Posted in dscernment, false teacher, joel osteen

Joel Osteen’s evil gospel

By Elizabeth Prata

The Bible tells us that there will be false teachers, wolves and heretics. They have malintent, in other words, they want to do you and your church harm. They aren’t simply misguided or temporarily misunderstanding kind people, they are predators out to get you.

They “will secretly introduce destructive heresies,” 2 Peter 2:1
They “distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them”. (Acts 20:30b)
They are “rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception” (Titus 1:10b)
They “are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good”. (Titus 1:16b)

They have an agenda of purposeful deception, (Acts 20:30) and their motive for this deception is dishonest gain. (1 Timothy 6:5).

Continue reading “Joel Osteen’s evil gospel”
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 ( 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:

Posted in discernment, joel osteen, victoria osteen

The "good" in God’s plan for you life

Here is an exchange on Twitter that occurred this evening.

The Prosperity gospel/Word of Faith that the Osteens and their kind promote is a deathly error. It drags away the unwary, it devastates the witness of the true Christians, and it condemns the Osteens to hell.

The “good” plan for your life, according to the Osteens, is a healthy checkbook, a large house, health, and happiness.

However the “Good” that Jesus plans for us may or may not include any of the above. Peter was told by Jesus that Peter will stretch out his hands and go where he will not want to go (crucifixion. John 21:18). Paul was told he will be tormented in every city will he ever travel to.

And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.” (Acts 20:22-23)

Stephen was bashed in the head with rocks, dying a martyr’s death. This does not sound like “a good plan for your life.”

What satan offered Eve was a temptation involving the lust of the flesh, the pride of the eyes and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16). In other words, the world. And the Osteens offer the world, too, wrapped in a veneer of prosperity and ‘happiness’.

Was Stephen happy when he was being stoned? No but yes. He was in pain but also saw the Jesus in glory standing at the right hand of the Father. Was Paul “happy” when he was beaten and left for dead? Or put in chains in jail? No but yes. He wrote in Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

I have a feeling if Victoria Osteen was beaten and left for dead she would not have the wherewithal nor the capacity to shout Rejoice! That is because the Osteens attach happiness to their worldly circumstances. Paul did no such thing. He rejoiced with friends at supper, while teaching in the synagogue making disciples, sewing a tent, or while sitting in chains in the sewer sludge. That’s because his ‘happiness’, prosperity, joy, came from above, not the world.

The ‘good’ in God’s plan is Good not because we receive pleasant things from the world. It is good because:

  • God made the plan and everything God does is good. We proclaim this by faith, and
  • All things work together for the good of those who love Him, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28, and
  • God receives glory from the perfect outworking of His plan. The good is the glory He gains when saints acknowledge Him as good, no matter their circumstances. The ‘good’ in our lives is Jesus, not the world nor the things in it.

We do not seek the things the world calls good, but the things that God calls good. 

We do not say in our greetings and our letters and our prayers, “I want a mansion, perfect health, and a fat checkbook for myself” but we say –

May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you (Jude 1:2) because it was multiplied to us. Now that’s good!


Further Reading 

Al Mohler: The Osteen Predicament

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”. Click to enlarge

Note: the 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


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 bible twisters, encouragement, joel osteen, scripture

The ignorant & unstable twist scriptures, but the wise persevere patiently


A reader emailed me a longer comment regarding apostasy, the Osteens, and Facebook. Her thoughts were well presented and captured the unarticulated thoughts I’d been having regarding bible twisters. I asked her if I could post it as an essay. She said yes.

We are all born for a specific time and placed in the epochs to perform works for His glory. We are here now, at the end. True, mature Christians stand in amazement watching the collapse of the church. It is a hard epoch to be living in, but no harder than the first church, or the persecuted church, or the apathetic church, etc. But still, those who love Jesus fervently find it difficult to be surrounded by so much sin, so much satanic activity inside the church, so much hatred for our Savior.

Jesus has the victory, and the true church will never fail, but it has become so inflated over the years with false converts, false doctrine, and pastors who are in Adam and not in Christ, that all these outer layers are imploding to reveal what the bible has said all along: the true church is small. Few find it. (Matthew 7:14).

In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter is talking about something Apostle Paul had written. Peter says,

as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”

You note that Peter acknowledges that some of the doctrines Paul explains are hard to understand. Anyone who has read Romans knows this. The unstable and the ignorant will twist those hard verses. But you also notice something else. The ignorant and the unstable also twist the easy verses. To reverse things, those who twist the bible’s scriptures are ignorant and unstable.

[And a note to those who dismiss Paul’s epistles as contrary to Jesus’ doctrines, Peter confirms them as “Scriptures”.]

Enter the Osteens. Enter Linda Dodson, who is also grieved by these apostate days. Here is her comment, so well done I wanted to share it with you.


Like you, though, I am grieved by the falling away of the church because of the lack of sound teaching and example by Christian leaders.

I thought you might be interested in this. I came across it when a Facebook friend commented on it. It was from Joel Osteen’s Facebook site on September 10:

Second Timothy 4 says, “Be calm, cool and steady, unflinchingly endure hardships.” If somebody says something derogatory about you, don’t even flinch. Don’t blink. Don’t let it faze you.

That did not sound right to me because I knew 2 Timothy 4 talks about people turning away from sound teaching to satisfy their itching ears. So I went to and read through that chapter several times trying to discern where Joel was getting that statement about someone saying derogatory things about you. I couldn’t find it.

So I went to Joel’s Facebook page and was saddened by the amount of comments, thanking Joel for “the word” and relating how they have people in their lives who are critical, bullying, etc.–comment after comment showing obvious lack of discernment.

I got angry how a ‘pastor’ can say whatever he wants, whether it’s biblically sound or not, and people just lap it up like it’s true. So I posted a comment of my own:

“I have read 2 Timothy three times through this morning and don’t see where this is said. Paul is telling Timothy to be strong because people don’t want to hear the truth of the gospel…not that people are saying derogatory things about Timothy. It’s not about Paul or Timothy, it’s about people’s resistance to and antagonism toward Jesus Christ and the gospel message.”

The irony of this has not been lost on me, and I was going to post something to that effect but figured no one would get it, so I stuck to speaking the truth in love.

God bless you,


Presbyterian congregation, 1947

I thought the Osteen Facebook comment was a perfect example of how the ignorant twist Scriptures. I also thought that Linda’s response was pitch-perfect. I pray this is an encouragement to you in the following ways:

Though the unstable and ignorant speaking false things from the bible are all around us, even in pulpits, there are stable and wise Christians. They labor in the back pews in quiet conversations after Wednesday night bible study/prayer meeting. They have concerned coffee with a stumbling sister. They speak up on blogs, comment sections, Twitter and Facebook, often bearing the wrath of the ignorant upon their heads for their words. They fix cars in garages with brothers who need discipling and the truth spoken in love.

The truth spoken in love is not spoken in haste. You notice that the mature are Bereans, seeking to confirm what is said, or not said, or wrongly said, before offering their own words of correction or wisdom. The mature and the stable are not as numerous as the ignorant and the unstable, but such brethren are out there, proclaiming His word quietly, consistently, humbly. Just as there are many unknown pastors diligently dividing the word for the edification and encouragement of their flocks, so there are many sheep absorbing it and going forth in strength and determination on behalf of the spotless name of Christ.

Take heart. I did, after reading Linda’s comment. I was grateful she graciously let me post it. It humbled me and at the same time gave me encouragement. Fellow believers are out there. You’re not alone. The only good thing about all this is that the worse it gets, the closer we are to being redeemed for all time. Until then, we go forward every day,

being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:11-12)

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 beth moore, joel osteen, positive thinking, sin

The Powerlessness of positive thinking

A photo on Twitter got me going on this. A friend on twitter said of this sign, “Power of positive thinking? [sigh]”

It does make one sigh, because of the futility of such thinking. And the denomination of course is apostate, having just rejected Gods standards for marriage and having rejected Israel this very week. The denomination of the PC USA is exactly the kind where Jesus stands at the door and knocks to come inside. (Revelation 3:20).

 So I began to envision different levels of the School of Positive Thinking. Here is the syllabus.

School of Positive thinking, beginner class. “I am Happy and Content because you tell me I am.”
Taught by Joel Osteen. Joel has taught the power of positive thinking for 15 years, to great success. He now has a mansion on earth, if not one in heaven. He doesn’t seem to mind though, and you won’t either, because after this class is finished you will know how to get a good parking space at the mall. You will learn to be happy and content with that. Requirements: bring a bible and hold it over your head. Opening it and reading it not required.

School of Positive thinking, intermediate class. “I am Happy and Content because I think I am.” Taught by Beth Moore, who though she teaches with great verve and volume, isn’t too sure about, well, anything. We all love her though, that southern cutie-bug! Requirements: ability to cry, hug, and try really, really, really hard in your own power to have faith and do good stuff. Bring Kleenexes. Bible not required.

School of Positive thinking, master class. “I am Happy and Content because I know I am. No really, ‘I AM.” Taught by Joyce Meyer, who has achieved what few women in the positive thinking genre have achieved: unvarnished and unashamed pride in herself and her thinking. In this class, students will learn how to ignore the pricks of their conscience and the conviction of their souls to stride ahead and not be a sinner, as Meyer says of herself that she’s not a sinner. Requirements: Bring money.

Meanwhile, down the street, is a tiny, tiny school. It is open to all, whether you have money or no money. Whether you smile or whether you frown. Whether you cry or whether you have happiness. This school is called:

THE CHURCH. This school’s motto is “Though I have No Right to Be, I am Happy and Content because Jesus died for me.” Taught by persevering unknowns, and occasional guest speakers like Paul Washer, you will learn through study and hard work that Jesus died on the cross to atone for your sins, and pleased with His sacrifice, God raised Jesus on the third day, and brought Him to heaven. You will also learn that Jesus is returning to judge the living and the dead.

You will hear that you are a lost and condemned rebel, needing to rely on the grace of Jesus for everything good in this life and the next. Positive thinking of your own self on your own steam will only condemn you further.

Requirement to enter: Ask Jesus to forgive your sins. Become born again. Prerequisite: sins left at the door, bible eagerly opened and studied, service to fellow man in love and humility. Usually required: ability to withstand slander, rejection, oppression and persecution, in other cases your death will be required.

Enrolling now…

Posted in beth moore, colton burpo, joel osteen, kim walker smith, taking God's name in vain, third commandment

The Third Commandment: ways to take God’s name in vain you might not have thought of

Our glorious Lord Jesus Christ left His glory in heaven and came down to us. (Philippians 2:5-8). This was because of His great love for man and that He desired to seek and save the lost. (Luke 19:10).

To that end, our precious Christ lived among us us, lived among sin while not sinning Himself. He taught, He healed, He exorcised, He performed miracles. He discipled, He interceded, He obeyed the Father’s will.

Jesus spent all of His ministry hours, when not praying and rarely sleeping enough, to teach us. That is doctrine.

The word “doctrine” comes from the Greek word “didaskolos,” and it basically means “teaching.” It is used many times in the New Testament. Doctrine is extremely important in Christianity. By it we know who God is, what He has done, what the Trinity is, the deity of Christ, His resurrection, salvation, justification, etc. Doctrine is what defines the who’s and what’s of Christianity. In fact, you can’t be saved without doctrine. Rev. Matt Slick,

He did all this because He loved us. But beyond that, Jesus did it because He loves the Father, He was obeying the Father. Jesus at all times and in all moments sought the glory of the Father. (John 7:18). God’s glory was primary in the redemption plan.

Jesus’ work was to glorify the Father on earth. (John 7:14).

Now, having the right view of God is of utmost importance, beginning with Who He is. We cannot give Him the glory He deserves if we have a terribly flawed view of Him. One of the most basic ways we know Him is by His Name.

God protects His name. It is the name filled with all authority, all holiness, and when manifested on earth to be seen by men, filled with glory. So God made a commandment for us to never misuse His name. In Exodus 20 God commanded,

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)

There are two things I’d like to look at regarding the name of God and its use today.

Colton Burpo, the boy who ‘went to heaven’ & whose experience is the basis
for the book Heaven is For Real, irreverently describing “God” as “really big”
and “looks like the archangel Gabriel.” source

Modern Christianity has trivialized God to the point where many see Him as a distant boyfriend, a prosperous ATM machine, an entertaining miracle maker, or a heavenly hospital. Man’s view of God has always been flawed (and it always will be to some degree, even in true Christians while we’re on earth, because we’re still flawed with sin) but even at that, taking utmost care not to misuse God’s name should be a primary focus in Christian life. After all, it is the third commandment! It all begins with how we use His name.

Names have power, they have authority, they mean something. What if your boss habitually mispronounces your name, wouldn’t that irk you? What if the Bureau of Motor Vehicles misspelled your name, isn’t that annoying? Even more, a misspelled name may have legal implications. When a relative insists on shortening the name of your child from Michael to Mike or from Elizabeth to Betsy, don’t you correct him?

Incident occurred in 1991.
Above CC photo from 2009

If we as puny humans fuss over the spelling or pronunciation of our name, how do you think God feels about His name? His is the highest name! (Philippians 2:9). The only name! (Acts 4:12)

Right, Swaggart’s blasphemy is especially egregious because he used the Lord’s name to make Him complicit in covering up Swaggart’s adultery and fornication.

Many people regularly violate the third commandment by taking God’s name in vain. They use it in a swear, they say ‘OMG’, they use it to show their amazement over an extra large ice cream cone. Trivial.

But that is not only what it means not to take God’s name in vain. In our Sunday School lesson last week, written by JD Greear and Trevin Wax, there are other ways to take God’s name one may not have considered. This is the first point. Taking God’s name in vain does not begin and end with ‘OMG’. Not by far. In the lesson Mr Greear and Mr Wax narrow in and focus on three other ways to take God’s name in vain:

1. Using God’s name flippantly
2. Using God’s name untruthfully
3. Using God’s name hypocritically

Left, In the preface, Moore says while she was writing the book God wouldn’t let her eat breakfast. Also, if she had not written the book the “rocks in my yard would have cried out”. So she said,”I entrust this message entirely to the One who delivered it while I sat bug-eyed.” p. xi.

I’d like to speak to #1, using God’s name flippantly. In the lesson the men spoke to the above, the often spoken OMG or swearing that has God’s name in it. However the authors also said, “Perhaps the danger we as Christians must be careful of is not cursing but trivializing God’s name by speaking of Him on too-familiar terms.” They advise against a careless approach to speaking of God.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28-29).

“Too-familiar” terms. That is surely an issue in this day and age. The fear of the Lord in believers is a bygone notion. It shouldn’t be.

I will use a real-life example of something Beth Moore recently said to show that she uses God’s name in vain, because she uses His name flippantly.

At a recent conference for women, Moore ended it by a usual method she employs in her performance, a call-and-response. She often tells the women attending to repeat after her. What is asked to be repeated are not usually bible verses but creeds and mottoes Moore has invented. Here is an example from the Unwrap the Bible Conference,

Be confident this great day  That your God has chosen you

Please understand that this kind of message is often spoken at her conferences and in her teaching. It is not just one instance one time, but a pattern of presuming to speak for God.

If we unpack this and apply it to the prohibition not to take the Lord’s name in vain, how can we reconcile a female teacher presuming to know that 11,000 women in attendance have been chosen by God? And worse, to tell them so, in God’s name?! What Moore is actually saying is that she knows God’s thoughts and she knows His plans- for each of the 11,000 women of whom she was speaking this creed with God’s name in it. We cannot say such things, and we should not! This is taking the Lord’s name in vain.

But there is a worse problem. Yes it is very bad for Beth Moore or Kim Smith or Jimmy Swaggart or Colton Burpo or any person to speak of God on too-familiar terms, imputing thoughts to Him He didn’t have, and relating doctrines He didn’t teach. Those are serious breaches of God’s law.

But it is a sin for the hearers, too.

This is point #2. We know the bible says that false teachers will have a condemnation upon them. (Jude 1:4). For all teachers (true and false) who teach the word, they are judged more strictly. (James 3:1). Again, it relates to God’s holy name not being taken in vain. But the hearers are also judged!

There are two scriptures I have in mind to show you this. First we turn to the familiar verse I mention often, in Revelation 2:20. This is where the Lord has something against the people in the church at Thyatira: they tolerated the false prophetess Jezebel and by their inaction allowed her to seduce His servants. The sin of inaction is still a sin.

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. (James 4:17).

However we go even further. We read in Leviticus 24:11,13-16a the following-

and the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name, and cursed. Then they brought him to Moses. … Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Bring out of the camp the one who cursed, and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And speak to the people of Israel, saying, Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin. Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death.

Notice the distinction in verse 11, the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name and he cursed the Name. In the Hebrew the word for blaspheme used in this verse means “to utter a curse against, curse.” You might argue that Beth Moore and other false teachers don’t outright curse against God. You’re right, they don’t. However look at the second charge made against the woman’s son. He cursed. The Hebrew word used in this case means “to trivialize” or to be slight or swift about the Name. To lighten it.

The chief lesson to be learned from this incident and from the law here given is very plain. It is the high criminality in God’s sight of all irreverent use of His holy name… [failure to act] cannot but operate most fatally by breaking down in the public conscience that profound reverence toward God, which is the most essential condition of the maintenance of all private and public morality. ~William Robertson Nicoll, Expositor’s Bible, 1888

Kim Smith of Jesus Culture describing her vision of seeing
God the Father at a table making a clay heart for Kim. source

When Moore or other false teachers teach, they often empty out God’s name by trivializing it. They purport to speak for God. They relate dreams and retell things that God supposedly told them. They make pronouncements about His thoughts and intentions. They are casual about His holy name.

Now look at the penalty. The person who cursed His name is stoned. But why did the hearers who heard the cursing have to lay hands on the man’s head? Because they were transferring their guilt from themselves to the blasphemer. In the case of the cursing His name, not only the one who speaks it is guilty, but the hearers are too.

James Burton Coffman in his commentary on the Leviticus 24 verse said,

God’s concern here was to remove a spot of deadly infection from the body of the Chosen People. Harford called it a “purgative” action. If not eradicated, a cancerous condition of the kind associated with profane cursing would indeed have destroyed the whole nation. Men are no longer much concerned about such things, but the growth of the cancer has already corrupted a major portion of our present society.

That was Jesus’ charge to the congregation at Thyatira, they tolerated false pronouncements purported to be said in His name by a prophetess teaching falsely. They did NOT purge it out. (I wonder what Jesus will say to the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention when He brings up Beth Moore’s false prophecies and erroneous teaching…and that not only did they tolerate them but LifeWay made money off them…)

It is my opinion that the seriousness of taking the Lord’s name in vain is one important reason “not many of you should seek to be teachers” (James 3:1). To teach falsely is not just to teach error mixed with truth. It is also to

1. Use God’s name flippantly (Example, Beth Moore)
2. Use God’s name untruthfully (Example, Kim Smith)
3. Use God’s name hypocritically (Example, Jimmy Swaggart)

In remembering the Hebrews 12 verse, acceptable worship means remembering who He is, no matter how loving we feel toward Him, and no matter how boldly we come to the throne, (Hebrews 4:16), we must fear Him by worshiping in reverence and awe.

Now of course I am not agitating to re-institute lex talionis, an eye for an eye, the law of retaliation. Nor am I wanting to see false teachers stoned. Jesus will repay. He is well aware of the damage done in His holy name and He will perfectly and justly recompense all for their deeds. (Isaiah 59:18, Romans 2:6). This essay is about the importance of His holy Name and the various ways we take it in vain. Read Leviticus 24:10-16, and read Deuteronomy 17:1-7 to see how seriously God takes it when an idolater mishandles anything about Himself, and the guilt that is upon the hearers too.

In Deuteronomy God charged the people with the task of inquiring diligently when they hear of an idolatrous situation, and if found guilty, the laying on of hands again to “purge the evil from among your midst.” (Deuteronomy 17:7).  And in the New Testament, Revelation 2:20, the church at Thyatira…”I have this against you, that you tolerate…”

God is adamant that His name be used in truthful and honorable ways. ~Greear, Wax “The Gospel Project for Adults”

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, ticket scalpers are selling tickets for The Joel Osteen Tour for as much as $850. SEE COST PER SEAT!

On the 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. 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.”