Osteenism (also known as Prosperitism) is the heresy of the Prosperity Gospel (also known as Prosperity Theology and Health and Wealth Theology), which emerged in the 20th century. They claim the Bible teaches that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians, and that faith, a positive outlook and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one’s material wealth. This is taught as an aspect of the path to Christian dominion over society, arguing that the promise of dominion to Israel extends to Christianity today. There is a significant emphasis on personal empowerment and teach that God’s will is for His people to be happy. If atonement (or a large contribution to an approved religious entity) is made, it will remove sickness and poverty. Any material woes are a sign of broken or weak faith. One simply needs to confess that God promises security and prosperity to those faithful to Him to receive those blessings. It is named for Joel Osteen, a prominent televangelist and proponent of this heresy (though far from the only false teacher of this doctrine).
When discussing theology, I've come to realize that not only is personal study of doctrine a necessary component to faith, but it is something that shouldn't be kept to oneself. I want to share my journey, both past and ongoing, into the realm of theology. Through this, I hope that you will gain insight into the Christian faith as a whole. Before reading anything else, I suggest you read the introduction and definitions (found in the pages tabs above) so you may better understand where I am coming from in everything I write. Because many of my posts are on heresies, there is also a page above with a family tree of heresies and links to all the posts I have so far on the topic.
06 May, 2013
Heresy of the Week: Osteenism
A modern heresy, Joel Osteen is just my favorite target (hence why he gets the "honor" of a heresy named after him)--but there are many, many others who perpetuate his dangerous nonsense. This heresy has swept American megachurches and non-denominationalism in particular.