How does "joke telling" accomplish "life giving change?" How does gathering for a meeting like this really 'transform' a soul? I've nothing against him personally, but this is a far cry from what the Early Church celebrated when they gathered together! (Mass of the Early Christians) It was for MASS that they gathered and were hunted and slaughtered like animals, for their belief IN the EUCHARIST, the Lord's Supper. They had to meet under the dire threat of injury or death as many in other parts of the world are still doing, under penalty of death!
A big gathering of people in a (click for video -->) "mega church" such as this is no threat to the devil at all! In fact, he's pretty much laughing at this "modern church" calling itself 'Christian.' The only Church the devil is attacking regularly is the same One he's been attacking since its founding by Jesus himself! The Catholic Church!
This is a 'sad joke' in comparison. When Joel closes with the words: "...a bible based church" what exactly IS a bible based church? There are countless fellowships out there, claiming to be just that, yet bicker and destroy one another so another can be "planted." Is THAT the unity Jesus prayed for in John 17? There's only ONE CHURCH that canonized the books to complete the "bible" as we, Catholics and Protestants know it. (Martin Luther's scissors and arbitrary editing aside)
This may be a few 'clean jokes' told, and some laughs, but in the end, it's a very sad joke to play on the vulnerabilty of humans in search of Truth, as all of us are 'created to know, and love truth. To tell others all they have to do is just "pray a prayer" (the 'sinners prayer' I presume?) and "go to a 'bible-based' church" is nothing short of a gleefully added mark on Satan's scorecard.
No,I'm not saying anyone there is "going to hell" for I'm not God. But neither can anyone there in that congregation claim Catholics are 'going to hell' either, for they are not God. I don't know what they all believe and cannot read everyone's heart.
The sad thing is, get 3 or more from that congregation in a room and there will be a wide array of beliefs, potentially even bitter disagreements over doctrine(s). But no one cares to do that, for they're mostly too comfortable w/ the Osteen status quo' to "make any waves." A sad commentary again, because Truth is Truth and to compromise Truth w/ "untruth" is only "untruth."
When a "bible based" church states one thing is true, and yet another bb church states another thing is true, then pray tell WHICH ONE IS TRUE? Come on....and COME HOME TO ROME! Your MOMMA is waiting for you! Holy Mother Church is TRUE! The Catholic Church is the ONE CHURCH Jesus built, to REMAIN, even if the gates of Hell pound it, SHE WILL STAND, and never crumble.
No suffering is in vain, and it is a suffering Church, a Church of martyrs, which becomes a sign-post for man in his search for God" - (then) Card. Joseph Ratzinger
Where will Osteen's mega (non-suffering) church be in 2000 years? Anyone? Buehler?