It’s About Us? (Part 2)
Read Part 1
Victoria Osteen’s worship-to-be-happy declaration stirred up the evangelical hornet’s nest. Though she gave an apparent lip-service that worship is for God, her words plainly conveyed what she really thought of worship: “It’s not really about God. It’s about us.”
When we obey God, we’re not doing it for God. I mean, that’s one way to look at it. We’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. … When you come to church, when you worship him, you’re not doing it for God really! You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy.” (Source: YouTube. Emphasis mine.)
No, Victoria Osteen, that’s not one way to look at worship. That’s the only way you look at it. For you, it appears that God is only happy when we are happy. His happiness is not the end but the means to an end, that is, our happiness.
|Televangelist and best-selling author, Joel Osteen, right, and his wife, Victoria, left. Image and caption credit|
However, in a seeming attempt to damage control, she issued a statement defending her comment.
While I admit that I could have been more articulate in my remarks, I stand by my point that when we worship God and are obedient to Him we will be better for it. … I did not mean to imply that we don’t worship God; that’s ridiculous, and only the critics and cynics are interpreting my remarks that way. (The Blaze. Emphasis mine.)
She decried how “critics and cynics” have allegedly twisted her remarks “to imply that [they] don’t worship God”. But that was really not how her remarks were interpreted. She was criticized not for saying that they don’t worship God. She was criticized for saying that worship is about us, not about God.
Yes, we will end up better for worshiping God. But that’s not why we worship. We worship to make God happy. It’s not even to make God and us happy. Of course, we become happy when we worship God. But worship is not to make us happy also. It’s to make Him happy. Period.
It was not an issue of saying her point in a better way. Her statement made plain what she actually believe. That the world revolves around us. That God is a cosmic genie at our beck and call. That He serves our purpose and not the other way around.
It’s not that we are too critical or cynical to interpret her remarks that way. Her husband, prosperity preacher Joel Osteen, boldly proclaimed we have creative powers.
You have to begin speaking words of faith over your life. Your words have enormous creative power. The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it. This is a spiritual principle, and it works whether what you are saying is good or bad, positive or negative. (“Your Best Life Now,” as quoted in Hank Hanegraaf’s “Christianity in Crisis: The 21st Century”)
He even proclaimed, “The Scripture tells us that we are to ‘call the things that are not as if they already were.’” (“Become A Better You,” as quoted by Hanegraaf. Emphasis mine.) Yet, if we look at “the Scripture” he quoted, it was not us but “God [who] calleth those things which be not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17, KJV)
And that’s not the only time Osteen wrongly handled the Word. “Despite stupendous successes, Joel Osteen’s sermons, in concert with other Faith teachers, consist of an endless string of undocumented anecdotes and urban legends buttressed by misquotations and misinterpretations of the Bible.” (Hanegraaf)
So, according to the Osteens, we are the ones who really run the show. Simply put, we are sovereign, not God.
That’s the same lie that came out of the serpent’s mouth when it tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit: “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5, ESV. Emphasis mine.) The Bible already warned us about the dangers of such teachings.
You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, The Message)
Brothers and sisters, there’s is a God. We are not Him.