Friday, November 30, 2007

Joel Osteen and The Broad Road to Destruction

Ok, so I am way behind in my podcasting (mid November for Way of the Master, mid October for Grace to You, and don’t even ask me about Desiring God), but I just heard something on Way of the Master Radio from the November 13th show. The show opened with an audio clip featuring someone interviewing Joel Osteen where the interviewer brought up the fact that Joel’s newest book would be able to be received by all people regardless of their religion.

Joel and the interviewer went back and forth a bit, talking about the universality of the principles of God’s blessing people who do (or give) certain things. But it was the following Joel Osteen quote that made my hair stand up on the back of my neck when he was talking about his target market for his product:

“…Our goal is to just help anybody from any faith to improve their life. And so, I think you’re exactly right and that there are universal truths [in the Bible]. To me, if you give, God’s gonna bless you; it’s going to be given back to you. It doesn’t say, “if you’re a Christian and you give….” So that’s my whole thing, is just to present this to people, I like it to be [as] broad as possible because I feel like we’re not supposed to just reach our one group.”
Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount came screaming into my head at this point,

13 "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 "You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "So then, you will know them by their fruits.

21 "Not everyone who says to Me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, `I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' (Matthew 7:13-23)
Joel, I am sure that you want to make your message as palatable for as many people as is humanly possible. And on a human level I can understand that desire. But if you promote an unbiblical concept that God wants all people to be healthy, wealthy, successful, pretty, satisfied, happy, comfortable, and whatever other trait that the masses desire for themselves, you must know that you are not a preacher of the gospel. You have appropriately categorized your message as being very broad. But, that is the opposite message of what Christ preached.

I hope and pray that you will come to Christ, because if I examine your fruits and the message that you preach, then I must say this: Mr. Osteen, you are no Christian, but a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You may not even know that you are because you are deceived yourself. May God grant you grace to repent and believe in Christ.

1 comment:

Jenny H. said...

Excellent topic! The tele-evangelistics of today scare me. I'm not sure there is one that I could watch, because all of them show flaws like this in some way!

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