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Cynique, March 2 in Culture, Race & Economy
I was listening to Joel Osteen this afternoon driving in my car. This sermon it's actually quite good. The messages, the morals were quite motivating and uplifting. He did not read from scripture he did not quote Bible verses and in fact if you simply removed the word bible or God from his sermon and replaced it with the spirit or the universe or something non specific any given religion I can't see why anyone would have an issue with anything he said.
Religions by their very nature are divisive. Generally it's our way or the highway -- everyone else is damned.
However, the messages are often quite vauable.
Religious pastors taper their sermons and make them palpable to the mentalities of their flocks. They put the "universal message" within the context of fables, and personify God as the benevolent all-knowing father. To maintain their control, they embroider this into the fabric of the doctrines of their sects, all of which demand obedience.
The unctuous Joel Osteen has claimed, with a grin plastered on his face, that he does not know why he is so successful and wealthy because all he does is preach the word. Actually he has successfully tapped into the meta-physical realm, aligning himself with the channels of prosperity, and captured the ear of those yearning to be reassured. Once this dynamic gains momentum, money and fame just flow to him. This is what all charismatic leaders do.
Now is there anything inherently wrong with what Osteen does? Does he take advantage of those who he motivates. I'd imagine once he gets you into the door and starts hitting your up for the 10% (off the top) tithe and more these pastors start to morph into the people @harry brown, frequently rails against.
Taken as a whole I think most ministers try to benefit their communities and are not any more abusive of their power than anyone else.
But religions must expand and convert others in order to survive, so by their very nature they must try to influence others. Increasingly this is attempting through legislation which I'm against.
Is this the SAME Joel Osteen who wouldn't let desperate people into his church for sanctuary when Houston was flooding out from the hurricane until he was shamed on social media into doing it?TroyBut religions must expand and convert others in order to survive, so by their very nature they must try to influence others.
Not only that, but I see most religions as just massive mind control programs.
Infact, I'd say they are a major reason why humanity as a whole hasn't advanced more than it has so far because they LIMIT people in thought and action.
Based on some scriptures they read in the Bible, most Christians thought that the Earth was flat and because of this people in Europe were afraid to sail too far away for fear of falling off the Earth.
Only when they challenged this idea and eventually broke away from it did Europe begin to see a resurgence of prosperity and discovery (that led to slavery and exploitation ofcourse).
I don't know anything about Joel Osteen. This was the first time that I listened to anything he said for more the 30 seconds. Now that you mention it I remember you (or someone here) saying Joel would not turn over his church to those displaced by the Houston floods. That was not my point. I was just saying his message was sound.
Christians and their Bible, relatively speaking, have not be around very long. Exploring the Earth did not begin with Europeans. Africans visited the Americas long before Columbus, even before Christ.
Belief in a higher power did not stop Africans from traveling the world.
The problem I have with many of these so-called "prosperity preachers" like Osteen and others is that they tell their congregation and audience that everything they're going through is THEIR OWN fault.
If you don't have a good job or decent healthcare it's YOUR FAULT.
They teach them that if they just BELIEVE hard enough or change their attitude...they can change their reality.
Unlike the Martin Luther King generation of preachers who took an active role in trying to better society......
This new generation of preachers are telling their flock not to focus on corrupt politicians or encouraging them to change governmental policies and fight for social justice as a way of achieving success.......just BELIEVE and THINK NICE THOUGHTS and everything will be alright.
Where is the flaw in telling people they in control of the own lives and to think positively?
TroyWhere is the flaw in telling people they in control of the own lives and to think positively?
Number one, it's a lie....lol.
And by it's very nature, lies are inherently flawed because they are incorrect.
No one on this planet is in complete control of their own lives and destiny, and the poorer and more powerless you are.....the less control you have. You may have some INFLUENCE, but you don't control it.
Number two, positive thinking alone and simply wishing and believing alone can not only be useless but down right DANGEROUS because it causes you to be so happy and content in your miserable condition that you won't do anything to change it.
If you are diagnosed with a serious disease and the cure calls for you to take action, positive thinking alone could cause you to ignore the disease and neglect proper treatment.
So you perfer to motivate people by telling them they have no control over their lives and to think negative thoughts?
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