Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Osteen Drops the Ball
This past week, the blogosphere (not to mention Christian apologetics circles) have been buzzing about Joel Osteen's recent appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. During that appearance, Osteen said that as far as he was concerned, Mormons were true Christians. Here is something that apologist Bill Keller wrote shortly after Osteen's shocking statement:
I got flooded with literally thousands of emails Sunday and Monday about Joel Osteen's appearance on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace. I am grateful those in the Liveprayer family are discerning enough to spot his continued pattern of weakness and heresy despite the fact he has been rebuked and chastised by many seasoned men of God over the years. Many ask why harp on Osteen. He is why.
Osteen happens to pastor the largest church in America and is someone millions listen to each week goes on national TV. He epitomizes the compromise gutlessness that emboldens the enemies of God, fails to give people the Truth they seek and need, and makes weak and ineffective believers.
In Sunday's interview, Osteen actually told Wallace, "But just, you know, as a pastor, I'm not trying to get everybody saved that's not my main calling, like Billy Graham's." When asked about why he won't talk about sin and deal with the hard issues of the day, Osteen responded, "Sometimes when you take strong stands, if you're not called to do it, you're dividing the audience you're trying to reach." Sadly, he was asked about Mitt Romney and if a Mormon is a Christian. " 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."
Here is a guy who inherited an international ministry when his father, who was a great Gospel preacher, died several years ago, feeding Satan's lie to the entire world that members of the satanic Mormon cult are Christians! He makes a mockery of the Gospel when he brags about not talking about sin or taking hard stands on the issues of the day and that he isn't trying to get everybody saved. God's Word is black and white and REQUIRES us to take strong stands for righteousness. Meanwhile, his new book doesn't mention God and if you have ever read what he writes or listen to what he says, he rarely if ever says the name of Jesus.
My friend, we only have one message, the Gospel, and the BIBLE tells us there is only ONE NAME by which men are saved, the name of Jesus! Sadly, Osteen is little more than a motivational speaker who waters down and perverts the Bible to make people feel good and sell lots of books, rather than bring people the only true answer and hope there is, faith in Jesus Christ!
That is quite a severe indictment from Bill Keller, who stirred up his own hornet's nest a few weeks ago with appropriately severe criticism of Mormonism and evangelicals who wink at it.
I personally have had concerns about Osteen for some time, but thus far have refrained from commenting too much. But this time, I can't be silent. Osteen made a horrendous error, and needs to repent of it. He is the pastor of a church, and responsible for the spiritual welfare of the people who sit under his teaching. Regardless of how large Osteen's church is, he is not beyond accountability and deserves the rebukes he is getting.
Mormonism is a false Gospel, and those who follow false Gospels are lost according to Scripture. This isn't rocket science. For that matter, it's not even Christianity 101. When Christian leaders can pass along such spiritual tommyrot and get away with it, it is a sign that all is not well in Denmark (or Texas).