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Mark Driscoll on Joel Osteen: 'There Are Worse Things Than Being Happy and Encouraging'
The Christian Post ^ | February 5, 2013 | Nicola Menzie

Posted on 02/15/2013 8:32:03 AM PST by Alex Murphy

Seattle megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll recently came to the defense of fellow Christian minister Joel Osteen, while admitting that his "Reformed brothers like to treat Pastor Joel like a pinata."

In a recent interview with The Gospel Coalition, the Mars Hill Church pastor was asked to comment on a segment of his new book, Who Do You Think You Are?, that mentions "appreciated people" who "exchange grumbling for praying, competing for celebrating, bitterness for thankfulness, performing for serving, and boasting for encouraging."

The interviewer, TGC's associate editor Matt Smethurst, asked Driscoll, "What's an 'appreciated person'? Isn't that what Joel Osteen wants me to be?"

"I am aware of the theological differences that exist between our tribe and Pastor Joel," Driscoll responded. "I also know my Reformed brothers like to treat Pastor Joel like a pinata, but there are worse things than being happy and encouraging at a time when the most common prescription medications are antidepressants."

Driscoll made the same reference to the common use of antidepressants in his 2007 multipart sermon series "The Rebel's Guide to Joy," in which he mentions in part one Osteen's preaching of the Gospel, which has been labeled by some as a prosperity, or health and wealth, message.

Osteen, who leads Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and preaches to about 43,500 people who visit the church every weekend, has embraced the "prosperity" label, although he is careful to define the term.

"The way I define it is that I believe God wants you to prosper in your health, in your family, in your relationships, in your business, and in your career. So I do … if that is the prosperity gospel, then I do believe that," Osteen previously told The Christian Post, adding that he also believes God rewards obedience.

In a video of "Part 1: The Rebel's Guide to Joy," focused on Acts 16 and Philippians 1:1-1a, Driscoll references Osteen's preaching when he offers examples of how some members of society might turn to culture and religion or spirituality in their pursuit of happiness.

"Who's the happiest Christian out there? His name is Joel Osteen," said Driscoll, showing an image of the August 2005 cover of "Texas Monthly" featuring a photo of Osteen with the caption: "And on the 8th day God created Joel Osteen."

Calling the Lakewood Church leader "the most well-known pastor in America," Driscoll noted that "America is absolutely in love with this guy."

While acknowledging Osteen as his Christian brother, Driscoll, however, expressed concern with Osteen's prosperity message, which is not unique to the Texas minister.

"I'll tell you what doesn't bother me about the guy. It doesn't bother me that he's got a big church, it doesn't bother me that he's on the radio, it doesn't bother me that he's on the TV, it doesn't bother me that he publishes books. It doesn't even bother me that he's happy all the time, because maybe his spiritual gift is encouragement," says Driscoll in his 2007 sermon, according to the video and a transcript from Mars Hill.

"What I find disconcerting is this whole wave of new Christian thinking that says that joy is to be found in the same place that culture and spirituality tells us. Get rich. Get healthy. Be happy. That's the equation. Health and wealth. Prosperity. Now, in this, what we are saying is that, as Christians, we have nothing to offer that is any different from non-Christians or people in other religions," he adds.

In a 2011 feature on Pastor Osteen, USA Today religion, spirituality and ethics reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman noted how the minister's message of empowerment and success "makes his critics livid," specifically citing Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president the Rev. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., and Pastor Driscoll. Grossman apparently also references Driscoll's 2007 sermon, writing that the Reformed evangelical Christian minister says "Osteen reduces the pursuit of God to 'lollipops and skipping while singing hymns.'"

When asked for reaction to Mohler's and Driscoll's critiques, Osteen looked "genuinely mystified," wrote the reporter.

"I don't know who those people are," Osteen told Grossman.

In his interview with The Gospel Coalition last week, Driscoll expressed the belief that Christian preachers should not focus too much on either joy or suffering, a topic he feels features prominently among Reformed or New Calvinists ministers.

The Reformed Christian tradition, inspired by the teachings of 16th century French theologian John Calvin, among others, focuses on, among other things, God's sovereignty and holiness and sinful man's need for salvation, which is initiated by God and wholly dependent upon His grace.

"A few guys in our tribe could learn to talk about something other than painful, arduous suffering once and a while — if nothing else than for the sake of variety," Driscoll told TGC. "Our identity is not in our joy, and our identity is not in our suffering. Our identity is in Christ, whether we have joy or are suffering."

The Mars Hill Church teaching pastor spoke with TGC to promote his new book, Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ, published in January by Thomas Nelson. Driscoll previously served on the Council of The Gospel Coalition up until last year.

"In any case, the big idea in my book (which never mentions Pastor Joel) is that God loves us, he is aware of our life, and he appreciates our grace-centered efforts to serve and obey him," Driscoll explained. "When we grasp this, we're free to stop seeking appreciation and adulation from others and to work from purer motives without being discouraged or devastated when we're unappreciated by people. This contributes to our ability to be saints who persevere."


TOPICS: Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian; Mainline Protestant; Worship
KEYWORDS: joelosteen; markdriscoll; marshillchurch
"Who's the happiest Christian out there? His name is Joel Osteen," said Driscoll, showing an image of the August 2005 cover of "Texas Monthly" featuring a photo of Osteen with the caption: "And on the 8th day God created Joel Osteen." Calling the Lakewood Church leader "the most well-known pastor in America," Driscoll noted that "America is absolutely in love with this guy"....

...."What I find disconcerting is this whole wave of new Christian thinking that says that joy is to be found in the same place that culture and spirituality tells us. Get rich. Get healthy. Be happy. That's the equation. Health and wealth. Prosperity. Now, in this, what we are saying is that, as Christians, we have nothing to offer that is any different from non-Christians or people in other religions..."

....In a 2011 feature on Pastor Osteen, USA Today religion, spirituality and ethics reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman noted how the minister's message of empowerment and success "makes his critics livid," specifically citing Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president the Rev. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., and Pastor Driscoll. Grossman apparently also references Driscoll's 2007 sermon, writing that the Reformed evangelical Christian minister says "Osteen reduces the pursuit of God to 'lollipops and skipping while singing hymns.'" When asked for reaction to Mohler's and Driscoll's critiques, Osteen looked "genuinely mystified," wrote the reporter. "I don't know who those people are," Osteen told Grossman.

1 posted on 02/15/2013 8:32:12 AM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy
Driscoll noted that "America is absolutely in love with this guy"....

Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
- Luke 6:25-26

2 posted on 02/15/2013 8:40:55 AM PST by fwdude ( You cannot compromise with that which you must defeat.)
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To: Alex Murphy

“......but there are worse things than being happy and encouraging at a time when the most common prescription medications are antidepressants.”

Yeah, like being a heretic.


3 posted on 02/15/2013 8:41:09 AM PST by surroundedbyblue (I once saw a movie where only the police & military had guns. It was called "Schindler's List")
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To: surroundedbyblue

Jesus preached repentance of sins. Has Osteen ever done that?


4 posted on 02/15/2013 8:43:52 AM PST by CatherineofAragon (Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization)
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To: CatherineofAragon

“Jesus preached repentance of sins. Has Osteen ever done that?”

—at the end of every broadcast.


5 posted on 02/15/2013 8:52:51 AM PST by MIDad23
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To: Alex Murphy

“”Our identity is not in our joy, and our identity is not in our suffering. Our identity is in Christ, whether we have joy or are suffering.” “

Well stated (by Driscoll). The problem with a prosperity-type gospel is, that it is cruel to the poor or suffering. Being poor, or sick, or in various dire straits, is not necessarily a sign of your lack of faith. To preach so is neither happy nor encouraging.

That said, Christianity is a joyful religion as commonly understood. “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice!” (Phillipians 4:4)


6 posted on 02/15/2013 8:53:55 AM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Alex Murphy

“It doesn’t even bother me that he’s happy all the time, because maybe his spiritual gift is encouragement,”

Well, if his spiritual gift is encouragement wouldn’t he be better used in places like Asia or Africa where the church is persecuted? I wonder if he would be willing go give up that comfy church and lifestyle to take that gift where it is needed full time, not just for a quick missions trip. Don’t worry, I know the answer to that.


7 posted on 02/15/2013 8:58:01 AM PST by texaschick
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To: Persevero

It is more than cruel the prosperity gospel actually preys upon the weak and vulnerable.


8 posted on 02/15/2013 9:02:35 AM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: Alex Murphy

“Osteen reduces the pursuit of God to ‘lollipops and skipping while singing hymns.’”


But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19:4


9 posted on 02/15/2013 9:03:53 AM PST by MWestMom (Will Americans stop someone who views our children as "collateral damage" in their quest for power?)
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To: MIDad23

Right, like an afterthought. “Oh, BTW-—”

The rest is less like preaching and more like motivational speaking.


10 posted on 02/15/2013 9:14:17 AM PST by CatherineofAragon (Support Christian white males---the architects of the jewel known as Western Civilization)
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To: Gamecock

When asked for reaction to Mohler's and Driscoll's critiques, Osteen looked "genuinely mystified," wrote the reporter. "I don't know who those people are," Osteen told Grossman.

YBPDL...something...something...NYPD...uhm...something...ping!

[In fairness, the picture did not come from the interview with USA Today. It was the best "Osteen looks confused" picture that I could find]

11 posted on 02/15/2013 9:19:39 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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To: MWestMom

Nice quote! “Teacher”, said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said...


12 posted on 02/15/2013 9:21:29 AM PST by Dansong
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To: texaschick

Well, if his spiritual gift is encouragement wouldn’t he be better used in places like Asia or Africa where the church is persecuted? I wonder if he would be willing go give up that comfy church and lifestyle to take that gift where it is needed full time, not just for a quick missions trip. Don’t worry, I know the answer to that.

In my humble opinion and observations, I do believe that we, in the United States, need encouragement since Christianity is persecuted in Washington D.C. as well as in academia and the media. Christianity is derided wherever you look and by what is printed and by the laws our so-called legislators pass.


13 posted on 02/15/2013 9:45:49 AM PST by Parmy
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To: MIDad23
"All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28." Sounds a lot like the prosperity gospel to me. Maybe St. Paul was on to something, and Osteen is right.
14 posted on 02/15/2013 9:59:42 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: Alex Murphy

Why does anyone listen to Mark “Butt Sex Obsessed” Driscoll anymore?


15 posted on 02/15/2013 10:13:38 AM PST by dragonblustar (Allah Ain't So Akbar!)
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To: Alex Murphy
I don't have a problem with Joel Osteen. I seems to me that he's saying the same thing that a lot of people on this forum say - that it's no sin to be successful and prosperous.

I do have a problem with people like Rod Parsley, Mike Murdock, and Todd Koontz. Their broadcasts aren't sermons - they're infomercials. According to them, God wants to bless me - but he can't do it until I send them my $ 300.00 "Faith Seed", and the check clears. (If you don't want to send a check, God also accepts Visa and MasterCard.)

16 posted on 02/15/2013 10:16:05 AM PST by GreenHornet
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To: Alex Murphy

The problem isn’t that Olsten is just preaching Pollyanna style “happy verses”, it is that he preaches things that aren’t true.

It is easy to preach health and wealth in an affluent suburban church; go start an h & w church in Haiti


17 posted on 02/15/2013 10:18:24 AM PST by fungoking (Tis a pleasure to live in the Ozarks)
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To: GreenHornet
I do have a problem with people like Rod Parsley, Mike Murdock, and Todd Koontz. Their broadcasts aren't sermons - they're infomercials. According to them, God wants to bless me - but he can't do it until I send them my $ 300.00 "Faith Seed", and the check clears. (If you don't want to send a check, God also accepts Visa and MasterCard.)

My husband says if they really believed God blesses if we sow "seed" money...then why aren't they sending out the checks to their members/listeners instead of asking checks to be sent to them.

18 posted on 02/15/2013 10:44:17 AM PST by memyselfandi59
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To: MWestMom

“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, . . ..”

One assumes that we understand that “suffer,” in the archaic Old English language, meant to “allow” or “permit.”
Aside from that, let all rejoice in that brother Joel has been amply rewarded in all relevant material goods, while hoping that he will also be rewarded spiritually, both in the here and now and everlastingly in eternity.


19 posted on 02/15/2013 10:54:33 AM PST by Elsiejay
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To: MIDad23

Joel Osteen - False Preacher/Teachings

http://www.forgottenword.org/osteen.html


20 posted on 02/15/2013 11:32:14 AM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: memyselfandi59
I do have a problem with people like Rod Parsley, Mike Murdock, and Todd Koontz. Their broadcasts aren't sermons - they're infomercials. According to them, God wants to bless me - but he can't do it until I send them my $ 300.00 "Faith Seed", and the check clears. (If you don't want to send a check, God also accepts Visa and MasterCard.)

My husband says if they really believed God blesses if we sow "seed" money...then why aren't they sending out the checks to their members/listeners instead of asking checks to be sent to them.

Your husband makes an excellent point!

21 posted on 02/15/2013 11:33:27 AM PST by GreenHornet
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To: hinckley buzzard
"All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28." Sounds a lot like the prosperity gospel to me."

Only if one equates "good" with material "prosperity" which would go against everything Jesus said in the Gospels.

22 posted on 02/16/2013 3:05:08 AM PST by circlecity
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To: GreenHornet

Mike Murdock makes me nuts! What a scam he runs. It is always and only about the money with him and his camp followers.

Reprinted from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 3/02/2003

PROFIT in the pulpit

By Darren Barbee
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
First of three parts

Mike Murdock peers into the television camera, seemingly able to see the people watching him. He says he can sense that the poor, the struggling and the lonely have tuned in to his program.

“You’ve got to have a breakthrough,” he tells them.

Murdock offers the solution to all their problems: Give money to a man of God.

Murdock’s unwavering message – on his program, at his seminars and in his books – is the Law of the Seed: Plant a seed and reap a harvest from God. The seed can be time, patience, love. But Murdock specializes in encouraging people to give money.

In return, Murdock promises, God will restore relationships, heal the body and provide financial salvation. The reward will be 100 times the gift.

All of the money, the Denton televangelist says, allows the Mike Murdock Evangelistic Association to spread the Gospel to the four corners of the earth.

“If any of this money is for Mike Murdock’s personal gain,” he often says, “may a curse be upon me and my ministry and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”

But a six-month Star-Telegram examination shows that the ministry, which Murdock founded as a nonprofit corporation, spends more than 60 percent of its revenue on overhead.

Read the rest of the article here:

http://trinityfi.org/press/murdock01.html


23 posted on 02/16/2013 5:36:23 AM PST by Not gonna take it anymore (If Obama were twice as smart as he is, he would be a wit)
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To: Alex Murphy; DocRock; del4hope; Dr. Eckleburg; jude24; Ottofire; fishtank; ...
Belated YBPDLNPL Ping!

Thanks to Alex Murphy for this gem.

The YBPDLNPL is generally published infrequently, but based on the exploits of the megachurch pastors activity can spike for a period of time. If you would like on or off of this list please FReepmail me.


24 posted on 02/28/2013 7:05:44 AM PST by Gamecock ( If we distort the gospel, that distortion will influence and affect everything else that we believe)
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To: Alex Murphy; DocRock; del4hope; Dr. Eckleburg; jude24; Ottofire; fishtank; ...
Belated YBPDLNPL Ping!

Thanks to Alex Murphy for this gem.

The YBPDLNPL is generally published infrequently, but based on the exploits of the megachurch pastors activity can spike for a period of time. If you would like on or off of this list please FReepmail me.


25 posted on 02/28/2013 7:06:43 AM PST by Gamecock ( If we distort the gospel, that distortion will influence and affect everything else that we believe)
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