Pastor Joel Osteen, whose upbeat positive thinking books have been embraced like a success manual by millions of followers, is now preaching a new message tailored for survival through the recession. The message is to be patient and wait for better times ahead. This is far different than the normal prosperity gospel preached by most popular televangelists who often treat the connection between making donations to them and economic prosperity into some sort of spiritual lottery machine.
But a reality check proves that those of faith are not less likely to lose their job, face economic hardships, or to be faced with other economic distress issues than those with no faith at all. The claimed connection between making donations to a church and receiving favor from God doesn't seem to change the odds of not facing economic hardship during the recession to any measurable degree in most cases. Some people of faith will do well in the bad economy, while some will do poorly. Some of no faith will do well as well, while others won't.
All of this leaves Paster Joel Osteen in a position where he needs to offer up a new message of faith to get his followers through bad times. Osteen's new book, It's Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams, And Increase In God's Favor" is far cry from millionaire preachers like Pat Robertson who continue to argue that if you donate to them that your life will prosper. Osteen seems to be making faith into that personal trust and faith in God once again, compared to so many in the world of Protestant evangelism who have largely recreated religion in their own image as a sort of personality cult surrounding themselves. This far differs from the type of loyalty of some persons who look to their pastor as leader, and seem to lose sight of God.
If anything, Osteen's new book is a far more honest faith path than the personality cult by other preachers. With bad times lingering on, some faith to get you through can't really be a bad thing.
Pastor Joel Osteen writes great books. This is worth owning.