Thursday, February 03, 2005

My thoughts on Joel Osteen

The current swarm descending on Joel Osteen is not surprising. It is our human nature to attack each other, I think. The criticism headed his way is not surprising; he deserves it. He seems to have removed the gospel from his teachings and people are finally getting up their nerve to call him on it. What I find interesting in the Osteen bashing is that whenever people start to discuss doctrine (the keeping of Jesus' teachings), the accusers say that is not part of the discussion. Start here with iMonk's post. Note the drift into doctrine by several wordy commenters (I think One Salient Oversight has some great points and look forward to his upcoming blog, but then note iMonk's response to the shift to doctrine:

Oversight--- I appreciate the post and the info, but I am not looking to argue with Pelagians or Pentecostals or Arminians. I am not arguing Calvinism with non-Calvinists. I accept the Christian profession of non-Calvinists.
My issue with Osteen is the Gospel itself. Not some version of the Gospel.

He adds later:

I agree with you, but I hope you can see that my appeal to evangelical bloggers is not for the sake of defending reformed creeds vs Pentecostal creeds.
It's simply identifying Osteen as what he is: A non-evangelical with a non-Christian message. In fact, I don't want to discuss that statement of faith, because it implies Osteen is doing theology. He's not. LISTEN TO HIM. There is no Gospel and no theology. He's Oprah. He's Tony Robbins.

Now, on one hand I understand that iMonk is trying to keep the conversation focused on what he wants to discuss - Osteen- but look at what is happening: the pointing out of a false teacher leads automatically to discussion of doctrine. iMonk appears to be hindering a healthy discussion.

Doctrine: Something taught; a teaching. From the Latin word doctrna meaning doctor or teacher. The keeping of Jesus' teachings is doctrine.

Again, this is human nature. Wanting to point out the stick in someone else's eye, but not see the plank in your own eye. Hey, that sounds like something Jesus said! ;)

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