Thursday, May 7, 2009

Michael Horton on the Heresy Taught by Joel Osteen

Michael Horton presents an important, Biblically-wise critique of the ministry of Joel Osteen.

It's important for us to consider that while Osteen's ministry and teaching may be an extreme example, many megachurches (and smaller churches too) have fallen for the same fundamental errors when it comes to understanding the true nature and mission of the church.

Elsewhere, Horton describes this as 'moralistic, therapeutic deism.' This article provides an important warning that many, many pastors, "worship leaders," and churches need to take seriously.

Here is just an excerpt:

"A TIME story in 2006 observed that Osteen's success has reached even more traditional Protestant circles, citing the example of a Lutheran church that followed Your Best Life Now during Lent, of all times, 'when,' as the writer notes, 'Jesus was having his worst life then.' Even churches formally steeped in a theology of the cross succumb to theologies of glory in the environment of popular American spirituality. We are swimming in a sea of narcissistic moralism: an "easy-listening" version of salvation by self-help.

"This is what we might call the false gospel of 'God-Loves-You-Anyway.' There's no need for Christ as our mediator, since God is never quite as holy and we are never quite as morally perverse as to require nothing short of Christ's death in our place. God is our buddy. He just wants us to be happy, and the Bible gives us the roadmap....."

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