Bite Me, Joel Osteen

randomlychad  —  March 14, 2013 — 19 Comments
'VATICAN SURPRISE' photo (c) 2005, Tim Engleman - license:

Bite Me, Joel Osteen.

My Best Life Now? Seriously?

Does that best life include:

My sleep apnea

My wife’s:

Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, and allergies so bad she can’t breathe through her nose for months on end?

My son’s chronic back problems?

Loved ones dying of cancer?

What part of this is “best,” Joel?

“But, bless God, brother,” you say. “You just need to take a hold of it.” Well, d’oh! What do you think I’ve been doing? Playing tiddlywinks? I pray–I believe–everyday.

You say “Well maybe you just don’t have faith? Pray for faith, brother.” Doing this, too, bro.


By my reckoning, I’d say that I have much the same faith as:

Abraham–who died without receiving his inheritance

Gideon–who twice laid out his fleece before God

Barak–who wouldn’t go fight unless Deborah accompanied him

David–who killed Uriah to cover up his sin

Job–who suffered it seems so God could win a bet with the devil

The Apostle Paul–who was shipwrecked, stoned (with actual rocks, not pot), and cast adrift in the open ocean

It seems to me, Joel, that their hope was not in having the best life now, but in having a blessed life now.

Which meant walking with God, and trusting him, through hard things. Not being delivered from those hard things, but rather being delivered through them.

Because it seems to me that having the best life now means having a hope in the hereafter, where “He [God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4, ESV).

Bite me, Joel Osteen: the best is yet to be.




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.

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  • Hell yes!

  • I don’t know…there’s just something about that man that I just don’t like. Maybe it’s a constant cheery attitude or that fixed smile on his face or his messages of prosperity. But I agree with you, Chad, that our best life is not on this earth but is yet to be. I mean, if this were our best life now what would be the point of heaven? The people in the Bible were imperfect souls in an imperfect world depending their life on the perfect God and Father and looking forward to the promised day when imperfection would become perfected in Jesus Christ.

    • Amen, Thomas! Very well said. “This mortal shall take immortality, and death shall be swallowed up in victory.”

  • Doreen McGettigan

    You all sound like a bunch of jealous schoolgirls suffering from poor me, victim and entitlement syndrome. You have NO idea what hell that man and his family have walked through and you are judging them. Very bad example of Christianity. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    • Ma’am, with all due respect, you’re right--I haven’t walked in his shoes. That said, I--along with many, many others--have deep concerns about the message he preaches--and indeed how he represents Christianity.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • No matter what he and his family have walked through, the theology and hope he preaches are still bad. It leaves those of us who are not happy shiny people either angry, wounded, or defeated because life doesn’t work like that.

      I am not saying anything personal about the man. However, his message… I gotta call bullshit where I see it. That is loving. That’s what I see Jesus doing. Only when we clean house of our false expectations can we learn to cling to Christ and the hope of salvation.

      • Well said, Aaron! The cleaning begins in the household of God.

        As you said, false hope is worse than no hope. Any time I’ve tried to build my faith on formulas God has faithfully knocked the legs out from under me. Ultimately, the Bible is a book of relationship--not one of formulas. In the end, God wants what we all want: to be loved for Who He is. Not for what He can do for me.

  • hmmm… I can’t honestly say much one way or the other about Joel Osteen, but I can say that I know life is hard, but God is good. And I’m amazed how God can use the “crap” in our lives to help others and to ultimately point people to God and His Glory. While I wouldn’t want to repeat some of the stuff that life has sent my way, I also would no change a thing.

    • Well said, Jon! Comforting with the comfort we have been comforted with. Meaning that we will go through stuff--not that it’s all inright, outright, upright, downright happy all the time. It’s not all good, but God works it for the good.

  • Michelle Woodman

    Okay, well . . . um . . . yeah.

    I may not agree with all Joel Osteen says or preaches, but I’m not going to tell him to “bite me”, either.

    I don’t know why, but the tone of much of what I read from Osteen’s critics seems mean-spirited. Maybe I’m wrong — there is only so much one can gather from the written word after all.

    But I walked through my husband’s cancer and chemotherapy treatment with him, and we had *prayed* for him to be supernaturally healed so he wouldn’t have to go through that crap. But he wasn’t. And my husband so often said during and after and still to this day: “God’s Word is still true — He still heals. And my circumstances don’t change that.” He didn’t get mad at those who still taught about healing.

    Just my $0.02. Some things are still percolating, so I may comment further. Maybe.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Michelle. Make no mistake: I don’t oppose praying for healing. Been doing that everyday. I also pray for grace in the midst of tribulation. I believe God does both.

      I don’t hate Joel Osteen; rather, I hate the message he peddles--which reduces God to a formula. Do this, and God must bless you. That is the so-called prosperity Gospel, and it’s not in the Bible. My post was a pointed, humorous attempt to compare/contrast biblical faith with unbiblical faith. For good, or ill, Joel is the poster child of the prosperity message.

      I’m so glad your husband came through his ordeal.

      • Michelle Woodman

        Oh, I have heard *much* about the prosperity gospel. And what we often miss in the use of the Parable of the Talents (often used to support it) is that each person was given *a different number of talents*.

        And no, God certainly cannot be reduced to a formula. He seems to want to buck them as much as possible, actually . . .

        Thanks re: my husband. 🙂

        Hey, if you don’t mind my asking — has a deviated septum been ruled out as the cause of your sleep apnea? My dad suffered from it for decades (seriously) before it was discovered that was the cause. Oddly, that discovery came while he was recovering from meningitis.

    • thanks for sharing this Michelle. I agree with you.

      • Michelle Woodman

        You’re welcome, Jim. 🙂

  • For those burnt by the church or completely unchurched, is Joel better than nothing at all Chad? Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!!

    • Jim, actually I would recommend a NorthPointe, a Willowcreek, or a church of that type.

      The fact is that a false hope is no hope at all. A Gospel that doesn’t include sin is no Gospel at all.

    • Jim, no. Not at all.

      The message that is being preached is not good news; it’s self help and positive thinking woven with christian lingo. It doesn’t make much of Jesus as much as it glorify’s our positive thinking and turns God into a jerk for not giving us good things.

      When the burden of salvation/victory is placed on the shoulders of our faith, when shit goes down we are left holding the bag. This leads to situations like my dad was in after my mom died, “well, if you had had more/better/stronger faith… if you had prayed harder… if you had believed better she wouldn’t have died.” That’s not good for anyone, burned by church or not.