If Satan were running a church he wouldn't want a cross in it. The cross symbolizes Christ's taking the punishment for our sin. Joel sparcely mentions God or Christ and does not preach the gospel. The gospel is that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin. If you truly understand the awfulness of your sin and understand that you and every one of us deserves to spend eternity in Hell for disobeying a holy God you are beginning to move in the right direction. Pray that God will open your eyes to the awfulness of your sin and your need to have someone pay for your sins. This is what Jesus did for you. He is your only hope of salvation. If you reject Him, you will end up in hell.
Jesus said, "In the last days men will not hear sound doctrine (true preaching) but will gather to themselves those who will tickle their ears and excite them.
Joel takes a couple true verses from the New Testament like--God shall provide all your needs--and--I came to give you an abundant life. Jesus said these words but they are promises to those who believe on Him and be His disciple--which is not preached by Joel Osteen.
Jesus also said to those who believe on Him, "You will be hated by all men. If they have hated Me they will hate you also. You will be persecuted in every city and be imprisoned. You will be beaten, stoned and killed for My sake because you teach them the truth of the gospel. One of his disciples was crucified.
The majority of what Jesus said was about our suffering for Him, not our receiving abundance. He said whatever you lose here will be paid back ten-fold in the life to come.
Ask yourself? Is Satan bothering you, causing you to have doubts and a miserable life? If not, you are probably not a Christian at all. Satan doesn't bother those who belong to him.
Jesus said, "CHECK HIS DOCTRINE. If what he preaches does not line up with Bible, he is a false prophet." Jesus said, "In the last days men will come with another gospel (health and wealth gospel) and they will gather a great following and lead men astray from the truth and they will all die in their sins. (Hell)
This is not meant to anger you. I am sounding an alarm that if you will listen, you can be rescued from this false doctrine. Wouldn't you rather read the Bible and find out for yourself what the truth is than to blindly follow the false gospel into Hell.
Mr. Osteen is a feel good self-help author. He never mentions Christ, redemption, sin, or Scripture. Satan would indeed love it if there were more men like Mr. Osteen who say that they represent Christianity, yet never mention Biblical principles.
Christ is No longer on the Cross He is On the Throne... If you get a true relationshionship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit connected to the Father. Then you will understand A Man in walking in the Wisdom of GOD through Compassion and Love, and that's what's neededing in Kingdom Living for todays World. So all U who are Mad at the Message of Mr. Osteen Really need help cause you never understood pain, it shows you never understood the pain Christ had on the cross and still he operated in love for the ones who hated him. JESUS IS LORD and JESUS IS LOVE, CHIRST MEAN PURE.....An so if you want to be a Super Christian with all the Answers... Get ready for GOD to take you through for you to understand, Cause you are not looking at the message of Mr. Osteen with an Open Mind Through the HOLY SPIRIT
Without seeming to be too critical of Mr. Osteen, I would say by him leaving out the plan of salvation does more harm than good. This life is temporary, and while it is wonderful to live our best life now here on earth, there is still our eternal life. The ONLY way to the father is through the Son, Jesus Christ! Oh how sad the day will be when all of those who thought they lived a "good life" can get into heaven. It is not about us and how good of a life we lived- It is all about him and the price he paid, the sacrafice on the cross! It is not about our works, but our faith. It is God's grace. I feel like Mr. Osteen leaves this out in his preachings, teachings and writings. On judgement day, the people that crossed our paths are going to look at us and Mr. Osteen and ask, "Why didn't you tell me?" Why do people choose to leave out the fact that the "ticket to heaven" can't be bought our earned through just "living a good life"? The ticket has been paid for- It has the word "FREE" on it, written in blood-Christ's blood. Don't omit Christ's bloodshed from the picture-without it, we would all be lost!
I am a member of Lakewood and at the end of every service, everyone is given an opportunity to accept Christ. This invitation is also available at the end of everyone of his television programs. This particular book is an opportunity to take some biblical principal and apply it to certain areas of your life. It is not the sole authority on Christianity or how to commit your life to Christ. As a part of Joel's invitation, he also encourages you to get in a bible based church so you will grow in the knowledge of Christ. The entire program of the church is structured around this goal; from the New Believer's classes to the many classes and lessons available. There may be no cross in the church but God is in Lakewood church and many of us are filled with the Holy Spirit. Joel has a specific gift for the lost and broken. I know this because I once was lost and broken. But once he showed me the path to becoming a better me (through improved self esteem and a clearer vision), it was up to me to discover the other Lakewood resources so that I could develop a closer walk with the Lord. In addition, we are encouraged to read our bibles, listen to study tapes from the other wonderful ministers within the church and to fellowship with other believers. I say all of this only for those to know what a blessing the entire Osteen family are and the difference they have made in my life through the power of the Holy Spirit, along with all of my fellow Lakewood Church members and those in our community who have been touched by Joel Osteen ministries. God bless you all.
I am not a member of his church and always thought that he wasn't preaching the full gospel but when I listened to him, he tells of hope and uses scripture after scripture. I am semi broken myself and a message of hope through Jesus Christ is just what I need. Thanks for your post.
This book is not about how to be saved. It is not about becoming a Christian. It is for the Christian to grow deeper in his/her relationship with Christ and thus become a better person by living as God intended us to live.
I had the same conerns as you before reading his book. At the very end of the book though, he includes two pages that deal with placing one's trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. (as I mention in my review) He talks specifically about every person having a void that only a relationship with God can fill. A relationship with our heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. He states that he believes "knowing Him is the source of true peace and fulfillment in life."
Then he encourages the reader to pray this simple prayer: "Jesus, I believe You died for me and rose from the dead, so now I want to live for You. I am turning away from my sins and placing my trust in You. I acknowledge You as my Savior and Lord, and I'm asking You to guide my life from now on."
Joel then proceeds to tell the reader to read the Bible every day; talk to God through prayer, attend a good Bible-based church. Keep God in first place in your life and follow His priniciples.
I don't know how much plainer he could make it. I found no false doctrine in his book unless it's just that all through the book it takes the approach that the reader is a believer. Everyone is created in the image of God (Christians and Non-Christians) but everyone is not God's child (only those who have trusted Jesus as Savior). Once we do that though, then our position is not that of a lowly sinner, but a joint-heir with Christ, a child of the Almighty God and Christians need to realize this!
As far as no cross in His church if that is in fact true, that is weird.
--Karen Arlettaz Zemek, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry"
Susan, just one suggestion for your message, which was well appreciated. It would help if you would reference your scriptural quotes, and give the translation of the Bible you are quoting Jesus from. I couldn't figure out where some of those quotes were coming from. If you quote, it lends more credibility to the validity of your message.
I agree that the message Osteen promotes is one of prosperity. When Jesus spoke, he did NOT say, "You are the son/daughter of a king, you deserve to live as such." In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus was asked, "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:36-40 New Revised Standard Version)
Without a doubt, Jesus loved a good time, even making wine out of water for a wedding! (John Chapter 2) But more than anything, Christ taught us how to live while we are on this world, loving God and neighbor. He gives us this reference point for how we live our lives. So now we have a social responsibility to our neighbor, and not just the "next-door" type, but the people we take for granted, both in our community and in our world. And if Osteen isn't preaching that, he is not preparing anybody for the world to come.
And on the subject of Osteen, if he is preaching a subject/book "Your Best Life Now," he is NOT preaching to prepare people for the world to come, "Your Best After-Life." Even Jesus experienced hardships while he lived on this world, in fact, he died through suffering. But it was not this world that he was meant for (nor are we), but rather the world to come, of which we can barely even begin to imagine.
Despite his "feel-good" tactics, and hopefully his good intentions, as you so rightfully theme out, his is not a message of hope, but a message of doom. We experience God every day, in the good and in the bad. It is not wrong to want to experience good things, in fact our understanding of the concept of good comes from God, the Highest Good. But the Highest Good that we seek is not to be found in this world, something Osteen doesn't seem to comprehend. In fact, Jesus gives us more guidelines for living through the Beatitudes. "Blessed are..." (Matthew Chapter 5) I don't think Osteen's guide for blessedness compares similarly, to say the least.
The more I think about it, the more I am reminded of Christ's temptations by the Devil at the beginning of Chapter 4 of Luke. The Devil offers Christ all sorts of material wealth, and Jesus refuses. So now I look back again at Osteen and ask, is there any promotion of any type of social responsibility? Think about others and not yourself first? Is this a message that truly reflects what God asks of us? If we look at the Gospels and compare with Osteen's philosophy, I think it is as black and white as the pages the messages are written on.
Dear Looking for the Good Loved your comment about how the devil offered Christ the entire world if he would just bow down to Satan. Joel Osteen says, "follow my teaching, get rich and enjoy your life now." I just realized that this sounds exactly like the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Lazarus went to Heaven and the rich man went to Hell and the rich man couldn't figure out why. God told him that he had enjoyed his life while he was on earth while Lazarus suffered. Now Lazarus is comforted and you are in agony. I think I'd be scared to get riches here. Jesus said, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into Heaven."
You say, "He has an altar call at the end of his service" but do these people even know what they are doing and will they last? Jesus said of many s0-called believers that "when conflict arises they will fall away because they are not deeply rooted". If the only theology you know is how to feel good and make money, the first time you lose a job of start bouncing checks that must mean you're not a Christian. The majority of people who come forward in massive altar calls (with the exception of Billy Graham because he tells you you're a sinner and need a savior) fall away from Christianity. How do I know? A follow-up study was done of one denomination which had 80,000 coverts in one year. One year later a study was done to find out what had happened to all these converts and they were able to find only 14(fourteen) of them still inolved in a church. The rest had returned to their previous lifestyle. These statistics are quoted from Ray Comfort, evangelist, author of "Hell's best kept secret." He says the reason people fall away is because they never realized their need of salvation in the first place. "Hell's best kept secret" can be listened to on-line, just google Ray Comfort or the title itself. Anyone who has not heard this published "sermon" needs to hear it. It is a must-hear for all Christians. It will change the way you think about evangelism and also shows you a way to approach anyone and after a couple minutes bring up Jesus. You just Have To hear it.
Oh give me a break. It's bible thumpers like you that turn people off christianity. Open your eyes and your heart and listen. There is more than one way to learn about God. Does it all have to be about threats about burning in hell?? Lighten up!!!
no, it doesn't and shouldn't be all about threats about burning in hell. BUT, it should be a balance between personal and social responsibility, rather than all about feeling good and forgetting that there are others in the world to whom we who have it so good have a responsibility, as children of God, to help.
It is very interesting to read these comments. Christ said "You will reap what you sow." I have read Joel Osteens book, and although repetitive, it points us to our own responsibility for our experience on this planet. Christ came to transform our lives and replace suffering with "peace that defies human understanding." He commanded us to "Love your neighbor as yourself" and this would identify us as true followers. Do we not realize that loving ourselves is the prerequisite to leading a life that manifests the fruits of the spirit? Love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, mildness and self contol. Joel Olsteen is focusing on the first step- loving ourselves. This is where much of our failure as Christians begins. We cannot give to others what we do not possess ourselves. Resistance to these crucial and transformative teachings of Christ reveal a deep seated belief in suffering and piety. Christ came to release us from those that would keep us poor in spirit and burdened by the law. I recommend his book for anyone struggling in their present self-created condition. The spirit of God is available to all and will transform your life for the better! Peace and blessings,
Jeremy, you miss the context (and the point) of what Christ meant when he said "love your neighbor as yourself". He was calling upon our natural inclination towards selfishness. We are, as human beings, geared towards the flesh. Our wants, needs and desires are, deep down, most important to us. Jesus was/is telling us to treat others as well as we treat ourselves. It is NOT a command to "love ourselves". Loving ourselves is not ..."the prerequisite to leading a life that manifests the fruits of the spirit...", rather, it follows what Satan imagined himself (see Isaiah 14:12-15). All I, me, my. So yes, you are correct, osteen DOES focus on loving ourselves.
Hello Sandra, Thank you for responding and especially for sending me to scripture. After reading Isaiah I have a question. Why do you equate love with Satan's arrogance and false pride? I myself don't see a connection. 1 Corinthians 13:4 clearly states that love does not get puffed up, does not brag etc... I am not advocating self worship at all- and I agree that Love is not "geared towards the flesh". As I understand it- The first Law is to Love God with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Then you include others and yourself. No one is left out. This is the "good news". God is love and it covers all of us if we allow it to. Does this make sense? For example- "love is long suffering and kind". Do you feel it is acceptable to be patient and kind with oneself? God is love- this passage describes God. God is patient and kind with us- I believe that if we practice this with ourselves we can easily do so with others. Or- "Love does not keep account of the injury." I would read that this applies to when we hurt ourselves as well. If we constantly ruminate on our own flaws and failures it proves to be difficult not to concentrate on that in others as well. Forgiveness, in my experience, is the most crucial and least practiced teaching of Christ- and it includes ourselves. It is a manifestation of Love. You clearly have bible knowledge- but it seems odd for Christ to call upon a sin and then tell his followers to turn that sin outward in order to transform their lives. What if you took what I assume to be your loving attitude towards others and included you? What would happen? Is it possible to do both? I believe that is exactly what Christ is asking us to do. Feed the poor, care for the widows, extend love and service everywhere you go, be a blessing in every situation AND be kind to yourself when you get home. Draw a bubble bath and thank God for it. Would he object? What do you think? Does that better explain the concept?
To, J Perry, thank you for a sane and thoughtful response to those who have taken Christ and Christianity to a place that has nothing to do with what Christ tried to teach people. It breaks my heart the his life and example have become so twisted and entwined with the Old Testament. Joel Osteen has renewed my faith in God and life. To those that criticize him, you have my sympathy and need all the prayers you can get.
There is no need to have a cross because Jesus overcame it. Focus on the resurrection...on the ascension...not on the crucifixion. A relationship with Christ should always be joyous and filled with Light; not anguish and suffering.
The cross is a symbol of death and Jesus is alive and well. Some choose to focus on the positive and not the negative.
Jesus said "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matthew 7:1-2
And he (David) said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD." 1Samuel 24:6 Saul wasn't serving God but he was still God's anointed. You may want to consider that before you speak against Joel Osteen or anyone else.
I completely agree with you J.Perry. I don't think people are looking at Joel Osteen and saying, he is God. If anything, he is making you want to have a relationship with the God. Before I listened to him, I had forgotten that God was in control. I started to listen to him and started praying more, keeping the faith more and now I feel like i have a stronger bond with God. It's the people like you, Susan that make people not want to deal with church or God. People like you that are so narrow minded that you don't know what else to do but start threatening people to hell to scare them. Being that you are a christian, you should know better then to start rebuking people to hell. You should be ashamed of yourself!
I am sorry for you and the way you are presenting my saviour, Joel Osteen does mention Christ, the Bible and every good thing and are more godly than most people I meet in church. I have actually fled from churches who speak like you do. It's not that I'm not a dedicated christian, it's not that I don't love Christ and it's not that I'm not godly. It's because Jesus died for me because I am a person worth dying for, not because I am a worm. And because of that I do not sin(or try not to) because I would not want to hurt Him, not because I'm afraid. I don't think God has anything against people feeling good. He probably thinks it's better than feeling bad. Jesus always seemed pretty happy and positive. The war is over. God stopped being mad at people when Christ paid the price. Get over it, you're only causing people to stay away from church and creating atheists. Learn to like yourself, being a real person in Christ is not a bad deal. And please stop critiszing other christians, it looks really bad. Most of my friends won't accept Christ or go to church because of people like you. Christ is expressed through love and the Osteens are the most loving people I know and from your post it's doubtful if you express the same feelings.