Pettiness, Trash, and Weighing in on the Osteens

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Before we trash the Osteens or anyone else, maybe we need to stop and think of ways to become more interesting ourselves...

Have you weighed in on Joel and Victoria Osteen yet?

No! Me either. And I’m not going to now.

Yesterday, I challenged you to stop complaining.

I’ve seen so many posts ridiculing, making fun of, and complaining about the Osteens. Do we really believe that trashing them is going to make their followers say, “I didn’t know. Thank you for telling me. I’m no longer going to listen to or read anything by them?”

Of course not.

The only thing we do is team up with like-minded people and alienate everyone else.

So, I’m adding to yesterday’s challenge to stop complaining.

If you’re a follower of Jesus (if you’re not you can ignore this but if you are) . . . start speaking up for what you believe, what you are for not what you’re against.

Be salt and light and forget the vinegar and thunder. 

I know, you’re thinking . . .  Jesus confronted and called out the Pharisees. And you’re right, He did. But He also had perfect wisdom, discernment, and did not sin.

Before you think I’m writing this because I’m a fan of the Osteens. I’m not. This is not to defend them. This is because when Christians rip others apart we make ourselves look bad. We sound petty and jealous, and we don’t do a very good job of representing Jesus.

What if we are determined to talk about what we’re for not what we’re against? What if we shared His truth with joy and enthusiasm? What if we looked like we were having more fun than anyone else on the planet?

Maybe non-believers would be more interested in what we have to say.

So, one more challenge to trade enthusiasm for complaining. What do you think?

Thank you so much for joining me today.

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  1. I LOVE this! Thank you so much. I’m not am Osteen follower. Neither am I an Osteen basher. I simply haven’t found the time to listen to their messages and because of that, neither will I judge or agree with those that approve or disapprove! You summed it up nicely, Deb! Thank you!

    1. Thank you Kaylene! I get frustrated that followers of Jesus are known more for what we’re against than what we are for. We should be the most joyful fun people on the planet. That’s my prayer and my goal. Enjoy a wonderful weekend.

  2. Trashing others is not only a negative practice, it is not Christian in the least. I’m with you in that we should stay strong and positive in our belief; that is the only way we can influence others to welcome Jesus into their lives.

    1. I agree Martha, but I’m afraid many who aren’t Christians think it defines us. Oh that we might become winsome in our message and loving in our approach while continuing to speak the truth. Blessings to you too!

  3. This was a great reminder, Deb, to keep our hearts where they truly belong. It is not our job to destroy or ruin, defame or rip apart the character of another person whether we agree with them or not. I have been shocked too many times with the way we hurt others with our words, and it is no wonder that people are leary about being around believers. We make it hard to find grace when we refuse to give it out.
    Thanks for sharing your heart and reminding us that we are to lift others up and pray for them, let God do the work of redeeming, rescuing, restoring and yes…disciplinging. He is so much better at that job.

    1. “We make it hard to find grace when we refuse to give it out.”

      Absolute truth! Why would people believe God is gracious when those who claim to follow Him fail to give it. Praying for others and sharing His love . . . that is my prayer for us all.

  4. This is such a great entry that you wrote. I am not a fan of the Osteens either, however I will not weigh in on this as it’s not my place to do so. I appreciate what you are saying about Christians tearing each other apart.
    In all honestly, our job is lift each other up, correct others in love, pray for and with others, not condemn harshly or judge.

    1. Thanks for your encouragement Rachel.

      Matthew 18 begins with a private conversation about the offense. That is long way from calling them out publicly on the internet. I wonder how many have contacted the Osteens personally and simply shared their concerns while lifting them up in prayer. Enjoy a blessing-filled weekend.

  5. Can someone please explain to me why the Osteens are such an issue? I don’t get it, but indeed I agree that they are highly bashed from people in the church and this looks shameful upon those who do it. I read Joel’s last book, Break Out, and it was very encouraging. It didn’t raise any red flags while I was reading it.

    1. Madelain, My understanding is that they preach a prosperity feel-good theology. But I also wonder if they aren’t easy targets because their “fame.” Truthfully, I believe we each should test everything we read against the Bible and pray for God’s guidance. Thanks for stopping by to say “hi.” Blessings!

      1. Gotcha, but do they deny Jesus as Lord and Savior? It all seems so silly to me, but thank you for clearing that one up! Blessings Deb (: Great post! xos And have a great weekend!

        1. You know, that would take more research. I don’t know what they teach about Jesus. Do you have any insight from the book you read?

  6. Be salt and light and forget the vinegar and thunder. Love that. I think I see too often a tendency to jump on the bandwagon and talk negatively about anything. Just yesterday, I had a friend come up to me and say, “Guess what I heard about so-and-so! She got breast implants and it made me feel so much better about myself!” I thought, Wow, that is sad. Why do we have to pull someone else down. It is easy, it is becoming more popular, but really, it doesn’t make us any better. I walked away from that conversation feeling worse. First, because I don’t really care who got implants, but second because my good friend cared so much. It just made me sad. Thanks for a good reminder. Be kind. And if you can’t, it is better to be quiet!

    1. Amen! I often quote Thumper’s mother, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say anything at all.”

      I also agree we are fascinated with the negative, loving to point out the worst dress, hair, or body on the red carpet. I think we’d all be happier if it stopped, because insecurity makes us all believe we are just one comment away from someone’s ridicule and trashing. Thanks so much for stopping to say “hi.”

  7. Thank you so much for this post. I honestly don’t know what is going on with them, but I agree that we should stand more for what are are for than what we are against. You bring up an excellent point that Jesus had perfect discernment. There is a time for caution, but we could certainly all share a lot more love. Thank you for your words and for the link-up.

    1. Thank you Heather. I really appreciate your encouragement and that you took the time to share your link. Blessings to you!

  8. TFS. People, especially Christians do not have the room to criticize each other. I never understood it. Why would you criticize something that is good for one another, not to tear down. I am a fan of the Olsteens and I have a couple of their books. I am not a fan of Kenneth Copeland, but I am not going to bash him and his wife either. That is why there is variety in this journey called life, and God gives you choices, and you can choose to look at the Olsteens with positively or don’t bother listening, but listen to something positive and no complaining is allowed.

    1. I agree Patricia. We have choices to make . . . we’re not called to follow or promote everyone. Whew, that makes me tired just thinking about it. Since we are each in need of love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy—it’s best for us to offer the same to others. Thanks for visiting. Many blessings to you!

  9. ‘start speaking up for what you believe, what you are for not what you’re against.’ – what a great line. I often wonder too what would happen if we developed the habit of praying for the people we feel prone to complain about. I think one of the unfortunate by-products of the internet, social media age we live in is it grants people a certain anonymity and distance from which to throw stones. I feel it encourages what is an unhealthy and unsavoury aspect of the culture and one, as you say, christians should seek to demonstrate an alternative to rather than simply become part of. So great post. It’s a shame there aren’t more who are agitating for us to adopt this perspective in the interests of beautifying the gospel and the God we serve rather than sullying them with petty-mindedness and bitterness. I understand being grieved, but we still have a choice over how we choose to respond to grievances.

    1. Thanks so much for adding to the discussion Micah. There is a better way isn’t there? A way to speak the truth without “throwing stones” at the person. That is my prayer, that more people will begin to share the joy of celebrating the love of God through Christ Jesus. That we can talk more about what we are for than what we’re against. People complain about politicians, but we sound like them in attack ads when we go after each other. Thanks again and Blessings!

  10. Dave Samuel says:

    I watch Joel’s service often on Sunday Mornings, he does preach a prosperity message, a feel good about yourself and life as a believer, with God we can do all things. I know there was something a week ago with his wife and something she said from stage I choose not to watch it. After every service he does an altar call with a prayer of salvation.

    1. Thanks for sharing this Dave. I’ll admit I don’t know much about what he teachers. I really appreciate your input. I am glad to know he is calling people to faith in Jesus.

  11. This is my first visit! What a joy! Thank you.

    I couldn’t agree more. We need to stand for truth and love. We need to show them Jesus.

    I am reminded that there are times to confront a brother and/or sister when they are in error but there is a right way and it’s certainly not blasting it all over the internet.

    1. True Sharon. I sometimes think social media has become a very easy way for us to take sides against each other. My devotions this morning talked about unity in the church. It sounds like heave. 🙂

  12. Trashing the Osteens is certainly not a good idea. On the other hand I have written a couple of posts that reference some of the misguided doctrine that they have taught from their pulpit. I think that it is important not to overlook teachings that could be damaging to the church. On the other hand, this can be done with tactfully, there’s not need for ripping into others.

    1. I completely agree Caleb. I was reading in 2 Corinthians this morning where Paul refuted false teaching among them. He taught the truth, told them beware of false teaching, and to focus on their relationship to Jesus through faith. He did not mention any false teacher by name. I think that is the difference. If we have concerns about something being taught, we are to speak truth. If we have concerns about the teacher we should go directly to them. Thanks for adding to the discussion. Praying for you all in the Ukraine.

  13. My heart grieves when I see/hear Christians bashing other people of faith. I know there is a time and place to call out a brother’s wrongdoing, but social media can really tear others down. I will not read or ever comment that shows someone in a negative light. I keep thinking of that scripture that says to first remove the stone from our own eye. We all fall short. We must speak life to others, especially to those who have fallen into sin.

    1. “We must speak life to others.” I love that! Thanks Barbie! Blessings and Hugs!

  14. So agree and I glad I didn’t see what I did not see. Sounds like I did not miss anything! But your point to we who follow. SPot on!

    1. Thanks Dawn! That’s why I love your positive enthusiasm. I suppose we can trash “enthusiastically.” But not positively. Hugs to you!

  15. . start speaking up for what you believe, what you are for not what you’re against. that is exactly the challenge I got from reading all that has been written about the Osteens. I certainly do not agree with their brand of Christianity but if I stay busy sharing my faith in Christ there is less time to judge.

    1. Hi Betty, Followers of Jesus have so many wonderful things to offer the world besides negativity. I agree with you, we are better off sharing our faith and the joy we have in following Christ.

  16. Hi Deb! It sure seems that your theme of staying away from complaining was divinely ordered. What timing! I only read a few bloggers talk about Victoria’s comments, but I see the internet is full of thoughts and reactions.

    It’s probably best for me to remember that I don’t know her, and and I have had my own hits and misses in the past. I choose to love, and wish her wisdom. That’s true encouragement.

    1. You’re absolutely right Ceil. Offering her grace and praying for God to cover their ministry with His wisdom and truth is a better way to go. I think if people are concerned with what she said, it would be better to email her or try to contact her privately, as opposed to calling her out publicly. Following Matthew 18 can go a long way. Enjoy a wonderful week.

  17. Complaining and tearing down does nothing to the person I’m upset or offended at and damages me. God approves honor and I would rather honor the good and stay silent on the rest (I’m not qualified to judge someone else’s servant). Throughout scripture, God commends honor. We are made in His image–each one–sinners and saints. There is always something to honor. Thanks Deb.

    1. That’s a great point too, Jason. Approve what is good and true and stay silent on the rest. Taking care of the log in our own eye first, and choosing to focus on what unites us as believers not what tears us apart. Blessings on your week.

  18. Mary Flaherty says:

    Deb, I have to say, your title is what caught my eye on the Missional Women’s Faith-Filled-Friday Linkup. I so agree with you. It’s saddened me to see well-meaning and well-known Christian leaders, as well as some of my very mature Christian friends on FB posting their views and urging the Olsteens to repent. I am not a fan of them anyway, but what catches in my heart is this: Who am I to cast the first stone? Haven’t I said stupid things, or things that may not be completely doctrinally (sp?) correct? Granted, it wasn’t in front of hundreds of thousands. God knows better than to put me in front of that many people with my mouth! We need to concern ourselves with greater things. This is petty.

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