The messages of Joel Osteen combine Christianity and a modern ministry of hope and prosperity, described as uplifting by some and heretical by others. Rather than focusing on sin, Osteen preaches that wealth and other forms of supernatural increase are possible for people who believe in the power of Christ.
Osteen teaches the fundamentals of Christianity, and he believes that faith in Christ is necessary to enter heaven. His feel-good, positive approach encourages people to let go of negative emotions, such as fear, revenge and anger. He preaches that spoken words have power and that people should think inspiring thoughts and speak them out loud.
Osteen has been criticized for spreading false hope among his congregation, which includes a Houston megachurch and approximately seven million people who watch him each week on television. His positive message has been derided as creating delusional thinking that has led Americans to make irresponsible financial decisions based on unrealistic goals.
Rather than receive teachings of negativity, Osteen believes that people want to be encouraged to fulfill their dreams. His message of prosperity includes having emotional peace, health and good relationships. Even when a person is suffering, Osteen preaches that faith must be sustained because seemingly negative situations are part of God’s plan.
Joel Osteen is a bestselling author and is considered to be a gifted speaker. His sermons attract a multiracial crowd, and he is one of America’s most successful and well-known televangelists.