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.”

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)

Posted in bible, discernment, joel osteen, positive confession, speech

"If you cannot be positive, then at least be quiet"- Christian, before you press share on that Facebook quote…

There is a quote going around among Facebook that I’d like to address. Here it is:

On the surface, it seems like a good goal, right? In the vein of making New Year resolutions, it seems like a pretty good thing to resolve. I’ll press re-share! After all, Ephesians 4:29 says let no unwholesome talk come out of our mouths and speak only what builds up. I’m on board with this.

Wait just a second. I’d like to plea for Christians to stop and think for a moment before sharing or posting. Think of what the quote really says when you consider the source. It is actually a chocolate wrapped cockroach. This quote is exactly the kind of subtle lie that satan spoke in the garden.

When we first meet the devil, we are told off the bat that he is the most subtle creature of all. (Genesis 3:1). He is crafty. Shortly after we were introduced to satan, satan became the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is actually in charge of the world system (as far as God lets him). Since satan is a liar and the father of lies, (John 8:44), and he is in charge of the world system, then the world system is a lie. (HT to Todd Friel for that syllogism).

So what could be harmful or deceptive about such a positive statement as quoted above? It goes like this:

Joel Osteen says it is not positive to speak of sin or judgment- so he doesn’t. Even though as a preacher he is supposed to give the whole counsel of God, he decided that speaking of the unsavory things in the bible is “not his calling.” He would also disagree on marking and avoiding false teachers as Romans 16:17-18 says to do. Osteen starves his followers of the spiritual bread they need by refusing to speak what he defines as negative, and therefore unnecessary, and only speaks what he deems as positive.

In this subtle way, Osteen gets Christians to remain quiet about confronting sin.

Another way the quote is deceptively harmful to our witness is that Osteen is a Word-Faith preacher.

He says that what we proclaim can impact and even create our reality. Osteen really believes that saying positive declarations aloud will make them come true. This is a false doctrine called positive confession.

Positive confession is the practice of saying aloud what you want to happen with the expectation that God will make it a reality.” (source)

Osteen says negative speech demonstrates that we lack the kind of faith God requires us to show Him if He is going to fulfill the promises He is ‘duty bound’ to fulfill- but only if we stay positive. However,

[T]the Bible is very clear that ‘negative confession’ does not negate God’s blessings.(source)

So in this vein I disagree with Osteen’s statement “If you cannot be positive, then at least be quiet,” because I know what he means by it- and it is not biblical. Alternately, if a person chooses to remain quiet according to the bible’s definition (and the two are NOT the same) then I agree.

  • Ephesians 4:29 says let no unwholesome talk come out of our mouths and speak only what builds up.
  • Ecclesiastes 10:12 says words from the mouth of the wise are gracious, but fools are consumed by their own lips.
  • Colossians 3:8 says But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips,
  • Colossians 4:6 says in part, Let your speech be always with grace,

There is no such thing as a good statement from a false teacher. The bible says, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:17-20.)


Even in a case where the statement seems good and wholesome, coming from an evil and devilish source, it means the quote is evil also. It’s tainted by its unseen evil agenda. The bible says, “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.”(Romans 3:13).

Throat, tongue, lips; you see that no part of where an evil person speaks from is safe from the venom that permeates their speech before it escapes their body.

Because satan is so deceptive, he packages deception in pleasant-looking bundles. In this way, even a “positive” quote is poison.

The bible is full of admonitions regarding a Christian’s speech. And, it has the ultimate advantage of being the most impeccable source. There are many good preachers of the past and present to quote, and it is good to do so. However, if you are unsure of a the quoted person’s Christian credibility, you can’t go wrong quoting the word of God.


Further Reading

Got Questions: Is there power in positive confession?

Al Mohler: ‘Staying in His Lane’ — Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Affirmation Without Salvation

Posted in joel osteen, pentecost, peter, truth

If Joel Osteen gave the sermon at Pentecost…

Joel Osteen: “Removing negative labels” speech was delivered to 43,500 attendees at Lakewood Arena on March 2013.

“I want to talk to you today about removing negative labels. Throughout life, people are constantly sticking labels on us, telling us what we can and cannot become. Sometimes this is good, people speak faith into us, they encourage us. But then there are times that people put negative labels on us. You cannot stop the negative comments. You can’t prevent the negative labels but you can choose to remove them.”

“As a teenager, Walt Disney was told by an art instructor that he wasn’t creative. That he didn’t have any imagination. Disney was smart enough to remove that label. He went on to do pretty good. Lucille Ball was told that she didn’t have any acting skills. She should try a different profession. She removed that label, and starred in I Love Lucy for many years.

“The common denominator of the success of these people is that they chose to remove negative labels. It’s the same way today. People put labels on us. My father went to be with the Lord in 1999, and I stepped up to pastor the church. I had never ministered before. One Sunday after the service, I overheard two ladies talking in the lobby. One said, ‘He’s not as good as his father. The other answered back, ‘Yes, I don’t think the church is going to last.’ I was already insecure, I already felt unqualified. And boom, another negative label. Not good enough…not up to par…inferior. That’s the way the enemy works. He would love to put labels on you to keep you from reaching your highest potential… He’ll try to intimidate you, fight you, make you feel inferior.”

“Words are like seeds. If you dwell on them long enough, they will take root and become what was said. I tried to remove that negative label, but it wasn’t easy. Those thoughts would play in my mind again and again. It was like trying to peel a bumper sticker off of a car that’s been there a long time…you peel it and it tears, and you got to work and work… If I had made the mistake of wearing that wrong label, I don’t believe I’d be standing here today. Wrong labels can keep you from your destiny.”


Now here is Peter preaching the first sermon of the first day of the Church, at Pentecost, 2000 years ago. It was given in Jerusalem, and the crowds were enormous. It may have reached the same size as Osteen’s stadium attendance. We know that 3000 were saved that day.

“But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who

Masolino da Panicale,
Peter Preaching at Pentecost, fresco,
Cappella Brancacci, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel:

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
even on my male servants and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’

Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” (Acts 2:14-24, 34-35)


I transcribed the first 375 words of the Osteen speech, and of that first portion, it is about 95% complete. I posted the first 377 words of Peter’s sermon and it is about 95% complete.

You see the difference, I hope. In Joel Osteen’s sermon, Osteen talked about reaching career success and personal potential by our own works. Osteen lifted up himself as an example. He used two (in the sermon, three) cultural icons as successful examples of the career tips he was giving. He reiterated that it is by own own steam we achieve earthly success. He warned that our destiny is in our own hands. And last but not least, Jesus is not mentioned (except for one verse where he said that removing negative labels is hard but we can do all things by Christ who strengthens us). It is a speech filled with prosperity, legalism and blasphemy.

Peter opened with wrath. He referred to the Old Testament prophet Joel. He named Christ, Christ’s work, God and God’s work, the resurrection, and salvation. And that is a sermon full of conviction, glory, and truth.

Christ did not live on earth for 33 years and die an agonizing death on the cross, enduring all of God’s wrath, so that we could remove a negative label from our psyche like a worn out old bumper sticker.

John MacArthur said in his sermon this week, “Testimony to the Deity of Christ“,

“They were unwilling to glorify Christ. It’s about Christ. I wish the evangelical church would get this right, and quit selling the benefits and start selling the benefactor. It is so important that the issue is Christ. I was telling some seminary students last week, how many preachers I listen to who have all kinds of things to say, but never talk about Christ. They use His name…but it’s almost in vain.”

In the fresco above, it is reported that the “The scene refers to Peter’s sermon, as recounted in the Act of the Apostles, which he preaches in Jerusalem after the descent of the Holy Ghost on Pentecost. The fresco actually illustrates the final part of the sermon, when Peter says: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Remove the negative label and be something or other; or repent, be saved, and receive the gift of God’s Spirit. It is the broad way or the narrow way. (Matthew 7:13-14).

Posted in antinomianism, discernment, joel osteen, legalism, truth

Discernment: How two seemingly opposite doctrines can actually be the same

I think it’s interesting that Legalism and Gnosticism are really one and the same. A great lesson for me last year was learning how all the false religions and the false doctrines are drawing closer to one another. Those which seem like polar opposites are really the exact same thing, just a different flavor. Here is another example of how two opposing doctrines are really one and the same: Antinomianism and Legalism.

In the wonderful series, “Drive By Discernment“, short lectures on the topic of discernment edited by Todd Friel, Pastor RW Glenn is speaking of this exact thing. He is talking about how Antinomianism and Legalism are the same, and clearly shows how.

First, defines Antinomianism:
“The word antinomianism comes from the Greek anti, against, and nomos, law. It is the unbiblical practice of living without regard to the righteousness of God, using God’s grace as a license to sin, and trusting grace to cleanse of sin.”

And defines Legalism:
“In Christianity, legalism is the excessive and improper use of the law (10 commandments, holiness laws, etc). This legalism can take different forms. The first is where a person attempts to keep the Law in order to attain salvation. The second is where a person keeps the law in order to maintain his salvation. The third is when a Christian judges other Christians for not keeping certain codes of conduct that he thinks need to be observed.”

So how can living in excessive license and living in excessive restriction…be the same? Here is Pastor RW Glenn: [excerpts]

There are people who embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior and people who avoid Jesus as Lord and Savior. And what’s interesting is that you can avoid Jesus as Lord and Savior either by being bad, OR by being good. Religious moralists avoid Jesus as Lord and Savior by developing a system of moral righteousness to put God in their debt. In other words, my obedience and religious devotion is going to beef up my spiritual resume such that I don’t need Jesus to rescue me anymore. And where there are gaps in my resume I use Jesus to fill them in. By and large I don’t need rescue, all I need is a boost. They avoid Jesus as Lord and Savior by relying on their own righteousness. They avoid him by being “good”. … [Thus] Rule keepers and rule breakers are all identical because they avoid Jesus as Lord and Savior and are on the broad road to destruction.

See, Pastor Glenn explains that there is a demand of the Gospel, and there is a comfort of the Gospel. Legalism over-emphasizes its demand, while Antinomianism over-emphasizes its comfort. Over-emphasizing one or the other dilutes the Gospel. Paul said He had not hesitated to preach the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:27). Of that important balance in keeping the Gospel whole, Barnes’ Notes says:

“I have not shunned – I have not kept back; I have not been deterred by fear, by the desire of popularity, by the fact that the doctrines of the gospel are unpalatable to people, from declaring them fully. The proper meaning of the word translated here, “I have not shunned”, is “to disguise any important truth; to withdraw it from public view; to decline publishing it from fear, or an apprehension of the consequences.” Paul means that he had not disguised any truth; he had not withdrawn or kept it from open view, by any apprehension of the effect which it might have on their minds. Truth may be disguised or kept back:

(1) By avoiding the subject altogether from timidity, or from an apprehension of giving offence if it is openly proclaimed; or,

(2) By giving it too little prominency, so that it shall be lost in the multitude of other truths; or,

(3) By presenting it amidst a web of metaphysical speculations, and entangling it with other subjects; or,

(4) By making use of other terms than the Bible does, for the purpose of involving it in a mist, so that it cannot be understood.”

How does one keep back one part of the Gospel at the expense of the other? Pastor Glenn finishes:

Legalism over-emphasizes the demand of the Gospel. Matthew 5:48 – Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. That is a gospel demand that legalism overemphasizes. Antinomianism overemphasizes the very real comfort of the Gospel. Matthew 6:26- You are more valuable than many sparrows. The challenge of the Gospel is that there needs to be an equal emphasis on both the demand of the Gospel and the comfort of the Gospel. As Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” Equal emphasis. I do not condemn you, go and sin no more. If you don’t eventually emphasize both of those you lose the Gospel.

Glenn said that there are three tests to determine if a teacher is false. The character and conduct of the teacher (Colossians 1:28, Titus 2:2, Matthew 5:1-12) the complexion of their followers (Luke 6:40, 2 Timothy 4:3), and the content of their teaching (Matthew 12:33, 2 Timothy 4:2-3).

With this information in mind, now think of pastors who preach one at the expense of another. Or perhaps, do you preach or teach one at the expense of the other?

Remember two things. First, all other doctrines except the Gospel are false, and thus are the same, no matter how different they look on the outside. And second, satan is the most subtle creature in the Garden (Genesis 3:1). It is not hard for him to come up with different flavors of the Gospel and lots of false doctrines. I mean, if Baskin Robbins can come up with 31 flavors of ice cream… the most crafty creature in all the garden can certainly come up with enough false doctrines!

This week the Christian Post (which increasingly should be called the Post-Christian) reported on Joel Osteen’s Night of Hope in Las Vegas. It is reported,

“Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen, who along with wife, Victoria Osteen, will be leading “A Night of Hope” in Las Vegas, Friday night, has said that he avoids speaking on controversial issues because he doesn’t want anyone to feel excluded from his messages.”

However, Osteen’s definition of ‘controversial issue’ is really code for “sin.” Sin is always controversial. Preaching the whole counsel includes passages such as 1 Timothy 1:10. Yet Osteen declares that he avoids it. Avoid 1 Corinthians 6:9. Revelation 21:8? Avoid. Titus 1:16, Galatians 6:20, 2 Peter 2:6…the list is endless of ‘things to avoid’ so that ‘all will feel included.’ But we’re all sinners. If Osteen wants to preach so that all will feel comfortable, he either needs to preach to no one, because the flavors of sin are endless and odds are someone will feel ‘excluded’ (i.e. convicted), or Osteen needs to preach only the comfort of the Gospel, which is not the whole counsel. You see how devastating the imbalance is?

Osteen maintains that his style of preaching is consistent with the bible. Christian Post says, “His messages of hope and encouragement, as well as his trademark smile, also draw criticism among Christians who feel he fails to address sin and suffering, but Osteen shakes off such criticism. “I believe there needs to be more joy in the world…” But it is not true that this style is consistent with the bible.

Jesus spoke hard sayings. Not everyone felt included! On the contrary. However, Jesus did not alter the Father’s message in order to make it easier for fleshly ears to hear. In John 6:60-62, 66 we read,

“When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?” … After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.”

So we see that false teachers are not true ambassadors (Ephesians 6:20, 2 Corinthians 5:20). In both those verses, the word ambassador means one who is authorized to speak as God’s emissary, representing His kingdom. Osteen takes it upon himself to alter the message of God. He cannot be a true ambassador, because he brings an unauthorized message. This is what all false teachers do. Jesus knew the hearts of men and He still preached a message that fell on hard hearts, in obedience to the Father. Osteen, and all false teachers, dare to disobey delivering the Father’s message and the example of Jesus in preaching it. This ‘daring’ will have terrible consequences:

Tim Challies dealt with this issue in his essay “Smilingly leading you to hell.”

In Drive By Discernment, Pastor Glenn did a good job of explaining how false teachers subvert the Gospel by preaching only half. As always, the most important thing is to check ourselves, first.

Do we preach all demand and no comfort? “Do more, be better, try harder”? Or maybe our Gospel is all comfort and no demand. “My sin isn’t a big deal…I’m forgiven anyway.” Or is your Gospel, “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more?!” If you want to be an expert on false teachers, you need to be an expert in the Gospel. The more familiarity you have in the Gospel, the more familiarity you will have with the genuine article. When those counterfeits come your way – and they will – you will be able to say, ‘counterfeit!’ Why? because you’re resting in the Christ who says “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” (John 8:11).

The Lord is Great, isn’t He?!?!

More on Osteen:

A true knowledge of the true God
Apostasy in the church: Angels of light
Can Christians live their best life now?

And here is an essay on the opposite problem,

 Legalism, Cults, and abuse of authority

Posted in false teacher, gnostic, i declare, joel osteen, pagan

God has some competition: Osteen’s new book declares it so

Joel Osteen, America’s most famous false prophet, has a new book out. As most of his books do, it features a smiling Joel on the front.

The blurb reads, “Broken into thirty-one parts, this book will help readers reach the truth of God’s word, and how speaking God’s promises can bring about His blessings.”

Joel says that “declaring it” will bring it.

Joel says he wrote the book because, “I think its principles that help you to have a good self-image and feel right about yourself,”

Joel writes that we should speak and declare these things because God has “explosive blessings coming your way. I will increase you beyond your salary.” (pp3-4). That is a direct quote.

In Day Two’s declaration there are 55 words. I, me, or my is referred to 9 times. God is referred to 5 times. Part of it states, “I will give birth to every promise God put in my heart and I will become everything God created me to be.”

On another day’s declaration, we read, “This is my time! This is my moment! I receive it today! This is my declaration.”

Wow, that is some power. Kind of like another guy I know who declared stuff. That guy has some stiff competition now in Mr Osteen. That guy ought to watch out! The original declarer, you know, GOD, said,

“I have declared the former things from the beginning; They went forth from My mouth, and I caused them to hear it. Suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.” (Isaiah 48:3).

If we can declare all these things into being, what do we need God for? Oh, wait…

Posted in bible jesus, false, heresies, joel osteen

Do not listen to Joel Osteen

I urge you to consider these days are dark with herds of savage wolves creeping in with destructive heresies. They prowl and pounce on the unsuspecting, and for the purpose of shredding God’s people. Joel Osteen is one of those. “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting’…” (Romans 16:17-18). This post is my urge to you. Let’s begin:

From Chris Rosebrough’s Letter of Marque:

In the late second century, Irenaeus of Lyons, wrote his classic apologetic tome Against Heresies to check, expose and combat the gnostic heresy of the Valentian sect. It is significant to note that the same scripture twisting tactics of the gnostic heretics are still being employed by today’s heretics. Said Irenaeus, heretics:

“… adapt the good words of revelation to their own wicked inventions. And it is not only from the writings of the evangelists and the apostles that they endeavour to derive proofs for their opinions by means of perverse interpretations and deceitful expositions: they deal in the same way with the law and the prophets, which contain many parables and allegories that can frequently be drawn into various senses, according to the kind of exegesis to which they are subjected. And others of them, with great craftiness, adapted such parts of Scripture to their own figments, lead away captive from the truth those who do not retain a steadfast faith in one God, the Father Almighty, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

The persons perpetrating deceitful expositions are still around. They were then, and they are still doing it now. Joel Osteen is one. The Albany NY Times Union reports below on a recent event. I can’t call it a revival and I can’t call it a crusade and I can’t call it a sermon. Osteen holds events:

12,000 relate to Osteen’s pep talk
“For more than two hours, Pastor Joel Osteen wrapped 12,000 people in a warm embrace at the Times Union Center with his massively successful brand of feel-good “prosperity theology.” Backed by a rock band and a heavily produced show that was more Broadway than tent revival, his message traded fire and brimstone for the equivalent of a corporate motivational speech. He was all praise and no damnation.”

Osteen consistently demurs in preaching sin. He boasts that his cavernous Lakewood arena does not “have a churchy feel” and he deliberately declines to put crosses there so as not to cause an offense that would hinder someone from coming. (source).

“On the December 23, 2007, edition of Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday brought up Osteen’s lack of Scripture reference in his sermons, as well as his hesitancy to discuss sin as an integral part of life. Osteen responded: “And I am ultimately trying to do that, but I’m trying to teach people how to live their everyday lives, and so I do focus on it, probably not as much as some people would like.” Osteen says that he chooses to focus on the goodness of God rather than sin.” (source)

 Of focusing on only one part of the Gospel to the exclusion of others, Paul said,

“For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27).

Here is an explanation of that verse from Albert Barnes, 1798-1870, and an explanation as to why some preachers fail to preach the whole counsel of God. Though Barnes wrote this 160 years ago, it applies to Osteen today in a most uncanny way-

Barnes notes
“have not shunned – I have not kept back; I have not been deterred by fear, by the desire of popularity, by the fact that the doctrines of the gospel are unpalatable to people, from declaring them fully. The proper meaning of the word translated here, “I have not shunned”, is “to disguise any important truth; to withdraw it from public view; to decline publishing it from fear, or an apprehension of the consequences.” Paul means that he had not disguised any truth; he had not withdrawn or kept it from open view, by any apprehension of the effect which it might have on their minds.”

“Truth may be disguised or kept back:

(1) By avoiding the subject altogether from timidity, or from an apprehension of giving offence if it is openly proclaimed; or,

(2) By giving it too little prominency, so that it shall be lost in the multitude of other truths; or,

(3) By presenting it amidst a web of metaphysical speculations, and entangling it with other subjects; or,

(4) By making use of other terms than the Bible does, for the purpose of involving it in a mist, so that it cannot be understood.

People may resort to this course:

(1) Because the truth itself is unpalatable;

(2) Because they may apprehend the loss of reputation or support;

(3) Because they may not love the truth them selves, and choose to conceal its prominent and offensive points;

(4) Because they may be afraid of the rich, the great, and the frivolous, and apprehend that they shall excite their indignation; and,

(5) By a love of metaphysical philosophy, and a constant effort to bring everything to the test of their own reason. People often preach a philosophical explanation of a doctrine instead of the doctrine itself They deserve the credit of ingenuity, but not that of being open and bold proclaimers of the truth of God.

Osteen fits all of the above. Most importantly, by Osteen’s own admission, fails to preach the entire counsel of God. Let’s look at some self-described approaches to preaching that Osteen himself has stated, and compare them to scripture:

In Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, Osteen wrote, “Our words are vital in bringing our dreams to pass. It’s not enough to simply see it by faith or in your imagination. You have to begin speaking words of faith over your life. Your words have enormous creative power. The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it.”

Isaiah would differ with that approach. He said of his mouth, “Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”

Osteen’s Web site says -“The Power of Words-“Your words affect your future. Speaking God’s Word over your life can help you to live the life of victory that God has in store for you.”

Isaiah says, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.” (Isaiah 59:2-3)

In Diana Keough’s interview from, she asked about Osteen’s then New York Times #1 bestseller Your Best Life Now. Osteen stated: “The main reason I decided to write it was to help people enjoy their life and to realize God has a good plan. I wanted people to see that you can be happy today — that you can bloom where you’re planted and enjoy your life right now.”

Solomon had some things to say about accumulating wealth and pleasure and happiness based on ephemeral earthly things of now, instead of pursuing the eternal:

“I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.”

“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:4-11)

Osteen said each day “you should declare good things. Just look in the mirror and say ‘I am strong, I am healthy, I’m rising to new levels, I’m excited about my future.’ ” (Joel Osteen, Discover the Champion in You, TBN, June 7, 2004).

“The image of the Lord had been replaced by a mirror.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges