Apostle Paul VS Joel Osteen


“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and they will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. ”  (NAS)  II Tim. 4:3-4

The topic I am going to write about here, is born out of my undying love for truth. I love truth dearly. I love God’s truth, found in His Word.  It is the only truth!  I often pray to the Lord to show me where I am missing truth, as I am certain I do not  have a corner on the market of truth. Far from it.  I also earnestly wish to balance truth with grace. All truth and no grace equals judgementalism.  But there are certain teachers in the world today who are either teaching a false Gospel, or promising miracles they cannot deliver, both of which are extremely harmful to the hearers, and to the justice of truth. In this case today, I want to examine some of the teachings of the very popular Joel Osteen.  I do not say these things for the sake of having something to point at in an accusatory way.  The Bible very clearly commands us to “test the spirits”.  1 John 4:1  “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world”.  Was John telling us to be “judgemental”, or to test the spirits?  Call it what you will, but we are told in many places in scripture to check things out, whether they are true or not.  Yes, we are to judge whether certain teachings are true or not.   In Acts 17:11, Paul and Silas were in Berea, speaking to the Jews in the synagogues, and it says “now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true”.   In this passage, “noble character” was equated to the Bereans for doing their scriptural homework! Let’s be good Bereans, and let us always examine what we are being taught. We examine it against the scriptures, and not against somebody’s dream, vision, philosophy, or anything else.  Scripture is the key. It is out safe place. It is our lighthouse of truth. When we go outside of the scriptures, we are opening the door to every conceivable evil and untruth. We must LOVE the Word of God. Not all church teachings are good, and not all teachings are of God. For certain, the false teachers that the Bible warns us about are not going to be wearing a t-shirt that says “False teacher” across their chest.  They will come as a wolf in sheep’s clothing, using a facade of godliness, usually speaking in smooth wording, tickling the ears of those who truly cannot stand the truth of the real Word of God, or of those who are ignorant of the scriptures.

One of the most obvious ways to tell a false teacher is by their fruits, and the following scripture is a test that Jesus told us we can use to spot them.  Matthew 7:16  Jesus said” You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” Clearly, Jesus gave us a mandate to be “fruit inspectors” of those who claim to be prophets of God. Keep in mind, “prophets” in many cases means “proclaimers of the Word of God”.   The sad thing is, Osteen’s very wonderful sounding teachings are not Biblically based, though he makes a very loose effort to convince people otherwise.  Many of his teachings are squarely against sound Biblical teaching.  In fact, as John Macarthur describes it, Osteen is a quasi-pantheist.  In pantheism, God is one and the same with “the universe”.  In new age teachings today, such as the very popular  law of attraction teachings on the DVD “The Secret”, they replace God with–the universe.  In their view, God is not a person, not a spirit, but rather, some mystical power called “the universe”.  In Joel Osteen’s teachings, it is quite clear that God is very non-personal,  in his view of God.  God is relegated to being some impersonal power in the sky. Osteen calls this mystical power “God”, but we have to look closely at what his intention is behind his terminology.  Joel Osteen’s teachings are simply repackaged “christianized” law of attraction teaching.  He teaches the same “law of attraction” as found in the new age movement, except he invokes God’s name, where the new agers would call God “the universe”.   Remember, I mentioned the term “quasi-pantheist” in describing Osteen.  I’m not saying he is a pure pantheist. From another angle,  Joel Osteen’s teachings could very well have been taken right from the past teachings of the famous motivational speaker Anthony Robbins. It’s very similar material, slightly repackaged using the word “God” frequently, but focussing on our “inner strength”. Just who is God to Joel Osteen anyway? Personally, if I wanted his type of teaching, I would rather hear Anthony Robbins.

I would also note that Osteen rarely, if ever mentions the words “Jesus”, “sin”, or “hell”.   Here is another thing a false teacher would never mention:  False teachers.   False teachers rarely ever mention false teachers, either in a general sense, or by name. The same goes for a phony charlatan “faith healer”. You will never hear a fake healer mention a word about “fake healers”. Isn’t that interesting?  Now I digress back to the subject.


“You will know them by their fruits”.  Always look at the lifestyle of the prophets/preachers. The money issue is usually a dead give-away.   Osteen lives in a 10.5 million dollar mansion. Does this sound even remotely like the apostle Paul, or Jesus?  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21)   If you believe preachers of the gospel (the TRUE gospel) are supposed to be living in mega million dollar mansions, then you have been sold a lie. Please re-evaluate the scriptures in light of the scriptures.

A few words from the apostle Paul about himself. Keep in mind Paul wrote much of the New Testament, and was an apostle of Jesus Christ. A sent one. Paul you could say, was VERY spiritual. He is maybe the greatest Christian to walk to ever the earth! Let us look at what Paul says of himself and his earthly lifestyle when he was here . Does the following sound anything like the prosperity lifestyle Joel Osteen promotes and promises?

Paul said of himself in II Cor. 11:23-28 —” Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.  Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers;  in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.”

  It seems that the great apostle Paul was not very blessed, by Osteen’s measure! What was wrong with Paul? Did he not speak blessings into his life often enough?  Did he fail to “call himself happy and healed”?  Paul sure had a rough time as a sold-out disciple of Christ. Maybe he should have read a “Christian”  book on prosperity!  Where was Joel Osteen when Paul needed some teachings on how to live an easy, prosperous life?  Maybe Paul never tapped into his “best life now”?  No, I assure you, Paul’s best life is NOW, and not when he was on this earth.  Paul was beaten, stoned and left for dead, shipwrecked, often hungry, imprisoned, and  eventually beheaded!  I’m sure all of that does not fit into Osteen’s self serving prosperity message.  Who is right, when the teachings and life’s goals are compared between apostle Paul and Joel Osteen. Osteen offers a “gospel” of self fulfillment and earthly “happiness”.   In his view, Christians don’t serve God, but rather God serves us. He offers us the supposed keys to health, wealth, and prosperity.  Weren’t these the same things that Satan tempted Jesus with?  I am going to quote some of Osteen’s teachings in a soon coming blog post, and we will plainly see some sharp contrasting doctrine between him and the apostle Paul. I use the word “doctrine” very loosely when speaking of Osteen.   If ever there were a preacher who “tickles the ears”, Joel Osteen would win that award many time over.

Let me close this by bringing up my opening scripture quote again. Does this Scripture not sound like it was written with Osteen in mind? To me, it does.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and they will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. ”  (NAS)  II Tim. 4:3-4

I leave you with this video of John Macarthur on Joel Osteen   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDuDN2FtrIo

Here is a longer video that describes Osteen’s new age teachings in detail http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_CRWZNUkrk

Here is yet another website that details Osteen’s new age, anti-biblical teachings http://beginningandend.com/prosperity-gospel-wild-joel-osteen-myles-munroe-charging-100-services/


About Truth for me and you

I am a Bible believing Christian. That is the best title I could ever want. I live in the Nashville TN area with my Proverbs 31 wife. I love the Word of God, and I study primarily in the New American Standard Bible.
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