Four years ago the Boston Bureau Chief of BusinessWeek, William C. Symonds, did an interview with Mr. Osteen. Here is one interchange taken from their conversation:
Evidently Osteen has not changed his message during the terrible economic recession of recent months. Another more recent article said "Osteen hasn’t necessarily tailored his message for the downturn. Instead, he has continued his feel-good preaching, his exhortations to focus on the positive and banish negative thoughts, his reminders that God wants you to have a good job, a beautiful home, and decent cash flow. His vast ministry has become, in effect, shelter from the storm. “God wants you to have a big life,” Osteen reminds his flock. “That is his blessing. God has a big dream for your life.”
What Do You Want for Your Children?
I believe that if someone had asked my parents to give a thoughtful answer to that question, material prosperity would not have been the first thing on the list. (I sure hope it wasn't, since two of us four took vows of poverty in religious life!)
I suppose that I took my own parents as the model when considering the following question suggested recently by a friend: "What would God as Parent want for you?" It frankly never occurred to me that God may have wanted me to have a six-figure salary. That's not what my parents had wanted for me, and I trust I have not disappointed my heavenly Parent is this regard either.
Obviously Joel Osteen's controversial "feel good" evangelism has proven to be a satisfactory "spirituality for troubled times" for plenty of Christians -- but not for me, thanks. With the Lord's help I'll just keep on trying to figure things out. I hope you'll keep joining me in the effort.