When Kanye visited Joel Osteen’s church last weekend on the tenth, it drew all attention on to Kayne’s own salvation. Some said that associating with known and obvious false teachers was a sign that Kanye was not really saved. Other saw this as an opportunity to preach the gospel to an unreached audience. But Kanye is a baby Christian. He has shown thus far he does not yet possess discernment capabilities with his comments on Mormons and TD Jakes sharing the same gospel as that as mere Christianity. So, for him to accept an invitation to Lakewood Church is disappointing but unsurprising, but Kanye does seem to otherwise comprehend and articulate a Christian worldview. This isn’t about Kayne. This is about the danger of a wolf in sheep’s clothing preying on new lambs.
Joel Osteen’s message is a humanist Prosperity Gospel, antithetical to the Christian life. Yet his Twitter is perhaps the most followed “Christian” account on the publisher. Are all of Osteen’s 9.2 million followers on Twitter unsaved? No. Not everyone recognizes the danger he poses, the difference between right and almost right being uninvestigated. But we need not dig deep to into Osteen to find the Gospel is lacking. He does not preach on sin and repentance; therefore, he most obviously does not preach the gospel. Noted as being the smiling preacher, Osteen preaches self-love and having life abundantly. Of course, the abundant life Jesus is talking about is the eternal life. But you would not understand the bible in context listening to Joel Osteen.
Baby Christians, in particular, are vulnerable due to lack of developed scriptural knowledge. We can have faith that the Holy Spirit will rescue the misled faithful. Part of this entails those gifted with discernment substantively calling out false teachers. And so, we can trust in the Holy Spirit to guide Kanye’s growth.
The need for self-love appeals to those with shallow spirituality, but the Bible largely assumes that mankind has no problem loving themselves because our rebellion against God is that we want to be our own gods. Thus, a preacher that promotes self-love is furthering mankind’s rebellion instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Among other things, the Prosperity Gospel brings a false sense of love, peace, faith, and a distorted view of the promises of God. The good news of Jesus Christ brings love, joy, peace, purpose, and clarity. In seeking these things in following Christ, baby Christians may fall for counterfeits. The best way to identify counterfeits is to study what’s real.
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