Last Saturday my good friend Justin Peters visited Joel Osteen's church. I thought you'd be interested in reading what he wrote to me just last night about what happened. Here it goes:
"I looked on Lakewood's website for any Bible study classes. The only thing I could find was something called "Compass." I arrived early and asked the guy at the service desk what kind of adult Bible study classes were available. He said there were two classes - one for young marrieds and one for all adults. I chose the latter.
When the class began there were all of 10 people in attendance - this at the largest "evangelical" church in the country. Now, to be fair, I may have missed something, but I don't think so. The lady who was teaching the class began with talking about her and her husband's close friendship with Jerry Savelle, a popular Word-Faith teacher and regular guest on Kenneth Copeland's program. The entire lesson was laden with W-F terminology and doctrine.
At one point, surprisingly, she mentioned the Bereans, Acts 17:11 and talked about how we should judge everything preached by the Word. Well, I just couldn't help myself. I raised my hand and she said, "yes, Justin" (I was wearing a name tag). I said, "I appreciate you mentioning that passage as it is so important and it is one I mention often myself. In the spirit of being a Berean, I was watching Joel Osteen a few months back on the Glenn Beck program on FoxNews and in that interview he said that he had been to India and seen the Hindus over there and he knows that they love God. Now, given that Hindus do not even believe in God how can they love Him? They have millions of pagan gods. He had an opportunity to take a stand for the exclusivity of Christ and but he didn't. Why?" This caught her completely off-guard. She stumbled around for a few minutes but never offered a coherent answer. She struck me as a nice lady but she is steeped in W-F theology and tried to defend a defenseless statement by her pastor.
After class I talked with her about her position on healing given that she made several references to the subject in her lesson. She said that it is always God's will for us to be physically healed. I said, "Well, I prayed for my healing from Cerebral Palsy for years but 'm not healed. So, it must be my fault, right?" She said, "Well, maybe you just haven't gotten revelation knowledge yet." I then gently pointed out her own arthritis I could clearly see in her fingers and asked her why it was that she had not been healed from her illness. She said only that she had been healed "from many other things" and then said she had to go meet her husband who was waiting for her....
Osteen was not there as he was on his way back from a trip to Australia. One of his associate pastors, Marcos Witt, preached. Witt preached on bearing fruit and to illustrate his overall point, for much of the sermon he wore a hat with fruit piled up on top of it - a-la the Chiquita banana lady. I don't even remember him referencing scripture but if he dd so, it was only in passing. There was no Gospel presented at all. Very sad. All I could think of is how many thousands of people in Osteen's church and millions around the world who watch him and read his books are being presented a false hope."
Then he wrote to me this morning and said:
"Good morning Trish -
Forgot to mention a couple of things.
While talking with the Bible study teacher (I think her name was Susan but wouldn't bet on it) she said that when it comes to healing we should never pray for it. We should just believe for it and call it in. I mentioned the Lord's Prayer to her and she replied that that was a Jewish prayer and not meant to be followed today."