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Joel Osteen takes on his critics
Is Joel Osteen underestimated? One religious scholar says yes.
October 7th, 2011
12:26 PM ET

Joel Osteen takes on his critics

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - He peddles “gospel lite," a watered-down Christianity that mixes prosperity with piety.

That's how critics have described Joel Osteen's message. The televangelist may be the pastor of the largest church in America, but he still doesn't get respect in many parts of the religious community.

Osteen, a college dropout who never attended seminary, has built a huge international audience with inspirational messages that blend positive thinking and personal transformation. But is he preaching "gospel lite" messages devoid of any mention of sin and hard choices?

Osteen rejects that charge with the same honey-toned voice and unflappability he displays in the pulpit at Lakewood Church in Houston. There's no hint of defensiveness.

“I deal every day with life issues and sin in our church every week,” he says. “I deal with people who have cancer, talk to people about how to forgive when they’ve been hurt. I don’t think that’s light. That’s everyday issues.”

Osteen is promoting his latest book, “Every Day a Friday,” in which he shows readers “how to be happier seven days a week.” The book dispenses much of the same pulpit advice Osteen has given to the tens of thousands of members of his Texas church.

Much of that advice centers on attitude. Some samples: Playfulness is as important as sleep. After you climb, reach back. Give up your comfort to comfort others.

It’s not the traditional “turn or burn” pulpit message, and Osteen is OK with that.

“I don’t beat people down,” he says. “I don’t have a lot of condemnation in my message. I don’t believe that we’re supposed to be depressed and broke and poor and suffering. God wants us to be happy and to be a blessing to people.”

Osteen’s phrase “God doesn’t want us to be broke” sets off theological alarm bells for some critics who say that's code for preaching the prosperity message. Critics of that message – that God promises wealth to the faithful – say it transforms Jesus from a prophet to a financial adviser.

Go online, and there are plenty of pastors and scholars who go into detail about Osteen’s message. One of them is the Rev. Gary Gilley, senior pastor of Southern View Chapel in Springfield, Illinois.

Gilley says Osteen preaches a “gospel lite” message that avoids anything controversial such as judgment or sin.

He says Osteen also preaches that wealth is a sign of God’s pleasure. There are plenty of heroes in the Bible, such as the Old Testament prophets Jeremiah and Habakkuk, who were poor, Gilley says.

“Someone might counter that David and Solomon were wealthy, but this was not the case for Jeremiah and Habakkuk, both godly men who lost everything,” Gilley says. “So where does Osteen come up with the idea that 'God wants to increase us financially'? Of course, millions of examples throughout the world and throughout history could be given of godly people living in poverty.”

Osteen doesn't deny preaching about prosperity, but he defines it in broader terms than do his critics.

“When they say prosperity, that’s some guy on TV asking for money,” he says. “Our ministry is not about that. We’re about helping people. When I hear prosperity, it means to have good relationships, to be a blessing to people, to have peace in your mind.”

Shayne Lee, a sociologist at the University of Houston, says Osteen has been misunderstood. Lee has been a blunt critic of televangelists. In his book “Holy Mavericks,” he examines how Osteen and other televangelists use branding to sell themselves to a mass audience. Lee spent a year studying Osteen's church.

He came away impressed.

“He’s underestimated,” Lee says of Osteen. “He’s got tremendous skills that people will never give him credit for.”

Osteen’s skills quickly became apparent when he took over from his father, John Osteen, Lakewood's founder and longtime pastor. Joel Osteen had run the media department for his father, Lee says.

Osteen had to give his first sermon a week after watching his father die, Lee said.

“Few thought that he was up to the task, and some thought the church would fall apart,” Lee wrote in “Holy Mavericks.”

Lakewood now has 45,000 members, Osteen preaches to sold-out arenas across the country, and his television ministry draws millions of weekly viewers.

Lee cites three factors for Osteen’s success:

Marketing: He says Osteen’s previous work behind the camera taught him how to brand a ministry and create a visually appealing and quickly moving worship service.

Timing: When Osteen hit the pulpit in 1999, people had already grown tired of the smooth-talking televangelists who were often caught up in scandal. Osteen was the boyish-looking pastor who exuded sincerity and never pretended he had all the answers, Lee says.

Preaching: Osteen may not have the grasp of theology and church history that some pastors have, but he knows how to connect with ordinary Americans through a therapeutic message that draws heavily from pop culture, Lee says.

“His lack of seminary training is part of his appeal,” Lee says. “He’s not saying big words he learned from seminary. He’s speaking in a language that contemporary Americans understand.”

Lee says Osteen’s church is also underestimated. He says that Lakewood arguably has the most diverse congregation in the nation in terms of race, income and age, and that it does a lot for the poor.

Critics who complain that Osteen waters down the gospel are suspicious because of his “lack of rigid dogmatism,” Lee says.

Yet Lee says Osteen’s preaching honors the example of Jesus, who told stories more than he issued dogma. He says many of Osteen’s sermons are built on insights extracted from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.

“Jesus used parables to speak in a compelling way that his contemporaries could understand,” Lee said. “Osteen is speaking the language of the people in the same way that Jesus did.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Celebrity • Christianity • Church • Faith • Pastors

soundoff (1,331 Responses)
  1. Jarod47

    A social worker with above average talking and listening skills. Uses a lousy textbook though ...

    October 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      That must be why he improvises so much. The fundies must hate this guy.... 🙂

      October 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  2. Dave

    Oh man, alot of responses from people who've never done anything others might think questionable! Give Joel a break and look at yourselves and your lives before you start judging others! We'll ALL be judged in the end. Joel has reached out to millions to try and show them the there is an option to living a neutral life. Being positive is a GOOD thing! There are choices in this life, and he's obviously made some good ones – might be a smart thing to hear what he has to say.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Unbelievable

      Are you off your rocker Dave? I doubt if Osteen ever read the Bible cover to cover in his life, never mind be able to preach God's truth. Osteen is preaching the devil's feel good message, not Jesus' truth. Jesus wants us to grow in strength with him, not listen to Mr. Feel Good Osteen who denies Jesus Christ.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Dale

      No we won't be judged because an afterlife does not exist, you dolt. Keep believing in one though because you are afraid to die.

      October 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • junior

      Never hear him helping people with his $72M either.

      October 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • CHUCK

      Dale, I haven't seen any Christians (actually facing death) who have been filled with fear; I have seen many a non-Christian in such a state, however. I am in the medical profession, so I've seen a few people die in my time. You are the dolt, but I do not ridicule you for being one.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  3. junkerjorg

    Osteen may be using the Bible but not in a way that honors the Bible. Shallow exposition may be entertaining but it is certainly not helpful.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  4. candy23

    I watch him on sunday if you disagree with him dont watch him.You dont have to go to a seminar to preach and teach the gospel of the bible

    October 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  5. Tim

    As far as money, this guy makes $1 a year as pastor. He makes his income NOT from the church, but through the sales of the books he writes. I think that is a great example.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Hmm... who would even know about him or his book if he didn't have a weekly half-hour long commercial. That must really cut down on marketing costs.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Unbelievable

      Osteen needs to repent for his evil ways because Colossians 2:8 Paul warned,

      Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

      Osteen is cheating everyone he comes in contact with especially the man in the mirror.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  6. Jim

    I look at preachers like him, and somehow I can't picture Jesus grinning from ear-to-ear at the people of his time.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      I can now, thanks.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
    • Deborah

      These are Jesus s times. God Jesus and the Holy Spirit have smiles. Where do you think we get them from? People spend so much time looking at people and how they look on the outside. People have forgotten God's on the inside. If you read the
      Bible, come really read it, It sounds pretty funny. But you see I believe it from cover to cover. Do you? Joel hasn 't held a gun to anyone's head...........

      October 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Thomas Perl

      Jesus wept

      October 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Jim

      Deborah, I have read the Bible from cover to cover several times in my life, and have ministered in strorefront to the poor. It is easy to smile when your coffers are full!

      October 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Mr Mark

      Nowhere in the bible do the words "Jesus laughed" or "Jesus smiled" appear.

      Yet the bible does record Jesus beating people with a scourge, opining that unless one hates their immediate family they can't love him, and preaching that those who do not follow him will spend an eternity in a lake of fire. He also preached that Adam & Eve were real and that illnesses were caused by evil spirits as retribution for some evil a person had committed.

      How in the hell people can follow such a megalomaniac idiot is beyond me.

      October 8, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  7. Chris

    So what's the problem? He sounds like a guy who is committed to God and his Word, who wants to encourage people to lead a better life, and is an all-around good person. What; are there too many people like that in the world? If you don't believe in God or aren't interested in Osteen's message, don't listen to him. Is he taking anything from you or hurting you in any way? IMHO, he's one of the dwindling number of good guys. If he makes a great living doing this, more power to him. I'd much rather see a guy like this driving around in a Mercedes (not saying he has one) than a 20 year-old waste monkey who's pushing drugs to teenagers. May God continue to bless you, Joel.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • Dave

      Well put...

      October 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Unbelievable

      Chris, God never promised us a good time while down on earth. He did promise us that He would never deceive us or leave us. Osteen has jumped on the bandwagon of false preachers that preach a feel good message of man, not God's truth. Why do folks have to buy into the feel good message? Could it be because man has been deceiving us?

      October 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Yo!

      "could it be because man has been deceiving us?"

      Yup including those that compiled the bible from a bunch of books and called it christianity. There is no god, just a bunch of men who wanted to get rich while controlling the simpletons of the time since they couldn't ready anyways. Pretty sad that now people can but they're still delusional simpletons.

      October 7, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Kris

      Chris, what exactly is a waste monkey? Doesn't sound like a term Jesus would use to describe someone...

      October 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  8. robert

    -well, even if his message is 'lite', are these folks saying there's no room for a different point of view? I didn't know religion had to be dispensed in a particular manner in this country.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
    • LD

      I think you've got a point! check out Bruxy Cavey's book "The End of religion"! He's got some great points of view on that!

      October 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Unbelievable

      LD, did you ever think why man writes so many books, sites, about getting rid of God? Because God is truth and man is not.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Yo!

      "Because God is truth and man is not."

      There is no god it was made up by man, that is the truth. There is no proof of a god.

      October 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  9. Paul

    As my daddy always told me "if it looks like a used car saleman, and sounds like a used car salesman, it is probably a used car salesman, and stay away." Don't buy your belief system from him.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Chris

      Is he pushing his beliefs on you? If so, you should report him.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
  10. Adam

    "Within every faith one can see people arranged along a spectrum of belief. Picture concentric circles of diminishing reasonableness: At the center, one finds the truest of true believers — the Muslim jhadis, for instance, who not only support suicidal terrorism but who are the first to turn themselves into bombs; or the Dominionist Christians, who openly call for LGBTs and blasphemers to be destroyed."

    "Out further still, one meets religious moderates and liberals of diverse hues — people who remain supportive of the basic scheme that has balkanized our world into Christians, Muslims and Jews, but who are less willing to profess certainty about any article of faith. Is Jesus really the son of God? Will we all meet our grannies again in heaven? Moderates and liberals are none too sure."

    "Those on this spectrum view the people further toward the center as too rigid, dogmatic and hostile to doubt, and they generally view those outside as corrupted by sin, weak-willed or unchurched."

    "The problem is that wherever one stands on this continuum, one inadvertently shelters those who are more fanatical than oneself from criticism. Ordinary fundamentalist Christians, by maintaining that the Bible is the perfect word of God, inadvertently support the Dominionists — men and women who, by the millions, are quietly working to turn our country into a totalitarian theocracy reminiscent of John Calvin's Geneva. Christian moderates, by their lingering attachment to the unique divinity of Jesus, protect the faith of fundamentalists from public scorn. Christian liberals — who aren't sure what they believe but just love the experience of going to church occasionally — deny the moderates a proper collision with scientific rationality. And in this way centuries have come and gone without an honest word being spoken about God in our society."

    This from an LA Times Op-Ed by Sam Harris. This is why the Olsteens of the world are so popular. And it is precisely why they are so dangerous.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Aaron

      lol.. dangerous for preaching about being a better person?? What a foolish thing to say.
      I'm not evangelical, but have watched a few of his sermons, and he is a uplifting fellow. He preaches doing good for others and trying to better yourself so that you are able to help people in their time of need. When did this become a danger?! lololol

      October 7, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • BR

      Adam- Well said, thank you. May I suggest the study of Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens (especially about the Catholics) to all. These are scary times. Wake up America, change the words a little and in the future with the help of the Evangelicals we won't look much different than Iran. Keep up the fight Adam.

      October 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  11. ode

    The biggest reason I believe he bothers people is because he actually DOES what "Christians" claim they're all about. He doesn't judge. He gives back. He seemingly loves his family. I'm a very NON-churchy-don't-preach-to-me-person. But I actually like to listen to him. It doesn't matter how much people "try to crack" him in interviews, he remains police and accepting. That makes him more of a Christian than most of those who claim to be, and do nothing by spew hate all over the world, and believe it's acceptable because they attend church on Sunday. Don't really care how much money he makes...

    October 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • ode

      sorry *polite* not police

      October 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Chris

      Well said.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • STLDan

      Christians love to ignore many parts of the book they claim comes from God. I find this extremely funny but in a sad way for sure. Jesus said "It is harder for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven". How rich is this preacher? Does he just glide past that part of his bible? Pfft...hypocrites out to make a buck, and boy how the sheep do follow....

      October 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Reid

      You are exactly right.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • CJ

      I agree with your comment!!!

      October 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • GodPot

      I agree that he is no different than anyone else offering sound personal advice like treat other as you would like to be treated, don't murder, don't steal or cheat on your spouse because it will likely bring you trouble and heartache or worse. I do think it's a bit silly and a little sad that so many people seem to need someone like this to tell them the basic moral principles they already know which do not require any allegiance to a church or religion to practice.

      A fool and his money are soon parted...

      October 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Unbelievable

      Ode likes to be stroked by man. What a world!?

      October 7, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • STLDan

      I quoted a verse that you and most Christians ignore. How is that cherry picking. Go back to school. Cherry picking is taking something out of context to meet your own point of view. Well Mr I know the Bible..where does Jesus refute that teaching? Where does he go onto say "but its okay to be rich if... or its okay to be rich when..." Guess what, he doesnt. So wear your lable proudly, it reads HYPOCRITE

      October 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • john316

      @STLDan ......You did cherry pick . If you read the verse and/ or footnote of that verse it says if man puts his trust in riches. That's why did apostles didn't get it at first. Please at least read/understand/study the bible before making claims.

      October 8, 2011 at 2:17 am |
    • Rev. Rick

      @John316 – Yes, those like STLDan are good a quoting scripture and will beat you over the head with the Bible, but as you point out, he only seems to understand at a superficial level. He doesn't really understand scripture, much less understand the teachings of Jesus. Many people claim to love Jesus, but few actually understand his teachings.

      October 11, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  12. Freethinker

    Anyone from the church world who doesn't preach hate and intolerance is a good thing....whether you believe or not.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      As opposed to the freethinkers who can preach anything they want about Christians?

      October 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
  13. jaime c f

    if suckers want to make this guy rich... more power to him. he's not ripping me off nor is he impacting my life nor is he doing anything illegal... so who cares? not me.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  14. Lee

    Nice guy, however the god doesn't want us to be anything since he/it does not exist.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  15. Fiction

    Bunch of crap

    October 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  16. Jeepers

    His smile gives me the creeps.

    October 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • jon

      Toothy gives me the creeps as well . He is way too smiley all the time – smiling all the way to the bank, as with most of these evangelists.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Thomas Perl

      Nice teeth – maybe he is related to Jimmy Carter who is an actual Christian

      October 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  17. Rev. Rick

    Of the many religious-orientated TV programs and TV ministries, Osteen is the only preacher I will actually sit and listen to. He is one of the few ministers who has not confused the "person" of Jesus, with what Jesus actually said, did and taught. Centuries of religious dogma, and theological BS are coming to an end, and Osteen is one of the few ministers who actually realize it. That's the reason he is so successful. The remaining evangelical ministers and preachers can go pound sand.

    October 7, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Its easy to hear what you want

      He attracts listeners that want to hear a biblical rationalization of Walter Gecko: Greed is good. It's easy to hear what you want, what serves your human nature. Listening to the word of G-d, the lord of charity, is hard.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
    • STLDan

      Hey Rev you said..."He is one of the few ministers who has not confused the "person" of Jesus, with what Jesus actually said, did and taught. " What about the verse where Jesus taught "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven". Jesus actually said and taught that. Most Christians just like ignore this passage like you and the Mr Osteen. Only preach about the parts of the bible that suit you and basically just ignore the rest LOL HYPOCRITES to the end...

      October 7, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • GodPot

      "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven" For republicans and many Christian conservatives and Fox Gnus followers this scripture reads a bit different. It's more like "it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the richest man, or a liberal, to enter heaven" so if I ever become the richest man then I'll give some away to charity and we'll be all good...till then i'm gonna git while the gittin's good, poor people be damned cause God helps those that help themselves..." (which btw many think is in the bible but is not).

      October 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Unbelievable

      Its easy to hear what you want. Excellent post. Right on target.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • Rev. Rick

      @STLDan, you said, "...Only preach about the parts of the bible that suit you and basically just ignore the rest LOL HYPOCRITES to the end...".

      That's right on, LOL!. As an ordained minister, I know the Bible pretty well, and you just refuted your own argument by cher-ry picking your Bible scripture to support your own P-O-V. Talk about a hypocrite! LOL!!!

      October 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  18. MarkinFL

    I'm a solid atheist and I find this guy refreshing compared to almost any other televangelist. He may be peddling a fairy tale, but at least he is nice about it. Does not appear to be doing any harm, except maybe to the pocket books of other televangelists and that can't be all bad. Looks like his karma has run over over his critics dogma.

    October 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • Hasa Diga Eebowai

      Agreed, someone who has not lost sight of the american dream

      October 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Anon

      Bah, he still peddles wishy washy BS.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Adam

      Well I would agree that he is "better" than the rank of Televangelists, but I think that is only because he doesn't seem at all concerned with the content of the book he (presumably) claims to have been authored by the Creator of the Universe. Anything controversial has been omitted, and we are left with a book club discussion of The Secret.

      Harmless? Well... compared to those who ACTUALLY believe what they SAY they believe, but the real problem lies in the fact that from his position he is completely powerless to counter the arguments of those who read Deuteronomy with the quotation marks after 'And the LORD said...' This is the inherent problem of religious liberals. Religious moderation provides the shade under which fanaticism and extremism are allowed to flourish.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
    • steveinmo

      That's because when you get right down to it, Osteen's just a motivational speaker, not much different than Suze Orman (sp?). None of the televangelists sound even remotely like what the preachers at my churches sound like – mainly because Osteen and all the fake tele-preachers are only after your money. I've certainly never heard or felt a true inspired message from any of them – unless it comes from the "other" Jesus – the one named the Devil.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
    • Nonimus

      So he is just another Self Help "guru" with some Christianity thrown in. Less damaging, I suppose, than many preachers, but rarely do self help gurus help anyone but themselves.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Whatever, still prefer seeing this sort than the others. If he drains some direct support away from the haters it can't be all bad. Reality is that religion is not going away any time soon. Better to have this than the 700 Club, Focus on the Family, Moral Majority, etc. types.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Mark, we (as believers) and I as a Baptist are agreeing with you. Yet you are slandering and attacking us with your comments and accusations (at least the underlying tone in them) of us collectively as a group? Whose the real hater here? I pray for you and yours to find the Truth, true love and peace – without ever having to pay anyone anything. 🙂

      October 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Do I find groups that insist on foisting their beliefs on the rest of us to be distasteful? Yes. When someone lobbies for laws and rules that impact other people then they can expect a negative reaction from those impacted by those laws.
      I have an an extremely jaundiced view of religion. I happen to personally know of some of the good that CAN come from religious practice and belief. I also see an incredible amount of pain caused by the same. I have no patience for the latter and do not hesitate to attack it.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • fred

      Some years back I had what is called a conversion experience where everything Jesus said would happen did happen in just the way He stated. Specifically: 1) After great personal loss I opened a Bible and read Jesus words. 2) Being overwhelmed with grief and guilt I had what the Bible called a “broken and contrite heart” 3) I asked Jesus for help and forgiveness. 4) A short time later I felt a “light” of understanding and peace. 5) Since that time I daily try and follow what I gather from the New Testament. I have personally witnessed this pattern repeat itself in others. Prior to this I did not believe in God, never read the Bible but, knew of its basic contents.

      Help, I do not understand why these actual real time events are not considered proof that at a minimum these parts of the Bible are true. Jesus stated a spiritual law that we observe works exactly as stated in every case (that I know of). Can we not consider this” law” until disproven?

      October 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Personal revelation is purely anecdotal and not proof of much of anything except human nature. Religion is a common theme throughout the world and back through time. Many have found solace from an uncaring world by believing that there is something "else" bigger and better that personally cares for them. An attractive notion, certainly.

      People respond to adversity in many ways. Some get tougher, some become gentler, some look for comfort, others try to change the world.

      -Yea though I walk through the shadow of the Valley of death, I shall fear no evil. For I am the meanest son-of-b!tch in the valley...

      October 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • fred

      MarkinFL
      It is the sudden nature of the complete change that has me in awe. How do you look at christians as weak and mock the big fish that spit out a prophet then suddenly.............oh my God. Then you feast for days on what once seemed really dumb and you cannot believe the treasure you have found ? Is that not something more than a personal experience........it was more like a brain transplant.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Fred, bless you. I hope you and yours are always well and He will be in your house, always. I hope the same for Mark also, if he'll receive Him.

      October 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • fred

      steveinmo
      Thanks ! and many blessings to you and yours.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Anon

      Nothing to see here just another snake oil sales man pandering to weak minded fools.

      October 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • fred

      Anon
      Do you offer any greater hope than what Jesus gave? I recognize this preacher may have some issues but, I see nothing wrong with what Jesus had to offer. Do you?

      October 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
    • Anon

      A clown can offer better advice than mythological Jesus.

      October 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
  19. hippypoet

    i am wondering if this guy thinks he is jesus....i say we nail him to a cross and leave him there for a few days. think he'll change his mind?

    October 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • hippypoet fan

      Don't worry. I am naked and on way to his church with a large supply of SPF 50. I will get them straightened out.

      October 7, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Lycidas

      ??You wonder alot about things that no one is talking about.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • hippypoet

      i am a pholsopher. all i do is think and think about those thoughts i just had. i even wonder where i am while having said thoughts because i get so wrapped up in my thoughts. but i have never cared about the topic at hand as far as saying something of humor or interest... no worries 🙂 MAY THE ALMIGHTY SUN SHINE A LIGHT UPON YOU ALWAYS

      October 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • steveinmo

      I've often wondered that about this man myself Hippypoet. He sure is getting rich off trying to pretend that isn't he?

      Side note – has anyone ever really payed attn to the so-called prayer he repeats at the start of every meeting? "I am what it says I am, I have what it say I have"? Very clever he gets away with that and still is telling the truth. If you're evil, you're exactly what the Bible says of you. If you're heart is full of darkness, then you have exactly what the Bible says you have.

      October 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  20. whoa damn

    theres a face only a mirror can love!

    October 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Ogre

      Poor guy can't help his looks, I know, but I always think of a ferret or a possum when I look at him.

      October 7, 2011 at 12:55 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Don't worry – money is a powerful aphrodisiac, so I doubt he's hurtin for luv.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Chris

      Woah, I'm sure he's crying all the way to the bank knowing that you don't think he's a pretty boy. I'm sure you are physically prefect, however. How lucky for you.

      October 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.