You know, just when you are getting a good head of steam up to not like a guy, he wrecks it by showing that maybe he's really trying- From an Orlando Sentinel article on Joel Osteen:
"He has not taken a salary from his Houston megachurch for two years. He owns one house — the same one he and his wife, Victoria, have lived in for 13 years — and until recently he drove a 9-year-old car he inherited from his late father. Osteen pays his own hotel bills, and there is no private jet.
Although the upbeat minister does take collections at services, netting an estimated $43 million a year, Osteen does not ask for money on his broadcasts, which reach an estimated 7 million viewers weekly in the U.S. and 100 other countries. Nonetheless, an additional $30 million comes through the mail. His most recent book deal earned him a $13 million advance.
“We make plenty of money from our books,” said Osteen, 44. “But we just live normal lives. We try to be conservative and honor God with our life and with our example.”
Osteen refuses to condemn the targets of [Sen. Charles] Grassley’s inquiry, or Richard Roberts, who quit as president of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., amid charges that he used school funds and facilities for his family.
“While I never like to hear negative things about friends and other ministers, I choose to believe the very best in them,” Osteen said."
I'm going to be thinking about that last statement all day...
"Osteen leads the 48,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston. Services border on the nonsectarian, with no crosses in evidence. Osteen’s theology is more inspirational than theological, with a strong emphasis on self-help, in the feel-good tradition of Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller. Osteen speaks from a lectern he prefers to call a “podium,” rather than a “pulpit.” His books are filled with lots of exclamation points, but the word Jesus rarely appears."
The word "Jesus" should probably appear frequently. Particularly if your goal as a pastor really is to help people.
And someone needs to tell Joel that the Glamour Shots chin-resting-on-hand shot hasn't worked since about 1989!
But while his books and preaching leave me less-than-enthused, I'm impressed with his lifestyle, which is something I never thought I'd be able to say. Maybe that says more about my cynicism than it does about anything else?