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First Look at Conde Nast’s Portfolio Article on Joel Osteen

Here’s a peek at the feature story in the August edition of Conde Nast’s Portfolio business magazine on pastor Joel Osteen.

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10 Comments

  1. That was a good read.

    At first it started to read like there was a full-blown bashing about to come upon Joel, but it ending up being a relativity objective article on the ministry.

    The church has an interesting, but seemingly healthy look at the church mission as being a "product", but when you're that large you almost have to in order to properly manage it. 

    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I think with the recent bank failures, foriegn takeovers of companies like Budweiser, and the lack of an economic plan from either Presidential candidate, we are looking at very desperate times ahead. As producers we are going to need to communicate with an audience that's deeply concerned about their financial situation. This could be a great time to break the stereotypes of the gold plated chairs and show viewers we do connect with their pain and offer a real solutions to their needs based on God's Word.

  3. I think Joel has a messaging/communications problem.  His "God wants us to prosper . . . " is being translated as "God wants us to be rich . . . " by many Christians and the secular media as well.

    I don't see the Biblical justification for those who go to the extreme to say that "Jesus was rich and you should be too so sow a $1000 to become the millionaire you are meant to be."  But I do see plenty in the Bible that says God wants me to do better today than yesterday, to live more abundantly and through faith experience His grace and mercy.

    So Phil, what is your counsel to Joel to be seen as positive instead of extreme?

  4. Postscript, good comment. And techincally everyone in America with a refrigerator and 100 square feet of home is rich by the worldwide standard of living. So we are there already, but where is God in all of it?

  5. Mr. Owens:  RE Financial Crises and Osteen's "Big" Living:  Perhaps we are in the times spoken of old, when great spiritual things happen.  But it takes spiritual eyes to see and understand.  So what of the mortgage meltdown crisis?  Well, perhaps so many of us have put the cart before the horse.  First of all, we are supposed to be good abodes for God.  Since God wants to live in us, we can offer Him either a spiritual shack or mansion.  He’s probably weary of visiting desolation shacks.  He probably feels more comfortable in a spiritual mansion, don’t you think?  A person with a spiritual mansion might have several splendid rooms in which God would enjoy being a welcome guest:  One room might represent healing, another prayer, another physical fitness, another compassion, another excellence in a profession, another humility, another in fellowship with man, another in higher lines and precepts, and so on and so forth.  But what have the people in the United States done these past several years?  We’ve enjoyed taking risky loans offered to us for “Joel-Osteen-inspired-big” homes, cars and lifestyles beyond our fiscal means.  So in essence, we’ve inhabited carnal “mansions” we were not worthy to occupy, based upon fraudulent lending and borrowing.  These classical upended actions, based upon faulty spiritual doctrine, inevitably manifest in the carnal, then explode  in the carnal, so God’s light shines on the carnal problem, so that honest seekers can finally get to see the true nature of the spiritual problem.  God really wants to manifest in every man, woman and child.  But with televangelists preaching some escapist topic: “Buy my book!” they say; or extreme prosperity: “Give to me, to get from Gawd!” they say; or escape machinations via second coming fear-mongering: “Tithe to me now, and when Jesus soon returns, he’ll give you a break!” they say; such wrong-doctrine messages seem to satisfy as long as preachers prosper and consciences of sheep are sufficiently stupefied. But God wants to live in purer spirits, a mansion we prepare for Him (like the saints of old) BEFORE we get ourselves that cool X,000 square foot "fancy" home.

    Now Osteen is a great leader.  But much of what works for him is the drool factor:  What a great-looking wife (a real trophy that one,) a great-looking church, a regular feast for the eyes and ears, a great book-seller (WOW!  He lives on the income and takes no salary!!!)  Nothing sells like success, you know.

     But the tendancy is to focus on all that success and forget to clean up the old soul, so Jesus can inhabit it and then such saintly souls so occupied, can bring heaven to earth now.  Many of us have tried the borrow-easy-money-way-that-is-beyond-our-means-to-have-that-big-life-now, and we are reeling.  We just believed God would help us take care of the mortgage, and now we just wonder what went wrong with believing them lucky fellas like Joel Osteen, who have a different way of income than normal mortals, God bless him.  It just seems harder to get God to bless us who live on the wrong end of the Christian broadcasting video camera.

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