The Wheel and Axle

Beware The False Prophet

by on Sep.01, 2017, under Society

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Joel Osteen is not a Christian.

He has always been a scam artist.

He didn’t even go to seminary. As per his confirmation during a Larry King interview, they just ordained him at his father’s church and ministry.

Aside from spreading incorrect Christian theology, he has risen to become a wealthy celebrity minister whose ostentateous lifestyle should make anyone – Christian or not – think twice.

While acquiring material wealth is not evil in and of itself per se, it is always highly questionable when a purported Christian minister acquires astounding wealth. This is especially true when you consider that Jesus asked His first apostles to leave their livelihood behind to follow Him. He also told a wealthy man about camels and needles, and that if the man wanted to follow Him, he should leave his wealth behind.

Some of my friends have cautioned me about being judgmental of Osteen or other believers. Well, for one thing, I don’t think he’s a true believer but rather a fraud, and I have nasty things to say about frauds. That said, even if he were “legit,” as with political leaders, we should hold our religious leaders to higher ethical standards than common people.

Why do we hold Duterte or Robredo or Trump or Obama to such high standards and criticize them publicly, but we are afraid of doing the same for high-profile “church leaders” who have a following of millions and who are preaching about morality and spirituality?

We must not be afraid of calling out such religious leaders when they are blatantly in the wrong because they are supposed to be setting high moral standards for us.

So when a disaster hits Houston and one of the Christian megachurches perfectly capable of providing shelter for thousands does not, it is very conspicuous. It is conspicuous because we expect more from an institution that preaches Christianity, and when basic tenets of Christianity are not practiced, the hypocrisy becomes highlighted.

And do not throw #whataboutisms at me… because the usual #whataboutism suspects for this did in fact open up for shelters: mosques, a corporation selling mattresses, and more.

Here are the issues with Osteen’s behavior from a Christian standpoint.

  1. He ignored basic Christian tenets by initially not opening his megachurch for shelter.
  2. When caught lying about the reasons for not opening, he and his team lied even more.

Apologists have given excuses which are easy to respond to given facts that were uncovered:

  1. The place was flooded/inaccessible. Credible and factual video footage from several sources disprove this statement. This was a bald-faced lie.
  2. They were still “preparing” the place and needed to ensure security. None of the other makeshift shelters (less equipped at that) that opened would have had time to prepare or ensure utmost security. Besides, which is better: wading through dangerous floods or seeking shelter in a place where something might happen? Also, I don’t recall the Good Samaritan “preparing” to help the injured traveller; he just did without regard of potential dangers.
  3. They would start accepting refugees once other shelters were filled to capacity. I guess this is very much aligned to the teachings of Jesus wherein He said, “Come unto me, all ye who are weary, but check first if the nearest synagogue is available, in which case, send an affidavit that they are full before I take you in.”

It is also very telling that, when Osteen – his eyes blinking endlessly, if I may point out – finally decided to give an interview regarding the matter, his stories and explanations do not all align or match. His social media team even deleted the original post where they said the megachurch was flooded after video footage surfaced that this was untrue. These are the marks of PR damage control, not a sincere attempt to live by the teachings of Christ.

It is also amusing how, at the height of all this before they changed their tune and Osteen gave an interview, his team was busier deleting posts and blocking people (including polite ones) on social media. Yes, rather than actually doing something to help people out there, like the rest of civilized Houston, they were doing PR management.

Osteen, with his two megamansions and private jet, has always been a false prophet with his “prosperity gospel” that goes against basic Christian theology.

With this scandal, he has simply proven it by turning away those in need during the most difficult of times then lying about it.

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