Joel Osteen

Internet Monk reviews Joel Osteen’s recent “60 Minutes” appearance.

As much as I would like to join those who say that Osteen is a simpleton who doesn’t know what he’s doing, a close examination will show that at every point where there is a choice between being part of the church or departing into heresy, Osteen sticks with the church where there is money to be had and departs from the church where there is a faith to be confessed. He’s a heretic, even if he is a believer, and he communicates a purposefully false trivialization of the person and work of Jesus Christ in favor of a man-centered motivational message of self-improvement. …

The line about getting people into “church” who have been out of “church” is simply crap, to be polite. No one in this movement is in church. They’re in the worst form of the prosperity Gospel, they are abandoning the God of the Bible, and they are glorifying a man who is assisting in the humiliation of the Gospel of Jesus. Osteen is a motivational speaker, and he uses only enough Christianity as necessary to get in the pockets of the gullible. Osteen is a Gospel preacher like Col. Sanders is an army officer.

As it so happens, the Houston Chronicle has an excerpt from Joel’s latest book. It’s more of the same–and they’re dishing it out uncritically.

4 thoughts on “Joel Osteen

  1. My input is that everyone has the right to believe or feel the way they want, remember this is America. With that, it doesn’ matter to me what any of you think about Joel Osteen, whether you are a Christian, Theologian, or whatever. The bottom line ‘for me’ is that out of all the ministers i have ever listened to in my life, Joel Osteen is the first preacher ever that i feel excited to listen too and I recieve a christian heart felt message that applies to my everyday life. If preachers would stop preaching about the old days (BC) boring, and begin preaching about today, maybe more people would start attending chruches and want to give back to churhes. Joel Osteen defintiley is not even paid enough for the great work he does every week.

    Love Ya Joel! Keep doing what you are doing, there will always be critics when you are doing something great, i think you are ‘outstanding’.


  2. None of those points are really the test, though, are they? The freedom to say something in a democracy doesn’t make it true–freedom means the freedom to say things that are wrong. Whether someone appeals to a particular individual or to millions of people is not the test–millions of people get suckered by hoaxes every day.

    Is it true? Is it Scriptural? “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because their is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

    “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).

  3. Bill,

    What does Joel say that is in conflict with the bible? Please enlighten me, because I don’t see any flaws with Joel’s preaching style. Joel uses scripture that applies to today and my everyday life. I think he has a great concept ‘for me’. I have been raised in church (pentecostal) and while i found it a learning biblical experience, it doesn’t compare to the 30 minute sermons each week with Joel. I finally get something out of church instead and cramming scripture after scripture to me and not getting a thing out of it.

  4. Take a look at what he says in that “60 Minutes” interview. He doesn’t preach the Biblical message of salvation in Jesus Christ. He really doesn’t say much about either Jesus or the Bible.

    “To become a better you, you must be positive towards yourself, develop better relationships, embrace the place where you are. Not one mention of God in that. Not one mention of Jesus Christ in that,” Pitts remarks.

    “That’s just my message. There is scripture in there that backs it all up. But I feel like, Byron, I’m called to help people…how do we walk out the Christian life? How do we live it? And these are principles that can help you. I mean, there’s a lot better people qualified to say, ‘Here’s a book that going to explain the scriptures to you.’ I don’t think that’s my gifting,” Osteen says.

    Or when he was on Larry King:

    KING: So the church in a sense ordained you?

    OSTEEN: Right. And then you’re ordained through the State of Texas.

    Really, “ordained through the State of Texas”? That’s a new one.

    KING: What if you’re Jewish or Muslim, you don’t accept Christ at all?

    OSTEEN: You know, I’m very careful about saying who would and wouldn’t go to heaven. I don’t know …

    KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They’re wrong, aren’t they?

    OSTEEN: Well, I don’t know if I believe they’re wrong. I believe here’s what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God with judge a person’s heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don’t know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don’t know. I’ve seen their sincerity. So I don’t know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.

    Where’s a clear, “The Bible says …”? It’s a lot of nothing.

    CALLER: Hello, Larry. You’re the best, and thank you, Joe — Joel — for your positive messages and your book. I’m wondering, though, why you side-stepped Larry’s earlier question about how we get to heaven? The bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and the only way to the father is through him. That’s not really a message of condemnation but of truth.

    OSTEEN: Yes, I would agree with her. I believe that…

    KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven?

    OSTEEN: No. Here’s my thing, Larry, is I can’t judge somebody’s heart. You know? Only god can look at somebody’s heart, and so — I don’t know. To me, it’s not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn’t. I just say, here’s what the bible teaches and I’m going to put my faith in Christ. And I just I think it’s wrong when you go around saying, you’re saying you’re not going, you’re not going, you’re not going, because it’s not exactly my way. I’m just…

    KING: But you believe your way.

    OSTEEN: I believe my way. I believe my way with all my heart.

    KING: But for someone who doesn’t share it is wrong, isn’t he?

    OSTEEN: Well, yes. Well, I don’t know if I look at it like that. I would present my way, but I’m just going to let god be the judge of that. I don’t know. I don’t know.

    KING: So you make no judgment on anyone?

    OSTEEN: No. But I…

    KING: What about atheists?

    OSTEEN: You know what, I’m going to let someone — I’m going to let god be the judge of who goes to heaven and hell. I just — again, I present the truth, and I say it every week. You know, I believe it’s a relationship with Jesus. But you know what? I’m not going to go around telling everybody else if they don’t want to believe that that’s going to be their choice. God’s got to look at your own heart. God’s got to look at your heart, and only god knows that.

    KING: You believe there’s a place called heaven?

    OSTEEN: I believe there is. Yes. You know, you’ve had a lot of the near-death experiences and things like that. Some of that is very, to me, not that you need that as proof, but it shows you these little kids seeing the angels and things like that.

    This fuzziness and lack of a clear sense of Scriptural teaching is underscored by James White, who draws attention to Osteen’s thoughts on Mormonism:

    WALLACE: And what about Mitt Romney? And I’ve got to ask you the question, because it is a question whether it should be or not in this campaign, is a Mormon a true Christian?

    OSTEEN: Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are.

    And so, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me, and I don’t think he would – anything would stop me from voting for him if that’s what I felt like.

    WALLACE: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?

    OSTEEN: I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know.

    I certainly can’t say that I agree with everything that I’ve heard about it, but from what I’ve heard from Mitt, when he says that Christ is his savior, to me that’s a common bond.

    But Joel, the Christ preached by Mormonism is a different Jesus! It’s a different gospel! That doesn’t bother you? As White points out, Joel’s comments are filled with “I think,” and “I feel,” and “I don’t know.”

    What does the Bible say? What does Jesus say? THAT’s a preacher’s calling.

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