They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. (1 John 4:5)

Withholding The Truth And Leaving People In Their Sin

Joel Osteen’s Still the Name Leaders Know“, a September 5, 2008 puff piece on Joel Osteen from The Washington Times (TWT) we are reminded that he’s:

pastor of America’s largest church, [and] has plenty of powerful friends: Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas and the Rev. Billy Graham. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain has met with him. Sen. Barack Obama’s aides are trying to arrange a get-together… (Online source

Yes indeed, the world is certainly listening alright. And what is more we’re also told that Osteen:

wasn’t always so sought after. For 17 years, Mr. Osteen, now 45, handled TV production for his father, well-known televangelist John Osteen. The younger Mr. Osteen was petrified at the thought of public speaking until his father died in 1999 at age 77. The oldest son, Paul, a surgeon, was not available to fill in, so Joel, the second son, was asked to take over the 5,000-member church. “I guess it’s because I was there,” he said in an interview Thursday. “I like to think my dad was easygoing and kind, and I think some of those things have been passed down. I am like him in a sense of being positive and hopeful. He was compassionate, and I’ve got a lot of that in me as well.” (Online source)

Apprising Ministries has already shown you in Joel Osteen and John Osteen that not only is “like him” but the son also shares his late dad’s corrupt Word Faith teachings and prosperity gospel as well. The fact is that Osteen believes and quietly preaches the same Word Faith doctrine as John Avanzini Word Faith Wolf and Prosperity Preacher and that of WF cult leader Kenneth Copeland, which then begs the question: Do Regenerated Christians Really Teach Jesus Christ Is A “Born Again Man”?

TWT also informs us, “Mr. Osteen has just come out with a second book, ‘Become a Better You’ and will be signing copies at noon Friday at Books-a-Million on Dupont Circle. Later in the day, he will preach at a sold-out 15,000-seat Verizon Center.” O, there’s little doubt that Osteen’s venues will be packed out. Take for example the fact that Joel Osteen Blesses the Mormon Church. Therein you’ll see this Christian “pastor” has recently even declared that practicing members in the non-Christian cult of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), who believe that Jesus was the first spirit child born of a resurrected man who became a god, are also Christian just the same as he is.

And then in Joel Osteen Helping Mormons “Become A Better You” I’ll show you that he’s also dumbed any genuine Christian message down so far that Mormon owned Deseret Book even sells Osteen’s latest book cited above. A leading voice in the man-centered semi-pelagian Ecumenical Church of Deceit of postevangelicalism TWT further enlightens us that Osteen’s:

books and message are America’s new civil religion: a packaging of advice on relationships, health and finances mixed in with shared values that appeal to people of all or no faith. About 40 percent of his worldwide TV audience identify themselves as nonbelievers. Mr. Osteen’s broad-brush style of evangelism has netted some criticism because of its emphasis on prosperity and his lack of sermonizing on sin.

“I would never do it purposely,” the pastor replied when asked why his latest book contains little to no mentions of Jesus Christ. “Certainly He is my savior. He is in my messages and I always give people an invitation to receive Christ. “I deal with more practical issues of the Bible. … I don’t like to beat people down. They need to be lifted up.” The book, which has chapter titles such as “Feed Your Good Habits,” “Rising Higher” and “Keep the Strife Out of Your Life,” does not dwell heavily on unanswered prayer. When he deals with people, Mr. Osteen said he aims at keeping their faith up. (Online source)  

Men and women, now we uncover the heart of the matter with Osteen: What kind of faith are we taking about; and faith in what? He has given America a “civil religion” alright but it’s certainly not new. It’s really just a twist of the very old, very wrong, ethic of the self: “God helps those who help themselves.” What Osteen does is to take the positive confession of the Word Faith movement, actually rooted in the neo-Gnostic metaphysical Mind Science cults, and then marry it to the philoso-psychobabble of the most heralded modern-day prophet of the self Robert Schuller who also lacked “sermonizing on sin.” However, where Osteen completely ignores sin Schuller simply redefined it while telling people Christ Died for Mankind’s Negative Self-Image.

So when all is said and done essentially Osteen’s own pragmatic man-pleasing message is a kind of Rick Warren-lite. But the tragic issue is by his “preaching” a pseudo-Christian message with no “sermonizing on sin” and which appeals “to people of all or no faith” Osteen isn’t really lifting people up at all. No, instead here we have a man who claims to be a pastor-teacher sent by Christ Jesus who is consciously withholding the Truth from these packed-out crowds, which then leaves them right in their sin:

What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead.

Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. (Romans 7:7-12)

In closing, and especially if you have been following the woefully incomplete (at best) message of Joel Osteen, I now point you to a message by Dr. John Piper called How We Come to Know Sin. Pastor Piper is right when he tells you that God’s Law exposes mankind’s “sinful condition”; and think about it, if people don’t understand that they are in sin then they certainly aren’t going to see a need for a Savior:

How Does the Law Help Us Know Our Sin?

So let’s ask today, How does the law help us know our sin? I ask this because I want to benefit as much as possible from the good purposes of the law. I don’t want to miss this blessing. I don’t want you to. I expect that it will be a painful blessing – to be exposed by the law as a sinner, but we saw last week that this is all good for us. Exploratory surgeries, biopsies, diagnoses, treatment – these may all be painful, but they are all good for us in the hand of a skilled physician. And God is the most skilled physician.

So how does the law help us know our sinful condition? Notice I ask about our “sinful condition,” not our “sins.” I do this because of something that you can see in verse 8: “But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind.” Sin produced coveting. Wait, I thought coveting was sin. But in Paul’s mind there is something beneath the sin of coveting, which is producing coveting. And that something he calls sin. He treats it like a power – almost like a person. It looks for opportunities – it will even look in God’s holy law – and then uses those opportunities to produces sins like covetousness.

That deeper thing that produces sins is what I am calling our “sinful condition.” You could call it our depravity. You could call it our fallenness. Believers could call it our “remaining corruption.” Paul simply calls it sin. But he makes it clear that it is deeper and more pervasive and productive than the sins that it produces, like covetousness.

This sinful condition is what we need to get to know. And according to verse 7, we get to know it by knowing what it produces and how the law exposes that. “I would not have come to know sin [my sinful condition] except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting [which is what this sinful condition produces, according to verse 8] if the Law had not said, “you shall not covet.” So we get to know sin – our deep sinful condition – by getting to know the sins that our sinful condition produces. And we get to know those sins and that connection with sin through the law. (Online source)


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