Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Emergent Monday: Joel Osteen Heretic Superstar

There's one hard and fast rule about writing about Joel Osteen - it feels best when you pray before and shower afterward. To be honest I was going to write about Mark Driscoll's sinful public behavior at Strange Fire... fish... barrel... open fire. If Mars Hill was a true Christian church Mark would be standing tall before the elders and to quote Ricky Ricardo "He have some 'splainin' to do" But by their silence the elders of Mars Hill are condoning his sinful actions. Then again maybe the elders get pay-per-view access to Mark Driscoll's mental porn channel.

Like Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll is an easy target, you just scuff your heel to find some dirt. Joel Osteen is special though. I mean, who else but someone with otherworldly assistance could step into a pulpit with less formal schooling than the average 18 year old and suddenly have 30,000 followers? There's a spirit influencing there, but is it the Holy Spirit? 

Joel Osteen receives no pay for preaching at one of the largest goat pens churches in the world, and he and his wife Victoria "Slugger*" Osteen are barely scraping by on book sales and appearance fees so they're down to their last $40 million. Joel has had NO bible training, he's never been to seminary, his entire single quarter in college was spent studying TV production and marketing. 
*Just kidding! She was found innocent.

In a recent interview with Oprah she asked him if gay people are included in his vision of a fluffy-bunny God of 100% redemption; “Will gay people be accepted into heaven – as you see it?” to which he replied “Well, I believe they will, because I believe you know that we have to have forgiveness for our sins, but sometimes we look at being gay as a bigger sin than being proud, or…not telling the truth.  I don’t think God categorizes sins.” (Not sure if you ever read proverbs Joel, probably not, but God hates Pride and Lying a whole lot more than you hinted at, try Proverbs 6:16-19 next time you trip over a bible) Never once did Joel mention salvation through grace or the price Jesus paid for us on the cross, his reply was pretty much "Hey, if God likes you, you're good to go." 

I would have loved to see the look on Oprah's face if Joel knew enough about scripture to answer her question honestly: "Sure Oprah, gays will go to heaven, in fact the bible says EVERYONE is going to heaven right there in chapter 20 of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. As we know from the same chapter some of us will get to stay in heaven, the rest head on off to hell after a verdict of 'guilty'."

But Joel is a true smooth talker, polished to perfection, skilled in the ways of words and able to communicate his scriptural ignorance with boyish innocence. So how does a person tell if he's a false teacher or theologian, wheat or tares? Sheep or Goat? Shepard or Wolf? Eternity Matters blog published a sure fire way to tell if anyone is a Christian or not, you simply ask that person if they believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation. It's an easy test, there's over 100 verses in scripture to attest to that fact, and Jesus said it Himself:
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6)
Modern man loves the way, the truth, and the life, or in latin Via, Veritas, Vita. But the good stuff you don't hear about so much: NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER BUT THROUGH ME. So how does Joel Osteen answer the question "Is Jesus the only way to God"? Joel's answer is "Yes and no."


When asked by Oprah in the same interview as I mentioned before "Are there many paths to get to God?" Joel answers with the right answer: He confirms that the way to God is through Jesus, but then breaks into a nice song and dance and pollutes the purity of his one correct answer with "There may be many ways to Jesus." So what is going on here? His logic is horrifically flawed: The only way to God is through Jesus, Jesus is God, there's many to to Jesus... Is Joel Osteen denying that there's only one way to God, or is he denying the divinity of Christ?

In one of his books Joel wrote "It doesn't matter who likes you or doesn't like you, all that matters is that God likes you. He accepts you, he approves of you." actually there's a bit more to it than that, but without having studied the bible maybe Joel wouldn't know that God is Just, God is righteous, and above all God is Holy Holy Holy. 

In an interview with Larry King Joel became a master at the Obama defense by repeating "I don't know" over and over, "I'll let God judge that..." When Larry said if the only way into Heaven is through Jesus then you believe Jews don't go to Heaven, Joel kept up the Obama defense "I don't know..." Instead he SHOULD have been preaching the bible - "Larry - Judaism and following Jesus are not mutually exclusive, thousands of Jews for Jesus have accepted Christ into their hearts and are saved right now. AND they're keeping kosher!" or "Larry - in the Torah animal sacrifices do not do away with sin, they're not sufficient, only the sacrifice of God's only son, Jesus Christ, can wash away your sin." 

Joel Osteen had the chance to preach to Larry King on national TV, and he blew it. He just kept saying "I don't know"

Duck Dynasty can preach better than that

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