Joel Osteen Scrambling After He Was Secretly Recorded Sharing Sound Doctrine
Joel Osteen and his team are doing damage control after a secretly recorded conversation surfaced this week. The recording, which was made five years ago has several interesting moments. The conversation apparently took place at a pastoral retreat with an unnamed minister.
At one point in the tapes the other preacher is heard asking Osteen what he believes about various key doctrines. Though the recording is muffled, here is a transcript of the dialogue:
Minister: "You take a lot of heat from people who say you preach a candy gospel. How do you survive the onslaught?"
Osteen: "Well, I know who I am. And I know what I really believe."
Minister: "What do you mean... what you really believe?"
Osteen: "Well, I believe the truth. You know. I actually believe the truth."
Minister: "Wait... what? So what does that mean?"
Osteen: "I believe sin is disobedience to God and will separate us from Him. Those who die in their sin will spend eternity in Hell. Jesus is the only way to escape God's judgment and gain eternal life. Holiness is the evidence of a right relationship with God. Your best life can only be found by surrendering to and serving God. God's greatest blessing is not a promotion, or a new car, or a healing from disease... it is the sharing of His Holy Spirit with those who believe. The Bible is not just a way to get things from God. It is the way to get to know God. You know... I believe that."
Osteen went on to explain to the minister that he preaches a different gospel because, "You can't build a huge following of happy people preaching THAT truth."
The shockwaves spreading across the Christian community are huge. Kenneth Copeland released a statement "cursing the spirit of secret recordings," and saying he is glad there are no such recordings of him... but if there are, they are not of God. Paul Washer reached out to Osteen on Twitter and said that "there is no shame in believing the truth," and offering to get together to walk with him the rest of the way.
Osteen made a video in response to the recording. He smiled and blinked feverishly as he explained, "There will always be some people in your life who try to bring you down by making you look like a Bible believer. I know. I'm there right now. Just pray for them. Remember, people tried to trap Jesus in His words too."
Susan, one of Osteen's most avid fans posted on her Facebook page, "I am as shocked as anyone else. It is difficult to believe that someone who is so positive, and has helped so many people believe they can succeed can actually believe what he said on the tape. But I believe in second chances. And I don't believe the haters. So we will see what happens."