Joel Osteen Says Stop Debating People Who Aren't Christian

Lakewood Church pastor and New York Times best-selling author Joel Osteen advises Christians to be “respectful” when engaging people of other faiths.

“I think [Christians should] take the high ground and respect where [other people are] coming from. What I’ve seen in life is most people get their faith or their religious background from their parents,” said Osteen to The Christian Post, noting that oftentimes Christians try to prove their faith by debating others.

"I always realize — because I travel to a lot of different countries with different people of different faiths — I realize this is the way they were raised and I think people will know who the Disciples of Christ are by our love for one another. So I think respect and understanding is [the] starting point.


He sure is correct that “most people get their faith or their religious background from their parents…I realize this is the way they were raised”–and that included Christians, of course.
And his message about respecting other people is good, of course.

But people can show respect and still debate others. Not sure why/if he’s equating the two as if they go together.
I also wonder…why he doesn’t suggest Christians not debate other Christians? Those debates, if they get heated, can get grow just as disrespectful…maybe even more so!

The Power of I Am? His books are sounding very Wayne Dyer-esque, I see.


Discussing religion with people of different faith is alright but disrespecting them in doing so with a view to tell them that ‘my religion is superior than yours’ would usually serve no purpose as it would not achieve anything. In fact, that can very well backfire as the other person may dig his heel deeper, if anything but just to be not humiliated.

I think that was what Mr. Osteen trying to say and I think he is right. He was saying, "I think [Christians should] take the high ground and respect where [other people are] coming from. “

He also said, “* really make them want something that I have [such as] peace, joy and strength. Something that would be enticing to them.” That’s exactly more important that mere words as people would want to see how your belief makes of you.*

“Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words”

I won’t listen to a man with his own private jet that preaches wealth and not what Jesus said.

This very website makes his point. Even among Christians (and here, Catholics), much discussion is not just what my opinions are, but rather why my opinions are right, and yours are wrong…and then often, what started as a civil question or thread becomes uncharitable.

Evangelization is not debate. We are called to spread the good news of the gospel.

Once the gospel is shared, if it is not accepted, we are not called to berate those we shared it with. We are called to pray to the Holy Spirit to bestow the gifts needed to perceive and accept the good news on those we give the gospel.

If they don’t accept it, we have done what we have been called to do, and we simply shake the dust from our feet and move on to someone else to share the good news with.

:thumbsup: I couldn’t agree more!

And Joel Osteen debates who?

Of course the Church teaches that God works with people of all faiths, giving them his grace since the grace of God has been poured out on all mankind due to Christ’s redemptive life, death and resurrection. So, what we want to do is support the truth non-Christians, and indeed non-Catholics have, while gently leading them to the fullness of the truth that subsists within Christ’s Church. This indeed means respecting others’ beliefs and religious practices–a principle not always followed in early efforts at evangelization, sad to say. We are to be zealous for the truth wherever we find it not impose concepts on people not ready to hear them nor belittle the truths they already have. :yup:

Joel Osteen is really saying what any rational person believes. Debate is fine provided one does so with respect for and attention toward others’ beliefs and provided the person engaged also wishes to participate in a discussion or debate. This is common-sense civility.


He may be many things, and even unorthodox in some beliefs. I will say one thing for him, however. He does not have massive campaigns to solicit money from his viewers, using the time-worn badgering of “planting one’s seed” or else God won’t bless their “disobedience!”

St. Stephen was stoned to death by his own fellow Jews, when they questioned his faith in Jesus Christ.

St. Paul went to Athens and preached the gospel (truth) to pagans, who will later behead this Jewish Pharisee Rabbi for preaching in Jesus name.

Our religious faithful Saints and martyrs do not debate anyone, they give witness and reason for their Christian faith.

It is our biblical theologians and doctors of the Church who have debated among themselves, when ever a theological question was raised to contest our Apostolic faith.

Joel is correct for instructing non-Catholic Christians not to debate non-Christians. The non-Catholic multiple different theological teachings will only confuse non-Christians of what True Christianity reveals.

Yes, a Christian should be respectful of other religions, but with the understanding that even Satan worshipers consider their worship of evil a ‘religion’.

Some so-called religions are considered by some to be ideologies and not religion at all.

Is Joel saying we should be respectful to hatred and evil as well?

Does Joel preach the ‘prosperity gospel’?

“They will know the disciples of Christ by their love for one another.” Yes!

St. Francis never said this… and the apostles didn’t preach it. :nope:

It has it’s place but the gospel message is to preach the Good News to the world.

Part of preaching is practicing our faith. St. James was quite adament about that. :slight_smile:

That’s right it’s both/and. But too often we hear that we only need to live our Faith.

“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:16

Just this last Sunday our associate pastor preached on the topic. I think a lot of people were challenged when he told us that we are to be priests to the world and preach Christ in both word and action. Many think they should never say anything lest they offend, but cultivating the charism of being a good witness through words needs to be a part of lives as lay people. Not to grab people off the street and impose ourselves on them, but to be “ready to give an account for the joy that lies within,” by speaking up when appropriate and helping people in their needs, both temporal and eternal. :yup:



Also say you are about to have a meal and it happens that even Muslims are in your midst, don’t be afraid to say Grace ( you can say it silently) and the Sign of the Cross. Always giving thanks.


Meaning protestants. And that is of your opinion which is why debates are here on a daily basis. Your own church does not agree on everything. Mine neither.

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