I probably should have said something positive before I gave my critique of Pastor Joel. So really this should be Part I, but as it is it’s, Part III. Just think of the Star Wars movies, and how the more recent one’s are technically, Star Wars I-III. So its the same type of thing; they just made a lot more money, and had a slightly larger following. Anyhow, I did find some things commendable with Joel Osteen and his CBS interview. Here they are.
1.) On his broadcasts, he doesn’t regularly ask for money from the viewers. He admitted that broadcasts obviously cost money, but still has not become one of those TV preachers/speakers/evangelists/whatever-you-call-them who is always saying, “Now go to the phones. Just make that payment, or buy this prayer blanket, and ‘sow that seed,’ and all kinds of good stuff will happen to you.” You don’t get that with Pastor Joel, at least that I could tell. I didn’t get the feeling he is a charlatan. What you see is what you get.
2.) When asked about some of the lives he’s affected, he began weeping, overwhelmed that God would use him to help people. And it would seem there is a genuine desire to help people, not simply benefit from them.
3.) Finally, he did admit that suffering was part of life, and God helps you amidst the suffering. Though prosperity (healthy, wealthy, and wise) is thrust to the forefront, he did at least mention suffering, and said, “We do talk about that as well.”
4.) At the conclusion of his normal broadcast (at least the one’s I’ve seen) he does instruct people to find a church near them. A lot of people listen to Pastor Joel, so hopefully they listen to him and find a bible believing church with which to connect.
Finding something commendable can be hard sometimes, but I do believe it is necessary. Paul did this both with non Christians (Acts 17) and with Christians. Look at what Paul writes to the church at Corinth (I Cor 1:4-5) which was divisive, often drunk, adulterous, and arrogant
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge–
Destructing is easy (and important as well-I Cor 10:5), but constructing and building up can be much harder. And it is just as biblical.