Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Joel Osteen: Is it all necessary?

Ok, so if you are from Houston, know somebody from Houston, watch Christian TV, read Christian Books, anything besides live under a rock (and maybe not even then), you have definitely heard of Joel Osteen. He is the pastor of a little church called Lakewood Church. You can catch his sermons on TV on Sunday mornings and he is that guy on the cover of that book that everybody is reading, according to the NYT best seller list: Your Best Life Now. Now, according to fellow Blogger Mike McGuff and Christian Today, Joel Osteen has the #9 most listened to podcast online. In addition, he also has a board game based on his book.

My question is: "Is all of this necessary?" Yes, one of the points of Christianity is to spread the word. I am not against that. Not at all. However, I think that there is a point in which you can take things too far. I can understand the podcast thing and maybe localized distribution of his weekly sermons; Lakewood is a big church (so big that they had to take over the old home of the Houston Rockets) and these methods are a good chance to keep the local congregation in touch with their massive church. I can even understand the book. I have not read it myself, but from what I understand, it is a self-help book; with all that is going on in our world, why not? But is there a point of over saturation? TV, podcast, book, board game, all kinds of interviews.. That is a little much. Simplicity is enough to spread the word. What happened to just talking to your local parishioners or people in the community? That is what God would have done, not gone national or even global. One big issue is that I have a problem with the game. I don't understand the need of the game. There is just no need. If it were one of those games that was like a bible quiz game, I would understand it a little more, but I don't think that is it. It just makes me wonder...

Now don't get me wrong. Lakewood has done great things for the people of the City of Houston and worldwide. Back in 2001, they organized a huge food and clothing drive to help those who lost all in the horrible 100 year floods from Tropical Storm Allison. I just sometimes wonder if John Osteen, Joel's father, would be satisfied with how the church has evolved and what Joel is doing with it since his death. I remember the day that he passed away in 1999, The whole City of Houston mourned is death.
But a game about the book? I just don't know about that.
Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle

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