There is so much heretical happy-crap in this HuffPo interview with the master heretical happy-crapper himself, Joel Olsteen, that makes me weary just thinking about it. Nevertheless, in the context of his drivel about how God loves and accepts those who practice homosexuality because He made them that way, this one short little statement particularly captured my attention:
“It doesn’t matter who likes you or doesn’t like you; all that matters is that God likes you. He accepts you; He approves of you,” Joel Osteen
I am quite certain that God doesn’t like me, period. I know a few people whom I think might like me but if they really knew me like I know me, they wouldn't like me at all. I think I know myself well enough to know that there is nothing about me that God could like. In fact, if I thought for a moment, that God really likes me, accepts me, and approves of me, I would think that He either doesn’t know me at all or that He is easily deceived and not a good very wise discerner of character.
I would say that because God is wise and knows all, the He does NOT like me. It is true that God loves me and that has been demonstrated by His grace in the fact that He sent His Son to suffer, and bleed, and die for the penalty of ALL my sin against Him (including sexual sin) thereby satisfying His righteous justice. That is called mercy.
Sure, I am accepted. But that acceptance is followed by the prepositional phrase, “in the Beloved.” The basis for His acceptance of me is that I am in Christ and He is in me. That is the only way the Holy and Righteous God of creation can even stand the sight of me. Jesus Christ is my righteousness; He is my covering. If you take away the covering, I am a just another dirty, rotten, putrid, low-life scumbag capable of murder, thievery, homosexuality or any other kind of evil or perversion and worthy of His terrible and righteous wrath.
But when God saves a repentant sinner, He cleans him up, turns him around, changes his behavior, and begins the process of making him fit to live with Him forever. Furthermore, should any of us, who are saved, ever think too highly of ourselves, we have constant, eternal reminder that Jesus Christ redeemed us with His own blood.
This is one of several great hymns I love. The author, Norman Clayton, very clearly steers us away from the self-esteem heresy of Joel Osteen and points us to the truth that...
My hope is in the Lord Who gave Himself for me,
And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.
No merit of my own His anger to suppress.
My only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness.
And now for me He stands Before the Father’s throne.
He shows His wounded hands and names me as His own.
His grace has planned it all, ‘Tis mine but to believe,
And recognize His work of love and Christ receive.
For me He died, For me He lives,
And everlasting life and light He freely gives.