Your Best Lie Now…

       This blog has been a long time coming, ever since I read the book “Your Best Life Now” by Joel Osteen. You see, there is a message being taught in the modern day churches and all over television stations that is far more damaging than either of the unbalanced viewpoints from the emergents and the fundamental evangelicals, and that is the group of televangelist preaching a gospel known as the “prosperity” gospel. Of course you know what I am talking about! The Benny Hinns, the Joel Osteens, the Pat Robertson, and everyone else T.B.N. can throw out onto the airwaves. These people’s message is dangerous, and everything they say needs to be tested before you start making out a check to their ministries. I urge you to open your heart to the brief thoughts I will outline in this blog.

A Fundamental Truth…

          Christ died, took our sins on His shoulders (when He didn’t have to), endured the punishment of all mankind, thereby giving us a chance to know Him in a real way. The key point in this is that we don’t deserve His grace! From the time of the fall, we are hell-bound. And only by bending our knees to Christ, may we be covered by His blood.

          Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man may come to the Father, but by me.

          Makes sense right? If He was the one that sacrificed His life for us and atoned for our sins, than He should have the exclusive rights to the gates of Heaven. NO man may enter the Kingdom of God, but by Jesus and His blood on the cross. There is nothing friendly about that message.

          But what do the prosperity gospel teachers say about this?

Joel Osteen says this…

   

          You see the prosperity gospel is causing the Christian to dwell on money, financial blessings, and is creating God to be more of a bank than and Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent creator and savior to mankind. They are turning faith into an idol, and are not preaching the depravity of man and the need for Jesus in our lives.

 

What are we to do?

          1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

          2 John 1:9,10 “If anyone comes to you and does not bring the Doctrine of Christ, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.”         

         I urge you all to test the spirits when it comes to these “feel good” preachers and to stand strong in the Lord, knowing that Satan does not just try to attack us from the front, but from the sides, the back, from beneath, and from above. Christ will protect us if we are submitted to His will!

          Also understand that Satan, in attacking the faith and the word, will come as close as he can to the truth, but will distort it in some small, key way, thereby rendering the whole message to be false. You may watch Hinn or Osteen, etc, and agree with a lot of what they say, but just know that the overall message does not parallel with the word of God.

How can we help?

          This is where certain readers may start to disagree with me… I wholeheartedly believe that we are to do our best to reach those followers of Hinn, Osteen, and Robertson, knowing that a lot of them have been ignorantly led astray. But how are we to approach them? I believe that just as you are to approach an unbeliever in love, you should likewise approach believers with that same love. Calling them names, and shouting grandiose verbal declarations will not win them to the truth, rather, a humble wooing with the Holy Spirit’s aid is key in reaching these people. And common sense dictates that you would not convert a follower of Hinn or Osteen by speaking evil about them. If that follower is loyal to that false prophet, and you only approach him with words of criticism he will become defensive. Patience is required, and the Christian needs to be in fellowship with the Lord, asking Him for wisdom in how to handle the situation.

          If you are a fan of Hinn or Osteen, I encourage you to pray about the ultimate message they are preaching. Seek the balance within the gospel, and give an account of that balanced message. You are not evil, or bad for following any of these preachers, you are just missing out on the much sweeter element of grace, and that is the recognition of man’s total depravity. I love you brothers and sisters, and Jesus loves you. Hold fast to Him and all of our misconceptions will be ironed out.

          Remember, one of the most key ways that you can stay on the right path is by following the true godly leaders that we have leading us. John Piper is one of those leaders. The video below is intense, and some might even say harsh and judgmental, but his message very closely parallels what the Bible says to be true. This video is NOT politically correct, but then again what truth is?

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~ by Tim Kurek on September 16, 2007.

34 Responses to “Your Best Lie Now…”

  1. “These people are dangerous,”…”test the spirits when it comes to these ‘feel good’ preachers and to stand strong in the Lord, knowing that Satan does not just try to attack us from the front,…”Calling them names, and shouting grandiose verbal declarations will not win them to the truth, rather, a humble wooing…

    Does that mean you can call them names and slander them to others but not to them directly? Is that Christian brotherhood?

  2. Wow… I have come full circle haven’t I? I am typically the one saying what you just said, but now I see it from both points of view.

    So here is the deal. I apologize if you took offense to what I said. I did not mean to call names, but the false gospel they are teaching IS VERY DANGEROUS! It is dangerous because it looks like God, but it is not. Did I insult them? No I didn’t. Did I say anything about them personally? No I didn’t. But I see where you are coming from.

    The Bible makes it very clear that we are no better than them as people, but we are to shun evil and cling to that which is good. I hope you will reconsider your view that I am bashing anyone and look at the heart of my message. I am all about Christian brotherhood, but truth comes FIRST. And I will proclaim that truth with verve because it is the gospel of Christ.

    Thanks for commenting. I wish you had elaborated more on your point though.

    tim

  3. P.S. the false prophets are not our Christian brothers, so I have no duty to treat them as such.

  4. good post Tim. the last part about Satan trying to get close to the truth while distorting it….is something i try to explain to many of my friends. many people dont know the consequences of one heretical belief. please pray for our generation, we’re like sitting ducks and you can put a Piper or Hinn in front of us and we would love them both. it kinda reminds me about a story in pilgrim’s progress where christian and hopeful are led of the right path by a demon cloaked in white.

  5. Thanks Daniel for commenting and adding your thoughts! Yes it is like Pilgrim’s Progress, and Satan does it very cunningly. The important thing is that we preach the message in love, but we preach it firmly!

    thanks again.

  6. We are like minds! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  7. Tim, thanks for speaking out on the “Prosperity” Gospel. Joe had posted this video by Piper. It is powerful but needs to be told. We Christians have a responsibility to tell the Truth of Jesus Christ to the lost but we also have a responsibility to fellow Christians, just as Paul had to correct the early church in Corinth.

    I believe that God will bless His children because He tells us He will when we are faithful and obedient but His blessings can come in all forms: health, financial, long-life, a beautiful wife, children, etc. However, we must understand that our ultimate blessing will come when our days on this crazy earth is done, and we stand before our Lord and Savior and He accepts us into Heaven to live and worship with Him for all eternity. That’s the true blessing.

    We need to stop focusing on how God can bless us, and start focusing on how WE can bless God. How do we bless God? By being faithful and obedient to His Word and spreading His Truth to all the lost souls in this world so His Kingdom can be expanded.

    Unfortunately though, that will carry a price and it’s not in the form of a blessing. It will be in the form of persecution and suffering from a godless world. I know that Christians don’t want to hear this and ultimately the Osteens of this world know this. That’s why people are “buying” into their message.

    I can die because I’m a follower of Christ? I will be persecuted? Wait…I didn’t sign on for this! I’m not sure about that! Can we pass?

    Now, what sounds better to most Christians? That Truth or “God wants to bless you. He wants you to be rich as crude and drive BMW’s, have 10,000 square foot homes, never wants you to be sick, etc., etc..”

  8. I agree. And the line where you talked about not wanting to be blessed, but wanting to bless was great! Thanks so much for posting!

    tim

  9. Hello Tim,

    Very nice site. With your background, it would suit you to be well acquainted with the writings of John Newton and J.C. Ryle. Both men had hearts too large for separatism. Despite its age, Ryle’s classic Holiness is a tour de force against the spirit of the Emerging church — J.C.

  10. So having a nifty background means I am an emergent? lol? Is that what you are saying?

  11. Hi Tim,
    Thanks for the kind comment. I really appreciate this post… I’ll be checking back here, too!

  12. You know that I do not agree with many things that people such as Joel Osteen preach. However, I hesitate to believe that people like these are truly vessels filled by the words of the devil. Their interpretation may be flawed, but I cannot believe that the Holy Spirit has departed from them, and that they only wish to pour poison into our souls.

    The Roman Catholic Catechism States: Through the merits of Jesus Christ and of his Passion, God keeps us in the “hope that does not disappoint (Rom 5:5)”. Hope is “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.. that enters…where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf (Heb 6:19-20)”. Hope is also a weapon that protects us in the struggle of salvation: “Let us…put on the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation (1Thess 5:8)”. It affords us joy even under trial: “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation (Rom 12:12)”.

    Thomas a Kempis states: Lord God, my holy lover, when You enter my heart everything rejoices within me. You are my glory (Ps. 3:3) and the joy of my heart (Ps. 119:111); You are my hope and my refuge in the day of my distress (Ps. 59:16)… Love is something great and truly magnificent. Love alone makes burdens light (Matt 11:38) and makes uneven loads seem equal. Love carries its heavy burden without feeling burdened and transforms its bitterness into something sweet and savory. The love of Jesus is noble and urges us to perform great deeds and excites us always to desire what is more perfect. 4. The man in love flies high, runs swiftly, and overflows with joy, He is totally free for there is nothing to hold him back. He gives all for all and possesses all in all since he rests in Him who is supreme and from whom all good things proceed and flow.

    and also…

    Why do You especially enjoin the guilty and wretched sinner to be filled with sorrow and to humble himself for his wrongdoings? Because from solid contrition and true humility of heart there is born in man the hope for forgiveness; peace returns to the troubled conscience; grace once lost is restored; and protection is offered from the wrath to come. In contrition and humility of heart God and the repentant soul meet in a most holy embrace.

    and finally…

    Everybody looks after their own interests, but You look after my happiness and my salvation, and You see that all things work unto my good. Even though You send me various trials and temptations, You, who are accustomed to try Your beloved servants in a thousand different ways, design all this for my benefit, and I am to love and praise You no less during times of trial than I am when You fill me with consolation from heaven.

    This is coming from a man who is addressing to those who live simply in a monastery! Though we do not deserve it, God gives those with humility, love, faith, and hope the brightest light. Maybe I too am blinded by the cold, dim embers of Satan speaking through Joel Osteen. But I cannot help but wonder if Osteen is providing a genuine message of hope to those who are genuinely desperate. Are we empowered and deserving of a strong family, everlasting peace, and even financial happiness? Perhaps it is more that it is our responsibility as Christians to seek that perfection: to love and nurture our neighbor, to find peace in our devotion and intimacy to our Lord, and to cast off our dependance on troubling, earthly things such as finances. If Joel Osteen believes that God will drop dollar bills from the sky to help us pay the water bill, I personally think he’s mistaken, but how far from that is the peace and abundance that God gives us when we devote everything in our lives to him? I understand that I cannot possibly deserve that peace. But I believe that is why Joel Osteen speaks with a desperate passion and happiness: that through God, we the blind and desperate have been given the light of hope. It is almost unbelievable. In the words of Thomas a Kempis, I am overflowing with joy, and cannot help but tell those whom I love of the miraculous thing that has been given to me. As Chesterton states:

    “Though we dared not look on His face we could look on His fruits; and by His fruits we should know Him. The fruits are solid and the fruitfulness is much more than a metaphor; and nowhere in this sad world are boys happier in apple-trees, or men in more equal chorus singing as they tread the vine, than under the fixed flash of this instant and intolerant enlightenment; the lightning made eternal as the light.”

  13. Frank,

    Thanks for the response! I appreciate it any time you offer your opinions.

    There is a simple fact within the Bible, that God loves us, but hates sin. Joel Osteen is the least of the people I am worried about, I am merely asking everyone who watches him to remember the blood of Christ, and to remember the depravity of man. God is not some bank, that issues out blessings like loans! He is powerfully true. “He is not tame, but He is good”. So with Joel I will agree, the man has a gift of loving people, and he has a lot of beautiful things to say, but here is the catch. When someone speaks an unbalanced gospel like Benny Hinn does, they are blaspheming the Holy Spirit. When they are stealing money from the poor in exchange for “holy prayer cloths that are going to be a touching point for the Holy Spirit”, they are speaking evil and lies and are manipulating the impressionable people. Osteen does not do this, so as I said, he is the least of who I am referring to, but he still doesn’t teach the whole truth. And so he is walking a very fine line.

    I will agree, God’s love is overflowing, but that love is much like a parent’s that disciplines wrong behavior out of love. Love is not just a pretty little fluffy word, it is powerful and sometimes violent.

    Anyways, thanks for commenting, I gotta go to work. Talk to you soon bro.

  14. One Word.

    Agreed…

    Something to add. My Open Air Preaching friend showed em Jeremiah 23. It made him realize that this lovey dovey money and honey gospel was pure evil.

    Place Jeremiah 23 to the tone of Joel Osteen for a good laugh…

    09 Concerning the prophets:
    My heart is broken within me;
    all my bones tremble.
    I am like a drunken man,
    like a man overcome by wine,
    because of the LORD
    and his holy words.

    10 The land is full of adulterers;
    because of the curse [b] the land lies parched [c]
    and the pastures in the desert are withered.
    The prophets follow an evil course
    and use their power unjustly.

    11 “Both prophet and priest are godless;
    even in my temple I find their wickedness,”
    declares the LORD.

    12 “Therefore their path will become slippery;
    they will be banished to darkness
    and there they will fall.
    I will bring disaster on them
    in the year they are punished,”
    declares the LORD.

  15. Agreed?

    “Place Jeremiah 23 to the tone of Joel Osteen for a good laugh…”

    I don’t laugh at other’s heretical beliefs. If anything I’d cry for them. Interesting that we have finely agreed on a point, but our tones are still totally different. Glad to see you back and posting though bro, let me know about that new blog site of yours.

  16. Tim,

    I apologize for being vague earlier. I got the impression somewhere that your background was an independent Baptist/fundamentalist. If I got that wrong, please accept my apologies.

    God bless — J.C.

  17. Powerful stand for the truth, Tim. Thanks for being firm in your conviction and bold in your setting forth of the truth. God bless!

  18. Good post and also good comments. Being young in my walk with Christ, I am using my ears to hear and I find it very important to test what I hear. The Osteen clip refers to the following scripture: “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Romans 16:18 (KJV) That is why I appreciate your warning to us, and I thank God for giving me the wisdom and good sense to discern the truth from the fiction. Not everyone has this gift, that is why I believe that God warns us of those who will try to deceive us in our hearts. Our hearts seek after ungodly lusts, so it is very dangerous when those we are counting on for the word of God are leading so many hearts estray.

    To defend against false teachers, refer to Jude 17-23, where he tells us to build yourselves up on the most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. This is just part of that teaching, please check it yourselves.

    Anyway, thanks Tim for this post and also the comment and tip you gave me on our own weblog! http://newbirthminpa.wordpress.com/

    “Behold how good and how pleasent it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Ps. 133:1

  19. Thanks for the comment Bellissimanh. Your encouragement is much needed! Keep checking back!

    And Jill, I am praying for your growth, and appreciate the maturity you display in your blogs! Thanks so much for the kind and insightful words!

    tim

  20. Thanks for the comment. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam really share so much in common in terms of beliefs, values, morals, and origins as Abrahamic religions. It’s a shame that extremists from all spectrums thrive off the differences and use those differences as a tool to pull people astray of the true meaning.

  21. To Marcus

    I have never found anything in the Bible that shows that man has the strength, the will, or the vision to identify the devil in any form and in any place. Only by the Lord are we led like sheep out of the darkness. Only by the power of the Lord can he see through our eyes and find the filth from the gold. The devil may in fact be infiltrating the timbre of selfish souls and have them speak crooked messages contaminating the hearts of the weak and poor. It will never be I who identifies those poor messengers as pure evil, although perhaps it may in one way or another seem distasteful to my own selfish, frail, and ever prideful judgement. Prayer, humility, and thanksgiving to God are the only things from making my very own words a vessel for Satan’s commands.

    Will you laugh before God in final judgement when all – Joel Osteen, Benny Hinns, Pat Robertson, you, and I – will be held accountable? You may very well feel fortunate enough or justified to do just that. I will not. I will be trembling, like the shepherds, for I have fallen to the absolute lowest depths of despair. It is only by some miracle that I have been saved.

    I once believed that I would always find inspiration and hope in earth shaking messages originating from those you ridicule now. I went on to believe later that no message could tame my insatiable hunger for the truth than those who sought to bring to light the heaviest burdens we all carry like pilgrims on our backs. Today I found inspiration, hope, and salvation in the Lord who like a father has touched my Godmother with the brightest light of all. She has no finances, no health, no dignity, no pride, no lovey dovey and honey gospel, only her love and hope in God. This past Sunday she walked by herself to Catholic mass and received like no other I have witnessed the most blessed joy of all. She, the fallen, the quiet and humble, the one with nothing, is cradled in the arms of our great Father. And just like a desperate newborn clinging to his mother, my Godmother prays every waking morning that she will never walk astray from the side of our Creator. My I always be wary and always willing to let God into my heart so that he may guide me from Satan dressed in the rich robes of false prophets. But let me also never be blind and not see those who walk like angels out of darkness into His marvelous light.

  22. Yes they seem to, but two of the three are false religions. Jesus Christ was the Son of God and neither Judaism or Islam agree with that. Islam especially is an example of Satan coming close to the truth but deviating from it in a very important way. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no man may come to the Father but by Me.” So no, in actuality Islam is Judaism are not the truth.

  23. Well. Not to sound like a smart alec or anything, but Abraham, Moses, and many other holy men could not have believed in Jesus because Jesus came after they did. Do you believe they too are doomed?

  24. Just to clarify, Muslims believe in Jesus but not the trinity.

  25. No they were not doomed, they knew there would be a Christ and lived faithfully according to the Law of Moses. After the crucifixion, Jesus went to the place known as Paradise and took the faithful to Heaven.

    People like to say that Christianity is like Islam, and it really isn’t. Look at our Christ. He was the Son of God, perfect and spotless. Look at your prophet. He married a 5 year old girl and consumated the relationship at 7 by pulling her away from her toys and having sexual relations with her. My Christ told me to love my neighbors and to give my life for them. Your Prophet told you to take the life of any infidel that does not worship your god. Our two religions are nothing alike. My faith is from the line of Isaac, and you are from the line of Ishmael. Who was Ishmael? The bastard son of Abram and Hagar, conceived out of impatience and adultery.

    At this point I know I haven’t been politically correct, but I can’t be when it comes to the truth of the Bible. Jesus was God’s son, a God made flesh meant to die for us so that if we believed on Him we would have an opportunity at eternal life. I encourage you to read more about Jesus.

    The only way to Heaven is through Jesus Christ…

  26. Dear Tim,

    I think all this book worship and scare talk is a million miles from God. It is all man talk hand picked and twisted (by popes and other rogues) to keep the illiterates civilized and the rich men donating.

    It was functional for those times but are now dysfunctional for mankind and I dare say, God.

    I was raised a Catholic taught by Benedictines, Marists, and Jesuits. I have worked for the past thirty years with society’s rejects. I have been four paychecks from homeless for most of this time. I took this path because I believe God calls us to do so. I do not believe we are asked to squander the majority of our life worshiping words, nitpicking about them, and discounting those who think differently.

    You seem like a decent man to me and I wish you nothing but peace.
    I will keep you in my prayers.

    Herb

  27. Worshipping words? So when God said “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God” You don’t believe that holds power?

    Christ’s message was simple.
    1. Love thy neighbor.
    2. Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

    The Bible is His love letter to us, our “Basic Instruction Before Leaving Earth” manual if you will. I agree that we should live a life of serving others, but the word and Jesus also commanded us to teach right and true doctrines, and the false prophets are supposed to be routed out and exposed. Jesus entered the temple with a bull whip and broke everything and cursed the blasphemy that was occuring there… SO when others are blaspheming the temple of God it is within our borders and within our mandate to expose that. BUT we are supposed to do it in love, that I agree with.

    I respect your lifestyle, but I do not agree with the doctrines of the Catholic Church. I admire you, but ask you to see that in no way am I arguing, I am exposing the truth, both love and holiness and am writing about the balanced gospel for anyone who cares to read it.

    I, too, wish you nothing but peace.

    tim

  28. Tim,

    Don’t worry yourself with some of these blind guides. You’re not nitpicking when you live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. I like your point on worshiping the Word since the Word in the flesh is Christ. I wrote a blog post on this “Bibliolatry” accusation. I’d add John 6:63 to point out that the words of Christ are spirit and life and worth our time while some would rather we not be so concerned about following them.

    I know a preacher who confronted some false teachers and he called them, “hypocrites!”, “blind guides!”, “fools and blind!”, “whitewashed tombs”, “serpents”, “offspring of vipers”, and “child of hell” (Matt. 23). There are other preachers who also called false teachers: “unreasoning natural brute animals”, “wells without water”, “clouds driven with a storm”, “sunken rocks”, “fruitless autumn trees, having died twice, having been plucked up by the roots”, “wild waves of the sea foaming up their shames”, “wandering stars for whom blackness of darkness has been kept forever”, “grumblers”, “complainers”, “mockers”, and more (2 Pet. 2, Jude).

    The false teacher is corrupt whether apparent or not. The false teaching proves it (1 Tim. 6:3-5).

    When I test the spirits, I test the teachers on three intermingled points: the Gospel, the Scriptures, and the Church. If they don’t accept the Gospel being also understood as the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor. 15:1-4), and the necessity of obeying this pattern (2 Thes. 1:7-9) especially that Christians must die, be buried, and resurrected (Gal. 2:20, Rom. 6:4-6, Col. 2:12-13), then I know they’re false teachers. If they quench the Spirit by not following the Spirit’s revelation in Scripture being God’s breath making one complete and equipped for every good work (2 Pet. 1:20-21, 2 Tim. 3:16-17) especially when they follow “the Spirit” in their hearts rather than the Spirit from the Word, then I know that they are false teachers. If they neglect the effort of being the Church of Jesus Christ in salvation, worship, and work unto not recognizing the Church being bought with Christ’s blood and that Christ gave Himself for the Church as her Savior who is sanctified and cleansed by the washing of water with the Word (Acts 20:28, Eph. 5:25-27), then I know that they are false teachers. This all goes to understandings of the 7 “ones” of Eph. 4:4-6.

    I’ll be writing a blog post on how to handle these false teachers soon. Thanks.

    Grace and peace to you in the Lord,
    Scott – godsbreath.wordpress.org

  29. your rigth.tim!!! BEWARE OF DOGS their mouth FULL OF Rabbies ! Isaih 56:11.. Mat.24:24, Romans 16:18,Phil.3:19- thier God is Their BIG BELLY just like thier father the devil John 8:44 lets figth againts this false prophteers or shall we say profiteers.. ALL THEY WANT IS MONEY!!! THANKS FOR BEING BRO.ELIs FRIEND .. your Very WElcome in bro.Eli Blog..

  30. tim,
    You said “that after crucifixion Jesus went to the place known as paradise and took the faithful to heaven?

    where did you get that idea “that Jesus took the faithful to heaven after crucifixion?

    Joh 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

    Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    Did He come already?

    Psalms 16:3 As for the saints that are in the earth, They are the excellent in whom is all my delight.

  31. The greatest danger to the Church in America is not the liberal politician, but the liberal Theologian. As soon as Gods people get on their face and repent believe me, you too will get upset when the gospel of salvation takes a back seat to a “sermon” on how to “smile in busy traffic” or “How to have your best life now” etc. You will have a renewed appetite for the meat of God’s Word, you’ll weep for the lost, and your heart will overflow with the love of Christ again.

  32. 1 timothy 6:3-11

  33. This is the ( Falling Away ) that the Holy Bible says will happen in the end times. We are to test the spirits.

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