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Joel Osteen is a false prophet and popular evangelical preacher based in Houston, Texas. His Lakewood Church seats over 30,000 congregants and is located in the site of the former Compaq Center, the home of the NBA's Houston Rockets from 1975 to 2003. Millions of people watch Osteen on television on Sunday mornings. His books are constantly topping the New York Times Bestsellers List.
His theology has been described as "cotton candy". In essence, this means that he doesn't delve deep into the bowels of the Scripture, he just skims the surface. Tastes great, less filling. Also, he never mentions the negative aspects of Christianity: Hell, eternal damnation, sin, wrath, and the like. He mostly accentuates the positives, i.e. grace, living well, and obedience to God. And, of course, he tells you that God will reward you for your obedience. His approach to religion has, in theological terms, been described as the prosperity gospel.
Osteen says that homosexuality is a sin, but he claims he's "not one of those that are out there to bash homosexuals and tell them that they're terrible people and all of that. I mean, there are other sins in the Bible too".
Joel is, essentially, like other evangelical preachers; seeking money and power. His shows consist of part teaching how to have a good life, and part how to make his life better by convincing people to purchase his books or seeing him in his tours. He had no preaching or theology background before taking the pulpit, but he does have a degree in television production. This has led to his wildly successful yet spiritually hollow and unfulfilling show.
Osteen is married to Victoria Osteen, a co-pastor at his church. They live in a $10.5 million mansion in Houston's affluent River Oaks neighborhood.
- Joel Osteen: True or False? av1611.org.
- Elizabeth Tenety, "Joel Osteen: 'Homosexuality is a sin'". onfaith.co.
- Pastor Joel Osteen: Homosexuality is "a sin"; Elton John is a sinner. CNN, 24 January 2011.
- Clifford Pugh, After move to $10.5 million River Oaks mansion, Joel Osteen offers Tanglewood land for $1.1 million. houston.culturemap.com, 9 July 2010.
- Acts of Faith: Joel Osteen calls claim he shut church doors on Harvey victims 'a false narrative' by Stephanie Kuzydym & Kristine Phillips (August 30, 2017) The Washington Post.
- Was Joel Osteen's Houston 'Megachurch' Affected By Hurricane Harvey? The evangelist was criticized on social media for not opening Lakewood Church to help people fleeing the storm. by Arturo Garcia (Aug 29th, 2017) Snopes.