Lurking as usual, I came across a blog written by a member of Redeemer who (up until last year) was in youth group!
Smarty pants. I like it. (Bolded words are my doing...)
'[Modern] Evangelical Christianity seems to be a harbour for distributors of a cheapened version of the faith. Christianity is portrayed as a quick fix for life's little problems. Self-help is the name of the game, and God is the guru who will set you right. Or that's what we're told. Joel Osteen is one such preacher, a man who preaches a theology of prosperity. He tells us that faith and righteousness will bring us favour from God, and in turn, this will manifest itself materially. Our health will improve, we'll be more productive at work, our stress levels will go down, we'll have happier lives, because these are apparently the signs of God's blessing. This is an incredibly reduced gospel. In fact, there's really not much gospel involved, to be perfectly honest. This is merely Christianized self-help, the American dream, with a Jesus-Fish stuck on the bumper. Like so many other things in our culture, we've taken something, stamped it with God's seal of approval, and supposedly claimed it for Christ, in all of it's postmodern, secular glory, ignoring the fact that it remains virtually unchanged. Is this "taking every thought captive?" Is this "renewing your mind?" No, it's just sugarcoating. Extremely popular sugarcoating.
'We are challenged by Peter in his first epistle to pursue spiritual growth. So many people are still content to stay within the bounds of "Jesus loves me, this I know," never maturing past that point. (The aforementioned principle is indeed a wonderful one, but our faith has so much more to offer...) The "prosperity gospel" seems to be nothing more than "Jesus loves me and wants me to have an expensive car, perfect health, obedient children, and a carefree life," as if these are the benefits of the Jesus Club. I am always reminded that Christ himself specifically told us that we would be persecuted, reviled, and cursed for his sake. "To die to self and so to live" is the phrase that I think of, one that implies that the life of the Christian is not exactly "7 Keys Towards Improving Your Life." I am a slave to Christ, not a country club member. But my master is Yahweh, the creator of the universe. He has given me something much greater than the "American Dream," and has promised me an inheritance of incalculable worth.'
You can read more here.