Joel Osteen

Joel Osteen
A couple of years ago Forbes reported on the Ten Largest Churches in America. The 25,000 member Lakewood Church in Houston topped the list. Soon to be finished renovations to the acquired Compaq Center (former home of the Houston Rockets) will host the ever-growing mega-church. Pastor Joel Osteen packs them in with his feel-good call to “Discover the Champion Within.” His book, “Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential,” hit the #1 slot on the New York times Best Seller list.

Well known evangelical leaders like Max Lucado and John Maxwell have endorsed his ministry, so even though I had no first hand knowledge of Osteen’s theology, I put him in the category of Rick Warren and Billy Graham – not as solid and straight shooting as John Piper and John MacArthor, but not as left-field as Joyce Myer and Jan Crouch. Perhaps I nodded approval too quickly.

Recently, The Crusty Curmudgeon criticized the Christianized self-help guru’s theology as being “a mile wide and a millimeter deep.” The Internet Monk, Michael Spencer, goes so far as to call the evangelical blogging community to “Out Osteen” for his denial of the faith once delivered to the saints. I decided to check him out for myself.

This morning I watched an internet broadcast of one of Osteen’s sermons, “Have the Courage to be Different.” Although he began his sermon with the congregation holding their Bibles in the air chanting allegiance to the written Word of God, he spent precious little time in its pages. He took his text from about 1/3 of a verse, Romans 12:2a, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.” (J. B. Phillips paraphrase) He later turned to the book of Daniel to make his main point, “If you do your part and swim against the stream, God will reward and bless you.”

The remainder of the skyscraper sermon (one story on top of another) served to illustrate his main point. Daniel purposed in his heart not to defile himself and therefor God rewarded him by moving him up the corporate ladder. (Daniel 1:8) His other illustrations included his physician brother not going along with a scheme to hide doctor error from a patient, a book-keeper refusing to cheat a client out of money, a girl choosing church over her boyfriend, and his dad asking some rowdy baseball fans to refrain from foul language. In every instance God rewarded the person for taking the high road. His brother eventually moved up to head surgeon and part owner of the hospital, the book-keeper influenced her boss to stop cheating other people, the girlfriend found a new love and the cussing fans changed their tune to shouts of “hallelujah” when their team scored the next run.

Between each story Osteen reinforced his point with metaphorical challenges to stand out in the crowd, swim upstream, and soar like eagles; as well as his favorite homespun aphorism of the day, “cream always rises to the top.” No Christ, no cross, no mention of man’s moral bankruptcy, just the feel-good positive message of assurance that God always rewards human effort and virtue. To close the service he turned to the camera with a quick 20 word sinners prayer with the assurance “if you just prayed that prayer you are now born again.”

I commend Osteen for calling his parishioners to a life void of dirty jokes, lying, cheating, premarital cohabitation, and foul language, but if we take the time to exegete the sermon’s key passage (Romans 12:2) we see that Osteen’s pep-rally falls woefully short of the Biblical doctrine the Apostle Paul gives his readers. Paul does indeed urge us not to be conformed to this world, or as J. B. Philips puts it “don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.” As Osteen rips the phrase from its context, he twists it beyond recognition.

While Christians should have “Courage To Be Different,” Osteen runs counter to Paul when he stresses the motivation for a life of sanctification to be man-centered self promotion, instead of self sacrificing Godward worship. The previous verse gives clear indication of what prompts a believer to resist worldly conformity. Paul says, “Therefore, I urge you brethren by the mercies of God.” (Romans 12:1) With these words the apostle links the coming challenge with the mercies of God previously delineated in chapters 1-11. These abounding undeserved mercies of God include, justification Romans 2:13, propitiation of sin Romans 3:25, forgiveness of our evil deeds Romans 4:7-8, reconciliation with God through the death of His Son Romans 5:10, freedom from the bondage of sin Romans 6:18, the right to be called heirs and the children of God Romans 8:14–17, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the gift of faith, and much much more. These rich mercies of God, not personal promotion, should compel us to offer our bodies a living sacrifice in fitting worship to our all deserving glorious God. Joel Osteen turns Paul’s admonition inside out and upside down when he changes the substance of our worship to God for undeserved mercies into a man-centered program to gain deserving reward.

If this one random sermon provided an indicative look into Joel Osteen’s typical sermon fair, I do not recommend his ministry and wonder why some evangelical leaders have done so. While he may not seem as extreme as the lunatic fringe of the health wealth and prosperity, name it and claim it, blab it and grab it crowd, the end effect may be more dangerous because of his wider appeal.

462 comments on “Joel Osteen

  1. “Skyscraper sermon”–love it! I must admit, I’ve heard my share of those.

  2. Great job on this one, Don.

    Coincidentally, Osteen will be providing fodder for my post today as well.

  3. Excellent work, sir. Much approval.

  4. Wow Don, that was a great job, insightfully and accurately written. Thank God for your clarity and wisdom. What a great assessment.

  5. I have no affiliation or association with Joel Osteen of any kind. I’m neither endorsing nor condemning his message or ministry.

    As an observation (having watched his program 2 or 3 times and reading in a periodical about his church outreach in the Houston area) his TV presentation is what we would all call Theology-Lite. In other words, it’s the McDonald’s fast food version of church.

    Before his ministry is outright condemned do we know that there are no other Bible studies, cell groups, Basics for Believers classes, and etc.. that meet at other times for the further training of his congregation?

    I guess my point is simply this. In a fast paced – media driven society he seems to provide a fast pace – media friendly message. Perhaps, I have no first hand knowledge of this, members of Lakewood Church get the deeper, slow paced, full course meal at other times.

    I think his public persona is one of non confrontational and non offensive. I’m sure his services are full blown Charismatic but one would never realize that watching his telecast. He doesn’t seem to make tongues nor manifestations his focus.
    Thus, attracting a larger audience.

    But if one attends church I’m sure the typical Charismatic elements are present as well as other times where the Bible is taught more in depth then just a 20 minute TV format.

    Whether we would agree with their “expanded” Bible teaching or not is another topic but I am sure there is more. His ministry has attracted more then just blue collar wanna-be’s.

  6. Tony Link on said:

    Pastor Marty, What theology? Good grief, if he can’t get around to Christ and His works in twenty minutes worth of time when does he ever! If the gospel was the goal and drive of his ministry then it wouldn’t be to hard to hear some good news. A minister of the Gospel doesn’t not tell his people about Christ and leave it up to small group leaders. The gospel clearly doesn’t burn in this guy’s bones. He would rather give them a “comfortable life” here than tell them the truth about their sinful condition and the wrath that awaits them. You can’t have good news unless you tell about the bad first. I say Ichabod on his so called ministry and call for him to repent and submit to the Whole counsel of God’s word!

  7. Jeri Massi on said:

    Pastor marty Braemer misses the crucial point that the preaching of the Word is God’s ordained means of proclaiming salvation in Christ. The pulpit is not to be used as a cheerful “front” to entice people by appealing to theior vanity and comfort zone so that unseen Bible studies can then move forward and teach the truth. A man’s ministry is, indeed, evaluated by what he teaches from a position of authority, and the way he lives after the model of Christ.

    If Osteen claims to be called to preach the Bible, then he is not excused from failing to preach the whole counsel of God. Glibness and superficiality are, indeed, sins when they are passed off as the doctrines of Christianity.

  8. This isn’t really preaching is it? It seems like there needs to be that comes from the Bible.

  9. Stephen Brittain on said:

    BLOGGER:

    I commend Osteen for calling his parishioners to a life void of dirty jokes, lying, cheating, premarital cohabitation, and foul language,…”

    STEPHEN:

    Mormons and JW’s could do this much.

    You’re right on in your analysis of this matter. Thanks for taking a stand.

  10. Should we be shocked by Osteen? Is not his ministry simply a further progression (or degression) of the media style of ministry that began in the late 70′s?

    Billy Graham stopped preaching repentance and urged men to “make a decision.” Billy Hybels introduced the concept of seeker sensitive services where people could explore God at their own pace. Songs about the cross and the blood were omitted as being offensive. Rick Warren took Hybelism to a new level of checking demographics and marketing techniques for each local area.

    Isn’t Osteen’s style simply the next logical step in the watering down process?

    I understand your position and I’m not in disagreement but I am amazed that you are disappointed with those who endorse and condone this. Why? They are all part of the same process.

  11. People are shocked and disappointed in Osteen because they love God’s Word and see that he is—however subtly and adroitly—perverting its message. You may as well wonder why real Christians are shocked and saddened by adulterous and child-molesting preachers who use the pulpit to gain their prey. Such perversions have gone on since the Church began, but each tragedy is still tragic, nonetheless. And people sensitive to the value that God has placed on that which bears His Image or proclaims His name in will always feel shocked and saddened.

  12. The G Man on said:

    aha, the FFF South. Stumbled on here today. As to Osteen, you’ll never hear him plunge the depths. He’s not a trained theologian. But Pastor Marty Braemer is right. None of you have a clue as to what *really* goes on at Lakewood Church until you go there and visit. I am told first-hand by people who have been there that what the camera doesn’t show-is a strong explanation and call for salvation each week, which ends up typically with dozens of people weeping in the altars receiving Christ as Savior. But wait, you guys don’t like altars either do you? Never mind. You won’t find much Calvinist Zap going on at Lakewood, no you wont.

    It’s true that Joel shoots with a wide pattern scattergun, but did you ever consider that could be his calling?

    I notice Don that you link to the Forum Darling Ronson’s assessment of Joel. I find it interesting that Ronson chides Osteen for “no repentance” when his own testimony does not include same. Lot of words, it is. Kind of like “this is my Bible.”

    Osteen may not be your cup of tea, but you grandstanders who want to deride his ministry-let’s take a look at your fruit.

    I am lovingly and forever, your G Man-Let me know if I can help.

    • Lorrie Crawford on said:

      It is interesting that one can attend a single meeting and thereafter think that he is qualified to assume full ability to provide the nation with an accurate account of the leader’s qualifications, ministerial calling, and his overall position relevant to his service in God. (Heaven forbid that the Lord of would approve of such unmitigated, immoral, unholy, counterfeit; biased and judgemental, “religous” information!) Come on; can we not for a moment be real? By the way, for this type of ignorance, repentance equally serves us all. (Let us therefore “Search the Scriptures; for in them you THINK you have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me,” says the Lord Jesus) – - John 5:39

  13. G-Man,

    I think you meant “plumb the depths”.

    And if you lift that first paragraph of yours and take it back through time about 30 years, you’d find it identical to what people were saying about Jack Hyles, especially the weeping at the altar part. The strong fundamentalist identification of tears with conversion still holds true, and it is still an extremely unreliable test of faith (but a great test for emotional ferver). To preach Christ, a man must, quite simply, preach Christ, and carry on his shoulders the reproach of Christ. Whoever tries to dodge that reproach is actually dodging the whole counsel of God. All of the guarantees in the world cannot undo error in preaching or the ommission of Scriptural truth from the proclamation of the Good News.

    Jeri

  14. Jason on said:

    I’ve read a couple of negative reports of Joel Osteen. I keep hearing the complaint that he doesn’t deliver Jesus. He avoids the gospel. He isn’t real.

    Read his first sermon on the Lakewood site. It’s the Easter Sermon. If you can read this sermon and show me where he leaves Jesus out or fails to acknowledge the gospel, I will bow to your opinion of this man.

    This thought keeps coming through my mind. Who are we to judge this man? Isn’t it God’s place to do this?

    Jesus is salvation, Jesus is our gate into heaven, to reside in the presence of God. Joel Osteen doesn’t leave this out. It truely bothers me when some poor, insecure people have to condemn a fellow man just because he doesn’t fit their mold. I do not see Joel preaching anything that would lead people away from Christ, so admit that you don’t know it all.

    God loves all of us. Didn’t Jesus say to love one another as I have loved you?

    By the way, I’m not affiliated with Lakewoor or Joel Osteen. I’m just one of your Christian brothers living in North Dakota. Please stop the hate.

  15. Jason,

    Hate? I never expressed any hate toward Osteen. I do not hate him. I do not even know him other than the few reviews I’ve read, an interview, and the sermon I watched. He seems like a very likable person. I only provided a critique of his one sermon. I did not say he wasn’t real. I did not accuse him of never mentioning Jesus ever in his life. I only pointed out his faulty exegesis of Romans 12:2, the passage on which he reportedly based his sermon. I even commended him for getting it half right. I think Christians ought to have “the courage to be different,” as he called his hearers to do, but when Osteen preaches self-effort as meritorious work that garners God’s favor he turns the gospel of grace on its head. Paul taught that God is merciful toward us, then He works through us to accomplish His will. Paul did not say that we clean ourselves up so that God can then come in and bless us for our good lives. Osteens message leaves us winning our own approval with God with no need of Christ.

    His message completely contradicted the gospel. He preached that if you simply “dare to be different, God will richly bless you. The Bible teaches that even with all our self effort and daring, we are hopelessly lost apart from Christ.

    Many have criticized him for being shallow and simple. I do not fault him for that. I think there is a place for being very elementary, straightforward and simple. That’s good. But if you have the message wrong simplicity doesn’t correct that. For example I could go into a first grade math class and in very simple terms teach them math. If I said, “OK boys and girls, if I had seven apples and I give you four apples, then I now would have five apples.” My message would be simple, but the simplicity of the explanation wouldn’t be the problem. Seven minus four equals three, not five.

    God’s blessings are not dependent on our human effort or our ability to stand out in the crowd. God’s blessings flow from his mercy and grace. Our standing before God does not depend on what we can do, but on what Christ has done. I do not think I am being nit picky. This is the fundamental core of Christianity and Osteen teaches contrary to it.

    I will be glad to read his Easter sermon, as you suggested. Look for my review some time in the future.

    • James on said:

      If not being a Calvinist makes Joel Osteen a false preacher, then he MUST be good. Calvinism and its 5 points are not Biblical and so he at least has that much going for him! John wrote, “whatsoever we ask”, we receive “because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” So, according to John our actions DO have something to do with God’s blessing us in answering our prayers.

  16. Jason,

    I am one who has been contributing to the Internet Monk site about Joel Osteen and I also came across the sermon you mention.

    There is no doubt in my mind that in that particular sermon, Joel did his best to keep everything right. But it was his first sermon there, and that was in 1999 I think.

    The point is that since then the Lakewood church has exploded in growth, and this has happened at the same time as his Gospel preaching has diminished.

    My take on the situation is that he has decided to go with what works and what gives him the most popularity – which is to preach works on not Grace; to preach acceptance rather than repentance; to preach to serve men rather than to preach to serve God.

  17. The G Man on said:

    thank you for the correction Jeri I’m *sure* it was well intentioned and coming from a professional writer such as yourself well-received. But no, I meant “plunge” the depths. It’s possibly colloquialistic, and just because you’ve never heard of it doesn’t negate it. If you want to play usage police, I’ll be happy to take a crack at your blog which at times speaks ill of your skills.

    But no, I suspect that your input here is simply because a point may have stung. Does *everything* have to get back to Hyles with you Jeri? Hyles was bad, ok…his people were bad. He was the pits. But when will you stop seeing the world in terms of it’s relationship to Hammond? It’s a pretty sad existence Jerri.

    You usually employ fairly sound reasoning skills, yet when your JACKO light goes off, you lose all context and along with your composure. I’m not sure you were interested in hearing what I said, but the thrust of what I said is that the sum total of what goes on at Lakewood , as Pastor Marty pointed out-is not scene with the camera’s eye.

    There’s some mighty good things happening there. But there again, a PCA Calvinist wouldn’t call sinners repenting in the altar good. Last I heard, they wouldn’t recognize the altar at all, and any sort of call there would be Arminian and Semi-Pelagian. So once again, if we are on the same planet- we are poles apart.

    G

  18. I love it when people play the “don’t judge” card as if Christians are just supposed to tolerate twisted theology. Sometimes the most loving thing we can do for our brother is to condemn error. Christ’s work should NEVER be clouded because of our focus on our own deeds.
    Thanks for the post, I appreciate the wake up call to this man’s teaching.

  19. I’ve written on Osteen as well. Here.

  20. The G Man on said:

    Don, I’m not a *huge* Osteen fan, but I really believe that you completely mischaracterize him based on a limited review. Yes, it is “theology lite” and Joel will never impress a Calvinist. Joel probably would have a great big question mark in the middle of his face if you asked him about Five Points. But I’ve watched him for awhile, and I never have seen him as you say

    ” This is the fundamental core of Christianity and Osteen teaches contrary to it.”

    “No Christ, no cross, no mention of man’s moral bankruptcy, just the feel-good positive message of assurance that God always rewards human effort and virtue.”

    Some very serious charges based on a couple of sermons listened to over the internet Don. I really think you’re much fairer than that. Osteen isn’t my cup of tea, though I do enjoy him. I couldn’t go to his church because I’m not into the mega church. But I honestly think if you looked into Joel and the overall thrust of Lakewood, you’d see a very different brother in the Vineyard doing the work, not the “dangerous heretic” that you and the FFF Calvinists are painting.

    Of course I also understand the “Blog” thing and it’s fun to pontifficate and have a few people read you. I guess I’m just surprised because it doesn’t sound like you…or does it? Maybe I’m wrong.

    G

  21. G-man,

    I thought I offered a balance review. I readily admitted that I did not know Joel Osteen other than a couple of blog entries I read. Instead of taking someone else’s word on him, I decided to check him out for myself. I only watched to one sermon and critiqued the content of that one sermon. I noted the points I agreed with him and commended him for calling folks to a life void of dirty jokes, lying, cheating, premarital cohabitation, and foul language.” Christians ought to be different from the world. I have no problem with him saying that and in fact agree with him. He missed it, however, when he presented this clean living as a means to gain God’s approval. Sinn tainted human beings can not achieve merit in the eyes of God through their own self effort. We must totally rely on the work of Christ, not our own work, if we expect to be a sweet smelling sacrifice to God. Our righteousness wreaks as filthy rags. Osteen said, “Cream rises to the top.” So does dross. Without the imputed righteousness of Christ our lives carry nothing but the stench of sour milk.

    My words may sound like “very serious charges,” as you say, but they only carry the weight of seriousness because of the subject matter itself. How does a man find favor with God? Osteen says, “swim upstream and God will bless you.” I believe that stream leads to everlasting death. As I said, I do not fault Osteen for being simple. I have a simple message too. Our only hope rests in Christ. When someone preaches that a man finds favor in the sight of God apart from Christ, he preaches a false gospel. I am not mad at Osteen. I do not hate Osteen. I harbor no animosity toward Osteen. I am simply pointing out the dead serious error in this one sermon I heard him preach. If it will make you feel better, I’ll listen to another and offer a review of that one as well. I do not want to be accused of being unfair..

  22. Tom Tierney on said:

    Wow…there are some people on here who are really jealous of the success of Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church. What do you know about either….other than your own assumptions. Here are facts….Joel Osteen has brought more people to God…or back to God…..than can ever be accurately counted….present company included. So what if he uses the message of hope! What people need is HOPE, because without it then life is nothing more than another 24 hours that we need to get through some how and some way. Those who say there is no mention of Jesus in his sermon or during the service, obsiously have never attended a Lakewood service. All you have to do is attend one sometime…just one…in person…Lakewood service and you will see people from all walks of life who are receiving the message….and those are only the ones there in the church and don’t account for those around the world watching on TV….nor does it count for the capacity crowds who flock to the arenas around the country to listen to this man preach. So what if he isn’t a bible college graduate. Did you ever stop and think….he was raised by one of the best preachers out there…..his late father, John Osteen. There are fathers all over the world who hand down their trade, their work, to their children. So what makes it any more impressive that he receive his training from an theology college somewhere as opposed to years and years of training and study under his father. Is Joel a marketing genius….absolutely…no argument there. However, did you ever stop and think his ability just might be a God given blessing to minister this way? Where is it written that ministers have to follow a certain path…or only minister a certain way. I know it helped me at one of the worst times in my life….when before that you couldn’t even get me near a church. Lighten up on the Joel bashing and let people decide for themselves. With all due respect, who died and made you judge and jury….it certainly wasn’t Jesus Christ..the same Jesus Christ you claim Joel never speaks of. Don’t condemn something or someone you probably know very little about. We certainly don’t need you to save us….thanks anyway.

  23. G Man,

    People correct my writing all the time, but I don’t sulk about it. However, I do re-write. “Good things happening” is no justification for a false Gospel. It’s really as simple as that. And sure, “good things happening” was the justification used for Jack Hyles, a name that you know that I can use as common ground. But “good things happening” was also used to validate Finney’s bad theology; the Millerites could point to “good things happening,” and if you want to broaden the view, Utah is now reported to be the state with the lowest incidence of drug abuse and alcoholism, so the Mormons can also claim “good things happening.” But none of that is to be used as grounds to allow a prosperity gospel. We are called to take up the cross and follow our Saviour. A ministry must be measured by the rule of Scripture, and not by the veneer of prosperity that it wears.

  24. Tony Link on said:

    OK, I have to ask, what is FFF supposed to mean? Also, I find it so funny that many think that we are unfair to judge ol’Joel because we’ve never been to one of his services; why would what you get on TV be any different than what you get in person? Does he want to keep the gospel a secret from his TV audience? Does he only want his live audience to be saved? Funny, out of all the things to edit out for their TV show, they edit out the Gospel!

  25. sheila peterson on said:

    i love joel & victoria osteen and follow his doctrine as much as humanly possible. he is my favorite minister ever and is the minister for me. i have seen so much of God’s unprecedented favor since i started following his teachings. the fire and brimstone stuff is a turnoff for me. if we spend all our time doing the positive things osteen speaks of (living more GOD like) that bad stuff wont touch you. LONG LIVE JOEL & VICTORIA!!!!

  26. sheila peterson on said:

    i dont have to be threatened with hell and damnation to try to do the right thing. we are primarily good not primarily bad. osteen tells us to be more God like. Read your bible-it is not that hard. too much judging in these comments so i suppose the judges are not good christians…..OSTEEN stirs the Lord in my heart. i praise God with osteen’s show as often as i can. the hour show on daystar is my favorite. he has a season pass on my tivo so i watch several times a week. i have my own personal relationship with God and I hope all of you do too. God bless you all!

  27. Is Joel Osteen trying to actually preach the gospel on TV or is he offering “Christian Programing” to Christians? By that I mean, much has been made of his lack of gospel presentation on his program. Maybe that’s not what he’s trying to do.

    Maybe he sees his program as simply reminding Christians that God isn’t always mad us, out to get us, and isn’t always waiting to nail us for violating a minor point of the law,

    Because of this debate I watched two more programs, bought his book, and watched a video of his Easter Service. That service was powerful.

    What are you Calvie’s so worked up about. If he did give a gospel presentation you would shred it as shallow anyway and in not giving one the “chosen elect” watching will get saved anyway, sometime – somewhere, right????

    I said before and I’ll say it again. It’s theology lite. It’s a fast food version of church and sit down order from the menu 7 dish meal.

    It may shock Jeri to find out that Joel maybe connecting with the very people who were hurt and turned off by the whole IFB – stuck up Calvie-Presby churches she blogs about.

    Again, his messages are like an appetizer. They’re not a meal. That’s the format of the program. Want a full meal? Go to church….

  28. Tony Link on said:

    The question is, Pastor Marty, does Joel think of his ministry as an appetizer? Maybe Joel thinks, and what pastor wouldn’t, he’s giving them a full # course meal. Also, you mention “christian programming” as some kind of “spiritual salve” for legalism; the right preaching of the gospel brings that relief from law but you’ve got to have the bad news pounded into us because we believe we are actually pretty good. We need to hear the threat of God’s wrath otherwise all of Joel’s so called good news, is meaningless. And then, with our dire predicament, why does he feel like he has the luxury of giving us “theology lite” or “fastfood church” as you call it; I don’t think he believes he is giving us that and would probably be insulted at your evaluation. I would hope it(your evaluation) would make him weep and repent and start giving everbody a God centered gospel.
    ps, what is IFB?

  29. The G Man on said:

    Pastor Marty Braemer gets it. It’s the format of Psalm 1-Blessed Is The Man…was David abandoning the Gospel?. Osteen is quite obviously talking to a largely Christian audience, and at the end he clearly gives the message of salvation, and I am told in his church each Sunday there is a clarion call to salvation with many responding. Jeri says that is fake and akin to Hyles. Ok.

  30. Tony Link on said:

    G-Man, No David wasn’t abandoning the gospel, of course not, look at verse 4 and on. It’s about wrath and judgement on the wicked. Correct me if I’m wrong but does Joel ever warn of wrath or judgement for the wicked? Incidently, what’s your beef with Jeri, seems like every entry you have to make a jab at her/him whoever this person is?

  31. Martin Craven on said:

    Don, I appreciated your article very much. I believe that this man’s messages are firmly rooted in Word-Faith heresy, the primary of which is that we are gods according to Psalm 82, meaning that we are equal with Christ as Copeland and others preach. Although I think Joel avoids any public profession of this false doctrine. He does however center of the “faith-filled” words doctrine of the Word-Faith movement arguing that your “words have creative power” and can “call things into existence.” In other words, Osteen preaches that faith is a “force” which you can tap into and manipulate for personal gain. The funadamental doctrine of the “name it and claim it” heresy. This would indicate to me that on some leve he does accept the first heresy; that we are equal to God.

    It is his subtlety and charm that make him so dangerous. Upon closer examination of his doctrinal and theological beliefs, which frankly is very difficult to do since he really does not articulate any clear doctrinal perpspectives, it becomes clear that he may be another fulfillment of 2 Timothy 4:3 but of a most dangerous kind given his overwhelming popularity. It seems that the masses are gathering unto themselves teachers that will say what their itching ears want to hear.

  32. That’d be a “her,” Tony. (or “she,” to use the nominative case, which is correct in this sentence). Let the pettiness of preachers speak for itself.

    The entire Bible is not Psalm One, nor is Psalm One excluding judgement on the wicked (as you noted). Osteen’s ministry is yet another television-event type ministry that makes people feel good without addressing the very real presence of evil, sin, and judgement from God. Nor does it address the necessity and purpose of suffering.

    It is, indeed, God’s will that we suffer, and Christ has proclaimed that each of us must take up a cross and follow Him. We learn Christ by having Christ be our sufficiency, and the abundance we enjoy is the abundance of joy in Christ, not the abundance of earthly prosperity. Uriah the Hittite and Naboth were men as faithful (or more faithful) to God as King David. But they suffered very different ends from his. Yet they were not cursed by God or abandoned by God. But they did, indeed, suffer unjustly, all the way to death. And they are just as true and real as King David or Joseph, or any other. Let’s remember that the most memorable and hopeful of the prophets, Isaiah, was put into a tree trunk sawn in half. The godly suffer; they are forgotten, they are trampled underfoot by men. God remembers them, and God knows their name. But in this life, He has appointed suffering to His own to make His righteousness revealed. We are His servants; He is not our servant. We wait upon Him; He does not wait upon us. Osteen leaves out these vital truths.

  33. >>It may shock Jeri to find out that Joel maybe connecting with the very people who were hurt and turned off by the whole IFB – stuck up Calvie-Presby churches she blogs about.<<

    Diverting people from one error by means of another error is never a satisfacotry solution. The allegiance of the Christian is to the whole counsel of God. Many IFBx preachers teach shameful legalism, men’s traditions, and superstition, and they engage in covering up the worst and most perverted sins ever committed under the sun. The solution is not therefore to preach prosperity and a breezy, “I was meant to be happy in this world’s system” theology that holds out a guarantee of making peace with this world rather than confronting it with the eternal truths of God’s Word.

    The answer, as always, is faithfulness to God’s Word and confidence in God. Our abundance is not of this world. And our kingdom is not of this world. All kinds of errors have been generated to sidestep these truths, and one error does not remedy another.It’s the truth itself, the whole counsel of God, that frees us from the iron manacles of IFBx as well as the golden chains of prosperity religion. The key is to be unchained from the world, the flesh, and the devil.

    Jeri

  34. Any devil can connect with anybody who has been hurt. The ability to connect with others is not the mark of God’s power. It can simply indicate a shrewd insight into human need and human weakness. The Lord Jesus alienated almost an entire religious ruling class, and they hated Him so much that they killed Him.

    The power to convert the dead to life and persuade sinners to repent of sin is the indicator of God’s power. The power to love is the sign of having been converted. Poverty of Spirit, the trait of begging at the feet of God, is the trait of those who possess the kingdom of Heaven. Mournfulness is the characteristic of the people first in line to be comforted by God. The people who inherit the earth are the people too meek to lay claim to it. The people God welcomes as His righteous saints are the people who are repulsed by their own sin and must have God’s righteousness or they will die of longing for it. The people God blesses are those who suffer and yet forgive. The people who will see the face of God are not the wealthy or the famous or the important, but the people who thinknothing whatsoever of themselves and fly to God for cleansing of sin. The people that the angels acknowledge as the sons of God are the people who effect reconciliation, and the people who suffer for the truth are the first citizens of heaven.

    The way of God is NOT the way of man. The people of highest rank in His kingdom have no rank here. Success and prosperity on earth have nothing to do with having obtained the friendship of God.

  35. Judy on said:

    I was brought up in a conservative Southern Baptist Church and all I remember from all of my pastors was “shame and blame” sermons. I received Christ as Savior when I was 11, but it wasn’t until I was 50 years old that I came to understand my Savior as a God that loves me and wants the best for me in my life. We condemn ourselves to live under condemnation when we don’t have to! I’m personally so grateful to hear sermons that are about “grace and mercy”. I think we could all use a little more of that in our lives. Some of you sound like you’re jealous of Joel Osteen’s success as pastor of Lakewood. Surely Lakewood has been blessed by the Lord. I have no personal knowledge of the services there, but who cares? Who is to say that YOU are right and HE is wrong? Pastors like some of you are the reason people don’t want to come to Christ as Savior. He, alone, is accountable to the Lord for his preaching.

  36. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Judy, I do not understand why you object to what I’ve said here. You say you would rather hear about “grace and mercy.” So would I! In the sermon I listened to, Joel Osteen replaced God’s grace and mercy with human effort. He said that if we try hard enough and clean ourselves up enough we can obtain god’s favor. I do not believe we can ever do that. The Bible teaches that we must instead fall on the mercy and grace of God. We can never be good enough. We stand hopeless without Christ. The good news of the gospel shouts loud the message of mercy and grace.

    You ask, “Who is to say that YOU are right and HE is wrong?” I do not want you to choose between me and him. I want you to compare what Joel Osteen said to what the Apostle Paul said. My opinion doesn’t matter much, but the scripture does. Read my review again. Joel Osteen took one part of a verse, removed it from its context, and forced it to mean something very different than the scripture said. Romans 12 does not laud human effort. It doesn’t hold out temporal rewards as appropriate motivation for right living. On the contrary, Paul points to the rich mercy of God as a reason for our self-sacrificing worship.

  37. AMEN! brother Don!

  38. Judy, I believe that God wants the best for us. But again, what God decides is best is not what man thinks is best. Jeremiah saw the holiness and rightness of God and spent his life rejected by his own people, cast out, imprisoned, confined to a deep and dark hoel; and even when he was freed, he saw only the poverty and gutted city that had rejected the counsels God had given through him. Isaiah, as I mentioned, was put into a tree trunk and sawn in half. Paul himself ended his life in prison and was beheaded. Peter was crucified upside down.

    The joy, peace, and triumph that we have in Christ are by faith in Him, not by the elements of the prosperity of this world. What astounds the unbeliever and whispers grace to the lost is not that we have an abundance of goods or prestige or influence, but, having none of these things, we still have abundance.

    A prosperity gospel ultimtely turns pepole from Christ because it points ot a false Christ and a false way. The Lord has specifically told us that we are not better than He is, that we are called by Him to suffer, and that our fellowship with Him and with each otehr is in the reproach of the Cross.

    Jeri

  39. Someone gave me a copy of his book…I read about a third of the way through and put it down. It is chapter after chapter of redundancy about thinking and being positive. I looked at the footnotes to see how he used Scripture and most of his text choices are eisegetically picked (i.e. made to fit what he was trying to say), most of which are used out of context. One in particular was his choice of Psalm 8:5, where he said that the word honor could be translated as favor. Well, I pulled out my BDB lexicon and that passage has nothing to do with God wanting to make our lives easier. I wonder how many people have referenced back to the footnotes and examined his statements in light of the Scriptures like the Bereans did with Paul in Acts 17:11.

    For those who say that Joel is a great preacher, I beg to differ, he might be a great motivational speaker, but a preacher he is not. If I sat down with Joel and wanted to discuss sanctification, or the difference between God’s permissive and perfect will, or maybe even the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture, would he be able to do it? After all, he has no formal training, with the exception of his television and marketing training at ORU.

    Maybe it is because he doesn’t preach anything convicting that would cause people to really and truly repent. Everything is feel good fluff. Telling somebody to not be negative is not enough to help them be more Christ-like. And yes, I have read and heard his sermons, and watched him on TV. I am so not impressed. I commend him for his effort, but beyond that I am skeptical.

  40. houston tx on said:

    In a recent bulletin Lakewood used John 3:16 to say that because God gave His Son we should give our money to the church. I am not a pastor, but I am positive that passage has nothing to do with giving money to the church. Whatever any of us thinks of Osteen the fact is he is not preaching the truths of the Bible. He is preaching twisted Scripture.

  41. Joel P. on said:

    Amazing stuff!! I am more and more amazed at how we have the living Word of God which is full of warnings against such preachers (see Timothy, Titus and Jude) and yet we have seemingly thrown our discernment to the wind. Our own Lord said in Matt. 7 that these men would come as wolves in sheep’s clothing. And did he say to accept all who hold-up a Bible and smile with laser whitened teeth? No he warned us to “watch out!”. I believe the reason why this ministry has thrived is because we live in a time where sin, poor choices, rebellion, etc. have so filled our lives with the cancer of consequences that we must recreate a god who acts as a cosmic wish granter. Joel O. as tapped into this god and marketed him to the masses. He sells a Jesus who bows to our needs and greeds. A remote control Jesus we tell what to do and when. So I ask–where is the suffering, where is the cost, where is the passion, where is the contrition, where is the true gospel? It’s tragically nowhere to be found in the Oasis of Luv. Let’s go back to testing all things and stop with our addiction to feeling the chill of pop worship songs and 30 minutes of Tony Robbins behind a slick pulpit.
    P.S. Jesus took a flogging and was stapled to the Cross for a reason. And I can speak that I am mostly good ’til the cows come home but I am still utterly lost without Christ.

  42. Traci on said:

    I have been reading many opinions about Joel Osteen lately and I can honestly say I can’t draw a conclusion one way or the other until I attend his church in person. My comment is concerning the tone of these and other postings: We christians have spent too much of our precious time pointing the finger at each other. This type of rhetoric is exactly the reason I left the church for so long and why others find it so unappealling: the world sees little of Christ in our behaviour. Go find something more productive to do like working at a food bank or a sick children’s clinic. God bless.

  43. April on said:

    I for one greatly enjoy Joel Osteen’s sermons. I was turned off to religion and the church for years because of the depressing and discouraging way I’d heard the message delivered. I was turned off to Christianity because while the Christians that I knew would preach ‘Judge not lest ye be judge’ – they were the first to condemn to hell those who were not like themselves. I love Joel’s positive message. His words have made me feel closer to God and to others. He shares my opinion that spirituality should be about love and joy and kindness and doing great things OUT OF LOVE and NOT FEAR. Fear is NOT part of God – it comes from the enemy. God is LOVE. And fear has no part in love. FEAR IS ABOUT CONTROL. It takes away free will, paralyzes and ultimately separates people… from one another and from God.

  44. Tony on said:

    This is an interesting discussion but as someone who as actually been to lakewood, here’s how it really is. I’ve seen thousands of people each year go down for the alter call and accept Jesus and repent of their sins. I see many many people show up there for church that would be ostracized by the likes of this don character and churches like he belongs to. Lakewood truly reaches out to down trodden. People that are not welcomed at other churches. We don’t care what they’ve done, what they look like, what they wear, or how they smell. Thats the kind of people we want. After they are saved they do attend a 10 week class for new Christians. We don’t beat them up, we love them. We are taught that God loves us no matter what. If any of you really want to know what the doctrine is, why don’t you come to lakewood and take the new beginner classes?

  45. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Lakewood Tony,

    What have I said to give the impression that I or my church ostracize people? I listened to one of Joel Osteen’s sermons and offered a cratique. The message he preached contradicted the scripture passage he quoted. We do not find favor in the sight of God based on our own human effort. I said I’m glad Osteen calls people to clean living, however that clean living can never reach the standard of perfection God demands. We must instead trust on the mercy and grace of God that flows through Christ. I do not understand how people can call me ungracious for trumpeting the Biblical message of grace over against Osteens religion of works.

  46. I’m late to the party, but in reading through the comments, one thing disturbed me.

    “i dont have to be threatened with hell and damnation to try to do the right thing. we are primarily good not primarily bad. osteen tells us to be more God like. Read your bible …”

    IF you actually READ the Bible, it says that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked …” and “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” We’re NOT primarilly good, and the Bible is clear on that. When Osteen teaches that we are, he’s condemning people to rely on themselves and not on God.

  47. Wes Hancock on said:

    I have lived the Joel Osteen’s message long before I ever heard his message. I am convinced Joel’s message is true message of Jesus. I have always believed that GOD did not want his people to suffer hear on Earth and that is the very reason he sent Christ to deliever us true believers.
    Wes Hancock

  48. Michela Lynn on said:

    You can argue doctrine, but you can’t argue changed lives. The ministry of Joel Osteen is changing lives all over the world by not only leading thousands to salvation, but inspiring everyday people to live better lives and be all that they can be through Christ. It may be a “simple” message, but it is far from being “theologically shallow”. Michael Spencer, “Pastor” Don Elbourne, and anyone that chooses to broadcast such negative press against an anointed ministry tool should take a moment to examine their own hearts and works first. Too bad that he and others are wasting valuable time tearing down a GREAT man of God, instead they should host sites that will inspire others and apply all of that alleged biblical knowledge in a positive way. Maybe that is a theological lesson that they should look into.

    Evil will always rise to attack where lives are being changed. Joel is being used by God to do just that, CHANGE LIVES!! He is a humble and willing vessel that is doing great things and the heart of his ministry is shining through and continues to attract, uplift and bless millions. That is a fact that is not debatable!

  49. Anonymous on said:

    cant we all just get along !!!!!!!!!!!! i think we need less internet and more prayer time.

  50. Dan Wills on said:

    Joel Osteen’s ministry has touched my life in a very positive way. If the “nay” sayers truely believed, they would question themselves why they feel a need to judge him. Mathew 7 Verse 1. “Do not judge or you too will be judged.” I doubt I will ever hear Joel Osteen say anything negative about those who try to condem his ministry. I will ask you to look into yourself and ask the question, Why do I feel the need to judge a ministry that is based on bible teaching, that has found a way to to reach millions of people with a positive message of hope, and has found a way to integrate the teachings of the bible into this day and age. Sounds to me like he has found an excellent way to serve the Lord. Judging is for God to do, trust in him. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to your post. Dan Wills

  51. Sadly, there is a satire at The Sacred Sandwich that all too closely mirrors some of the comments on this thread.

    Go to http://www.sacredsandwich.com/bohemianletters.htm and read. Maybe Osteen is a great preacher, and a great Man O’God. But the sermon that Don critiqued (and that’s ALL HE DID, PEOPLE!!!!) doesn’t show it — and many of Osteen’s public comments reflect a very unBiblical attitude toward the inate sinful nature of mankind. And read the satire, seriously — and think about what our attitudes toward criticism say about our spiritual maturity.

    I’m sure Osteen is big enough to take some criticism — maybe he’ll even think “They’re right. I need to change the way I’m presenting things, so that what I believe is clear.” That’s all I hope for.

    Doctrine matters. Changed lives do, too. I want changed lives for the right reasons — because those people are genuine believers.

  52. Andrew on said:

    I’m amazed at the amount of people who have a problem with Osteen’s message and church. I visited from Virginia last week at Osteen’s church. The service and message was nothing BUT biblical and I am a very critical thinker. Why people say he doesn’t mention Jesus is beyond me. The entire service and message was all about Jesus and accepting Him and believing in Him and living for Him and not this world. A lot of the people who have a problem with Osteen need to look at themselves first and take the plank out of their own eye instead of the speck out of Osteen’s eye.

  53. Michael Rome on said:

    God is love, April, but you missed the boat here! God is also a jealous God and most of all: Prov. 14: 26 and 27 “the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, our refuge, a fountain of life and to aviod the snares of death ( one snare being “God is only a God of love theology, beware! ). Prov. 9:10 “the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom.

  54. Paul Cote on said:

    I am just finishing up Joel’s book and I like its message. The word Favor might be bothersome to some but for me its the Grace of God. I don’t think a person can get enough of it. Although I don’t think people should put the cart before the horse, it is evident throughout the Bible especially with the Jews that God blesses righteousness. I am very thankful for a ‘feel good’ spirituality because I know if a person feels good he will act good.

  55. Cornelius Moore on said:

    There are some very interesting comments posted on the pastor’s critique of Joel Osteen’s sermon. So I will put my two cents in as well. A serious student of the Bible understand that to properly interperet a passage he or she must ask not just what it says, but what the passage means. In addtion, must of the sermons you hear today are an Americanized version of the Gospel. Try telling a starving believer in Africa to just be positive and everything will work out or a persecuted believer in a Muslim country to “discover the champion in you”. You find that most Christians will not except correction when they have been taught error. Numbers don’t mean success, if it does then the Muslims must be right. They are the largest religion in the world. We are not to measure success by the world’s standards. We spend too much time trying to make people Christians, when Jesus commanded us to make disciples. There is a big difference. Too many people go to church to feel good or they listen to certain preachers because they make them feel good. I don’t go to church to feel good. I go to hear the whole council of God and to fellowship with other believers. Truth does not always make you feel good. The apostle Paul describes the Word of God as a two edged sword. It can cut you deep! Anything that cuts that deep can hurt, but it is for our good. We must become discerning believers. The way to do that is to stay before God in prayer and stay in his word. When false prophets and false teaching appear we will know and stay away from them. I don’t know what is in Joel Olsteen’s heart or what are his intentions, all I know is one day I will stand before God and give an account for my life and I will not be able to use Joel Osteen or anyone as an excuse. Ultimately I will be held accountable for my life.

  56. Liz H. on said:

    I am a former church brat turned agnostic borderline-atheist mega church basher. After nine years of refusing to fully accept God, I gave in to the hype and decided to attend a Lakewood Church service– a service at which the Holy Spirit called me to Salvation.

    About the false teachings of Joel and the church… I guess I can only account for what I’ve been taught… Let me know if what I’ve learned is wrong because boy, they had me fooled… During my time at Lakewood I’ve learned that I deserve death and hell for what I have done. I’ve discovered that no matter how good a person I tried to be or thought I was, it was all in complete vain without God’s Grace & Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. It was Jesus’ love for me that made him shed his precious blood on the Cross. He chose to suffer because he thought I was worth it regardless of the terrible sins that I had committed. (I’d never had anyone give me such worth!) He demonstrated that he was willing to endure such pain and humiliation because he saw the wonderful reward that awaited thereafter. Therefore, because I lay my burdens on him, and his blood erased my sin by the ever merciful Grace of All-Mighty God, I owe my life and every breath of every second to Him. I’ve understood that everything that I have, from my job, to the last grape left in the refrigerator is there because God chose to bless me with it; to bless me with the $1.25 it cost to buy the initial bunch of grapes, and with the health and capacity it took to earn that $1.25… So I am not my own. I was purchased at a price, and I owe God thanks and praise for all eternity for paying a price I could never ever have conceived to afford. I owe it to Him from the bottom of my heart because I Love Him for everything He is and everything He has done. I don’t do [or not do] anything [anymore] because I’m afraid of the burning gates of hell. I do it out of pure and genuine love for my Creator, my Savior, my Heavenly Father… I so desire to please God with my life. I offer it as a sacrifice and offering thanking Him that His mercy is willing to accept my feeble gift in exchange for something far beyond conceptual value– Him.

    We are not taught that we are equal to Jesus, much less little gods. In Matthew 12:46-50 Jesus calls us his brother’s and sisters. But we are well aware that Jesus is the one and only Highly Exalted most treasured of God’s (he is God!) children who sits at God’s right-hand, and has been the only one in all existence that has ever been and will ever be fully pleasing to God. We are simply to be disciples of God on earth for the lost and condemned by spreading the Good News.

    I’ve learned that God is indeed a Father, (I was never able to grasp that concept growing up in the church) and as such He loves those who have accepted Him– unconditionally. He is strict, yes, there is no love without discipline. But greater is the Love of a Father, than the anger of a God. Glory be to our Heavenly Father for His Mercy! His Law and His Word are infallible and without question, but because we all fall short of it Jesus is the Way, The Truth, and The Life… Lakewood has that absolutely clear.

    You cannot fully understand Lakewood’s truth without being a part of it, especially if your heart isn’t open to it. There is much more to Lakewood and Joel than a 20 minute broadcast… Lakewood is open 7 days a week and has week-round ministries for all ages and groups, thousand’s of volunteers, along with hundreds of home groups through out Houston and it’s surrounding areas. The associates pastors are some of the most anointed people in Houston. The College Age/Singles minister is reaching thousand’s of young people each week in helping the “I don’t want to hear it anymore generation” realize who God really, really is… You can say that Joel’s ministry is fast food ministry, but in a world that has become so hardened and impatient against the things of God, you won’t get to them any other way… you simply wont. Are we really willing to refuse to get creative. It’s not wrong– it’s different… a different approach. So not trying to get to them SOMEHOW is like letting them burn slowly… These people, such as I did come to Lakewood every week, and are saved… Once that is done, we show them exactly why they needed to be. Someone mentioned before “there can be no good news without bad news…” Is that the only way to see that? How about seeing it this way: getting your news is a choice, like everything else in our lives… People always ask, “what do you want to hear first, the good news or the bad news?” At Lakewood, we choose to hear the good first– because after you truly receive that good news – The Good News of Jesus Christ– everything else is just details… The Holy Spirit that takes care of the rest… Remember WE don’t change people, God does– but we have to lead them to God first…

    You know as I fellowship with my brothers and sisters at Lakewood, and hear –for example– a 4.0 GPA Ph.D. Chemical Engineering student declare that she knows nothing, and that the name written on those degrees should be God’s, not hers, because she could have NEVER done it without Him, I realize that such faith and trust can only be of God… That is the faith of Lakewood… It is a church that has been faithful in the little, and now have been trusted by God with the greater… So, don’t worry about us Lakewoodians, I think we’ll manage… May the Grace of God be with you, as with us…

  57. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Liz, Thank you for your testimony. I do not want to detract from it in any way, however I’ve noticed that all the Osteen supporters who have commented completely disregard the main point I made in my critique. No one wants to address his misuse of scripture. Instead everyone wants to justify his faulty hermeneutics and nonexistent exegesis with appeals to pragmatic results.

    Osteen opens every sermon by raising the Bible in the air and leading the congregation in a pledge to the Word of God. He then uses scripture as nothing more than a diving board to plunge into his own message, which in at least in the case I cited, deviated completely from the text he twisted out of context.

  58. dear sir, i was just tuning to scan some tv channels in the morning,for the latest, when i was stopped by a voice,so natural,so pious, that i sticked myself, until he was finished for today, indeed, a great and honest mirror,that he was showing to the audience. He was telling about his sister,LISA, indeed,positive,bravo, please keep it up for the society. love and regards.

  59. Sasha Spichak on said:

    First, I want to say thanks to Don for all this discussion. You do a very good job for the kingdom of God. Don’t be discouraged!
    There is something I noticed in this discussion. I will try to formulate that. There are some people who were trying to defend Joel by attacking Don and others. So what I noticed: they accused in criticism and not being loving but they didn’t see that they were the same toward them! Phrases like: “take a look at your fruit”, “some poor, insecure people have to condemn a fellow…”, “some people on here who are really jealous…” “Pastors like some of you are the reason people don’t want to come to Christ as Savior.” ““Pastor” Don … should take a moment to examine their own hearts and works first.”, these phrases tell A LOT to me!
    Here is the reason why there are so many people in Lakewood and why they like the positive teaching of Joel Osteen. I hope people who go there would read it to the end.
    The people there signed an agreement between each other to not mention anything bad they see in each other. This is what the positive thinkingis all about. They decided to create such a world where everybody is supposed to close eyes on other people faults. This is the way they love each other. They are really nice people to each other.
    But the matter of fact this is the way not to look at ourselves. In time you start to believe that you are good indeed and you have no major faults. And it is SUCH A GREAT FEELING! Better than drugs. If somebody (like Don) dares to enter this world and criticize it, he rather think twice because the people in this world would do their best to kick him out. They would say: “We certainly don’t need you to save us” or something like this. This person would be labeled as not loving, destroying the work God Himself blesses and so on. We see it happening in this discussion.
    But many find this world of positive thinking attractive. Those who grew up in homes with little love but a lot of demand and criticism. Those who are tired of criticism. They come and as they’d say get healed. So, what is wrong then?
    First, these people in this world of positive thinking make the Holy Spirit sign the same agreement to be only positive. And I do believe that it is very true. They hear from Him what they want to hear. They would say that God is love and He will never be negative. And they sincerely believe that!
    The result of this: these people very slow change into spiritual maturity because they limit the Holy Spirit. I know some people from Lakewood so well that I can say that. They are very nice people to you as long as you allow them to live in their world which they created for themselves. As soon as you try to correct them they close the door and escape into their world! But the problem is that they deal in the same way with God! Only good and positive things from God are accepted. This is the core of their theology. All corrections, criticism, uncomfortable doctrines, diseases, lack of money, anything that makes you feel not so good is from devil! And you are his angel if you bring such things or teachings into their world.
    This is far from being a mature Christian. A Christian who is honest. Honest with himself and with God. Who is not afraid to watch yourself and the doctrine closely (1 Tim 4:16). Who is honest to admit that he is far from being perfect and that negative criticism might be right! Who has courage to say “thanks” to those who correct him. Because corrections help!!! If they weren’t helping then Paul wasted so much time in vain writing his letters to Corinth and Galatia and that he wasn’t moved by the Holy Spirit when he was writing it. But the truth is that he was moved by the Holy Spirit. And I believe Don was as well.
    I don’t say that Lakewood is bad, but I say that they can be better. That’s why corrections are! God very often corrects through people and corrections sometimes are negative! Look at the Bible, there are many examples there. What Don asked Joel to do is to use better exegesis and hermeneutics to share the Word of God more accurate. What is the problem? Joel should say thanks to that. I would do that if somebody did it to my preaching.
    Joel Osteen knows that if he changes his style then a huge part of his church will leave looking for another “world of positive thinking”, where is nobody negative, including the Holy Spirit.

    At the end I would include the poem of the 18th century which goes together with 2 Cor 12:7-10 (the passage Joel Osteen will never preach)

    PRAYER ANSWERED BY CROSSES

    I ask’d the Lord that I might grow
    In faith, and love, and every grace;
    Might more of His salvation know,
    And seek more earnestly His face.

    ‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
    And He, I trust, has answered prayer;
    But it has been in such a way
    As almost drove me to despair.

    I hoped that in some favour’d hour
    At once He’d answer my request,
    And by His love’s constraining power
    Subdue my sins and give me rest.

    Instead of this, He made me feel
    The hidden evils of my heart,
    And let the angry powers of hell
    Assault my soul in every part.

    Yea, more, with His own hand He seem’d
    Intent to aggravate my woe;
    Cross’d all the fair designs I schemed,
    Blasted my gourd, and laid me low.

    Lord, why is this? I trembling cried,
    Wilt Thou pursue Thy worm to death?
    ‘This in this way’ the Lord replied,
    ‘I answer prayer for grace and faith.

    These inward trials I employ
    From self and pride to set thee free;
    And break thy schemes of earthly joy
    That thou may’st seek thy all in Me’

    John Newton, 1799

  60. s smith on said:

    Joel Osteen has a passion for taking people to a higher place in their life and he has risen above and conquered far more than half the ministers that preach their going to hell sermons, sometimes people need uplifting God instead of fire and brimstones, why do you think half the population is on anti-depressants, Maybe the Lord is wanting new christians to see his Love and faithfulness instead of the so called christians views and judgements along with their power plays as to how everyone should be.different people are at different levels in their compassion and understanding of life and Osteen helps many strive for better and God is in Control people.

  61. Rebecca Shaw on said:

    I cannot believe that all of you call yourselves christians talking about a wonderful pastor like John Osteen. Don’t talk unless your doing anything yourself. Many peoples lives are being changed that have had no hope at all and to finally hear a preacher that doesn’t preach condemnation, and fire and brimstone, is actually refreshing. The word of God is the GOOD NEWS, and it only takes the simplicity of a child to understand that!!! Some of ya’ll are getting way too high on yourself. If that’s not deep, what is deep. It because of people that make negetive comments, and gripe youth don’t want to have anything to do with church or God. What we say either points people to or away from God. Has Pastor Osteen said anything wrong or evil or off the wall? I don’t think so. We are supposed to be encouragers as christians.

  62. Stephen B. on said:

    I am a Christian. I believe the ONLY way to Heaven is by accepting and believeing Jesus Christ died for my sins. I believe this because of what the Bible says. I have also watched many of Joel Osteen’s programs on television. He made me feel more positive about myself. It was refreshing to hear. I believed Joel Osteen was a man of God. I did not question what Joel Osteen really believes. I just knew that he made me feel better about myself. After watching Joel on Larry King Live tonight, I decided to evaluate him more closely. I asked myself, “Self, what is the main message of the Bible?” Is it to feel good about myself? Is it to think positive? Clearly it is not. Those are good things, I believe, but not the main message of God’s inspired word. Joel had fooled me. His messages contained enough truth in them to make them seem Biblical, when they really were not. This saddens me. It is really very simple. Compare Joel’s sermons to what the Bible says. Don’t just pick one verse out the Bible and base the whole sermon on the one verse, taken out of context. Preach what God wants you to preach, not what people want to hear. If it makes people feel good about themselves, then great. If it makes people feel badly about themselves, well great too. It shouldn’t be about what people want to hear, it should be about what God wants people to hear. Some may say, “How do you know God doesn’t want people to hear Joel Osteen’s messages?”. Who am I to make that decision, to be the judge of that? It is very simple. Compare the messages to what the Bible really says. If they contradict the Bible, then it is not from God. It is true that the Bible says not to judge people. So we shouldn’t judge child molestors? So we shouldn’t judge rapist? So we shouldn’t judge murderers? Use the common sense God gave us all. Not judging someone does not mean that we can’t say someone’s actions are wrong. Not judging someone does not mean that we should agree with everything we hear. I guess to sum it all up, I am glad that I found out the truth about Joel Osteen. Remember, Christians, always return to the Bible for inspiration. You don’t need a false message to make you feel better about yourself. In the end, it will destroy your true faith.

    Just my thoughts.

    Stephen

    • Marta on said:

      Thank You..I am careful to whom I watch and listen to.. My Mother always told my to Ask The Holy Spirit to show me the truth about people..from the first time I watched him, there was something not right. My Aunt really likes Joel and I wondered if it was just me..And my Mother mentioned a sheep in wolves clothes..Hummm cought between the two…Tonight I watched him and even took notes and.. The Holy Spirit was guiding me the very first time I watched him…A lesson learned..LISTEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT..,and I am praying for the truth to be shown by God to the people who watch Joel Osteen and his wife..so that they may be set free..Oh and soo much stood out in the program. Many but one that stood out was Strongholds are JUST a pattern something you do over and over..Never mentions evil spirits attacking, satan. So many are being mislead ..All positive..and how we have the right thought etc…And oh what about Favor? How many times does that come up…We can get soo much from God now..what about Heaven and our rewards there.. I could go on and on..However I really wanted to Thank the Holy Spirit working through you to give the truth..May God Bless You!!

      • Marta on said:

        SORRY Yes I meant a wolf in sheeps clothes.. I guess I should of wrote this after some sleep…please have a Blessed Evening and I know I will
        Pray for god’s help for Joel Osteen and everyone whom believes in his teachings…He is very good at insperational speaking..Maybe he just needs the Holy Spirit to step in..not by my might but by the LORDS….

  63. Linda Kissel on said:

    Listened to Joel Osteen on “Larry King” which my husband and I rarely watch. What turned me off on Osteen was when King asked him, “So, what do you think about abortion, and being born-again?” Osteen said, “You know, Larry, I don’t like to go there . . . I just want people to hear what I say and feel comfortable.” OH BROTHER! This was Osteen’s perfect opportunity for him to respond to King’s question – - as I do believe King is searching to answers for himself – - and feeling the tug of Jesus on his heart.

  64. Kenneth J. Schmidt on said:

    I have heard some Osteen sermons. The problem with Osteen is that he preaches the law in terms of tips for living a happy life. There isn’t much gospel either. This guy may have preached the Cross, but I have never heard him do so. Oh no…he can’t preach the cross, its a negative image. It might frighten and turn off his audiance, it might reduce his viewership. People don’t want to hear about sin, the cross and redemption, so people like Osteen give the hoi polloi what it wants: self-help trash. Osteen would do the world a favor if he became a self-help guru and left the ministry to those who can preach law and gospel.

  65. Guest on said:

    Don:

    Reference March 1, 2005 “… took one part of a verse, removed it from its context, and forced it to mean something very different …”

    Jan. 31: “…chanting allegiance” to the word of God?? June 2: “…pledge to the word of God”??

    This is the text of the pre-sermon confession, authored by the late Pastor JOHN Osteen, from the Lakewood church website approximately 1997:

    Confession:
    “This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same. I am about to receive — the incorruptible — indestructible –ever-living — seed — of the word of God. I will never be the same. Never, never, never. I will never be the same — In Jesus’ name. Amen.

  66. Grace on said:

    This discussion makes me sad. The following is a direct quote from one of Joel Osteen’s sermons:
    ” Well, if you’d bow your heads in prayer, please. I’d like to talk to those who are viewing by television. I’d like to just give you an opportunity. If you’ve never made Jesus the Lord of your life, well, this is the time to do it. It doesn’t have to be difficult. The Bible says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” So, I’m going to invite you to just pray this simple prayer with me today and mean it from the bottom of your heart. Say, oh God, come into my heart. Save me Jesus. Be my Lord, be my Savior. I repent of my sins. And I want to serve You all the days of my life.

    “Friends, I believe if you prayed that simple prayer and you meant it, you ought to get in a good church and let them disciple you and learn about the things of God. And we’re so glad you’ve tuned in with us today. And if you get a chance, come out here and be with us in person. We’d love to have you. If not, go to a good church in your area. Until this time, may God bless you.”

    What’s wrong with this? I am sad that some people think that the man who puts out this message to the “hoi polloi” is speaking “trash,” and that rather than continue to put out such a message, he should leave the ministry.

  67. JImmy Meeks on said:

    All of this sounds so typical “baptist.” I attended and graduated from Okla Bapt University – and this is what we did all the time. All of us preacher boys who had crappy, fruitless ministries, if even that, criticized all those that had flourishing ministries. Probably not a one of of you ever have sat down and spoken at length with Osteen. And my goodness – how can you come to a conclusion about a man by watching him on TV? GFoodnight, grow up, and shut up, and carry on with what you think you’re called to do.

  68. JImmy Meeks on said:

    PS; what a wasted web site

  69. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Jimmy you asked, “my goodness – how can you come to a conclusion about a man by watching him on TV?” I didn’t come to a conclusion about the man by watching him on TV. I came to a conclusion about the sermon he preached on TV.

    You also wrote, “GFoodnight, grow up, and shut up, and carry on with what you think you’re called to do.” That is what I’m called to do – preach the word and rightly divide the word of truth. How ironic that those who scream the loudest about my critique slam me the hardest, as if to say, “its wrong for you to point out errors in a persons exegesis of scripture, but we can flame you with impunity and that’s OK.” I don’t understand this double standard coming from the Osteen camp.

  70. Paul on said:

    Joel is like a light beer commercial, supposedly Great Taste (Sounds Good) But Less Filling (Absence of the word of God). Sadly far too many people are consuming it and oblivious to the consequences.

    His comments on Larry King, some 30 “I don’t know’s” and several “Its not my place to say,” in response to if Jesus is the only way to Heaven is unbelievable for America’s largest church, most popular Christian pastor, and now Author.

    John, his father, at least had a seminary education and stayed pretty much on track most of his life. I heard (and have on DVD) Joel on Bill O’Reilly (Fox News) saying something similar: “People don’t want theology, they just want to feel good about themselves,” obviously not realizing that the definition of theology is the study of God’s word. So though people raise their Bibles above their head and recite the Osteen creed they must not read them or any of Joel’s scriptures in the context of which they were written, or complete sentences. Otherwise they would say “Hey, that may sound good but its not God.”

    Its all rebellion against God…but with Joel its a great taste and enough of a buzz in the process that the money slipping from wallets nationwide is just less noticable.

  71. Paul on said:

    Just read Liz H’s post #57. She makes all the claims in defense of Lakewood that so many make of the cults claiming they are misunderstood or one has to experience them to understand them. Scary.

  72. joel,
    i watch you on t.v everytime i get a chance i made a bad mistake my wife was married once before and her husband has very mean to her in the kids i support them now the best i can we been married 2 years and i work between 70-80 a week to pay the bills the last 3 -4 mounths i took it out on her screaming yelling cursing and doing it to the kids and i figued the stress is to worth loosing her and the kids and she says now she wants a divorce she wont go to conusling with me and i dont know what to do she says she needs her space for right now i know that b/c of the damage i done i recently re deadacted my life to god i am old 32 never been married do you have any advise she wont even talk to me i afraid she or i will say things we will regreat we dated for only 5 mo then got married she thinks we should divorce give each other time and start over slower than what we did i not affraid of being alone i truly love her and her kids at the bottom of my heart if you can please,please,please, i am begging i need advise how to get her back in my life

    thank you

    mike hynes

  73. All you critics crack me up. How many of you guys have been responsible for millons of souls being brought into the kingdom, as there is with Pastor Benny Hinn, Rhinehard Bonke, Joyce Meyer, Pastor Gary Simons etc. Yes, and after being brought into the kingdom being fed the Word of God by these ministries, you guys are a real trip!

  74. sharon on said:

    Joel Osteen has encouraged many people who may never have gone to church to consider Jesus.His sermons always express the love of Jesus, and helps the listener to have enough confidence to pray and have faith that there is a God in Heaven who loves them and cares about their individual lives. There are many hurting people in this world, and many who need the positive message–the GOOD NEWS–that Jesus Christ is alive and loves them. Different approaches appeal to different people. If a preacher is reaching thousands of young and older people, causing them tune into a Sunday morning service when they normally would have switched the channel and not stopped to hear about the love of God, why do some of you criticize rather than applaud him? Even some of us “old-time” Christians who learned a lot about being afraid that every small shortcoming caused us to need to go to the alter and start all over again have been uplifted by the messages of Jesus grace and His continuing mercy and love. People who watch the TV ministry of Joel Osteen are encouraged and inspired to learn more about the ways a Christian should believe and live. Please don’t be a stumbling block to others by continuing to criticize a young minister who is being a lifeline to others. You and I cannot be there for all those who are lost or lonely or depressed or despondant. Allow those people to place confidence in someone who is a man of God, even if you as a “learned minister or old-timer” believe it could be presented more fully. Once people are introduced to Jesus and ask Him to forgive them and to come into their hearts, Jesus will guide them and help them learn and grow. The Lakewood church attenders have said the full church service goes into more depth. Please support, not discourage,this young ministry.

  75. Diana on said:

    I love Joel, likely because I’m Jewish and a psychologist. The reason y’all have a problem with him is that he emphasizes deed rather than creed and urges people to take responsibility for their behavior in this world rather than waiting for salvation in the next. By definition, this makes his theology fundamentally non-Christian. Notice how the vast majority of his references are Old Testament (read: Judaic). I can (and do) live with that. Shalom!

  76. Cygnus X-1 on said:

    Osteen’s theology is Gnostic to the core – feel good, self-help, Tony Robbins style tripe with the façade of Christianity thrown in for mass appeal. If this knucklehead pretty boy didn’t speak with a heavy southern accent, it’d be difficult for anyone to even surmise what religion he was associated with as he seems to only make mention of a generic “God.”

    Trying to locate Osteen’s theological core, with only the message of good deeds and theism to go on, narrows the field of religious candidates down to only numberless, leaving one guessing.

    I can understand why some might find his message attractive – the idea that one can lead a basically decent life, help others on occasion and, for a reward, end up in good place is one that has had universal appeal throughout the ages. Christianity, however, is much more rigorous in its demands.

    Christians understand clearly that there is but a single path to salvation and that salvation through Christ comes IN THIS WORLD (not the next). They also understand that deeds follow faith. This, the foundational bedrock of the Christian faith, has often been called rigid and intolerant by the unbeliever but the truth is necessarily a rigid and unbending thing. The truth isn’t determined by polls – it simply is.

  77. PS on said:

    To My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    I think it is interesting that we Christians spend more time condemning each other than we do fulfilling the “GO YE” command.

    If you feel a ministry is not in right standing with the gospel, then pray for that ministry. After you have prayed, then get out there and do what G_d has called you to do. Reach your neighbors with the love and compassion of Yeshua.

    The time is short don’t waste it.

    “The world will know we are Christians by the Love we have for each other.”

    Weather you are right or wrong about Joel Osteen, the world just looks into the body of Christ and sees us fighting each other.

    Pray and do the work of The L_rd.

    Only G_d can change a person’s heart.

  78. Brian Ramey on said:

    I just happened to stumble onto this ‘blog’ and although i find much of the debate stimulating, i cannot help but dismiss it as fruitless. Many of you, whom I assume to be professing Christians, are violating the very scripture you claim to be defending by judging and attacking the character of Joel Osteen. Don, I know you were just merely trying to point out a misuse of the scripture, but honestly, and not to condone it, but it happens every week by well meaning pastors and teachers. Plus, it was just one message, cut the guy some slack. He doesn’t claim to be a theologian and a ‘deep’ Bible teacher. Additionally, I am a minister and I know that there have been things I have said from the pulpit that were more my opinion than scripture or that I just misrepresented the gospel to make a point, unintentionally. But, I like to think that God’s grace is sufficient for me, all of you, Joel Osteen and all the attendees of Lakewood. I think all of your efforts would be better served out in your community reprenting the love and light of Christ, which you say that Joel doesn’t do accurately, than sitting behind your computer screens and bashing a minister who I believe is just trying to advance the kingdom of God (even if you disagree with his methods) I don’t think you are going to convince the congregation of Lakewood to abandon that ship so why don’t you let Christ stand alone as Joel’s judge, which I think the Bible says He will anyway.

    Brian Ramey

  79. Cherry Babb on said:

    Shame on you. Why is it that we have so very many people who act as God’s hatchet men bent on tearing other people down. If you really want to do something for God why don’t you pray for the very preachers you criticize?

  80. Cygnus X-1 on said:

    Why would a Christian sit idly by whilst a false prophet spreads a humanist message? As Christians, are we not obligated to shine the light of Christ’s truth on charlatans and frauds? If, at the heart of one’s message, Christ is nowhere to be found, is it not our duty to expose the impostor? Should we allow false doctrine to thrive and the unsaved to be mislead? By saying nothing, do we not encourage such teachings and would we not be complicit in the subterfuge by remaining silent?

    Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed that those that are not for Him are against Him. The time to choose sides is upon you. What decision will you make?

  81. Cygnus X-1 on said:

    If we are to pray for Osteen, what specifically should we pray for?

    I assume that at least some of those advocating such action do so in the hopes that Osteen’s message might become a bit less diluted although I am certain many do so only for the sake of eliminating any negative commentary or criticism of Osteen’s office (irrespective of his core beliefs and intentions). For the time being, let us eliminate the latter group and focus our attention on the former.

    As Osteen’s message is seemingly bereft of the central tenet of Christianity (i.e., Christ died for the sins of the world and there is but one way to salvation through Him), it is not unreasonable to maintain that he does not subscribe to this venerable and crucial 2,000 year old Christian tradition. By definition, this would make Osteen an unbeliever propagating false doctrine. If there were the slightest indication that Osteen might simply be a backslid Christian, then this would certainly merit prayer in the hopes of putting him back on track. Unfortunately, however, the telltale signs simply are not there. So what are we left with?

    To pray to Christ to transform an unbeliever into a believer is an exercise in futility. Despite what some may think, God does not supplant the freewill of mankind. If anything, God will amplify ones existing disposition – as was the case with Pharaoh. To ask Christ to reprogram Osteen or to somehow swap out his religious BIOS is ridiculous. Only Osteen can bring about his own transformation by honestly bowing before Christ and genuinely asking Christ into his heart. We are not robots or computers that Christ reprograms at the behest of others.

    If we pray for anything, let it be for a quick and permanent end to Osteen’s misleading ministry.

    Forsooth!

  82. PS on said:

    Hey Cygnus X-1

    You got it.

    With the same judgment you have judged, you will be judged.

    Modern day Pharisee…

    You’ll try to justify yourself just like they did…

    If the church showed the kind of love you show, no one would get saved…

    Be a fisher of men and not a cleaner of fish.

    That job belongs to the Holy Spirit.

    Unless of course, you are a prophet, sent by The Lord to clean up the church.

    Enjoy…

  83. JH on said:

    All this fussing and fighting over Joel Osteen seems like a waste of time and energy that could be spent something more productive like spreading the gospel. If you don’t like Osteen, turn the station. If you do, then listen. If you don’t like some of what Osteen says, then eat the meat and spit out the bones. There’s not a preacher alive that I agree with 100% of the time. But to fight about it? What a waste!

  84. Cygnus X-1 on said:

    PS:

    I have carefully reread my previous posts and nowhere can I find any remarks with respect to my thoughts concerning Osteen’s ultimate fate. If you can quote a statement in which I sentenced him to eternal heaven or hell, please reference it. In the meantime, in lieu of your inability to cite any evidence, I hereby submit that your accusation of my judging another is patently false.

    If by “judgment” you mean to say that I have stated my opinion as to the nature of Osteen’s ministry, then you would be correct. Moreover, if your implication (by quoting scripture) is that I am guilty of some transgression in describing Osteen’s message as I see it, then I would direct you to your own post in which you “judged” me to be a “Pharisee.” Finally, I would encourage you to investigate what the Bible has to say with respect to hypocrisy.

    As for the nature of your charge, if you will read what the Bible has to say with respect to the Pharisees, you will likely comprehend that the Pharisees saw deeds alone as a means of salvation. I have clearly intimated in previous posts that faith, not deed, is the key to salvation (although deeds will naturally follow the establishment of one’s faith). In short, not only have you contradicted yourself by committing the very sin you accuse me of by “judging” me, as it turns out, your indictment is completely without merit.

    With respect to your statement concerning the nature of “love,” would you say that a lack of love was demonstrated when a parent punishes a child for wrong doing in an attempt to correct her? Would you say that a lack of love was displayed in aggressively removing a Hitler or Hussein from power? If not, then how can you claim that a lack of love is shown when I speak out against one who fails to share the gospel message with those that need it most – the lost and dying? As the parent scolding the child, I want Osteen to do what is right.

    As for your comments with respect to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit dwelleth within me and I will speak as the Spirit giveth me utterance.

    In closing, I would pose to you a simple question. Before asking it, however, I would request that you respond with only a “yes” or “no.” Any equivocation or attempt to qualify your remarks will be seen as answering in the negative.

    Do you believe that the only way to enter into the kingdom of heaven is through salvation in Christ?

    Cheers!

  85. PS on said:

    To: Cygnus X-1

    As for your question.

    “Do you believe that the only way to enter into the kingdom of heaven is through salvation in Christ?”

    I am a Jew, listen to our prayer.

    Hear O Israel, The Lord our God, The Lord is One.

    Yes, there is only One Way to Heaven,
    and it is through our King The Messiah.

    So the question that stands is, is Mr. Joel Osteen for or against Messiah?

    I might add, that I do not personally know Mr. Osteen, and I speak based on what I see on TV and read in articles.

    Based on that, I do not see him fighting against Messiah, but in fact I see Mr. Osteen pointing people to Messiah in many different ways.

    This issue was also dealt with by Messiah, as in:

    Mark 9:38-41 (New Living Translation)
    “John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw a man using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t one of our group.” “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs miracles in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us. If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I assure you, that person will be rewarded.”

    I have worked with ministries all over the world and I have found that each one has been given a different way to present the Messiah. The Messiah must be presented to both Jew and Gentile and these presentations must be different. Some Gospel presentations are based on culture; some are based on what the person has been through in life and some on political and societal issues. But in each case, Messiah is the focus point.

    The Lord will teach each of us the style we must use to reach the crowd that we have been called to reach.

    God calls us to be Fishers of Men and Not Cleaners of Fish.

    Even Paul and Barnabas had to part ways on a difference of opinion.

    Blessings to you and the work that God has called you to do.

    PS

  86. Cygnus X-1 on said:

    PS:

    As you failed to convey a simple yes or no answer to the question, having instead elected to disclose that you are a Jew (as opposed to a Jew for Jesus) who professes faith in a nameless “Messiah,” I can only conclude that you reject Jesus as Savior and fail to recognize His singular sacrifice as the only means to redemption.

    Now in command of a clear understanding of your perspective as a nonbeliever in Jesus as Christ, it comes to me as no surprise that you rally to the aid of Osteen. Osteen’s failure to propagate the message of salvation – through Christ alone – is undoubtedly what attracts the nonbeliever to his ministry. In fact, I would venture to guess that for most nonbelievers it is not a firsthand analysis of his message that clues them in to the nature of his ministry but rather the criticism of believing Christians.

    The approval of Osteen’s message by nonbelievers serves to justify my position by reinforcing the idea that it is devoid of the gospel, which would likely offend those who reject Jesus as Christ. More than ever, it is clear to me that Osteen’s is a “lowest common denominator” style ministry that is geared to appeal to theists across the board.

    As for your phrasing of the question with respect to Osteen, I cannot concur. As Osteen is neither a Jewish Rabbi nor a Zoroastrian cleric, but rather dons the veneer of a Christian minister, the proper form of the question should be: “is Mr. Joel Osteen for or against Jesus as Messiah?”

    You claim that you do not see Osteen fighting against “Messiah” but as a rational person you must certainly understand that this in no way means he is for “Messiah.” You then cite verses from Mark chapter 9 in an attempt to scripturally secure your claim and contradict a paraphrase of Christ I posted previously.

    This tactic is typically employed by those who seek to silence critics of false teachers or those who oppose the espousing of false doctrine so again I am not surprised that you invoked these passages (and from the NL”T” no less!).

    As you are not the first nonbeliever to draw upon Mark chapter 9 in an attempt to fortify your position, such ploys have likely been addressed in the past – this one has. I shall therefore defer to an articulate nineteenth-century theologian who eloquently put these passages into proper perspective.

    Born 31 January 1831 at Aberargie near Perth, Scotland, Alexander Balmain Bruce was appointed to the chair of Apologetics and New Testament exegesis at the Free Church College, Glasgow in 1875. He held the post for twenty-four years. A. B. Bruce, who insisted that the character and work of Christ served as the ultimate proof and the best defense of Christianity, penned the “Training of the Twelve,” which was originally published in 1871. Within this masterwork, Bruce carefully analyzes the passages you cited:

    Notwithstanding Bruce’s enlightened exegesis, there is one point on which I differ. Although Bruce intimated that Christ deductively arrived at the conclusion the unnamed exorcist was a believer, I maintain that Christ knew for certain as Christ is omniscient.

    I believe the Gospel message should be presented precisely as it is written in the New Testament. I do not believe in tailoring the message to suit the demographic when it means altering the story. When Christ charged His disciples to go forth and preach the Gospel, did He enroll them in a crash marketing course beforehand? Did He urge them to understand the demographic? Did he tell them to present the Gospel to different people in different ways? There is but a singular truth and it becomes corrupted when you twist it.

    “You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice. If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.”

    –Neil Peart, Rush, Permanent Waves, Freewill, 1980

    “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

    –Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 12:30, KJV, circa A.D. 31

    Forsooth!!!

  87. Cygnus X-1 on said:

    PS:

    Here is the Bruce excerpt that did not come through in my previous post:

    In refusing to recognize the exorcist fellow-worker, however humble, as a brother, the disciples proceeded on very narrow and precarious grounds. The test they applied was purely external. What sort of man the person interdicted might be they did not inquire; it was enough that he was not of their company: as if all inside that charmed circle–Judas, for example–were good; and all outside, not excepting a Nicodemus, utterly Christless! Two good things, on their own showing, could be said of him whom they silenced: he was well occupied, and he seemed to have a most devout regard for Jesus; for he cast out devils, and he did it in Jesus’ name. These were not indeed decisive marks of discipleship, for it was possible that a man might practice exorcism for gain, and use the name of Christ because it had been proved to be a good name to conjure by; but they ought to have been regarded as at least presumptive evidence in favor of one in whose conduct they appeared. Judging by the facts, it was probable that the silenced exorcist was an honest and sincere man, whose heart had been impressed by the ministry of Jesus and His disciples, and who desired to imitate their zeal in doing good. It was even possible that he was more than this–a man possessing higher spiritual endowment than his censors, some provincial prophet as yet unknown to fame. How preposterous, in view of such a possibility, that narrow outward test, “Not with us “!

    That the scrupulosity of the twelve was of the honest kind, we believe for this reason, that they were willing to be instructed. They told their Master what they had done, that they might learn from Him whether it was right or wrong. This is not the way of men whose plea of conscience is a pretext.

    The instruction honestly desired by the disciples, Jesus promptly communicated in the form of a clear, definite judgment on the case, with a reason annexed. “Forbid him not,” He replied to John, “for he that is not against us is for us.”[14.27]

    The reason assigned for this counsel of tolerance reminds us of another maxim uttered by Jesus on the occasion when the Pharisees brought against Him the blasphemous charge of casting out devils by aid of Beelzebub.[14.28] The two sayings have a superficial aspect of contradiction: one seeming to say, The great matter is not to be decidedly against; the other, The great matter is to be decidedly for. But they are harmonized by a truth underlying both–that the cardinal matter in spiritual character is the bias of the heart. Here Jesus says: “If the heart of a man be with me, then, though by ignorance, error, isolation from those who are avowedly my friends, he may seem to be against me, he is really for me.” In the other case He meant to say: “If a man be not in heart with me (the case of the Pharisees), then, though by his orthodoxy and his zeal he may seem to be on God’s side, and therefore on mine, he is in reality against me.”

    To the words just commented on, Mark adds the following, as spoken by Jesus at this time: “There is no man that shall do a miracle in my name that can lightly speak evil of me.” The voice of wisdom and charity united is audible here. The emphasis is on the word pacu=V\, lightly or readily. This word, in the first place, involves the admission that the case supposed might happen; an admission demanded by historical truth, for such cases did actually occur in after days. Luke tells, e.g., of certain vagabond Jews (in every sense well named) who took upon them to call over demoniac the name of the Lord Jesus, without any personal faith in Him, but simply in the way of trade, being vile traffickers in exorcism for whom even the devils expressed their contempt, exclaiming, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are ye?”[14.29] Our Lord knowing before that such cases would happen, and being acquainted with the depths of human depravity, could not do otherwise than admit the possibility of the exorcist referred to by John being animated by unworthy motives. But while making the admission, He took care to indicate that, in His judgment, the case supposed was very improbable, and that it was very unlikely that one who did a miracle in His name would speak evil of Him. And He desired His disciples to be on their guard against readily and lightly believing that any man could be guilty of such a sin. Till strong reasons for thinking otherwise appeared, He would have them charitably regard the outward action as the index of sincere faith and love (which they might the more easily do then, when nothing was to be gained by the use or profession of Christ’s name, but the displeasure of those who had the characters and lives of men in their power).

  88. Alanna B on said:

    It is wonderful to experience the Love and brotherhood of Christ through Joel Osteen’s preaching. I used to enjoy reading ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Norman Vincent Peal; as my mother and my grandmother did. I feel the same listening to Joel. He is uplifting to ones soul and I feel helps many to get intouch with the Holy Spirit and the Perfection with which God the Father Created us- (as God would only create us as He Is….Perfect and for Eternity). Joel brings us to a place we can sense this. And he is totally forgiving as Christ is. That is why he can speak so positively. Reading posts here it is clear this is not achieved with all who hear his message. That’s o.k. the “righteous” of Jesus’ day didn’t comprehend Him either.

  89. PS on said:

    Hey Cygnus X-1,

    You assume too much.

    And your quotes of Bruce are not understandable.

    I hope you don’t present the Gospel to people you meet on the streets like this.

    I could name drop and maybe you would be surprised at where and who I have worked with for the preaching of the Gospel all over the world, but that doesn’t matter.

    You really know very little about me and you now call me an unbeliever as you have with Joel Osteen.

    I am amazed that you know so much about religion and so little about The Heart of God.

    You so easily condemn others and you do it the name of Yeshua.

    Oh, and by the way, that is His name, you just choose to use the English version which is Jesus.

    And yes Yeshua is the name above all others, and as I said before, there is no other name written under Heaven by which men must be saved. The is no other way to Heaven, you must go through The Son.

    You sound like a very angry person, and if I were un-saved as you say that I am, your presentation of the Gospel wouldn’t be winning me over…

    PS

  90. Jack on said:

    ….Do you think Jesus reads these posts? What might he say if he did?

  91. Bicycle Rider on said:

    I do not know how to write as well as those who have before me. I am not a well educated person. I have only recently, with your help, come to Jesus. I spend time every day now trying to learn more about Jesus. Please forgive my poor writing skills.

    Thank you Pastor Osteen for bringing me closer to Jesus. Thank you for giving me the hope I needed during such dark times in my life. Thank you for praying for me when I was so sick. Thank you for writing to my family while I was hospitalized giving them hope and raising their spirits. I can never thank you enough for giving my wonderful wife some peace of mind during that stressful period. Thank you for encouraging me to find a good bible based church where I live.

    Meeting you and your fine family in Houston was a real highlight of my life. I pray that God will continue to help you bring the love of Jesus to many many more people around the world.

    I can not begin to thank you for all you have done for me and my family. May God continue to bless you and all the fine people of the Lakewood Church. I will continue to include your family and the church in my prayers.

    I try my best every day to apply the lessons you provide each week on the television broadcast. I know the good that resides in your heart. I know because the only way your message could have such a positive effect on so many is if God is working through you. I believe that God is using you in a very special way. I feel privilaged to be a witness to it.

    If I get to be with Jesus one day it will be in large part because you gave me a shove in the right direction. God bless you.

  92. One thing each needs consider: One is “won over” by the wooing of the Holy Spirit. The messenger might be harsh or soft, but the Holy Spirit uses truth to prick the heart. Truth must be consistently presented. God could use a weeping Jeremiah and an Elisha who turned bears upon those who denigrated God”s man. God has used Jack Hyles with his harsh and crude manner, and He has used the polish of James Kennedy, but He always requires a clear consise message.

    When the message is unclear, the Holy Spirit has nothing with which to work. That is why Paul emphasizes that in 1 Corinthians.

    So the question has little to do with style, delivery, or emotion. Rather the question should be: Does he give a clear concise presentation of the Gospel? In my totally biased opinion. He DOES NOT DO SO.

    http://www.ibcslidell.net/ponderings/

  93. Cygnus X-1 on said:

    PS:

    I have made no assumptions with respect to what you believe. My statements are based entirely on your own testimony.

    At the end of post 85, I asked you directly: “Do you believe that the only way to enter into the kingdom of heaven is through salvation in Christ?” How did you reply? Not with a straightforward “yes” or “no” but instead with the following words: “I am a Jew.”

    Now, when someone states that he or she is a Jew, it can be interpreted in one of two ways:

    1 – He/she is a member of this ethnicity
    2 – He/she is a follower of this religion

    It is fairly simple to discern from the context of my question that it was my goal to ascertain your religious affiliation. Keeping this in mind and employing a modicum of logic, it was clear to me that you were stating in no uncertain terms that you were an adherent of Judaism.

    As Judaism and Christianity are two mutually exclusive religions and one who accepts Christ as Savior is by definition a Christian, employing a bit of inductive (as opposed to deductive) reasoning, I arrived at the logical conclusion that you do not accept Christ as Savior.

    In short, this was not an assumption.

    With your latest post, however, you now seem to be swinging back in the other direction, suggesting that you are a Christian. Notwithstanding my reasoned conclusion and your now confusing position, never let it be said that I am not a believer in second chances (temporally speaking).

    If you will indulge me, I will ask a second time. This time I will rephrase the question, leaving as little wiggle room as possible. As before, I would request that you respond simply with a one word, one syllable answer (preferably a “yes” or “no”). I would also ask, as before, that you do not hedge your answer as you seemed to have done previously.

    Admittedly, you will answer as you choose but I hope I can appeal to your sense of conciseness in eliciting your response.

    The question:

    Are you a Christian?

    As for your lack of understanding with respect to my quotes of Bruce, in light of the fact that the excerpts were transcribed verbatim, I must logically conclude that you do not understand Bruce.

    My intention in including his exegesis was to counter what you intimated in your previous post.

    For clarity’s sake, let us briefly review the sequence of events:

    1 – In post 81, I paraphrased Jesus of Nazareth by stating that those not for Him are against Him.

    2 – In post 86, you (at minimum) calculatingly sought to establish parity between my paraphrase of Christ from Matthew chapter twelve and your quote of Christ from Mark chapter nine by restating the former in contrapositive form (i.e., he that is not against us is for us).

    3 – In post 88, I included the relevant passages from Bruce’s “Training of the Twelve” (in which he analyzes Mark chapter nine) to logically refute your implied contention without having to resort to the analysis of a rigorous logical proof.

    As my citation of Bruce failed to evince Christ’s meaning in your mind, I will now attempt to demonstrate why you cannot establish an equivalency between the two quotes.

    Consider the following:

    p = “he is not for me”
    q = “he is against me”

    Statement: If p then q = “If he is not for me then he is against me.”
    Converse: If q then p = “If he is against me then he is not for me.”
    Inverse: If not p then not q = “If he is for me then he is not against me.”
    Contrapositive: If not q then not p = “If he is not against me then he is for me.”

    If we had been dealing in established geometrical commodities, such as triangles and polygons, then if the statement is true, logically the contrapositive would also be true. Had the circumstances been thus, you would be precisely correct in your reasoning. In the case before us, however, we deal in no such known quantities.

    To draw equivalence in this case, it must be maintained that if someone does not publicly come out against you then they are for you but we know logically that such a claim cannot be maintained. Why this is the case can be illustrated with a simple contemporary example.

    In September of 2004, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1564, which declared that the UN would consider using sanctions against Sudan in an effort to obtain full compliance with security and disarmament obligations on Darfur. In addition to the abstentions of Russia, Pakistan and Algeria, China also abstained from voting on the resolution.

    If we were to employ your reasoning, we must then conclude that as China did not come out against the resolution, they must be for the resolution. This, however, was not the case.

    Two days after the resolution was adopted (20 September 2004), Wang Guangya – permanent representative of China to the UN – commented on the passage of the new resolution, stating unequivocally that the Chinese government was firmly opposed to economic sanctions against Sudan.

    Here then is an example of an entity not coming out against something but, in reality, being against it nonetheless. Countless examples similar to this one could be cited and a general understanding arrived at empirically.

    The fundamental fallacy in your way of thinking – at least in this particular case – is that you employed deductive rather than inductive reasoning. Arguments based on laws, rules or widely accepted principles should be expressed deductively whereas arguments based on experience or specific observations should be expressed inductively. In other words, your implied contention that Christ was making a broad universal statement in Mark chapter nine – rather than a limited statement apropos to the specific case at hand – was your undoing.

    Moving along, I am well aware that “Yeshua” is the original Hebrew proper name for Jesus of Nazareth or, rather, the mis-transliteration of the Greek “Yeysu.” You state that I “choose to use the English version which is Jesus” and you are correct – call me kooky but this is probably because English is my native tongue (hello?).

    In your previous post you stated that I judged Osteen and now you claim that I have condemned you but you have yet to produce a scintilla of evidence, a singe quote in which I stated words to the effect that either you or Osteen will be snorkeling for all eternity in the Lake of Fire. Are any quotes forthcoming? One quote? For the record, I have not the power to condemn or judge anyone. I can only point out false teachers, false doctrine and unsound reasoning.

    You say that I sound angry but I prefer the term “righteously indignant.” It is a state of mind similar to that possessed by Christ when he held an impromptu conference with the money changers in the temple or when he proclaimed the scribes and Pharisees something less than virtuous.

    When I see someone with the outreach Osteen has withholding vital information from his needy audience for popularity’s sake (charitably speaking), it tends to upset me a bit and I feel very strongly that I would be remiss in my Christian duties were I not to point it out.

    Scripture teaches us that God is slow to anger but we must always remember that there is quite a difference between being slow to anger and never getting angry.

    In closing, you stated that if you were an unsaved person my presentation of the Gospel would do little to win you over. Although I do not particularly care to deal in hypotheticals, I must certainly admit that you may very well be correct – perhaps my approach would have little or no impact on you or others like you whatever. Nevertheless, who was it that once stated that each has been given a different way to present Messiah and that the Lord will teach each of us the style we must use? Oh, I guess that was you…

    Perhaps my function, my calling is an ancillary one. Perhaps I was never met to reach directly the temporally unsaved but rather to speak to the hearts of other witnesses to Christ to reinforce or fortify their belief or perchance alleviate their unwarranted doubts. Possibly the purpose I serve is to augment the knowledge of other believers who thirst for greater understanding by passing along bits and pieces of vital information I have collected or been given along the way. Maybe I exist simply to fill in the cerebral voids of other believing Christians who in turn will become stronger, more knowledgeable and more effective in their personal ministries.

    Although at this point I can only speculate, perhaps one day I will know for certain. Maybe a time will come when I will know the names of each and every person whose life I touched in some small way, directly or indirectly, for the greater good. In the interim, however, I must do what I feel I have been called upon to do under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    If I can provide even the smallest of springboards by which another can take a great leap of faith by placing their trust in Christ, my life will have had meaning; it will have served a worthwhile purpose…

    Sursum Corda!

    “You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice. If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.”

    –Neil Peart, Rush, Permanent Waves, Freewill, 1980

    “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

    –Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 12:30, KJV, circa A.D. 31

    Forsooth!!!

  94. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Cygnus and PS, you have an interesting conversation going here, but I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind taking it to private email or a forum.

    I have been lax in allowing the comments to go a little out of bounds. Not just the two of you, but in reading through all the comments to my original post, things have turned in a direction I’d rather not see my personal blog here go. Open forums would probably suit the purposes better.

    Thanks for understanding.

  95. Nancy M. Wilkins on said:

    It’s really very simple people. God is not far off or unknown to us. He has not hidden himself away or waited until this point in time to manifest himself through a positive, uplifting message.

    Yes, God is faithful and gives hope to the hopeless. But didn’t Jesus also “judge” those worthy of such (Pharisees)? Christians will stand in judgement of all things with God someday. For now, we are to be different, be a light, and choose to live morally in a corrupt and sin-sick world.

    Joel Osteen seems to be a very personable and charismatic man. So, too, were many throughout history who led people to their doom. The Bible teaches One Way to God – through his Son, Jesus Christ. To not say this, or to side-step the issue as Mr. Osteen does, is quite contrary to the Bible, and therefore, against God. There’s no way around it. His teaching is humanistic and leading people to hell. I’m sorry to say it so bluntly, but there it is!

    My prayer is that the many who have fallen prey to his teaching will have their eyes opened by the Holy Spirit. Our country – our world – is getting worse. The thousands he sees packing the arenas are searching for answers. His (Osteen’s)accountability before God is great. He as a “Pastor” will stand in judgement before God for this. We are not meant to “feel good” about ourselves apart from Christ. We must first know the savior, and in order for that to happen, we must see our need for him. When sin is not condemned, how can we know there is that need? Joel Osteen needs to wake up and allow God to truly be leading him. He is distorting the message of the Bible and perverting its truths. God be merciful on his soul!

    In Christ.

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  97. Josh Bonner on said:

    Taking a page from Leonard Ravenhill here: “If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.”

  98. Loved reading your comments this am and I agree. I have watched the shows on TBN for many years now and started having concerns about the “always positive message” and no mention of the Bible or its teachings. Joel Osteen seems to have a truly “blessed life” and he has never known disappointment, heartbreak, lonliness or despair in all of his life. He seems to shrug it off and says “stay positive” when your heart is nigh breaking and you feel the sadness of lonliness. I finally had to learn that God loves me unconditionally and He never leaves me or forsakes me in this life. Bad things may happen, and things do get better. In the tough times –God never left me or forsake me and that is what I know to be true. Joel Osteen is someone I had always had a lot of respect for and then I started questioning things about him and I had some good reasons. He preaches only what people want to hear.
    Fran

  99. Hello to ALL who read this and are involved in this BIG discussion of Joel Osteen!! I’ve read many things and it’s seems to be that something hot is stirring in the air here. It seems we have a problem – a BIG problem to some. Is Joel Osteen preaching a radical message of Jesus in this hour of need where souls are going to hell as we read and as we speak??? Some here agree Osteens message is a fast*food delivery or a theology lite for those that want a quick fix to the things of God. Do you really believe that?? I understand we cannot confuse quanity with quality. What I mean by that is Osteens success compared to the radical blaze of the sure Word of God which is sharper than any two edged sword cutting through the joints and marrow, piercing the depths of the heart of man to bring change and conviction which leads to repentance and true salvation. Is Joel preaching the radical message of Jesus Christ??? I Know a lot of you have different perpectives on this matter. I, personally am not choosing any side. Reason why??? All who have been called by Almighty God has a reasonable service to humble ourselves, forsake our sins , turn from them and pray. In so doing God Himself will hear and answer and heal our land. In this case the land of our leaders. Those that are called of God to preach,teach,pastor,evangelize and prophesi. We called to pray the sure Word of God and bring it to wear a problem has been unleashed that Gods will may be established in that area. I call out to ALL who believe Joel Osteen is preaching a watered down message of christianity with fast*food delivery meals and lite theology, ALL who believe that his message of God is false and corrupted – I CHALLENGE ALL OF YOU AS A BROTHER IN THE LORD TO PRAY FOR THIS MAN THAT GODS WILL BE ESTABLISHED IN HIS MINISTRY AND THAT SOULS SAVED AND LIVES ARE VICTORIOUSLY ESTABLISHED IN CHRIST JESUS. No more debates, no more reasoning, no more discussions. PRAY MORE. PRAYER BRINGS RESULTS. IF ALL OUR REMARKS IN THIS BLOG REQUEST WERE FERVENT PRAYERS INSPIRED BY AND THROUGH GODS WORD….WHAT CHANGE AND MIRACLES WOULD TAKE PLACE? What productivity we all would have?? The sure word WORD of prophesy in (II Tim. 2:16) declares to shun profane and vain babblings or debates for it only increases to more ungodliness. I mean think about??? Has the Holy Spirit convicted you on this matter?? If not, I pray search your heart again and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you and give you spirtitual insight to HIS WILL FOR OTHERS. Brothers and sisters in the like precious faith….Let us pray for our leaders and those that big influence over the lives of the lives of others, especially the children of God. Lets pray for our dear brother Joel Osteen and while we are violent in prayer, let us pray for all our pastors and leaders. Let us not forget our President – George Bush!!! Move forward my brothers and sisters and harden not your hearts and watch the mighty salvation hand of God work HIS MIRACLES…Amen. Say Amen if you agree and make difference as a radical child of God in this hour.

  100. Bill Burrows on said:

    I did not realize how my initial reaction to J Osteen was right! I was at a mens support group and it seemed everyone was loading all kinds of praises on this preacher and his book. I spoke up and said “I don’t like him or his message he seemed to smiley to me”. I was met with almost shock that I had no use for the man.
    I thank God my discerner was working I have read his book.. Thus my comments then and how not one to bother with comments on the web, I have to warn along with others;it is the old deciever saying “try the easy way, positive thoughts etc”, sounds like UNITY to me. Be warned without the Blood of Christ and repentence there is NO Salvation. This is a perfect example of 2Tim 4:3 it says it all. Thanks for this platform.

  101. Linda Stites-Mounts on said:

    Where is the Christian community in this disaster. Joel has a huge church right there in neighboring Texas. How about him and some of the other huge super-dome, convention center type churches open their doors and get the sick and dying and lost out of the disaster areas? They certainly have the resourses and that would certainly spread the love of God a lot further than just preaching the prosperous life. God is love…let’s show our fellow Americans a little and help them restore some basic needs in their lives, like shelter, bathrooms and food!
    A concerned citizen.

  102. Noreen on said:

    I am a born again believer. My husband is not, and doesn’t believe that the bible is the word of God. Strange enough though, he listens to Joel. After watching him listen to quite a few sermons, I asked him why he watched Joel and not anyone else. His response was, “He doesn’t go too deep into the bible…he just takes what he needs.” Nevertheless, he has not been challenged based on Joel’s teaching. He views Joel as an inspirational speaker.
    I have not been to Lakewood, and probably never will. So understandably, I won’t know what goes on at the church. If there is bible based teaching in the church, why is it not part of the television broadcasts? If my husband realizes that Joel does not go deep into the bible, and he is not saved, what can we say for other unbelievers who are also watching?
    The purpose of the gospel is to reach lost souls, everywhere, including at the church building, and over the air waves. The “feel good” sermon does not truly care for lost souls. It is focused on making one comfortable in whatever state one finds oneself.
    Lets call it what it is. If Joel’”teaching” and “preaching” does not conform to the work for the kingdom, be it in the church building or over the waves, it is false and only provides fodder for itching ears…
    In addition, I wrote to Joel Osteen, asking why he only called souls to “repentance” during the last 2 minutes of his sermon. As one may guess, I did never received a response.

  103. Dwain on said:

    WOW! I am amazed by the many comments like, “I stopped going to church because of the doom and gloom messages. I like Osteen messages because they make me feel good.” It is true that God is a God of love, but how can someone read the WHOLE Bible and miss the message of doom and gloom for those that reject God. I am sure the messages of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, John the Baptist, even Jesus seem to be to be doom and gloom. The words of Jesus should put this whole discussion in perspective, “In any man does not forsake all he has, he cannot be my disciple.” That is not a feel good message. That is a warning. You are not expected to do your best. You best falls way short. You are expected to forsake your life and trust in the finished work of Jesus. That is not the message I hear when I listen to Joel Osteen.

  104. Joe Bible on said:

    I agree that Joel Osteen is false teacher,but I don’t agree with the fact that we can not have any earthly goods.The LOVE of money is the root of all evil not the money.We all need money to better serve the world the true gospel such as and not limited to : gospel tracts, Bibles,food,vehicles,facilities,and many other things. We are to be GOOD Stewards of what God intrusts us with. Yes the properity message in a whole in the states is very,very flawed.Most are not teaching the true expediant use of the finances and God-given gifts are the poor in Spirit and naturally too. Why do you think that the government has such a stronghold on so many people?….MONEY. Why wouldn’t you support a group that seems to be helping you out with welfare,you know free money that condones sex out of wedlock,abortion,fragmented families,and many,many other sins,yes SINS. Just think if the true body of christ,not modern false body of christ(alot of churches sorry to say,but the bible say many will fool you not few will fool you)The few are the chosen to enter the strait gate. You know the LORD,LORD verse,and many will TRY to enter we must not overlook these words from my FATHER,SAVIOUR,COMFORTER(I Hope yours too)would come together and help the poor as we are commanded,and considered to be true religion.Joel is one of the worst dangers in the world today,even satan comes as an angel of light which Joel has alot of light but no truth,because 99.9% truth is a LIE. And Joel is far from 99.9% truth by any Bible. Ah Yes the huge question who gives me the right to judge…… THE WORD OF GOD,THE HOLY SPIRIT,AND LOVE for the loss(in and out of the church culture).Take out the beam(lightpole) in my eye first,before I can take the mote(toothpick)out of my brother’s (Joel,the church,etc.)Eye.Thank You.

  105. Cygnus X your arrogance is astounding.

  106. Joel is niether hot or cold as a minister and so is totaly useless to God. He speaks more like a jew in regards to american’s deserve more payback from God in profits like he gave the jews all of Egypt’s gold. Little do american’s who are so blind to God’s wrath that which is upon them right now for breaking the many ten commandments for far too long, the jews have been punished by God before and so shall they be destroyed by God for sleeping with the devil.

  107. rod scotland on said:

    Someone said , one of the marks of a mature christian is discernment.

    Maybe Im being a toutch over confident, but when I watch joel, I just hear a message from a man and not from heaven.

    Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will never, never, be satisfied from anything they hear from this man.

    Im sure weve all heard much preaching in our lifes. Cant you taste the difference?
    Its seems like a message for the unregenerate ear. No spirit and Life. When God speaks to me through a man it drives me to the prayer closet and Joel just doesnt do that for me.

  108. ricky jonohan on said:

    it is interesting to see this discussion as i have come to the conclusion that no matter what joel says or does, people will pick him apart. lets face it, before the first sermon, people were ready to dice him up and call him unqualified. i commmend him for changing lives, and, imagine this, doing it without knowing all you that you who critique him know. man, if God could just give you the pulpit in this nations fastest growing church, i am sure they would all follow your “error free” teachings and be better for it.

  109. rod scotland on said:

    Hi ricky, i wonder if i can ask you a question? what do you think is the reason for such rapid growth? Thanks.

    The majority of new testament letters directly confront sin and false teaching in the church. Read the first few chapters of revelation and you will see the Lord himself being pretty blunt with the state of the churches. May we be reminded that God hates, hates false doctrine and mixture. That is the real Jesus whom we serve not the false golden calf that most want him to be. Most will tear you to pieces when you want to destroy it.

  110. Lakewood Member on said:

    As a current member of Lakewood Church: My testimony:
    In the early 80′s I was lost and into drugs, the club scene, alcohol and all that goes with it. I would watch JOHN OSTEEN, even as I smoked grass, on television. He would point his hand at me and say, “If your addicted to drugs and sin, You don’t have to be!! JESUS LOVES YOU! Give your life and addictions to him today.” He would also say, “We don’t want your money…” Several other quotes from him during those days planted a seed in my heart. And even in my addiction I knew I was wrong….I loved the teachings of JOHN OSTEEN. He made the Bible come to LIFE! He made it apply, he held his Church and his viewers accountable.
    In the mid 80′s I would find myself in prison, most likely for not heading to the words of Jesus Though John Osteen. It took me 6 years to admit I had put myself in prison. And one night in my cell I called out to Jesus, and played back the John Osteen quotes in my mind. I asked Jesus to forgive me and began to weep deeply. I was amazed that no-one in the nearby cells heard me crying, then suddenly I did not care! That feeling!! PEACE THAT PASSETH ALL UNDERSTANDING!! Overwhelmed me!! Jesus came into my cell that night on the spot and cleansed my heart!! I would remain in prison 3 more years.
    Upon release I almost fell into the same paths that had gotten me there. Then without notice, God put a Christain woman in my unlikely path!!! ( A testiment to God’s faithfullness and The Power of praying parents!! )
    Its now 2005, we have been married for almost 11 years. I have had the same job since my release from prison. God has promoted me at work and in life way beyond what I deserve and my education. He has all of THE GLORY!
    I got baptised, and began attending a small church. My wife and I felt we were not getting fed there. Back in 1995, we had went to Lakewood Church for the first time. It was SO BIG!! Being from a small conservitive baptist church, this was way too distracting to concentrate on what was being said. Due to Cameras and etc. A few years later I would be spirit filled. And I wanted to give Lakewood another shot. In Nov of 1998, my wife and I began attending. John Osteen would pass away within 3 months. I can’t tell you the sadness that I felt knowing I should have attended his last few years. In fact years before he died John Osteen declared the year of 1999 as “The Year of Maturity”. Who would have known, besides Jesus.
    We received a heavy dose or Brother Shambock plus other evangilists. It was an awsome time in this house of God. We were in deep mourning.
    Pastor Joel came onto the scene and began a new message. It was one in a season that we needed to help us through this massive loss. It is a message I believe God needed Joel to have, for God to promote him.
    In Feb. 2003, Satan delivered a blow to me that sent me to my heels. There was nothing I could do and to be realistic it was something I wanted more than I needed…but was very important as it did involve family.
    In March of 2003, God opend a door for me to join the Lakewood Choir, and I entered it. This was my responce to Satans uppercut! Here I am, unto God today, singing the praises he deserves for being faithfull and bringing me out of the ashes.
    So now, as a member of a church that was too distracting, too noisy and just too much! I was now in the midst, and helping to create the Loud message of love to Jesus delivered by the music staff in Lakewood Church. Take THAT satan!!!
    I stand with those that say Joels message is a little motovational. Of corse we need to be motivated. However; Many of the people need to know more about this, “Taking the First Step and accepting Jesus as their savior.” That he often speaks of at the close of his sermon. It’s a brief statement he declares. But there is millions of sermons just from that statement. I would like to see him reach that level. I would like to know why he took Jesus as his personal savior and circumstances. We all know why JOHN OSTEEN loved Jesus! John knew what it would be like to miss a meal, he knew what it was like to struggle and not have things. He knew what it was like not to have Jesus.
    If I were born and raised in Joel’s situation, I would probably preach the same message. Because thats how easy it was for him. It’s not as easy as Joel makes it seem to be positive ALL OF THE TIME. Joel, No doubt, has his stresses, and I’m certain when he does something he enjoys and dosen’t perform well, He say Shucks or darn or something!! All moments and or days are not great, we sould always and be glad and rejoice in them, but some days just arn’t as good as others.
    I do agree that this may be Joels calling to deliver a motivational message. But I would also believe God would like him to mature and be all the things God wants HIM to be, Reach HIS potential.
    We are an awsome congregation, and there is a ton of red meat to eat in other areas of this church. This congregation loves Jesus. The Osteen family loves us and you, without condemnation. This is what JOHN OSTEEN taught, foremost it’s what Jesus and Paul taught. Paul wrote alot about what Joel speaks of from prison. Certainly Paul knew what it was like to miss a meal and to struggle. It was a different time and congregation.
    Paul also layed it on the line, he spoke out and up about the consequences of not taking the lord Jeasus as our savior. The wages of sin is death, period! You can only get to heaven through Jesus! These are not my laws, They are the Lords! Our television congregation should know this is our stance. Larry King should have sound definitive answers proclaiming, we believe abortion is WRONG, Same sex marrage is WRONG, homosexuality is WRONG. There is no line! The world should know these are sins and we view them as such. They should know that we believe that to stop these sins now repent and to take Jesus as their Savior now is to be forgiven and they will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!!! Even if they don’t choose to be happy and positive all of the time!!! To be all of that you need to have Jesus FIRST, or all of that positive happy stuff will be out the window when you face Jesus! And he said if we fail to profess him before man, It’s gonna hurt alot more when he dosen’t profess us before his Father. Ouch! All christain churches should be clear on this, It’s what makes us unpopular, Its why God said we would be persecuted. It’s why we will one day live with him forever.
    If I were to ask God to give Pastor Joel anything it would be to hold us more accountable and to speak of the Love of Jesus more often.
    I pray that Pastor Joel weighs not into what I have written nor the critics. Listen to God, if he is speaking through this and the critics, then you know.
    As a member of Lakewood if he were to change the speed or direction of his message that seemed to hold us more accountable for our actions. And it turned not to be as popular as his message is now, I would support him.
    As I close this, I want you to know that just a few months of singing in the choir, at a christmas party for volenteers. Pastor approcahed myself and another equally new choir member. Without knowing anything about us or our names, he extends his hand and excitedly proclaims that we sang in the choir. We told him we love him and were totally speechless. Glad I didn’t say anything stupid. What a huge church it is, for him to recognize a couple of faces of a couple of nobody’s. (no offence to my friend!)
    Also, I’ll say, there is not a Pastor in the world that isn’t critized for something. Why is that? God has given us men and women to spread the gospel in every way possible. There are many ways of doing this. If you don’t agree, don’t watch. If you don’t attend and take an active part, you don’t know what you are talking about! And that includes everyone who critisizes about anything. Many people don’t agree wilh Pastor Hagee, but many people do. At least he stands firm with his beliefs, he dosen’t care and he will probably happy to debate you on live television and use the Bible as his only referance!! If you watch and or notice no-one has answered his call!! I love it!! He calls a spade a spade! I probably would not attend his church if I lived in San Antonio, but I love his point of view. And if your ever in San Antonio, you should visit his church, you will be blessed!!
    Let these guys make it!! God is in control!!

  111. simply because pastor Osteen choose to use passages of scripture as subject matter rather than an opportunity to exergete the passage in no way demeans the effect of the scripture noe does it filter God’s Holy word but gives opportunity to bring the scriptures into practical daily exercise…..

  112. Believer on said:

    I really believe that the biggest problem with Christians is that we spend more time fighting about doctrine and less time actually going out and discipling. Attacking or breaking down a “sermon” of Joel’s is really a bit of a waste of time. Pointing out fault’s of another without actually talk to him is a waste of time. If something needs to be fixed or corrected then call him or e-mail him. Don, instead of edifying you may be wrongly acussing a brother in Christ of doing something wrong. Theology has its place, and so does teaching a person to use the teachings of Jesus in everyday life. Living a life of victory is better then living of life of fear.

    I have no doubt that God will truly reveal who are true lovers of Jesus and who are just spectators nitpicking at His chosen. Many are called but few are chosen!

  113. sue johnson on said:

    My uncle ,who has nothing but distain for Jesus ,loves Joel O. and watches his program every chance he gets. This tells me all I need to know about Pastor Osteen.

  114. David on said:

    I wonder how many of you have actually read his book? It seems not very many of you have. How many have attended Lakewood? Condemning a fellow christian after watching one sermon discredits your opinion and makes it entirely clear that you are in fact a divider. I find this entire web site to be utterly shameful and I seriously question your motives. As for Joel, His tachings have brought me closer to Christ and helped me in my day to day walk. And that is witness in and of itself. Now I suppose that you will call me liar or put me down in some manner….as if you had cornered the market on God’s grace and wisdom. If so it only further proves my point. Instead of the envy that you spew in condemning Joel…try loving him instead.

  115. Jim on said:

    Don’t you think it is up to god to judge if he is usless or not? Smile and have a great day

  116. Dave on said:

    Being neither a pastor nor preacher nor deacon or elder or educated theologian, I fear that I may be slightly in over my head here. I am however saved by the blood of my Lord Jesus…I believe that He paid the price for my sins on the cross, and I have confessed Him as my Lord and I believe that God the Father raised Him up, a perfect sacrifice for my sins. I’m not perfect by any means and I certainly don’t have all the answers. However, If I build upon the foundation which is Jesus Christ (which is what I feel we are doing with doctrinal issues) that which I build will be tried by fire (not my Christian Brothers) and if it stands I will receive a reward…If it is burnt up, I will suffer a loss. I suggest that we let Mr. Osteen’s ministry be held to that standard and not our own. Romans 14:4 states… “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth.” Verse 10 goes on to say “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” And if I can go on in verse 19 “1Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.” That being said, I’m not a big advocate of the “prosperity” message…I’ve known too many Christian brothers and sisters who are quite content and happy living in their very modest homes and extremely used cars, secure in the knowledge that their treasures are laid up for them in heaven. But I’ll not judge Mr. Osteen on this point…It’s simply not my place to do so. Instead I will ask this question…Are people accepting Jesus as their Savior through Joel’s ministry? If that’s the case, how can we possibly fault him? If that’s the case, shouldn’t we be overjoyed with the knowledge that we have so many new brothers and sisters in Christ?

  117. justaburger on said:

    WHAT REALLY GETS ME IS THAT NO ONE WILL COME OUT AND SAY WHAT IS TRULY GOING ON HERE. THREE TIMES NOW JOEL OSTEEN, ON NATIONAL TELIVISION, HAS REFUSED TO ANSWER THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. HE HAS GONE AS FAR AS SAYING THAT THOSE WHO FOLLOW FALSE GOD’S WILL POSSIBLY MAKE HEAVEN TOO. BELOVED, DO NOT BELIEVE EVERY SPIRIT, BUT TEST THE SPIRITS, WHETHER THEY ARE OF GOD; BECAUSE MANY FALSE PROPHETS HAVE GONE OUT INTO THE WORLD. BY THIS WE KNOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD: EVERY SPIRIT THAT CONFESSES THAT JESUS CHRIST HAS COME IN THE FLESH IS OF GOD, AND EVERY SPIRIT THAT DOES NOT CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST HAS COME IN THE FLESH IS NOT OF GOD. AND THIS IS THE SPIRIT OF THE ANTICHRIST, WHICH YOU HAVE HEARD WAS COMING,AND IS NOW ALREADY IN THE WORLD. 1 JOHN 4:1-3 HE IS OPENLY TEACHING A FALSE CHRIST! HE DENIES HIM ON NATIONAL TELIVISION AND EQUATES FALSE RELIGIONS AND FALSE DEITY WITH THAT OF THE ONE TRUE GOD, JESUS CHRIST. TO DENY WHAT JESUS SAID IN JOHN 14:6 AND SAY THAT THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE IN EVERY OTHER RELIGION THAT HE JUST DOESN’T KNOW OR CAN’T SAY FOR CERTAIN WHETHER OR NOT THEY’LL MAKE HEAVEN IS TO CALL JESUS A LIAR AND DENY THE TRUTH AND AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE! WHERE IS THE OUTCRY IN THE CHURCH TODAY? WHY HAVE WE ALL RESORTED TO BLOGS. WHERE IS THE MAN OR WOMAN OF GOD WHO WILL STAND UP CRY ALOUD AND SPARE NOT? WHY ARE WE DEBATING WHAT HE DOES IN HIS TV SERMONS VS. HIS LIVE SERVICES? YOU SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUIT. THIS MAN OPENLY DENIES CHRIST BEFORE MILLIONS AGREES WITH THE TEACHINGS OF OTHER FAITHS, YET SAYS HE LIKES TO FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS BETTER? HOW DECEIVED CAN WE BE? ANY BORN AGAIN BELIEVER WOULD HAVE JUMPERD AT THE CHANCE TO SPEAK BOLDLY FOR CHRIST IN FRONT OF MILLIONS ON NATIONAL TV AND DECLARE THAT JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD! DO THE RESEARCH HIS SELF CENTERED SELF HELP PREACHING BORROWS HEAVELY FROM WICCA AND NEW AGE OCCULTISM. YOU CAN DISTORT SCRIPTURE TO AGREE WITH YOUR VIEW ON ANY SUBJECT AND HE DOES. AND JESUS ANSWERED AND SAID TO THEM, “TAKE HEED THAT NO ONE DECEIVES YOU. FOR MANY WILL COME IN MY NAME, SAYING, ‘I AM THE CHRIST,’ AND WILL DECEIVE MANY.” MATTHEW 24:4,5 I DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY TIMES HE SAYS JESUS OR QUOTES OR MISQOUTES SCRIPTURE, HE IS PREACHING ANOTHER CHRIST TO MILLIONS. O FOOLISH GALATIONS! WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU THAT YOU SHOULD NOT OBEY THE TRUTH, BEFORE WHOSE EYES JESUS CHRIST WAS CLEARLY PORTRAYED AMONG YOU AS CRUCIFIED? GALATIANS 3:1 AND WITHOUT CONTROVERSY GREAT IS THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS: GOD WAS MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH, JUSTIFIED IN THE SPIRIT, SEEN BY ANGELS, PREACHED AMONG THE GENTILES, BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD, RECEIVED UP IN GLORY. NOW THE SPIRIT EXPRESSLY SAYS THAT IN LATTER TIMES SOME WILL DEPART FROM THE FAITH, GIVING HEED TO SEDUCING SPIRITS AND DOCTRINES OF DEMONS 1 TIMOTHY 3:16-4:1 LET US PURSUE TRUTH AND WARN THOSE WE WATCH OVER IN THE LORD OF THESE FALSE TEACHERS. BEING POPULAR ISN’T ALWAYS RIGHT. TO NOT PREACH THAT JESUS CAME TO SAVE FROM SIN IS SAYING THAT JESUS DID NOT COME IN THE FLESH, YOU THEOLOGIANS OUT THERE OUGHT TO KNOW THAT!

  118. Micah on said:

    Although I am not a fan of Joel Olsteen or his messages, it is not my place to judge the man or his ministry. The word tells us to jugge so we are not to be led astray not to criticize other ministers. I go to a seeker friendly church, and I don’t agree with everything they do. However, I know my pastors love God and us. The “meat” we get in small groups also. Sometimes you have to feed the masses milk to make them come to Christ.

  119. Bart Wilkinson on said:

    Broad is the road that leads to destruction and MANY there be that follow. Marty you are a long winded bore, just like the rest in your professon. Now I see why christian are leaving the institution in droves.

  120. richard on said:

    what happened to the sunday morning show on fox tv ?

  121. Hope on said:

    The sunday morning show on Fox is still there. You may find it under “Lakewood Church” as opposed to “Joel Osteen.”

  122. Jason Hays on said:

    Let me just start by saying I enjoy and appreciate Joel’s messages. I recently presented a 14 week bible study at work (a non-Christian corporate environment) called “Winning the Battle of the Mind” by Joel were he referenced over 200 different scripture in support of this very topic. I thought it was very supportive of God’s Word. Yes, I think people need to repent of sin and beware that the Christian life is not all roses, but the reason this ministry continues to grow is because of the hope that it brings…not false hope but what God (I think) really intended for us to have (I’m not just taking about monetary things but blessings of the heart and soul as well). I know Jesus Christ personally, and although I cannot speak for Him, I think He is pleased with the ministry at Lakewood. If you did a 14 week study as I have you would see that this ministry is really on line with the Spirit of The Lord. As Christians we should be discerning and watch out for false prophets…but Joel is not one of these. It’s time that Christians start come together as the spotless Bride of Christ and stop bickering amongst each other. God wants to bring a hope and future to all. Yes He is a God of Justice, but he is also a God of love, hope, and joy! God bless all of you in your walk with Christ.
    Jeremiah 29:10-12 (NIV) 10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

  123. Cesar Gevert on said:

    I have to state that I don’t know a lot about Joel Osteen’s theology, and the reason why, is that his actions show more about his theology that his theology itself. I also believe that most people that posted something in this blog fall on the same type of error that Osteen falls. We live in a country in which is easy to make money and that praises the materialism. This has already infected the church. Only 2% of Christians share their faith. Only 10% of church goers share their faith. We are scared of telling people what God really is. We have freedom of speach but what we say can be offencive. We give more praise to guys like rick Warren and Bill Hybels than to God. Most of us if meets one of these guys would treat them as stars. Christians in America love God, tithe and go to church, but their main concern is not with spiritual things, but with material things. It’s so easy to get some good gadgets to our houses here, that we live for that.
    That’s why a guy like Joel Osteen does not surprise me. He’s the dream pastor of every american Christian. He teaches what you want to hear. Does it work? I have no doubt that many of Lakewood members will go to heaven.
    The truth is that Americans have gotten too cocky regarding to Christianity. Like in other things, we are the best counry of the world, the biggest democracy, our teams win the national competitions and are regarded as “World Champions”. We don’t respect the United Nations and at the same time demand others to respect. the list goes on and on. Same thing with Gospel. We found out that Gospel is good business. Max Lucado’s church has a bookstore that is open during service time. A Christian CD cost twice as much than a Marilyn Manson CD. Christianity became a business in this country. We call our nation a “Christian Nation” but these are not the fruitz of the spirits.
    I really don’t care if Osteen is the anti-Christ or not. The fact that he spent 90 million dollars on a building is enough to keep me away from his church and his Theology. But again, 5 million dollars in a church is already too much.
    Do you know how much a missionary to Africa makes a year? When they come back to the US in furlow they live like poor people. More than likely a career missionary will retire and not have money to buy a house and here we are, spending million of dollars on building and 5 stars Sunday School classes.
    America has to reavaliate itself. We call ourselves Christian, but we really live like pagans, even on sundays when we go to our big churches in our big and nice cars, not carring what’s happening around us, and not making any effort to share the Gospel, which is probably the main thing that a Christian should do on earth.

  124. Anita (ocassional viewer) on said:

    Well, I gotta say is that Joel Osteen is like the next Dr. Phil with a Biblical perspective. But the thing that I dont understand about him is that there are certain areas of the Bible that he will not preach about, such as the book of Revelation. Sure, I can understand the fact that he is not the person who likes to bring people down, but sometimes the truth has to be told, one way or the other. I also notice that he never has any types of healing services for the sick. We the viewers dont know that for sure. Only him and the members of Lakewood Church know that. But hey, theres nothing that we can really do about it. Obviosly he cant show his whole Sunday services live every Sunday on TV for all the world to see. But what can I say. He is a rising star, as far is the modern day church is concerned. So, I just hope that he contiues to be blessed for years to come. By the way, he and Dr. Phil should do show together sometime. I think that one day he should come preach at my church.

  125. Sam on said:

    I noticed the remark about Hybels and trying to be seeker sensitive. The remark about leaving out the blood and cross are simply not true. When I visit there, the worship is often centered around that. Bill’s heart is well known for lost people and commitment to Christ is also. Thanks

  126. angelikos de souza on said:

    Where there is smoke there is fire. If Victoria did slap the flight attendant , i hope the attendant will sue her…not only that i think she deserves jail time for assault and battery and endangerment of all the passengers on the flight.

    Americans tend to be so naive and gullible when it comes to matters spiritual they fall all over themselves because some one preaches a mantra , is charismatic, sings gospel songs well or have a flashy toothy smile and they immediately embrace him as the one annointed by Jesus. Americans confuse entertainment with spirituality.

    The Osteens ought to be ashamed of themselves masquerading as spokesperson of Jesus of Nazareth, preaching a false creed of success and selfishness — what the heck is a ‘pastor’ and his ‘wife’ seating in a first class seat , and excusez moi, being on route to a ‘ski-vacation ‘ in Vail colorado? If he is so annointed with the holy spirit , don’t you think the holy spirit which is God’s unconditional love will be moving him and his Victoria to be heading for Iraq to minister to the poor soldiers who are in the fore front of danger to bring freedom and democracy to those troubled lands? Don’t you think the holy spirit would not be moving him and her to be feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, caring for the sick, clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless. I say to you this, instead the UHOLY SPIRIT OF HYPOCRISY,CHARLATAN ENTERPRENEURSHIP, SELFISHNESS, SELF AGRANDISEMENT, GREED ETC. ARE MOVING THEM TO GALAVANT AROUND THE COUNTRY IN A FIRST CLASS SEAT OF AN AIRPLANE , SPENDING THEIR ILL BEGOTTEN MONEY WHICH THEY HAVE FLEECED FROM MILLIONS OF GULLIBLE FOOLS WILLING TO PAY FOR A BOOK AT WALMART AND SUNDRY BOOK STORES to learn this young men’s false preaching and distortion of Lord Jesus’s message.

    It is an Unholy spirit that had moved Victoria Osteen into a hissy fit – clear testimony that they are not possessed of the Holy Spirit but rather the Spirit of Charlatanship and Hippocrisy and by their fruits and action ye will know them.

    I recommend that both Mr. and Mrs spiritual Fraud, sell all their earthly belongings, refund all their ill begotten gains, rend their clothe, put ash on their forehead and wear sack cloths as an outward sign of repentence…then sign up to work in the food kitchens of america for the rest of their lives — for after all , did not Jesus tell the rich young man to sell all his belongings and to follow him when the latter asked Jesus how he(the young man) could gain the Kingdom of Heaven ?

    Brother Angelikos de Souza

    Quod erat demonstrantum

  127. Kevin on said:

    People shun the dry, theological dogma that they can’t relate to. Joel Osteen says things in way that people are hungry to hear. Paul was a fanatic who lived in prisons and owned nothing. Any of you “religous” folks have a savings account? Paul would condemn every aspect of you so called “christian” life. Don’t throw stones at Osteen for filling a need that so many people have, the need to find purpose and direction.

  128. r kelly on said:

    we need to be encourage more – its not emphasized enough from pulpit…our identity in christ, our future, our security

    he is tapping into that need in people…too many times people leave churched beat up confused and discouraged ..

    While i thought his dad was more right in orthodoxy than the son ( i dont think the son has any formal seminary )

  129. cesar g on said:

    I disagree with kevin and agree with kelly. by not preaching the totality of the gospel, Joel is not filling anything to anyone, he’s just babling, and go read wwhat the bible says about babling.
    Now kelly dropped the bomb on all of us when he said that our identity in Christ is not encouraged enough from the pulpit. That’s the truth, the total truth. Pastors are not teaching who we are in Christ, and that’s probably the most important thing for a Christian to learn. If you know were you are in Christ, things will go smoother, and the level of commitment towards Christ will grow. It’s not about what people want to hear, but what people have to hear. The real gospel cannot be presented as a cool thing, an easy way of life, end of struggles, a life full of happiness or some kind of emocional guru type of thing. The real gospel is like a sword that penetrates you and kill your old man, and it’s not an easy death, it hurts. The real gospel brings enemies and percecution. It’s a cross that we have to carry. It’s our hope during the adversities, the peace of knowing that the battle is already won, but not over.
    Some pastors are not teaching that, b/c they want to give cool things, so people will not feel threatned and come to church, and biblically that’s wrong gospel. My fear is that the bible is clear about people that teach wrong, the are called false prophets. Now, I cannot say that Joel Olsteen is a falsen prophet, b/c is not up to me to judge him, but there is something wrong with his teaching, and that’s cristal clear, and he’ll have to answer to Christ all his actions and thoughts. The bible says that teachers will be judged with a tougher measure.

  130. Kenny on said:

    Gentleman, I am a pastor and I have been to Lakewood and heard Joel preach. My church has partnered with Lakewood in the outreach ministries that they have there. One in particular is taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the streets. It is an outreach to people. One in particular was an outreach to Muslims. It was taught by a professor that is on staff at HBU and a member of Lakewood. It was in depth and covered everything. I also have had the opportunity to see Joel present the gospel to those that the church helped during the flooding of Houston during Tropic Storm Allison. I have heard his message on deliverance, and it is right on!
    I just think we should pray for him and the ministry that God has called him to.

  131. Kevin on said:

    I think that it is simple hypocrosy and jealosy that seeks to tear down Joel’s ministry. I also think that one man interprets the scripture, and several centuries later millions follow that man’s ideas, rather than find their own interpretation and reasoning regarding the passages of the Bible. Joel doesn’t twist, he interprets and applies it to the modern day life for people. Accepting Christ isn’t a complicated thing. We come to Salvation by faith alone! Joel preaches things that lead to a more abundent life, partly through scripture and other sources as well.

  132. cesar g on said:

    I don’t agree, he preaches on a way that makes people confortable. well guess what? the gospel is not confortable, the gospel is not confortable. the gospel kills you. and it has to be taught in all ddetaqils, otherwise we will continue seeing the Christians that we see in theis country today; more worried to make big bucks than anything. Lakewood is a church that teaches too much prosperity, just look how much they spent on a building, when 90% of the world is in financial troubles. Not just the world, but there is o lot o poverty in houston. And don’t tell me that the poverty of the rest of the world is not your problem, b/c on the bible says that it is. We americans are very confortable with the facility that is making money here, so confortable that we are spending too much money on things that don’t bring any honor to God. a church has to preach the totality of the Bible all the time, not just sometimes. When a pastor goes to a Larry King Live, he has to tell exactly what the bible says when asked, not just give political correct answers ,like joel did. you kniow, Jesus died for His beliefs. Paul, peter, mark, and so many others all died for their beliefs.

  133. Shiela Peterson seems to be a lost “sheep” she misses the whole point. I believe she is as “New Age” as is Joel Olsteen. Sorry, I have to tell it like it is!

  134. Shiela Peterson seems to be a lost “sheep” she misses the whole point. I believe she is as “New Age” as is Joel Olsteen. Sorry, I have to tell it like it is!

    sheila peterson Says:
    February 19th, 2005 at 11:03 pm

    i love joel & victoria osteen and follow his doctrine as much as humanly possible. he is my favorite minister ever and is the minister for me. i have seen so much of God’s unprecedented favor since i started following his teachings. the fire and brimstone stuff is a turnoff for me. if we spend all our time doing the positive things osteen speaks of (living more GOD like) that bad stuff wont touch you. LONG LIVE JOEL & VICTORIA!!!!

  135. Kevin on said:

    The Gospel is love, pure, unconditional love.  God so loved us that he sent his Son to die and take the punishment for our sins.  Our debt is paid!  So why shouldn’t be live a prosperous, joy filled life of victory?  Why should we walk with bent backs and guilt filled hearts?  The victory is ours and this life is a celebration!  Some people can feel rich with a little or poor with a lot, but Joel doesn’t preach exclusively about material richness, but a richness of attitude and the grateful heart.  God wants his children to be rich! You Christians that think the gospel is about holding others in a subservient life of fear and guilt are twisting the truth.

  136. Friend of Jesus on said:

    Just stumbled in here, and I probably couldn’t find my way back in if I tried, so I won’t be checking back, in case you respond, (sorry about that). I too, love Jesus, and support Jason’s statement, and do not think anyone here hates Joel Osteen. Remember though, that we are all different, , and take a moment to accept another’s opinion (which is also how Joel Osteen encourages others),learn to love other’s. Joel may be leading a large congregation, I agree, and is in a position of responsibility. But, with his positive, motivational-speaker type of sermons, he may be calling New members to love the Lord who may otherwise be turned away by many stern pastors who make us feel terrible about ourselves for an hour. They won’t be back. Given love though, and a positive message, many will find their own church and live a life of service to the Lord. The world, (and the internet), are often a place where all people do is complain. I say, Up with the Positive! I feel that the more stress we are All under, we need to just allow for more love, more patience, and more “accentuating the positive”. I definately love the sermons where he talks about encouraging others,– tell the new bank teller she is doing a great job when it’s obviously her first day, let someone in to traffic in front of you, hang up the cell phone and be a more courteous driver, in other words– make life better for OTHERS, not yourself, and you will see a Positive change in your own life. God Bless Us All!

  137. This guy makes me sick. This type of teaching is straight out of the pits of Hell. He doesn’t think abortion is “the best way?” And he doesn’t have enough guts to state the truth .. that without being born again through Christ you are going to Hell? He even claims to never use the word sin .. because that would be judging. This guy and his ilk … Robert Tilton .. Creflo Dollar (His name should be a hint on who his real master is) …Benny Hinn-derance are more damaging to the Christian movement than any atheist, liberal, or the entire ACLU could ever be. I cannot believe that a man of God would dare claim to be equals with Jesus, to say that we are all gods. The charismatic/prosperity movement is damaging our nation, and we need to get back to real biblical preaching. By the way .. pointing out false prophets or saying sin is sin is not judging. If we weren’t afforded this how are we ever to teach our children? We could never say that murdering, stealing, fornication, homosexuality and so on are sins. Because in doing so we would be making judgments on people.

    For those readers who are not familiar with Joel’s Larry King interview and other statements he has made … here is a website detailing it: http://www.myfortress.org/JoelOsteen.html

    Even without knowing any of his above statements it is easy to discern what is truly important to this man by watching his Gospel Entertainment Hour on television. His invitation lasted 9 seconds by my clock, which included a dried up sinner’s prayer which concluded in him telling people that if they parroted back what he said then they were saved. This was followed by a 2 to 3 minute commercial selling his book and videos. Sounds like the money changers need to be driven out of the temple.

  138. Kevin on said:

    Chris sounds like a radical Christian version of Al Queda. There are nutty extremists in all religions I guess, and Christianity is certainly no exception. Christ gave us a gift, it is free and doesn’t take jumping through hoops or self mutilation to aquire salvation. We are saved. Takes less that a second to receive and is free, guilt free, to all!

  139. Mike on said:

    I think that we all have a calling that God has placed upon our hearts. In Joel’s case he has connected with people that wouldn’t typically walk towards a church much less through the doors. He has brought thousands of people to know the lord that needed Jesus. He sums it up at the end of each of his services… He asks the viewers to accept Jesus into their heart and then he encourages them to go out and find a good Bible Based church. His anointing is to lead people to the lord and then direct them to the church for a deeper understanding of the word. Also note that he has never held out his hand requesting donations and pledges during a regular brodcast. I encourage all of you to stop judging him and be thankful that he is leading people to churches all across this country, and the world… I am one of them, I know the lord now because I watched him on tv and realized that God accepts me with open arms regardless of my past. Me and my family now attend a wonderful bible based church that teaches us the deeper meaning of faith and goes deeper in to the word. Thank you !!!

  140. cindy on said:

    Gee, isn’t Osteen awful?! He’s taking passages from the Bible and applying them to today’s world to bring people to God, and he’s encouraging positive thinking and good works toward our fellow man. But apparently he’s totally wrong in doing this, because he’s not constantly quoting scripture. Maybe I’ve missed something, but I thought God was a God of love, of acceptance, of compassion. When you believe that there’s only one way to teach about God’s love, and think your view is the only right one, you are moving away from God and all that he and Jesus Christ stand for. The Bible was written by men in a long-ago world, and each and every passage cannot be taken literally. It has to be taken in the same spirit that Christ lived his life – one of sacrifice, compassion toward fellow mankind, and in a non-judgmental way. Until Christians begin to live their lives in that spirit, we will not be fulfilling the true spirit of what the Bible teaches.

  141. Troy Bishop on said:

    My daddy told me over a half century ago there will alway be those who cannot equal you in accomplishments therefore their only possibility to fame is to pull you down to their level. Carry on Joel you are too far ahead of them for them to ever ovetake you. CARRY ON JOEL,GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE. We know because we see two footprints in the sand.
    God Bless.

  142. brother in christ on said:

    paul said in the word of god, purge thyself.
    we are saved by grace, thats the devine personality of God (Jesus). faith with out
    works is dead. it doesn’t mean that works
    saves us, it just means we have to do stuff
    for the church and our lives to prosper.being
    positive , does not mean your leaving God out, or that you don’t need him. i know that
    if any of you Pastors , would go back and hear your teachings or preachings of 20 years
    ago, you would probably understand. Pastor
    Joel is getting better, he growing, we are all growing. we must never stay the same.
    Grow in the Word.

  143. Denise on said:

    I’ve known nothing of Joel Osteen until this weekend when a dear friend mentioned the controversy. In researching, I have come across your blog page and this information, as I am one who takes few things at face value. There have been several responses here that mention not judging others, etc.,etc. However, our own Bible references in 1 Corinthians 5:9-12 specifically that those outside the church are judged by God, while those inside the church are judged by the church. Looking at this logically, how in the world can the church remain the bride of Christ if just any old teaching were allowed? How many times did Paul reprimand the church for heresies and false teachers? Again, I know nothing specifically of Joel Osteen, but I do know the dangers of misrepresenting the Word of God. And God has been very clear on that topic. Thank you for your insightful comments.

  144. RUBBER BAND MAN OHIO on said:

    Joel is going to be in Indianapolis very soon (not sure when) anyone want to walk a PICKET LINE?…. i know what my sign would say—– WIDE GATE JUST AHEAD

  145. Bob on said:

    It’s clear Zig Zeigler could use Joel as a motivational speaker. Then Zig could set Joel straight on the Bible’s truth. Joel is not a “preacher” of the Gospel. It’s very clear he has NO training. I think everything he has learned if from being behind the camera.

  146. robert on said:

    I love Joel and Victoria Osteen. They, along with Joyce Meyer, have been used of God to change my life! Criticize and find fault for we all have faults. Some of the world’s most powerful preachers have never attended seminary. God uses anyone willing to be used of them. Just because he doesn’t say exactly what you want to come from his mouth, you get out there and start making a difference. Have you taken the love of Christ and His power to change to a needy world – or needy Christians (like I was)? Love is the most excellent way!

  147. Sarah Malone on said:

    Love to watch and listen to this program,I enjoy so much,Would like to ask Joel to keep me and my family on his prayer list.And Thank Joel for the wonderful messages each and every time that I get to tune in.
    Thanks Again Joel,
    Sarah Malone

  148. Sara Scott on said:

    I stumbled across this article while trying to find the T.V. scheduling for Olsteen ministries this morning and I have to tell you that I was shocked.For the author of this article to judge Olsteen on a twenty minute T.V. show that is intended to attract the non-churched into the christian community makes me ill.Joel preaches from not only the bible but from his heart….a place that many so called christians have forgotten about.He gets people interested in God,Jesus Christ,the church,the bible, the communtiy,in giving and in caring,at the same time reminding christians to always strive to be their best and to honor God in all that we do.How can you complain about a christian who loves our Lord and is making a difference in millions of peoples lifes??

  149. mp coyne on said:

    it is good to test every spirit we shall do it in love and soberity but we must do it with much prayer and study much more bible study than with personal feelings

  150. Rosanna on said:

    I went to 12 years of catholic school – was very devout in my faith and then was gone from it for nearly 20 years. One day I watched Joel – and whether he is right or wrong, he touched me – I am now reading the Bible again. I am going to Church again. I have an inner peace I have been missing for 20 years. For those who want to criticize – I’m sure you are without sin..because you have no problems throwing your rocks. He’s making a difference – and bringing people back to God. That in itself, is God’s work – whether you like it or not.

  151. Paul on said:

    I should say 1st I have come around full-circle to examaning a more Bible-based look at salvation whereas before I had sort of gone with the more modern, prevailing “spititual” approach that in essence – “we all go to Heaven and there’s no such thing as hell or the devil, only our outcomes of thought and action about our lives.” I just got done reading the 1st book of the New Testament (the 1st itme I’ve ever read a full section of the NT). My word, I can’t believe the number of instances where Jesus has to cast out demons or the like. I was also struck by the fact that Jesus doesn’t mince words and is sometimes very direct (and not what I had perceived as always being the gentle Savior).
    My point and my question to you all is: What are the implications for someone like Joel Osteen, Neale Donald Walsch (who wrote the popular spiritual series ‘Conversations with God’) if they are wrong, or choose not to (more in Walsch’s case)stress the idea that salvation can only be gained through acceptance of Christ as the personal Savior? I am starting to examine my own relationship to God in this context. Being Catholic (and yes, I understand some of the fundamental differences with other Christian faiths) I have begun to get a sense of urgency with finding my relationship to Jesus. And yes, I have watched Joel and enjoy him and I know he preaches acceptance of Jesus as the Savior -but as discussed here more of a backdrop to his positive interpretation of the Word.

    -What do you think are the implications before the Father if well-intentioned people like the ones I’ve mentioned (and me too, beleive me I’m searching) don’t get it “right.” In essence, are you in big trouble if your heart was in the right place, you tried to “love your brother as yourself” but didn’t or were too mainstream to get it “exactly right?” I hope you can get a sense of what I’m asking here. It has important implications, I think.

    -P.

  152. Hi Paul,

    You raise some great questions, and I’d love to chat with you about them. Basically, as I understand your question, you are asking ‘why is the name of Jesus Christ so important’? Correct? That is, why do so many say that Jesus is the only way?

    Well, is a very brief summation, here’s a synopsis:

    A)We are sinful. God, in order to be a just God, must punish all sin -no matter how small. Because we have sinned, there is no way for us to become righteous. We are now blotted and cannot obtain righteousness because of our disobedience. No amount of ‘good deeds’ can make up for our rebellion against God’s law.

    B)Jesus Christ, being fully divine in the form of a man, was the only one to live a perfect life. Therefore, God, in the crucifixion, punished Jesus –although completely innocent- for all the sins of those who would eventually believe. Those for whom Christ died for got His righteousness, and our unrighteousness got placed on Him during His death on the cross (being that He was completely innocent –His death was an ‘unjust’ act).

    C)Jesus is the only way for two reasons: First, God said so in His word: “No man comes to the Father but by me” –John 14:6. Secondly, He is our only hope for righteousness. In 2 Cor 5:24 it says: “He (being God) made Him (being Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”. Again, He is our righteousness, which is not a righteousness of our own (like the Catholic doctrine teaches), but is a righteousness of Him who died for us.

    There is no other hope for attaining righteousness. For Galatians 2:16 says “for by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified”. Jesus is our only hope for attaining righteousness, there is no other who meets God’s standard. And the only way to partake of that righteousness is to come to Him by faith: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” –Rom 3:28. We are justified by faith because it is by faith that God grants us the righteousness of Christ. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss further. Or, feel free to check out this post of mine.

    Grace to you my friend,

    -NW

  153. Paul H on said:

    i have read all these letters and comments how about someone praying for Joel becareful of your words because you will answer for them pastor Paul

  154. Leslie on said:

    (said with much love) Joel Osteen has attracted thousands to the positive and loving message of Jesus Christ. He does not try to cram steak down a baby’s throat, but rather, delivers a concise message that God, in the form of Jesus, wants the best for you. There is nothing wrong with that. The services are more in-depth, have many scriptures and references to Jesus, and many, many classes, small groups and resources are offered to provide more in-depth education about who Jesus really is.

    Please don’t be fooled by Satan by the ungodly anger in your hearts. Instead of bashing him, pray in love for him and be thankful for his increasing exposure to the average person. Pray for him to stay on the message of Jesus, pray for him to not sin or stray. Attend one of the services for yourself, and when you feel the Holy Spirit and the love of the people for each other, then you will understand and know that this ministry is producing fruit.

    Love people. Love.

  155. Paul on said:

    Leslie, I enjoy his message and my mother really liked his book. I’m going to take her to see him when he comes to Boston later in the year.

    I guess I’ve just really become aware of my Christian heritage lately. Like I stated in my earlier note, I had adopted a “spiritual” philosophy that we are all children under God, praying to the same God, etc…However, after reading the NT, Jesus makes it clear that it will be difficult for nonbelievers to enter the Kingdom of Heaven…Where does that leave Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc…you get my drift. Also, I have friends who were baptized but don’t make room for Christ in their lives frequently. They don’t go to Church but are good people – the types that will help a neighbor shovel out a car in snow or give you a shirt off their backs. I’ve been wondering about them too lately in regard to my own 180′ turn…Where does that leave them?

  156. Kim A. Barnett on said:

    What is the goal of a preacher? Is the main goal to be able to bless people with the rewards that God has for us by accepting the Christian way? Once we have been saved which usually only takes one sermon, then what? We all have been to churches that all they do is teach that we need to be saved. When in realty almost if not every one in there has been already? The Bible is a tool in which to teach us how to live a good life. Joel does this. My guess is that most of you people that are complaining about his words could not comfort or guide anyone without using the Bible. Book this, chapter this, verse this says. That is because you do not know how to interpret the Bible and put it in language that people can understand and relate to. Just like when we are in school learning algebra. Most of us know how to use some of the formulas like most of us know how to use the bible. It is the people that know why we use the algebra formulas that will excel. Just like it is the people that know why the verses in the Bible are there. I was a child that was raised and disciplined by praise. I function by praise. Joel does this also. You must function by fear. Fear does not work for me or most people for that matter. Keep preaching your fear and you will constantly need to replenish your congregations.

    Kim A. Barnett

  157. Margaret Samoa on said:

    Please don’t waste your energy critizing other people who are probably annointed by God, but rather pray for them. Why use this site to critisize one man, instead of using it to glorify Jesus Christ. Maybe you can turn it into a discussion site where people can ask questions about Jesus Christ.

  158. Diane on said:

    “It just seems like the more known we get, the more critics we have. But I don’t apologize for anything. I just have a message of hope and victory.” -quote from Joel

  159. Dwain on said:

    The suggestion that the critics of Joel Osteen are acting “holier than thou” is at best misguided. The apostle Paul time after time in his epistles commanded the church to denounce those who preached a false gospel. The problem with Joel Osteen’s messages is that with the exception of a cursory mention in the final prayer, they are missing essential elements of salvation: repentance, knowledge of hell, distain of sin and the need for a savior just to name a few.

    Repentance is mandatory.

    John the Baptist preached repentance, “… Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mat 3:2)

    Read Jesus’ words, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”. (Luke 13:3)

    The disciples preached repentance, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

    Jesus spoke more about hell than he did about heaven. He mentions hell 15 times in the gospels alone. Read the words of Jesus’, “But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” (Luke 12:5)

    Anyone who has read the WHOLE Bible understands that the law was given in the Old Testament times NOT to show man how to reach God by works, but that God is unreachable by works because we are all sinners. The apostle Paul used the first three chapters of the book of Romans to drive home how wicked man is when compared to a holy God,
    “…There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10)

    For a person to be saved he MUST understand that he is separated from God by sin. He MUST repent of that sin and turn towards the finished work of Jesus in faith. Then God will perform the work that saves him.

    If Joel Osteen’s TV sermons are a good representation of what his church teaches, then the mass of people flocking to his church are not hearing the gospel message.

    Personally, Joel Osteen seems like a nice guy. He is definitely a great motivator. But the Bible message is not about motivating us to be good. It is about recognition that we are sinners separated from God by sin. It is about recognition that we are in need of a savior. It is about recognition that while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us on an old rugged cross. He paid the debt that we owed. It is about recognition that we must turn from our sin and place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    This is not a criticism of Joel Osteen, but definitely of his message.

  160. Laura on said:

    I just happened on this site because of I am currently reading Joel Osteen’s book.

    I have been a born again Christian for 11 years and have had the joy of walking closely my Lord and Savior until recently.
    I am a member of a large church that has some of the best bible teaching I have heard, yet something has caused me to feel disconnected for the past year.
    The very simplistic nature of Joel Osteen is inviting, loving and encouraging which I think is similar to Jesus Christ’s very nature. I am no theologian, but do embrace the doctrine’s of repentance and salvation.
    I have heard incredible preaching and have seen no one at the altar call. Does that mean that the preaching wasn’t bible based?
    I think God is using Joel Osteen at least in my life to breathe words of life into me. He does not quote scripture as often but just precisely enough to ignite God’s Holy Spirit. God can and will use someone like Joel Osteen even without a theological degree.
    I was raised Catholic and have attended just about every Christian denomination and have seen firsthand what causes division—religion.
    Why is there so much division about things such as the gifts of the spirit in the church. Paul was very specific about this yet many churches shun the very thought. I do not speak in tongues, but believe that if God said it can be than it can. I see the very thought of an occasional glass of wine sends people reeling, yet the first miracle involved Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding.
    Is it generational? Are these Christians ones that have had perhaps misguided teaching ingrained from childhood?
    My memory is poor–I cannot quote scripture—but I love and believe God’s word—-does that make me the lesser?
    Please see that there is room for us all in the kingdom and God will use imperfect people for his glory.

  161. James Wichman on said:

    Joel Osteen makes no effort to explain what makes one God’s enemy or God’s friend, what makes one alienated from God or reconciled to God, what makes makes one a defiled worldling or a cleansed citizen of heaven. The vital doctrines of God’s word are never brought to light in his sermons. He advocates the monstrous lie that anyone can do what he teaches, whether they’ve been saved or not, cleansed by the Blood of Jesus or not, separated from thr world or not, crucified with Christ or not. “Come to my horse barn and I’ll turn you into a Triple Crown winner…overnight!” I don’t think so.

  162. Sylvia Silva on said:

    Your sermon IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL could not have come at a better time in my life I have been recently widowed and my life has changed drastically. So many question but the Lord used you to tell me just trust him be still and know that he is God. You are a mighty blessing to me. I praise and thank God for you

  163. Pender on said:

    Osteen is a Pastor speaking to Believers not people who need to get saved. The problem with people who critisize his message is that they beleive that most people who go to church are NOT really christians like THEY are (Ha Ha ) what a joke ! Most of these same critical people dont know that the bible says it is the GOODNESS of God that brings people to repentence. I thank God that He has raised someone up to speak to me as a BELEIVER and not as an UNBELEIVER. I dont need to be told of mans depravity I already know about it and came to Chrit because of it. Again Pastor Osteen looks out at the congragation and see’s Christians not un beleivers and the message he preaches is who we are and what is available to us in CHRIST which has helped me to live with MORE FAITH MORE HOPE and actually expecting God to do good things in my life ,which is very contrary to what I see most of his critics experiencing

  164. I’ve watched Joel Olsteens sermons and I find them to be positive and motivating even though I do not consider myself a christian, and the reason for that is people who claim to be christians are judgemental, hypocritical, and do not truly follow the word of the bible. I’ve read the bible and i know it is not our place to judge anyone, we are to walk in the image of Christ and others will see the love and happiness and they to will want to walk in the image of a Christ like life. I’ve yet to met a peson whom professes to be a Christian actually live up to the words they preach, and for that reason I have quit going to church, and listening to the words of false christains until I heard Joel Osteen speak. At least his message is one of hope and he teaches his church to be postive and strive for a better life through God and Christ without being judgemental and hypocritical towards others. So maybe you should stop judging him and take a look at yourself and reread your bible, because I think most people seem to be missing its point.

  165. Nicholas on said:

    It is said this was a critique of a sermon by Joel Osteen.
    Search Dictionary:

    cri·tique audio (kr-tk) KEY

    NOUN:

    1. A critical review or commentary, especially one dealing with works of art or literature.
    2. A critical discussion of a specified topic.
    3. The art of criticism.

    TRANSITIVE VERB:
    Usage Problem cri·tiqued , cri·tiqu·ing , cri·tiques

    To review or discuss critically.

    ETYMOLOGY:
    French, from Greek kritik (tekhn), (art) of criticism, feminine of kritikos, critical ; see critic
    Usage Note:
    Critique has been used as a verb meaning “to review or discuss critically” since the 18th century, but lately this usage has gained much wider currency, in part because the verb criticize, once neutral between praise and censure, is now mainly used in a negative sense. But this use of critique is still regarded by many as pretentious jargon, although resistance appears to be weakening. In our 1997 ballot, 41 percent of the Usage Panel rejected the sentence As mock inquisitors grill him, top aides take notes and critique the answers with the President afterward. Ten years earlier, 69 percent disapproved of this same sentence. Resistance is still high when a person is critiqued: 60 percent of the Usage Panel rejects its use in the sentence Students are taught how to do a business plan and then are critiqued on it. Thus, it may be preferable to avoid this word. There is no exact synonym, but in most contexts one can usually substitute go over, review, or analyze.·Note, however, that critique is widely accepted as a noun in a neutral context; 86 percent of the Panel approved of its use in the sentence The committee gave the report a thorough critique and found it both informed and intelligent.

    Now that we know what the word critique means I would have to say that the original intent was to critisize and judge based upon the perceptions and beliefs of the author, irregardless of the intent. What is in the heart always overrides our intent. It is my belief that the message and truth of Christ is very apparent to all. We have all been told enough times to know the truth. Ultimately it is up to us to decide if we choose to follow him or not. It is not a matter of the masses not getting or knowing that we are are all morally bankrupt ect. ect. It boils down to acting upon what we know. Anyone can memorize scripture and use it to base any argument with. I don`t care what you know, or how well you know the word, what really matters is are you living it. Practicing what you preach. The pious people, the all scripture knowing holier than thou have been condeming and critisizing people for centuries. Fear springs more fear. The fear of God isn`t the kind of fear many preach. The fear of God is respecting his authority. Satan dwells in the negative. He invented it. He can use the negative parts of the bible to his benefit just as easy as the good parts. The more we dwell on fire and brimstone, fear and the judgememnt of God the more we fuel it for Satans use. Yes it is important to aknowledge that realm exists, but why dwell on it to convert sinners? Jesus stated the greatest commandment was to love God with all our hearts, our strength and minds, and to love others. I love God for the simple fact he allowed me to even be born. He didn`t have to do that. I love him for the fact he allowed me to fail miserably, and turn away from him, and be able to learn from my mistakes and return to him through Jesus. I know like many what it is like to live without God. It isn`t fun. He waits patiently for you to beat yourself up enough to give in. It is important to know what the lack of God feels like before we can truly respect his authority. Just like we have to let our own children blow it before they can see we were right. The best thing we can do for them is to be the example. Christ was our example. I have watched Joel many of times. I don`t agree with everything he says, but I do like alot of what he says. Christ focused on lifting people up not tearing them down. Showing people that they are better than what they thought they were. He took 12 men and helped them see thier potential to do great things. We would not have christianity if Jesus did not lift up these men. To let them know that they are important and gifted and have the ability to spread the word of what Christ did. To be the example for others who did not know Christ. Alot of what I see in the church is nothing less than spiritual terrorism. I think we should praise our brothers and sisters for the good things they do. More than likely they will do more of that. If a person has a gripe talk to them one on one in private about it. From the response of posts to this article and from checking out the blog counter it would be my guess that the author of this blog posts contraversial articles and uses scripture to base his arguments to gain hits to his blog. Long live free speech. Different message same approach. I`ll bet the author enjoys the fact so many people come to his blog each day to see what he may have to say. Some may even see him as an authority. Thats ok with me. I enjoy free speech. To see the other side of things. I commend the author for even taking action in having a blog to speak his mind. In my opinion this article should have never been posted in the first place. All it did was fuel the fire. This evident. The author should have placed a call to Mr Osteen and filled him in that way, and then let the matter be between them.

  166. Aaron on said:

    “Christ focused on lifting people up not tearing them down. Showing people that they are better than what they thought they were.” — Nicholas

    People are already pretty good at thing that they are better than they really are.

    “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34 ESV).

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness” (23:27 ESV).

    Doesn’t seem like Christ was building up the Pharisees self-preception, does it?

  167. Nicholas on said:

    Aaron,
    I didn`t say build up their self perception. That is self or ego based. Puffing up someones ego. Building people up is actually helping them acknowledge who they really are. A child of God. Helping them access that part of them. A part most don`t realize they even have. Excellent coaches and leaders do this even though they may not know that is what they are doing. Helping someone access a part of themselves they didn`t know existed, within them. Christ did this all the time by showing people who they really were. Healing the sick. Casting out demons, walking on water… Teaching people to observe what is in their hearts. What is in their hearts comes from what they believe to be true. To quit believing what you see in the flesh. To watch your thoughts. To trust God. To have faith in him.
    Christ loves all because we all are God`s children. He even loved those who beat him and mocked him. That was just one example of how he taught us how to love.

    If you take those 2 passages for face value it seems that way, but appearances can be deceiving. Do you really think Christ went around phsycologically and verbally trashing people because he could. Showing off his great power as the son of God? To one up the big shots in front of his friends? Not likely, because God always has purpose and reason for all he does. This is what man does when he allows his ego to control his power.

    When I read the two scriptures you posted I see Christ really telling them, “Your better than this!” “Look at what has creeped into your hearts!” “Acknowledge who you really are, a child of God!” “Stop believing in the ego, it has corrupted you!” Christs motivation was to get them to think and contemplate what was in their hearts. At some point some just may have done that. He planted a seed. He wasn`t attempting to sway them to his side. God doesn`t mess with our free will to chose. Man attempts to persuade others not God.

    We tend to tie our self worth to our achievments, how smart or wise we are… That is worth based in ego. Christ brused their ego by exposing the truth that the ego is a lie. It is vulnerable. Our self worth is the fact we are Gods children. Made in his image and likeness. God created us to have fellowship with us. We are valuable to God. Not some play toy, or passing fancy. He gave his son so we may come back to him. If that doesn`t make us valuable to God then I guessed I missed the boat somewhere.

    Aaron, your post is a prime example of what I say about christians who present scripture to prove a point, based in face value without even really taking the time to dwell and ask God for the meaning of it. You said, “Doesn’t seem like Christ was building up the Pharisees self-preception, does it?” Does it seem that way to you or do you really know that`s Christ`t true intent? Your last statement alone tells me that you are unsure.You may know it in your mind but has the truth of those scriptures captured your heart. Your words spoken or written eventually reveal whats in your heart. Your actions speak louder than that. “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34 ESV). When people let their emotions control thier heart and mouth the truth of what is in them will always show itself. The body follows the commands of the heart which is tied to a persons beliefs. In sales, facts tell stories sell. Scripture is fact, but how the word has changed your life sells. Changes happen by dwelling on Gods word and finding the truth in it. That truth gets into your heart. It is an inside out job. Self sacrifice is nailing your ego to the cross and allow God to direct your life. To stop allowing your emotions to control your life. To stop reacting to external circumstances.
    Nicholas

  168. Interestingly, I was going to Joel Osteen’s website from a google search and found yours and several other links, condemning Osteen ministries. I admit, I struggle a bit from the financial success of some of today’s big ministries. But, I watch and read a number of Christian preachers and teachers and writers. Some, I quickly dismiss as having the wrong agenda, at least from my limited ability to discern such things. You make some interesting observations but please allow me to make some of my own. The Bible is full of wealthy characters beginning with Abraham. Abraham had to break with his known world, beliefs and the customs of his place of birth and go out and begin a “faith based” journey. I’m sure people told him he should have said this and done that. Most people that are in church already know they are sinners and “fall short” of God’s direction for living in faith. I also think that most people who go to church do so because they realize Christ died for them and they are trying to “find” faith and relationship with the Lord in order to become better Christians or, Christianity for the first time. So why do so many “Christian” leaders seem to be troubled by Osteen? I think we need more encouragement to live for God and by faith and that is what I hear from Joel Osteen. God has historically rewarded great leaders as depicted in the Bible. Jesus purpose was to bring salvation through his demonstration of love, compassion and encouragement. He only became critical of the lack of faith and righteousness of the church leaders. He would not even condemn the woman caught in adultery. So, should we criticize Jesus for not condemning a woman of breaking the Ten Commandments? Joel Osteen is trying to deliver a message of hope and encouragement. Didn’t God create the world with his words; doesn’t the Bible warn us of wrongly using our words, to use them rightly, to bless and not to curse? Isn’t Christ the living word of God? No ministry is perfect since Christ’s death. My sister is fond of saying “spit out the bones and eat the meat” meaning to take what is useful and good and leave the rest behind. Osteen is successful because his message is of hope and drawing closer to God. Do you really think people who decide to investigate their faith or explore this thing called Christianity need to hear what miserable sinners they are? Don’t you think they will arrive at that conclusion on there own when God’s word is delivered with hope and encouragement? The fact that Osteen has prospered from a message of hope should be a message to his critics. May God bless you with His grace and mercy?

  169. Melissa on said:

    I beleive completely in God, but I am not a practicing christian because I let the outside world interfer with my relationship with God; I am strongly trying to change that. I can understand the disappointment that the true christians may have towards Joel especially those who read the bible everyday and live their life according to the bible.

    I was very depressed one day and happen to stumble on one of Joel’s sermon’s and was completely moved by it. Because of that sermon I have bought his book and I have been trying very hard to live a christian life.

    Joel’s way of preaching may not be what the experience bible reader is wanting or expecting but for those such as myself it just may be a stepping stone to christianity. It certainly has given me something to think about and I sure needed it.

  170. Tim Garcia on said:

    Wow! I stumbled on this website and could not tear myself away from the computer until I had read all of the comments. While I hope I will never say or do anything that would lead any reader to believe I do not love them, I feel compelled to make a few observations. Joel Osteen is a talented orator and motivator. He is very competent in his ability to orchestrate a worship service, from the lighting, set, choice and duration of music, to the testimonies, prayer, and public speaking. This is after all, his self proclaimed “passion” as it pertains to ministry. While I do not know him, his wife, mom, brother, or any of his staff, I think I can speak the truth in love about their message. I hear this “message” in many forms, mostly from preachers like Paul Crouch, Jesse DuPlantis, Kenneth Copeland, and Oral Roberts. While the message varies in degree, it is fundamentally the same. You determine God’s involvment in your life based on your words of faith, and your deeds. The “deeds”, in many cases will require a call to a 1-800 number where trained professionals are standing by to “pray” with you and receive your “seed” gifts, etc. Many times, the setting for these messages is elaborate, or in a tropical locale, like on a golf course in Hawaii. “If you’ll just do this, then God will do that”. My dear brothers and sisters, and seekers of truth, this type of teaching is completely contrary to the Word of God. If you buy several gallons of milk, 4 tires and speak the words, you will NEVER be a milk truck. Even if you send thousands of dollars for the latest trinket to put on your mantle to prove your love for God, still, you will have nothing but a pile of useless rubber and sour milk. Sorry. Who among you would drink a tall glass of refreshing iced tea, if you knew someone had put one thousandth of a drop of arsenic in it? What about your child? Would you give the tea to your child? I don’t think so. The same holds true with the Word of God. A whole bunch of “pretty good”, “this is what the Bible says”, “God wants you to do this”, even though cleverly and masterfully articulated, is nothing more than a steaming pile of street goo when mixed with any amount of error. Sorry again for your luck, not my rules. To proclaim we need only think positively, and speak words of faith and do the right things to obtain the blessing of God makes God a puppet, and man the puppeteer. Another being tried to manipulate God that way, please read about Lucifer in your Bible for further information on what happened to him. I don’t think he experienced God’s favor, and he didn’t rise to the top like cream, either. It really matters not to me where you go to church, or if you go at all. I would love for every reader to be involved weekly. Don’t stop going because “they are all hypocrites”. Why don’t you consider going in order to be a blessing to others? Just a thought. To close, my point is this. Without confessing Jesus Christ with your mouth as the only begotten Son of God, and believing in your heart that God raised him from the dead, and trusting (read carefully, this is the faith part) that The BLOOD of Jesus is and was sufficient payment for the penalty of any sin you have ever and will ever commit, you WILL die without ever setting foot near heaven, or God. You WILL spend eternity in hell. The reason people don’t feel good about going to church? The same reason the rich young ruler walked away from Jesus 2 thousand years ago. He asked Jesus what he had to do to enter heaven. Do you remember what Jesus said? “Sell everything you have and give it to the poor”. Now, did Jesus REALLY expect the man to do it? I do not know. Maybe, maybe not. I do know the man walked away sad, “because he had many posessions”. I would submit to you the reason people come away from churches that preach the truth of the gospel today is the very same. They know in their hearts they have NO DESIRE to turn from their wicked, sinful, materialistic lifestyles in order to even give God a CHANCE at giving them peace, and eternal salvation. The price is TOO GREAT. However, if I can get heaven, AND a 2.5 million dollar house, and drive cool cars and have tons of cash, and promotions and daily health, SIGN ME UP! Hey, I’ll even move to Houston, if it’s real……the problem? Not real. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. Are you willing to accept THAT scriptural truth? I hope so. I will tell you that verse goes on to promise that God will see you through every one of those afflictions. Maybe He will heal you. Maybe He will grasp you in His mighty hand and give you ultimate healing and take you home. But you CANNOT have it both ways. Man cannot serve God and mammon. You cannot have the things of this world, and be in step with scripture. I tried, and it did not work for me. I love you, I love Joel. But mostly? I love Jesus and need Him daily and Him alone. Whether I am healthy and on the mountaintop, or sick and in the valley, may I always praise God, He never changes.

  171. Richard Weeks on said:

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

    As a member of Lakewood I invite anyone in the Houston area or those visiting to attend one of our services, then decide for yourself.
    Richard

  172. Nicholas on said:

    I would like to take a moment to comment on Mr. Garcia`s post. I have read the scripture in which Jesus asked the ruler to give up everything and follow him. I have heard this particular scripture used many times to make this particular point. After much study and contemplation it is my belief that Jesus was addressing the ruler personnaly to see whether or not worldly things were more important to him than making it into heaven. It is not meant for us to litterally sell everything we own now for us to enter heaven. It means do we love our worldly stuff more than God? Are we willing to do this if God asked us to right now?
    Jesus knew that one of the hardest things for us is to not let our success rule us. It isn`t that God isn`t willing to bless us with wealth or doesn`t like us to be wealthy he just warns us of the dangers of loving it more than him. That the temptation to love it becomes alot stronger and takes a great deal of discipline and responsibility to not allow the ego to pull your focus away from God. To be honest it would be a bigger test of faith and the love of God to be wealthy and to hold true to God than to sell and give away everything. The reason I say this is because wealthy people have developed the skill to create wealth in the first place. Strip them of everything and they will be wealthy again in a short period of time.

  173. What’s wrong with Joel Olsteen’s ministry isn’t how he preaches, or even what he preaches, what’s wrong with it is what he doesn’t preach, what he omits. We are all sheep and sometimes we need to have our legs broken in order to have a real committed relationship with Jesus and to understand who he is. Without acknowledging our sinfullness we can’t fully understand what salvation is. Just like a child that isn’t given sufficient parental guidance will never accept responsibility for his or her actions.

  174. One thing remains certain, politics and religion will ultimately create division with people. I was raised in a Methodist Church; I lead my family to a Baptist Church when I was 10 years old when I discovered Jesus. I married my wife who was raised in a Jehovah Witness home and we went to an Assemblies of God church for a while. We then discovered a small non denominational church and have been there for 17 years. Our church structure is similar to Lakewood and I admit I have struggled at times with some of teaching about giving. In the end, I find that the problem is not the message but with my faith in the message. Jesus said that with the faith of a mustard seed we could cast mountains into the sea. Joel does not sound much different than many of the words I read Jesus saying. Faith is a matter of the heart. Yes, some TV ministries are primarily focused on getting you to contribute. YOU need to pray about and discern for yourself if this is what God want’s you to do. I sew my seed in my own church but I also watch Charles Stanley, Joel Osteen and other preachers as I feel the message relates to ME. I wrote previously that my sister often says to “eat the meat and spit out the bones”. Any seeker of God must be in the word of God, the Bible, in order to know if what they hear outside the Bible is correct. We must pray read and fellowship with other believers’ for a balanced walk.

    We’ve been thru it all, seen the church disputes and people leave. My wife had a real difficult time coming out of the Jehovah Witness teaching but through our church, she overcame that and was set free. Our original Pastor eventually left and his Pastor’s wife took over almost 5 years ago. I say all this to illustrate the changes we go through in our search for God. Don’t make the mistake of seeking a religion or a religious leader or outward appearances. If you only see Joel Osteen on TV, how can you say he is not doing this or is doing that? What Joel is preaching on TV is fundamental mechanics of daily living. He’s not saying you don’t have to confess Jesus or anything else anti-Bible. His message is to teach and motivate people to learn more about God.

    I’ve spoken to dozens of people with different viewpoints than mine. Joel Osteen does not leave anything out! I don’t know where this “name it and claim” label came from or, any of the other “labels” that doctrine speaking people come up with. Jesus said there were two commandments. “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself”. He said this summed up the law and the prophets. I’ve read the comments from Joel naysayer’s on this page and thank the host for offering us the chance to place our viewpoints on this page, no matter how different.

    Bottom Line, Matthew 7:1, Judge not lest you be judged. If you think Joel is off the mark, pray for him. If you disagree with someone’s viewpoint, pray for them. Love is the operative word in Christ’s teaching. Watch the Passion by Mel Gibson and see what sacrifice was made for you and what true sacrifice love is. Love God and love your neighbor. Try it. It’s much more satisfying than pointing out others faults. God bless you.

  175. I like to hear Joel Osteen;s sermons every sunday.I look forward to them.

  176. janis in colorado on said:

    Most of the opinions expressed in this web site save a few are filled with envy, jealousy, and backbiting. The lot of you in your haste to point out Joel Osteen’s shortcomings, in your opinion, are more guilty of dividing the church than in unifying. The shame here is not Mr. Olsteen messsage but divisive message. Are not some hands, some feet, some eyes, some ears? It seems to me that most of you justify yourselves as just being mouths.

  177. Gail on said:

    I agree with Janis; if being inclusive of all races, creeds and color means theology-lite, then give me that anyday over fire and brimstone preachers donning white robes and cone hats in the middle of the night on their way to a lynching…remember those times?…just because you preach fire and brimstone, does not necessarily mean you are a Christian…the guy who wrote the most beautiful hymn ever “amazing grace” was a slave trader…you say that Joel needs to reference the Bible more, you should read the Bible more…write another article when you’ve spent a week with Joel Osteen, not just watched the half hour service on tv, because at this point your rantings sound like envy and jealousy.

  178. Allan Christopher on said:

    I doubt if Joel Osteen is born again. When I hear of Mr. Osteen, I am reminded of Philippians 3:18,19, “…….the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.”

    All he is is an entertainer and a philosopher, and he is preaching another Jesus,another gospel.

  179. j. mccay on said:

    I am a Presbyterian. I am a stuborn Conservative, Bible believing Christian that belongs to a Confessing Church in the PCUSA. I don’t agree with a lot of what the General Assembly does and says, but I will not abandon what God has entrusted to the PCUSA to those that would dilute the word of God to make it more like the world, and waste the resources God has given us. We are slowly making a difference.

    With that said, I have one question for all of you. Have you ever attended his church regularly (including the small groups)? If not, then you could be bashing a ministry that God has put into peoples lives at a given moment in their life for a reason. This could be more damaging to fellow Christians, and no believers, than any claims of false teachings you can come up with from his sermons.

    The Apostle Paul, in one of his letters, talks about teaching a particular church what he calls “baby food”. You can really expect to feed a new born a pizza. You must start somewhere, and this is what I think Joel is doing.

    I would like to see all these people who are critisizing Joel Osteen go to his church and particpate for a while! Then comment on his full ministry. When you get to be a large church, more is done in the small groups than is done in the services.

    Sometimes people need to be reminded of God’s blessings and to have faith in him. Sometimes, people, like myself, get so caught up in what we percieve to be the battle that we forget about faith in God. One day you wake up, and you realise that you’ve forgotten what faith is about, or where the faith from your youth has gone. Joel’s words in his devotional (which has two bible verses for each entry), helps to remind you that everything good comes from God, and he is our one true provider. I can get the fire and rbiestone sermons pretty easily, what is rarer is the sermon to live the Christian life in faith despite the circumstances. That is rarely preached in Christian circles today.

    Is he lacking in some ways? Yes, but that can change in time. Good preachers are rarely born, and all preachers make mistakes because we are all still human. Our human side can get in the way. We have all fallen, and Jesus Christ alone is the only way to Salvation–not a sermon that tells of this with each ‘i’ dotted and all ‘t’s crossed. Even if his sermons just plant a seed in one persons heart that is nutured by another preacher later on with more depth into Gods word, I think it is worth it to save that one persons’ life. Handing out a tract to a person is not the only way to save souls, and it doesn’t work with most people.

    Keep in mind Joel is still a young minister. How many of you could claim good theology when you were just starting? Even if you were raised by an Awesome preacher that spoke the word of God with every breath, it doesn’t mean you, or he, digested all that was said, and the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of God’s word comes from God alone. Sometimes it takes time to grow.

    Have you considered that his messages may be more about keeping faith in God even in the darkest times? How we percieve things is half of the battle. If at the end of his life all he taught is this, then _maybe_ I would agree with you. I believe that Joel Osteeen has a purpose in God’s church. Could we please stop the witch hunts. While technically, you may be sound on doctorine, how much more demage are you doing to those who are watch us who might have been saved. Keep your eyes on the Great Commission!

  180. randy on said:

    I use to listen to John Osteen alot. I met him and Dodie years ago early seventies in switzerland. Man what a convention. You knew that the spirit was in that room. People were blessed and What and Inspiration John was. I miss his sermons and how he inspires with his brand of ole fashioned gospel preaching. He talked about repentance, getting saved, filled with the holy spirit, and how to use your faith while still on earth. I miss his way of reaching people. But,,,,,I have to say that his son Joel is nothing in anyway like his father when it comes to preaching. I don’t approve his way of preaching neither do I condem it. I just don’t listen to his sermons because they bore me and do nothing for my spirit. I do wish him well although I know he is raking in money.

    Thanks,
    rh

  181. So what if Joel Osteen quotes Scripture? Even the devil does that. The issue isn’t whether he uses the Bible or not; rather, the question is whether he preaches the Word completely and accurately. I daresay that he does not.

  182. Al on said:

    As a Christian, I admit that I really enjoy Osteen’s weekly message. I enjoy the message of encouragement and that of persevering. I really appreciate the Television telecast, because he does not ask for money and because the telecast is limited to 30 minutes. With the encouragement of 30 minutes, I then get ready to worship again at my own church.

    Personally, I don’t care that Osteen has a big house or if his wife was bitchy on a plane. Nobody bats .500, let alone perfectly.

    Why not just take what is offered in good faith and ignore what you don’t. If you don’t like him, change channels and support your own local chuch. As for me, I will continue to watch him until it is time to move on. Jesus doesn’t change, but messengers do.

    Best Wishes!

  183. Sef on said:

    You know what’s funny about these condemning analytical theologians who seek to defame Joel Osteen? The enemy is having a ball.

    While christians sit around and point the finger at one another he has a ball. You never hear aobut the lack of unity in the enemy only in the church. Humans are humans, they make errors, even those judging a man according to the gospel may interpret the pastor or the word in a different way from others and claim themselves to have a great wisdom.

    Let us be humble in The Lord, and know that we are here to serve Him. If Joel Osteen is not your cup of tea, so be it, but the scales are in God’s hands, not ours.

    Unify, let others know why you think he might be wrong, but don’t defame his ministry if you cannot prove beyond a shadow of a doubt he’s wrong to the fullest.

    I see all these quotes of his flying around this page, and yet there is room for misinterpretation on the part of the critic, know Joel Osteen before you judge him. Go to his church, immerse yourself for a week or two, go to the classes, then tell me if it’s a cult or not. Until then, you’re the blind leading the deaf.

  184. I agree with Sef

  185. James Stewart on said:

    I agree with the fact that you must know what someone says before you can inspect their fruit, but I have seen alot of Joel on T.V. and I don’t like what I see. the Bible says, “to try the spirits to see whether they are of God or not.”

    Satan knows the Word of God, but that does mean than he quotes it right either.

    The real question is this “Is the true Word of God preached.” Jesus said, “these signs shall follow them that believe, they shall cast out demons, heal the sick, blinded eyes shall be opened,and the lame shall walk.”
    Are these things going on in this church, are they going on in any church. Jesus also said, “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He never changes.”
    So the things that happen in the days of Peter and Paul should happen in our time as well. The reason that we do not see these things happening today is because more pastors are preaching a feel good message that draws a crowd.
    II Timothy 4:1-3
    Most ministers that you see on T.V. are preaching a message of prosperity and blessing. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you shall suffer persection.”

    That message will never be preach in Jole Osteens pulpit, nor the pulpit of most television evangelist.

    Remember Jesus is the Word. The Word will be preached to all the world and then shall the end come.

  186. Reggie Parsons on said:

    My 3rd and final entry. Many good folks took up Joel’s’ defense. I applaud you. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Its funny how many folks can judge someone from a 30 minute TV show? I see people claiming there’s no healing, no conversion of the lost souls, no quoting of scripture and the man is just too rich. Tell me, how did the church grow to 25,000 people if no one is getting healed, saved or hearing the word of our Lord? The Lord God will judge, in the end, who is right and who is wrong. Why don’t you go feed some homeless people or, clothe some naked people or give water to some thirsty people and Let God be God and watch over his flock in his infinite wisdom. I have often found that pride and lack of humility can make any of us judgmental and self-righteous. I know this first hand from living with myself. May God forgive those who have judged the man of God and may God bless you with compassion and drive you to pray for those you disagree with. After all, Jesus died for Joel too.

  187. Barbara on said:

    I find that Joel Osteen does indeed preach Jesus’ grace, and not man’s works. Perhaps you could review more of this man’s works (or perhaps have done so as of this date), including his main book with its Bible references, and especially his devotional with the much more indepth scriptural studies. Thank you.

  188. Lynn T on said:

    I’ve watched Joel Osteen’s telecasts, heard him preach and read his books. I see him as an excellent motivational speaker that gives an image of the loving and caring God that I know. He speaks of God’s love and blessings that we all need to be reminded of from time to time BUT this message as a whole appears superficial and lacks spiritual depth. In all the years I’ve heard him preach, I have never heard him speak on the consequences of sin. The reference that someone made on a watered down theology sounds like the lukewarm church that John describes in Revelation. I was really disappointed that he came across as wishy washy when Larry King asked him about the way to heaven. Joel wouldn’t take a stand. I know he later appologized for the misunderstanding but the transcripts give a very different picture. It’s like he didn’t want to offend anyone but not taking a stand offends me, a born-again Christian. It saddens me to think that many of our churches are not sharing the all of God’s Word but only the parts that don’t offend people of other beliefs or lifestyles that God says are offensive to Him. Our churches are compromising God’s commandments to fit into a more “modern, lets all love each other, non-offensive, everything’s ok, they are born thay way” socieital view. What this all says to me is that Christians need to pray for conviction of those that preach a watered down version of the Bible and get this country back on our spiritual feet.

  189. Heather in Houston on said:

    I grew up going to Lakewood Church. Literally. My grandparents worked for the church and my parents were raised in church so I was brought up in and around the massive church home. I am 30 now.

    Sitting under the late Paster John Osteen was a Biblical experience that I have never been able to find again. He is missed by those who knew him. When Joel took over, he was chosen by Paster John because Pastor John felt that Joel would continue the legacy that John was leaving behind.

    It is very hard for Joel to live up to Paster John’s legacy, so Joel has carved his own way. A couple of years after Pastor John died, I left Lakewood Church.

    I was raised on living prosperous for God, not living properous for myself. Honestly, what kind of empty life is that?

    I dont condone nor approve of Joel’s message, thus the reason I left the church to be fed elsewhere.

    I feel that although I could not get fed there, perhaps God uses Joel in some ways to be the “person” that God uses to

    I know from experience that not everyone can be the person God uses to lead someone to Christ, but everyone can be a stepping stone God uses as the unsaved move toward the person that they would be responsive to.

    I am sure after having read over a years worth of responses to Don’s initial blog, that there will be pleanty of responses to this message, but I am sure that God alone will be the One who leads people to Him.

    Be Blessed All

    In Him,

    Heather

  190. Vickie Bazyk on said:

    Why are people of the mentality that if you don’t walk around with a “woe is me? The Lord is coming back very mad and mean?” that you are wrong? Where does it say in the Bible that we are not to uplift each other and help carry each others loads? And joy and peace in our hearts. I’m sorry but that is how I view who Joel Osteen is.
    Is there perhaps some jealousy involved? Stop worrying about what you judge other people to be about. You better dig deep and find out where you really are with Christ.

  191. Allan Christopher on said:

    The reason why Joel Osteen has such a big following, is because he tickles the peoples ears by telling them all they want to hear. After listening to my pastor on Sundays, I think to myself, “You”ll never hear that kind of message from Joel Osteen”. Just because he has such a big following doesn’t mean that he is a true man of God. Remember, Jesus had a big following when He was healing people and feeding them etc. but when He started to preach the truth, He was hated. If Joel Osteen is really representing Jesus Christ, then why doesn’t he preach on something that Jesus spoke of such as hell? Jesus spoke more on hell than he did about heaven.

    I understand that Mr.Osteen told Larry King that he didn’t like to use the word “sin”, well, Jesus used that word, Jesus also used the words “repent”, “perish”, “damnation”, “hell
    Mr.Osteen is supposed to represent Jesus, but he doesn’t use those words, so who does he think he is? He is one of many lop sided preachers who have no problem mentioning heaven and God’s love and His blessings, but oh no, don’t dare say repent or perish or pick up your cross and deny yourself. Does he suffer for Jesus? I doubt it. I believe that Satan has more people in the ministry than Jesus does in this age of apostasy. Remember 2 Cor.11:14,15 “And no marvel:for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness…..”

    I’m not trying to sound harsh or judgemental,but I get a little irked when I hear these modern day smoothies with their feel good sermons helping to send multitudes to hell by preaching a phoney Jesus instead of the real Jesus Christ of the bible. I guarantee that if Mr. Osteen would preach hell fire once in awhile and started saying “take up your cross and deny yourself, and wrote a book called, “Your Best Life is Yet to Come” refering to the blessedness of God’s kingdom, instead of “Your Best Life NOW”, refering to the life here on earth, he would lose a lot of followers. Christians are not here to have a good life, this is the devil’s kingdom, we as christians are only here for one reason, and that is to bring others to Christ in this dark, evil world where Satan is god. You think the apostle Paul had a good life when he was here on earth? He couldn’t wait to leave and go be with the Lord which is far better. If more christians in America knew their bible like they do sports and hollywood, they would know that Mr. Osteen is not saying what he should and saying too much what he shouldn’t. Most of what is on so called christian tv and radio is fleshy, and preachers like Mr. Osteen feed the people what they want to hear. Preachers like Mr. Osteen are Hollywood type preachers who are on tv to entertain you and make you feel good and that has nothing to do with true bible christianity. I would much rather listen to hold time preachers like Lester Roloff who have left and gone on to be with the Lord years ago than to listen to some sugar and cream preacher of today. I’m just being honest.

  192. JoAnn W on said:

    I cannot judge Joel Osteen’s messages. I will say that I believe his messages is a truth from the Bible concerning being the best your can be, go the extra mile and all the other fruits that you bear when you become Christlike. What I see is that he is bringing the message of having a more abundant life that Jesus spoke about when we follow His teachings. I agree that there is more to preaching than just that one message, but this may be his calling. We are also taught from the Bible that people have been given different talents. Obviously Joel has a talent for helping people by bringing a message of hope. I don’t agree that he is leaving grace out of it.The Bible also teaches us as Christians we have a duty to be different than the world. We have been commanded to be a light shining from a hill. Joel’s teachings are teachings to encourage us to do that.

  193. JoAnn W on said:

    I would like to make an additional statement to the previous post I made. After looking at the overall picture of Joel Osteen sermons and what has been said, I think it would be better if he presented himself as a motivational teacher instead of a preacher. I think he is very good at that as his teachings are great in that line. But as a preacher there are major problems in leading a church if the whole Bible is not taught. At my first look I thought “he is teaching the Bible ” but the second look I noticed he is leaving too much out to be a preacher and leading a church.

  194. Monty O'Toole on said:

    This morning I listened to this fellow “preach” if that’s what you want to call it. He sounded more like a salesman with a Bible. Mr Osteen talked about dreams and the necessity of writing them down to pass along to future generations. Rarely , if at all did he mention Jesus. The scripture that came to my mind is…

    Jeremiah 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the wheat to the chaff? saith the LORD. 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

    Well…its Sunday…I’m off to church…Blessings friends.

  195. TomYe on said:

    I have studied most of the world’s greatest religions, and have spent time over my life in many of its churches as a parishoner searching for Truth. Yes, Joel is not “deep” nor his message usually thought provoking. I personally find him saccharin. But he brings God front and center. I find it funny that so many look for ways to shoot his ministry down when they should be looking for ways to boost theirs.

    Yes, there are pieces of the biblical message that his ministry rarely touches, and he tends to stay only on the upbeat, positive message. Does anyone here really know what the message of Job is? Some would say it is about unwavering faith. I would say its about how suffering appears to be one of the biggest parts of faith and how God will let us suffer for our faith. Do we need to always suffer as humans to find true faith? I’m not so sure.

    I have read and heard so many times about how Mr.Osteen would not be the judge of who goes to heaven and who will not and how he expressed that on Larry King Live. To most of you I say “get over it.” The Bible does say “judge not lest ye be judged.” If one does not find their way to our beliefs, or believes another faith’s tennets, then it is not our place to judge them. What I believe and what my chosen faith believe are what I should live MY life by.
    I have to agree with Joel on this one, it is not MY place, no matter what MY religion and its beliefs are, to judge who will ultimately go to heaven and who will not.

    ALL of the religions of the world have within themselves great contradictions. To condemn every religion because it contradicts with our own, and to condemn any preaching because it contradicts with our own way is not tolerant, like we are all taught to be.

    Either way, Joel Osteen leads to great theological discussion, which can never be bad. Just keep the discussion about the teachings, not the man doing the teaching.

  196. Anita on said:

    I have watched the program a few times and I think it is boring. The word of God is not preached-plain and simple. He is more of a motivational speaker than anything. I watched him and his wife on “Larry King live” and Larry asked his wife if she was ever tempted. She responded with “Yeah, I’m tempted by a piece of pie.” Is she for real? It was a joke to hear Osteen never acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvatin and eternal life. What really worries me is the masses of people that attend Osteen’s Lakewood church. He is not even an ordained minister. He went to the Oral Roberts University to study television and marketing. I believe he gives true christianity a very bad name.

  197. deov on said:

    Hi Church – Jesus allows us expression of our diversity and limited understanding in the context of HIS AGAPE LOVE. We mature in our faith in HIM by listening and sharing and not condeming. We allow HIS INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT to guide us into all truth as we search out HIS WORD. Our fellowship with one another helps us grow as we allow THE HOLY SPIRIT to quicken our hearts and minds as we share with one another. Our freedom in Christ is freedom from condemnation – freedom to stumble, like little children, and know HE will pick us up and set our feet on THE SOLID ROCK. Grace covers all our sins, past, present and future. The Grace HE has extended to us is ours to pass on to others. This “we-they” mentality sets a superior tone that turns off the heart; I Cor. 13. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. I wonder if all these people who are drawn to Olsteen’s message are like the little children Jesus said to not turn away: Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so…I have been growing up in my relationship with TRINITY for 35 years…it has many, many facets – PAPPA GOD, LORD JESUS, SWEET HEAVENLY SPIRIT, LOVER OF MY SOUL …HE is more to me than words can ever say… but I began as a little child..my experience is that the current two generations have not met JESUS and do not know HE LOVES THEM. So, perhaps these little children need to hear what Joel has to say.

  198. Matt on said:

    Many years I spent sitting around with other preachers thrashing on weak Christians and bragging about how many I led to the Lord. Oh yeah, and talking about how Biblical our doctrine was. Anyway, the Church in Ephesus was sound in doctrine yet Christ was going to leave if they did not shape up because they had lost their first love. Regardless of how deep in the Word we may go, the most important thing according to Christ is manifesting His Love. He is the only one who saves. Those who He saves will grow deeper because of their love for Him. There has been genuine revival in my life and the Church I pastor because of “His love”

  199. deov on said:

    Amen Matt. Thank you PAPPAGOD. When YOU came into my heart and made YOUR home there, I became YOUR Child. I have made so many foolish choices but YOUR LOVE never left me, will never leave me; it keeps my heart, mind and soul thirsting for more of YOU and less of me.

  200. Jesse on said:

    Where do you get off judgeing your Brother in christ who has clearly through his obediance to Gods will and willingness to rise to Gods standards been used by God to save thousands of people that are now no longer going to hell. Joel olsteen has been used by god to help me learn what the joy of the Lord is all about. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Without it do you think we are going to get very far in our walk with Jesus Christ? I think without the joy of the Lord we will never be stong enough to fully (fight the good fight). Look I may be wrong but from what I have seen Joel and his wife have been used by God and are being used by God to bring lots of people to Christ. Let us not look for the spek in our brothers eye. Sorry I cant spell very well.

  201. As someone who is trying to establish a relationship with God I can say that I wanted to attend Joel Osteen’s church because I had heard of his widespread popularity. Yet, as I was searching for directions on the internet to get to the church in Houston some other information was pulled up along with the directions.

    I have read it and feel that I have to respond to it. I would like to feel good about myself and have a pastor tell me things that would uplift me. But as a person who likes to look at both side of everything, I would wonder where does Jesus fit into this or even the Word of God? If we could do a survey of the people attending Joel Osteen’s church how many would be able to quote scriptures and be able to explain to someone of little faith or no faith what those scriptures mean. When you serve God you have a responsibility to go by the bible, which is God’s word. Not add to it or take away from it. You have a responsibility to save people spirtitually. Giving them what they want and not what they need is like given your child a new gaming system when they actually needed shoes!

    If Joel Osteen is not what he perceives himself to be then that is up to God to deal with. As for the people who follow him, it is each adults responsibility to know what they get themselves into. If they truely are building a relationship with God, God will give them some sign or discernment if that is not the place they are supposed to be. Just like what happened when I was trying to find directions to Joel Osteen’s church, I was detoured by messages such as these.

    Is it God talking to me letting me know in some way that this is not the type of church for me? Or is the Devil trying to sidetrack me from reaching the truth? That is up to me to find out. How? By getting into prayer and knowing the word of God. From where do I obtain this knowledge of God and what God wants? From the Bible, the Word of God. Without this you have nothing to stand firmly on when you come against the “one who seeks to destroy”.

  202. Matt on said:

    You can memorize the whole Bible and be just like the pharasees. Christ is the Word, and with out fresh manna/revelation from Him daily you will just have religion anyway. If the people who attend Joel’s church are simple, then all the more reason for Christ to be glorified through them. Yes, it’s say that in the Word!

  203. Anne on said:

    I don’t think we should be so shocked at the numbers Lakewood draws each Sunday. If Christianity is all about promoting oneself with the God of the Universe as your #1 fan and advocate, if being a Christian earns us the right to be treated preferentially by the public and to excusably avoid incovenient laws and regulations because we “evision” God’s favor on our lives, if being a Christian means we have a powerful, driving force toward abundant wealth and endless job promotions and physical wellness to last a lifetime…what’s not to like?
    The sad fact is, being a Christian and believing in God for who He is and what He demands is not easy at all and is often unpleasant because it goes against every fiber of our flesh. Osteen preaches that God and His plan is to feed our flesh. So dangerous.
    I’m so saddened that the very churches that tell gobs of people they are saved if they pray a simple sinners prayer and then “think positively” about a God that has no characteristics of wrath or jealousy, are the same churches that are preaching “once saved/always saved”. They are truly damning people to hell, no matter what their positive intentions might be.
    If pastors are truly held proportionately responsible for the amount of influence they have, Joel should take his ministry of the Bible a lot more seriously.

  204. james null on said:

    he should shave less and confess of evil forces that must be fought only through surrendering to GODS grace given on the road less travelled in which all is given to bear a cross as the bride follwing the head as a member of the body which is the true church in which i pray he is a part but only the KING and joel truly know his part and heart but we should all remember to pray for him!!! don’t cast stones – roll rocks. a man with his feet planted on the ground he will be thankful for the acountabliy of his brothers – fools fight flesh !!! _ James D Null

  205. Sean on said:

    Before we start throwing stones and criticizing, let me ask a simple question. How many of us can see the Holy Spirit…hhmmm?… anyone? I didn’t think so. Also, how many of us can see inside someone elses heart..hhmmm?…anyone? With this inability established, tell me now if you think the spirit of Christ is present in the auditorium on Sundays, Wednesdays and all other times of education, edification, bible studies, dinners, fund raisers, temporary shelters, youth rallys, christian concerts…etc. I think you get my point. No not you, nor I, nor anyone else on this earth can dictate the spirit of Christ. The only thing that dictates the spirit of Christ…is Christ.(so elementary,yet usually lost in judgemental interpretations)
    (Matthew 18:20) “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with thee”. With this scripture in mind and heart we are left with only one option: believe the word of God as being true. We as christians have no other choice. And believe you-me, if the spirit of Christ is there(as He promised it would be) then you can rest assured that lives are being changed and hearts are being won over for Christ.
    When someone who believes that Jesus is God’s only begotten Son, sent to die on the cross so that we may have eternal life preaches God’s word, they don’t have to meet your stringent criteria for “styles” of preaching. The seeds that Joel Osteen plants week to week are exactley that….seeds. Someone else will water them and only God will make them grow.(1Cor 3:6) I say this with such conviction, not because I’m affiliated with the church in any way, shape, or form but because there are those out there who need to be fed milk instead of solid food. (1Cor 3:2-3) 2″I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. 3You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?”
    When it comes time for solid food there is always Charles Stanley or Chuck Swindol.
    But for now just remember, what you call shallow God calls milk.

  206. J.C. Newcomer on said:

    Scroll way back and read Jerri’s post..right on the money….as usual.

  207. Patricia McNett on said:

    Hummm. What I am reading is very critical and judgemental. I left church for this reason. For the first time in years I have turned my heart back to G-d because of the faith lifting sermons of Joel Olsteen. G-d Calls us to repentance but if we dont know we are worthy of living higher and eating at the family table then where do we turn? I was told all my life I was worthless. I truly believed in my heart I was a tare amongs the wheat. Joel has been used by G-d to reach my soul. Who cares what he said that turned my soul back to Jesus I just know it was his positive message. I think you all need to ask G-d for forgiveness and just allow Joel to continue with his entry ministry. That is all he claims. twenty second prayer is all one needs with a contrite and meek spirit that is honest before the Lord. I have listened to alot of hell fire and damnnation preachers and no one has touched my inner soul that I can be less than perfect in my eyes but G-d can start with what I give him and raise me up in His timing. I think that is what his message is all about. The churches that I have attended in the past and it has been many have lost sight of the restoration spirit of our savior. Bring the lost sheep back. Get rid of the fear of being less than what G-d wants and just be. Jesus will bring me into his perfection by his blood. None of you tv ministers have stirred my soul so much. Jesus was a man of few words. Sincerity no matter how it is brought about is still sincerity. Reconsiliation of the down trodden is what his ministry is all about. Joel has never once that I have heard, claimed to be the meat and potato shepard. His ministry if you watched Larry King Live was one of just reminding us that we are worthy of the opportunity of a better life in Christ. I applaud his entry level milk ministry. Babes need more milk as we choak on the meat if given to early and we die spiritually. It is up to G-d to lead me to a home bible believing church and because of Joel Olsteen ministries I am on the spiritual move again. What have you done for the down trodden and disparing person. Critisism is not of G-d. If you truly believe Joel is not of G-d then you are commanded to pray for him and allow your G-d to change him. We are commanded to not talk evil or degrading against anyone. Though shalt not murder my grandma taught me. Not only in the physical but in the character assasination also. One mislaid word can murder someones character. I dont know everything. I am just a baby but at least I am finally born in Christ.
    I will pray for this web site as it is very negative and my G-d is a loving and just diety. This character assasination is the very reason I left numerous so called spirit filled pentacostal churchs. I could not get enough Milk in the beginning to stay alive. Not through Jesus fault and not through mine. I just could not find a minister who baptised in Jesus Name that would allow a baby in Christ to grow at the Fathers speed. They all seemed to want to just make you over on the outside in less than 6 months all faults and weakness’s had to be gone or you were not even good enough to clean the bathrooms. So please for my sake and many like me be thankful there is a milk minister out there breathing life back into weary milk starved souls. we need more reconsiliation spirits in this world now that the end times are approaching. Lets all jut agree to pray for each other and forgive and to be what G-d has called us to be. Brothers and sisters in Jesus Name.
    Thank you and forgive me if I seem over simplistic but I just can not agree with many of these negative judgemental comments and still believe that Christ is not working through this man. Jesus is simple, gentle and easy to follow. Man makes him auster and controlling. Love your neighbor as yourself and love G-d with all your heart soul and mind and all the law hinges on these two commandments. I think if we truly love G-d with all our heart and soul and mind then we can trust G-d to use whom ever to lead souls to Him and then we have to Trust G-d to do his job. Keep us in perfect peace as our minds are stayed on him. Yeah I do know scripture but have been so depressed with the lack of kindness and gentle spirits within the organizations of religion that I have fallen away from attendance anywhere. Life got in my way and my childhood was beaten down with my lack of worthyness of Heaven. I now feel I can move forward and allow G-d to lead me to a bible based Church as Joel admonishes after his 20 second prayer.
    Thank you so kindly for reading my thoughts.

  208. Patricia McNett on said:

    Notation I shall keep it brief.
    As far as all I read I feel the spirit of anger and jealousy. It saddens me that so many admit to never attending his church. There is only so much that can be done in 20 minutes and if G-d Called anyone to serve up warm life giving milk of the word then I feel it is up to the Holy spirit to lead each individual to a meat and potato church. And for all these derogatory remarks against the children of Abraham, G-d first chosen. Remember we children of Noah were grafted in for a season. Jesus came to the JEW FIRST and then the Greek. We aught not be so haughty. Christ spirt can lead each one of us with out the discouragment of these negative accusations. Untill you have lived under someones ministry and seen the fruit of their spirit everyday consistant. You have the right to admonish but come on all CAPS everyone knows in computer language that is out of control railings. Maybe you did not know that but opps now you do. Each time I read someone disagreeing with you you rail on them and lamb blast their intelligence like you are the only one who can interpret the scriptures. I say down with all college degree’e so called theologians and let G-d lead by 20 minute sermons that lead those weary souls back to the meat for slow healing growth. Dont shoot the messenger please but this is just what I see. Remember The tongues and interpretations are not only for the college degree’d.
    Thank you so much though for your thoughts and your on feelings as you must be very passionate about belittling others who dont measure up to your hell fire ways. One can only be a foolish person to think that everyone pricked in their hearts by the Holy Spirit wont be lead by that same Holy Spirit. What bible believeing church locally would you suggest to one as young as I in the LORD. Please dont say Methodest or Presbryterian or how ever you spell it. I have gone and with the 15 minutes of Jokes and the loud slurps of Star bucks coffee and chatting on cell phones in the sanctuary I really dont feel like I can get fed there either but oh the minister did graduate from some university. To bad the church is so close to my house and I am disabled. Who is failing who? Some of us have only the TV to reach out to us. I thank the Lord I can still walk and drive to some degree but I have exhausted the churchs nearest me. I am looking for respect and awe in the presents of the LORD in the holy sanctuary and can not find respect for GOD or minister. It is so sad to see such a loyal following of Christ through Mr. Olsteen. BUt like I said for now it is milk for me and that is what I can assimulate. maybe when I get older in the Lord and more synical I can too judge those who dont believe exactly as I. I really hope not though. Thanks again Patty

  209. Patricia McNett on said:

    Hey not sure what I am missing but this is the believe statements of Lakewood church, Joel Olsteen and so tell me know who is the discouraging false prophet? I really want to know where is this lacking?

    LAKEWOOD BELIEVES:
    WE BELIEVE…the entire Bible is inspired by God, without error and the authority on which we base our faith, conduct and doctrine.

    WE BELIEVE…in one God who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to this earth as Savior of the world.

    WE BELIEVE…Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins. We believe Jesus rose from the dead and is coming again. We believe that eternal salvation is found only by placing our faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross.

    WE BELIEVE…water baptism is a symbol of the cleansing power of the blood of Christ and an outward testimony to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    WE BELIEVE…in the regular taking of Communion as an act of remembering what the Lord Jesus did for us on the cross.

    WE BELIEVE…every believer should be in a growing relationship with Jesus by obeying God’s Word, yielding to the Holy Spirit and by being conformed to the image of Christ.

    WE BELIEVE…as children of God, we are overcomers and more than conquerors and God intends for each of us to experience the abundant life He has in store for us.

  210. Matt on said:

    No man can judge the heart. All of you judging Joel Osteen will be judged by God in the same manner because the Word says so. “You shall know them by their fruit”. The fruit of Joel’s ministry seems to be good fruit! I was a Baptist preacher wrongly judging many for many years as well. God judged me in the same manner and it broke me…yet freed me. Today I am free to love. Now I am a Spirit filled baptist preacher. Praise God!

  211. Eman on said:

    Doctrinal statement should be more like…

    Of The Scriptures

    We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.

    1. By “The Holy Bible” we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God.

    2. By “inspiration” we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.

    Psalm 19:7-11; 119:89,105,130,160; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:31; 24:25-27,44-45; John 5:39,45-47; 12:48; 17:17; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Romans 3:4; 15:4; Ephesians 6:17; 2Timothy 3:16-17; 1Peter 1:23; 2Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:19

    Of The True God

    We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the maker and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

    Genesis 17:1; Exodus 20:2-3; 15:11; Psalm 83:18; 90:2; 147:5; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:30; John 4:24; 10:30; 15:26; 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 11:23; 1Corinthians 12:10-11; 8:6; 12:4-6; 2Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; 4:6; Philippians 2:5-6; 1Timothy 1:17; 1John 5:7; Revelation 4:11

    Of The Holy Spirit

    We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent in the New Birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer.

    Genesis 1:13; Matthew 3:11; 28:19; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35; 3:16; 24:49; John 1:33; 3:5-6; 14:16-17,26; 15:26-27; 16:8-11,13; Acts 5:30-32; 11:16; Romans 8:14,16,26-27; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2Thessalonians 2:7,13; Hebrews 9:14; 1Peter 1:2

    Of The Devil, Or Satan

    We believe that Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy; the lord of the antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness – destined however to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.

    Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Matthew 4:1-3; 13:25; 25:41; 27:39; Mark 13:21-22; Luke 22:3-4; John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2; 2Corinthians 11:13-15; 1Thessalonians 3:5; 2Thessalonians 2:8-11; 1Peter 5:8; 2Peter 2:4; 1John 2:22; 3:8; 4:3; 2John 7; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-10; 13:13-14; 19:11,16,20; 20:1-3,10

    Of The Creation

    We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind.”

    Genesis 1:1,11,24,26-27; 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 17:23-26; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 10:6

    Of The Fall Of Man

    We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.

    Genesis 3:1-6,24; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:18,20,28,32; 3:10-19; 5:12,19; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:1,3

    Of The Virgin Birth

    We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of a woman, and that He is both the Son of God, and God, the Son.

    Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; Matthews 1:18-25; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; 1Corinthians 15:47; 1John 5:20

    Of The Atonement For Sin

    We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all sufficient Savior.

    Isaiah 53:4-7,11-12; Matthew 18:11; John 3:16; 10:18; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-25; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14; 7:25; 9:12-15; 12:2

    Of Grace In The New Creation

    We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.

    Luke 5:27; John 1:12-13; 3:3,6-7; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:23; 2Corinthians 5:17,19; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:1; 5:9; Colossians 2:13; 1John 5:1

    Of The Freeness Of Salvation

    We believe in God’s electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

    Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 11:28; John 3:15-18,36; 5:40; 6:37; Acts 2:38; Romans 8:29-30; 10:13; 1Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4-5; Colossians 3:12; 1Thessalonians 1:4; 1Timothy 1:15; Titus 1:1; 1Peter 1:2; Revelation 22:17

    Of Justification

    We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood, His righteousness is imputed unto us.

    Isaiah 53:11; Habakkuk 2:4; Zechariah 13:1; Acts 13:39; Romans 1:17; 4:1; 5:1-9; 8:1; Galatians 3:11; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 10:38

    Of Repentance And Faith

    We believe that Repentance and Faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior.

    Psalm 51:1-4,7; Isaiah 55:6-7; Mark 1:15; Luke 12:8; 18:13; Acts 2:37-38; 20:21; Romans 10:9-11,13

    Of The Church

    We believe that a Baptist Church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, said church being understood to be the citadel and propagator of the Divine and Eternal Grace; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors or elders whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures; we believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission: First, to make individual disciples; Second, to build up the church; Third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order; we hold that the local church has the absolute right of self government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.

    Leviticus 27:31; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 6:5-6; 14:23; 15:22-23; 20:17-28; 1Corinthians 5:11-13; 6:1-3; 11:2; 12:4,8-11; 16:1-2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; 1Timothy 3:1-13

    Of Baptism And The Lord’s Supper

    We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a church relation and to the Lord’s supper, in which the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination.

    Matthew 3:6; 3:16; 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; 1Corinthians 11:23-28; Colossians 2:12

    Of The Perseverance Of The Saints

    We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.

    Psalm 121:3; Matthew 6:20; 13:19-21; John 8:31-32; 10:28-29; 16:8; Romans 8:28,35-39; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 1:14; 1Peter 1:5; 1John 2:19

    Of The Righteous And The Wicked

    We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse, and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.

    Genesis 18:23; Proverbs 11:31; 14:32; Malachi 3:18; Matthew 7:13-14; 25:34; Luke 9:26; 16:25; John 8:21; 12:25; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 1:17; 6:16-18,23; 7:6; 1Corinthians 15:22; Galatians 3:10; 1Peter 4:18; 1John 2:7,29; 5:19

    Of Civil Government

    We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ; who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.

    Exodus 18:21-22; 2Samuel 23:3; Psalm 72:11; Daniel 3:17-18; Matthew 10:28; 22:21; 23:10; Acts 4:19-20; 23:5; Romans 13:7; Philippians 2:10-11; Titus 3:1; 1Peter 2:13-14,17

    Of The Resurrection And Return Of Christ And Related Events

    We believe in and accept the sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the Resurrection, we believe that Christ rose bodily “The third day according to the Scriptures”; that He ascended “to the right hand of the throne of God”; that He alone is our “merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God”; “that this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven,” bodily, personally, and visibly; that the “dead in Christ shall rise first”; that the living saints “shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump”; “that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David”; and that “Christ shall reign a thousand years in righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet.”

    Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:4-5; Matthew 24:27,42; Matthew 28:6-7; Mark 16:6,19; Luke 1:32; Luke 24:2,4-6,39,51; John 14:3; John 20:27; Acts 1:9,11; 1Corinthians 15:4; Philippians 4:20; 1Thessalonians 4:16; 1Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 2:17; 5:9; 8:1; 9:28; 12:2

    Of Missions

    The command to give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this Commission was given to the churches.

    Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and, lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

    Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

    John 20:21, “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”

    Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

    Romans 10:13-15, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

    Of The Grace Of Giving

    Scriptural giving is one of the fundamentals of the Faith.

    2Corinthians 8:7, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”

    We are commanded to bring our gifts into the storehouse (common treasury of the church) upon the first day of the week.

    1Corinthians 16:2, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

    Under Grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe – “Abraham GAVE the tenth of the spoils,” – Hebrews 7:2,4 – and this was four hundred years before the law, and is confirmed in the new Testament; Jesus said concerning the tithe, “these ought ye to have done”, Matthew 23:23.

    We are commanded to bring the tithe into the common treasury of the church.

    Leviticus 27:30, “The tithe … is the Lord’s.”

    Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

    In the New Testament it was the common treasury of the church.

    Acts 4:34,35,37, “And brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them down at the apostles’ feet … Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it AT THE APOSTLES’ FEET.”

  212. Larry on said:

    When Jesus said “Do not judge lest ye be judged..” He was talking about judging wheather someone was going to hell or not, and that’s all. We are continually told in the Word to judge all men and their message, judge wheather men were evil or good and not be be taken in by lying spirits or words that tickle the ear. We are to always judge who we should be associated with and stay away from doctrins of demons. Anyone who believes that “do not judge” means to never judge anyone, hasn’t read the bible and doesn’t know what they are talking about. We must always use proper discernment in choosing who and what message we are to listen to. And here’s the rub with Osteen. His doctrin is faulty. I have seen him many times and never have I seen him be anythig but a cheerleader/motivational speaker. Seldom does he preach from the Bible and on those rare occastions when he does quote scripture he quotes it for the uplifting of man and not God. He is always stressing the importance of man and not God. On the Larry King show he wouldn’t even admit that Christ is the ONLY way to God. He refused to give the good news to millions of people whow were watching that show. He was a coward before God that night and then he apologised the next day because of cowardice again. He was afraid he would lose his millions of dollars if his congregation heard him Testify to the only redemtion offered by God to man. I am not afraid to judge the man, he denied Jesus on national television, he was too scared to deny himself and take up the cross and follow Christ.

    He’s a highly paid cheerleader, that’s all. People defend him because he tells them what their itching ears want to hear rather than the truth.

  213. If he’s got that many followers, he can’t be all bad. I for one get tired of hearing all the brimstone and fire TV evangelists, holding their Bibles and pointing them as though they were weapons aginst the audience. Joel’s uplifting messages are a breath of fresh air. And for you who are so judgemental against him, he does say at the ending of his service that you should find a good “Bible based church”.
    Anyone that can bring even a small touch of the scripture into other’s lives and give them a positive outlook will always be welcome!

  214. Amy on said:

    If Joel Osteen’s message brings others to Christ, then why attack him? You’re not really attacking Joel, you’re attacking Christ and his church

  215. Jonathan on said:

    Undecerning people (who are stuck in their perceiptions) condemn what they see in joel for one reason or other, before they really take a good look at whats their. Joel is not a “false preacher” as some have come to critisized (dont get me started on that). His sermins touch many people at many levels “in the walk with christ”. Joel speaks to the heart of “deep christians” by
    giving hope to those who are unsure about what they can be in Christ.
    Also, the teachings touch the core components of the faith that,before he changed his emphases, really wasnt clear.That God really did want the best for you and if you do your part, stay positive, you can have the very best of God.

  216. Bruce on said:

    I was only able to get through about half of this – there are a lot of good points. I was raised Baptist and have been introduced to Lakewood Church and Joel Osteen this year. His ministry is to proclaim the goodness of God – I was raised under the shame, scare, and guilt gospel. God wants us to not only accept his free salvation through Jesus CHrist, but to “live the abundant life”. People key in on the word “abundant” and only stress “riches”. When Joel talks about promotion, and going higher, he talks about God taking you to a higher level in your Christian walk – he never says that God guarantees you riches and prosperity for putting him first – taking you to a new level means that you come to a closer relationship with God – you hear God’s voice clearer and if you continue to follow his leadings, he will take you higher. Yes, along the way, you will receive blessings from God – or rather you will “recognize the blessings of God”. God blesses us all the time, but we don’t see them when we are not close to God.

    You have to listen to more than one of Joel’s message to be able to perceive his ministry. Also, there were many submissions that questioned what Lakewood has for its people – just check the bulletin out! There is outreach, Bible Study, etc. Yes, the focus is that God wants you, wants to get to know you, wants to use you, wants to bless you – not only get saved, but life the Christian life, tuned into God. I guess he makes God attractive – and that scares the people who preach the “recognize your sin or you are going to hell” gospel. Although it may be completely true that Jesus is the only way – Joel introduces it as you can only have your best life by a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ”. People are different, and God uses different ways to reach them for himself and to motivate them to come to himself. So, Joel is a legitimate way to do this. The Bereans may think otherwise, but we cannot accuse Lakewood of being Laodicean or Heretical.

    I love the Lord, and have a background grounded in the word. I think we all need to search for that deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, to be used more by the Holy Spirit, and rejoice when a sinner comes to repentance. I have gone to see Joel once and watch him weekly. God has spoken to me in a way that any other way has done – it does not eliminate my beliefs, it makes them stronger. “When the student is ready, the master will appear…” So, those who cannot get anything out of Joel’s simple ministry are just not ready for it.

    Lord, thank you for blessing Lakewood Church, and please surround them with your angels to both keep them focused and pure, and to protect them from attack – sadly, usually from other Christians, who should be focusing on showing love to other Christians.

    So many accusations are just false – if they research into the real truth, they would find most of these are just untrue.

  217. Matt on said:

    Larry, based on what said regarding judging. Joel Osteen refuses to judge those from another faith beacause they may come to know the Lord. Like you said, he is refusing to judge their salvation and you call him a false teacher. Yes, even if they are currently invoved in false teaching their name may br written in the Lambs book of life. This book was written before the foundation of the world “says the Word” Remember, Paul was attacking Christians when he met the Lord on the road to Damascas. You will be judged for the way that you judged Joel. However, from personal experience I can assure you that God will use even this so that Christ may be formed in you… Matt

  218. George on said:

    Until 3 months ago I was in jail, shunned by society and hated by everyone who was good.I had committe a crime that the judge many years ago described as “disgusting’. He sentenced me to many years in the can.
    Soon everyone forgot about my existence. I could have died and the world would have been no different if not better.
    One day in the depths of my life my mother visited me and gave me a Bible. I read it but did not totally understand. But I kept reading. Then almost by a miracle she gave me Joel Osteens book called “Your Best life now”. I had never heard of this bloke but I read it because it came at a time when I was about to give up on life. I didnt want to live any more. But here was a bloke who told me that God had a plan for me, that He would repay me suffering caused by the enemy(devil) by giving me back double. But what did it for me was that he spoke about learning from adversity and overcoming it. It kept me wanting to live for tomorrow in fact excited me.
    Through his book I came to understand many passages of the Bible. I kept expecting the best. I slowly began to understand that God had a purpose for my life and that even though the world called me criminal, God valued me.
    When after months I understood Joel Osteens message, almost miraculously I came up for review and miraculously was pardoned. There was no way that I could logically have got off without atleast 4 more years in jail. I had practised expecting it as mentioned in his book. Every morning I would say “Today I will see Gods favour on me. God loves me, I am annointed” as Joel mentioned.

    Two weeks ago I got my first job after being released even though I have a criminal record. It is another miracle but testimony that we serve an awesome God. I will become a great servant of God. That is Gods plan for me. I know it.

    I would like to say that many people fault Joel Osteen for not preaching the Bible and for not being educated. I dont know about that. But he told me that I have hope in Jesus. Hope that I have a future. Joy because God loves me even though the world calls me a criminal. Most importantly he reminded me that God has plans for me to give me a future. May God bless him for he is a true servant of our great God.

    I appeal to everyone on this site. Please do not treat him harshly. His message helped change my life. His message is very simple and because we have not been educated in school we can understand what he says easily. If he spoke with a lot of education I probably would still be in jail hating myself. Or perhaps dead. Praise God and thank you for your servant Joel Osteen…
    George

  219. Reggie on said:

    To Larry, from 9/12. This is an area I struggled with for years. If you believe that Jesus words on judgment from Matthew 7:1 are just referring to judging whether people are going to hell or not, you did not read the whole of Matthew chapter 7. Why Jesus would comment of judging whether people will go to hell or not when throughout the Bible is to stress that judgment is God’s. You say we do not know the bible, a judgment, and you don’t even know us. How do you do that? Read Matthew 5:43 about blessing your enemies, those that spitefully use you. How quickly folks rise up to condemn any preacher that is personally successful. Beware of judging God’s men and women. God will be the judge one day. The Bible does say to beware false teachers, prophets, and to use discernment. But it also says you will know them by their fruits (of the Spirit) which Paul talks about in Galatians. You need the Lord God, Most High, to give you discernment. Otherwise you may be subject to envy, jealousy and other emotions. How can you discern what is in my heart. May God bless you and show you His great love for mankind.

  220. Andy P. on said:

    To all those so concerned about “doctrine.” I know another faith that is concerned about doctrine, the Catholic church. Is this what you want in your faith? Then you must have loved it when the pope insulted muslims that lead to more violence. Is this all part of your faith…inciting hate and violence? How’s that for doctrine? Do you belive “the jews” killed Jesus? Do you believe “the jews” got what they deserved during the holocaust? Your doctrine is nothing more than a recipe for pain and suffering. It has nothing to do with salvation, but more about feeding your personal ego. If you have a problem with Joel’s ministry have you tried speaking directly to him or write him a letter? I bet you’d never want to do that though because then you wouldn’t feel so good about taking shots at him in forums like this.

  221. Sandy Rose on said:

    In a world of what’s in it for me attitude. We spend so much of our time criticising, condeming and looking for negative in everything. If we concentrate on the GOOD in and not looking for negative
    We will be more blessed. Whatever a person thinks so is he or she.

  222. well i have read every single post here. i have listened to joel and read his book. while i have issues with some of his use of scripture i am hesistant to say that he is a false teacher. lakewood no doubt does good things for the church as a whole. no single person has their theology perfect. certainly joel,as well as all of us, need to study and know the whole council of scripture as best we can. the bible is more concerned about a man’s success as a man’s failings. you see for every 1000 people who can deal with failure, there are not too many who can truly handle success. it is very difficult to handle the worlds goods and God’s goods and balance the two. there are not too many people ho go to the table when their full. many things Joel says are good and uplifting and i commend him for that. while one must also concurr he does take scripture out of text quiet often. still that does not mean you throw the baby out with the bath water. in proverbs it says that wisdom is known by her children. my attitude about joel or any other ministry is to withhold judgement because in the end it will be proven to be true or false. i have enjoyed reading all these opinions. it is great to have a dialogue with other believers. though i would stress that though we may disagree we should all show a spirit of love and patience towards each other. that goes for both sides of this issue. in time joel and his style of ministry will be proven true or false. i just hope as he matures in his walk that he will use scripture closer to its textual intent and not to use it out of context. time will tell

  223. Matt on said:

    Eman, All that doctrine can be found in the Word! However, like the church in Ephesus you can know all that truth and not have His love. That’s when He removes the candle stick “His presence” He is the only one who can fulfill the law. How do we know it’s Jesus and not self righteousness? We will be motivated by love and not “being right”

  224. RTM on said:

    Wow! One thing really stand out here. I noticed very little scripture to back anyones statements. I did admire Cyranus….He is onto the truth and educated as well in the simple logic of search and compare. He outed out the vague answers. I’ll give a scripture that could give all posted scripture a proper foundation if the truth were really being sought. And the witness scripture, which means I really don’t require a J.Osteen or any of his ilk to define scripture. Heb 8:8-10 Witness Jer 31:31-33. Just by looking for the 2nd witness in scripture, we could all avoid the pits dug by the, Wolves in Sheeps clothing.
    My favorite post were the guy from Ohio…who has noted where the “wide way” is and is willing to hold up a sign. Unfortunately the blind will never see it.

    My next observation is the numerical response who said below:

    (How many of you guys have been responsible for millons of souls being brought into the kingdom, as there is with Pastor Benny Hinn, Rhinehard Bonke, Joyce Meyer, Pastor Gary Simons etc.)

    My response is, What kingdom have they gone too? If any on these guys pervert one scripture for gain…..they have perverted them all. They are all filthy.

  225. rtm you are a bit hostile to the intent of this sight i do believe. what happened to kindness, gentleness, long suffering? if you are into scripture should you not practice it a little? be kind to those who are not where you are. otherwise your just a clanging cymbal

  226. I hear self-righteousness, which, as I recall, is like a dirty rag in the nostrels of Father. Eccl. 3: tells us there is a time for EVERYTHING. The Word also says quite a bit about “judging” and to do righteously. Righteous judging come’s out of hearing the Lord on a matter, rhema, not logus applied by our little miinds. My discernement is that Joel will continue to grow in Him, and that he is where he needs to be now. We are in a generation that has never been to a church, who believe in reincarnation, the law of attraction, and the new witchcraft. Joel, may be on of the called preacher who are meant to be a bridge to this godless generation — to get them to believe that God is a good God, who loves them, who has their best interest at heart, who wants them to be happy — maybe even get them to read the Word for themselves so the Holy Spirit can do His job, and clean them up. Hopefully, you are all on your knees interceding for him, Paula White, T.D. Jakes etc. Otherwise, you better be praying for mercy for yourself.

  227. c kelley on said:

    I love Joel Osteen. He is uplifting and really causes me to think positive. i went to see him in Sacramento and it was packed.
    What happens to all the money he is making in all these tours?

    One thing really bothered me about his
    service that night . . I had seen him do it
    before . . .cry real tears when he introduced his sister Lisa and her adopted children. They are 9 years old.

    It seemed so rehearsed.

  228. beef on said:

    joel rocks!

  229. ” For those who critizice Joel Osteen”

    When you have inspired at least 1/1000 people to live happy and in the lord’s road, you will have the right to criticize Joel Osteen. If not I pray for you so God can make you his instrument.

  230. Paul Tipton on said:

    It seems today that everybody has an opinion, so here is mine. I feel odd about taking the time to do this because it seems so silly or sad. I can’t believe that this site exist. To me, there is no doubt that God not only is working through him, but has been working through his family for years. Is Joel perfect? No, and he doesn’t claim to be. Can he misspeak or be taken the wrong way? Yes, like any of us. Let’s not take shots at him. He is a member of the body, God has given him his ability and message to give to the people who need to here it. That message is love and worth.

    Paul

  231. Anita on said:

    JESUS said in Matthew 10:32,33

    “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.”

    I watched as Osteen did deny our Lord and Savior in front of millions of viewers. Why then is there any debate about this man. Trust what the word of God says, not what others say. The word of God is true and final.

    If you want to hear the word of God in its purest form, listen to John MacArthur. I have listened to him for many years and he preaches the whole truth of the bible. You can listen to him on the radio or the internet. May all of you be blessed!

  232. Faith, a minister on said:

    There isn’t one preacher in this country who is perfect. Remember that. But one thing I see with all the “religious” people in this country….they are out to attack. Pharisees. Jesus called them a “brood of vipers” and I would say the same thing to the ones who are condemning Joel Osteen and his ministry. If you really examine your Bibles closely, you would find that what Mr. Osteen preaches IS ALL IN THERE. Not one time in his sermons have I heard him mispeak about what the Word of God teaches. Not once. See, the problem is that 90% of “Christians” have no desire to read what the Word really teaches. They accuse, belittle, and condemn based on their “religious attitudes” (religion makes the word null…find it in your Bible), but do they go to the Word and test it??? Hardly… I would challenge all of you scoffers… if you are so ANTI-PROSPERITY, then go to your bank, draw out all of your money, sell your stocks and bonds, sell your house, your car and all of your possessions, and GO AND GIVE IT TO THE POOR. Now how many of you are willing to do that???? You know what…NONE OF YOU. So then…are you going to CRITICIZE the Osteens when YOU YOURSELF want to keep your $$$ in your pockets??? I smell a little jealousy here…. Joel is trying to teach you, directly from the Word of God, HOW TO PROSPER so that YOU CAN BLESS OTHERS. How in the world do you think we are going to take care of our neighbors if we are POOR OURSELVES??? Have you read about Soloman?? Start reading your Bibles people…. it is FULL, and I mean FULL of how God teaches us to SPEAK THE WORD over our situations. You had better study Ezekiel and the dry bones… SO I would suggest that instead of condemning a man for telling the world how good God is and drawing men unto salvation, you had better open that book and find out what it REALLY says… I would rather listen to “Word of Faith” people than partake in your “Word of Doubt” doctrines that are leaving people in the darkness… You say that Joel preaches a simple doctrine….well, for most “christians”, that’s all they can handle. Anything deeper and they are lost. Draw them in….and THEN the Lord can begin to work in their lives, leading them into deeper water. You have to crawl before you can run…. Live long and prosper, Joel and Victoria. You are blessed to be a blessing….

  233. Ken on said:

    This past post by an anonymous writer calling himself “Faith, a minister” typifies many of the flames shot toward Pastor Elbourne the past year and a half since he wrote the original article about one of Joel Osteen’s random sermons. Do you not see the irony in slamming a brother in Christ for daring to point people to the Biblical text the “preacher” clamed to proclaim? In other words, you write as if its wrong for Pastor Elbourne to critique Mr. Osteen, but its fine for you to criticize Pastor Elbourne. That smells like a hypocritical double standard to me.

    This past post number #233 accused pastor Elbourne of being jealous of Osteen’s wealth and greedy to the point of not being willing to help the needy. Others have said similar things. Nothing could be further from the truth. I invite you to take a trip to Lakeshore Mississippi, like I have done, and visit Pastor Don Elbourne in his camper parked on the church property as he selflessly gives all his time and resources to the poor and needy of his community.

    You wrote, “If you really examine your Bibles closely, you would find that what Mr. Osteen preaches IS ALL IN THERE. Not one time in his sermons have I heard him mispeak about what the Word of God teaches. Not once.” Really? Did you read what Pastor Elbourne wrote? He clearly demonstrated that what Mr. Osteen preached contradicted the Word of God. By reading the passage in context and reading the plain meaning of the text “Osteen turned Paul’s admonition inside out and upside down when he changed the substance of our worship to God for undeserved mercies into a man-centered program to gain deserving reward.”

    Let me urge you to read Romans 12. Then scroll up and re-read what Pastor Elbourne wrote. While you are at it, click on the “archive” link at the top right of this page and read some of the other things written on this blog, especially in light of Hurricane Katrina. Now that would be interesting… I wonder what Joel Osteen would say if his home and his church and his entire community got swept away like Pastor Elbourne’s did. I have a hunch that Osteen’s feel good theology would come up short.

    Pastor Elbourne, keep the faith. Keep proclaiming God’s unfailing Word. Keep pointing Lakeshore and others to their only Hope – Jesus Christ, not man’s wealth, creature comforts, and human prosperity. We pray that God will continue to glorify Himself on the gulf coast through your ministry.

  234. Jim on said:

    Surely there has to be good stuff going on over at The Lakewood Church and with its principle pastor, Joel Osteen. Lots of good stuff and even perhaps great and glorious stuff.

    Such were my hopes and desires going into reading a recent book of his, “Daily Devotions from Your Best Life Now.” But all I found was that only nine of the ninety devotions (a curious ten percent tithe amount) even hinting at doing anything for anyone but yourself. You can read about them for yourself in Part Six of that book. I could not detect any significant, meaningful, or lasting ministries or service to others offered up even as a suggestion.

    The book cover flap invites its readers to check out Joel’s web site. Again a curiosity — the website has a “dot-com” business suffix rather than a more expected “dot-org” suffix. And sure enough, it was a Joel Osteen self promotion and profit tool, the many ways to spend money (and enriching his bank account) on his books, DVDs, appearances, and so on. There was a link to the church’s (non-dot-com) web site, but it didn’t offer much in the way of ministries and missions they operate or support outside their congregation (again a curiosity, click on “Missions” and you’ll get nothing except a statement that there will be “more information coming soon”).

    But the most telling thing of all for me was that almost all of the persons in “Leadership” are direct family members of the Osteen clan (e.g., Paul Osteen, Lisa Osteen Comes, Dodie Osteen, and their spouses & children). I can only conclude that The Lakewood Church and its Joel Osteen Ministries exist primarily and principally for the financial enrichment of the Osteen family members themselves.

    Now, I firmly believe in Jesus Christ and that through him God is redeeming this situation (and all others like it) for God’s goodness, greatness, and glory. Therefore, it is no surprise to me that some people are finding God through “Joel’s” preaching and “Joel’s” church. But when I dare imagine that if Joel instead allowed himself to be used by God to preach the fullness of God’s Word so that it be Christ’s preaching and Christ’s church, then I am awed and filled with wonder! The puny, folksy, shallow messages of happiness, potential, and prosperity that currently dominate the “Joel” books, sermons, and church would then give way to the incredible joy of God’s Kingdom Come! This is the dream I dare dream, the vision I dare see, hear, and preach about, not just for that church but for all the Church, yours, mine, and ours, here, there, and everywhere. Amen.

  235. Aussie on said:

    Interesting reading! I am not so sure looking at one random sermon is an accurate way to draw to many conclusions!
    What fruit do his sermons or the church produce, does anyone know? That may tell the real story!
    My own experience with Joel Osteen (never meet him, never seen him on tv, never been to the church) is that God used his book to change in my life. While God did the changing the book was the instigator!

  236. J W on said:

    Just another fraud milking the ignorent.

  237. How can I acquire a copy of sermon 324 broadcast in Paducah Ky 42003? I alow saw on the bottom of the scrren (during the sermon) that Joel will be in Nashville Tn in March. Could you give me a more tentative date and time please.

    Aimee Wall
    email@ aimee.wall@graves.kentuckyschools.us

  238. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Aimee,

    Call 1-800-55-GRACE

  239. LISA on said:

    I JUST WANT TO START OUT BY SAYING, I LOVE JOEL AND I FEEL THAT HIS WAY OF MINISTERING TO PEOPLE IS ALOT DIFFERENT THEN YOU WOULD. WHILE EVERYONE IS TRYING TO QUOTE THE WORD, YOU FORGOT ONE IMPORTANT SCRIPTURE, ROMANS 13:10 IF JOEL NEEDED CORECTION IT DID’NT NEED TO COME FROM YOU. YOU WERE VERY CONDEMNING,AND THATS NOT THE GOD KIND OF LOVE.I THINK WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES AND IF WE DID’NT WE WOULD NOT NEED GOD’S GRACE OR MERCY, WHICH BY THE WAY, IS NEW EVERYDAY. I FEEL JOEL OSTEEN’S MINISTRY SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.HE IS VERY LOVING AND VERY KIND THATS ALSO IN THE WORD “WITH LOVE AND KINDNESS HAVE I DRAWN THEE” IF HE DRAWS THE PEOPLE TO GOD AND TO KNOW HOW MUCH HE TRULLY LOVES US WE SHOULD BE HUNGRY ENOUGH FOR THE WORD AND A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD TO PUT OUR SELFS INTO THE WORD AND ACT LIKE GODS CHILDREN. FIND SOMEBODY TO LOVE TODAY, INSTEAD OF SLAMING SOMEBODY ELSE FOR DOING IT.

  240. Matt on said:

    If you want to hear the Word in it’s purest form, then hear it from Christ himself. He is the Word! Paul himself did not go directly to the Apostles, but learned from the Lord himself. When they looked at Peter they noted that he was un-schooled but was a demonstration of God’s Power. Most everything I learned in seminary actually discouraged me from growing in genuine faith and caused me to lean on my own understanding. As a Pastor, I am no longer the Bible answer man. However, as I point people to Christ, there are becoming the ministers that God has called them to be. Jesus gave us a new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you” This reality will keep us from wrongfuly judging Joel Osteen.

  241. Janice Simonet on said:

    I strongly believe without doubt that Joel carries the same mantle of faith that so possessed his dad, a loving and godly pastor, John Osteen. Give him time.

  242. Misty on said:

    I enjoy Joel Osteen’s sermons. I feel that because God made everyone different, that perhaps he doesn’t intend for all pastors to have the same approach at the pulpit. Many people may not be as receptive to the Word of God by those pastors whose approach is doom & gloom. Joel Osteen may have been called by God to reach those who may better respond to the Gospel by his brand of teaching. Just as a student in school, sometimes it just takes the right teacher for you to actually understand the curriculum. Of course, you should also read your Bible to gain understanding about God’s will for your life & concerning heaven & hell.

  243. Kim Kenley on said:

    I enjoy listening to Joel. Whenever I can’t make it to church I just tivo him and listen to his message whenever I can. He makes me think about Gods word more than I usually would. Isn’t that what it is all about! Just focus on what is good in your life. Believe me with 5 kids there have been ups and downs but I always say a little prayer and make it through the day.

  244. Andy on said:

    My sheep know my voice… why worry about minister who are flamboent… I don’t worship Paul or Silis…I walk with Jesus…
    I love my brothers who are bold…Let the greatest among you, be a servent… Who here has any right to judge or comdem those who might be babies in Christ… Yet God finds and loves their methods with joy… No matter what Christ is preached… It’s his church, his word, his problem… If I up lift him, he will draw all men unto him… As long as I keep my eye on him and his word and lay down my personal idols and repent and grow in faith and love… Who cares… may our lord grant each of us a spirit of revelation to know him more… my only hope is to learn and act with wisdom to see my blind brothers set free in Christ..Usally this is done in Prayer…

  245. carrie on said:

    The most important thing is that Joel is a good man, who makes people think before they act. He shows me that by putting God first place in my life…..makes everything else fall into place. People need hope to go on in this world. Joel sees good in people and projects it in everything he does. I don’t want to believe in a God that I have to fear. The fire and brimstone only sets you up for failure…it isn’t realistic in today’s world. The God they talk about isn’t the kind or caring God that cares about me being the best that I can be. He just sits and waits for us to sin. I believe that I am a child of the most high God, and that he loves me that way. Keep going forever Joel…you’ve done HIS work and then some. Carrie

  246. Lyn on said:

    The calvinist fundamentalists never weary in their attacks on the charismatics…nothing new under the sun.

  247. Nina on said:

    I just wanted to make a few comments regarding Joel Osteen.

    Number one…just a thought, maybe God is doing something new..eh? A different kind of movement for a different kind of time? Although God’s Word is the same, and He never changes…maybe He just wants to do something new in America? Who have been through so much the past few year with the war and other matters…who knows what God is really up to lately?

    Also, I am grateful to God that through Joel, my sister does think that maybe she needs to change, maybe she needs to go to church. Although nothing has come of it yet, everytime she has watched him, she tells me she knows she has to change.

  248. Francisco on said:

    Everyone is different!!!

    Point being, in my case at my age of 34 and in this day and time of life… never ever, ever would I give up my life of partying, traveling, and enjoying the finer things in life for a life bound to what I feel is hard core, in your face, church every Sunday, brother this, sister that, bible study now, bible study then, etc., etc. lifestyle. It just would not work for me, as well as many other friends and family of which I have seen turn to this lifestyle only to last them a short period of time and finally return to the non-restricting life outside of a church group environment.

    At this day and age, in the age group I and many of my peers find ourselves in… the constant struggle to survive financially seems to be all that matters. It seems life is all about drinking brand name water bottles, cell phones with digital cameras, BMW’s, and $500 game system consoles for true quality family enjoyment time. To obtain all this, you even need a $30,000 student loan to assist in gaining that much needed BA degree to put us up to par with that successful job hunt.

    Point being in a world that seems to be all about gaining and preparing for success, we find ourselves at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore searching for literature on how to better make it in this timeframe of existance. Who Moved My Cheese, What Color Is My Parachute, The Four Agreements, Tuesdays with Maurie, Fish, etc., etc. All these books based on boosting your self esteem and positive thoughts within the game of life for the ultimate “feel good about yourself” mindset. Much like the ridicule mentioned on your behalf about Joel Osteen.

    To you I ask and say.. “So what”?!?!?!

    So what, if we happen to bump into a “positive, happy go lucky, God loves you for trying” book authored by a preacher. What is the worst that could happen? Sure we may not right off the bat jump into the disecting of the origin of apostle Mathew, but who in this self centered world really cares. Its all about me, me, me, me, me… everywhere you look. Including yourself.

    The situation and benefit I see in what Joel Osteen is doing (either purposely or unpurposely and at the least bit of importancy to that matter) is that through his style and interpretation, he has been able to sneek a punch in on us by introducing and linking the existance of God and his role play in our lives by allowing for many of us who have had our guards up to heart pounding church going die-hard fanatics attempting to do just the same.

    I myself am a statistic to this. All because of my father who introduced me to his (Joel Osteen) positive everyday messages about positive dreams and attainable goals. My father, now 54, has never been involved with any kind of religious organization though he is the kind that carries his beliefs within. Good or bad… that’s who he is. However he got turned on to Joel Osteen because he was attracted to the positive and wisdom set approach on life he seemed to preach about. Maybe this in your opinion this is or this is not an agreeable point of view on what Joel Osteen preaches, and at this point it is irrelevant. What is relevant is that through Joel Osteen’s good or bad style of preaching the Bible, my father is now a bit closer than what he was before with a relationship between him, God, and the Bible.

    I know that if my father, my self, and many other of which I myself have turned to introduce Joel Osteen (because I have)… through one way or another, has become a bit closer in touch with his or her religious spiritual side. I dont see how that could be a bad situation.

    I myself have now jumped from a closing of the door to people knocking on my door wanting to introduce Christ into my life, to searching for a “self-help” book which could offer ideas on developing a better mindset lifestyle, to running into Joel Osteen, to dusting off and opening my Bible, to learning at my own pace a bit more about my religious beliefs, to introducing the word of God to friends and family, to a better relationship than ever with God. All thanks to a man you are attempting to ridicule and cut down on his style and interpretation of the Bible.

    So he has alot more people than you or others in this better understanding and relating his words to their personal beliefs. Why the bitterness towards him? Are we to trust you instead? You who seems to be making and looking for ways to step on a man’s style of preaching in effort to assist you in rising a bit higher and to gain a bit more credibility. I wonder, are you not the type that would be against such a mindset of stepping on others to get ahead?

    Either way, I say let Joel Osteen continue to walk his path at his own style and pace. Whether he is right or wrong in his interpretation, as long as people are moving in a positive direction… let him be.

    He sure doesn’t seem to be pushing or pestering on your shoulder… why do it to him. It’s his style, his beliefs, and his interpretation… LET HIM BE!!!

    You feel you are right, he is wrong, and we are the victims… fine… start your own ministry and save us from this evil man you so much knock on.

    In the meantime… God Bless Joel Osteen… for thanks to him I AM NOW MUCH CLOSER IN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY LORD.

  249. jimmy meeks on said:

    So..let me get this straight: You watched one sermon and it did not meet what you believe to be the standard…ok… gee, no wonder the world laughs at us…

  250. Michael Bernard Kelly on said:

    I Believe Jesus said “do not judge”. Judgement flows from the ego.Is this the gospel of Jesus or of Paul? Go within to the stillness,silence within. Follow Jesus, don’t worry about Paul.

  251. Omar on said:

    Whoever started this JUDGE-FILLED-BLOG will have to face the Lord in Judgement.
    Get out of here and do the work.
    God is expecting more from yourself!

  252. Mark on said:

    When I read Don’s original blog, I didn’t understand it to be a final judgment on Olsteen’s character or ministry. I took it to say that Don was aware that many in the American Evangelical movement had misgivings about Olsteen’s ministry so he decided to check it out for himself. He listened to ONE sermon and put his observations in his blog. His biggest concern, insofar as it appears to me, was Olsteen’s using a passage from Romans devoid of its original context.

    I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t think it was unChristianlike or mean spirited. I think it was meant to do what it did, generate some discussion. However, I was disappointed at the tone of many of the responses. They were very unChristianlike.

    I assume that we only see part of a Lakewood service when we watch Olsteen on TV. I don’t know what happens at the church off camera, but I hope people are getting the full gospel through other activities of the church.

    Having said that, I have two general comments:

    1. Just because someone may have grown up in a church that did preach the “bad news” of the gospel in an unloving way, doesn’t mean that other churches can’t preach it in a loving way, and combined with the “good news” as well. After all, it takes both sides of the coin to present the full gospel message. I don’t think the right response to unloving hypocrisy is to avoid any truth that may have been mixed with the hypocrisy. I think the lost will be reached most effectively when the good and bad news are presented together. At least that’s what scripture seems to say.

    2. A good test for determining whether Lakewood (or any church) is presenting the full gospel would be to stand outside after service and ask members who are leaving to describe the content of the gospel. If they can give you the essential doctrines in their own words (not simply repeating slogans without understanding their content) then you can make a great case that the church is doing its job.

  253. Allan Christopher on said:

    I saw Joel talking with Barbara Walters on ABC TV about a month ago, and I heared his church rakes in 75 million dollars a year. I wonder how much Joel gets. No wonder they call him the smiling preacher. If I was a preacher making that amount, I’d be smiling too, I’d be hysterical. Actually though, I would not want anywhere near that much for fear of being associated with these big rich tv evangalists begging for money to support their ministries.

    I understand that Joel refused to say that Jesus Christ was the only way to heaven, and that he refused to admit that there is a hell, a place where Jesus plainly talked about. What is wrong with that guy? If professing christians and non christians can listen to him each week and feel good each week after listening to him, there is something wrong. I firmly believe that he is helping to send multitudes to hell. He is a lop sided “preacher” who should just get out from behind the pulpit. America needs more preachers that preach the whole counsil of God

    I’m not trying to condemned Joel, he seems like a nice guy, and he makes people feel good, but he does not belong behind the pulpit. I believe that if he would be true to the word of God by preaching the whole counsil of God, his church wouldn’t be raking in 75000,000 dollars a year. My pastor is on the radio, and has been for over 20 years, and he preaches on everything, and he always gets criticized for telling it like it is, he doesn’t tickle our ears by spoon feeding us sugar sermons every week.

    Millions of people watching and following Joel Osteen are probably going to hell, because Mr. Osteen doesn’t care enough to warn them for fear of losing his popularity.
    Was Jesus popular? Not when he started preaching the truth, it got him crucified. Was the apostle Paul popular? he ending up getting beheaded. What is the begining of wisdom? The fear of the Lord, and the fear of the Lord is mentioned in the King James bible at least 300 times, but you don’t and probably never will hear Mr. Osteen mention that, shame on him. I truly believe that most, not all, but most of his fans are deceived. He reminds me of a good looking,smiling Anti-christ that tickles the fancy of unsuspecting people, corrupting with flatteries telling them what thay want to hear.

  254. Shandon H. on said:

    My hope in God is encouraged everytime I remember Joel Olsteen talking about a motorcycle gangster who came to Lakewood and got saved out by his motorcycle, he had a mother who did not give up praying and did not give up trusting God. I have been in the previous building of Lakewood Church, God’s anointing brought us all together as one nation under God, worshipping our Father. I thank you God for all those “positive” Olsteens!!!!

  255. Mark Smith on said:

    I think joel osteen and all tv preachers should post their churches finacial records on their web page including salaries and petty cash…… just a thought!!

  256. Pete Maldonado on said:

    The Body of Christ is made of different members.The body should work as one. every one has a different ministry although we have to here about the consequences of sin.
    But Joel Olsteen is a man chosen by God.

  257. I found this blog through links from the rebuildlakeshore site.
    I write here because of the many who have written to attack Pastor Don Elbourne. I ask you to take a little closer look. Go back and reread his initial post. He attacked no one. Only gave his opinion on a particular sermon and held it up to the light of Scripture. My own Pastor frequently tells us …”Don’t just take my word for it, go home and check what I have said with what it says in the bible and make sure it matches up.”

    I knew nothing of Don Elbourne before going down earlier this month to help with Katrina relief with my (Arminian not Calvinist) church. As I sat in their church on Sunday morning and again on Wednesday evening and listened to this gifted man of God I was amazed that God would put him in such a little church in a no-name town in the middle of nowhere. But God in His infinite wisdom knew Katrina would come, He knew He would send literally thousands of people from all over the Country to that little church in the middle of nowhere to be ministered to by this humble man in humble surroundings. I know without a doubt God sent me there not to minister, but to be ministered to and I will never be the same. Not because of Don Elbourne, but because God Himself used him to touch my heart.

    In closing, don’t take anyone’s word or opinion as inspired no matter how much you love and respect them. Hold all you are taught up to the only true measure..God’s Holy Word.

    Sola Scriptura!

  258. Blaine Flaherty on said:

    I am not a long time christian, however, I am in search of myself to become a better person. I must say, I have heard Joel Osteens’ message and although I am not an astute student of the bible, I am a student of life. I have read through many of the above comments and now understand why church originally turned me off. Its almost like a controlled riot here…..I actually feel like I am reading Joel Osteens’ hate mail. Is it not a sin to hate ? I think Joel delivers ‘FEEL GOOD’ theology. There is nothing FEEL GOOD about many of the above messages. Just because ones interpretation or presentation of a BOOK does not FIT yours exactly, don’t condemn them !!!!

    Respectfully,
    Blaine

  259. John Lee on said:

    Some of his church members will say, “Oh, you gotta come to our cell groups for in-depth knowledge of the Bible. Osteen’s 20-minute message is designed for non-believers/seekers and young believers that may need something ‘light.”

    Isn’t Osteen such a sensitive MOTIVATIONAL speaker? Two things: 1)a Biblical-based pastor should and would never give a light or water-down Gospel even if his audience is comprised of young and non-believers. 2)when Osteen uses 99.9% of his speaking time on some stories and 1% on using some popular New Testament verses to make his stories sound interesting, he becomes a motivational speaker, not a pastor anymore.

    Osteen’s Prosperity Gospel: You will be prosperous when I first become prosperous through your donations.

    As far as I’m concerned, Osteen is not a pastor even though he files taxes as one.

  260. Dusty on said:

    I am a christian, needing water on a daily basis, in order to grow. Putting God first, serving man in order to be a better servant for god,Forgiving past transgressions, reading the bible, improving myself from inside out, becoming a member of a bible based church… What was the problem with Joel’s message???????

  261. Russell Hoffmiester on said:

    I cannot believe I am even commenting here as I came upon this site quite by chance — It took my interest so here gos. This is the very reason i do not go to church and in fact remain what i term “an agnostic christian”. (not really all that countradictive if you think about it?)All religious people do from sunnis to shia to babtist,catholic,luthern etc,is ramble on with some type of eternal “to tell the truth” game show with Gary Moore finally asking “will the real god please stand up”. Unfortunatly this is a game where the claim has dire unimaginable consequenses!! How should I claim any truth when “the great theological minds” can not conclude. I am reasonably well versed in the bible and recall a scripture where the apostles were complaining to Christ about another group preaching the gospel and Christ responded with “those who are not against us are with us”???? I – for one watch joel Osteens sermons and find them godly,truthful,practical, with every day real life illustrastions – very uplifting.Mayby there is nothing more going on here then some good old fashion jealousy hidden behind doctrinal self pronounced wisdom — At least Joel does not keep refering to himself as “docter” which has become so common in a religion this is admonished in the bible to not”heap titles upon themselves” I guess we would prefer those twenty plus thousand people to be out in the bars? Please – all forgive my grammer and spelling as I am but a simple farmer. Now back to my search about the LA Dodger picture from the 60s named Claude Osteen. Smiles

  262. Alan Christopher on said:

    I wonder how many people who attend Joel Osteen’s church, plus the ones who tune in each week on tv to hear him “preach” are saved. If a preacher will not warn people about a horrible place such as hell where they will burn forever, that preacher is not a nice person. Mr. Osteen seems like a nice guy, but if he doesn’t warn his hearers about hell, then he really isn’t a nice person, he is cruel, or he really doesn’t believe in hell or the severity of it, and if he doesn’t, then he does not believe the bible period. Any preacher, or christian who claims to believe that people who die without Christ will go into a literal, burning hell for all eternity, but will not warn them, does not have love, and they are mean and cruel, and are no better than Hitler. I don’t think Osteen is a nice guy. They call him the smiling preacher, smiling while people are going to hell, he ought to sad about that and preach hell fire once in awhile.

  263. Married Couple who read some of these posts... on said:

    “Do everything without complaining or arguing.”

    It is very interesting reading people’s comments. I see a lot of passion and a common place of all wanting God’s word preached in truth. Lots of good thoughts and insight. I’m searching today to see if I should give counsel to my brother about listening to or reading Joel Osteen. I don’t know much about him, just the basics.

    So, what can we do? If none of us really know the answers? I guess that’s rhetorical.

    I hope and pray that we can all be humbled and realize that we don’t know it all and never will.

    Again, great thoughts by all. Good points on either side. You all seem like great people with hearts after Jesus Christ. Bless!!

  264. maayan on said:

    i live in israel. i am jewish and do believe in my faith. sometimes i watch the christian preachers on middle east tv which we recieve from lebanon, i enjoy watch ing j osteen and often wonder why we dont have anyone jewish preaching like this. for me his message is the simple love and trust of g-d and a reminder to be aware of our behavior because g-d does know everything about us and how we act. whats wrong with believing that we must behave decently to others and always respect and trust g-d? joel reminds me of this in a friendly loving way without the great accent on guilt and punishment of judaism. i have only one g-d and for me the messiah still has not come but although im not christian i admire osteen. he encourages everyone who hears him and thats a beautiful thing.he exemplifies to me the best of the christian religion .am i wrong to think that your jesus preached love and acceptance toward all kinds of people?he is doing a wonderful p.r. for your religion and helping so many people feel hope to improve their lives and live better. his church is popular because he fills a need, an empty place inside the human soul. He a true leader and you folks can be proud to call him a christian preacher. thoughts from maayan, a jewish woman in israel

  265. Chaplain Purser USN ' on said:

    Shut-up & do something yourself! Get out from behind the computer and stop whinning. If all you do is criticize then you are nothing but a pharisee. What church have you started that leads thousands of people to Christ? When you leave your Church on Sunday morning are you motivated to get back in the fight or do you feel like you wasted another hour singing “the ol’ gospel songs” like standing on the promises? Maybe you are simply SITTING ON THE PREMISES! Shut-up, buck up and quit sniping at a guy who’s light is so bright that it makes you ashamed and you have to CRITICIZE to make yourself feel better.

  266. Chaplain Purser USN on said:

    What a whiner! Get out there and do something yourself, you remind me of the pharisee who is constantly straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. Shut-up, stop sniping at brother in the Lord. I challenge you to have a MEGA MINISTRY & lead millions of people to Christ!
    If you cannot or will not do that please just
    keep your pie hole closed.

  267. Charlotte Holmes on said:

    I think in a world of negativity, it is wonderful to hear someone like Joel preach the gospel from the Bible and relate it to our times. Without God’s salvation, we could not rejoice in His Word. I believe God wants what is best for us and He shows us through those who He ordains to teach His Word, I believe Joel does that.

  268. Jan Weber on said:

    Joel Osteen is real. More real than most. That is your problem.

  269. I came online to listen to one of Joels messages and opened this site instead. So, I will throw in my thoughts. The truth is found in the scriptures. I credit Billy Graham for opening my eyes to this point. One of my favorite verses is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”…so, not by rightous works, but through Him do we find real success and meaning in this world. I have listened to a myriad of preachers, ministers, pastors..whatever title you may attach to them. I didn’t agree with all messages given and some turned me off. But there were lessons in each. Joel seems to have a calling that uplifts and inspires people, whether Believers or non-believers. He encourages people to love, to live, to forgive and be kind to others and self. He encourages people to look to God for guidance in the way in which they should conduct their lives. Thus, whether one is already grounded in his faith or not, it tends to send one to the Bible for real answers. As one individual commented, Joel tells us that God isn’t always angry at us. That is important because who wants to go to a father who is always angry? We need to remember that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” John 3:16. Loved, being the operative here. God gave, we can repent and receive. And that is where the rubber meets the road! God bless you one and all.

  270. Trevor on said:

    Hello all and God Bless,

    I am deffinately not the best christian out there. I feel ashamed of my faith most of the time. Afraid of what ppl may think of me, and have no real confidence in anything I do. What I love about Joel is that he seems to encourage me to “break out of the mold”. To go against the main flow. God gives us each a talent, a gift. Joel’s gift is one of encouragement. I think the reason he is so popular is because of that. He encourages ppl into what is right and he does it based on scripture. The Word of God has many layers to it and Joel may be lead of God to preach on one aspec of the many layers to His Word. He preaches love, understanding, non-judgment, hope, prosperity, and many more positive subjects from the Word. I encourage you all not to judge least you be judged. Let the man work for God in the way that God may have laid on his heart. He has brought so many ppl to God through his teachings that we should be happy that our faith is being strenghend in numbers. That others of this world can feel the love and grace of our God. Please do not confuse others that may be new to the christain faith by all this bickering between us. This unstability is what makes ppl question our faith so much. Not one of us will come to the full understanding of God untill we have died and go to be with Him. Thank you for reading this. God bless you all.

    Trevor

  271. Richard on said:

    Jesus did NOT preach the prosperity Gospel!

    “Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”-Jesus of Nazareth, Luke 6:20

    “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”” – Jesus of Nazareth, John 16:33

    “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.”- Jesus of Nazareth, Luke 6:26

    “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” – Jesus of Nazareth , Matthew 6:24

    24Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Jesus of Nazareth , Luke 18:24-25

    Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.
    -Luke 16:14

    Who are the real Pharisees?

    Joel, if you’re reading this, teach Jesus Christ and Him crucified! It is the power of salvation for everyone, not just for feeling good about yourself in this world.

    I was at a church like this for nine years, and I can tell you how hollow I felt at the end, when they’d aligned themselves with a Mormon outreach event. This is how apostasy begins, little by little.

    My advice to those who follow Joel: get out now, find a nice little Bible-teaching church and FEED on the Word!

    In Him,
    ~Richard

  272. destiny on said:

    y don’t u all leave pastor joel alone, his message is what ias neeed in d world 2day. what good is it to tell a man who is already suffering and condemed that he will end up in hell, pastor joel makes you see the good side of God and that christianity is a life of fun and not condemnation. he is my pastor anyday

  273. Beverly C on said:

    Bottom line, your article is so tedious I only made it through a few paragraphs. At least Mr. Osteen has something to say that people want to hear.

    There is a reason that church membership has declined in recent years. Excessive bible-thumping and fire-and-brimstone mentality can only keep humanity in shackles. People need a way to lift their spirit, which naturally results in a cleaner, more pure life. Talk such as yours has nothing to contribute.

    Sorry to criticize; you obviously put a lot of effort into your article.

  274. Kevin Asbell on said:

    I think we all should focus more on Jesus and not Joel Osteen or any other Pastor.If anything Pray for all the Men that are called to share the Gospel.God bless you!

  275. Just a person on said:

    It’s amazing that after two years since this article was posted; people still find the time to comment on it as I am doing now. It kind of shows you the reality that sometimes we focus more on humans than on CHRIST. And what is asked of us which is to take the gospel to the ends of the world.

  276. I have been watching Joel Osteen on television for several years,I even tape his services so that I can watch them again and again, I believe he is a wonderful Christian and has a very positive message. I feel very sorry for people who do not understand his kind of teaching. I love you Joel and Victoria,keep up the good work.
    Evelyn

  277. 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.

  278. ray on said:

    with all the good people doing so much for the katrina victims please tell me why there is still so many people not back in there homes yet the bussiness of satans party is back on track? can someone so powerful as lakewood ministries speed up the process or are they doomed to be on the bottom of the list as so many poor around the world always end up. educate me please. respectfully ,ray

  279. it seems that there are many ministries doing a fine job in other countries of the world but what i dont understand is the fact that this long after katrina there are still many good folks not back in their homes but the sinners parade etc. went on again very quickly does that mean that the mardi gras is more effective among the people there than the ministries who are making enough money to help speed that up process up. please educate me in this matter. MAY THE LORD BE WITH YOU,RAY

  280. Russell Hoffmiester on said:

    Wow, after i by chance came upon this site googling the ex dodger pitcher Claude Osteen, had some interest,made my one post above,then was for some perverted reason drawn back to follow these posts, I now totally recall why I have no interest what so ever to attend any of your churchs. What a sad narrow minded group of people.

  281. It really hurts your website to attack this man. He loves you anyway, and wishes you no harm.

  282. Stella on said:

    I received a copy of “your best life now” for Christmas from a friend and I have to admit that I thought it was strange that It promises that the favor in God can lead to many untold riches, I don’t believe that is true, but it has made me more aware of the small blessings that have happened which I may have said, “how lucky” or worse not even noticed which I appreciate as I now can be more thankful to God, when they happen.

  283. Kari on said:

    I don’t think most of the criticisms on this website are meant as hateful toward J. Osteen. Nor do I think they are meant to “judge him.” I personally could care less how much money he makes, or how many people he has in his church–that’s the American free enterprise system at work; lots of people richer than me, lots of churches bigger than mine. BUT, if a man, especially one with as much of a following as J. Osteen has, is perceived to be teaching false doctrine, or a watered-down doctrine (which is, in its truest sense, a false doctrine), he needs to be exposed–not to judge him, not to bring him down as a person, not to strew hate and jealousy across his ministry, but to warn those who would follow him to “be careful; search the scriptures; try the spirits.”
    I don’t listen to J. Osteen a whole lot and I don’t go to his church, so I don’t know what all of his messages are about–maybe he does plant the whole truth in some of them, but if, in a 20 minute television broadcast, he can’t proclaim the truth of the gospel–the WHOLE truth of the gospel, that we are sinners condemned to death (Romans 6:23), and that God loved us so much (because as so many people have said, “God IS love,”) that He sent His Son to die in our place, then he has failed in his ministry. Christianity is not a product–you can’t use marketing to “hook ‘em” and “reel ‘em in.” Those who say “he’s trying to attract a broad audience” as an excuse for Osteen’s watered-down doctrine are deceiving themselves. Sin binds us, the Bible convicts us of that sin, we don’t like conviction, so we shy from it. If Osteen can consistently preach a “positive” gospel, then he’s not preaching sin–which is the starting point of the gospel.
    Also, regarding his “positive gospel”: The Christian life is not about “feeling good,” though many times we DO feel good when living the Christian life. It’s not about “prospering” in the sense that J. Osteen seems to teach–read Hebrews 11. The Christian life is all about me (and you) glorifying God. Sometimes we glorify Him through our infirmities. Sometimes we glorify Him through our prosperity. But it’s all about Him, not us. Danger signals go off in my head when I hear someone teach that the abundant life is a happy life or a prosperous life–because it’s not. It’s a joyful life, a spirit-filled life, a God-centered life–but these things are, most often, brought about through trials, testings, and infirmities. God’s favor is not always manifested toward us in a “positive” way; at least, not what we would define as “positive.”
    Many people have mentioned how his book has helped them out of difficult times–it seems dangerous to me that a pastor would write and encourage people to read a book other than the Bible that could guide people out of darkness. If the Bible isn’t good enough in itself, then something is wrong. I understand that the Bible is difficult to read for non believers and new believers, but that’s what God’s Holy Spirit is for, to guide us into all truth.
    Finally, please be aware that prosperity and popularity are not necessarily indicative of God’s blessing–study early church history, read about the judges, prophets, and apostles of God, and the life of Jesus Christ, Himself. Don’t be sucked into thinking that just because he glitters, he’s gold. He may be fool’s gold. Please be discerning–this is not a judgment of Joel, but a warning to those who would follow him.

  284. Andrew on said:

    I’m afraid you’ve missed the boat completely my friend. There is quite simply one thing we can’t do exactly like jesus did – and thats determine where a man’s heart is and where he’ll end up after this body fails him. You put your faith in Christ my friend and that IS ALL you are empowered to do – You think down the wrong path as many like you often do.

  285. Eliot Lugo on said:

    Well written and without bashing. That is the way we should constructively criticize others who, by our understanding of the written Word of God, seems to take the text out of context to make their case. I see that the “other gospel” that is famous and hold little or no spiritual weight is the gospel of prosperity. The Gospel of blood, sacrifice, and sanctification has become old fashioned in mega churches as well as small. Though I believe in the prosperity of God’s people, we will always have the poor. Mother Teresa made such an impact on this world and we are still talking about it and she did not, to the best of my knowledge, make any declaration or confession concerning the riches God could have given her. We are not all called to be rich materially speaking, but what it’s important is whether we are serving Christ the way He desires us to serve Him.

    In my personal opinion, there are not many “deep” people in the church today, whether small or mega churches. What is being preached in a great number of churches is a “name it and claim it, fake until you make it” type of Gospel with no depth enough to carry us though high waters when trouble comes.

  286. i am a catholic man that believes that regardless what religion you claim there is only one god and as long as we pray to jesus. joel is a great inspirational preacher and i enjoy listening to him and reading his books.keep up the good work!!

  287. Ms.M on said:

    I don’t claim to be any type of writer,theologin or great mind. But have provided enough gramatical, errors, paraphreses of what I remember and misspelled words,disconnected thoughts and disjointed sentence fragments to keep those folks busy.
    I just wanted to give my thoughts and I hope you can see past the context to the intent.
    I have to say I enjoy Osteens sermons, for the most part they are inspiring and keep me in remebrance of certain things. As a member of a church that does radio broadcasts,I understand that the audience gets a very small portion of what actually happens during the service. I think the goal is to peak the interest of people enough that they choose to explore it further. Maybe something they heard will send them to their local church, or maybe they will read their bible more often. We plant the seed GOD gives the increase. No man comes to Christ, until He draws them. You didn’t just decide one day to give your life to him,that was all GOD. I could stop a stranger on the street and say “GOD loves you” and it could prick his heart,and he could give his life to Christ. I haven’t read in the bible yet where it says you have to say this exactly this way to draw people to Christ. It does say that; He who wins souls must be wise ; You can draw more flies the honey then with vinegar; with loving kindness have a drawn thee;
    I for one do not need someone to beat me about the head and shoulders, with hell,fire and brimstone. I think that may have worked in a different day, but we seem to be in an new day and a new dispensation. Different times call for different meassures. The GOD of our forefathers has not changed, but i dont need to tell you that the kids today are doin things your grandparents never thought about. I am concerned about any one who think that all GOD wants us to know about is his judgement/punishment or only his love, grace and mercy. You have to have both, because GOD is both. He is the gives blessings and administers judgement as he sees fit.
    In this day and age most people are living in hellish situations and circumstances in some way, shape or form each day. I don’t think there is anything wrong a little encouragement and hope.
    I think the auther of this article is offering his opinion of the facts as he see’s them, and he is absolutely entitled,as are we all.
    GOD BLESS

  288. Kari on said:

    Andrew–Matthew 7 (yes, the same passage that everyone keeps quoting, the one that says, “judge not,”) tells us to “try the spirits,” and “beware of false prophets,” and admonishes us that “by their fruit we shall know them.” I’m not judging his heart, I’m pointing out problems with his teaching. That’s what the Bible tells us to do–that’s what the Bible and the Holy Spirit EMPOWERS us, as you put it, to do; that’s how we keep from being “led away by every wind of doctrine.” And we don’t judge by our standards, we compare his words to the Bible. They don’t match up? then his words fail. Sorry ’bout that; but only he can fix that.

  289. Terry Grissom on said:

    I recently was lucky enough to move to Houston for a good job from Reno, Nevada. I have been watching Joel Osteen for a few years and enjoyed his message immensley. There is no comparison to watching his service on tv and actually being there. I could feel the presence of God at Lakewood and the sound and environment makes you never want to leave. Is’t THAT what every preacher lives for? It is no accident that Lakewood has the largest congregation in the country, God is deffinetly there. I lived it and continue to live it. All you crackpots who want to tear him down and criticize his style are doing a gross disservice to God. Joel is the first Christian leader to make me excited about being a Christian and living the Christian life. I am so grateful to God that he provided a job for me in this city and can actually attend his services. If you have never been to one, you need to withhold comment, …”Forgive them Father, for they know not of what they speak”

  290. John on said:

    If you do not like his preaching methods than simply do not listen to them. Any wise person would realize anyone that can bring 25,000+ people to worship the Lord in this society is doing something right.

  291. Everyone has a purpose in life, weather its for a reason,season,or treason. Who are we to judge someone on what God has for them, what their purpose is. God’s word is God’s word. I have listen to Minister Olsteen messages,and they are exactly what the are, messages, We as christians are so quick to criticize others,and be on a whollier than thou platform that we are forgetting one thing, THE MESSAGE. It’s not just a feel Good message that he is delivering…he’s sending a message. We have to Find God For ourselves and develop an intimate relationship with him so that we know what our purpose is. You have to be very careful on what you say about others weather you agree with them or not. God rains on the just as well as the unjust. He is no respect of person. The same principles are in the world as there is in the church, we as christians just tend to think since now we have given our so called life to Christ we know it all and condem others because we got THE MESSAGE and they have not…yet. Have you ever heard the saying you can attract more flies with honey than you can with feces. We need to wake up and smell the coffee. Our main objective is to do what God has designed for us to do…not what we think we should be doing…has anyone even ask God what he has for you…did he want us to go around and bash others. God is a strong God he doesn’t need to give you a feel good message…he is the message.If the messenger makes you feel good …you received the message who is God.

  292. lisa johnson on said:

    I find this thread not only accusatory in spirit, but sad. I have lived with severe suicidal depression the majority of my adult life since I experienced horrible trauma in my family life. Trauma and despair SO deep that daily living was excrutiating. It is the “lite” Christian feel good messages of Joel Osteen that put my feet back on the road to righteousness and peace beyond all understanding. I’m sure we can all find something negative to dwell upon in others to prove ourselves bigger, better, more just. I just choose to be thankful for yet another day of life and a chance to serve God in some small way. Might I suggest that be our focus, and not the tearing down of each other in the body of Christ.

  293. a blessed day!

    i have been teaching the bible myself for about 6 years now. i didn’t go through a theology class and by faith, i know john chapter 16 can be claimed in a christian’s life. this is in regards with what Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit being our teacher. and so, i am forever thankful to God to have opened my eyes to His word.

    eversince i understood what Jesus taught about the love and grace of the Father given to us through Jesus Christ, i have learned to love every christian(proven to love other christians with the agape love of God)all around the world. one thing i get stumbled though, when christian’s start attacking other christian for some teaching that they can not accept to be biblical even if it is of good effect to the body of Christ. and i know most of these contradictions are the “what is imposible to men is possible with God” teachings. healing, finances, victorious life are the major issues.

    i was once a skeptic of these matters, for truly, these issues are dangerous to immature christians. but like in any other church congregations, regardless of how sincere the pastor is, still, some members do not pass the standards of a true follower. many, sad to say, are in the church, but are unfaithful, immoral, and sometimes, a carrier of deceiving spirits. in general, like judas iscariot, he was deeply involved in Christ’s ministry, yet, he didn;t understand the words “holliness”, “grace”, “love” and “salvation”. that’s why i have come up to a conclusion, that no one is less vulnerable to deceiving spirits. but who am i to judge? especially to ministers that has helped their members discover the best in them which God had really created them to be. and if we just humbly read the book of genesis, we will understand that God really intended man to be in perfection, until man blew it! these teachings of prosperity, unconditional healing and victorious christian life is still being attacked by the enemy, because satan does not want men to be thankful and greatful to God, putting into our minds the basics of sin. that we should live life without the assurance of God’s provisions, placing doubt again and again.

    brethrens, i really understand your point. and i can feel your sincerity in warning other christians of wrong teachings, but i saw with my own eyes, these people who were taught of “words of faith”, really lived a better life. should i stop them from believing that they can? plus, the truth that Jesus really wanted prosperity to christians so we can help bring His word to the world. let’s just be happy for them, remember, anyone who is not against jesus is for Jesus. mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice. i love you in the Lord!

    in christ,

    bro. jun

  294. Thank you for an excellent, factual and throrough commentary on Joel Osteen. I keep hearing Joel Osteen sympathizers whine, who are you to judge? Joel is not like a friend or neighbor, someone we peek over the fence to see what he is doing so we can gossip about it. Rather, he is supposedly a representive of Christ and responsible for speaking the truth. If he claims to love Christ why are significant topics such as sin, repentance and Hell avoided?

    I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. Revelation 3:15-17

  295. Annie on said:

    Excuse me sir, I have known the Osteens for over 25 years. Their whole lives including Pastor Joel and Victoria’s, are centered around Christ and the Gospel. My husband and I spend alot of time outside church walls reaching lost people. The most watched christian program on tv that has the most impact on these people is his. Hundreds of people get saved every week at Lakewood Church and in the conferences he does around the country, he’s led thousands to the Lord. There were over 6,000 people who got saved in New York. How many people have you led to the Lord in your lifetime? I don’t think it’s right to critize any minister, let alone someone who leads more people to Christ in a week, than some of us have in a lifetime. The Bible has much to say about criticizing each other and stirring up strife. God actually says that he hates those that sow strife among the brethren. No one needs to read stuff like this. I happened on the sight thinking there was something that might be an encouragement to somebody. I’m sorry I stopped by…hopefully you’ll reconsider posting this kind of stuff.

  296. David on said:

    I’m no Bible scholar, but I love reading it. God speaks to my heart thru the Word.

    In Galations 5, Paul teaches us about the never-ending battle between our old sinful nature and the desires put in our heart by the Holy Spirit. Verses 19-21 list results of following the desires of your sinful nature. Included in the list is “the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group”.

    Apparently, the Bible teaches this behavior is not led by the Spirit, but rather, a result of our sinful nature.

    Fortunately for everyone involved, Joel Osteen answers to God for his life, not the Internet.

  297. David on said:

    Here’s my favorite post: #219

    “If he spoke with a lot of education I probably would still be in jail hating myself. Or perhaps dead.”

  298. David on said:

    When Jesus healed the blind, did he do it the same way every time?

    My reading of the Gospels shows Jesus opening their eyes using many different methods. Perhaps he uses differnt methods to open the eyes of the blind today as well.

    Let the self-appointed style police review what happened to those who slammed Moses in the book of Numbers.

  299. Russell Hoffmiester on said:

    HMMMMM? should I become a Babtist,pentesostal,Luthern,Methodist,catholic, Presbyterian, Episcolian,Morman, seventh day advendist, jehovahs witness, Salvation Army,Christian Missionary Allaince, Church of God, Church of Christ, assembly of God,Brethern,Open Bible, Four Sguare,Potters house, vineyard,Free Methodist, Quaker, Amish, Greek Catholic —- Etc, Etc, Etc —— HMMMM — Now that I think about it there does seem to be quite a bit of “kingdom building” going on here — only not the eternal type? Nah — I think I will just remain out of it as I have already stated — I do enjoy however — watching all you loving Christians pound each other over the head with bible scripture. quite amusing!!!!

  300. JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO THE FATHER! TO DENY THAT IS CLEARLY WRONG. JOHN 14:6 IS PART OF THE WORD OF GOD ALMIGHTY. HE THAT HONORS ME I WILL HONOR. HE THAT DENIES ME I WILL DENY BEFORE MY FATHER. DEAR FRIENDS GOD GAVE HIS WORD TO US BELIEVE IT. DEAR LORD GOD, PLEASE OPEN UOR EYES TO REALIZE THAT YOUR SON JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO YOU. ACTS 4 VERSE 12 THERE IS NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN TO SAVED BUT THE NAME OF JESUS.

  301. Richard on said:

    I think Osteen’s style of preaching is a breath of fresh air. I could listen to anyones sermon and find a few things I don’t agree with. The point is nobody can 100% say they understand or can interpet every verse in the bible. Some things can be viewed different ways to different people. There are a few things that can only be viewed one way, but they are few and they happened to be the most important things. I think God did that on purpose. Now I don’t believe that God intended everyone to be rich, but he did intend for us to be taken care of. Whats wrong with believing in a healing, merciful, and active God. I know its important to understand that we are saved because we believe in God’s son nothing more, but I think what Osteen is trying to say is to live by faith. Part of repenting wich is a result of the faith needed to be saved.
    I think Osteen is painting a picture of a more merciful and lively God. Not a drab inactive God that only punishes people for mistakes they make. Why are people scared of that kind of preaching? Maybe I missed what don was trying to say. Yes there are holes atleast we think there are holes maybe we are the ones looking at answers wrong. What I’m getting at is in no way do I think Mr. Osteen goes against the most important christian fact the only way to God and Heaven is through Jesus. Now we can go against every little thing that may seem like it’s wrong, and ignore all the very good new ways of thinking. This I think is how the enemy takes away alot of great ideas and philosophies of living in christ.
    He shaking things up showing unbelievers a new view of God. I feel a better, in most ways, view of God. A God that loves the sinner and the saint, and just wants us to believe and repent so he can show us how much he cares. The bible says with God all things are possible, but only if we believe inwardly and outwardly so yes there is something we have to do to recieve Gods action to our prayer. Believe not just in our minds but in our actions, lives and walk. I think that is what osteen is saying, but in a way that is easy for unbelievers to understand. That is who we are trying to bring to God right?
    I know we have to be careful no to get desensitized. Let’s not get so sensitive that we nit pick everything and ignore the fact that hes got alot of people comming to christ and helping alot of believers understand how walk a little better. I think without going against the bible just making it easier and more attractive for nonbelievers. Without compromise to point of corruption.

    I am deffinetly not affiliated to mr osteen except reading some of his literature.

  302. I believe that Joel is speaking in a world that is full of preachers and priests that think and preach that you must suffer. If you don’t suffer than you truly must not be a Christian.

    Have any of you ever finished one of Joels broadcast’s? He always finishes with the simple truth of Christianity. and never ask’s anyone to attend or give to his ministry. It seams to me that Joel obviously has God’s favor.

    How many of you want your children to have more than your self, be more successfull than yourself and have a better life than you have had. I believe our nation was founded by our fathers searching for a better life for us. Wouldn’t it make sense that our Father in heaven would want the very same thing for His children. As a father I would only want as much success as my child could respect and handle in a dignified way. If I had one child that new that everything comes from God and respected all that God gave them, I would want them to have much. This child would be able to do much for God with what He gave them. If I had another child that wanted everything and thought that everything came from thier doings, that child would be full of conceit and could do very little for God. I would want this child have very little, because worldly wealth would most likely destroy this child.

    Each writer I’m sure has a different view of what wealth is. To one a loaf of bread is wealth to another a wallet full of paper that others will trade you things for is wealth. We all may have an idea, but I think we will ALL be surprised what God’s definition of wealth is.

    I believe that God has given Joel Osteen a calling to share with Chritain’s and non Christian’s that God wants the best for all of us. If He didn’t why did he come and go through such a horrible death for us. I think that some believe that they must go through suffering even to the point of hanging on a cross themselves. Any suffering that I do for my salvation takes away from Christ. Christ’s suferring was sufficiant for my sin.

    My Father may choose to have me suffer so that I may grow through my suffering and he also may choose to give me great things so that He may do great things through me.

    It seams to me that the tens of thousands of people hearing the bottom line of salvation is a job well done by Joel Osteen. Not to mention all of those who see his weekly broadcast.

    PRAISE BE TO GOD.

  303. On both sides on said:

    Wow, what a great blog. The best I’ve ever read.

    I really enjoy this blog because I’m back and forth on this. On one hand, I agree with those who hold the Bible as the most critical part of preaching. It is the rock, and when it or just a part of it is neglected, the sermon or message becomes a house of cards.

    At the same time, it’s all about the love. God is love, and God commanded us to love not just some people, but all people- not just people who look like Christians or fit a mold we imagine, but people who are outsiders and are alone. Joel really hits this on the head. He gets this. He’s not choosy- he’ll welcome anybody. He embraces diversity. In the Presbyterian and Calvin based churches I’ve been in, for some reason, I don’t quite feel this. I mean this with love and sincerity- it’s just the way I’ve felt.

    Personally, I know that I’m a sinner and I deserve the wrath of God right now. I am thankful that God enabled me to make a decision to choose Him, but I think there needs to be a strong balance between fearing God’s wrath and embracing others with the humble love and gentleness that Christ emphasized- people always felt comfortable with Christ (even prostitutes).

    Joel’s strength is that he’s inclusive and gets “the love.” Other churches can learn from this. However, he needs more Biblical rigor needs to explain more on why we are in need of a saviour. He has a great opportunity in the future to lead his audience in that direction. I hope he does. I am so comforted by the inclusive love of God for sinners like me and you’re all’s excitement in sharing this.

  304. On both sides on said:

    I also, just want to add that I am thankful to Jesus for loving me. He is my salvation and without Him, I am without hope. I pray that God uses Joel as a resource to share this simple truth.

  305. Desiree Corea on said:

    I love to listen to Joel Osteen. He teaches one how to live a better life. Because he is not like other preachers that does not mean he is bad one. Come on, he is one of the best. Just listening to him encourages one to live good. Love him.

  306. Danny on said:

    I became suspicious of Joel Osteen (who I was vaguely familiar with) when the homosexual couple next door who have a statue of Mother Mary by their front door invited me to join them at an Osteen gathering at HP Pavilion in San Jose. So I checked his web page and read his statement of faith. Everything seemed biblically correct so I “googled” him to see if there were any sites that could enlighten me. I read with great interest the various web sites including this one exposing his ministry. The pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Of course gays are comfortable with him; he doesn’t address sin. Thank you for the enlightenment.

  307. Denise on said:

    Mr. Don Elbourne, How can you critique…/judge a man based on one show you’ve watched. It isn’t fair. I am by no means perfect…I am sure he isn’t either.

    I have seen one of his podcast from his FULL worship services.

    I have seen many full service broadcasts from the lakewood website. He is wonderful in trying to have us connect with God.

    He helps us focus not on the wrong we’ve done, but the freedom we have in Christ.

    I feel so much of Gods grace, therefore it encourages me more because I have the freedom to choose to spend time with him.

    God gave us choice. Joel shows us what we have with God and what we have without him.

    That every decision that is negative, has a negative consequence.

    I am encouraged to read my bible because it comes from my heart (feeling free in Him) rather than reading my bible because I feel guilty.

  308. Chris Singleton on said:

    The message that Joel has is not only feel good but it is also convicting in itself. It causes one to live a righteous life before God. All of the things he presents invites santification of the mind in the faith of Jesus Christ. Your arguement like everyone elses is noted. Ask yourself this. Do the messages have you thinking about being blessed or being a blessing?

  309. Alan Christopher on said:

    The bible speaks of godly sorrow, and of taking up a cross daily and denying yourselves, and the fear of God, and repentence, and judgment and hell fire, and the apostle Paul said that “In my flesh dwelleth no good thing”, and Jeremiah said that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and the bible also says, that there is none righteous, no not one, and that the wages of sin is death, and the bible warns of false preachers deceiving and being deceived, and so on, but when was the last time anybody has heared any of this biblical stuff come from the mouth of Mr. Osteen?

    His book, “Your Best Life Now” is corrupting the minds of christians. If a christian wants to have a best life now, then all he or she needs to do is follow the teachings of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and read the epistles written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and avoid the carnal book written by some fleshy “preacher”. I have a good life, and not because I follow what some devilish book from some carnal man wrote. I have a good life because I trust my soul and my life here on earth with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Shepherd, Redeemer, best friend, Lord and Master, and if anything seemingly bad happens to me, it is because the Lord allows it, and if He allows it, then He allows it for the good. I have a mansion waiting for me while I’m taking up a cross right now. I have that blessed hope, and that is my best life now. I don’t need Joel Osteen’s book, I have God’s book, praise the Lord!

  310. animated mud vessel on said:

    Some of us will hear the call to run into the burning building and rescue others. We will bear the pain and scars of being burned and we will do it gladly because we know we are rescuing those who need to be saved. Others will stand outside the burning building, bat their eyes to the TV camera while smiling as they proclaim the fire is a good thing and it would feel good to warm ourselves beside it. Give me the burns and scars.

  311. Chuck on said:

    Osteen is an “ear tickler”!!! His sermons are like the Rio Grande River~~~~~~long and dry!!

  312. isaac on said:

    a highly respected Bible teaching pastor i know once shared a story of an unnamed pastor he spent the weekend with at a pastor’s conference. The pastor’s that were invited were those of the fastest growing churches in America. My freind shared that when he saw this unnamed pastor in attendance he was very suprised.These conferences were known to have solid Bible teachers attendibg them, and this unnamed pastor was definitely not known for his solid Bible teaching.The next day names were drawn by each pastor to team up one on one to play a round of golf, to get to know each other and share their stories with one another. My freind drew the unnamed pastor’s name. As they drove away in their golf cart together,the unnamed man said to my freind, “i hear your church is really growing, will you share what you guys are doing?” My freind looked at the man, and said,” i have to be straight with you.. i have an issue with you, and i would prefer to keep our conversation on the surface, but if you are interested in the issue i have, here’s my office #, you can call me next week, and we can arrange a time to talk.” To my freind’s suprise again, the unnamed pastor’s secretary called him the next week, and offered to fly him out to the unnamed man’s office so they could talk. he arrived about 2 weeks later. He shared his stun at the size of the building, and the extreme upscale nature of the office. My freind was very anxious, he had spent much time in prayer, and God had clearly confirmed to him that his issue was also God’s issue with this unnamed man. He entered the office to a freindly smiling man, with an outstretched hand of greeting. ” how was your flight?” “It was good.” “I have thought about what you said to me alot, and really want to know the issue you have with me.” My freind, with heart pounding a thousand times a minute replied, ” I have prayed about this fervently, and i believe God wants me to tell you in love, that you are a shameless self-promoter.” At this the man fell to his knees weeping and cried, “i have always struggled with this sin, and no one has ever had the courage to confront me.” Many tears shed, my freind shared that if we truly love one another, we will have the courage to confront, especially when souls are at stake. James5:19-20 “my brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this:whoever turns a sinner from his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” i will not say this is the man you are all discussing, i will say we need to pray for him, that God will break him and fill him with His Spirit, to use the platform he has to call lost sinners first to repentance, and then commit to discilping them.your friend, isaac

  313. animated mud vessel on said:

    thanks, isaac. that does put things into perspective and makes sure that we do the biblical thing when confronted with someone like this.

  314. trace on said:

    Rightious discernment regarding the rightness or wrongness of actions is one thing,judgment on the otherhand is left up to Jesus. Just because Olsteen refuses to pass judgement on homosexuals and abortionists doesn’t mean he condones the lifestyle or the acts. On the contrary, he states the opposite. If Olsteen is a self-promoter, thats between him and God. Personally I believe he became a pastor out of a sense of obligation to his father and the Lord and because he has soomething important to say to help people find God. People that criticize olsteen for not having a “complete message” are probably correct. However, I think Olsteens goal is to convey that the devil as an active force spawns discontent and hopelessness in people. That is why people choose evil often times because they do not feel like a champion of God and that they are not worthy. I believe Olsteen is God-centered in that he believes God bestows that which is according to His will. And if bad times befall you, your faith in God will lift you out of the pit. That is a message of ultimate redemption. God may extend an olive branch to save you but unless you reach for it, it will do you no good.

  315. Animated Mud Vessel on said:

    I’m tired of weak, soft men and messages. I am tired of having to ask why the gospel is being watered down and important life issues such as same-sex relationships and abortion are not being addressed from the pulpit of giant churches. i am disgusted when, on national TV, the full, unadulterated gospel is watered down so as not to offend the masses to such a point that even the presumed lost interviewer was verbally scratching his head at the weakness of the answers to good questions.

    I am also tired of Christians who will make allowances for this type of behavior when what this world needs now more than at any other time is for real men to stand up and say, “No, that is not acceptable.” I read where moses was interupted while on the mountain becasue of the partying taking place at the base where none other than aaron was letting the nation of israel build a golden calf. Moses asked who all was with him (and God) and when those who were determined to take the side of righteousness joined him, moses told them to strap on their swords and kill everyone who was not with them including their own brothers and friends. i think it is sick that christians will refuse to take a stand and say, “no. that’s wrong & is contrary to the will of God.” instead, they will try to soft-sell the issue by saying judgement is left up to Jesus. Judge all things. Hold to that which is good. Judgement is saying, “that is wrong and there are consequences to that including…”

    Also the message of ultimate redemeption is not, “when bad times befall you, God will lift you out of the pit”. Ultimate Redemption is “you are a sinner. you have a debt to be paid that you can’t pay. you are saved only by the grace of God shown through the King’s death.” What the American Church forgot was the gospel is confrontational. Somehow some also forgot that Jesus is called the Rock of Offense and the world at large is not served by us wimping out in the glare of the spotlight and not addressing important, moral issues.

  316. trace on said:

    Let me say that I admire your passion and feel your disillusionment and concern with what you perceive to be a dangerous watered-down message. But I believe you are misconstruing the simplicity of Olsteen’s ethos or approach with a “too good to be true” skepticism. True,I agree with you that olsteens focus does not encompass all that the gospel outlines, so his “soft” message offers acceptance and love for all humanity and its Creator. He goes forward from the assumed premise that people know they are doing wrong, and in fact know they are sinners. I believe people know Olsteens idyllic vision does not deny that bad thing happen in this imperfect world. In fact he highlights it by blaming the devil for such intrusions. The gospel speaks for itself and cannot be diluted by any man. If olsteen is guilty of anything it is presenting only the “glorious adornments and vestiges of a christian mindset and life”. True, he does not stand up there and bemoan the terrible atrocities in the world that are occurring as a result of evil and sin. So in that regard, Olsteen is unbalanced. But you can accuse the fire and brimstone preachers of being unbalanced as well. Because they only present the judgement side of a God who has no choice but to condemn irretrievable lost souls.(which is in fact a reality I believe) much.
    As for taking scripture out of context, every pastor, minister or clergyman takes the bible and places scriptural passages within the context of their sermon to legitimize real life experiences so we can learn from them.. I certainly wouldnt call it “twisting” the gospel unless you are biased against olsteen. And clearly Olsteen starts from the simple child-like premise that people are generally good with bad leanings,not generally bad with potential for goodness. For I believe contrary to what others have stated here that were we are not basically bad people. Our fallible nature predisposes us to sin. If that were the case God would not love us and would not have sacrificed His Son to pay our ransom. I get sick and tired of people tell us what is wrong with us and ignoring what is right with us.

    There is no doubt that part of the allure of Olsteens ministry is the non-critical, inclusive, and “you’re still okay despite your imperfections,flaws and tragedies” mantra. This is as true as the saying, You attract more bees with honey. And with so many people leaving churches because of negative messages, hypocricy, and casting of dispersians on other christian who share different beliefs, it is no wonder that olsteens “people affirming, people building message” is ripe for its age. So many now are coming back to the church because of olsteen and others like him. So you are correct that Olsteen is telling people what they want to hear. But he does this not to fill stadiums,line his coffers, attain power or prestige, but because he is convinced this is what people need to hear in the face of all that is wrong in this world. Olsteen does not choose to dwell on the consequences of disobedience and the violation of law. Instead he chooses to impart the eternal and worldly benefits of a God-centered, God-affirming , hope-affirming attitude,mindset and life. In other words he is attempting to curtail or preclude the causes of sin in this world by letting people know that God has good things planned for them if they accept His love and sacrifice and thereby behave in that fashion. Likewise, if you gravitate toward bleakness, toward sin, towards despair that belief and attitude will become a reality for you. If you are a virtuous being you have no need to follow the laws since laws are nothing more than an expression of the consequences for not adhering to the virtues, ie. though shalt not do this or that.The laws flow from the virtues. Those commands imply sanction for non-compliance to the laws without expressing what the laws are there to protect, namely the virtues and the inherent “rightousness”, “goodness” and reason the virtues exist, which is the heart of the Lord.

    Let me also say that a faith unexamined or untested is not a true faith but I disagree that the American church should be confrontational in terms of focusing on irreconcilable differences between churches and placing lines in the sand. That delineation fosters division, and non-inclusivity as well as elitism of those that draw that line. It’s one thing for Jesus to have done that and another for us to do it. If you define confrontation by the way of honest, open-minded discussion, that avoids ad-hominem attacks on persons or groups that is appropriate. There is a way of discussing moral issue of the day without offending or being offended. It’s called tact. And that is a fine art that is not being utilized amongst churches today.

  317. Animated Mud Vessel on said:

    this past weekend i was offered the chance to visit lakewood church. i sat on the fourth row, right-center and three rows behind the osteens. and my wife told me how excited she was. i told her, “yeah, we get to see the man that embarrased himself and the christian community on national TV by his weakness.”

    well it was quite a show and i think it needs to be said that those on stage are not playing for an “audience of one”. this is a show much like a circus or a concert and they didn’t disappoint. i have to say that that whole show is very polished and professional and what was the message on? glad you asked…it was on “visualizing your destiny”.

    now i realized that many of you who read and write on this message board will not be suprised at this type of message- the heart of the gospel and topics like that ‘ol “repentance” thing and that nasty “sin stuff” is not going to be spoken about there and i realized something while i was trying to catch a glimpse of myself on TV: the calves veal is made from and the bulls in the field are the same animal but they are not the same thing. mr. osteen appears to be raising veal through his messages but the bulls need something more substantial than milk so they can go to the field and “reproduce”. milk-fed calves will never reproduce and i am left with this opinion:

    those souls that drive the 30 or 45 minutes to get to SW houston to be part of this show are getting what they seek. when someone grows up spiritually (if they ever do under this man) and realizes they want more than the milk being fed, they will leave and seek someone who will challenge them to be the sold-out, sin-hating, people-loving Christians Jesus wants us to be- those “intolerant” people; intolerant of sin, those who really believe that we are in a battle for the lives of the lost here and abortion and same-sex partnerships are not “political” topics.

    i think it needs to be said that i am a married 39 year-old, engineer-type professional & father of two and have been serving Jesus for 22 years. i am not some new believer who just wants to abide by a “scorched-earth” policy related to christian topics.

    trace, you seem like a smart, intelligent person. but exactly what are the “irreconcilable differences between churches” that you are referring to? sin? and yes, i’ll call abortion “sin”. i will also call same-sex, sexual relationships “sin” as well because they both are.

    tell me, what open-minded discussion are you referring to? listen, these are not “moral issues of the day”, my friend- this isn’t elitism and is not open to “interpretation”. this is what is called “sin” and it is the virus that doesn’t keep people from “realizing their potential”- it keeps them from Jesus. and as for offending others because of the stand i and many others who read this take- again i have to point to the “rock of offense” who to my knowledge didn’t soft-sell sin or try to enter into an open-minded discussion about sin.

    look, i do know what you’re saying and to a point i agree with you relative to the purpose for the messages osteen brings. i also understand how someone who may be more passive than i could take me and my rantings for just that- some live-wire that wants hellfire and brimstone. far from it.

    i will always confront sin in the way that the Lord directs me but i will never be soft on it. never. and i will never worry about what others think of me due to my stance on it. i love people and i don’t ever want to sugar-coat the truth about the state of man- we owe a debt we couldn’t pay and He paid a debt He didn’t owe. sounds like a song, doesn’t it?

  318. trace on said:

    As others on this board have stated, I think it is very important to evaluate Mr Olsteen’s ministry according to what he says as much as what is not said. And certainly, I am of the opinion that his ministry is sound from the perspective of revealing God’s hope for each of us. But what is lacking thus far are the other dimensions of Christs calling: individual sacrifice, accountability, and repentance for sin. I believe there is a governing and intervening power (the Holy Spirit)that makes words of faith ring true and helps shape and define our condition such as the degree to which we receive blessings. If you expect negative outcomes, disease, or just general defeatism, you will likely get it. This is the self-fulfilling prophecy at work which is a powerful force that molds outcomes to your will whether they be negative or positive. Negative outcomes are against God’s will and positive outcomes are defined as those that serve God’s will. Humility in the face of God’s rightiousness serves His will and ameliorates our leanings toward sin. Hopelessness and despair at one’s sinful nature does not serve God’s will. The reason this occurs then is because we no longer feel we are a worthy mouthpiece for the Holy Spirit and feel separated from God. There is a critical difference here. Pride in oneself, apart from God, is a negative outcome. Pride in oneself as a vessel or extension of God, is a positive outcome. So in fact it is actually pride in God, not pride in ourselves that is fueling our intentions and motivations.

    If Olsteen is feeding his congregation “mere milk” instead of a complete nourishing meal necessary for people to mature fully in Christ that is a distinct possibility that I have not ruled outor in yet. But if you feel Olsteen is not challenging people in terms of faith and perseverance you are wrong. WHat Olsteen is asking these people and all who here his message to do is most difficult. The devil works within our negative tendencies to subvert us and lead us away from Gods blessings. And we all know the negativity effect permeates all facets of life. This is not God’s will. The criminal on the cross that rebuked Jesus examplifies the negativity that a separation from God affords. The criminal that validates Christ and asks Jesus to remember him when he comes into the kingdom examplifies the kind of hope that Olsteen imparts to his congregation: Hope is never lost; even to the point of death. Repentence is possible even in the waning moments of your life.

    True, the battle for souls is a serious battle. But I dont think every individual responds to admonitions in positive ways. You need to separate the sin from the sinner. And Olsteen attempts to accomplish this by not focusing on the sin itself but by accepting the sinner(sins and all) giving them tools to become less of a sinner. The bottomline is that the more people please God, the more they will feel that they are in God’s favor, and the more they can deal with adversity and setbacks that affect us all. You only have control ultimately over your own sins, not the sins of others.

    I believe Olsteen will likely broaden his message as his ministry continues. He will run out of parables and lessons that reflect only hope, God’s grace, and reasons why we arent feeling blessed by the Lord. Eventually, if he is around long enough, he will likely incorporate the elements of judgement and sin intolerance. But remember just because he doesnt speak much of sin does not mean he isnt intolerant of it. It’s just his way. WHat you perceive to be a “soft-sell” or “weakness” I believe might be his strength. Afterall,what good does it do to bemoan the sinful condition of man if we do not equip people with the tools and beliefs to offset our fallen condition so that we can live in a manner pleasing to God.

    So confront sin head on. Be forthright with what you perceive to be right and wrong. But we must be careful to not antagonize people(which is extrememly difficult involving strong convictions) and thereby cementing who they are as people with the sins they may be committing. For some people will be driven even further away from Christ.

    And yes I agree, the state of man requires us to pick up a cross to honor the Man who paid the ultimate price to make us eligible for redemption. And part of Olsteens mission I think is to help people to love Christ, limit sin by showing people how to live the law rather than by forcefully proclaiming it!

  319. Joseph on said:

    I am saddened of such critisizing that goes on especially when we are talking about a very holy Father. Joel Osteen talks about the truth, some have a hard time with this, (truth),I too at one time found critisism a way to vent, but the holy spirit corrected me on such matters, and now I know it belongs to the Father, why not pray for such matters, instead of judging so quickly. Obviously there are some underling issues from the author who uses words to critisize Joel. Remember what Jesus said,Matthew 5:3-10 Matthew 6:25-34, Matthew 7, Matthew 13:1-23,John 3:10-12, John 5:34, John 5:41-44… and many more, this is some how a waist of time for me, because I feel this is just a battle of words from the fathers children, if you knew the the truth you would just back off and let the Father do His work and who are we to judge who God chooses to deliver for him, Joel does it for me , so back off, be afraid , remember we are talking about holy ground, the battle belongs to the father, so I leave you the same thing Jesus left the Pharisees, Matthew 23. God forgive us.May the Father find favor in you all, God bless.

  320. Joseph on said:

    ps, paraphrasing scripture doesnt make it right either, are you sure you understand scripture, and perhaps the message was for you or someone else, please have you prayed about the seriousness of this matter, it sounds like you cant let go, Joel knows this too, forgive him dont condemn him, because of how you see the Gods word, like Jesus would have told you, are you not like the the rest of them who condemn, which is easier for you, to love and forgive and pray for the man, or do we do like the tax collectors do and instantly judge, you say your not , which means you can see, since you see, you are blind, sorry its just the truth, if it helps your not alone…

  321. Kevin Collins on said:

    It is not up to us to decide who is the anti-christ, but Joel Osteen is quickly gaining more and more followers every day, even around the world. We can see that he not only has a great amount of members, but a great amount of power. What if he were to begin to abuse that power? I highly believe Osteen will become a political figure in the not to distant future. When that happens, we will know that he is the antichrist.

    My proof that he could possibly be the antichrist is that he never will talk of Jesus. He only talks about God. Jesus is the way to heaven, not just God. Jesus is God, but Osteen refuses to acknowledge that. Look at the man, a positive role model, a great looking guy.. Could all the people be decieved by him? I don’t know, but as soon as he becomes powerful and motivates people to follow him, then we will know that God is about to do his final work on Earth.

  322. Kevin Collins on said:

    and also, remember, the Antichrist will not be some devilish person, it will be someone kind, gentle, loving, and motivating. The Antichrist will of come from no where, and quickly become famous. The Antichrist will talk the talk, but he will never talk of Christ, because he isn’t supposed to, why else would they call him the Antichrist?

  323. Have any Pastors or Pastor groups tried to meet with Osteen to discuss these matters? Do we know for sure Osteen is opposed to guidance from colleagues concerning biblical doctrine? Joel seems to follow the “Word of Faith” method which is widely disputed. He has charm , looks, and charisma.. all the necessary ingredients for a TV personality these days. Quit watching TV, get out into your communities and experience the REAL world. The Mainstream Media LIES and so does mainstream media Religion! Also… SAVE OUR CONSTITUTION.. RON PAUL 2008!

  324. Saint T on said:

    Dear anti-Christian

    He is my pastor and a true honest Christian.
    His message is simple but penetrate deep.
    Most other preachers say sophisticated theologically trained massages but cannot penetrate our hearts into tears. All empty theological parroting dogs.

    Ask Jesus what is his title; he is a friend to us not worshipping idol.
    Most theologians are dogs and liars, as most philosophers are not wise man.

    Jesus is much wiser.
    Ask Jesus and listen his opinion of Joel Osteen.
    People hear from Joel Jesus’ spirit, not theologian’s parroting mouth of mere idolatry to Jesus.

    You stupid idiot will be kicked by Jesus if he met you now.
    You loveless stupid people, son of ignorant vipers, world smart vipers, betrayers of Jesus teaching, idiots who say lord, lord, save us.
    He will kick your ass: I don’t know you.

    Jesus said he is son of Man, and son of God, then he said he is a small god, then people killed him as blasphemy.

    We are the murderous killer mob who killed him because he said he is a small god, and son of Man, son of God. Now after a little while, we worship him blindly, another blunder of idiot godless generation.
    I am ashamed of fellow idiot Christians.

    Jesus care about our life each everyone as ultimate humanist and wise man and more. But he doesn’t want our idolatry to him.
    You got idiot hatred mongers?
    Joel makes many new Christians and restores many disappointed Christians with simple truth and without stupid theology of degenerated ages.

  325. mary on said:

    where can i find your sermons…especially the one on 8/05/07…about being in the favor of the lord….

    thanx,
    mary

  326. trace on said:

    It is hard for me to imagine Joel olsteen as the antichrist. In my opinion, based on biblical reference to the antichrist, olsteen could not be the antichrist. First off, Olsteen shys away from political debate and is not confrontational; hardly the personality ascribed to the anitichrist in the bible. The antichrist will not only be politically potent but will be a military powerhouse as well.. And most scholars believe he will emerge out of the european countries.

    I’ve heard Olsteen speak of both God and Jesus in his sermons.

  327. music for God on said:

    We cant please everybody. Some of you like how Ptr Joel shares, some of you don’t. If some of you are Pastors also, some of your members will like you and some dont. That’s the reality and it’s normal because we’re all different people with different likes. For me it is easier to understand Ptr Joel’s message and easy to apply on everyday living. It’s better to have one bible verse at a time and apply it in your life rather than knowing ALL the scriptures in the bible, so deep and doesnt even know how to start applying it. If joel’s preaching make christians to follow God more in their lives then I think God is pleased with that.

  328. Kevin Collins on said:

    Saint T, I would find a new pastor if I were you. He is not a pastor, but merely a motivational speaker.

  329. Brother James on said:

    Praise th Lord saints! I am totally amazed at how people can defend Joel Osteen’s “preaching”. He is no more than a “spiritual” Tony Robbins. Having read through alot of these replies, I can’t help but notice the tone of “how do you know, if you never attended Laekwood”, and then followed by the infamous statement, “I heard”. Anyway, go directly to the source and check out youtube, and search Joel Osteen-Larry King. Here the man for himself. He practically denies that Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life. Talk about a non-confrontational approach!!

    P.S. My life loves this guy!

  330. trace on said:

    Olsteen does not deny that Jesus is the only way to Heaven. He merely stated that there are other sincere people of other faiths, other than christianity, that do not proclaim Jesus as their savior but lead a life consistent with christianity in both faith and deed. Likewise, there are people who accept Jesus as their personal savior as part of being a christian and yet do not lead a christian life as manifested in faith and deed. WHo do you think is going to heaven? The person who is brought up in another faith(that doesnt have jesus as its corner stone) who leads a christ-like life, or the person who believes in Jesus and yet does not live the word of God. I believe it to be the former.

  331. One4GOD on said:

    I guess I must have misunderstood the Bible writings when it said that each of us will find GOD in our own way. I read my Bible all the time and it does not require me to preach the exact words that I have read to someone else so that I can be a person who believes in GOD. Rather, it says that if I respect others, they will respect me. And from the sermon that you quote, you must have missed that part. Just a guess, but maybe you should quit reading for knowledge and start embracing the wisdom as it is shown to you.

  332. Joel Osteen has as much right to preach aa any other man. He has touched a nerve with a lot of you. If that is the case, maybe the lot of you get to look into your own selves and figure out why it bothers you sooo much. Usually one who has a problem with another is really the one who has the problem them selves.

    God works through people of His choosing, if God is no respector of persons why are you?

    The good news is, once your conscious has been ruffled, you get to act on it to reflect and ask God to assist you to work it out and get down to the meat of your discomfort. God will then take it from there and cleanse your troubled heart if you truly want that, if not…you will continue to bash one of Gods children and do it “in the name of God!” as if that justifies you.

    Looking at people who do a good work and then slamming their methods tells more about you than it does them.

    May the Lord bless you to come to an understanding of peace in your heart, rather than ridicule and anger from an angry heart, is my prayer in His name we speak…

  333. Alan Christopher on said:

    I have not watched Joe Osteen lately, can anyone tell me if he started preaching on hell, and picking up a cross daily and denying yourselves, and has he started preaching against sin, and has he admitted that Jesus is the only way to heaven? I doubt that he has. He may have lead many to Christ with his feel good sermons, but he has lead them to the wrong Christ.

  334. I am convinced that the only reason most christians don’t LOVE John Osteen is because they don’t know God. Legalists and losers always have a negative thing to say about anything or anyone who challenges their faith, hope and love for the things of God. They’d rather dwell on the negative than rejoice with the truth of God’s word because change scares them.

  335. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Sometimes these comments crack me up. My original post pointed out that Osteen twisted Paul’s God-centered message of grace into a man-centered religion of Good works and then folks like “Silvia D” turn around and call me the legalist. The ironic hypocrisy runs deeper when they blame and criticize me me of having negative things to say” while they, in the same breath, accuse me of not loving God and being a loser.

  336. Jamel on said:

    Do not be Jealous of this man.
    Green is the color of Envy.
    Either listen to him or not,
    It’s that simple.

  337. A half truth is a whole lie. We are not called as Christians to judge, but we are called to discern sound doctrine, and Joel Osteen’s is not sound doctrine. He denied Jesus being the only way to heaven on Larry King Live. He is for winning ears, and winning souls. The winning souls is sacrificed the moment winning ears becomes a factor.

    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3

    http://seekingtheface.wordpress.com

  338. David on said:

    I have a feeling, Joel doesn’t even know who’s wok he’s doing. In my opinion, he’s not saving souls, but endangering them to a monatary god called cash… Greed is what he’s producing.

  339. Manuel Rodriguez on said:

    I have only on thing to say; Joel Olsteen is a fraud and is part of the falling away from the truth.

  340. TheTruth on said:

    “Don, I’m not a *huge* Osteen fan, but I really believe that you completely mischaracterize him based on a limited review.”

    Joel draws millions from his congregation, and much of it goes into his own pockets. There’s no need to look further than that to see that Joel is a flim flam man. He’s selling prosperity to become rich.

    All prosperity ministries are the same. They set up that God rewards good deeds with riches scenario. The next step is that giving to their church is a good deed. Then they reap millions.

  341. Melanie on said:

    I thoroughly appreciate your review. I am not a high theological scholar but had the same impression from every sermon I have had the opportunity to watch. His appearance on the National Geographic channel was enough to make me lift an eyebrow. Then he was on the Today Show this morning with them singing his praises. Anytime mainstream media hails someone as a GREAT ministry I have to look deeper. I don’t see myself as a Calvinist, just a Christian lady praying and digging in scripture trying to find truth.

    His sermons, all the ones I have seen, have sounded like God wants to make you worldly prosperous and well liked by the world.

    On the contrary, I have read a lot different in scripture.

    Thank you for your truthfulness.

  342. Mark Kieffer on said:

    Quit worrying about the sliver in Joel’s eye and take the plank out of your own eye. What he does is of God and is good. While it is not always the complete and fullness of the faith it carries with its messages fragments of the faith that are quite excellent. Coming from an Orthodox Christian perspective I know God will have mercy on whom he chooses. Many are lost but it is better to give a lost starving man bread and water than nothing and that is what some great protestant ministers like Joel Osteen do. Thank God.

  343. LQ on said:

    What bothers me about this man is his claim to be a preacher. If he just proclaimed he is a motivational speaker, I’d have no problem with him. But he is raking in MILLIONS from his book sales, living in a mansion, flying first class to ski vacations, etc, etc. I read he gives 1% of his total income/revenues to charities. It just seems to me that if he is supposedly a preacher for Christ, he could be more Christ-like and give more to those who have so little.
    Just my 2 cents worth.

  344. jay on said:

    I MUST SAY..
    Many of yous have missed the issue in which Don has adressed, an in that we hav all come up with our own conclusions..in which now we have become judgemental to what Don has adressed…Dont fall into the trap..I am pretty sure Don is laughing at you all…May God enlighten your minds to the truth..let him who has eyes and ears to see and hear what is really going on…

  345. Peggy on said:

    I agree with (Jason Says:
    February 15th, 2005 at 1:16 pm) and others who know that Jesus is Love and that the Body of Christ has devoured itself long enough…didn’t Jesus say leave them alone if they preach Jesus..some with contention some not….who are we to judge God’s servant? What times I have been blessed to listen to Brother Osteen I have always walked away knowing that Jesus does have good thoughts of us that we might have a peaceful outcome from the situations we face daily. Jesus loves Joel Osteen, He loves me and He loves you..Love never fails, He is Love and wasn’t the greatest commandment that we love Him and one another..if anything we need to judge ourselves and make sure we are following this commandment that all the law hangs on. Can’t any of God’s children become well known in the ministry and find support from the Body of Christ? It is time to cover one another with the Love of Christ and let those in the world that do not know HIM see our love for one another and our committment to one another so that they too will desire to become a part of the Body of Christ…everyone is not going to have the same style of preaching but nevertheless Christ will be preached and we of all people should not be a hinderance. Did you die for Joel Osteen No Christ did and Christ is His judge…thank God for those who spend their time encouraging and winning souls instead of cutting away at the Body of Christ.

    In SC, Peggy.

  346. I wanted to continue with this thought found in Mark 9:38-40:

    38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.

    39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

    40 For he that is not against us is on our part. (KJV)

    38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
    39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,
    40 for whoever is not against us is for us.
    (New International Version)

    The Word says to “redeem” the time so I pray that no more precious time will be wasted beating one of God’s children…let’s get on with the Kings Business and seek to lead the lost and dying that are all about us to Jesus!!! Who have you told about Jesus today?? Who have you lead to Christ today??

  347. Raah on said:

    If a person directs one toward the Holy Scripture, the God revealed therein and His son, I think that person is doing what we have been directed to do. Anyone who speaks against them, may be speaking against a fellow Believer because they do not share a common style of communication. As I recall, the message we are to proclaim is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. This message includes the belief in the Messiah’s vicarious offering on our behalf, but it takes us beyond that as well.
    Shalom

  348. runforyourlife on said:

    One sister visited me once, while we were talking, I was astonished to know her “faith”. I asked her how many minutes she spent every day to read the Bible, and she was offended, very angry!
    Now, for our fellowship group email, I am receiving “message from Joel Osteen” from her. I may spam her email, I don’t know, but I do know, even I tell her the truth about this man’s message, she won’t listen.
    Bees like flowers, flier like trash cans, what do you expect?

  349. Jordan on said:

    Joel Osteen does not preach the gospel. He wants to make people feel good about themselves and he avoids the truth that is in the bible. And to Trace, Jesus is the only way to heaven, and the bible says this very plainly, so other relgions that do not have Jesus as thier “conerstone” will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. These are the types of cold hard truths that Olsteen seems to miss out on. He twists scripture and tells so many lies that it is sickening. If you want to hear some truth about Jesus and his amazing love listen to John Piper or John MacArthur. If you want to hear ways to be promoted or get rich, continue listening to Olsteen.

    “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3

    “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”

    2 Timothy 3:12

    Olsteen says if we believe in God we will be promoted and gain wealth on this earth. Paul tells us in the bible the opposite is true. If we truly live for Christ the world will hate us and we will suffer for Christ. Olsteen tells lies.

  350. Sounds like everyone is being motivated by osteen to at least examine their faith !
    Perhaps it is all of God? He has ways to keep us engaged – eh?Glory belongs to God.
    This is not approval of osteen — just a thought to consider — For God did tell us to give thanks in ALL things!So be glad , give thanks and use this as a motivation to tell the world the truth about Jesus our Lord and Saviour. The Gospel is clearly outlined in 1 corinthians 15,Amen.Let us not add to nor subtract from the basic elements of The Gospel…Like in Galatians 1:6-10.Let the few hold firmly to until the end,and perhaps reach a few along the way.
    Let us also keep in mind that scripture also instructs us to encourage one another with “Gods truth” for the times are evil.
    I recomend a ministry called People to People — at http://www.realanswers.net.
    They have an archive that can be listened to and they are streamed live audio and video on sunday mornings at 10 am.
    Check them out…
    God bless you all.

  351. Note Scripture also encourages us that God WILL work all things together for the good of those that are called according to His purpose.
    Fear not the Bible teaches, for it is “GOOD NEWS” (Gospel) .Faith say’s “THANK YOU” it believes the truth..and accepts it.
    Be encouraged and pray for osteen — for if he is blind/lost he is not aware of it,and some how God will need to reach him.The Bible tells us clearly that unless the spirit of God reveals the meaning of the Word to us it is not understood!Mans mind can’t understand spiritual truth..This is a process reserved to the Spirit of God only. Perhaps God will allow the His Spirit to work through one of us to reach osteen and his church or someone in his ministry,and perhaps he could then be used to convey truth that would liberate all those in his congregation.If Not — at least give thanks that you are aware and alive in Christ and again perhaps God will open the windows of opportunity for you / us to tell others – perhaps even olsteen?Have faith and give thanks.Don’t be drawn into debate on error it is a waste of time — recognize it for what it is and shed the light of God’s truth on it — then allow God to do the rest. Amen

  352. Bree on said:

    Why do people always have something negative or critical to say about others. Jesus spoke in parables to his followers. Each of his sermons were not about the Jewish G-D. He spoke to people about believing in the spirit of God to lead them to heaven. That included the way they live their every day lives. Paul spoke about many things that also included ways to live. Watered Down? I guess the apostles were also watered down when they changed. Martin Luther must have also been watered down during the Reformation. and al the denominations must be watered down. Because there is only one way- Jesus Christ. And we are not to judge anyone. We are to be examples and seperate ourselves if necessary- while teaching. Are Rituals considered church, or old songs. Remember someone created what the church building was in the 1800s and 1900s. And guess what. they did not look like the tents where people worshipped in the past. Stop the nonsense people.

  353. runforyourlife on said:

    To those who love your pastor Joel Osteen, he’s telling you again he knows nothing about the Christian faith. After read the follow, I hope you value the salvation of your soul by pay some attention of the message in the Bible.

    “In an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, popular televangelist Joel Osteen gave Mitt Romney an endorsement of sorts”
    link:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,318054,00.html

    “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.”
    also link:
    http://news.aol.com/political-machine/2007/12/28/joel-osteen-mitts-a-real-christian/

  354. Alamoman on said:

    Hey runforyourlife – he has since clarified his statement and apologized for the error. Google it and you’ll find the apology. The reality is none of us REALLY know.. We have faith one way or the other, but to say we really know is beyond naive.. We have FAITH. Do you think God has told all of us everything..? Ahem… I doubt it….

    Here’s a newsflash for all the righteous out there – Osteen’s program is not Church. It’s a program and it’s not intended to replace the Church experience – as Osteen even says in his closing statements about finding a “Bible based Church…” It’s been called a snippet, appetizer, “Christian Lite,” et al.. Probably accurate.

    The real question is what would Jesus think..? Frankly, I could give a rats, uh….., behind what the judgemental want to think, but I would be very interested in what Christ Himself would think or thinks of Osteen… My personal opinion is that Jesus would want Joel to ensure he’s teaching correctly and ensure he understands the intent of God’s word. In other words, he would coach – not condemn him.. I also think Jesus would praise Osteen for offering a message of hope in lieu of the fire and brimstone message we can hear anywhere by anyone… Like Osteen or not, he brings literally thousands to exploring their faith and reaching out to God….

    Finally, to all those who feel Osteen falls short, what say you about the Catholic Church and all the pedophile Priests – people who abuse their position of power and endanger the lives of our youth..? Hmmm? Cat got your tongue..? If you feel like being judgemental today, and exercising your own wrath, why not start somewhere that it’s needed…?

    I’ve only watched a couple of Osteen’s programs and I plan on reading his new book as well (bought used off Amazon – best way to buy books…!) From what I’ve seen, he could use more Bilical substance and less self-help message, but I give the guy credit for offering a message of hope in a world that truly needs just that…

  355. Mike on said:

    What don’t you all get? He is not about the fire and brimstone teachings of our messed up youth. Thats what is wrong with Christianity. Everyone is a hypocrite. We all are sinners, but that does’nt mean we should raise up ouir hands and give up or feel bad about mistakes for the rest of our lives. Joel is about making us realize that we all mess up…yes you too….But that we can get back up brush ourselves off and move on and try not to make the same mistake again. He says listen because God does speak to all of us. Don’t listen to all these naysayers. Joel is Joel he is not trying to be anything he is not. His mission is to let us know that although we mess up, that with the right attitude and positive outlook we can get back on track and live the life God has meant us to live.

  356. Techit on said:

    Has anyone of you saying Joel Osteen is preaching the wrong gospel reached out to him? He is just a phone call or an email away.. 888-232-2968 is the number according to their website. Has anyone of you tried to talk to him or one of his church’s elders about it?

    I must add, can we sincerely say that we have earnestly lifted him up in prayer and are continuously praying for him?

    If we are praying for him, then let’s trust God to answer our prayer. Is it wrong to think that God doesn’t need any of our assistance for His purposes to be accomplished?

    If Joel Osteen indeed preaches a wrong gospel, God will take care of that.

  357. well god doent need us raking joel over thecoals apparently he is a threat to simpletons with nothing better to do then pic his everymove/orword appart it doesnt matter what any of us think he is doing something right look at the size of his church nd t.v.broadcast we all have a part to do this is his ,whats youclaim to fame ,critasism,or jelouisy?? no one is perfect lets all take good look in the mirror !!! and ask what if any thing have we done as good little boys and girls to help or improve this world we live in ? lets all put a sock in it ,i have a good idea ,lets put you up on the pulpet and see how profondly you will leed u all ?? up for the challange?

  358. krese on said:

    focus on your sins, will not help you bit them,
    focus in God, his word, fill your self with peace of God and you will win any battle. That is what Joel helps to do.
    Do you need to finish school to preach word of God, yes if don’t know God.
    If Jesus is alive and if you have his spirit you should be enabled to live and work in what is given to you to do.

  359. florence on said:

    i want to see you sir

  360. Christopher Chipps on said:

    Romans 11:22 talks about the goodness, AND severity of God, but most modern day ministries with their big mega churches like Joel Osteen for instance, only focus on the goodness of God, and never on the severity of God. Any ministry that only focuses on the goodness of God and never on the severity, or vice versa is not a christian ministry, those “preachers” do not represent the God of the bible.

    A preacher has to speak on both sides of the message, and Osteen does not, he preaches a different Jesus, not the one I believe in, the real Jesus Christ of the bible. He doesn’t preach against sin, he doesn’t preach on repentence, he wont preach on hell, he doesn’t talk about the fear of God, something that is mentioned about 300 times in the bible. His ministry is NOT a christian ministry, and any professing christian who thinks or says so, is deceived. I understand that no one likes to hear gloom and doom, but preachers need to preach gloom and doom when necessary, and Osteen never does. What does the “Champion in You” have to do with the gospel? absolutely nothing. Mr. Osteen is not a preacher, he is a motivational speaker, an entertainer, who tickles the peoples ears by telling them all they want to hear. He has denied the Lord Jesus Christ on national television. He is an enemy of the cross of Christ, and only professing christians who don’t know the bible will follow that man. I’m not trying to condemn him, but he needs to start being true to the word of God, and preach both sides of the message, he needs to start preaching the real gospel, and if he is not born again, he needs to be. The bottom line is, I follow the Jesus Christ of the bible who spoke of hell at lest 50 times, and who said to pick up your cross daily and deny yourself etc., not the phony Jesus talked about by Mr. Osteen.

  361. Blooger on said:

    I commend Joel, apparently the ministry isn’t too bad he has attracted over 25,000 people in the houston area. As christians we need not point so many fingers and find fault but commend him for doing something we apparently could not do! And I agree it’s fast pace for television, im sure its a lot more bible based and personal.

  362. Bill Howard on said:

    God shows us his severity every day. Drought, flood, sickeness… Noah’s Arc, etc. We can’t do anything about that. Rev. Osteen reveals what we can be when we realize that we are made in God’s image. Those of you who dwell on your sins and hell, remember God has forgiven you if you believe in Jesus. Your sins are already forgiven. Move on, love your neighbor and become a better you. Instead of dwelling on sin, take some clothes that don’t fit to a homeless shelter. Take that extra can of carrots to a food bank. God has big plans for you. Believe it and have confidence in yourself. You can’t help your neighbor if you don’t love yourself. If God loves you, love yourself. Thank-you Rev. Osteen.

  363. Bill Howard on said:

    All Joel is saying is in Acts 2:25, right from the Holy Bible; Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee.

  364. Christopher Chipps on said:

    I guess some professing christians will continue to come to Mr. Osteen’s defense. I’m not saying that christians should dwell on their sins and hell etc. but if a preacher truly is called to preach the gospel, then he should do just that, and he should preach the whole gospel, the whole counsel of God or he is not being true to the word of God. If a preacher is going to preach on heaven, he ought to preach on hell too, if he is going to preach God’s love, he ought to preach on God’s wrath, etc. In other words, preach the “sweet and the sour”. A preacher has to be well balanced. Fans of Mr. Osteen may not like this, or may not agree, but Osteen is not a well balanced preacher, he is not being true to the word of God period.

    The bible says that the time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine, but will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears in 2 Timothy 4:3. They don’t want to hear about sin, they don’t want to hear about hell, or about repentance, or about the fear of God. All they want to hear is God’s love, and what God’s gonna do for you, and about the abundant life for right here and now, and Mr. Osteen caters to them, he is a lopsided ear tickler. He is helping to send multitudes to hell with his feel good sermons. I talked with a lady who follows Mr. Osteen, and she doesn’t want to hear anything about hell, and she tried to tell me that Jesus didn’t mention hell that many times. I told her that she believes in the Jesus that Mr. Osten talks about, and not the real Jesus of the bible who made about 50 referebces to hell. Jesus used the words, hell, everlasting fire, everlasting punishment,eternal damnation, perish etc., and even told a story about the rich man and Lazarus. No wonder that lady didn’t know that, she is brain washed by Mr. Osteen’s gospel that leaves out hell. That is one reason why I say that Mr. Osteen is helping to send multitudes to hell. That lady didn’t even know that the fear of God is mentioned about 300 times in the bible, because Mr. Osteen won’t mention that. We are definately living in the age of apostasy where preachers are deceiving and being deceived. I think it is pathetic.

  365. Jordan on said:

    Amen Christopher. Joel Osteen preaches what our society wants to hear; health, wealth and prosperity.

    In Galations 1:6-10 Paul say’s “6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
    10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

    God’s wrath is as great as God’s love, which is something you will never hear Joel Osteen say. Like Christopher said, Osteen does not preach the whole Gospel, and the bible has harsh things to say about leaders that do not preach the entire Gospel.

  366. HI,

    I sent you a post yesterday. I don’t see it posted.

    I wanted everyone to see one of the daily devotionals that Joel Osteen puts out.

    This one is from March 27
    If you are having trouble viewing this email, then click here to view it online.
    To ensure delivery of our emails to your inbox, please add info@joelosteen.com to your address book.

    Thinking The Right Thoughts

    Did you know that your life will always go in the direction of your most prominent thoughts? In order to follow God’s plan, you have to think God’s thoughts for your life, which will encourage and build you up.

    Extend Forgiveness

    Today’s Scripture

    “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

    Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

    When you’ve been hurt or offended, sometimes it’s tempting to hold on to unforgiveness. But we have to remember, when people wrong us, our battle is not against flesh and blood. In other words, that person who hurt you is not the real enemy. The Bible says that your adversary is the devil, and he knows that if you don’t forgive, then your prayers won’t be effective. Unforgiveness puts up a barrier in your life to the power of God. In fact, if we don’t forgive others, we can’t be forgiven by God. But when you choose forgiveness, you open the door for God’s healing power to flow through your life. Disarm the enemy in your life today by choosing forgiveness. Bless those who curse you and pray for those who wrong you. Look at what Jesus did—when He was betrayed, beaten, mocked, and disrespected, He chose forgiveness. As you follow His example, you will open the door for God to move in your life, and you’ll live in victory in every area of your life!

    A Prayer for Today

    Heavenly Father, thank You for forgiving me and giving me new life. I choose today to extend the gift of forgiveness to others. I bless those who have wronged me and ask You to heal every broken place in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

    I think he is very God /Jesus oriented. Very Christian…

    I would like to see my comments posted.

  367. Sunny on said:

    Jordan, (march 30th) It’s hard for me to believe the Lord only wants any preacher to preach his wrath. From what I get from Osteen is that if you believe in God and have God in your heart that you recieve his blessings. I don’t believe for one minute you receive his WRATH for believing. As far as material things, it that what you think of in his sermon? Wealth from God means different things to me. Faith and hope are the two things I hear from Osteen and without it, how do you survive. My God,I know wants me to hear and believe, have faith, have hope and not dwell on the doom and gloom. Does the scripture also say that those that preach the gospel ONLY speaking of wrath,are harsh things said about them, too?? Puleeeeze..One person saved by anyone is a blessing in God’s eyes is what I feel.

  368. Sunny on said:

    Just got one thing to add: As long as we live our lives according to God, do you believe when we meet our Lord he will ask us if we listened to Joel Osteen, Presbyterian, Billy Graham, Church of Christ, etc??? Hmmmm I’m guessing NO !

  369. HI,

    This is the “Today’s Word” devotional for today:

    What’s In Your Hand?

    Today’s Scripture

    “Then the LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2).

    Today’s Word from Joel and Victoria

    Do you ever feel inadequate for what you are called to do? You’re not the first one! So often, when we think of Moses, we remember him as the great spiritual giant who led the Israelites out of captivity. But did you know that Moses doubted himself, too? He didn’t feel equipped. In fact, he was even self-conscious because he had a stuttering problem! God simply said to him, “What do you have in your hand?” In the next few moments, God showed Moses that it didn’t matter what equipment he thought he needed. The God of the universe can take what you have and turn it into whatever it needs to be in order for you to accomplish what you’ve been called to. So what’s in your hand today? It may not seem like much, but God wants to use it. He wants to take you to places you never dreamed. He wants to pour out His blessing and favor so you can live the abundant life He has in store for you!

    A Prayer for Today

    Heavenly Father, today I release to You all that I am and all that I have. I invite You to flood every part of my being and use me for Your glory. Thank You for using what is in my hand. In Jesus Name. Amen.

    These are the “truths” that Joel Osteen believes.

    You do know this is from the Bible, right?

    Sara Scott, I liked what you said in post 149.

    I feel most of you who are giving out negative comments are misinformed by others you are lisening to. You have only seen a few minutes of his program and not taken the time to do your homework. Just because you read something on the internet that someone posts, it doesn’t mean it’s true. Anytime there is something that is God inspired , Satan is right there knocking at the door and tries to get in. So it’s up to us with the help of God to keep him out. The help of God is the Only way to keep him out. You can’t do this by yourself.

    I’ve heard many pastors call the Bible, “The Good News”. I guess that means that in the New Testiment Jesus dying on the cross took the punishment for us for our sins, because that’s the ONlY way we would believe. We have to see and hear the “TRUTH” our own eyes. So stop listening to those around you , who make rash judgements on Joel. Take the time to listen to what he’s saying. He is saying that we need to make the best of the world we live in, make it better. Believe we can change our circumstances, by trusting in God.

    Please, have the faith of a mustard seed, and God can and will move mountains. If you are a christian, you should believe this.

    God gives us thing and trusts us to do with them, the things that will glorify him. Our faith, hope and love are our riches and a legacy to pass on to our children. Without love we are nothing.

    Questions or comments? Please contact us:
    Joel Osteen Ministries
    PO Box 4271, Houston, TX 77210
    1 (800) 278-0520

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  370. please post my april 2, 2008 comments, thank you

  371. Jessica on said:

    I think what we are missing here is the message of the Gospel. No one deserves what Christ did for us on the cross. How could God love us sinners as He watched His son die – not just die, but brutally killed with EVERY sin and burden weighing down his heart while His own father watches and lets Him die – how could God love us more than His own perfect fully divine, fully human son who never once sinned while on the earth? After being justified and seen as righteous in God’s eyes because of Christ – NOT because of anything we did or could ever do – God begins a work of sanctification in us that compels us to live for Christ, not for our own desires. (Colossians 1:15-23)

    Even after reading what Joel sends through the mailing lists (which I have gotten before) and watching his sermons, my heart breaks for those who are being drawn into his teachings. They are being misled, and they don’t even know it. Peter wrote to the persecuted Christians during the time of Nero’s reign about false teachers and their destruction (2 Peter 2:1-22). To say that I am judging anyone on their teachings would be a shallow statement. But I do know that anything that is not Biblically sound is not divinely inspired by God and comes from man.

    “To live is Christ, to die is gain.”

    Would I still be willing to follow Christ even if He took away all of my possessions? My family? My closest friends? Are they not His anyway? I think we have to realize that it’s not about us. It’s not about how well our lives go. It’s about God and what His son did for us. Something so much higher than us.

  372. Sunny on said:

    Well, I’ve been without at lowest and I’ve had alot at highest and I’ve loved my Christ through it all because he carried me times I wasn’t able to do it alone. Faith and hope in HIM is how I live and if Joel Osteen encourages that, then what’s wrong with it? You’re missing the point. He’s teaching the love of God, faith in him and his blessings and you seem to think if not a bible scholar then you can’t encourage people to love God and his blessings. I can read my Bible and know what it says and I like a positive message of encouragement. Of all the preachers of every denomination, do they all agree on the Bible teachings??? NOOOO they do not. Or…we’d have one church. WE ourselves are a temple. Think about it.

  373. Jordan on said:

    Sunny(April 1st.) Here’s the thing. It is extremely important to understand God’s wrath and absolute hatred towards sin. If we don’t, Jesus and his work on the cross is belittled. Jesus took all the wrath that we deserved on himself. We deserve nothing! It is by God’s amazing grace that he allows our hearts to continue beating. God would be perfectly justified in letting us all perish right now. Would Joes Osteen tell you that? NO, Osteen would tell you about how you deserve a new car and a promotion at work because you believe in God. We deserve NOTHING.

    Please start listening to John Piper, Mark Driscoll, C.J Mahaney, Josh Harris or anyone else who actually teaches straight from the scripture without sugar coating everything.

  374. Sunny on said:

    Well, Jordan, here’s the deal. If we live our lives according to God,I believe He thinks we are deserving of his blessings. And the bible supports that. Now,Joel says straight out there are theologians that teach the bible scriptures but he delivers the applications to everyday life. We ARE deserving of a good life when we believe we are saved through Christ and follow the Word of God. I’m absolutely convinced Joel as well as the rest of us are aware of the doom and gloom and prefers to deliver the positive message. That is his deliverence. Now, there are plenty out there that deliver the message by indicating intimidation, fear, hell and damnation, which is all a part of NOT believing. I prefer to believe I don’t need to be SCARED into being a christian; I’d rather hear what God has in store for us when we ARE christians. Now, Jordan…if you need scaring and need to have the doom ever present to remind you to be a christian, then I do understand where you come from. I love positive from my belief and will pray you get that from yours.

  375. Hi Jordan,

    First of all, I hate the way John Piper delivers his message…

    There is no need for Christians to be afraid the way you are telling people to be afraid..

    God wants us to feel Joy for loving him…

    Not feel the fear such as an abused child would fear of his abuser… That is Not what Jesus /God is about!

    Lorma…

  376. Jordan on said:

    I would agree with you, Sunny, that if we did live our lives according to God that we would deserve his blessings. Couldn’t agree with you more. But we simply do not. We constantly turn our backs on God(sin). Since the very nature of God is to hate sin, and we sin constantly, we deserve nothing but condemnation. I do feel infinite joy because I am saved by nothing but the work of Jesus Christ, but I know that I do not deserved it.

    Romans 3:10
    There is no one righteous, not even one.

    2 timothy 4:3
    For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

    Galations 1:10
    Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

    2 Peter 2:18
    For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.

    Romans 8:17
    17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

    1 Peter 4:13
    But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

    Jordan

  377. Sunny on said:

    Then I’m sorry Jordan that you constantly turn your back on God (and sin). I will keep you in my prayers and hope that you will feel HIS love and derserving of his blessings. Just one day at a time, Jordan. Any encouragement to live life according to God is good to me and I hope same for you. I know it’s a struggle for everyone but God knows we’re not perfect and accepts us. Receive HIS love, Jordan, it feels great.

  378. Jordan on said:

    I have recieved God’s love, and your right Sunny, it does feel great. I have been able to feel God’s infinite grace and love because I realize my condition, and all of man’s condition-sinful. If God still shows us grace after the way we constantly sin, how great his love must be for us. Also, when I realize how sinful I am, what Jesus did on the cross becomes more and more amazing. I am not afraid to admit that i am a true sinner. It is by grace alone that I am worthy to be called a child of God.

  379. Sunny on said:

    Great, Jordan. Glad to hear. If God would give His son so we can be cleansed of our sins, then he must want us to have every blessing beneath that. I love hearing how He believes in us and wants us to believe in HIM. Love that word. Love to hear someone say God only wants good for us and not be afraid. Jordan, knew you had it deep down. God Bless

  380. ellar on said:

    Why is everyone perturbed by someone who doesnt preach hate cloaked in love but the love of jesus and god.

    as a document the bible was written by the same people who thought the world was flat and beat up galilleo for belief in the world’s roundness.

    fundamentalists have not concept of the fact that if god exists as reality, the computer age is part of his kingdom and so is Joel osteen

  381. eugene on said:

    churches are empty in Europe and more churches are closing in America than opening and yet we have time to bicker when Joel Osteen finds a gracious way to move people to make right choices. The apostle Paul had problems with this before, too bad he spent time in defending himself and wrote about it instead of driving his efforts in spreading the gospel. It was written for a purpose.

    Phil 1:15-18

    15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
    NIV

  382. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Eugene,

    The problem is Joel Osteen does not preach Christ. If he did, we could all rejoice with the apostle Paul. Instead, Osteen preaches man-centered self-promotion and works-righteousness that undermines the Christ-magnifying gospel of grace.

  383. Tom Johnson on said:

    Don,
    Great blog! I’ve been reading for over an hour. I appreciate what you said (3.5 years ago)! I got frustrated with the “Osteen Camp” when they ignored the nature of your critique and focused elsewhere, even suggesting jealousy and hatred at some points. I suppose we are all guilty of letting emotions get in the way of reason — myself included.
    I just want you to know that I thought your critique of this single sermon was very solid, and that you exposed an important flaw in Osteen’s preaching of the gospel for this one sermon.
    I’d also like to point out, in addition to your critique, that I have listened to Osteen since your post was made, and every single sermon, whether it focused on giving, being brave, going against the grain, being patient, or showing love; all of them were based on the idea that by doing these types of things, you will be rewarded with worldly gain: money, acclaim, promotion, achievement, etc. In short: you do these things for YOU, not to glorify God.
    Take giving for example: I know many people who give because they have faith that they will be rewarded by their giving. At least they have faith, right? But they are not changing the fundamental structure of their heart. They should give to glorify God…period. If they “get” from their giving, then great, but who cares if secular rewards are reaped, right?
    Osteen does not seem to stress this point about changing the structure of your heart. Rather, his ideas seem like schemes that re-arrange the structure of your heart without doing a thing about the heart’s existing flaws.

  384. Jason D on said:

    Wow i sit here and watch people bash Joel for what he is doing. Acusing him of this and that and judging him. What happened to “do not judge lest you be judged?” As christians even if his gospel is fake(as some of you would put it) or watered down, guess what? At least he is doing something! Instead of pointing out his flaws, how about we not judge the man? You sit here and write all this but what are you doing about it? NOTHING! Even if it doesnt touch your heart at all and you think he is scum, well then you are just as bad as him then. I have went to that church in the past for 2 years, worked with the youth group every wednesday and you know what? The presence of God is in that place whether you like it or not! I saw countless lives changed for the better, many saved, many went off to SAGU and start their own churches. My life was changed as well! Wow, who would of thought that churches would be against churches and christians would be against christians? The bible foretold this….Jesus is coming back soon…where and what will you be doing for Him? changing the world ? or sitting here bashing a church because of what you see on T.V. ? people wake up! this is crazy!

  385. Alamoman on said:

    I think it’s healthy to debate the validity of Osteen’s message, but I say attack the message and not the man.. None of us can claim to know what’s in Osteen’s heart. God is the only one who really knows – period.

    Looking at this debate over the past couple of years, there really seems to be two well divided camps – those who think Osteen is “Christian Lite” – self centered, prosperity driven and those who feel like his programming brings people closer to a relationship with Jesus Christ.

    I tend to believe his programming does the latter. For those who have watched his show, he always ends the program by encouraging people to get involved with a Bible based church. Think about the number of people he’s touching with that advice. You think God approves of that..? I certainly do.

    I also have no issue with Osteen looking at the glass as half full. Living a happy fulfilled life is not a sin, provided we keep that happiness is perspective and keep the focus on God.

  386. Alamoman on said:

    Jordan – regarding your 5/6/08 post and this video link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukcV-xtU3hc

    “Hatred” is how the man in this clip describes his feelings…. I think that may speak volumes to what’s on his heart.. I’m not sure that’s the case, but that’s HIS description of how he feels about the so called prosperity gospel. Nothing but anger comes out in that short production, and frankly, I couldn’t finish it…

    Many people have suggested (across the internet) what Jesus may or may not feel regarding Osteen’s message and his Church. One thing I’m pretty clear on is any message of hatred is not well received by Jesus. I’m not as well versed as many in this forum on the Bible, but I do know Jesus did not represent hatred – nor does He want us to have hatred in our hearts. Easier said than done sometimes, as we’re all flawed, but I certainly believe that to be the case.

    Maybe Osteen doesn’t get it right all the time. Maybe it is Christian Lite. Maybe much of the criticism about his lack of experience and education is valid.. Maybe…..but maybe not.

    Maybe we should give the guy some credit for reaching out to thousands upon thousands of people and encouraging them to seek out a relationship with Jesus Christ. Who cares how we all go to this place…? We’re here. We’ve arrived to receive His love and peace. Is it jealousy..?

    Have we become so judgmental that we can’t see that Osteen’s heart may be in the right place and that he’s doing some good..?

    After all, the high paid televangilists and pedefile Priests haven’t done such a good job of promoting faith in our world today… Whether we like it or not, that’s what many non-believers think of first when they think about religion.

    I say give the guy a chance. If thousands of people pray for salvation, pick up a bible, and go to church as a result of his ministry……it can’t be all that bad.

  387. Jason D on said:

    To comment more on my input….Joel does not get paid from the church at all! In fact his only source of income is his books….

  388. gw on said:

    You know this comes down to one thing. Jesus taught us in the bible how to be “Fisher of Men”. He showed many examples of how to go about this. This has been twisted and made new in so many forms as the years go on because people get tired of hearing the same old thing…. Stop and think about that.. God is the same today/yesterday as he will be tomorrow. People are the problems in being “Fisher of Men” not God’s word. If you are tired of hearing the Message of Jesus the way Jesus taught it .. which I am sorry is NOT taught in today’s church.. then you need to check yourself. It is not God’s word that needs to be adjusted to fit the worlds view.. It is the attitude of the people. So I agree if the word of God is being adjusted to fit today’s society of “quick in quick out” then that is wrong.. and if you are looking for the perfect church with the perfect preacher to teach God’s word.. it doesn’t exist. I am sorry.. I want my God to be the same one that created this world, and put me on it. Not a god that allows me to change his word to reach more people… As usual People are the problem, as this page points out time after time.. Every must check themselves now. Life is too short to wonder. Stop changing my God to fit your life style. He is not impressed!

  389. holly on said:

    does anybody know a referance that teaches us that we have all sinned and fell short of the glory of god???

  390. eric on said:

    well said

  391. eric on said:

    btw romans 8:28 i believe

  392. Clayton Adams on said:

    Sure Joel could do more. I think the show ministers to people the love of God, with the grace theme. The broadcast can serve as an appetizer. Joel is a part of the body of Christ. He does not have to be the whold body. Other ministries/forums/venues can round out the need for in-depth teaching or gospel, presentation that he does not present. When will the body of Christ recognize that it is made up of different parts and gifting? If I was a board of director or deacon on his counsel, I would feel more of a direct call and responsiblity to ask him to do present some more depth on his program. But then again, I may not. Those who would critique him on this site should write to him in a spirit of love and recommend some things if they feel they want to help. He just might take it to heart and offer more. Why bother critiqueing him in fron of other? Is it possible that jealousy exsists amongst the brethren, or are is there a feeling that we need to enlighten others to the danger of a feel good gospel. Billy Graham preaches about sin and the cross, and encourages listeners to “Make a decision for Christ”. I feel that there is no reason to attack ministries that are doing some good. If any of the critque givers here really feel they can do something better, then go do it and stop talking about other members of the body of Christ to just point out their fault. I would rather not even have to point these things out, as even my comments are apologetics for Joel or Billy G., and could be viewed as criticism to the criticizers. I would rather try to bring balance to the body of Christ by stopping criticism than by curbing the message of a minister by writing about him behind his back.. I hope that what I have written might directly be viewed by those who have critqued Joel’s message and ministry. Yes, his church probably has more in-depth discipleship and teaching going on in their groups. Let’s knock of the criticism that Joel will never see. How about writing him a letter directly, instead of going around his back in a forum such as this. Is there a feeling that this critique of him will deter another budding JOel Osteen just waiting to duplicate his ministry?! I think that may be undrealistic, if that is the case here. MOve on. Do something good to share Christ with someone you can. Forget Joel and Billy G. Each one of God’s children is called to witness of Christ’s love in this world. We all communicate this in a different way, so if there is not error being taught, let’s just move on with our own calling and not worry about others. These kinds of comments often come from people who are trying to say, “He’s not so great, he’s just doing this…” Come On!! I pray that what I am writing will stop criticism and judgment.

  393. There are many bitter, caustic and critical people out there. They specialize in skewing anything positive a person may say and putting a bitter barb on it. They have no positive Gospel themselves but they criticize those who do the best they can with what they’ve got. Jesus said, “If they are not against us, they are for us” (Mark 9:40).
    Jesus gives men room to breath, stretch and grow. That is what Joel Osteen does.Jesus spent His ministry building men up – not knocking them down. He spent His life forgiving people – not criticizing them. Criticism is cheap. Cheap, shallow critics are a dime a dozen. Joel Osteen is a diamond – very rare. Jesus could not preach to satisfy everyone either. Doess that make Him a loser? In fact He ended up satisfying no one. Everyone joined in and crucified Him. No one man can satisfy everyone. If Joel satisfies 35,000 a week, I’d say we should withhold our criticism until we have 35,000 people following us. Or even 35. Try preaching yourself sometime and you will find only the strong in Christ make it. If Joel were not preaching what Christ wants him to, people would walk out – or stay in bed. That doesn’t seem to be the case. The opposite seems to be true.
    God is looking for faithful men. He found one in Joel Osteen. That is all that is required of us… “that a man be found faithful” (I Cor. 4:2).

  394. Christopher on said:

    Joel Osteen, is NOT a preacher, he’s nothing more than a motivational speaker and an entertainer. Osteen’s ministry is not a christian ministry. I had read recently that in an interview that someone had with him, Osteen said that it was not in him to talk about hell. Shame on him, multitudes of people are going to hell, and he doesn’t care that’s obvious. People love him because he doesn’t hurt their feelings by telling them what they need to hear.

    Sure Mr. Osteen has a huge following, and has supposedly led many to the Lord, and why? because he is an ear tickling, smooth talking, lopsided entertaing man who is masquerading as a preacher who is catering to all the so called christians who are ignorant of the bible, and who are all wrapped up with the world who want their ears tickled, he is leading them to the wrong Jesus. If Osteen is well thought of by even the unsaved people, then you know there is something wrong with his ministry. His ministry caters to the flesh, he tells people what they want to hear. Many ignorant, gullible professing christians run to the book store to buy his books such as “Your Best Life Now” well, I can tell those people how they can have a best life now, and they won’t have to run to the store to buy or get on line to order the book, and it will be a lot cheaper, all they have to do to have a best life now, and to discover the champion in themselves, is to read the greatest sermon preached by the greatest preacher ever, the sermon on the mount by the Lord Jesus Christ. He covers about everything in that sermon. Do what He said in that sermon and that is how you reach your full potential and discover the so called champion in you, after all, what did Jesus say about hearing his words and doing them? He said that He likens them to a wise man who built his house upon a rock and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell not. {Matt.7:24,25} That is how you reach your full potential., just do what Jesus said. People don’t need to waste their money on some book written by some man, they have one already, it is called Matthew chapters 5,6,7. those are the words of Jesus Christ the Lord, that is all anybody needs.

  395. Dennis H on said:

    Goodness gracious, I was trying to find out the definitions for locust and wild honey and stumbled upon this. Pro or Con I think I’ve grown in the last hour. Thanks Don for a provocative and accurate summation of a sermon. When it comes to judging the man we get unto dangerous grounds. I do agree with: Paul, some water God give the increase; With Christ, the wheat and the tares are gathered together; and I do believe, we all are responsible for making disciples ourselves, and for making sure of our own salvation in Christ.

  396. Doris on said:

    what many christians don’t know is that preachers have different callings. We have teachers,prophets, evangelists and pastors. each pastor has got a special talent which God uses to speak to men. Joel Osteen is a talented motivational speaker. God knows how much motivation the world needs no wonder Joel Osteen is the most influencial speaker! Joel does his work to honor and glorify God. The contemporary world is filled with hate and cynisms and that is why God is raising men and women of honor to preach love, hope and prosperity. Take time to listen to Joel without being skeptical, apply his teachings and see if they don’t work. Thr His sermons i have been able to overcome low self esteem, fear and sin. GOD bles JOEL AND VISTORIA abundantly.

  397. Alan on said:

    The only thing the world needs is the gospel. God raises people up to preach the gospel. People need to apply the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, not the teachings of Joel Osteen. Any so called preacher who will not preach against sin, and will not tell you that you need to repent, and will not preach about the fear of God, and will not preach about hell, should just get out from behind the pulpit. Osteen does not represent the God of the bible, and any professing christian who thinks he does is deceived. Osteen preaches a different Jesus, he doesn’t preach the Jesus Christ of the bible, the One that talked abou hell, the One who said to take up a cross daily and deny yourselves, Osteen talks about a Jesus that says, “Come and get it” the happy go lucky Jesus who wouldn’t hurt anybody, who wants you to be rich and feel good about yourselves, a non offensive Jesus. So called christians are in danger of hell fire because they are brain washed by this non offensive, counterfit christianity, they want their ears tickled, they want to hear candy coated, pleasent to the ears sermons. The bible warns several times about preachers coming along and preaching a different Jesus, a different gospel, and Osteen is definately preaching a different gospel, a different Jesus in this age of apostasy.

  398. sarah on said:

    JOEL OSTEEN NEEDS TO BE SAVED
    WE NEED TO PRAY FOR HIM TO QUIT SENDING FOLKS TO HELL BY NOT GIVING THE TRUTH

  399. Some of us have long learnt to look at Osteen and his ilk and laugh. He is nowhere near as worrying however as the Lakeland Revival Crowd. Boy, Todd Bentley plain beats the pants off Osteen in that category. When he’s not talking to Angels,( or Paul the Apostle) he’s kicking demons and even cancer out of people…dear oh dear oh dear…you couldn’t make it up, could you?

  400. Eric John on said:

    Please comment on this – and this is a mail i wrote to info@joelosteen.com in the hope of getting a reply.
    But I want people here to comment on this, whether JOEL OSTEEN send the right message by commenting that his Dad should have not put that donation for the church, read the context –

    I am a ardent fan of Joel Osteen and listens to most of his talks. But recently I saw one of his talks and i felt really disappointed. This was the talk he made…
    That God wants everybody to live in a cheerful manner (I AGREE TO THIS), even if we have only one coat we should be dressed cleanly and should always hope for getting our barn filled not the bucket (I AGREE TO THIS). But he narrated an incident where Joels father accommodated a person, by the request of another minister, in his house for a day. The next day the minster gave Joels dad a cheque of 1000$ which was a great amount in those days, and Joels dad was reluctant to accept it but due to the other ministers insistance he accepted it but he said he is going to donate it to church and donated it to the church.
    But Joel Osteen commented that Dad should have not donated it to church but instead kept it to himself and should have seen it as a donation to his big bucket!!!..And also said later his Dad changed and ever after when he recieved any donations he kept to himself and never tried to live a life of “daily bread life”.
    Now my comment on this narration is that..all through my life I followed the Bible though I am not a staunch follower I still feel what Joels Dad did was right in donating it. Like the Good samaritan or even I would in case I am not running a Hotel I would not keep money offered by my brother for the stay. Ok whatever it is I felt JOEL OSTEEN SHOULD HAVE NEVER COMMENTED BEING A FOLLOWER OF BIBLE. I dont think Joels dad was in poverty, in case he was in poverty then there is nothing bad in keeping the money because only when u are in a good situation u can start helping others. Since he was not in such a bad condition he did the right thing. But right or wrong, JOEL OSTEEN should never had set such a BAD EXAMPLE to others who keep their brothers for a few days in their house!!!. I feel JOEL OSTEEN is sending a bad message across and saying that MONEY comes first only later u need to help others. I mean donating to the church(church here means the poorer deprived people). Joels Dad got that money as a present or gift and he was not running the business of hotel, so there was no harm in donating that money to the deprived. As a preacher and follower of Bible, the Bible i feel shows that Jesus always tried to help the deprived and he never really set an % that one should donate or help only to such and such %. So there is no limit to the amount one can help the deprived and in no way the deprived should be considered as the people being punished because of their bad deeds!!!
    I nowadays feel JOEL OSTEEN is sending the message that the financially poor people are those who are being suffered because they dont believe in Christ or because of their bad deeds. I seen people who are staunch followers of Christ still having poverty.
    I would like JOEL OSTEEN to comment on this, was it good to send such a message that we should be selfish and keep our money to ourselves and only a certain % of money should be used to help others.

  401. HHM on said:

    I love Joel’s messages BUT I wish he would give scripture references. I watched his recent message “RECOGNIZING WHAT BATTLES TO FIGHT” and no where can I find his reference to ‘ONE TIME IN THE OLD TESTAMENT A PROPHET WAS WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND THIS YOUNG MAN STARTED MAKING FUN OF HIM
    CALLING HIM NAMES – EVEN THROWING ROCKS
    HE FOLLOWED HIM EVERYWHERE THAT HE WENT
    JUST PESTERING HIM – TRYIN TO PICK A FIGHT – TRYIN TO AGGRAVATE HIM.
    FINALLY THE MEN WITH THE PROPHET SAID ‘DO YOU WANT US TO PUT A STOP TO HIM? DO YOU WANT US TO SHUT HIM UP? HE IS A REAL PAIN.I LOVE THE WAY THE PROPHET ANSWERED: “NO LET HIM KEEP TALKING-MAYBE GOD WILL HEAR HIM AND BLESS ME FOR IT.”

    DOES ‘ANYONE’ KNOW THIS SCRIPTURE????????

  402. Janis on said:

    I love listening to Joel’s message. I don’t think he should be criticized for being a “positive” person with a positive message. He always has a good message. He will reach far more non-believers in the world by his demeanor and mannerism. I think this is the purpose of his approach. In fact, he helped me find my way back to the Lord and back to the church. Consider Joel’s message a “stepping stone” — one of many stepping stones in your Christian walk of life. If he helps you in the least, he has accomplished greatness. In fact, if you walked your walk of life with his attitude and demeanor, and the people you associate with view you as a Christian, they may want to be like you, and attribute it to your love of the Lord thy God. They will want what you have. I’m sure Joel doesn’t consider himeself the be-all,end-all. He tells you to get into a “Good Bible-Based Church” after every single one of his talks. He is just one of the tools for helping you become a better person — a better Christian. I only wish I was at a point in my life where I could wear my heart on the outside of my body. Give him a great — he is not hurting anyone — he is genuinely a good person. He’s a great speaker. He loves the Lord, and he only wants to share his knowledge and help you and I. Listen to what he has to say. You don’t have to limit your ministers to just one person — there are other ministers who offer their heartfelt message in a different way. We can use all the goodess we can get!! God Bless you!!!!

  403. if joel,,,, tells one more lie about his,, example ,his dog ill croak when he bats his eyes constantly well ,well youll, see another made up story ..damm lie.try telling the truth joel we dont need examples… seems to do a lots of eye batting ,probally counting his millosns to billion,

  404. Neal Williams on said:

    Christ’s disciples have themselves sounded like some of the comments on this blog. Who’s better and more deserving. Just remember the first time Christ was called The Son Of God was by Satan in the Synagogue. God told Satan to be quiet.
    Be QUIET.

  405. God Bless you one & all for he loves those of you who criticize Mr. Osteen & those who love him. It is neither my place nor yours to judge him but simply to love him as our brother.

  406. Gilbert Shea on said:

    Revelation 2:2

    2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars;

    1 Timothy 4:1 (New King James Version)

    1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

  407. Kerry David on said:

    I sure have heard a lot about how Joels not like all the other churches and pastors. Makes you wonder how God could bless a man to the point of having the largest church in America.Could it be that people like me need to hear these messages and that the standard fair offering plate rattlers are a little jealous over his success. BOTTOM LINE: JOEL MAKES GOD LOOK GOOD AND LIKE A LOVING FATHER IN HEAVEN THAT CARES FOR AND WANTS TO BE IN A DAY TO DAY RELATIONSHIP WITH US. Get a grip, Joel has done more good for God than the rest of you self adoring school marms put together.

  408. The Original Indian on said:

    You so called “Christians” are so full of the deadly venom of criticism. Jesus said that we’ll know them by their fruits. Let ma ask each one of you critical, cynical, jealous, faith full of negative spirit, determined to take a brother down the tube, “What fruits do you have to show for yourself?” When was the last time you led a person to Christ? Have you ever set foot in Lakewood Church? If you’re that unselfish, will you be able to shake hand with 400-500 visitors of your church for 3-4 hours every week after you’ve preached your heart out? Many of you say his messages are shallow and he uses examples rather than quoting the Bible. Do you realize that Jesus was using parables (examples) so common people can understand the deep meaning of the scriptures? Did you know Jesus had a Bible in His day? How many time you read about Jesus reading pages upon pages from the Old Testament? Friends, it’s not depth that matters for a Christian but doing what God has commanded us to do. Why are you so concerned about not enough Bible verses in his message when you probably have at least two Bibles sitting on your shelf collecting dust and never picking it up to read for even 5 min. a day? Why does the church have to spoon-feed the believers. We’re not supposed to follow Joel or any other person. We’re to follow Christ. When you get busy doing that and His commands, you’d have no time to criticize a brother who is simply trying his best to help the ones he can in a way he knows. Friends, the scripture says to judge ourselves not another. Why don’t you ask God what He thinks about your critical, judgemental spirit? Remember even God doesn’t judge a man until the end of his life, why should you and I? You probably can’t handle this and some of you will have much more to say in return. This is the first time I wrote anything like this. Thot someone may get their eyes open! Look guys, if Joel was your son doing what he is doing will you slander him? Make your words sweet for one day you may have to eat it yourself!!!

  409. YaakJocky on said:

    Hey Moderator,

    Didn’t have the guts to leave my post on your site huh? If you’re so right about your condemning, critical opinion why don’t you dare to let the readers decide for themselves? I dare you put my comments back on the page so others can see being critical is hypocritical. And you’re being the biggest of them all if you can’t accept anybody’s elses view other than your own. Grow up! And get ready for our Lord to judge you because you show no mercy to others (not that they need any from you). Do not be decived. What you reap you WILL reap!

  410. Terri on said:

    You clearly do NOT have a clue how MANY people Joel has brought To God and to His Son Jesus! Wow… talk about heresy – you are a PRIME example! AND very scary if you are spreading JUNK like this – I believe this comes from a place of jealousy. I pray for all of you!

  411. Jesus first message in st,mark1:15 was to repent
    st.luke13;3 except you repent you will likewise
    perish jesus said that repentance and the remissions
    of sin should be preached in his name.the crux of
    the gospel is repentance,apostle paul said that
    through much tribulation they would enter into the
    kingdom of God (acts14:22)Lord have mercy on joel
    osteen lets see how this type of doctine holds up
    when tested in todays troubles.remember that gain
    is not godliness 1tim.6:5 Withdraw Yourselves!!!!

  412. Crish on said:

    God asks us not to quirl amonst each other.

    If you read phillipians… We are thing think on what so ever things are good! Joel Osteen does it different that is that ~ If you don’t find it right, pray for him but please,posting and talking about it here. Joel isn’t even here to defend himself. Quite frankly you have to watch him more than a couple of sermons or know him personally to get an accurate “Fruit Knowing”…. No I am not affiliated or do I know him personally. I do, however think it is hard enough to walk out my own salvation without getting those splinters for others…

    Crish

  413. Amy on said:

    “Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait til the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.” I Corinthians 4:20 NIV
    ” Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand for the Lord is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 NIV

    I don’t endorse nor condemn Joel Osteen. But I have read his book and he DOES advocate salvation through Jesus. We can spew opinions all day, but there is one critical factor that everyone is overlooking. You took ONE sermon and built someone’s reputation on it. How would you feel if someone took ONE moment of your life and built your reputation on it? Think about that. If someone does, you better pray it’s a good moment. No wonder God urges us so often to STOP judging!!! This is why the citizens of God’s Kingdom seem to crumble so much. Leave the judging to God and just determine in yourself to stop being a stumbling block. Don’t we have more urgent matters?

  414. Amy on said:

    Crish, good for you! someone who understands that it is hard enough without even our brothers and sisters looking for things to exploit about us!! Thank you for your post! God bless you. I hope there are more Christians out there like you — for the sake of God’s Kingdom, because He said that they will know that we are His by the LOVE we have one for another. Love is kind. You were kind!! Thank you

  415. Corey on said:

    I wonder why so many “Christians” spend countless hours “disapproving” of one mans message?? The question you should ask yourself is…DO THE PEOPLE IN HIS CHURCH BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR THEIR SINS?? Im sure they do…move on please!

  416. cbell on said:

    Here we go judging again. Is it not written in God’s word that we should not do that. Don’t you think people did the same to Jesus when he was teaching in whatever way he thought would reach his audience. I have listened to the sermons and on more than one occasion it has touched my heart and given me hope. Sometimes it isn’t the exact preaching from the bible that gets us to the bible. What is the harm in encouragement and hope in a world that has little of either. Whether the listeners are opening their bible or not, they do hold it in faith and know it is there with the answers. Love one another as I have loved you.

  417. will on said:

    Joesls ministry is just one part of the word and it is not taken out of context. He preaches truth and does not contradict the bible. This sermon basically says to do good works and be rewarded… which sounds perfectly fine to me. It is true that good works will not save you, but they do bring rewards.

  418. amy on said:

    I think if you claim to be a christian you would know that passing judgement and making remarks like some of these are sins. Only God can judge. I will pray for those who slander others and ministers.

  419. Any professing christian who can listen to Joel Osteen each week and find nothing wrong with what he says, there is something wrong with that professing christian. Most people in America who claim to be christian are ignorant of the bible, they don’t know the bible, or else they would turn Osteen off. He is helping to send multitudes to hell with his feel good, none offensive, prosperity messages. He is preaching {if you can call it preaching} another gospel, and most so called christians don’t know the difference due to not spending enough time in the bible. Mr. Osteen is “preaching” another Jesus, and professing christians are to ignorant to know the difference

  420. Christopher Chipps on said:

    As a born again, bible believing christian, I am offended by Mr. Osteen’s ministry, and I’m sure that most true born again christians are offended too by it. Only unsaved people, or christians who are too wrapped up with the world enjoy his ministry. My pastor said awhile back that the Lord really laid it on his heart to pray for Joel Osteen, and I wonder why, maybe it’s because Osteen needs saved. I even prayed for Mr. Osteen.
    What happened when the Lord Jesus fed the multitudes of people, and healed them, then when He started to preach on eternal things, what happened? They all walked away except 12, and it is probably the way it would be today if Osteen or other “preachers” like him started preaching the whole truth, people would leave, something that Osteen would not want I’m sure. I heard Osteen recently, and just about everything he said contradicted the bible, and that proves that most christians are ignorant of the bible, otherwise they would have known.

  421. Barbara A on said:

    I personally like the comment “Cream always rises to the top.” Like you Don, I question the motivation of going against a worldly view being one of personal rise to power or of rising to a greater station in life. Perhaps the greater good could be an individual rise in purpose and intent. That being said, every pastor’s message is going to have a balance side. There really is no complete purity in the mission of any one evangelist. Instead, each, including Pastor Osteen, has something uniquely wonderful to offer. I think he and Victoria offer hope in the middle of darkness in the world, even if his messages could be more strongly biblically based.
    Barbara A, author of “Cry Depression, Celebrate Recovery”, coming out soon.

  422. Frankie Cruz Jr on said:

    If your from north dakota, that explains a lot. coming from California were there is thousands upon thousands of churches, where the “true Gospel” is preached but yet many are hurt and demoralized. Jesus didn’t do that to people! the Gospel is best preached by your walk not on a pulpit. Leave Joel Osteen alone, one day you will see each other in Heaven and you will see how many souls have came to Christ because of him directly and indirectly. I think you need to get involved in a small group in your own Church, go Evangelizing and Disciple people, Pastoring is a life drenching job Brother, try it some time and get back to me.

  423. David Hanson on said:

    I commend your efforts ,however ,joel Osteen has brought my wife and myself ,back to faith ,and believing again, Its the inspiration of his words and the inspirational scriptures that he brings to folks .. It is time for new inspiration not the old gloom in doom that has scared most of America away from faith in God .. He preaches simple none judgmental principles .. Because the bible dose state that many times ..or haven’t you read that far?? “There are many true statements in the bible .. However very few statements of truth.. God Bless

  424. Barbara A on said:

    I personally like “The cream always rises to the top.” Pastor Osteen happens to have a passion for encouraging his followers to live the best possible life, to have hope, and to set high ideals and goals. Others have a zeal for calling people away from sin through true repentance. Perhaps holding a high standard from the pulpit is a way of exhorting followers to turn from sinning to winning through Christ. It’s just a different approach. Let’s not pass judgment on someone who brings hope. Barbara A, author of “Cry Depression, Celebrate Recovery.”

  425. jeffrey on said:

    if Benny Hinn, Morris Serulo, Billy Grahams, Rick Warren and Joel Osteen and many more were received comments from us about their service in God, whose the right person to follow then? Muslim, Judism, Budism or other Christian sect? Just pray for them rather than made them a center of funny discussion. If I am not really a founded Christian and I read your comments and blog, it will affect my chance to believe in God. I just really sad about what happend in the present chritian world…I am not very good in English but i hope you do understand what i am talking about… God bless us…The meaning of Cross is salvation and forgiveness and not confussion. I love God and i want to show it to Him the way i talk, the way i think, the way i plan, the i respect His annointed people. I hope you get something.

  426. Dan on said:

    QUICK SOMEONE BETTER TELL GOD ABOUT THIS GUY! Oh wait a minute maybe God is the one who is blessing him and his ministry and all these critical people on this site are jealous. Oh, how much is God blessing your ministry? Take the planks out of your own eyes people.

  427. Paul Young on said:

    I think Joel Osteen is right on target with his ministry. He is a breath of fresh air to the Christian community. His messages lift my spirit and that is what the messanger of God should be doing. There’s enough hatred and hard words in this world without the church adding to it. Joel’s message is full of love, God’s love.
    GOD IS LOVE

  428. To Paul Young,
    While what you have to say sounds nice, the bible warns us to be very careful, testing everything with the word of God (1Thessalonians 5:21). Certainly when Jesus preached, He was far less concerned with ‘lifting the spirits’ of His audience, and far more concerned with speaking the truth. At one point Jesus called a group of his listeners a brood of snakes (Matthew 23:33).
    John warns us in 2John 1:7-11 about false prophets, at one point saying ‘Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God’.
    If Christ taught a life of prosperity for those who followed Him, then we’d be fine here. This is not the case though. Several times Jesus warns us that following Him comes at a cost, that cost potentially being our very lives (see Matthew 8:19-20 and Luke 9:22-26). These are only a few references, I encourage you to look up the scripture for yourself.
    We can also look at the examples given to us in scripture. Every single on of Jesus’ disciples (except one) was martyred, obviously not including Judas who killed himself. This does not sound very prosperous and uplifting to me. And look at the Apostle Paul, who wrote over 2/3 of the new testament. Would you say he lived a prosperous life? If so you should check out 2Corinthians 11:23-29.
    Understand that I am not trying to win an argument, simply trying to show you biblically why a prosperity message contradicts what scripture teaches about following Christ. The bible commands us to watch each others backs, which is simply what I’m trying to do for you brother. Don’t be fooled by this message, and if you don’t want to listen to me, then look at the scripture for yourself.

  429. Margaret Nyaga on said:

    I like his preaching in encouraging others.

  430. Anita on said:

    Joel Osteen is too good. He gives u a new view of the teachings of Christ something that no one else teaches. Everyone knows that Christ came for us and went up the cross for us. but there is something that not everyone knows and that is Christ wants us to live abundantly ..and that is what Osteen tries to bring out.

  431. It is disturbing to see so many support a man that tells people what they want to hear, instead of what they desparately need. The entire point of the Bible is to show us that we cannot do what God requires because we are broken from the get-go. Our sin has hindered us from pleasing God regardless what our best efforts are. Having your best life now, is not the gospel. Doing better, focussing on temporal blessings, etc. are not the gospel. The gospel is that Jesus died to reconcile you to his Father, to propitiate (satisfy) God’s wrath toward you, so that in the resurrected Christ you would be in a right relationship with God. Thus, though you may be poor, pitiful, unathletic, ugly, fat, unhealthy, etc. you are spiritually rich in Christ. Thus, Christ is the value of Christianity, we aren’t. Olsteen sends people running to the mirror while saying “I couldn’t have done it without God,” when in reality people do what you have without acknowledging God, even defying Him everyday. The reality is that Jesus died to reconcile us to His Father, not to give us our best lives now. Jesus did not die to make you temporally healthy, wealthy, joyful, satisfied, etc. instead He died to reconcile you eternally to His Father. In the end you will have all these things because of Him, but now, spiritually, you possess these things as well in Christ. Christ is thus the value of salvation, the value of heaven… we aren’t. Enjoying God should be the goal of our lives on earth, since this is the goal of heaven and is the goal of Christ, but instead Osteen encourages us to enjoy this world while merely giving God lip-service. After all, if our best life now is in temporal, self-help blessings, whether we use God’s name or not is irrelevant because we believe that “salvation” can be bought with money or can be found in temporal, yet perishable human efforts. Osteen encourages us to enjoy these temporal things in place of enjoying God because the blessings are the goal, not GOD. If the gospel is true, then YES, you can have your best life now… IN GOD; and it doesn’t matter if you’re rich, successful, healthy, etc. it only matters if you have come to Him through the finished work of Christ. If you have Him, then you can enjoy God regardless whether you are temporally blessed or you are felling the effects of the curse. Salvation is here and now in Christ, but will be fully realized in the eschatos. Until then, do what you were created to do: enjoy God the Father through repenting of your sins, placing your trust in Jesus Christ, and enjoying everyday in Him, whether you receive money or are starved to death, for God can be glorified through both. His grace is sufficient.

  432. Pingback: Oldie but a Goodie: Pastor Don Elbourne on Joel Osteen « Jared Moore

  433. Christopher Chipps on said:

    I challenge every fan of Joel Osteen to get out their bibles in their spare time and read the following verses and if I were a betting man which I’m not, but if I were, I’d bet Mr. Osteen never reads or preaches from those verses. How does Mr. Osteen’s sermons measure up to these following verses and does what Mr. Osteen “preaches” have anything to do with these verses straight from the word of God?
    Matt. 5:22
    Matt. 5:29,30
    Matt. 8:12
    Matt.13:38-42
    Matt. 23:33
    Matt. 24:4-13
    Mark 3:29
    Mark 9:43-49
    Mark 16:15,16
    Mark 10:21
    Luke 12:15
    Luke 13:3,5
    John 3:3,5
    Romans 3:10
    Romans 3:23
    Romans 6:23
    2 Cor.7:10
    Gal.1:7-10
    Eph.6:10-13
    Phil.3:17-20
    Col.3:2
    2 Thess. 1:7,8
    1 Tim.1:15
    1 Tim.4:1-3
    2 Tim.4:2-5
    Heb. 2:3
    Heb.9:27
    Heb. 12:8
    James 4:4
    James 4:7
    1 Peter 4:1
    1 John 1:8-10
    1 John 2:15,16
    How about reading some chapters in Revelation.
    Here is one from the Old Testament- Psalm 34:19

    There are many more I’m sure and if you were to be 100% honest, you will admit that Mr. Osteen’s ministry is NOT a christian ministry.

  434. Paul N