First, a confession – I really don’t know whether Joel is Antinominian or not. I just love the sound of the word – and Joel’s “teaching” does seem to be the polar opposite of legalism, n’est-çe pas?
My iPastor, the iMonk, stated rather categorically yesterday, that Joel was the Anti-Christ – which Phillip Wynn unpacks rather well. Michael IS known for his rather Pythonesque sense of humour, however – but, like many of us, he struggles with the Tony Robbins-like nonsense that Joel spouts as a preacher of supposedly Christian messages. UPDATE: Michael now says Joel’s a duck…and he just may be right.
Tim Challies linked this morning to a Mel Duncan article on his Osteen “concert” visit. Mel concludes thusly,
Joel Osteen is the slick and polished face of non creedal American Evangelicalism. Joel is youthful, exuding Opie from Mayberry, aw shucks Americana that is uplifting, believable, and even to this cynic, soothing. Joel Osteen is wonderbread.
Now I recognize that everyone (whether we realize it or not) probably has someone in their life like Joel Osteen, a relentless optimist, who simple mindedly prods one to excellence, selflessness, and endurance. I’m just thinking Joel Osteen is not actually doing this with his people. At the end of the day, Osteen encouraged his crowd not to seek Christ as the solutions to their problems but something else. That something else seemed to be a clever but highly charged view of self. Self-interest, Self-gratification, Self-fulfillment, Self-realization, Self-actualization, with a little bit of sanitized obligatory righteous buzz words thrown in to make it appear evangelically kosher for the uninitiated.
What took place at Osteen’s erstwhile crusade in my city can only be described as the next step in Post Modern Pentecostalism. It is the health and wealth gospel for healthy and wealthy people. If the Christian religion is medicine for souls that are poor and needy than Osteen is a bottle of vitamins in an operating room.