that time I visited Joel & Victoria Osteen’s church

English: Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, Houst...
English: Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lot of folks are sharing that Al Mohler article rebuking Victoria Osteen for her and her husband’s bad theology. We can go on and criticize the Osteen’s “consumeristic theology” and say ne’r a critical word about Christians marrying capitalism to Christianity as Mohler and the SBC have done. I have taken the Prosperity Gospel to task, and I will continue to do so, but let us not kid ourselve here, just as Mohler impugns the Osteens’ for claiming that “mere happiness” cannot “bear the weight of the gospel” neither can the fearmongering of total depravity Neo-Calvinism of the SBC.

For what it is worth, the Osteens’ come close to talking about God’s goodness as the impetus of being in relationship with God. I have actually visited Lakewood Church, and it is a multicultural setting. The center of the service itself is NOT THE PREACHING OR THE PASTOR OR THE SERMONS; the locus of the theology of the church (which is conservative evangelical) is the music ministry itself. They play contemporary Christian and Contemporary Gospel songs. Also, Lakewood Church does discipleship through small groups. Discipleship, ever heard of it, NeoCals? I don’t think I can stress this enough. Analysis such as Mohler’s lack #TrueNuance ,and at the same time, the Neo-Calvinist perspective lacks any form of self-criticism when it comes to bashing other Christians for manipulating people’s emotions. That’s the sword they die on.

For more on my experience at Lakewood Church, see here: visiting Joel Osteen’s church

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