okay, bloggy buddies, you’re going to have to help me here. and if i seem a little cynical, i am asking you in advance to forgive me. i swear i am not trying to stir up a skubalon storm.
i saw an interesting ad on television this weekend (while i was surfing around looking for christian programming). it seems that the perky prophet himself, joel osteen, is coming to our fair city for a night of hope event.
here’s my question: why?
i can’t help wondering about his motivation. is he trying to reach lost people, or is this more of a christian pep-rally? or is he just trying to make money — to “strike while the iron is hot” so to speak?
in the interest of full disclosure, i must tell you that i tried to reach brother osteen by phone, but his secretary told me he was unavailable. she informed me, though, that the night of hope event was just like one of their lakewood services: the choir and orchestra would be there as well. i told her (her name was andrea…in fact, i suppose it still is) that i had never been to lakewood, and i asked if they sold tickets for their church services. she said no. why then, i asked the long-suffering andrea, were they charging $15 per person to attend the night of hope. she explained that it was a requirement of the venue.
and here is my struggle.
i frequently plunk down $15 or more for a book written by an author i admire and it doesn’t bother me a a bit. i very seldom go to a concert, but i am told that some concert tickets go for significantly more than $15. so why does it bother me that joel osteen is requiring people to buy tickets to hear him preach?
no, seriously, i want you to weigh in on this.
am i being hypercritical? isn’t the guy entitled to be paid for his time and trouble? i mean, i get paid for preaching.
and, trust me, this has nothing to do with his message. that is a topic for another post.
if joel osteen is leveraging his celebrity status for the sake of the gospel, what is the harm in that? and if $15 is too much, then what is fair? does 1 peter 5:2 apply here? does joel osteen (or his ministry) need the money? are they drilling water wells in africa, or helping hurricane victims in louisiana? does it even matter?
after all, bill gates is the richest man in the world and he keeps churning out new versions of windows. we would think him crazy if he didn’t. but what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath microsoft with ministry?
i’m just wondering, when is enough enough?