Recently Victoria Osteen, wife of pastor Joel Osteen, made some comments that concerned many Christians. Apparently, she stated that worship was not for God but for the worshiper, that when people obey God, they should do it for themselves (although she later revised some of these comments).
For many evangelicals, the Osteens are on the periphery of Christianity.
Pentecostal and "Pentecostal-like" churches are growing spectacularly in Africa. But discussing these churches without discussing their emphasis on success is like discussing computers without mentioning software.A true believer is successful; if not, something is very wrong. Consider the names of the churches: Victory Bible Church, Jesus Breakthrough Assembly, Triumphant Christian Centre.
It is 11:30 a.m. on a clear, sunny Sunday morning in southern Dallas, and traffic is heavy on Highway 480 near West Kiest Boulevard. Just off the exit ramp, a lot of Range Rovers and Cadillac Escalades are navigating a maze of orange cones in vast parking lots that could belong to the Cowboys’ Texas Stadium.
Osteen preaches "your best life ever" to 30,000 faithful at his church in Houston. He talks about his elegant home, his well-adjusted kids and his wife—his adoring "partner in ministry." "Be positive," says Osteen, "and you too can have all of these things."
Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from hurt and harm!"And God granted what he asked. (1 Chron. 4:10, NRSV)
Support the Christian Century
The Century's work relies primarily on subscriptions and donations. Thank you for supporting nonprofit journalism.