Joel Osteen Preaches Through The Book Of Romans During Meet & Greet
Joel Osteen is a “topical” preacher if there ever was one. But he doesn’t mix it up much. On any given Sunday his topic is ‘life improvement.’ He can preach positivity and prosperity out of many different Bible passages. Not all… but enough. And when he feels like he is getting in a Bible rut, he can always pull out some of his best-selling self-help books. The way he preaches, most of his congregation won’t know the difference.
This focus on positivity preaching has caused Osteen to become the target of jokes and attacks from Bible preachers across the nation. Pastor Joel isn’t one to go for negativity, so he decided to do something positive to combat the image that he can’t preach the truth like a real preacher. He explains, “It would be easy for me just to debate the Bible people. But I’m not one to argue… especially when it comes to truth. So I decided to do something that would make everyone happy.”
Osteen decided to do something normal preachers do. “I read somewhere that Bible preachers do what they call a series, where they preach through a book of the Bible.,” says the Lakewood Church pastor. “I know a lot of these preachers really think highly of the book of Romans. So I decided to preach through the book of Romans. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know how long it would take or if my people would stay with me through the entire series. So I decided to preach during the meet and greet. Two birds. One stone.”
The sermon on Romans lasted the 45 seconds. it takes for members to shake hands and greet the people around them. After the brief time of fellowship Osteen flashed a huge smile and continued, “Well, I hope you enjoyed the sermon on Romans. I’ll tell you what, now I know why they call it ‘exhaustive preaching.’* I am exhausted. I didn’t know if I was going to get through it. I thought I may have to extend it into the offering time. But I stayed positive, and finished it out. If it is alright with you, I may try to do this more often. I was thinking about preaching through the book of 3 John next year.”
Pastor John MacArthur, one of the leading evangelical preachers in America did his best to commend Osteen for his attempt. “I applaud Mr. Osteen. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him to read much of the book of Romans, much less preach it. It is hard to talk about sin and smile as much as he does. So I am sure that was a difficult 45 seconds. It takes me 45 weeks to preach through Romans. If he needs a retreat after that, I’d be glad to host him for a week and exchange sermon ideas.”
[*Editor’s Note: Preaching through a book of the Bible is called ‘expository preaching,’ not ‘exhaustive preaching'.’ But we want to be positive, so we will give Osteen an ‘A’ for effort. He did after all make the attempt.]