Friday, June 24, 2005

If you had any doubts about Joel Osteen....

Back in February, I joined with others in raising an alarm about our new "evangelical" leader (?! -- who decides these things?), "Pastor" Joel Osteen. That essay provided a number of links.

Recently, the wonderboy was on Larry King. I like three things about Larry King: he has had some heavy-hitter Christian guests, he asks straightforward questions insistently, and he lets his guests answer. I think the Biblical answers he's gotten from people like John MacArthur bother him, so he asked this new "leader" those questions... and probably got answers he liked better.

So, before the link, Christian Reader, let me just ask you -- do you think you'd be able to give straightforward, Biblical answers to the following questions?
KING: Is it hard to lead a Christian life?
KING: But you have rules, don't you?
KING: Because we've had ministers on who said, your record don't count. You either believe in Christ or you don't. If you believe in Christ, you are, you are going to heaven. And if you don't no matter what you've done in your life, you ain't.
KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?
KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?
KING: I want to get to the seven steps. But when the people call you cotton candy theology. Someone said you're very good but there's no spiritual nourishment. I don't know what that means ...
KING: What is the prosperity gospel?
KING: Also many in the Christian belief are wary of too much material, aren't they?
KING: I asked Reverend Graham if god loves the devil. Didn't -- couldn't -- he'd never been asked it before.
KING: He loves everything. Does he love...
CALLER: Hello, Larry. You're the best, and thank you, Joe -- Joel -- for your positive messages and your book. I'm wondering, though, why you side-stepped Larry's earlier question about how we get to heaven? The bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and the only way to the father is through him. That's not really a message of condemnation but of truth.
KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven?
KING: But you believe your way.
KING: But for someone who doesn't share it is wrong, isn't he?
KING: So you make no judgment on anyone?
KING: What about atheists?
KING: You believe there's a place called heaven?
Could you answer those questions Biblically? In fact, would you not pay good money for the opportunity to answer those questions, Biblically, in the hearing of tens of thousands of lost and needy souls? If your honest answer is "no"... you need to read the Baby Man essay below. Seriously.

Meanwhile, read the Larry King/Joel Osteen transcript (h-t: James White). Read Osteen's forty-three "I don't know"s, and, what is far more harmful, his actual answers.

And then tell me: in even a marginally-healthy Christian church, would this man even be allowed near a Sunday School nursery, let alone a pulpit?

UPDATE: see also Al Mohler's and Steve Camp's Biblical critiques.

UPDATE II: Osteen later apologized.

1 comment:

Jeff Noble said...

The Diet Preachers link below has moved to the following: