Some weeks ago, Pastor Craig preached a couple of sermons on God’s ingredients for a grace filled life, and drew a comparison to the views of author and preacher Joel Osteen, along with some comments in his best-selling book, Your Best Life Now. As this video reveals very clearly, Osteen is notoriously “safe” (and sadly heretical) by avoiding making any negative comments about the faith and beliefs of Mormons in general, and Mitt Romney in particular. He implies, unquestionably, that holding a different doctrine concerning the person of Jesus Christ (which is the main heresy of Mormonism), is just simply “a little detail” that he doesn’t get hung up on. Frightening!
Sadly, Osteen reduces genuine saving faith to simply saying “I believe in Christ as my Savior” without ever asking the question of what a person actually believes about WHO Christ truly is. The Bible says having a right belief in the person of Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation (not just some vauge, ill-defined belief in an “angel” Jesus from another planet). Those who embrace the false teaching of Mormonism concerning the person of Jesus Christ stand condemned even if they say, “I believe in Christ as my Savior.” That is all it takes for Joel and Mitt to have a “common bond.” But the Scripture requires more than a simple statement like that to share in a common salvation. How can you share in a common salvation if you do not believe in a common Christ?!
2 John 1:7, 10-11 – For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
Sadly, one of the most influential preachers in America does not understand the very nature of the true gospel of Christ. It is frightening, and leaves me wondering, as I believe it would the Apostle Paul, whether Osteen has truly understood and embraced the truth about Christ and the gospel himself.
2 Timothy 2:15-19 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
It is sad, but clearly the implication from Paul’s words, that these kinds of grave errors, and embracing those who believe and teach them, which cause others to be confused and “upset” in their faith, makes even Paul cast his doubts on the condition of their soul and then appeal to his confidence that only God can tell the difference between those who are true and those who are false.
God help us in this age!