Best of Flash Back. Many have asked us recently for informaiton on why we believe Joel Osteen is teaching New Age theology. Here is an article Brannon wrote back in February 2006.
Joel Osteen's New Age Life Now?
By Brannon Howse
"Whatever you conceive you can achieve."
With this favorite karma-changing promise, New Agers believe you need only use the "unlimited" power and consciousness of your mind to bring about all your dreams, desires and wishes.
Cloaked in a "Christian" package, Joel Osteen's Your Best Life Now, bears an uncomfortable and dangerous similarity to this most popular of New Age claims. Sample a few of the Osteen versions:
• "You will produce what you're continually seeing in your mind. If you foster an image of defeat and failure, then you're going to live that kind of life. But if you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you." (page 5)
• "You must conceive it in your heart and mind before you can receive it." (page 6)
• "You must look through your 'eyes of faith' and start seeing yourself as happy, healthy and whole." (page 15)
• "What you will receive is directly connected to how you believe." (page 22)
• "We receive what we believe." (page 72)
• "Learn how to conceive. Keep the image of what you want to become in front of you. You're going to become what you believe." (page 81)
Osteen now travels the country, packing out stadiums with his happy-talk. But I'd like to see Osteen pay a visit to China, preach his "your best life now" drivel, and see how Christians there respond. Let Osteen look into the eyes of Pastor Lei who has been repeatedly arrested and beaten for preaching the Word of God in his church-a church not licensed by the Chinese government. How would the American's best life work out for Pastor Lei and his congregation? Perhaps their jail time for the Gospel would give them time to assess Rev. Osteen's claims.
Have these and countless other persecuted Christians been beaten, jailed and murdered because they "received what they believed," or did these terrible things happen to them because they did not "develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness"?
Were eleven of Jesus' disciples martyred because, "they received what they believed"? Were the disciples living under a "curse of poverty and defeat" as Osteen says of so many? Here's a role call of questions I'd like to ask Mr. Osteen. Why is it, Joel, that:
• Paul and Matthew were beheaded?
• Barnabas was burned to death?
• Mark was dragged to death?
• James, the less, was clubbed to death?
• Peter, Philip, and Andrew were crucified?
• Thomas was speared to death?
• Luke was hung by the neck until dead?
• Stephen was stoned?
How would these disciples take to the best-life message?
Yes, I know. Joel's promises sound so much better to American ears than all those warnings of Jesus about being hated by most people for His sake. But it remains that in large measure, Joel's offering can be described as nothing less than blasphemy. On page 36, he claims, "God has a big dream for your life." On page 56: "God sees you as a champion. He believes in you even more than you believe in yourself!" And on page 110: "God has confidence in you."
Osteen does not provide a single Bible verse to back up these statements…because there are none. Nowhere in the Bible do we read that God believes or has confidence in us. He loves us, but does not believe in us. On the contrary, He knows all too well how unbelievably fickle and untrustworthy we humans actually are. It's not like Joel describes on page 57: "Believe it or not, that is how God sees you, too. He regards you as a strong, courageous, successful, overcoming person."
Furthermore, God does not define our success in materialistic terms as Joel does. God is interested in our obedience above all. On page 63, Joel writes:
As long as you are pressing forward, you can hold your head up high, knowing that you are a "work in progress," and God is in the process of changing you. He's looking at your last two good moves.
Joel, where in the Bible do you read that God is not looking at our last two bad moves but our last two good moves? Isaiah 64:6 says that even our righteous deeds are like filthy rags or wickedness to God because He is so holy. Even if God did look at our last two good moves, He would still see filthy rags.
Or how about this Osteen gospel gem from page 95:
"Be the best you can be, then you can feel good about yourself."
Where in the Bible do we find this teaching? What if your best is getting drunk just once a week instead of twice a week? Should you still feel good about yourself?
But wait. I've saved Joel's most outrageous statement for last (drum roll please). On page 144, Joel elevates us to the heavenlies by pointing out that "You may even need to forgive God."
Whoa! And exactly what would we be forgiving God for? As I recall, forgiveness is for sins-or at least mistakes. But which of those has God made? Not a one according to any Bible I've ever read.
Oswald Chambers offers a perspective on the kind of thing the Osteens of the world do to Christians: "Satan's great aim is to deflect us from the center. He will allow us to be devoted to the death to any cause, any enterprise, to anything but the Lord Jesus." Hebrews 13:9 instructs us to not be carried away by all sorts of strange teachings (deflected from the center) but sadly, that is exactly what is happening for many at the hand of Joel Osteen.
Instead of pursuing our best life now, we should pursue the things of the Lord so we can have our best life later. I fear that for many who follow Joel's false teaching, this life is the best they will get. The false gospel proclaimed by Joel Osteen and accepted as truth by millions may allow many to achieve what they can conceive of the things in this world, but true to Jesus' promise, they may lose their souls in the pursuit.
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Justified by whose Word? Joel Osteen's or Jesus' Word?
Christian wake-up! Each of us will give an account to God for what we declared to be true over and above God's own Word. Take everything, and I mean everything, and search it out with the light of God's Word. If it bears up under the scrutiny of the Word of Truth, hold on to it, but if not, you need to throw it out, and let go of it, so that you will not be defiled and or deceived by it. John 12:47 says, And if any man hear my Words, and believe not, I judge (condemn) him not: for I came not to judge (condemn) the world, but to save the world. Sounds like we're off the hook even if we don't believe the truth. But read on! John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my Words, hath one that judgeth (condemns) him: the Word that I have spoken, the same shall judge (condemn) him (when? in the day of judgment) in the last day. Christian don't you see, when you stand before God, it's not what Joel Osteen said that will justify you, but it is what thus saith God, that will justify you in the end. What have you done with the Truth? Have you exchanged it for a lie? Or are you living by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God? (Mt.4:4) To live by faith and trust in what God declares true, assures justification, peace with God, contentment, and in the end eternal life! To take any man's word and especially when it does not measure up to the truth, meaning no Scriptural support as shown by Brannon Howse, and hold it to the same level as God's own Word is a serious indictment. This is esteeming the words of man on the same level as God's own Word. Can Joel Osteen's words save you or justify you? Can Joel Osteen's words raise you from the dead? God, Himself, esteems His own Word to be God in Jn.1:1. God's Word, Jesus Christ, makes us righteous, is all powerful, is all authority, has defeated death, hell, and the grave. His Word has been tested and proven already! Why would we esteem mere man's words that change with time, tradition, and culture, to the same level as God's own Word which is the same yesterday, today, and forever? I'm putting all of my faith and trust in Words that are made SURE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST! How about you?
|Posted On: 11/22/10 08:30:33 PM
||Age 0, IN
Joel Osteen's New Age Life Now?
I totally agree with all of you here about Joel Osteen's message of "A happy thinking thought are your savior. First time I heard him I wanted to listen again as I caught him towards of the show. so the following Sunday I listened to him, I felt no love of God at all coming from his massages, I listen just a few more times then at last I called in 1-800 number and ask the woman if Joel preached about salvation thru His Son Jesus Christ, well she couldn't answer me nor knew what I was talking about. I searched the Bible again as I do study and read the Bible each day. I asked God to reveal to me what He says about this false teacher. In my heart God warned me about him, but to listen in time to time so when one of his followers talked about this man I could point out why he is not a follower for Jesus Christ at all and he is a false teacher is a false doc.
Jesus says that "The true will set you free." knowing the truth about Jesus will keep us from following a false religion and a false Jesus who is only want to make us little gods.
I want to thank you for pointing out that his is a message of New Age thinking and those who follow him are not of Jesus Christ Son of God of the Bible. One can't follow false teaching and then say they believe in the Bible as truth can't be done.
When I was a younger I was fooled by false teachers but that was because I didn't know God's Word, But now I know and I read all of what you all have was written here we are in the Spirit of agreement of who this man is may the truth of Jesus keep us all clean before our Lord in heaven. It is by Grace that we have been saved and not of ourselves.
PTL that we are living in the time when we will hear the Trumpet of the Lord and this is truly a big signs of the end times are here and our Savior is ready of call us believer to come home!
|Posted On: 11/14/10 12:03:41 PM
||Age 0, NJ
Joel Olsteen's New Age Life Now.
We are in the Age of Deception that Jesus warned us of in Matthew 24:3. 2nd Thessalonians 9-12 also warns of the coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of couterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders and in every sort of evil that Deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that that they will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. New Age is about channeling your energies through self- not the Lords guidance and spiritual power to transform our souls and our lives. This is from the Anti-Christ. The Lord knows hearts and minds and he cannot be fooled. Remember Christians in the net will be separated. The believers from the False believers. Don't be surprised at anything you see, Olsteen has managed to deceive many.
|Posted On: 11/12/10 06:02:34 AM
||Age 0, IL
Joel Osteen & Karma
You are so right about the kind of thinking that is promoted by Joel Osteen, the Secret and others...I have a good friend that was raised by good Christian parents/father a pastor...and she has been lured into this thinking with The "Secret"...and it has changed her. She's bought what is basically the "karma" thinking of hindus which says if you are starving on the side of the road you must deserve it...so they leave them lay there and walk on... My friend use to be compassionate, caring and giving...but now...if you are struggling with something she blames you for not "attracting" the right things into your life...surely not the love and charityi that God speaks of in the Bible... Its sad to see good people lured into this materialistic/unGodly and superficial mentality...hardly what is needed in todays time with so many suffering...people losing their homes didn't necessarily do anything wrong..sometimes they just lost their job to outsourcing or they are struggling and need help land compassion not cold calculating theories... God save us from this mentality that is creating a very cold world indeed in which we must exist.
|Posted On: 11/11/10 06:41:15 PM
||Age 0, MN
I guesstimate that the apostasy is about 99,9 % complete, and that "the church", along with their pastors are about 99% worshipping "this other Jesus" Paul warned us about! These ARE the "perilous times" true Christians have been warned about, and BEWARE of any words contrary to God's Holy Word! Serve our Lord&Savior, Jesus Christ with diligence and fear, and AVOID anyone who would try to persuade us otherwise! The wheat and tares are being sifted, because our Bridegroom is coming SOON for His TRUE Beloved Bride! Sherry Brown
|Posted On: 11/11/10 04:06:41 PM
||Age 0, CA
Its a shame......
Its a shame that SOO MANY people are drawn by false teaching RATHER than the true Living Word of God. But Our Lord warned us...... "Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."
The true Gospel of Jesus Christ centers on His blood and sacrifice for us, if any thing else is preached beware! â€śBut if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.â€ť I Jn. 1:7
Praise the Lord Jesus for the blood, but the blood only works in the light.
|Posted On: 11/11/10 01:35:12 PM
||Age 0, NC
Joel Osteen's New Age Life Now ?
It is so sad as we see the last two prophecies in our time, apostasy in the church and hate for Israel. G-d told us the end from the beginning. Genesis 12:3..I used to watch TBN and Joels Dad and realized how things they teach is opposite. I see where Paul in Romans talks about another "JESUS",,and Timothy warning of a new gospel, believe it not. I see where we are not to learn the ways of the heathen, but now see many churches in the name of unity and love going to mosques and inviting them to church. so they are learning the ways of the heathen, G-d said He hated paganism and traditions of men. I thot of the poor people in the middle east living in dirt floor huts..I also heard Ron Carlson tell how maybe we should think about them poeple who tried to name it an claim it? Ron Carlson taught me more than any pastor, opened my eyes WIDE. I used to watch Joel's dad, he would be very sad of his son. and then you have the positive thinking and it is sad too that so many Baptist have fallen along with many churches into apostasy. Every night we pray for the church, our country and leaders, and for Israel, our troops and theirs and the people all over the world who need our Savior to come take us home. Thinking they replaced Israel instead of being grafted in..walk into Israel, right past the chosen people into the PLO and help them..New age brought in with Rick Warren and others is all over as well as the laughng and demonic things going on. Too many forget the GOSPEL is the POWER TO SAVE thru Jesus, HE is all and all and nothing else will be excepted. Gov is god to many. Where was the church really when abortion , same sex marrige and the days of Noah where violence was rampad. gays and drugs. Pastors who teach false, will get double punishment. it won't be in heaven..??? so maybe the trib to be tested..? No matter what people say, I have learned to let scripture speak for itself, what does HE say about luke warm people? He will spit them out of his mouth. Not everyone that says L-rd L-rd will enter in..we need ALL scripture..I just keep on trying to make them see. most won't even listen. G-d bless this web that teaches right and pray for Chuck Smith.
|Posted On: 11/10/10 06:05:54 PM
||Age 0, WA
The Blind leading the blind
How sad that any Christian would consider this well-documented, Biblically sound article bashing. The unsaved will never be helped as long as false prophets like Osteen abound. God, Jesus and Paul clearly call us to call out others who do not preach the Word soundly. If we as Christians stand by and say nothing, more of the unsaved will be lost for they will be following the Hari Krishna mantra of "love and fuzzy feel good religion" straight into the pit of darkness. I am continually amazed at how anyone who has truly accepted Christ and the Holy Spirit does not have the discernment to see through the likes of Osteen or Rick Warren. It should take about two minutes of listening to the man to hear the Holy Spirit tell us to turn him off and speak out against him. If we don't hear it, we need to search our relationship as well. And if speaking out against false prophets and the corruption of Rome makes us judgmental, then that puts me with the likes of Peter and Paul. I'd rather face the lion's den as a true believer who stood up for Christ, than a wishy washy fake who ends up in the pit with the false prophet and Satan. It is time for believers to wake up or fess up! Bless you Brannon---the corrupt churches abound and there are not enough leaders speaking out as you are. May God continue to lead you, and may God help those who don't heed your warnings.
|Posted On: 11/10/10 05:01:23 PM
||Age 0, OH
Get a grip and wake up!!!
This is to "Sick of critical judgmental bashing". You really need to understand that there is no bashing here. The article informative and to the point. The author does not insult Olsteen but tells it like it is what this man believes in and it is not the Jesus of Scripture. When Olsteen first came on the scene I had no intention of reading or listen to what this man had to say. There was something about this man that I did not trust. The more I hear about him and see and hear what he (preaches) the more I know that was not to listen to this man.
He is a fake and if he read the Scripture in earnest he would not preach such nonsense unless he has not the Holy Spirit indwelling him.
Brannon is right in this article and there is nothing offensive in it. It only offensive to those who (wish) for 'united world' where all faiths are included.
Mr. Howse is sounding a call which those who would follow the TRUE LIVING JESUS CHRIST should take heed and proclaim the True Jesus and expose the false teachers of a false Jesus.
As for "easy now", where is the attack?! Mr. Howse is exposing what is false. Let me ask you this, have you contacted Olsteen and informed him of his error? Have you exposed him for what he is? DO YOU STAND UP FOR THE LIVING CHRIST OR DO YOU SAY "Judge not lest you be judge."? If perchance you say this (which seems you are here) you taken Scripture out of context and have not done your own studying of the WORD OF GOD.
Know this, this is not an attack on either of you two but a wake up call to you. It really burns me up that people who claim to be 'Christian' attack the one's showing the truth to protect the those who claim to know but have not a clue.
These verses are for you: 1 Tim. 4:1,2; 1 Tim. 1:3-11; 1 Tim. 6:3-21. 2 Tim. 3:14-26; 3:1-9.
How do you know that all readers of this site shun Olseen? How do you know that Howse in writing this has not exposed Olsteen for what he is to those who buy into what he says?
Come on people, get a grip and read what is there and not what you think is there. That's problem, few people discern anymore. It's what they see, not what God by His Holy Spirit shows.
This is truly a sad time we live in when believers defend the apostate.
|Posted On: 11/10/10 04:33:23 PM
||Age 0, VA
Looking for Jesus? Don't listen to Joel
I am one of those who have recently accepted Jesus as my saviour. I have read the Bible front to back,and there is nothing that I have read which could be compared to the teachings of Joel. I believe that he gets the big audiences he does is because he "sugar-coats"Gods Word. You will never hear him ask for sinners to join him at the podium so they can give themselves to God,never anything about hell.
And next year he will be joining Christians from TBN in Israel to "preach"to the Jews. I'm not so sure they will be as receptive to his "prosperity"gospel as us Americans are.
|Posted On: 11/10/10 12:37:18 PM
||Age 0, VA