Watch. Listen. Observe...
I've already dealt with Joel Osteen's ability to mingle truth with grave error in a previous post, so I won't be dealing with that here. But what can definitely be seen here is how when you get the truth of the Gospel turned around (emphasis on works rather than faith), it plays out to its rational conclusion.
Osteen said that he believes that Jesus Christ is the way to obtain salvation, however, it is not his job to "judge another person's heart"--only God can do that. It may sound okay at first listen, but it doesn't answer the question. Even the caller noticed that he sidesteps the issue!! Larry King asked him if he thought that someone who didn't believe in Jesus Christ could obtain salvation. HE SAID HE "DIDN'T KNOW" (even when he was asked about an atheist). As a matter of fact this is about the only thing that we can be sure of from what he presents as an "answer"; he doesn't know. Yet somehow in all of that non-judgemental unknowing, he is certain of the fact that the people of India "love God", even though (once again) he "doesn't know much about their religion". Well, shouldn't he? After all, if a person does truly love God, and Osteen claims to believe that Jesus is the only way to obtain salvation (at least, that's what he said), then by all logic, his surety of the salvation of the person or persons in question should rest on the fact that they have a personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior--not because they have "heart". Salvation is not granted by giving it the old college try; it relys solely on the justification of faith in Jesus Christ alone.
Some may see this as Joel-hatin' or Lakewood bashing. It's not. This is written out of the deepest concern for the theology that is being disseminated from one of the notable pastors of our day, who shepherds one largest church congregations in the country (if not the largest). That being the case, one may wonder how I, a lowly blogger, can criticize a minister of his stature? How is it that I can be so sure that he has somehow gotten the gospel wrong?
This is how:
sdrawkcab lla si gnihtyrevE! Forget what you've heard--It's WHAT you're hearing:
**So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. - Romans 10:17 ESV
Besides, he brought the nail and coffin; so, I'll bring a hammer (Jeremiah 23:29).
The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. - Genesis 6:5 ESV
The heart is deceitful above all things,and desperately sick; who can understand it? - Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. - Ezekiel 36:26 ESV
Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." - John 3:3 ESV
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6 ESV
“Two kinds of persons know Him: those who have a humble heart, and who love lowliness, whatever kind of intellect they may have, high or low; and those who have sufficient understanding to see the truth, whatever opposition they may have to it.” - Blaise Pascal
Sola Scriptura. Sola Gratia. Sola Fide. Solo Christus...
Soli Deo Gloria,