Paul's Passing Thoughts

Joel Osteen is Demonstrably More Ethical Than Albert Mohler

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on May 7, 2019

ppt-jpeg4“Moreover, Mohler reins over a religious empire responsible for covering up innumerable crimes against children while the same cannot be said for Osteen’s ministry. For any Christian to be impressed with Mohler’s article and not recognize the steroidal hypocrisy of it, is cognitive dissonance of the highest order.”

I didn’t have any intentions of writing an article this week or in the near future because I am in the middle of clinicals and also preparing for state exams.  That is, until I stumbled onto this article written by the insufferable “Dr.” Albert Mohler. Far be it from me to judge someone’s salvation, but also far from me is any assurance that Mohler is going to heaven because he preaches a blatant false gospel. And nothing irks me more than arrogant bloviated stuffed suits spreading a false gospel while pontificating about who is going to hell and not going to hell.

Joel Osteen  is the number one whipping boy of evangelicalism. Like Democrats and some Republicans who can’t get over Donald Trump, whether Albert Mohler, John MacArthur, John Piper et al, they just can’t get over Joel Osteen. Why? Well, obviously, he poses a threat. That is, a threat to…

…their power, personal wealth, and their personality cult cash cow which is the evangelical industrial complex because after all, church is an institution and NOTHING more or less. And what is the church institution selling? Salvation. I really don’t even know where to begin to spell out the moral differences between Mohler and Osteen, but we can begin here: at least Osteen isn’t selling salvation. My friends, making bank on the historical sacrifice of Christ is a really bad idea. Ironically, the major complaint about Osteen is just that; he doesn’t emphasize sin. But wait a minute; isn’t that why Christ went to the cross? Why should we emphasize what Christ ended? Is it ended or not? Herein is the rub: if sin is ended; there is nothing to sell. And let me qualify that; we are talking about a sin that still invokes CONDEMNATION rather than a failure to love invoking chastisement from our Father. If it’s a family matter that doesn’t put people in danger of eternal hell, it doesn’t bode well for RMR (reoccurring monthly revenue).

So, what is Osteen selling? Ideas as opposed to salvation. Yes indeed, these two interpret, “It is finished” differently. And what idea is Osteen selling? Here it is: we are not totally depraved. You see, true Christians, ultimately, are not going to buy into the idea that God’s children are totally depraved. Osteen is merely a pushback against that idea in the same way Donald Trump is a pushback against politics as usual. Humanity is a creature of habit, and church had humanity in a habit of tradition based on compelling people to practice church religion by force for 1700 years. America makes the likes of Osteen possible much to the disdain of the Albert Mohler-like tyrants of the world. And by the way, that’s exactly why the church is no friend of Americanism. Mohler often complains loudly about how “anyone with a smart phone can now be a theologian.” That kind of personal freedom, and the ability to get an instant audience along with it grates on Mohler more than we will ever know.

That is, Mohler and every other tyrant wasting oxygen upon the earth. In the same way that a thriving middleclass diminishes the importance of political elitism, individual ability diminishes the power and prestige of religious elitists. As Mohler once said at a conference, pastors are God’s preordained servants to save His people from ignorance. Osteen rejects that concept out of hand, and rather sees pastors as God’s preordained servants to point the way to individual empowerment. Osteen does not claim to have God ordained authority over people; Mohler does. Osteen has to market a product that is a much tougher sell than, “If you don’t obey me and give money as an ‘ordinary means of grace’ you are going to hell for eternity.'”

Protestant evangelicals are the most unethical people in the world while hiding it better than anyone else. Their following was born into condemnation and fear which sucks logic and commonsense out of reality. Mohler relabels and redefines reality at will with little resistance from anyone. Hence, Mohler gets away with labeling Osteen’s gospel as a “prosperity gospel.” And on what premise? Answer: preference. To say that Mohler is the pot calling the kettle black would be a gargantuan understatement. According to Mohler:

As Luce’s article makes clear, Osteen’s message is a gold-mine. Indeed, Osteen’s false gospel works for him financially. As the article makes clear, Osteen received a $13 million advance for just one recent book. Luce details, “With a fortune estimated at $60 million and a mansion listed on Zillow at $10.7 million, Osteen is hardly living like a friar. His suburban Houston home has three elevators, a swimming pool and parking for 20 cars including his $230,000 Ferrari 458 Italia.”

Excuse me, but that’s actually pretty impressive without extorting money from “Christians” through the fear of eternal judgement. To say that the infrastructure of Lakewood Church and Osteen’s property pales in comparison to Southern Seminary alone, not to mention the Southern Baptist Convention’s infrastructure would be another gargantuan understatement. We could also discuss Franklin Graham’s obscene income for running the Samaritan Purse “charity” and the fact that WA Criswell drove a Mercedes gifted to him by church members. In addition, time does not allow for discussing the lifestyles of  Mohler’s pastor-buddies like James MacDonald.

Moreover, Mohler reins over a religious empire responsible for covering up innumerable crimes against children while the same cannot be said for Osteen’s ministry. For any Christian to be impressed with Mohler’s article and not recognize the steroidal hypocrisy of it, is cognitive dissonance of the highest order.

But let us not focus too much on residual points. Fact is, Osteen preaches a gospel that is way closer to the truth than Mohler’s gospel.

Luce also cites in his report this quote from another prosperity gospel preacher, Paula White: “Anyone who tells you to deny yourself is Satan.”

Someone needs to tell Paula that Jesus actually said that we should deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow him. If you get Jesus confused with Satan, you have made an eternally fatal error.

Yet, the entire superstructure of prosperity theology peddles false theology from top to bottom. Osteen is quoted by saying, “If you do your part, God will do his. He will promote you. He will give you the increase.”

This amounts to an entire reversal of the gospel of Christ revealed in the Scriptures. Nowhere do the Scriptures tell mankind that if we just do our part, God will do his. Instead, the Bible reveals that God accomplished everything needed for our salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on his cross.

Perhaps the most horrifying statement in the Financial Times articles pertains to Osteen’s exegesis of Jesus’ last words on the cross, “It is finished.” Osteen does not believe that Jesus declared those words as an attestation of his imminent death and the atonement he made. Instead, Osteen preaches that “It is finished,” means, “The guilt is finished. The depression is finished. The low self-esteem is finished. The mediocrity is finished. It is all finished.”

Osteen has replaced the entire biblical message of Christ and what he accomplished at Golgotha. He has exchanged sacrificial atonement for self-absorption. When Christ declared, “It is finished,” he declared far more than the watered-down psychotherapy of Joel Osteen—indeed, Christ declared that salvation had been secured; that death and the devil were defeated. The temple veil was torn in two, declaring the end of the sacrificial system because the perfect sacrifice had been made. Through Jesus Christ, we now have direct access to the Father.

My apology for the lengthy citation, but it is needed to point out and unravel Mohler’s gospel of  salvation by obedience to church authority, and why Osteen’s interpretation of “It is finished” is much closer to the truth. Mohler’s gospel, by his own written testimony, is an “atonement.” He states that twice in the above citation. What is an “atonement”? Is our salvation only a covering for sin and not an ending of sin? Mohler’s gospel does not remove eternal condemnation from the word “sin.” One must remain faithful to church to remain “covered” from the condemnation of sin. “There is now NO condemnation for those in Christ” comes with a qualification. And what is that qualification? You must submit yourself to church authority to remain covered. Osteen would not deny for a moment that God may chastise us for acts contrary to love. So, due to the fact that Osteen has a proper definition of sin, his gospel is far closer to the truth. While Mohler et al whine like a cat in heat over Osteen’s lack of sin-speak, they don’t even know what a proper biblical definition of sin is. Key to knowing what the gospel is requires an understanding that sin is not merely covered, but ended.

In another statement revealing Mohler’s misunderstanding of the true gospel, he writes, “Instead, the Bible reveals that God accomplished everything needed for our salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on his cross.” Well, that’s not true, but is certainly indicative of Moher’s denial of the new birth. Christ’s death is only half of what was needed to establish the new birth. If we must both die with Him and also be resurrected with Him in order to be saved, and we do, then obviously it is not solely about Christ’s death. But you see, if we have also been resurrected with Christ to new creaturehood and a different relationship to the law which excludes condemnation, why would we need a “sacramental atonement” exemplified by church? We wouldn’t, which means Albert Mohler would have to get a real job.

This is why they despise Osteen; he draws thousands to hear a message devoid of condemnation. This is a threat to their one-sided authority that is one-sided because of Americanism. Before Americanism, the church had a three-sided authority of eternal condemnation, criminal law, and physical death through the gateway of torture. Attending church was the law of the land and enforced by the civil government. The church had a “session” which was the church court and doled out criminal referrals to the civil magestrate. Be absolutely sure of this: the church longs for a return to those days. This is why church leaders will not debate theology with the commoners who have no right to question them in the first palce…American jurisprudence propagates the supposed false religion of individualism and individual autonomy…and Osteen is a prophet of such.  Hence, they despise him along with anyone else who inspires the lowly commoners.

Furthermore, on face value, Osteen is absolutely biblically correct when he states: “’It is finished,’  means, The guilt is finished. The depression is finished. The low self-esteem is finished. The mediocrity is finished. It is all finished.” Mohler doesn’t interpret Christ’s command to pick up a cross and follow Him as a reference to a one-time death only, but rather a lifestyle of death. So, it begs the question, What then, is finished? Mohler suggests that Jesus was speaking of physical death and the devil being “defeated.” This is indicative of Mohler’s slight of hand in the use of words. “Ended” in regard to sin is exchanged for “defeated” in regard to death and devils still running rampant lest one wouldn’t need the church as a sanctuary city.

Mohler’s assessment of the rending of the temple curtain is also errant. “The temple veil was torn in two, declaring the end of the sacrificial system because the perfect sacrifice had been made. Through Jesus Christ, we now have direct access to the Father.” That is, direct access to the Father through the church’s sacramental atonement system…supposedly. So, according to Mohler, God traded one sacramental system for another. Missing is the acknowledgement that only what was holy could enter the Holy of Holies. We have access to the Holy of Holies because we are not just covered by righteousness, we are righteous. And we are the temple of God, specifically the Holy of Holies, and the holy priests of that temple. And if that’s true, and it is, nothing poses a greater threat to Evangelicalism Inc.

 You may have noticed that there is one prosperity preacher that is close friends with Joel Osteen that Mohler et al will not lay a paw on: Joseph Prince. Why is that? Prince strongly empasises a narrow gospel message in all of his sermons; and what is that gospel? It is the gospel message of justification by faith to a “T.” In fact, no one articulates justification by faith as well as Joseph Prince. I have written about this  here.  Whether Mohler, MacArthur, Piper, or others, they do not want to draw any attention towards Prince for this reason. Imagine evangelicals tuning into Prince on cable television and hearing the exact same thing they hear in their Baptist churches every Sunday? Worse yet, Prince’s logical deductions and applications regarding justification by faith, especially applications concerning the law, could raise some very problematic questions for evangelicals.

Far from being an Osteen propagator,  I must admit that I take great joy in seeing how Osteen gets under the skin of Albert Mohler while he can’t do a thing about it. Regardless of incessant attacks by Mohler and MacArthur, they are unable to put a dent in Osteen’s following. Mohler’s article also reveals the kind of things Osteen states from the pulpit that aggravates Mohler to no end: “If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had a computer, your face would be the screen saver.”

Now, in my book, that’s just good stuff and barely short of pure gold. We live in an awesome time; politically, regardless of what you think of him, it is the gift that keeps giving to watch Trump drive Democrat tyrants completely out of their minds. Likewise, it is a delight to watch Osteen do the same on the religious side. For certain, his smooth Texas drawl and infectious smile must be like rubbing salt in the wound. Blessed be 1776.

And excuse me while I print off a picture of Osteen from the internet and tape it to my refrigerator. After all, he might be next of kin.

paul

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