Let me begin by thanking you for praying for Jerry yesterday. The doctor told him that the "tumor" on his leg is probably only an infected lymph node. Praise God!
My son, Josh, sent me an article yesterday from Time Magazine entitled, "Does God Want You To Be Rich." To its credit, the article was pretty balanced. It mainly dealt with Joel Olsteen and his gospel of "God will only let good things happen to you -- all the days of your life." But the article also quoted Rick Warren quite a bit. Warren cut Olsteen no slack -- calling his "gospel" a farce.
Josh is so passionate in his desire to minister to the poor. The church he serves is in an impoverished area of Houston -- but in the shadows of Olsteen's megachurch. So, understandably, Josh gets pretty passionate about Olsteen's lies. Truthfully, how long can such a gospel impact a person's life? What is a follower of Olsteen's to do when bad stuff happens (and it will)? Job lay-off. Bankruptcy. What can one do except to blame God for not fulfilling His "promise"? And what does such a gospel say to the Christians in China -- whose lives are made more difficult because they are Christ-followers? And if Olsteen's gospel is true -- then God short-changed His own Son as well as the apostles.
Yeah, he has a nice smile. His words seem so warm. People are flowing in droves to hear him speak. But he is a heretic. He has trashed the cross and all of its implications. He has made a mockery of Jesus' call to give up self.
So many churches across our land are filled with people who just "want to feel good." As I start my series on Acts this week, I am reminded how starkly that church would stand in comparison. All they wanted to do was talk about the One who was crucified and risen. No thought for their own well-being. And they changed the world.