Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Victoria Osteen, John Piper, and Hedonism

Last month I wrote about my observation that what Victoria Osteen, wife of infamous Joel Osteen, said about going to church,worshiping, and doing good works was "for us" and not really for God, and how it resembled John Piper's "Christian" hedonism.

She said in part:

“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize that 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 ourselves. Because God takes pleasure when we’re happy. That’s the thing that gives him the greatest joy this morning. [unintelligeable] So I want you to know this morning, Just do good for your own self. Do good because 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. Amen? Let’s open our hearts to him today “

End quote.

I noted:

She sounds just like Piper and his hedonistic "Christianity" where his god wants us to find self fulfillment and pleasure too, only Piper tries to sanitize it with some Christianese, but the center is man and the fruit is bad just the same. Driscoll anyone?

She blasphemes God and usurps the pulpit which God says only men are to stand in as His Word is being taught to men and women. Then again, this is a false church, with a false gospel, with a false God, and false teachers.

End quote.

Today Michael Beasley at Worldview Weekend also noticed the same thing.  Apparently Piper's ministry, "Desiring 'God'" tweeted:

Wait, was Victoria Osteen really that off base? In one sense, no.

11:35 AM - 4 Sep 2014

Now, considering that most of the evangelical community seemed to agree that what she said was outrageous and anti-biblical, it caught the attention of Beasely that Piper's ministry would actually partially agree with the heretical Victoria Osteen.

First of all Victoria is a woman and she's preaching to men. That's the first sign of a false teacher. Of course, Piper has no problem with that as he has stood alongside Charismatic Beth Moore who also teaches men. He has also shared the platform at the Passion conference with Word of Faith  "Pastor" Christine Caine.

But secondly we know the heresy of the Osteens: humanism drapped with the name of Jesus Christ. They preach a false gospel of the goodness of man, the power of positive thinking and living, and an all-around plastic, shallow message of life coaching that can not change a life in the most fundamental way.

Beasely notes:

"Her version of “Christianity” is an idolatrous cauldron of hedonistic pleasure. In her world, self reigns supreme – and the name of Christ is simply a nametag that she attaches in an attempt to provide cover for her heresy."

He goes on to say:

In his book, Desiring God, Piper tries to justify using the salacious term, hedonism, as an expression of Christian worship.[1] In his earlier years in the ministry, he credited C.S. Lewis for this idea more directly, but over the years he has attempted to justify it through various other means. In his book, Desiring God, Appendix 4 – Why Call It Christian Hedonism?, Piper issues a strenuous attempt to justify his use of this expression in six different ways:
1. Through a definition supplied by Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
2. Through another definition supplied in The Encyclopedia of Philosphy.
3. Through C.S. Lewis’ statement (among others): “You notice that I am drawing no distinction between sensuous and aesthetic pleasures. But why should I? The line is almost impossible to draw and what use would it be if one succeeded in drawing it? If this is Hedonism, it is also a somewhat arduous discipline.”
4. By reason that the term “Hedonism” has an “arresting and jolting effect.”
5. He cites Jesus’ mention of coming as a “thief” in the night (Matt. 24:43-44), among other texts, as justification of using scandalous terms in a godly context.
6. He argues that he is able to sanctify, for godly purposes, the term Hedonism by affixing it with the name Christian.
These are all interesting arguments, but the reader should notice that they are rooted in C.S. Lewis, philosophy, and human reasoning more than anything else. As for his attempt to supply scriptural justification for “Christian Hedonism,” perhaps another man could just as well begin advocating “Christian Lust,” “Christian Fornication,” or “Christian (fill in the blank with any corruption here_____)” based upon the same reasoning. Frankly speaking, this is all reckless thinking and continues to be propagated through many today who insist on speaking of Christian faith in sensual, salacious terms. Within this same appendix (Appendix 4), Piper strangely admits that his actions run contrary to the counsel of wise men like J.C. Ryle – who strongly advises against the use of “uncouth and new-fangled terms and phrases in teaching sanctification,” but then proceeds to justify his use of the term hedonism which, scripturally speaking, depicts grotesque self-satisfaction (lust, autonomous delight, similar to eros) as a means of conveying Christian affections....

The Bible never uses “hedonism” as an expression of godly affections because selfish, autonomous delight is at the heart of such a term, whereas epithumea(desire) can be used of godly desire, but is never emphasized on equal footing with agape love. However, agape love is repeatedly given supremacy over every affection mentioned in Scripture...

If we refuse to be anchored by the language of Scripture, then we will drift into the dangerous waters of human reasoning – perhaps even giving half-credit to heretics. But when it comes to love versus hedonism, the Scriptures are quite clear. God has many attributes (Holiness, wrath, righteousness etc…) – but of all of His attributes, there are very few that have been elevated to the status of this predicate adjective constructGod is love. One thing He is not is hedonism (selfish, autonomous delight) – such a contrivance as this is unscriptural and borders on blasphemy.
End quote.
For the full article go here .

It's no wonder that Piper's tweets will focus on sensuality like this one:

Never forget, the point of the kitchen is the banquet. The aim of hermeneutics: happiness. The goal of exegesis: ecstasy.

For the dangers of CS Lewis go here.


I'd like to take one exception to Beasley's article and that is the way he gives credibility to Piper when Piper talks about the Gospel. First of all, his view of Justification is totally off which is why he can give credibility to the "gospel" of the Roman Catholic Church. Secondly, he is guilty of the wicked deeds of heretics like Rick Warren, Doug Wilson, Beth Moore, etc. :

2Jn 1:9  Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 
2Jn 1:11  for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. 

Piper also denies the clear teaching in Genesis 1-2 of a literal six day Creation week. He has promoted "sodomy of the heart" at DG, he speaks of absolutely inappropriate things in his tweets, which by the way, are becoming increasingly bizzare and nonsensical (one he tweeted recently was about watching a teenage couple making out by the river). Here's more of a complete list of why Piper should be rejected.

These are several reasons why Piper is not, nor never has been, a legitimate pastor-teacher (besides he gave up being a pastor which proves he was merely a hireling).

If the fruit is bad, then the tree is bad. There's no such thing as a good tree bearing bad fruit, Jesus Christ Himself said.

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