It is still true, however, that numerous people have raised valid questions about Osteen and his ministry. There is no doubt that he is well off, and many find it troubling when church leaders amass wealth. This is a topic Benjamin Kirby has been exploring in his Instagram account, PreachersNSneakers, which became famous for posting photos and price tags of the expensive attire worn by some famous megachurch preachers.
Osteen has also been widely criticized for neglecting the “negative” teachings in the Bible and only focusing on the “positive.” For example, the megachurch pastor explained on CBS Sunday Morning why he won’t teach on hell:
[People] already feel guilty enough. They’re not doing what they should, raising their kids—we can all find reasons. So I want them to come to Lakewood or our meetings and be lifted up, to say, ‘You know what? I may not be perfect, but I’m moving forward. I’m doing better.’ And I think that motivates you to do better.
While it’s understandable that people have strong emotions about Joel Osteen, the Ferrari incident is a good reminder, as James writes in his epistle, that we should be “slow to speak.” And if people are in error, 2 Timothy 2:24-26 tells us how to respond:
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.