Philip Wagner: Surprised Many See Joel Osteen as ‘Controversial’
Last year Joel Osteen was conducting an evangelistic crusade at Dodger Stadium. Since the Dodgers are in our home city, Los Angeles – I wanted to support the effort. I mentioned to our congregation about the upcoming crusade and helping out so we could be a part of reaching thousands of people who would make decisions to follow Christ.
A few days later someone said to me, “We’re supporting Joel Osteen? He is pretty controversial you know.”
I was surprised.
I thought to myself, “Joel Osteen, controversial? How could that be? He preaches the most clear and simple gospel message a person could hear.”
I had not been keeping up with what people and other leaders were saying on the Internet.
One local pastor said to me later, “I hear you are supporting the Joel Osteen Crusade.”
I said, “Yes I am. He reaches thousands of people for Jesus Christ, he’s in our city, I want to be a part of it.”
The pastor responded, “I’m not going to, I can’t go for all that ‘positive gospel stuff’.”
I don’t know what that means!??!
Are we supposed to be preaching the ‘negative gospel?’
What is the positive gospel?
1. Our sins are forgiven?
2. God loves us – just like we are?
3. God has something special for each of us to do?
Just sounds like the ‘regular-amazing-outstanding-full of mercy- gospel’ to me!
You know… ‘Amazing Grace’ and all that.
So in the last year I’ve discovered there are many outspoken Christians and leaders who don’t like Joel Osteen.
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion – even if it is ill informed.
The disappointing thing to me is that Christian leaders speak out publically against Joel and thereby encouraging other Christians not to respect him or to doubt his authenticity. They feel the liberty to publically attack those whom they don’t really understand or know. It’s embarrassing.
As a Christian, I’m discouraged by the behavior of leaders who criticize, attack or diminish the significance of other Christian ministers.
This behavior and attitude is why many people do not want to be a part of Christianity or go to church because they feel that when they go to church they will be criticized the way our leaders do to each other.
- Harry and Meghan chose Bible verse for sermon: Bishop
- #MeToo takes down Southern Baptist president
- In Britain, thousands of children referred to transsexual clinic
- ‘Jesus Culture’ Worship Leader Sings the Blues Away
- Euthanasia goes against core belief that death and dying is natural’: Palliative care experts
How to Discover Your Destiny
We all want to know our destiny don’t we? We all want to know what we were put on this earth for; what God made us to do; what God has in store for...
Parenting in the Digital Age: The Twelve Essential Tips
Who is iGen? Kids between the ages of 6 and 23 fall into a generation now getting labeled Post-Millennial or Gen Z or iGen. I want to introduce you...
Billy Graham’s Will Released to Public
The will of one of the great evangelists of our time, Rev. Billy Graham, has been released to the public. In the 16-page document, Rev. Graham uses...
The Three Accidents That Did Not Happen at Your Church
If you are the pastor I met in Richmond, Virginia recently, thank you. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for your...
It took 1000 coffees, but you've ﬁnished your book...
So where to now?
That's where we come in.
We have a team of publishing professionals ready to help you bring your book from your laptop to the world.
We offer cover design, typeset, eBook conversion, and competitive print prices. Oh and you'll also be on Amazon and thousands of websites worldwide.
Let us help you take the next step.LEARN MORE