“Whatever you conceive you can achieve.”
With this favorite
karma-changing promise, New Agers believe you need only use the”unlimited” power and consciousness of your mind to bring about all your dreams, desires and wishes.
Cloaked in a “Christian” package, Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now, bears an uncomfortable and dangerous similarity to this most popular of New Age claims. Sample a few of the Osteen versions:
- “You will produce what you’re continually seeing in your mind. If you foster an image of defeat and failure, then you’re going to live that kind oflife. But if you develop an image of victory, success, health,abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able tohold those things from you.” (page 5)
- “You must conceive it in your heart and mind before you can receive it.” (page 6)
- “You must look through your ‘eyes of faith’ and start seeing yourself as happy, healthy and whole.” (page 15)
- “What you will receive is directly connected to how you believe.” (page 22)
- “We receive what we believe.” (page 72)
- “Learn how to conceive. Keep the image of what you want to become in front ofyou. You’re going to become what you believe.” (page 81)
now travels the country, packing out stadiums with his happy-talk. ButI’d like to see Osteen pay a visit to China, preach his “your best lifenow” drivel, and see how Christians there respond. Let Osteen look intothe eyes of Pastor Lei who has been repeatedly arrested and beaten forpreaching the Word of God in his church – a church not licensed by theChinese government. How would the American’s best life work out forPastor Lei and his congregation? Perhaps their jail time for the Gospelwould give them time to assess Rev. Osteen’s claims.
and countless other persecuted Christians been beaten, jailed andmurdered because they “received what they believed,” or did theseterrible things happen to them because they did not “develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness”?
eleven of Jesus’ disciples martyred because, “they received what theybelieved”? Were the disciples living under a “curse of poverty anddefeat” as Osteen says of so many? Here’s a role call of questions I’dlike to ask Mr. Osteen. Why is it, Joel, that:
- Paul and Matthew were beheaded?
- Barnabas was burned to death?
- Mark was dragged to death?
- James, the less, was clubbed to death?
- Peter, Philip, and Andrew were crucified?
- Thomas was speared to death?
- Luke was hung by the neck until dead?
- Stephen was stoned?
How would these disciples take to the best-life message?
I know. Joel’s promises sound so much better to American ears than allthose warnings of Jesus about being hated by most people for His sake.But it remains that in large measure, Joel’s offering can be describedas nothing less than blasphemy. On page 36, he claims, “God has a bigdream for your life.” On page 56:
“God sees you as a champion. He believes in you even more than you believe in yourself!”
And on page 110:
“God has confidence in you.”
does not provide a single Bible verse to back up thesestatementsbecause there are none. Nowhere in the Bible do we read thatGod believes or has confidence in us. He loves us, but does not believein us. On the contrary, He knows all too well how unbelievably fickleand untrustworthy we humans actually are. It’s not like Joel describeson page 57:
“Believe it or not, that is how God sees you, too. He regards you as a strong, courageous, successful, overcoming person.”
God does not define our success in materialistic terms as Joel does.God is interested in our obedience above all. On page 63, Joel writes:
As long as you are pressing forward, you can hold your head up high,knowing that you are a “work in progress,” and God is in the process ofchanging you. He’s looking at your last two good moves.
where in the Bible do you read that God is not looking at our last twobad moves but our last two good moves? Isaiah 64:6 says that even ourrighteous deeds are like filthy rags or wickedness to God because He isso holy. Even if God did look at our last two good moves, He would still see filthy rags.
Or how about this Osteen gospel gem from page 95:
“Be the best you can be, then you can feel good about yourself.”
in the Bible do we find this teaching? What if your best is gettingdrunk just once a week instead of twice a week? Should you still feelgood about yourself?
But wait. I’ve saved Joel’s most outrageous
statement for last (drum roll please). On page 144, Joel elevates us tothe heavenlies by pointing out that “You may even need to forgive God.”
And exactly what would we be forgiving God for? As I recall,forgiveness is for sins – or at least mistakes. But which of those hasGod made? Not a one according to any Bible I’ve ever read.
Oswald Chambers offers a perspective on the kind of thing the Osteens of the world do to Christians:
“Satan’s great aim is to deflect us from the center. He will allow us to bedevoted to the death to any cause, any enterprise, to anything but theLord Jesus.”
Hebrews 13:9 instructs us to not be carried
away by all sorts of strange teachings (deflected from the center) butsadly, that is exactly what is happening for many at the hand of JoelOsteen.
Instead of pursuing our best life now, we should pursue the things of the Lord so we can have our best life later.
I fear that for many who follow Joel’s false teaching, this life is the best they will get. The false gospel proclaimed by Joel Osteen andaccepted as truth by millions may allow many to achieve what they canconceive of the things in this world, but true to Jesus’ promise, theymay lose their souls in the pursuit.
Originally posted at http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2010/11/joel-osteens-new-age-life-now.html.
Used with permission.
Visit Brannon Howse’s website and listen to his radio show at http://www.worldviewweekend.com.