Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Shame and Sham

Becoming a Better Joel Osteen:
Seven Keys to Living For Christ

Dear Joel Osteen,

Since you're reportedly a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, perhaps the following "seven keys" to becoming the person you ought to be won't seem too novel.

(1) Admit you're a sinner (a.k.a., a self-serving shmuck) who is beyond all hope of self-redemption.
"All our righteousness deeds are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6);
"There is no one righteous; there is no one who does good, no not even one" (Romans 3:10).

(2) Celebrate the fact that, despite your being a shmuck (and a ten-karat-tin-plated one at that), God still loved you and sent His Son to deliver you from your otherwise pointless life.
"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

(3) A much better preacher than you has repeatedly said something quite different than your self-actualization mantra of "Have Confidence in Yourself". You might want to consider his message:
"Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24)
Of particular interest to you is the answer he gives in the next verse. "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:25)

(4) Embrace your defeat. You have nothing to offer God in exchange for His delivering you from your empty existence. Recognize that your part in delivering yourself from your sins is like Japan's part in ending World War II.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

(5) Recognize that your exhorting your readers to "Come up higher" is just that old message originally voiced by your spiritual father.
"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:14)

(6) Try to figure out what "Soli Deo Gloria" means. If you conclude that it means your book's sales go through the roof and your megachurch becomes even more "mega", think again.
"Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Thy Name give glory because of Thy Lovingkindness, because of Thy Truth." (Psalms 115:1)

(7) Shut up and listen.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time."


Jerry said...

Amen brother.

If you allowed linking I would certainly link this post on my blog.

Bob said...

Link away, bro!

Hula Doula said...

Is it ok to stand and yell, "AMEN, AMEN AND AMEN!!!!!!!!"
I don't have anything against someone that is trying to better themselves, but the recognition that it is FROM GOD is the point he seems to miss.