Joel Osteen is yet another example of how a false teacher can prey upon mankind’s burning desire for religion. Thousands upon thousands of people flock to churches that appeal to their religious wants and fill their hearts with the hope that is found in humanity. This hope in self is very powerful because most of humanity strives to be good people and to do the best they can. Some who attend these graveyards called churches are drawn by the lure of riches and wealth, some are drawn by the promise of physical healing, and others are drawn because they want to do good. It’s not hard to build a church upon the needs of the people by appealing to their culture, their wants, and by building up their hope in their own good works.

I could start a church with a goal to be relevant and non-offensive to the un-churched. I could design this church to cater to the un-churched and create an atmosphere full of energy and good works. I could encourage all my people to volunteer to do the work of the church. I could create a church that is warm and welcoming where no perfect people are allowed, thus proclaiming that we all sin and taking away our right to judge our brother/sisters. I could preach sermons designed to uplift the people’s needs and perform series designed to help people with real life needs. I could have cool modern music with an awesome worship experience to pump-up the service by creating an emotionally charged atmosphere where I can convince my people to say “Jesus” and “I accept Jesus in my heart!” By doing this, I could have a huge church in 3 to 5 years, raking in millions per year. Once I start racking in millions per year, I could put heavy emphasis on token good works programs around Christmas, New Year, etc… all in order to get my church known around the community. I could then pattern the church as a business to make money and keep the church profits increasing. In the end, I could easily be a millionaire in less then 10 years without the community thinking too much about it because of all the good works my church does. By doing this, I am appealing to the religious nature of mankind and mankind’s desire for religion. I would be using culture, music, relevant sermons, people’s willingness to volunteer, and my talents to lure people to this new church. I would project my vision to the people and be like a cheerleader always encouraging them to volunteer and tithe because God is working at my church. In the end, I would have a church full of carnal Christians, Christians who will never mature because I would not be feeding them, and false confessions because repentance is not taught. My church would be no different than the world around it with the exception of the name of Jesus being proclaimed, and my back door would be as wide open as my front door due to the nature of how these types of churches work. The world would look upon my work as successful and praise all the good works because lives are being changed by my work.

In the above example, what is missing is the true Gospel being preached and allowing the Holy Spirit to do His job by drawing sinners to Himself thus convicting them of their sin. I would never follow the pattern I listed in this blog because it is not the way God told us to grow the Kingdom of God. I had rather preach/teach the Word of God in truth and love by preaching the whole council of God and depend on God to honor the preaching of the Gospel by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel is enough, and it will always be enough to spread the good news of what Jesus Christ has done for all of us. I had rather work a full-time job along side of preaching while struggling to pay the bills rather than to build a church upon what God said is sin. My Lord Jesus Christ was poor, and who am I to think that I am better than my Lord? My Lord promised to provide all my needs; therefore I rely upon Him to care for me.

I know some of you might be offended by this post, but I stand by my words. God is not in the business of popular consent because God only wants us to obey Him. In the Bible God told us not to marvel if the world hates us John 15:18-20. The Gospel is hostile to the world because the Gospel tells mankind how incapable man is to save himself. It is because of the hostility mankind has toward God that we must preach the Gospel and depend on the Holy Spirit to convict sinners. We cannot save anyone, and we cannot lead people to Christ unless the Holy Spirit is working within them. No matter how much emphasis we put on worship, reaching them by culture, music, bake sales, youth camps, playgrounds, bingo, good works, etc… the only thing that leads people to Jesus is the preaching of the Gospel.

We should do good works and help those in need. I’m not disputing this because we are commanded to help those in need. We are commanded to preach the Word to the children of God and to prepare them to take the Gospel out to the world. The church is a place for the saved to grow in grace in order to mature as followers of Christ. The church is also for whoever will come in to hear the preaching, but the church should not cater just to the un-churched. It is the responsibility of the pastor to equip the church by the preaching of the Bible to prepare them for life’s trials, to uplift them, to admonish them in love, and to prepare them to go out and witness to the world. By doing this we depend on the Holy Spirit to do His job as we strive to follow the commandments the Lord has given us in His Word.

I believe in simply following the Bible’s outline for building and growing a church. We as Christians can have fun, laugh, worship, enjoy the service, and desire to be at church. My concern is how so many times modern churches fall prey to the numbers game while depending on themselves to draw people in by appealing to culture. Christianity in itself is a culture that never changes and has not changed for thousands of years. Jesus said that we are like a city lit upon a hill for the world to see Matthew 5:13-15. The world is in darkness, and we cannot appeal to them by using darkness to lure them to the light. If we set our hearts to sell out 100% and follow what God told us to do, then we will be the light for the world to see because we are at peace. Our lives will reveal the new creation that Christ has performed within us to those without Christ, thus showing them the power of the Gospel. It’s not about us; it’s about Jesus, and glory should be given solely to Him.

I know this is a lot. It may seem like a rant, but this was on my heart. It breaks my heart to see the name of Christ smeared and abuse by these greedy, self-serving, non-caring hired hands. Apostasy and false teachings can only exist in the church when the Word of God is ignored. In America we need to wake up and see these greedy hirelings, false teachers, and false prophets for what they are: servants of self and slaves to the father of lies. If this cancer is allowed into the church, it will only grow to destroy the church from the inside out. A sure way to destroy any church is to allow false teachers like Rick Warren, Andy Stanley, Rob Bell, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, T.D. Jakes, Jay Bakker, and Joel Osteen in the door.

1 aI solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to bjudge the living and the dead, and by His cappearing and His kingdom:

2   preach athe word; be ready in season and out of season; breprove, rebuke, exhort, with 1great cpatience and instruction.

3   For athe time will come when they will not endure bsound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

4   and awill turn away their ears from the truth and bwill turn aside to myths.

5   But you, abe sober in all things, bendure hardship, do the work of an cevangelist, fulfill your dministry.

6 For I am already being apoured out as a drink offering, and the time of bmy departure has come.

7   aI have fought the good fight, I have finished bthe course, I have kept cthe faith;

8    in the future there ais laid up for me bthe crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on cthat day; and not only to me, but also to dall who have loved His eappearing. [1]


a1 Tim 5:21; 2 Tim 2:14

bActs 10:42

c2 Thess 2:8; 2 Tim 1:10; 4:8

aGal 6:6; Col 4:3; 1 Thess 1:6

b1 Tim 5:20; Titus 1:13; 2:15

1Lit all

c2 Tim 3:10

a2 Tim 3:1

b1 Tim 1:10; 2 Tim 1:13

a2 Thess 2:11; Titus 1:14

b1 Tim 1:4

a1 Pet 1:13

b2 Tim 1:8

cActs 21:8

dEph 4:12; Col 4:17

aPhil 2:17

bPhil 1:23; 2 Pet 1:14

a1 Cor 9:25f; Phil 1:30; 1 Tim 1:18; 6:12

bActs 20:24; 1 Cor 9:24

c2 Tim 3:10

aCol 1:5; 1 Pet 1:4

b1 Cor 9:25; 2 Tim 2:5; James 1:12

c2 Tim 1:12

dPhil 3:11

e2 Tim 4:1

[1]New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (2 Ti 4:1-8). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Comments
  1. kenya says:

    This was a great post and we as Christians need to be reminded of this information instead of seeking feel good churches. I agree. The power is in the world not taking part of the word and building a whole new meaning for it. It is what it is.

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