Skip to comments.But Pastor Osteen, where is Jesus?
Posted on 03/28/2012 6:13:37 AM PDT by Cronos
Over 12,000 people rushed into a crowded Times Union Center to hear Pastor Joel Osteens message of feel good, Broadway style contemporary worship and many came out changed according to an article in yesterdays paper by Paul Grondahl. A star among the Christian world, Osteen claims the nations largest congregation in Houston, Texas with over 30,000 members
Aside from being a good looking man with a deep southern accent and a warm welcoming voice that draws many in, what qualifications does this man have to be preaching to stadiums packed full of vulnerable people?
The best selling author and televangelist had only attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a two year period without receiving a degree. Now something doesnt seem quite right about this. Why can a man with virtually no higher level training in religious matters or Bible studies waltz onto a stage in hundreds of stadiums and speak on the matter? Why does a man with no qualifications have such a great following? (Osteen receives around seven million viewers world wide through his televised sermons.) Im not entirely sure whether or not I feel comfortable with someone preaching the word of God, if they dont know the word of God.
Just from watching a few of his sermons on television and online, I see that Osteen makes no reference to any pages of scripture and speaks only from his memory. I have also noticed from Grondahls article that Osteen prefers not to speak of sin, and likes to focus rather on the goodness of God. Now, Im not trying to rip the man apart. As a Christian myself, I try to see the good in all of Gods creations but I am simply trying to bring this forward in a manner that can hopefully help others recognize and distinguish the difference between a Christian message and a self-help, motivational one.
In an interview with Larry King ( below), Osteen speaks of what he does and what many are calling Christless Christianity.
Anyways, I am not here to pass judgment on Joel, nor to say that he is a man of God. I cannot read his intent, and as for his works I know very little of it (hence my question on whether he has an altar call after his sermons). However, there are some things said by the person criticizing him - in particular the whole thing about education - are very questionable. Not having a theological degree does not mean one does not know the Word. Also, there are quite a number of people with all sorts of theological degrees that live 'interesting' lives.
Anyways, there is an article called 'Profile of a Pharisee' that is quite interesting:
THE PHARISEES OF ISRAEL WERE METICULOUS IN OBEYING THE LAW. IN FACT, THEY CAME UP WITH HUNDREDS OF THEIR OWN LAWS, WHICH WERE SUPPOSED TO HELP THEM BETTER OBEY GOD'S LAWS. THEY CONSTANTLY OPPOSED JESUS, AND SOUGHT TO TRAP HIM.
I WILL COMMENT BRIEFLY, AS WE LOOK AT CHRIST'S TEACHING ON PHARISEES.
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
THE PHARISEE WAS SOMEONE IN THE POSTION OF AUTHORITY!
3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
THE PHARISEE DOES NOT PRACTICE WHAT HE PREACHES (OTHERWISE KNOWN AS A HYPOCRITE; OR ACTOR).
4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
THE DEMANDS OF A PHARISEE ARE BURDENSOME. THEY OFFER NO HELP OR ASSISTANCE.
5 "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
THE PHARISEE MAKES SURE YOU KNOW HOW SPIRITUAL HE IS & MUCH MORE SPIRITUAL THAN YOU!
6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;
PHARISEES LIVE FOR PRESTIGE AND RECOGNITION. YOU'LL FIND THEM SITTING ON THE PLATFORM, OR IN A CHOICE PEW AT CHURCH.
7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'
THEY ALSO LIVE FOR TITLES; "PASTOR", "REVEREND", "MOST REVEREND", "PROFESSOR".
8 "But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.
THE KINGDOM SHOULD BE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. NO SPECIAL TITLES OR PRIVELEGES.
9 And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
10 Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.
THE PHARISEE FINDS IT HARD TO SURVIVE IN AN ATMOSPHERE WHICH IS GOD-CENTERED IN ITS FOCUS. THEY NEED THE FOCUS TO BE ON THEM!
11 The greatest among you will be your servant.
LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION!!! EXALTED SERVANTHOOD, THE TRUE KINGDOM PATTERN.
12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
INCREASE YOUR 'RANK' BY DEMOTING YOURSELF.
13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
PHARISEES MAKE IT HARD TO ENTER THE KINGDOM. THEIR NEAR-DEAD BODIES BLOCK THE WAY TO THOSE SEEKING ENTRANCE.
15 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.
THEY ARE ZEALOUS (CONSIDER SAUL OF TARSUS) TO WIN PEOPLE OVER TO THEIR WAY. THEIR ERRORS ARE MAGNIFIED AND AMPLIFIED AS THEY ARE PASSED ON TO THEIR FOLLOWERS.
16 "Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.'
17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?
18 You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'
19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
20 Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.
21 And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.
22 And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.
PHARISEES ALWAYS FOCUS ON HUMAN EFFORTS AND ENDEAVORS, WHILE COMPLETELY MISSING DIVINE PURPOSE AND INTENTION.
23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
PHARISEES ARE METICULOUS ABOUT CARRYING OUT THE FINE DETAILS OF THE LAW. THEIR 'SPIRITUAL' LABORS ARE MEASURED TO THE LAST GRAM, BUT THEY CANNOT SEE THE HEART OF THE LAW WHICH BEATS WITHIN IT.
24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
A PHARISEE ALWAYS EXCELS AT NIT-PICKING, WHILE MISSING THE NOSE ON HIS FACE!
25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
THEY SLAP A FRESH COAT OF PAINT ON, TO HIDE THE ROTTEN BOARDS.
26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
TRUE CHANGE BEGINS INWARDLY, AND NATURALLY WORKS OUTWARD.
27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.
28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
THE GRASS IS MOWED AND THE WINDOWS ARE WASHED, BUT BEWARE THE KILLER LURKING JUST BEHIND THE CURTAINS!
29 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.
30 And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'
PHARISEES LIKE TO THINK THAT THEY ARE NOT AT ALL LIKE THE PHARISEES OF BYGONE DAYS.
31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.
THEY CAN'T QUITE HIDE WHO THEY REALLY ARE.
32 Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!
33 "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.
35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
Matt 23:1-35 (NIV)
4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.)
5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?"
PHARISEES ALWAYS WATCH YOU TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE LIVING CORRECTLY.
6 He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
NO CONNECTION BETWEEN A PHARISEE'S HEART AND MOUTH.
7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'
PHARISEES ARE FOLLOWING THEIR OWN SELF-MADE RELIGION. IT PROFITS NOTHING.
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men."
9 And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
Mark 7:4-9 (NIV)
THE PHARISEE'S TRADITIONS ALWAYS OVERRULE THE COMMANDS OF GOD.
13 "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."
Mark 7:13 (NKJV)
THE PHARISEE'S TRADITIONS SUBVERT AND NEUTRALIZE THE COMMANDS OF GOD.
THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST DEADLY ACTIONS OF A PHARISEE, FOR IT IGNORES WHAT GOD HAS SAID, AND PUTS THE TEACHINGS OF MAN IN THE PLACE OF DIVINE REVELATION. I WILL FOCUS MORE ON THIS IN A FUTURE ARTICLE.
FOR NOW, LET ME SAY, YOU HAVE A 'PROFILE' OF A PHARISEE. THE PHARISEE IS NOT AN EXTINCT SPECIES. HE IS ALIVE AND WELL. IN FACT, YOU WILL MEET HIM IN YOUR LOCAL CHURCH, AND, IF YOU ARE HONEST, YOU MAY CATCH A GLIMPSE OF HIM IN YOUR BATHROOM MIRROR FROM TIME TO TIME.
JESUS' HARSHEST WORDS AND FIERCEST BATTLES INVOLVED PHARISEES. FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE IN NOT YIELDING AN INCH TO THEIR DEMANDS. ABIDE IN CHRIST'S WORD. OBEY HIM ALONE. RESIST THE URGE TO PLACE PHARASAICAL BURDENS ON OTHERS. DO NOT GO BEYOND WHAT IS WRITTEN IN SCRIPTURE.
DEATH TO PRIDE, SELF, AND SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS. LONG LIVE THE KING OF KINGS!
Reproduction of this article for free distribution is permitted. John Green, azgreens@hotmail.
I thought the same thing. No way is Osteen good-looking. He’s actually kinda creepy.
Osteen’s Jesus is at the bank it would appear (sarcasm purists)
the money theme has ALWAYS been with us from Rome to Avignon to London to now apparently Houston...
Catholic hierarchy to televangelism...we have had some pirty rise up on occasion thankfully
the soft underbelly of church leadership
riches and power
God warned us
everyone has a golden calf now in the form of huge homes and private jet(s)
it’s really too bad and makes Christendom look bad
Thanks for that. I haven't watched an entire O sermon either
well, I wouldn't say ministering, but if he does spark an interest, it's a good thing
-— I do take to task the writer’s assertion that somehow educational qualifications are a prerequiste for good or reliable preaching. Being able to preach is really a gift from God that may be honed through good religious education. It is also a gift that can be destroyed through a lot of what passes for Seminary or religious education nowadays.-—
Yup. Education is NOT the same thing as schooling.
Schooling may or may not be educational. Sometimes formal schooling is antithetical to education.
Regarding preaching or good example, St. Francis and Mother Teresa did pretty well without much formal training.
I think we need to hear both. God is Love, but He is also Justice tempered with Mercy.
LOL - With better hair!
I always find it funny/strange how we count our blessings.
Would one count poverty a blessing if one was overly interested in material things - probably not but it may be a blessing indeed.
Years ago I was sitting on my couch bemoaning my financial status and talking to God about it. Within 5 minutes of thinking all the things in my house that had either been given to us or that we had been able to buy for rock bottom prices either second hand or new came to mind. I had tears in my eyes and was praising Him for my good fortune.
I think I just better be grateful for what I do have as I don't think I deserve or could handle more.
I think the sheep need to be fed, but also the sheepdog to nip at their heels to keep them from straying (for their own good).
I could certainly use a bit of that sheep dog preaching at times!
Not bashing J.O. I do “bash” Harold Camping, Benny Hinn and the like, but I am neutral to slightly positive on J. Osteen —> he’s not bad, but I don’t see him as exceptionally good either, but that’s just my (inadequately informed) opinion.
27 After this he went out, and saw a tax collector, named Levi, sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." 28 And he left everything, and rose and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house; and there was a large company of tax collectors and others sitting at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes murmured against his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" 31 And Jesus answered them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
The orthodox looked down on Jesus' methods, as well.
Yes, I am entitled to my opinion, thank you.
Only the weak-minded follow this charlatan.
Thanks for posting. The first time I have seen this.