There are days I really feel like a hater. So I think I need to clarify something: I love Joel Osteen. And when I say I love him, it's with the same conviction and compelling that is driven through my heart toward every other human being. As a Christ-follower, Jesus teaches me that I'm even supposed to love and pray for my enemies. And no, I don't consider Joel as one of my enemies. In his defense, he doesn't have a clue who I am. (Although, I think Joel would like me. We both have fairly nice teeth.) But here's where our roads wind up diverging and we end up in 2 completely different worlds: Joel is preaching a false Gospel. And as a Christian, pastor, and one who is called to "preach the word", I am also called to point out and expose ANYTHING claiming to be the Gospel that misses the mark. [See Colossians 2:4, 2 Timothy 4:1-5, 2 Peter 3:13-17]
Last night I happened to catch Robin Roberts' latest interview with the Houston mega-church pastor. You can watch it HERE. Incredibly, for a few brief moments, Joel was actually sounding a bit orthodox. But of course, that all came crashing down in an instant. When asked about the massive multi-million dollar production that is Lakewood Church, and the well-oiled production that goes into their services, Osteen made this statement: "If Jesus were here today, he'd have the big production; the lights." (Wha....?) While Jesus spent his entire ministry saying things that turned more and more people away - while He repeatedly insisted that people who were healed NOT turn the spotlight on His works - while He got on the floor, wrapped a towel around His waist, and told His disciples that if they truly wanted to lead they had to serve - somehow Joel walks away from that Jesus in those Gospels with the idea that He would welcome the LED's, flashers, and spotlights all being pointed at Him. This is only the latest in a multitude of misguided comments that lead me to wonder if Joel Osteen really knows who Jesus Christ is and what He calls us to as His followers.
Joel: "God wants you to be happy!" (Interview)
Jesus: "God wants you to be holy." (1 Peter 1:14-16)
I do NOT hate Joel Osteen. But I do hate, abhor, and detest anything that presents itself as the Word of God or the Gospel that is not ROOTED in the truth of God's Word or the sin-redeeming, life-changing, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Much more to add to this conversation.
What are your thoughts and views on this?