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February 03, 2005
Looking at the Heresy of Joel Osteen
Joel Osteen, the pastor of America’s largest church, is preaching about having a better attitude, about being blessed if you’re properly motivated, about doing well financially. There’s one problem. He isn’t preaching about Jesus Christ, and he isn’t preaching the Gospel. Not even a confused Gospel. Sin is never mentioned. Apparently you can attend for weeks without hearing the name Jesus (except as a prayer salutation) from the pulpit.
If half of what Michael Spencer is writing about at Internet Monk is accurate, Osteen is a frightening presence in pop religion. Michael is calling for Osteen to be blogged-out. Check out his research and do some of your own. I know I will.
Posted by Jim at February 3, 2005 06:25 PM
Jim - Thank you for mentioning this. I was going to do so, but I'm just glad one of our brood has hit on it. Now we can expect our comments page to be flooded with defenses of "Pastor Joel." Can't wait...
Posted by: Matt at February 3, 2005 06:30 PM
Joel Osteen is a heretic. I'm glad that he's being called to the carpet for it!
Posted by: Mark at February 3, 2005 09:30 PM
Thanks for the "alert" regarding Joel Osteen & the link to Michael Spencer's site. I really like his site & have bookmarked it for regular reads. Yes, we must be Bereans & hold Christians to Scriptural truth & accuracy. If it doesn't square with Scripture, whoever it is ~ beware fellow believers!
Posted by: Lynne Gale at February 4, 2005 10:04 AM
I agree with the assessment of Joel Osteen's preaching, sans the Gospel and absent any mention of Jesus Christ. However, I have a stricter standard for "heresy" than using the pulpit for empty "feel good" messages. Rather than heresy, my charge would amount to simply false pretensions to Christianity that should be evident to those listening to his messages week after week.
I've often wondered why God doesn't act to oppose such problems within the Church. The answer, from scripture, is that we, as Christians, are responsible for what we listen to and accept. Osteen is "exposing" his shallow Christianese all by himself. It's up to his "flock" to stop behaving like sheep and begin to test his messages against scripture. They are accountable for what they receive, just as Osteen is accountable for his misuse of his position.
Posted by: RLG at February 4, 2005 02:14 PM
RLG - Thanks for reading. If you read Spencer's entire body of work, the word he most often uses for Osteen is apostate, as opposed to heretic. I find this designation appropriate.
Posted by: Matt at February 4, 2005 02:27 PM