In Viral Video From 2014, Joel Osteen Says God Is Not Honored by Poverty

(Facebook/Joel Osteen Ministries)
A viral clip of Joel Osteen shows the megachurch pastor saying that God is most honored when Christians are successful and externally well-off, and that being poor or defeated "doesn't bring any honor to God."

The clip comes from Osteen's sermon #601, first preached in 2014, titled "Have an Abundant Mentality." The sermon was republished on the Joel Osteen Audio podcast on May 1, 2019. In the sermon, Osteen responds to claims that he is a prosperity minister by at first denying it, but then saying he is "not a poverty minister."

During the sermon, Osteen says:

"'Well,' you say, 'Joel, are you one of those prosperity ministers?' No, I don't like that term. That sounds like somebody that only talks about finances. Prosperity to me is having your health. It's having peace in your mind. It's being able to sleep at night, having good relationships. There are many things that money cannot buy, and while I don't like the term 'prosperity minister,' I must say I am not a poverty minister.

"I can't find one place in the Scripture where we are supposed to drag around not having enough, not able to afford what we want, living off the leftovers, living in the land of not enough. No, we were created to be the head and not the tail. Jesus came that we might live an abundant life. We represent Almighty God here on this earth. We should be examples of His goodness, so blessed, so prosperous, so generous, so full of joy that other people want what we have.

"But you've got to fight a religious spirit that says you're supposed to be poor, broke and defeated to show God that you're really humble. No, when you're poor, broke and defeated, all that proves is that you're poor, broke and defeated. It doesn't bring any honor to God. If I brought my two children up on the platform today and their clothes were all raggedy, worn out, holes in their shoes, hair not combed, you would look at me and think, 'What kind of father is he?' It'd be a poor reflection on me. Listen, when you look good, dress good, live in a nice place, excel in your career, generous with others, that brings a smile to God's face. It brings Him pleasure to prosper you."

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