Friday, July 18, 2014

Joel Osteen talked about Jesus how many times?

In a recent blog essay I'd mused,

"I used to wonder why it is that so many of the false teachers tend to speak freely of God but not so much of Jesus. They rarely say the name of Jesus when they are teaching but instead they often say "God."

Joel Osteen
You've seen it too, I'm sure. So many pastors, teachers, lay-people will freely say God but not Jesus. Well, someone else was wondering that too, and he quantified it. Here are his results:

Joel Osteen Likes God…He just doesn’t like Jesus [A Twitter Survey of @JoelOsteen]
I often talk about the Christ-less Gospel of Joel Osteen. Whenever people ask me what I mean by that, I always tell them this; Joel Osteen does not talk about the Christian Gospel.

That being said, there is something very important to understand about Joel Osteen: He does talk about God. A lot. You cannot accuse the man of not mentioning him because he’s all over that. Here’s the thing though- Its never really in a personal sense. Joel talk about God, but its always in a vague amorphous sense. There is certainly nothing distinctly Christian or Biblical about it. There’s nothing doctrinal or theological about the way he talks about God. Rather is an ethereal, shapeless, formless, customizable, singular being thing that is out there called God that functions like a cosmic vending machine whose sole purpose is seemingly to bless you and make your life better. Even when he mentions God, it’s not ABOUT God, but it’s about what God can do for YOU.

Why do I say “singular being”? Simple. While mention of a “God” may be plastered all over his twitter feed, Jesus is Not. Joel Osteen rarely, if ever, mentioned Jesus. He rarely, if ever, mentions Christ. This is true when you listen to his sermons, read his tweets, and listen to him on whatever talk show he’s touring. Let me give you some basic numbers

Just for kicks I did a quick survey of all Joel Osteen tweets in the last year. I can’t go further back, so we’ll stick with going back to July 8, 2013, which is a little more than a year ago. Out of Joel Osteens 806 tweets, not including any of his replies to other people, he mentions “God”...
Go to the link to read the numerical results. In my essay, I'd proposed a reason why so many of the false teachers speak of God but not of Jesus when they are teaching,

"Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:3)

If they don't have the Holy Spirit they can't teach Jesus is Lord because they can't say it. Like when Jesus said at the Last Supper that one of them will betray Him, all 11 of the Disciples said Is it I, Lord? but Judas could not say that because he was apostate and he said "Is it I, Rabbi?" (Matthew 26:21-25)"

Here is John MacArthur explaining part b in the 1 Corinthians 12:3 verse I'd put above,
Now let's go to the positive in verse 3. I was going to get through verse 11. Can you believe that? Verse 3... yes, you can believe that. Verse 3, And the other side...here's the positive test..."That no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit." This is the positive. When somebody comes into your midst with all of his faculties, and with all of his mind, and with all of his heart, and with all of his being, says, "Jesus is Lord," you know that's of the Holy Spirit. Now it isn't simply the words, it's the commitment. No man can say...and the word say here doesn't just mean to pair. A skeptic can say, "Jesus is Lord." You can pay a guy ten dollars and say, "Would you say Jesus is Lord, Jesus is Lord. Here's your ten dollars." That isn't the point. It's not quite that simplistic. No man can truly say, no man can truly confess, no man can truly acknowledge, "Jesus is the Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. When that deep conviction of genuine understanding about who He is comes forth it is of the Spirit. ... So the Spirit prompted confession is distinguished from the counterfeit, by the acknowledgement that Jesus, the Man, is, in fact, God.
Just food for thought. As a person who loves to quantify things I appreciated the Twitter survey! In discernment it is not only what a person says, but what he doesn't say. And noticing an absence takes time and skill. Listen for what a person fails to speak of as much as you're listening to what they do say.


15 comments:

  1. Yes, "god" is a generic term for just about anyone/anything in the world, and that's why these wolves in sheep's clothing and false prophets/preachers/teachers use that name without fear. Pitiful, really.

    Stephen

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a shame that Christian bookstores like Family Christian, etc put this guy's stuff all over their stores.

    Brad

    ReplyDelete
  3. This task of searching & counting is something I have done in the past regarding how many times the Holy Spirit is mentioned in a book that purports to be a 'new' way for struggling believers in bondage to be set free. Some call it building bridges between the church and some philosophical, New Age program that a ministry is promoting. Shocking how many times to find God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were either usurped or completely replaced.

    Next time you see someone preaching on some great ministry or program being introduced look over the written material to see how the second and third person of the Trinity is either dropped or domesticated to make them palpable. The name God however, is usually found in the material.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What an interesting point, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. sweet. thanks for the article share

    ReplyDelete
  6. A lot of my friends share Osteen's stuff on Facebook. Yesterday a friend posted one of Osteen's gems: "You can't hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life." As a preacher, Osteen is a terrific motivational speaker.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then that makes him a motivational speaker and not a preacher.

      Are Christians called to live a positive life (whatever That means) or a righteous life?

      I am sure when Jesus stated that you will be hated and persecuted for His namesake, that there weren't any new posts on Facescroll claiming what a motivational speaker Jesus was. There is very little about truth that is positive by worldly standards. The gospel is the Good News for those who listen and abide. For all else its very bad news.
      ~hopeful_watcher

      Delete
    2. Hopeful_watcher - That was exactly my point--Osteen is no preacher. It was a snarky comment and that always doesn't come through in the written word. Although a lot of teachers use the bible to 'prove' we should have the best life now, live a positive life, and seek God's material blessings, Jesus teaches us to look ahead to our eternal destiny. He calls us to be holy, not happy. This life is nothing compared to what lies ahead. --Linda

      Delete
    3. ;-) I should have known. Blessings to you Linda.
      ~hopeful_watcher

      Delete
  7. Jesus is missing from all, and I repeat, all of our conversations in church. And when you mention the Name of Jesus and what He has done for you, the strange looks and the stares from the pew sitters and coffee sippers are blatantly obvious.....with a few "eyeball rollers" intermixed.

    Guess Sunday morning church caters to the gossipers, meddlers, busy bodies, and
    slanderers and liars for it is far more exciting than sharing the exciting truths one is learning from The Word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like the Laodicean church, Jesus standing outside and knocking to get in. Also sounds like you should look for a new church.

      Delete
    2. Linda -thanks for posting this thoughtful prayer . Thanks be to God for the Lord Jesus, and for having the opportunities of this here viewing and the prayers and dialogue regarding the Word, the Lord, and the Holy Spirit -here with other people and believers.
      ps...Back in the late seventies as a youth I started a summer job burying fibre optic cable -fiber optic cable for telecommunications. I recall a certain sense of Joy regarding the Word and the coming church - these sort of dialogues found :) are the beauty sensed now realised - burying fiber optic cable :) imagine a church built of crystals having people gathered to speak of the Word and its fulfillment here on earth. In this realised I pray thanks and all glory and praises to the Lord God for sending us Jesus, and for the Words that delivered peace with prayers this past week -namely Words of the book of Mark, and the book of Ezekiel. Serious matters meet understanding here. Blessings ~JAS

      Delete
  8. Today (7/21/14) a friend posted an Osteen quote: "The Scripture says in Romans 4:20 that Abraham “…grew strong in faith by giving praise to God.” Like Abraham, God has put dreams in your heart. He’s spoken promises to you. Deep down you know you’re going to get well, you know you’re coming out of debt, you know you’re going to break that addiction, you know you’re going to accomplish your dream. Thank God for what you hear down in your spirit." I went to Osteen's Facebook page (Joel Osteen Ministries) and saw there were over 157,000 likes, 35,000 shares, and countless comments on this. All of the comments were positive, thanking Joel for that encouraging word, except for one negative comment that said Osteen is no pastor but a self-help guru like Oprah and Dr. Phil. (There may be more negative comments, but I'm on my lunch break and didn't have time to scroll through hundreds and hundreds of comments). And, of course, the negative comment was countered by someone defending Osteen. They said, "Thank you for your opinion...my opinion is ...as long as people are getting the message and keeping the faith it doesn't my matter what sparks it. Have a lovely day!! And try and see through your opinion and hear the message ... Just a thought"

    I posted that Osteen presented a false message--that Abraham did not have dreams, he had promises from God. Abraham did not seek to fulfill his destiny, he followed where God led him. God is not a genie granting wishes. He wants us to trust, obey, and follow Him.

    I pray for those thousands of people who liked this status and/or posted a positive response that the Holy Spirit would work in their hearts and minds to discern truth from deception. I pray for those believers whose knowledge of God's word is shallow and lacking in comprehension. I pray for the church to see these ear-tickling so-called pastors for who they are and turn away as they grow in knowledge and understanding. I pray for a church that immerses itself in God's word and lives it out in obedience. --Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen. I pray to that! I pray that Joel isn't actually leading people to a path of destruction and miilions of lives will be lost because of his message.

      Delete
  9. Totally agree with the blog results, that's why I'm on this site because I myself was wondering why you never hear the name of Jesus or more significantly the person of Jesus. Bit sad

    ReplyDelete

Chris Powers' sketches the Beatitudes: Mercy

Matthew 5:7, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." O, Lord, help me to be merciful tho those who doubt, the ...