I am amused by some of my Christian acquaintances and friends. They spend time postulating and posing ideas in their minds as to what exactly is meant by some of the weightier things in Godâ€™s word. The church and the form it takes is one current fashion. I read recently that the church is â€œinvisible.â€ I have heard that it is not an organization, a corporation, an entity, or an institution.
I guess I should not be surprised at this, but I was. I received in the mail the 2009 Bible catalog from Christian Book Distributors. I happened across a listing for a Bible to be released in February 2009 for the NLT Hope For Today Bible. Here is the blurb attached with it:
“Millions of Americans ‘attend’ Lakewood Church via television broadcasts. Now with this Bible, you can savor Joel Osteen’s spiritual insights and scriptural applications daily!”
I felt like uttering a John McEnroe, “You can’t be serious!” I can’t wait to see what these “spiritual insights and scriptural applications” are. Perhaps he will include his quip that if Jesus were alive today, he would fly on his own personal jet. I think that “insight” would be good right next to Jesus’ words, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58).
Joel Osteen has also taught that “God is a positive God” and “there is nothing negative about God.” This particular “insight” could sit next to these words of Jesus, “But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you seeAbraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God butyou yourselves cast out” (Luke 13:27-28).
Maybe Joel Osteen’s teaching that “if we think positively, good things will happen to us” can be offset next to the crucifixion of Jesus, the stoning of Stephen, the beheading of John the Baptist, the persecution of the apostle Paul, or the death of the apostle James. If nothing else, maybe this will give Joel Osteen a chance to read and use the scriptures, rather than telling cute story after cute story every Sunday.