Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Joel Osteen is a poser. That's OK to say if you're a Brother in Christ, Right? Maybe it takes a personal conversation to decide?

{ notice the dialog of this post. It is a conversation I had with another believer. The negative views in this post about Joel Osteen are not mine. I am only passing along what was said in a conversation. }
A friend of mine wrote a quick post on Facebook a few weeks back:

she wrote: "I thought it was cool to see Joel Osteen on TheVoice!"
A friend of hers replied to her post: (We will call the friend, The Other Gentleman.)

The Other Gentleman:
"Joel Osteen is a poser
. Stating Mormons are Christians is heresy. He has said that. He is a feel good phony that paints a false picture of Christianity. He shys away from calling anything a sin. He is far from bold. He is Lukewarm at best. He is also a health and wealth guy who hardly ever quotes scripture. He is a great example of how TV evangelism hurts more than it helps the cause

To which I took part in a bit of a debate. ICK! I usually do not do that. It must have been a moment of weakness-- or did it hit me on a personal level? Perhaps both. 

Can you imagine my heart? It's little self was about to flutter off into the air!

Here is my reply: (we will call myself, myself. )

Joel doesn't quote scripture often, I will agree. However, he is also one of the only pastors who does not take a salary."
"Mark 9: 39-41  “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,  for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

People are loving Jesus and feeling hope-- Joel isn't their holy spirit, God is big and can convict and teach their hearts if they are open to him through this teaching. People are closer to the heart of the King sitting in a health and wealth church than no church. And I for one am highly against health and wealth, but it's not about us and our opinions, is it? It's about not being a Pharisee and thinking our way-- our thinking--our convictions-- are the only way."

Other Gentleman: "He doesn't take a salary because he has made millions on book sales. It's still using God to get rich. The love of money is the root of all evil. Would Jesus be a millionaire? Would he sell his ideas? No he offered free salvation. Also in regards to hope, hope and feel good messages have their place. However one can't truly know the grace of God or experience true spiritual freedom without first coming to terms with what they were saved from. I wonder how many people at his church never are convicted of sin because sin is a bad word to Joel. Finally, I know more about the bible than Joel. He has no formal training. How can you trust ignorance with you salvation?"

Well, we sell His ideas, we wear and sell His crosses on t-shirts and and necklaces. christian book stores gross millions per year. Most people spend more time shopping for Jesus "stuff" and looking up feel good scriptures per year than talking to people about the gift of grace.

"Be careful friend, who are you to say you are better than someone? More equipped? We serve the same God and he is who qualifies us. What would you have done to Paul? Or better yet, the adulteress woman go Jesus told to go and do the same? What about the man with all the demons who went into the city, telling everyone what Jesus had done? Was he qualified? Was his story, "God forgives sins" or "GOD is REAL and can do anything!"

How can you downgrade Joel Osteen's Gathering if you say yourself, "I do not know how many people in his church are ever convicted" you don't know so your only choice is to pray for them. Do you doubt what our big God can do? He can use an ass to speak, the murderer David to rule and share his own heart, can't he use Joel?

Yes he is rich, and I also subscribe to the "would Jesus be a millionaire" rant-- however, who will reach the rich if we are all poor? Who will help the poor if we are all poor? What does he do with his money? Do you have a garage? Do you park your car in it? Someone in Africa or South America would say "How can YOU be a Christian, you have a house for your car and we don't even have a home."

A Christian there would say to you:

"The scriptures say, Even the son of man had no place to lay his head how do you have not only a home for yourself but also your car?"

Who determines the point of being rich?

Above all, judging is a huge sin, talking bad about others is a sin. If we have a problem with someone, especially a brother... We are told to go to them and try to work it out, then take a friend, then go before the church. Not call them terrible names and say they are not doing the work of God-- what right do we have?

I Wonder what Joel is doing right now? Do you think he is spending time on Facebook or do you think he is perhaps talking with others about Jesus?

Finally, How can we trust someone of ignorance with our salvation, you ask? We don't. We trust in the giver of salvation and that is what he teaches- trust in God.
That big good God who uses broken, poser people like you and I to share his incredible, crazy, unbelievable without faith,  story."

Other Gentleman: "Ok, in regards to Paul, he never held back his views. Paul said women shouldn't be allowed to speak in church. He also destroyed the charismatic movement and Pentecostal movements with his rules for speaking in tongues. Also Paul knew the Bible. He was a Pharisee before conversion. Devout. I never said I was a better person than anyone. I just said I am far more biblically versed than Joel. I also never said people can't be forgiven. However, one must confront their sins to be saved. Without that you can never be a new creation. Read the book of James. Or study the Pauline Epistles. He confronts sin. We have free will. God can't convict someone unless they are open to the conviction. When someone is telling you God is going to make u rich and wealthy you aren't open to conviction. If u don't trust your pastor then y go to church? Kind of a waste of time. Also I am.pretty sure all modern denominations classified as false teachers by bible
. Also I am not a pastor. I am not held to the same standard. Even James acknowledges that. God doesn't pick and choose who to save. To say that praying will make God soften a heart is similar to the Catholic church praying people into heaven. God gives us free will. You cant pick and choose what to accept in the Bible. If one part is a lie it is all destroyed. The problem today is denominations. They mold God into their image of him."

{by then, it was time to stop.}

"When you open the doors of your church be sure to invite me. The book of James, one of my favorites glad we share that love. Grace and peace to you!"

Other Gentleman: "Also in regards to being rich. Hardly any church takes care of the needy. It is more.important to pay pastors full time salaries for three hours of work and have big sound systems. Because that's exactly what Jesus would do. I dare you to find one church who gives 80% of their tithes to the poor. That is the standard for a good charity. I give large amounts to charity every month. I doubt you know anyone who gives a higher portion than I do to charity. If the church gave as I give we would wipe out poverty overnight. Also I don't give expecting riches, like the Osteens, charismatics and Pentecostals teach. Helping poor people isn't like buying a heavenly lotto ticket."

Myself: "Be careful, friend of what you boast about.
Matthew 6:2-4  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

It is none of our business what another gives. I was simply stating, you do not know what he does with his riches. As far as debate on Facebook, I am done with that. Being right is not what it's about and we could go on and on all day long, running in circles wasting time. I would gladly have a cup of coffee with you-- don't know where you are in the world, but if you're close I'd love a chat, face to face to sharpen one another. Outside of that, I'm finished. hmmm, I'd probably even Skype. ; ) May you love people like crazy-- even the ones who you think are posers, liars, and false witnesses... oooohh Christ's bride, scary thing to talk about. Good day!"

Other Gentleman: I didn't announce it until you challenged my generosity. Also, I don't want a reward. Heaven is my reward. If that isn't enough to motivate the church then nothing will. Also, it is my business how those who claim to be called of God tarnish his name. The same reason Jesus attacked the money changers.


Are you tired yet? Man, I am just after reading it all again. I didn't do much fixing of punctuation, that is taken right off our Facebook conversation.

If I could sit with this man, I would say to him a many great things. =) The biggest one would be, who are we to talk bad about Joel? Did you know, my father. The same father who left when I was a young girl, didn't see him again, until I was married with two children-- The same man who was an alcoholic and abusive-- talks about Jesus now, has a relationship with Jesus because of Joel's ministry. I would have told this man about how my dad meets with a bunch of his friends, many of them old drinking buddies, in his garage each Sunday morning for "church." They sit around talking about God and how big and good He is all because Joel is sharing love through the TV. They sit and watch Joel's message right there in their garage. They are getting it. All because Joel shared it differently. Differently than all the other preachers he had come in contact with. I would have laughed with this man as I told him one of my dads friends name is, "goob" I'm pretty sure, that's what they call him, anyway. =)   { i'm so proud of you, dad! }

This is the truth, friends-- relationship is personal.

The story of God-- is relational.

The love of Jesus-- is personal.

Showing that love-- is personal.

To have a conversation like this-- it has to be personal.

Paul reminds us:

"If I speak in human or angelic tongues,but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
It isn't about Joel, your pastor, myself, or you. It's about the cross.

May we love everyone, all the time, no matter what. May we take the problems we have with others to them and love them with our correction,
all the while being humbled by the errors they find in us. May we speak the truth in love always. Remembering, God does not need us to defend Him--

We are not at war with other people, especially Christians, defending our faith.

Encouragement in the form of relationship, talking, spurring one another on, yes! Downgrading, tearing apart, no.

It's all about the love, baby! The love.
God is so good.

Feeling ornery today! ;) I think I'll open this one up for comments. What are your thoughts on this, friends? How do you handle things like this-- do you engage in cyber debate, relational debate, or no debate at all? Do you feel it best to not touch the subject? Or perhaps offer advise lovingly?

The comment button is out of hiding for this one, feel free to journey to the bottom of this page to leave your advise. =)



  1. Conversations in person are the only way to go! Builds each other up, helps us grow, and we can learn from each other.

  2. I agree with Debbie. In person is the way to go. It really isn't healthy to have these debates online even though I think most of us struggle in that area. I am one of them. It is just too hard for people to fully express themselves and build each other up instead of just making each other mad. This conversation made me sad and a little stressed!

  3. I think debates online, in person, or otherwise are all ok as long as they are done in love and not out of anger. My husband actually preaches much like Joel. We find that people need to be shown love. To see the love of Jesus. They already know their sins. I know what I struggle with and I know that crazy love that God has for me anyway.

  4. You are precious. That is all. :-)

  5. Gretchen, tired... yes! Stressed, I hear you! Agree totally with you ladies. Chrissy-- you as well, my love!

    1. Chrissy, that means you are precious as well... not, "I agree with you as well." Ah! Yes, I'm a dork for writing another comment here... but it's so true! you.are.precious. =)

  6. praying for clarity in this mans life. praying for grace and love.

  7. Kati, I think you did a beautiful job of answering this man in love and not taking the bait when he wanted to turn this into an argument. Showing grace and love in the face of adversity looks like JESUS - and that's what we're supposed to reflect. Bless you for doing that!

    1. cleverschooler, It was so hard not to bite the worm! My little heart was fluttering... =) Would have loved to have that cup of coffee with him and talked all day--ok and maybe into the night ; ) Loves to you! Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. Sorry I can fit this all in 1 post.

    You are absolutely right. These kind of stuff cannot be discuss over Facebook. But then again sometimes argument still rises in person. My take that this was too personal for you. Your dad was able to be saved by the teaching of Joel. And that wasn't something he knows. By God's grace your dad has someone like you to stir him to the right way and the right direction Biblically after he is saved. Joel plant seeds and reap it. Even God can use something that is misleading for His glory. I am not saying all his teaching is misleading, but some are. I think "the other gentleman" respond was not wrong either. Joel is not very Biblical in some areas. Def. if Joel say Mormons are Christians, then we need to raise a flag n see where is his teaching based on. Why he said that? what does he have to back it up? If we agree that Mormon is ok, then why not Bahai, Islam, Budhism, Hinduism?

    Regardless he gets paid salary or not it doesn't mean his wrongs are rights. Is like saying someone who volunteers at a homeless shelter and didn't get paid n he killed someone one day, that doesn't make what he did right. He is still a killer. And yes his sins can be forgiven, but consequences will still be there What he did was wrong killing someone and still has to be punish.

  9. As far as Mark 9: 39- 41 verse u quote, we also need to see Matthew 7:21-23. My study Bible said " Not everyone professing Christ is genuinely saved. Even the outward verbal acknowledgement of His lordship is in itself not enough to save the unbeliever apart from true repentances and faith. A genuinely saved person is one that DOESTH the will of my Father, the GREEK presents tense suggesting that he is continually living in obedience to the will of God as the normal course of his life.

    Mark 9:39 -This does not mean that every miracle worker is automatically blessed of God (looking this at my study Bible). For Mark 9:40- This does not contradict with Matt 12:30. The two verses addresses 2 different situation. When it comes to the critical point of accepting or rejecting Jesus (see Context Matt 12:30) not being for Jesus amounts to opposing Him (see John 3:18). But in the case of someone attempting to work in Christ's name, but perhaps with less than a full knowledge of Him (see act 18:25) there is no need to quench the smoking wick (matt 12:20.)

    I never heard of Joel too many times. But the ones I did hear on TV in a glance, I know something is missing. Now, God can use Joel's teaching to lead ppl to Christ. No doubt about that. Our God is almighty. His plans for us is never an accident. Even when we make the bad choice and stray away from him, at the end He will put us back in the right track into His plan if we truly wanting to do His will.

    I do have to agree, a lot of churches these days focus a lot on a feel good type of preaching to attract ppl. I think there should be a balance. If the preaching is all feel good and what ppl want to hear and never any basic solid Biblical principal and teaching then is not right. There's also churches who just keep condemning ppl and never shows love. Balance is def. the keyword here. Some ppl think that we need to water down teaching by not being so harsh and state the Bible as it is in order to attract members. That right there is what I think of us having no faith, we are doubting and limiting God's ability to work and its in our human nature that we feel we need to intervene and "help God."

  10. So in conclusion, I do believe that God can use anyone and any situation to lead ppl to Him, like your dad's situation. Even those who preaches wrong gospel, or watered down version of the Bible. But I strongly believe when you have the wrong and false teaching, is still wrong regardless any situation (in this case Joel not getting paid), Regardless of that, if he teaches things that are not biblical, is not biblical. We cannot choose part of the Bible to be right and some parts are wrong depending which fits our situation. Then again, there's Grace, right? We are all human, makes mistakes and no one is perfect. That's where Grace comes in. I believe that satan uses every situation even the Good to cause division among believers. Its a spiritual warfare!!!

    1. AXK-- OK is that you, KH? It's strange not knowing who I'm writing. I haven't had comments on in a long time-- hello all you people I don't know by face =) Welcome!

      AXK_mom: another thing to remember is the danger there is in thinking what we teach out of the bible to the only truth. It is so hard to say for sure we are always in context. I know there have been many things I have taught myself in the past, and then looked back and realized I was immature in my thinking or maybe just in a whole different place in my walk with Jesus. IF he teaches wrongly, such as Mormons,etc-- that is where I strongly beleive unless we can go to him and talk with him about it-- we really only have one choice.. to pray. I honestly haven't heard much of Joel at all. I would say his smile is too pretty for me ;) I'm all about getting down in the dirt with sinners and getting bone dirty. However, I'm also all about the diversity of the Kingdom and realize what my calling/heart/conviction is-- doesn't have to be someone elses.

      Loved what you wrote, thanks for helping us stretch our thinking!

  11. I just liked how you said "baby!!!!". :). Sweet words for shua

  12. Kati: You are wise to not debate the Other Gentleman, and quite kind to even refer to him as such. People like him don't want to understand your position, they want to destroy it (and you). I was so deeply touched by the account of your father, and can attest to the fact that there are thousands upon thousands of stories just like his. Osteen has a gift... an annointing... to touch people whose heart is open to God's love and Christ's redemption but don't know it. Like so many of Osteen's critics the problem with the Other Gent. is that he really doesn't listen to Osteen regularly like many of us (including your father) do. His accusations are false and therefore meaningless to those of us who are blessed by Osteen's ministry. The critics have thrown everything they have at Osteen for 12 years and yet his ministry continues to grow and be blessed while so many of their's flounder. What does that tell us?


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