Victoria Osteen is a flamboyant and controversial character in her role as co-pastor at the ever-so-Evangelical Lakewood Church, but she has just received some serious backlash from Christian clergy for her recent comments.
The saga started when video footage surfaced of Osteen giving a sermon in which she heavily encouraged her congregants to: “do good for your own self,” a fundamental principle that other Christians have an issue with.
She is married to Joel Osteen, another flamboyant Pastor and the couple’s primary message is that the key to making God happy is first making oneself happy
In Victoria Osteen’s own words, as reported by the Huffington Post:
“When we obey God, we’re not doing it for God…we’re doing it for ourself. Because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. Do good ’cause God wants you to be happy. 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.”
Now those might sound like reasonable, or even logical comments to you and I, but in certain other streams of Christianity such beliefs are not accepted and are even regarded as abhorrent.
As soon as Osteen’s August sermon hit the internet, going viral in certain religious circles, many Christians took to Twitter, as well as their own blogs to express their dismay, at her comments.
The Christian News Network reported that according to Steve Camp, pastor of The Cross Church in Palm City, Florida, Osteen’s remarks went directly against scripture. He went so far as to accuse Victoria Osteen of idolatry:
“It’s the age old sin of idolatry — that it’s not about God, it’s about us. True worship for the humanist is about how we feel at the end of the day and what gives us meaning, as opposed to what gives God glory.”
Another commentator, college chaplain, Morgan Guyton, also spoke to reporters about how he embraced Osteen’s sermon to a degree, saying:
“The benefit that we gain from pretending that we don’t benefit is the sense of moral superiority to other people… I would revise Victoria Osteen’s words to point out that the way we gain true happiness is to forget ourselves because of our delight in God.”
When it comes to matters of religion, whichever religion that is, perceptions are very subjective and everyone had their own take on what God means to them.
Regardless of the flak that Osteen received for her comments at least she is free to make them.
A religious luxury not afforded to many people living around the world.