Sunday, December 02, 2007
Much Love for Osteen
I recently found this article in the Orlando Sentinel, which outlines the way that Joel Osteen steers clear of the type of negative publicity like the cloud currently surrounding some television ministers targeted by a Republican senator for their lavish lifestyles.
Although I won't retract the statements I've made condemning Osteen's low-density teaching style, I feel like the smiling pastor is deserving of a few compliments.
For one, while Osteen likes the expensive gadgets - like a giant globe, sweet light displays and other delights - for his huge auditorium, he does a great job of not mixing business with ministry. According to the article, he dropped his church salary two years ago, and he until recently he drove a nine-year-old, hand-me-down car. Among other key attributes that differentiate him from those under fire: He does not ask for money on his television broadcasts. With a ministry that already takes in $43 million per year, I'm sure that he could line his pockets nicely if he really wanted to, but the fact that he doesn't shows his dedication to his message, however light it may be.
I also think that Osteen does a great job at obeying the Biblical commands to shun "foolish and stupid arguments" and live by the mantra that says, "as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." True to his positive vibe, Osteen rarely, if ever, says anything negative about anyone in public. Part of the reason for this could be good marketing, and part could be a fear of public confrontation that might force his discussions to a deeper level. But nonetheless, he's doing his best to live at peace with those around him, even in the face of tight media scrutiny, and that's a quality I'll always commend.