Joel Osteen, pastor of America’s largest megachurch, is offering “The Inspiration Cube” for gifts of $50 or more. With the press of a button, the cube will bless your life with daily inspirations, sermons, and affirmations. It is advertised as “the beginning of a new life,” “victory over negative thoughts,” “the overcoming of any obstacle,” “enablement to walk in your destiny,” and “new levels of blessed life and influence.” With this device, “The blessings of God are drawn to you like a magnet.” This is based on the Pentecostal Word-Faith, “name it and claim it,” heresy. Lakewood Church was founded by Joel’s father, John, the author of How to Flow in the Super Supernatural. He taught that believers can use their words to create their own reality. Joel holds his father’s Word-Faith theology, but he focuses more on a “positive uplifting” message and ignores unpopular Bible teachings such as judgment, hell, surrender, sacrifice, apostasy, and separation. When Osteen packed out the coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, in March 2005, his message was, “Make a decision before you leave this place, you’re going to get happy where you are.” That message resonates with apostate America. In an interview on the international cable television program Larry King Live, June 20, 2005, Osteen was asked where atheists, Jews, or Muslims go if they don’t accept Jesus Christ. He replied, “You know, I’m very careful about saying who would and wouldn’t go to heaven; I don’t know.” In an interview with The Washington Post in Oct. 2011, Osteen said that Mormons are true Christians. In August 2014, Joel’s wife Victoria, co-pastor of Lakewood, told the congregation “I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy¯” (“Osteen Says Obedience, Worship ‘Not for God,’” Christian News Network, Aug. 28, 2014). Joel, standing by Victoria’s side, nodded in agreement.
(Friday Church News Notes, July 15, 2022, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)