The Anti-Gospel Message of Joel Osteen

The gospel doesn’t give us our best life now as Osteen promises, but it does give us hope through suffering.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Osteen without a smile. I am not anti-smile, but I am anti-false teaching because it feeds sugar-coated poison to lost and hungry souls. Preaching the Bible is more than just holding a Bible while you preach and occasionally quoting it to support your ideas—you might be mangling the Bible’s message like Satan did when he tempted Jesus in Matthew 4!

 

“…[T]here will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep” 2 Peter 2:1–3.

I’m surprised when I hear people say that we shouldn’t judge preachers. “That’s not loving” or “The Bible says not to judge” are often responses.

My gut reaction is, “Have you ever read the New Testament?”

The New Testament is FILLED with warnings to beware of false teachers who come as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15) disguised as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:13–15) and lead many away from the truth (Matthew 24:24). Our call as Christians is to follow the example of the Bereans in Acts 17 and search the Scriptures to see if what we hear aligns with God’s Holy Word.

I share this because of reports that Kanye West, an apparent recent convert I’ve mentioned here before, will take the stage at the church of someone I consider a false teacher—Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston. (I hope Kanye shares a clear gospel presentation.)

Beware of Joel Osteen

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Osteen without a smile. I am not anti-smile, but I am anti-false teaching because it feeds sugar-coated poison to lost and hungry souls. Preaching the Bible is more than just holding a Bible while you preach and occasionally quoting it to support your ideas—you might be mangling the Bible’s message like Satan did when he tempted Jesus in Matthew 4!

Below is an excerpt from Osteen’s book, Daily Readings from Become a Better You: 90 Readings to Improve Your Life Every Day, that shows the danger of his teaching. In this excerpt, he refers to Genesis 3, a foundational chapter in the Bible that establishes the sinfulness of humanity and our need for a Savior:

Back in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they hid. In the cool of the day, God came to them and said, “Adam, Eve, where are you?” They said, “God, we were hiding because we were naked.”

I love the way God answered them. He said, “Adam, who told you that you were naked?” In other words, who told you that something was wrong with you? God immediately knew that the enemy had been talking to them.

God is saying to you today, Who told you that you don’t have what it takes to succeed? Who told you the best grades you could make in school were Cs rather than As? Who told you that you’re not attractive enough? Who told you that your marriage is not going to last?

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