April 23, 2009

Joel Osteen

This guy is one of the most famous televangelists today, banking on his toothy, lovestruck grin, sharp suit, and attributing everything positive to God. He sells millions of books to people like my dad, who believe he has the answers to life's questions. Joel Osteen "preaches" like The Secret preached, the only difference being Joel gets to thank God for all the good things that have happened to him, while The Secret says if you build it they will come

Joel's books are sold literally everywhere, even in airports, and as my boyfriend points out, "you know you've made it when your books are sold in airports." The interesting thing about Joel, from what I understand, is that he talks about general life, compares a few things to Bible verses, and thanks God for things like his ability to rent Yankee Stadium for $1.5M on a Saturday, where he charges people to hear him speak about how his books (all with the words "your best life" somewhere in the title) will turn their lives around. 

The thing that gets me most isn't really his fault, though. It's that people, like my dad, are so devoid of self worth, confidence and encouragement that they look for it anywhere they can; Joel has a face you can trust; he has a genuinely happy smile, wears a nice suit, has lots of hair and lots of teeth, has a nice wife and house and car, and tells people how life can be so much better than it is. Considering how much Joel talks about life versus how much he talks about God, Joel is more life coach than preacher. The flashy TV screens that project his face to concert-like audiences (from Texas to the world) every Sunday, the ability to rent Yankee Stadium, and what appears to be a pretty nice lifestyle are all big red flags to me. He sells books promising a better tomorrow, using his own life as an example, when God seems to have blessed him with a pretty sweet setup. If I had the ability to rent out Yankee Stadium for $1.5M a day I'd probably be talking about how much God helped me, too. But no one is going to get to that point from reading his books, and that's what I wish people (like my dad) would understand. Have faith in God, but rely on yourself a little bit, too. Don't swear off dating each time you get dumped because we all know you're full of it and as soon as the next thing in tight jeans or a velour set gives you half the time of day you'll be planning your next marriage all over again.

This may have been more personal than originally planned...


  1. A charismatic leader its the number one to making any religion work. People will believe anything that comes out of your mouth if you are charismatic. As you said he is more of a life coach then someone who speaks of God.

  2. My annoyance is he uses God (and his charisma) to sell books and make loads of money. If he didn't use God people wouldn't listen nearly as much.

  3. dont lift yor voice against God's annointed