We have all criticized this man. Verbally or in our mind at some point. We would be foolish to never have wondered what is really up with him.
I have been an outspoken opponent of his ministry. Viewing videos made by other naysayers and dissecting them for inspection. I have shuddered at some of the misspoken words that have come from his wife.
But it doesn’t matter what I think. We all know the old saying about opinions.
What really matters is what does Jesus think?
I’ve only got partial information about Osteen because I’ve never met the guy. The best intel I have is from a trusted source (my own pastor) who is amazed by Joel’s heart for the lost. If that really is the case then we should stop badgering the poor man (haha, sorry I can’t help but laugh at the irony in what I just typed).
But seriously. For sake of argument, let’s assume that our worst fears about Joel Osteen and his ministry prove to be true.
Worst case scenario, what would Jesus say about him?
Let’s look at the book of Mark. Chapter 9, verse 38-40 says this:
John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn’t following us.”
“Don’t stop him,” said Jesus, “because there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name who can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For whoever is not against us is for us.”
Notice the disciples were complaining that the people were not following them.
They had removed Jesus from the equation or He wouldn’t have had to remind them of the awesomeness that His name was being preached!
Jesus is far more concerned with us finding freedom than He is with how “right” our theology is.
He knows that in Him we find freedom so that relationship is always paramount to everything else.
A right relationship with Jesus will correct any faulty theology over time. Nevertheless, none of us can say we have it all figured out; “it” being a sovereign, Holy, incomprehensible God of the universe. (Please email me if you do because I would like to meet you, Jesus!)
Jesus says leave Joel be. Let him preach because, even if the worst suspicions are true, our Lord is being glorified and people are finding freedom and eternal life!
Is my opinion of a man’s bank account more important than your salvation? God forgive me that it has been. How arrogant I was.
God will hold every teacher accountable for how he has stewarded what was given to him in this world.
Our job is to love one another and be one. That includes the preachers we love to criticize and (let’s be honest) compare ourselves to.
Every preacher of the Word thinks he/she would be the best steward of resources like Joel has if we were blessed with them. We judge our hearts more capable of handling wealth than men God has chosen to bestow it upon.
I’m not declaring that you should start trusting every pastor that preaches the gospel. I’m simply saying we should trust God and be about our Father’s business instead of publicly calling foul every time we disagree with someone.
I’ll be doing exactly that today. Preaching through blogs and Instagram and phone calls… whatever it takes. Personally I’m glad someone like Joel is utilizing that massive platform to point to Jesus.