Joel Osteen's Theology

Hey everyone. I was just wondering if anyone could give me a synopsis of Joel Osteen’s theology. What teachings of his are false according to the teachings of the Catholic Church? What teachings of his are right according to the teachings of the Catholic Church?

Also, I am not sure and I could be wrong but doesn’t he teach the “prosperity gospel” and/or the “health and wealth gospel” and/or the “name it and claim it gospel”?

I had a brief conversation with a friend about this man.
He said, “What part of ‘give up your possessions and come follow me’ does he not understand?”
And I replied, “Give up”

yep, although the word gospel really isn’t pertinent to his teachings at all. the man is a charlatan.

Well, I don’t follow him, and I don’t watch Oprah (so it must have been a link from a news source I visit), but I remember an Oprah interview with Osteen, during which he stood strong on traditional marriage on her show. And he managed to do it very politely.

What little I have seen of him, I like him. Now, if there is anything he has said that is not in accordance with Church teachings, I’m not aware of it (not saying he hasn’t; just that I don’t know about it). If he has, count me on the Church’s side.

Before becoming Catholic, i was into that stuff known as Word of Faith. It isn’t Catholic or even historic Protestantism. Joel Osteen is just the latest version of it. yes, he is appealing. He comes across as a smiley nice guy. He basically inherted the Church his late father John Osteen started. John was one of the big name WoF in the 80’s when i was involved in this stuff. Joel’s appeal is likewise due to his very non-deep feel good theology. It is more akin to cotton candy, lots of fluff but no real depth or basis. There is much more to the Christian walk than God wants you to feel happy happy happy all the time. It’s a false gospel and it really isn’t based on the Bible (no matter how many verses they string to together to try a prove it) or even in reality of life. This kind of God want you health and wealthy and happy happy happy 24/7 is a set up for faith failure later on. I will stick to building my house on the rock and building on a rock instead of cotton candy fluff will result in a house that will stand the storms of life.

Yes, he on the surface is an appealing guy. Some of the biggest critics of WoF stuff comes from other Protestants. There are a number of good books out (Protestant) that deal with these heresies. Google links likewise will bring up different web sites. the granddaddy of this movement is Kenneth Hagin who took his ideas from a 19th turn of the century Kenyon. Kenyon basically took his ideas from Christian Science. Understanding that this is from middle America in the mid 1940s and not at all found in Catholic, Orthodox or historic Protestantism should give pause to anyone.

Joel Osteen tells the people what they want to hear. What is worse the mouth that spoke or the ears that hear? He seems to be the next step in AoG theology, the next step past Jimmy Swaggart. The progress seems to be tele-evangelist Billy Graham, tele-evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, tele-evangelist Joel Osteen. There will be another after that and there will be another after that. And each generation will mourn the loss of the gospel they had, as they give way to the next generation “Christian”.

Take a look around Joel Osteen’s “church” (really a theater): not a cross to be seen. That’s because his style of Christianity has nothing to do with Christ, or the Bible. He has actually said that he takes Scripture passages and molds them into his own teachings. You will never hear a negative concept–sin, correction, hell–in his feel-good speeches. Elmer Gantry had more religion in him than Osteen does. And the Oprah interview? Camel through the eye of the needle. Do you know the guy has a net worth of $40 million? Don’t get that preaching hell and damnation! I never found Osteen appealing or charismatic in any way; in fact, I find him to be what they used to call “oily”. Reminds me of Dickens’ character Uriah Heap: “But oh, what a clammy hand his was! as ghostly to the touch as to the sight! I rubbed mine afterwards, to warm it, and to rub his off.” :bigyikes:

I’ve attended a megachurch that has no crosses. They are a very “seeker” friendly church and think the crosses might be offensive to some seekers. The preaching, however is Bible based, and does exhort people to turn from sin. I am not saying I agree with this philosophy, nor with the philosophy that simply growing a church in size is tantamount to spiritual success.

It isn’t theology. It is 1970s pop psychology self-help wrapped in a big smile with the occasional sprinkling of the name “Jesus”.

His father was a real Baptist minister, one with a seminary education, and a pioneer-- he had the first racially integrated church in Houston in the 1950s, Lakewood Church.

Joel has no seminary or theology training. He majored in radio and television communications (big surprise) but did not graduate from college.

His role in Lakewood started when his father’s very popular church began producing a televised service in the early 1980s (there are several Houston area churches with their own tv show including Second Baptist, which I would say was a main “competitor” with Lakewood).

Joel was in charge of tv production. His father died of a heart attack and he took over the church.

I am from the Houston area, so I have been familiar with Lakewood long before it was an international phenomenon.

There is no way I would include Billy Graham in that progression. He never preached anything like a “prosperity gospel” and did not have the “showmanship” of Jimmy Swaggart.
He also was not associated with the AoG at all. If I disagree with Dr. Graham it would be the same disagreement I have with traditional Protestantism–which is what he preached. He was and is absolutely Christ-centered, and never played down sin. He also did not amass the great amount of wealth Olsteen and Swaggart are said to have–the money was put back to the ministry.

I am Catholic, but I will give Dr. Graham the credit due him and I respect him greatly. He preached Christ and salvation, not money and prosperity. He is a great and true Christian.

Billy Graham is not even Pentecostal, and Jimmy Swaggart was disfellowshipped from the AG.

As others have pointed out, Joel Osteen has no connection to the AG. His father was a Southern Baptist pastor who became a non-denominational charismatic, prosperity theology preacher. Joel Osteen and Lakewood don’t belong to any denomination.

Since you are from New Zealand, you may be used to thinking of the Assemblies of God in terms of Hillsong and Brian Houston. In the USA, however, there is a lot more hostility toward Osteen’s theology within the AG.

agree with your point.

Me too.

I know several people who don’t believe in God that like Joel Osteen. They would run from other preachers.

What he teaches is more of a positive thinking philosophy then anything having to do with Jesus or even God.

Martyrs Read Joel Osteen Tweets:

youtube.com/watch?v=KA_wWmVlypg

:smiley:

I believe that Joel does believe in Christ and is a true Christian. But like all others he has faults and weaknesses. It’s just that his is a glaring richness. It stands out like a sore thumb. Money is the ultimate corruptor. Apart from that, Im sure he’s a good guy.

the issue isn’t that he is a nice guy or a sincere Christian, the issue and question his is theology which is questionable and does not line up with Catholic teaching on suffering as well as a number of other things. Presenting a picture that the Christians walk is one big happy dance and everyday is Friday is setting people up for failure of faith when the storms of life come. Jesus said take up your cross and follow Him. Having a message that cuts that out send people down the wrong road. There is a saying “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. He has good intention but the road he is sending people to is a false lead.

His theology is very narrow and only encompasses parts of the scripture. I sometimes watch his TV program (and some of the myriad of other TV preachers) for whatever reason, and don’t think most of them are bad people either. But they are not preaching the entirety of God’s word. I and am so thankful I was led to the Catholic church (just passed my 1-month anniversary!) and don’t have to wrestle with reconciling all the different teachings going on out there.:thankyou:

I think you missed my point in a very very major way. Billy Graham (influenced) then Jimmy Swaggart (influenced) then Joel Osteen (influenced). It has nothing to do with denomination or non-denomination as you seem to want to boundarize, but it is the generation receiving a gospel, which then their children receive a different gospel, and their grandchildren receive a different gospel again. The next one after Joel Osteen will be what? Don’t know but it will certainly be different again and probably well suited to the ears that want to hear what they want to hear.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.