Saturday, December 6

top 50 most influencial christians! yeah!

So I was going to post about something completely different, and then I got distracted by THIS:
Yeah, it's a list of the 50 most influential Christians in America.
Good ole Joel here is numero uno.
I mean, I am not surprised. I guess he is...
And I guess I missed the whole Victoria Osteen getting sued for being a diva while I was at camp... But that is not why I am posting. haha.
I've been reading up on Joel because I dislike him so much... In case you want to "spend an evening with Joel [and 20,000 of your closest friends]," you can spend 15 dollars to hear him encourage you!!
Also, act now, because his book is on sale from $25 to $15!
There is a variety of 47 message series you could buy... Including:
* Position Yourself for Greatness
* Live a Blessed Life
* Successful Relationships
* Achieving God's Best for Your You
* Six Steps to Enjoying Life
* Be Excited About Life
* Enjoy Every Season of Life
* Reach Your Highest Potential

Most of them all sound the same... He could just get it all out in one sentence: You deserve the best life God has to offer.
His church building cost $95 million dollars to renovate... I'm sorry... what?!? That actually makes me want to throw up. Not to mention all the money they would have to spend on electricity, etc. to keep a basketball stadium cool in the Houston heat and to run those huge mega screens so his followers can see his face.
I mean, I don't know, maybe he is a humble guy, but compare his ABOUT ME section to the letter Matt Chandler wrote to the members of The Village...
Joel Osteen:
According to Nielsen Media Research, Joel is the most watched inspirational figure in America. His weekly sermon is broadcast into every U.S. television market where it is viewed by seven million Americans each week and more than 20 million each month. His weekly broadcast is also seen in almost 100 nations around the world.

In 2004, his first book, Your Best Life Now, was released by Time Warner debuting at the top of the New York Times Bestsellers List and quickly rising to #1. It remained on the New York Times Bestseller for more than 2 years and has sold more than 4 million copies. Most recently, Joel was named as one of Barbara Walters’ “10 Most Fascinating People of 2006” and he was selected as the “Most Influential Christian in 2006” by the readers of Church Report Magazine.

[Paragraphs later]

Joel’s extraordinary success can be found in his core message: That our God is a good God who desires to bless those who are obedient and faithful to Him through Jesus Christ. It is Joel’s deepest desire that his own life be an example of that principle and that everyone who hears this message of hope and encouragement would choose to accept God’s goodness and mercy and to become all that God wants them to be.

Matt Chandler:

Serving a body our size is both a privilege and blessing. Getting to know each one of you personally is something I might never achieve but I'll be working towards it as long as I am here-- which is until the Lord kills me or He makes His triumphant return.

But The Village Church is not a one man show. We have some incredibly gifted pastors and staff who carry much of the ministry workload. Help me serve you by utilizing The Village Church staff.

There seems to be a different approach... Interpret it for yourself. There is so much more I could say about this man, but I will refrain. I just have to wonder what he has to say to all the Christians who have died dirt poor because they had given everything they had to serving Christ...

The list also included Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Rob Bell, James Dobson, John Piper, President Bush, Max Lucado, Rick Warren, Joni Earekson Tada, Chuck Swindoll, Beth Moore, Phil Vischer, and Ed Young...
A lot of them were from Texas, something I found interesting...
I also think it's funny that I have been to 3 of these people's churches (Rick Warren, Chuck Swindoll, and Ed Young) but I really didn't like any of them... too impersonal.

My favorite part of the list was this statement about Joel:

Always humble, Pastor Osteen gives credit to his wife, his staff and his church family for his success and the many blessings of Lakewood Church. Pastor Osteen has a gift for reaching unchurched people with his message of positive thought and God’s plan for our lives.

mmm yes, please credit everyone but God for your success... Way to be, Joel Osteen, way to be.


Jessie said...

I hope you don't mind comments because I leave you a lot. But I agree. I don't like Joel much. I read about him in "People" (I know) and he talked about getting plastic surgery in the future because "of course I want to look good [laughter]". Except I didn't laugh. I thought is was sad that this pastor, a leader called to extremely high standards due to the size of his "flock" so to speak, thinks making his face appear 5 years younger seems to be more deserving of his money then, I don't know, someone in Houston who has no home. Or food. But whatever, you know, God wants me to be happy. Ugh
We can chat about this in person soon, =)

hales said...

ugh i totally agree...
I think my problem with the whole money thing is the money from his church (tithes, etc.) go to support the building... They didn't have to get into debt or anything because the people provided the money for it. That is totally fine. However, there are people in Houston, who, before the hurricane were struggling financially that any part of that $95 million could have gone to... build a church for half of that and that amount is still astounding. Now there are people in Houston without homes bc of the hurricane... instead of going toward huge mega screens and lights and extremely expensive equipment, could the church do fine with less expensive stuff, and help families who can't even eat? I do not think they are using the money for the church for selfish, personal gain...they are using the money for unnecessary comfort for the 2 hours while they are at church when people right outside their doors lost everything they owned. I would actually view this as a form of hypocrisy.
That's not even mentioning the fact that Joel Osteen is a millionaire who lives in a multi million dollar house... He earned it, he can keep it, I don't have a problem with that... But his ministry has people pay to see him when he travels across the country. He says that this amount of money covers the cost of putting on the show, no profit is gathered. Well that's great... But what if Joel Osteen paid for this himself and let people hear him for free? That would be an act of selflessness I could respect.