Friday, September 28, 2007

Joel Osteen on Larry King

Last Sunday I preached on Titus 1:10-16. The text deals with the need for elders in the church to recognize and confront doctrinal error which challenges the church from without and within. I made reference to the pathetic age of non-confrontation we live in when it comes to dealing with error. Modern church growth models uniformly advise against speaking on topics that might divide and to stick with a positive, "relevant" message.

I sited a passage from a Larry King (CNN) interview transcript with the pastor of the largest "evangelical" church in the U.S. (Lakewood in Houston-30,000 attendees each Sunday!), Joel Osteen.

This man has mastered the art of "non confrontation". If he is considered "evangelical", then I am most certainly NOT.

Pathetic, sad, indicative, telling....


Rick Calohan said...


I am work right now so I am not able to listen to the audio portion of this, however I presume this is the transcript for our hearing impaired audience it located at

Where two or more or gathered in my name (Christ) is far better than 30,0000 at the church of “I”, I came across this quote from Dr. Kennedy in another link relating to ECT which we all know was a mistake!

As Dr. D. James Kennedy said responding to ECT, "Essentially there are only two religions in the whole world, one of them is "I"—"I" live a good life, "I" keep the commandments, "I" pray, "I" go to church, "I" follow the golden rule, "I" love my neighbor, "I" do the best "I" can, "I" don't do this bad thing, "I" don't do the other. That's called "autosoterism," or "self-salvation," where "I" become my own savior—glory be to me! I am in competition with Jesus Christ who claims to be the savior of the world. The only other religion is the "cross." There are over 30,000 religions in the world, but when you take off the ribbon and the wrapping and open the box, you'll either find the "I" or the "cross," essentially. Every one is going to either be saving himself, and be his own savior, or he is going to trust in Christ, and in Christ alone.
I would say to anyone that wants to know the free salvation of God, to get out of the savior business, declare spiritual bankruptcy, turn to Christ, and trust in Him alone for your salvation, and He will freely give you the gift of everlasting life. He will come into your heart and enable you to trust Him and to repent of your sins and change your life and give you new meaning and new direction and new power to live a godly life, and He will take you to be with Him in paradise for ever and ever."

Thanks be to God, for Redeemer-PCA and Covenant Seminary where pastors such as you and Nathan are Rooted in Grace for a Lifetime of Ministry so that the sheep will not be lead astray or slaughter. Tony & Nathan, Continue to Confront and bring Salt and Light to a darken world!

In His Grace, For His Glory,


Salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in the Scripture alone to the Glory of God alone! Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Sola Scriptura, Soli Deo Gloria!

rgmann said...

Pathetic, sad, indicative, telling....

“Well, gee, I don’t know… I really don’t know about that... I really don't know about those Jews or Muslims… But those pagan Hindus, I know they really love God… But I just don’t know about anything else.” (my loose paraphrase)

Yikes! He’s either blatantly mealy-mouthed or completely ignorant of what Scripture teaches (probably a combination of both). I’d have loved to hear Larry King ask in reply: “What about these verses regarding the Jews, what do you make of them?”

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh…” -- Philippians 3:2-3

“…who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.” -- 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” -- Romans 10:1-4

Let’s see, after stammering for a few seconds, I bet his answer would have been: “Well, I just don’t know, Larry.”

By the way, I was wondering why you decided not to call Joel Osteen out by name in your sermon? I’m sure a lot of people were left wondering who it was. I honestly thought I remembered it being Rick Warren until you posted this clip on your blog. Now Kelly has one more “proof” that I can’t remember anything! :-)

AJF said...

I always probably should have named the guy. I kind of figured most would know who I was speaking of. Sometimes naming people in a sermon can distract from the main point (that non-confrontationalsim is running amuck in the "church") and it can sound like I'm just out to rip a guy. I got quite a few emails wondering who said it.

Kampfgruppe Hoppa said...

I admit I would have loved to have heard your message. God commands the Church Militant "to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude). Now, my basic beef with Joel Olsteen here is his apparent lack of understanding of truth and basic logic. The guy doesn't know if Muslims or Jews are doctrinally wrong and believes the Hindu loves God (I ask which God, since the Hindu is polytheistic), yet on the other hand believes one must have faith in Christ and do good works (thanks Roger for the paraphrase) I'll give Joel the benefit of the doubt that on this last point he means that true faith produces good works. The Christian, the Muslim, Jew or Hindu cannot all be correct in their theology because they teach different concepts/ideas on many different issues. They certainly could all be wrong, but not all correct. Just look at their ideas about Jesus Christ. Vastly different. This kind of though fits right in with the post-modern, relativistic, pluralistic thinking Western societies are accepting without second thought. I would say to them, why believe anything they have to say...period, if it's all relative. I'd agree with Pontius Pilate, 'What is truth.' Incidentally, I believe Joel Olsteen later apologized for his failure to accurately and boldly proclaim Christ on Larry King. Only time will tell if he actually meant it.

AJF said...

In fairness, this clip comes from 2005. In 2006 Osteen did clarify that he thought Christ was the way of salvation. He still never re-addressed, with any clarity, the fate of the Hindi, Muslim, Jewish, and Atheistic people he was confused about last time. It wasn't exactly a retraction. To top it off, he misquoted John 3:16 when saying what he believed.

rgmann said...

Just in case anyone's interested, Reformed minister Dr. Michael Horton will be interviewed on CBS's "60 Minutes" regarding the teaching and ministry of Joel Osteen. It's currently scheduled for Sunday, Oct 14th at 6 p.m.

AJF said...

Wow. This ought to be interesting.

Frontier Forest said...

Pastor Tony, I certainly not alone. Many of us have faced this dilemma before. To tell some truths… but not all the truth… is maybe not even the right issue! The question that I find difficult to comprehend is this: I just don’t understand how people can be so zealous for the things of the Lord, seem so on-fire for Christ, and yet ignore, or even worse deny the Word of Truth? It’s not like God tries to disguise or keep His absolute TRUTHS a secret!
The most dangerous of all lies is exposed and the truth, immediately revealed in II Corinthians 11:13-15: “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguises themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to the deeds.”