Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions What’s the Problem With Joel Osteen?

What’s the Problem With Joel Osteen?

Joel Osteen is criticized for everything.

What he says.  What he does not say. (That’s my favorite one)

What he ‘really’ believes.  What he is thinking. How he should do things.  How he would be better at what he does.

While looking at YouTube I found a video posted by a well-known pastor in Seattle, that shows this pastor addressing an audience (not sure if it was his congregation or a leadership meeting or something else) but it was public.  He took time on his platform to show a video clip of a few minutes of Osteen preaching – and then proceeded to tear apart what he said and what he did not say.

This pastor is a good leader, a quality speaker and an influential man.

He took the platform God has given him to tear Joel apart with an arrogant, condescending grin on his face.  Why?  It would be easy for us all to take a ‘portion’ of a anyone’s sermon and criticize what they ‘did not say.’

It doesn’t even make sense.

A Christian blogger criticized the title of Joel’s recent book Every Day a Friday – by saying that Friday is not the important day for Christians, Sunday is because that’s when Jesus rose from the dead.

Are you kidding me?  Really?

If this does not reveal his critical intention and bring into question the rest of his comments – maybe the title of his blog “The Insufferable Joel Osteen” should?

Joel’s book is not a study on theology or Christian history. It just a book to encourage the millions of discouraged in our country.

Is that wrong?

It would not take long for one of these self appointed ‘judges of all other ministries’ to listen to one of my messages and find flaws.

I leave things out.

I mis-speak.

I don’t say what I was going to say and sometimes say what I should not.

But that does not make me a liar, a hypocrite, a fake or a false prophet.

It just makes me human; doing the best I can to do my part in reaching our city for Jesus Christ.

In a recent interview on Fox News, they asked Joel questions about his thoughts on Mitt Romney and then Mormonism–saying it’s a big issue in the election.  (It’s not.)

Joel said “Mitt Romney says that Jesus Christ is his Savior and that’s what I believe, I’m not the one to judge the other details.”

Joel was saying if a person (even a Mormon) believes that Jesus Christ is their savior – it does not seem right to doubt them.

He also said, “I can’t say that I believe everything I’ve heard about (Mormonism)” this last line is not quoted by his critics.

Have you ever been on National TV being put in an awkward position to answer questions off the point of what your message is?

Have you ever been on TV?

Is this difficult to understand?  If you are an “Osteen-hater” then everything is wrong.  Many Mormons have come to Jesus Christ through his ministry.  People don’t receive Jesus if your sermon title is “Mormons and gays or (insert your issue here…) are going to hell and here’s why!!” 

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philipwagner@churchleaders.com'
Philip Wagner is Lead Pastor of Oasis Church in Los Angeles and founder of Generositywater.org. Oasis is an innovative and racially diverse church, largely comprised of people in their 20’s & 30’s. Oasis is known for its local and global outreach to the impoverished; especially orphans and widows, and funding clean water projects. Philip and his wife, Holly, started Oasis in 1984, in Beverly Hills with10 people. Today they’ve grown to 3000+ members.