American Christians seem to be fixated on who looks good, who has the bigger church, and who gets invited to be interviewed by Larry King. Words do not seem to matter so long as the package is pretty.  Dee found that Dallas was the buckle of the belt.  Bible belt, you may ask, since it so often claims this title?  Nope, the buckle of the “he who has the most, wins” philosophy.  Back in those days, Prestonwood Baptist won in the “most people” and “biggest building” category.  But Chuck Swindoll had a run at the “most” title and won “most people present for the first day of a new church” and the “instant mega church” category.  This occurred when he decided to start a church to the north of Dallas in Frisco.

Dee became used to the fancy clothes, the perfect homes, and the gorgeous, “plastic-enhanced” Christian women.  Unfortunately, she also became used to the sham of many “perfect Christians”.  If one merely looked beyond the clothes and homes and listened to the words of these folks, one would quickly understand that it was like living in a Hollywood stage town.  The facades on the buildings hide an empty lot.  In the case of Christianity, the well coiffed facades hide an empty faith.

The Wartburg Watch (TWW) hails from the beautiful state of North Carolina.  The state motto is “Esse Quam Videri”, which means “To be rather than to seem”.  Unfortunately, our former senator, John Edwards, betrayed this very motto.  He used his pretty boy looks and oratorical skills to dupe the voters of this state as well as the country into thinking he was an advocate for the poor and downtrodden while being the ultimate husband and father.  He ended up cheating on his wife who is struggling with incurable breast cancer.  Suddenly, the cat is out of the bag!  The once fawning public has been introduced to a self-centered, delusional man who easily lied abut fathering a child with his paramour while asking his aid to pretend that he had the affair and fathered the child.  Finally, John Edwards has been exposed.

Joel Osteen is another pretty boy who, like Edwards, puts up a good front.  However, his lack of Scriptural training and his apparent gullibility is easily discernible to anyone who takes a few minutes to listen to this man.

He believes Mormons are Christians.

Chris Wallace: “What about Mitt Romney….is a Mormon a true Christian?”  Joel Osteen: “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.”

FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace, FOX News, December 23, 2007

Osteen falls into a common trap.  Just because someone claims to be a Christian does not mean that he is a Christian.  One question we at TWW like to ask as a follow up to such a claim is this — describe the Jesus that you follow.  This simple query often clears up the matter immediately.

So what Jesus do the Mormons follow?  “According to official Mormon teaching, Jesus Christ is the first spirit child conceived and begotten by Heavenly Father and one of Heavenly Father’s many wives (commonly referred to as “Heavenly Mother”).  Just as the Heavenly Father before him progressed to godhood, so Jesus progressed through obedience to the status of a god (prior to his incarnation on earth).  In the words of the late Mormon Apostle and General Authority Bruce McConkie, Jesus Christ “by obedience and devotion to the truth… attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked him as a God.” As such, according to LDS authorities, Jesus is not to be worshipped or prayed to as one would worship or pray to Heavenly Father”. (

Osteen believes in urban legends.  The following are two stories that he often tells even though he has been told these stories are not true.


“A true story of a man named Nick. He was strong, healthy, he worked on the railroad team, he got along well with his fellow workers, and was constantly reliable on the job. He had a deep fear that he would be locked into an isolated refrigerated boxcar. One summer day the train crews were told they could quit an hour early, and when the other workmen left the site, Nick was accidentally locked into a refrigerated boxcar in the yard for repairs. He panicked. He shouted, and screamed in fear. Nick believed that the temperature in the car was 0 degrees. He thought if I don’t get out, I’m going to freeze to death! Shivering uncontrollably, he scrawled a message to his wife, “I’m so cold, my body’s getting numb, if I could just go to sleep, these may be my last words…” The next morning the crew slid open the door of the boxcar, and found Nick’s body. An autopsy revealed that every physical sign indicated that he had frozen to death, except, the boxcar’s refrigeration unit was broken. The temperature inside the boxcar was never lower than 61 degrees. Nick’s fear, became a self-fulfilling prophecy.”


The second story goes something like this. He claims that the government has done experiments in which they remove blood cells from volunteers. The blood cells are placed in an adjacent room to the volunteer donor. The volunteer donor is then shown videos of violent images. Supposedly the red blood cells in the other room start jumping around as the donor reacts to the images.

Osteen falls into the trap of believing that faith must be a force.  Furthermore, he believes (much like Kenneth Copeland and the other prosperity preachers) that words are the containers of the force and that through the force of faith we can create our own reality.  For true Christians nothing could be further from the truth.  Faith is not the force.  Words do not contain the force.  Scripture clearly tells us that God is the sovereign Alpha and Omega.  He is the one through whom we have our life and our being.  God is the force. He is the creator of the reality.  Our faith rests in trusting Him for our reality.  God is not some cosmic vending machine that spits out a prize when we insert $0.75 worth of faith.

Osteen merely preaches the Word of Faith theology that his father taught.  “He says, for example, that words have creative power: “Our words are vital in bringing our dreams to pass. It’s not enough to simply see it by faith or in your imagination. You have to begin speaking words of faith over your life. Your words have enormous creative power. The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it.” (

Osteen goes on to say that “you should declare good things. Just look in the mirror and say ‘I am strong, I am healthy, I’m rising to new levels, I’m excited about my future.’ When you say that, it may not be true. You may not be very healthy today, or maybe you don’t have a lot of things to look forward to, but the Scripture tells us in Romans we have to call the things that are not as if they already were.” (

We have seen the devastation in the lives of Christians who are conned into believing this notion.  We have watched parents of terminally ill children claim “healing” only to see their children die.  Their faith is forever threatened because they go on to blame themselves for not “”having enough faith”.   What a travesty!  Dee watched her own daughter struggle with a malignant brain tumor.  During that time, she believed that there was a high probability that her daughter would die.  All she asked was for healing and strength for her family and her daughter.  God was gracious and her daughter survived.  However, she survived not due to some metaphysical construct of calling healing into reality.  She survived because, for some reason, it was God’s will.  But many more children die than survive such a tragedy.  And many parents are duped into thinking that they “hold the power” to declare healing.  Osteen and others are guilty of perpetrating an unconscionable fraud on desperate people, and one day they will answer to Almighty God for such evil.

Osteen commits an even more serious error when He claims that believing and speaking words into reality can even thwart God’s plans.  Hmmm, didn’t Lucifer make the mistake that he was even more powerful than God?

According to a recording obtained by, Osteen makes this serious claim.  This occurs during the angel’s announcement of the birth of John the Baptist:

“[Zechariah] was so surprised because he and his wife Elizabeth were well up there in years. He said to the angel, “Are you really sure this is going to happen? Do you see how old we are? I just don’t think this could be possible.”…The angel went on to say “But, Zechariah, because you didn’t believe, because you questioned God, you shall remain silent and not be able to speak until the baby is born.”…Well, why did God shut his mouth?…He knew Zechariah would go out and start talking to his friends. “Well, they said we’re gonna have a baby, but they must have gotten the wrong person. Man, we’re way too old!” See, God knows the power of our words. He knows we prophesy our future, and He knew Zechariah’s own negative words would stop His plan.”

Osteen also believes that we create a reality the moment we verbalize words.  So, somehow speaking them is worse than thinking them directly contradicting Jesus who said that lusting in your heart is as sinful as committing adultery.

“But let me encourage you: don’t make the mistake of verbalizing those thoughts.  The moment you speak something out it takes on a whole new meaning. See, one of the main ways we release our faith is through our words.  That’s how we give life to our faith.” (

Osteen also believes that all those who use his techniques can expect to receive preferential treatment because God favors those who believe these things.

Now, does preferential treatment mean heaven?  Remember, his book is called Your Best Life Now?  Frankly, this thinking is demeaning to God, and Joel should be ashamed!  Why should he be ashamed?  Look at Christians suffering throughout the world for their beliefs.  How about those who suffer in Haiti and the Sudan?  What about those young girls and boys who are sold into sex slavery?  Are they just idiots who don’t know the power of positive speaking? But shame doesn’t enter the vocabulary of this arrogant man.  This example shows the depth of his superficiality and delusion.

“I know when Victoria and I used to travel with my father overseas, a lot of times we would go over a few days early, and it was amazing how many times we would get upgraded to first class.  When I’d go up to that counter I’d kid with Victoria and I’d say ‘Watch this!  We’re going to get upgraded.’  And I’d go up there expecting to get preferential treatment.  I’d go up there knowing that I have an advantage, I’ve got the favor of God….when I’d go up there I’d just smile real big and be real friendly and that whole time under my breath I’d be saying ‘Father, I thank you that I have your favor.  I thank you that you’re causing me to stand out in the crowd. I thank you that your light is shining down on me.’ And Victoria will tell you time after time, for no reason at all, they’d bump us up to first class.  See, that’s the favor of God….That’s God’s favor giving us preferential treatment. (

By the way, there was a report on a local news station that on one occasion old Victoria’s toothsome grin did not get her a first class seat. Apparently, she became quite loud and demanding at the airport ticket counter.  So we guess that, if you don’t succeed with speaking yourself into First Class, then you do it the old fashioned way, which involves anger and arrogance, tied up in a neat package.  Real Scriptural, huh?

Osteen believes that Jesus did battle with Satan in hell after his death.

Those of us who hold to high view of Scripture believe in the admonition not to add or subtract one word in the Bible.  This seems to hold very little concern for these ill educated faith charlatans.  Here is what Osteen had to say.  One thing you have to hand him, he’s got a vivid imagination.  Perhaps he should try WWF Smackdown instead of preaching.

“For three days Jesus fought with the enemy. It was the battle of the ages, light versus darkness, good versus evil. But thank God Satan was no match for Jesus. He grabbed Satan by the nap [sic] of his neck and He began to slowly drag him down the corridors of hell. All beat up and bruised because He wanted to make sure that every single demon saw very clearly that Jesus was indeed the undisputed Champion of all time!” (

These are just a few examples of the utterances of Osteen.  What is disconcerting to us are the numbers of supposed Christians who buy this drivel.

Yesterday we mentioned a Hindu cardiologist friend who is a fan of Osteen.  He claimed that Hinduism supports much of what Osteen says.  If one looks at the above statements, it is easy to see why he believes this way.  Although the following quotes come from Wikipedia, we have reviewed this with other sources and our Hindu friend and they concur with these statements.

“Karma is not fate, for humans act with free will, creating their own destiny.  According to the Vedas, if we sow goodness, we will reap goodness; if we sow evil, we will reap evil.  Karma refers to the totality of our actions and their concomitant reactions in this and previous lives, all of which determines our future.

According to Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, we produce Karma in four ways:

▪     through thoughts

▪     through words

▪     through actions that we perform ourselves

▪     through actions others do under our instructions

Everything that we have ever thought, spoken, done, or caused is Karma.  Furthermore, whatever we think, speak, or do this very moment is considered to be Karma.

We are in position to do something about our destiny by doing the right thing at the right time.  Through positive actions, pure thoughts, prayer, mantra and meditation, we can resolve the influence of the karma in present life and turn the destiny for the better”.

Hmmm, enough said…  Perhaps Osteen should jump into the Hindu lecture circuit.  We see money!


We leave you with a video that seems to capture the essence of “to seem rather than to be”.

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