Fighting For The Faith With Chris Rosebrough – What Does Rick Warren have in common with Joel Osteen?


The following is a segment transcript taken from a Fighting For The Faith podcast mp3 that was broadcast on Tuesday December 9th 2008 

[Rick Warren’s appearance on The Today Show]

Video link > http://youtu.be/2fs2FOd1cJk

Chris Rosebrough, “Alright time for another edition of Fighting For The Faith. I was out of town what Wednesday, Thursday, Friday? It seems like an eternity ago, an eon ago. It is kind of one of the joys of having two jobs. One that pays the bills and the other one you get to pay to do.

Alright well we are back so we have got, we have got some good stuff that we are going to be tackling today, a lot happened while I was out. Rick Warren has been out on the plug his new book circuit and the best way I can describe it is it seems like every time Rick Warren leaves Lake Forest and heads out to New York City or heads out to go on his book tour to promote and plug his books or his latest thinking or whatever he is up to, he leaves kind of a wake of destruction in his path and what we are going to do today is something that is almost a little bit unfair. I know this is going to be terrible. We are going to basically, we are going to be listening to some basically listening to Rick Warren’s appearance on different programmes – The Today Show being one of them and on Hannity and Colmes. Get this on Hannity and Colmes Jesus told Alan Colmes to try Jesus for sixty days. Give Jesus a sixty day trial, ay ay ayay. So we are going to talk about that. But we are going to ask the basic question:

John, “Does Jesus come with a warrantee?”

Chris Rosebrough, “Well apparently he does. You know and not only that. If you act now, if you try Jesus for sixty three days then what we will do is we will even throw in a free lube and oil and a tie rotation.

You know we have just got to be relevant man and so what we are going to do today is we are going to play the Rick Warren appearances and we are then going to play something from Joel Osteen. This is a while ago Joel Osteen appeared on Larry King Live with his wife heresy Barbie and we are going to basically ask the question what do Joel Osteen and Rick Warren have in common and that ought to just prove to be all kinds of fun. So we will see how that goes. But before we get into Rick Warren and other things….

Alright so let me set this up for you. Rick Warren of Saddleback church, the author of The Purpose Driven Life has written a new bestselling book called The Purpose of Christmas and he is out you know doing the book tour. Making the rounds on all the new shows and he appeared on The Today Show, he appeared on Hannity and Colmes, he appeared on Geraldo last night, which was really funny because the way they cut up that the answers to that interview. It wasn’t really religious. You know so you know I haven’t, that is the way Geraldo kind of covered it. Although it was really weird it, there was some church choir up there. Stop shopping choir. I kid you not. I should probably bring that in and play that tomorrow.

Anyway so this is audio from Rick Warren’s appearance on The Today Show and we are just going to ask the question okay real quick you know Christmas right? John you familiar with the story you know God Himself comes to earth in human flesh. Born in a manger, right why did Christ come to earth?

John, “It wasn’t for presents.”

Chris Rosebrough, “No it wasn’t for presents. Okay that is a good non answer. You know as I read the story Christ is born. He is God in human flesh. He basically lives His life sinlessly. He lives you know to be thirty three years old as a man and he achieves a perfectly sinless life. Right and He dies for the sins of the whole world and to propitiate God’s wrath and the call of the gospel is you know is basically that you know that to repent and believe the good news. So Christmas time is really kind of the first real tangible pieces of the story that we get of God entering history. You know this good news that unto us is born a Saviour right and which again you know that just even that sentence you know unto you is born a Saviour. There is all kinds of theological implications that go with that. What is a Saviour and why do I need one? Right you know and what is the gospel message? Well let’s see how Rick does in his interview on The Today Show and I think he is doing this with Matt Lauer. Yeah.”

Matt Lauer, “Whether it is parading on shopping lines or attending at another party. The holidays can sometimes feel more like a burden than a celebration. So how do you keep the holiday spirit alive?”

Chris Rosebrough, “Well see there we go. You see I am all partied out already. How do you keep the holiday spirit alive? Well you have got to buy Rick Warren’s The Purpose of Christmas. That is how you do it.”

Matt Lauer, “Rick Warren is the pastor of the Lake Forest California megachurch Saddleback and the author of the best seller The Purpose Driven Life. His new book is The Purpose of Christmas. Rick and you told me to call you Rick.”

Rick Warren, “I did.”

Matt Lauer, “Good morning nice to have you.”

Rick Warren, “Good morning Matt. Thanks.”

Matt Lauer, “It is amazing stress people always talk about stress at this time of year.”

Rick Warren, “Yeah.”

Matt Lauer, “I have got to shop. I have got to spend money. I have got to party.”

Chris Rosebrough, “You know I was complaining about that earlier. This is like hitting me. You are right from my demographic. The over party fat white guy segment of the U.S. population.”

Matt Lauer, “This is supposed to be the celebration of the birth of Jesus.”

Rick Warren, “Yeah that is right Matt and you know the truth is we often get sidelined by all the other things. That is it is a celebration. That God sent Jesus to earth to solve our biggest problem. But…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Okay so God sent Jesus to earth to solve our biggest problem.”

John, “No….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Well it depends on how you are defining our biggest problem. I guess I would you know I am sitting there going okay so Jesus is the big problem solver from the sky. Okay this is just weird language when it comes to Christianity. Let’s see how he plays this out.”

Rick Warren, “We often don’t accept the gift. You know if you gave me a Christmas gift.”

Chris Rosebrough, “We don’t accept the gift. So God sent Jesus as a gift to solve our biggest problem and we often don’t accept the gift. Folks have you ever heard of Pelagianism or Semi-Pelagianism. You ever heard of those terms? Now being a good Lutheran, okay Lutherans are confessional. We actually have confessions of faith and one of our primary confessions of faith is known as The Augsburg Confession. Now just so you understand here I am not saying The Augsburg Confession is The Bible. It is not, but I do believe unreservedly that The Augsburg Confession correctly interprets and summarises the teachings of scripture and the central and core doctrines of Christianity.

Okay now regarding Original Sin this is very interesting. The Augsburg Confession says this. It says, “It is also taught among us that since the fall of Adam, all men who are born according to the course of nature are conceived and born in sin.”

“It is also taught among us that since the fall of Adam all men who are born according to the course of nature are conceived and born in sin.”

Okay remember the reason why you sin is because you are a sinner by nature. That is what we sinners do, we sin.

That is, all men are full of evil lust and inclinations from their mothers’ wombs and are unable by nature to have true fear of God and true faith in God. Moreover, this inborn sickness and hereditary sin is truly sin and condemns to the eternal wrath of God all those who are not born again through Baptism and the Holy Spirit. Now rejected in this connection are the Pelagians and others who deny that original sin is sin, for they hold that natural man is made righteous by his own powers, thus disparaging the sufferings and merits of Christ.

So let’s get this out on the table here. Christians we have got to clean up our language here. Okay so if Jesus came to earth to solve our biggest problem and we don’t accept the gift, well Rick by nature we can’t accept the gift. That would mean I could somehow make myself right with God. By my own merits. By my own efforts and that is not what the scriptures teach. In fact by the way let me give you some Pelagianism and Semi Pelagianism. Those are some big words we have got to unpack them.

Pelagianism is a heresy. Okay and was put out there by a Monk during the fourth century and Augustine wrote against Pelagius rather effectively. Okay and so much so that the church rejected Pelagianism and you know one of its church councils you know literally clearly said Pelagianism is a heresy.

Pelagianism just so you know is the belief that Original Sin did not taint human nature which being created from God was divine.

You know you have got to listen to that. You have got a lot of people out there running around the landscape today saying things like, “you were created in God’s image.” Okay they don’t believe that original sin taints human nature and if you tell somebody who is not a Christian, “Yeah oh well you were created in God’s image. You just need to make better decisions. You need to make a decision for Jesus.” That is Pelagius talk. That is Pelagian talk right there.

Okay and that the mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without divine aid. Thus Adam’s sin was to set a bad example for his progeny. But his actions did not have the other consequences imputed to original sin. So Pelagianism views the role of Jesus as setting a good example for the rest of humanity. Thus counter acting Adam’s bad example. In short humanity has full control and has full responsibility for its own salvation. In addition to full responsibility for every sin. That is what Pelagianism is and it is a heresy. It is a rejected heresy. It contradicts the clear words of God.

Now Semi Pelagianism basically says that okay well in Original Sin we hurt, we wounded our nature so much so that we are almost dead but not quite. We are still capable of responding and you have just got to make a decision. No Semi Pelagianism is also rejected. Okay so just so you know Semi Pelagianism is the rampant predominant teaching in American Evangelicalism. Make a decision for Jesus. Choose God, accept his gift. Things like that.

But notice what is missing in Rick’s call here is anything that has to do really with sin, nailing people to the wall for their sin and then calling them to repentance and faith. Okay so by the way there is a couple of passages that are really cool – John 6 v 44.

John 6 v 44 (ESV – English Standard Version)                                                                                                           

44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

The Greek word there John 6 v 44 is helkó ἑλκύω and helkó ἑλκύω literally it is to move an object from one area to another by pulling motion or drawing with the implication that the object being moved is incapable of propelling itself or the case of persons is unwilling to do so voluntarily. So Jesus in John 6 v 44 says, “No one can come to me unless the Father draws him.” Imagine if you would that we are statues and this is really the implication of the word helkó ἑλκύω is that you are a statue and God is taking the ropes and throwing them around you and pulling you towards Him. Okay and you are not capable of doing so on your own or John 6 v 65.

John 6 v 65 (NIV – New International Version)                                                                                                    

Jesus, 65 “He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.”

Okay you cannot choose God. God chooses you and how does God draw us, how does God give us faith? It is through the proclamation of the gospel and I would even say through the means of grace. You know through the means of baptism. So here we go. Okay so Rick Warren here is saying that you know we have got this great gift from God, but we are not accepting it. But Jesus came to solve our biggest problem. Well what is our problem Rick? What is the problem that God came to solve? What Christ came to solve?”

Rick Warren, “And you came over here later and you said how do you like my gift? And I go, “Well I am sure it is great and I didn’t have time to open it.” You would be offended and I had missed the blessing of it and a lot of people go through Christmas and never open the gift. God’s gift to us.”

Matt Lauer, “I don’t want to sound like an angel here and I have been carried away with the commercial side of the holidays just as much as anybody else has. But it is almost as if at every cash register, at every store across the country. You should have the title of your book that says oh in question form. What is the purpose of Christmas? Before you are allowed to charge something on a credit card.”

Rick Warren, “Yeah well that is the reason I wrote the book. I think it is for, I wrote it to be given to people to think about whether you are a sceptic or seeker or believer. Why do we do this thing? Why is history divided into A.D. and B.C. by this event? I mean even people who don’t accept Jesus Christ. They still use 2008 as the reference point.”

Matt Lauer, “Well you bring up a good point. You say whether you are a sceptic, a cynic or a believer. Do you have to be a devout Christian to get the true meaning of the holiday?”

Rick Warren, “Oh I think so, I think you have to understand that Jesus Christ came for your greatest benefit. It is like unwrapping the gift to Him.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Jesus came for your greatest benefit. Okay now we did, I did a full blown review of this book and explained why I wouldn’t recommend it. Especially considering the scripture twisting that is involved in this book. But now we have got Rick Warren basically saying that God, Christ came to solve your greatest problem and Christ came for your greatest benefit. It is me centred. Okay I mean, listen I do sales and marketing and in the corporate world I came up through the sales and marketing ranks. I know all about you know the principle of wiffem, you ever heard of that wiffem. You ever heard of that? What is in it for me? Okay when you are selling something, when you are pitching something, when you are marketing a product or service. People want to know what is in it for them. Right, Rick Warren here is doing the wiffem approach. What is in it for me? Christ came for your greatest benefit. He came to solve your greatest problem. Wow that sounds great well what is my greatest benefit? What is my greatest problem?

Rick Warren, “The bottom line of Christmas is you matter to God. He made you. He loves you and He sent Himself to earth so we could know what He is like.”

Matt Lauer, “Alright so…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Sent Himself to earth so we could know what He is like. God apparently is about six foot one. You know has Jewish facial features and a beard and is a tall and a loveable guy.”

John, “I have seen the pictures.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah I have seen the pictures. Have you seen Jesus graduation picture? So Christ came to earth to show us what He is like. Wow now we know what He is like and how does that change me at this point? Not really much. Jesus the example, okay.”

Matt Lauer, “People are listening to what you just said. You matter to God and a lot of people Rick as you know around the country right now are facing unemployment, they are foreclosure, they can’t pay their bills. They won’t be able to send their kids to college and they say, “Well if I matter to God then why did He put me in this situation? How do you answer that to your 20,000 church congregations.”

Rick Warren, “Sure well we live in a broken planet. The fact is nothing works here. No relationship. No economy. It has been broken since the beginning….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Why is it broken Rick? Sin? Can you say the word s.i.n that is the reason why it is broken is because of our sin. Let’s continue…..”

Rick Warren, “That is why we pray thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven because it is done perfectly there. But what we need to do at Christmas time is really focus on people less fortunate than us too, not just of receiving God’s gift of salvation. But also saying how can I make a difference in somebody else’s life…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Notice NBC this is not a Christian Network. So he is literally giving him a front of a huge, enormous, non-christian audience. Okay…..”

Matt Lauer, It is you know Tony Robins who is the inspirational Guru there has that same theory. He says if you are really feeling bad about your own straits go help someone in worse straits.”

Rick Warren, “Exactly absolutely. You see most of the world would love to have our problems. They would love to be in debt. They don’t have debt. They don’t have any money in their pocket and what if you are depressed, which the Christmas season is the season where people often get the blues, get stressed out, suicide often goes up. You need to do two things. Turn to God and turn to somebody less fortunate than yourself.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Turn to God? How are we supposed to do that if God is the one who draws us and we can’t come to Christ or can’t come to God unless the Father enables us to do that. This sounds like Pelagianism to me folks and notice what is Rick Warren is in front of a national audience discussing the purpose of Christmas and we are not hearing about our sin, we are not hearing about Christ’s death on the cross. We are not hearing about repentance and the forgiveness of sins. No Jesus came for our greatest benefit and to solve our biggest problem and then you know just do good things for other people, because that will make you feel better and make it so you don’t commit suicide after partying too much in December.”

Matt Lauer, “One of the major complaints as I mentioned you have 20,000 plus congregants at your church. What is the main complaint? What is the number one complaint you hear at this time of year?”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah the number one complaint at Saddleback by the way, should be my pastor twists God’s Word terribly and he needs to stop doing that. But that is not the biggest complaint.”

Rick Warren, “Trying to do too much in too little time. I mean we just had, let’s go write a card to everybody we have ever known. Let’s redecorate our house. Let’s buy a gift for everybody we have ever known. Let’s go to five extra parties and yet we add all this stuff in, actually you could celebrate it in a whole lot simpler way.”

Matt Lauer, “You know we are going to have you back I think on Christmas day where we are going to talk more and I know you want people to ask themselves two questions and we will talk about that then. But first in advance, happy holidays.”

Rick Warren, “Thank you, same to you.”

Matt Lauer, “Good to have you here and the book is called The Purpose of Christmas and to hear more from Rick Warren, be sure to watch his interview and that is on Dateline Friday December 19th.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Alright so that was his appearance on The Today Show in front of a national secular audience. He has this incredible opportunity here. The name of the book is The Purpose of Christmas. It is all about Christ coming to earth. For unto you is born a Saviour. Right, he could talk about all of the biblical themes, all the gospel themes – sin, rebellion against God. Christ coming to earth living a perfect life. His righteousness being imputed to us by faith, call for repentance and forgiveness of sins and really preaching the gospel. Right well he didn’t even get close.

Huh which made me muse on one of my websites, I think it is time that we have a recall. We need to recall Rick Warren because here is the deal I never voted for who I would like to have representing me as a Christian on national television and since we live in a democracy I think there needs to be a recall. We need to recall Rick Warren and find somebody else who is willing to actually you know not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and you know preach it, well maybe I am just being negative.

Anyway we are going to take our first break and when we come back we are going to pick up this topic and take a listen to Rick Warren’s appearance on The Hannity and Colmes Show, again plugging his book The Purpose of Christmas and see how he did on that appearance.

If you would like to email me regarding anything you have heard so far and tell me how you can choose God. How you really think that the purpose of Christmas is doing something better for somebody else who is less fortunate than you are or you just like partying and you are depressed and stressed out about it. You can do so at talkback@fightingforthefaith.com. We will be right back.”

 [Rick Warren’s Appearance on Hannity and Colmes]

Chris Rosebrough, “Alright so John and I are talking during the break and John sometimes has some amazing insights you know. He says, “You know Chris, Charlie Brown Christmas special. They get it clearer than Rick Warren did.” So I am going, “No…” He is like, “Yeah actually think about it. Yeah that is true.” So we had to look it up on YouTube. We will play that here in a second.

By the way you are listening to Fighting For The Faith. My name is Chris Rosebrough I am your servant in Jesus Christ. My job on a daily basis is to dish up a daily dose of biblical discernment and we just choose to ask the question: Is this Christianity? Is this what the Christian faith teaches or is it something else? Alright and that is what we do in a daily basis here.

Alright coming back to the question of you know what is the purpose of Christmas? Here we have got Rick Warren literally one of the most influential pastors in the world. But there is nobody who is going to say, “No he is not influential like that.” No he is one of the most influential pastors in the world. He is out. Did they call it a junket? Or is that what they call it? I don’t know the real word for that and I am probably going to mess that up. I am not, a book tour? He is out plugging his book. Okay and so he is making the rounds out on you know, out on the news shows and he went on to The Today Show and we didn’t hear anything about the real purpose of Christmas. You would think that the most influential pastor, Christian pastor, one of the most influential Christian pastors in the world when he was on the news show and in front of an audience of a whole bunch of non-believers would exalt Christ and Him crucified. Right that didn’t really happen.

Let’s listen to Linus from The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, see how handles the question of the purpose of Christmas.

Charlie Brown, “And is there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

Chris Rosebrough, “So that is Charlie Brown here. He is all upset because, this is from The Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Charlie Brown is all upset because he has asking the question isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about? Okay so let’s hear that again. Let’s find, let’s listen to the answer here from The Peanuts who seem to get it.”

Charlie Brown, “And is there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

Linus Van Pelt, “Sure Charlie Brown. I can tell you what Christmas is all about.”

Chris Rosebrough, “He is now approaching the stage. He is going to announce this to the whole world.”

Linus Van Pelt, “Lights please……

Luke 2 v 8-20 (KJV – King James Version)

And there were in the same country shepherds

abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them,

and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and

they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold,

I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of

David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the

babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the

heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Chris Rosebrough, “Well he there we go. Notice that Linus seems to have pinpointed on Christ. Linus did a far better job in one minute and thirteen seconds than Rick Warren did on four minutes on The Today Show.”

John, “He quoted scripture.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah he quoted the scripture too yeah. Well there is an idea. Well Rick doesn’t know how to do that. He only knows how to twist it. Okay so we are going to move onto the next interview and this interview took place on Hannity and Colmes and let’s see here, I have got to make sure I can find it. Here we go. This is Rick Warren on Hannity and Colmes. We will play the whole, well the second half of the interview they got political. We will play the first half where he is talking about the purpose of Christmas. So here is Rick Warren.”

Sean Hannity, “And here we are just a few weeks away from Christmas and as thousands prepare to celebrate it. Well it seems that few know the true meaning of the holiday. But one man who does understand what Christmas is all about is our good friend pastor Rick Warren and his brand new book The Purpose of Christmas. The Saddleback pastor explains how Christmas is a time for celebration, salvation, reconciliation and he challenges all of us to make this holiday season one that will change our lives forever. Pastor Rick Warren.”

Rick Warren, “Good to see you Sean.”

Sean Hannity, “I love The Purpose Driven Life. It has impacted my life a lot.”

Rick Warren, “Thank you.”

Sean Hannity, “And this is a great book this, we forget we were all out shopping and New York goes crazy and we eat turkey and ham and do we stop and think about what Christmas is about?”

Rick Warren, “You know it is kind of like with thanksgiving. On thanksgiving we do everything except give thanks.”

Chris Rosebrough, “You know speak for yourself. We have a great thanksgiving service at our church and you know what we did in that? We gave thanks because maybe they don’t have a thanksgiving service at Saddleback. I don’t know….”

Rick Warren, “We eat, we watch football. We have a good time with family. Almost nobody gives thanks to God at thanksgiving, unless there is a short prayer before we eat.”

Sean Hannity, “Could I ask you a question, are you as normal as what you are describing or you do, because you are a pastor you are probably better at this than say I am. I need to do better.”

Rick Warren, “Well you know in the book that I talked about. I said Christmas is a time for celebration. So I am not against decorating, putting on lights, buying gifts. In fact the whole reason we give gifts is the wise men gave gifts to Jesus at the first Christmas.”

Chris Rosebrough, “You know what is funny is that is not exactly true that, issues etc just recently talked about the reason why we give gifts. I should put a link up to that issues etc talk about Saint Nicholas. Okay that is just a historical point. Though that one could be debated you know. But okay…..”

Rick Warren, “And that started the gift giving process.”

Sean Hannity, “Right…..”

Rick Warren, “But we have got to remember why Jesus came to earth.”

Sean Hannity, “Okay well and it was for the salvation of man’s soul and reconciliation to God.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Okay he just said we have got to remember why Jesus came to earth. I want you to pay real close attention to who answers that question. So let me back it up a little bit. Listen carefully who is it, is it pastor Rick Warren or somebody else that gives the answer to the question – why Jesus came to earth? Here we go.”

Rick Warren, “In fact the whole reason we give gifts is the wise men gave gifts to Jesus at the first Christmas and that started the gift giving process”

Sean Hannity, “Right…..”

Rick Warren, “But we have got to remember why Jesus came to earth.”

Sean Hannity, “Okay well and it was for the salvation of man’s soul and reconciliation to God.”

Rick Warren, “You know if God……”

Sean Hannity, “Do I have to forgive Alan for Christmas?”

Chris Rosebrough, “There it was kind of that almost was gospel-ish from Sean Hannity who is a practicing Roman Catholic, a stuttering something about reconciliation you know and so that was folks I am telling you that is about as much gospel as you are going to get in this entire interview and it wasn’t even Rick Warren that was proclaiming the gospel. It was Sean Hannity who threw that kind of in there almost as an aside. Well we continue.”

Rick Warren, “Absolutely…..”

Sean Hannity, “Can I start? Can I say something? Okay he got everything he wants this year.”

Rick Warren, “Do you want a word of prayer right here?”

Sean Hannity, “He got Barak Obama elected and it is absolutely you know.”

Rick Warren, “You know what I am bound to be a bridge builder and I am here for reconciliation. Because America does not want to see you guys split up.”

Sean Hannity, “Well he abandoned me. Blame him.”

Alan Colmes, “If you can bring us back together, then you really are gifted.”

Rick Warren, “Oh okay.”

Sean Hannity, “He wants to stay away from me that badly.”

Alan Colmes, “No, no, no, no.”

Sean Hannity, “But in all honesty as a Christian you know what I you know what I find has took a few days vocation. I will take some time around Christmas and when you stop you begin to realise you know what we go at a pretty fast pace and we don’t really stand back and reflect a lot and this book makes you reflect and think of the real purpose and meaning of life and things.”

Rick Warren, “Well part of it is one of the ideas I try to get across is opening God’s Christmas gift to you. If you gave me a Christmas gift…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “This is very similar to what we heard on The Today Show opening God’s Christmas present to you. Okay well God’s Christmas present to me was Christ. It was Himself. Okay he gave me the gift of a Saviour. Let’s see if we get to that, does he even get to Linus level?”

Rick Warren, “Well part of it is one of the ideas I try to get across is opening God’s Christmas gift to you. If you gave me a Christmas gift and I never opened it and a year later you go, “Hey Rick do you like my gift?” and I go, “Oh Sean I am really glad you gave it to me. Unfortunately I was too busy to open it.” You would go, “What kind of friend are you?” And first I miss the benefit….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Pack your bags you are going on a guilt trip. You see there is God up there going, “Man I gave you this great present and you never even opened it. What kind of friend are you?” You know he is trying to do a more friendly approach here and you have just got God coming off as somebody who you know has been slighted. You know dude I gave you this great Christmas present. You didn’t even open it. Man what is wrong with you? Oh I am sorry God let me go open that. Will that make you feel better? Will that get you to stop nagging me?”

Rick Warren, “First I miss the benefit of the gift and second you are kind of a little ticked off because I didn’t open it. God has given us a gift in Jesus Christ and people don’t understand it is for our benefit…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “There it is he has given us a gift in Jesus Christ for our benefit. Technically this is correct. Proof is always in the pudding. How is he defining that? If I am a non-believer and I am listening to Hannity and Colmes. Okay I am watching this you know one night while he is on The Fox News. Okay am I going to hear the gospel clearly presented? Right that is the question.”

Rick Warren, “One of the things for unto is born this day a Saviour and you say well I don’t need a Saviour. Well believe me if you didn’t need one God wouldn’t have sent it.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Well that is true okay. Good, good, good. Why do I need a Saviour?”

Rick Warren, “Because He wouldn’t waste the time…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh because He wouldn’t waste the time.”

Rick Warren, “Jesus meets every one of our deepest needs and what we….. ”

Chris Rosebrough, “Jesus meets every one of our deepest needs. Have you ever seen that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? I should look this up. Stick with me a second folks. Maslow hierarchy, there is this thing called Maslow hierarchy of needs. There we go. Let’s see here. Jesus came to meet all of our deepest needs, physiological need. Okay so according to Maslow you know this is this idea that you know there is all these different needs that we have. By the way this isn’t biblical at all. But you know Jesus came to fulfil all of our deepest needs.

Okay well according to Maslow there is a hierarchy of needs that we have. We have got the physiological needs. That means we have a need for breathing. I need to breath, how about you?”

John, “Yes…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah okay just checking. Food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis and you know bowel movements, excrete. So we have physiological needs. So here is the deal if you are not needing these very basic needs you are not going to care about the stuff that is above it, after that you know you have a need for security of the body, of employment, of resources, of morality, of the family, of health, and of property. So Jesus came for all of those needs too right? Okay Jesus came for all of our needs, our deepest needs. Friends and after that you have got the needs of love and belonging. You have got friendship, family, intimacy. Okay and then you have got above that you have got esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others and then after that you have got morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts. You know that is in the self-actualisation portion of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

So Jesus came to meet our deepest needs. Is he referring to Maslow here? What is he referring to? This isn’t exactly biblical language. So I am having a tough time tracking with him. Let me back it up a little bit and so we can hear him in context and we will continue on with Rick Warren talking about the purpose of Christmas on Hannity and Colmes.

Rick Warren, “One of the things for unto is born this day a Saviour and you say well I don’t need a Saviour. Well believe me if you didn’t need one God wouldn’t have sent it and Jesus meets every one of our deepest needs and what we need to do is accept his gift of our past forgiven, purpose for living, home in heaven.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Okay so there it is. Jesus gift is a past forgiven, purpose for living and a home in heaven. Really is it just my past forgiven what about my present, what about my future and what is this purpose for living stuff? Okay past forgiven, purpose for living, home in heaven. It sounds Christian-ish but we have to accept the gift, in a Pelagian or Semi Pelagian way.”

Alan Colmes, “Did you just say peed off?”

Rick Warren, “Peed off? No I didn’t say that.

Alan Colmes, “I can’t remember what you said.”

Rick Warren, “I might have…..”

Alan Colmes, “Alright let me ask you. You talked about okay you think everybody needs a Saviour.”

Rick Warren, “I do…..”

Alan Colmes, “Well what about those people who don’t, you know not all I happen to be Jewish, not everybody. I am Jewish by the way. I have a lot in common, same religion. So not everybody necessarily goes that route.”

Rick Warren, “You see the thing is Alan I believe Jesus Christ came for everybody. I don’t think……”

Chris Rosebrough, “Okay now this again this is one of those ones where it just something feels wrong in it. Okay Alan Colmes who is a liberal and he is Jewish, has basically said, “Are you sure everyone needs a Saviour? You know I am Jewish. Jesus and I have the same religion,” and you know that is kind of the direction he is going. You know does everyone have to accept Jesus kind of thing and Rick Warren, I will give him kudos for the fact that he well affirmed the exclusive claims of Christ. But I mean up when he was dealing with Sean Hannity, who was an obvious fan of his who has got a lot of from The Purpose Driven Life and all the scripture twisting that goes on in that book. You know threw him some soft ball questions. He had all this opportunity to proclaim Christ and the gospel and the real purpose of Christmas and what it boiled down to is….your past forgiven, your purpose for living, and a home in heaven and now we have got Alan Colmes asking the illogical follow up questions: wait a second does everyone need a Saviour? Okay well let’s see what Rick does with this.

Rick Warren, “He came for Christians. The Bible says take this good news……”

Chris Rosebrough, “Alright let me back it up, because that didn’t sound right the way that got chopped because he….alright here we go.”

Alan Colmes, “Well what about those people who don’t, you know not all I happen to be Jewish, not everybody. I am Jewish by the way. I have a lot in common, same religion. So not everybody necessarily goes that route.”

Rick Warren, “You see the thing is Alan I believe Jesus Christ came for everybody. I don’t think He came for Christians. The Bible says take this good news to the whole world. I don’t care if you are Baptist, Buddhist, Mormon, Methodist, Jewish, Muslim or no religion at all. Jesus Christ still loves you. You still matter to God.”

Alan Colmes, “True and I think that is a wonderful message.

Chris Rosebrough, “Well okay this is all well and good. Granted okay Christ died for the sins of the world. Okay but this whole idea Christ didn’t come just for Christians. That is kind of a silly way of talking isn’t it? Because everyone who trusts in Christ is a Christian. Christian is a designation, a term that we use to describe somebody who trusts in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and believes that Christ is their Saviour and trusts in Him exclusively. It is somebody who is a you know Jesus Christ a Christian. Right so saying that Jesus didn’t come just for Christians, that is kind of a slippery way of dealing with the language in the first place. No one is a Christian unless they have trusted Christ. You can self-identify as a Christian all you want. If you don’t believe in Jesus and trust in Jesus you are not a Christian. So the term Christian is a term designated for somebody who trusts in Christ, has faith and belief in Christ. They are believers.

So I don’t really find his little play on words to be all that useful. But it is important to note that Christ died for the sins of the whole world. We are to go and preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations right? So alright let’s continue.”

Alan Colmes, “I think that is a wonderful message. But if you don’t accept Jesus and you are not somebody who goes that route religiously. Can you find your way to heaven? Can you still be, go to the same place when it is all said and done?”

Rick Warren, “I am not the authority on that, but I believe Jesus is and everybody is betting their life on something. Jesus said, “I am the way.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Okay half answer and it is kind of a weasel little answer. You know it is like he is trying to dodge the implications of what this says. Hang on a second we are, got to open up the old computerised Bible here. By the way I am going to be trying out a new version of the computerised Bible very shortly here. Logos has got a whole set of software that they have come out with finally for The Macintosh. So I have got that on order and I am going to give it a try. So I may not be faithful to anymore Acord’s anymore. But you see then do I send one of my computers to that. Never mind.

Anyway alright so I am the way. Okay let’s read this in context. Okay alright let’s see, alright so Jesus he is quoting this. I am the way. Okay John 14. Starting in v2.

 John 14 v 2-7 (NIV – New International Version)

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Chris Rosebrough, “So here is the deal he only quoted half of the passage. Jesus says, “I am the way.” It is more than that Rick. It is Jesus says that no one comes to Him to the Father for except through Him. Okay you are right in saying that it is not your decision or that you know maybe he is you know saying, “Well I am not the authority on what Jesus is. I think it is smart of him to put this on Jesus shoulder. But give us the whole counsel here. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except for through me.” There is no other way and you know really punch it. Let’s get the whole thing in here. But let’s see what he does now.”

Rick Warren, “Jesus said, “I am the way.” I am betting that He is not a liar. I am betting that He told the truth.”

Alan Colmes, “Okay alright but what does that say for all those people who do not accept Christ as their personal Saviour.”

Rick Warren, “I am saying that this is the perfect time to open their life to give it a chance. I would say give him a sixty day trial.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh man yeah you heard that right. Okay Pelagianism at best. This is not even right. Hang on a second here. Let me back this up. Because it is just here we go…..”

Alan Colmes, “Okay alright but what does that say for all those people who do not accept Christ as their personal Saviour.”

Rick Warren, “I am saying that this is the perfect time to open their life to give it a chance. I would say give him a sixty day trial and see if He will change your life. I dare you.”

Chris Rosebrough, “See if he will change your life. I dare you. Give Jesus a sixty day trial. See if He doesn’t change your life. I dare you. There is some prophetic preaching right there. You know I just got. No I didn’t. Yeah I was going to say I got goosebumps. Really I didn’t. I got angry. Is this now what we are reduced to? In our efforts to be seeker sensitive, not offend anyone, hurt their self-esteem. We are now asking people to give Jesus a sixty day trial. Try Jesus. You know what is funny about this is that you know when I think about that one of the things that comes to mind is those guys who say, “You know what I don’t know if I want to get married to that girl. I have got to try her out first. Let’s shack up.” So this is like the evangelistic version of shacking up with Jesus for sixty days and see if Jesus doesn’t change your life. I dare you. What is this life change bit about? Where is sin? Where is repentance? Where is the forgiveness of sins? Where is the call to repentance? Where is the call to faith? Where is the Law in any of this?

It is, “No, no, no.” You just, you see it is all about this benefit stuff. You know you have got your past forgiven, a purpose for living and a home in heaven. You see it is all positive. Nothing negative, oh no nothing negative. But you know and then you know so here Alan Colmes has asked an honest upright academic question. If you are not a Christian, what is going to happen to you? The biblical answer is well then you need to face God via your own righteousness. You going to have to stand before God and give an accounting of your life based upon your righteousness. How well have you done at The Ten Commandments? I have done a pretty miserable job myself. But yeah you see, “Give Jesus a sixty day trial.” Good night.

We are going to go into our second break and when we come back we are going to continue with this and then we are going to ask the question. What does Rick Warren have in common with Joel Osteen? What is this see if He doesn’t make your life better stuff, because that is really what is kind of going on here. Anyway we will be right back.

If you would like to email me, that was a little loud. If you would like to email me and let me know about your giving Jesus sixty days, you know a chance to see if He changed your life and how did it go? You know I think about the poor guy out in the Saudi Arabia who gives Jesus a try for sixty days and ends up dead, martyred. His life sure did change didn’t it to room temperature. You can email me at talkback@fightingforthefaith.com. We will be right back.

[What Does Rick Warren Have in Common With Joel Osteen?]

Video link > http://youtu.be/md-3cyHW4F0

Chris Rosebrough, “Alright just try Jesus. I mean look at Him, He is standing over there. He looks so lonely. He has got his hat in his hand. Here He has given you this great Christmas present and you haven’t even opened it yet. Just try it for sixty days. Pretty please, come I dare you Jesus will make a difference in your life. Just try Him for sixty days. That sounds ridiculous. It just is aggravating beyond belief.

Your listening to Fighting For The Faith. My name is Chris Rosebrough. We are in the middle of listening to Rick Warren’s recent appearances on some of the talk shows. Plugging his book The Purpose of Christmas to see how well he communicated the biblical purpose of Christmas and in the last segment we left off with the brother Rick basically telling Alan Colmes from Hannity and Colmes to give Jesus a sixty day trial. Let me back that up so that you can hear it again because it is oh so wrong. Anyway so here we go we have got Alan Colmes asking the legitimate question. He is a Jew who doesn’t trust in Christ.”

Alan Colmes, “Okay alright but what does that say for all those people who do not accept Christ as their personal Saviour.”

Rick Warren, “I am saying that this is the perfect time to open their life to give it a chance. I would say give him a sixty day trial and see if He will change your life. I dare you to try trusting Jesus for sixty days. It is your money guaranteed back.”

John, “He doesn’t answer the question.”

Chris Rosebrough, “No he doesn’t answer the question. He completely dodged the question. That couldn’t be it. I mean that was skilfully done. I mean he could might as well be a politician, of course he is appearing on a political talk show. Alan Hannity and Colmes right? Isn’t that what Hannity and Colmes is all about?”

John, “Yeah….”

Chris Rosebrough, “One is on the right and one is on the left and it is political talk. Skilfully spin fully done. Give Jesus a sixty day trial. You know let’s just do a little comparative work here. We are going to open up Bibles. If you have your Bibles with you we will be reading from Acts 3 and I want to point something out to you in Acts 3 and this is a wonderful story and I want you to see if the punch line here in Acts 3 is give Jesus a sixty day trial and see if He doesn’t make your life better. Alright ready? Alright here we go.

Acts 3 v 1 (ESV – English Standard Version)

1 Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.

Okay so we are in Jerusalem. It is not that long after Christ has ascended into heaven. Because Pentecost just occurred in Acts 2. So it is a little bit after that. Peter and John are on their way up to the temple for the hour of prayer and it is the ninth hour.”

Acts 3 v 2-9 (ESV – English Standard Version)

 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11 While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s.

Chris Rosebrough, “This is Solomon’s porch or Solomon’s colonnade.”

Acts 3 v 12-15 (ESV – English Standard Version)

12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: “Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life,

Chris Rosebrough, “It hasn’t taken me three minutes to read this has it?”

John, “No….”

Chris Rosebrough, “This is a pretty brief little sermon and what is he doing? Law and Gospel right in the sermon. So to the crowd he is basically saying, “You murdered Christ. You killed the Author of life. So he gets right to the nub of sin. Right, okay in this short little sermonette if you would. What is Peter doing? He is evangelising right. Okay watch let me back this up. Okay and the God of Abraham….”

Acts 3 v 14-16 (ESV – English Standard Version)

14 But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And his name—by faith in his name—has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

Chris Rosebrough, “Wow look at that. This guy received one of his deepest needs. The ability to walk, right movement and how did he receive it? Through faith in Christ…..”

Acts 3 v 17-26 (ESV – English Standard Version)

17 “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, 21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ 24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ 26 God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

Chris Rosebrough, “How did Peter handle this little brief opportunity? He talked about sin. He talked about really, nailed them to the wall. He said, “You killed the Author of life.” He told them to turn from their wickedness. To trust in Christ, so that their sins might be blotted out and brought up all the prophets, right. Why is it that we are abandoning this type of preaching, this type of evangelism, this type of proclamation of the truth. In favour of telling people to just give Jesus a sixty day trial.

Did Peter stand up and say, “You know you acted ignorantly. Just try Jesus for sixty days. I dare you. Try Jesus for sixty days and see if He doesn’t change your life.” Is that Christianity? No he told them to turn from their wickedness. Told them to repent and believe in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. This isn’t hard. This isn’t rocket science. But that is exactly what Christ told the apostles to do in Luke 24. I am reminding people here.”

Luke 24 v 46-47 (ESV – English Standard Version)

Jesus says, 46 “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Christ Himself said that repentance and the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations. Does that include twenty first century America? I would think so yes. Now are you sure? How come he wouldn’t exempt us from this? I mean does all really mean all? I mean have twenty first century Americans now moved beyond having repentance and the forgiveness of sins proclaimed to them.”

John, “No unless there is a new Jesus I don’t know about.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Well this is the new give Jesus a sixty day trial. This is the infomercial Jesus. This is the infomercial gospel. Now for three easy type payments of you know just try Jesus for sixty days and if He doesn’t change your life, then pay nothing. Isn’t this what this is an infomercial Jesus?”

John, “It kind of sounds like that yeah.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yet I don’t see the apostles preaching this way. I see them proclaiming repentance and the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ. Which is exactly what all of us is called to proclaim and defend – repentance and the forgiveness of sins. But no not Rick Warren. Wouldn’t want to do that repentance and forgiveness of sins and he even, here Peter says that anyone who doesn’t do this are doomed right. Not Alan Colmes and Peter was doing this to a Jewish audience. He was in Jerusalem to a Jewish audience. Telling them that they needed to repent of their sins and trust in Christ. How come Alan Colmes didn’t get the courtesy of this message? Right or am I just being too narrow, am I being too narrow? Probably……”

John, “Does it make you feel good?”

Chris Rosebrough, “Does it make you feel good? Well who cares. [Laughs] I don’t care if it makes you feel good. You know but it is for your benefit. Jesus came for your biggest benefit right? Is that how this works? Folks there is something seriously wrong here. Something seriously wrong, when Rick Warren is literally out promoting a book that is supposed to be answering the question: what is the purpose of Christmas and the repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Christ death on the cross and all you know those major Biblical themes.

The same themes that the apostles used repentance and the forgiveness of sins, they are mysteriously and troublingly missing. You know when did we as Christians move beyond repentance and the forgiveness of sins? And how is that we can the clarity and call of the gospel is no longer repentance and the forgiveness of sins. But the glaring call of the gospel is now try Jesus for sixty days and I dare you and see if He doesn’t change your life. Why should I try Jesus? Oh that is right because He came for my benefit right. Is that how that works?”

John, “Did he tell us how to try Jesus?”

Chris Rosebrough, “No he didn’t. So do you try Jesus with mustard? Do you try Jesus with you know maybe chips and salsa. What do you try Jesus with? These are fair questions. You know what do you try Jesus with? You know I prefer my, huh…. This isn’t the biblical Jesus we are talking about here. You know Jesus doesn’t say try him. He says, “Repent and believe the good news. You are a sinner who needs a Saviour. Think of the wickedness you have done. Just examine your life in light of The Ten Commandments.” That is a scary thing to do. I happen to have a copy of the small catechism with me here. Would you like to? Let’s reflect. How are we doing? How you are doing in your life in light of The Ten Commandments? You don’t think you are a sinner. Well let’s take a look here.”

The First Commandment

Exodus 20 v 3, “You shall have no other gods.”

The first commandment, “You shall have no other gods.” By the way what does that mean? It means you should fear love and trust in God above all things. Do you always fear and love and trust in God above all things?”

John, “I blow that one quite a bit.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah me too, alright so you and I are sinners. Okay second one.”

The Second Commandment

Exodus 20 v 7, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”

What does that mean? It means that you should fear and love God so that you do not use His name or curse or swear or practice magic or lie or deceive. But in every time of need call upon Him. Pray to Him, praise Him and give Him thanks.”

John, “I am short on that one too.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah me too, man okay hang on. Third commandment here we go.”

 

The Third Commandment

Exodus 20 v 8, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 

“Well does that mean? It means that we should fear and love God so that we do not despise His Word and the preaching of the sacred but deem it holy and gladly hear and learn it. How are you doing on that one?”

John, “I am pretty guilty on that one also.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Me too. You and I are not doing so well.”

John, “No…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Alright fourth commandment here we go.”

The Fourth Commandment

Exodus 20 v 12, “Honour your father and your mother.”

Now what does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we should not despise our parents and superiors or provoke them to anger, but honour, serve, obey, love and esteem them.

Okay not so good there. Okay so the first four we are not doing so hot. Okay, alright fifth commandment.”

The Fifth Commandment

Exodus 20 v 13, “You shall not kill.”

This sounds a lot easier. I haven’t done that one yet. Wait a second. Here it says. What does this mean? It means that you should fear and love God so that we should not in danger our neighbour’s life or cause him any harm, but help and befriend him in every necessity of life.”

John, “Every necessity, I fall short again.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Me too. Okay so we are five for five here. We are striking out. Sixth commandment.”

 

The Sixth Commandment

Exodus 20 v 14, “You shall not commit adultery.”

This is real easy right. We should fear and love God so that we lead chaste life, a pure life in word and deed, and each one loving and honouring his wife or her husband. As Christ said, “If you even look at a woman with lust in your heart, you have committed adultery.” Okay not so good either.”

John, “No…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Seventh commandment…..”

The Seventh Commandment

Exodus 20 v 15, “You shall not steal.”

Okay well no I could remember stealing when I was a kid. Man, hang on a second. What does this mean? That we should fear and love God so that we should not rob our neighbour of his money or property, or bring them into our possession by dishonest trade or by dealing in shoddy wares, but help him to improve and protect his income and property.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Right…..”

John, “No never done that.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Nope okay. We are not doing so good John. Eighth commandment.”

The Eighth Commandment

Exodus 20 v 16, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.”

In other words, don’t lie. Right what does this mean? It means that we should fear and love God so that we do not tell lies about our neighbour, or betray, or slander, or defame him, but should apologise. For him, speak well of him, and interpret charitably all that he does.”

John, “I can’t say I have done that one.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Man okay eight for eight. Alright okay.

The Ninth Commandment

Exodus 20 v 17, “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house.”

Chris Rosebrough, “I don’t know I have screwed that one up. Next one.”

The Tenth Commandment

You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

Chris Rosebrough, “No…..”

John, “I have done that one, yeah.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah alright ten for ten I am a perfect sinner.”

John, “Yeah….”

Chris Rosebrough, “How did you do folks, listening in on this little exercise? Okay just examining your life in light of The Ten Commandments. How are you doing?”

John, “Not good….”

Chris Rosebrough, “No so if you were to have to stand before God and give an accounting of all of the good and bad things that you have done. How do you think your bad deeds would stack up?”

John, “Bad deeds would stack up very well.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah mine too. Too well and it is not like so many people have this misunderstanding that well I am just basically a good person and we are going to stand before God and God is kind of like this old grandfatherly type person. You know with the little nose and glasses on the end of his nose, a little forgetful and he is just, “Oh stand on the scale over here and what we will do is put your good deeds over there on the one side of the scale. We will put your bad deeds over on that side of the scale and if you know the good deeds outweigh the bad deeds, then you are in. It is this simple right?

No every time you commit a sin, you are guilty of breaking the entire Law James says and God is a holy and just God and has every right to throw you in hell and throw me in hell. But the good news of Christmas is not that story, that or it is not that oh come and try harder, do harder. Right okay do harder and things will be better. That is not it. Okay listen to the Christmas story.

Luke 2 v 1 (ESV – English Standard Version)

1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

Chris Rosebrough, “This took place in time and history. This is something that actually happened. You could take a video crew back in time to you know to Israel at this time, at the time.”

Luke 2 v 1-13 (ESV – English Standard Version)

1 When the decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

Chris Rosebrough, “This is an amazing story. The City of David, God tells this amazing story to shepherds. Really in honour of King David, right, very common. Jesus was born in a barn. But what is it? This is great news of great joy for unto us is born a Saviour, all of the demands that The Law makes upon your life. The Ten Commandments that we read that none of us keep or has kept. God has provided for us a Saviour. So it is a celebration, a celebration of the forgiveness of sins.”

John, “The first Christmas…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Right it is a celebration of the forgiveness of sins. The announcement of the forgiveness of sins, won for us on the cross of Jesus Christ through His blood. That God has purchased for Himself out of all nations men who trust and believe in Him through His blood. It is the blood of Christ and this first Christmas points us to that. Not hard to do. Not hard to proclaim. Repent of your sins therefore and receive this good news for the forgiveness of your sins. Not hard to do.

Anyway we asked the question now we are going to segway. Man I hate to segway out of that because that is some good stuff. We are going to ask the question now because Rick Warren said, “Try Jesus for sixty days. I dare you, see if He doesn’t change your life.” Is that what Christianity is about, is it about life change? Is that the central message of Christianity?

Well we are going to play some Larry King. This is Joel Osteen appearing on Larry King Live with his wife Victoria a.k.a heresy Barbie and this is from, I think this is from a couple of years ago. But by the way Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria appear on CNN tonight on Larry King Live. So this is kind of a little bit of a warm up because I am all excited about that, because I am sure there will be some great juicy self incriminating stuff. But let’s see if you can hear some of the same themes from Joel Osteen that you hear from Rick Warren.

Joel Osteen, “Turn the attention back to God, because obviously you know that is our focus is to draw people closer to Him. But I don’t think sometimes it is just natural that they see you and you have helped them. That we always try to turn it the other way.”

Larry King, “You can’t say you don’t like it.”

Joel Osteen, “Well…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “He is talking about being a celebrity. You know how has he handled being a celebrity.”

Joel Osteen, “Well it is flattering to people to stop you and say that you have helped them and all. But again you know you have got to stay humble because as quick as you came up. You can come down. So we try to turn it right back round and give the credit to God.”

Larry King, “What do you think of celebrity then Victoria for your husband?”

Victoria Osteen, “Well I think that society does that. That they love, we love celebrities and so I think that they really look at him as not really a celebrity. But someone they can identify with. That is the way I look at it. When they see him, they realise you know what he has helped me. We hear so much of that Larry.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Okay so Joel Osteen who doesn’t preach Christ and Him crucified. Barely even mentions sin at all and basically says that, “Discover the champion within you.” Well what are they saying? Well they are excited because of all the people who have been helped by him and how their lives have changed. You know what just try Joel Osteen for sixty days and see if it doesn’t change your life. Right it is the same argument isn’t it? Let’s continue.”

Victoria Osteen, “We hear so many good reports.”

Larry King, “What does that do for your ego?”

Joel Osteen, “Well you got to keep it all in tact, I don’t feel like I am any different than I was seven or eight years ago. When I was working behind the scenes and you know I have good family working around me. I start off every day the first half hour, just searching my own heart. Reading my Bible, spending time in prayer, things like that.”

Chris Rosebrough, “You know if I were to spend some time searching my own heart. I would be really embarrassed to explain to anybody what it is I found in there, a wicked sinful man. Okay we continue.”

Joel Osteen, “Things like that and I think if you can keep your compass right then you know hopefully you will stay on the right track.”

Larry King, “The basic Christian concept is forgiveness. Right….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Okay he has got this right. The basic Christian concept is forgiveness right. Okay…..”

Larry King, “So is that the other day Donald Trump forgave the Miss USA for apparently for leading a kind of weird life, a dirty life and I assume to get rehab. Is that something you encourage?”

Joel Osteen, “I think so. I mean we all need a second chance sometimes and so….”

Chris Rosebrough, “A second chance is that what forgiveness is a second chance?”

John, “No, being forgiven is being forgotten.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah right so forgiveness is having a second chance, then if you blow it can you be forgiven again or do you get a third chance, a fourth chance, a fifth chance? There is something deficient in his concept of forgiveness here.”

Joel Osteen, “I think it is we need to you know restore people. We need to show mercy. I mean with as much mercy you show people. That is the mercy you are going to receive.”

Larry King, “Is it hard to forgive Victoria?”

Chris Rosebrough, “Really that is kind of a twist on the Lord’s prayer. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. That is not quite the same though is it? Alright we continue….”

Victoria Osteen, “A lot of things we are supposed to do are hard to do. But we can do them. They are always beneficial.”

Chris Rosebrough, “There it is that is the same thing as Rick Warren. You know beneficial. The right things to do are hard to do, but they are always beneficial right. You see we have got to do these hard right things because they are beneficial to us. You know there are literally scores of countries across the world that if you confess Jesus Christ to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, that you say that you trust in Him for the forgiveness of your sins and you tell people to repent of their sins and trust in Christ that the difference it is going to make in your life is one where you will go from somebody who is breathing to not breathing. You will go from actually being, you know having a temperature of ninety eight point whatever degrees down to absolute room temperature. I don’t know if he is, John asked the question if Larry King is a Jew. I don’t know if he is, he might be. But so Jesus can make a big difference in your life for sure. Be careful what you ask for though. But I don’t think that is what the Osteen’s are talking about though. We continue…..”

Victoria Osteen, “They said things that are hard are beneficial so yeah. Sometimes it is.”

Larry King, “Martin Luther King told me once in an interview that he loved the sinner and hated the sin. Now it always amazes me how you can do that.”

Joel Osteen, “Sometimes I think it is hard. But I think you have to look at the person. You know especially a lot of people that are hurting, do crazy things really. When you go back and you know put yourself in their shoes. You realise a lot of times maybe they weren’t you know had a lot of things against them to start with. The way they were raised or other things in life. So I think that is the way you can do it. You just have to separate them and think you know what that person has a good heart to begin with. Did some crazy things or maybe….”

Chris Rosebrough, “The person has a good heart to begin with. Really, is that what the Bible teaches? That everybody basically has a good heart to begin with. They may have done some crazy things, some misguided things. They just need a second chance to get on track. Really? Let’s alright time for some more Bible.”

John, “What is our attitude toward God?”

Chris Rosebrough, “Not good, very bad actually. Romans 2, man this is crazy stuff. Actually I think we are going to go three – Romans 3, alright…”

Romans 3 v 9-20 (ESV – English Standard Version)

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written:

“None is righteous, no, not one;
11  no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
13 “Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
14  “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16   in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Chris Rosebrough, “That is a pretty miserable description of humanity isn’t it? There is another passage. Let me see if I can find this real quick. I think it is in the prophet Jeremiah and it is something about the heart, deceitfully wicked. Just doing a little search here, not the harth. Oh Rosebrough you need to learn how to spell. The heart is deceitfully wicked. Yeah the heart is deceitfully wicked. Oh there it is Jeremiah 17 here we go. Listen to this.

Jeremiah 17 v 7-10 (ESV – English Standard Version)

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?

Chris Rosebrough, “Jeremiah 17 v 9, “The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it? What do you think? Do you think people basically have a good heart.”

John, “I would say no.”

Chris Rosebrough, “No, again this is something completely different than Christianity. If you think that people basically have a good heart? Then you do not understand the number one problem that in the world and that is man’s sinfulness and rebellion against God and this is a man who is a Christian pastor in the largest church in America. They call it a church right and he has misdiagnosed the problem? He doesn’t even know enough about his Bible to know what the problem is. This is Pelagianism. Well let’s continue.”

Joel Osteen, “You just have to separate them and think you know what that person has a good heart to begin with. Did some crazy things or maybe made some bad choices. But you have got to get back to the heart of the person.”

Larry King, “Really how big is your church?”

Joel Osteen, “Well the auditorium seats 16,000. It is the old Compaq Center. We have four services each weekend. I don’t know between thirty and forty thousand people come out each weekend.”

Larry King, “And it is telecast?”

Joel Osteen, “It does….”

Larry King, “All of them are telecast?”

Joel Osteen, “Yeah all of the weekend services are.

I mean they are and it goes out all over the world.”

Larry King, “Do you do different services?”

Joel Osteen, “I do, Victoria and I do three services. Saturday night to Sunday morning, a friend of ours Marcos he does the Spanish service at 1:30pm.”

Larry King, “You write them all yourself?”

Joel Osteen, “I do. I write all my sermons.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah he does because they are not from the Bible. God didn’t write them, alright….”

Larry King, “Now let’s discuss some recent allegations dealing with hypocrisy and the Christian church.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Right now see he is going to bring something out that is really valid and folks you want to get rid of hypocrisy in the Christian church, preach the Law to convict everybody of their sins including you. Okay here is the deal it is going to be hard for you to charge with those allegations of hypocrisy. When I just went through the entire Ten Commandments and went oops, did that one, did that one. I got a perfect ten out of ten on The Ten Commandments as far as biffing it. Okay I don’t claim to be anything other than a sinner, a wretched sinner, a complete beggar. I don’t claim to be holier than you.

When I examine my life in light of The Law, what I see is a sinner and the righteousness I have is given to me. It is imputed to me. I have been declared justified, declared saved, declared righteous by God, on account of Christ, not on account of Chris. So if we were to actually preach the Law to condemn everybody of their sins, including the preacher, we wouldn’t have problems like this. But if you preach Christianity is about life change and there is a whole bunch of people who are really committed.

Those are the ones who are keeping the Law and then you have got some mediocre people who are kind of lukewarm, who are not quite committed and then everybody else. Those are just you know your backslidden, you know fleshly, worldly Christians who are probably going to hell anyway because they are not trying hard enough. When you have those Christians you don’t even understand what Christianity is and much of Evangelicalism preaches that way. Okay so here we have got Larry King asking the question about hypocrisy and he is going to bring up I forget his name. Let’s listen…..”

Larry King, “Mr. Haggard….”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh that is right Ted Haggard. Yeah the railing against homosexuality and it turns out that….”

John, “He is a railing homosexual.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Right, yeah let’s go.”

Larry King, “Rails against homosexuality and homosexual marriage and then turns out to be one. How do you explain that or deal with it?”

Joel Osteen, “You know it is hard. It just I don’t know. We know Ted and his family. It just it shows me I guess Larry that all of us have things that we struggle with and you have to stay….”

Chris Rosebrough, “No Joel, all of us are sinners. Here is the thing is that Joel and Rick Warren seem to have this in common. This complete aversion to talking about sin, all of us have things that we struggle with. No they are called sins. We are actually ticking God off by our wickedness and we deserve His wrath and there is literally going to be millions and billions of people. I don’t know how many lots of people who are going to be in hell for eternity, experiencing God’s wrath for these things that they have committed called sins. They are rebellious against God.”

Joel Osteen, “You know it is hard. It just I don’t know. We know Ted and his family. It just it shows me I guess Larry that all of us have things that we struggle with and you have to stay open. I read where Ted said that he felt like he lost his battle when he kept it all inside. You have to have you know people around you to help you when you are dealing with things like that.”

Chris Rosebrough, “You need to hear the forgiveness of sins proclaimed in Jesus Christ. That is the solution. The reason why he was keeping that all inside was because there is no forgiveness. There is no gospel.”

Joel Osteen, “You have to have you know people around you to help you when you are dealing with things like that and you know integrity is the name of the game. You know I would rather get up and say, “You know what I am struggling with this issue. I need some help.” But I don’t know it is a difficult thing.”

Larry King, “But don’t you get angry at the hypocrisy of railing against something that you are doing?”

Joel Osteen, “I don’t know if angry is the right word. But it is sad. You know it is really sad that you see that happen and just sad for him and sad for others. But I don’t know that is just the word that hits me is a sadness.”

Larry King, “Where do you — what’s your view of homosexuality?

Chris Rosebrough, “Now this is going to be one of the few times you are going to hear Joel Osteen use the word sin. Now watch how reluctantly he uses it. It is like Larry King here is like pulling teeth and he has actually got his pliers on the tooth and he is going to extract it, watch this.”

Joel Osteen, “Well, to me, Larry, it’s not God’s best.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh it is just not God’s best. It is just not, see adultery it is just not God’s best for you. You know lying it is just God’s best. You know taking the Lord’s name in vain. It is just not the best that God has for you, coveting it is just not God’s best.”

Joel Osteen, “It’s not, you know, the scripture clearly defines that it’s not — it’s considered a sin. And — but you know what?”

Chris Rosebrough, “He looks in so much terrible pain. Yes it is a sin. We are all sinners.”

Joel Osteen, “There’s a fine line. So is lying, so is cheating, so is having an adulterous affair. So I think we have to be careful not to beat people up. Our church has always been open to everyone that wants to come,”

Chris Rosebrough, “Because they all have a good heart.”

Joel Osteen, “Regardless of who you are. And so we have seen people overcome things like that. So I don’t like to take the easy way out and people say well, that’s just me. I think there’s, you know, we all have struggles and I think that we can overcome things like that.”

Larry King, “But, Joel…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Oh I think we can overcome things like that. How about there is forgiveness offered in Jesus Christ for all of those sins? Is it that we overcome these things or that Christ has overcome them for us and is offering us complete and full pardon on account of His death on the cross for our sins. You see there is a difference. Huge difference here, we continue……”

Larry King, “How could something be a sin if you don’t choose it?”

Joel Osteen, “Well…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Loaded question. How can something be a sin if you don’t choose it? Well did any, John did you choose to be a sinner?”

John, “No….”

Chris Rosebrough, “You know actually that is not exactly true.”

John, “I was born that way.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Yes you were born a sinner. But here is the deal the people who decided for you that you would be a sinner were Adam and Eve. They perfectly represented you. They were sinless in the Garden of Eden and they chose to rebel against God. Therefore making the choice for you, but the decision was made for you by them and if you were there. You would have done it too.”

John, “Oh yes….”

Chris Rosebrough, “So the thing is Larry we are all sinners by nature. This is what sinners do. Okay so does that somehow let us off scot free because well I was born this way. Well yeah you are right you were born this way and there is a reason you were born that way because our first parents Adam and Eve rebelled against God and now we are by nature sinners. Children of the devil, Jesus describes us as that. You see the problem? You know this whole argument about oh they were born that way that is a completely mute issue. We are all born sinners.”

Joel Osteen, “Well I think that’s the debate and I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. I think…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “Do you have any biblical answers Joel, any? You don’t have all the answers, who cares? You don’t have to have them all you just have to have a few, a couple of biblical arrows would nice for you to have in your quiver here.”

Joel Osteen, “Sometimes — I don’t think we can say everybody doesn’t choose it. I think sometimes we do choose things. But we have to, you know, maybe — for instance, Larry, maybe I have a — or just a male has a — and I’m married and I have tendencies toward another female. You know that? I have to say you know what? I can’t do that. That’s not right. That’s, you know, the bible teaches, you know, that I have to be disciplined in those areas. I think some — many times it’s in that same. ”

Larry King, “What do you say to the gay person who might be in your congregation who says, you know, you preach about family and family values. I like that idea. Family is wonderful. I would like to marry my partner.”

Joel Osteen, “Well, I just never encourage it because, you know, our….”

Chris Rosebrough, “I would just never encourage it. Just can’t get him to take a hard biblical line anywhere can you? I just wouldn’t encourage it.”

Joel Osteen, “I didn’t make the rules. But if you go back to the scripture, it talks about, you know — it’s all — seen throughout the whole bible that marriage is between a man and a woman. So I just wouldn’t encourage it. I couldn’t in good faith, you know, letting the bible be my guide, you know, encourage them in that.”

Chris Rosebrough, “So the Bible is his guide. He wouldn’t dare actually say to somebody, “You are a sinner and you need to repent and believe the good news.” That is what Christ said you know Luke 24 again I just keeping back to it, got to keep coming back. You know I am beginning to sound like some kind of a ridiculously broken record.”

Luke 24 v 46-47 (ESV – English Standard Version)

46 “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations,”

Chris Rosebrough, “Folks how do you get somebody into the kingdom of heaven, if you don’t even get to the thorny issue of repentance? Dealing with repentance makes you have to deal with the very real issue of men’s sin and wickedness and deceitful heart and the ways in which they have rebelliously actively been at war with God and that they have to repent. But he is not doing that. I just wouldn’t encourage it and you know it is just not the best that God for you and you know I just want to be positive and I don’t want to be negative. Don’t want to beat up on people. Repentance and the forgiveness of sins, do you think John the Baptist was at the Jordan River saying, “Oh I wanted to say to you Pharisees that you are brood of vipers and whitewash tombs. That is so negative. You know it is just not the best. You see that whole Pharisee thing that you are doing, it is just not God’s best for you and try Jesus for sixty days. You know tell me if He doesn’t make your life better. I dare you.” We have exchanged the boldness of prophetic preaching regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ for this. This is some kind of evangelical castrati that we are dealing with here. It is just not his best. We continue…..”

Joel Osteen, “I didn’t make the rules. But if you go back to the scripture, it talks about, you know — it’s all — seen throughout the whole bible that marriage is between a man and a woman. So I just wouldn’t encourage it. I couldn’t in good faith, you know, letting the bible be my guide, you know, encourage them in that.”

Larry King, “But the bible isn’t Texas’ guide or Louisiana’s guide.”

Joel Osteen, “Sure. Well, that’s the thing, Larry, like kind of like you said. You know, I don’t believe in pushing stuff down people’s throat. I mean different people have different callings. My calling is love, forgiveness, mercy, let me help you be the best that you can be through the scriptures. And so…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “No repentance. No forgiveness of sins, very similar to Rick Warren just try Jesus for sixty days.”

Larry King, “Do you like the idea of a civil union, where a state pronounces at least that two people get the rights of marriage?”

Joel Osteen, “You know, Larry, I have not thought about that. I don’t really spend much time thinking on that. I think that, you know, anything that contradicts The Bible wouldn’t be something I could, you know, I could agree with.

[Video clip from sermon]

It is because of your faithfulness, your generosity…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “I just don’t think on that. I don’t think about it. Yeah he wants to be a Christian. But he doesn’t want the shame of the cross. You know what does 1 Corinthians 1 & 2 say? Let’s see, alright here we go. 1 Corinthians 1 v18 we start. Listen to this.

1 Corinthians 1 v 18-25 (ESV – English Standard Version)

18 For the word of the cross is folly (or foolishness really that is the Greek word there) to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

Chris Rosebrough, “He is trying to find a way to be a Christian without the foolish cross thing and boy you know he is really contorting himself into all kinds of different positions in order to avoid having to take that hard line. Repentance and the forgiveness of sins, we continue…..”

[Video clip from sermon]

Joel Osteen, “It is because of your faithfulness, your generosity, your willingness to get behind the vision. The credit goes to my mum, my dad.

Chris Rosebrough, “There is a little piece from his church.”

Joel Osteen, “The original members that have stuck with us through the years. I can honestly say that the privilege has been all mine. Would you bow your head in prayer with me today? Thank you so much.”

[End of video clip]

Larry King, “Arguably, the most popular preacher in America. Maybe the successor to our friend, Billy Graham. Joel Osteen and his wife Victoria.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Joel Osteen the successor to Billy Graham, wow.”

Larry King, “You don’t preach much about sin. You don’t talk about Satan a lot. Why?”

Joel Osteen, “Well, I think I do in a sense. I don’t maybe — I don’t maybe — I don’t know if I necessarily call it sin per se, but I’ll talk about being faithful in relationships and living a life of integrity and things like that.”

And then, you know, some things people don’t see at the end of the broadcast and at the end of the services, where I give a salvation call like Billy Graham every week, you know, for us to repent of our sins and — I mean it’s the foundation of our faith, but I do feel like, as a pastor, I’m called to help teach people live their everyday lives and I feel like my greatest gift is in encouraging them, you know, helping them become all God’s great.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Repentance and the forgiveness of sin. I am beginning to sound like a broken record here.”

Luke 24 v 46 (ESV – English Standard Version)

46 “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

Chris Rosebrough, “Repentance and the forgiveness of sins. Isn’t that what Peter preached in Acts 3 that we saw here? Remember we talked about Paul when he went to see the Ephesian church on his way to Jerusalem. He talked about repentance and the forgiveness of sins. We have got Joel Osteen here. Well I kind of sort of in my own kind of way talk about sin. But I call it faithfulness. There is no repentance. This is repentance–less  Christianity.”

Larry King, “Victoria, is it hard to be a — is it hard to lead a Christian life?”

Victoria Osteen, “Not really. I mean you work at it.”

Chris Rosebrough, “It is not hard to live the Christian life? Not really, you have to work at it.”

Larry King, “You have……”

Victoria Osteen, “You have to practice it. You can’t just sit back and it happen to you. You practice it and, you know, you — you just don’t always — or you’re not always perfect.”

Larry King, “You ever have doubts?”

Chris Rosebrough, “That is called sin. You’re not always perfect. That is called sin.”

Victoria Osteen, “Doubts?”

Larry King, “Yes.”

Victoria Osteen, “Yes, sure. Your mind doubts, but you don’t let your — you just — you work on keeping your heart steadfast.”

Chris Rosebrough, “The heart is deceitfully wicked.”

Larry King, “I mean you see a thing like Katrina. Do you doubt at all?”

Joel Osteen, “Well, I don’t…..”

Larry King, “It wasn’t man-made.”

Joel Osteen, “Yes. Yes, I don’t know if you doubt, it’s just part of the times that we’re living in. And I just, you know…..”

Chris Rosebrough, “How about the whole creation groans because of our sin. You know there is passages like that. You ever heard of that one pastor Osteen?”

Joel Osteen, “Maybe I’m the eternal optimist, but I try to turn it around and say God’s still in control. And I was down there the other day in New Orleans and to see the strength of the people and the pastors rebuilding and things like that. So I don’t know. You just — I don’t think you can let things like that shake your faith.”

Larry King, “How did you two — you met at a basketball game?”

Victoria Osteen, “No. He came in my family’s jewellery store to get a battery for a watch.”

Larry King, “Oh. I thought it was a basketball game. I’m wrong.”

Victoria Osteen, “That was my first date. That was our first date.”

Larry King, “Your first date?”

Joel Osteen, “Yes.”

Victoria Osteen, “He took me to the basket……”

Larry King, “Oh, I see. You met before that?

Victoria Osteen, “Yes.”

Joel Osteen, “Yes.”

Victoria Osteen, “That was our first date.”

Joel Osteen, “We did. I took her to a basketball game there at the Compaq Center where we have church now. And, you know, dated a year- and-a-half and got married after that.”

Victoria Osteen, “Yes.”

Larry King, “Why a basketball game on a first date?”

Joel Osteen, “Well, I was a big sports fan and I had tickets and I thought this is what I love to do and she was kind enough to go with me and we had a good time.

Larry King, “Were you a minister then?”

Joel Osteen, “No, I wasn’t. My — I worked for my father, who was a minister, who started Lakewood, the church I am — that we’re at now. And so I worked behind-the-scenes with my father doing production and things like that. I grew up as a preacher’s kid.”

Larry King, “Why has the church grown so much?”

Joel Osteen, “I don’t know what it is, Larry. I mean I can’t put my finger on one thing. I think that, you know, it is — you know, maybe it’s the fact that it’s positive and hopeful and got some new life and energy in it. But it continues to grow. I am sure a lot of it is God’s blessings and honouring of my father, who worked there for 40 years and helped a lot of people. I get to reap that now.”

Larry King, “What about money? Do you make a lot of money?”

Joel Osteen, “Well, I do through my book royalties. I don’t take a salary at the church, but, you know, God’s blessed me, you know, with — I never dreamed my book, when I wrote my book, you know, I didn’t write it for money. I thought if it sold 20,000 or 30,000 copies, they told me it would be doing good. I didn’t know it was going to sell four million copies. I didn’t know it would take off like that. But just, again, God’s blessings.

Larry King, “Are you writing another one?”

Joel Osteen, “I am. I’ve got one coming out you know, next fall.”

Chris Rosebrough, “That is about all I can handle. So Rick Warren and Joel Osteen have a lot in common. I remember when I was at the Purpose Driven Community Conference. Rick basically said that he preaches repentance. But he just never calls it that. You see he teaches people how to do the right things and then you know by doing the right things they have repented. But he just doesn’t tell them to repent. Joel Osteen does the same thing. It is this uber positive thing to never say anything negative. Is this really the full counsel of the Word of God? No I don’t think so at all, which is the reason why when Rick Warren was out making his tour and his rounds regarding The Purpose of Christmas, we never really heard the purpose of Christmas. Except for a very veiled somewhat cryptic terminology,

“Christ came for your deepest need.”

“What is my deepest need?”

“Well you need a Saviour.”

“Well what do I need a Saviour for?”

“Well just try Jesus for sixty days and

see if He doesn’t change your life. I dare you.”

Can I get into heaven if I don’t believe in Jesus.

Just try Jesus. Just open yourself up and try Jesus. That is what happened right? The same hemming and hawing, dodging and weaving, the same ducking and covering as Joel Osteen and ultimately it is all for your benefit anyway. Just try it. Is that the Christian gospel? Or is this the kind of message that Paul warns us about in 2 Timothy 4. You know where he says.

2 Timothy 4 v 1-2 (ESV – English Standard Version)

1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Chris Rosebrough, “There is some negative things in there to do right?”

2 Timothy 4 v 3-8 (ESV – English Standard Version)

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Chris Rosebrough, “Yeah by the way just if you really want to know about the purpose of Christmas, John has a great idea. Don’t buy Rick Warren’s book. Just watch The Charlie Brown Christmas Special. You will get more gospel in that, than you will in Rick Warren’s book.

Anyway if you would like to email me regarding that you have heard today. Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, The Purpose of Christmas, Linus, Marty Python’s flying circus church. We are putting up a website specifically for that by the way. Email me talkback@fightingforthefaith.com. Until next time God bless you.

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