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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. Dot8

    Joel Osteen is just another preacher that takes advantage of tax laws and the bible to make millions.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm |
    • Russell Hammond, Hollywood

      Agreed. He's a salesman who's figured out he can make more money selling god than vacuum cleaners.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:19 am |
  2. NJBob

    If god exists, why doesn't he just show his face? Then EVERYONE would be a believer! Maybe he's too ashamed at having bungled creation? It's such puerile nonsense!

    October 7, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      NJBob....I assure you that your wish will be granted.....You will see His face.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Anon

      Yea, never. Since non-existence is for all of us, even the religious folks.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • Russell Hammond, Hollywood

      "Christians" (I always put "Christian" in quotes) are all about the get back and condemnation. "Yeah, you'll see god's face soon enough then will be damned to hell." How uplifting is that? From my experience, "Christianity" is the only religion where its followers take great pleasure in assuring non "Christians" are forever damned.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:11 am |
  3. Shawn

    I watch Joel Osteen every Sunday morning, before I go to my local church here on the South Plains of Texas. I always feel so uplifted after his program is over, and I'm ready to hear my local preacher teach me more. I have read most of the books Joel has written, and learned something new about myself each time. The criticisim that so many of these other "seminary trained" ministers offers only confirms to me that religion is a business, and not about helping or uplifting people. It's so sad to me! Judgement is the only thing that so many "Christians" seem to truly understand. The ONLY thing I know to do is PRAY for us all......you know....since we're all so PERFECT!!!

    October 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  4. Russell Hammond, Hollywood

    He's a fake and a phoney and people buy it. I'm in the wrong business.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
  5. Reality

    Dear Con Artist Osteen,

    For your final sermon before they run you out of town:

    The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly and based on the studies of historians and theologians during the past 200 years)

    Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
    and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
    human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven??

    I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
    preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
    named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
    girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

    Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
    the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

    He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
    a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
    Jerusalem.

    Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
    many semi-fiction writers. A descent into Hell, a bodily resurrection
    and ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
    Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
    grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
    and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
    called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

    Amen

    October 7, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Anon

      It's more likely that Jesus is a compilation of various solar deities. And NO, this is not just made up from Zeitgeist.
      This comparative religion info predates Zeitgeist by many years. Check out Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Anon, do you have proof of this?

      October 8, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Reality

      From Professors Crossan and Watts' book, Who is Jesus.

      "That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states, is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

      “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very hard to imagine that Jesus' followers would have invented such a story unless it indeed happened.

      “While the brute fact that of Jesus' death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. "

      “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

      I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those "last week" details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered."

      See also Professor Crossan's reviews of the existence of Jesus in his other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

      Part of Crossan's The Historical Jesus has been published online at books.google.com/books.

      There is also a search engine for this book on the left hand side of the opening page. e.g. Search Josephus

      See also Wikipedia's review on the historical Jesus to include the Tacitus' reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

      From ask.com,

      "One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals, exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not blunt) writing style.

      Then there are these scriptural references:

      Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20; 6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John 19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b) 1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b; (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

      October 8, 2011 at 7:52 am |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Still waiting on proof and not guesswork Reality.

      October 11, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  6. TJAdamsJefferson

    He has the largest church in Texas, that is apparently diverse. Well, from what I've seen of his circus, everyone in that church looks like they have money to spend and more. He didn't go to seminary so he doens't really understand what is in the Bible apparently. People like him make me cringe. I'm a Southern Baptist, have attend small churches that preach. I'm not talking about the sin and go to Hell, fire and brimstone, sweat flying off the pastors forehead, yelling amen. I mean the small town preacher who tells the story, and puts it in to modern terms and situations. Yes, I would like to have money, but that's not going to come from me living a good life. It's going to come from me working hard for my keep, doing it for God and Jesus. Mr. Olsteen lives a good life because of those who give him money. How can he afford that huge church that cost millions? How can he have that private plane and huge house? Makes me wonder how someone who says he is teaching the Bible, which mentions nothing about getting rich by doing good, gets that much. Wealth comes from hard work, not because God says "He is a good man, who worships me. I'll make him filthy rich." I am a Christian, and a good man, yet I'm poor. I work hard for my money (military) and have worked for all I have. Am I happy? Yes, I am. I have my health, and have a wonderful family.
    As far as King Solomon being rich, God gave that to him because he didn't ask to be rich. Solomon wanted anything but wealth but God gave that too him because he didn't ask for it. Jesus said that the meek shall inherit the earth, not the wealthy. If Joel wants to promote wealth, then why isn't he going out and doing good works, like missions and helping the homeless, working in a soup kitchen.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm |
    • Patricksday

      Amen Reverent. How about a wing to a hospital in his honor and the service to the community it would provide. Or building affordable housing for Seniors, oh how this man could Shine with Honor and real Grace.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
    • Donny Hall

      JO is a JO..KE. He stands for nothing, has no back bone, no real values at all. I saw him on Piers Morgan the other night and he was a complete wimp. He wouldn't commit to anything, wouldn't take a stand, and obviously is just in it for the money. His wife is the same...she looked at him before answering every question....the good, co-dependant, submissive wife that she is. He was so scared to voice an opinion for fear that he might offend some "poor" fool that sends him money every week...disgusting.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Donn

      Actually he's done all of what you asked of him. He did not ask to be rich, he got the church from church funds to return to his listeners, since you are a Christian as you said, then you should believe in Blessings. GOD gave him those Blessings, GOD allowed for him to succeed and be able to reach out to so many. He has helped so many people. Most of you think that volunteering needs to be recognized, or splashed all over the tv or radio. Donations and volunteering is actually supposed to be done in anonymously, without fanfare, without spotlighting. I don't need to know how much you have given, what you have done. That is between you and God. You are responsible for our relationship with GOD by whats in your heart, not by showing off.
      Joel Osteen has done so much without showing off. It's not he's fault GOD has blessed him with abundance of resources in which he helps others. Again the church does not teach handouts as a form of teachings.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
  7. NJBob

    The weaker you are, the more you need religion. And Osteen appeals to the weakest.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Brett

      Religion doesn't save you. Only Jesus saves, not religion. God doesn't want us to be religious but be in a relationship with Him so that life has meaning, abundance and hope.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Brett,

      "God doesn't want us to be religious but be in a relationship with Him...."

      This is late 20th century pop-religio-psychology.

      Do you know what a 'relationship' is? It consists of more than one person talking to himself. So, you talk to "God", right? Does he answer? What does he say?... anything that you don't already know or that you couldn't dream up using your imagination?

      You are talking to yourself... and answering.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      and fornicating

      October 7, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
    • NJBob

      @Real Deal - Ha ha! Exactly!

      October 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  8. SAVED BY GRACE THRU FAITH

    Religion didn't die for the sins of the world, JESUS did. That is the only thing God will ask you ! What did you do with MY SON. GRACE THAT GOD EXTENDS TO ALL MAN-KIND , AND BY FAITH WE RESPOND TO ACCEPT WHAT GRACE HAS GIVEN US. CHECK OUT ALL THAT GRACE HAS DONE . GRACE AND FAITH WORK TOGETHER, GRACE BY GOD, FAITH BY US.( GOD EVEN GAVE US THE FAITH) .

    October 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  9. Patricksday

    Corporate Churches, I liked Joel until he said he didnt oppose the Death Penalty, then I knew he wasnt a True follower of Jesus Christ. Texas "Christians" are Prideful, Selfish, Hateful, GREEDY and believe in building their Kingdoms here on Earth, there Bible doesnt have the Chapter of Matthew- what you do to the least you have done to God, the last shall be first.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • TJAdamsJefferson

      Patrick – I am a Texan and a Christian and I take offense to you saying that we are prideful and everything else. Don't clump all of us in the same group with this man. I don't like him, or what he believes in, or what he preaches.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Brett

      God doesn't oppose the death penalty either.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
    • Patricksday

      It is what it is and if you were a Christian you would work on your PRIDE and need to get your feathers ruffled up. Jesus knows who and what you truly are, and my opinion should not matter.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
    • Braise the Lard!

      I liked Joel until he said he didnt oppose the Death Penalty.

      He's the pastor of a mega church in TEXAS. Opposing the death penalty would be a death sentence to the career of a pastor in Texas. Most of the folks in Texas are Christian and are out for blood.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:10 am |
  10. Chris Collino

    " but nature in a way does this for us in sedimentary layers" – Brown Note. Be careful with that one. Even some of most ardent scientists that support evolution are not ready to say that sedimentary layers and the evidence in them are conclusive when it comes to evolution. You have plenty of other good evidence for evolution or neo-Darwinism but that is not one of them.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  11. Donn

    One thing that non believers will never get is that they will never understand something they don't believe in. They have no belief except science itself. What they don't' understand is science is just and explanation of how things work, but GOD is how things began. Science has never proven 100% all of it's facts, and facts even show that in history and present that science keeps on changing it's findings. What science will never be able to explain is the order of matter of all things we know of. Any hope is good hope no matter if it's a promise to the heavens or a dusty grave. In the end, I'd rather be the one that believed in the unbelievable than to realize I had a chance and chose hell. GOD and the Bible will always be just, it's the only book written by so many witnesses spread out through so many countries and still reflect the same witness throughout the book.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Donn,
      "I'd rather be the one that believed in the unbelievable than to realize I had a chance and chose hell."

      - Look up Pascal's Wager, quite old and quite refuted. What if you have chosen the wrong god? What if the 'real' god is Allah, or Ra or Zeus - you will be out of luck.

      ---------------------

      "GOD and the Bible will always be just, it's the only book written by so many witnesses spread out through so many countries and still reflect the same witness throughout the book."

      - Look up how the canon of the Bible was chosen. Early churchmen voted on which books from all over the place followed their party line.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Donn

      lol.. out of luck.. no. At least I have one chance out of none thats better than anything when it's eternal. Plus I don't reference my life on quotes unless it's from the Bible.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • fred

      Donn,
      What makes you think Jesus or hell are the only two results possible? Seems that too whom much is given much is expected and vice versa. In the Old Testament God blotted out the ungodly generation of Cain. Then there is specific wording that says hell is reserved for satin and his demons. This shows a range of nonexistence through hell being the worst of the worst. My thought is that God has demonstrated His love for us and He will give each of us something better than we deserve yet in keeping with His perfect Justice and righteousness. Is that possible?

      October 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Hey Donn, all you had to say is that you are afraid of dying. The rest is just filler.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:09 am |
    • Lilley

      Amen...I totally agree! You hit it RIGHT ON THE NOSE!

      October 8, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Scott

      “they will never understand something they don't believe in” The same logic is used by UFO fans and the people in aluminum foil hats

      October 8, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Donn

      I am not afraid to die, because that is something that will happen as promised by God himself. It is not death that I fear, it is the preparation for the eternal resting place. Life is short but beautiful, short but rewarding, but in the end of it all, the final resting place is most important of all. If you don't believe in a final resting place, then this Religion, ALL this has no meaning to you. For those that believe in greater things that oneself achievement, we believe there is a great place worth striving for. Like I said, I'd rather prepare for an eternal resting place of heaven, than a place in hell. (IF)the word of doubters – there is no heaven's and hell then I would have lost nothing then, and my life would be for nothing but a spec of science fact. What a waste that would be.

      October 8, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  12. Chris Collino

    I think Joel is not the fluffy pastor some of his critics paint him to be. I think he talks about the basics of faith in Christ and that for many people that are hurting, sick or in trouble this is really important. I do think because of his audience and his own training he does not get enough into character work for my taste. But there are other speakers and pastors that deal with that. I think anybody needing a refresher course or a Faith 101 course Joel is a great asset to the faith.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Patricksday

      How much money did Jesus make off preaching?? Or was he just a loser and "lazy"?

      October 7, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • Anon

      Nothing, because Jesus never existed AKA myth.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • TJAdamsJefferson

      @Patrick – Jesus didn't earn anything. He wasn't about money. "Give unto Ceaser that which is Ceasers." He preached the Kingdom of Heaven, not the Kingdom of Earth. The only wealth I want is my health and my family.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      Anon, and your proof of this is what exactly? Please provide evidence.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  13. Messiah is Lord

    Anon...the bible has not ONE contradiction...you either haven't read it or are talking out of your hat.....or maybe you are just spouting things like some here...without really understanding them....I will reiterate.....you are heading for hell.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • NJBob

      You are wrong.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      NJBob....You are the one who is wrong...and headed in the wrong direction.....eternity is a very lon time to burn....I DO NOT envy you.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • Smite Me

      @Messiah is Lord,

      You are vile. Go soak your head in holy water.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:17 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      @ smite me....is that the best you can come up with?.....are not more creative than "holy water"???....I am not catholic btw....do you even know the difference?...go back to bed...way past your bedtime.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • NJBob

      @ Messiah – I understand very well what it's all about. There's little about that narcissistic tyrant of a god you worship that I find believable, factual, appealing or even moral. If he exists, he has much to answer for.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      when the old testament was translated from hebrew to greek

      the word grave was translated to hades

      the greeks gave birth to what christians think hell is

      in the new testament

      tartarus is used

      which is a lower level

      so why is it greek mythology used in the bible

      it wasnt just translation

      it was using this mythology to generate fear

      the pit is just a grave

      but christianity wants to generate fear under the guise of love

      so they stole ideas from the greek mythological fables and incorporated them into the religion of the bible

      in reality

      hell is a completely made up place

      we know this because we know that greek mythology was nothing more than a story christians borrowed from

      and we know its just a story because we can visit mount olympus and see with our own eyes

      there are no gods up there

      October 7, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Smite Me

      @Messiah is Lord,

      You don't merit my best... I wouldn't waste my time.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      @NJBob....you are right in only one thing you said...and that is that "I worship Him".....yes, I do...I worship Him .....Love him with all my heart...he is the most loving....most just....and most merciful Yaweh Adonai and Yeshuah Mashiach his Christ....I will lay down my life for him...I know him and and hold complete allegiance to him....on that you are right...all else you are wrong and completely disillusioned.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm |
    • Patricksday

      Why do the "Christians" never speak of the Chapter of Matthew??? Your all Hypocrits and liars.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • tallulah13

      You are wrong. The bible is full of contradictions. Here is a site that posts most of them:

      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html

      October 8, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Scott

      If there are no contradictions in be bible how come one set of 10 commandments includes “don’t cook baby goats in their mothers milk” but the other set of 10 commandments doesn’t? Don’t believe me? Check out EX 32 and EX 34

      October 8, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  14. Watch It

    One who partakes of too much "Pie In The Sky", is in danger of becoming a fathead.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Expresso

      WHY are they picking on Pastor Joel Osteen. He's positive, encouraging, and spirit filled. Its crazy how we can continously watch garbage like, Jersey Shore, Houswives of Whatever State and find it paletable. God is Soverign and we Christians will never stop listening to His Word. We will pray for the critics in the name of Jesus!

      October 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  15. Messiah is Lord

    All you atheists on here...If you don't then, central scrutinzer, brown note.... I assume you are rational people.....there is no definitive evidence for evolution...no DNA evidence....all the muations that occur in the human genome are nonsense mutaions and give rise deformed and useless structures. There is a God and He watches everyone and all are loved and given the opportunity to seek him. All will also be judged.....as of now, you guys are heading straight for hell.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      no evidence you say

      lol

      ok

      so why is it that people who live in mountainous regions have developed larger lungs than those of us close to sea level

      why do people have different colored skin

      why have humans grown taller over the centuries

      how about varying eye shapes

      theres plenty of evidence all around you

      but sheep cant reason with facts

      you do realize that evolution takes many years to occur

      christians often think that there should be graves prepared and ready for us to dig up in chronological evolutionary order

      in order for evolution to be proven

      but nature in a way does this for us in sedimentary layers

      which show different periods throughout earths history

      there is tons of evidence of evolution

      creationists like to say theres no proof

      http://www.evolutionfaq.com/articles/five-proofs-evolution

      but there is

      evolution simply proves the bible wrong

      even though it proves itself wrong on many occasions we dont even need an outside source to see its trash

      October 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      oh

      and i wont be judged by your god

      one single scripture

      just one

      proves that the whole myth of christianity is a complete farce

      "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." –Matthew 16:28 (KJV)

      in short

      jesus will not be returning

      so

      about this judgment myth

      October 7, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      Like said Brown Note...you are very good at speculating the evidence for evolution. In my opinion, it takes a lot more faith to belive in evolution than in the Bible....the bible is flawless....you don't want to admit it...or rather you are blind to it.

      October 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      Super...like I said you are blind....Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." –Matthew 16:28 (KJV).....means the people standing there came to understand the kingdom of God which is WITHIN...do you not understand?....it is a kingdom which is ruled by a diffrent set of laws....with Jesus Christ as its King...Luke 17:21 says.....nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."....it is an internal structure, einstein.

      October 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Anon

      The bible has more contradictions than Swiss cheese. Lay off a little on that Jesus juice.
      http://www.evilbible.com/

      October 7, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      Anon...the bible has not ONE contradiction...you either haven't read it or are talking out of your hat.....or maybe y

      October 7, 2011 at 10:54 pm |
    • Anon

      Using mental gymnastics with cognitive dissonance to ignore reality is a b!cth, ain't it?

      October 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      oh jesus here we go with a christian saying

      this is what it means

      then you must also know since youre a bible scholar that theres a scripture about interpretation

      that states

      no scripure is a matter of personal interpretation

      so genius

      about this whole

      this is what it means crap

      the bible was written in black and white and is meant to be taken literally as intended by its authors

      as the claim goes

      the bible was written through men by god

      therefore no man can interpret its meaning other than for what it explicitly states

      i have the distinct feeling youre an atheist

      because even christians are hesitant to claim the bible is flawless

      because most of them know it isnt

      and theyre afraid to even say it because they know theyll get shot down hard

      October 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      since jesus said more than once hed return a couple thousand years ago

      theres more scripture

      "When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." –Matthew 10:23 (NIV)

      doesnt say kingdom there

      no sir

      it says son of man

      hes saying hes going to be back before they can frolic through the cities of their tiny chunk of land

      jesus speaking of the end times and all the trash that was supposed to happen

      ended his sermon with this little nugget of gold

      "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." –Matthew 24:34 (KJV)

      well

      that generation passed a few years back id say

      October 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      Brown Note...I appreciate that you are thinking..proves you are not dead..yet....I will repeat...the bible is FLAWLESS...without error.....it is not always meant to be taken literally...such as baptism of fire?....cleansing by the blood?.....purchased of God?....bride of Christ?..... you probably have no idea what I am talking about.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Anon

      If you're too Jesus-juiced in the head to spot the obvious contradictions then whats the point of reasoning with you.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      Anon.....sorry din't want to ignore you there buddy...."mental gymnastics", huh?.....may I suggest you exercise those brain cells a bit more.....and try to come up with somewhat intelligent arguments like, Brown Note here.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      considering i spent over 20 years in churches across the country

      i know exactly what im talking about

      the bible is not meant to be interpreted

      it is also full of flaws

      the creation myth for example

      there are two of them in genesis

      they contradict each other

      the ten commandments

      the first set got destroyed

      god promised to write them down again

      whats he do

      creates a completely different set of ten commandments

      it contradicts itself on human sacrifice

      as well as repentance of god

      animal sacrifices

      how about david and goliath

      there are two versions in the bible of how david killed him

      one was with a sling and the other was with a sword

      and its funny because these verses are right next to each other

      heres your flawless bible

      lol

      first he kills him with a sling: 1 Samuel 17:49-50
      "And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David."

      and then he kills the same guy again with a magical sword 1 Samuel 17:51
      "Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith."

      does gods anger last forever

      no: Jeremiah 3:12
      "Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever."
      yes: Jeremiah 17:4
      "I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever."

      will christians be persecuted

      lets see what the bible says

      no: Proverbs 16:7
      "When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him."
      yes: 2 Timothy 3:12
      "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

      i could go on for days with this one

      October 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Anon

      ^ Hey Ken Ham, go back to your "museum".

      October 7, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • jacob

      seriously, stop telling everybody "your headed to hell". Idc if it's true, Jesus was about love and didnt tell us to go condemn everybody that attacks us or doesnt believe. Your turning people off and away from Jesus. If you care about trying to help guide people in the right salvation so they can know and have a relationship with God the way we have you would be much more compassionate to them and understanding how it wasnt easy to have the scales removed from their eyes, living in a "rational" world where things must fit our logic in order to be true. so i apologize to everyone when christians on the comment things don't behave the way we were called to. At least know that this one cares about you

      October 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Anon

      I still reject Christianity and it's outdated tenets.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      Jacob....my brother...if you will allow me to call you that.....I appreciate that you are doing your part....keep loving people like me and others....my part is also loving and that is to tell people the uncomfortable.....you probably don't get called names etc...but that's your business....I have to tell people that they need to get out of the way...they may see it as unloving but it is the truth and I have more allegiance to the truth....the truth is this none of us....not even me...are getting off the path to hell without putting our trust in Jesus Christ.....don't apologize for me....I am not sorry.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • Anon

      The Christians heavenly paradise would be my hell torment.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1chMywKgkos

      October 7, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Messiah is Lord

      Brown Note, Anon, Jacob, NJBob.....I have to bid you goodnight...its been a pleasure(?), gentlemen (or ladies, whichever).

      October 8, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Anon

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1chMywKgko

      October 8, 2011 at 12:06 am |
    • tallulah13

      You are wrong. Read "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne. He details proven instances of evolution in a very easy to understand way.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:13 am |
    • Keep Reading

      @thebrownnote you do realize that what you are quoting about in Matt 10 was before he was crucified and guess what happened! Keep reading, one day The Truth will be revealed to you and surrender will be your answer.

      This is why you don't understand:

      Matthew 13:10-17

      10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

      11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

      “Though seeing, they do not see;
      though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

      14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

      “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
      you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
      15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
      they hardly hear with their ears,
      and they have closed their eyes.
      Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
      hear with their ears,
      understand with their hearts
      and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]

      16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • Braise the Lard!

      Messiah is Lord,

      Unfortunately you chose the wrong religion. In your next life you will be a fly. Hopefully you do better next time around.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:59 am |
    • shwmin

      And kind of prefer this quote from someone far more educated than you in the myth of evolution. from a NOTED Paleontologist!
      Randy L. Wysong D.V.M
      "The more one studies paleontology, the more certain
      one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone."
      The Creation-Evolution Controversy (1976), p.31

      October 8, 2011 at 7:24 am |
    • shwmin

      THE EVIL BIBLE .com....NOW THATS FUNNY.......Wow I needed that laugh.....Comedy writers in Hollywood couldnt write this any better

      October 8, 2011 at 9:18 am |
    • Anon

      Here's one that looks more professional.
      http://www.project-reason.org/scripture_project/

      October 8, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • tallulah13

      shwmin:

      For the life of me, I can't find any information on Randy Wysong's education. He's a veterinarian, but I can't even find what college he attended. I see nothing to indicate that this man has spent his life studying paleontology. Maybe he read a book once. He spends more time writing articles and creating products to sell. This man is not a noted paleontologist. As far as I can tell, he's a dilettante with an opinion.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Scott

      So what sort of “definitive evidence” do you have for your religion? Please present it and explain why it is more reliable than the volumes of evidence that supports evolution? I’m asking this as a serious question.

      October 8, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Poo = Sue

      "All will also be judged.....as of now, you guys are heading straight for hell"
      Your insecurity is showing deary. Your need to feel superior is what that is all about. You aren't. You are deluded, and psychotic. have a good day.

      October 8, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Messiah is Lard,
      There are hundreds, if not thousands of contradictions in the bible. If you don't know that, you have never studied it. On what day was Jesus tried and put to death The Day of Passover, (Mark), the morning after the Passover meal was eaten ? Or was the Day of Preparation for Passover, (John) ? Noon ?, (John), or 9 AM ? (Mark). Which account of the birth is correct, (Matthew ?), or Luke ? They all say that the birth occurred during the reign of Herod. Luke says it happened when Quirinus was Governor of Syria. They know, from a variety of sources, (including the Roman Tacitus, and Josephus), that Quirinius did not become Governor of Syria, until about 6 CE, (AD), which is TEN YEARS AFTER Herod died. Matthew spend the ENTIRE first chapter trying to establish that Jesus was in the Davidic line through Joseph, then ends the chapter saying he was NOT the father ???? Where was Jesus the day after he was baptized ? Was Jarius' daughter already dead ? What did the voice at the baptism say ? When and where did Judas die, who actually went to the tomb on Easter Sunday, etc., etc., etc. Let's see you resolve just ONE of those questions. Then come back and tell us there are NO contradictions in the bible. It is FULL of them. Why did Matthew quote the wrong prophet ? ("Then it was fulfilled what had been spoken through the prophet Jeremiah", (Matthew 27:9-10). Too bad it was actually Zechariah 11:3. When was the curtain of the temple "rent" ? While Jesus was on the cross, or after he dies ? Just one....let's see you try. 😈

      October 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Those were just the ones that came to mind. Here's a few more : http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html 😈

      October 8, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  16. Horace

    Why everybody hatin' on this man? He does no real work, just talks a bunch of goofy stuff he pulls out of his a$$, but that's just like Jesus! Jesus wouldn't have been singing the same sweet song if he worked in a coal mine or loading trailers 60 or 70 hours a week, instead of just jabbering for his meals. That'd wipe the beatific look off his scrawny face pretty f'in quick lol.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • P-Giddy

      You are aware, sir, that Jesus was a carpenter, right? And then you are probably aware that there was no electricity or power tools during his stay on earth, right? So, before he was preaching, he was a hard working man who provided a worthy service. When is the last time you drilled a hole in a 4×4 by hand? How about sawing a piece of wood with a hand saw? Never? I didn't think so.......

      October 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
    • Ogre

      P-Giddy,

      Yeah, a carpenter using that hugely abundant supply of lumber from the Israeli desert, huh!? If he was so good at it and was such an icon to his followers ("God", already!), you would think that they would have at least preserved a coffee table or a wooden spo.on that he made, wouldn't you? More of the legend that you buy into so easily...

      October 7, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • Horace

      I've drilled and sawed plenty of stuff by hand you sanctimonious f'in clown. Ever notice why you don't hear much about Jesus working all day, but lots about him talking all day? It's because he was a lazy fraud. Have a splendid evening, pea brain!

      October 7, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Marlye

      Watching Osteen on TV, is like watching a clown on acid.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • jacob

      actually Jesus was a carpenter and wasn't some wimpy guy the way paintings show him to be(they focus too much on his loving merciful side when they picture him and it reflects in paintings, also europeans were into the whole "beauty" thing). also the HISTORY CHANNEL or (national geo) say he probably did mostly mason work (stone) so i think (know) he knew what a 60hour work week would feel like.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
    • Anon

      The retarded channel more like it. Jesus is myth.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  17. A preacher

    God has been good to me always. My offertory plate is always over flowing with money and I am leading a very comfortable life. I don't know what the people are talking about? Unemployment? economy? debt crisis? and these are news to me. I live off the sweat of others. If you want to learn the trick please contact me http://www.onlinepreachertriaining.com. May God bless you all

    October 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  18. If U Don't, Then

    well said, lilmiss...so many churches are dealing with declining attendance and apathy...while people flock to see Joel Osteen.....that alone is proof enough

    October 7, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  19. If U Don't, Then

    wow, really Richard S? one of the reasons Joel is so popular is he speaks TO people in a way they can, and WANT TO, understand...so he doesn't come off sounding like a wanna-be high-and-mighty preacher...hard to follow what you can't understand, or what holds no interest for you

    October 7, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
  20. lilmiss

    My parents love watching Mr. Osteen. I have been an agnostic for years, but recently have been interested in religion again because of his Sunday telecast. For me to have questioned religion for years and now this man is making me think about it again is saying something. He gets people interested in religion... why argue the finer points? He sends a positive message and provides hope to people.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • THE BROWN NOTE

      what good is false hope

      thats the problem right there

      the religious are so caught up in false hope

      they cant handle reality

      so when it punches them in the face like it rightfully should

      they completely break down

      religion isnt healthy

      its like promising a child that santa will take a dump down the chimney

      but he never shows up ever

      and year after year you lie to them

      and soon theyre an adult

      and get banged real hard in prison showers because theyre weak

      and what do they do then

      they find jesus

      they go from santa to jesus

      and neither one exists

      October 7, 2011 at 10:26 pm |
    • Dana

      I've had the same experience, lilmiss. His style is still very Bible based (which is something I wasn't interested in at all), but it's neither polarizing nor patronizing. When I need some positive reinforcement, I'm just as apt to do a YouTube search for him now as I am any of the personal development crowd I've liked for years. Good on him for NOT bring the fire and brimstone back – that wasn't the message.

      October 7, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
    • K3vin

      Amen, lilmiss. I'm a heathen and I love his optimism. Watching him counters my cynical, negativity. And that's good for me. I love watching Joel Osteen on tv.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Anon

      ^ Two Christards that are too Jesus-juiced in the head.

      October 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
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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.