June 21, 2005

Joel Osteen

I've been in debates elsewhere about Osteen, and his ministry. There are a lot of people who value his ministry, and look at the success that he's experienced as a blessing from God that we shouldn't question.

Osteen was on Larry King last night -- the transcript is here. He certainly made it clear what he believes.

KING: But don't you think if people don't believe as you believe, they're somehow condemned?

OSTEEN: You know, I think that happens in our society. But I try not to do that. I tell people all the time, preached a couple Sundays about it. I'm for everybody. You may not agree with me, but to me it's not my job to try to straighten everybody out. The Gospel called the good news. My message is a message of hope, that's God's for you. You can live a good life no matter what's happened to you. And so I don't know. I know there is condemnation but I don't feel that's my place.

KING: You've been criticized for that, haven't you?

OSTEEN: I have. I have. Because I don't know.

KING: Good news guy, right?

OSTEEN: Yeah. But you know what? It's just in me. I search my heart and I think, God, is this what I'm supposed to do? I made a decision when my father died, you know what? I'm going to be who I feel like I'm supposed to be. And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Not the end of the world if I'm not the pastor ...


KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?

OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...

KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?

OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God with judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.


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.

OSTEEN: Yes, I would agree with her. I believe that...

KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven?

OSTEEN: No. Here's my thing, Larry, is I can't judge somebody's heart. You know? Only god can look at somebody's heart, and so -- I don't know. To me, it's not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn't. I just say, here's what the bible teaches and I'm going to put my faith in Christ. And I just I think it's wrong when you go around saying, you're saying you're not going, you're not going, you're not going, because it's not exactly my way. I'm just...

KING: But you believe your way.

OSTEEN: I believe my way. I believe my way with all my heart.

KING: But for someone who doesn't share it is wrong, isn't he?

OSTEEN: Well, yes. Well, I don't know if I look at it like that. I would present my way, but I'm just going to let god be the judge of that. I don't know. I don't know.

Osteen was so intent on giving a good interview, and making sure people bought his book, that he totally missed an opportunity to share Christ with an international cable TV audience. He doesn't want to offend anyone. Christ said that people would despise us because of Him. The Gospel offends people; Joel Osteen doesn't want to do that. He wants thousands of people to show up at church every Sunday to hear what they want to hear rather than tell people what they need to hear. He's doing nobody any favors.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 12:11 PM | Comments (55) | Add Comment
Post contains 744 words, total size 4 kb.

1 WOW, I hate to hear that. I watched his show like once and I don't believe he picked up the Bible. I'm going to put a trackback of this on my blog too...

Posted by: Chris Whisonant at June 22, 2005 11:38 AM (Dsh1V)

2 He certainly made it clear that there are many things he doesn't know, as referenced by his over 40 answers of "I don't know". I was disappointed by this interview.

Posted by: Bobby at June 22, 2005 02:33 PM (sUemE)

3 I wish I could say I was surprised by the interview. I've seen his show quite a few times. He's a great encouragement for Christians who are feeling down (my Mom started watching him after my Dad died) or discouraged. But he's poison for unbelievers who buy into the whole "don't feel bad about yourself" thing and decide that all this talk about sin and repentance isn't worth dealing with. He reminds me of Tony Robbins, except he carries around a Bible. And sometmes he uses it, too.

Posted by: Warren at June 22, 2005 06:26 PM (iJfPJ)

4 I was "offended" by the way Osteen presented the Gospel. The God I know and worship, by God's grace, wants us to tell everyone about Christ as the exclusive way to God, just like the Bible teaches. I'm not perfect, but I believe the culture got to Mr. Osteen. Sad....

Posted by: Russ at June 25, 2005 07:36 PM (ywZa8)

5 I realize that Joel did not make it as clear as he could have while on Larry King, but I dont think it is fair of others to judge him on one broadcast of Larry King Live. Yes, alot of his messages he focuses on the good news that Christ brings us, but he also shares many other messages on being a good Christian, doing what is right, and struggles we all deal with. The bible is clear on the fact that we should not judge lest we be judged and I believe that was the point Joel was trying to make. That God, not us will be the judge of each persons heart and what they truly believe. I watched his church service this morning and he addressed his transcript of the broadcast on Larry King and apologized for not being clear that Christ is the only way to heaven, he asked for forgiveness and wanted to make sure that his members understood that he realized that he did not make himself clear on the show and was focusing more on not judging others. I think we all should remember that Joel Osteen is still a human being who gets nervous, can make a mistake and sometimes doesnt get across all of the points he may have liked to. I know if I was on a live broadcast with pressure from someone like Larry King grilling me with questions, I probably would not be able to articulate as well as I could either.

Posted by: Renay at June 26, 2005 11:27 AM (dRz5K)

6 I just wanted to say Joel Osteen is wonderful. King and his hench men planned this attack on him day's prior to the show. King had his writters look up all this information on Joel and then had professional religious debaotrs write up a Question & Answer interview with the sole purpose to try to discredit Mr.Osteen's and his beliefs. So how can anyone under those conditions respon appropiately. One other thing is it was stated that Mr. Osteen doesnt want to offend people.The gospel does offend people. All so he can have as manny people attend his services. I believe he dosent want to offend others because of the characteristics he has, not because of any ill ideas. People will only feel comfortable to grow & change if there not put under attack. There for it 's most appropiate for him not to offend others for the better of his crusade.

Posted by: Michael at June 26, 2005 11:34 AM (M7kiy)

7 Please feel free to e-mail me if you to want to DEBATE my beliefs.

Posted by: michael at June 26, 2005 11:47 AM (M7kiy)

8 You know I never write on this kind of things, but I just have to say something. Get off Joel Osteen already. He is doing his job that God has given him. We have to realize we all are not perfect! I look at my self I am nothing with out God. I have to say that Joel has been the best thing in my life. You know everybody saying about all the theology and bible scriptures. Let me tell you I was saved at 16 and now 25, since then I had been in the Assemblies of God. Even on staff at a church here in my city for one of the fastest growing A/G chruches by that, until that Pastor a great man in faith cruched me so hard, killed all my dreams, and told many people not to talk to me all because Im a single man living for God. Not just focusing on getting married and have a family, because God is number one in my life. I say this all to say I went into major depression balloned up to 315 pounds and no work for almost 8 months. Until I saw Joel Osteen and totally changed my thinking. Because you know God wants us to live our Best Life Now! We know the theolgly and scriptures but until we put that into practice and do the best now we will never live our life. I have met Joel three times and he is just the same as the first time. To think a Pastor of the largest church in america to give time for me. I know I have met others Pastors and they dont even give you the time of day. I say this all to get to that one point. Let Joel Osteen do his job. Stop Judging him and his work. There is only One he has to answer to. Let else christians do our job and stop attacking our own brothers and sisters. Oh yea just to say I now weight 235 and still droping and I'm now seeing my dreams come true. But guess what I know God has much more in store for me. God Bless you all. Philippians 3:13-14

Posted by: Rene at June 26, 2005 12:34 PM (FfUjh)

9 I never attacked Joel Osteen. I attacked the fact that in a perfect opportunity to present the gospel, he choked. And you know what? Read this carefully: HE ADMITTED HE WAS WRONG!!! God wants us to live our lives focused on Him, not on being wealthy and prosperous. Living focused on God means more than making people feel good about themselves -- it means letting people know the truth of the Gospel. Osteen didn't do that on Larry King. Renay, I don't know how I'd have done on Larry King. But you know what? I'm not the pastor of a 30,000 member church. Don't TELL me that Joel Osteen can't handle interviews, or that he's not a polished speaker. I've heard him speak!!! The fact that he bailed on the Larry King show is disappointing. He's more worried about not offending people than he is about presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Michael, I don't know enough about your beliefs to even know what you want to debate. If you think Larry King planned this, you need to read the transcript (and Osteens letter) again. King gave him every opportunity to clarify what he was saying, and what he believes, and time after time, he didn't step up to the plate. My prayer is that Joel Osteen uses this as an opportunity to grow, and to strengthen his Gospel witness. We ALL need to remember that quick growth and large numbers are not indicative of a healthy church. The ECUSA is huge, but a quick glance will show they're not healthy. And the idea that we shouldn't offer correction to other Christians is unBiblical. Look at the example Paul set for us -- he called Peter out when Peter did something wrong. Maybe we should follow his example, and do the same.

Posted by: Warren at June 26, 2005 02:36 PM (iJfPJ)

10 To say that he blew a golden opportunity to tell the masses about Christ is crazy. He broadcasts to 92% of American Househols every week. Preaching about Christ and and leading people to confessions of Christ being their Lord and Savior. He has a pastor's heart and weeps for that lost as did Jeremiah. Don't fault him for that. You need to pick a different fight!

Posted by: Adam Salazar at June 26, 2005 03:12 PM (yFtLV)

11 I'm keeping the comments open on this, but I'm going to respond by email. It's clear that people aren't bothering to read what I've said before on this comment thread, so rather than repeat it time and time again on here, I'll just email. I can simply copy and paste the same email over and over again.

Posted by: Warren at June 26, 2005 03:28 PM (iJfPJ)

12 What a virus to Christianity. He's spreading the message that your way is as good as my way so who am i to judge. Since all humans are equal, all ideas are equal, so your way may not be my way but it's just as good, lest I offend you (The Great Compromise). HA Jesus brought the sword upon the household, father and son against eachother because of the gospel. The gospel may be good news but it stands firm in the belief that there is only one way to heaven, JESUS CHRIST, and everyone who rejects Him IS GOING TO HELL. The Bible says, "I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life NOBODY COMES TO THE FATHER BUT BY ME"!! What a fake.

Posted by: Blake at June 26, 2005 05:16 PM (4sGaD)

13 How many times in the Gospels did the "authorities", both secular and religious try to trip Jesus up with trick questions? Trying to discredit him or trap him into a statement with shich they might bring him to trial. Joel Osteen experienced the same tactics on the Larry King Show. Joel, like the rest of us, doesn't have the full wisdom of Jesus. Three things come to mind as I hear the clamor and anger from fellow "believers" regarding Osteen's error. 1. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone! 2. Wasn't it this same judgemental religious attitude that brought Jesus to trial and the cross. (And, yes, I know it was our sin). 3. Since Joel has admitted his error, apologized for it, and seeks to correct it -- doesn't the Word say God has forgiven him and the blood of Jesus has washed it all away. Get a grip -- people are dying without Christ. Enough of this waste of time. If you are that worried and offended by what Joel didn't do -- get out there and win the lost.

Posted by: Jim at June 26, 2005 10:02 PM (M7kiy)

14 I'm amused at how many people think Larry King was trying to trap Osteen. I've read the transcript (as has Joel Osteen) and I don't see it at all. King gave the man an opportunity to clarify what he was saying, and he didn't do it. I'm glad Osteen has apologized (PLEASE READ THE POST WHERE I SAID THAT AT 2:30 PM ON SUNDAY BEFORE YOU COMMENT!!!!!!!). He recognizes that he made a mistke. Why can't his followers?

Posted by: Warren at June 26, 2005 11:25 PM (iJfPJ)

15 Joel Osteen had no other choice but to apologize. He had to appease the outcry of the multitudes in order to keep the status quo, retaining favor with the people. It was a brilliant political manuever, as were his answers to an unsympathetic Larry King. By making the responses he did to both King and his letter of apology, Osteen has proven himself to be all things to all men, but not in the good sense of the term. Rather, he is adept at speaking out of both sides of his mouth, depending on the need of the moment. Osteen is a born politician telling his audience what they are eager to hear. Furthermore, professing 'Christ' as the only way says nothing. Osteen preaches a false Christ which Jesus prophesied would be the case. The discerning Christian needs ask Joel, "Which Christ do you follow?" The answer: Osteen's Christ denies and opposes Himself, bowing the knee to the sinner's depraved will, promising an abundamce of earthly delights, for does not the Bible teach, "You need only ask believing you deserve it and it shall be given?"

Posted by: Rand Winburn at June 28, 2005 03:24 PM (4YYyk)

16 To Sandy: It takes a lot of guts to question someone's faith and leave such an inflamatory comment and not even leave your correct email address! Hotmail says "no mailbox found" when I try to email you. Of course, you never bothered to read the entire blog, or even all of my comments on this post, so why should I expect anything else from you?

Posted by: Warren at June 28, 2005 08:10 PM (iJfPJ)

17 Author: Noel Pinnock of Seven Spiritual Conformities Through Jesus Christ (Missouri City, Texas) In my spiritual estimation, I believe Pastor Osteen is capable of the same human limitations as everyone else. The Church as a whole is in need of a severe revival. Differences amongst Christians do exist. There is no way around it. We are all human and subject to human depravity and frailties when a situation erects in our lives that we diametrically opposed. These oppositions can be mitigated or calmly resolved. We must remember the examples that our forefathers left for us to emulate. We must remember that albeit confrontation is inevitable, it should not stifle our spiritual walk with the Lord and communal fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The bible affirms this when prophecy and scripture was consummated in Calvary Hill or Golgotha! In the book of Hebrews 8:10-13 we are entreated by the Lord to be recipients of our adopted Heavenly Father as well as our brothers and sisters in Christ: "For this is the covenant that I (God) will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In speaking of a new covenant He treats the first as obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." In Paul's letter to the Galatians, they were experiencing some friction between the Jew and Gentile walk in faith. As you know, history informs us that Jews lived under the law for which no human could satisfied because Jesus adamantly stated that if a person Jew or Gentile transgressed one of the laws then they were guilty of transgressing them all. On the other Hand, the Gentile (uncircumcised) were condemn because of the family lineage. Since Gentiles were not born in the Jewish bloodline, the Jews alienated the Gentiles and would aloof (distant) themselves from the Gentile in fear of consorting with those who were not like them. Paul set the record straight in Galatians 2:15-21 when he is inspired by God to respond to these foolish acts to bring division in the body of Christ amongst brothers and sister possessing the same faith in the same God: "We {are} Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. "But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! "For if I rebuild what I have {once} destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. "For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the {life} which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. "I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness {comes} through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." Paul leaves us an example of diffusing potentially volatile situations. He could have rebuked them all in a hollering reproof, but he relied on God. Today we have the same internal conflicts: Presbyterian against the Catholics, Catholics against the Baptist, Armenians against the Calvinist, Pentecostals against the Methodist...the list never ends. Jesus has called for the union all the many members in the body of Christ. It is incumbent that we don't let doctrinal differences divide us. United we stand...because Christ died for all not a specific group of people. Let's work out indifferences and spread love as our Heavenly Dad did for us. To God be the Glory and NO ONE ELSE...Joel keep allowing God's grace to permeate your heart as He guides and keeps you. His mercies are new everyday!

Posted by: Noel Pinnock at June 30, 2005 03:02 PM (RubHL)

18 Noel's dissertation of love without truth is appalling. Had Christ taken Noel's tact He would have avoided crucifixion. Doctrinal issues are what killed Christ, the LOGOS or DOCTRINE of God. Doctrinal issues are what killed the Apostles. Doctrinal issues are what killed the saints and martyrs through the centuries. The Book of Revelation foretold the history of the evil that would befall the true Church of Christ at the hands of the false church of Antichrist. The controversy between the two is doctrinal. Christ came not to bring ecumenical peace, but a sword - the sword of the Word; to set a man at variance with his father, etc. Those who remain faithful to the Lord will experience the wrath of the world as well as that of false Christians. Do not forgot, it was the very ones who claimed to be the apple of God's eye, the chosen people, who betrayed and murdered their God. Do you not know this to be prophetic of the ongoing war between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman, even unto our day.....even unto the Second Advent of Christ?

Posted by: Rand Winburn at June 30, 2005 06:09 PM (4YYyk)

19 We have to correct error when we see it -- that is the example Paul gives us in Galatians. If Paul were not concerned with the error, he would never have written the Galatians. He would have avoided to confrontation with Peter. He and Barnabas would have kept travelling together in spite of their differences. We desperately need Christians who are educated in the truth. The last thing we need is a bunch of people who have been raised on pablum.

Posted by: Warren at June 30, 2005 07:38 PM (iJfPJ)

20 Yea, Osteen did not present the Gospel at all in the interview..."I believe..but I don't know" came across a hundred times. He better darn well know! That's why we have the Bible to lead us to "know". He should know very well if he's a pastor that a Jew will not go to heaven if they haven't repented and accepted Christ. He was just wishy-washing the Gospel so to look better on TV, if you ask me. Some here say he was nervous. He pastors 8,000 people at a time, he's over stage fright! Plain and simple, if you don't have Jesus, you don't have eternal life. He had the opportunity to share the Gospel, but He didn't.

Posted by: Troy at July 01, 2005 04:10 PM (sjSvP)

21 Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Joh 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Joh 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another. Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Rom 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Eph 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 1Th 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 1Th 4:9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1Pe 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 1Jo 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 1Jo 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 1Jo 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1Jo 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1Jo 4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 2Jo 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.

Posted by: Ron at July 03, 2005 09:20 AM (enY8J)

22 {ANOTHER EDIT} I almost left this comment up, because of the lack of clear reasoning skills, but the rule stands. If you want it back up, send me a valid email address. Otherwise, the comment is staying in oblivion.

Posted by: churchhill at July 04, 2005 01:04 AM (a/Ig6)

23 {EDITED BY BLOG OWNER} well, 'Gipper,' you broke the rule -- you gave me an invalid email address. You want the comment (which didn't actually address Osteen at all, but made some allegations of bigotry against other commentors), email me with a CORRECT email address.

Posted by: gipper at July 04, 2005 01:22 AM (a/Ig6)

24 This won't go well but... Frankly, I often get terified at the thought of religious idealogues making laws and enacting policy based on personal beliefs. Moreso, I find that these ultra conservative religious types have a startlingly black and white perception of the world, when in fact all issues, I think are a matter of grey. That said, I thought Joel Osteen's interview with Larry King was incredible. Where people like Bill Frist and groups like the Family Research Council make my skin crawl, Osteen was a total inspiration. I certainly don't judge him for his views on God, and felt that he doesn't pre-judge (or even hate, as many do) those with different beliefs. K, go nuts.

Posted by: steve at July 04, 2005 03:52 AM (70+R4)

25 Well, Steve, FIRST thanks for a meaningful comment. After the last few I've gotten on this thread, I was beginning to worry. Everyone makes laws based on their own personal beliefs. Everyone brings biases to the table. So it's not an issue of making laws that are based on personal opinions, it's a matter of WHOSE opinions those laws will be based on. And everyone favors opinions that are closest to their own. As far as Osteen goes, I'm not sure that nonChristians SHOULD be comfortable with Christian preaching. Comfort indicates that nothing is challenged, and nothing is changed. Chrisitanity is about challenge and change. Christ Himself said "I come not to bring peace, but a sword." There is going to be conlict. I agree with the idea that Christians often go over the top in judging people. But there is a bottom-line truth that we cannot ignore -- Christ made an exclusive claim to be THE way, THE truth, and THE light. That doesn't leave a lot of room to wiggle. Tolerance is not the idea that no ideas or beliefs are better than any others. Tolerance is the idea that everyone has the right to be wrong, and everyone has the right to try to convince everyone else that their position is right.

Posted by: Warren at July 04, 2005 12:17 PM (iJfPJ)

26 Well, Warren, I think that you make a very good point. The fact remains that firstly, I shouldn't pretend to understand Christianity, at least in the sense that more devout Christians do. For me, it's a lot like watching a trial. I get the general idea, but I'm no lawyer, so I don't get much of the minutae that goes on in the courtroom. In the same way, I don't have the artillary to knock out scripture or whatnot. Since I'm not going to win any argument about the validity of what Osteen said, my only question is this. If he knows it's wrong, and he doesnt believe it, why did he say it? And I think finally, I would question your take on tolerance. I appreciate that you have your own definition, which isn't so much what the dictionary says. I think you're talking about idealism. And finally again, thanks for a reasonable discussion.

Posted by: steve at July 04, 2005 01:35 PM (70+R4)

27 Oh, and one last thing. About the 'making the laws' part. I disagree to that point as well. Certainly laws are a product of people, however, a law governing a diverse nation should be reflective of that people, and not geared from or to one particular group. I have no problem with Christian views on homosexuality. None at all. Zero. The problem is that those are religious beliefs. When they become policy, that's where (I think) they impinge on a free nation.

Posted by: steve at July 04, 2005 01:39 PM (70+R4)

28 "Since I'm not going to win any argument about the validity of what Osteen said, my only question is this. If he knows it's wrong, and he doesnt believe it, why did he say it?" That's the $64,000 question. My personal thought is that Osteen is more concerned about having a large attendance on Sundays, and selling his book, and being invited to appear on TV shows than he is about reaching people with the Gospel message. Others have thought he just was suffering from stage fright (even though he preaches to 30,000 every week!), and a few have accused Larry King of trying to trap him. "a law governing a diverse nation should be reflective of that people, and not geared from or to one particular group" So, if the majority of the people in the nation are Christians, their ideas should dominate the legal structure? Or do you mean that the only ideas that should shape laws are those that everyone shares? I'm not sure that either case is a good model of legislation. The latter is legislation by lowest common denominator, and I think that a lot of the laws we have in effect now would fail that test. I don't think that the solution to the problems in the US is to codify the entire Bible -- wouldn't work very well in our society, and a LOT of otherwise law-abiding citizens would end up in jail. But we tend to ignore the opinions of anyone with a religious background, or who has some form of religious faith, out of hand -- and THAT isn't tolerance, either. Religious ideas aren't inherently bad or wrong.

Posted by: Warren at July 04, 2005 02:17 PM (iJfPJ)

29 Wow!!! there's alot to be said but I'd be a fool to just ramble but let's cut to the chase, first of all there is this saying in christiandom, "don't judge me!" yet Paul said in 1 Cor. 5:9-12 that he was not writing about not keeping company with just any ol sexually immoral person of the world it was someone who called themselves a brother!!!! Who named themselves a brother!! now let me get to the point Paul was talking of making a certain kind of judgement here, "For what have I to do with judging those also who were on the outside?" Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. therefore put away from yourselves the immoral person. now in the next chapter Paul moves on to talk of anyone daring to take a brother to the law courts of the unrighteous and not before the saints. he says do you not know the saints will judge the world????......... Do you not know we shall judge angels????? with that let me say this, the spiritual man judges all things, Jesus was not scared to let someone know their place, as far as sin was concerned, Yes Love was involved, compassion was involved, and yet when we are confronted or we confront we hear the cop out saying "don't judge me" what I am saying is this, we as Gods people are making judgements of Joel under the filter of God's word,....... We are simply talking of the Gospel here and how this man has watered it down, it is made into a sensory Gospel........ sure he encourages, and uplifts...... But the main ingredient is missing, The Bloody cross, the violent death for the sinner, that has broken God's laws and is doomed......... untill any sinner sees this .... and the seriousness of why Christ died for them there is no real conversion, we will fill the church with thousands upon thousands of descisions, and yet as they are proped up in the programs and keeping busy they will stand before God as well as those who proped them up and I for one would not want to answer to that, as well Paul told us this day would come where people would be given to false doctrines and such and we should contend for the faith, The Gospel simply is offensive!!! and if it is then we who carry it will be too, as Jesus said, "All men will hate you because of Me".....is anyone hating you? are you being an offence? Well thats it for now. God Bless you all

Posted by: Joanne at July 04, 2005 08:18 PM (yVXTt)

30 I have posted several articles concerning Joel Osteen's version of Christianity on our website: www.iconbusters.com ---- My latest article places me in the Joel Osteen-Larry King Interview. I answer questions Osteen avoids. I also contradict Osteen when he lies. Larry and Joel's words remain intact. The link may be found on our Home Page. Rand Winburn Director Protestant Reformation Publications

Posted by: Rand Winburn at July 06, 2005 04:01 PM (gLr9P)

31 I thought Joel spoke very well, however, I was a lil' disappointed that he did not take the opportunity to speak a lil' more candid on his belief than what he did. But, I guess he was in an uncomfortable position. I see Larry King interview all "Christians" the same way. I just think Joel is a {Preacher / Teacher} of the Word of God and he does not do well in the debate area. Just because you can present the Gospel to people ..> does not make you a good debater. I do not judge Joel, I am sure if he missed it...He feels whooped enough! wouldn't you?

Posted by: ann at July 07, 2005 12:35 AM (kRCVt)

32 Rand Winburn hit the nail on the head above. The true Christian will be hated, because of this issue alone. Christ is the ONLY way to heaven. Few are chosen--many pew warmers are NOT chosen. And many people born into Hindu or Muslum cultures ARE chosen, and will surely find their way to Jesus. It takes guts and very few can proclaim it, esp in this day of poli-correctitude and New Ageism: "loving everybody". Joel Osteen is a get-along guy that "everyone loves" but the Bible is clear to "beware if everyone speaks well of you"--it is actually a barometer of whether we are right or wrong, particularly in this era of spin-doctors and plastic surgeons and the New Age counterfeit permeating most all churches and the public schools. But if one is ashamed to BOLDLY PROCLAIM THE TRUTH, Jesus will surely be ashamed of him and not proclaim him to the Father.

Posted by: karen kellock at July 07, 2005 09:11 AM (cQVjO)

33 I'm hoping that his missed opportunity was just a sign of his immaturity as a preacher. He is still very young and has a hugh amount of responsibilites. I can't imagine Dr. Dobson or Jerry Falwell blowing it this badly. I hope Olsteen is not a true "ear-tickler". I have often thought while listening to Joel's sermons that he rarely mentions the name "Jesus". He seems to prefer saying "God" more often. Hmmmm, I wonder if he has a mature relationship with Jesus at this point? You can't argue with what the Bible says if your are a true believer in the faith - especially when the secular media is giving you every opportunity to answer the questions that are so important in guiding someone to heaven. Yeah, he totally BLEW is this time. I don't know if I can watch the telivised Lakewood services in the same way after this.

Posted by: Judy Sievers at July 08, 2005 12:32 PM (dEcRs)

34 I for one have watched Joel Osteen and been encouraged by some of his "sermons". That said, I could have just as easily been encouraged reading a secular self-help book. And, there's the rub. Joel has masterfully merged secular self-help principles with a watered down gospel that is palatable for the masses. And while I would certainly agree that only God knows the heart, God is also crystal clear about His view on pagan ideologies - i.e. the Hindu belief system, which, in the words of Ravi Zacharias, is "an old bird with new feathers." It finds its roots in paganism. Given this, how can anyone claiming to believe in the gospel ALSO say that Hindus love God? How could they? They are polytheistic. One Hindu guy I know told me they have an annual ritual for a Milk god, where they put out a saucer of milk as an act of worship. That's right, a milk god. My last point, is that the world should be reminded that Joel Osteen has no formal theological training. In his own words he never attended seminary. If he did, or even picked up a secular book on world religions, he wouldn't say "I don't know" so much and know that Christianity truly stands alone with respect to who God is and how to come into relationship with Him.

Posted by: Gil Lavelanet at July 10, 2005 12:00 PM (T3BGN)

35 I agree with Warren's assertion that the important question to ask is Why? I find it impossible to believe that JO was 'tricked' or was a result of inexperience. You have to believe that when JO prepared for this interview, you don't have to be a prophet of God to be certain that this question or something very much like it would be asked. If you watch evangelical Christians like Franklin Graham or Jerry Falwell be interviewed on LKL, they ALWAYS get this question and handle it very smoothly. In my heart I was hoping that Victoria was kicking him (HARD) under the table while he was talking.

Posted by: Rusty at July 11, 2005 07:46 PM (oHR7C)

36 I think it's terrible how Mr. Osteen tries hard to bring encouragement to people. I miss the good old days when angry preachers pranced up and down the aisles hollering at people. No message of hope and encouragment for me. No sir! I'll take broke busted and disgusted any day.

Posted by: Jim at July 11, 2005 08:26 PM (tL07p)

37 I have been searching the responses and I haven't found anyone comment on this but Osteen's theology (not that he really has any, he has made that clear) boils down to this statement he made on Larry King "I search my heart and I think, God, is this what I'm supposed to do? I made a decision when my father died, you know what? I'm going to be who I feel like I'm supposed to be. And if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Not the end of the world if I'm not the pastor ..." It is all nothing but fluff, existentialism, I am going to be who I "Feel" like I'm supposed to be. Thus his messages are full of "feeling." Nothing about being called or about his biblical responsibilty. Then his complacent attitude about whether if it works or not. Does he not know that those who are the shepherds are held to a higher standard of judgment than those who are not? Spurgeon said that if you are called to preach the gospel "why stoop to be a king." His seeming lack of respect for the office of elder/preacher is alarming. I don't want to fault Osteen too much here, did he drop the ball and run like a scared rabbit when put to task about the sufficiency of Christ for salvation and that those who have not Christ are doomed to hell? Yes, he ran from the question like a coward. But the fault also lies in his congregation, rather 21'st century American Christianity. After reading some of the posts here the ignorance of professing Christians is blaring. One lady said that Osteen "is the most important man in my life" really? What about Christ? Though he may be good looking Osteen will not save you. Thank God Martin Luther did not ascribe to Osteen's gospel, if he did we may still be under the shackles of Romanism. The problem is that many Christians have become lazy in the TV age, they don't know how to read, they can read a book but they don't know how to read, and they gobble up anything that makes them feel good without testing. What ever happened to the truths or 2 Tim 3:12? Oh that the people today would rediscover the works of Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Owen, Jonathon Edwards, J.C. Ryle. These men really knew God and walked with him. They were not concerned with feeling good, they knew the word and they proclaimed it whether it offended anyone or not, look at the life of John Huss and he was content in Christ, the joy of the Lord was his strength even while he was being burned to death. In my opinion the Osteen view of God is the same view that the Muslims have. God is not holy because your sin is no big deal. To a muslim you can sin and then take a trip to Mecca or fast at Ramadan and then you are clean for the next year. Anyone who posts here ever hear Osteen tell his congregation about the doctrine of sin? Why is it such a big deal to God and why it cost Him the death of Christ? Lakewood members would do well to read "Sinners in the hand of an angry God" by Jonathon Edwards, the great sermon which started a revival among the citizens of colonial America in the 18th century. Oh wait, it is offensive and distorts their view of a happy go lucky God who will bend at the will of sinful man so they may not read it.

Posted by: David at July 14, 2005 08:42 AM (tRJGn)

38 This is why I never became a christian. What you hear from the pulpit is "love your neighbor" but peek behind the scenes and you see them tearing each other apart. Religious people remind me of my grandfather's chickens. When one of those chickens would start to bleed, the other chickens would smell the blood and start pecking that hurt bird until it was dead. My mother always tried to convert me to Christianity. I'd often tell her, "Mom, you ought not worry about the sinners around you, but definitely keep one eye open for your fellow 'brothers and sisters', and for God sake, whatever you do just don't bleed."

Posted by: Grant at July 16, 2005 05:48 PM (tL07p)

39 I am a member of Lakewood. I studied under another promienent Minister with all of the degrees and Phd's for over 15 years before I joined Lakewood. I am fluent in doctrine. But, I agree with Grant. Where is the love? LOL! You will know the spirit by the fruit it bares. God bless and keep you all.

Posted by: Regina at July 18, 2005 02:09 PM (yROl9)

40 Well Regina and Grant, the "love" is not allowing someone to perish under a false hope. The "love" is correcting someone who has ascribed to false doctrine thinking that they are on their way to heaven when in fact they are on their way to hell. The "love" is 2 Cor. 13:5 or Titus 2:15. What you call "love" I call an unwillingness to offend anyone so their feelings don't get hurt thus allowing them to continue in a doctrine of fluff that gives a false hope and does not save. It is a sad day when you attempt to correct someone who is deceived in believing a false hope and in a doctrine that does not save and then are called a minister of hate, gee isn't that what evangelism is all about. Do you call someone who is an evangelist to Muslims someone without love because they tell them they are going to die in their belief and sin? Same principle applies here. If you allow someone who is steeped in this "word of faith/prosperity gospel" and do not make any attempt to show them the errors of said doctrine and bring them to a true saving faith in Christ then you, sorry to say, are not showing them love but are allowing them to perish only because you don't want to offend them or hurt their feelings this is a sure sign of ignorance and lack of love. All throughout scripture God disciplines yet with love. We have lost this concept and view of God in our prozac laden society.

Posted by: david at July 19, 2005 02:24 AM (KYDdG)

41 Did Paul charge the church at Ephesus to preach possitive only messages or the whole council of God? I agree with brother Olsteen that God will do the judging, but to evangelize requires telling the lost what standard God will judge by. That standard is the Bible and it tells us what our sin does to our relationship with the Father. The western culture media doesn't like that and since the same culture has sadly crept into today's church, now the church doesn't like it. I beleive Joel Olsteen is a brother in Christ. I believe he has the spiritual gift of "encouragement". I believe also that he needs our prayers to be bold when it's not in the best interest of church growth, maintaining your popularity, or book sales. We are not charged to find a way to fit the pure gospel message onto the "wide road" whose end leads to destruction but rather stand steadfast, uncompromised, and true on the "narrow road" preaching a one way "whosoever will" gospel with the love God shows for the lost. We can't criticize brother Olsteen for preaching encouraging messages for that is one of the functions of the Holy Spirit. But, to remain there in order to border yourself from having to appear offensive at times is not doing justice to the whole council of God's word. So, I will pray for Pastor Joel. I encourage other believers to do the same because God has given this man an enormous platform and it's problably pretty tough to stand in those shoes of his.

Posted by: Darryl at July 23, 2005 02:32 PM (ODEz7)

42 Grant's comment reminds me of some very lively debate between New Agers and Christians on a message board. The New Agers were full of emotion, but provided little in the way of objective truth to support their position or theology. Sorry the truth hurts Grant, but Joel dropped the ball. One cannot be polytheistic and love the God of the bible. It just doesn't work. It didn't in Abraham's time, it doesn't now. Therefore, some of JoelÂ’s responses were clearly out of line. It's like me telling you that to get into Harvard, you only need an equivalency diploma. How is this untruth going to help you, or be kind? I know my best instructors were the ones who told it like it was. If Joel calls himself a Christian pastor, then he has a responsibility, a rather large responsibility given the size of his church.

Posted by: Gil at July 26, 2005 12:01 AM (T3BGN)

43 I thank the Lord for raising up a voice (Joel) in these times of uncertainity when people need to hear and receive directions and encouragement for their lives. Let us not judge him but instead pray for him that he will be greatly used for the Glory and Honor of God .The calling that God has given this young man is not an easy task.Let us not tear him down but instead lift him in prayer so that God may be Glorified,and christians encouraged to walk in the ways of the Lord.

Posted by: Barbara at August 30, 2005 12:22 AM (6krEN)

44 I'm reading these comments and I see mainly " Let's just thank God for this wonderful man who's encouraging us all! I think he's a wonderful blessing! Don't judge him - he's great for our times! Or, I see, Crucify him! Crucify him! I think David and Darryl has got the best and balanced outlook on this Joel Olsteen situation. Anybody can grab a Topical Bible and highlight LOVE THE BRETHEREN verses ( like Ron ). There's also verses that calls for brothers to call each other on the carpet when we're out of line. That's kinda like Joel picking out only the sweet smelling verses - know what I mean? Sometimes we're called to knock each other down, sometimes we're called to pick each other up. PEACE!!!!!!

Posted by: James at August 30, 2005 07:23 PM (ODEz7)

45 I think this is a classic case of a good guy with a bad theological foundation. Mr. Osteen seems to be a very good man with very good intentions, but his message is very lukewarm. Yes he helps people, but Christianity goes further than helping people. Christianity shows people the truth, and sometimes truth hurts. Don't judge people, but call sin "sin". He also spoke in this interview about how God wants everyone to be blessed and have money (he cited good reasons for this but no scriptures) and this simply is not so. God is less concerned with your happiness than your holiness. God has blessed Mr. Osteen with the chance to reach millions, I hope he uses it to do more than make people feel good about themselves. Shalom.

Posted by: Jonathan at August 30, 2005 09:29 PM (RPL/d)

46 Check this out-I want a response from a Joel Olsteen supporter. Help me understand what I can't see. Give me one bible example of the greatest church planter I'm aware of God ever using, ( the Apostle Paul), establishing or revistiting a church he planted that majored on good feeling motivational speeches containing maybe 3 or 4 verses in 30 minutes of talking that steered away from personnal sin and our ungodliness that God will judge. "People already feel bad enough about their sin" , " I just want to encourage people" doesn't cut it from my study of a guy who litterally put his whole christian life on the line to keep churches and pastors like Timothy and Titus from this "ear tickling" - "seeker friendly"-"if you're ever down here in Houston come and visit us, we'll make you feel right at home and don't worry, your sin will be our little secret" non-sense. Again, maybe I just don't get it but if you Olsteen supporters do, please educate me with bible passages ( not personnal opionions ) where this defines church sucess.

Posted by: J.D. at September 01, 2005 06:59 PM (ODEz7)

47 This guy is a fraud, and a fake. I dont want to go to church to feel good about myself, or have a pat on my back, I want to go to church to hear the word. He really makes me want to hurl!!!!!!!!!! His church is so large, because there is absolutely no conviction.

Posted by: Jason Kelley at September 17, 2005 04:37 PM (74AlB)

48 I don't know if Joel Osteen is saved or not. It disturbs me that he does not mention hell. I think he does not need to worry about condemning people. He who does not believe stands condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of God's only begotten Son. Jesus was not afraid to preach about hell. I know nobody likes the idea of hell. Evangelist Kirk Cameron(Way of the Master ministry) does not like the idea of hell. I don't think anybody does. But Jesus was not afraid to preach about it because, to this day, he does not want people to end up there.

Posted by: Anonymous at September 21, 2005 06:08 PM (LMygF)

49 I am very dissappointed in hearing about this. In the book of John it is written "I am the way, the truth and the light, no man come unto the father but by me." All Joel had to do is to quote this scripture. We as Christians can not be complacent in our walk with God. We are to be set apart from the world so we should have frequent confrontations with non-believers. My prayer is that God will give Bro. Olsteen boldness.

Posted by: Ken at September 25, 2005 11:28 PM (Cwr1Z)

50 I too was disappointed with Joel. What a shame that he has such a large following of people but yet misses the opportunity to lead them to Christ. As mentioned before, if you're making everyone feel good then you're not doing what God has called you to do.

Posted by: Heidi at October 01, 2005 12:44 AM (mASvn)

51 dear friends, it is not in my habits or none of my convictions to discuss the things of the sorts that are discussed here. but there was so much hatred, fanatism, and bigotry spilled out that i just could not hold myself. [This is where I, the owner of the blog, step in. After disavowing hatred and bigotry, this poster had the audacity to link to a notorious hate-site advocating white supremacy. I can not and will not have such garbage associated with this site, and so the link has been deleted and the IP banned from commenting, and the commentor notified. I apologize to those of you who have already read the comment.]

Posted by: doer human at October 02, 2005 03:30 PM (OSqxR)

52 The Bible tells us very clearly that we are to "Tell" people the truth -- the word of God, that Jesus IS the ONLY way to heaven. The Bible makes this very clear. * John 14:6 -- Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. -- KJV * John 10:1 -- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. -- KJV If we do not tell people the "Real" truth, we are not being honest, and missing a great opportunity to share the greatest gift that anyone could ever receive!!! There is no "Other" way to heaven. Jesus never said that He was just one of the many ways to get to heaven! He told us plainly that He is the ONLY way to heaven. All the other paths are a diversion from the enemy (Satan). * Romans 10:14 -- How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? -- KJV Some people are confused concerning the issue of judging others. We are supposed to judge (not condemn) what other people say and do. * 2 Timothy 4:2 -- Preach the word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine." -- KJV * 1 Corinthians 10:15 -- I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say." -- KJV * Proverbs 17:10 -- A reproof entereth more into a wise man than a hundred into a fool. -- KJV We are to be wise (read Proverbs!), and use discernment (judge), and check out the preaching/teaching of others. If what they say doesn't match with the word of God, then their teachings are not sound doctrine. Joel Osteen missed a wonderful opportunity to reach millions of people, and shine as a faithful witness for the Lord Jesus. * Colossians 4:5-6 -- Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. -- KJV The above verses are telling us to make the most of every opportunity (NIV), and that we "Should" share the Gospel and take a stand for the word of God. Millions of Christians have already stood up for their faith in Jesus, and still are standing for their faith in Jesus, and have suffered great persecution for their bold actions to not compromise the word of God. My personal testimony in a nut shell -- I am very thankful that my father took me to a good, down-to-earth, Baptist church when I was younger, before my parents divorced. When I came to Christ, the message that brought me to real salvation through Jesus was not a washed-down version of the Gospel. I can still remember hearing "Hell, fire, and brimstone" messages. I can still remember very clearly, just like is was yesterday (!!!), when I was very young, around four or five years old, I knew clearly, even at that young age, that I was a sinner, and that I needed to know and find God. I didn't understand many things, but I had a conscience (just like everybody does), and I knew that I need to find the real God. When I finally gave my heart to Jesus, at the age of 22 years, the message that cleared my mind and my heart to accept Jesus was the reality of hell, and that I was going to hell with absolute certainty, unless I accepted Jesus. Plain and simple. The true message of salvation is easy enough to understand for a small child, and yet profound enough to confuse even the wisest people. The Bible speaks about people who profess to be wise in their own eyes .... That's another story ...... I enjoyed reading the responses of others, and hope that people will be encouraged to read the Bible seriously, and use better judgement (discernment), when watching/listening to others preaching and teaching. -- vja4Him

Posted by: vja4Him at October 03, 2005 12:22 PM (pL++v)

53 I like Joel Osteen as a person and motivational speaker, but his messages are just to sugary sweet for me. Going to church is not just about feeling wonderful it is also about hearing sometimes a message that convicts you way down in your spirit. When conviction happens inside of a person it can ultimately lead to positive change.

Posted by: Andrea W. at October 25, 2005 01:34 AM (6mUkl)

54 i can only say one thing, just as with any trials that a christian goes through, it will only make you stronger. so i encourage bro. olsteen to take the comments to prayer and asks God to continue to keep him on His potter's wheel and shape and mold him until the end. this season that he is in should only make him stronger, more knowledgeable and spiritual. in the meantime, the body of Christ should do more praying for all of our spiritual leaders who are under attack more and more these days. God Bless All.

Posted by: Gwen at November 06, 2005 01:40 AM (6mUkl)

55 Why I came across this Blog I do not know, however, I noticed that the overall focus was on Joel Osteen's interview with Larry King. I would like to divert the attention to his book, "Your Best Life Now". It is my contention that Joel Osteen is teaching non-biblical teachings through this book and his sermons. Before I go any further I would like to point out that I do not believe everything in his book is wrong or everything he says and preaches is wrong. However, in what I am referencing below I do believe is wrong and should be considered prayerfully. For those of you who see Joel Osteen as a great leader, I would be careful where he is leading you. With that I will show you an email I wrote to him which spells out my viewpoint: Dear Joel Osteen, I wanted to contact you to find out what biblical translation you are using and to mention some concerns I have with your book. In your book, Your Best Life Now, you refer to Ephesians 2:7 as saying “Far and beyond favor”. I also notice on the home page of your website you reference 1 Cor 2:9. (http://www.joelosteen.com/site/PageServer?pagename=homepage) In reading the translations of the two versus, I can see your basis for the theme of your book, Your Best Life Now. My concern is that I can’t find those translations anywhere and what I do find says something entirely different. Furthermore as I read the first chapter I was concerned by your statement that, “This image has to become a part of you, in your thoughts, your conversation, deep down in your subconscious mind, in your actions, in every part of your being.” Is this not a complete contradiction to what Paul teaches us in 1 Timothy 6:9-11, “But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. Now you, man of God, run from these things; but pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.” (Holman Christian Standard) How can you make the image of wealth and promotion a part of you, your thoughts, your conversation, deep down in your subconscious mind, your actions, and every part of your being and it not lead to craving and temptation? You also say, “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.” This looks a lot like the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Holman Christian Standard) The problem is that I don’t see victory, success, health or abundance listed. It is listed in Galatians 5:19-20 where Paul tells us what the obvious works of the flesh are, “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar, about which I tell you in advance--as I told you before--that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Holman Christian Standard) I believe at the very least, your reference to abundance would fall under the selfish ambitions category. As I read things like 1 Kings 3:10-14 where we see that it pleased God that Solomon did not ask for riches for himself, I can’t help but become confused on how you say that God wants me to poor my attention and focus to my personal desires. If I want a million dollars and I make this image a part of me in my thoughts, my conversation, my subconscious mind, my actions, and every part of my being, then how can I do what it says in Deuteronomy 6:5 “Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”. Where is my focus to be? I say all this because as I read chapter one of your book, I can’t help but see you as a 2 Timothy 4:3 Pastor that we are called to look out for [2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (New International Version)]. As a Pastor that holds the attention of so many, it is my prayer for you that you will guide them to Christ and the heavenly treasures we can receive and not earthly treasures. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forwarding to finding out what translation you are using.

Posted by: Jeff at November 07, 2005 02:49 PM (R2Mm6)

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