What we learn about ourselves from others' failures

There has been a firestorm over the recent posting of a video in which Victoria Osteen literally opens the Pandora's box that all of her and her husband's critics have been anxiously waiting for. Don't get me wrong - what she said from the stage was nauseating and thoroughly unbiblical, yet the glee expressed from the Osteen's opponents was no less horrific.

As a conservative evangelical Christian, I get it. Joel Osteen and his wife have been less than forward with the truth of the gospel and have chosen instead to proclaim the merits of living a life where all God wants for you to be is happy. Their ministry is watched and heard by millions of people who in turn simply adore Joel and his wife, hanging on every word that they say. They make people feel important and special and valued by God. And indeed people are. But when any man or woman who claims to be God's mouthpiece speaks for God words that are not found in His word, then Houston, we've got a problem.

God does not simply desire our happiness. Nowhere in the Bible will you find God saying, "My supreme delight is that you be happy!" Instead, Scripture teaches that God desires for us to be holy (Leviticus 11:44-45 & 1 Peter 1:16). If it were not for God's grace poured out on us through Jesus Christ then we would have no hope of ever standing before Him. Yet because of the cross, we are declared righteous before God and He takes delight in us as His children (Romans 5:1-11).

You see, what Victoria Osteen said on stage was both biblically and doctrinally wrong. It simply was not true. We do not exist to "do good for our own self, not God." That is humanism to the core. Did she mean what she said? I honestly don't know because, truth be told, I do not follow the Osteen's ministry like many others do. Sure, I've heard about how "awful" they are, of the many heresies they utter, and how they are peddlers of the prosperity gospel. And if these are indeed true, I find it shameful and disgusting to the kingdom of God. Truth is truth, and you cannot spin it any way you want with feel good preaching.

That being said, my other thought about the whole Osteen incident is this - has anyone reached out to  correct them in a constructive way? Perhaps someone has. My hope is that any church leader in their position has plenty of others who are allowed to speak truth into their lives. Is there anything more dangerous than a leader who has no accountability?

So yes, my hope is that there is room for redemption for the Osteen's regarding their erroneous doctrine. I would love to see them confess the errors in their teaching and to commit to be ambassadors for God's truth. After all, they enjoy an enormous platform which carries with it the holy obligation to proclaim the truth of God. And I also hope that my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who wait in the wings to attack at the first sniff of error will strive to lean more on the grace and redemption side than the judgment and hell fire side.

I'm not so sure which is more disgusting, a preacher who perverts the word of God publicly or fellow Christians perched in ivory towers who ignore grace and mercy altogether. It's all pretty gross to me.

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