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.
It’s called show business
Those people did not prosper, did not get all the material goodies they wanted. They chose to follow God when they knew it would cost them everything in this world.
Good looking? His wife is beautiful, but this prosperity preacher is far from good looking. He doesn't blink his eyes; he closes his eyes completely in a long blink. He also needs one hell of a haircut.
Still waiting for him to condemn homosexual behavior and condemn the slaughter of 3,300 unborn American babies each day.
Or would that minimalize his audience?
He's not as bad as Todd Kootz or Mike Murdock, but he's just a couple stone's throws away.
I haven’t heard an entire Osteen sermon but flipping through the channels I have heard him say at the end of his message, that he would not finish before he asked those watching to make Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior of their lives. That’s it I have nothing more to add - just a comment.
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.
I can understand the author’s criticism of JO as a ‘prosperity pastor’, but her opinion that one needs to be college educated to speak the word of God smacks of elitism. As Christians we’re all to be prepared to speak the gospel to the world, not just the seminary-trained.
—The best selling author and televangelist had only attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a two year period without receiving a degree. —
I don’t really care about that. He’s more educated than the apostles, after all.
My problem is the message he preaches. It’s really that simple.
Yeah, right! No further comment or I’d get banned.
I enjoy Joel Osteen’s sermons. He quotes the Bible often and uses everday language to get his points across.
No, he is not a Hell and brimstone preacher who yells and tells you “you’re going to Hell if you don’t do what I say”.
He preaches on the love of God and how to live a Godly life. Jesus didn’t go screaming and yelling at people either. His message was one of love and faith.
I remember somewhere reading judge no that ye be not judged.
I will take Osteen’s positive message anyday over one that uses the negative approach.
When I see him, the word cult comes to mind. When a church gets that large it is no longer a church but a personality cult. I live across the street from one of the TV variety and his new house tells the tale.
Joel Osteen has stated many times during his broadcasts that he did not complete the seminary and does not have a theological degree. I see him as more of a motivational speaker than anything else. I don't find anything about his weekly messages to be negative or objectionable. Yes, he does plug his latest book at the end of his broadcasts, but he doesn't shill for contributions unlike people such as Tood Kootz, Mike Murdock, or Rod Parsley ("God wants to bless you, but he can't do it until you send me your seed check for $300., and the check clears.") As far as looks go, I always thought he could pass for Tim Allen's younger brother.
There is no catalyst in his message for one to feel and know how loathsome our behavior is in Gods eyes. How close we are to eternal damnation. The “positive reassurance” and “prosperity” gospel are poor substitutes for the real substance. The command was to “Feed my sheep”. The sheep are underfed and malnourished on the Osteen diet.
I’d often watch Joel Osteen, out of idle curiosity. He’d be holding forth for what seemed an eternity at times but I’d never hear him speak about Jesus. He’s quite prsosperous, nonetheless! How do he do dat? I reckon “it’s nice to be nice!”
BTW, I am not a member of his church nor do I watch him on a regular basis. I'm just someone who believes he serves a purpose.
“Jesus didnt go screaming and yelling at people either.”
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” - Matt 23
Attacks on Christianity continue. It’s always been the nature of “bible based/only” protestant preachers to give self-styled sermons, with just a few carefully selected biblical references. They are not giving a Catholic mass. So what. As a Catholic I find see the wisdon of the Holy Spirit in his sermons, and that is for each individual to decide. Why the bashing?
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.
Why this settles it for me. The guy that started this whole Christian thing had no degree's at all, not even a certificate from a public elementary school. So why do so many people pay any attention to what He had to say? /Sarc
Knowledge like beauty is where you find it. Just look at all those MBA sheepskins out there that have and are driving our economy into the dirt.
I don't recall the scholarly qualifications of any of the Apostles, for that matter, except for Paul.
As I see it, Joel preaches a Gospel message but it is not balanced teaching one would get from other types of Protestant churches...But then Joel will tell you that...
He's a good preacher but if you want balance, you have to go somewhere else...I believe Joel encourages people to read their bibles...
Pastors should read the Scriptures with an open mind and not rely on their 'religious training.' They would be surprised what the Bible actually says.
1) As a plain and simple reading of any text with an open heart and mind.
2) Comparatively i.e comparing Old Test to New or Book to Book so that you come to a reasonable understanding of the whole sweep of Scripture.
3) An informed, but not prejudiced, reading with some understanding of what others have gleaned from the Scriptures.
4) In prayer to understand what God might be saying to you through them.
The posted daily from Osteen is really not a devotional, for even there — where is Jesus, the Bible, morality??
And I could go on and on.
I don’t think the (daily) thread should be protected since it is not devotional.
Are you demeaning Jesus Christ who educated the apostles?
Sure they may not have gotten it the first time around, but they eventually did grasp his message.
I sincerely hope you were not demeaning Jesus or the apostles.
Remember, Jesus cleared the Temple for a good reason. And He wasn't happy when He did so.
Yes, His message was one of love and faith. But it was also about holiness, God's hatred of all sin and finding the one true path to Him. Osteen tells half the Gospel -- at best.
Look, the man does not even have the convictions of his so called beliefs. On Larry King, he could not, or would not say that Jesus is the only way! I question him being truly Born Again.