“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mathew 28:19-20 ESV)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These ought to have been done, without neglecting the others.” (Mathew 23:23 ESV)
“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” (Acts 20:27 NASB)
Now, what part of these scriptures does Mr. Osteen, and his fellow “Positivity Preachers” not understand? Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong, basically, with following the “glass is half full” concept. However, I suspect that, as with anything else, it can be overdone.
Yes, of course, perhaps anything done in moderation is not necessarily a bad thing. I, on the other hand, can only imagine the consequences of being taught only half of God’s wonderful message.
I am a self-proclaimed realist. I’m not a pessimist. I also do not wear any of those apparently popular rose-colored glasses. The apostle Paul also says in the first part of his letter to the Romans, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16 ESV)
It wholly appears that Mr. Osteen and his fellow positivity preachers are indeed ashamed to preach the “whole” message of God. Since I do not know Mr. Osteen personally, and since I have never heard any of his sermons or speeches, I will limit my comments strictly to his revelation that he shared on an episode of CBS Sunday morning:
“People already feel guilty enough. They’re not doing what they should, raising their kids—we can all find reasons. So I want them to come to Lakewood or our meetings and be lifted up, to say, ‘You know what? I may not be perfect, but I’m moving forward. I’m doing better.’ And I think that motivates you to do better.”
In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I don’t entirely disagree with Mr. Osteen’s statement. However, I do wholeheartedly disagree with the concept of “dropping” pieces of God’s message, just to make oneself “feel better.”
Would it be possible to liken the entrance into the Kingdom of God to that of graduating from a college or university? Can you imagine a believer stepping up onto the stage to receive their diploma; and the college’s president says to them; “I’m sorry, but you only learned half of your courses, and so you will not be receiving a degree.” Can you honestly tell me that my analogy here is wrong?
In the 13th chapter of Luke, he writes, “Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. ((Luke 13:24 NASB) Luke continued, “and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.’ (Luke 13:27 NASB)
How can a great American football team win the “big Game,” when their head coach had only taught them “half of the play?” How can a great hockey goalie make a great save if he only protects half the net?
I will spare you from more or my analogies. I’m sure you get my point. These positivity preachers, to put it bluntly, are misleading millions of people in the world today. They not only preach merely half the story, but they aren’t afraid to admit it either.
It is with much sadness that what I see working in Mr. Osteen is the work of Satan. Satan is the leading liar. Satan is the leader of “omitters.” The less people know the Word of God, the happier Satan is. When a believer is only taught half the story, Satan wins.
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 NASB)
I truly fear for these people. It truly saddens me at how quick they are to treat the bible as a buffet, leaving behind what they’re too good to swallow. Those that follow positivity preachers such as Mr. Osteen, are being taken advantage of. They are getting their “itches scratched.”
I’m not saying that every sermon or message, in every church or home needs to be of “fire and brimstone” quality. What I am saying, however, is that those who intentionally speak only “half the Word,” are those we should be most wary of.
God gave us the entire message. If that weren’t enough, He even sent His only Son; with his final revelation. What right do we, as ministers of the Word, have to teach only half of God’s message?
Did Christ say that he came into this world to save the “positive thinkers?” Did Jesus say that his purpose in coming into the world was to save our religious leaders? I don’t mean to breakdown the spirit of believers. I do, however, mean to breakdown those who mislead God’s people. If you think this is not of a serious nature, I urge you to read, in the first chapter of Romans, verses 18-32.
Ministers who refuse to preach the “whole message,” are not preachers of the One, True, Living God. Through the Word of God, through His revelation in Jesus Christ, ministers have been instructed how to preach the gospel. To completely and openly disregard that teaching, I feel, in fact, is contrary to the teaching of the bible and is warned against a myriad of times by Christ and His disciples.
“A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. People will refuse to listen to the truth and turn to myths.” (Timothy 4:3-4) And Isaiah tells us in the 8th chapter of his book, “Look to God’s instructions and teachings.” (Isaiah 8:20)
©2016 Clayton Moore