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Featured What's Wrong With Joel Osteen?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by james bond, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    “Joel Osteen, controversial? How could that be? He preaches the most clear and simple gospel message a person could hear.”

    Maybe it's the bacon lovers complaining.

    ...

    "One local pastor said to me later, “I hear you are supporting the Joel Osteen Crusade.”
    I said, “Yes I am. He reaches thousands of people for Jesus Christ, he’s in our city, I want to be a part of it.”
    The pastor responded, “I’m not going to, I can’t go for all that positive gospel stuff.”

    ...

    "Critics say,
    “He’s shallow.” “He’s a phony.” “He’s a liar.”
    “He’s not really a pastor.” “He presents an easy, feel-good gospel.”

    This reminds me of being in the 8th grade."

    ...

    "The problem is not with Joel Osteen –the problem is in the hearts of the ‘Christian critics’ (sounds like an oxymoron) and ‘the haters’ –the newest gift in the body of Christ. They speak without thinking."

    WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH JOEL OSTEEN?

    I'll repeat the important stuff. They speak without thinking. Word.
     
  2. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    Here's what Joel says, "Live your best life now."

    "A woman shopping in Houston happily hummed a tune as she collected the items she wished to purchase and approached the cashier. The clerk just stared at her for a long moment, as though wondering what was wrong with her, offering an obligatory, “How are you doing today?”

    That’s all it took. The woman nearly bubbled over. “How nice of you to ask! I’m doing great. I am so blessed!”

    The clerk looked at the woman quizzically for a moment and then said, “Let me ask you a question. Do you go to Lakewood Church?”

    “Why, yes I do. How did you guess?”

    The clerk shook her head and smiled, “I should have known. Everybody that comes in here like you is from Lakewood.”

    What a great compliment! That’s the way it should be. God’s people should be the happiest people on earth. So happy, in fact, that other people notice. Why? Because we not only have a fabulous future, we can enjoy life today!

    Living your best life now means being excited about the life God has given you. It means believing for more good things in the days ahead, while living in the moment and enjoying it to the hilt.

    Too often, we get comfortable with where we are in life and use that as an excuse to remain in mediocrity. “My parents were poor,” we say with a pout. “Before them, my grandparents were poor. Nobody in my family has ever amounted to much, so I guess I won’t either.”"

    "Don’t believe that lie. My dad came from the poorest of families. His parents were cotton farmers, and they lost everything in the Great Depression. My grandmother worked 14 to 15 hours a day washing people’s clothes, earning 10 cents an hour.

    They were good people, but nobody in our family line had ever amounted to much, living instead under a curse of poverty and defeat. Then one day, at age 17, my dad committed his life to Christ, and God put a dream in his heart to preach.

    Certainly, the odds were against him. But God is not limited by our environment, family background or present circumstances. God is limited only by our lack of faith.

    I’m so thankful that Daddy didn’t listen to all the naysayers. He believed that God had more in store for him than staying home and picking cotton. And because he stayed focused on his dream and was willing to step out in faith, he broke that curse of poverty. Now, my siblings and I, and our children, grandchildren, even our great-grandchildren, are all going to experience more of the goodness of God.

    Let me challenge you to believe for more. Don’t travel the road for the next 50 years and be at the same place you’re at today."

    Go for you dream and live it. It's what God wanted you to do. There you go.

    https://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/Article.aspx?articleid=6517
     
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  3. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    Here's a critic of Pastor Joel Osteen. What kind of life do you want to live?

    "I have been preaching for 20 years. Yesterday I did something that I have never done before in a sermon. I publicly called out false teachers and named them by name. I said:

    If you listen to Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer, if you take what they teach seriously, it will not be good for you. It will be detrimental to your long-term growth as a follower of Jesus.

    (You can watch my sermon here.)

    I used to think that their error was so blatantly obvious that they could just be ignored. I was wrong. They are massively growing in popularity in the evangelical world and are seen as credible and helpful. Before I’m inundated with questioning emails I want to share why I distrust these two and think you should as well. So, don’t shoot me — at least not yet.

    When I was a kid I could tell the difference between neighborhood kids who wanted to be my friend from the neighborhood kids who were my friends so that they could play with my toys. Joel and Joyce are the latter. They both teach a twisted form of Christianity that teaches obedience, giving and faith as a way to get things from God. They are both products of what is known as the Prosperity Gospel and The Word of Faith Movement, or the Seed Faith Movement."

    ...

    "Joel Osteen

    Like Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen has some really great things to say. He is encouraging and the man is certainly happy. This should not be held against him.

    The man is confused on theology. He has much of the same doctrinal misunderstandings as does Joyce Meyer. They come from the same tradition. His doctrine is difficult to discern for many because he won’t talk about doctrine. He won’t talk about theology. He quickly back pedals when asked hard questions, as seen here in an interview with Larry King.

    In fairness, Joel published a letter of apology after this interview.

    While I commend him for his humility and courage to publicly declare that he was wrong, this is just one of too many instances. He frequently misunderstands important matters of faith and doctrine when being interviewed. He repeatedly gets the Gospel wrong. And he does so when talking to millions.

    If we take Joel at his word, our only conclusion is that he is either incapable or unwilling to understand and explain how the Gospel intersects with all of life.

    We recently hosted Hank Hanegraaff (The Bible Answerman) at SMCC. He has some very helpful insights (here and here) into Joel Osteen’s confused views of faith, doctrine and Scripture:"

    "Joel Osteen and Prosperity Gospel

    The Prosperity Gospel is much like all other religions in that it uses faith, it uses doing good things to leverage material blessings from God. Essentially, use God to get things from God.

    “God has already done everything He’s going to do. The ball is now in your court. If you want success, if you want wisdom, if you want to be prosperous and healthy, you’re going to have to do more than meditate and believe; you must boldly declare words of faith and victory over yourself and your family” From Your Best Life Now, p.132

    “If you are believing for your child to find God, go help somebody else’s child to develop a relationship with God. If you’re struggling financially, go out and help somebody who has less than you have ... f you want to reap financial blessings, you must sow financial seeds in the lives of others ... If you want to see healing and restoration come to your life, go out and help somebody else get well” From Your Best Life Now, pp. 224, 250-51"

    It isn't about getting things from God. It's about making yourself great or the best that you can be, so that you are blessed by God.

    "Conclusion

    When I was in seminary, Heather and I were poor. There were seasons in which I worked 70+ hours a week while taking a full-time Master’s load. There were times that I had to sleep every other day so that I could get all my work done. This was an extended period of exhausting financial stress.

    During this time, I remember reading something from Joel Osteen. He and his wife claimed by faith a new house that they wanted. Joel was unsure, but his wife Victoria was confident. And she lovingly chastised him for his lack of faith. Sometime later, they purchased that house. Still in seminary, my wife and I were walking through our dream neighborhood and that was playing through my mind. As I walked through the neighborhood, looking at all the homes, I wanted so badly for what Joel is teaching to be true. I don’t know if you can understand how desperately I wanted it to be true.

    I wanted relief and I wanted more. But I knew that it wasn’t true. I knew that my exhaustion and desperation made me emotionally vulnerable to this false Gospel. I’m educated and well read. I’ve haven’t just read the Bible, I’ve translated large chunks of it from the original Hebrew and Greek. I think I understand it. I think I have a relatively significant level of discernment. But for a moment, I was emotionally vulnerable to this false doctrine.

    What about the millions of others who are desperate, searching, hoping and vulnerable without the discernment? We owe it to them to not tolerate a false gospel any longer.

    If you made it to the end of this blog post, congratulations. This is a thick and heavy subject. Even though I’ve written much, this only begins to scratch the surface of the repugnant nature of the Prosperity Gospel.

    Rick Henderson is a pastor who blogs at churchismessy.com. This post first appeared on his blog."

    So, sorry Pastor Rick Henderson, being Christian isn't about being poor or rich. It's about being the best you can be, i.e. trying to be perfect like Jesus Christ. If one has the talent to persuade, influence, move people, raise capital and achieve their positive goals, then they are people of big caliber. The money isn't the goal, but believing in oneself and trying to achieve your dreams. Christianity isn't about being meek and just accepting what happens. One has to be the best person they can be and be happy.

    Which Christianity do you want our of your life? I want to live my best life now.
     
  4. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen uǝɥʇɐǝH ɹǝɥʇɐℲ

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    They're all peas in a pod.
     
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  5. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    Adam and Eve were perfect. Look at the Garden of Eden. It was beautiful. Lush, wonder of nature, food, plants and animals were plentiful. The waterfalls were sublime. The animals were under their control. I think there's a dinosaur by the river. This is what God wanted for us. Not creepy, boring atheist stuff.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen uǝɥʇɐǝH ɹǝɥʇɐℲ

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    [​IMG]
     
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  7. LukeS

    LukeS Member

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    I find him a inspiring speaker. Something atheists could do with, maybe. A life coach attitude rather than an interfaith sniper.
     
  8. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Here is the original article where Joel Osteen is criticized by Rick Henderson:
    The False Promise of the Prosperity Gospel: Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer | HuffPost

    Here's a plug for him by CBN:
    Joel Osteen: The Man Behind America's Largest Church

    Here's an article that claims the 'Prosperity Gospel' is 'Perverted' but mentions no preachers by name:
    https://tifwe.org/reasons-to-avoid-the-prosperity-gospel/

    Here's someone on theblaze that says "...Basically, a Joel Osteen tweet — and a Joel Osteen sermon, which is just a collection of Joel Osteen tweets — is exactly what you’d get if L. Ron Hubbard wrote fortune cookies. Or if Yoda and Dr. Phil had a baby, and then the baby attended too many Tony Robbins seminars...." :
    Joel Osteen’s Fake, Heretical ‘Christianity’ Isn’t Any Better Than Atheism
     
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  9. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva
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    Personally, in this day and age, a Joel Osteen and company are inevitable. He has enough charisma to fuel a small village. Having been to a Tony Robbins seminar I can appreciate why people like Joel Osteen. It's hard not to. He is an Oral Roberts on cocaine and he stands in stark contrast to the relatively boring Christian preachers of yesteryear.
     
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  10. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Personally I do not know much about him, and I do agree that Rick Henderson has fingers pointing back at himself for criticizing Osteen. I think they are both paid to say what people want to hear, and Joel is just better at it. Notice that nothing Rick Henderson says has any effect at all on the situation, however if he would publicly announce that he was resigning from his paid position as an example for Joel Osteen to follow that might have an impact.

    I'll say this for Joel that he hasn't been caught with prostitutes like Jimmy Swaggart, or caught swindling like Jim Bakker, and doesn't go around pointing fingers at groups of people like Falwell. He's just filthy stinking rich.
     
  11. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva
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    I'm thinking much the same thing. There have been far worse preachers. Ernest Angely is my all time fave though. He's funnier than Saturday Night Live.
     
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  12. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    I tend to get angry rather than laugh, but if Ernest Angley tickles you then maybe try a little Peter Popoff.
     
  13. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man.

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    What a racket. Prosperity gospel. Only one prosperous is the ringmaster.

    "Never give a sucker an even break". PT Barnum
     
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  14. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    I was going to compare Pastor Rick Henderson with Joel Osteen. His blog doesn't exist anymore. So much for Pastor Rick.

    "He is the most popular preacher in the country, his services seen by over seven million viewers on TV every week.

    Nine years ago Osteen was virtually unknown even in his own church in Houston. A college drop-out, he worked behind the scenes producing his father, Pastor John Osteen's, television ministry. When his father died, he stepped out in front of the camera and started to catch on. So why are so many people flocking to Joel Osteen?

    Osteen's service is an uninhibited celebration that's part rock concert, part spectacular. There are no crosses, no religious symbols whatsoever. It's all taped and broadcast around the world. His service is seen in 100 foreign countries and is the most watched religious broadcast in America.
    "You get ten or fifteen thousand people that are excited about God. They're from every race and every denomination and every background. They wanna be here, they weren't drug to come to church. And so there's something about that. It creates an attitude of expectancy. And we cheer and we shout and there's joy. And I try to leave them better off than they were before," Osteen tells Pitts.

    They come by the thousands to nondenominational Lakewood Church, a former basketball arena in Houston, Texas, filling it to the rafters. They come hungry to hear first hand Joel Osteen's message of empowerment and inspiration."

    Osteen rebuts his critics
    ""Why don't you start believing that no matter what you have or haven't done, that your best days are still out in front of you."

    It's an appealing, comforting message, and he follows it up with advice.

    "If you're not making as much progress as you would like, here's the key: don't lose any ground. Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it's hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way," Osteen says.

    "You said 'I like to see myself as a life coach, a motivator to help them experience the life of God that God has for them. People don't like to be beat down and told 'You've done wrong.' What do you mean?" Pitts asks.

    "Well, I think that most people already know what they're doing wrong. And for me to get in here and just beat 'em down and talk down to 'em, I just don't think that inspires anybody to rise higher. But I want to motivate. I wanna motivate every person to leave here to be a better father, a better husband, to break addictions to come up higher in their walk with the Lord," Osteen says.

    "I mean is that being a pastor or is that being Dr. Phil or Oprah?" Pitts asks.

    "No, I think we use God's word. I think the principles that you hear Dr. Phil and some of those others talk about many times are right out of the Bible," Osteen says.

    "Do you ever fear with this message of optimism you may be misleading some people? That some people think, 'Well, gee if I just think positive things about my life will turn around.' And for some people that never happens," Pitts asks.

    "Yeah, I don't fear it because we don't just teach that. Cause I teach that even in the tough times you have to embrace where you are. Know that God's giving you the strength to overcome. You can even be positive in a negative situation and it will help you stay filled with hope," Osteen tells Pitts."

    ...

    Reverend Michael Horton critic
    But many theologians from mainstream churches find Osteen's message misleading and shallow.

    "I think it's a cotton candy gospel," says Rev. Michael Horton, a professor of theology at Westminster Seminary in Escondido, Calif.

    "His core message is God is nice, you're nice, be nice," Horton says, laughing. "It's sort of a, if it were a form of music, I think it would be easy listening. He uses the Bible like a fortune cookie. 'This is what's gonna happen for you. There's gonna be a windfall in your life tomorrow.' The Bible's not meant to be read that way."

    Reverend Horton believes that Osteen tells only half the story of the Bible, focusing on the good news without talking about sin, suffering and redemption.

    And Rev. Horton goes even further: he levels the harshest charge of all, calling the Osteen method of teaching heresy.

    "It is certainly heresy, I believe, to say that God is our resource for getting our best life now," Horton says.

    "Because?" Pitts asks.

    "Well, it makes religion about us instead of about God," Horton explains.

    "There are a lot of people in this country, religious people, who consider your theology dangerous," Pitts remarks.

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

    "Hear what some others have said about you: he's diluting and dumbing down the Christian message," Pitts says.

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

    "You know, you get people that wanna criticize, 'You're not doing enough of this, enough of that.' Well, we're not perfect. But to have you know hundreds of people tellin' ya 'You changed my life. I haven't been in church in 30 years.' Or 'You saved my marriage.' Not me, but God, but they're telling me, but you know what? You can't help but leave every Sunday afternoon…," Osteen says, getting emotional.

    "Help me understand what's happening right now Joel?" Pitts asks.

    "You know, what it is, you just feel very - I told you I was a cry baby, but you just feel very rewarded. You feel very humbled, you know?" Osteen says.

    "Humbled by your success?" Pitts asks.

    "Humbled that you could help impact somebody's life. I think - I don't even - I don't even know these people. And you know, and God's used me to help turn their life around or give them hope, you know? It's very rewarding," Osteen says.

    "You in awe of that?" Pitts asks.

    "Very much," Osteen agrees.

    Osteen keeps his life simple. His best friends are his family, and he spends most of his free time with them, especially his two children, Alexandra and Jonathan.

    But from Wednesday to Saturday, he's in his home office writing and memorizing his sermon. "I feel a responsibility more than ever now, you know, sometimes when I think about it Sunday in a few days and I gotta get back up here and feed everybody and be my best and inspire them and have some good stories, keep them listening, you know, it takes a lot of work, it takes diligence," Osteen tells Pitts.

    You can see that same diligence in his workouts. Osteen can bench-press 300 lbs., which is twice his body weight. And on the basketball court, even in the simplest of pickup games, he is focused, determined and looking for help from above."

    Full article here
    Joel Osteen Answers His Critics

    I'm not sure if this is the same Reverend Michael Horton, but he seems to be saying the same thing. Just not reaching out to all. I don't think prosperity gospel is heresy. It's not heresy to be happy and have happiness as a purpose in our lives.

    "What I Want to Instill in My Students
    “All of us are committed to helping students acquire the tools of life-long learning. One of those skills is the art of listening to others. Sometimes we Reformed folks get a reputation for cursing the darkness without lighting candles. It’s easy to shut people down and dismiss their arguments, but that not only opens the door to tolerating misrepresentation; it also weakens our own position. Only when we take people we disagree with seriously on their own terms and describe their views as they would recognize them do we then have the right to critique.

    I think all of us, too, are committed to fueling our students’ love for Christian faith and practice, centering on “Christ, his gospel, and his church,” as our motto says. I see evidence of this zeal for both truth and piety, doctrine and zeal, creeds and deeds, on campus every day and it’s very encouraging. With my colleagues, I want to see our graduates enter their ministry with sympathetic and pastoral hearts as well as courageous and clear conviction.”"

    Westminster Seminary California - Faculty - Dr. Michael S. Horton
     
  15. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    Your life is just silliness.
     
  16. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    Oh sure, I know about PT Barnum. I've heard so many lies here from atheists and not so much from the religious.

    Since you brought it up, does God give a sucker an even break. The answer is no.

    I'm a model for the prosperity Gospel and very happy with my life. If I died tomorrow, my life would still have meaning and I would have left a mark. I think Joel Osteen's video's and messages have helped in those moments where I questioned my own religion.
     
  17. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    Not only is he successful, he's very caring and wants others to be successful in their lives, too. This is part of faith in God. Even the Buddhists teach prosperity through Buddhism. The purpose of our lives is to be happy by Dalai Lama.

    Dalai Lama Quotes - BrainyQuote

    So are the atheist scientists that atheists revere. They write books and you buy them. You watch their popular shows like The Simpsons with Stephen Hawking. What about Cosmos with Degrasse?

    We're not talking about Swaggart and Baker. I could just as well mention Lawrence Krauss.

    I think the response to success and happiness for the Christians by atheists is mockery. It just goes to show who the unhappy ones are here. At least you evaluate what I am saying and thank you for that. That's all I can ask from a non-believer.
     
  18. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen uǝɥʇɐǝH ɹǝɥʇɐℲ

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    I'm glad you find me so relatable.
     
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  19. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    No need to get personal. I can decide for myself about whether I'm a believer or whether I revere this or that.

    Sorry don't know who that is. Was he looked at as an example of morality?
     
  20. james bond

    james bond Well-Known Member

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    My beliefs are that God wanted us to be happy. Or else we would always be questioning things that have happened in the past. Joel Osteen's message is to trust God and let go of the past. The past isn't something we can change, but we can change the future. With the help of God, we can change the future by letting go of the past. It could be forgiving someone and not dwelling on the negative feelings you still have for them. It could be letting go of the guilt and regret for something that you did. I'm not saying that being sorry and making atonement isn't required, but one has to eventually get over the guilt and self-berating. They have to start on a new page. He also practices affirmations. Affirmations in prayer helps one to achieve their goals and wishes.

    Furthermore, I can't tell you how to interpret the Bible, but sometimes you can't understand the answers it is telling you. Instead of trying to figure it out yourself, it's better to seek help and learn from someone who knows more. Joel Osteen is able to translate the Biblical stories and make them come alive and apply them to your life. He would be someone who knows. There are others, too, but you want to the know the answers as well as be able to apply them to your life, dreams, goals and wishes. That's part of Jesus, too. He was perfect. He wants you to be perfect, too, and that means to be a success and to be happy.
     
    #20 james bond, Jun 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
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