Joel Osteen Declares Romney?s Jesus is Our Jesus?
Chris Wallace interviewed Pastor Joel Osteen on the Fox Television Network?s ?Fox News Sunday? program December 23, 2007. Osteen pastors what is touted as the largest church in the United States (Lakewood Church of Houston, Texas). Here’s an interesting segment of the interview.
Wallace: ?Is a Mormon a true Christian??
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. And so I, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me and, ah, I don?t think anything would stop me from voting for him if that?s what I felt like.?
Wallace: ?So, so for instance when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church and the golden tablets in upstate New York and ah, God assumes the shape of a man; do you not get hung up in those theological issues??
Osteen: ?I probably don?t get hung up in ?em because I haven?t really studied ?em or thought about ?em. And ah, 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 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.”
Other posts on the subject…
John Baker of True Discernment
Eric Barger of Take A Stand! Ministries
I encourage you to read these posts and when you’re done there, look for more on Joel Olsteen or Morminism or both.
Here’s a video of Chris Wallace’s interview of Joel Olsteen.
9 thoughts on “Mormons are Christians?”
While I’m bothered (although not surprised) by Osteen’s statement, I must admit that after checking out further the site of Eric Barger I was a little troubled by him too. I haven’t read everything on his site, so my apologies if I have misunderstood his intentions, and I’m certainly not going to judge the man’s heart. However, from what I have read and understood, Barger comes across as someone who likes turn “conscious issues” (i.e. piercings, tattoos, rock music, Harry Potter, Halloween, etc) into “sin issues”. Of course, that is not to say none of these things can lead to sinful behavior, or used in a sinful way. But Barger seems to want to paint everything with a broad brush, rather than looking at ways these things can be redeemed. In the end, I see Osteen going too far in one direction, while Barger goes to far the other way.
I don’t know, maybe I’m been too quick to judge and I apologize if have. I mean, you may know more about this guy than I do. So please feel free to correct me if I am wrong about him.
First, thank you for responding in love and grace. And for your willingness to correct me. Actually, I haven’t read much of his site. It was his article that made me aware of the Olsteen issue regarding Mormons (hence the link). I’ll look more closely and see if I can find a better article related to the Mormon topic. Any suggestions?
The press has certainly helped in raising the profile of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Maybe the most influential elements of their reports are those about the vocally dexterous anti Mormons who seem to have gotten more animated, if not outrageous, during this political season. I think I have had more opportunities to clarify the disinformation they spread than at any other time in my memory. We should be grateful for their efforts.
It seems the more outrageous they get the more interest they generate in the Church. This is supported by the stats for http://www.mormon.org, the LDS Churchâ€™s web site where basic doctrines and beliefs are presented. According to Quantcast, http://www.quantcast.com/, monthly visitors have increased by 80,000 or 40% since August of 2007. This coincides with the increasing discussion of Mormon beliefs in the press. There, visitors contrast and compare what they read and hear from our detractors with what the Church actually presents. Concurrently, it also appears to this observer that the discussion is moving away from the wholly outrageous unsubstantiated non-sense we sometimes see from so many Evangelicals- and their fellow travelers – to the more thoughtful and researched presentations of Catholics and Anglicans.
Mormons have always held that historic Christianity is the outgrowth of the first century apostasy and that Joseph Smith, acting under the direction of Jesus Christ, restored Christâ€™s original Church. This of course has always been a rub for historic Christians. Mormon theology attacks their very credibility and 2000 years of Christian thought and practice. If Smith was right, it would put the whole Christian world on its ear requiring a re-thinking of so much of what historic Christianity has said since the fifth century creeds. Is it any wonder why Mormons have been uninvited to the party?
We Mormons have always understood this. We have never claimed to be the same as historic Christianity but claim to be Christian based on a belief in Jesus Christ while at the same time rejecting the creedalism historic Christianity has claimed to be an essential element of all Christianity. Mormons, however, claim that the discussion should not be based on the subordinate issues raised by the Book of Mormon or any of our other standard works, Joseph Smith or polygamy. These and the others are distractions from what the real discussion should be about. The foundation of the debate ought to be about the nature of the Godhead and whether God has actually re-opened the canon. These are at the heart of the issue and determine whether the message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is as we claim. So far, the media is playing its part in this grand spectacle as are our detractors and their outrages. We are thankful for the opportunities presented to us however we would prefer respectful discourse especially when discussing our Savior and His work.
One last ecclesiastical comment if I may. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not condemn any denomination for their beliefs. Let them believe what they may. We believe every person has the right to believe as he chooses. What I said above is my position about some mainline Evangelical churches and their active campaigns against us. Certainly not all Evangelical churches follow that path. Those that have made that decision at their leadership levels not at the congregant level. They even go so far as to deny us the right to define themselves as Christian according to our beliefs. These detractors certainly have a right to believe what they will. But they do not have the right to smear us and wantonly malign and defame us for our beliefs. I used the Catholics and Anglicans as an example of how to present differences honorably without diving into the sewer.
I do my best to respond in love and grace, even though I admit that it doesn’t always come out that way.
I must admit that I have become a little wary of some of these “watch dog” type sites. It’s like that watch dogs are watching everyone else, but who’s watching the watch dogs. Watch dogs are good if they attack those they are suppose to attack. But some watch dogs become out of control and start attacking everyone.
Of course “attack” may be a strong word to use in regards to false teachers, or ministries; probably “discern” is perhaps a more appropriate definition. But for the sake of analogy, I think “attack” works, and besides, I think you probably know what I’m getting at.
There is an unspoken assumption in your question — that the definition of who is a Christian is a simple one. Those that believe Mormons are NOT Christian take a very restrictive view of this question, defining “Christian” as those that have a particular view of Christ (trinitarian, non-corporeal, etc.). As a Mormon, the only problem I have with the claim that Mormons aren’t “Christian” is that this statement is too simple a claim given the complexity of the issue. If you would just say “Mormons don’t believe in Christ the way I do” or something to that effect, I wouldn’t feel the need to argue about it.
Or, to put this another way, most of the public don’t make the distinctions you do. Any religion or cult that claims to believe that Christ is the son of God is Christian, in the view of the vast majority of people. In this sense, claiming that Mormons are not Christian is deceptive because you are using a definition that your audience doesn’t know. And, to put it bluntly, if you know this, you are propagating a lie.
If you want to make the difference clear, then do so. But take the time to understand what understanding your audience has before you make polemical claims.
Kent, you are correct that many people would not understand the different views of Jesus that you or I have and it should be made more clear. But the specific point of this post was to show Joel Olsteen’s view and how it was not in line with most Evangelicals. The links I provided were to provide more information for those seeking it. I’m sure I will expand on this topic either here or in a follow-up post but for now, I simply wanted to share about the interview.
I say and that “restrictive view we take is actually the Biblical view. Full Stop!
This whole thing about wanting to reform Mormonism as a true and Christian Faith is nothing more than Post-Modern Relativist Ideology! Man believes what he wants to believe and therefore defines words with the meanings that he wishes!
Or more Biblically a rebellion against God himself!
there is no mis-information going on from Evangelical circles about what Mormonism is ( A Cult) and what it teaches and how what it teaches is ANTI-God and Anti-Biblical.
Just one example:
Mormons believe that both God and Jesus were both first mortal men and that they attained God-hood. Just as Mormons believe that each and ever Mormon man will eventually reach God-hood over his own world.
This is clearly diametrically opposed to the Biblical Truth:
â€œFor I am the LORD, I do not change”
God always describes himself as the “I Am”
He is eternal he does not change! Therefore he was not a man who became a God. He has always been God! Time is a subset of his creation! God made time! Being eternal means there is not change therefore you do not change!
Also God is infinite. And since he is infinite nothing can be outside him and nothing can be greater than him! Nothing could have begotten him!
Mormonismâ€™s idea of God first being a man presupposes that there was something greater than God and that there is currently something greater than God that brings into existence men and then ‘gods”
This is not only clearly anti-Biblical it is logical nonsense! As if something is omniscient, omnipotent and eternal it has no limits therefore nothing can bring it into existence!
The very first sin was committed by Satan who was not as Mormonism teaches a brother to Christ and a son of God but was actually an Angel created by God:
The fall of Lucifer
â€œHow you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
â€˜I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.â€™
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.
â€œ Those who see you will gaze at you”
Any religion that teaches that Man can become a God and that God was once a man is not Christian, and it actually finds it origins in Satanic Rebellion against God!
I think Joel said it well.
Well the headline is a furphy and sidles up to the truth. Joel Osteen did NOT suggest that Mormonism equates to Christianity. He referenced a common belief in Jesus Christ as a saviour.
The whole issue is subjective anyway. What I mean is, if a non-Mormon is truly Christian in outlook, then they had best say, “There but for the Grace of God, go I” and spend more time becoming someone worthy of being modelled. THAT’S evangelism.
“Evangelical” putdowns, I have found, come from a bunch of people who tend to have ulterior motives behind their naysaying…and you can read all about it in their latest book on their website. One wonders if they would be so vociferous with nothing of their own to sell…just saying.
Osteen only said that he and Mitt Romney share a belief that Jesus Christ is their saviour. There was no discussion of “which” Jesus.
Furthermore, taking up arms against our brothers (we are ALL God’s children) plays right into Satan’s hand. Think carefully.
I have no time for organised religion generally. There’s a reason the curtain was twain in the temple at the time of Jesus’ death. It represents the removal of ANY barriers between God and his people. NO intermediaries required. NO apostolic succession required. Good Grief! God spews out a new star every 5 seconds!