Joel Osteen: human but not a false prophet

The sidebar of Joel Watts’ blog Unsettled Christianity currently lists as “False Prophets” about a dozen named Christian leaders, along with some Christian ministries and some less Christian ones. Among those named as false prophets are Rick Warren and Joel Osteen. And that is typical of the kind of criticism which many Christians routinely heap on well known megachurch leaders like these two, often without any real basis in fact. I can’t help suggesting that the reason for much of the criticism is jealousy of their success.

Joel OsteenSo it was interesting to read the post by Gez today on that same blog Philip Wagner defends Joel Osteen, with a long quotation from Wagner giving an essentially positive picture of Osteen and his church, including the following:

Joel does not teach classes on theology, the differences of Mormonism and Christianity or a thorough presentation of the foundational beliefs of Christianity. He’s a pastor with an evangelism gift.

Pastors at Joel Osteen’s church, Lakewood Church, disciple people, teach doctrinal truths of the Bible and train people for ministry. They teach people truth from error.

Indeed. The substance of most criticisms of the much maligned Osteen, apart from that he has enviably good teeth, is that his teaching is weak. Yes, perhaps it is, because his ministry is not that of a teacher. He is primarily an evangelist. Those who become Christians through his church and ministry then receive good teaching.

Philip Wagner, whose post Gez quotes, has a lot more to say about criticism of Osteen in his post What’s the Problem with Joel Osteen? He notes how “a well-known pastor in Seattle” (he means Mark Driscoll) used YouTube to “tear Joel apart” for “what he did not say” – the reference is probably to the same video that I discussed here in 2007, when I was perhaps trying to be more conciliatory than I am now. Wagner also writes:

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion – even if it is ill informed.
The disappointing thing to me is that Christian leaders speak out publically against Joel and thereby encouraging other Christians not to respect him or to doubt his authenticity.  They feel the liberty to publically attack those whom they don’t really understand or know.   It’s embarrassing.

As a Christian, I’m discouraged by the behavior of leaders who criticize, attack or diminish the significance of other Christian ministers. 

This behavior and attitude is why many people do not want to be a part of Christianity or go to church because they feel that when they go to church they will be criticized the way our leaders do to each other.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.  Gal 5:14-15 NIV

I believe the main thing leaders should be “called out for” is the arrogance and the divisive example they promote by publically dismissing the relevance of another person’s ministry.

Have these very public leaders, who take the liberty to bring these unfair assessments of Joel Osteen, spoken to him or one of his pastors in private about their concerns?

I may be wrong – but I don’t think they have.

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.  Matthew 18:15 NIV

Now Joel Osteen is not perfect. After all, he is human. I happen to think that his remarks about Mitt Romney’s Mormonism were unfortunate, although that could be because they were reported out of context.

I also think Philip Wagner is wrong about this: it is a major election issue, because many evangelical Christians will not vote for Mitt Romney simply because he is a Mormon.

Nevertheless this does not warrant Osteen being demonised in the way that he has been by so many Christians. He may be a flawed prophet, but that is not the same thing as a false prophet.

So, Joel Watts, please can you now take the lead of your friend Gez and remove from your sidebar the accusation that Osteen and other respected Christian leaders are “false prophets”. I don’t expect you to take down old posts, but I would like to see a new post expressing your regret for what you have written about these people in the past.

And please can that be an example to other Christian bloggers, and writers in other media, who are bringing the Christian faith into disrepute by their often ill-informed mud-slinging.

73 thoughts on “Joel Osteen: human but not a false prophet

  1. Actually, I’ve been thinking of changing the name of false prophets. I still think Osteen is false, but I think that citing a lot of people as false prophets does some damage. So, I’m thinking of a new name for the category.

  2. Thank you, Joel.

    Kay, there are some people, like Jim West, whose list of false prophets I would be proud to be on. But Joel Watts has become a friend, and although we still disagree on some things I have hopes of bringing him round.

  3. Having come out of the Prosparity church movement ie: “Name it/Claim it” church, and seeing how they have warped scripture to prove their doctrine and the feelings of failure that accompany not receiving healings; the guilt that accompanies not being able to give more, etc… I really wish somebody had warned me about these preachers ahead of time. I am only just starting to trust God again after 8 years of bitterness and dialusionment. If you need to change your list name, I would label it “Questionable”.

  4. Kathleen, I agree that there is much warped teaching in the “name it and claim it” movement. If this was what Osteen was being accused of, with credible evidence, then I would have no complaints. But the only substance I have seen in criticism of him is for what he did not say on a particular occasion.

    Yes, “Questionable” would be a good name for Joel’s list. But I hope we consider any human teacher “Questionable” rather than presupposing that he or she is right about everything.

  5. Pingback: Charlatan Benny Hinn Wants To Punch Joel Osteen | Homebrewed Theology

  6. As far as Osteen, scripture is twisted to make peopel feel good and he does not address the whole bible. He does not address sin and says that people have been beat up enough. The bible says whom the Lord loves He chastens. People need correction, that is a part of being a Pastor. Sin must be preached about, directly. Sure people need to be encouraged but who says that dealing with sin is not encouraging?

    I went to lakewood and I can tell you that it is one bunch of motivational speaking. Getting people to believe that some how all of our struggles are for some kind of material gain. God has big plans but the plans and all that but does not tell the people that their rewards could be reserved for when they get to heaven. Its all about this life. In fact, I have never heard a message about holiness and heaven coming from Osteen’s lips.

    He does not want to offend anyone. How can a minister of the gospel, be effective by trying to tip toe around scripture in order not to offend?

    I find this defense of Osteen offensive.

    “Pastors at Joel Osteen’s church, Lakewood Church, disciple people, teach doctrinal truths of the Bible and train people for ministry. They teach people truth from error.”

    Who is it, that the thousands of people go there to listen to? do all of these people attend Lakewood, go to these various bibles studies? Do the millions of people who watch on TV and read his books, listen to these Pastors? Last but not least, isn’t the job of a Pastor to do what this comment says Osteen doesn’t do? Seriously, he calls himself a Pastor.

    If he is an “evangelist” and not a Pastor then someone else should be the Pastor of the Church. This defense of Osteen is simply shocking because it makes scripture secondary.

    I am not sure about this gift of evanglism when for my money the gospel is not preached in its entirety. Osteen doesn’t even say the word hell. From what I have read people of all relgions watch him religiously, they simply love his motivational speaking but want none of his God.

    As far as mormonism. The issue is that Osteen as the Pastor of the biggest Church in America should know the truth. Seeing that he is so influential, many people will be lead to believe a lie when he speaks. That has nothing to do with being human it has all to do with not being equipped. Sorry but if he cannot answer this simple question, he should sit down. A Pastor should know about such things.

    In closing, any ministry that is focused on this life is false. Jesus said to set our attentions on things above. Joel wants people to believe that it will all be good in this life. Where is that in the bible? In fact the bible says that believers will suffer for the cause of Christ.

    Blessings on you!

  7. Paul, have you actually been a regular attender at Lakewood Church? If you have only been on occasions, I don’t think it is fair to criticise Osteen for what you have not heard him say, as he may have said it on other occasions. If indeed he is more an evangelist than a pastor, then perhaps he should use a title other than “Pastor”, but the problem there is more with American church culture which expects a church leader to have that title.

  8. Brother Peter, thank you for your response.

    I was actually on the Church choir at Lakewood. I do know of what I speak. The LORD had to open my eyes to the nonsense that was going on and my wife and I left.

    As far as most people attending Lakewood. I liken it to being a drug addict, that gets a hit, gets high and has to run back for another hit when the high wears off.
    I watched people sit and eat every word from his mouth about the “great plans God has for them”, as if they were in a trance. This is a western Christianity that wants us to believe that it is all about financial gain.

    Now Osteen knows to minimize money in his interviews, but go there and it is the same thing over and over again, about these “great plans”.

    Osteen even says that he cannot be a blessing to anyone if he is broke? is that true?
    Wasn’t the widow who gave one mite seen as a blessing to Christ?, The widow who gave Elijah the last cake? The Church in Philipi was commended by Paul because they gave out of their lack.

    As far as titles. What is really important, is that if he stands before the people he is fully responsible to make sure he is teaching them the full counsel of God’s word. He cannot leave that to the bible study teachers.

    1 Timothy 4:13
    13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

    Osteen has exempted himself from reading and doctrine it would seem. He never knows anything. He picks out a verse and then uses 10 stories/analogies to explain it. Many times giving stories about other persons, as if to say because God made this person rich, he will do it for every one under the sound of his voice.

    I am all for encouragement, it is biblical, but our real encouragement is that we have a home away from this world. The bible says that we are pilgrims, only passing through. His teaching attaches people to this earth.

    It could be that he is sincere, but he is sincerely wrong. A big error of his, is that he looks at his accomplishments and believe that it must be God. In doing so, he refuses to listen to any criticism. If he is perfect, then so be it, but can all of these Pastors and Christians who have an issue with some of his teaching be wrong?

    Have a blessed day!

  9. Paul, thank you for clarifying that you were involved in Lakewood Church. Now it seems that you have gone over to the dark side – by supporting Arsenal! 😉

    Well, I allow that you know more about Osteen than I do. But it still seems to me that the charges against him are ones of omission rather than of commission, of failing to teach sound doctrine rather than of teaching false doctrine. On that basis I would still say that it is wrong to call him a “false prophet”. I would not contest a claim that he is an inadequate pastor.

  10. Bro Peter, Manchester United or The Spurs? ha ha ha!

    Well he has said that he doesn’t say hell and the people don’t want doctrine and theology. He is very intentional.

    I would say that his “doctrine” is false, as it is earth centered.

    He has these meetings, “a night of hope”, but isn’t the hope of the believer Heaven?

    1 Corinthians 15:19
    If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

    1 Thessalonians 2:19
    For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?

    Gods blessing’s on you and yours.

    I will reading from now on.


  11. Well, Paul, I wouldn’t agree with you that the hope of the believer is heaven, unless heaven is understood as a euphemism for God. Don’t confuse biblical teaching with popular culture about going to heaven when you die. Rather, the Christian hope properly understood is resurrection life on a new earth. But that is another topic.

  12. Well, Paul, I can only comment on “Osteens earthly focus” if I have evidence of what he actually believes and says on this one. Is he actually more wrong than people like you who imply that the Christian hope is only going to heaven when you die?

  13. Pingback: I will attempt to give up criticism of heretics for #Lent | Unsettled Christianity

  14. A very late response.

    To answer your question, I believe that our Hope is eternal life with Christ. I thought I clarified that.
    However, If I am wrong in anything, I am willing to be corrected, no problem there. No man that I know has a lock on Gods word and we will always be learning.

    Joel Osteen again regarging mormanism, yet again.

    I am not sure that this can be glossed over.


  15. Paul, if the hope of the believer is eternal life with Jesus, then we would already be living in it now. Eternal life has not beginning and has no end. When we believe, we receive eternal life. The eternal life, since it has no beginning and no end, is the life of Christ within us. Eternal life doesn’t start at a point, that would be everlasting (beginning with no end) life. So, we are literally living on the timeline of Jesus Christ if you are a Christian. Your past is now Christ’s past. Death of your old self, burial of your old self, and resurrection of your new self (Romans 6, Gal 2:20). So again, the hope of the believer isn’t eternal life because we are already living it. The hope of the believer is to comprehend the riches of His grace, in my opinion.

  16. No, Peter. As much as I acknowledge the importance of “Christian unity” and dislike strong criticism, it is not a reason to sit idly by and let dangerous teaching go unchallenged. Some truths must be fought for. Nor is the fact that Joel does get some things right. A minister of God is called to preach the truth in all things, not just some.

    Joel places a disproportionate burden of God’s focus on our own happiness, success, and well-being. God is not concerned with those things as we know them and does not call us to focus on our own happiness or success. He calls us to bleed so that others may live, just like Jesus did.

  17. Brandon, what “dangerous teachings”? Are you accusing Osteen of heresy? If you mean only that there is a lack of balance, the best response is to correct the balance with your own teachings.

  18. Dear Peter,

    Can you help me understand why you are so intent on defending Joel Osteen? You excuse his teaching by calling him human, but he calls himself a pastor. His identification as pastor means he’s a shepherd of God’s flock. There is no greater responsibility than that.

    “Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work, he must be blameless..He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” Titus 1:7,9

    It’s also important that believers understand the difference between sound biblical doctrine and speeches that placate fleshly desires.

    “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” – 2 Tim 4:3

    The politically correct terms you use and the non-judgmental definitions describing Osteen’s behavior (human-like, controversial, lack of balance, etc.) is typical of the era we live in – one that is more focused on tolerance and “love” than it is on deliverance by truth in love.

    I’m intolerable of anyone who claims to be called by God to preach HIS word, and then disregards its intent (calling sinners to repentance!) by watering it down with motivational speakings on prosperity.

    In love..

  19. The problem comes, Gee, when you begin to earnestly believe that the only “sound” doctrine is the doctrine you believe and therefore, everyone else is involved in heresy, evil, and must be stopped.

  20. Gee, I am not intent on defending Osteen. In fact I know little about him. What I am intent on doing is naming as the sin it clearly is the far too common Christian practice of publicly slandering and destroying the work of ministers of the gospel, based on little true understanding of their teaching and work.

    Yes, as a senior pastor Osteen is responsible for ensuring that his congregation are properly fed with sound teaching. I suspect that he does this primarily through the many midweek teaching sessions at his church. Have you attended any such meetings to find out whether the teaching is sound? Meanwhile Osteen uses Sunday meetings primarily for evangelism. That may not be everyone’s preferred approach but it is hardly clearly unbiblical.

  21. No, brother Peter, I have not attended any of Osteen’s midweek teaching sessions and I assume that you have not either since by your own admission, you know little about him. However, I did at one point watch Osteen regularly on Sundays. At that time, I was looking for more hope than accountability. So as far as that, Osteen is extremely effective.

    Evangelism, what you express he does on Sundays, involves addressing the deepest need of the audience and that is conversion from the sinful nature, not prosperity. It is also an antecedent to apologetics, defending the faith. And, unfortunately, I have yet to witness that from Osteen during his televised programs (when he is “evangelizing”) or interviews.

    If Osteen, as you imply, is truly a minister of the gospel, he has a responsibility to God and his children to complete his messages and address sins that can keep those he is ministering to from inheriting the promises of God. Doing otherwise, will continue to reinforce the belief that he is a false prophet, motivated by his own agenda.

    In love.

  22. >> Evangelism, what you express he does on Sundays, involves addressing the deepest need of the audience and that is conversion from the sinful nature, not prosperity. <<

    I've often heard the same thing said about healing… "conversion from the sinful nature, not healing" … fortunately for all of us, Jesus ignored statements like that 🙂

  23. 1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; 3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. Proverbs 17:6 The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy.

  24. He says, “Ya Know, Ya Know’..twice in the video. No, Joel, I do not know. What are you saying exactly? And just exactly how much money is he racking in each year? I’ll stick to truth and dive deeper into the Aramaic to English translation and learn it for myself through the Holy Spirit. is not sloth a sin as well. If so, why are people so slothful as to depend on one week for an hour in church to get what they need through the Holy Spirit:? If one truly hungers for him, though, it is not fair to assume many do not do this. The idle mind is the devils playground so true, but so is an overly busy one to take us from the word. If I am depending on a teacher of regular man to get my daily bread, I’d be spiritually starving to death.

  25. Stephen, thank you for your comments. But what exactly is the relevance of them to Joel Osteen?

    OK, your questions at the start of the second comment are about Joel. He only repeats “you know” at one point in the video, referring to the Baptists, Catholics etc not agreeing on everything. Do you deny that they have disagreements? But I made it clear that I do not endorse the video. As for Joel’s personal income, that is irrelevant to this discussion.

  26. Hi, my point was that I do not see him as false prophet, which is where all of the discussions were heading prio to my point I desired to make. .As far as his income is concerned, I wrote that only as a question and nothing more . The question was concerning the teaching, which is also referred to in what I had provided (false teachers). Then my question becomes, is not saying something which should be said just as false as saying something that is not true? I have the answer. I do not know enough about him to even attempt nor would I want to even second guess his nature, I simply have watched a few times and got the creeps, and that is where it ended. The video was on this blog post, so it was commented on…which I came upon while doing a search on Goole about false teachers. As the title reads, “Human, but not a False Prophet”. Yes indeed, we all are. human, and not infallible. The question then is, what is a false teacher and what comprises one to be of that effect?

  27. Stephen, thank you for the clarification. I can’t answer your question about his income, which should also be followed up by one about how he spends it.

    Your question “is not saying something which should be said just as false as saying something that is not true?” is a good one. But I think the answer depends on who is the right person to say what has not been said. There are things which someone should say but not everyone is the right person to say it. For example, if there are questions about the behavior of some public figure Christian leader (I am not thinking of Osteen at this point), then someone should confront the leader about the matter – but it should be someone with whom the leader has an accountability relationship, not some random blogger or self-appointed “discernment ministry” person. Then, more to the immediate point, if a congregation needs teaching, then the person who should be giving that teaching is someone with the gift of teaching, not an evangelist who is not also a gifted teacher.

    As for what is a false teacher, I think to start with he or she must be a teacher. An evangelist who doesn’t attempt to teach cannot be a false teacher. An evangelist who attempts to teach may be a bad teacher, but that is not the same thing as a false teacher.

    OK, Osteen gives you the creeps. I don’t like his style either. But such subjective opinions must be set aside before suggesting someone might be a false teacher.

  28. After reading the Larry King transcripts I am sure he is a false profit.

    What comes out of your mouth is what’s in your heart…..right?

    Beware of this man!

  29. Bill, I do not appreciate it that you gave an invalid e-mail address with your comment. That is deception, and when it is also intended as some kind of proclamation of Jesus’ kingship it is the work of a false prophet. Or was it an honest mistake? In that case, please give me a valid e-mail. I accept comments here only if genuine e-mail addresses are given.

  30. I was wondering, did JO prophesy during the Larry King interview? Because if he was just sharing his thoughts on a matter, you can’t call him a false prophet. (and I’m being generous there, because, really, he’d have to BE a prophet to be thus called a FALSE prophet, and he’s not a prophet, nor does he pretend to be. He doesn’t even play one on television).

  31. Thank you, Kay. Well, I suppose if someone claims to be a prophet or gives apparently prophetic messages, they can be a false prophet without actually being a prophet. But I don’t think Osteen does that.

  32. I can’t believe you can back up Osteen even after all these people use scripture and Jesus as examples. Have you ever read 1 John? Do you really think that Osteen is teaching about the true Jesus? How come many of my family members live in open sin and love Osteen? The Bible teaches that this is impossible, but Joel teaches my family that they don’t need to change or repent and they really love his messages. Please read 1 John, it’s a really short book but easily clears up any misconseptions we may have and ask yourself if Joel fits this category. And please be careful who you represent in the future.

  33. Thank you, Kay.

    Michael, it may be that there are some people who love Osteen but don’t love God. But that’s not Osteen’s fault. Anyway, have your family members read 1 John? Also don’t forget that I said above that Osteen is “flawed”, so don’t think that I am endorsing him.

  34. Yes, but when you represent God, you must stay focused on what he taught. In this case, Jesus always warned us about people who would come and look Godly, but actually be antichrists. I think Osteen is teaching a false hope gospel. He fills his followers with thoughts that make them think they are ok with god. A true gospel teachers message should always be, “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”.
    And no, most of my family is unwilling to read true Biblical books because they think that it will bring too much conviction. Christianity in America has blinded people to the Bible and the truth about God. Most people now think they are saved because so preacher told them they were. Have they ever examined they life in the light of scripture to find out that most people will not make it to heaven. No, because most pastors don’t preach a message that leads to repentance. Our job is to show everyone we have all fallen short. We need a savior. Then point them to Jesus.

  35. I’ve always found it amusing when somebody comes along and disagrees with somebody else’s theology using the “antichrist” argument and then says, “repent” … it makes me wonder if they have any idea what either term means.

  36. I just marked as spam four recent long comments on this post which had no discernible relevance to the discussion. One such comment would have led to a warning, but four implies a spammer.

    Michael, I take your point. No country needs people who preach peace where there is no peace. But is Osteen really guilty of this? Honestly I don’t know.

  37. Kay, the last thing I want to do is have an argument with religious people. We should be focusing on the many lost souls who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I just think Osteen is not affective. He is the leader of the biggest church in America. Don’t you think he should be more affective? He had a great opportunity to share Jesus’s message to the world when he went on Larry King. He fail to say that Jesus is the only way to heaven even thought he was directly asked that a number of times. Don’t you think the leader of the biggest church in America should have stayed focus on what the Bible teaches and is VERY clear about. I do know what antichrists means. Anyone who is against Christ is an antichrist it is that simple. You call this conversation “Joel Osteen: human but not a false prophet”. And the title says it all. Joel is not lead by the spirit. Don’t you think that the leader of the biggest church in America should be lead by the spirit? It is very clear that he is not. He is out there for his own selfish reasons, he is not of God. We should be saving people from the messages he teaches.

  38. Michael, I think we can agree that Joel Osteen is not always led by the Spirit, and he is sometimes more focused on building or maintaining the size of his congregation rather than preaching to them hard truths which might push them away. But, honestly, do you know of ANY pastor of whom this is not at least often true? It seems to me that Osteen’s offense is to be more successful at this than most pastors, and so to inspire massive jealousy.

  39. goodness, no, Michael. If the man had a greater affect, his personality quirks would be greatly bothersome.

    As for effectiveness, it could certainly be argued that large numbers of people trusting Jesus for salvation is a measure of effectiveness (even if they don’t do it your way).

    As I’ve stated before, JO is barely on my radar screen. I don’t much like the guy, but I don’t much dislike him either (same with Rick Warren, TD Jakes, Joyce Myers, and a bunch of other guys/gals). But I know plenty of people who are influenced by him who know and love Jesus… can’t think of any who don’t, come to think of it. I’m sure there out there – but among those who listen to/follow any leader, there will be those who are all in and those who are not. Even in your own church.

  40. I have listend to Joel three times and not once did he say anything about Jesus!! How can you preach and/or be on 60 minutes and not mention Jesus ONCE. Listen to Andrew Wommack and then listen to Joel!!! Big difference, Andrew lives the christian life Joel is in this for popularity and money!!! God will judge, but I don’t get a spiritual message when I listen to him, just a gut feeling of what is this guy teaching???

  41. Michael, thank you for your observations about Joel Osteen’s preaching. I’m sure many “Reformed” preachers don’t mention Jesus in many of their sermons either, when they are exegeting Old Testament passages. So this test of a sermon is a rather simplistic one.

    But please do not speculate on people’s motives, on what they may be “in this for”. I do not allow such speculation on this blog.

  42. firstly i have to say, joel osteen preaches a false gospel. thats a fact. i was listening to many of his sermons. why do you call it a sin when people, true believers warn others from this demonic teaching? thereis only one way to be saved, through the blood of jesus christ and start to live a righteous way with jesus as the center of everything. this statement joel osteen never said. he prefers the broad way which leads to destruction, even worse, he misleads thousands of people to go the same broad way. what can possibly be more demonic? satan himself likes it to appear as angel of light. fact is, we must believe in the bible as gods word. through the light of the bible, there is no other conclusion as this: joel osteen is a false teacher , used by satan to lead many into destruction

    god bless you all

  43. Sven, you are misrepresenting Joel Osteen. Here is a quote from the What We Believe page on his website:

    Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood for our sins. We believe that salvation is found by placing our faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross. We believe Jesus rose from the dead and is coming again. …

    every believer should be in a growing relationship with Jesus by obeying God’s Word, yielding to the Holy Spirit and by being conformed to the image of Christ.

    True demonic teaching is spreading lies about Christian leaders in an attempt to divide the church and confuse ordinary believers. You need to repent of this immediately.

    Please do not misrepresent Osteen or anyone else on this site in future. In fact, please do not comment here again unless it is to retract and apologize for what you have written.

  44. Ok God is truly working on me concerning Joel!!! I have been dealing with some personal issues that is effecting my relationship with Christ & Family (Praying) I said in an earlier post that I did not appreciate Joel’s preaching method, anyway I came home and there was a package from from Mother, opened it up and guess what is was? Joel Osteen (Today is Your Day) I reluctantly watched and now have a different opinion of Joel. He does preach the gospel and actually said Lord Jesus several times!!! Watched Joel get bombarded on CNN about homosexuality and he said it was a SIN (Floored Me) New respect for Pastor Osteen (God opened my heart) I still prefer Dr. Stanley and Andrew Wommack, but have a new respect for Joel!! He said the magic words Jesus and the cross!!!

  45. Thank you, Michael. Joel’s style may not be everyone’s preference, and maybe sometimes he wanders too far from the gospel into secular psychology. But I suspect that those who accuse him of false teaching have not given him a fair hearing.

  46. what sin did i commit? in one interview, i don`t know actually where i found it, he stated that he didn`t know if jesus is the only way to heaven, in another he stated that homosexuals will enter the kingdom of god. he doesn`t preach repeantance from sin, which must be the first step after starting to believe that jesus died on the cross. of course anybody may proof me wrong, i`m willing to change my mind, but i want an discussion purely based on the bible, because it is gods very word. it`s not so important to me if you call this a sin what i wrote, but it`s gods word and the holy spirit.

  47. Sven, thank you for at least trying to give particulars. I want a discussion based on the facts, about Joel Osteen as well as about the Bible. And the facts seem to be that although Joel doesn’t use the word “repent” much, he does preach repentance. Clearly “obeying God’s Word, yielding to the Holy Spirit”, as quoted in my previous comment, implies repentance, for someone who has not previously been following God. See also for example this recent sermon in which Joel quotes with approval the following:

    I hadn’t really understood that Jesus had called me to enlist, to replace my agenda with His agenda, to repent, and follow him

    Of course Joel doesn’t teach that salvation is dependent on repentance because that would be salvation by works. I hope you don’t imply that he should teach this. That is why there is no mention of repentance in his explanation of salvation.

    On the other hand, if Joel has really doubted whether Jesus is the only way to heaven, I would take issue with that – but only after I have seen his exact words. I would also want to see his exact words about homosexuals before making any comment on that matter.

  48. Brother Peter,

    please clarify what your understanding on Salvation/Repentance. It appears that you are saying repentance is separate from Salvation or comes after Salvation. How do you reconcile the following verse?

    [2 Cor 7:10] “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

    Concerning Joel Osteen, I commend your desire to bring unity to the body of believers and your careful consideration before accusing a fellow brother in Christ. However, I have carefully listened to Joel I believe his teaching is the epitome of heretical false teaching. In fact, there are dozens of twisted or blatantly heretical doctrines taught by Joel that I cannot believe are simply due to negligence, but rather willful intent. God is not the author of confusion and I know that the Holy Spirit is not inspiring Joel’s teaching because it directly contradicts what is written.

    Now, scripture commands us to expose darkness as well, so at what point would you take a stand and obey what is written? What would a pastor have to say for you to write them off as a non believer, take a stand for Christ and warn others of the false teacher?

    Lastly, Paul named names of false teachers, and of course sought unity as well, but not an ecumenical unity at the expense of God’s Word. [Acts 20]

  49. Jacob, I accept that repentance needs to precede salvation. But it also needs to follow it, when a believer has sinned. Or are you suggesting that there is no forgiveness for sins committed by believers?

    As you know, I don’t accept here unsubstantiated allegations. If you really know of “dozens of twisted or blatantly heretical doctrines taught by Joel” and teaching which “directly contradicts what is written”, please can you provide some evidence of one or two of these doctrines, with quotes of Osteen’s actual words and the sources you have heard them from. Failing that evidence, why should I believe that you are not simply spreading malicious gossip?

    Yes, Paul named false teachers, but only when they were leading and misleading churches over which he had direct apostolic authority, and most likely only after he had confronted these false teachers personally. Do you have apostolic authority over Joel Osteen? Have you confronted him personally concerning his alleged heresies? If so, go ahead and condemn him as a false teacher!

  50. To all who actually care what I think (heehee), Joel is a vessel with his own style, far from perfect and aren’t we all?? I totally agree, love and respect Mr. Kirk’s loving “Christian” responses and might I add: You ONLY see Joel’s glory, but you really don’t know his story. It is so easy to knock someone down rather than pray for what “we” think may be wrong. As “Christians” we are obligated to pray for one another, not destroy one another. That is the devil’s job and what has Joel done to you??? He encourages me with truthful, loving word and that is what we truly need. Like he said, we are beaten down enough by life itself, so when I want a good “tongue-lashing” sermon, I turn to Jakes or Meyer, but when I need a hug, I turn to Osteen. He has his own unique style which is not false, it’s just the way God made him. Happy New Year and God bless you all!!!

  51. Hello there :). What a great article! I really get tired of people putting down Joel and Joyce too. People are so fast to criticize and usually it is the people who are jealous. God led this man to do what he does and he has helped millions find Christ! AMEN! As far as Joyce goes, there is nothing fake about Joyce – she is REAL and does not tell you just what you want to hear—she is truthful and tells you things that are hard to hear sometimes (that someone say like Joel would not tell you for fear of offending you). Pray for these two people of God that they will continue to reach millions and lead them to Christ. Let us not judge one another, but look at ourselves instead and to what WE can do to bring people to Christ–instead of focusing on other christians wrong-doings in our eyes. Thanks for a great article!

  52. wolf in sheep clothing, false teacher whatever you want to call it !He Clearly has gift of motivational speaker Preaching i am not sure . If it was God calling place to judge that or his heart . but after hearing some sermon and interview that make me uneasy . He tickle the ear with the feel good sermon .It not just joel that doing it . big and and small preachers are also . As Christian if something not lining up with the Bible say and what being preached . you should go to in loving way talking about . and does change it time to move on . Do not be deceived!!! I pray for them and the all who are following him . cause there getting miss lead and i hope that eye open to see it .

  53. Im wondering if when joel was on larry king he felt nervous and on the spot where words werent coming to him. It happens to everyone. Where you think to yourself why did i even say that …its not what i feel or even waiting to here his side of the story and aftermath of it all

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