Why did Lakewood co-pastor Victoria Osteen’s comments about being happy make so many people mad?
Well, those within the faith community who disagree that God’s ultimate desire is to see His people happy, are
slamming her views, calling them idolatrous.
Exactly what did the 53-year-old say?
“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize, when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God. I mean, that’
s one way to look at it. We’re doing it for ourself, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” Osteen said.
“That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy this morning. So I want you to know this morning, just do good,
for your own self. Do good ‘cause God wants you to be happy.”
She then proceeded to assert that selfish pursuit of what makes us glad should be the foundation for our
decision to offer worship.
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.”
Her reasoning appears to be that God’s greatest happiness is to see our greatness happiness. Furthermore,
our greatest happiness is—or should be—to do what makes God happy. So then, when we make God happy
through worship, we, ourselves, feel happy and the Heavenly Father’s happiness is fulfilled simultaneously by
Biblical scholars don’t see that at all. In fact, they argue that Osteen’s assertion is unbiblical in its origin.
Steve Camp, pastor of The Cross Church in Palm City, Florida told Christian News Network, “It’s the age old sin
of idolatry—that it’s not about God, it’s about us,” he explained.
“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. When we come to see men happy rather than God glorified, it’s not worship;
it’s idolatry,” he said.
The Bible is clear that God’s greatest desire is to be glorified through His creation, not to see His creation
happy (though He does want us to live a life of joy and purpose). So then, spiritually, our focus should not be
what pleases us, but what pleases the Lord.
Osteen, author of Love Your Life: Living Happy, Healthy & Whole, has a line of thinking that is consistent with
an obsession that plagues Western culture.
We are obsessed with personal happiness and fulfillment, as if our world should be set to Pharrell’s infectious
anthem “Happy” from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack album.
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SEPTEMBER 2, 2014
Article by Karla Thomas I Photo Credit: Joel Osteen Ministries