Your best life now is your last life
The Boasting of Osteen (read at your own risk of learning to be negative)
The word faith teachers are wedded to their prosperity teachings –health, wealth, success and their followers are shocked if anyone has anything contrary to say.
Let me propose this: Your will is not God’s will, you’re not smart enough.
Claiming to speak and God will act is a dangerous error and position to put yourself in.
There is no example of an apostle or church member speaking something into existence or visualizing it to happen as Osteen claims.
Osteen’s father passed his legacy and ministry to his son Joel. Joel Osteen’s open ended spiritual inclusiveness is misleading many, but they do not know it. Why? Because they have a surface level understanding of Scripture. As the saying goes, it is miles wide and an inch deep. They may be offended at this statement but it is proven by their loyalty and defense to the indefensible.
Osteen’ teaching is a combination of positive thinking, with Kenneth Hagin’s positive confession, with a dash of the Secret popularized by Oprah served on a new age platter with Christian terminology. It’s a mess.
He may have good intentions but it’s obvious he is not called to be a teacher of God’s word, nor prepares himself to teach the word, he admits as much in his interviews, and he showed his superficial knowledge by how he handles counterfeits like Mormonism, saying “I believe they are Christians,” “In my mind they are.” Clearly he does not know the first thing about them. Pastors need to be able to protect sheep from what is poison or what can make them sick; not make them sick by what they eat from his own pulpit.
Osteen says you must change you thinking for the blessing to come. Where is the denial of self for the life of Christ to live through us? His God is increase, abundance, happiness and material blessing. He tells them to stretch out their tents, believe for more, yet Jesus spoke of the man building bigger barns whose life is required of him because he positively confessed what he would do.
Luke 12:18-19 "So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. ‘And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."'
God asks in Lam. 3:37 “Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?”
Jesus warned about being rich, not being poor. He warned about doing our will instead of finding His will. Scripture does not say God will have us all rich, prosperous, successful, healthy etc.
Let me ask you - are men like Osteen who preach your best life now pointing to heaven or earth? Do they train you to have you mind on heavenly things or on things of earth? What does the Bible teach? Col. 3:2 “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Rom. 12:16 “Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.”
Word faith teaching is all about being wise in your own opinion, knowing best for yourself. It operates by pride not humility.
God’s got big plans for you. That’s flattery, how does he know what god has for an individual? Try preaching this to the Christians in other countries that suffer for their faith. This is an easy message to deliver when you live in a bubble in America; where no suffering takes place like it does elsewhere.
He apparently guarantees that Christians will be rewarded “double for your trouble” in this life. The Bible teaches that our citizenship is in heaven, as is our eternal reward.
..God wants us to constantly be increasing, to be rising to new heights. He wants to increase you in His wisdom and help you to make better decisions. God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas and creativity. The Scripture says that God wants to pour out 'His far and beyond favor.' God wants this to be the best time of your life. But if you are going to receive this favor, you must enlarge your vision. You can't go around thinking negative, defeated, limiting thoughts (Your Best Life Now, p. 5).
“If you will keep the right attitude, God will take all your disappointments, broken dreams, the hurts and pains, and He'll add up all the trouble and sorrow that's been inflicted on you, and He will pay you back with twice as much peace, joy, happiness, and success. The Bible says, 'God will give us a twofold recompense for our former shame.' If you'll just believe, if you'll put your trust and confidence in God, He will give you double for your trouble (Your Best Life Now, pp. 31-32).
Osteen is all about abundance now (which is not what the abundant life meant that Jesus promised)
Rom.8:5 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
In Phil 3:18-20 Paul speaks of enemies of the cross of Christ: V. 19 “whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame-- who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”
Yes we are in the world and need to use things in it but what Osteen is focusing people on is not what will last as Jesus described. Our true treasure is in heaven, that is where your life is hidden with Christ. Only those who do not have this hope can be persuaded to have their mind on things of earth - to have it now. This is why it is called the kingdom of heaven - not the kingdom of earth.
James 3:14-15 “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.” Wanting to have the best things in life falls into this category. If God gives them to you - praise the Lord, but we are not to pursue them, we are to be content with what we have from God. Then you will have the joy of the Lord, instead of worldly happiness; there is a difference.
Paul taught 1 Tim 6:8 “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” Because Jesus taught
be content with your wages." (Luke 3:14) But Osteen says we should always want more…
Heb. 13:5 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.”
Why are they always pursuing better, larger, more? Because they do not have the peace of God, their mind is set on the flesh, all the world has to offer.
It’s called the kingdom of heaven- which is not on earth, yet. Jesus said our true rewards are in heaven, where your heart is, is where your treasure will be.
He is teaching that God will take away suffering and give you the blessings now, which sounds like Esau
“lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.
"With our words we can predict our future. We can prophesize our future." "Our words will become a self fulfilling prophecy." (Tape 233 Daystar May 2, 2004)
So he wants to talk to the people “about faith filled words, our words have creative power” This is the little god concept in the word faith teachings he was brought up in. “We give life to our faith when we speak it out.” If this does not produce results he also opts to use the occult method of visualization to produce.
Early in their marriage walking in their neighborhood “we came upon a beautiful new home being constructed. His wife Victoria said, “Joel, one day we’re going to live in a beautiful home just like that!” Over the next several months, she kept speaking words of faith and victory, and she finally talked me into it. She convinced me that we could live in an elegant home like the one we saw. I got rid of my limited thinking and I started agreeing with her. …We kept on believing it, seeing it, and speaking it” (Your Best life Now chapter one)
This technique has been popularized by shamans, witches and occultists. It is one of the oldest spiritual techniques found in the occult.
"There's power in what you visualize," "take a few moments each day to visualize things you want in your life so God can bring them to pass He then tells a story about a coach and his team "Close your eyes and envision winning the game", "they produced exactly what they saw."
Osteen claims he used an occult method to gain the Compaq Center in Houston
When looking to purchase the Compaq Center Osteen practiced what he preaches, Osteen wrote “I conceived it on the inside.” (Your Best Life now p.11). He spoke of 3 ½ year battle where it looked like it wasn’t going to take place, instead of worrying and letting the negative pictures take root “all through the day, just like my father did. I would see this place as being ours. In my imagination I could see the Lakewood sign being outside, I could see myself up here ministering. I could see all of you long before you got here. Many times at night He and his wife walked around the building prayed, believe and dream.” That image was becoming ingrained in our thinking, the more we saw the more faith rose in our hearts. In my imagination I could already see the mayor handing us the keys. I could already see the confetti falling in the ground breaking service. I could already see it fill of thousands of victors and not victims. “ He speaks of a reporter asking him in 2005 of the grand opening what it was going to be like to stand up and minister here for the first time? “I didn’t say but I thought to myself, I’ve ministered in this building thousands of times before, Friends you’ve got to see it on the inside before it’s going to pass on the outside.” (video- see on Osteen DVD)
He is not describing Biblical faith which is trusting in God, he means his will in his own imagination. There is so much wrong with what he said it’s not possible to address it all. This is pure Occultism, not Christianity, it has more to do with what Oprah and new age proponents teach.
They now collect well over 70 million dollars a year through the church and he wants the people to subscribe for $5.99 a month to listen to his worldly wisdom skills on the radio. Why not visualize that money coming in?
“He Gave birth by what he believed by speaking it out. That’s why is so important that you get a vision of victory for your life, No matter what your circumstances look like You’ve got to begin to see yourself as the overcomer God made you to be. You’ve got to see yourself happy, successful and fulfilled. And then you you’ve got to give life to that dream by speaking it out. The bible says you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you.” (Your words will bring Your victory or defeat video).
If your believing in your own words God has nothing to do with what you are attempting. You are doing this without him; you may call it faith but this is an occult technique called imaging, visualization.
When scripture says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It does not mean I get what I want? To have all I desire? Read the scripture in context and we find it’s the very opposite
He ripped this Scripture out of its context in order to justify the desire to get what one wants is, I can do all things through Christ. Philippians 4:11-13: “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
In context, Paul is explaining that even in a bad situation he is not overcome by it. He is not saying that he can get ALL things he desires through Christ, but that he had learned to be satisfied in whatever state he was in through Christ’s stamina working in him. We need the grace of God in order to be able to maintain an attitude of contentment.
You can say and do what is right or what is wrong
Lifting up the Bible after your introductory story and have the people confess this positive affirmation together.
I am what it says I am, (it says we are sinners). I can do what it says I can do (only through Christ, his will) Today I will be taught the word of God (really?) etc.
The Bible says teachers will receive a stricter judgment on how they lead others, they are not just deciding for themselves what is right.
Osteen declares in his sermons “God is a positive God” and that “there is nothing negative about Him.” Really? God was quite positive to Adam when he told him you will die the day you eat from the tree, (Gen.2:17) or was that negative?
His focus is on you becoming better instead of having you focus on God correcting you through the Holy Spirit and His word. .What you hear are “I’s,” and “you’s” and other key phrases that focus on us, not God. It is about your potential as a human. He misinterprets faith as having a positive outlook on life does not give a right relationship with God. People love to hear someone assure them everything is going to work out just copy his positive word and it will happen
During his Huffington Post interview:
A caller chastised him for preaching about the power of praying for “things.” Osteen agreed in part: “I don’t think you should spend your life praying for things, but I do believe you should thank God for what He’s given you. I think the scripture teaches us that we can pray for our dreams, pray for the big things. He’s not a small God; this God is incredible.”
Are we to pray for OUR dreams? Or God’s will in our lives, for us to have the courage to follow.
“People are not looking for theology, but in everyday life you need to know how to live” (Charisma June 2004)
What an ignorant statement, theology is the study of God, how do we do this, by learning doctrine on how to live. Osteen lacks the concept of how we learn to follow the Lord, nor does he have the basic knowledge to teach it.
2 Tim 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Over and over we are told to learn doctrine. Where the reproof and correction from Osteen? What is going to say, you not positive or hopeful enough? Slogans and positive affirmations are not bible teaching.
Promising earthly prosperity, people love what they hear because they love the world.
He says we all know what we do wrong. WRONG! He doesn’t, why should they?
If you cannot address sin to the lost then you are lost. He is walking in the footsteps of other liberal leaders where the hard topics that Jesus spoke of are avoided. So he claims he is bringing hope to people, yes in using worldly wisdom he certainly is. But this is not eternal hope, even if you use the name Jesus or Scripture inserted in your sermons.
You cannot speak positive to reverse the negative, these terms are not even found in Scripture On being asked about speaking on sin, his response was “I’m one of the old fashion ones that give an altar call in every service… when I talk about I talk about how we can become better and overcome. How do you do this if its not identified what it is?
In his 60 minute interview among the positives the Interviewer asked “ not one mention of Jesus Christ in that?
Osteen, "that’s just my message, there is scripture in there…” Maybe he needs to learn so that it becomes Jesus’ message, not his own by his own human gift, operating as a motivator. That is why he said “there’s a lot better people to explain the scriptures to you, I don’t think that’s my gifting.”
Then you are not called of God to be a pastor. For Paul writes, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” Notice what a Pastor, a teacher of God is to do, everything that Osteen does not. And Paul further writes “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Tim. 4:2-4). Turn from truth (doctrine, theology) to stories; which is apropos to the subject.
If your Best life is now you have bought into a lie. Only carnal believers, whose eyes are on earth would think their best life is NOW. When we are born by God’s spirit we have 2 life stages, and the best one is later, not now. If you are not born of God’s Spirit – then your best and only life is now, that’s all you get, and that’s probably all you want.