Joel Osteen Doesn’t Like the Term ‘Prosperity Preacher’

In a new interview with Huffington Post, Joel Osteen—bestselling author, preacher and man of a million smiles—is trying to clarify some of his views on money, particularly for those who consider him a purveyor of prosperity Gospel. “I don’t like that term [prosperity preacher],” he says. “I specifically stay away [from the topic of money] because people are already skeptical. But prosperity to me means good relationships, it’s having health, it’s accomplishing your dreams, it’s having money to pay your bills, it’s being blessed so you can be a blessing.” He also defended the idea of being a rich Christian, saying there’s biblical precedent.

I think there’s a group that says, ‘Well, to be a Christian, to be a real believer you’ve got to be poor, you’ve got to be humble.’ I don’t see that. I think we should be leaders in our community, we should be able to bless others …You look at the Old Testament; Christianity was started with Abraham and it says he was the wealthiest man there. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think God wants you to succeed and excel, but I don’t think you can say ‘Money is my goal, if I’m a Christian well God’s going to make me rich,’ I think that’s the wrong thing. You’re wealthy when you have your health; you’re wealthy when you have people to love. That’s real wealth.

Osteen, who is estimated to be worth about $40 million, is pastor of a church that averages an attendance in the low forty thousands. In the interview, he emphasized that he believes it’s crucial that Christians with wealth use it wisely, saying that he and his wife “never dreamed that we would be able to support orphanages and kids and things the way that God has blessed us, but it’s to turn it around and be a blessing to others” …

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