Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Friday! Are you happier than you were on Thursday?

Joel Osteen, leader of Lakewood Church in Houston has written another book. The title is, "Every Day a Friday: How to Be Happier 7 Days a Week." It stems from research that says people are happier on Friday. Osteen wants to ensure that people can know they could be happy say, on Wednesday too.

I saw the title and I thought it was a spoof book someone else wrote who was making fun of his doctrine light and fresh toothpaste smile. Unfortunately the title nor the book is not a spoof nor a joke.

He was interviewed by ABC News and what follows are excerpts and quotes from what Osteen said during the interview. It is such a shame that he has become the face of Christianity, because what he espouses isn't Christianity. I hate when that happens. But we were foretold that it would.

"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." (2 Timothy 4:3) If Osteen and many others like him is any indication, that time is now.

"They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions." (Isaiah 30:10)

"For many years, people have heard that God's mad at them -- they can't live up to the standards. But our message is about the goodness of God,..."

I've heard Osteen say that before, about the Law. It is a straw man argument. The Law is fulfilled. Of course we cannot live up to the standards. Jesus came to fulfill the Law and release us from ritual and ceremony, from the futility of attempting to maintain external standards that elevate our sin nature to anything more than what it is, craven and debased. But Osteen says that kill-joy old Law, you forget about that and listen to me, and be happy.

Here is another quote:
Osteen said: "I think it goes back to tradition, how we were raised. Jesus talked about everyday life, not just doctrine but how do we live? How do we forgive? How do we keep a good attitude when the economy is down?"

Yeah, that's why Jesus suffered and died on the cross, to keep us happy when the economy is down.

Osteen continued: "I challenge you to let every day be a Friday. Give yourself permission to be happy every day. Not just on the weekends. Not just when you have a special event. Not just when you're on vacation. If you have the right mind set, you can be just as happy on Monday as you are on Friday. The Scripture doesn't say, "Friday is the day the Lord has made." It says, "This is the day the Lord has made" (Psalm 118:24; emphasis added). This means Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and every other day of the week. You can be happy even when it's raining, when you have to work late, or when you have to do the dishes."

Again, how great that our Holy God lived and died on earth so we can be happy doing the dishes.

"It's part of making the Church relevant to the modern world, he said. "I think in some other countries that's why the church has dried up. They are having church like they had 50 years ago, and you know, the message doesn't change, but the times change. The music, the production, the lights: I believe if Jesus were here today he would have good production. He would have the best of things."

Yeah, that Word of God is sooo outdated, and worship in a creaky old church is so last century.

Well, enough with the sarcasm, deserved as it is. It's terrible to see the reduction of a sterling word from Our Holy God to watered down pabulum such as Osteen utters. Forget what I say. What does the bible say?

"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called." (1 Timothy 6:20)

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" (Ephesians 4:14)

"Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:30)

But wait a minute, you say! Osteen isn't speaking evil things! He isn't pernicious nor spreading overtly false doctrine!

No, but his kind of falsity is the most devastating. Can you think of a more devastating moment than this one? "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness." (Matthew 7:21-23)

First, we see that the people who are pleading 'Lord, Lord' are not doing the will of the Father. Second, He says that there will be many like that, people who thought they were doing the will of the Father, who pretended to be doing the will of the Father, but not really doing His will. Many. Third, they were doing things that were religion-ish, like prophesying, doing wonders but all along they were not believing. The father's will is this: "For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." ' (John 6:40). They did not believe, and they will not be raised up.

So the ones who will be turned away are the ones who seemed real religious, but they were not really believers. We could not tell, because they said the right things and acted the right way. But the Lord knew. Worse, the Lord says, "'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth."

The Lord prefers the hot, zealous, fervent believers, and the the ones who are at least completely true to satan and are cold to the Lord. But the ones in the middle, they are the worst of all. He will vomit them out.

You can see the Lord feels most strongly about the pretenders. That is because they are so poisonous to the body. Their benign misdirection, their subtle watering down of the truth, their apathy, all are deadly contaminants to the church.

Happiness is not on Friday because it is the start of the weekend. Happiness is not doing dishes. Happy is not maintaining equilibrium in a slow economy. Happiness is "if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;" (1 Peter 3:14). Happiness is finding wisdom. (Proverbs 3:13). Happiness is trusting the LORD. (Proverbs 16:20). Happiness is fearing the LORD. (Psalms 128:1-2). I could go on here, but the bible says not to cling to the things of this world, because they cannot make us happy. We can choose happiness every day of the week, but unless we have the Lord as Redeemer in our hearts and believe on His name, we are going to be very UNhappy in hell.

6 comments:

  1. Happiness is suffering for Jesus and the Kingdom for then we are accomplishing much.

    I saw a quote from Bill Johnson that said, "One of the greatest tragedies in the Christian life is to see soldiers of God go to bed night after night with no blood on their swords."

    Let our happiness be found in serving and obeying Jesus.

    Blessings,
    <><

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  2. Our God is not as concerned with our happiness as he is with our Holiness, which by the way, is only available through Jesus. And it is a tragedy that many of the Pastors in this land are bringing people a false idea of who God really is. To their own benefit.

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  3. It's interesting that you say Isteen is the face of Christianity, because before my conversion, I thought of him and Pat Robertson and the Westboro Baptist Church as the faces of Christianity!!! Seriously, how awful is that...

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  4. LOL...they could be as well! In my opinion, I think Westboro and Robertson *are* the faces of Christianity but for secular people, because the world prefers to relegate our faith to fringe craziness and it is easier to do that when attaching such characters to the craziness.

    Osteen has the largest megachurch in America, and seems to have become the face of Christianity for people who say they believe. (IN WHAT, I don't know...

    So if Westboro and Robertson seem to be the bitter, heavy ales of the English pub, Osteen seems to be the Coors Lite which is less filling but tastes great.

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  5. Elizabeth, I was just wondering if I have been off because of my frustration with the apathetic pretenders. I felt like the Lord might be upset with me because I don't accept them "in love" in my heart. I mean, I am nice to them at church. But truly in my heart I am upset because I feel like they are a bad influence to other people. It influences others to be apathetic pretenders too.

    I thank you for saying, "The Lord prefers the hot, zealous, fervent believers, and the the ones who are at least completely true to satan and are cold to the Lord. But the ones in the middle, they are the worst of all. He will vomit them out."

    Thank you for that. It encouraged me to be even more fervent and focused on evangelism and speaking boldly against sin.

    It is hard though, because we have people in our church who walk in unrepentant sin. And the leaders who are more accepting of that sin, are those who are seen as more godly and spiritual. Those of us who have separated ourselves from the sin are seen as ungodly and weak.

    I have to check myself and make sure I am not carrying bitterness. I wasn't but after so much time it can creep in. It really isn't bitterness though; it is deep sorrow. Our brothers and sisters are being robbed from a walk with God, because they are being enabled to sin. And they are leading others into the same sins.

    There is so much pressure to just smile the Osteen smile and make nice with everyone. It is really really hard to take a stand. Especially when those who are in sin are above you in leadership, and not going anywhere.

    If you get a chance can you lift up a prayer for my family to know how to honor God in our church, and pray for our church to desire to honor God?

    Thank you

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  6. Awww, Anonymous, I sensed your heartfelt pain behind yoru comment. I understand the sorrow for people who play at loving Jesus, and I too get angry on His behalf when they do so. I search myself too, to ensure there is no bitterness there. What helps me most is relying on His word that He will take care of them. Everyone will stand before Him and have to account for their words and deeds, believer and saved.

    The verse I was referring to about vomiting them out of His mouth is Rev 3:16, the church at Laodicea. Jesus also rebukes the dead church at Sardis, Rev 3:1-2.

    We are called to love even the pretenders, because we can't know their heart. The overt sin is another matter. Seek guidance from the bible on what to do, and keep praying. Jesus knows your struggles and the depth of feeling for Him. Nothing escapes His notice, and soon, I believe, we will be in glory, far from these cares. At least I hope it is soon. The sins are really piling up, aren't they? I'm so glad we have Him to turn to, and the Spirit to appeal for strength. I will certainly pray for your situation.

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