Wingnut on Wingnut Crime: Fundies vs Victoria Osteen

Oh goodie, the frauds are attacking one another again. It seems that Joel Osteen’s wife Victoria has upset the Worldnetdaily and a bushel full of fundamentalist preachers — not because she’s a con artist getting rich by fleecing the credulous (after all, they are too), but because she’s a blasphemer!

A recently recorded video is circulating online of Victoria Osteen, wife of megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen, calling on congregants at Lakewood Church to ‘do good for your own self’ because obedience, the church and worship are not for God as much as for self-happiness.

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” she declares in the undated 36-second clip with her husband standing by her side and nodding. “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…”

“So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy,” Osteen continues. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”

Osteen is the author of the book Love Your Life, and is “co-pastor” of Lakewood in Houston, Texas. Her husband Joel is known for his motivational speeches and his books Your Best Life Now and It’s Your Time.

Steve Camp, pastor of The Cross Church in Palm City, Florida and former singer/songwriter, told Christian News Network that he viewed the video on Wednesday, and while saddened, he was not surprised at her remarks. He stated that Osteen’s statements were humanistic in nature and antithetical to Scripture.

“It’s the age old sin of idolatry—that it’s not about God, it’s about us,” he explained. “True worship for the humanist is about how we feel at the end of the day and what gives us meaning, as opposed to what gives God glory.”

“When we come to see men happy rather than God glorified, it’s not worship, it’s idolatry,” Camp stated, reading from Psalm 115:1, which states, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.”

Well that’s certainly worth fighting about, don’t you think?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • John Pieret

    “When we come to see men happy rather than God glorified, it’s not worship, it’s idolatry,”

    So, is it that he is unhappy that he has to glorify God or is it that glorifying God makes people unhappy? Doesn’t sound like he is all that enthusiastic either way.

  • Loqi

    It’s a good thing they have secular ethics and authorities to keep them from taking up the sword and committing god’s love on one another for blasphemy.

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp/ Martin Wagner

    But wait…if it were “idolatry,” then wouldn’t it be about God? Baffling trying to navigate the confused currents of the fundamentalist “mind.”

  • erichoug

    I was really surprised that a lot of my fundie friends on Facebook (hey, nice alliteration) were so upset about that video. It actually took me a moment to figure out what the issue was. It sound like the usual Christian palaver. When I figured it out, it just made me chuckle.

    Though I was happy to agree with them, for once, if only on their distaste for the Olsteen’s

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Well that’s certainly worth fighting about, don’t you think?

    Nup.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    If God wants us to be happy, eliminating eternal damnation in a lake of hellfire would be a good start.

  • chilidog99

    If “God takes pleasure when we are happy,” does that mean that he is the ultimate peeping Tom?

  • StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @^ Reginald Selkirk : If Gawd wanted us happy Eed have made us that way.

  • raven

    It’s a good thing they have secular ethics and authorities to keep them from taking up the sword and committing god’s love on one another for blasphemy.

    1. Bad xian theology!!! You have been watching too much TV news and not paying enough attention in church.

    2. Xians do not cut the heads off of blasphemers. That is a Moslem thing. Xians are better than that. They stone them to death. It’s all written down in god’s magic book, the bible.

    Leviticus 24:16 anyone who blasphemes the … – Bible Hub

    biblehub. com/leviticus/ 24-16.htm

    Parallel Verses. New International … Anyone who blasphemes the Name of the LORD must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any native-born … A standing law for the stoning of blasphemers was made upon this occasion.

  • raven

    I’m a bit mystified about what the fundie guy thinks his Invisible Sky Monster wants for us humans.

    There is no such thing as xian theology. There are 42,000 xian theologies in an ever growing cloud of Making Stuff Up, many of which contradict each other. And all, AFAWK, equally true with a truth value of…zero.

    We exist to give glory to god? What does that even mean. it sounds like meaningless god babble. I’ve never seen glory for sale on Amazon.com. And why does god need glory whatever that is. He is the all powerful creator of the universe. If he wants more glory, he can just poof it into existence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    My take away from this exchange is, “you empty babble isn’t like my empty babble!”

  • moarscienceplz

    “When we come to see men happy rather than God glorified, it’s not worship, it’s idolatry,” Camp stated

    Didn’t someone once say that the definition of fundamentalism is the worry that someone, somewhere, is feeling happy?

  • raven

    “When we come to see men happy rather than God glorified, it’s not worship, it’s idolatry,” Camp stated.

    It’s not even that. Idolatry is worshipping graven images or more generally, objects. Like a written book such as the bible or granite rocks with the Ten Commandments carved on them.

    I think he means heresy. Or maybe blasphemy. Camp needs to consult his Fundie to English tranlator app.

  • http://thebronzeblog.wordpress.com/ Bronze Dog

    I still find accusations of idolatry ironic when they come from fundies. It’s pretty much a synonym for fundamentalism as far as I can tell.

    raven @10:

    We exist to give glory to god? What does that even mean. it sounds like meaningless god babble. I’ve never seen glory for sale on Amazon.com. And why does god need glory whatever that is. He is the all powerful creator of the universe. If he wants more glory, he can just poof it into existence.

    You make a good point. I look at glory as an abstraction that requires a social context to have meaning. Humans often crave glory because we’re social animals and want the rewards that come from being recognized as a praiseworthy individual. Of course, that doesn’t answer the question of why an almighty, immortal, intelligent being that predates all other life would have social needs and desires at all.

  • robnyny

    I glorify the christian god by speaking his name when I am at the moment of ecstasy. Have to clean up afterwards, often have to throw away the magazine.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @moarscienceplz:

    I believe that was originally said about Puritanism, not fundamentalism. There’s a degree of overlap, of course.

  • Michael Heath

    This is exactly what wingnut Christians like fundies and evangelicals claim:

    I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” she declares in the undated 36-second clip with her husband standing by her side and nodding. “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…”

    I get that she’s at Sarah Palin’s level of thinking and was sloppy in her rhetoric, but that’s also very common amongst conservative Christians. So there’s no reason to criticize Ms. Osteen for being inarticulate. Instead I think her critics already have it in for her and are doing what they do – exploiting even tenuous opportunities to defame someone they don’t like.

    She is acting uppity by preaching to adult males. Doesn’t she know she’s fundamentally flawed in a way men aren’t because of Eve?

    If we take the Bible literally and advance try and advance that mishmash logically (impossible yes), I don’t think the Bible’s chief protagonist’s first joy is seeing people slavishly, childishly, and blindly submit to him. Instead I think it’s his salivating over the suffering he promises in Hell for all eternity. Otherwise, why do it?

  • D. C. Sessions

    So if I understand this correctly, Divine Behavior Modification is all punishment and (at best) negative reinforcement. In other words, there are no rewards as such, the best you can hope for is to avoid punishment.

  • CJO

    No, it very clearly is not “the old sin of idolatry”; Exodus 20:4 is quite explicit on what constitutes that, and nothing in Christian scripture supersedes or clarifies it on the subject.

    What it is is the new sin of idolatry, which is any purportedly Christian practice or doctrine I personally don’t like but can’t find a way to speak about coherently.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    moarscienceplz,

    I think you’re thinking about Mencken’s definition of fundamentalism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be having a good time.”

  • EnlightenmentLiberal

    But wait…if it were “idolatry,” then wouldn’t it be about God? Baffling trying to navigate the confused currents of the fundamentalist “mind.”

    It seems to that guy that idolatry is valuing anything other than glorifying god. The idol in humanism is humanity itself. It makes some sense if you twist your mind enough.

  • fmitchell

    So why does the alleged creator of the Cosmos and supreme being of the universe need glory, anyway? Sounds like he’s deeply insecure. “I made the universe, but the creatures on the tiny dirtball in that corner aren’t giving me enough praise for letting them exist. I’ll show them — here’s an earthquake on the other side of the planet.” Between that and his notorious aversion to sin, he sounds more like Howard Hughes.

  • cry4turtles

    Around my place, farmers tend to have, “To God be the Glory” plastered over their silos. Yes! Gawd loves silage. Did Ya ever smell that stuff? Pee-yew! I’d not be surprised if gawd was involved with the silage!

  • freehand

    Yes, as a larval Southern Baptist I found the Good News to be pretty clear. Among other things, it said that God must be worshiped, and such worship was a grim duty.

    .

    And no, God can never get too much worship. He wants to hear that sweet, sweet praise from his frightened children, telling him for all eternity how awesome he is.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    The fundie assumption is that we’re supposed to be miserable in this life. If you’re happy, then you’re doing something wrong — probably being enticed by Satan. God doesn’t like happy people. God is an asshole.

    Fundamentalism: The fear that someone, somewhere, is having fun.