I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus and count them but rubbish.

I think! I think! I think!

Last night on CBS Joel Olsteen answered his critics. Once again though I feel he has good intentions he falls short of God’s true message.

But that aside I noticed something that I want to point out as a means to encourage each other and not bash this “Life Coach,” as he calls himself.

If you read the interview or listen to the video presentation you will notice some very striking proclamations that are shaky ground for any representative of the gospel message.

At several point Olsteen uses the phrase, “I think,” or “I feel.” This was also linked with the words, “my message.” Though all of us have had those moments when maybe we said something that was godly but we used such lingo there is a danger there. We can fight it all we want but we must at the end understand one thing. What we think and feel doesn’t matter. What our message is doesn’t matter. What God thinks and what is God’s message is the only message we should be presenting to the world.  What are His words and what does he think about issues.

This pure and simple is the message to present. Anytime we are faced with a moment of inserting opinion then we need to be careful. I like what Paul did in scripture. There is a point in which he does not have what he would consider clear indication from the Lord on how to advise in a situation. So he presents it as his thought and direction only.

In 1 Corinthians Paul states to the reader what the Lord is telling them to do. “To married couples I give this command (not I, but the Lord).” Later he goes further with the words, “To the rest I give this command (I, but not the Lord.)” He is careful to make the distinction between the Lord’s message and his general advice.

We can learn from Paul’s handling of this kind of situation:

  1. Your message should be that of God’s words. No I feels or thinks. God’s Word trumps our feelings and random thoughts.
  2. If you have to give advice on a grey area do as Paul did and tell the person so. (Recently I had a conversation about marriage with a man. I told him, “Look scripture does not point this out in any detail, but this is what I would do.” I then proceeded to give the best advice I could.) When you do so be so very careful to make sure your advice is linked closely to God’s Word.

God’s message and His Word is nothing to fool with. Use is wisely and be careful to not fall for the trap of how you feel or what you think. Its not “My” message, it’s God’s.


4 Responses to “I think! I think! I think!”

  1. Here’s another lesson from Joel. His message “works”. That is, it fills a huge stadium with people who are willing to give him gobs of money. His message sells books. His message makes people imitate him. The fact that it’s not the Gospel message doesn’t seem to bother him, since the numbers show that people are buying what he’s selling.

    I think we all need to beware of doing whatever it takes to fill a building. A lot of times people justify doing things that are not Godly with the argument, “Yeah, but if it gets them into the building…” Joel is getting people into the building, but are they hearing the Gospel? Will they stay if he starts telling them the Gospel?

    Sadly, though, a lot of aspiring preachers would be more than happy to water down the truth if they could preach in a full stadium. Just saw a guy’s blog today where his long-term plan is to fill a stadium. Wonder where he got that idea? Wonder how he’s going to accomplish that?

    Stay faithful, skubalon. Remember, the best place to be is where God wants you.

  2. Too late I have already booked Van Halen cover band for Sunday.

  3. We visited Lakewood on vacation a couple of years ago. What you see on TV is just the very tip of the iceberg at Lakewood. They have tons of discipleship teaching and training for every age group.

  4. Wob,

    Thanks for your comments. It is a good thing to be able to see the place first thing.

    My comments were less against Olsteen as much just an example. We all who claim the Bible is truth and follow it must be careful how we present it. That is the theme of the post.

    But to answer your comments, it really doesn’t matter how much discipleship or training he has at Lakewood if its the wrong presentation then its no better than his sermons or books.

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