Tag: Joel Osteen

The Cult of Christian Celebrity

A snarky take on pastor worship

There is a toxic culture swirling around American Christianity. No, not that one. No, not that one either. Okay, fine. There’s a myriad of toxic issues with Christianity in America, and today we’re going to delve into the cult of Christian celebrity. It’s one of those silent faith-killers that most engage in but never realize it is happening. In the shallow end, it’s simply idolatry, but if we go a bit deeper, we’ll see it’s insidious nature of eroding faith and pushing it miles away from anything that has to do with Jesus. That’s no small problem.

From Steven Furtick to Judah Smith, these pop-theologians push their brand of faith to increase their market share and increase their own wealth. They are the boy-band versions of Christianity, all style and no substance. You might as well have Joey Fatone preaching.

You also have the Jim Bakker and Joel Osteen types who are more like the Home Shopping Network of Christian values. You can have Jesus all for the low, low price of $49.95.

Then, you have the ones like Franklin Graham and Robert Jeffress who push their political agendas on their followers like Dick Cheney with a shotgun. They’re taking no prisoners and again, none of this has anything to do with Jesus.

It’s easy to blame the shepherds or charlatans (and we will on the show), but on some level, the congregations and followers also share an equal amount of blame as well. Following Jesus was never about safe spaces or comfort. It’s not about insulating yourself from culture. Jesus was about pushing boundaries pride and self-indulgence into a place of grace and humility.

Christianity in America is broken. There is a way out, but are we willing to take that path and step out of the cult of Christian celebrity to begin to think for ourselves and do the hard work of following after a wild and loving God? The choice is yours.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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The Nashville Hate-Ment

A snarky take on the Nashville Statement

A rundown of the aftermath of Hurricane Osteen in Houston and its implications on American Christianity. We’ll also delve into the muddy waters of the hate filled Nashville Statement and how it damages faith. How do Christians respond to Christian hate? What happens when your spiritual family is bigoted?

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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Houston We Have a Problem

A snarky take on on the flaccid state of the American church

A rundown of the travesty of Hurricane Harvey and the glaring lack of response from Lakewood Church, Houston’s (and one of American’s) biggest churches. While Joel Osteen hides away in his mansion thousands suffer. What should Christians do when their churches fall short? What happens when business-as-usual gets in the way of a mission. Hint: nothing good.

Come along for the ride as we skewer through life, culture, and spirituality in the face of a changing world.

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John Oliver vs Prosperity Gospel

Talk about hitting the nail on the flippin’ head. John Oliver does it again.

The prosperity gospel has been a favorite target of mine over at Snarky Faith Radio. Not only is it a fun (and regular) punching bag, it’s also messing up people’s lives and denigrating those actual churches who are doing good work in communities. Snake oil salesmen? Perhaps, but I’d liken them more to those peddling ponzi schemes on Wall Street. It’s a straight up cash grab in the name of Jesus.

It boggles my mind that you can still call an organization ‘non-profit’ when your pastor/CEO is making at least a million dollars a year. Doesn’t sound much like suffering for the Gospel.

Any thoughts about what should be done about this? 

Joel Osteen Can Has Cheezburger

I kind of see Joel Osteen like a cute kitten. You don’t expect kitty to understand algebra – you just pet it on the head and have it around because it’s darn adorable. Dumb as a bag of rocks, but still so adorable. That was my sentiment when I read this CNN post on Osteen and his beliefs about Mormonism and Mitt Romney (see question 3 of the post). It’s caused a bit of a stir, but just remember: Joel = kitten.

Have a look over at the interview: 5 Questions With Joel Osteen

And yes, Osteen helms a huge mega church and commands millions of followers with his “Aw Shucks” Andy Griffith charm meets Stuart Smalley‘s theology…  but then again I Can Has Cheezburger also commands millions daily viewers too! See, again, adorable cats.

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What are your thoughts? Should we care what Osteen says?