Joel Osteen is the Antinominianest Preacher

kinnon —  February 5, 2007 — 7 Comments

Joelbaby-1First, a confession – I really don’t know whether Joel is Antinominian or not. I just love the sound of the word – and Joel’s “teaching” does seem to be the polar opposite of legalism, n’est-çe pas?

My iPastor, the iMonk, stated rather categorically yesterday, that Joel was the Anti-Christ – which Phillip Wynn unpacks rather well. Michael IS known for his rather Pythonesque sense of humour, however – but, like many of us, he struggles with the Tony Robbins-like nonsense that Joel spouts as a preacher of supposedly Christian messages. UPDATE: Michael now says Joel’s a duck…and he just may be right.

Tim Challies linked this morning to a Mel Duncan article on his Osteen “concert” visit. Mel concludes thusly,

Joel Osteen is the slick and polished face of non creedal American Evangelicalism. Joel is youthful, exuding Opie from Mayberry, aw shucks Americana that is uplifting, believable, and even to this cynic, soothing. Joel Osteen is wonderbread.

Now I recognize that everyone (whether we realize it or not) probably has someone in their life like Joel Osteen, a relentless optimist, who simple mindedly prods one to excellence, selflessness, and endurance. I’m just thinking Joel Osteen is not actually doing this with his people. At the end of the day, Osteen encouraged his crowd not to seek Christ as the solutions to their problems but something else. That something else seemed to be a clever but highly charged view of self. Self-interest, Self-gratification, Self-fulfillment, Self-realization, Self-actualization, with a little bit of sanitized obligatory righteous buzz words thrown in to make it appear evangelically kosher for the uninitiated.

What took place at Osteen’s erstwhile crusade in my city can only be described as the next step in Post Modern Pentecostalism. It is the health and wealth gospel for healthy and wealthy people. If the Christian religion is medicine for souls that are poor and needy than Osteen is a bottle of vitamins in an operating room.

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kinnon

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

7 responses to Joel Osteen is the Antinominianest Preacher

  1. I’ve never been a fan of Osteen, just a bit too nebulous for me. That said, I think he does have a place and his message isn’t all bad. It’s just not very balanced in my mind.

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  2. Osteen is just one in a long line of American religious entrepreneurs who have figured out how to tap into a market place looking for affirmation. What it points to is the emotional, spiritual and intellectual poverty of the masses. It is also just another form of the Horatio Alger myth, except most of these people don’t need to pick themselves up by their bootstraps. They are already up. So, in that sense, this is really an addiction that must be fed to avoid reality.
    I’m not against entrepreneurial Christianity. I just believe it should be done for other people’s benefit, not your own.

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  3. Bill, nice post. I am not a fan of Osteen and the psycho-babble that come from him and his health and wealth gospel. I just wish people intent on ministry and church would consider some basic questions about the gospel and culture before running off on a quest for relevance so people will come, as if that is the measuring stick for success…

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  4. Bill,

    Nice post. Maybe too nice, actually, but you are a gentle soul.

    Joel is doing several things that are really, really bad for the church of Christ, including, just off the top of my head:

    a. Preaching another gospel, which the apostle Paul had some pretty strong language about in Galatians (‘let them be eternally condemned!’). Need I say more? Well…

    b. Misrepresenting Christianity to the world, and feeding the caricatures of greedy, self-absorbed Christians to a deeply cynical society;

    c. Inspiring a new generation of pentecostal and charismatic preachers that maybe God actually blesses this kind of poisonous ministry to our selfishness and greed (because Joel does have the biggest church in America) thereby tempting them to emulate him;

    d. inspiring another generation of non-pentecostals to write off the charismatic movement as not just different or goofy or kooky but seriously heretical and dangerous, thereby further dividing the true Body of Christ;

    e. Discouraging another generation of faithful pastors who try and preach the Cross but who seem to attract so few people, making them question themselves when Joel’s personal travel budget is probably the equivalent of their entire giving in a year;

    g. Weakening the church’s spine to say the hard saying of Jesus, which Joel explicitly admits he is ‘not called to teach.’ Ah yes, picking and choosing which of Jesus’ sayings to believe in and teach; reminds me of the decision of the mainline churches about 50- 70 years ago…

    OK, now I am getting discouraged! Enough said, others can fill in the rest… thanks for always being thoughtful even when you’re growling

    Dan

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  5. Joel Osteen is a man of GOD, and if you don’t have the holy spirit going through your veins, then you wouldn’t understand anything there is about Joel or any other pastor. How can you knock someone who tells everyone how the lord wants us to live. To Love and be forgivinig, that is the main two things he tries to get through to people and it works, he has many followers, just like christ did. So why knock him. Why don’t you try living the right way and not putting God’s people down. God is using Joel to bring out the good in people and get rid of the bad. Our goverment took God out of schools, and our children have no respect for themselves or anyone else. The drugs are taking over our world. God put Joel here so he can tell people with God there is love, hope & Faith. I see nothing wrong with that. Maybe you should get on your knees and repent your sins and start praises God ad having Faith again and see how your life will change. We need more people like Joel to run this country and it will be a better place to live.

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  6. I have mixed messages about Mr. Joel Osteen. I was fine with him when I viewed him on t.v. and never really saw anything to question until my boss, a jewish man, mentioned an interview on 60 minutes. He asked me if I viewed it and I was a bit excited that he did because I knew for about a year he was listening to him. What disturbed me is that my boss was more interested that Joel didn’t mention Christ in his service and he went on about this interview and how the jewish race does not feel offended with Joel. I never thought of Joel in a light that didn’t talk about Christ up until this point and so I watched the video my boss watched and was disturbed to say the least. Joel feels it’s not his gift to spread the message of Christ. Joel feels that crosses should not be placed in a church of worship. Joel couldn’t answer a simple quesion on Larry King live and it was a question regarding Muslims and will they go to heaven not believing in Christ. This man has millions of viewers as he pushes Jesus further under the rug, but yet he does give Jesus his 15 seconds of fame at the end of his service. What is that all about! Well, I guess this day and age people are more offended by Christ, and people are pulling farther away from him. I asked a friend about all of this and she said that this type of service is fine if it’s reaching out to the non-believer, but what everyone seems to discount is that this is not enough for eternity. Jesus offended alot of people, enough to get himself killed. We should evangelise like Christ.

    Tina

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  7. he is a phony. I saw him once and was
    turned off by his fake smile, accent, etc.
    He teaches about love and forgiving, but there is more to religion than that.
    CHA CHING

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