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.