It's time for Joel Osteen to sell another book, and since he shares an audience of gullible rubes with Fox and Friends, it's only logical that he'd take advantage of his celebrity status on the curvy couch to make even more money. He wants people to know the power of the phrase 'I Am,' provided that it's followed with positivity. The book is called, 'The Power Of I Am,' and the subtitle is not 'really rich from fleecing the public,' as it should be.
Osteen represents the new mega-televangelist brand of stardom. He has found a way to divert the virtue of poverty espoused by Jesus Christ and turned it into a worship of wealth.
Osteen embodies a shift of a very different sort— the refashioning of Christianity to suit an age of abundance, in which the old war between monotheism and money seems to have ended, for many believers, in a marriage of God and Mammon.
In the 1980s, this marriage was associated with hucksters and charlatans — preachers who robbed their followers, slept with prostitutes, and sobbed on camera. But in twenty-first-century America, the gospel of wealth has come of age. By linking the spread of the gospel to the habits and mores of entrepreneurial capitalism, and by explicitly baptizing the pursuit of worldly gain, prosperity theology has helped millions of believers reconcile their religious faith with their nation’s seemingly unbiblical wealth and un-Christian consumer culture.
His audience for a typical Sunday Service is the capacity of the Compaq Center in Houston, or 18,000 people with millions more receiving a television broadcast available on dozens of TV stations. Tickets for one of his special events cost upwards of $850 just to listen to him preach his positive words in person.
In 2012, he told Fox News' Chris Wallace that he doesn't support the discrimination of LGBT people, he just doesn't believe in marriage equality, like most Republican Evangelicals. He did say that 'being gay is a sin,' equating homosexuality with a choice.
Not only did he discuss the power of positivity and thanking god, several times throughout the day, he answered a few viewer emails. He believes that if, under your breath, you thank god, your day will go better. Another viewer who is afraid to repeat past mistakes he tells them to thank god and move forward.
Kilmeade reminds Osteen that it seems easy to be positive when you're Joel, and filling up stadiums. But he too had sadness. The death of his father, also a mega-church preacher, in 1999 actually gave him more strength from the lord, and the inheritance didn't hurt either.