Following in the footsteps of Bishop T.D. Jakes, Prosperity Gospel preacher Joel Osteen, Pastor of Lakewood Church, the biggest congregation in America, has now joined Oprah Winfrey’s life classes to teach New Age heresy to the masses. Once again, a Christian pastor has come on Winfrey’s series and preached a message that had no mention of the Biblical gospel, forgiveness of sins or Jesus Christ.
As we noted in our Apostasy Alert article on T.D. Jakes, Oprah Winfrey has been one of the biggest promoters of the New Age movement in the world. Through her talk show, television network and multi media empire Winfrey, who claims to be a Christian, has launched books such as The Secret into all-time best sellers. The Secret, a book that teaches the ancient witchcraft technique, The Law of Attraction is not in line remotely with Biblical Christianity. Rather than looking to Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God, The Secret teaches that a person has the power to attract success, wealth, romance and all sorts of earthly benefits through their own words and rituals.
Here is Oprah promoting the book on her show:
The book popularized “The Law of Attraction”, an occult technique that involves visualizing a certain goal, constantly focusing and doing certain practices as if it has already happened and then “attracting” it by your constant thoughts and focus. Its author, Rhonda Byrne writes: “All good things are your birthright! You are the creator of you, and the law of attraction is your magnificent tool to create whatever you want in you life. Welcome to the magic of life, and the magnificence of You!” (p. 41)
Of course the Bible says of Jesus Christ: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3). Jesus Christ is the Creator. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. A person is blessed through faith in Christ who is the heir of the Universe. And Jesus teaches that constant focus on material gain should not be a Christian’s life:
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:31-33.
“When you focus your thoughts on something you want, and you hold that focus, you are in that moment summoning what you want with the mightiest power in the Universe. The law of attraction doesn’t compute “don’t” or “not” or “no,” or any other words of negation, this is what the law of attraction is receiving.” – The Secret, p. 9.
By the book’s premise, all power comes through the individual. A person can have whatever they want just calling upon “the mightiest power of the Universe.” Anything can be obtained. The Bible does not teach this. In fact it teaches that we cannot obtain anything of true meaning and significance without God:
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. – James 4:8-10.
Notice the difference: the Bible acknowledges that God is the means to eternal satisfaction and true peace. And it also teaches that it is sin that is our main obstacle to God. It takes a desire for forgiveness and faith in God to forgive sin through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that is the message of Christianity.
The Secret reveals its true message later on in the book:
“You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as you.” (The Secret, p. 164)
This underscores the message of The Secret and the New Age: that a person can become God. This is of course complete contradictory to the Bible and is following the deception of Satan.
In our first article on Joel Osteen’s witchcraft, we detailed that the Law of Attraction is precisely what Joel Osteen preaches to his congregation and television audience on a regular basis. This is nothing more than witchcraft being given a “Christian”veneer. The Bible of course prophesied that as the end times approached there would be an apostasy – a falling away in the church, where pastors and their congregations would abandon Biblical Christianity in favor of their own man-centered, mystical doctrines. 2 Timothy Chapter 4 issues a directive to pastors to stand for the Biblical, Gospel-centered preaching in this age of Apostasy:
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. – 2 Timothy 4:1-4.
Pastors are to preach “the word” – meaning preach The Bible and not their own ideas or methods, whether it is “in style” or “out of style” or “old-school” to just use solid, biblical preaching. The result of not doing this is that those coming to church will desire pastors who will tell them what they want to hear, rather than preaching what the Word of God has to say to all people. Examining Osteen in the life class, there are numerous examples of sound doctrine being rejected and fable being given instead.
The Power of “I Am”
Osteen in this portion of the class is using principles from his new book “I Declare.” What is being preached here is that a person has the power to affect change within themselves and attract success by using the phrase “I am..”
None of this is in the Bible. Notice there is no mention of God, Jesus Christ or the Gospel in anything that is being preached. Just like T.D. Jakes before him, Osteen is preaching a Christ-less Gospel that is completely centered on worldly, material gain. According to Osteen speaking negative statements “sets the tone for your life” and attracts bad situations to your life and therefore we should not even make negative statements like “I am depressed” or “I am sad.” This once again, is the Law of Attraction at work.
Here is a quote from a New Age book based on The Secret that explains the same principle Osteen is preaching:
“In this chapter we turn our attention to using our I AM power to make our hopes and dreams become part of our reality. Starting with a brief discussion of the 2006 book and movie, The Secret, we’ll examine the question of our roles as co-creators of our experience of reality… When you say I AM the rest of that sentence cannot but help become your reality. That is because one of the manifestations of God is God as Law, the Divine Law of Cause and Effect, which Buddhism calls karma.” – (The Power of I Am: Claiming Your Inherent Power To Consciously Create A Life of Purpose, Meaning and Joy, Dan Shafer).
Like The Secret, this book comes back to the conclusion that it is the individual person who can “be as God” and create their reality simply by reciting words that follow the phrase “I AM.”
If a person is facing life problems, Osteen’s solution is to just make positive statements. By simply repeating the phrase “I am confident” the insecure person will be “healed.” Lacking in creativity? Simply say “I am creative.” Beloved, this is not Biblical Christianity. Reciting words in a ritualistic fashion is not what God instructs. The Bible tells Christians to bring all of our pain, hurt and suffering to God in prayer:
O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. – Psalm 34:3-6.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. – Psalm 34:15-19.
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. – Psalm 18:3-6.
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. – Psalm 50:15.
The God of the Bible is merciful, compassionate and yearns to hear the cries of His children. Rather than ignoring our pain, the Bible instructs to share the problems and struggles of life with The Lord who hears and answers prayer. Compare this to Osteen who says the solution is all in the words you speak and their power. So by Osteen’s doctrine, the Bible passages above are all going to lead to more problems in your life since they are so “negative” and will “attract” more negativity. This is not Biblical teaching. It is New Age witchcraft. Here are excerpts from articles teaching witchcraft that make it clear that the Law of Attraction is an occult practice:
“By formulating a witchcraft ritual you are creating and therefore taking responsibility for the circumstances of your life. This is the main message that the Law of Attraction has been broadcasting. The Law of Attraction is something that has been very familiar with witches for thousands of years as a very elementary teaching in witchcraft. Now it’s time to take it to the next level.” (source).
“I also teach Law of Attraction on its own for people who just want to learn that. However I believe the the two subjects really do belong together. Whenever you are casting a Wiccan spell you are using the Law of Attraction and whenever a Law of Attraction practitioner says an affirmation, he or she is really doing magick.” (source).
The Word of God strongly forbids any use of the occult or dabbling in witchcraft:
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God. – Deuteronomy 18:10-13.
Why would a Christian pastor bring New Age teachings to the church? What spirit is leading a Pastor who is not using the Bible as a guide but instead leaning on the same methods used by witches for centuries? Do not be deceived.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. – 2 Peter 2:1-3.
With a multimillion dollar media empire, Osteen has achieved unparalleled success teaching false doctrines. In the clip above he even says that determining your future is all a function of “the words you say today.” Compare Osteen’s teaching with The Secret:
If the words “I can’t afford it” have passed your lips, your power to change that is now. Change it with “I can afford that! I can buy that!” Say it over and over. Become like a parrot. For the next thirty days, make it your intention that you are going to look at everything you like and say to yourself, “I can afford that, I can buy that.” – (The Secret, p. 102).
Osteen is clearly teaching New Age mysticism over the Bible. There is nothing wrong with a Christian making negative statements. Prayer is to be honest and if a person is feeling pain, insecure, weak or tired of it all, God in Heaven wants to hear all those words. We are to lean on God to save us, not ourselves or magical words. And for the person who is unsaved, salvation starts at the point that a person can say: “I am a sinner. I am guilty before God. I am in violation of God’s commandments.” Without those “negative” words, a person cannot receive free forgiveness that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. When a person cries out to God, rather than “attract” negative situations, they draw closer to the Almighty Creator and His love for them.
Here is a clip of a woman who is clearly struggling with her faith. She says that she is “a child of God” but does not speak to God.
As with many of the students in Oprah’s class, they are truly seeking spiritual answers. This is fertile ground for a true Christian pastor to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. Yet once again, Osteen gives his “advice” without a mention of the Savior. He does not encourage the women to pray more, read the Bible or attend a church. He does not even make sure that she is truly born again. He merely tells her to “stay in faith” and does more “I am” affirmations with her. Again, what he is teaching is that the power to change is within the person and not from God. This is the message of witchcraft and the New Age. Here is an excerpt from a New Age Yoga event that emphasized the Law of Attraction:
“The Law of Attraction states. . . ‘That which is like itself is drawn’. In other words, like attracts like. Your thoughts, your words, your feelings, your actions all put forth a specific energy vibration and thus attract to you that of like energy. . . whether it be positive or negative…
When you see something you would like to experience and you say, “yes, I would like to have that,” through your attention to it you invite it into your life experience. Likewise, when you see something that you do not want to experience and you say, “No, I do not want that,” you still invite it into your life. Where thoughts go, energy flows!” (source).
The Law of Attraction, which is precisely what Osteen is preaching is witchcraft. Here is another quote from a witchcraft blog that is in line with Osteen’s teaching:
“I truly understand the universal law of attraction / like attracts like. After all, that was pretty much the very first lesson in Witch School. The law of the Universe is that like attracts like. Whether that me positive or negative. Do, act, think, speak, write, positive & more positive energy will return to you. You get back, what you put out into the universe.” (source).
Thanks to Oprah Winfrey among others, New Age spirituality has seen an explosion in popularity in the past decade. Pastors should be protecting the flock and warning Christians about these false doctrines, not preaching them.
There is a way to healing in this world. There is joy that can be obtained before Heaven. But it starts with being born again through faith in Jesus Christ:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; – 2 Corinthians 5:17-18.
Once a person is born again, their eternal destiny is secure. The new Christian receives a new spirit (hence the phrase “born again”) that seeks to please God and live for Him. It is in this new birth that there can be a real joy. Because a Christian can look past their earthly condition and rejoice knowing that Heaven and eternal life await. Jesus Christ confirmed this when He said:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27.
The true peace comes when a person knows they are not facing eternal damnation. This is what Jesus Christ wants to share with the world. And it is a pastor’s job to spread this message so that people will believe. And instead of preaching the word, Osteen is promoting fables. How is this woman saying “I am worthy” going to save her soul? How is saying “I am valuable” going to bring her true peace? It won’t.
At the close of the class, Osteen, while promoting his book, again offers the advice that the power in life lies in the words someone says:
He tells the audience that if they are thinking any negative thoughts to “zip it up” and just not say them. And then he and Oprah close with more “I am” affirmations, encouraging the audience to repeat them every day, mantra-like, as the key to living a fulfilled life. Jesus Christ, in teaching how to pray, forbade Osteen’s methods: “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:7-8).
In Osteen’s positive declarations, there is no mention of sin, forgiveness, eternal damnation or faith and eternal life. And absolutely no mention of the name Jesus Christ. It is just more declarations of your own greatness. In other words, the individual is the answer to their own problems. The solution and divinity all reside within.
Here, one of the many websites on wicca and witchcraft teaching these principles, mimics Osteen’s “preaching”:
“You can create your own affirmations for pretty much everything. Say you want a new job. You could use an affirmation like “I am getting a new job that I love.” Wanting to find a new partner in life? How about using “I will find my true love.” I started out using basic ones. I still use some of my original ones. “Calm” is one I use when I feel overwhelmed. Just one word that I repeat to myself. The biggest thing I do though is try to monitor the chatter in my mind. If a negative thought creeps in I try to dismiss it and replace it with a positive one. At first it can be time consuming, in time though you will wind up doing it naturally.
You are beautiful. You are amazing! You are perfect! You are you. and you are loved.” (source).
Jesus Christ, preaching during his Earthly ministry, gave a parable that summed up and exposed the heresy and blatant error of Osteen’s teachings:
And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I AM not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. – Luke 18:9-14. [Emphasis added]
The Pharisee made an “I am” affirmation to boast of how great he was and his testimony was rejected by Jesus. But the publican was humble and spoke negatively – willing to speak the truth, that he was a sinner. He confessed that like all people, he had fallen short of the glory of God and deserved God’s wrath. And he cried out for God’s mercy. And for this, he was exalted.
As the church moves deeper into the apostasy it is more important than ever for Christians to stand on sound doctrine. There are many souls at stake. Heretical, New Age mystics like Joel Osteen are filling pews every week and have audiences of millions through television and the internet. But he is not preaching the real Gospel. He is preaching a false doctrine that will tickle the ear, but ultimately lead to damnation. Do not be deceived. Pray for these apostate pastors to turn back to God, repent and preach the Bible. And pray for their congregations to use Biblical discernment to see the truth of the Bible over “positive affirmations”, the Law of attraction and other fables. Romans 1:16 says: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;”
There is a power in words. But it is in the words of God when they are spoken to point people to Jesus Christ. For Christians, use this power and share the good news of forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Jesus Christ. If you are not a believer, take the time to learn the Gospel and cry out to God for forgiveness for the sins you know you have committed. Pray and say the “negative affirmation” that you are indeed a sinner but believe that there is forgiveness for those who put their faith in Jesus Christ. And The Lord will exalt you in eternity.