Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If there is a hell Joel Osteen's going

Note: So I've decided to start something called "Tangent Tuesday." I really don't want my blog to turn into me whining and complaining and spouting off random opinions, but that doesn't mean I can't have one day of it. I figure if you don't want to read my tangents, then just don't come on Tuesday's. See? Easy.So I'm spending the week with my sister in Houston, and on my way to her place from work I take 59, which goes right by the old Compact Center (where the Rockets use to play). A few years back, when they decided to build a new stadium, a small humble little church called Lakewood bought it from that proffesional basketball team and made it it's home. The Compact Center now houses 40,000+ worshipers and Joel Osteen.

I realize that this is old news, and I too made my peace with Mr. Osteen those few years ago, but today, for some reason, I really got ticked off again. I think it was because on the side of the church, in as big a letters as the church name itself, was his name. Joel Osteen two stories high. I couldn't help but gagg a little.

So, I sat and pondered for a second (after I fumed) why the hell this guy is so popular. And eventually the answer came to me; he dumbs down religion for the masses. That's what all the new age Christian religions are doing. It's no longer about studying your religious background, educating yourself on, not only those sound bite bible verses you get every week, but on every word of the scriptures. It's no longer about trying to find inherent truth by working at your relationship with God through study, but about coming to church every Sunday and mindlessly listening to a feel-good sermon that tells you that if you "pray for a parking spot, God shall provide," and that God wants us to be rich and prosperous, all you have to do is follow him. Since when was religion suppose to be about the money?

I mean yes, churches and religions have always tried to be as rich as possible, I mean look at the Catholic Church for Christ sake (...ha), but never before have they advocated for money to the masses. Joel Osteen is a multi-millionaire, and says his followers can be the same. What I don't understand is how can he sleep at night while millions of people suffer around him and still claim to be "a man of God." Does he honestly believe that God wants him to be getting his beauty sleep on a feather matress in monogramed silk pajamas (because you know he doesn't sleep in his underwear), while some child a few miles down only has rats and roaches as his bed-time companions? Where's the justification in that? Because the kids not a "follower of God"? That's some bullshit if thats the case.

My firm belief on the matter is, that the little good that comes from religion is it teaches people to be generous, modest and kind. Three things our society is generally very lacking in. But now, with the help of Mr. Osteen, one of those inherent religous values has fallen by the way side, I'll give you three guess as to wich one it is....

I realize this subject has been discussed to death by now, and I know I've really just gotten my self all worked up and solved nothing, but dammit this is Tangent Tuesday. Tomorrow I plan to dive head first into today's economic woes, but, unfortunatly, today in Sandwich Nation is all about the Osteen. Thanks for indulging me.


Anonymous said...

'It's no longer about trying to find inherent truth by working at your relationship with God through study'

Inherent truth? Through the study of an old book? Whose truth? Why is it truth?

More CT needed there I think.

The rest is pretty much spot on.

Drucilla said...

That particular comment was meant to try and look at religion from the position of someone who practices. I think that most religious people feel that they are either searching for, or found the truth by way of God. It is the truth of the believer. Individual truth. But Now, people think they are finding that same "truth" by lazily listening to some carismatic pastor instead of actually reading and discovering on their own.

And, if you don't mind me asking, is this someone I know personally, or just a random web surfer? Just curious.

Anonymous said...

' I think that most religious people feel that they are either searching for, or found the truth by way of God. It is the truth of the believer. Individual truth.'

I think that devalues the meaning of 'truth' doesn't it? Doesn't the above presuppose something and render it essentially meaningless or at any level not any different than what Osteen is doing?

Drucilla said...

I will concede that citing something as "individual truth" in any context does devalue the general meaning of truth itself.

And along these lines, I see that, since in this case "truth" is relative to the believer, there is no real philosophical evidence that searching for this truth can be better achieved through individual study or Osteen's guidance.

But that does not refute my original point which was to bring out the fact that people are no longer finding that truth through the former option of personal revelation do to theological research and findings, but are more often then not opting of the latter. Simply put, I feel like it cheapens the process even more when you are simply regurgitating the words of another.

Anonymous said...

Ahh but how many churches do you know where people do ANY theological research?

What exactly is theological research past book study in the first place? How can you 'study' God? You can study a religion and it's beliefs but beyond that it appears wishful thinking.

So Osteen is essentially doing the same thing as all the others.

Drucilla said...

That's my point. No one is doing any kind of study on their own. They depend on their pastors for any kind of religious insight. It epitomizes the laziness we as a nation have toward finding anything out at all. We're so dependent on podcasts, blogs, sound bits, and pastors (the things that were original meant to just compliment and discuss) that they have now become our only sources. Anyway, this is a whole new subject all together, so moving on

All it can be is book study, there is no possibility of scientific exploration, but that doesn't mean that it's not research. You study the religion to study God. The idea is (I think) by studying the religion you will become closer to God.

And yes he is, but that doesn't make it right.

Thrillionaire said...

Haha Dru you made your Osteen post and now all you google ads are for Joel Osteen Tickets and christian singles things. haha. Take that Druzilla.

Anonymous said...

I've seen this broadway show before.

Jesus Christ Superstar

Shalom Biootch