Joel Osteen appeared on The View on Tuesday morning to promote his new book, The Christmas Spirit. It was during the interview that he spoke more about his relativism than the gospel. When asked about homosexuality, he responded with a very non-offensive answer in an attempt to please The View and those who watch the program. Joel Osteen may be called a pastor, a Christian, and a man of God by some people, but if he truly believes what he said in his interview on Nov. 16th, 2010, he believes a different gospel than the one found in the pages of Holy Scripture. Although his position on homosexuality may be offensive to the evangelical church, we should be more worried about his relativism that fuels his position on homosexuality!
At one point during the interview, Barbara Walters referred back to a previous appearance of Osteen on their program. She wanted to dig deeper into Osteen’s position regarding homosexuality. According to Walters, Osteen had stated in his previous appearance that homosexuality was not “God’s best for people.” She wanted more clarification, so she said, “Recently a pastor of an evangelical church in Georgia named Jim Swilley came out and said that he was gay. He is married, he has children, but he is gay. What’s your feelings about that?” Osteen responded by saying, “Well, first off Barbara, I should finish that sentence. I should make it clear. I don’t think it’s God’s best for your life. I don’t NOT think it’s God’s best making us. As far as that pastor is concerned, I don’t know that individual situation. I think that, I believe the Scriptures teach us that a pastor in leadership like that is not going to stay in a Christian church like ours.” That led Barbara Walters to ask a very specific follow-up question. She asked, “Should he get out of the Christian church if he is gay?” Osteen responded by saying, “You know, I think that’s totally up to him.”
Later in the interview, it was pointed out that Joel Osteen gave the prayer for the newly elected lesbian Mayor of Houston. When given opportunities to refute the theory that homosexuals are created by God as homosexuals and that God somehow desires that they live that lifestyle – Osteen spent his time agreeing with them rather than refuting their false theories. Whoopi, Joy, Barbara, and the other co-hosts seem to embrace a type of moralistic relativism. They seem to believe that all people have a built-in ability to approach God on their own terms, on their own path, and receive the love of God. Rather than being a true prophet of God – Osteen spent his time agreeing with false doctrines that will send millions of people to Hell.
Whoopi Goldberg actually brought up the core answer to the entire conversation when she asked Osteen a question near the end of the program. She asked, “Don’t you believe that God in His infinite wisdom created us all as individuals and gave us enough intelligence to go to Him for those answers that we sometimes look to people on earth for?” Although she continued by making other troubling statements, this question is really the heart of the issue. The Bible teaches us that man doesn’t have this ability to approach God on his own terms. Romans 3 provides us clear evidence that fallen man is a rebel by nature and does not seek after God! In fact, it’s really clear that sinful man is unable to go to God unless God draws that individual to Himself (John 6:44). Therefore, due to the radical depravity of the human heart – man chooses alternative lifestyles that contradict God’s intention for humanity. These lifestyles include homosexuality, divorce, and child molestation. Just because a person rapes a child doesn’t mean that God created them that way and that His intentions are for adults to have such relationships with children. Clearly – that is a violation of God’s plan. It’s clearly a sin against God. Likewise, homosexuality does the same thing. Joel Osteen should have quoted Scripture and defended the faith once delivered to the saints.
At the end of the day, we must view Osteen as something other than a pastor. A Christian pastor is one who believes that the gospel is a narrow path – not a wide relative path that each person defines on their own terms. A pastor must be able to defend the faith against those who are spreading false doctrines (Titus 1:9). Clearly, Osteen was not able to do that when surrounded by women who pervert the gospel of Christ. Osteen may be an author and a speaker, but he isn’t a Christian pastor. People should avoid Joel Osteen’s teachings, books, and his church due to his relativism that denies the true gospel of Jesus Christ. True pastors are unable to make everyone happy. True prophets say, “Thus saith the LORD.” Osteen will say whatever makes people feel good – no matter if it leads them down a broad relative pathway to eternal destruction (Matthew 7:13). Rather than submitting to their view – Osteen should have pointed to the the view of God found in Holy Scripture.
Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death (ESV).
Pastor Josh Buice