A friend of mine recently posted a comment about his change of heart regarding the validity of the ministry of Joel Osteen. I have to say that find it fascinating even amazing that so many believers are so very enamored with the words of men. Honestly, there are occasions in which I do enjoy messages from various “professional guys” who teach and preach from the bible, but I have come to recognize they are only men. Are their words inspired? Do they indeed speak on behalf of God? Maybe…maybe not.
Here is my response to my friend (plus a wee bit more):
At the end of the day, all men who choose to speak publically on behalf of God are just normal people. They are no better or worse than the average Joe believer working 9 to 5. They may exhibit great eloquence when speaking or seem to somehow be "elevated" spiritually, but they are only men. The greatest men I have ever known or had the pleasure of receiving wisdom from were common men. Not pastors, not evangelists, not "professional ministers" of any shape or form. They were all just average guys who all shared one common trait...humility. True humility. The kind of humility that caused them to pause before declaring anything on behalf of our Lord.
I’d take the time to name them, but you’d likely have no clue who they are. The list includes an accountant, a business man, a mill worker, and a sharecropper. Some would be considered more “successful” than others in the eyes of this world, but all had one thing in common, serious humility. In fact, most had no clue they were being used by God to shape my life. Yes some were successful, most not so much, yet to me, they were all giants.
If you think about it, Jesus was an average Joe. If fact, most of the folks around him missed out on much of what he had to say because he wasn’t a “somebody”. You often find the Pharisees and teachers of the law asking, “Who is this fellow?” Why? Jesus wasn’t a “big name” at the time. He was just Jesus, the carpenter’s son.
Can’t you hear the people? “Yeah he says good stuff and even seems to have power, but he’s just a normal guy, a carpenter. Who cares what a carpenter has to say? The “big name religious guys” say we need to crucify him…better stick with them. After all, we know they speak for God”.
Be careful who you give an ear to, but also be willing to recognize that all men have potential for good and bad. I'd dare say that most men, regardless of their “position” in this life, would not want you prowling around in the closets of their lives. You might not like what you find, but of course, we all have our own "closets" don't we?
So, should anyone listen to Joel Osteen? Well, if you care to, why not? I figure he’s no worse or better than the other guys that choose to speak.
Still, we might do well to remember what Elijah came to understand. God generally speaks in a still, small voice.
Anything beyond that might just be noise.
PS – If you saw this as some type of attack against “professional ministers”, you are likely one of the many who are mindlessly enamored with said individuals.
AND, you missed the point of this post…entirely!