The Bible–Read it for Yourself

While studying the Book of Amos this week, it occurred to me that it is the anti-prosperity gospel. It doesn’t tell rich people they’ve received their riches as a reward from God, but that their riches have caused them to turn away from God and from the least of these.
 
So just for fun, I searched “Joel Osteen Amos” to see how (or if!) the king of the prosperity gospel deals with the prophet Amos. Though he quotes it in several places, there is only one verse he uses.
 
Amos 9:13: The time will come,” says the LORD, “when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested…” (Amos 9:13, NLT)  Osteen uses it to say that “If you’ll dare believe, God will accelerate your harvest, accelerate your healing, accelerate your freedom. God is in the accelerating business! As you bless others, blessings are going to pop up. As you sow the seed, the harvest will already be there! ”
 
Amos 9 is not about God accelerating anything. That little piece of proof text is actually about God restoring things after God destroys the rich, selfish, pretentious people for being such lousy humans who revel in shallow religious pageantry and ignore the needs of the poor. Sound familiar? 
 
Read your Bible, people. Don’t let people tell you what it says–especially when they only feed you one verse at a time.

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