October 12, 2007 this week in America both conservative talk show host Glenn Beck and CNN’s Larry King talked to Houston Mega Church Pastor Joel Osteen. Touting his new book Osteen said it had the largest pre-sales printing his publisher has ever done at about three million copies. |
His publisher may have bet on a sure thing but in addition to Simon and Shuster’s win-win involvement with Osteen, Victoria’s Secret got a major plug from Osteen and wife. They admitted that they had advised the ladies in the church that they ought to visit the sex garb store to spruce up their appearance for their husbands.
When King asked if the church had any gays Osteen replied with a “probably” and added that the church was there to help anybody. He did not say what kind of help they offered gays, as in help toward repentance but that isn’t the kind of question King would be apt to ask.
When asked if he believed there really was a place called “hell” Osteen gave an emphatic yes. He said it was a place of separation from God. As might be expected Osteen was upbeat and positive, his signature if nothing else.
About a generation ago Osteen’s statements would have spelled the end of his ministry by the morning after his appearance on either show. As we go deeper into the apostasy of the church his statements will only draw accolades and increase book sales.
The drive toward a bigger church has been the aim of every young preacher in America since the first church was established on our soil. The phenomenon of the mega church has only come about in the last quarter century. One of the most inherent dangers of the mega church is that if the leaders go off center even a little there is so much more at stake.
The adage that “young preachers just have to say something and old preachers have finally got something to say” may not cover Osteen. In his previous appearance on the King show he got a barrage of flak from Christians around the nation for not saying that Christ was the only way to God. This time it is doubtful that he can survive the ire of the doubtful.
The Bible prophecy of an apostasy (falling away of the church) in the last days doesn’t mean the church will give up. It does mean the church will give in. In fact the scriptures paint a picture of the church marrying the world.
With the priests of tolerance and diversity clamoring for a vast leveled playing field the church seems to be accommodating its traditional protagonist with all it wants to hear. When riding the crest of popularity the church will enjoy unprecedented indulgence from the world. Unfortunately when the joy ride has finished and antichrist begins his rule during the last seven years of human history as we know it the world turns against its sycophantic lover with great anger.
According to the seventeenth chapter of the book of Revelation the church won’t simply be cast off by the world but it will be completely destroyed by it.
Conservative churches may preach that ministers like Osteen represent the falling away in American and may be right. What they often do not address is the growing number of people who are delighted to hear this new more “tolerant” message. The watered down gospel is more attractive to more people than ever before. In a combination of powerful changes in American social life and church apathy the mix is a match for millions.
Never has a single verse of scripture been so certainly elevated to take its place with the other prophetic fulfillments of the last days. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” (2Tim 4:3)
No one can judge or condemn Joel Osteen for his penchant for the syrupy feel good gospel. All we can do is decide for ourselves whether his message lines up with the message of Christ and his Apostles. If we think it does not then we have the choice to stop listening to the message and get on with the real gospel. That’s our choice.
Rev Michael Bresciani is a contributing author to dozens of Christian and conservative websites. For in depth and inspiring articles you can visit “The Website for Insight” This site is now drawing the attention of thousands who want a strong but fair comparison of today’s news as it relates to believers. Come see http://www.americanprophet.org
Related Articles -
Joel Osteen, Victoria’s Secret, mega church, Houston, religion, Christianity, Larry King, Glenn Beck, hell, diversity, tolerance, last days, Revelation, Christ,