America’s largest and fastest growing “church,” Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, often finds itself with guest speakers in the pulpit. With pastors Joel and Victoria Osteen traveling often for their own “Night of Hope” events, or for other special speaking engagements, it must be helpful to know so many prominent pastors and speakers who would willingly substitute on any given weekend.
On the weekend of 26–27 May, Lakewood Church will welcome Louie Giglio to the stage. In fact, Victoria Osteen excitedly invited all of her Houston-based Twitter followers to visit the Lakewood venue for the occasion:
A quick visit to the website of Lakewood Church confirms this speaking schedule:
Louie Giglio is the pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta. He is also the founder of the Passion Conference. Back in January, a strange thing occurred at Session 5 of the 2012 Passion Conference event. As was reportedon this blog at that time, speakers Louie Giglio, Beth Moore, John Piper and others engaged in a Scripture reading exercise followed by a time of silence and meditation while the audience of young people was instructed to “be still” as they waited to “hear” from Jesus.
Here is Beth Moore leading her portion:
And John Piper:
Finally, to close the session, Passion founder Louie Giglio stood and declared the following:
How many of you heard the voice of God speak specifically, clearly, directly, and personally, to you? Can you just put a hand up? I’d like you to share it. Can you put a hand up for a minute?
Just want you to look around; that’s people saying, “God Almighty (pause) the Maker of heaven (pause) the one Who’s sitting on the only throne (pause) that’s not under threat (long pause, audience cheers)—He spoke to me. He spoke to me.”
“God spoke to me.” (long pause) Don’t let the voice of the darkness, tell you that you are not (pause) worth (pause) that God would not speak to you. (pause) Don’t let him tell you, you don’t matter. (pause) God spoke to you.
This exercise can perhaps best be described as “Lectio Divina lite.” When did Protestant leaders begin to teach that we have the Bible “plus” anything? God has spoken perfectly in His Word. We have no need to be still and wait for His voice.
It is curious, then, that Giglio, the founder and leader of the Passion event, would also be preaching at the one of the largest Word Faith churches in the country. But then, mysticism and the false, heretical prosperity gospel are both fruits plucked from the same bad tree.
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