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Monday, November 19, 2007

Televangelists.... Stink Free Poop (for a price)

Joel Osteen, (see, he's gone!) ,and the Feel Good movement. My Berean nature wants to rip into that one!

Our country needs outreach. Endless crowds of people pack these Mega churches, yearning for something more. Christ. But... a Christ that doesn't offend. No conviction here. Just shiny happy people in pretty polished places... who never leave the bottle of watered down "formula gospel", and never learn that even in our "happy feel good places" some things are sin.

All the "free" love is bringing me back to my Grateful Dead and Rainbow Gathering days. Where the outside was always loving and accepting of EVERYTHING, but the fruit of that sin left tears and agony once the hype of the "show" (service) was over.

It would be so easy to dismiss this kind of church completely, but I have a friend... One who has been trying to know God for several years. Now I couldn't get her to come to church with me if her life depended on it. Yet I received a phone call a while back. "Hey, I like that Joel Osteen guy. I can really relate! I am faithfully watching him every night." Whoa! Isn't a little watered down gospel better than starvation? I mean, she's getting some good from this, right? Could this maybe lead to more? Is she changing her ways? No, not yet, but maybe one day. Could God be using this televangelist? Or is Satan? I really don't know. If the guy is bringing souls to the lord.... it's GOTTA BE GOD! Hmmmm. Makes me think. What are YOUR thoughts?

On a slightly different note. My kids and I turned on TBN the other day ('cause I love big hair) and a preacher was on asking for money (no.. not on TBN, couldn't be) anyway, he was saying "I hear the Lord talking right now, he's saying that if you have enough faith to send me money RIGHT NOW, God is going to keep you healthy for year (because God only heals if you pay him, right?), AND you get this plastic angel pin for your gift of $100 or more. WOW, a year of health AND a plastic angel pin, this televangelist MUST be anointed. My super fantastic 11 year old daughter chimed in with her best southern evangelist voice and said. "and if you send me $1000 your poop won't stink for a month! Can I get an Amen?" To which the rest of my children chanted "AMEN!"

Oh she gets it. I'm raising her well. You know you have arrived as a parent when your child understands the money driven futile promises of the Televangelist are B.S.

21 comments:

candi said...

AMEN!!!!! There's not much more to say, you said it best! I agree 100% with you. But hey if you've got that number for the "poop won't stink preacher" I'd pay big money to take care of that problem in my house full of boys!!

Dawn said...

I am afraid of people like Joel O. I think sometimes they do more harm than good. He preaches that God wants you to be happy and wants to bless you and if you just set your mind to it you will be happy and in a good mood. The truth is God tests us and challenges us, He allows us to struggle and hurt. I am afraid that people will listen to him and think they aren't faithful enough because they are hurting and they don't have a good life because they don't pray enough or haven't set their mind to it. I suffer from depression and remember feeling really dark and lost when people like him blamed it on my sin and said I must not be faithful enough or pray enough. Yes, my depression, as well as every other miserable thing, is a result of sin not specifically mine but mankind's. The garden was perfect and everything would have been great but "we" sinned.

Emily said...

oh man Karlie, that post was funny AND poignant. How do you do that?

Having attended Rick Warrens church ONCE before. I agree felt like it was a little bit formulaic. A little showy for my taste. But that guy....I've heard him speak and he's a sincere guy.

I enjoyed hearing him talk as the token conservative in a group of....(is it PC to call them wacko's?) liberals.

He was poised and SMART and funny and heartfelt. And he kept pointing back to God. Sounds good in my book.

And send some of that stink free poop to my house. AMEN?

Kathleen aka Coffee Mom said...

All tv preachers make me think of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, and we all know where that money went. But- some of that stink free poop would be a good thing...

Halfmoon Girl said...

I am not familiar with the preachers mentioned, but I know what you are saying. We all have smaller versions of such churches in our towns. There is usually not a lot of personal spiritual growth in individuals. I LOVED your daughter's comment- insightful and hilarious! I am proud of her without even knowing her!

Gayle said...

I bet they are reaching someone but I usually get turned off by the "Popular" christians and mega churches. I gag reading Charisma magazine because all the adds are for flash and dazzle. Blech!

Cindy said...

Well Karlie, leave it to you. :) You make me laugh.

I do think Rick Warren is the real deal. From what I understand of his church, too, it is really reaching a segment of population that might have been completely missed by churches who want the "good" people in their pews. He really is an incredible writer and speaker and I think God is using Him in a mighty way. And just because it is a mega church (my own church where my hubby is a pastor is considered a "megachurch" with a few thousand)--doesn't mean it isn't legit, and effective. Sometimes I think churches simply grow BECAUSE they are doing something right; and perhaps God has truly poured out His blessing on Mr. Warren's church.

Joel O- I can't listen to him for more than an nanosecond, although I have been more impressed by the conviction his wife speaks with-- pointing to JESUS.

The money stuff is such a turn off and so sad when you think of the lonely widows sending in money for what they THINK is one thing and it being used for something else; surely that happens.

You do have a point- people are finding God via televangelists. So who are we to judge their motives or their hearts? It isn't my job, so I've read in scripture. :)

Gombojav Tribe said...

The Apostle Paul addressed this: Phil. 1:18 "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."

And I think we need to be really careful about poking fun at those who are preaching the Gospel--even if they are strange. (James 4:11; Titus 3:1) Remember that the prophets of old were all odd folks. I'm not saying all televangelists are great prophets or even that they are right, but there is a healthy amount of fear in me to keep me from laughing at a brother or sister who believes they are doing the will of God. Remember when the little children mocked Elisha and the mama bear came and ate 'em up? :-) (2 Kings 2)

(Oh, and about Rick Warren...did you know he does not take a salary from his church? He pastors there because he loves to, not because the church pays him.)

Rachelle said...

Cindy summed up my thoughts so perfectly that I won't try to do it again. :-)

ConservaChick said...

OK, enough with the Rick Warren stuff already. I take it back. Rick Warren is removed from the list. Actually, I just put him there because he is clumped in with the feel good pastors by the media, I actually like the guy. So no more comments on Rick Warrens defense!
Gombojav Tribe,
Sorry, I have no fear of laughing at silly claims. We are called by God to check what we hear by his word.
Do I have a fear in the Lord? Yes. A fear in the man who tells me to send him money so I won't get sick next year? Nope... none.
But, I tell you what, if God turns me into bear snacks... you can say " I told you so". ( ;

Angela said...

I almost spit out my drink at the end of your post and my husband bust out laughing. I have to say our church has done some Rick Warren stuff and my opinion is that it's "Christian Lite" which I guess is a good introductory to the faith. But what of discipleship and going verse by verse through the Bible. Where's the meat? I'm tired of taking the milk...

javamamma said...

I am not a Joel Osteen hater, myself. I believe that God and His work is multi-faceted - my church doesn't look like Joel's but I'm a little leary of bashing his. I think his book brought a much-forgotten truth back into Christianity. Of course, many take it and run too far the other way but I definitely think God is into us living blessed. It's all about balance.

The money thing, I'm totally with you on. And your daughter is as brilliant and witty as her mother! :)

Christin said...

honestly, I know nothing of J.Osten. My husband says he liked his father b/c he preached a lot of meat. But I have no opinion on it. I mean, I could make one up. As I always seem to have opinions running rampant. ;) But...in truth, I got nothing.

But I DO hate what people have done all in the name of "what God says". One day...in heaven...they'll have a lot to answer for. But in the mean time, I just want to live my life so that HE is seen. Hopefully the REAL church will overshadow the manipulative fakers.

carrie said...

Someone else pointed it out...I think Rick Warren or anyone who preaches the "feel good" part of the scriptures is GOOD, as long as they aren't asking for money in return for miracles...LOL! I love your daughter's response! My kind of kid! Anyway, we went to a Purpose Driven Life church for about a year and it was a great "Seeker" church and a lot of the "meat" was in the small group studies that they did on Wednesday nights. I think that is the way to be...you get people in the door to hear the word on Sundays by being "lite" by being more "milk" to use a Biblical idea. Then the more you grow the more you want and you start going on Wednesday night, for the meat!

Now, as far as Joel O. or the Word of Faith Movement types...ehhh...I really think if they can get people saved, great, and then pray the Holy Spirit moves on them to get themselves into a church with a good Biblical Foundation...

EE said...

LOL!!!!
I think I'm with Kathleen on this one.
I do kind of like that evangelist that reminds me of a woman truck driver, though (sorry, can't remember her name). I can watch her in small doses;)

Katie & the boys said...

I LOOOOVE this post. You are right on the money...yes a pun intended!
Your daughter's wisdom speaks volumes about how you teach the truth and want them to know it and speak it. That's great.
I don't know enough about Joel Osteen to comment. I'm mainly just talking about a preacher just asking for money. I'm not speaking of anyone personally...
Thinking about what Gombajav tribe said, Phil 1:18 is talking about truth coming out--for instance if you and I both were speaking the truth about Christ, but my motives were not pure--the point is, Christ is being glorified because the truth is being proclaimed regardless of what I am on the inside. It's never about how we feel. (Jesus didn't emotionally feel like or enjoy suffering, yet he did it anyway!)I may be feeling sad or angry one day and not feeling like teaching my children something, but as long as I am still teaching them the truth--my feelings don't equal my spiritual health or the truth of who God is.
My pastor may be struggling on a Sunday, yet he still preaches the truth. I hope these examples are clear.
Galatians 1:6-9 speaks of false doctrine and those who preach it. And, there really is a problem with those who bring forth a false doctrine. Now, these people may have great motives--they may think they are preaching what is right. But, if it doesn't line up with scripture--well it just doesn't line up with scripture.
This is my understanding of these scriptures.
ConservaChick, I hope I haven't taken up too much space on your blog.

midwifemom said...

Oh how great is that. For the first part of your post I just want to mention the book of Revelation. Where John talks about the seven different churches, he mentions the church that is lukewarm. I am not very familiar with Joel's teaching, but based on what you said that sounds like what his teaching is.


http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/midwifemom/

Mrs. Darling said...

I dont ever watch TV evangelists and neither do my kids. I cant find a one that believes like I do anyway.

His Girl said...

How fun to find your blog! Can't wait to read more! Funny, funny girl ;)

Alpha Dude 1.5 said...

That post is totally, 100 percent AWESOME!!

You are absolutely right on the mark!

This is my first time here, and I haven't read very much (yet), but I can already tell you are raising your young'uns correctly. Training them up in the ways of the Lord.....

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I will be back to read more.

Blessings.

EEEEMommy said...

Fabulous post!!!

I saw an interview with Joel Osteen on 60 minutes. The scariest part is that he's NOT proclaiming Christ, and people are looking to HIM as their savior NOT Christ! Where's the Gospel?

Having read the post after it was edited, I was so confused by all the Rick Warren comments. I actually just borrowed his book from my grandma-in-law. I've always been a skeptic, but I've never actually read it. We'll see how it goes...