Monday, October 15, 2007

Easy Listening Preaching

Last evening 60 Minutes aired their interview with Joel Osteen. Osteen shared his philosophy of ministry and teaching. Undoubtedly, Joel seems to be a very likable and affable guy. And with a name like "Joel" who wouldn't like him. However, Michael Horton was also interviewed briefly for the segment and he shared his insightful commentary on Osteen's ministry and philosophy. Horton said that Osteen's preaching, if one used a music analogy, could be called "easy listening." I think that is an accurate and kind assessment, though Horton did later refer to Osteen's teaching as heresy. If you missed it, you can watch the broadcast online here.


Rodney said...

Anthony I saw this interview. My first impression is that he is a very likable Guy. He is one of the best speakers I have ever heard, but he is preaching a false gospel.

Bryon Pitts comments”
“Hear what some others have said about you: he’s diluting and dumbing down the Christian message," Pitts says.
Pastor Joel response:
"Sometimes you have to keep it simple and not make it so complicated that people don’t understand," Osteen says. "But I know what I'm called to do is say 'I want to help you learn how to forgive today. I want to help you to have the right thoughts today.' Just simple things."

What is that? He did not answer the objections or even explain why that could not be true. He dose not seem to know what he is called to preach. He is called to preach the gospel. Not how to forgive and have right thoughts today, unless those thoughts are capture by the word of Christ. By the Grace of God thru Christ holy sacrifice.

Joel also said this concerning a question about the content of his book:
"That's just my message. There is scripture in there that backs it all up. But I feel like, Byron, I'm called to help people…how do we walk out the Christian life? How do we live it? And these are principles that can help you. I mean, there’s a lot better people qualified to say, 'Here’s a book that going to explain the scriptures to you.' I don’t think that’s my gifting," Osteen says.

He is basically saying that he is not gifted to explain the scriptures. Shouldn’t a pastor be able to rightly divide the word of truth?

But the Cross of Christ is not exalted or mention. Byron even mentions this in his questioning. He asks where God or Jesus is, in the book. I would ask the same question. Where is Jesus death, burial, resurrection and ascension to heaven at the right hand of the father interceding on the behalf of the slaves made friend, children of wrath made children of grace?
“Where oh where has the gospel gone? Oh where oh where can it be?”
I am not saying that Pastor Joel is not sincere or that he is not saved by grace, but I am concerned? And I believe that he is sincerely wrong. I pray that he will come to a greater understanding of Gods grace and mercy to his children. I pray that he will come to this knowledge quickly; Because James tells us that we teachers have a greater judgment.

Keith L. Tolbert said...

"17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, [1] AND BY SMOOTH TALK AND FLATTERY THEY DECEIVE the hearts of the naive.(Romans 16:17-18)"

A word to the wise should be sufficient.