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God Wants to Make Me Rich!

And nobody ever told me! I discovered this marvelous bit of theology by accident at Sam’s Club the other day, when I flipped through a copy of Joel Osteen’s latest self-help book, Your Best Life Now.

I didn’t read much, but the chapter titles gave me a pretty good idea of what the book was about. According to the blurb at Osteen’s website, I was right. The secret of success “lies in a simple yet profound process to change the way you think about your life and help you accomplish what’s truly important. In this straightforward guide, Joel gives steps that will improve your life for good and help you experience victory, joy and satisfaction every day!”

That’s an okay philosophy for Tony Robbins, but for a preacher of the gospel of Christ? It’s a long way from the Apostle’s Creed.

So what does Joel Osteen believe, anyway?

This is my Bible.
I am what it says I am.
I have what it says I have.
I can do what it says I can do.
Today I will be taught the Word of God.
I boldly confess my mind is alert, my heart is receptive.
I will never be the same.
I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God.
I will never be the same.
Never, never, never.
I will never be the same. In Jesus name.

What is most notable about Osteen’s creed? The word “I” appears 12 times. God is in there twice; Jesus is only mentioned once.

That pretty well sums up the focus of Joel Osteen’s ministry.

It also explains why his church has grown from 7,000 to 30,000 members over the last five years, and why Your Best Life Now hit No. 1 at Wal-Mart, with over 800,000 copies in print. This is modern American Christianity; this is the church of Laodicea.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
2 Tim 4:3-4

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