I remember about a year ago hearing my mother ask me if I ever listened to Joel Osteen. My first response was,
“You know….the caucasian pastor on BET…smiles a lot….”
“Ohhh. That guy. Nah.”
It wasn’t anything against Joel…. I just feel a loyalty to my own pastor. He’s not on television. He doesn’t draw large crowds (yet.) But he guides me spiritually and nourishes my soul to do the things that I need to do. He’s not perfect, but he always manages to show me his best side. More than anything, his love isn’t just filled with positive thoughts. Real love is being able to tell someone when they have spinach in their teeth….or when they need to consider changing their attitude about some things to be more like Christ wants us to be. (But enough about my assigned man of God right now….)
I say that there wasn’t anything about Joel — but in a small way, there was. Something about me distrusted the way that he smiled so often. Something made me uneasy about the fact that the church was so large given all of the negative reports that I’ve heard over the years about others who have spent money exhorbently and bought excessively. I don’t have anything against mega-ministries, but I don’t encourage new Christians to join them. I feel that they definitely have their place. If more souls are brought to Christ, and more people are inspired to join smaller group where they learn more about the scripture, then they’ve certainly done their job. But a part of me feels like people join mega-ministries to become a part of something bigger….like the guy in Idaho who becomes a Yankee fan. Attaching yourself to success often makes you feel successful.
“What church do you belong to?”
(Standing tall) “I belong to Joel Osteen’s church.”
But this isn’t to say that those are places where a person living for Christ can’t be fed. Just like my church isn’t the only place in the world where Christ dwells, I’m sure He can dwell in the mega-ministry as well. I just feel as if people often get “lost in the sauce”. Part of what makes me a bit more accountable is the fact that there aren’t quite so many people to hide behind. It’s quite possible on any given Sunday (no pun intended) that I can be called upon to do something. Church, to me, is at its strongest when people are intermingling with other believers who they wouldn’t normally associate with. It’s about getting to fellowship and stand on common ground with others who share your faith as well as sharing your experiences and being a beacon of light to draw others to Christ. Continue reading ‘Joel Osteen – A Gift, Not to Be Mocked’