And Jesus said,
"If you continue in My word, you will be My disciple;
and you will know the truth, and it will set you free."

John 8:31-32

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Navigation: Home > Resources > False Teachers > Joel Osteen > Current
November 02, 2010
Accessed 6697 times

Joel Osteen


"Joel Osteen is a pagan religionist, a legalist, and a quasi-pantheist...He is a mouthpiece for Satan, he's an agent for Satan. How do I know that? Because he offers all the things that the unregenerate heart already wants...this is a false Christianity from Hell."
~ Pastor John MacArthur

Joel Osteen is the leader of Lakewood Church, the largest church in America with around 50,000 people who attend each week. According to Nielsen Media Research, "Joel is the most watched inspirational figure in America. His weekly sermon is broadcast into every U.S. television market where it is viewed by seven million Americans each week and more than 20 million each month. His weekly broadcast is also seen in almost 100 nations around the world."[1]

Joel Osteen preaches a misleading message of seemingly positive and abundant living, goodness, and hope. Instead of being focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, his messages revolve around his audience and make them the center of attention and focus of their lives. He aims to boost their self-esteem with his flattering speech, all the while starving their souls with what they really, and most desperately, need—the truth of God's word. He never preaches on sin, judgment, Hell, repentance, righteousness, or holiness; and yet these are the things continually emphasized by all the prophets, apostles, and our Lord Himself, all throughout the Bible.

Joel Osteen is is a heretic. He preaches a false gospel of universalism and denies the truth that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, which Jesus explicitly taught (John 3:18, 36; 14:6). He claims that Mormons are true Christians[2] and that Hindus love God and go to Heaven.[3] Because he knows how to tickle ears and tell people what they want to hear, his speech is very enticing, making him all the more a very dangerous man. He offers people false hope and assurance of what they want: love of self, money, and abundance—and not God—leaving them in a state of damnation and emnity with God.

Joel Osteen is is a legalist. He teaches that Christians are supposed to obey Old Testament dietary laws, exhorting his congregation to avoid such foods like pork, shrimp, shellfish, lobsters, etc.[4] However, the dietary laws that were binding under the Old Covenant are actually nullified now under the New Covenant; foods or animals previously deemed unclean have now been "made clean" by God Himself (Acts 10:10-15). The Bible specifically says "every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused, if it is received with thanksgiving," (1 Timothy 4:4). The Bible warns that commanding to abstain from a particular food (e.g., pork) would be one of the doctrines of demons springing up in the latter times (1 Timothy 4:1, 3).

Joel Osteen is not Qualified to be a Minister

Joel Osteen is not sound in the faith. He refuses to preach the word of God, which is a divine command (2 Timothy 4:1-2). He neither follows nor teaches sound doctrine, and this results from the fact that he does not accurately handle or explain the Scriptures. As a matter of fact, as he has admitted himself, he is unable to do so. And yet all of these things are required by Scripture of a man in order for him to legitimately serve as a pastor (Titus 1:9, 13; 2:1; 1 Timothy 3:2; 4:6; 2 Timothy 2:15, 24). On top of this—even though this is not necessarily required but is obviously one of the reasons why his "ministry" is so grossly unbiblical—he has never attended seminary or received any formal pastoral education or training.

Not only does Joel dishonor God's word both by serving illegitimately as a pastor and by teaching heresy, his wife—Victoria Osteen—also defies Scripture by serving alongside her husband as a "pastor" as well. However, God has expressly forbidden women from holding positions of authority and leadership in the church (1 Timothy 2:12-13). Scripture identifies two offices in the church—pastor/elder and deacon—and one must be the husband of one wife in order to serve in either position (1 Timothy 3:1-2, 5, 8, 12; Titus 1:5-6).


Related Videos

  False Teachers: God's Judgment
Pastor Paul Washer explains how false teachers like Joel Osteen are God's judgment on people with itching ears who want only what these men have to offer—which isn't God.
  False Teacher: Joel Osteen
Joel Osteen is interviewed by Larry King and denies the gospel and exclusivity of Jesus Christ. Beware—this man is a false teacher of heresy that sends people to Hell.
  Steve Lawson Rebukes Joel Osteen
Pastor Steve Lawson criticizes Joel's performance on his interview with Larry King, and openly rebukes him before the congregation.
  Pastor Tim Rebukes Joel Osteen
Pastor Tim Conway rebukes Joel Osteen and his wife's damnable prosperity gospel. The Osteens blaspheme God by saying He sent His Son so that we could have "an abundant life."
  John MacArthur Rebukes Joel Osteen
Pastor John MacArthur exposes Joel Osteen as a pagan religionist, quasi-pantheist, and agent of Satan. He critiques Joel's quotes and compares them with the Bible.
  Paul Washer Rebukes Joel Osteen
Pastor Paul Washer explains how the true gospel of Jesus Christ has been replaced by a cheap alternative that has no power; such as is advocated by false teachers like Joel Osteen.

Unless otherwise noted, any Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible.

Comments (6)

Leave a Comment
I watched Joel Osteen many times, and as i read this i am just befuddled on how wrong this man is. It seems he is "preaching" what he wants the earthly people to hear, but refuses to look at the eternal soul MUST hear and do in order to live in eternal salvation. Glad more and more people are exposing this false prophet, and i hope and pray that those 50000 people and 20 million worldwide see the light of Jesus Christ and the actual TRUTH of the bible! God bless
4:05 PM 06/06/11
Jack Israel
From day one I saw Joel Osteen, I did not accept him as a true believer rather than a preacher. He is the oily lips and the fake smile of how easy he can be a deceiver and nice words with itching hands to ears, for simple minded audience lacking the knowledge, and slipping to destruction.
4:54 PM 05/05/11
Thank you for the article and for warning against false teachers. This is a much needed ministry in the body of Christ. It is also needed in the world because people who don't know the God of the Bible think that these wolves are what Christianity is all about.
9:02 PM 04/17/11
What a great point you have made- Thank You! The people in his congregation, are obviously not deeply hungering for the True God; else they would not be satisfied with the pablum he dishes out, & therefore, would not keep coming back. It's the worst tragedy, if they believe they ARE Born Again, because of Joel's constant reassurance that they are God's Beloved Children. Beyond Tragic.
3:16 PM 04/05/11
don k
All the people that get Saved from the preached word of the bible that Joel speaks , do thay go to haven?

He has never attended seminary or received any formal pastoral education or training. Are you sure you need this to be a preacher. Is this in the bible? God bless, have a good day.
3:02 PM 03/04/11
I cannot speak on behalf of every single one of the millions of individuals who are exposed to Joel Osteen's ministry. What I can say is this: Joel Osteen is a false teacher who advocates heresy and preaches a false gospel, and that many people have flocked to this man because he offers them what they want—worldly things and not God. Those who listen to and believe Osteen's teachings and desire this world and the things it offers, are not saved, no; because the Scripture says "whoever loves the world or the things in this world does not have the love of the Father in him" (1John 2:15-17). Jesus also warned, "What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?" (Matt. 16:26).

However, there may be some who listen to Joel Osteen but who just aren't that knowledgeable about these things yet, but they love God, are repentant and broken over their sins, who trust in Christ alone for salvation, and who want nothing more than to be like Him and with Him. But I would say that the Holy Spirit would sooner or later bring them into the knowledge of these things, resulting in them becoming aware and convicted against Joel Osteen and his ministry.

Joel Osteen has not attended seminary. I clarified already that this is not necessarily required by Scripture. But this doesn't mean receiving an education should be shunned or viewed as trivial. Would you let a guy off the street who had a passion for teeth do dental work on you? Or would you go to a licensed professional who has received the training and experience? How much more is your soul worth than your teeth?
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