Unsettled Christianity

Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus
September 1st, 2014 by Joel Watts

in defense of victoria osteen

Have you seen the video, with the apocryphal ending (like Job or Esther) that makes it better?

This is what she said,

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy. So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”

Yes, it is a heresy, stupid, and wrong. But, so is the Arianism of liberal Christianity, the gnosticism (rejection of the good of the material world) of fundamentalism, and the denial of the Trinity of oneness folks. This is simply American Christianity.

Why are we judging her for speaking power to what too many people believe is the truth? She’s not at fault; we are. Recent studies have shown that pastors would rather be successful than preach Christian orthodoxy. People would rather be told the world revolves around them. Americans are laughed at because we often have this air around us that nothing outside this border matters. What Victoria said is exactly what too many people believe already. She is simply being the pastor many want.

Don’t blame her. Blame those who don’t teach orthodoxy, who don’t want to hear it — blame those who want to give an hour a week to God and expect him to pay out money in return. Blame civic religion.

Joel Watts
Watts holds a MA in Theological Studies from United Theological Seminary. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians, as well as seeking an MA in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State University. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Comments

5 Responses to “in defense of victoria osteen”
  1. Orthodox? Sometimes too much orthodoxy…
    I like this,
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7tGuJ34062s
    Over this,
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h9oW91Iv8D8
    I really hate this song. Something about Revelation, washing in blood, white as snow, bridegroom, that seems just so wrong.
    Give me Janis’s “old-time Religion”. Old time for me is 60’s.
    Happy Labor Day.
    🙂

  2. Milton Almeida says

    Ditto!

  3. That is ridiculous and analogous to not blaming a pimp for offering prostitutes because “that’s what the people want”. We will all be held accountable for our actions, whether good or bad, corporately and individually.

    There are so many verses about this:

    “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” (James 3:1)
    “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)
    “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.” (Hebrews 13:9)
    “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)
    “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Gal. 1:6-9)
    “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matt. 7:15)
    “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30)
    “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:1-3)
    “I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned…By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” (Rom. 16:17-18)
    “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

    These warnings should not be taken lightly in any sense.

  4. Oh my gosh leave Victoria alone she is doing a wonderful job. So over the Pharisee Christian that thinks their legalistic way is Gods way,it’s so not Gods heart, just proves who really is full of dead men’s bones

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