Friday, July 24, 2009

Another Unfair Attack On Joel Osteen

I visited thywordistruth’s blog and he posted this video of an excerpt of a sermon by Pastor Steve Lawson (who???) with the following transcript:

CNN LARRY KING LIVE - Interview With Joel Osteen, Aired June 20, 2005 - 21:00 ET

KING: Is it hard to lead a Christian life?

OSTEEN: I don't think it's that hard. To me it's fun. We have joy and happiness. Our family -- I don't feel like that at all. I'm not trying to follow a set of rules and stuff. I'm just living my life.

KING: But you have rules, don't you?

OSTEEN: We do have rules. But the main rule to me is to honor God with your life. To life a life of integrity. Not be selfish. You know, help others. But that's really the essence of the Christian faith.

KING: That we live in deeds?

OSTEEN: I don't know. What do you mean by that?

KING: Because we've had ministers on who said, your record don't count. You either believe in Christ or you don't. If you believe in Christ, you are, you are going to heaven. And if you don't no matter what you've done in your life, you ain't.

OSTEEN: Yeah, I don't know. There's probably a balance between. I believe you have to know Christ. But I think that if you know Christ, if you're a believer in God, you're going to have some good works. I think it's a cop-out to say I'm a Christian but I don't ever do anything ...

KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?

OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...

KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?

OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God with judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.

Again, we see another pastor riding on the fame of Joel Osteen. Based on an interview of Joel Osteen on the TV show Larry King Live on CNN, Pastor Steve Lawson (who???) accused Joel Osteen of not knowing or daring to declare the gospel.

However, is that true? Larry King asked Joel a very loaded question of who goes or who doesn’t go to heaven. This question should be answered within the walls of the church, not live on CNN. Larry King pushed the question further by asking whether Jews or Muslims can go to heaven, whether they are wrong …

I don’t mind Joel looking stupid on TV by not really answering this question on CNN, rather than be really stupid by answering it directly and then cause religious conflict, not to mention bring danger to himself and his family if and when extremists decide to respond.

This type of question will never be allowed on Singapore TV because the Singapore government knows how fragile our country’s racial and religious harmony is, and how one little spark can start off a huge fire of hatred which cannot be controlled.

There is a proper time and place to declare the gospel but it is certainly not on a 1minute interview with Larry King.


Kat said...

Sounds like King meant them as trap questions...reminds me of the pharisees trying to trap Jesus with questions on whether the woman caught in adultery should be stoned, whether should heal on the Sabbath, etc. Certain traits in certain people never change, whether in ancient or modern times.

godwordistruth said...

Which other minister did Larry posed "as trap questions" in his shows which the world always does and did not deny the Gospel ?

Which Christian minister did not deny Jesus Christ before men and the one Larry King referring to who said on Larry King Live "your record don't count. You either believe in Christ or you don't. If you believe in Christ, you are, you are going to heaven. And if you don't no matter what you've done in your life, you ain't."

Answer: John Macarthur

Thank God that we still have Christians who are "worth their salt" as in the past, who fear God not men and did not deny His Gospel and willing to risk their lives to declare the Gospel faithfully and truthfully on CNN 's Larry King Live which is also broadcast globally to all countries !


Stanley Wong said...

I thank God that we have Christians who are wise enough not to stir up hatred and conflict globally, even at the expense of their own reputation.

godwordistruth said...

By your comment, you would then define Apostle Paul as not wise enough "not to stir up hatred and conflict globally, even at the expense of their own reputation".

Act 17:2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ." And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus." And the people and the city authorities were disturbed when they heard these things. Act 17:2-8

Likewise, by your comments you also viewed Lord Jesus Christ's own words as redundant on this matter of speaking and standing before men for the sake of speaking the truth of His Gospel:

"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. Mat 10:16-24


Malcolm Loh said...


Thank you for quoting Paul because he is a fantastic example of someone who exercised wisdom in that he was aware of who his audience was.

Paul "told it like it was" in the synagogues mentioning Jesus when his audience were the Jews because they were conversant with the Old Testament, which promised them the Messiah.

They had scattered abroad as the result of the exile and settled abroad in various cities such as Cyprus (Acts 13:4-5), Antioch (Acts 13:15), Iconium (Acts 14:1), Thessalonica (Acts 17:1), Berea (Acts 17:10).

It's good also that you have quoted Acts 17:2, because the preceding verse mentions that Paul was speaking to THE JEWS in THE SYNAGOGUE in Thessalonica.

Now drop down to verse 16 in same chapter of Acts 17, where Paul was in Athens and noted that the city was full of idols. While in the synagogue (Acts 17:17), His method is again via reasoning using the Scriptures. But later on when he is in the Areopagus (which is a secular open space and his audience is made up of atheists, he changes tact! Do read verses 22 through 31 and count how many times he mentions the word “Jesus”.

In chapter 18, Paul goes to Corinth and resumes the reasoning method again because the venue is a synagogue (Acts 18:4) and the audience are the Jews. Ditto in Ephesus (Acts 18:19).

Fast forward to today. Isn't Rev Joel Osteen exercising that very same wisdom because he knew that the audience for the Larry King show is predominantly a secular one? :-)

Stanley Wong said...

Great reply,Mal! Thanks for your detailed analysis :-)