Joel Osteen perhaps has the biggest church in America today, with more than 30,000 visitors according to an October 3, 2005 edition of US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT. His best selling books, televised messages and expanding popularity have caught the attention and worries from certain Evangelical Christian watch group of watering down the Christian gospel and even preaching another gospel altogether. With Joel Osteen’s word from a short interview that was from the same edition of US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, we will compare it straight and directly from the Word of God. May the Word of God be the final authority of Joel Osteen’s ministry.
II. JOEL OSTEEN’S WORD & GOD’S WORD
1.) “There’s so much negativity pulling people down that I think they respond when you say, ‘You know what: God’s not mad at you; he’s on your side, he’s got a good plan for your life, and when we obey what he wants us to do, we’re going to prosper.’
QUESTION: Is God mad at sinners?
GOD’S WORD: “The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished.” (Nahum 1:3a)
2.) “I’m not necessarily explaining deep, theological questions and doctrine and stuff like that.”
QUESTION: Should we teach doctrine?
GOD’S WORD: “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1Timothy 4:16)
3.) “People are used to [churches] condemning people to make them feel bad so that they’ll repent, so they’ll know that they’re sinners, but I think there’s a different approach.”
QUESTION: Is there a different approach besides repentance?
GOD’S WORD: Jesus said “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13: 5b)
QUESTION: Is there a different approach other than sorrow?
GOD’S WORD: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2Corinthians 7:10)
QUESTION: Is there a different approach other than the gospel message mentioned above?
GOD’S WORD: “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:8)
This article is by no means definitive in analyzing the ministry of Joel Osteen. At the minimum, Christians ought to be careful of the ministry of his ministry. His lack of clarity in his ministry approach in relationship to the Gospel blurs the very purpose of preaching itself. With another approach other than conviction and repentance that is at the heart of the gospel, one has to wonder if Joel Osteen is preaching another gospel where everybody is alright despite their sins and the message that God is on one’s side without warning of God’s impending judgment upon sinners. Let God’s Word be the final Judge.
“Joel Oosteen-False Preacher/Teachings” by Rev. Robert S. Liichow accessible at http://www.forgottenword.org/osteen.html
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