Yes we know, he makes you feel good... and he's sooo nice. But let's be honest: he's not good for you.
Here are 10 reasons why you should break up with Joel Osteen (and find a real pastor):
1. He takes Bible verses completely out of context and changes the meaning of God's Word. A lot of times he only uses half a verse! This is not a mistake, girl-he's doing it on purpose! No real man of God would ever do that. Ever! Anybody can hold up a Bible and wave it around, a real pastor dedicates himself to studying it, and then carefully and faithfully explaining it in context. A phony pastor uses it like a prop and pulls stuff out of it to make it say whatever he wants.
2. He tells you all the things you wanna hear, but they aren't really true. He's appealing to your selfish "felt needs," because he doesn't care enough to tell you the hard truth that would actually help you. He's promising you all sorts of earthly comfort, prosperity and happiness, but those are empty promises-and you know it. He's leading you on!
3. He isn't giving you the really good news-the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You know, the message of repentance and the forgiveness of sins. He should be promising you the one thing a pastor can promise you: the free gift of salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ; but instead he's puffing you up with false dreams of worldly success. You're falling for that? Once he has ignored the true Gospel, he replaces it with the crazy "God wants to bless you, but He can't-you have to do you're part" teaching. Is he talking about the sovereign God who made the whole universe out of nothing, or is this a genie in a bottle who needs us to figure out the secret password??
4. He's getting rich off of you-that's not what pastors are supposed to do! Now, it's true that he's getting rich mostly from his book sales and other income sources (he doesn't need to take a salary from his church anymore), but without the huge audience he gained from his church and it's TV program he never would have become so famous and sold so many books. He is not really helping others to be successful like he claims-unless they all go out and start mega-churches that have TV shows and big-time book publishing deals. He's at the top of the pyramid!
5. He has become so huge in popularity and influence, that people think he represents true Christianity in America. You know that's not right! He teaches a "Word of Faith" version of Christianity that doesn't come from the Bible at all-it actually comes from Kenneth Hagin, who plagiarized E. W. Kenyon, and Kenyon was getting some of his ideas from Phineas P. Quimby-the same guy whose non-Christian metaphysical ideas influenced Christian Science. When Osteen says we can "speak things into existence" he's talking about sorcery-not Christianity!
6. You're falling for all that bling? Really?? A big fancy stadium, a TV Show, best-selling books... that doesn't mean he's telling you the truth! Are you gonna trust someone with your very soul, just because they're rich and famous? Did you know that Joel Osteen only went to college to study radio and television communications-but he never even graduated? But worse than that, he never studied the Bible or theology at any Bible school, college or seminary-ever! He's making it up as he goes! Real pastors are carefully trained in good doctrine-otherwise they end up saying things about God that aren't true, and they lead people away from the true God!
7. He's not gonna be there for you when you need him! He's not a real pastor, he's a millionaire celebrity! A real pastor sits down with you and carefully explains God's Word, week after week after week. This guy is flying around the world, hobnobbing with Oprah and who knows who. A real pastor takes care of his sheep-he doesn't just go onstage and give a little motivational speech once a week. These mega-pastors are completely isolated from the "regular" folks-just like rock stars, big politicians and movie stars.
8. He's setting a bad example of a Christian pastor, and you're setting a bad example by following him. Most unbelievers can see that this guy is kind of a joke (or worse), but way too many gullible Christians are propping him up, and we should know better. Basically, having an unqualified, Bible-twisting, multi-millionaire celebrity described as a "pastor" is a very big embarrassment to the Church. If we are going to be credible followers of Christ, we should have credible pastors; pastors who will "contend earnestly for the faith" and who will "speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine,” not a guy who scratches people's itching ears and tells them what they want to hear.
9. Admit it-you like being part of something really really BIG! It's one of the oldest tricks in the book: you're with all those like-minded people and you get to say "I'm a part of something really important and exciting!" It's like you're at the Super Bowl or something. It's no accident that these mega-churches have exciting rock bands with light shows and giant video screens-they are manipulating you until you can no longer resist. Get a grip! This guy will never even know you're name-you're just another seat filler. A real church with a real pastor is not like this. You deserve better!
10. Here's a list of shocking things you're not supposed to know; Joel Osteen will NOT mention these Bible verses because he's not a real pastor. Break up with him, and find a real pastor at a real church. You will be so glad to hear the true Gospel of Jesus Christ!
“And I, when I came to you, brothers, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”
— 1 Corinthians 2: 1-2
“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
— Galatians 6: 14
Here are a whole bunch of episodes of Fighting for the Faith where you will see for yourself that Joel Osteen's sermons and ideas are not Biblical.
Here is an extensive article that will really help you to be more discerning and less gullible: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs.
Want to know where all of this prosperity, "Word of Faith" teaching came from? Read this: The Word of Faith Cornucopia of False Doctrine.
Steven Kozar started The Messed Up Church; he is an artist, musician, blogger and stuff.