Love him or loathe him: This Week @ Faith Lakewood

Televangelist Joel Osteen is coming to Cleveland this Friday.  No, he won’t be stopping by Faith, but a story in this morning’s Plain Dealer about Osteen’s upcoming appearance got me thinking about things to talk about this week — at Scripture & Prayer at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; at Faith Talk @ Sullivans at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, or at Faith Talk on Sunday Mornings (Sunday School at Faith) at 9:30 a.m. Sunday:

– Let’s give some thought to Joel Osteen and preachers like him when we gather at Faith Talk @ Sullivan’s at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.  Have you ever heard him preach?  Read any of his books? Here’s his website. What do you like or dislike about him?  Are you familiar with the “prosperity gospel?”  Does what he preaches jibe with what you hear at Faith and elsewhere?  Let’s talk about it at Sullivan’s Irish Pub on Wednesday.

– And a question to think about in regard to Joel Osteen — and ourselves — that relates to this coming Sunday’s gospel reading:  Does Joel — and do we — “speak truth to power?” That’s one of the central themes going on in Mark 6: 14-29, when John the Baptist’s head is served up on a platter, and in Amos 7:7-15, when the prophet delivers news the king doesn’t want to hear.

Personally, when I think of this “speaking truth to power” theme, I always think of the old Sprint telephone commercial where the CEO-type waxes on for a minute about Sprint’s low-fees and lack of restrictions and says (something like): “I’m sticking it to the man.”  And his assistant can’t help but observe: “But, sir, you are the man.”

Much to think about and wrestle with …. let’s talk about it Tuesday or Wednesday evening or Sunday morning.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Mark Rollenhagen