Skip to comments.JOEL OSTEEN ISSUES APOLOGY
Posted on 07/01/2005 8:17:31 AM PDT by Terriergal
Many of you have called, written or e-mailed regarding my recent appearance on Larry King Live. I appreciate your comments and value your words of correction and encouragement.
It was never my desire or intention to leave any doubt as to what I believe and Whom I serve. I believe with all my heart that it is only through Christ that we have hope in eternal life. I regret and sincerely apologize that I was unclear on the very thing in which I have dedicated my life.
Jesus declared in John 14; I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me. I believe that Jesus Christ alone is the only way to salvation. However, it wasnt until I had the opportunity to review the transcript of the interview that I realize I had not clearly stated that having a personal relationship with Jesus is the only way to heaven. Its about the individuals choice to follow Him.
God has given me a platform to present the Gospel to a very diverse audience. In my desire not to alienate the people that Jesus came to save, I did not clearly communicate the convictions that I hold so precious.
I will use this as a learning experience and believe that God will ultimately use it for my good and His glory. I am comforted by the fact that He sees my heart and knows my intentions. I am so thankful that I have friends, like you, who are willing to share their concerns with me.
Thank you again to those who have written. I hope that you accept my deepest apology and see it in your heart to extend to me grace and forgiveness.
As always, I covet your prayers and I am believing for Gods best in your life,
Pastor - Lakewood Church
Click here for What We Believe.
see also these articles:
Joel Osteen Issues apology
Ashamed of the Gospel by Steve Camp
Holding Pastors accountable by Steve Camp
(scroll down to find this article -- this may get moved to a different page after it is not current anymore)
The Joy of Humility
A personal letter from Joel Osteen
June 27th 2005 - After Joel's appearance on Larry King Live. last week I wrote an article with accompanying transcript for the A1M website. I sent a personal copy of the article with a note to Joel extending an invitation to speak with him about his troubling interview. Much to my delight he called me back later that same day. We had a very good, honest and profitable conversation about his interview, ministry and the gospel. Joel demonstrated great humility and teachability in all we discussed. I don't know many evangelical leaders of his reknown that have ever published a letter seeking others' forgiveness for mistakes made so quickly and desirous to do so. That speaks volume of his character to me (and others have noticed as well). Though significant doctrinal and theological differences remain, I am very encouraged to know that Joel is a humble man willing to seek the counsel of others to help understand his own failings.
Please keep him in your prayers that the Lord will continue to strengthen him with boldness in sharing the gospel, and that he would unashamedly proclaim the whole counsel of God.
Grace and peace,
What did he say that was so bad?
*Many* people felt he softpedaled the Gospel. That seems to be a big tendency right now and it is a deliberate tactic of the Church Growth gurus who rightfully are getting flack for it. (the exact opposite of what they intended to get with that technique!)
I think he tried to deny Jesus and got caught.
I understand, totally. Steve Camp in his article did say that he still has major doctrinal issues with him, but he did want to illustrate that this guy seemed definitely of a teachable spirit. I have to say, *if* he follows through on this apology, then there is hope. I have seen very few pastors who actually welcome criticism (though they trumpet the 'iron sharpens iron' idea from Proverbs as being wonderful...) some actually will tell the parishioner to leave the church, or discipline them. -- and if they do say they appreciate people expressing their concerns (and this only applies to valid concerns), they do nothing about it, and just sit and hope it will blow over.
Not that I don't trust your interpretation. Just wanting to read his own words.
CNN LARRY KING LIVE Interview With Joel Osteen Transcript
It's not just on Larry King either:
thought you might find this interesting. The doctrinal problems still remain, but at least it sounds, for now, like the guy is still of a teachable spirit. Time will tell.
BTW there seems to be a confession of faith at the bottom of the page Osteen has on his site with the apology letter.
NOthing in that 'what we believe' page about the second coming... or what happens if you don't believe.
I'm interested to see his action plan from this...what will change?
***What did he say that was so bad?***
Nothing, unless you expect Biblical chritianity from him.
Also problematic is: "...God intends for each of us to experience the abundant life He has in store for us."
Wonder if Osteen is referring to spiritual abundance, or material abundance? Given what I've seen and heard of his sermons, I'm guessing the latter.
Thanks for the ping, Terriergal - we shall watch, pray, and see if Osteen learns a lesson from this, and commits himself to proper study of the Bible, and not just the surface-level, squeaky-clean, all-good-vibes-lets-not-talk-about-anything-bad theology.
Did any of the Apostles soften their message so as to not "offend" anyone?
Did they alter the message and neglect large parts of scripture just to "get them in the door"?
From the transcript.....
"KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?
OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...
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."
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