Okay, so yesterday we talked pretty strongly about adding paganism to Christianity. I know I’ve stepped on a lot of toes in the last few days. My advice is toughen up or get steel toed boots. i’m not done.
Central to the issue is the love a lot of Christians show for others. It’s good! Good on ya, as the Aussies say. But you need to temper that love with the knowledge that only those that are born again will enter heaven, Everyone else goes to Hell.
“how can you say that???”
Well, it took 20 letter E’s, 5 H’s… you get the picture. The Bible says it, so I’m saying it too. You should be saying it as well.
When we understand Christian love, and we temper it with that knowledge that only Born Again Christians go to heaven, it should motivate us all to rush out there and pass out tracts, give away Bibles, sponsor Revivals, have tent meetings, invite friends to church or sunday school or Bible studies…
In other words, it makes us functioning Christians.
But when we believe la-de-da that just EVERYONE goes to heaven, we become ineffective Christians. Bottom line. Why witness to them when they are going to heaven anyway?
They’re just worshipping Jesus by another name!
No, they’re worshipping another Jesus, not the Jesus Christ of the Bible.
Let’s talk about the attempt to sneak Hinduism into Christianity – or rather, it’s American counter-part, New Age. That is most definitely a different Jesus than the one preached of in the Bible. And I’m most definitely going to name names, as that is what the Bible tells me to do with false teachers. I dealt with a lot of this back on my series on Word Faith, but i’m going to briefly deal with it again, because there’s Episcopals, Presbyterians and… Baptists who seem to think it can’t apply to them.
Let’s explain prayer here. I can’t believe I have to do this, as obviously any five year old knows how to do this. You open your mouth and speak to God, thenking Him for things, praising Him, and then finally making any requests known to Him. You speak. God does hear silent prayer – witness Hannah’s prayer for a son, which was answered in Samuel. However, the vast majority of prayer in the Bible was done audibly – so we by example are taught that almost all of our prayer needs to be done in the same manner.
So what is Centering Prayer? Centering prayer is a silent prayer with God, in which one begins by greeting God, then emptying ones mind of thoughts, and allowing some kind of mental meeting or exchange that is silent between yourself and “God”. I can honestly tell you, I’ve read the Bible, and that’s not in there. At all. When Elijah met God, there were verbal words. When Moses spent time in God’s presence, there were verbal words.
It’s lie this! If you really sat in the presence of the God of the Universe, He’d usually be telling you, “get up, go do this.” That’s how we see it in EVERY example of anyone talking to God. The only exception being Moses, who was receiving the Law, and being taught for many days by God. The other example was Paul in the wilderness being taught by Christ.
In both cases, they were learning vast amounts of Bible doctrine. So, what doctrines are people being educated in by sitting at the feet of “God” in centering Prayer?
“uh, it’s not about doctrine…”
Then it’s not the God of the universe. You’re either having a nice fellowship time with Satan, or with an imaginary god inside your head. Yes, those tears, that closeness you feel, that wonderful feeling of love and acceptance – are either worship of Satan, or worship of yourself.
That’s the essence of New Age. “Thou art god.” was the teaching of Heinlein’s trashy free love science fiction novel, “Stranger in a strange Land”. It’s been repeated by every New Age guru since then. It’s amazing, how many of these “Ascended Masters” as they’re called, seem to be allergic to soap, water, and deodorant! Meeting many of them in person is an assault on the senses, as they’re usually very dynamic individuals, with bad breath, and a distinctive unwashed smell.
Where does New Age come from?
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:4-5 (KJV)
There you go, the essence of the New Age straight from the lips of its founder, Satan.
The next thing we need to talk about is… Joel Osteen and his “visualize it” theology. His entire doctrine is based around commanding the Lord God to do things. This is, to put it bluntly, the complete and opposite way of how things work.
Word Faith at least tells us the basis for its poorly conceived doctrine. At least they can point to Bible verses. Joel is blundering in the dark, bereft of the Bible.
“You need to get a new vision!” He tells people over and over again. “Why don’t you get a bigger picture?”
well, maybe because the Bible tells us something different! We are to rely on and trust God. We don’t order God around. There’s no Scriptural proof for any such demands.
There’s no scriptural examples for us “visualizing” anything.
Picturing myself with Joel Osteen’s house and cars will not GET me Joel Osteen’s cars. If this was a Biblical practice, then millions of Asian Christians would be astounding all of their neighbors and co-workers by driving to work in Ferrari’s while the rest of them drove bycicles. Small barely liveable houses and shacks would suddenly be palaces, comparable to that of the president of that country. Chinese Christians would be inspiring jealousy as they get fat and wear nicer clothes than the party elite do.
Christians in Africa would be amazing all their relatives by tooling around on motorcycles, while everyone else walks or drives trucks. The Appalachian mountains in the US would have wealthy people, trying to find the nearest lake to take their new speedboats to.
Friends, this is not Christianity. This is avarice, greed. This is a license to covet. Coveting, for those who just tuned in to find what the Bible is teaching compared to Joel Osteen, is a SIN. To sit there and look at some rich man’s stupid, senseless toys and say, “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz? My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amens!” is…coveting. It’s sinful. It leads to discontentment.
Doesn’t the Bible advise us to be content with whatever state we are in? Don’t you know that poverty in this life may possibly be rewarded with wealth in the next? Look, what happens in this life is merely a chance to participate in the Lord’s work, and to earn rewards for the future? This life is only perhaps 80-100 years, and then it is over! The next life is FOREVER. Forever is a long, long time, to quote a song lyric.
Christians can have great wealth, don’t get me wrong. But the Lord tells us rather, it is far more profitable to try to invest in heaven. How do you do that? Faithful church attendance. Do something at church. Pass out tracts. That’s a big one! Witness to people. Get a WordPress site, and try witnessing on it! That’s a good way, I wish I’d thought of that one.
Service to the Lord and service to one another are GREAT ways to get wealth in the coming kingdom. Does this mean I’ll have electronic gizmos in heaven? Well, if the Lord allows such things, I’m sure they won’t need batteries!
True Christianity almost always is typified by poverty. Every time I look around at Christians, a few seem to have much – but many many more barely have enough. The Lord has truly blessed me in my life, and I am thankful. But please keep in mind that MILLIONS of Christians live in poverty. How DARE you tell me there’s anything wrong with that!
But this “Imagining myself to be wealthy” is something designed to… get you to send Joel Osteen money, and buy his books. He’s right – everything he’s preaching DOES work for him! But it’s a pyramid scheme. And nobody at his church is being fed any kind of serious food, any kind of serious doctrinal teachings. We’ve already seen such a thing is important to God!
Joel Osteen is a wolf in sheep clothing. Bottom line. He holds millions of Christians in bondage to his false Gospel. They could be learning sound doctrine, and getting involved at a church. Yet he’s got his electronic church of millions, many of whom send him tithes and offerings and gifts.
If Joel is saved, he’s got a lot to explain to God. If he’s not – and I cannot say, because he’s never REALLY talking about the Gospel – then his riches and wealth and nice suits will probably not protect him from the flames of hell.
Visualizing great wealth will do nothing more than cause me to backslide, because I’m dwelling in a place of coveting. Why isn’t anyone pointing that out?
There’s all kinds of neat things I’d love to own. Do I need any of them? Well, I don’t have them now and I’m doing just fine. I have to tell myself that, because it’s human nature to want to have nice stuff. “Wow, I’d love to have all kinds of fishing tackle!” “Philip, you don’t like fishing!” “Yeah, but it looks neat!”
I could have all kinds of Golf equipment! But I’m a terrible golfer – not to mention most country clubs won’t let me join anyway, because I’m Jewish.
I could have a REALLY NICE sports car! Wow! I’d love a brand new Ferrari, or a Lamborghini, or a Mustang! Yeah! Well.. I’ve got a car. Praise the Lord. I used to have one that the clutch went out yearly. Or the one I had that if it got above 90 degrees, the motor woudn’t start for some reason. Thank God I have a car.
That’s the attitude I should have, not praying, “Oh Lord… give me a Porsche. I’ll die if I don’t have one!”
Compare that attitude to that of a preacher who fervently prayed, “Oh Lord, give me Scotland ere I die!” THAT prayer was for men’s souls – and it was answered.
Osteen is teaching nothing more than Norman Vincent Peale re-heated and re-served. It’s the same New Age nonsense, pretending that your thoughts shape your reality.
Here’s a good key for us to follow – when Oprah endorses something, we know it’s bad. Questions?