IMonk at his best, calling a spade a spade:

Reactions to the “60 Minutes” Joel Osteen Piece

Best quote from the article, most-telling point:

“Osteen probably doesn’t have the knowledge to be able to judge his own errors in the light of Biblical truth. Sad, but true. He simply has no idea that he has no idea.”

4 responses »

  1. BobbE says:

    My input is that everyone has the right to believe or feel the way they want, remember this is America. With that, it doesn’ matter to me what any of you think about Joel Osteen, whether you are a Christian, Theologian, or whatever. The bottom line ‘for me’ is that out of all the ministers i have ever listened to in my life, Joel Osteen is the first preacher ever that i feel excited to listen too and I recieve a christian heart felt message that applies to my everyday life. If preachers would stop preaching about the old days (BC) boring, and begin preaching about today, maybe more people would start attending chruches and want to give back to churhes. Joel Osteen defintiley is not even paid enough for the great work he does every week.

    Love Ya Joel! Keep doing what you are doing, there will always be critics when you are doing something great, i think you are ‘outstanding’.

    Bobb

  2. Byron says:

    Of course, this is America, and everyone has the right to believe the way they want; I’d fight for Joel Osteen’s right to preach whatever he wants, and for you, Bobb, to believe it. But of course, that’s beside the point. The point—the only point, is this: does the message Joel Osteen preaches line up with what the Bible says? And the answer is very clear there: it does not. Further, I’d suggest you consider getting out more and listening to other preachers; I don’t know what preaching about the “old days” means, or why you find it “boring”, but your support of Joel is quite telling, Bobb: you make no defense of his teaching as being Biblical, but rather find it “exciting”, not “boring”, “outstanding” (and he is, without a doubt, a dynamic speaker). Further, the reason I suggest you get out more is that there are any number of preachers who are both faithful to the Bible and relevant to the times (in fact, from what I’ve read of Joel’s first book, and the times I’ve listened to him, I don’t really find him to speak all that much to the times in which we live—but that’s off-topic).

    For a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, there is only one standard: have I been faithful to proclaim the Bible, to clearly articulate its message, pointing people to Jesus Christ and away from their sin in an unmistakable way. The gospel is nowhere to be found in Joel Osteen’s messages, and thus while he might rank highly as an interesting, “exciting” motivational speaker, let’s just be clear that he is not preaching the Word of God.

  3. BobbE says:

    Byron,

    Lets be clear, ‘For Me’ Joel is preaching the word of God. Maybe not to you, you probably need someon yelling and stomoing their feet to get your attention, not me. I get the impression you are one of those people who ‘think’ they know the bible, but just like hearing yourself talk. Again, boring to me.
    What does Joel say that is in conflict with the bible? Please enlighten me, because I don’t see any flaws with Joel’s preaching style. Joel uses scripture that applies to today and my everyday life. I think he has a great concept ‘for me’. I have been raised in church (pentecostal) and while i found it a learning biblical experience, it doesn’t compare to the 30 minute sermons each week with Joel. I finally get something out of church instead and cramming scripture after scripture to me and not getting a thing out of it.

  4. Byron says:

    Bobb,

    Not sure why you felt the need to assume what I like in a preaching style (and I’ve got to say, you couldn’t have missed it much further than you did!). Nor am I sure why you feel it necessary to suggest that I “like hearing (my)self talk.” I feel no need to cast any aspersions upon you—why do you feel this need?

    Now, to the substance of your argument, it’s interesting that again you have concerned yourself with style, first and foremost (in speaking of the style you assume—totally incorrectly—that I like); you speak of “cramming scripture after scripture” to you. I don’t advocate that as a preaching style either, although why you don’t get anything out of the Bible—but do get something out of Joel Osteen’s almost total disregard for the Bible—is a question you’ll have to answer.

    The issue at hand—and the only issue at hand—is how Joel “uses” Scripture. And so I’ll be happy to “enlighten” you. Let me do it by asking a question or three. When is the last time you heard Joel Osteen talk about the rich Biblical truth of justification by faith alone in Christ? When has he talked about the atonement of Christ on Calvary’s cross for our sins, and gone into any detail whatever as to the centrality of that to Christian faith? How about sanctification, the role of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives? Is the rich truth of redemption ever mentioned, and how that is at the core of our salvation? How about the cross, living a cross-centered life of dying to self and living for Christ? Is there any central doctrinal teaching whatsoever that Joel Osteen has spent five minutes during a sermon trying to expound upon? Any? Does he ever talk about how the most important thing isn’t us achieving our goals, but the awesome glory of God, that God does everything He does, not first for your benefit and mine, but because of, and for the sake of, His own glory? Does he talk about how for the follower of Jesus Christ, our lives are to be lived, not so we can cope or overcome or get more money, but for the glory of that God?

    Does he ever attempt to use a given text of the Bible—any text, whatsoever—and actually elucidate what that text actually means, instead of just cherry-picking a Bible verse to support something he’s grabbed out of Dr. Phil or some similar source? Besides the little mantra that he picked up from his dad (which, if he honestly followed, would be great!), how often does he actually open that Bible that he waves and explain to people what the Bible, read in context, actually means? Does he ever go through, heck, not a book, but just even a single passage of Scripture, and take the points of his message from what the Bible says, instead of what he’d like it to?

    The sad thing to me, Bobb, is that you’ve drawn a false dichotomy. Either Bible preaching is boring, scripture crammed upon Scripture, or its Joel Osteen. The fact is that there are thousands upon thousands of faithful men of God who expound the Bible faithfully every Sunday, whose congregations find their messages to be interesting, life-giving and transforming, and who don’t resort to Anthony Robbins-like feel-goodisms.

    This is a bold statement, Bobb, and I of course mean no disrespect to you, but Joel Osteen isn’t helping you, despite what you think—because his message, devoid of the centrality of the cross of Jesus Christ at its heart, is a placebo message. Joel Osteen’s message isn’t helping anybody. People who listen to it believe that they are being helped, but they are not, because his message doesn’t tell us how bad we are (when’s the last time you heard him talk about sin—heck, for that matter, even mention the word?); it doesn’t tell us how desperate our plight is without Jesus Christ; it doesn’t tell us how incredibly amazing God’s grace is; it doesn’t tell us how awesome forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ really is. No, it’s “you’re not really that bad, and God’s on your side, and you can make it if you try a little harder.” It’s “look at me and Victoria; we didn’t really have enough faith in ourselves, and we didn’t believe that we could accomplish this or that, but with God’s help, we did! And you can too!” And that’s a far, far cry from “we were dead in trespasses and sins, but God made us alive in Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 2). That’s a far cry from Romans 3, the first part that talks about how rotten to the core we are, and the second part that talks about the incredible, life-changing things that God did for us in Christ because of His love for us, His grace, and His glory. Take the time to compare what Joel Osteen is saying to what the Bible actually teaches, in context (not just grabbing a verse completely out of its context to make whatever point he’s trying to make). Study for yourself, Bobb; don’t accept what Joel Osteen says just because he’s interesting and exciting when he says it—for that matter, Bobb, don’t accept what I’m saying, or anybody is saying, without comparing it to what the Bible actually says. “Let God be true, and every man (Joel Osteen, me, whoever) a liar”, the Scripture says.

    Joel Osteen’s message is fool’s gold, and there are a lot of people—and I sincerely, sincerely hope you’re not one of them, Bobb—who will find themselves in eternity believing everything that Joel Osteen had to tell them, but never meeting Jesus, because even though Joel seems a “nice guy”, and interesting to listen to, and “positive” (whatever that means), Joel failed in his responsibility to introduce them to Him.

    Michael Spenser’s analysis is so, so true—and sad at the same time: “Osteen probably doesn’t have the knowledge to be able to judge his own errors in the light of Biblical truth. Sad, but true. He simply has no idea that he has no idea.” I fear that the same is true for the vast majority of his followers—I hope not of you, Bobb.

    Finally, here’s a link to a guy who can explain the issues far better than I can:

    http://www.wscal.edu/faculty/wscwritings/horton.osteen.php

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