"You can be just as 'man pleasing' and 'fleshly' in extemporaneous and informal religious exercises as in preestablished and formal ones -- perhaps even more so -- especially if you are proud of being informal."

- Dallas Willard
Who Is Joel Osteen?

The other day someone compared me to Joel Osteen, favorably. They figured if I was like Joel I must be good. I thought, "Uh, who is this guy?" He's on TV, and I checked the web and he is pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, and he's 39. That's all I know.

I tried to watch him once, but I have this aversion to TV preachers, I couldn't stay with it for more than 2 minutes. I pretty much figure that if you are on TV then you are a Word-faith teacher.

What do y'all know about Joel Osteen? Is he a Word-Faith guy? What's up with his church buying the Compaq center in Houston?

Trackbacks:

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Comments on "Who Is Joel Osteen?":
1. Bill - 02/04/2004 12:45 am CST

He's the son of the late John Osteen, long-time pastor of Lakewood Church, which is a large non-denominational church in Houston. When the senior Osteen passed away a few years ago Joel took over.

I don't think that they are a Word of Faith church, but I'm not sure - they are definitely a dynamic and growing body in our city. They tend slightly toward prosperity gospel, I think - their theme is "Discover the Champion in you". They have fantastic worship leaders, and I believe Joel is a pretty good preacher.

Unlike a TV evangelist, Joel Osteen is the pastor of a real, live church and so I don't think the broadcast versions of their services have much of the abuses you're probably thinking of (repeated ad-nauseum appeals for donations, selling of "cloths that [insert evangelists name here] has prayed over" or that kind of nonsense)

Overall I'd say that you were complimented. But others may comment here who have a lot more knowledge of Lakewood. I've never been to a service.

Jared - did I spell complimented correctly?

2. Jared - 02/04/2004 1:38 am CST

Jewel, yes, and it complemented your response well.

I'm not sure if it's WoF, but Lakewood has a close connection to the "name it and claim it" stuff. I don't think Joel goes quite as far down that route as his dad did. In fact, I think he has tried quietly to do a few things differently -- including being a better speaker.
Joel is a dynamic speaker, very engaging. I don't mind admitting we've watched him from time to time. He's certainly the only TV guy I can watch for longer than five minutes.

But they really seem more like a self-help seminar than a church. A lot of it is "find the power within you" and all that jive. And he does have some out-there stuff about the tongue that sounds vagely WoF-ish.

Phil, I'd say it was a compliment if they just meant you sound or act like him or have his pulpit presence. Nothing wrong with that, I don't think. I doubt they meant your teaching is similar -- that would not be a compliment.

3. Becky - 02/04/2004 2:01 am CST

Phil, I'm with Jared. My guess is that they were referring to your delivery. If that is the case, it was definitely a compliment. Joel Osteen is extremely engaging--even when I don't necessarily agree with what he's saying.

4. Kenny - 02/04/2004 2:05 am CST

I couldn't add any more other than to say I have watched a few minutes of him. He has the most pronounced "Southern Drawl" of any of the TV dudes. I have never heard him say anything that I thought heretical but I haven't listened to him that much.

5. jen - 02/04/2004 3:03 am CST

But they really seem more like a self-help seminar than a church. A lot of it is "find the power within you" and all that jive.

He's the new Robert Schuler, but he seems more evangelical about it from what I've seen. I have watched his sermons a few times and I haven't had too many issues with what I've heard.

What's funny is that Evangelical Outpost just posted about a Fox News article yesterday that's a little critical of Osteen.

6. Bird - 02/04/2004 3:11 am CST

I too have watched a few of his sermons and haven't had any issues . . . yet. :-) Seriously, though, there was an article on Foxnews.com yesterday about megachurches and it featured his church because it's the largest evangelical church in the nation with 25,000 members. Next year they're moving into the former home of the Houston Rockets, The Compaq Center.

7. Shrode - 02/04/2004 4:47 am CST

I'm young and thin, and so is he. I think that is the obvious comparison. But this person made the connection between my reminding them of Joel to my teachings being along the same lines. This was the reason for my question. I don't want these folks, who might join our church, to think I'm something I'm not.

I did a google search on him and found 2 websites that criticized him as word of faith. Both sites were "debunking" type sites that believe that the pope is the antichrist.

The quotes they used to demonstrate his heresy really didn't demonstrate anything other than Arminian theology, and that certainly ain't heretical.

So I'm hearing that he's "sort-of" prosperity gospel, and "sort-of" another power of positive thinking Schuller/Peale type, but that he's not that bad? Is that right? Boy, I wish I could find something more definitive.

8. Shrode - 02/04/2004 5:05 am CST

Becky, I think they may have meant delivery and presence initially, but they also meant his content. Can you recall anything he said that you disagreed with?

Here are some critiques of Osteen:
http://markbyron.typepad.com/main/

http://www.iconbusters.com/iconbusters/docs/letter/letter.htm

9. Bird - 02/04/2004 6:04 am CST

I did a google search on him and found 2 websites that criticized him as word of faith. Both sites were "debunking" type sites that believe that the pope is the antichrist.

I'm not trying to defend Joel, because I don't know enough about it, but it amazes me how ANYONE can put together some half-booty quotes and accuse someone of being a heretical.

10. Daniel - 02/04/2004 6:33 am CST

Just for my own knowledge here. I'm in the dark on what 'word of faith' means. Please explain anyone.

11. Becky - 02/04/2004 6:34 am CST

Phil, I don't really recall anything terribly specific, but many times he insinuates that if you have enough faith, God will answer any prayer (the way you want it answered) or if you are really where you need to be in your relationship with God, your whole life will be just peachy. Honestly, I don't ever remember him saying anything like that outright; he just kind of tiptoes around it, so I couldn't even tell you with certainty that that's what he believes. That's just my perception (which I will quickly admit could be wrong).

I don't listen to him all the time, but I can never recall anything he's said that made me think he was heretical or anything like that. Usually when he wanders into topics that could be considered controversial, he's pretty vague (from what I've seen.)

For the most part (again, from what I've seen), he really is a great speaker--very engaging and very encouraging.

12. Shrode - 02/04/2004 11:34 am CST

Thanks Becky. That's the impression I get... from what i am reading and hearing. That he flirts with prosperity gospel, that he is borderline, but not necessarily all the way there. (Some Baptists are too.)

Daniel, by "word of faith" we are speaking of the so called "name-it,claim-it" folks. They believe that if you have enough faith God will, he must bless you with health and wealth. That you deserve to be healthy and wealthy and God wants you to be healthy and wealthy and the only thing that keeps you from it is not having enough faith or not claiming those "promises" with your mouth. Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, TBN, John Hagee are all examples of this teaching which is heretical.

13. Bird - 02/04/2004 12:29 pm CST

Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, TBN, John Hagee are all examples of this teaching which is heretical.

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for some charismaniacs -- Hinn being one of them. So, I ask, do you have any sources that conclusively show that Hinn is part of the name-it-and-claim-it crowd? He very well may be, but I'd just like to know.

14. Daniel - 02/05/2004 12:25 am CST

Thanks. I know what the 'name-it-claim-it' thing is. I had just never heard it called 'word of faith.'

15. Luke - 02/05/2004 6:04 am CST

Joel Olsteen and Creflo Dollar have the two largest churches in America. The worst part of it is, there is a lot of truth in what he says. I watch and see how long he goes without mentioning Jesus or the Cross. I have never heard him say anything about the cost of following Christ. Most of it is, "Believe In Yourself.";"0

16. Shrode - 02/05/2004 7:29 am CST

Eric,
I know you have a soft spot for charismatics and that's cool. :) And though it's not necessary for me to say it to you, for the benefit of those who are reading: I do not believe that charismatics or pentecostals are heretics. They are in the main evangelicals.

I view "name it claim it" teachers as an aberration of charismatic beliefs.

I don't own any of Hinn's books, Eric, but every one I have ever looked at made it very clear. And I assumed that his "name it, claim it" credentials were so well-known that to demonstrate it would be unnecessary.

Hanegraaf, though debunked on this site for other things, has a great book on the subject and has many quotes from Hinn.

What would it take to convince you? I don't have any of his sermons on tape either. But I have personally heard him say (years ago) so many "name it claim it", "God is obligated to heal you if you have enough faith", "if you are not healed you don't have enough faith" etc.. statements that it leaves no doubt in my mind what his teachings are.

And have you watched his healing rallys?

17. Bird - 02/05/2004 7:45 am CST

And I assumed that his "name it, claim it" credentials were so well-known that to demonstrate it would be unnecessary.

You might be right.

What would it take to convince you?

Probably a well-documented book or two.

And have you watched his healing rallys?

Just bits and pieces.

18. Shrode - 02/05/2004 8:15 am CST

Eric, I checked some links realizing that almost any site I found that was against Hinn could be accused of "quoting out of context". Here's what I found. I'll let you decide for yourself. Btw, Hanegraaf's book is well-documented. Kenny, do you have your wellworn copy handy?

From the Door:
http://www.thedoormagazine.com/theheretic.html

From Benny's own site who promises the whole nation will be healed and wealthy if we just pray enough.
http://www.bennyhinn.org/mwiainfo.cfm

BTW, you can view his sermons there.

Benny writes on his site:
"God Almighty is about to visit every prayerful and believing saint, as He Himself declared in the book of Joel, that His Spirit will be poured out upon those who "cry out" or call upon Him, for the Word of God declares, "Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord." (Joel 1:14)

Finally, a mighty move of divine prosperity is about to descend upon us. I believe that is the reason the Lord has spoken to me to raise up an army of intercessors...not only that we might receive, but that others might also receive of His divine power. "

From Christianbook.com http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product/138103159?item_no=4193918&netp_id=123847&event=ESRCN&item_code=WW

"This is your day for a miracle" book synopsis
"Benny Hinn believes God still works miracles today, and he's been gifted by the Holy Spirit to bring the healing power of God into people's lives. In this book, he boldly proclaims the healing power of Christ as he's seen it. Do you, or does someone you know, have a troubling illness, genetic disorder or life-threatening disease? If so, this could be the most extraordinary book you've ever read. On its pages are accounts of people whose health was miraculously restored to the amazement of their families, friends and even their medical doctors. The dramatic, real-life stories in this book will inspire you, and Benny Hinn's Bible-based teaching on the key to your miracle will give you a greater understanding of why Jesus heals today."

Excuse me? Key to your miracle?

19. Bird - 02/05/2004 11:39 am CST

From what I can tell from the Door article, it's long on opinions and short on documentation. For example, this paragraph:

He has no church. He belongs to no denomination. He's not even affiliated with any particular religion, although his buzz words indicate he tends to dwell on the freaky backwoods fringe of Pentecostalism. As recently as three centuries ago, he probably would have been burned as a heretic. (To give you some idea of his doctrinal strangeness, he once preached that the Trinity is actually nine persons, because each member of the Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit – is also a Trinity. He also says that God and the Holy Spirit have real bodies, with eyes, hands, mouth, etc. Various theologians have trashed him, of course, for preaching "new revelations" directly from God that turn out to be, when examined, variations of thousand-year-old heresies.) He thinks of himself as a prophet (even when his prophecies don't come true) and, in one burst of grandeur, "a little messiah walking on the earth." He believes that the Biblical Adam flew into outer space, that when God parted the Red Sea He made it into a wall of ice, that God talks to him more frequently than he talked to, say, Moses, that a man has risen from the dead in his presence, that a man turned into a snake before his eyes, that angels come to his bedroom and talk to him, and that the only reason we're not all in perfect health, living forever, is that there are demons in the world, attacking us. He's expressed opinions normally heard only on schizophrenia wards, and he's done it in front of millions of people – and still they come. They come in such numbers that thousands have to be turned away, and even the ones turned away gladly give him their money.

Although many (or all) of these allegations may be true, I didn't find any documentation in the article itself to support any of it.

From Benny's own site who promises the whole nation will be healed and wealthy if we just pray enough.

I followed that link and didn't see anywhere where it says something like the whole nation will be healed and wealthy if we pray enough. I definitely may have missed it, so can you tell me exactly where it is (and maybe quote it)?

Benny writes on his site:
"God Almighty is about to visit every prayerful and believing saint, as He Himself declared in the book of Joel, that His Spirit will be poured out upon those who "cry out" or call upon Him, for the Word of God declares, "Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord." (Joel 1:14)

Finally, a mighty move of divine prosperity is about to descend upon us. I believe that is the reason the Lord has spoken to me to raise up an army of intercessors...not only that we might receive, but that others might also receive of His divine power. "


What exactly is wrong with any of the above?

The dramatic, real-life stories in this book will inspire you, and Benny Hinn's Bible-based teaching on the key to your miracle will give you a greater understanding of why Jesus heals today."

Excuse me? Key to your miracle?

Am I correct in understanding that that is the explanation of the book given by christianbook.com? If so, shouldn't your issue be with them, if that is not specifically in the book? Secondly, I don't see a huge problem with the phrase. Honestly, it seems more confusing than anything, but hardly heretical.

I'm enjoying this conversation, Shrode. I'm not at all trying to slam you dog, or anything like that. I really would like to formulate a solid take on Benny, but I'm on the fence (in fact, I'm sympathetic to him in a lot of ways). I don't have any kind of experience with his ministry or anything, I just think he makes himself out to be an easy target. Also, I think he very well may be heretical in some of his teachings, but I'd like to see that plainly.

20. Hobo - 02/05/2004 2:14 pm CST

I love ol' Benny. He makes me laugh :)

21. Bill - 02/05/2004 3:08 pm CST

Bird

I can't speak to much about Bennie Henn, but I did hear the audio of his whacked "the trinity is nine" talk. It gave me hives.

22. Bill - 02/05/2004 3:09 pm CST

Um, I meant "Hinn", not "Henn";"0

23. Bill - 02/05/2004 3:32 pm CST

And I guess I meant "Benny", not "Bennie". . .

d'oh!

24. Bird - 02/05/2004 4:16 pm CST

I did hear the audio of his whacked "the trinity is nine" talk.

Got a transcript?

25. Bird - 02/05/2004 4:17 pm CST

Now Bennie Henn, he's a freaking heretic!

26. Jared - 02/05/2004 5:13 pm CST

Bird, I'm actually pretty disappointed that you'd be so defensive about and sympathetic to Hinn. He does nothing but damage to those who take charismata seriously. He's a heretic and a nutjob.

I'm not sure how much documentation you want; it's certainly not a recurring request we get here. But just for starters, here's some stuff I found easily on web sites that just printed mainly quotes (with citations from where they came from). It wasn't hard to find these.

-----
from this site: http://www.discernment.org/faithhealers/benny.htm

On both his television program and in his book, Hinn asserted that all three persons of the Triune Godhead have their own independent bodies, souls, and spirits, as well as wills (10/13/90, TBN).

In another statement, Hinn asserts that though we are not Almighty God Himself, nevertheless, we are now divine (12/1/90, TBN).

"He [Jesus] who is righteous by choice said, 'The only way I can stop sin is by Me becoming it. I can't just stop it by letting it touch Me; I and it must become one.' Hear this! He who is the nature of God became the nature of Satan where He became sin!" (TBN, 12/1/90).

from this site: http://www.raptureready.com/rapture/ssbh1.html
Benny Hinn: Yes, Lord, I'll do it. I place a curse on every man and every woman that will stretch his hand against this anointing. I curse that man who dares to speak a word against this ministry. But any man and any woman that raises his or her hand in blessing towards this ministry, I bless that man. I bless that home! I bless that family.

Benny Hinn: Under this anointing, the words I speak cannot fall to the ground. Under this anointing, everything I say, happens. (Praise The Lord, Trinity Broadcasting Network, September 10, 1999)

from this site: http://www.geocities.com/djsleeve/BennyHinn_HeresyTBN.html
This is what Benny Hinn said on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, October 19, 1999. Please note that the following remarks by Hinn are in quotation marks, for these are the very words that he spoke.

"But here's first what I see for TBN. You're going to have people raised from the dead watching this network. You're going to have people raised from the dead watching TBN . . . I'm telling you, I see this in the Spirit. It's going to be so awesome--Jesus I give you praise for this--that people around the world--maybe not so much in America--people around the world who will lose loved ones, will say to undertakers, `Not yet. I want to take my dead loved one and place him in front of that TV set for 24 hours.' I'm telling you, I can feel the anointing talking here. People are going to be canceling funeral services and bringing their dead in their caskets, placing them--my God! I feel the anointing here--placing them before a television set, waiting for God's power to come through and touch them. And it's going to happen time and time--so much it's going to spread. You're going to hear it from Kenya to Mexico to Europe to South America, where people will be raised from the dead. So much so that the word will spread that if some dead person be put in front of this TV screen, they will be raised from the dead and they will be by the thousands. I see rows of caskets lining up in front of this TV set and I see them bringing them closer to the TV set and as people are coming closer I see loved ones picking up the hands of the dead and letting them touch the screen and people are getting raised as their hands are touching that screen. Now here's something else I see . . . the day is going to come when the gifts of the Holy Spirit will so intensify in the church that young children will be watching TBN and signs and wonders will begin to take place through them. Impartations of the Spirit will come to them"

from this site: http://www.cephasministry.com/benny_hinn.html
God has 9 parts (tri-theistic).
A. God has a body, soul and spirit.
B. Jesus has a body, soul and spirit.
C. Holy Spirit has a body, soul and spirit. (Benny Hinn, Benny Hinn broadcast, recorded 10/13/90)

Christians are little messiahs. Christians are little gods. (Benny Hinn, Praise-a-thon (TBN), recorded November 1990)

Poverty comes from Hell. Prosperity comes from Heaven. Adam had complete dominion over the earth and all it contains. A. Adam could fly like a bird. B. Adam could swim underwater and breathe like a fish. Adam went to the moon. Adam walked on water. Adam was a super being, He was the first superman that lived. Adam had dominion over the sun, moon & stars. Christians do not have Christ in their hearts. Sow a big seed, when you confess it, you are activating the supernatural forces of God. (Benny Hinn, Praise-a-thon (TBN), recorded November 1990)

When you don't give money, it shows that you have the devil's nature. (Benny Hinn, Praise-a-thon (TBN), recorded 4/21/91)

"Do you know that every unbeliever is filled with a demon spirit?" (Good Morning Holy Spirit, (Benny Hinn, Word, 1991) p.146)

Benny Hinn says that Christians confessing they are "a sinner saved by grace" only insult God with such "garbage" (The Toronto Blessing, Stephen Sizer, 1990)

"Are you ready for some real revelation knowledge....you are god" (Benny Hinn, "Our Position In Christ", tape # AO31190-1)

"You are a little god on earth running around". (Benny Hinn, "Praise-a-thon" broadcast on TBN, November, 1990)

" . . . the anointing is dependent upon my words. God will not move unless I say it. Why? because He has made us coworkers with Him. He set things up that way." (Benny Hinn, The Anointing. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. 1992. 82.)

27. Bird - 02/05/2004 5:58 pm CST

Bird, I'm actually pretty disappointed that you'd be so defensive about and sympathetic to Hinn.

I'm not at all defensive about Hinn, in a negative sense. I'm apprehensive to all out call him a heretic without actually reading something that convinces me. I think that a lot of judgement is made of BH on a mere "first glance" basis. That is, people see Benny, think he looks/acts freakish and, therefore, dismiss him as a heretic.

Let me reiterate, I won't have any problem denouncing Benny as a heretic, if I can actually see some documented evidence supporting those claims.

Here's my initial reaction to what you posted, Rod . . .

On both his television program and in his book, Hinn asserted that all three persons of the Triune Godhead have their own independent bodies, souls, and spirits, as well as wills (10/13/90, TBN)

This is, obviously, a heretical position. However, I'd love to see a full transcript of this TBN episode from 14 years ago. Also, I'm sure it's possible he's changed his mind on this position? Every thing that I've found in relation to the "9 gods" thing dates back to 1990. If this were a current and consistent teaching of his, I'd imagine that he would preach it/write about it in some of his modern work. Again, I'd like to see the full transcript so if someone finds a link to that let me know.

In another statement, Hinn asserts that though we are not Almighty God Himself, nevertheless, we are now divine (12/1/90, TBN)

Ditto with this.

"He [Jesus] who is righteous by choice said, 'The only way I can stop sin is by Me becoming it. I can't just stop it by letting it touch Me; I and it must become one.' Hear this! He who is the nature of God became the nature of Satan where He became sin!" (TBN, 12/1/90).

The "nature of Satan" thing makes me cringe. Again, I'd like to see a full transcript. From this small quote, I can gather that Benny is referring to 2Co 5:21: "For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

I've read other versions say He "became sin" for us. Any thoughts on the heretical nature of all this?

Benny Hinn: Yes, Lord, I'll do it. I place a curse on every man and every woman that will stretch his hand against this anointing. I curse that man who dares to speak a word against this ministry. But any man and any woman that raises his or her hand in blessing towards this ministry, I bless that man. I bless that home! I bless that family.

Benny Hinn: Under this anointing, the words I speak cannot fall to the ground. Under this anointing, everything I say, happens. (Praise The Lord, Trinity Broadcasting Network, September 10, 1999)


Want to see a hardcopy.

"But here's first what I see for TBN. You're going to have people raised from the dead watching this network. You're going to have people raised from the dead watching TBN . . . I'm telling you, I see this in the Spirit. It's going to be so awesome--Jesus I give you praise for this--that people around the world--maybe not so much in America--people around the world who will lose loved ones, will say to undertakers, `Not yet. I want to take my dead loved one and place him in front of that TV set for 24 hours.' I'm telling you, I can feel the anointing talking here. People are going to be canceling funeral services and bringing their dead in their caskets, placing them--my God! I feel the anointing here--placing them before a television set, waiting for God's power to come through and touch them. And it's going to happen time and time--so much it's going to spread. You're going to hear it from Kenya to Mexico to Europe to South America, where people will be raised from the dead. So much so that the word will spread that if some dead person be put in front of this TV screen, they will be raised from the dead and they will be by the thousands. I see rows of caskets lining up in front of this TV set and I see them bringing them closer to the TV set and as people are coming closer I see loved ones picking up the hands of the dead and letting them touch the screen and people are getting raised as their hands are touching that screen. Now here's something else I see . . . the day is going to come when the gifts of the Holy Spirit will so intensify in the church that young children will be watching TBN and signs and wonders will begin to take place through them. Impartations of the Spirit will come to them"

This is weird, really weird. But what's heretical about it?

Ok, I've got to go to bed. I'll check this stuff out a bit more in-depth later.

Rod and Shrode, keep rolling with those responses. I'm still trying to put all this together.

28. Bird - 02/05/2004 6:41 pm CST

I can't sleep because Brandi's having Braxton Hickey or whatever that is. Anyhoo, here's an interesting article circa 1993 on how Hinn apparently changed some of his views:


BENNY HINN SAYS HE HAS CHANGED CONTROVERSIAL TEACHINGS August 1993

ORLANDO, Fla. (EP) -- Evangelist Benny Hinn became a focal point of controversy this year when a cult specialist [Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute. ed] raised questions about his teaching and reporters questioned his lifestyle. In an interview with Charisma magazine editor Stephen Strang, Hinn, pastor of the 7,000- member Orlando Christian Center, discussed his beliefs and detailed major changes in his views on some controversial issues.

"God is shaking me," said Hinn. "He is making dramatic changes inside of me. ...The Lord is showing me some things I have been wrong about. At one point I taught certain things, such as the 'little gods' teaching, and Jesus dying spiritually. Now I have quit teaching such things, and I have made it clear that I no longer believe them."

Hinn said that after a decade of pursuing Word-Faith doctrines, he has found some extremes in that teaching, and is changing his views on some issues. "For example, I used to teach that Jesus died spiritually and suffered in Hell," he said. "Through my own study, I discovered that this didn't line up with the Word. When the Lord said 'It is finished' on the cross, He didn't add 'to be continued.'"

Hinn told Charisma that he had modified his views on other issues, including what is sometimes called "name it and claim it" theology. He said, "I don't believe confessing the Word works the way I taught it in the past. Of course, we should believe and confess God's Word. But I don't believe we can just confess any Scripture and make it happen." Hinn also emphasized that he believes "the Bible is the only authoritative source of divine revelation," and reaffirmed his belief in "one God -- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. One God, three persons, absolutely one in essence."

Though he once taught that Christians are "little gods," Hinn now refutes that doctrine. "I did teach the little gods doctrine," he said. "Today I don't believe it one iota. In fact, it's been erased off all my tapes. ...When I taught the little gods doctrine, I was using Scriptures that didn't fit."

Hinn acknowledged that he receives a salary of $116,000 plus a housing allowance from his church, and "much more" in book royalties. But he said his giving to his church last year exceeded his salary. Hinn said he paid about $650,000 for his present home, which is in an exclusive neighborhood with a security gate. Hinn said he no longer wears his Rolex watch and expensive jewelry, and is replacing his Mercedes Benz with an American-made Lincoln "because I don't want my lifestyle to cause anyone to stumble."

Though closely associated with the so-called "prosperity gospel," Hinn told Charisma that a recent trip to the Philippines had changed his outlook. "Some of the most precious Christians live there amid such poverty, such need. Yet you see such satisfaction, such fulfillment with them. They are happier than many Christians I know in America who have everything."

Hinn said, "The teaching on prosperity has gone too far. It has become a business. It is no longer 'give so you will bless somebody.' It has become 'give to get.' It has become selfish, worldly. ...I feel terrible that I once put too much emphasis on material prosperity. And now I am saying, 'Lord, please forgive me.'"

Divine healing is another area where Hinn's beliefs have changed. Though he once taught that anyone with enough faith could be healed, he now describes such a teaching as "cruel" and acknowledges, "I have come to realize that God is sovereign, and there are things I just don't understand." He added, "In the future, rather than focus on healing, I plan to focus on Jesus Himself, and let Him heal whomever He wills to heal."

Hinn told Charisma his future ministry will have a new emphasis. "I am looking forward to even greater healings and miracles in my ministry," he concluded. "But I'm going to focus on salvation as well as physical healing. Because when God heals a body, that is temporal; but when God saves a soul, that has eternal importance."


Here's the link: http://www.believersweb.org/view.cfm?ID=578

29. Shrode - 02/06/2004 12:37 am CST

"I can't sleep because Brandi's having Braxton Hickey or whatever that is."
LOL
Ain't pregnancy grand?

Wow, that's a great interview excerpt Bird. It seems that the criticism he received really worked. I knew he had recanted the 9 members of the trinity thing, after people called him on it, but I didn't know about the rest of it.

Hinn's site: "Finally, a mighty move of divine prosperity is about to descend upon us. I believe that is the reason the Lord has spoken to me to raise up an army of intercessors...not only that we might receive, but that others might also receive of His divine power. "

Bird asks:"What exactly is wrong with any of the above?"

When you connect the fact that Hinn believes we all deserve to be rich and it is only Satan and the fact that we don't have enough faith keeping us poor, this is a real problem. And the certainty Hinn has about God speaking to him troubles me. Hinn's been talking like this for years, and he has never been right. The best that can be said for any of Hinn's Divine "revelations" is that many of them can't be disproven.

christianbook.com: "The dramatic, real-life stories in this book will inspire you, and Benny Hinn's Bible-based teaching on the key to your miracle will give you a greater understanding of why Jesus heals today."

Phil wrote: "Excuse me? Key to your miracle?"

Bird wrote:"Am I correct in understanding that that is the explanation of the book given by christianbook.com? If so, shouldn't your issue be with them, if that is not specifically in the book? Secondly, I don't see a huge problem with the phrase. Honestly, it seems more confusing than anything, but hardly heretical."

My previous experience with christianbook.com makes me very confident that this is an accurate synopsis and the wording probably comes directly from the book itself.

It's subtle, but the "key to a miracle" thing causes me real problems given Hinn's history. What is our "key to a miracle"? There is none, I know of, other than "if it is God's will". I sincerely doubt this is what Hinn teaches in this book. The key (the way we guarantee God will heal us i.e. make him heal us,) is by having faith and binding satan and saying whatever prayers Hinn describes in this book. At least, that's what I suspect is in there, but since I don't have a copy I really don't know, I admit.

But the "key to a miracle" phrase doesn't bother you?

And I wish I had the money to order a copy Bird, and the time to read it and quote from it, but I don't right now, sorry. (Besides I'm supposed to be reading EG right now, and am still putting that off. :)

And believe me, I'm not saying Hinn is a heretic because he acts weird. It is because of his teachings, some of which Rod provided above. If he has renounced them all, and become orthodox, then we should give him a second chance, but I'll only believe it when I see it more fully. I'd like to see him write a book like Jim Bakker did entitled "I was wrong" or a book like the head of the worldwide church of god (armstrongism) - Joseph Tkatch's "Transformed by Truth" in which he details he and his church's transformation from heretical cult to an orthodox evangelical denomination.

30. Jared - 02/06/2004 12:54 am CST

It was also fairly easy to find articles about how Hinn "recants" to appease his critics and then just goes right on teaching and doing the stuff he did previously.

Bird, you know we can't track down transcripts. I think you're asking for a level of certainty here that is unprecedented, and for what reason I don't know. Because he's a charismatic and you feel like you must defend your own?
He ain't like you.

I've seen the man with my own two eyes blow on someone and tell them they now have the Holy Spirit. I'm sorry, but my God cannot be manipulated like pixie dust. To use a phrase you and I have employed before, Bennie is a "pumper and scooper."

I'm not going to keep looking into this stuff. If you want to still be on the fence or whatever, fine. I just think you do yourself and your beliefs a disservice by doing so.

--
Keep us posted on the baby news. Are you guys still doing a home birth? Can you email somebody along the way? Or call Blo and let him update us?

31. Bird - 02/06/2004 3:05 am CST

I'm a Benny supporter, y'all. Deal with it. Just kidding.

Let me try and clear this up again, I'm not at all a BH supporter. I've never given him a penny (and I never would). I've never been to a crusade (though my brother has). And I've never (I don't think) even watched a full BH program all the way through. I do, however, think that you guys pretty much see him as an all out non-evangelical heretic teaching false, damaging doctrine, right? I'm not there yet, though I may be moving in that direction. ;-)

I'm going to be gone for most of the day today, but I'd like to just point out a few things (I don't have time right now to respond to all you all have posted.)

When you connect the fact that Hinn believes we all deserve to be rich and it is only Satan and the fact that we don't have enough faith keeping us poor, this is a real problem.

I haven't seen this in any of the Net searches I've done, and I think it's an oft-repeated line about BH. Does he REALLY believe this?

And the certainty Hinn has about God speaking to him troubles me. Hinn's been talking like this for years, and he has never been right. The best that can be said for any of Hinn's Divine "revelations" is that many of them can't be disproven.

This is a very true, and, indeed, troubling point. I agree with you, Shrode.

I've seen the man with my own two eyes blow on someone and tell them they now have the Holy Spirit. I'm sorry, but my God cannot be manipulated like pixie dust. To use a phrase you and I have employed before, Bennie is a "pumper and scooper."

Rod, you know I'm not a pumper and scooper. I wonder if BH would use John 20:22 to defend his scooping: "And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit."

I'm off for the day (for the most part), I'll keep y'all posted on the baby sitch.

32. Blo - 02/06/2004 3:10 am CST

Bird - I have to agree with everything Rod said in his last comment. I'm suprised too that you are seemingly defending Benny. He still does the "pixie dust" thing.

Anyway - be sure to call us when Brandi goes into labor so I can update everyone - assuming you will not have access to a computer.

33. Jared - 02/06/2004 3:10 am CST

I wonder if BH would use John 20:22 to defend his scooping?

I guess he could if he were Jesus.

Although, he has said he's a "little messiah," a "little god," so maybe he does think that . . .

34. jen - 02/06/2004 5:14 am CST

I've always wondered about Hinn - where he really stands, despite the faith-healing services, the money, and the hair. This is all very interesting information. Thanks for having the discussion.

35. Bradley - 02/06/2004 7:27 am CST

hey, i got this off a google search...taken from a praise a thon in april 2000.

"I believe - hear this, hear this - I believe that Jesus, God's Son, is about to appear physically
in meetings and to believers around the world to wake us up. He appeared after His resurrection and He's about to appear before His second coming.

"You know, a prophetess sent me a word through my wife right here, and she said 'Tell your
husband that Jesus is going to physically appear in his meetings.' I'm expecting to see - I'm telling you, I feel it's going to happen.

"I'm careful in how I'm saying it now, because I know that people in Kenya are listening. I know deep in my soul something supernatural is going to happen in Nairobi, Kenya. I feel that. I may very well come back - and you and Jan are coming. Paul and Jan are coming to Nairobi with me - But Paul we may very well come back with footage of Jesus on the platform.

Now hear this - I'm prophesying this: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is about to appear physically in some churches and some meetings and to many of His people, for one reason - to tell you He's about to show up." (TBN Praise-a-thon, April 2, 2000)

If that doesn't convince anyone that this guy is completely off base and I do consider him a heretic as well, then I don't know what will.

Matthew 24:23-27

"At that time if anyone says to you, `Look, here is the Christ!' or, `There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. ";"0

36. jen - 02/06/2004 8:05 am CST

Yikes!

37. Bird - 02/06/2004 10:45 am CST

Just got back from Bush's home town (I'm doing a story on it). I'm busy shooting World Mandate (www.worldmandate.com) tonight, so I'll be busy. I just barely had time to skim the comments. Here's my response to a couple:

Bird - I have to agree with everything Rod said in his last comment. I'm suprised too that you are seemingly defending Benny. He still does the "pixie dust" thing.

Jesus did the pixie dust thing too in John 20:22. I'm not comfortable with people who are not Jesus doing the pixie, but I can't all out condem it as heresy.

Although, he has said he's a "little messiah," a "little god," so maybe he does think that . . .

Rod, aparently he's moving away from those teachings. But maybe he's back at it, I don't know.

Bradley, I don't have time to look into your stuff yet. But I promise I will!

So far, no one has given even mildly satisfactory answers to these questions:

In response to the article Shrode sent: I followed that link and didn't see anywhere where it says something like the whole nation will be healed and wealthy if we pray enough. I definitely may have missed it, so can you tell me exactly where it is (and maybe quote it)?

And . . .

Shrode said:Hinn believes we all deserve to be rich and it is only Satan and the fact that we don't have enough faith keeping us poor, this is a real problem.

Any ideas on those two?

38. Jared - 02/06/2004 10:52 am CST

I really don't like where this is going . . .

39. Bird - 02/06/2004 11:54 am CST

Then I'll drop it. At this point I freely admit that BH has obviously taught some heretical things in his past, but I stop short of calling him an all-out heretic right now. I guess I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. I don't endorse him in any way, but I certainly have not been satisfied with the "proof" provided in the course of this conversation. The only way I could possibly give BH any kind of nod would be if he published a book, or booklet, or brochure, or whatever (similar to what Shrode talked about), outlining the heresies he's been called to task on and then explaining his change in belief. But because he hasn't done that doesn't make him a heretic in my mind.

If that doesn't convince anyone that this guy is completely off base and I do consider him a heretic as well, then I don't know what will.

It doesn't convince me. And the verse you quoted doesn't convince me either. Why? Because that Benny quote is not a heretical teaching! That's been one of my whole points all along, that the things people are calling "heresy" are merely strange, or odd, or different. Do I think BH is right (meaning factually correct) when he says Jesus will appear physically? No. But I don't see a verse forbidding the idea!

Ok, I said I was going to drop it and I am. It's dropped.

40. Jared - 02/06/2004 12:47 pm CST

Okay, so factually speaking, he may not be a heretic. But wouldn't the excerpt Bradley provided at least prove he's a false prophet? I mean, unless Jesus did show up physically in Kenya and I missed the news somehow.

I watched a bit of Hinn today, just because of this convo. I know nothing I will say will make you think he's a heretic, especially since the only "judge" I have to offer as proof against him is my spirit and conscience. I saw him "pumping and scooping" like crazy. You know I don't doubt the validity of the possibility of being slain in the Spirit (heck, it may have happened to me once). You know I'm not a cessationist and that I am sympathetic to charismatics and Third Wavers and what-not. But this was just mass chaos, man.
And it didn't look legit. (Again, I realize that won't sway you.) Some people fell out instantaneously, others went down all cautious like, basically sitting down so as not to hurt themselves (or in the case of some women, so their skirts would not come up). I couldn't help but think these folks were all going down under their own power. It was obvious.
Hinn was "throwing" the Holy Spirit all over the place. It looked violent and angry. It looked like a guy with a six-shooter taking shots at tin cans. It didn't look like a minister ministering and biblically laying hands on people.

I could go into why I think Hinn's behavior is not only markedly different from the acts of Jesus (breathing the Spirit) or Peter and the apostles' acts (laying on hands and "giving" the Holy Spirit), but I don't think it would convince you anyway. For what it's worth, I see those biblical cases as the official bestowing of the H.S. to the Church, a progressive yet one-time event. Paul doesn't speak of needing to have the Holy Spirit given to us by someone. Did you need someone to physically hand you the Holy Spirit?
What Hinn does, in my opinion, demonstrates his own egotism. He believes he can control the Holy Spirit, manipulate Him like He is an "it," a power to be dispensed like, well, pixie dust.

And then his assistant dude was bustin' out in tongues on the microphone with no interpretation offered by anyone. This is a violation of the NT rules on corporate tongues, is it not?

The guy's a showman. Every time I see his crusade he's not preaching the Gospel; he's preaching the power of his hands and breath. He's a charlatan and a huckster. Every time I see his show, he's saying we will prosper if we pray, fast, and give. He's a false prophet and a liar. He's performed healings that don't "stick" and made prophecies that don't come true.

Is that heretical? By your definition, maybe not. But I think we know enough about him to form a correctly negative opinion of him.

That's it for me. Our friendship is too precious to me to strain it with this vain disputation. It's not that important, I don't guess.

41. Bird - 02/06/2004 7:21 pm CST

Rod, I completely agree with your synopsis of a Hinn meeting. Personally, I think it's freakish, and I'm not comfortable with it, and I can't say I've EVER been comfortable with what it all looks like. Also, I completely respect your point of view on all this, and your opinion on the matter has a lot more weight in my mind than just about anyone elses.

I couldn't help but think these folks were all going down under their own power. It was obvious.

I agree based on the BH I've seen.

He believes he can control the Holy Spirit, manipulate Him like He is an "it," a power to be dispensed like, well, pixie dust.

I don't think anyone has the power to manipulate the HS like pixie dust. I don't believe BH has this power. So, I guess I agree with you in this matter. I can't explain BH's behavior, so I won't try to justify it.

And then his assistant dude was bustin' out in tongues on the microphone with no interpretation offered by anyone. This is a violation of the NT rules on corporate tongues, is it not?

It's absolutely a violation, and it's completely wrong.

That's it for me. Our friendship is too precious to me to strain it with this vain disputation. It's not that important, I don't guess.

I know this issue isn't important enough to strain our friendship. And I'm truly sorry if I've put a strain on our relationship.

I feel I've come across as this huge BH apologist, and I'm not. I'm not for BH, and I never have been. With that said, despite my many reservations, I can't honestly say I'm against him. I can't lump him in with heretics like Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, etc. Based on what I know about him, would I recommend his church or ministry to someone I know? No way! But if someone I knew came up to me and talked about how God changed their life, healed them, or worked on their heart at a BH crusade, I certainly wouldn't douse their fire.

Again, I'm not a BH supporter.

I'm in the midst of shooting photographs for our church's annual missions conference, World Mandate (http://www.worldmandate.com). Tonight the featured speaker was Jim Yost, a long time missionary to Indonesia. Yost has a passion for Jesus, and for seeing the lost come to Him. Hearing him speak was truly an amazing experience, and he has some amazing testimonies. For the longest time, he and his wife have ministered to tribal villages in Indonesia. He's got so many stories of God's faithfulness. Twice his daughters have had malaria (sp?) and had been in a coma for a week. They're in the middle of nowhere so there's no doctor, no civilization, and no way out with a sick child. "All we could do was pour cool water over her to keep the fever down, and pray," he said. After gut-wrenching prayer for a week, his daughter came out of her coma. He had tears in his eyes as he told the story. It was an emotional moment. He's also got a story of how one of the tribal young boys drowned in a river. They pulled the kid out of the water and he was gone. His wife performed CPR and it didn't work, he didn't respond. He had no pulse and he was completely lifeless -- he'd been under the water for several minutes. "At that point, I prayed something I never thought I'd pray in my life," he said. He prayed for God to raise the child from the dead, and He did. I wish I could relay the story with his passion and enthusiasm, but I can't. He said the tribal people nearly began to worship them after the event, but he siezed the opportunity to explain to them that it was nothing he had done. He explained that it is God who raises men from the dead, the same God who gave His Son, the same God who he came to tell them about. Now, more than 80 percent of the people in that original tribe are born again.

Jim Yost is no Benny Hinn. He's the real deal.

42. Blo - 02/07/2004 5:06 am CST

Jim Yost sounds like a hoss. I'll bet that Jim Yost would be embarrassed by Benny Hinn's stage antics.

Who led worship at World Mandate? The 99 World Mandate CD we have is one of the best worship CD's I have ever heard.

43. Bird - 02/07/2004 6:39 am CST

Antioch's very own worship leader, James Mark Gulley. He is simply one of the most talented worship leaders I've ever seen. We can order y'all a CD for $12. You can front us the cash later.

Mandate's huge now-a-days. Back in the day when Rod and I went in '95, there were about 700 or 800 people. Now it's grown to 2,500 people and they come from all over the nation (and even some folks from around the world). It's pretty cool. And, in case y'all are wondering, it ain't anything like a BH crusade. :-)

44. - 03/07/2004 1:53 pm CST

Faith Works ! My life is proof! I Praise God !

45. Shrode - 03/08/2004 4:28 am CST

OK Julie, thanks for dropping by. I wonder did your faith heal you or did God heal you? Do you believe there is a difference?

46. Dee - 04/04/2004 5:40 am CDT

Hi, never been here b4, but had to comment on all of the above. First of all, God does not wish for ALL to be healthy, and wealthy. He wishes for all of us to follow in his Footsteps. Please don't take this the wrong way. I just get tired of hearing so many people blaming God for there own wrong doings, when ALL have minds of there own, and make there own mistakes. When Satan see's one doing so well, and following in God's Footsteps, Satan has to use other's to break down the good. I watch Joel Olsteen faithfully now, and yes, he may say over and over "Within ourselves", but it is true. You cannot just call out to God when it is convenient to you, and expect him to answer. If you walk the path with God, he will answer your prayers.
God doesn't expect us to be perfect like him, but he does want us to look deep "WITHIN OURSELVES", and make the right choices. This is not to any Specific Person, I just wanted to let people out there know, that it is up to us, God's Children to make the world a better place, as God did when he made "Man-Kind"!!! Our children are the future, and it is up to us to help them make our future, as well as there own, a Peaceful, Happier, Loving world to live in....... Thank You! I hope this reaches the hearts of all.

47. Shrode - 04/04/2004 11:03 am CDT

Dee,
Thanks for stopping by. I wish I understood your comment. But frankly... I have no idea what you are trying to say. Here is my attempt to think "out loud" about your comment.

Hi, never been here b4, but had to comment on all of the above. First of all, God does not wish for ALL to be healthy, and wealthy. He wishes for all of us to follow in his Footsteps. Please don't take this the wrong way. I just get tired of hearing so many people blaming God for there own wrong doings, when ALL have minds of there own, and make there own mistakes.

OK. We are agreed. God does not wish ALL to be healthy and wealthy? Are you perhaps saying he wishes for some to be healthy and wealthy? And if so, which ones? Are you saying it is up to us, and that God is willing to give those health and wealth who obey him? What about Paul's thorn in the flesh? Was Paul disobedient to God and therefore wasn't healed?

When Satan see's one doing so well, and following in God's Footsteps, Satan has to use other's to break down the good.

When you say "good" who do you mean? What sort of person follows in God's Footsteps? Can you describe such a person to me? Are you referring to Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen here? Are you saying Satan is using some of those who commented above to "break down the good"?

I watch Joel Olsteen faithfully now, and yes, he may say over and over "Within ourselves", but it is true. You cannot just call out to God when it is convenient to you, and expect him to answer. If you walk the path with God, he will answer your prayers.

OK, so God doesn't always answer our prayers as we expect? What do you and Joel mean by "Within ourselves" Do you and Joel mean that it is up to us whether or not God answers our prayers? What about God's own good pleasure? Isn't really up to Him and his Sovereign will? What do you tell a person whose prayer is "not answered"? That they are not walking the path with God? Would you really say such a thing to a 14 year old girl who's grandmother just died? That if that 14 year old had "been walking the path with God" that her Grandmother would still be alive?

God doesn't expect us to be perfect like him, but he does want us to look deep "WITHIN OURSELVES", and make the right choices.

On the face of it, this sounds good, but I'm really not sure what you and Joel mean by this. Could you explain?


This is not to any Specific Person, I just wanted to let people out there know, that it is up to us, God's Children to make the world a better place, as God did when he made "Man-Kind"!!!

So God made the world a better place when he made man, and now it's up to us to duplicate that work? I really wish I understood what you meant. How exactly is it up to us? I'm not sure to agree or disagree, because I don't know what you mean!

Our children are the future, and it is up to us to help them make our future, as well as there own, a Peaceful, Happier, Loving world to live in....... Thank You! I hope this reaches the hearts of all.

How is it up to us? In what way? I don't disagree necessarily, I just don't know what you mean? What in your view do our children and us need to do? What does this peaceful, happier, loving world look like?

Dee, You are welcome to come back and elaborate on your perspective. I'd love to understand better where you are coming from. But frankly I have no idea what you are trying to say. I think maybe I've completely misunderstood you. If you want this to reach my heart, you first have to get through my brain.

48. catcookie - 04/28/2004 10:34 am CDT

I like watching Pastor Joel Osteen because I find him very attractive. I like what has to say as well but for me, I young goodlooking guy in an armani suit and that texas accent really does it for me!

49. Shrode - 04/28/2004 11:06 am CDT

catcookie,
You are kidding.
Right?

50. Cos - 04/28/2004 4:17 pm CDT

Cookie, have you seen Shrode in a suite? Think Johnny Depp but different.

51. Shrode - 04/29/2004 2:54 am CDT

Yeah, catcookie, did you notice the first sentence of this post? Should we be looking for you to visit my church sometime soon?


Think Johnny Depp but different

Much different, though sometimes I feel like Edward Scissorhands.

52. catcookie - 05/27/2004 10:25 am CDT

LOL! Seriouly, I do like what he has to say it kind of reminds me of Wayne Dyer but much better looking.

53. - 05/31/2004 3:30 pm CDT

I started watching joel olsteen a couple of months ago and I really enjoy listeng to him! He inspires me and makes my days a little bit brighter! Everything he preaches makes a lot of sense in my life and gives me some answers on how to handle some difficult situations in my everyday life and problems!I think he is just awesome!

54. Thor - 06/01/2004 5:24 pm CDT

Comment #53 said:

Everything he preaches makes a lot of sense in my life

Comment53, while it may "make sense" to us, our brains are not exempt from our fallen condition. Test everything against God's timeless and powerful Word. It may make sense to me but if it fails the Scriptural test, I must leave it alone.

The core of the WoF doctrine has developed out of a faulty interpretation of James 5:15. WoF is a perfect example of what develops out of a Christian's laziness and lack of desire to become serious students of God's Word.

Continue to pray for those misguided brethren.

55. Thor - 06/01/2004 5:26 pm CDT

Correction: "a serious student". Jared, much like you, I like to be grammatically correct ;)

56. Molly - 06/14/2004 3:31 am CDT

I watch this show on Sunday nights sometimes .. if the things he says are true (God will help you do anything you want), then that would be great. Unfortunately, that's not true .. but he seems like a nice guy and it's still enjoyable to watch.

57. Oscar - 06/19/2004 8:21 pm CDT

I go to Lakewood,

Discover the champion in you, really means to discover who you are in Christ Jesus, and in Christ we are more than conquerors.

Pastor Osteen doesn't preach the “claim it and get it” thing or whatever you guys called it.

He preaches that regardless of our situations or difficulties we must stay positive and keep our eyes on Jesus.

The Osteen’s have a beautiful anointing, Joel preaches Sunday mornings and Saturdays and on Sunday Nights, Saturday nights and Wednesdays, other staff members preach.

Although it may seem that Joel focuses more on exhortation, they also focus on righteousness and everything else.

I know, every time I hear Pastor Joel preaching he is exhorting, motivating etc.

and people could thing that he is overlooking or neglecting important areas, but that is not the case., they do cover all important areas very effectively and never and I mean never close a service or meeting without making an altar call.

Some wonder why spending millions on a building, what they probably don't know is that they also spend millions in missions all over the world, and they never ask for money on TV.

It is one of the largest churches, but you will never see them asking for money other than the regular tithes and offerings from the members.

Regards to all

Oscar

58. Frances - 06/21/2004 8:41 am CDT

As an ex word faith follower of many years who is still a believer in Jesus as my Lord and Messiah, I recommend the following links to answer your many questions.

Biblical Discernment Ministry International is a website of someone who was involved in some of the big time word faith ministries. He has first hand knowledge.
http://www.discernment.org/

Moriel Ministries is an excellent and informative Pentecostal link (I am not Pentecostal) which will give you information on the biggies and some not so big. If you have trouble reading the site simply SELECT ALL and COPY and PASTE into Micrososft Word. This will copy every word, even if you can’t see it on the webpage.
http://www.moriel.org/articles/discernment/church_issues/four_current_movements_in_church.htm

This is a link that I found in my constant apologetics research.
http://www.gospeloutreach.net/whatwordfaith.html

One of the most blasphemous teachings of almost all word of faith teachers is that Jesus died spiritually. Joel Osteen teaches this.
http://www.myfortress.org/JoelOsteen.html
http://www.discernment.org/jesus.htm

From another Pentecostal Church--video clips of Benny Hinn, Hagin and Copeland who were mentioned above.
http://www.pawcreek.org/
More video clips.
http://www.voiceofwarning.com/realvideo.htm

Many of the people who appear on TBN with Paul and Jan Crouch are word faith teachers.

Be a good Berean about everything you read or that others tell you. Check it out in the Bible to see if what they're saying is true.

Frances

59. Oscar - 06/21/2004 7:40 pm CDT

It is unreal how poople love to make up stuff.

just because you read somehting in some web-site it doesn't mean it's true.

If Lakewood teaches that Jesus died spiritualy, I would have left the church a long time ago.

But you can believe anything you want. I did visit the web-sites you provided. only the first one mentions Joel as a believer of this.

I am a Doctor in Theology, I would know if they were teaching these sort of things.

He may have made little mistakes all humans do, all pastors do, but from that to calling a man of God a false teacher, they are in dangerous grounds.

Im sure If we commit ourselfs to finding wrong, we could find something wrong with every preacher. (big list)

Thank you Lord for your Grace, for if it was up to us, everybody would be in hell.

But you know, one thing is true, it is getting on my nerves that every time I see him on TV, I think I'm hearing the same sermon, just to find out that is a different one about the same thing.

So dear Frances be a good Berean about everything you read or that others tell you. Check it out to make sure they are really saying what they are accused of saying.

One do not convict someone of a crime just because someone says they are guilty.

Closin: "We need to put our eyes on Jesus, and away from men, including Joel or any other minister."

The time is comming when even the elected ones could be deceived as it is written in the Bible.

I can tell you right now that to deceive the elected ones, it would have to be trough someone or through institutions they trust. (church, ministers, CHRISTIAN TV)

Beware!

And remember; "The just shall live by faith";"0

60. Thor - 06/23/2004 1:48 am CDT

Oscar,

I am a Doctor in Theology, I would know if they were teaching these sort of things.

Not necessarily. Don't rest on your credentials. You can be deceived as much as the next person.

If Lakewood teaches that Jesus died spiritualy, I would have left the church a long time ago

The leaders and congregations under John's and Paul's care were being deceived as well. They knew better. The leaders of these churches in peril had pastors with apostolic authority and they were still being led astray.

61. Oscar - 06/26/2004 4:08 pm CDT

OK, I see your point, I'll keep my eyes open.

However, going back to the point, I believe the people attacking Pastor Joel, are doing so out feelings a Christian shouldn't have.

62. H.S. - 07/12/2004 4:55 am CDT

I stumbled across this while looking for Lakewood's site. Must say I am disappointed in all the criticism of others' preaching and teaching as heretical just because of what amounts to differences of opinion or interpretation and usually without Scripture to back up your points. I believe Paul teaches in Galatians and Ephesians that teaching anything other than that we are saved by grace and Christ crucified is heretical. I am very familiar with the teachings of most of those you mentioned; they all preach Christ crucified and they all preach salvation by grace. They do not boast of themselves but of what Christ has done through them, and that is a true test of heresy. Their teachings on prosperity and health are Scripturally based, and their motives are not selfish in nature. (See 2 Corinthians 9:8-11)

Paul also states in 1 Corinthians 13:12 that "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face; Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." When we get to heaven we will know which of all the various interpretations are correct. I personally believe that God wants only the best for me and for all his children and that I can live abundantly through faith given me by God. I believe that I can do all things through Christ. I would guess that all of you believe those things since they are in the Bible, but that we may have different ideas as to what that means. As long as we all believe in the basic doctrine of the Christian church (Christ crucified to save us by grace), why does our different interpretation of various points qualify as heresy?

Two last points - I do not believe 'Word of Faith' and 'Name it and claim it' are synonymous. 'Name it and Claim it' is more accurately a description of those who pervert God's Word for selfish reasons while 'Word of Faith' believers simply wish to fully exercise their God-given faith (of which we all have a measure) in pursuit of God's will and to His glory. And lastly, faith has nothing to do with the brain; if it did, it would not be faith. Shrode, I believe you know this and simply made a poor choice of words in your response to Dee, but that disturbs me because it could lead some astray.

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everyting in love." May the grace of God, the peace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

63. Chris - 07/12/2004 10:11 am CDT

For what it's worth, there's a small (one-page) pseudo interview with Osteen in the latest issue of The Door magazine. It's an obvious piece of satire, but sounds right on the mark with what's been said of him in this post. I would make a link to it, but they don't have an online version of it yet.

64. Thor - 07/12/2004 1:17 pm CDT

HS,

As long as we all believe in the basic doctrine of the Christian church (Christ crucified to save us by grace), why does our different interpretation of various points qualify as heresy?

Because the "various points" are important too! (smiling, not yelling ;) Also, it has been a lack of proper/historic interpretative methods that has caused so much of these problems. Interpretation of Scripture is not for us to decide. Meaningful Bible study takes time, patience, prayer, guiding and illuminating by the Holy Spirit. It is not merely an intellectual exercise or flippant study - our purpose is to know God (through His Son, of course :). Any serious and deligent student of God's Word knows this. I am reminded of an illustration by Martin Lloyd-Jones on the importance of learning and *knowing* Bible doctrine (ie, Biblical truth) that is relevant to this discussion. MLJ said that one who says he cares not about the doctrine of some teacher but instead on whether they can draw a crowd does not care a bit about Biblical truth. He actually goes so far to say that this is the way cults have begun. What someone believes (especially someone supposedly called by our Lord to preach and shepherd) about the finer points of foundational Bible doctrine *is* important.

Their teachings on prosperity and health are Scripturally based

Where? Are you refering to prosperity in an earthly wealth way? If so, that was never the heart of Christ's teaching or the apostle's. In fact, as far as earthly prosperity (ie, money and things) goes, they were pretty broke! The same goes with our health. As believers, we are in service to Jesus Christ and His will for our lives (this may or may not include earthly prosperity and health) and any thing materially or health-wise He so chooses to give us is to be used for the furtherance of His kingdom, not ours.

and their motives are not selfish in nature

Umm...I don't know. Most of what I see is selfish in nature.
Unfortunately, the more colorful and visible characters seen on TBN hardly seem to be about denial of self.

I do not believe 'Word of Faith' and 'Name it and claim it' are synonymous

Actually, they are. Whether the late Hagin and Wimber, Hinn, Duplantis, Copeland, Tilton, Jakes, Avanzini, or Osteen (have I missed any?), the message is the same (although emphasized differently).

Chris, when you get the link post it. Thanks.

65. wally - 07/19/2004 2:18 am CDT

[comment deleted -- Ed.]

66. Thinklings Moderator - 07/19/2004 2:52 am CDT

Wally, we normally let comments irrelevant to the post slide. But not when they are four pages long. And not when they are just character assassination pieces.

If you have a beef with Billy Graham or anybody else, find an appropriate way to share it. Our blog is not a free-for-all.

67. Paul - 07/20/2004 8:35 am CDT

Osteen is one of the TV personalities that I don't automatically flip by after the first 8 seconds. However, I don't watch (never have) entire programs either. Our music minister says that their music program is absolutely fantastic and he doesn't know why they don't show some of that on their program. Until lately I've been pretty neutral on Joel.

However, I live in the Tulsa, OK area - home of Kenneth Hagin, Oral/Richard Roberts and the like. We have about 6 or 7 religiously oriented TV stations on cable. A while back I saw some guy (don't know who he is....sorry) who was Tiltonesque (but not nearly as annoying - or plastic). His whole program was about "sowing a seed" (read: send the check). He mentioned the fact that he had been invited to speak in many churches, including Copeland's and Osteen's.

I figure if Osteen let a guy like that in his pulpit on more than one occasion then he must be a word of faith guy...and not to be trusted (leastwise I won't).

68. Carl - 08/08/2004 2:44 pm CDT

I'm not a Christian, but Osteen is a good speaker. I listen to him with some regularity. With small changes, his approach and words could apply to any situation really, religious or not. His sermons(?) do remind me to re-evaluate myself and my attitude towards many things.
As far as his personal life, or the question of to what degree he has financially benefited from his ministry, does it really matter?. If people wish to send money to his organization then, hey, whatever.

69. abe ata - 08/18/2004 3:24 pm CDT

Palestinian Christians: tormented, persecuted, abandoned and alone


The Palestinian Christian is an endangered species. When the modern state of Israel was established there were about 400000 of us. Two years ago the number was down to 80000. Now it’s down to 60000. At that rate, in a few years there will be none of us left. When this happens non Christian groups will move into our churches and claim them for ever. I FEAR THAT WHEN/IF THE LAST PALESTINIAN CHRISTIAN LEAVES EXTREME GROUPS WILL MOVE INSTANTLY TO OUR CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS AND HAVE A FIELD DAY HATCHING WORLD PLOTS. IT WOULD BE TOO LATE FOR BUSH (OR KERRY) TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT !!
Palestinian Christians within Israel fare little better. On the face of it, their number has grown by 20000 since 1991. But this is misleading, for the census classification ‘Christian’ includes some 20000 recent non-Arab migrants from the former Soviet Union.
So why are Palestinian Christians abandoning their homeland?
We have lost hope, that’s why. We are treated as non-people. Few outside the Middle East even know we exist, and those who do, conveniently forget.
I refer, of course, to the American Religious Right. They see the modern Israel as a harbinger of the Second Coming, at which time Christians will go to Paradise, and all others (presumably including Jews) to Hell. To this end they lend military and moral support to Israel.
Even by the double-dealing standards of international diplomacy this is a breathtakingly cynical bargain. It is hard to know who is using whom more: the Christian Right for offering secular power in the expectation that the Jewish state will be destroyed by a greater spiritual one; or the Israeli Right for accepting their offer. What we do know is that both sides are abusing the Palestinians. Apparently we don’t enter into anyone’s calculations.
The views of the Israeli Right are well known: they want us gone.
Less well known are the views of the American Religious Right. Strangely, they find the liberation Iraqis from a vile dictator just, but do not find it unjust for us to be under military occupation for 38 long years. Said Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma): ‘God Appeared to Abraham and said: “I am giving you this land,”the West Bank. This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true.’
House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) was even more forthright: ’I'm content to have Israel grab the entire West Bank… I happen to believe that the Palestinians should leave.’
There is a phrase for this. Ethnic cleansing.
So why do American Christians stand by while their leaders advocate the expulsion of fellow Christians? Could it be that they do not know that the Holy Land has been a home to Christians since, well… since Christ?
Do not think I am asking for special treatment for Christians. Ethnic cleansing is evil whoever does it and to whomever it is done. Palestinian Christians: Anglican, Maronite Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Armenians, Baptists, Copts and Assyrians have been rubbing shoulders with each other and with other religions: Muslims, Jews, Druze and (most recently) Baha’is for centuries. We want to do so for centuries more. But we can’t if we are driven out by despair.
We are equally frightened by those who commit suicide bombings.None of us Christians have condoned it or even contemplated the idea. Our commitment to Jesus teachings will never shake our resolve in this matter.
What we seek is support: material, moral, political and spiritual. As Palestinians we grieve for what we have lost, and few people (the Ashkenazi Jews are one) have lost more than us. But grief can be assuaged by the fellowship of friends.

(Signed Prof. Abe W. Ata is a 9th generation Christian Palestinian academic born in Bethlehem.)

70. Bill - 08/18/2004 5:12 pm CDT

I'm so ignorant. I admit I don't know anything about the plight of Palestinian Christians in Israel.

Has anyone else heard this information?

71. Thor - 08/18/2004 5:48 pm CDT

What does it have to do with Joel Osteen???

72. Jared - 08/18/2004 7:41 pm CDT

I'm sure it was some sort of auto-posted thing. Sort of a more sincere type of spam. The guy's not selling anything, just trying to get a message out, and I guess he's doing it by spamming blogs.

Important message or not, it's still spam. I still think it constitutes abuse of the comment privelege on many blog sites.

73. John - 09/28/2004 1:41 pm CDT

© Article: John Silver.

“It’s not bad enough we live in a secular world, now we also have
secular churches”


When Anthony Robbins (motivational) teachings meet Christianity, it’s getting strange. When worldly achievement is the measurement for spiritual growth, it’s dangerous.

Prosperity Gospel, Word Faith, Health & Wealth Gospel, “Name it and Claim it”, or nowadays “Discover the champion in you”. The most dangerous thing about these teaching is that many people don’t know what it is all about. It’s not just about “thinking positive” in a psychological manner. It’s not just having a good attitude. It’s all about twisting Scripture, perverting the real Message. (For a more detailed account of these heresies: http://www.watchman.org/profile/wordpro.htm)

Here are the 6 main errors (in fact, heresies) of this kind of teaching:

(1) All is focused on the worldly aspect. It’s all about achieving success, riches, prosperity or blessings- in this world. Jet, Jesus is talking about “riches in haven”, and prosperity and blessing are not meant to be millions of dollars, but contentment (“being happy”) with what we have (also the joy of family, friends …).

(2) Money and possessions is no 1 target. Again, faith in worldly things and not faith in God or spiritual things.

(3) The Prosperity Gospel takes the promise of heaven (paradise) and suggests, that we can have all this abundance right here and now (“here and now”- perfect for the consume society). But these promises are not for this world. See what Jesus says about being His servant in this world (No, Joel Osteen, no 1 Class flights!).

(4) Tacking word figures literally. Well, that’s way out. Yes, we are children of God, but that doesn’t mean that we are also gods! Yes, God loves us, but that doesn’t mean that He is our genie in the bottle, which will all our (selfish) wishes and wants bring to pass! (God is saying He meets our needs; don’t confuse need with wants!)

(5) Total lack of social activism / self-centred, egoistic and self-serving worldview.

(6) Conclusion: A twisted Gospel, false teaching.


Dear friend, be aware the next time you hear someone talking about giving hope. You can have hope out of false reasons.

It’s not about feeling good (no wellness Gospel), but about being good.

My final wish; the truth shall make you free! May God bless you.

74. A T Cox - 09/28/2004 5:37 pm CDT

Interesting discussion about "word of faith" people etc. The key is to know what the Bible really says about a given subject, not necessarily someone else's concept of this. We can note that the believers of Berea were noble because they checked out the teaching of the apostle Paul, no less, by seeing what the available Scripture of that time, said. And now we have the Holy Spirit, the often forgotten third person of the Trinity, who inspired the Holy Scriptures, to teach us. We know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (are we listening, determined to obey?) And, the Gospel is referred to as the word of faith. I have been a member of Church on the Move, under Pastor Willie George, the largest church in Tulsa, for eight years, and have been greatly blessed by the ministry of this great communicator, who preaches the Word, and the word of faith, with the greatest balance I have ever seen, avoiding ditches on either side. Puts eternal salvation ahead of physical healing, without denying the importance of the latter in this age. Preaches prosperity as a means of blessing others and financing the propagation of the Gospel, not for self-aggrandizement. As for Benny Hinn, I think he plays with spiritual gifts. Also this occurrence: my oldest son a few years ago had a friend who helped operate the public address (amplification) system at the Mabee Center at Oral Roberts University. He said that when Mr Hinn would lay hands on someone for healing at the meeting there, the system would be made to produce a sub-sonic emission, "to enhance the effect" presumably of the Holy Spirit! This clearly was fraud and took place perhaps 5-7 years ago. Hope this discussion sheds light and not heat. Yours in fellowship.

75. John - 09/29/2004 11:13 am CDT

What’s the difference about “thinking positive”, having a good attitude (psychology) and Word faith?

Psychology: There is an objective reality. I cannot chance this reality, but what things mean to me. You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your response/behaviour.

Word faith: I can (“thru spiritual laws”) chance the objective reality. Same as incarnations try to do.

Example:
Psychology: I’m not smart, but I will do my best with what I am able to.
Word Faith: I am a genius!

Psychology: I am handicapped/ill, but I still can have a fulfilled and happy life.
Word faith: I am totally normal, I am healed

You see, psychology is dealing in a good sense with the facts.

76. Jared - 09/29/2004 11:26 am CDT

I'm not a big fan of Joel Osteen's, have never attended his church. I am opposed to the Word of Faith heresy.
But I do watch him occasionally when his messages are shown on television, and I have to say that, in my admittedly limited viewing experience, I've never heard him teach anything that sounded like WoF to me. I'm not saying he doesn't; I'm just saying I haven't heard it.

In fact, what I hear him preaching each time I watch him sounds more like the example of "psychology" provided above than the examples of WoF. I always hear him speaking on how to respond to trials and troubles, how to have good attitudes, how to give people who bother you mercy and the benefit of the doubt, etc.
It's not exactly biblical preaching; it's generally a self-help type of Gospel, which is a problem of its own. But I'm not sure it's WoF. He sounds more like he's challenging people to respond correctly to troubles than he is telling them they can live without troubles.

Does anyone have evidence of his explicitly teaching WoF?

77. John - 09/29/2004 11:32 am CDT

Dear Jared

Check out:
http://www.myfortress.org/JoelOsteen.html

There you have real quotes from Joel (and many other WoF).

78. John - 09/29/2004 11:40 am CDT

Here just a selection of some quotes from Joel:
-
"Joel that sounds like wishful thinking. No, that's using your words to create what you need."

(Joel Osteen, "Speaking Faith Filled Words," Tape # 223. Daystar Television, May 2, 2004)
-
"You can cancel out God's plan by speaking negative words. God works by laws."

(Joel Osteen, "Speaking Faith Filled Words," Tape # 223. Daystar Television, May 2, 2004)
-
"Start calling in victory. Start calling in divine health. Start calling in abundance. You can prophesize your future."

(Joel Osteen, "Speaking Faith Filled Words," Tape # 223. Daystar Television, May 2, 2004)
-
"With our words we can predict our future. We can prophesize our future."

(Joel Osteen, "Speaking Faith Filled Words," Tape # 223. Daystar Television, May 2, 2004)
--
--

And this here is absolute heresy:

"The Bible indicates that for three days, Jesus went into the very depths of hell. Right into the enemy's own territory. And He did battle with Satan face to face. Can you imagine what a show down that was? It was good vs. evil. Right vs. wrong. Holiness vs. filth. Here are the two most powerful forces in the universe have come together to do battle for the first time in history. But thank God. The Bible says, "Satan was no match for our Champion". This was no contest. (Congregation applauds)

Jesus crushed Satan's head with His foot. He bruised his head. And He once and for all, forever defeated and dethroned and demoralized our enemy. One translation says, "He paralyzed him and rendered him powerless". But thank God. He didn't even stop there. He went over and ripped the keys of death and hell out of Satan's hands. And He grabbed Satan by the nap of his neck and He began to slowly drag him down through the corridors of Hell. All beat up and bruised because He wanted to make sure that every single demon saw very clearly that Jesus was indeed the undisputed Champion of all time! Amen?"

(Joel Osteen, Sermon, CS-002 - April 23, 2000, Sermon Is Posted At His Website, May 2004)
-

79. Jared - 09/29/2004 11:44 am CDT

Yep, that'll do it.

Actually, I find those little soundbites more heretical than that passage from the sermon.

80. karen - 10/15/2004 4:29 pm CDT

Maybe we are all being deceived because the word heretical is not even in the Bible. Maybe this means we are using man's theology to judge others instead of testing the spirits as God's inspired word tells us to do. Where in the Bible does God says heretic? That's man's doctrine. Not the teachingof the Holy Spirit

81. karen - 10/15/2004 4:31 pm CDT

Acts 24:14
But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
(Whole Chapter: Acts 24 In context: Acts 24:13-15)

82. karen - 10/15/2004 4:37 pm CDT

who was the ones using the word heresy the accusers of Paul. And Christians are not to be the accuser of the brotheren. Leave that to Satn's crew. Read your Bible and learn before passing judgement. God did not call us to accuse or call a teaching heresy. No where does it say that. The word heresy is used when talking about the accuser

83. Thor - 10/15/2004 6:35 pm CDT

Wow...

84. John - 10/18/2004 11:43 am CDT

I have to correct my first notes here on this site about Joel Osteen.
At the beginning, I really was sceptical. I thought “Well, that’s just positive thinking”. But I was wrong. Joel is a great man, and this is a great book. If you are like I was; give him a chance. Listen to his messages, and you’ll eventually feel that they are more than just words.
I do know people who overcame depression, ocd, and low self-esteem thank Joel Osteen’s message. Give yourself a chance and experience it!

85. Alex - 10/24/2004 2:37 pm CDT

How can a man of God like Joel Osteen teach that Jesus went to hell, fought the devil, beat him up, dragged him through the halls to show the other demons that Jesus was more powerful than the devil? Joel is teaching his own gospel; The Positive Confession Movement!

86. Daniel - 10/26/2004 10:55 am CDT

Maybe Joel believes the apocrypha.

87. biily - 12/22/2004 11:46 am CST

Joel Osteen seems OK in a lot of his preaching, but he's just too well-dressed. I need those fancy suits more than he does. I will write to him - maybe he'll send me his thousand dollar shoes and even his socks?

88. blake - 01/10/2005 7:44 am CST

PEOPLE MUST REMEMEBER THAT GOD CHOOSES ORDINARY PEOPLE TO CARRY OUT HIS WORK. HE USED 12 ORDINARY MEN WHO WERE SINNERS TO GIVE THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT CHRIST. THROUGHOUT HISTORY MAN HAS CONDEMNED GOD FOR WHAT HE CHOOSES TO DO. HOW CAN YOU TELL GOD WHAT TO DO? HE DOES WHAT HE WANTS TO DO,WHEN HE WANTS TO. HE'S USING JOEL OSTEEN JUST LIKE HE USED OTHERS IN THE BIBLE TO CARRY HIS WORK OUT. IT IS NOT FOR US TO JUDGE. "LET GOD BE THE JUDGE." THERE IS NON MORE RIGHTEOUS THAN HE. I PRAY THAT JOEL OSTEEN CONTINUE TO DO GOD'S WORK.

89. Nathan - 01/17/2005 3:37 pm CST

Look for another church. Joel Osteen? This guy doesn't teach the bible. He's a Tony Evans wanna be. He makes people feel good about themselves. Tells them what they want to hear. He does NOT "preach the whole council of God."

2 Timothy 4:3 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;"

Good Churches are tough to find but Look for a church that teaches the entire word of God. Not just the parts people want to hear.

90. gina - 01/18/2005 12:43 pm CST

I am not sure I would call Osteen a heretic. But the biggest problem I have with his ministry is that (based on his television program) I don't see any real bible teaching going on. He reminds me more of a Christian counselor than a minister.

91. Mark - 02/04/2005 1:01 pm CST

I have watched joel on Tv quite alot and find him to be a very good preacher.I have not heard anything I would call promoting the "name it claim it" stuff,or prosperity other than just being prosperous in the scriptural and spiritual sense.I have found his doctrines to be sound in the word of God and see nothing negative at all in his ministry.I enjoy listening to him and feel as if his ministry is right on with what today's world needs.

92. Chris - 02/09/2005 3:54 pm CST

Anybody who is filled with the spirit of God and listens to Joel Olsteen for a few minutes can see that he is word of faith mixed with positive thinking. I agree with the person who said he is the next Robert Schuller. The church has fallen asleep and is losing its discernment!

93. puritan - 03/16/2005 10:07 pm CST

I have attended Lakewood here in Houston, and heard Joel preach and there is a big difference when you hear him live than on TV. For one, they edit the version you see on TV. It has been done on more than one occasion where he flubs his text or sermon and he immediately asks for the director on the third floor to cut and refilm it. The small podium and huge lights in front, tells you quickly that this is a church built for TV and not for Worship. For the first 30 minutes, while the choir and music leader is singing, the crowds are not sitting down, but roaming around and the church is half filled. By the time, Joel gets up to preach 30-40 minutes later, the crowd is rushing to the seats, instead of visiting, (No worship going on from the people during singing, which means that Joel, the choir, the music leader and family all know that this part of the service is for the camera, entertainment and not for worship or to the glory of God.) Then Joel stands up, holds his bible, and starts the show.... "Discover the champion in you...."
secondly, yes, definitely, he is a WoF man. He also teaches the "hung by the tongue" doctrine alot. Telling his people that what you say is come true in your life... a branch of word of faith. You must remember that his Father, John Osteen, help start the Word of Faith movement along with Kenneth Hagin even before Kenneth Copeland became popular.
I could go on, but here in Houston, we are not tricked by Joel. Anyway, just think, for the price of a ticket, you can hear him preach when he comes to your city.

94. Jamie - 04/16/2005 1:36 pm CDT

My parents are thinking of moving to houston, absolutely love the church there and Joel osteen...

I've seen only one sermon and it was talking about how sometimes people die of cancer and it doesn't make sense but you just have to trust that God has got it all right...

That doesn't seem like prosperity teaching and "All you need if faith and you'll get everything you want"...

Can't stand the worship there to be honest though...

95. Richard - 05/06/2005 6:33 pm CDT

You know what amazes me the most is that it has taken a year to answere a simple question. If you want to know who Joel Osteen is, listen to him. Judge him yourself by his fruit, the conviction in your heart.

What kind of Faith depends so much on the opinions of others?
Personally - you remind me nothing of Joel Osteen.

Richard

96. Shrode - 05/10/2005 11:08 am CDT

Richard,
Thanks!

97. Collected Miscellany - 05/19/2005 5:56 pm CDT

Growth and Attrition in Christian Retailing
The cover of next week's BusinessWeek is on the business of Christian ministry. "Earthly Empires: How evangelical churches are borrowing from the business playbook" delves into megachurches and high-profile ministries, both sound and unsound. If you...

98. Lib - 06/10/2005 7:28 am CDT

I happened upon your conversation accidentally. But couldn't stop reading. I have been taught my whole life that we should be happy for what blessings God sees fit to bestow upon us. We shouldn't expect great riches, etc, after all Jesus didn't even have a pillow to lay his head, right? And I have listened to Joel on TV. The first time I saw him, I watched the whole "sermon" and have watched occasionally since them. What he says kind of makes sense. I bought the book back in Dec '04 and have just started reading it. I have read the first 5 chapters OR Step #1 - Enlarging Your Vision. But I can not continue reading. I can't bring myself to go on with it. Some of it makes sense. I have had to ask myself, Why wouldn't God want His children to have these things? I have thought and studied. The people in the OT had riches, Abraham was rich. Even after Jacob lied and decieved his Father, God blessed him and made everything he touched prosper. Jospeh was blessed every where he went. Why wouldn't the same still apply? I don't know. I need help! I am seeking answers.

99. Bill - 06/10/2005 8:04 am CDT

Hi lib

We're so glad you've visited us. I have no answers for you, having not read Osteen's book myself. I would only say that bathing your reading in prayer and comparing against scripture (for any book, really) is a good place to start.

As an "outside Osteen's book" observation (since I haven't read it and thus can't pass any kind of judgement on it) - for every Biblical character you read that is rich, you will read of another that is poor. Barnabas was rich (and extremely giving). John the Baptist was poor. David was rich. The widow who gave the two mites was poor. Solomon was rich. Joseph and Mary were, if not poor, no higher than middle class (which would look like abject poverty in 21st century western standards). Job was rich. Paul - as far as I can tell - wasn't rich and had to work or rely on donations for a living. He also learned to be "content in all things".

Just food for thought.

100. Lib - 06/10/2005 11:07 am CDT

Thank you. I appreciate your comments, and tkaing your time to answer. Bassed on my own observations since I posted my original comment. Most of the folks we read about in the Bible that have wealth are listed in the OT. Most of the NT "heros" do not. I can't help but wonder if there is something to this? I was thinking about the rich young ruler. Jesus asked him to give all that he had to the poor to follow Him. He couldn't give up his material things to follow Christ. He lost the best thing he could have ever had in his life because worldy things clouded his vision. Thank you again for taking the time to respond.
Lib

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