Paul's Passing Thoughts

Joel Osteen: Protestant Extradinaire

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on December 28, 2019

ppt-jpeg4Don’t let all of the various and sundry stripes of Protestantism whether Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Charismatic confuse you; it is all a variation of Double Imputation soteriology. I was reminded of that when I stumbled upon the below (bottom of post) tweet by Joel Osteen which I responded to.

The problem here, once again, is Protestantism’s fundamental error concerning the new birth which totally distorts a true Christian understanding of reality and salvation. In Protestantism’s Double Imputation soteriology, everything boils down to a single perspective on how God sees us regardless of what’s really going on. Hence, the Charismatic side of the Double Imputation coin (Osteen et al) posits the following: because of what Jesus has done, God only sees His approval of Jesus when He looks at us. Think, “covering.” This circumvents a fatherly view of his child according to reality and makes everything about the fulfilling of the law by Jesus. As children of God, why make it “our goal to please him” when, supposedly, because of Jesus, He only sees approval to begin with? To make any effort to please Him would be circumventing the work of Jesus, no? This under-law thinking restricts our relationship with the Father to a yes/no question of perfect law-keeping accomplished by Jesus. Therefore, of course, Osteen is going to preach a don’t worry, be happy lifestyle that pleases us as anything we do to please others is circumventing the salvific works of Jesus.

On the other side of the Double Imputation coin, viz, Baptists etc., again, a true fatherly relationship with God is circumvented. According to this version, we are totally depraved spiritual losers but whenever God looks at us, again, He only sees Jesus. According to this construct, likewise, why try to please the Father when there is nothing we can do to please Him anyway? Indeed, “all of our works are as filthy rags.” God is not really our father, he is a god of wrath that would be please to devour us with fire in an instant if not for Jesus the god of grace.

One side states that we should live like God sees us so we will be happier and richer while the other side states that we should mortify self and find joy/gratitude in Christ’s grace. Both really boil down to the same thing from two different angles: our love for the Father through the wisdom of the law will be relaxed because of the same soteriology that supplies a double substitution: Jesus is a covering rather than a true brother to those who have been transformed from death to life as a state of being. It’s a true Fatherly relationship; we are eternally secure and loved by our Father, and because of that reality, just like our fatherly relationships in this life, our Father is not always going to approve of our actions. And, by the way, He may want us to have the approval of others in many circumstances because like true realty a child’s behavior reflects on the parents.

However, Osteen’s approach is a pushback to the other side of the coin which is why he is wildly popular. Everyone following him got sick of hearing what a loser they are Sunday after Sunday.

That’s the difference, but in both cases the true new birth and how it results in a true Fatherly relationship with God is missing.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s