Preaching in Pretoria

Oh no. He’s refuting my sermon points before I even speak.  Jesus, there’s either going to be radical transformation today, or I’m going to be chased to my car.  I shouldn’t have worn flip-flops. Those were my thoughts as the service began this morning at my friend Lordwick’s church here in a South African township, when John, the “emcee,” was up front.  He excitedly talked about enjoying a prosperous life as a Christian.   At one point he said, “If you are in trouble, if you are suffering, there is something wrong with you.  You need to get close to God.” … Continue reading Preaching in Pretoria

Can Christ-less Book Still Be Considered “Christian” Just Because a Pastor Writes It?

I was at Kinko’s a few days ago and I saw Joel Osteen’s book in the company of many others that were about doing more than getting by financially and becoming wealthy.  I’m think the prosperity gospel is not a real gospel, but perhaps we should no longer call Osteen’s books or sermons “Christian” because, in reality, there is no “Christ” in them at all. Continue reading Can Christ-less Book Still Be Considered “Christian” Just Because a Pastor Writes It?

Jesus Didn’t Suffer and Die on a Cross to Make You a Better Person

Last November, for my birthday, Mike Janssen gave me a pseudo-present: a Joel Osteen, Become a Better You daily calender (thanks, Mike!).  For Thursday, May 15, Osteen quotes Proverbs 3:6, “In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and he will direct and make straight and plan your paths.”  Here is Osteen’s motivational thoughts: I believe one of the best prayers that we could ever prayer is “God not my will, but your will be done.”  I pray it in some form every day: “God open up the right doors and close the wrong doors.”  If you will stay open to His direction … Continue reading Jesus Didn’t Suffer and Die on a Cross to Make You a Better Person