We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Monday, February 24, 2014

Did They Really Say That?!?

In his book, Become A Better You, Joel Osteen says, “Positively or negatively, creative power resides in your words.”  Then to make his point, he cites the story about Abraham and Sarah, and about their inability to have children because of their negative confessions - that they thought they were too old.  Osteen says, “God had to change the image Abraham and Sarah had of themselves before they could ever have that child.  How did God do that?  He changed their names; He changed the words they were hearing.  He changed Sarai to Sarah, which means ‘princess.’ ... [Thus] every time somebody said, ‘Hello, Sarah,’ they were saying, ‘Hello, princess.’  Over time, that changed her self-image.  Now she no longer saw herself as an older, barren woman; she began to see herself as a princess.... [and then] she gave birth to a child.”

Cited by Hank Hanegraaff in Christianity in Crisis, 21st Century, p.xv

So, according to Osteen, Abraham and Sarah couldn’t have children because of their “negative confessions,” so God had to give them some self-esteem in order for them to conceive.  Why doesn’t this line up with what the Bible says?  Because Osteen has no understanding of Scripture and makes things up as he goes.  Tell-tale evidence of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


Unknown said...

Could there be a clarification on the use of the scripture 'life and death is in the power of the tongue' - the go to scripture for this positive confession nonsense?

I'm incredibly confused and at a loss how to answer this in terms of apologetics.

Keep up the good work.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Richard,

First, Proverbs are general principles as opposed to promises of anything. That is a minor strike against their interpretation.

Mostly, the point is that people can create great harm or great help by the things they say. Some have the authority to say one should be executed or have their life spared. It has nothing to do with power inherent in words as the Charismatics claim.

Scripture interprets Scripture. Here is a case where you can refer to James 3:6-10. James gives all sorts of things that a tongue is like - and how what we say can be very destructive.