Now, I’m not a big fan of Joel Osteen but I don’t think he’s necessarily an evil person. I’ve written before about his role in the compromised church. That being said, I’m bothered by how he is being criticized about his initial reaction to Hurricane Harvey.
At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. – Matthew 24:10-11
I suppose what concerns me about the criticism of this man is how it seems to fit the warning Jesus made concerning the end times as many people turning from the faith and hating each other. In listening to some of the video on YouTube and reading some of the posted articles, it seems that there is plenty of scorn going around… even coming from Christians.
There seems to be some class envy even within the ranks of Christianity. Rather than jumping to conclusions and condemning a man, Christians are instructed in a better way of dealing with sin.
If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. – Matthew 18:15-17
As I said, I’m not a fan of Joel Osteen and his “name it and claim it” easy believism. While his approach to Christianity may be different than mine, I’m willing to give him a break and agree that he is doing something good in spreading encouragement to people struggling in this down and dirty world we live in. I don’t think he’s an evil person just because he has a different approach to Christianity than mine. Whether he lives by it or not, he does acknowledge in the Lakewood Church “statement of belief“, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to this earth as Savior of the world.
Rather than spreading more hostility, perhaps the better approach for Christians would be to “restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.”
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. – Galatians 6:1
In the spirit of fairness and balance, Joel responded to his critics…