Archive for October 30, 2007

The following story is from United By One of which I normally contribute to on the forums:

Joel Osteen definitely gets his message out. Business Week notes that he is arguably America ‘s most popular preacher. His Lakewood Church in Northeast Houston is America ‘s largest, attracting some 30,000 worshipers to its weekend services.

But far more Americans know Osteen through TV. Over the course of the average month, some 18 million individuals tune in for one of his sermons, making him the most-watched preacher on television. That kind of popularity will deliver both jealousy and scrutiny. He was on 60 Minutes television show over the weekend explaining his case. He was also promoting his new book ‘Become a Better You.’ It will be a best-seller. So why criticize a man that seemingly is doing so much good?

Many pastors believe he is only preaching half of the Gospel. He was asked this question by Business Week, “Some of your critics say that your so-called prosperity Gospel isn’t in keeping with the traditional Christian message, which has often been suspicious of material wealth. How do you respond?”

Osteen answers, “I believe that God’s dream is that we be successful in our careers, and that we be able to send our kids to college. I don’t mean that everyone is going to be rich, and I preach a lot on blooming where you’re planted. But I don’t have the mindset that money is a bad thing. [My views] may go against some of the older, traditional teachings. But I think we should have a mindset that God wants us to prosper in our relationships, our health, and our finances. God’s desire is that we excel. And we see business leaders who are good strong Christians running [big] companies.”

That will of course draw controversy. In the lead up to 60 Minutes, the CBS website has this: “I think it’s a cotton candy gospel,” says Rev. Michael Horton, a professor of theology at Westminister Seminary, California. “His core message is God is nice, you’re nice, be nice,” Horton says, laughing. “If it were a form of music, I think it would be easy listening. He uses the Bible like a fortune cookie. ‘This is what’s gonna happen for you. There’s gonna be a windfall in your life tomorrow.’ The Bible’s not meant to be read that way.”

Reverend Horton believes that Osteen tells only half the story of the Bible, focusing on the good news without talking about sin, suffering and redemption. And Rev. Horton goes even further. He levels the harshest charge of all, calling the Osteen method of teaching heresy.

“I don’t know what can be so dangerous about giving people hope,” Osteen says. “Causing people to have better relationships. I’m not leading them to some false God or something like that.”

“Sometimes you have to keep it simple and not make it so complicated that people don’t understand,” Osteen says. “But I know what I’m called to do is say ‘I want to help you learn how to forgive today. I want to help you to have the right thoughts today.’ Just simple things.”

He continues: “You know, you get people that want to criticize, ‘You’re not doing enough of this, enough of that.’ Well, we’re not perfect. But to have hundreds of people telling you ‘You changed my life. I haven’t been in church in 30 years.’ Or ‘You saved my marriage.’ Not me, but God, but they’re telling me, but you know what? You can’t help but leave every Sunday afternoon…,” Osteen says, getting emotional and tearing up. “You just feel very rewarded. You feel very humbled, you know?” Osteen says.

If you would like to see the interviews in full, see below

Joel Osteen 60 Minutes Interview Part 1 of 2

Joel Osteen 60 Minutes Interview Part 2 of 2

How sad is this? That the largest church in America is ran by a ‘pastor’ who does not preach the truth and the hope that he gives to people is a false hope that will unfortunately lead a countless amount of people to hell because as stated above he does not really talk about ‘sin, repentance, Christ crucified, judgment and wrath to come, hell, and salvation’ i.e. the very gospel which saves (Romans 1:16) which is the power of God unto salvation. A classic example of this is below where he totally hashes the real meaning of the gospel.

Please do not turn a blind eye to these false teachers because the devil is and will continue to have a field day in christendom if we do not speak against them. Yes, we must pray for them but at the same time we must sound the alarm because people are perishing as a result.