If Osteen doesn’t mean Satan, it should!
I don’t know for sure, but it’s probably true that “Osteen” is the Babylonian word for Satan. It can’t possibly be good for the human species to continue indulging the Bronze Age fantasies, authoritarian constructs, and social engineering that shield the so-called “faithful” from social and personal accountability. ~ Comment by Paul Hildum
Thank you for identifying one of the primary links between some of the worst aspects of Christianity. Critics of Christianity and adherents tend to pick apart the belief, respectively revealing contradictions or arguing for proper understanding. These discussions reveal more about the religion’s parasitic nature and danger beyond hypocrisy or value.
Take, for example, the prosperity gospel to which you refer. A concept defined as:
…a belief that God rewards faithful Christians with health, wealth, and happiness.¹ ² ³ It is also called prosperity theology or health and wealth gospel.¹ ² ~¹ ² ³ ~Sources: Conversation with Bing, 2/17/2023
Looking beyond obvious biblical contradictions, prosperity gospel highlights how Christianity morphs into any perspective. This issue clarifies when studying the belief’s historical development.
The origins of prosperity gospel are traced back to the early 20th century, when it emerged as an offshoot of Pentecostalism.¹ ² ³ It was influenced by the New Thought movement, which taught that positive thoughts and words can create reality.² ⁴ It also reflected the American values of pragmatism, individualism and upward mobility.⁴ Prosperity gospel gained popularity through radio, television and televangelism in the post-World War II era.¹ ² It has spread to other parts of the world such as Africa, Asia and Latin America.² ~¹ ² ³ ⁴ ~Sources: Conversation with Bing, 2/17/2023
Here is a Christian belief that evolved into the New Thought movement, which forms the basis of many pseudoscientific beliefs like The Secret. Believing proper following of God’s Will results in him rewarding you is a quid pro quo relationship between Christians and their Lord. Besides this reducing faith to a bargaining situation, prosperity gospel also provides a way for affluent Christians to justify their wealth and greed. It should come as no surprise that televangelists have spearheaded the prosperity gospel movement since they are the ones who most benefit from this belief.
Some of the prominent televangelists of prosperity gospel in the U.S. are Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes⁴, Joyce Meyer⁴, Dale C. Bronner⁴, Jimmy Swaggart² and Jim and Tammy Bakker.² Benny Hinn is another well-known televangelist who recently claimed to renounce prosperity gospel.³ ~¹ ² ³ ⁴ ~Sources: Conversation with Bing, 2/17/2023
What most profoundly Joel Osteen, who you mention, and other evangelists highlight is the fantasy that “shield[s] the so-called ‘faithful’ from social and personal accountability.” It’s okay to be greedy and allow their brothers and sisters to subsist in poverty while they fly around in jets and own three houses. It’s okay for people to die because they cannot afford proper healthcare. It’s okay to force entire populations of people into crap jobs and lack of opportunity because, well, you know, business is business. It’s all okay because they call themselves Christian, so their behavior must be right since God gifted them with wealth.
We now see Christianity’s parasitic nature, which forms like a leech covering and bleeding the ethics and morality from us. Everything becomes possible because everything is possible since the religion is a void empty of meaning. Christianity has no firmament, no soil of inspiration, and no substance. It is a collection of stories expressing ambiguous values founded on the implausible.
Christianity can prove anything, therefore nothing.
If a tyrant, you shield yourself within it; if Democrat or Republican, you popularize yourself with it; if greedy or power-hungry, you can justify any action that allows you to ascend to and maintain wealth.
Christianity is a fiction, a fantasy, as you say, making everyone the hero of their epic because they implant themselves in the army of Christians simply by pointing to a biblical verse or, more commonly, by simply calling themselves Christian. The poor struggle to attain the wealth promised by God, who will reward their obedience just the way he rewarded those rich Christians serving as a shining example for all. Of these heroes, the poor get poorer, the middle class gets whittled away, and by the time anyone realizes the fraud, decades, sometimes lifetimes, are wasted.
Yet the most deserving, the rich, just get richer.