Lots of people are talking about Joel Osteen’s recent CBS interview, so I finally forced myself to watch it. Naturally, Christians are commenting on how his message is a classic “fluff and puff, cake-bake” message which not only waters down Christianity, but is actually heresy. He is not the only one out there preaching this message, he is just the most famous. The thing that I found the most interesting in this video though, was the result of his preaching. In the part where people are coming to his book signing, there was a couple who came up to him and the man said, “She’s Roman Catholic, I’m Jewish, we listen every Sunday!” Osteen’s message is bringing people from various religions together in unity.
The reason why so many people love Osteen’s teaching is that it omits so many truths about God and the gospel. He is popular because of what he does not say. Missing is the true identity of Jesus, His accomplishments through His death and resurrection, God’s holiness, righteousness, justice and judgment of sin, and redemption only through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (It is these things which we believe, which we also speak, which separates us from the rest of the world.) This missing information is replaced with psychology and Humanism. These are replacement religions for true Christianity. In Humanism, the belief is that “we are all one” in our human experience, and it is all about us, what we have in common, and what we can do. This helps feed the growing worldwide movement to bring together all peoples into spiritual unity.
The world will not get mad at you if you do not speak truth from God’s word. It is when we speak it (or write it) that people get angry because they do not want to hear it. But the Lord has given us our task: we are to speak the truth (respectfully, lovingly, boldly) about who He is and what He has done through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Just this Sunday, during our worship service, we were listening to our pastor read through a list of dozens of amazing and wonderful ways Jesus has fulfilled the Law and ceremonial symbols of the Old Covenant. Right in the middle, a female voice in the back shouted out angrily, opposing what was being said about Jesus being this fulfillment, and then she dashed out and was gone. My friend and I sat there thinking, “heckler”, because we became accustomed to hecklers during outdoor gospel outreaches we have participated in. Hecklers are a normal occurrence with “street” preaching. Then we realized, “Hey, this is in a church building. This is not the norm.”
It is not what was not said that made this woman mad, it is what was said.
The world will not get angry if you choose to be quiet and not speak about Bible truth. They will love you! You will be as popular as Joel Osteen! The world’s religions will come together someday, in spiritual solidarity. What will you say?
Speak of all His wonders. 1Chron.16:9.