Merry Who-mas?

This past Sunday the Fox News network aired an interview with Joel Osteen that provides another example of building bridges gone awry.

Among other things, interviewer Chris Wallace asked Osteen about the Mormon beliefs of presidential candidate Mitt Romney: “And what about Mitt Romney? And I’ve got to ask you the question, because it is a question whether it should be or not in this campaign, is a Mormon a true Christian?”

To which Osteen replied: “Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior, and that’s what I believe, so, you know, I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So I believe they are.
And so, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me, and I don’t think he would — anything would stop me from voting for him if that’s what I felt like.”

Wallace followed up, asking: “So, for instance, when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church, and the golden tablets in upstate New York, and God assumes the shape of a man, do you not get hung up in those theological issues?”

Osteen responded: “I probably don’t get hung up in them because I haven’t really studied them or thought about them. And you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know.
I certainly can’t say that I agree with everything that I’ve heard about it, but from what I’ve heard from Mitt, when he says that Christ is his savior, to me that’s a common bond.”

Apparently, Joel Osteen’s opinion is that anyone who says “Christ is my savior” should be accepted as a Christian. But for the phrase “Christ is my savior” to have any meaning, we must first ask, “Who is Christ?”

Christ the Second Person of the Trinity

In the Gospel summary given by Dr. Malcolm Yarnell that was quoted in my last post, Dr. Yarnell described Jesus as “the Second Person of the eternal Trinity.” Reformed Baptist apologist Dr. James White has summarized the historic Christian belief in the Trinity as follows: “Within the one being that is God, there exists eternally three co-equal and co-eternal Persons, namely, the Father the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” It is crucial to understand that although the Bible teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, there is yet one God, as proclaimed in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD is one.” This belief is contradicted by the teaching of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, who stated: “I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” [Joseph Smith, “The Christian Godhead- Plurality of Gods,” June 16, 1844.]

Christ begotten by the Holy Spirit

Historic Christianity has asserted that God the Father caused Mary, a virgin, to become pregnant with Jesus through a miracle, by agency of the Holy Spirit. This is due to a straightforward reading of Luke 1:26-38 in which the angel Gabriel tells Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy- the Son of God” (v. 35). Thus, historic Christianity has taught that Christ was born of a virgin. Mormonism denies this, asserting that Mary had sexual relations with God the Father. This was taught by Mormon leaders such as Joseph Fielding Smith (president of the LDS Church from 1970-72), who declared, “Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Man was God!” and Ezra Taft Benson (president of the LDS Church from 1985-94), who wrote, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the son of the Eternal Father!”

Conclusion

Spiritually, the Christ of Mormonism is different from the Christ of Christianity- for the Christ of Christianity is one God with the Father from eternity, whereas the Christ of Mormonism is a different god than the Father (actually, the Mormon teaching is that Jesus is the first-begotten spirit-child of the Father). Physically, the Christ of Mormonism is different than the Christ of Christianity- for the Christ of Christianity was begotten within the virgin Mary by a miracle of the Holy Spirit, whereas the Christ of Mormonism (as their doctrine asserts) was born due to a sexual relationship between God the Father and Mary. Therefore, to say that Mormons are Christians just because they claim Christ as savior is, at best, woefully naive.

Why are Joel Osteen’s comments important enough to prompt comment from Strange BaptistFire.com on the day after Christmas? Do we simply wish to boast in our knowledge at the expense of this popular figure?

Personally, I am concerned about Osteen’s comments because I know my own heart. I know that I am a sinner in desperate need of a savior. I know that Christ alone is my hope for salvation from my own sins, and so I am passionate to know Him better. Others, who are in equal need for knowledge of Christ may be encouraged to seek Him in the teaching of the Mormon Church through statements such as those offered by Osteen. But if the information I have presented is accurate, then the Mormon Jesus is not the true Christ as proclaimed in the Bible. And so Osteen is leading people into spiritual ruin.

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35 Comments on “Merry Who-mas?”

  1. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Osteen has become the favorite son of the liberal media. A poster boy, you might say. A new Billy Graham. I am surprised that BG has not been interviewed and asked his opinion, aren’t you? Perhaps he has declined, but it is curious.

    On the offended side, that is the conservative evangelical side, which is supposed to be both orthodox and uncompromising, who is it that is making a stink? Shouldn’t this be a great opportunity to clarify the Gospel for the World. Top rank politics, getting international coverage would seem to be the perfect platform, eh? Huckabee had opportunity to clearly enunciate the Gospel for the world and state unequivocably what was untrue about Romney’s claims. He now has opportunity to do the same with Osteen’s comments. Will he? And, will someone out of the Orthodox Evangelical camp step up to the plate? Or, have we become so comfortable with acceptance that we as a church, each of us, is unwilling to take it on the chin for Christ?

  2. Nathan White Says:

    Andrew, your title has a small typo: it should read ‘who-MASS’ instead of “who-mas”, given the Roman Catholic’s naming of the Christ-Mass.

    🙂

    Great post. We can expect this time of year to bring out the usual. The CBS show 48hours did a special last night on the virgin birth and the historical roots of Jesus being born in Bethlehem. At first, I was greatly discouraged, as the usual ignorance and the usual suspects (john dominic crossan) were on the scene. But in the second half of the show, they traveled around with and interviewed Ben Witherington, and he provided some magnificent answers to some of their objections. I was greatly encouraged by the show, even though the gospel never surfaced.

    Wish we could say the same for Osteen.

  3. Barry Says:

    I wasn’t aware that politics in this blog was fair game.

    Speaking of political candidates and parties and values and lack of values is now freely on the table Andrew?

    If it is, I’m fine with that but I think we had better be careful about labeling people in a detrimental light on both sides of the 2008 political spectrum while were are simutaneously silent (as we seem to be) relative to the ills of that group already in office in Washington.

    Otherwise, our views seem to be a little (or alot) on the weak side.

    In other words, If we are going to speak to what we perceive to be ills, don’t start with what might come to be in January of 2009. Start with the ills you’ve seen now.


  4. Politics is not the topic. Notice that I did not comment on whether Mitt Romney’s religious belief should effect whether we choose to vote for him.

    The topic is whether the “Christ” presented in Mormonism is the same Christ proclaimed in the Christian Faith.

  5. Lisa Nunley Says:

    Though I am not surprised at all… this still makes me nauseous.

    This is another sad and lucid picture of the truth war.

  6. fred Says:

    A local Pastor wrote in a newpaper public opinion column that Mormonism is a cult and can not be called Christian.This brought the ire of many folks upon him in the bloggs of that paper. A Mormon lady brought up a point about who gets to define what Christanity is. She also said that orthodoxy is just a term used by folks that want to consider their beliefs as right and that anyone could claim orthodoxy.

    My reply is that words have meanings and are defined by a systematic approach. I told her I can sing but I am not a professional, no matter if I want to claim I am or not. That is defined by factors outside myself and by a set of pre and proscibed criteria, not by my own will or desire. Words have a historical underpinning that are accepted by an agreed on definition.

    So I wrote that she indeed can claim orthodoxy—–LDS orthodoxy, not Christian. Then I asked her , why is it so imortant that you be seen as Christian?—–no reply.


  7. Fred said: “That is defined by factors outside myself and by a set of pre and proscibed criteria, not by my own will or desire.”

    -I believe this makes a good point about the topic of this post- namely, ‘what is definitional to the term Christian?’ It is my assertion that in order to properly identify oneself as a Christian, one must have faith in Christ as He is presented in God’s special revelation- the Holy Bible. Fred’s comment points to the fact that in our individualistic, post-modern culture people do not want to accept such an objective standard for their beliefs, but rather wish to create definitions based on their “own will or desire.”

    -Andrew

  8. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Yes, there is criteria, clear and unequivocable. That Osteen or anyone would intimate that there is no difference in lunacy. No rational person makes such claims, with the exceptions of a politician or a money monger, and perhaps a lawyer or two…

    Really, all that it would take is a good comparative analysis and about a gazillion have been done. So, what is it gonna take before pop figures and pop news outlets quit acting like the checkout tabloids and just tell the truth and let the chips fall were they will?

    Even if the culture rejects objective truth, they generally do not reject factual information (except Area 51ers). So, it is really curious that we cannot get a definitive answer in the public arena.

    Yes, what is the operational definition that we are using? I wonder though if any one really cares about anything or anybody, to quote Lea? You think maybe that controversy for controversy’s sake is the reason for such shallow and almost comtemptuous regard for the differences?

  9. fred Says:

    Why is that we, are so afraid to call out all the heresies and errors that exist today? I am not implying that no one does , but rather there is no united voice against this. Why does not the Evangelical and Confessional church not stand together and call out Catholicism, LDS, Osteens and the Christmas gospel of Warren which is about our human loneliness? Have we bought into this postmodern primordial muck of “not being absolutely sure so best not say anything mentality?”

    Why no Counsels or united statements of what we believe? Are we all just ‘dust in the wind’ churches? Live and let live mentality?

    If this is all about Christian freedom, then please tell, what do we need to believe to be saved and how does this work? Is just the invocation of His name enough? If not , how can we be sure? Isn’t it all about interpretation? I see a duck and you see a goose, but God understands and that is all that matters , for who know the mind of God? He is far more loving , patient and understanding then we can ever know? Besides, it says there will be many, great multitudes, etc that will be saved. Maybe hell is only reserved for those horrible, hating folks, if there is a hell as we believe it–according to Dante?

    Where is the united Christian voice–the true church in all this. Do we just be pockets of protest. What if the Counsel of Nicea thought as we do?

    Just some quick thoughts. Anybody? Am I uninformed or mistaken in my assessments?

  10. Andrew Says:

    Fred:

    I certainly agree with some of your frustration. However, I do think that in the past few decades we have seen a few trans-denominational confessions of faith that address some of your concerns and that offer clear boundaries between truth and error; confessions such as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and the document that came out of the Together for the Gospel Conference.

  11. fred Says:

    Andrew,

    Thank you for your reply. I am aware of those statements and that is why I asked if maybe I am uninformed. Those are excellent statements, but they seem to carry no real weight in the overall picture. Rick Warren, Osteen, Emergents, and others still seem to speak the loudest when it comes to the Christian faith and how it is represented to the watching world. I do not see any grand voice in opposition, say a statement from a united, true Evangelical/Confessional church gathering, such as in a Counsel of old style that says —“here it is , both what we believe and what we are” these others are in error or have apostatcised and we stand opposed and in contrast to them. Here is your choice. They are not of us.

    To me this would make a clear statement that could not be missed, would get world wide coverage, and would spell out the lines of demarcation between us and them. Unless the Warrens and Osteens would agree to meet in a large gathering of churches and be persuaded by the clear meaning of Scripture of their errors , then they need to be ostarcised from the church. Yes , they can create their own church or call themselves Christians, but I believe it would at the least draw the line in the sand in front of the world and for believers.

  12. kelly Says:

    It is truly sad that the only people that challenge his beliefs are on blogs, the leadership of the major denominations are silent on him. That makes it even worse that they want to pass resolutions to stop blogging.
    This is a sad day in the church when he gets a free ride on national television and over at the SBC you could here a cricket chirping.

  13. fred Says:

    Thanks Kelly. You reverberate my sentiments exactly. If these guys are only a “little” error prone, then why say anything at all? When you read the works of men like Machen, Warfield, Luther , and others , we do not see any criticism unless it is to show error and condemn it. Error leads to apostasy. Maybe most are afraid of their losing their positions and livelihood. We do live in materialistic America. I am not accusing anyone, just offering a possible reason for this lack of horns a blaring , instead of only crickets chirping.

  14. Barry Says:

    I think that to suggest that Osteen is a prime example of someone leading people to “spiritual ruin” via his, or our, take on the Christ of Mormon as opposed to the Christ of some other movement is not of particular importance to very many today.

    I can think of others, in this country, who tend to lead us to spiritual ruin who are infinitely more damaging than Osteen or his defense of a Mormon.

    I think it’s valid to look at the “ruin” or damage that occurs to us spiritually by someone who portends toward Christianity solely as a tool to capture votes. We are still seeing the reverberations from this having been done in this country the past eight years.

  15. fred Says:

    Barry,

    I would agree that there are politicians that are practicing deception. But that does not minimize the other. That is like saying strychnine is not as bad a arsenic. One are the leaders of the church, the other just political leaders. Both can be deceptive, but it is the allowance of the spiritual leaders that allow for the political leaders to call themselves “Christians”. By the definitions that they allow for to be “born again” there is no wonder that 80% are saved in America, including the politicians.

    No, the problem must be cut at the root, not the fruit.

  16. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    As I said here, what is it going to take to get the media’s attention? Where are the SBC voices? Is it because they are embarassed or too committed. I am also suprised that notables like Al Mohler have not taken to task in a public forum the muddling of the issues, though he has spoken at margins concerining it.

    There has yet to be an official statement from the SBC on Mitt’s statements and the blatant falsehoods contained therein. The same can be said acrossed a broad spectrum of deflections from Biblical Truth like the theological weakness of Huckabee’s view of God’s sovereignty in disaster, or of his “social gosple” leanings that go beyond Scriptural reality. It would do us well to have a statement that distances the SBC from such “personal” claims, acknowledging them an non-Biblical. Don’t hold your breath.

    As it touches on Osteen, the SBC should likewise make clear and unequivocable statements that his teachings are false, if not down right heretical. But, the SBC put up a statue to BG, who made the same universalist claim that Osteen makes. So, again, do not expect that the SBC will forsake their sins of commission or ignorance on these issues. The track record of the SBC on doctrinal issues, clearly, publically enunciated is dismal. Though well known for our social stances on morality issues, very little clear definition separating the SBC from other types of evangelicalism is known outside the camp. The reality is, that many in the SBC do not relish the idea of outsiders looking in the closets of the SBC.

  17. Barry Says:

    Fred,

    You’ve touched on an important point.

    Leaders (secular and spiritual) deceiving us into thinking that because they use the nomenclature of “Christian” that they are doing right.

    And, of course of even greater import is that we “allow” ourselves to be taken in.

    How can we be so foolish?

    Because Pat Roberson endorses someone–does that mean we should too?

    I think there has been way too much of that nonsense the past decade.

    If a bishop were to intimate or suggest that someone was not worthy of being a candidate–would I listen to the bishop?

  18. Arthur Sido Says:

    Barry, again the issue at hand here is not at all whether or not Romney’s mormonism makes him unqualified to be president, but the statement by a alleged Christian leader that the heresies of mormonism are “little details”. Osteen either is unaware of or willfully ignoring what mormonism teaches, and in doing so shows his qualifications to lead a congregation are suspect, no matter how charismatic he is.

  19. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Arthur, that is correct- there is something wrong with Osteen. True enough-yet, what is being done nationally? The political question aside- as a man of supposed Christian credence, the silence, or perhaps better, the wimpers from the evangelically orthodox is deafening. There is no doubt by those who have listened or read what Osteen is about is anything by Christian. The real tradgedy is that he will influence millions upon millions unless someone stops him. The only way to do that is to loudly make war in the media against his assertion. But, that is not happening. Which makes those on the orthodox fence as guilty as he. Down the road it will be more difficult to explain to an ignorant world and and ignorant church just why Mormonism is not Christian. It is our leadership, those of repute in the SBC especially, that should be forcing Huckabee’s hand in this. If Mormonism is a cult, a non-Christian cult, then Huckabee should be forth-coming in proclaiming it. That is where we have a double quandry. If Huckabee does what is right, his chances of winning could be drastically cut. Do you want to bet that the SBC leadership does not even want to be associated with such a plot. And, I can tell you why, they do not want Huckabee as president. Romney is their man, at least for now. So, they are unwilling to force the truth to the fore. But because of that, millions of innocent people will be lead down a path of falsehood. So, you are correct, that the issue with Osteen is not really a political one, but the silence on the issue is.

  20. Arthur Sido Says:

    Thomas,

    All very true. It has become somehow “Un-Christian” to point out teachers who teach un-Christian doctrines. Go figure. No one in a prominent position in the SBC will call out Osteen because they are afraid of looking divisive. I guess many look at having bigger fish to fry (i.e. Islam, militant atheists, etc), so they ignore heretics within our own ranks. That is a serious mistake I believe.

  21. Andrew Says:

    Barry,

    As Arthur Sido noted in comment #18: “Barry, again the issue at hand here is not at all whether or not Romney’s mormonism makes him unqualified to be president, but the statement by a alleged Christian leader that the heresies of mormonism are ‘little details’.”

    And so your last comment was deleted because you are once again seeking to make this into a political discussion.

    Even comment #19 by Thomas Twitchell, which did involve some political considerations, was still focused on the main issue as mentioned by Arthur Sido in the quote above.

    If you wish to focus on the political side of the question rather than to engage in theological consideration, I respectfully suggest that you find a politically-focused blog.

    Thank you,
    -Andrew Lindsey

  22. fred Says:

    I do believe the current political scene and tide is another example of the apparent lack of Christian continuity in belief. Pres. Bush comment that we all worship the same God went unopposed by the majority of the church leaders. Where is the accountability of Pastors? Did someone come alongside Presidents Bush’s pastor and ask him to make sure the Pres understands that this is false? Where is the church’s , especially the pastors responsibility and accountability lie? Of course , ultimately with God. But what about the church made up of the saints? Are we , as the church, afraid to hold pastors accountable for their sheep? Or are we afraid of holding the pastors accountable in the name of freedom? Is America’s maverick sense of freedom overuling our sense of servanthood and accountability to God? It makes me wonder.


  23. fred:

    Adding to the difficulty of the mutual accountability you are suggesting is the question of how such accountability would work itself out in practice without the establishment of some unbiblical hierarchy dictating faith and practice to local congregations.

    -Andrew

  24. fred Says:

    Andrew,

    Good thought and question. Understanding Baptist freedom, this would seem to cause some problem. But again, what is the basis of Christian belief? Local autonomy or a universal held creed {belief)? I am not suggesting a universal held type of reprimand, spelled out by higher man-made authorities, but of universal held beliefs held to and enforced by all man-made authorities be it local or larger.

  25. Arthur Sido Says:

    Even without a formalized system of church discipline or denominational hierarchy, there should be a clear responsibility among those in leadership in the SBC to guard the truth and stand for the Gospel. Although we can’t formally call Osteen to repent, the leading voices of the SBC should at least publically call on Osteen as a brother in Christ to repentance. It may prove unpopular but that is the price of Biblical fidelity.

  26. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    These are old precepts to be sure, and with the Baptist distinctive being the autonomy of the local church, there still is, in a very scriptural way, an inter-congregational, and yes an inter-confessional (interdenominational) resposibility to hold one another accountable.

    In particular let me direct your attention to the last two paragraphs. Intra and inter church discipline is an expectation of Scripture, and was crafted into the confession. In reference to the first two paragraphs, there is no distinction or division of the body of Christ, and oversight is obliged simply by naming the Name and allegiance to Him.

    For the mutual benefit of all, and the protection against the adulteration of members of particular congregations by doctrines foreign to Christ, we must herald deviations from the Faith once and all delivered to the saints.

    It should not be an embarassment to offend with the truth those not within the common union of any particular association any more than it should be to do so within the local assembly. The difference being, that we are not Ecclesium and there are no magisterial rights that can be exercised that bind another autonomous body. Still, our voices should not be silenced by the necessity of peace with the sacrifice of Truth for the sake of unity, but rather speaking the Truth in love, should build one another up in the Faith.

    The Romney spectacle and Huckabee backing away from reality to maintain political face is indeed a civil matter, and not within the scope of inter-catholic church discipline, yet, it is still incumbent upon the voices of Truth to defend truth. It was not that the church should have entered into the public arena, but that it should have within its ranks made loud and clear its opposition to the confusion that results in letting untruth stand as approved.

    To the issue of Osteen, the same thing exists. It does damage to the hearers if the church remains silent. We are sheep, and unfortunately, populist sheep. Authoritarian voices speak the loudest, and that is why it is of necessity that the powers in the SBC and evangelical orthodoxy in general speak loudly and definitively, in unity, when populist men like Osteen, or Bell or a myriad of others, make statements that for the listening world and weak brethren, have the weight of the Magisterium.

  27. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    To clarify for what may seem a contradiction: When I said that we should not have entered into the public arean, I was referring to the realm of politcial speech. That is contrasted to what I said in that we should be publically vocal in the media. This is only common sense and our common Great Commission.

  28. Pat McGee Says:

    Teachers are called to a higher standard than others are. Thus Osteen is obligated to know whether Mormonism is Christian or not. He should know theology and be willing to proclaim what the Word says. There is no doubt that Mormonism is a cult. I would be unwilling to sit under the leadership of anyone who did not understand that. If someone does not understand what Mormonism is about, he probably does not know what Christianity is.

    I am no fan of Rick Warren, but I do not know what was meant by the comment regarding Rick Warren’s gospel. Would you please clarify?

  29. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Warren

    Moren

    That’ll get ya started.

  30. fred Says:

    Paul,

    I believe you question may be directed at me. I believe That Warren dilutes the gospel message in much the same way as Osteen. I watched his Christmas special and most of the emphasis was placed on man, his lonliness and the cure, which is just a belief and prayer to God. There was no mention of sin in a most difinitive way as an affront to God, man’s rebellion against God, the wrath of God against all men, etc. I love the message of hope and restitution, but the message of lostness must come across load and clear also. It can not be sugar coated to insinuate that we have some elements in our life that God can lkss and make better as long as we believe. Law must be presented as well as Gospel. Warren is very lax in this as is Osteen.

  31. Andrew Says:

    re: “I believe that Warren dilutes the gospel message in much the same way as Osteen.”

    -Agreed, but I would add that Warren (at least in general) does not dilute the Gospel message to the extent that Osteen does. IOW, I think that Osteen focuses even less on the glory of God and more on the temporal, worldly cares of Man than does Warren.

  32. Thomas Twitchell Says:

    Referring to Osteen, Mohler speaks out.


  33. […] This past Thursday, Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, devoted an edition of his daily radio program to examining the teaching of Joel Osteen. [You can listen to the program HERE.] This is noteworthy in terms of Strange BaptistFire because the show brought together themes from two fairly recent posts: Merry Who-mas? which examined Joel Osteens affirmative answer to the question, “Is a Mormon a true Christian?” and FBC Dallas pastor to nominate Mohler for SBC president. In the first of these posts, one commenter asserted, “As it touches on Osteen, the SBC should likewise make clear and unequivocable statements that his teachings are false, if not down right heretical.” In the radio program linked above Dr. Mohler makes such statements, quoting Osteen and playing audio files from Osteen to prove the point. This is an example of the clear, reasoned, prophetic voice the SBC needs in leadership to help equip congregations to respond to our confused, postmodern culture. […]

  34. Mike Says:

    Joel is a feel good non seminary trained preacher who has built a mega church by ignoring the hard stuff of the Scriptures and life. He sounds like the 2nd coming of Norman Vincent Peale! The SBC though needs to take care of the motes in our own eyes before worrying about Joel’s Log.


  35. […] A week ago yesterday, The White Horse Inn broadcast a program titled, “Joel Osteen: A Case Study in American Religion,” examining the teachings of Joel Osteen. (You can listen to the broadcast HERE.) In a previous post on statements by Joel Osteen, one commenter noted: “The SBC though needs to take care of the motes in our own eyes before worrying about Joel’s Log.” While I think that this is a healthy reaction- and I think that each one of us should examine how we might tend to neglect biblical teachings on sin and the Cross of Christ (as does Osteen) in our own conversations- I also think that it is important that Christians be knowledgeable about Osteen’s teaching and a biblical response to his teaching, as he has such a wide influence through his best-selling books and as the pastor of the largest “church” in America. […]


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