This email exchange concerning Joel Osteen is presented at Apprising Ministries with the gracious permission of the original author and has been edited slightly to protect their identity.

While we do not agree on the “ministry” of Joel Osteen this exchange shows that sometimes—though sadly not near often enough—dialogue like this can prove edifying.

—– Original Message —–
From: AM Reader
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 4:43 PM
Subject: Joel Osteen

Dear Pastor,

I came across your website and found it quite startling. May the Lord forgive me if I am wrong but I think you are bashing a true man of God. I understand he is known as the Bubble Gum pastor for his smiley demeanor. do you know how many people have converted their lives to Christ. In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, more people will come to Christ when they hear how awesome God is, how God really wants us to be happy but in order to do so we must follow HIS will.

Pastor Osteen does not do what so many pastors do, he does not damn those to hell who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. We know it because the Bible tell us it, but what is the point of scaring a person to Christ. People should feel as though they are beginning a friendship with God. That HE is our friend, to trust and confide in.

Once again, Lord forgive me if I am wrong, but our Father placed Pastor Osteen on this planet to show people that our God is an awesome and loving God and as long as we do HIS will, we are human and will slip, that we can ask the Lord for forgiveness and we will be forgiven and keep our path in christ. It’s like a parent child relationship. If you beat your child and make him scared of you, he will hate you and rebel. if you love your child and properly discipline them, they will respect you and turn out to be quality people.

If people are taught to fear, not the good fear, but the bad fear of God, that He is the GOD who destroys humankind by causing these earthquakes and hurricanes, then what makes you think people will want to follow HIM? If people are taught that God is a loving, just and caring God but He will discipline when needed, people are more compassionate with that notion. People want comfort, they want to feel loved, they want to feel that even if they mess up they will be forgiven, not so scared that they rebel completely or kill themselves b/c they can’t face the fact the God’s punishment might be so cruel.

This once again is my opinion, which I and everyone is entitled to. may the Lord bless you and keep you and may He open your eyes to His Will.

AM Reader

In a message dated 11/7/2007 5:32:41 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:

Hello AM Reader,

Thank you for contacting Apprising Ministries. Please know that this kind of letter goes with the turf I am called to defend so I don’t take offense by tough words coming back at me, k? I also do not have anything personal against Joel Osteen who certainly gives every appearance of being a very nice man.

Below you said: “This once again is my opinion, which I and everyone is entitled to.” I quite agree; but I’d also like to ask you to consider reading the following two articles:

Apprising Joel Osteen’s Word Faith Teachings

Jesus I Know; and Rick Warren I Know, but Who is Ken Silva?

The first is the result of 20 years of personal study in the field of Comparative Religion and non-Christian cults and the other will fill you in on the complete background of Apprising Ministries.

After reading these I will encourage you to please prayerfully consider whether your opinion as stated below is a well-informed one.


Pastor Ken Silva
Apprising Ministries
Ezekiel 3:7-14

General Editor
Christian Research Net
2 Corinthians 11:12-15

Subject: Re: Joel Osteen


I read your page and the email asking who you are. In this email, you were asked the following:

“Above you tell me and then ask: I am just curious about the out-lashings in your writings. I am into researching and seeking the Truth in God’s Word as well and I seek to understand where you as a ‘Teacher/Pastor’ are coming from… May I ask your credentials?”

I’m sorry maybe I missed it, but what are you credentials?

Well to each its own. I thank you for taking the time out to respond to my email as I am aware that you are a busy person. Just to give you a little insight on me. I am a 20-something person, who is recently separated with my spouse and I have a young child. I have been raised a Pentecostal my entire life and a few years ago, left the church I was in because their teachings were hurting my faith rather than helping it.

I accept all walks of life and defend them. I study various religions and have to come one solid belief, I am no one to judge. We will all have our day before His Majesty, and that time He will be the one to lay down our judgment. I have learned to love all cultures and religions. If I am wrong may God forgive me as I have learned that I only need to please Him and do as He pleases. This here was just a little FYI on me.

Thank you for your time,

AM Reader

Subject: Re: Joel Osteen

Hello AM Reader,

You are most welcome to my time. The word “minister” means servant; as in a servant of Christ who serves all.

My “credentials” are the same as Joel Osteen says his are. He is a pastor-teacher of Lakewood Church and I of Connecticut River Baptist Church. Beyond that you would be able to see from the article you read that God has seen fit to give me a number of other pastor-teachers to be under my supervision in various phases of Christian outreach.

You kindly shared with me: “I am a 20-something, who is recently separated with my spouse and I have a young child.” Please know that I am sad to hear of the separation and I understand that these things do happen. If you don’t mind I am forwarding this to my IPU Unit (intercessory prayer unit) but with just your first name and without the email address etc. to protect your privacy.

You said: “I have been raised a Pentecostal my entire life and a few years ago, left the church I was in because their teachings were hurting my faith rather than helping it.” I am not against the gifts of the Spirit and so on but I can tell you that God may have led you away from Pentecostalism where parts of it have some very serious theological errors. So I wish to encourage you it was the Lord Who helped you to see that in your case this was hurting you. How great is that!

As a minister who is specifically trained in Comparative Religion and non-Christian cults this concerns me: “I accept all walks of life and defend them. I study various religions…” While we should accept people wherever they are and be kind to them, as Christians we are not to “defend” things contrary to God’s Word. For example, I have friends who are homosexual and I sure accept them as people with freedom to live as they choose. But I would not defend their lifestyle as acceptable because it is an offense to their Creator. See the difference? Love them; but not their sin.

And when you say you “study various religions” it sends a red flag up to me because it might be why you then said you: “have to come one solid belief, I am no one to judge.” Well, it looks to me that you may have some confusion when it comes to our relationship with our fellow man as opposed to our relationship and allegiance to God. The Bible says of other religions – the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons (1 Corinthians 10:21). All non-Christians are considered pagans. Please know this is not used as a put down, it simply means they do not have a relationship to God.

Our culture drills this into us: “I am no one to judge.” Prior to my being born again my own life was measured by this thought: “Everyone should be able to live any way they wish as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.” And there is an element of truth here; yes, they can live as they please but non-Christians in their sinful lifestyles do hurt Someone else—God. And Jesus—God Himself in human flesh—specifically tells us to judge things according to God’s Word in the Bible:

1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:1-5)

This is a passage in the Bible that everyone seem to know. But note where I highlighted and you’ll see that Jesus is not telling us to never judge; rather, He is telling us to judge ourselves first and then we’ll be able to use the Word of God—the Absolute standard by which all men will be judged—to help others see where they are in error. And in John 7:24 Jesus literally says — “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” In other words, accept people for who they are but use the Word of God to help them see their sin. Of course we must always try to do this as lovingly, gently and patiently as humanly possible; but it is our job as Christ’s ambassadors to tell them the absolute Truth just as He did. Make sense?

In closing, and now that you know the above; you should be able to see that I agree when you say: “I have learned to love all cultures and religions.” In fact, I love them so much that I am laying my life down for them to study what they believe from their own sources so that I can accurately show them where their beliefs conflict with the Bible. I am willing to take the blows and even their anger if there might be a chance they come to know Who Jesus really is. Can’t be any more loving than that.

As gently as I know how, I pray you’ll now see the problem with your statement here: “If I am wrong may God forgive me as I have learned that I only need to please Him and do as He pleases.” Above I have shown you that what pleases Him is when we do what Jesus tells us to do and not to bow before the wrong understanding of “judging” behind which our sinful culture tries to hide their sin. My sibling in Christ, the most loving thing I can do is to tell someone the whole truth. And here is the root of the major disservice Joel Osteen is doing to those who listen to him.

As a fellow pastor with Joel I can tell him it is specifically our job as a pastor to — Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction (2 Timothy 4:2). While one might argue that Osteen does have the encourage part going for him, he obviously neglects the two very important areas which precede it. I pray this helps.


Ken Silva, pastor-teacher

Subject: Re: Joel Osteen


Once again thank you for taking the time to reply to my email. You see the bad thing about email is when one has a lot to say, sometimes we can’t type it all since we think faster than we type.

When I wrote “I accept all walks of life and defend them. I study various religions…” what I meant by this was I defend the person, not necessarily what they believe. I am one for equality of women, children, the poor, the handicapped, etc. When it comes to homosexuals, I was saddened to find out recently that one of the my closest friends recently revealed to me that they are gay. As much as that hurts me and angers me as well, I defend them for who they are, not what they do. I continue to love them and treat them as always and speak to them about God. I do not find it appropriate of me to damn them to hell and tell them if they do not repent of their sins, they will burn for ever in hell. I will leave that job for the pastors :).

The reason for my desire to study all religions, is to try to get an understanding of different cultures and their beliefs and why they do what they do. It is a sort of hobby for me as I do hold down a full time job as well. My faith in God will never change as He is my one and only and I seek to only do His will and want to walk the path He has created for me. I ask the Lord to open my eyes if I am ignorant to any of my thoughts and ask that He show me what is correct. I am human an err as much as the next, that is why I will never feel “ok” to judge another even if I am aware of my own sins.

I thank you for your prayers for my situation. I have great peace as far as my separation is concerned. The Lord knows I tried for a long time to help my spouse out of an addiction to drugs. They kept placing our family in danger and I then knew that is was no longer the Lord’s will for us to continue as I feared for the safety of my child and I.

These emails have been quite pleasant and I thank you one more time for taking the time and discussing these topics. Even if there is something that we may disagree on, I respect your thoughts and opinions as you do mine. That is what makes it easy to get along with people of all walks and religions (for the record I do not nor will ever accept or respect Satanism, WICCA and any other religion or belief that has to do with Satan).

Thank you,

AM Reader