I don't have anything against him selling millions and millions of books.
I don't have anything against him being the pastor of the largest congregation in the United States.
Where I do take issue is with what he is preaching under the guise of Christianity.
I know that hundreds and thousands of people are helped through his messages. And thank God for that because God can work in a myriad of ways. I know people who are members of our church today because when they were not attending church, it was Joel Osteen who helped them to get connected to a church. There are many people who have been helped by his books and tv shows. But just because someone’s on Christian tv, or their books are in Christians bookstores doesn’t make their teaching right, sound, and biblical.
In a sermon entitled "Living in Total Victory", Joel Osteen makes the following claims.
"Because of the price Jesus paid on the cross we have a right to live in total victory.
- "not a barely get by life
- "not a life filled with lack and mediocrity
- "not a life where we're constantly struggling with our finances
- "not a life where we have chronic pain in our bodies"
Sign me up? Who wouldn’t want that? That’s awesome. Only one problem. There’s not a shred of evidence in the Bible to support that.
If God’s plan for Christ-followers is to be free from poverty and lack and to be wealthy, Jesus flunks that test.
• He was born into a poor carpenter’s family
• Spent three years flat broke and homeless, sometimes going hungry
• And when it came to pay His taxes, He couldn’t afford it.
Then there’s the relationship thing. Osteen says that living a victorious Christian life means that we are free from strained relationships. Well, Jesus flunks this test too.
• His family disowned Him
• His friends abandoned Him
• Judas betrayed Him
• Peter denied Him
• The religious leaders hated Him
• And the crowds screamed for His blood
When living for God, you can guarantee opposition from those who are against God.
Living in victory with God means you will live a life free from pain and disease? Jesus flunks this test too.
• Jesus was beaten, spat upon, crown of thorns upon His head
• Scourged, beaten, and whipped
• Crucified and nailed to the cross
• You know what that is? Pain. Excruciating, horrendous pain.
• I’ve never met with someone in the hospital who chose their disease. I meet with people regularly who live with chronic pain. And you’re going to tell these people that their not living their lives right with God because of their chronic pain and illness?
Living in victory means a life free from anxiety, worry, and despair? Jesus flunks another one.
• Jesus was falsely accused, by false witnesses, endured a false trial, and faced a false execution.
• The night before Jesus’ arrest, He couldn’t sleep and He was so stressed out that He literally sweat drops of blood.
Gee. Jesus wasn’t a very good Christian was He?