Some thoughts on Joel Osteen

Since he IS America’s most popular preacher and the pastor of the largest church in America, consistently on the bestsellers’ list, and is aired worldwide, I thought to write some thoughts and quote some articles that reveal who he really is and what he preaches. There’s too much for me to actually write but there are plenty of articles that can convince you that he is a false teacher.

From what I read about Joel Osteen (and his very own words have confirmed it), he is just a motivational speaker profiting from the large group of marginal, professing Christians – because he preaches the gospel of success and prosperity and what’s called the Word Faith movement. When you’ve got the largest mega-church in America – 30,000+ and counting – you’ve got to wonder what’s wrong with the picture? I’m not saying that God cannot or does not give success to churches who preach and teach the truth – I’m saying that what Jesus has to say is not very POPULAR so if it’s attracting people by the droves, you’ve got to wonder why.

So, I researched just a bit because I’m all for reading books by good authors and even listening to good speakers at times. My first exposure (and subsequent ) to him, my dh and I waited for more. He was all flashy and spoke quickly and motivationally, adding stuff that would appeal to those who liked upbeat, feel-good material. But there was NO meat. And although I didn’t hear anything outright unBiblical during that show, I did read material that would definitely be so.

One thing that he is known for is the fact that he will not preach about sin, does not even like to USE the word sin, does not want to bring out ANYTHING negative like hell and eternal judgment because there are plenty of others who do. He wants to preach the ‘good news’ and only the good news. I have to say that the gospel is only good news because the bad news is so bad. He also shied away from saying that Jesus is the only way when interviewed by Larry King or whoever it was. I’m sure you can google all this and read article after article. Just try googling Joel Osteen sin and you get a bunch of articles. Anyway, when asked, “Well what about Muslims and Hindus etc etc. Is Jesus the only way?” He hemmed and hawed and said several times, “I don’t know.” I don’t want to quote him out of context so I would say to read the entire interview. You will be surprised.

Quote

KING: But don’t you think if people don’t believe as you believe, they’re somehow condemned?
OSTEEN: You know, I think that happens in our society. But I try not to do that. I tell people all the time, preached a couple Sundays about it. I’m for everybody. You may not agree with me, but to me it’s not my job to try to straighten everybody out. The Gospel called the good news. My message is a message of hope, that’s God’s for you. You can live a good life no matter what’s happened to you. And so I don’t know. I know there is condemnation but I don’t feel that’s my place.

KING: How about issues that the church has feelings about? Abortion? Same-sex marriages?
OSTEEN: Yeah. You know what, Larry? I don’t go there. I just …
KING: You have thoughts, though.
OSTEEN: I have thoughts. I just, you know, I don’t think that a same-sex marriage is the way God intended it to be. I don’t think abortion is the best. I think there are other, you know, a better way to live your life. But I’m not going to condemn those people. I tell them all the time our church is open for everybody.

Sounds pretty flaky to me – especially when he claims that the gospel of Jesus is what he lives for.

Quote
Osteen gives the new vision of his ministry: “We’re all about building people up. We’re all about helping people reach their full potential. We don’t push some kind of religion.…all we push is joy and peace and victory through Jesus Christ. …Our message every single week – is through faith in God you can live an overcoming life of victory … I believe that’s the message this generation needs to hear. We’ve heard a lot about the judgment of God and what we can’t do and what’s going to keep us out of heaven. But it’s time people start hearing about the goodness of God, about a God that loves them. A God that believes in them. A God that wants to help them. That’s our message here at Lakewood.”

And just read how big this church is. It’s just something to make you go hmmm~~~

Quote
Forty year old Joel Osteen now has one of the largest church congregations in America.

Lakewood Church has grown from 8,000 to a current attendance of over 30,000 since 1999 when Joel’s father passed away and he took over. “I don’t want this to sound arrogant, but I believe one day we’re going to have 100,000 a weekend,” he told “Charisma” magazine in June 2004. He certainly has this planned out with a new super facility being expanded in downtown Houston. The church paid the city nearly $11.9 million up front to lease the property for 30 years. It cost $95 million to renovate the Compaq Center in Houston (606,050 square feet) that seated 16,000 to now seat 30,000.

Osteen believes he is breaking a new frontier with the sheer size of his church facility, that Lakewood will one day offer Saturday and Sunday sanctuary to 100,000 worshipers from the Houston area and worldwide.”

The new Church facility has- eight giant video screens, 12 elevators, three escalators, two waterfalls, 241 toilets and 65 urinals and parking for more than 7,000 vehicles. The church also added a five-story wing, featuring Lakewood’s television studio; classrooms for kindergarten through high school students; a chapel/auditorium for weddings, funerals and baptisms; and a cafe. Additional floors can be added as the church grows, Garrett said. (source- CHARISMA NOW – July 14, 2005 ed.)

http://www.letusreason.org/Popteac29.htm

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not necessary that a large church be a seeker-friendly, wishy-washy, unbiblical church. And maybe i’ll get flamed for the “seeker-friendly” comment.
The message he preaches is all about ‘claiming verses’ and having faith enough to prosper or have victory or both. In my opinion, he presents God as the cosmic genie condescending to humans as One who makes all their wishes come true. Too bad the Chinese Christians in Communist China or the persecuted church in Muslim countries and poverty-stricken believers in Africa haven’t heard this message. I guess they missed out on this faith…

Of course he says some things that counterfeit truth and encourage his listeners. But he preaches that God wants everyone to be successful, prosperous, healthy, wealthy and happy. He is big on ‘claiming’ verses in order to twist God’s arm with your magnificent faith in order to bring about what you want (written tongue in cheek).

Quote
“You’ve got to speak it out. Your words have creative power. One of the primary ways we release our faith is through our words. There is a divine connection between you declaring God’s favor and seeing God’s favor manifested in your life. And some of you are doing your best to please the Lord. You are living a holy consecrated life, but you’re not really experiencing God’s supernatural favor. And it’s simply because you’re not declaring it. You’ve got to give life to your faith by speaking it out.” (Audio clip from Bible Answer-Man Broadcast, April 26, 2004, ).

“Early in our marriage, Victoria and I were out walking through our neighborhood one day when we came upon a beautiful new home in the final stages of construction… Victoria was excited. She turned around, looked back at the home, and said, ‘Joel, one day we’re going to live in a beautiful home just like that!…’ Over the next several months, she kept speaking words of faith and victory, and she finally talked me into it. She convinced me that we could live in an elegant home like the one we saw. I got rid of my limited thinking and I started agreeing with her. I started believing that somehow, some way, God could bring it to pass. We kept on believing it, seeing it, and speaking it (Osteen, Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, Chapter One, ).

There’s more but there are plenty of articles out there that expose the dangerous message and gospel that Joel Osteen preaches. I think you should stay away from him in my opinion.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires. (2 Timothy 4:3, NASB)

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Dec 26, 2007 @ 00:06:00

    Julie, I’m so glad to be back on your blog again. Such great thoughts you have. Thanks for sharing them. Your observations of Joel Osteen are important and Christians must be filled with wisdom and discernment so we can all see heresy more quickly. I believe that we must also have a proper view of God because when we know better Who God is, then we know better who we are. And while God desires to pour His blessings out upon us, I don’t think that finding a great parking place or buying a fabulously elegant home is as important as giving to the poor, taking care of widows and orphans and serving those in need. The blessings from doing those biblical things far out-weight the temporal blessings of “good stuff”. The sad thing is that I’ve actually lost a friend over this very comment.

    Joel & Victoria’s ministry is shallow and immature. It lacks the true blessings that God desires for us. But, at least Joel makes that honest attempt at the end of his sermons (yes, I actually made it to the very end…once) where he hastily calls out to those-formerly-known-as-sinners with an abbreviated “sinner’s prayer”. At least he can probably sleep at night (tongue-in-cheek). However, what about his droves of followers? Do they have true peace? Do they have true hope? Do they know the true God? If they depend on Joel to give them these things, they’re looking in the wrong place.

    Love, Wendy

    Reply

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