‘I Stand by My Point:’ Joel Osteen’s Wife Unrepentant over Remarks of Worshiping God ‘for Self’

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‘I Stand by My Point:’ Joel Osteen’s Wife Unrepentant over Remarks of Worshiping God ‘for Self’

By Heather Clark | christiannews.net

joelandvictoriaosteen-300x198HOUSTON — Victoria Osteen, wife of megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen, is standing by her controversial remarks that called upon congregants at Lakewood Church to “do good for your own self” because obedience, the church and worship are not for God as much as for self-happiness.

As previously reported, Osteen caused an online uproar in recent weeks when a video surfaced of the “co-pastor” and author of the book Love Your Life explaining to the thousands present the personal benefits that they would receive in doing good, which would make God happy.

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” she declared in the undated 36-second clip with her husband standing by her side and nodding. “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…”

“So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy,” Osteen continues. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”

Video footage of Osteen and reports surrounding her statements soon went viral, as many asserted that her teaching was unbiblical.

“She honestly believes that God exists to make us happy rather than holy,” Steve Camp, pastor of The Cross Church in Palm City, Florida and singer/songwriter, lamented. “She honestly believes that worship is about our fulfillment rather than His glory.”

Others defended Osteen, such as campus minister and blogger Morgan Guyton, who stated that she was “absolutely right if what she’s saying is that God doesn’t need us to worship Him for Himself, but He wants us to worship Him for our sake.”

In light of the controversy, Osteen issued a statement to The Blaze this week, outlining that while she could have selected her words more carefully, she would not recant the core of her message, which was that Christians can find personal benefit in worshiping God.

“While I admit that I could have been more articulate in my remarks, I stand by my point that when we worship God and are obedient to Him we will be better for it,” she stated. “I did not mean to imply that we don’t worship God; that’s ridiculous, and only the critics and cynics are interpreting my remarks that way.”

“Every Lakewood member knows what I was talking about because they have experienced first hand the joy and victory of a Lakewood Church worship service, and the honor, reverence and gratitude we show God,” Osteen added.

Camp told Christian News Network on Saturday that he believes that Osteen is attempting damage control as her “original thought was her true thought.” He remains in disagreement with her assertions.

“Victoria’s view of God is far too human,” he said. “She honestly believes in her original comment that somehow God is happy when we’re happy. She forgets that the defining mark and characteristic of our Lord is not happiness, it’s holiness.”

Camp stated that Osteen’s comments fall in line with the philosophy that she and her husband espouse, that you are to seek Your Best Life Now and Become a Better You.

“Victoria’s view of our God simply reflective of her own worldview of what Christianity should be about—becoming a better you, prospering yourself and being happy if you are truly following Jesus,” he explained. “But our happiness has little or nothing to do with the Christian life.”

The writer of songs such as Not About Us and Consider the Cost said that it is hedonistic—a doctrine that teaches that the chief end of life is one’s personal pleasure—to worship God or attend church for what man can obtain in return.

“Pragmatic culture today has tried to redefine worship as something that we get out of it, but it’s not,” Camp explained. “We don’t worship God so that we’ll become a better you. We don’t worship God so that we’ll have a better job, a better bank account [or] a better attitude. We worship God simply because he is worthy of worship. … That’s the only reason that we worship Him.”

“If we participate for a pragmatic benefit—to say, ‘Just worship because look how much better you’re going to feel’—that is minimizing the worth of a holy God and making self the benefactor of worship, when worship is simply the glorifying of God entirely,” he outlined.

Camp pointed to Romans 12:1 in reminding Christians that worship is not just a song that is sung, but how we live every moment of our lives. And as followers of Christ, we are to take up our cross and die to self daily.

“True worship is not just what happens on Sunday,” he said. “True worship is seven days a week, 24 hours a day—that we live on the altar before God in presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. And that is what is pleasing to Him.”

30 Comments on “‘I Stand by My Point:’ Joel Osteen’s Wife Unrepentant over Remarks of Worshiping God ‘for Self’”

  1. Zebulon

    Its not just her who believe this her husband also. Its the new age Christianity they are preaching
    They only tried to recant what she said when someone questioned her teaching. The word said that false prophets would spread the untruth of the Word of God. This is a prime example of what to come in these last days before the coming of the Messiah.

  2. jack

    DEUT . 13 : 1-4 Cleave to HIM folks and decrease yourself . Can’t be about you , if you are truly decreasing . Typical word of foolishness .

  3. Kerry B. Nichols

    What would victoria do with Mark 10:30,31 ? Or what would she say to the Christian in the Middle East who are given a choice of converting or dying, or seeing their love ones kill in front of their eyes. Does not God want them happy. Serving God will be a hard thing but the prize is everlasting life with Him. I feel sorry for the members of that church, because they do not receive the truth of the gospel there.

  4. Fernando Johnson

    There can be no repentance where there is no conviction, and no conviction where denial reigns supreme. Joel himself speaks much of what he calls his calling; being one that lifts people up by encouragement. As a building maintenance mechanic I certainly understand about maintaining a thing or two, but inevitably a situation will arise that calls for more than maintenance. At those times repair is needed and it could call for the taring down or away of all the old to construct the new. If a person is not correctly taught, they may have no sense that what their doing or involved in is wrong. Because of this no repentance takes place and they remain where they are; broke, but under the illusion that everything’s OK; claiming to be new, but holding on to the old. Jesus told some religious folks that they remained in their sins because they didn’t think they needed any help. Their own self righteousness kept them from where God wanted them to be; delivered. Because they claimed to be OK no repairs were made in their lives. I think this is what’s taking place with the Osteens and any ministry that preaches half truths or a politically correct type of message; being careful not to offend. My hope is for their turning (better known as repentance), but just as the pharisees, they must first admit “WE NEED HELP”.!

  5. Real Woman of God

    That’s exactly why their so called “sweet faces and voices” do not draw me in. they may “look” like innocent people but they are not!

  6. Phil

    WORSHIP HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT HIM! NEVER ABOUT US. HE’S THE KING OF KINGS!
    “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. “John 4:23

    “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (‭Psalms‬ ‭100‬:‭1-4‬ KJV)

  7. Beloved Son

    If you can’t accept that God takes delight in his creation, his people, his Bride, which he has made holy through the blood, and the finished work of Jesus Christ ,than you’ll have to throw out the Song of Solomon and Revelation from the canon of Scripture.

  8. Michelle

    Both of them are a joke!!!! Why do you think their church is running over with people. Because all they do is pepper the congrats on with stories which have no bearing on getting your life right to go back with Jesus when he comes. All Joel does is blink and grin. Him and his wife are laughing all the way to the bank!!!!! Not me!

  9. isaac abule

    we worship basing on Gods character the essence of who he is not what he does lets be on watch hedonism and pragmatism has slept into the church we shall give an account to God

  10. Akua Owusu-Ansah

    God bless this ministry (Exministries) for your good intent and obedience to the will of concerning his sheep. You’re deeply appreciated pastor Lewis and your team. Jehovah bless and keep you in the name of our saviour Jesus Christ….Amen

  11. Daklu Philip

    brethren let us go on our knees and say a prayer for them.. let us have that burden to stand in the gap for them.. His grace n Mercy will see them through..

  12. HB

    This is why there is a population of christians who go to megachurches like the Osteen’s and yet are still so messed up outside the church because it’s statements like she made that enable them to live in their carnality and be double-minded to boot. That spells instability, confusion and also selfishness since her comments to me sound like edifying one’s flesh instead of edifying the body of Christ. I’m glad that I steer clear of the Osteen broadcasts along with a few others. SMH.

  13. Chris Parker

    She says God takes pleasure when we are happy, If i then say well my living with my particular sin makes me happy, as long as I am happy to do it then God is pleased because I’m happy. So I don’t need to change, or repent because not doing it will upset me and in turn God will not be pleased with me. Forget living as a sacrifice regardless of how you feel so that someone else might be able to come to Christ through your example…. nope just do what makes you happy and God will be pleased. This is so ridiculous, I sooo wish i could un-see this one

    This is a very dangerous thing to stand before people and say, and then to turn around and reinforce this foolish teaching instead of killing your pride and apologizing is what angers & saddens me about it. I think of all the people who they influence and lead down this evil path…. my prayers are for those people because Mr. and Mrs Osteen should know better already being in the positions of authority that they are in.

  14. Pastor Mark

    The word is the Word! Matthew 16:24 & 25 Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

    I will praise Him whether happy or sad. I will praise Him in everything I must go through, for I have vowed to praise Him.

    Nehemiah 8:10 For the joy of the LORD is your strength.

  15. Ola Hemphill

    I agree with what Mrs. Osteen is saying and I think it’s sad that her message has been so misunderstood. I also believe this is true about much of what’s written in the Bible as well, particularly as it pertains to how it is applied today. For example, let’s take a look at a section of pastor Steve Camp’s response that’s located at the end of this article. I’ll repost it here:

    “True worship is not just what happens on Sunday,” he said. “True worship is seven days a week, 24 hours a day—that we live on the altar before God in presenting our bodies as living sacrifices. And that is what is pleasing to Him.”

    So the question to answer is, what exactly does it mean to be a ‘true worshipper’ 24/7? Well, if you aren’t Bill Gates, etc., I don’t think you’re going to ‘lay upon any physical altar 24/7 and not work a regular job, that is, unless you don’t mind being homeless, begging for food to eat, etc. I will suggest that this section of scripture absolutely aligns itself with Mrs. Osteen’s message which basically says that we worship God by being representative of Him as our Father. He wants us ‘as His children’ to be ‘happy people’ with a loving spirit that allows us to do what it takes to live well, do good for others and therefore, demonstrate for all to see that we truly are ‘His children.’ The ‘world’ is His ‘altar’ and our doing what it takes to be emotionally and physically healthy and happy for our sakes and the sake of others whose lives we impact demonstrates our willingness to be ‘a living sacrifice’ for the true purpose that God put us here for.

    God needs absolutely nothing from us other than being a reflection of what He is all about. Less we forget, He’s the Giver of all things and we need to take what He gives us and do right by what we receive. As far as I’m concerned, this is how we’re suppose to worship Him. Therefore, worship services are about coming together in fellowship to thank and praise God in a way that keeps us uplifted to do the work of our Father in our homes, jobs, communities, etc. This is the message that I get from what Mrs. Osteen has to say and I applaud her for speaking the truth. If someone is to suggest that her message is ‘too human’ such as what’s been mentioned in the article, I will suggest that much of what’s taught by many pastors isn’t human enough. This brings to mind an old saying that I’ve heard for many years. To rephrase, “Sometimes you’re so heavenly bound that you’re no earthly good.” Maybe, just maybe, this could be a sub-title for Mrs. Osteen’s message.

    1. exministries

      Worship and praise is a sacrifice. I don’t recall sacrifices of old ever making the person offering it happy!!! Heb. 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

  16. Rose

    Self Happiness? Jesus never preached anything about ‘self’ or about happiness as happiness is temporal based on our feelings to situations or circumstances…I can’t take them seriously.

  17. Deac

    This is an extension of inviting too many differences(spirits) in your presence. Self glorification at its best. Rom. 12-1 perfect example…

  18. shar

    The serpent in the garden was very subtle! We must know the word!!! True denial of self is usually not “happy” times, however, “unspeakable joy,” now that’s a different story. The Fruit of the spirit does not include happy! So much could be said and written, as has already been! Keep praying Saints Keep obeying the true word of God!

  19. Ivan

    What she said “sounds good” but only to those whose ears are itchy for a Gospel that’s all about me, me, me and oh, dont forget ME. Honestly, if this life was all about my happiness, i wouldnt be saved. Its been my experience that living for the Lord is about suffering and trials which requires less of me and definitely i need MORE of the Lord. Its giving up your superficial happiness (which is temporary) for the joy of the Lord that awaits us in Heaven. This life is short (like a vapor) so if I am to live my best life now, that requires that i strive to live more and more like Jesus (denying my flesh, daily spiritual examination and repentance). Also, i have YET to read in the Word where it says one can be so Heavenly minded that he’s no earthly good. If my hope is built on making it to Heaven, i must live holy. That doesnt mean i quit my job, sit home and wait for the Lord to come which actually would make me ‘happy’ lol but no. I must work because His Word said if a man doesnt work, then he doesnt eat (the Bible is filled with patterns by which we should live our lives, all of which requires some form of sacrifice)…..Moses chose to suffer the afflictions of the righteous rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin just for a season. What is happiness? Its defined as showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment or to be pleased or glad about a particular situation, event,etc. I can’t speak for everyone but saying “no” to my flesh when it gets to acting up isnt always an easy task but its a cross i must bear. Living holy FOR REAL requires discipline, sanctifcation and sure enough prayer, all of which requires obedience and sacrifice (none of which comes natural to me because I was born and shaped in iniquity with a flesh thats proned to sin). The good that I do is ONLY because of the grace and mercy of God that He has bestowed upon me because my heart (all of our hearts) is desperately wicked!

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