaths buddy...
      no one said he 'got it wrong.' i'd say it's closer to the natural evolution of religions in the world. it's parallels the evolution of human development. the more we humans learn, the more our understanding of the world evolves to adopt the new information that was acquired. it wasn't a God thing. it was a people thing.

      October 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Sid

      YurFunny, you're not. Follow the post thread, stupid.

      October 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  8. Mirosal

    Actually, we atheists are the happiest group you'll ever see, We get so much amusement from watching and listening to these so-called righteous folk spew their hatred for anyone else who isn't like them, yet at the same time publicly preaching about tolerance. If you think that a naked woman who was convinced by a talking snake into eating friut from a magical tree REALLY happened, you're more gullible that the law should allow. We love seeing all the sheeple being herded together, then fleeced out of their hard-earned cash so they can support some guy at a pulpit who is too lazy to get a real job and spends his time talking you out of your money to support HIS lifestyle. Anyone who uses television to promote themselves in a religious setting should be taken as seriously as the guy on the corner holding signs that say "the rapture is coming" or "the end is nigh"

    October 9, 2011 at 5:37 am |
    • Believer

      "If you believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you have lost nothing - but if you don't believe in God and turn out to be incorrect, you will go to hell."

      Blaise Pascal – French mathematician, physicist, and philosopher

      October 9, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Jimtanker

      That and we're not repressed by being told all of our life that everything that we do,which is human nature, is wrong and will result in us going to a firey pit for all eternity.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Believer,

      If you want me to believe in your heaven and are trying to use Pascal’s Wager you are losing. In fact, if you want to use Pascal’s Wager YOU should be a musIim. Their heaven, getting 72 vir-gins, is much cooler than your heaven. Now if you really want the best deal then you should be a Pastafarian. The FSM heaven has a beer volcano and a stri-pper factory. And even if you don’t go there, their heII is the same as their heaven except the beer is flat and the stri-ppers all have V D.

      Can I get a R’amen?

      October 9, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Veritas

      @Believer: Don't you realize how absurd Pascal's wager is? If you don't force yourself to believe this nonsense you will go to the hell it purports exists. And Christianity is just one of many silly religions, which one to believe in so as not to end up in any bad place after we die? We have only one life and it is here on earth; live and love.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Actually, we atheists are the happiest group you'll ever see, We get so much amusement from watching and listening to these so-called righteous folk spew their hatred for anyone else who isn't like them, yet at the same time publicly preaching about tolerance. "

      That can be also said for many radical Atheist. At the same time they declare that they are about tolerance but their words are no different than those of the Westburo Baptist, the Taliban or a episode of the 700 club.

      When it comes to "spewing hatred", places like this blog, has shown that Atheist have their militant intolerant wing as well and are no different than the intolerant ones of Faith. 🙂

      October 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • YurFunny

      oh, the eternal hypocrisy of the self-proclaimed atheist...the "happy, tolerant" atheist. and yet they are still so insistent on voicing their disdain for others every chance they get. if you really were secure in your beliefs, there wouldn't be this incessant need to over-compensate for your insecurities by attacking others.
      i could see amusement being a natural, atheistic reaction to religious beliefs, but when that moves into hatred, resentment and distaste, you're presenting the true nature of your belief system, and it comes off as flimsy, insecure and frail at best.

      October 10, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • Mirosal

      Actually we are happy and tolerant. We care not if you are male female straight gsy christian jewish muslim atheist agnostic hidnu buddhist or even if you get your jollies worshipping the fire hydrant down the street. What makes us laugh is the fact that you admit you are willing to submit, bow down, and worship without question an imaginary sky-fairy who preaches you to hate gays, other races are inferior to your own, women are second-class citizens and for some weird reason, this "god" NEEDS money!!!!

      October 11, 2011 at 6:47 am |
    • YurFunny

      uummm, to say this is a gross generalization is an understatement. SUCH a distortion...and quite frankly, unless you're basing your opinions on the select few examples of extremism, like those the westboro baptist church nutjobs, you're SO off base that you undermine your own credibility.
      take a couple deep breaths, control your insecurities as best you can, and try your hardest to bring 'reason' to the discussion.. THEN we might get somewhere. but this close-minded ignorance gets us nowhere.

      October 11, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  9. jesus, freak

    I wonder if any of you nuts act a fool in the streets or only on CNN boards? I would crap my pants laughing at Richard S Kaiser. Tony Fromaggio- get back to bustin knee caps. Gawd fellas.

    October 9, 2011 at 4:51 am |
  10. WOT

    Please, read the Bible for yourself! Take it as written or leave it! Those that are wise let them be wiser still, and those that wrong let them be wronger still! JO has a purpose as we all do, find yours!

    October 9, 2011 at 1:16 am |
    • Jimtanker

      Wronger??

      I quite beieving in stories after I read the bible. Great advise. Best way to convert someone to being an atheist.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  11. Scott - other

    Reading all the nasty, venomous and hateful things you Christians have to say to one and other, provides this atheist with many more examples of why Christianity is not the religion peace and love it likes to pretend it is and provides more evidence that your god probably does not exist. Honestly, you seem to hate each other more than you hate atheists

    October 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm |
    • shwmin

      The most illogical thing in the world is that Atheists claim to be reasonable and yet spend most of their time talking about a God they don't believe exists. Sound reasonable?....

      October 8, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • shwmin

      I dont hate atheists, I hate atheism.....

      October 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Corwin

      shwmin, one of the primary reasons for what you describe is that the irrationality that is part and parcel of religions is applied to public policy and laws, and impacts them often in ways that are bad. It's the socially responsible thing for atheists to do, to speak out against religion and all its nonsense, at every opportunity. Including on this forum.

      Religion is not practiced in a vacuum, although it should be.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"It's the socially responsible thing for atheists to do, to speak out against religion and all its nonsense, at every opportunity. Including on this forum."

      So the Malcolm X militant approach. Yeah, that has a great history of success in society.

      What you desire is confrontation with those of Faith but, what about those that do not have an issue with Atheist? Those Atheist and Faithful that just want to find their way to peace and tolerance within society.

      You speak out, the Taliban speaks out, the 700 club folks speak out..In the end, what is the difference between your speaking out and The Westburo Baptist church speaking out? What happens when all your speaking out does not work? Will you follow your IRA and Alqueda buddies and go for a more physical route?

      Where does it in for you folks on the extreme.

      October 9, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • not peace but a sword

      If every christian was always 100 percent loving and high and mighty then we would have completely done away with God. But thats what jesus does he continues to make us better men that we cant be ourselves. We cant change ourseleves to recieve approval but God has accepted and recieved us for us to be transformed or changed by him.

      October 10, 2011 at 5:11 am |
  12. Sharon

    I am a Charismatic Christian–I don't agree with a lot of Osteen's philosophy–but something changed my mind. My cousin's husband never went to church–it didn't seem like a big deal to him. BUT since he lived in Houston–he began watching Osteen's program. Some time later, he was diagnosed with an unusual form of cancer.

    My cousin's husband was wanting someone to pray for him at the hospital. My cousin contacted Osteen's church. Pastor Osteen couldn't make it–BUT HE SENT HIS MOTHER TO THE HOSPITAL–TO AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAD NEVER STEPPED A FOOT IN HIS CHURCH–WHO HAD NEVER GIVEN THIS MINISTRY ONE CENT-

    People may not want to believe in God–or throw his Gospel out the door-or condemn a man who motivates people to believe and reaches out to millions–BUT ALSO REACHES OUT TO THOSE OF ONE MAN DYING OF CANCER–SENT HIS MOTHER TO THE HOSPITAL.

    Don't condemn what you have not seen–

    October 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • Eddie

      Sharon, why do you think god lets so many good people get cancer, suffer terribly and in so many sad cases, die?

      Either your god doesn't exist, or he's quite the uncaring berk.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Sharon, why do you think god lets so many good people get cancer, suffer terribly and in so many sad cases, die?"

      "No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new."

      Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005

      October 9, 2011 at 12:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mark, that does not answer the question. It isn't death most people fear; it's pain. Why would a merciful, loving god visit his beloved creation with excruciating, unrelenting pain? Either he is not merciful at all, in which case, why would anyone worship him, or he isn't omnipotent and has no control over the fate of those he supposedly 'created'.

      Which is it?

      October 9, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • yoshi

      Sharon – a lot of non-believers don't want to hear this stuff. Sure, there are crooked preachers who are making a heck of a lot of money...but we're all searching for the answers and someone who gives us a message of hope is at least going in the right direction....

      October 9, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Bob

      Eddie: Those are not the only choices. Christianity teaches there is both a God and a devil. Long ago, mankind chose to do things the devil's way, which brought evil, pain, and suffering into the world. God cares about what happens and has the power to change it, but He will not overrule mankind's choice. Criticize Christianity if you wish, but if you do, criticize what Christians actually believe.

      October 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Mark, that does not answer the question. It isn't death most people fear; it's pain. Why would a merciful, loving god visit his beloved creation with excruciating, unrelenting pain? “

      I think for most it is not the unrelenting pain. There is Cancer, such as the other poster mentioned, but you will have more pain later in life just though the longevity of life. How many just pass on, in their sleep or by sheer accidents? We even have the standing perfectly fine and poof... dead and gone the next.

      For all we know the pain of some people's death is no real difference than if you feel off a bike when we were kids. The mercy of God, to many persons of Faith, does not deal with the physical pain of this life. The mercy we speak of is in the end a person of Faith saying that he or she strayed and tried to do better, and kept the Faith and at the end God or Gods showing mercy on judgment day.

      Pascal's wager, is interesting because it is a double edged sword in that any other Faith can question why another member of another Faith should not convert to another chosen Faith. I have Muslim friends and co-workers and they use a modified Pascal all the time.

      I posted Steve Job's quote because of the last word of Eddie's post. Why do any of us die, the good people and the bad people.

      The question though is, now if Steve Job's believed that no one wants to die... even to get to Heaven... how would he explain all the suicide bombers, kamikaze pilots, and pretty much any one that have dived on a grenade to save his fellow soldiers.

      The rest of the quote I can understand.

      l”Chaim

      October 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mark, if you think people don't fear pain and that dying of cancer isn't painful, you are truly ignorant.

      You still haven't answered the question: why would a merciful god allow people to suffer? Why would an omnipotent god allow an infant to be born with an incurable and painful disease?

      Either he can't control all, or he isn't merciful. Which is it?

      October 9, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Mark, if you think people don't fear pain and that dying of cancer isn't painful, you are truly ignorant. “

      I work around a few terminally ill patients all the time, I also have talked with ones that are of Faith and I guess that the fear of pain is not what you feel it is. Mostly, I guess if we take Cancer patients, the pain of radiation treatment means that they are still fighting the cancer and there is still hope... in that way the pain they have said, means that they are still in the game.

      The fear of judgment by God or Gods to some Faithful is more spoken of than pain.

      >>>”You still haven't answered the question: why would a merciful god allow people to suffer? “

      Suffer, I am not sure of so that is why I answered the latter of your question, death.

      Why do folks suffer? What is the quote ..”what am I Job !!” 🙂 I do believe that the mercy of God is forgiveness of sins so all of the broken hearts, and pleas for a better life on this Earth, who knows. Maybe suffering is a welcome factor of life. If we all had perfect lives with no pain and no one to cause us suffering.... if we didn't have the bad and horrible days, how much would we enjoy day after day of “good” days?

      Try this, I am a NASCAR fan and I remember Dale Earnhardt. I remember him coming to the biggest race of the year, and year after year, decade after decade....coming so close but never winning. He had won everything, including races later in the season on that same track and multiple Winston Cups but the Daytona 500 he just could not win. When he finally won it, it was amazing and the look in his eyes that finally getting it was so much sweeter because of how many times he had suffered not getting it.

      Another story is the Miracle of Lake Placid and not the celebration of the US Olympic Hockey Team but the look and later stories of the Russian team that was defeated. One or two players interviewed stated how they sat in amazement of the joy and jubilation of the American team after the win. Not in disgust but, in how after playing for such a dominate Russian Hockey team they had forgotten how good it was to have the joy of victory. They were used to winning, getting the trophy, state visit and preparing for the next trophy.

      They had won so many times that they had forgotten how sweet victory can taste when it is not expected.

      That is what I hold in the suffering of life, for every horrible day, I find ultimate joy in the good days.
      Ever listen to the theme of the show “Good Times” 🙂

      Now, I could go into the Matrix reasoning and how we would probubly not exist or come as far as a species if every day was perfect …..but I will leave that for another time. If a story about Dale Earnhardt and the USA Mens Hockey Team victory over the Russian team doesn't work then ecch. 🙂

      l'Chaim

      October 10, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • not peace but a sword

      And EDDIE, the problem is SIN. sin brings death to anything in its way. God wants to do away with sin but there is soo much sin in the world that God is soo good he cant be around it. He wont allow sin in his presense. But that doesnt mean he neglects us. He sent jesus to do away with sin that whoever believes in jesus might beat death as well and have life. So he offers hope and healing all around sending helpers and angels out for us. He loves us

      October 10, 2011 at 5:23 am |
  13. Linzey

    Osteen preaches his own ideas, not the bible.

    October 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Is that any different from Bakker, Swaggert, Roberts, Jones, Koresh, et al?

      October 8, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @guest
      Guilt by association?You purposely include cultists, with known Christians to muddy the water and so make your position appear more superior.What happens when someone calls you an your nuanced fraud?God bless

      October 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Niall

      All Christians are "cultists". Fortunately the world is gradually moving away from the Christian superst-itions and others of other cults.

      October 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hmm... Mega Churches being built, the Mormons are growing, and we have Mosques being built in sleepy little Southern towns. Maybe you are doing like the article a few weeks ago that judged from the spike in church membership right after 9/11 until now to make your assumption.

      l'Chaim.

      October 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      @niall
      Misery loves company,and atheist wannabes are among the most miserable and lonely people on the planet.There aren't enough real atheists around to put together a tiddly wink tournament.This is the world wide web and the best atheism can offer is a handful of self ordained ,self centered whiners.On the other side,we have millions of believers for thousands of years,including the overwhelming majority of inventors,scientists and intelligent thinking philosophers this world has ever seen.The average Christian does more good in an afternoon than all atheists combined do in a century.It is hard to actually think of a "good" done by an atheist.God bless

      October 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      no one wants to play with me. god p!ss

      October 8, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
    • Scott - other

      @herbert: I like you, your honest, you don’t mind publicly showing the black heart of Christianity.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      Christianity does good,atheism doesn,t,simple statement of fact, not rocket science, nothing black hearted about doing good unless you endorse an ungodly world view.God bless

      October 9, 2011 at 6:47 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"Christianity does good,atheism doesn't,simple statement of fact,"

      You are as a statement of fact... funny. With many of the Atheist throwing around blanket you are bad statements, I guess the weaker amongst us Faithful would desire to emulate their actions.

      A few months ago a Atheist said something very true and profound and I think it could be applied to all sides.:

      "There is a difference between saying this is what I believe and saying that you are wrong".

      October 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • herbert juarez

      mark you want to back that up with some evidence of good atheism?God bless

      October 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • ...

      plz hit abuse to all herbert juarez posts. God bless.

      October 9, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"mark you want to back that up with some evidence of good atheism?"

      Please explain? You mean of "good" Atheist or actions by Atheist that would be seen as good? Or are we just talking "Good" principles?

      October 10, 2011 at 1:05 am |
  14. Messiah is Lord

    2 Chronicles 6:18 "But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!

    You Oh Lord created the heavens, even the highest heavens....and even the heavens cannot contain you.....I magnify and glorify your Holy name. Thank you for giving me the opporunity to praise your name with my lips and see your glory with my eyes. I long to enter to rest in eternity when I will never have to sleep again and can continually look upon your loveliness.

    October 8, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • jake

      sounds like your messiah is one sickeningly vain dude. And you have a pretty dull life if what you say you look forward to is more appealing that your present life.

      October 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  15. Richard S Kaiser

    1. The universe we claim as being 'ours' is and does exist within a Cosmos of innumerable amounts of universes. To say that the universe we exist within is the "only" universe in existence has poo for brains.

    2. The greater abundance of, is the abundant and vast 'oceanic sea of Nothingness' or what we celebrate as being 'outer space'.

    3. The opposing 'Nothingness' are the rivers and streams and creeks of said Nothingness that filtrate down within and into and unto the very depths of the atomic cosmos.

    4. Nothingness in all mannerisms is the Holy Spirit of the GOD-Being whose physical body is of every universe and HE is the Cosmos made manifest thru the Holy Spirit known in Greek Theology as being called 'Chaos'.

    October 8, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Argumentum ex culo

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argumentum_ex_culo

      and others.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Crapola you write right? Where lays your staff of impudence? In the coloring books of children? No worries, you'll be home soon,,,,stay there,,,,,be a good li'l nanny luver and eat your liver all up,,,,

      October 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • News Flash

      So Richard, first the ex culo, then the ad hominem. Let's hear a real argument for a change, in plain English.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Fallacy Spotting 101

      You fecal one did cast the 1st stone,,,, just reciprocating,,,

      October 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      News Flash wrote on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm, stating, "So Richard, first the ex culo, then the ad hominem. Let's hear a real argument for a change, in plain English."

      Where were we when the universes were being created and set floating upon the vast Oceanic realms of Nothingness?

      Where were we when the Firmaments of the Celestial Universes were born out of the Seas of Nothingness?

      Where were we when atomic nebulations began to be cloistered together to form the planets and such as this Earth who was once known as Gaia?

      Where were we when the stars were set aflame and divided the Celestial Heaven into innumerable Universes of too many to count?

      Where were you and others when Life did form and began to be created and ever recreated by the Sons of GOD who gave to HIS Sons the atomic Cosmos to be their playground?

      October 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Many toilet fishermen get their PIDOOMA bait by hooking and crooking in unsounded mannerisms unbecoming their genital fragrance.

      October 8, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Reality

      Back to rational thinking with a prayer:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen

      October 8, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • News Flash

      Dicky,
      You forgot about the "plain English" part. Where was I ? Who cares ? Your questions indicate NOTHING. They are NOT an argument. You obviously have none.

      October 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      I. Rick do believe in GOD, the Allness of Creation and cannot be swayed by the folks who do mock and mimic our GOD, the Creator and the Creation. HIS Holy Spirit being the Holy Oceanic Seas, lakes, rivers, streams and creeks of Nothingness makes complete our GOD of Eternalness Being. Within Greek Theology does lay the foundations of the religiously affirmed ones. Few though are those in seeking such ancient theology as in the Greek's Theism which today's feeble parloring ways portrays such as but being but myth. What really lies within the boundaries in the gardens of 'Goddening' desires?

      Do not throw away the imaged perceptions of GOD and Gods and gods just because one wants to be but a 'parrot' of other's foresakedness who in their mockeries do themselves but mimic that which they have but heard and so the stories continue and do abound. To stand upon the shoulders of otherly folks does not make you any taller nor can you add even an inch to your stature. Find therefore, your idealness of GOD and seek the whereabouts of GOD's Kingdom, for truly there is such a Kingdom to be sought out.

      Many people who yet stand in foolery their deafening satnds against GOD and HIS Sons are without a clue let alone have not found the virtues of being godly in the sights of GOD and HIS Sons. Though there be many paths in and thru Life, only the one and right path to GOD and HIS Sons may manifest one's righteousness of and for and into godliness. The deadening comes to all and thru its' gatedness will we cross over into the kingdom of one's own body where your embodied God will judge you. The weightiness of righteousness will be found out upon your being judged accordingly. Respect therefore the traditions and rituals of one's daily affairs.

      October 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ Newsless,,,,,,,,,,,, ,

      Still toilet fishing are we? What type of bait do you recommend? Hang low into the bowel, one's genitals as bait?

      October 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • News Flash

      Ah, just more ad hominen, and still no arguments. Your religion is called Pantheism. It is illogical, and was proven so, 3000 years ago. You can do better.

      October 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ newsless flasher,,,,,, ,,,,,, ,

      3,000 years you say? Seems like only yesterday. To GOD it was!

      October 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • News Flash

      And yet, STILL no argument. And to think I was one of your original supporters here. Oh well.

      October 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      @ News Flash,,,,,, ,,,,,, , ,,

      Argument? Why? For what reason? What is it with you and arguments? Just for GOD's sakes post about what you find to be argumentative on,,, Okee dokeee? The King has left the building,,,,,, ,,,,,, , , , 🙂

      October 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • News Flash

      Because sir, I was hoping you actually had some rational thoughts to support your poetic nonsense. I was willing to give you a very long leash, and I see I was wrong about that. It's just all BS. Well, as one of my friends says here often, "The moon is made of green cheese." And that makes as much sense as you do.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • ...

      plz hit abuse on all herbert juarez's garbage. God bless.

      October 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
  16. Tony Formaggio

    Joel Osteen -the greasy hairmop, the squinty eyes, the cheesy smile and the fake white teeth, gee, where have I seen that before???

    Ah yes, that sleazy used car lot in East Boston. Not a great job on those serial numbers.

    Joelly, little fella, how's it going? Nice new gig you got. You can give the money you owe to us now. You don't need to worry about your old friends Big Willy and Guido. They're just here to make sure.

    October 8, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • YurFunny

      he can afford it, don't worry... http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/07-04-10-after-move-to-river-oaks-joel-osteen-wants-to-sell-tanglewood-land-for-11-million/

      October 10, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  17. BoldGeorge

    What Lee conveniently forgets to mention about Jesus Christ is that he had many listeners but not many followers. Jesus appealed to many people's ears but not to their hearts. Jesus was after people's hearts so they would FOLLOW Him, not jut listen to Him. That is why He always emphasized, "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves." - James 1:22.....and also, "for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified." - Romans 2:13

    I can safely (but unfortunately) say that Joel Olsteen does not preach Jesus Christ. In fact, he preaches the opposite of Jesus Christ. Counter to what Olsteen preaches, here's what Jesus Christ Himself says, "Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW..." - Matthew 10:34,35 - Obviously, you have to read these verses in its context to understand what He is saying here.

    I once heard a good Christian say, "Jesus Christ preached SELF-DENIAL, not SELF-FULFILLMENT. Here's JEsus Himself saying this, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me."– Luke 9:23

    In just a few words, YES, Jesus Christ is about love, but he isn't for sin, He isn't for injustice, He isn't for unrepentance, and He sure isn't for unholiness.

    October 8, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Anon

      All I understood was 2 + 2 = 5 (Jesus).

      October 8, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • BorisMorris

      yeah jesus loves us so him and his dad send us tsunamis and cancers and all to kill and maim us.

      No thanks, you can keep your god ass-hole.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • News Flash

      Jesus, (Yeshua bar Josef), was a JEW. A good JEW. He never said he was trying to start a new religion. (Saul of Tarsus did that). It's all made up BS, by people who are afraid to face the fact that what they were told as children, is ALL WET.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      newsflash: You are too funny! Irreverent, and funny. Saul of Taursus did what? Converted to who? Preached about Who? Believed and followed Who? and Sacrificed his life for Who? For the One and Only: The founder of Christianity...yes, a Jew.

      October 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • News Flash

      No, BG,
      The community in Jerusalem, headed by James, was NOT intent on starting a new religion. It was done by Paul, who was NOT a Jew. Why do you think they fought so much ?

      October 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Original post is No True Scotsman

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/No_True_Scotsman

      October 8, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    God rejects the gospel of the Philistines: Prosperity at all costs.

    Matthew 19: "The Rich Young Ruler"

    16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

    17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

    19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

    21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

    23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

    26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

    28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

    30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

    Before Jesus met the young ruler, he just had blessed children, and through that he confirmed the divine mandates of marriage and work, that man shall produce children and goods. After that Jesus went on to Jerusalem, where he should be rejected and suffer.

    Suddenly a rich young ruler approaches Jesus, stops him, and tells him: “I am a man, according to your notions of a perfect man: I have purchased riches, wife and children.” By that he told Jesus he would belong to the good people on earth (establishment), which know, how life works, and which cope with life. He belonged to that sort of people, which get born into this world with a label on their forehead: Possessor! Possessing work, possessing money, possessing family. Possessing was the basic attribute of his personality. But sometimes, at silent moments, he started to mind and wondered, what will come after death. What could he do, in order to possess everything, even after death? So, Jesus was very welcome; this famous evangelist could give him information for sure.

    The young ruler asks Jesus, which good deeds he had to do, in order to become a possessor of eternal life.

    First, Jesus had to made it plain that he himself didn’t belong to the possessors and bosses on earth and he never wanted to be their good master. The young ruler had expected an answer from Jesus, which would be inside the categories of this world, but Jesus directs him to God, who could give him information about what is good. For Jesus was kind, he also told him, what God required him to do: “Keep the commandments!” Jesus handles the young ruler pastorally and first tells him the commandments, which are even known within the world of the Philistines (Jesus first retains the commandments, refering to loving God), not to overcharge him. The young ruler as honourable citizen cannot avoid to tell Jesus, he had ever kept all the commandments, whereby he obviously made a mistake, regarding himself, because how could he be rich and at the same time love his neighbours like himself. Okay, sometimes, when he attented the market of Jerusalem, he gave the beggars some denars, but to built a school for the poor children of his poor neighbours of his village, that was yet too much to ask for.

    Jesus becomes a little more vigorous, and requires the young man to give all his possession to the poor, and then to follow him. Should that be hard for him, who allegedly loved his neighbour like himself, to give all his possession to the poor? Jesus releases the young ruler at first from his delusion, he would love his neighbour like himself. But Jesus goes on even further, and tries to get him out out of the limited world of the Philistines by saying: “Follow me!” Jesus doesn’t want to put in order merely the relationship between the rich young man and his neighbours, but even his relationship with God. Jesus now requires him to do 2 things: “Give all your worldly goods to the poor!” and “Follow me!”. In fact it is merely about following Jesus. The wealth of the rich young ruler was his idol (mammon), which kept him away from Jesus. The wealth of the rich young man had become an idol, because he was not ready to share it with people in need. Jesus told him: “Abandon your idol, and join me, the true God!” By following Jesus, the young man had automatically kept all commandments: regarding the love to his neighbour and regarding the love to God.

    The young man went away sorrowful, because he loved his idol more than God. Jesus’ comment: “A rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

    The followers of Jesus got exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved?

    The disciples had understood Jesus very well. The young man didn’t use his wealth rightly. It was not about possessing much or little, but about the lacking readiness of the young man to donate anything of his possession. That was his problem. He didn’t use his wealth to help the poor, thus his wealth became a curse and demon for him, which kept him away from Jesus.

    The wealth in itself was not bad, but the fact that the young man didn’t use it for helping the poor. The young man handled wrongly his wealth. But even a labourer with a small fortune can be as guilty as the rich young ruler, when he doesn’t help people in need. Even a small fortune can become a curse and demon for someone, who doesn’t use it rightly. Often labourers criticize bosses for their wealth, but possibly they are as guilty as their bosses. The disciples had understood that even a very small fortune can be keep someone away from heaven, if he uses it wrong. Who then can be saved? We are all guilty of avarice.

    One could say: “Oh, I have understood, it is only important not to attach one’s heart to the fortune. I will keep on increasing my fortune and keep on saving money.” This man makes a big mistake. Somebody, who really has not attached his heart to his riches, will start immediately to give away parts of his fortune and will not keep on increasing his fortune. There are plenty of needy people. One must be blind to oversee them.

    By the way, here it becomes clear, what Jesus means by the term “bad eye”, which he uses so often. A rich man, who doesn’t donate any money, could say: “Oh, I have not attached my heart to my fortune, I am free.” But this would mean that he would not perceive solely one poor man. This is only possible by having “bad eyes”. Someone, who doesn’t want to perceive the poor, will finally become spiritually blind and unable to realize the existence of the poor. Bad eyes are a kind of damnation, because a man with bad eyes has no awareness of the sin of his avarice.

    Everybody, reading this article, should immediately start to help people in need. That is the only right conclusion, after reading this article.

    No matter, if you are a labourer or an enterpriser, start to give. Give away the money, that can become a curse and demon for you, which keeps you away from Jesus.

    By the way, Jesus doesn’t want us to become poor, but he just wants that we really love our neighbours by word and deed. Jesus doesn’t appreciate poverty, but the readiness to give. Poverty is no value in itself.

    It is all about following Jesus and that means to submit all areas of the personal life to Jesus. How does a follower of Jesus handle his neighbour?: He loves him by word and deed. However, discipleship is even more than correct handling of finances, but concerns all areas of life.

    How can we get the power to obey Jesus entirely and to follow him?

    Answer: By faith and sacramental baptism.

    Important note:

    By nature we are selfish. We are under the rule of the original sin. We need deliverance. At Holy Baptism we receive the power of Christ’s death and resurrection. We die together with Jesus and resurrect together with Jesus to a new life. Jesus wants to set us free. Of course, before we get baptized we have to believe that Jesus died for us on the cross. Jesus has borne our sins on the cross. The releasing power of this sacrifice we receive at baptism.

    What is a Philistine?

    Philistines (bourgeoises, squares) embrace an earthly (secular, wordly) atti-tude, i. e. they pursue honour, riches and power. A Philistine life is opposed to a Christian life. Both cannot be united at all. Either I am a Philistine or I am a Christian. The rich young ruler was an obvious Philistine. Jesus didn’t really appreciate his life-style, but asked him to convert (sell all your goods, and give it to the poor, and come on and follow me!).

    Christian life-style:

    The fruit of faith is Christian love. A Christian pursues happyness for his neighbours and for himself. It is a game of making happy each other. Christians share the gospel of Jesus Christ with their neighbours, and wish the advance of their neighbours in all areas of life. Their life is a life of health and their message is a message of health.

    Of course, also Christians work and marry, but they don’t see work and marriage as expression of their social status. Christians are not concerned about their social status, but how they can live according to God’s will. Work and marriage are divine mandates for all human beings. Everybody is supposed to work and to marry (with some little exceptions). By the divine mandates children and good come into being, which consti-tute the world, in which we live.

    October 8, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • BorisMorris

      Save your copy and paste. If there's a god, he obviously doesn't give a sh!t about what we do.

      October 8, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • john316

      Agreed... It's the fact that if man puts his trust in riches is the issue.

      October 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
  19. CSX

    Either preach salvation or not. You do not. Everything does not matter until this is settled. Your father knew that.

    October 8, 2011 at 8:48 am |
    • shwmin

      agreed...well said

      October 8, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow, schwmin, you're just full of brilliant comments. Or full of something else. Have you figured out how to use commas yet?

      October 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • News Flash

      The ancient gods are no longer angry. They never existed. There is no need to be "saved" from anything. Human sacrifice was, and always will be, barbaric. Time to enter the 21st century.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  20. Reality

    Dear "Rev." Osteen,

    A prayer for you to say in your cell after you are co-nvicted for fra-ud:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    October 8, 2011 at 7:55 am |
    • Colin

      Reality, keep it up, my friend. Do not let that guy who keeps complaining dissuade you. Your constant doses of common sense are welcome.

      October 8, 2011 at 9:00 am |
    • EuphoriCrest

      One day you will eat your words (along with some garlic bread and maybe a nice salad) as you come face-to-meatball with the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Then you will know the joy of His noodly embrace!

      October 8, 2011 at 10:00 am |
    • Donn

      you are so clueless about Osteen. first of all he is not a REV. nor is there any Fraud.. ahahahha.... it must be so hard to be so depressed as you are.

      October 8, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • .........

      plz hit report abuse to any reality copy paste garbage

      October 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • ...

      please hit report abuse to all herbert juarez copy/paste "plz hit report abuse to any reality copy paste garbage"posts.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:22 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.