Michael Horton on Joel Osteen

Chris —  June 26, 2009

Dr. Michael Horton wrote this article after he was interviewed about Joel Osteen on 60 Minutes.

"Name it, claim it"; the "health-and-wealth" or "prosperity gospel" : these are nicknames for a heresy that in many respects is only an extreme version of perhaps the most typical focus of American Christianity today more generally. Basically, God is there for you and your happiness. He has some rules and principles for getting what you want out of life and if you follow them, you can have what you want. Just "declare it" and prosperity will come to you. God as Personal Shopper.

Although explicit proponents of the so-called "prosperity gospel" may be fewer than their influence suggests, its big names and best-selling authors (T. D. Jakes, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, and Joyce Meyer) are purveyors of a pagan worldview with a peculiarly American flavor. It’s basically what the sixteenth century German monk turned church reformer Martin Luther called the "theology of glory": How can I climb the ladder and attain the glory here and now that God has actually promised for us after a life of suffering? The contrast is the "theology of the cross": the story of God’s merciful descent to us, at great personal cost, a message that the Apostle Paul acknowledged was offensive and "foolish to Greeks." . . .

Read the whole thing here.

HT: Between Two Worlds

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One response to Michael Horton on Joel Osteen

  1. I have struggled with this preachers teaching, because so many mainline Christians and friends like his message. But, if you are fooled by his Charisma, popularity or sense of innocence don’t be fooled. His message is similar to a Tony Robbins psyche talk, with a slice of Christianity. All Joel Osteen’s god requires of you is faith. Does that mean I can live my life in rebellion against God and get what I want if I have enough faith?
    Didn’t Israel learn their lesson in the wilderness, wondering around for 40 years? This theology Joel Osteen teaches will keep you expecting, professing and whatever other gimmick he devises. If we want God’s blessings then we must live pure lives, love God, keep His commandments and serve Him. A large mega church like Lakewood will be filled mostly with “couch potato Christians.” It doesn’t matter how you live or what you do for God that counts, all you need is faith. Interesting how the enemy can twist “faith”. Faith is good but, without works it is dead, and without a pure life before a Holy Lord all we have is an idol god. Christians have to learn, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” NASB Eph 2:10.