Thursday, June 05, 2008

Joel Osteen - Herrnhuter

On TBN's Praise the Lord program on April 30th, 2008 Joel and Victoria Osteen were the focus. During the show this conversation took place between Joel Osteen and host Phil Munsey:

Phil Munsey: This is why I’m glad that you allowed us to be on TBN tonight, to be able to let our brothers and sisters and pastors from around the world to know that this is a God thing, that the Good News is still the best way to bring people to repentance.

Joel Osteen: Amen. I believe that. I mean, that’s what the Gospel’s all about, and we see people respond. I mean, you know, I found most people already know what they’re doing wrong. But when you come back and tell them that, you know, no matter the mistakes they’ve made or where they are, that they can recover, they can go further, that God’s still got a plan for their lives. Victoria told you how these arenas that we go to, half the people stand up, so I think it is the goodness of God, and we’ll continue to put it out.

Phil Munsey: Absolutely. Somebody said when someone’s drowning you don’t need to describe the water. You just need to throw them a rope of hope. And I think that’s something that is very strong, that comes from your ministry, and that is people know they sin, they know they’re sinners. They don’t need somebody describing the water. They need a rope of hope.
As reported in an earlier blog entry, in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel on May 28, 2008 Osteen shows that repentance isn’t a priority with his ministry. He was asked to compare himself to Billy Graham. He said in response:

Osteen: I like to be inspired by Dr. Graham. He's been a hero and a mentor and a friend to me. But we have different races to run. He fulfilled his calling.

Interviewer: What's your own calling?

Osteen: It's the same in a sense: leading people to Christ. But he brings them to repentance, and mine is more focused on hope and encouragement.

According to C.F.W. Walther the Herrnhuters were an 18th century group (Moravians) who "preferred not to have the Law preached at all....We shall readily admit that the Herrnhuters have made an impression on many, but it was a mere surface impression. Their hearers were never made to realize that they were enemies of God, worthy to be cast down to perdition rather than to be saved." (The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel, p. 90, C. F. W. Walther)

That sounds remarkably like the teaching of Joel Osteen and countless other churches today in the 21st century - including some facets of the LCMS! So does the Gospel come first? A few Scripture verses might clarify the situation:

Mark 1:15 "The time has come," he [Jesus] said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!"

In Acts 2:14-38 Peter makes the Jews aware of the fact that they had crucified Christ (v. 23). They were convicted (v. 37) and Peter told them to repent and be baptized (v. 38) They didn’t “already know what they were doing wrong” as Osteen would suggest.

In Matthew 5 Jesus teaches 21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” And 27 “You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Why would Jesus teach this if people were already fully aware of their sins?



At August 01, 2008 9:33 AM, Blogger Theresa said...

It is indeed sad when pastors, evangelists and teachers project themselves as smarter than God who authorized and wrote the Bible through godly men centuries ago. In II Timothy chapter 4, verses 1-5we are charged to "preach the Word;rebuke, reprove and exhort with all longsuffering & doctrine" and that people would not be able to endure sound doctrine. Cushioning sinners who need repentance is not the method given. Jesus preached repentance, John the Baptist preached repentance and modern-day preachers must do the same!


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