I hate it when I see people fight — especially if you see two team mates fight inside the play field. How weird is that!
Weird as it is, this happens too often inside evangelical Christianity.� You see Christian bloggers hitting pastors that they don’t like — online, in the open. There are even websites created specifically to play “police” on churches, often, churches that they don’t like. It’s all about them, their likes, their styles of ministry. It’s ugly. Not just weird.
Most of these bloggers are fond of Joel Osteen, the pastor of the biggest evangelical church in the US. They are fond of him — fond of killing him on the net. Now, I’m not a fan of Joel Osteen. No way! But please, I beg you to stop judging him or any other preachers for that matter, based on his 30-min sermon podcast. We’re on the same team. You don’t hit your team mate, do you?
I am copy/pasting Steven Furtick’s post on this. I’m not asking him for permission. Just call me a plagiarist. But what he said is exactly my sentiment.
Please stop pickin’ on Joel
As in, Osteen.
As in, the pastor of the largest church in America.
As in, the guy that all seminary students seem to love to hate.
Yep, I hear it all the time. Guys take one systematic theology class, a semester of Greek, and all of a sudden they’re self appointed theological traffic cops.
And their favorite preacher to burn at the stake is none other than the smiling preacher and best selling author who packs the freaking Compaq Center 2 times every freaking Sunday.
I’ll admit, he’s an overbearing endorsement of the benefits of good dental hygiene (I mean that he grins too much.”By the way, I do a great Osteen impersonation” remind me to show you sometime).
And if I were stranded on an island and could only have one podcast to listen to, it wouldn’t be Lakewood’s Sunday morning sermons. Alas, if I could only have one book, it wouldn’t be Your Best Life Now. Sorry.
But to all of you mean spirited name callers who have made a career of condemning celebrity preachers:
Who the heck do you think you are to criticize a man who is impacting a city like Pastor Joel is impacting Houston?
Or like Rick Warren is impacting the Saddleback Valley?
(Insert name of controversial preacher and city here)
Osteen preaches to 40,000 people weekly.
You couldn’tt get 40,000 people to come hear you preach if you gave away free Escalades at the door.
“Yeah, but Joel Osteen’s preaching isn’t Christ centered enough. And he didn’t make a bold stand for the exclusivity of the Gospel on Good Morning America that time. And, for crying out loud, he reads a stupid email forward at the beginning of every message before he does that “This is my Bible” thing.
Well, if you feel that way:
Criticize by creating, not by running your stupid mouth, regurgitating page 87 of Desiring God, and doing damage to the cause of Christ by casting aspersions on a fellow minister of the Gospel.
If you’re concerned about a lack of cross centered preaching, then preach the cross yourself instead of wasting valuable time opining about how someone else should do it better.
If you think Osteen’s messages are too fluffy and lacking in Biblical content, then devote yourself to teaching God’s Word with passion and depth, and get after it. ” But don’t hate on a man you’ve never met and analyze the entire content of his ministry based on a 27 minute weekly broadcast. That’s illogical, narrow, and unfair, and you know it.
Don’t hurl insults at someone with a big church simply because you can’t make your church grow, and although you’d never admit it, you’re jealous.
That’s right — most of the time the motive isn’t defense of the Gospel — it’s jealousy and presumption.
You know, I think it’s absolutely essential that Christians think critically about what is being taught in Christian pulpits. We must preserve sound doctrine. We must guard against erroneous theologies.
But we must also guard against the kind of spiritual smugness that makes the world look at us and go:
“I thought they were wearing the same jersey”