America is living stormy Monday while the pulpit is preaching happy Sunday. Can we recover a blues sensibility?
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.
These days, Elmer Gantry is a familiar spiritual type around the world. The good news is that the prosperity gospel’s excesses are nothing like the whole story.
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.
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."