Joel OsteenJoel Osteen and his wife Victoria lead the Lakewood church of Houston, Texas. The church is situated in the Compaq Center, the former home of the NBA's Houston Rockets. Some have claimed that Osteen supports the controversial Prosperity Gospel, among preaching many other heresies and outrageous statements, and that he focuses on universal acceptance with absolutely no condemnation of sin whatsoever. He has responded to these allegations by claiming that by focusing on broader issues, the sermons are understandable to the average person. In this article, we will examine some of these scandalous statements uttered by Joel Osteen.
- Joel Osteen - Life and Biography
- Joel Osteen - Scandals and Heresies
- Joel Osteen to Oprah: Homosexuality Is Sin — But Gay People Will Get Into Heaven
- Joel Osteen teaches that Mormons are Christians
- Joel Osteen will NOT Confess that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way of Salvation
- Joel Osteen refuses to condemn Abortion and Homosexuality
- Joel Osteen - A Heretic Against the Natural Law
Joel Scott Osteen (born March 5, 1963) is an American author, televangelist, and the senior "pastor" of Lakewood church in Houston, Texas. His so called ministry reaches over seven million broadcast media viewers weekly in over 100 nations around the world. Married in 1987, Joel Osteen and his wife, Victoria Iloff, have two children, Jonathan and Alexandra.
Osteen heads what has been called the largest church congregation in the United States, the 30,000-member Lakewood church of Houston, Texas.
Osteens father, John, founded Lakewood church back in 1959. The son of a Texas cotton farmer, John Osteen was a Southern Baptist minister before his faith took on a more charismatic turn in the late 1950s. He founded his own nondenominational church in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Houston, and over the next four decades shepherded it into a dynamic, thriving congregation. The senior Osteens feel-good message, in which he exhorted churchgoers to have deep faith, and the blessings of the material world—good health, prosperity, and a solid family unit—would be theirs, caught on with Houstonians, and the church had grown to 5,000 members by 1979.
Joel Osteen inherited Houstons Lakewood church and its television ministry in 1999 from his late father. Joel expanded both the church and the TV ministry, wrote a hugely popular book in 2004, and then took his "live at your full potential" message on the road to sold-out sports arenas. Osteen says God wants to show "incredible favor" to those who "start expecting Gods blessings, start anticipating promotion and supernatural increase" in all areas of life. Osteen has no college or seminary degree. He studied briefly at Oral Roberts University, then worked behind the scenes in Lakewoods TV ministry until his fathers death in 1999.
On Sunday evening, January 8, 2012, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Osteen on her new program, "Oprah's Next Chapter," where he delved deeply into his views on homosexuality and sin.
"Will a gay person be accepted into heaven, as you see it?," Oprah asked the famed 'pastor'. "I believe they will," he responded.
Homosexuality is condemned throughout the Bible. Sodomy is one of the sins that cries to heaven for vengeance. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for this very sin.
Jude 1:7, "As Sodom and Gomorrah, and the neighboring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after strange flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire."
Leviticus 18:22, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."
Leviticus 20:13, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
Deuteronomy 23:17, "There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel."
1 Kings 14:24, "And there were also sodomites in the land: and they did according to all the abominations of the nations which the LORD cast out before the children of Israel."
1 Kings 15:11-12, "And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father. And he took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made."
Contrary to Osteen's claim, the sin of homosexuality clearly excludes people from entering Heaven.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
Joel Osteen continued his conversation with Oprah by comparing the mortal sin of homosexuality with being proud or not telling the truth:
Osteen: "Sometimes we look at gay being a bigger sin than being proud or not telling the truth. I don't think God categorizes sins."
The Bible teaches that there are mortal sins and lesser (venial) sins.
Mortal sins destroy the state of justification. That's why Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Cor. 6:9, and Ephesians 5:5-8 teach that people who commit such mortal sins lose "their inheritance" in Heaven (justification). Examples of mortal sins are fornication, murder, drunkenness, lying, cheating, stealing, fraud, theft, masturbation, contraception, sexual immorality, looking at pornography, giving full consent to impure thoughts, homosexuality, heresy, idolatry, violating the commandments, etc. If people die in the state of mortal sin, they will be damned. 1 John 5:16 distinguishes between sins which lead to death and sins which don't.
1 John 5:16, "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death."
In their consciences people know that there is a great difference between murder and something such as unjustifiable outbursts of anger or impatience. The former is clearly a mortal sin, while the latter is a venial sin. (Anger can also be justifiable, by the way.)
Venial sins (i.e., lesser offenses against God) weaken the soul, and make it more vulnerable to mortal sin. Mortal sins destroy the state of justification and put one in a state of damnation.
1 Corinthians 3:17, "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
This speaks of those who die in mortal sin: unjustified. They will be lost. Mortal sin can be forgiven only by confession to a valid priest, as proven from John 20:23. It can also be forgiven by perfect contrition with the intention to go to confession.
Joel Osteen is in the news once again, this time for saying that Mormonism is just another form of Christianity. Osteen was speaking to The Washington Times in an interview that covered a variety of issues. On Mormonism, Joel said:
"I believe that [Mormons] are Christians . . . . I don't know if it's the purest form of Christianity, like I grew up with. But you know what, I know Mormons. I hear Mitt Romney — and I've never met him — but I hear him say, 'I believe Jesus is the son of God,' 'I believe he's my savior,' and that's one of the core issues."
"I'm sure there are other issues that we don't agree on. But you know, I can say that the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics don't all agree on everything. So that would be my take on it."
Back in 2007, he told Chris Wallace of FOX News that Mormons are indeed Christians:
"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."
In a remarkable exchange with Chris Wallace, Osteen muddied the waters further:
WALLACE: So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?
OSTEEN: I probably don't get hung up in them because I haven't really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don't know.
We would point out to Osteen that Joseph Smith (the founder) received a "revelation" to reinstitute polygamy. This contradicts the teaching of Jesus Christ (Mt. 19:4-9). Thus, Mormons follow the false prophet Joseph Smith and deny the teaching of Christ. They need to heed Galatians 1:8-9. It teaches us to reject anyone who would preach a new gospel, which is exactly what Joseph Smith did. It should also be pointed out that Mormons believe that the Church of Christ was founded by Jesus and then defected shortly after, only to be reconstituted in the latter days. That contradicts the promises of Christ to His Church (Mt. 16:18-20; Mt. 28:20): that the Church is indefectible and that He would always be with it. In addition, Mormons deny the central core teachings of Christianity, the Divinity of Jesus Christ. They deny that Jesus Christ is true God (i.e., they say that He is not equal to the Father). They also deny the Trinity. Mormons are totally antichrist and of the devil! There are other things that could be mentioned about wacky Mormon beliefs, but they can be found without too much trouble by those who want more information.
On Larry King Live, the following very disturbing conversation occurred with Larry King and Joel Osteen:
KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?
OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...
At this point, even Larry King appears surprised by Osteen's answer. Then Larry tosses Osteen a question to explain his previous answer. And again Osteen openly denies that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way of salvation.
KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?
OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God will judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.
Again Osteen denies the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice, he praises the pagan, false-religion of India as "I know they love God." Unbelievable. . .
I'm sure some reading this are thinking, "Well, maybe Larry caught Joel Osteen flat footed. Maybe Osteen wasn't prepared." If Osteen only had been given another chance to testify of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ, he'd get it straightened out.
Osteen did get another chance. . .
After Larry King opened the phone lines, a person asks Joel to clarify his previous statement (which we just viewed). Again Osteen could easily clear this up.
CALLER: Hello, Larry. You're the best, and thank you, Joe -- Joel -- for your positive messages and your book. I'm wondering, though, why you side-stepped Larry's earlier question about how we get to heaven? The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and the only way to the father is through him. That's not really a message of condemnation but of truth.
OSTEEN: Yes, I would agree with her. I believe that. . .
KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven?
OSTEEN: No. Here's my thing, Larry, is I can't judge somebody's heart. You know? Only God can look at somebody's heart, and so -- I don't know. To me, it's not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn't. I just say, here's what the Bible teaches and I'm going to put my faith in Christ. And I just I think it's wrong when you go around saying, you're saying you're not going, you're not going, you're not going, because it's not exactly my way. I'm just...
KING: But you believe your way.
OSTEEN: I believe my way. I believe my way with all my heart.
KING: But for someone who doesn't share it is wrong, isn't he?
OSTEEN: Well, yes. Well, I don't know if I look at it like that. I would present my way, but I'm just going to let God be the judge of that. I don't know. I don't know.
KING: So you make no judgment on anyone?
OSTEEN: No. But I...
And here Larry really tosses Joel a question. How about a God-defying atheist? And again, Osteen will not confess that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way of salvation.
KING: What about atheists?
OSTEEN: You know what, I'm going to let someone -- I'm going to let God be the judge of who goes to heaven and hell. I just -- again, I present the truth, and I say it every week. You know, I believe it's a relationship with Jesus. But you know what? I'm not going to go around telling everybody else if they don't want to believe that that's going to be their choice. God's got to look at your own heart. God's got to look at your heart, and only God knows that.
Osteen's refusal to confess the sole redemptive salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ sent shock waves among many of Osteen's followers. Because of the amount of email and letters questioning his statements, Osteen issued an apology on his web site, stating:
"Many of you have called, written or e-mailed regarding my recent appearance on Larry King Live. I appreciate your comments and value your words of correction and encouragement."
"It was never my desire or intention to leave any doubt as to what I believe and Whom I serve. I believe with all my heart that it is only through Christ that we have hope in eternal life. I regret and sincerely apologize that I was unclear on the very thing in which I have dedicated my life."
I find it ironic and demeaning that Osteen "was unclear on the very thing in which I have dedicated my life." He was not UNCLEAR. He was crystal clear. He consistently and clearly rejected that the Lord Jesus Christ was the ONLY possible way of salvation!
No practicing Atheist, Jew or Muslim will ever be saved without the Faith in Jesus Christ and baptism. Joel Osteen is just a total apostate and heretic.
It must be made clear that false preachers and heretics always contradicts themselves, and Osteen clearly is a heretic that denies and contradicts the Bible on several core issues.
Galatians 1:8-9, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If anyone preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema."
In the interview, Larry King tossed Osteen another question, asking Osteen about the wicked and vile sins of abortion and homosexuality. Even lost people take a stand on these blatant abomination.
KING: How about issues that the church has feelings about? Abortion? Same-sex marriages?
OSTEEN: Yeah. You know what, Larry? I don't go there. I just ...
KING: You have thoughts, though.
OSTEEN: I have thoughts. I just, you know, I don't think that a same-sex marriage is the way God intended it to be. I don't think abortion is the best. I think there are other, you know, a better way to live your life. But I'm not going to condemn those people. I tell them all the time our church is open for everybody.
Again, Larry appears surprised at Osteen's waffling. Larry allows Osteen to clarify his confusing position. And again Osteen blatantly contradicts the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.
KING: You don't call them sinners?
OSTEEN: I don't.
KING: Is that a word you don't use?
OSTEEN: I don't use it. I never thought about it. But I probably don't. But most people already know what they're doing wrong. When I get them to church I want to tell them that you can change. There can be a difference in your life. So I don't go down the road of condemning.
The word "sin" in fact occurs in the Bible over 470 times!
The natural law is written on the heart of all men, so that all men know that certain things are against God's law and that certain things are in accordance with the natural law of charity, etc.
The natural law is the law that every person knows by instinct from birth. It is planted by the Creator in our heart, and everyone – even pagans who have never heard about God or the true Catholic religion – receive this gift from God. Examples of sins that break the natural law and that are easy to recognize are: abortion, murder, rape, theft, pedophilia, homosexuality, slander, lying, and so on. The conscience always convicts a person who does these things and thus there can never be an excuse for people who commit such sins.
As the Haydock Bible and Commentary correctly explains about Romans 2:14-16,
"these men are a law to themselves, and have it written in their hearts, as to the existence of a God, and their reason tells them, that many sins are unlawful: they may also do some actions that are morally good, as by giving alms to relieve the poor, honoring their parents, etc. not that these actions, morally good, will suffice for their justification of themselves, or make them deserve a supernatural reward in the kingdom of heaven; but God, out of His infinite mercy, will give them some supernatural graces which if they continue to cooperate with they will get more graces and eventually be exposed to the Catholic Faith, which they must have to be saved."
For example, if a person holds that man does not have free will (which some Protestants teach), this person would become a heretic because he is rejecting a truth which all know to be true from the natural law, namely, that man has a free will. Thus, he is denying a truth all know about man from the natural law and he is a heretic.
Another example would be if a person refuses to believe that God is a rewarder and a punisher. This person is a heretic because he rejects a truth he knows to be true from the natural law, that God is a rewarder and a punisher of our actions (see Heb. 11:6).
A large majority of Protestants today believe in the doctrines of "faith alone" and "eternal security." These doctrines contradict both the natural law and reason which says that every man shall be rewarded or punished for his deeds. It also contradicts, word for word, the teaching of James 2 in scripture, which teach that faith without works is dead, and that man is not saved by faith alone. This person who believes in faith alone or eternal security (like Osteen, who believes that a practicing homosexual can attain eternal glory in Heaven) is a heretic because he rejects a truth he knows to be true from the natural law, that God is a rewarder and a punisher of our actions, and that faith alone does not justify a man only, but our deeds also.
Other common heresies against the natural law is to deny the existence of God, or to hold that birth control or natural family planning (also called NFP) is acceptable, or if a person is to hold that abortion is acceptable, or if a person is to hold that the consuming of mind altering drugs to the point where the conscience is impeded, is acceptable. To hold any of these positions would all fall under the category of mortal sin of heresy against the natural law, because he who is guilty of this is rejecting a truth which all know to be true from the natural law, namely, 1) that God exists, 2) that abortion is murder, 3) that contraception or NFP deliberately frustrates the natural power to generate life, 4) and that consuming mind altering drugs, such as smoking marijuana, is a mortal sin just like getting drunk is.