September 9, 2006

Criticizing Joe Osteen

When it comes to Joel Osteen, main stream Christian evangelicals don't seem to know how to talk about him. Many despise him, but is it for any reason other than his fame and wealth. I certainly believe so, and Bob Carlton does a good job of articulating some criticism against Osteen. Here's what he concludes with in summary:

1) As presented in his books and messages, Joel Osteen isn’t an evangelical. He’s a motivational speaker.
2) No matter what his personal or occasional doctrinal statements, Osteen’s books and sermons are absent the Gospel message.
3) The vast majority of Osteen’s message is simply advice for being a better person- the antithesis of the cross and the Gospel.
4) The MSMs attention to Osteen as a successor to Billy Graham should be loudly opposed by every pastor, preacher, teacher, leader and blogger in evangelicalism.
5) The promotion of Osteen by publishing interests is an outright detriment to the cause of Christ in the name of making money.

You can read all of his thoughts at


Fair is Fair said...

Dear Sir,
This man is easy to listen to, and it is a delight to hearing him speak about God's will, can be you will; and not pushing " Jesus " as such. Joe Osteen is to be commended for speaking about ' good food '; no other preacher has ever done that .
Sure he is a motivator--- what is wrong with that.? It can create the Joy of Living in people.
However, the organisation falls down in not replying to correspondence. no acknowledgement, no response, to mail sent in 4 - 5 months ago.

Anonymous said...

I love Joe Ostten's speaches, and at the end of his speech he always encourage people to and get a bible studdy. He is positive, and motivates people to live that way and to always trust in God and to be a better person. There is nothing wrong in that, the only thing this man does is built people up make their day easy and meaningful.I enjoy him and don't don't he mean no harm at all.. and everybody has to make a living he dedicates his life to that what is so wrong that he makes money. That is his job and he is doing a great Job!!

JoeBum said...

first, I'm not sure what fair is fair means by "good food." second, neither do i understand the not replying that directed towards me or osteen???

Alright, so that said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with money, except with live in a culture that loves money.

Osteen in my, and many others, opinion is not a "preacher" of the Gospel, but a motivational speaker.

Yes, he may be easy to listen to. Yes, his speeches may even help you, but at the core of the Gospel message is not a feel good about yourself, God will bless "only" bless you.

Take the book of Job for example in the Old Testament, here's a guy the Bible says was perfect in every way before the Lord's eyes. One day, for no reason his home, family, crops, and health are all taken from him.

Also, in the Gospels, Jesus calls people to "follow him" not feel good about themselves.

Yes, being in a meaningful relationship with God breaks sin, thus we can live in real joy and peace, but at the same time we may be called to suffer.

Jesus said in Matt 8:34-38 that we must deny ourselves and pick up the cross. THE CROSS.

thus, I'm not bashing osteen the man, he is a good speaker that has helped people I'm sure. But like the post says his message is not evangelical Christian. He offers happiness, when God offers the cross. "Your best life now" will never be settled until your in relationship to GOd by the forgiveness of sins, renewed into Christ's image, and walking in that image.

SiasDiane said...

Joel Osteen is the kind of preacher we need.
The bible is not perfect not enterily inspiration by god. Read the Dogma of Christ by Erick Fromm and you'll know part of the history that bible doesn't say. If you know enough to support your defense of the bible and against Osteen say why the bible it has been the principle obstacle for the women emancipation and what about the coran and the apocrifos books?.

I will say read the bible and be skeptic and read more books and also compare with cience and the reality. Don't conclude so easily with the bible.

Anonymous said...

There is ample evidence to support the conclusion that the Bible is the inerrant, perfect, inspired Word of God. I won't take this space to launch into the argument for this conclusion; do your homework and you will find plenty of source material that supports this view.

Yes, there is also plenty of material arguing the contrary. I believe that eventually you must pick one conclusion or the other, and that the correct conclusion that the Bible is indeed what it claims to be. Regardless of what Fromm says.

But we can narrow this discussion even further, as it is about Joel Osteen and whether or not he presents the message of the Gospel... or is simply a motivational speaker.

The Gospel is NOT a message of "being a better person" or living "your best life now". What is the Gospel? It is simply this:

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures..." 1Cr 15:3

Elsewhere, Paul writes:

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom 10:9

Now, that's from the Bible.

But does Joel Osteen accept the Bible as the Word of God? Here's what he says on his own web site:

"…the entire Bible is inspired by God, without error and the authority on which we base our faith, conduct and doctrine."


THAT message doesn't appear in any of Joel's books.

Perhaps a little experiment will be enlightening.

I did a little research on Joel's site.

On the front page of his site (, Christ's name does not appear. Joel's name appears 11 times.

I used the "search this site" feature on Joel's site and got the following results (remember, this searches the entire site):

"Christ" - 10 results
"Jesus" - 19 results
"Joel" - 138 results

Anonymous said...

I love Joe Osteen!