Posts Tagged ‘Joel Osteen’

Religious Freedom in America

I’ve never done a list like this before, but after reviewing some articles that seemed to really resonate with people, I am encouraged to share them with others who may not have had the opportunity to read them when they were published. The ten articles listed here have been read by approximately 60,000 people; small numbers to full-time writers and national figures, but an amazing blessing to me. You never know who might be influenced by something we have to say!

It’s an honor and privilege to defend and proclaim the truth. My prayer regarding anything I write is that God is glorified, and that Christians not only be encouraged and strengthened in their faith, but that it will lead them to take action and bear fruit. For those that do not believe, I hope to point them to the love, light, and truth of Jesus Christ.

Due to the moral and spiritual confusion in America today, we must get back to the basics: the Bible must be taught and talked about like Christians used to do 50 – 100 years ago. Cultural issues are also important to discuss because as Christians, we see the world through the lens of the perfect Word of a holy God. He never changes! Our words and actions should both line up with a biblical Christian worldview rather than blending in with society and conforming to the world.

I posted about 50 articles and blogs in 2013 and judging by the numbers, those included here were the most popular. It’s very interesting to me that seven of the ten listed below are about individual people. The topics include abortion, biblical truth, media bias, religious freedom, Hollywood, immorality in American culture, racism, false teachings, homosexuality, and the silence of Christians.

I’m also very encouraged by the fact that four of the top six include excerpts from my book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA. Let’s start with the most read and viewed article featuring Oprah Winfrey that reached over 15,000 people:

#1.  Learning From Oprah: New Age Spirituality, Racism, and the Influence of Celebrity

Sadly, millions of spiritual seekers have been led astray, and due to Oprah’s popularity, people have opened themselves up to all kinds of practices, religions, and teachings contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ and biblical Christianity. We need to pray for her and for those who may blindly hang on her every word, or the words of any secular celebrity.  Oprah is not the enemy – she is deceived – but she obviously believes she has the answers regarding God, spirituality, and eternity.

#2.  Game On: Blotting Christ Out of Christmas – Already?

Activists successfully removed prayer, the Bible, and God from schools, but they can never take Jesus Christ out of the hearts of believers. According to a 2012 Rasmussen Reports poll, 82% of American adults voted in favor of celebrating Christmas on public school campuses, and 76% believe Christmas should be more about Jesus than Santa. Going directly against Jesus’ own words to “Let your light shine among men,” some [activists] are trying to get Christians to be silent and hide their faith under baskets.

#3.  America’s Culture of Death: We Need Abortion Control, Not Gun Control

Ninety-six. Remember this number. A baby is aborted at a Planned Parenthood facility somewhere in America every 96 seconds. In that same amount of time, Planned Parenthood receives about $1,056 taxpayer dollars. That equals eleven dollars a second and allows them to abort 910 lives every day. How did it get to the point in America where we kill our own and call it a choice? It sure did not happen overnight, but it does occur – Every 96 seconds…

#4.  Is This the Beginning of the End for Miley Cyrus? 

Most of us recognize a desperate cry for help when we see one. We shouldn’t expect secular celebrities to live according to God’s Word because Christian values are either foreign or offensive to them. As for the salvation of Miley Cyrus who claimed to be a Christian years ago, only God knows her heart. She and countless other celebrities need the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. No one is without hope, but the Bible warns us the Lord’s return is close…

#5.  Obama’s Ideology Propels Scandal-mania

Government has become an enemy of American citizens and this administration is very good at using the tactics of distraction and diversion. With more of us becoming outraged while the media protects this administration, it will be fascinating to see this epic drama played out. The sad truth is many Americans today don’t care that prior to his election, Obama’s handlers concealed information about his college years and no official records were ever made available – a first in our history. No college transcripts, published records, or papers had been released. What were they hiding?

#6.  Cotton Candy Christianity: Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Neutrality and Omission

So let’s clarify here: Pastor Joel Osteen feels it is not his calling to get deeply into the Bible or to talk about sin. He also prefers not to think too much about other religions, but he believes Mormons are Christians. Maybe you’re a fan of Joel Osteen. You may have read his books and have watched him on TV and are having a tough time accepting this. I strongly encourage you to pray about everything he or anyone teaches. If you sincerely seek God’s truth, He will reveal it to you. Osteen pres­ents a kind of self-help program under the guise of Bible instruction. There’s nothing wrong with optimism, but pastors [and teachers] need to stick with the Word of God.

#7.  Ducking the Issue of Sin: Should Christians Be Silent?  (Duck Dynasty, A&E, GLAAD, and Phil Robertson)

If we love someone, we’ll tell them the truth. If we believe Jesus is the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12) and we fail to warn others, we don’t really care about them. The way Christians demonstrate their love for non-believers is by addressing sin so they can repent and receive the grace God offers which leads to everlasting life (Ephesians 2:8). Less than 4 % of the U.S. population is LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender)

The problem has been diagnosed. The moral decline in America is evidence we cannot rely on church leaders because people are obviously not getting the message. If Christians fail to speak about the Bible, Jesus Christ, and the issue of sin; our society will only grow worse, the battle more intense, and the hostility more volatile. One thing is certain: silence never saved anybody.

#8.  Gay Marriage is not God’s Marriage

God created the heavens and the earth, and mankind is made in His image. God’s plan for marriage is woven through Scripture and has been implemented throughout history. Marriage predates kings and governments. By the intricate engineering of the male and female bodies, science also confirms we are uniquely designed for procreation and for the opposite sex.

The media has influenced public opinion to the point where more Americans are softening towards sin; this includes Christians. A recent Pew Forum survey on media coverage exposed the truth; in their reporting, the media supported same-sex marriage 5 to 1 hoping the public would soon think it is inevitable.

#9.  The Hypocrisy of Selective Outrage: Zimmerman vs. Martin (Graphic content)

Few in the media report on the travesty in many inner cities in America where black on black deaths continue to increase with the violent crimes. According to the FBI, 91% of black victim homicides are committed by other blacks. Few in the media report on the massive numbers of black babies being aborted at Planned Parenthood and other Gosnell clinics, especially in minority neighborhoods. Where is the public outcry over these deaths?

If you’re open to truth and are willing to research, you’ll find unreported stories similar to the following atrocious, disturbing tragedy: WARNING – GRAPHIC…

#10. The Anguish of Abortion: What They Won’t Tell You

Father Frank Pavone once said, “America will never resist abortion until America sees abortion.”

Thanks in part to advances in technology such as ultrasound imagery, it’s clear and easy to see a growing and moving fetus inside a mother’s womb which has raised awareness that an unborn child is alive, human, and abortion is murder. Americans have tolerated the evil of legalized abortion and have become so desensitized to violence and death that we don’t see eliminating innocent human life as a brutal or selfish act – or at least we don’t speak up about it enough. God have mercy on our hardened hearts.

(If one of the above links does not work and you’re really intrigued by the title, simply do a search for the article as they are often published on several sites.)

*Three more I recommend:

Gosnell Trial Proves Massive Media Malpractice  

Alfred Kinsey and Sexual Anarchy in America 

Media Forced to Report the Truth about Obamacare?

Religious Freedom in America

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osteen and crowd

The following is an excerpt from the book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA, chapter 13 – Counterfeit Christianity:

Author, televangelist, and senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, Joel Osteen seems like a very likeable and well-meaning Christian man. His ministry reaches about seven million people every week in countries around the world through radio and television. Prior to October 3, 1999, Osteen produced the church’s television program for seventeen years. With no biblical education or experience, Joel Osteen succeeded his father. Prior to his father’s death, Joel had only preached once in his entire life and had no theological training.

Today, he is one of the most popular, well-known Christian leaders in America. Barbara Walters named Osteen one of the year’s “Ten Most Fascinating People,” and his popularity earned him some attention at ABC News as one of the “10 Most Fascinating People of 2006.” His church rakes in approximately $70 million every year.

Televi­sion news anchor Chris Wallace interviewed Joel Osteen on Fox News Channel and began the segment by saying Osteen “offers a message about personal growth and positive thinking, which may explain why he’s now pastor of America’s largest congregation.” Wallace asked him what Osteen thought it was about his message that people want to hear. Osteen replied:

“I don’t know if I know exactly, but I think the fact that it’s positive, it’s hopeful, and I talk about everyday life…. And, too, I think, Chris, there’s a lot of negative things trying to pull people down, and I think people respond when you tell them that, hey, there are good things up ahead.”

What Osteen just described sounds like a motivational pep talk. Apparently, others notice how seldom Osteen dis­cusses what the Bible teaches on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, pornography, marriage, and other religions. Chris Wallace also asked why Osteen doesn’t get involved in politics or talk much about “abor­tion and gays and the social issues.” Joel Osteen explained:

“Well, it started back with my father. He never did. And I just don’t feel comfortable as well. I don’t feel like that’s my main gifting. And I feel like when I stay focused on encouraging people, and giving them hope, and helping them live their everyday life, I think that’s where I can have the most impact.”

He’s in good company. Non-views have become the evangelical norm, and Osteen takes the neutral route. Critics say Osteen preaches a word-faith prosperity gospel lite, which I like to call ‘Cotton Candy Christianity’. He can be overly positive and at times out of touch with human suffering. One popular quote by Joel Osteen is, “When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.” So all we need to do is focus on being good and doing good? Tell someone who is confined to a bed with an incurable disease, or someone who lost their home, job, or lost a loved one that they’ll always be blessed in abundance.

In a 2011 interview with the Washington Times, Osteen told editors that he saw faith in America at an all-time high. He said that yes, people are struggling, but “our message is so much about hope.” He naturally evaded most political questions saying, “I don’t really take sides,” as it divides the people, adding that he prefers to “stay in my own lane.”

Many of us would like to hear Joel Osteen dig into the Bible and give a bold presentation of the gospel of Christ without apology. When Mitt Romney ran for president of the United States, Osteen received a few questions from people about Romney’s religion. From the Wash­ington Times interview:

“I believe that [Mormons] are Christians,” Mr. Osteen said. “I don’t know if it’s the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with. But you know what, I know Mormons. I hear Mitt Rom­ney – and I’ve never met him – but I hear him say, ‘I believe Jesus is the son of God,’ ‘I believe he’s my savior,’ and that’s one of the core issues.

“I’m sure there are other issues that we don’t agree on. But you know, I can say that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics don’t all agree on everything. So that would be my take.”

Even though denominations may not agree on a few nonessential doctrines, they all base their faith on Christ and the Bible, not the Book of Mormon. Osteen has stated on several other occasions that Mitt Romney, a Mor­mon, “believes in his savior just like I do.” What does that even mean?

Joseph Smith founded Mormonism and Latter Day Saints (LDS) less than 200 years ago. Mormonism teaches God was once a man who progressed to Godhood, there is no Trinity, Jesus was not born of a vir­gin, and he is not eternal. We can safely say this is another gospel which is cautioned against in the New Testament. Smith also taught all other religions are of the devil and according to Mormon teachings, Joseph Smith “received visitations from Moroni, an angel of light.”

Mormon leaders have also taught that Jesus’ incarnation was the result of a physical relationship between God the Father and Mary. They believe Jesus is a god (small “g”), but humans can also become gods and salvation can be earned by a combination of faith and good works. Osteen must be careful because God will scrutinize his state­ments as leaders have the power and responsibility to influence many lives. In Joel’s case, it’s millions of lives.

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. (James 3:1) Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)

Did you ever wonder why there is so much opposition or resistance to Christians? The God of all creation is our help and strength. We pray to a living God while the bones of the gods (or founders) of other religions can be found at their tomb or burial site. We have a Savior who overcame death and the grave leaving an empty tomb that shouts to the world that Jesus is alive.

During interviews on his book promotion tours, Joel Osteen often gives similar responses about being positive, changing your life, devel­oping better habits, not being stuck in the past, doing the best you can, and [claiming] abundance. Osteen claims Jesus wanted us to live a “great life.” What about orphans? Street kids. Prison inmates. What about the handicapped, shut-ins, dis­abled Veterans, or the persecuted church? How [exactly] is a great life defined?

Jesus said that in this life we can expect trouble, but to take heart because He has overcome this temporary world. (John 16:33). Jesus also talked about His kingdom in heaven and never mentioned visualizing a nicer house, car, boat or financial blessing. Christ came to give us life, to destroy the devil’s work, to preach the good news to the afflicted and brokenhearted (Is. 61:1). He set us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

Osteen says that talking about sin isn’t his main calling and that he’s “trying to make God more relevant” in our society. Let’s look at how Joel Osteen responded to a few more direct questions from Chris Wal­lace about Mormonism, from the 2007 interview on Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace:

WALLACE: “Is a Mormon a true Christian?”

OSTEEN: “Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his Savior, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are. And so, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me….”

WALLACE: “So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?”

OSTEEN: “I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know. I certainly can’t say that I agree with everything that I’ve heard about it, but from what I’ve heard from Mitt, when he says that Christ is his savior, to me that’s a common bond.” (Emphasis mine)

So let’s clarify here: Pastor Joel Osteen feels it is not his calling to get deeply into the Bible or to talk about sin. He also prefers not to think too much about other religions, but he believes Mormons are Christians. He focuses on the positive and promotes a word-faith the­ology that the more you do or say something the more you will get as a result. I know this teaching well because I followed it for several years in my early Christian days. It is both addictive and deceptive. Who doesn’t want to be happy and “up” all the time? Most of us realize that not only is this unbiblical, it is not realistic.

osteen's book covers

The tragic thing is hoards of people are being influenced by Osteen’s limited theology, and they end up looking at God as some kind of genie. On page 306 of Your Best Life Now, Joel claims, “It’s our faith that activates the power of God.” When the emphasis is on the power of our own words instead of the power of the resurrec­tion, something’s wrong. He goes so far as to say it’s more important to speak to your problem than pray about it (pg. 124).

The following quotes are from Your Best Life Now by Pastor Joel Osteen:

“The first step to living at your full potential is to enlarge your vision. To live your best life now, you must start looking at life through eyes of faith, seeing yourself rising to new levels. See your business taking off. See your marriage restored. See your family prospering. See your dreams coming to pass. You must conceive it and believe it is possible if you ever hope to experi­ence it” (p. 4, emphasis his).

“You will produce what you’re continually seeing in your mind…. If you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you … God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas and cre­ativity” (p. 5).

“God wants you to live an overcoming life of victory. He doesn’t want you to barely get by. He’s called El Shaddai, ‘the God of more than enough’” (p. 33).

“You will often receive preferential treatment simply because your Father is the King of kings, and His glory and honor spill over onto you” (p. 40).

“Our words have tremendous power, and whether we want to or not, we will give life to what we’re saying, either good or bad…. Words are similar to seeds, by speaking them aloud, they are planted in our subconscious minds, and they take on a life of their own…. Get up each morning and look in the mirror and say, ‘I am valuable. I am loved. God has a great plan for my life. I have favor wherever I go. God’s blessings are chasing me down and overtaking me. Everything I touch prospers and succeeds!’ (p. 122-123)

“It’s going to happen…. Suddenly, your situation will change for the better … He will bring your dreams to pass” (pp. 196-198).

There’s nothing wrong with trying to be positive, but where is this found in the Bible?

Maybe you’re a fan of Joel Osteen. You may have read his books and have watched him on TV and are having a tough time accepting this. I strongly encourage you to pray about everything he or anyone teaches. If you sincerely seek God’s truth, He will reveal it to you. Osteen pres­ents a kind of self-help program under the guise of Bible instruction. There’s nothing wrong with optimism, but pastors [and teachers] need to stick with the Word of God.

People who follow Osteen’s happy formula and then fail to get the positive results he promises end up disillusioned and worse, get mad at God and fall away from him. Don’t you think Christians are responsible for telling people what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear? You won’t get that from Mr. Happy. Smooth talk. Positive vibes. Prosperity and abundance. Flattering speech. Deceptive doctrine with a smile…. Cotton Candy Christianity.

Osteen and oprah

Not convinced? More overwhelming facts and info. on Joel Osteen:

‘Staying in his Lane’ – Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Affirmation Without Salvation

Where Has the Passion for Doctrine Gone?

Truth Source on Joel Osteen, False Teachers

Joel Osteen Rebukes Apostles Paul, Peter, and John

Fire Behind the Smile: Joel Osteen and the Bible

False Promise of the Prosperity Gospel

Joel Osteen and Jesus are Mutually Exclusive