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Monday, January 3, 2011

Platitudes Without Beatitudes.

Is this the Old Path?  Are preachers comprising the truth to keep their popularity? After a sermon that was so hard to understand and seemingly hard to live out,  Jesus asked the twelve disciples  “Will ye also go away?”  (John 6:67)  Jesus spent little time worrying about popularity or offending people with His message, because His message came from the Father. He asked the disciples to declare  where they stood on the Truth.  After Christ's  sermon, some followers decided not to walk with Jesus again.  They left him.  The disciples declared " To whom shall we go?  Thou hast the words of eternal life."  One of the reasons many are not hearing the gospel today is that too many “Osteen-like” preachers are afraid of alienating people (or potential book customers),  and while, yes,  they have the world’s attention with television shows and beautiful edifices, the spiritual food they provide is nothing more than general self-help, positive thinking  platitudes that anyone can teach.  Really, Joel? You can't  discuss Atheists either?  
Here are some Joel Osteen quotes…
--To me, we're marketing hope. (…or building a false hope?)
--You can be happy where you are. (But Joel what if “where you are” is sinful and sends you to hell?)
--It's the same message that people were preaching hundreds and hundreds of years ago, we're just repackaging it. (Or watering it down to make everyone comfortable…)
--I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know. (Can you at least tell us what Jesus said on the subject?)
--I'd like to think that I can help everyday people who don't necessarily go to church.
(Maybe you can, but the best help according to scripture,  is repenting of sin and being reconciled with God.)
All quotes from Joel Osteen are from  
We really are living in dangerous spiritual times.  This watering down of the gospel comes from a particular type of theological thinking called religious syncretism- which is a melding of contrasting religious beliefs.  This was practiced under the ancient Roman Empire, for political reasons.  For reasons of political unity throughout the empire, they did not try to change the various religions and beliefs of the lands they had conquered . [1]  Gonzalez notes that “Syncretism was the fashion of the time.  In that atmosphere, Jews and Christians were seen as unbending fanatics who insisted on the sole worship of their One God”.  Get the picture?  This is what we are faced with today. Those that preach against false religion or preach the idea that there is only one way to heaven are seen as unloving fanatics.  Satisfying this trend in religion will only lead to changing the gospel.

The result of trying to keep up with the current religious trend? Nominal Christians who in the end, believe in nothing, and standing for even less. 
There is only one gospel of Jesus Christ…

[1] Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity, Volume 1, The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. New York : HarperCollins , 1984, p 14-15.

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