Nothing like posting a critical video of America’s most popular preacher to stir things up. MacArthur doesn’t hold back on this video, so for you who are Osteen fans, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I have often been asked what I think of Joel Osteen. I think he is a good motivational speaker. But he is not a Bible teacher or a Gospel preacher. I am sure he is a great guy and all that, but anyone who reads the Bible regularly and embraces the elementary rules of Bible interpretation will understand that his message does not line up with Biblical truth. MacArthur says it a little more strongly:
Dr. Russell Moore nails it.
Like many churches, we had an attendance boost yesterday. But Bay Area Fellowship of Corpus Christi, Texas, drew more than 3 times it’s average Sunday attendance yesterday with more than 23,000 in attendance on multiple campuses. The secret? They gave away new cars, new appliances, and many other door prizes:
The multimillion dollar giveaway attracted nationwide attention, not all of it positive. The church was criticized for promoting consumerism and bribing people to come to church for prizes. Besides the eye-popping large prizes, the church gave away 15,000 prize packs with coupons for free goods and services such as a chiropractic exam, Hooks baseball tickets, a week’s membership to Gold’s Gym and a night’s stay for dogs at the Pooch Pad.
Cornelius used humor to deal with the backlash.
‘People used to get on us for asking for money. Now, they’re getting onto us for giving money away,” Cornelius said to laughter from the crowd. “I don’t know what to do.'”
What’s your thoughts on this? Is this a legitimate way to increase the flock? Does this methodology, in your opinion, match up with the way Jesus Christ ministered to the masses during His three year public ministry during His incarnation? At what point does a “whatever it takes” mentatlity toward reaching souls cross the line into compromising the message via the method?
By the way, we gave away books at Harvest Jacksonville yesterday. Each household received a free copy of John Piper’s Fifty Reasons Jesus Came to Die. Additional copies were available for $0.50 per book.
Part of the problem with the American church today is our desire to make other Christians like us rather than convert non-Christians. In other words, we sometimes spend more energy trying to convince other Christians to identify with our particular preferences rather than actually reach the lost with the Gospel. My friend Dr. Ed Stetzer (who is friends with 3.7 million people, so don’t be impressed that he is my friend) wrote a timely article titled “Converts to What?” for catalystspace.com last year. Here is a great quote from that article:
So, my Reformed friends, let’s not only read 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John (that is, John Calvin, John MacArthur, and John Piper), let’s go plant some more churches. My emerging church friends, let’s take a pause from the theological rethink and head into the neighborhood and to tell someone about Jesus. My missional friends, let’s speak of justice, but always tell others how God can be both “just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” My house church friends, let’s have community, but let’s be sure it is focused on redemption. My Baptist friends, let’s focus more on convincing pagans than Presbyterians. And, my charismatic friends, let’s focus less on getting existing believers to speak in tongues and more on using our tongue to tell others about Jesus.
Now, I know the preceding paragraph will tick some of you off—and, I am trying to be a bit edgy while making a point. But, let me suggest you be less offended at my words and more focused on Jesus’ words: Go therefore and make disciples of nations.”
Sometimes Christians can be intimidated by intellectuals who don’t believe in God, especially when they have “impressive” academic credentials. But we have some pretty impressive minds on our team as well. Alvin Plantiga is one such mind. Justin Taylor posts an interview of Plantinga by Simon Smart (told you we had some impressive minds, “Smart”!). Of course, I don’t endorse his beliefs on every subject, but hopefully I can post interviews without implying full-scale endorsement of all a person’s beliefs. Anyway, it’s worth your time.
Do you remember the “W.W.J.D?” bracelet fad from a few years back? Inspired by the book In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, the bracelets were a big hit for a season. I wonder how many people are still sporting the bracelets? In my message this past Sunday I suggested we would do better to ask the question, “W.D.J.A.T.M.T.D?” Of course I was aiming at being humorous with 8 letters, but I was also making a serious point. Since most Americans don’t know much about what Jesus actually said or did and thus have a hard time actually answering the question “W.W.J.D?” accurately, I think it would be better if we focused on the question, “W.D.J.A.T.M.T.D?”
Continue reading W.D.J.A.T.M.T.D?