Friday, March 7, 2014

“The OSTEENification of American Christianity.”

Hank Hanegraaff of CRI has published a book, “The OSTEENification of American Christianity” in which he calls Joel Osteen the “provocateur of a seductive brand of Christianity that reduces God to a means to our ends… a fast-food Christianity that’s long on looks but dreadfully short on substance.”

“Why give so much attention to Joel Osteen; isn’t he harmless?” you say. Think about this. Joel Osteen is THE public face of evangelical Christianity. Not only the leader of America’s largest church, he is the most listened to preacher on the planet. His influence is almost unparalleled.

Joel's message is not pure Gospel, but a politically correct, inclusive, positive-thinking philosophical mix which non-Christians, even Buddhists and Hindus, find appealing. How unlike the exacting call of Jesus, who thinned out the crowds with His “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23). Jesus' call to self-denial has been Osteenified into believe in yourself.


  1. Greg,

    I would be interested to find out what books Joel has in his library. That is often a very telling indicator of the philosophy of a leader.


  2. yes, and even more to the point, who are his favorite authors and who has influenced him the most. we all have certain books, authors who we read and re-read because we aspire to attain their understanding of Scriptures and covet the kind of relationship they have to God.

  3. "Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils . . ." Seducing spirits always appeal to the same three things: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Most of the popular preachers are playing to these carnal desires and they are quick to denounce those who try to point out their error. One common tactic is to label those who are bringing God's Word to bear on these false teachings as having a "religious spirit." I'm praying that God will open people's eyes to the truth! "For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it."

  4. Good morning Greg,
    Though grace is free, it is not without cost, both to God and the for believer. Not that grace can be purchased by the believer. But what I mean is that I can say that I love my wife. That is free. However, to demonstrate that love becomes costly, in small ways and big ways. But that cost is not without benefit! The enemy sells a cheaper product that has a greater cost. And to get people to assent in some form of belief, the enemy's offering has to dress well to please the buyer. Therein lies the danger of something that is almost completely true.
    Larry Q

  5. How true, Larry. Your words remind of me of what God told Samuel. God looks on the heart. Teaching that doesn't result in repentance from sin and selfishness can not touch the heart. Jeremiah says the heart is exceedingly sinful and easily deceived. What a shame that so many will read Your Best Life NOW, and perhaps gain some insight to help them live better on earth, but lose it in the life to come because their hearts remained unchanged. As always, thank you for your insights.