Posted in discernment, theology

Even Salon.com says “Joel Osteen Worships Himself” (re-post)

By Elizabeth Prata

I was working on an essay about the Drag Queen programs in public libraries but I simply could not continue. Here is a repost of an essay I wrote in June 2012. Joel Osteen is a false teacher, you guys.

——————————

Joel Osteen worships himself
At a D.C. rally, it’s clear that the megachurch pastor’s childlike faith is really about the power of narcissism

The article is from Salon.com, a fairly liberal media outlet. I found it interesting that Mr Osteen’s obvious narcissism is apparent even to someone who may be liberal and may be an outsider to the faith.

Pastor Mike Abendroth at No Compromise Radio and Bethlehem Bible Church says that when people realize Abendroth is a pastor, they try and make an attempt at spiritual connection with him by saying, “I listen to Joel Osteen.” He said as an example to one lady who’d shared that, he had replied,

“Joel Osteen doesn’t like to talk about sin because he says we all know about it and we all get enough about that so let’s talk about other positive things. Paul talked about sin first. Peter talked about sin first. John the Baptist talked about sin first. All the prophets talked about sin first. And Jesus even talked about sin first. If you don’t know you’re a sinner, you don’t need to know about your savior. If you know how great your sin is, you don’t need a greater Savior than all your sin.”

The Salon.com author Mr Chris Lehmann stated in the article that it’s obvious Osteen “subtly downgrades” the magnificent and transcendent God “into a glorified lifestyle concierge”…into a “genial cruise director,” “through talismanic faith in positive utterance.”

He wrote, “The believer’s chief task is to ratify the preexisting divine script of success in his or her individual life — and then to bear testimony to that joyous transformation in a community of like-minded success believers.’

He’s right, that is what Mr Osteen preaches, and it is a far cry from true worship of the Living God.

So what IS worship of the True and Living God? Exodus 15:2 gives one example: “The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”

Psalm 66:4: “All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.”

Rather, in the article, Lehmann states, Osteen has the “outlook of someone possessed of grandiose fantasies about the imperial reach of the self.”

It is not about us. I don’t recall David preaching or writing one Psalm that says we can have our best life now. I don’t recall Jeremiah the weeping prophet pronouncing that ‘It’s your time’. Mr Lehmann ends devastatingly with this thought on Mr Osteen’s approach, which is a:

theology-free success gospel, pitched exclusively to tales of individual triumph. Osteen’s sermons all begin with a self-empowering chant from believers. “This is my Bible,” it goes in part; “I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have.” But there are legions of dead — now confined by definition, it’s true, in the hated past — who come bearing the testimony that the Bible is not actually about you.

It is about the Holy One of Israel, the Word made flesh!!

Woodcut, 1695, Title, “Word” by artist Johann Christoph Weigel. Source

Fear God! Keep your vows! “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.” (Ecclesiastes 5:1).

 

Posted in dscernment, false teacher, joel osteen

Joel Osteen’s evil gospel

The following Christian Post article was published this week.

Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen says he isn’t cheating anyone by not talking about Hell and repentance, insisting that people feel guilty enough already, and he wants to lift up believers instead of bringing them down. 

When asked in an Easter Sunday interview by CBS News’ “Sunday Morning” program “Do you feel like you’re cheating people by not telling them about the Hell part? Or repentance part?” Osteen answered: “No, I really don’t, because it’s a different approach.”

Please understand how evil Joel Osteen is. Before we go any further, let’s have a biblical discussion of the definition of evil. From Bible Study Tools:

This essay uses the term “moral evil” to include both social offenses (ethics, murder, theft) and cultic sins (those offenses aimed directly against the deity- blasphemy, idolatry). Moral evil, therefore, whether its setting be cultic or social, when carried out may be considered a sin. Cultic values are addressed in the first four of the Ten Commandments (Exod 20:3-11; Deut 5:7-15) and by the first of Jesus’ “Great Commandments” (Matt 22:37-40; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27 ; cf. Deut 6:5); ethics are considered in the last six of the Ten Commandments (Exod 20:12-17 ; Deut 5:16-21 ) and by the second “Great Commandment” (Lev 19:18 ). 

If God is the definer of what is good (2 Sam 10:12; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19), right (Gen 18:25), and just (Job 34:12 ), it is not surprising that the Bible never attributes moral or cultic evil to him (Job 34:10). Indeed, he hates evil (Psalm 5:6) and is the avenging judge who punishes those who practice it (Isa 31:2 ; Micah 2:1). 

Because what is right was what was ordained by God, and what is wrong was what was proscribed by him, deviation from this paradigm constitutes what is evil. The most common term for cultic evil in the Old Testament (used over 200 times) is awon, “perversion, ” possibly related to the verb awah, “to be bent,” “to twist.” As such, it refers to what is theologically perverted in some way. 

 Variance from God’s moral law is evil. Theological perversion is evil.

In these days of tolerance and all-inclusiveness, people are reluctant to call evil what it is. The Bible, however, is clear that anything not of God is of satan. And satan is evil.

A different Gospel is evil.
Workers of iniquity are evil.
Immorality is evil.
Deluding people is evil.
Works salvation is evil.

That ground laid, here is an article which appeared this week in the Christian Mail, originally in The Christian Post

Joel Osteen Says He’s Not Cheating People by Not Preaching About Hell

Lakewood Church Pastor Joel Osteen says he isn’t cheating anyone by not talking about Hell and repentance, insisting that people feel guilty enough already, and he wants to lift up believers instead of bringing them down. 

When asked in an Easter Sunday interview by CBS News’ “Sunday Morning” program “Do you feel like you’re cheating people by not telling them about the Hell part? Or repentance part?” Osteen answered: “No, I really don’t, because it’s a different approach.

He continued: “You know, it’s not hellfire and brimstone. But I say most people are beaten down enough by life. They already feel guilty enough. They’re not doing what they should, raising their kids — we can all find reasons. So I want them to come to Lakewood or our meetings and be lifted up, to say, ‘You know what? I may not be perfect, but I’m moving forward. I’m doing better.’ And I think that motivates you to do better.” 

Osteen has on numerous occasions denied that he peaches a “watered-down” version of the Gospel, stating in a February 2012 message that for many years religion has pushed down people, and people have been told that they can’t measure up to God.

“My goal is to make God good …”

His goal is to deny the Gospel, omit the Bible parts he personally finds unpalatable, and to REMAKE God in another image. This is evil.

But are Osteen’s followers hapless victims of an unscrupulous wolf? yes. And no.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:3).

Dishonorable people who already know they are guilty, want to be indulged in their sin, and heap up teachers like Osteen to suit their dishonorable needs. And unscrupulous Osteen is only to happy to modify the Gospel in order to retain those dishonorable people. It is a match made in hell.

Here is Justin Peters explaining Osteen’s theology and how it does not plumb with scripture. The 3-minute video summarizes,

Joel Osteen is a phenomenal false teacher and deceiver. He has attached the “Christianity” brand to his self affirmation, feel good pagan religion, and those who lust after his trinkets follow him by the millions down that broad road to destruction. Evidently it must be broad in order to accommodate their vast numbers.

Justin Peters in his series Clouds Without Water (http://justinpeters.org/) does a masterful job exposing the Word of Faith heresy and calling true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to more serious discernment… because the hour is real late folks…

Here is John MacArthur rebuking Joel Osteen’s theology. The 6-minute video summary states:

Pastor John MacArthur exposes Joel Osteen as a pagan religionist, a quasi-pantheist, and an agent of Satan. He critiques Joel’s book, quotes, and prayer and compares them with what the Bible teaches. This is an excerpt from John MacArthur’s sermon, “A True Knowledge of the True God.” Used by permission. You can read the transcript, watch, or download the full video here: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/90-397

Posted in discernment, false teachers, joel osteen

What Joyce Meyer believes & teaches, what Joel Osteen believes & teaches

On Twitter, A Call for Discernment ‏( @call4discern) posted a few pictorial cheat sheets on what several of the false teachers believes and teaches. I asked permission to post two of them here, What Joyce Meyer believes and teacher,s and what Joel Osteen believes and teaches.

A Call for Discernment’s bio blurb states that it “calls for Believers to stand and contend for the Faith. Our ministry is to expose the wolves that have infiltrated the flock.”

Click to enlarge

A Call 4 Discernment posted; “The teachings of Joel Osteen compared to Scripture. #falseteachers pic.twitter.com/Cp7AHlSzL9”. Click to enlarge

Note: the falseteachers.org website at the bottom of Joyce Meyers photo is a redirect to a church in Orlando FL.

Posted in discernment, false teacher, joel osteen

I avidly used to watch Joel Osteen every week

Source

This is a testimony to the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said He would keep and protect His sheep, and He has done so with me.

He imparts spiritual life to the person who has faith in Jesus (2 Timothy 3:5; Ephesians 2:1; I John 5:11-12). He is the very Spirit of Truth,

that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. (John 14:17)

The Holy Spirit teaches us, and He has taught me faithfully since the moment of my conversion.

“These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:25-26).

I was saved at age 42. I lived in New England. I had gone though several years of a trial, and I reached my wit’s end. Never had I not been able to figure things out myself, teach myself, handle things myself. But at rock bottom, I came to the realization that I couldn’t. This was the Holy Spirit convicting me, and through His work, I realized I was a sinner. I had always thought I was a good person, but now I knew I was not good. All those Christians talking about Jesus were right! Only He could make me ‘good’ as I clumsily called my sin. I cried out to Jesus and I was saved.

New England is the most godless place in America.

A 2012 Gallup Poll found that the five least religious states in the country, based on the percentage of self-identified “very religious” Americans living there, are all in New England. Vermont is the least religious, followed immediately by New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. At number 11, Connecticut might as well be New England’s shining beacon of faith. (source)

The landing place of the Puritans has been ceded to the devil. What is it like to grow up in a place like that? It means a person can live and work and never see a bible. Never see someone reading it. Never hear the name “Jesus.” Never go to a church. Never even have it cross your mind.

Oh, there were moments when I was stuffed into a Methodist church basement and given a workbook and gone through the motions in some weak accession to a pale and long evaporated cultural vapor. I remember guitars and sitting in a circle in a Unitarian church. One or two Catholic visits. But church, bible, religion was never part of a strong upbringing. It was decades-long self-glorification-fest punctuated by occasional spots of “religion.” Sundays were for Sunday car rides to Newport, picnics, and be quiet because Dad was napping.

So when the conversion happened (2004) it was a few months before it even occurred to me to get a bible. I’d never even seen a bible store. A male friend had suggested “You ought to think about getting a bible.” I was stumped. I didn’t have a clue even to where to get one. I called a female friend, and 20 minutes later she arrived at my office door with one to give me. [Lesson for me: Always respond immediately to anyone asking about anything related to Jesus.]

I wasn’t in a church yet.  I thought it was just as good to watch Joel Osteen. He was on TV during Sunday mornings at that time, in my area. 2004 was a big year for Osteen and Lakewood. I remember Joel speaking about how God was moving in their lives because after many bumps in the road, they had acquired the Compaq Center. I thought he must be a good preacher because of the size of the Lakewood’s growing congregation and how much money was pouring in.

I remember settling in on my big couch, with a notebook, an unopened bible on the coffee table in
front of me. I felt very good that I never missed Joel. For the next 6 months, every Sunday, unopened bible, listening to speeches that made me feel very self-satisfied. The rest of the week I went on as before my conversion. Yet I felt I was now a religious person.

I’d scribble down the biblical addresses as Joel spoke, and after a few months I began a pattern of scanning back over what notes I’d written. I frowned, because they were scanty. Not just the notes, but I noticed that there weren’t many biblical addresses jotted down. There is nothing like quantitative evidence staring you in the face.

So for the next few months I’d settle on the couch, still with a notebook, but this time with open bible, and listen religiously to Joel. Things went by too fast for me to both write and read the bible while he was speaking, so I’d jot down the main concepts in his speech. I had been an academic researcher and writer, and was at that time a journalist. I could grasp the main thought, and I paired it with every biblical address and reference Joel mentioned. I began to notice he mentioned people or events in the bible a lot, but not the address.

Screen capture from Osteen sermon,
audience repeating Osteen bible mantra

I began looking up the people and events he was mentioning in order to get a wider perspective. I used the internet for this, to Google names and events like this- “David, Saul, on the run.” Remember, I was coming from a completely godless society, tabula rasa, babe in Christ by a few months. ALL this was new to me. I did not have a discipler and I was not in a church.

After some months, almost a year now, I noticed a distinct pattern in Joel’s speeches. First, on the practical level, they were some of the best speeches I’d ever heard. The academic in me was interested in the high quality of their structure, the speech’s cadence, and their obvious intent: to make you feel good. I was amazed Joel had the ability to sustain this same rhythm and cadence every week. When it came time for the inevitable moment of climax, I always knew at least 30 seconds prior. You can see it coming. You know what he is going to say at minute 15, minute 22. It was spell-binding. Emphasis on spell. The academic in me liked this. The growing Christian in me was put off by this. It was confusing.

I began to get a kind of mental queasy feeling. Things weren’t adding up. Biblically, I mean. Rather than be carried along by the spell, it helped to have the notes, main ideas, and biblical addresses written down. This anchored me and kept me from being swept.

Meanwhile, the Spirit was doing a mighty work inside me. As He came to indwell my flesh, glimmers of holiness were growing. Tendrils of Holy Ghost smoke were encircling my mind, pushing away the pollution and giving it clearing from a lifetime of corruption.

After a while the Spirit had given me enough of a footing to be able to think about the verses as Joel was speaking. I distinctly remember the day that the Spirit’s sun broke through my mind. I was listening to Joel, open bible on my lap, knowing by now thanks to the Spirit to read above and below the mentioned verse. Joel ramped up to one of his main points, mentioned the verse, and as I looked at the bible and then looked back up at Joel, I shouted out loud, “THAT’S NOT WHAT IT MEANS!”

Eleven years later I still remember how deeply betrayed I’d felt when that moment came. It was as if I was looking at the great gulf fixed itself. On the one hand I was looking at my bible and what it was saying, and on the other hand looking at Joel across the room in the TV saying what he says the bible says. The two didn’t match up. I was shocked to the core and thoroughly horrified.

I remember muttering, “What a gyp.” It was exactly like the scene in Wizard of Oz when the curtain was drawn back to reveal not a powerful being but a crumbly old man with a squeaky voice. What a gyp.

It was exactly like the scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie eagerly used the secret decoder ring to decode the secret message from the Radio program and it turned out to be an ad for Ovaltine. Ralphie said, “A crummy commercial?” The moment on the couch was my Ovaltine moment.

It had never once occurred to me that a famous preacher, such a capable speaker, would not be able or willing to present biblical verses simply and with conviction, explaining what they meant. It wasn’t a matter of his ignorance. No one can write such deft speeches week after week who didn’t have some mental chops. The man is obviously intelligent. That he used his intelligence to obfuscate the Word rather than illuminate it was devastating to me. I felt unhinged. I was angry and felt personally betrayed.

The precious and wonderful Holy Spirit kept me growing from there. He grew me rapidly. The entire period was about a year and a half. A year of watching naively and a half year of growing discernment. I never looked back. I moved to the Bible Belt and got into a Baptist church. A good solid, little rural church that sings hymns and meets on Wednesday nights for supper, and who prays together and who really care.

I personally believe that not only did the Spirit hold me but He allowed this to happen in order to teach me discernment. I lived the entire discernment process from my conversion to the eventual epiphany. There were many lessons. This is all to God’s glory and His Spirit who keeps us in His hand.

#5: False teachers obscure their false doctrine behind eloquent speech and what appears to be impressive logic. Just as a prostitute paints and perfumes herself to appear more attractive and more alluring, the false teacher hides his blasphemies and dangerous doctrine behind powerful arguments and eloquent use of language. He offers to his listeners the spiritual equivalent of a poisonous pill coated in gold; though it may appear beautiful and valuable, it is still deadly. Tim Challies, 7 Marks of a False Teacher

That thing Joel does at the beginning of each speech, where he holds the bible aloft and says the mantra “This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess, my mind is alert, my heart is receptive. I will never be the same, in Jesus’ name.” It’s brainwashing.

Source No Compromise Radio

Of course he has to brainwash us in saying ‘we will be taught the word of God.’ Because he doesn’t. What he says and what he does doesn’t match up. Lesson learned.

There are preachers out there who give speeches that they call sermons and say they’re giving the truth but it’s lies. That liars existed within a place they call the church was new news to me.

Large congregations and money pouring in and smooth talkers and popularity don’t equate to meaningful biblical exposition. Lesson learned. Don’t forget how easy it is for the babes in Christ to believe these things. Often, they don’t talk about them but they believe them nonetheless. I was so naive.

For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:18)

The key was, the absolute key, was that nothing happened to break me of Joel’s spell until I opened the bible for myself.

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11)

What a wonderful lessons the Spirit gave me. The lesson was that there is nothing like the bible to explain the bible, that there is nothing more precious than the Word of God. However, as precious as it is, the Word of God does no Christian any good if it stays unopened on the coffee table.

Discipling: it’s critical. I was already older when I came to Christ, and then I went ahead and spent another year failing to glorify Him. I know that Jesus is in complete control and He allowed this for His reasons, but I still feel terrible of the wasted time.

Though this experience was ten and eleven years ago, I still remember the sense of personal betrayal and my spiritual horror when the scales fell from my eyes. The revulsion I felt was seeing that a person could use the bible for personal gain. This may seem a obvious conclusion to some people, but to a babe in Christ, this was a new thought. Oh, I knew there were religious charlatans out there, I saw their empires crumble all through the 1980s and ’90s with the successive televangelist scandals. I thought Joel was good because no such scandal had happened and after all, he held up his bible.

I have a sense of righteous anger over Osteen, a feeling of repugnance and hatred for what he does in God’s name. I feel the same about Beth Moore and what she does to women in God’s name. I agonize in white-hot fervency when I see those two do what they do to pollute, cast mud on Jesus’ name, draw away the babes, use God’s word for personal gain. I also feel a sense of relief and gratitude to the Holy Spirit, my Savior and Holy Father for allowing me that season of following a false teacher so I could repent and love Him even more. I went through a season of undiscernment-to-discernment very quickly. I still stand amazed at the power of the Spirit to clear my mind and illuminate the Word so clearly and powerfully. I am in awe of His power. I am eternally grateful for His ministry.

Now you know why I always urge prayer. Now you know why I always urge us to stay in the Word. I’m not immune to life’s distractions. I include myself in that urging.

In Galatians 5:12 Paul was urging the people in the Galatian church to beware of the circumcision group, who said one must be circumcised to be fully in the faith. Paul said,

“I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!”

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary explains,

“were even cut off—even as they desire your foreskin to be cut off and cast away by circumcision, so would that they were even cut off from your communion, being worthless as a castaway foreskin (Ga 1:7, 8; compare Php 3:2). … if circumcision be not enough for them, then let them have excision also; an outburst hardly suitable to the gravity of an apostle. But Ga 5:9, 10 plainly point to excommunication as the judgment threatened against the troublers: and danger of the bad “leaven” spreading, as the reason for it.”

Rough speech about these usurpers? Pitched holy anger? Yes. Just as it should be.

In Titus 1:11, we read of false teachers,

They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach.

The Commentary again, explains that silencing them means “mouths … stopped—literally, “muzzled,” “bridled” as an unruly beast (compare Ps 32:9).”

Alternately, seeing the purity of the Holy Spirit and His gentle leading me away from such unruly beasts, these dogs who must be muzzled, is so awe-inspiring. The Light the Spirit brings to the Word, His answer to prayer for discernment, His keeping us in Jesus hand, pointing to Jesus always, oh, what glory and blessing.

He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (John 16:14)

He does, dear brethren, He does. This is my testimony of discernment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading

What is the Role of the Holy Spirit Today?

The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

January 2014: Watch Joel Osteen on ‘Larry King Now’ to Learn Why Megachurch Pastor Attracts Muslim and Atheist Followers
Larry King: Osteen has largest church, 10 million people see Osteen on TV every week, his broadcast is in 100 countries, 10.5 million people download the podcast every week, the arena itself has 16,000 seats.

Posted in Uncategorized

FIled under: Sadly, Not Satire: Joel Osteen’s Bible

No this is not from The Onion.

From the book synopsis:

Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the founding of Lakewood Church, this bible is designed for everyday use. It will be filled with years worth of Joel’s inspirational and encouraging insights. It is created to guide both new and old readers of the scriptures in how to apply the life changing principles of God’s Word to their daily lives. The eternal promises of God, combined with the special features of this unique bible will be a daily reminder of God’s purpose and plan for your lives.

Pastor Joel Osteen has a dynamic spiritual presence in the United States and is heard across the globe via the televised broadcast from Houston, Texas. Millions tune in and are able to find a closer connection to God through Osteen’s practical application of Scripture to their lives. No spiritual leader is more in demand than Pastor Joel Osteen, and his audience is hungry for the guidance this new bible will provide. This bible will feature a presentation page with the This Is My Bible statement, book introductions, reading plans, devotional inserts, purposed scriptures, and indices. The text is the New Living Translation.

Sadly, the screen shot from Amazon isn’t satire either.

Posted in bill cosby, Lakewood, self-worship, victoria osteen

Victoria Osteen: "When we obey God, we’re not doing it for God…we’re doing it for ourselves"; Bill Cosby responds, video

Two days ago, a friend emailed me the link to an amazing clip of a video going viral. It is a 38-second clip of Victoria Osteen, co-pastor with Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church. In the clip, she is telling the audience that they are to worship themselves, because God is pleased when they do that. I am not making this up.

I assure you.

Here is the transcript courtesy of Cross Map, Heather Clark, the same author as the piece at Christian News I mention and link to below.

Here’s Victoria Osteen, speaking to approximately 16,000 attendees,

I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God-I mean, that’s one way to look at it-we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” she declares in the undated 36-second clip with her husband standing by her side and nodding. “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…

So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy,” Osteen continues. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?

I searched to see if the video was a hoax. It HAS to be, right? Yet…the Joel Osteen.com graphic was embedded in the video, and the two figures on stage indeed were indeed of Victoria and Joel. Her lips moved in time with the sound of the words, so it hadn’t been dubbed or altered. I looked at Snopes and Hoax Slayer but nothing came up. Though the clip was from their website, unfortunately only the Joel-portions of the Lakewood services are put up (that I could find) not the first half with the music and the short message from Victoria prior to when Joel begins his speech.

So I waited.

It kind of took the social media by storm. It is such a blatant statement, shocking to our core. No, we are not surprised an Osteen would say something like this, but it’s shocking nonetheless.

In adulterous marriages, when one spouse intuits that the other spouse is engaging in adultery, our brain handles the information. However it is an entirely different story when we are confronted with the cold hard fact of it. We are not surprised, because we kind of cognitively knew it all along, but it is still a shock to the system emotionally, through and through. Or so I read.

The Osteens and all their kin are spiritual adulterers. We know it- cognitively. We know it theologically. But when we see it, we are as emotionally shocked as if Victoria had put rollers on her bed and theatrically performed actual adultery while rolling down Main Street. There is a difference between knowing, and knowing.

Essay edited to include this thought:
What is shocking about Mrs Osteen’s speech is that they aren’t even bothering to hide their apostasy anymore. Usually they cloak their speeches and comments in Christianese, paying lip service to Jesus. Here, that veneer is ripped away and they simply come out as who they are: evil blasphemers.

Meanwhile Christian News Net published a thorough article on the video and the Osteens. It’s here. And that was that. I wasn’t going to write about it because Christian News said all there was to say, and better than I could. Until I saw this video on Twitter. It’s from Manuel Brambila ‏@mbrambila, who I do not know, retweeted by Bjørn Storm, who I do know. I took a look at the video, it is on Bryant Harris’ Youtube page. But because so many of these videos are scrubbed from the net, I downloaded the video to my own hard drive and then put it up here. Hopefully this will keep the Archival Evidence of Gross and Craven Apostasy intact.

Though the Christian News article is good, I think this response is better.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further reading

Victoria Osteen Ripped for Telling Church ‘Just Do Good For Your Own Self’; Worship Is Not for God, ‘You’re Doing it for Yourself’

Posted in discernment, false teachers, God, joel osteen, spirit

Joel Osteen talked about Jesus how many times?

In a recent blog essay I’d mused,

I used to wonder why it is that so many of the false teachers tend to speak freely of God but not so much of Jesus. They rarely say the name of Jesus when they are teaching but instead they often say “God.

Joel Osteen

You’ve seen it too, I’m sure. So many pastors, teachers, lay-people will freely say God but not Jesus. Well, someone else was wondering that too, and he quantified it. Here are his results:

Joel Osteen Likes God…He just doesn’t like Jesus [A Twitter Survey of @JoelOsteen]

I often talk about the Christ-less Gospel of Joel Osteen. Whenever people ask me what I mean by that, I always tell them this; Joel Osteen does not talk about the Christian Gospel.

That being said, there is something very important to understand about Joel Osteen: He does talk about God. A lot. You cannot accuse the man of not mentioning him because he’s all over that. Here’s the thing though- Its never really in a personal sense. Joel talk about God, but its always in a vague amorphous sense. There is certainly nothing distinctly Christian or Biblical about it. There’s nothing doctrinal or theological about the way he talks about God. Rather is an ethereal, shapeless, formless, customizable, singular being thing that is out there called God that functions like a cosmic vending machine whose sole purpose is seemingly to bless you and make your life better. Even when he mentions God, it’s not ABOUT God, but it’s about what God can do for YOU.

Why do I say “singular being”? Simple. While mention of a “God” may be plastered all over his twitter feed, Jesus is Not. Joel Osteen rarely, if ever, mentioned Jesus. He rarely, if ever, mentions Christ. This is true when you listen to his sermons, read his tweets, and listen to him on whatever talk show he’s touring. Let me give you some basic numbers

Just for kicks I did a quick survey of all Joel Osteen tweets in the last year. I can’t go further back, so we’ll stick with going back to July 8, 2013, which is a little more than a year ago. Out of Joel Osteens 806 tweets, not including any of his replies to other people, he mentions “God”…

Go to the link to read the numerical results. In my essay, I’d proposed a reason why so many of the false teachers speak of God but not of Jesus when they are teaching,

Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

If they don’t have the Holy Spirit they can’t teach Jesus is Lord because they can’t say it. Like when Jesus said at the Last Supper that one of them will betray Him, all 11 of the Disciples said Is it I, Lord? but Judas could not say that because he was apostate and he said “Is it I, Rabbi?” (Matthew 26:21-25)”

Here is John MacArthur explaining part b in the 1 Corinthians 12:3 verse I’d put above,

Now let’s go to the positive in verse 3. I was going to get through verse 11. Can you believe that? Verse 3… yes, you can believe that. Verse 3, And the other side…here’s the positive test…”That no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit.” This is the positive. When somebody comes into your midst with all of his faculties, and with all of his mind, and with all of his heart, and with all of his being, says, “Jesus is Lord,” you know that’s of the Holy Spirit. Now it isn’t simply the words, it’s the commitment. No man can say…and the word say here doesn’t just mean to pair. A skeptic can say, “Jesus is Lord.” You can pay a guy ten dollars and say, “Would you say Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord. Here’s your ten dollars.” That isn’t the point. It’s not quite that simplistic. No man can truly say, no man can truly confess, no man can truly acknowledge, “Jesus is the Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. When that deep conviction of genuine understanding about who He is comes forth it is of the Spirit. … So the Spirit prompted confession is distinguished from the counterfeit, by the acknowledgement that Jesus, the Man, is, in fact, God.

Just food for thought. As a person who loves to quantify things I appreciated the Twitter survey! In discernment it is not only what a person says, but what he doesn’t say. And noticing an absence takes time and skill. Listen for what a person fails to speak of as much as you’re listening to what they do say.

Posted in discernment, joel osteen, mammon

Was Joel Osteen really charging $850 per ticket to attend "America’s Night of Hope"?

The answer to the above question is no…and yes.

At the following website it is being reported that at a recent Joel Osteen venue, (Yankee Stadium, June 7) scalpers were charging $850 per ticket to hear the (false) preacher speak-

According to Essence Music Festival – a 3 day pass to see Prince, Lionel Richie, Mary J Blige, Erykah Badu and more on (July 4-6, 2014) in New Orleans is only $249, with 111 tickets remaining. Considering that lineup of Superstar Talent, how much would you pay to hear “Christian Superstar” Joel Osteen preach the Gospel of Jesus? According to StubHub.com, ticket scalpers are selling tickets for The Joel Osteen Tour for as much as $850. SEE COST PER SEAT!

On the StubHub.com site, tickets for this event are being resold by Ticket Scalpers therefore the price is currently ranging from $18 in the Nose Bleed Seats, all the way up to $850 if you desire to look directly up Joel Osteen’s Nose.

Stubhub.com is also reporting that the normal cost of tickets in Delta Suit B without the Scalper mark up is $592.

Since when did scalpers start scalping church tickets you ask? Since 2005, when Joel Osteen proved he could sellout a stadium. Traditionally ticket scalpers are only interested in sold out events. Apparently the scalpers feel this event will sell out, and fans of Joel Osteen are willing to pay their asking premium. Regardless of the Performer on the stage – even if that performer just so happens to be a Preacher, the scalpers somehow seem to know how to make a profit, and they’re planning to profit as Joel profits.

Mammon, n.: The god of the world’s leading religion. ~Ambrose Bierce
For some crazy reason Christians are willing to pay the high cost of these tickets just to get a front row view of Joel Osteen, prices that even tower above “A List” performers like Beyoncé.

As reported here, Osteen feels that preaching the whole counsel of God is not his niche. Osteen believes that to preach sin or wrath or judgment is not “his calling”. Instead, he preaches feel-good messages, because everybody’s on a journey.

HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill asked whether gay marriage is against the fundamental “rules” of Christianity. “It would be, but I don’t really focus on a lot of those things,” Osteen said. “I try to stay in my lane of what I feel called to do. [Gay marriage] does come up in interviews and things, but that’s not my core message.” What his message does include, Osteen said, is advising his congregation on how to let go of the past, raise good children and achieve their dreams.

Of course it seems good to the people attending to hear such smooth speech as that. Smooth as butter.

“His speech was smooth as butter,
yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
yet they were drawn swords.”
~Psalm 55:21

S. Lewis Johnson preached on Hosea 10 in 1984. Though he was not speaking of Osteen in particular, in the quote below he was speaking of all who have a divided heart, a theme recurring in both Hosea 10:2 and the Psalm 55 verse.

You ever met any individuals like that? They have a wonderful way of speaking smoothly, and if you’re not on your guard, you’ll be taken in by their deceptiveness, their falsity, their trickiness. And so what he is saying is, their heart is smooth, their heart is false, their heart is tricky; it is divided. In other words, outwardly they are followers of Yahweh, the true God, but really they’re followers of Baal and of their own selves.”

Gill’s Exposition explains the Psalm 55 verse, the heart is divided, and one only outwardly follows God, like Judas: “such the words of Judas, when he said to Christ, “hail, master”, and kissed him, Matthew 26:49; … but war was in his heart; even a civil war, rebellion against his prince;”

Make no mistake. Joel Osteen is at war with Christ. ‘His calling’ is to lead many sons into rebellion with him. Beware this false wolf.

In fairness, though, I can’t blame Osteen personally for the ticket prices. In order to minimize scalping, the Joel Osteen Organization does not sell tickets in large blocks. However, what does an $850 ticket say about us as people? As the article above stated, “For some crazy reason Christians are willing to pay…” Scalpers can only command the price if people are willing to pay it.

I think of Charles Spurgeon, dubbed “The Prince of Preachers” in the 1800s. He preached widely and constantly in the UK and in Europe. In 1876 however, he hadn’t had time to preach in America, despite the Redpath Lyceum Bureau having invited Spurgeon many times. When the Bureau noticed an advertisement in another newspaper trumpeting Spurgeon’s imminent arrival in the US, the Bureau write to Spurgeon asking Spurgeon to engage with them instead. The Bureau offered “one thousand dollars in gold for every lecture you deliver in America, and pay all your expenses to and from your home, and put you in the most popular auspices in the country.”

Spurgeon replied that the competing article was a “deliberate invention from a hard-up editor”, for he had no plans whatsoever to arrive in the US for a tour. He clarified that he was not a lecturer, and most importantly, “nor would I receive money for preaching.”

Posted in joel osteen, pope francis

Joel Osteen meets with Pope, praises Pope’s ecumenism & inclusiveness "to take everyone in"

Christian News Network reports,

Megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen was among a group of political and religious leaders who met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday. According to reports, Osteen was part of a delegation organized by the International Foundation in an effort to encourage interfaith relations and ecumenicism. Utah Senator Mike Lee (R), a Mormon, Gayle Beebe, the president of the interdenominational Westmont College in California, and Pastor Tim Timmons, founder of South Coast Community Church also in California, were among those who who greeted the pope, along with Osteen.

“I just felt very honored and very humbled,” Osteen told local television station Click 2 Houston. “It was amazing. And even to go back into that part of the Vatican—there’s so much history there, the place that they took us through. You feel that deep respect and reverence for God.”

“I love the fact that’s he’s made the Church more inclusive,” he said. “Not trying to make it smaller, but to try to make it larger—to take everybody in. So, that just resonates with me.”

I bet it does. Please be warned that in no uncertain terms Joel Osteen is a false teacher, and so is the Pope. Gladly, not everyone has drunk the Kool-Aid, as this pastor bluntly demonstrates from the same article.

Joel Osteen has joined the rank of all other popular ministries in bowing his knee to the anti-Christ system, and those that blindly follow his leadership will be the first ones in line with their hand out to be marked by the beast,” Pastor Mark Herridge Sr. of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Livingston, Texas told Christian News Network.

“Any Protestant ministry that links up with the pope and Catholicism is betraying the sacrifice of millions of faithful Christians that have died at the hands of this brutal, dictatorial and oppressive religion that has never represented the Church of the Living God as outlined in New Testament teaching,” he said”

GotQuestions discusses ecumenism, the notion that the church can be all-inclusive and partner with false religions in a spirit of tolerance and unity, and still be the church of Jesus Christ.

Walter A. Elwell, in The Concise Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, defines ecumenism as “The organized attempt to bring about the cooperation and unity among Christians.” 

…As seen with the publication of Evangelicals and Catholics Together, there is a major emphasis in our day on ecumenical unity among Evangelicals and Roman Catholics. Those who promote such unity state that both are Christian and both are viable, God-honoring systems of faith. But clearly the substantial differences between the two groups render ECT a ridiculous document. Biblical Christianity and Roman Catholicism are two different religions that practice and believe different things about how one is saved, the authority of the Bible, the priesthood of believers, the nature of man, the work of Christ on the cross, etc. The list of irreconcilable differences between what the Bible says and what the Roman Catholic Church says makes any joint mission between the two absolutely impossible. Those who deny this are not being true to what they say they believe, no matter which side they are on. Any Catholic who is serious about his faith will deny what a serious evangelical Christian believes and vice-versa.

Osteen was only comfortable in the first place inside the Vatican with the Pope because he is false. And yes, the “he” refers to both men.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading

Bill Muehlengerg examines Osteen’s teaching compared to scripture

One note of correction, in the above article, Muehlenberg says “Osteen is charging $850” to attend his stadium events. That’s not quite the case. The figure of $850 is true, but it’s scalpers who are charging those fees.

Posted in discernment, joel osteen, scripture twisting

A short note on Joel Osteen

To research some background on a recent blog essay, I listened to a short interview by a reporter from the Wall Street Journal blog and Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston. He was being interviewed on the occasion of the release of his latest book (October 2013) “Break Out!” In the interview, the reporter asked Osteen what he thought of the (then) new Pope, Francis. Osteen lauded the new pope. He loved the Pope’s “inclusive” message and how he got out “among the people.”

The reporter picked up on Osteen’s mention of inclusiveness and asked him how to reconcile what the bible says about, say, gay people, and welcoming same sex couples to church. ‘How do you walk that line?’ the reporter asked.

Osteen said, “Jesus said ‘you will know them by their love for one another’ so you have to say, you know, I may not agree with you, but I’m going to accept you and I’m going to love you. We believe what the bible teaches but we also we believe the bible says to accept and love everyone.

The scripture Osteen was twisting here is “you will know them by their fruits”. (Matthew 7:16). Jesus most assuredly did NOT say you will know them by their love. And, in an ironic turn of events, just who is it that we will know? Jesus is actually talking about false prophets.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-16a)

Does the bible teach us to accept everyone? It sounds nice, but no. “Accepting” same sex couples in church is accepting that they are deliberately flaunting their sin in direct opposition to God’s holy standards. It is the same with any unrepentant person. If a drunk were to come drunk to church every single week, with a vodka bottle, saying “I’m PROUD of my drunkenness!” would you accept that as God-honoring church behavior? This is why we have a process for church discipline, to bring that person to repentance. If they do not repent, we excommunicate them. We do NOT accept flagrant sin. It dishonors the name of Christ, and it also allows sin to spread like a cancer. God wants His bride to remain pure and undefiled. (Ephesians 5:25-27). We never “accept” sin. Never. Christ’s blood is too precious.

More to the point, accepting people’s sin is paving the way to hell for them. The Lord will richly repay Joel Osteen for his evil deeds.

Asked about why he is successful, he said,
“I try to make my message not heavy on doctrine necessarily”

Well, of course. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,” (1 Timothy 4:3)

I hope you will not even post one quote from Mr Osteen on your Facebook page, or buy one book of his, or listen to even one more second of his “sermons.” He is a scripture twisting, hell paving, evil minister of darkness. He is untaught and unstable.

The untaught and unstable twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures. (2 Peter 3:16)