Skip to comments.Does Joel Osteen Not Know, or Does He Not Care? [On Mormonism]
Posted on 10/26/2011 5:04:31 PM PDT by Gamecock
Here we go again. Joel Osteen is in the news once again, this time for saying that Mormonism is just another form of Christianity. Osteen, pastor of Americas largest church, as the media repeat over and over, was speaking to The Washington Times in an interview that covered a variety of issues. It was the quintessential Joel on display.
Speaking to the newspaper on Monday, Osteen said, I see faith in America at an all-time high. His comments came just as a major research project detailed a significant loss of vitality in Americas Christian congregations. That loss of vitality can be traced, among other things, to a loss of theological and biblical conviction. Joel, of course, is proof positive that you can build a crowd without building a church. He is not inclined to deal in much theological conviction.
In the interview, he distilled his message in these words: Part of our core message is that seasons change, and when you believe, if you dont get bitter, and you dont get discouraged, you may not change overnight, but you can get peace.
He also told the newspaper: People need to be reminded that every day is a gift from God, and bloom where youre planted and be happy where you are, and to make that choice to get up every day and be grateful.
That message includes some truth, of course - but it doesnt even come close to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hell will be filled with people who bloomed where they were planted.
On Mormonism, Joel said:
I believe that [Mormons] are Christians . . . . I dont know if its the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with. But you know what, I know Mormons. I hear Mitt Romney - and Ive never met him - but I hear him say, I believe Jesus is the son of God, I believe hes my savior, and thats one of the core issues.
Im sure there are other issues that we dont agree on. But you know, I can say that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics dont all agree on everything. So that would be my take on it.
Osteen just stated his belief that Mormons are Christians. He then expressed the thought that Mormonism might not be the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with, but he affirmed Mormon statements that Jesus is the Son of God and that He is Savior.
Evaluating Osteens boyhood understanding of Christianity would be a project unto itself, given the shifting theology of his preacher father, the late John Osteen.
The main point of concern in Joels latest comment is the lack of any biblical standard of judgment and the total abdication of theological responsibility. He relegates doctrinal disagreements between Christians and Mormons to the status of theological debates between Protestant denominations and then includes Roman Catholicism. There are plenty of issues there, and the issues are not the same when comparing Baptists to Methodists, on the one hand, and Protestants and Roman Catholics, on the other. Comparing any form of Trinitarian orthodoxy with Mormonism is another class of question altogether.
Joel reminded the papers staff that he has never attended seminary. This is true, of course, but there are thousands of preachers who never had the opportunity to attend seminary who have a sufficient grasp of and commitment to biblical truth that would prevent such carelessness.
By now, it is clear that Joel Osteens carelessness is deliberate and calculated. This is not the first time that he has encountered the question of Mormonism. Back in 2007, he told Chris Wallace of FOX News that Mormons are indeed Christians:
Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and thats what I believe, so, you know, Im not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are.
The little details of it? Mormonism does not differ from historic biblical Christianity in only the little details, and a faithful Mormon would be the first to point this out. Mormonism begins with a plurality of gods, not with the monotheism of the Bible. Jesus Christ is an exalted man - not the incarnate Word. The list of categorical doctrinal differences continues throughout the entire belief system.
The very essence of Mormonism is the claim that historic Christianity is fundamentally in error, and that true Christianity did not exist on earth from the time of the Apostles until Joseph Smith. Mormonism can hardly be charged with hiding their movements teachings - the Book of Mormon and the other fundamental texts of the Latter Day Saints are published in plain sight.
In a remarkable exchange with Chris Wallace, Osteen muddied the waters further:
WALLACE: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?
OSTEEN: I probably dont get hung up in them because I havent really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I dont know.
Here we face a fundamental dilemma. When Joel Osteen hears a summary of Mormon belief that mentions God assuming the shape of a man, does he lack the theological discernment to hear how that differs from biblical Christianity, or does it not concern him? In other words, does Joel not know, or does Joel not care?
In the end, we have to conclude that he does not care enough to know, and that is the greater tragedy for a Christian minister. He doesnt get hung up on doctrinal issues, nor has he really studied them or thought about them. His own words indict him.
Evangelical Christians are going to face many questions in this season, and the question of Mormonism is now front and center. It will call upon all of us to do what Joel Osteen proudly has not done - to study and think about these issues. In this political moment, we will have to think carefully and act judiciously without confusing the theological questions. We will need the full wealth of Christian conviction.
We will also need deep doctrinal discernment mixed with urgent spiritual concern. The Latter Day Saints include some of the most wonderful and kind people we will ever meet. They put a great emphasis on character and on the moral values of our common concern. They talk freely and passionately about their own beliefs, including their beliefs concerning Jesus Christ. Furthermore, they put action behind their commitments, sending their young people on mission and fueling a worldwide movement that remains one of the fastest-growing on the planet.
But their beliefs concerning Jesus Christ are not those of historic Christianity, and their understanding of salvation differs radically from the message of the New Testament. It is the responsibility of every Christian - and most certainly every Christian minister - to know this.
Joel Osteen told The Washington Times that he is constantly looking for new ways to influence the culture. Our culture admires those with low theological commitment and high emphasis on attitude. In Joel Osteens case, it is the secular culture that has influenced the minister, and not the minister that is influencing the culture.
The YBPDLN Ping List meets Mormonism.
Keep thinking Happy Happy Thoughts there Joel
Joel’s must be a cheezewhiz kinda church. http://cheezewhizchurch.blogspot.com/
? He's got the largest one in the nation.
I think what Joel is saying is that anyone who confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savoir is a Christian. The Bible says we're saved by GRACE through FAITH in Jesus Christ, not by belonging to the right church.
Yes the LDS Church is a false doctrine church, but I'm sure there are born-again Christians that go there not yet realizing its problems. God works from the inside out.
Joel is not a "heretic hunter." That's not his ministry. He's a Pastor and and encourager. His church helps many people come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ and helps many all over the world. They're the real deal. I've been a committed Christian for 40+ years and have been going to his church for two and a half years. He preaches God's Word in the anointing of the Holy Spirit every Sunday.
He comes from a solid background and from a solid Christian family whose dad, John, was a well respected pastor and man of God. Joel also is well respected among recognized leaders in the Christian Church including Billy Graham.
another baptist attack on joel osteen.
jealous of the osteen family’s success.
perry recently responded in public politely; that’s probably all one will get in today’s media wars.
In a bygone era, Joel would have been Joe. In our modern era, Joe would be Joel.
That is abundantly clear.
And because he doesn't discern what is Christian and what is not his flock is left to the wolves.
Im sure there are other issues that we dont agree on. But you know, I can say that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics dont all agree on everything. So that would be my take on it....
....Joel reminded the papers staff that he has never attended seminary.
"Can someone tell me what Joel is about in 20 words or less?"Related threads:
Sheesh - that's easy. The real challenge is to tell what Joel is about in 21 words or more.
-- Alex Murphy, Nov 5, 2007 exchange, on the thread Joel Olsteen Joins With Catholics To Convert Confused Protestants
I believe that [Mormons] are Christians . . . . I dont know if its the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with.”
Now that statement tells you a lot about Osteen, not the purest form of Christianity!LOL, either you are Christian or you are not, there is no in between!
Isn’t Rick Warren part of those pastors that support Chrislam?
Many don't like him because he's got his finger on the pulse of what's wrong with many of God's people: they don't have joy, they're not overcomers in their lives, and are therefore of little use to God. Satan hates Joel Osteen because he's helping God's people come into His presence, become effective in advancing His kingdom, and prevail against the gates of Hell.
Wow. Rips Osteen a new one.
And Osteen’s comments are as shallow as I’ve ever heard anyplace.
Maybe he should have before speaking....
Part of our core message is that seasons change, and when you believe, if you dont get bitter, and you dont get discouraged, you may not change overnight, but you can get peace."People need to be reminded that every day is a gift from God, and bloom where youre planted and be happy where you are, and to make that choice to get up every day and be grateful." J.O.
Huh? What does that mean? It's just piled up platitudes. It's like the jargon got away from him.
I dont know if its the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with.
Hmm. His daddy way a Word 'o Faith pastor.
By now, it is clear that Joel Osteens carelessness is deliberate and calculated.
EVERY Sunday? Then what is it I see when I turn the TV on to the program beamed your house of worship? A Joel imposter? All I ever see when I watch is him taking a fragment of a passage and repeating the same thing, over and over. And that would be a watered down version of the prosperity Gospel.
I am a Mormon, and I believe that Jesus Christ is my personal savior, and that through his atonement I can have my sins forgiven, and therefore be clean and acceptable to my Father in Heaven.
The Bible Says: “Judge not, that ye be not judged, For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” Mathew 7:1-2
So taking the above scripture literally: If God finds me an acceptable Christian, yet you sequester God’s Judgment and declare me as a LDS(mormon) a non-Christian .... Then God potentially will boomerang your sequestered judgment by declaring you a Non-Christian?
So Go ahead and join the party!
You are taking the road...of Liberals when you quote that scripture. They attempt to use that line all the time...IS that what you are falling back on??
I was clearing some bookshelves and ran across a book that highlighted different religions. The Mormon section was not the detail your article was but it correlated the timelines. One thing it said was that Mormons teach that African Americans are descendants of Ham and are black because their ancestors sinned.
Reading what this book said I dont know how Joel Osteen could declare that Mormons are Christians, even nominally. Have you ever heard Romney say that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, died for the salvation of those who believe and was resurrected on the third day. Or anything similar? I would like to see the quote because Osteen says he has heard it from Romney.
Can I ask you a few questions about LDS re: your “take” on Jesus?
Will a believer (Mormon) become a god?
If so, was God (of the bible) once a man?
How many gods would there be eventually?
What is the relationship between Jesus and Satan?
Seems traditional belief is that Jesus is fully God, and fully man, being the “Son”, one member of the Trinity (the tri unity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit). Also traditionally Satan is a fallen created being (angel).
I have heard it said Jesus has been in Mormon teaching, referred to as the spirit brother of Jesus. This puts him (at some time) in the same plane of existence, which I find not compatible with biblical Christianity.
Can you comment?
-Do you believe that Jesus and God the father are the same?
-Do you believe that Jesus and Satan are spiritual brothers?
-Do you believe that Jesus saves you after you have done all you can do?
-Do you believe Mormon men can become god?
The Bible Says: Judge not, that ye be not judged, For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again Mathew 7:1-2
Suggest you keep reading. We are told to guard our doctrine and beware of wolves. Or is that not in the Mormon bible?
So taking the above scripture literally: If God finds me an acceptable Christian, yet you sequester Gods Judgment and declare me as a LDS(mormon) a non-Christian
What makes you so sure God has done that? You deny that the one and only God came to earth and died for your sins. You believe that you can be mostly good and Jesus makes up for your shortcomings. You deny original sin. You believe that in the scheme of things there are many gods.
So Go ahead and join the party!
I had a vision, that all Mormons will be cast into the outer darkness. It is not a party but a concern for those who follow the pagan religion founded by a two-bit huckster.
I want to understand your church’s teaching on Jesus. This book I have says concerning Mormon teaching on Jesus:
“Jesus was once a man who became God. He was only a physical man, not God the Son, while he was on the earth. Jesus was not the result of a spiritual act of the Holy Spirit in Mary’s life. He was the result of Mary and Joseph having sex.”
Is this book accurate or is it incorrect?
“Part of our core message is that seasons change, and when you believe, if you dont get bitter, and you dont get discouraged, you may not change overnight, but you can get peace.
What is this idiot talking about now? This sounds like something the Bamster would read from his telemprompter. Doesn’t Joel know that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), not when the “seasons change” or whatever else Osteen has conjured up in his nothing statement.
Unless you believe that Jesus never had a beginning and never will have an end you do not believe in the Jesus of scripture.
This guy and other false prosperity preachers are going to fail big time. We have seen it before. His kind give a bib black eye to Christianity. He is nothing but a FAT CAT scammer.
Can you give us a description of how it's explained, or what's provided?
If growth programs exist at Lakewood, they're not obvious, and (based on the ones they do advertise) they likely won't have any depth. Either Lakewood/Osteen thinks that Christians can grow to instant maturity like Sea-Monkeys, or else Lakewood/Osteen believes the congregation will never be old enough for solid food.
Then Mormons are Christians only if "Christ" is a label, rather than a historical figure. Because the "Jesus Christ" we find in Mormonism is not the one revealed in the Bible and formally defined at the councils of Nicaea or Chalcedon.
My problem with Joel Osteen isn’t that he always serves patato chips instead of meat in terms of Biblical education; My problem with the Pastor isn’t that he can’t seem to get beyond the happy happy joy joy ear tickling that so many who don’t want to be convicted of their own shortcomings these days seem to prefer.
Joel Osteen preaches prosperity and that is something that is not biblical and why I agree with the previous poster that you responded to who stated that people in his ‘church’ are left to the wolves.
I pray that he repents and starts preaching the BIBLE rather then prosperity.
"I always like to use the analogy of Jim Caviezel [In Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of The Christ']. Like the Mormon Jesus, he dressed the part, spoke the same words (in the original language, no less), and was referred to as Jesus Christ within a specific context, but it makes all the difference in the world whether one worships and depends upon him for their salvation or the genuine article."
A lot of Evangelicala reject Ephesus and the definition of Mary as Theotokos, so it’s shaky ground to criticize the Mormons for rejecting ecumenical councils of the Catholic Church.
Evangelical Neo-Nestorianism is every bit as problematic.
"We may talk of men being redeemed by the efficacy of his [Christ's] blood; but the truth is that that blood has no efficacy to wash away our sins. That must depend upon our own action." [ LDS Apostle Amasa M. Lyman, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, p. 299, 1859]
Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the whore of Babylon whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent. - Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 255
If you are unable to see why those two assertions from LDS inc leadership are blasphemous to Christianity, then you are a prime candidate for the slick spiritual death in MormonISM.
Joel Osteen is NOT an authority on anything, except how to make millions off the people who come to his ‘Mega Church’. Joel is a master at manipulation...he manipulates his congregation, his TV followers, and the media. And Joel definately not an authority on ‘religions’. Does he know who Yehshua, Jesus, the Son of God really is? Does he buy the Morman teaching that says Jesus and Satan are brothers?
God help him find the real Jesus.
What are you trying to prove to me?
I really am not phased by what heretical teachers have to say about me or my faith.
Mormonism is a hokey folk religion that really is not a threat to my faith or to the Catholic Church, so until it is I simply am indifferent.
All I’ve been trying to say is this anti-Mormon hysteria is identical to the hysteria that has been levied against the Catholic Church by evangelicals for generations. Not to mention, the same anathemas you keep throwing at the Mormons can be thrown back at you.
What’s the difference between a heretical Mormon and a heretical Evangelical?
I regard teachings like the rapture and pre-millenialism every bit as wacky as Mormonism.
Evangelicalism is a greater threat to Catholicism than Mormonism is.
However, I'm not aware of any Evangelicals who would reject the Nicene Creed or the Definition of Chalcedon—the two ecumenical councils I cited, as opposed to one that I didn't.
Only a portion of the entire service. Much goes on before and after the TV portion.
Joel Osteen, in this article, says some things regarding biblical teaching that are absolute kryptonite to a biblical Christian: "I probably dont get hung up in them because I havent really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I dont know. "
I will let the underlined words stand on their own merit without comment.
It still saddens me that Catholic leadership recognizes only the Orthodox as legitimate churches with legitimate Christians.
As a believer in the type of unity Jesus preached in John 17, I will continue to look forward to that day.
However, to view trinitarian, biblical evangelicalism as a challenge greater than a newly minted religion, mormonism, that has Jesus being merely an exalted man born of a father who was an exalted man and ruling over a planet circling some star someplace in the (our?) galaxy is a bit of a reach for me.
When push comes to shove, Osteen is nothing more than a modern day Joseph Smith.
I attempted to listen to one of Osteen’s broadcasts once, and I got through about a half of a sermon.
I did not hear Father/Son/Holy Spirit mentioned even once, and moreover, I just didn’t follow it. I’m not a dumb man, and maybe Osteen was off that day or something, but I just couldn’t follow it. It was built around motivational themes similar to what one might get at a Zig Ziglar convention, but there was no thread holding it together that day, so it came across as a series of quotes and platitudes held together by the previous series of the same.
FWIW, that particular day Osteen didn’t hit a single....much less a home run. As a public speaker, I know that happens, but couple that with the no mention of the divine, and I wondered what was going on.
Milt Rominy (rhymes with hominy, the huskless corn product) is a High Priest in MormonISM and that religion denies the efficacy of Christ's blood for salvation. The flying Inmans address the souls and you address the buildings for attendance. Says a lot about your spiritual state. Are you a Mormon?
In context, it looks like he's answering Wallace's questions about the validity of Mormonism. Osteen is essentially saying that he hasn't studied Mormonism so he can't comment. Seems fair to me. Not studying Mormonism is not anathema to the Christian faith.
Cult identification and analysis is not what Joel is anointed to do. He is anointed, however, to help God's people break strongholds and victoriously move into the inheritance God has for them. Heb. 3:11-4:11. He's pushing back the gates of Hell and Satan doesn't like it one bit.
I'll be along side of Joel (at least in the spirit of imparting eternal faith, hope, and charity in the power of the Spirit and the grace of the Lord Jesus) if and when God calls me to do so.
Well, if you read parts of the Bible, you may not read Father/Son/Holy Spirit either (like Esther for instance). Try listening to an entire sermon sometime, including the weekly prayer call and alter call and comments before and after worship. You'll hear a lot about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and good Bible-based teaching.
FYI, I used to think he was a motivational speaker who smiled all the time. But one day, it was like invisible hands from Heaven took Joel and Victoria and planted them right in front of me and said, "Here, these are for you - listen to them." Since then I've plugged into Lakewood Church and read all his books and my life has changed for the better. You're talking to a committed, spirit-filled, fairly mature Christian who's been a believer for 40+ years - no babe in Christ.
Hey, Osteen's not for everyone, God puts different people in different places according to His will. But if you're ever interested, try reading one one his books sometime - ask the Lord to wipe the slate clean of preconceptions and just receive if He has anything for you. I think you'll be in for a surprise.
Hysteria? Are you going to condemn the hysterics of the 52,000 mormon missionaries whose "hysteria" leads them to sacrifice two full years of their lives going out daily and telling Christians that their Christian faith is bogus and the only way to salvation is to become a mormon and take part in their arcane rituals in the temples?
That is a much more fitting way of describing "hysteria" than the efforts of The Flying Inmans who provide the truth of mormonism on FR. You label the posts of a handful of FReepers "hysteria" while ignoring the ongoing attempt for more than a century of the entire membership of the mormon church to baptize every soul (either alive or dead) into their polytheistic sect.
The "hysteric" anti Christianity I see in your posts reminds me very strongly of a banned mormon, one whose claim was that Joseph Smith was an actual "Apostle" of Jesus.
Sorry, meant to ping you to #46.
Um, that is a lack of spiritual discernment.
Do you REALLY KNOW what (who) Mormons teach Jesus was?
They teach that God the Father came to earth and had sex with Mary to produce Jesus. No virgin birth, no God Incarnate. That Jesus is a separate created being.
To make matters worse, Lucifer (Satan) is another of God the Father’s spirit offspring from another one of his spirit wives, making Satan the half-brother of Jesus. Now I couldn’t believe that when I heard it so I asked a Mormon I worked with face to face if that’s what they believed and he told me *Yes*.
So Mormon’s believe that Jesus was a created being, NOT God come in the flesh, but rather the half-brother of Satan.
Now, I don’t care if that entity is named Jesus or not, that Jesus is NOT going to save you. It’s the wrong one and they know it. Read Galatians sometime about the preaching of false gospels and false Christ’s.
Kind of makes you wonder what the noobs previous screen name was.
You've flunked Basic New Testament Overseer 101. (You only got HALF of it right)
What does the apostle Paul say? What did he tell Titus?
7 Since an overseer manages Gods household, he must be blamelessnot overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. 8 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. 9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. [apostle Paul to Titus, vv. 7-9 of chapter 1]
V. 9 says that pastors/overseers are to hold firmly to the message...why? To encourage others, yes; but also to "refute those who oppose it." And even on the "encouragement" side, how does Paul tell Titus to do that? Answer? "by sound doctrine".
Perhaps you've got too much "feel-good" non-denominationalism blood runnin' thru your veins.