Joel Osteen on 60 Minutes

Last night, Joel Osteen appeared on 60 minutes talking about his new book Becoming a Better You.  You can read some of the transcript here.  The video is below

Below is Osteen on Larry King Live stumbling his way through describing what the gospel is.  Which by the way, that isn’t a good thing, a pastor should able to nail down the gospel.  You can read the transcript of the whole interview here

Personally, I think Joel Osteen is obviously reaching a lot of people and helping them find something better in their life.  But after listening to him and watching him preach, I am not sure it is any different than what you would hear on Oprah or Dr. Phil.  You can read what others thought here.

Here is a video from Mark Driscoll on this that I think is right on.

It is easy to see why people like Osteen.  He is nice to listen to, but his sermons are pretty much all sound bites.  I like to refer to him as the “smiley pastor.”  The problem, as Driscoll points out, his message is incredibly dangerous.  If we are following the footsteps of Jesus and becoming more like Jesus, the goal is not to be “a better person” the goal is to become more like Jesus. 

You can read some more reactions here & here

7 thoughts on “Joel Osteen on 60 Minutes

  1. Mark Driscoll on Joel Olsteen. Great. I am also blessed by Mark’s opening statement of Joel Olsteen, and how his message is pointed at the false teaching rather than the teacher. Well done. Why are so many pastors afraid to talk about these issues? Sometimes the congregation needs the line to be drawn for them, so that they are made aware. Thanks for the videos.

  2. I also appreciate Mark’s perspective on a lot of things. It is difficult to speak the truth even when you know it in your heart. Often when I am going to say something that will make people uncomfortable, I get afraid because I want people to like me. I don’t like to offend people, but I am learning that in the post-Christian culture we live in, that is part of the playing field as a pastor.

  3. Call him the “smiley pastor”. Call his sermons “cotton candy” preaching. Whatever you want to call him I believe that his messages are genuine and can all be supported by scriptures from the Bible. It’s not as if he says “go be homosexuals” or “go have an abortion”. His teachings are most definitely from the Bible. If people would take some time and pick up the Bible for once they’d be surprised.

    Too many times people let others dictate what they think and how they feel about important issues. “Oh well this guy from Westminster Ministries says that Joel’s messages are shallow so I’m gonna think so too!” No! Every person is responsible for their own lives.

    I believe that Joel offers encouragement, hope and the idea that we can have a better life through Jesus Christ. He does so by example of his own life.

    And another thing, those Christians giving money in his church don’t have a gun to their heads, in case anybody has noticed. Joel is clearly not putting pressure on them to give. And the book matter. Why not buy his book? We buy everything else. Is Rebecca Wells a money grubbing author for publishing her book “The Ya-Ya Sisterhood”?

    In the past people complained that preachers were too judgemental, preaching condemnation and hell from the pulpit. Now they’re complaining that Joel isn’t doing enough of it. How does anyone please this world? Joel Osteen is so nonjudgemental, so generous and positive. When is this a bad thing? He promotes good living, healthy living and he always reiterates that it’s done through Christ, through a relationship with Christ. That’s the most important message we could ever hear. The size of his audience is evidence enough that he’s more than just “cotton candy” preaching! It’s reaching people on a real level, a spiritual level and as a pastor those goals should be what you hope for.

    Thank you.

  4. Janelle,
    Thanks for the thoughts. I never said that he was not kind or genuine. He is those things. I think it is those things that endear peopel to him. The problem for me as I pointed out is when you don’t know the basics of Christian doctrine as a pastor. In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, Joel is preaching another form of the “prosperity gospel.”

    I don’t know that the apostle Paul would agree that God wants us to have “our best life now.” Which is the title of his first book. Joel seems more intent on just making sure your life is better, no pain, you can get through it kind of thing. Yet, living in the kingdom according to Jesus is going to be hard. It might be painful. Only one of Jesus’ original 12 disciples died a natural death. Were they living their best life now? By Jesus’ definition or by Joel’s? Because I think they are different.

    I never said that he isn’t helping people. But I wonder what he is helping them find and whether that will be a good thing in the end. Thanks again for your thoughts Janelle.

  5. The transcript link is from 2005. A topic that has been covered previously. Any chance youhave the 2007 LK interview transcript?

  6. I think any Pastor who does not use the word “sin” is very dangerous. How can anyone be saved unless they here that they have need of a Savior? How can they repent if they are not told they are sinners? This is not right and it just backs up the Scripture that says men want to listen to what makes them feel good.

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