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But even supposing we, or an angel from heaven, hold forth any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, allow him be accursed. — Galatians 1:8

Over the years I’ve watched, with indignation and concern, the proliferation of Jürgen höller powerdays motivational audio system in pulpits. I’ve watched what number of churches and preachers are replacing the gospel of Jesus Christ with motivational speakme. I’ve watched how some of those preachers have even constructed mega church buildings and empires with this brand of the “gospel.” But even worse, I’ve watched how droves of people had been misled into believing that they are getting fed the Bread of Life; i.E. The unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ, now not understanding that they’re being served motivational speeches on a platter, spiced with scriptures.

But I’m now not as involved about those motivational speakers in pulpits, as I am involved approximately the religious properly being of the lots of humans attending their church buildings; and the several million international tv viewers whose lives are being impacted through their teachings.

It is this difficulty for the spiritually helpless that has led me to reveal a number of those preachers for who they without a doubt are; to alert you, the fans and would-be fans of these preachers. I write to alert the Body of Christ approximately this proliferation within the Church; the hazard of motivational speaking packaged because the gospel; and to teach you how to recognize a motivational speaker in the pulpit whilst you encounter one; which I say, lamentably, that there are numerous out there.

So, let’s start by identifying the two leading motivational audio system in pulpits or what I call, “motivational preachers.” The two main motivational preachers of our time are Pastor Joel Osteen of the New Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas and Bishop T.D. Jakes of the Potter’s House, Dallas, Texas!

Surprised? Maybe! Maybe not! However, in case you are amazed to learn that these two are motivational preachers, perhaps it’s due to the fact they’re your favorite preachers. Perhaps, it’s due to the fact you’ve usually notion them to be “O Great Ones.” Or maybe it’s because of their fulfillment, popularity, ministry size, followership, and so forth. Or maybe due to the good they’ve accomplished in society. For example, Jakes’ Woman Thou Art Loosed book or jail outreach ministry. Or Osteen’s e-book, Your Best Life Now.

As humans, we have a tendency to attribute worldly success, right works, ministry size, reputation, followership, etc. With godly achievement. Therefore, the bigger a church, the more popular or a hit a preacher, the greater success we think a person or organization has. We even credit these successes to God’s advantages. But worldly fulfillment, proper works, ministry length or maybe massive followership isn’t necessarily the measure of godly achievement. A person can have these kinds of, but not be godly. For example, Oprah Winfrey has most of these attributes, but but she’s not a preacher; neither can her achievement be considered godly; because of what she espouses.

So we cannot move by way of worldly achievement, proper works, popularity, ministry size or maybe followership. In fact, T.D. Jakes in a CNN/TIME article turned into described as “Oprah-in-a-pulpit. But for Winfrey’s established spirituality, Jakes substitutes God.” That is to say that, if Oprah were to be a preacher, she’d probably have one in all the most important churches within the international! But thankfully, she has enough feel to stay in her lane (as a minimum for now). So, these kinds of attributes don’t have anything to do with godly success!

But simply earlier than we take a look at why Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes are motivational preachers, let’s first understand what motivational speakme is, the blessings of motivational speaking and the danger of packaging motivational speakme as the gospel.

What is Motivational Speaking?

Simply, motivational talking is an encouraging, uplifting speech; meant to encourage the listeners to do better and be better in precise areas of their lives. In a sense, the motivational speaker is an encourager – i.E. The humans’s cheer leader. He or she motivates human beings into action. Motivational speakme is primarily based mostly on intellectual or human strength and no longer God’s strength. It is what a person can do in his or her own energy, instead of what God can do through the character in His power.

Benefits of Motivational Speaking

Without a doubt, motivational speaking has its location in society. Don’t get me wrong, there are many benefits of motivational speaking. For instance, it uplifts human beings; makes them sense proper about themselves. It motivates them to look that they could do higher and don’t have to settle for much less or live beneath their method. It makes people strive for excellence, forgetting the past – beyond hurts, bitterness, anger, malice, and so on. It could make people reach or attempt for their full potentials. It may even help a few unforgiving people to forgive those that have hurt them.

So yes! There are many blessings of motivational speaking. There’s not anything wrong with motivational talking; IF it’s out of doors the pulpit. And so long as the people paying attention to it recognize for a fact that that’s what they’re being attentive to. It’s handiest a trouble while it’s coming from the pulpit because the gospel, and it’s fallacious for the gospel. We don’t go to church to concentrate to motivational speaking. Neither do we visit church to be entertained. Rather, we go to church to learn the uncompromised Word of God, rightly divided. If motivational speakme is what one desires, it is easy to simply go to a Les Brown or Willie Jolley speakme engagement, to be prompted.

Now, does that mean which you can not be encouraged by the gospel? Absolutely, you could. However, there may be a difference in how the gospel conjures up you to come to be the Word, and the way motivational talking motivates. Motivational speaking motivates via feel-correct messages; which, like euphoria, aren’t lasting. But the gospel inspires through doctrine, reproof, correction and practise in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). Not through goody-goody, self empowerment messages.

So, if you go away church feeling right about your self after each provider, probabilities are you are taking note of a motivational preacher. No one have to leave church feeling top after service every time; that is what motivational talking does – makes you feel appropriate about yourself. There need to be something in a message that convicts you; i.E., indicates you the mistakes of your approaches and how to correct them, so that you may be fit for the Master’s use. By that I don’t imply beat you up or condemn you; however convict you. There is a distinction.

Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the phrase of God is residing and effective, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the department of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the mind and intents of the coronary heart.” Well, if the Word of God pierces even to the department of soul and spirit, how can someone pay attention to a sermon and leave feeling giddy, and now not be convicted? After all, a double-edged sword isn’t a toy. Rather it cuts, and cuts deep. But the Word of God is even sharper!

The Danger of Motivational Speaking Packaged as the Gospel

Perhaps you ask, “If the motivational speaker motivates human beings into motion, and encourages them to be better, what is wrong with that?” Nothing! If it’s accomplished outdoor the pulpit! However, motivational speakme disguised because the gospel is very dangerous because it’s often fallacious for the true gospel. It’s like a chocolate covered poison – tastes right to you, however not good for you. Motivational talking packaged as the gospel blurs the road between the gospel and humanism; which certainly is what motivational speaking is ready. It blurs the line between human capacity and God’s ability.

Unless uncovered, motivational speakme may be tough to determine from the gospel. So an awful lot in order that even a motivational preacher might not realize that that’s what he or she is doing. This is the opposite motive why I’m writing this newsletter; to help other motivational speakers out there to discover and live of their lanes. So that they don’t mistake their motivational talking capabilities for a name to evangelise the gospel or pastor a church.

What is the Gospel?

Perhaps by way of now you’re wondering, “If motivational speakme is not the gospel, so what’s the Gospel?” Simply, the gospel is the “exact news” of Jesus Christ. And the good information of Jesus is redemption or salvation from sin.

The principal distinction among motivational talking and the gospel is higher explained via this analogy…Motivational speakme can be likened to scratching an itch – it relieves the itching however doesn’t cure the cause of the itch. It doesn’t have the power to treatment the reason of the itching. It is the fact of God’s Word that remedies the purpose of the itching. It is the truth of God’s Word that makes human beings unfastened (John eight:32). Not philosophy, psychology or politics. Not sociology, fables or non-public critiques.

Therefore, the primary function of a true preacher is to educate the truth of God’s Word, rightly divided.

A real preacher teaches his or her congregation how to be proper disciples for Jesus Christ; which will disciple others. In other words, be an extension of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. A authentic preacher doesn’t train his or her congregation constantly about what it can get from God, but what it could do for God to help similarly His Kingdom; i.E., how they are able to stay for Him.

If you examine the lives of Jesus Christ and the early disciples (our examples), you’ll see that the least of their subject changed into in search of God for what they could get from Him. Rather, their primary problem was denying themselves for the gospel’s sake; to are seeking for and save the Lost. Likewise, the number one function of a true preacher is to ideal his or her congregation to be like-minded. And not this foolishness you spot on Christian TV or pay attention on radio about what you could get from God or what God can do for you – a trait shared via motivational preachers and prosperity preachers.

Why Jakes and Osteen are Motivational Speakers in Pulpits

Without a doubt, both Jakes and Osteen are dynamic and electrifying audio system – Jakes specifically. But don’t be fooled through all that theatrics. When you go to church, you visit church to be trained the Word of God; no longer to be entertained; which unfortunately is what is going on in lots of those church buildings. You don’t visit church to be mesmerized both, but to learn the way to relate with God, and the way to are seeking for Him for yourself. If amusement is what you need, you can visit a live performance or a circus. Neither do you visit church to pay attention a person’s “antique wives’ fable” as apostle Paul puts it in 1 Timothy 4:7; that is what Joel Osteen does. His sermons are full of testimonies after memories.

Most motivational preachers, like Jakes and Osteen, preach to thrill the listeners. They preach what they realize the people want to pay attention. They preach a regularly occurring, non-offensive “gospel”; to borrow T.D. Jakes’ words, “a person-friendly” gospel. That is why maximum of their sermons are either approximately what God can do for the humans or what the humans can get from God: prefer, merchandising, blessing, victory, and so forth.

Jakes, in a CNN’s Paula Zahn interview, says the reason for his church growth is due to the fact he is greater consumer pleasant and touchy to human beings. Here is an excerpt of the interview…

ZAHN: You have grown pretty a flock. Where do you watched you’re connecting in which others are not?

JAKES: Well, I’ve notion about that pretty a bit, Paula.

I really do assume that we’ve got touched a felt want in the network to remember that humans are coping with problems and crises and to be person friendly, touchy to them. I actually have tried to locate biblical answers to sociological ills and to inspire human beings, in spite of pains and traumas, to be all that they can be. That became the purpose of The Potter’s House Church in Dallas, Texas, as I pastored there for the last 8 years or even with MegaFest here in Atlanta.

ZAHN: I’m curious approximately some thing you just stated. You said you have to be consumer-pleasant. What does that suggest, less just like the churches perhaps a lot of us went to developing up?

JAKES: Yes. Maybe the focus isn’t on being starchy and prudish and workouts and rituals, but simply open and sensitive to the need for people, the potential to listen, now not so important, however open to apprehend and embrace and encourage humans, motivating them, rather than pushing and beating on them.

Joel Osteen stocks the equal notion in a Larry King Live interview; and reiterates in a Washington Post article…

KING: But you are now not fireplace and brimstone, proper? You’re now not pound the decks and hell and damnation?

OSTEEN: No. That’s not me. It’s never been me. I’ve usually been an encourager at coronary heart. And when I took over from my father he came from the Southern Baptist heritage and returned forty, 50 years ago there was plenty more of that. But, , I simply — I do not trust in that. I do not accept as true with — perhaps it became for a time. But I don’t have it in my heart to condemn humans. I’m there to inspire them. I see myself more as a instruct, as a motivator to assist them enjoy the existence God has for us.

KING: But don’t you suspect if human beings do not accept as true with as you believe, they are one way or the other condemned?

OSTEEN: You know, I suppose that happens in our society. But I strive not to try this. I inform humans all of the time, preached a pair Sundays approximately it. I’m for each person. You might not agree with me, but to me it’s no longer my job to try to straighten each person out. The Gospel (is) called the good information. My message is a message of desire, it’s God’s for you. You can stay an awesome lifestyles irrespective of what’s befell to you. And so I don’t know. I understand there is condemnation but I don’t sense this is my vicinity.

KING: You’ve been criticized for that, haven’t you?

OSTEEN: I have. I actually have. Because I don’t know.

KING: Good news guy, right?

OSTEEN: Yeah. But you understand what? It’s simply in me. I search my heart and I assume, God, is that this what I’m presupposed to do? I made a decision while my father died, you realize what? I’m going to be who I feel like I’m imagined to be. And if it would not work, it does not paintings. Not the give up of the world if I’m now not the pastor…

By “condemnation”, Osteen way preaching towards sin or confronting unrighteousness; which he by no means does. Lois Romano, a Washington Post Staff Writer, in an interview with Osteen, writes…“Osteen, 41, does now not sweat or yell, or cry for sinners to repent. He preaches an lively, New Age gospel of wish and self-assist – simple Scripture-primarily based motivational messages, substantially without politics and warm-button policy problems…He goals to present himself as impartial as viable, he says, in order not to offend or generate controversy.”

Some preachers’ argument about not preaching towards sin or unrighteousness is that God is love, so we have to hold forth extra approximately God’s love and no longer approximately God’s wrath or “fireplace and brimstone,” as they name it. As reasonable as which could sound, lamentably that’s half of the gospel, now not the whole gospel. True. God is love. But God is fierce too. Jesus never minced phrases about the judgment or wrath of God; even as coaching approximately the love of God. Neither did the early Disciples.

So, this idea of now not preaching about God’s wrath or condemnation (unrighteousness) is faulty and misleading, to say the least! And best supposed to deceive and lull people to sleep; or want I say hell! Therefore, a real preacher sent from God preaches about the love of God; encourages the congregation to press towards the mark and stay the path; preaches approximately the wrath of God and towards unrighteousness; or even generates controversy if he has to. That’s the total, uncompromised gospel.

Jesus by no means did not confront unrighteousness, generate controversy or pontificate “fireplace and brimstone” where appropriate. Jesus confronted the spiritual leaders in His days, the Scribes and Pharisees. All through Matthew 23, He denounced their hypocritical methods saying, “Woe (doom) unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” He called sin what it’s far — sin. He didn’t tip toe via the tulips; to borrow the cliché.

Also, maximum motivational preachers infrequently use the Bible once they pontificate; because they teach to human beings’s feelings for crowd response, and no longer their spirit. T.D. Jakes is the grasp of this. Yes, they’ll quote some scriptures or use some Bible testimonies right here and there, however they hardly allow God to apply His Word (The Bible) to speak immediately to His humans. And after they do, they commonly read from the Old Testament; regularly misusing it, now not knowing the way it relates to us inside the dispensation of grace.

I once heard T.D. Jakes say, the usage of the tale of Joseph’s dream inside the Bible to show a point, that one should not display one’s goals or plans too quickly to people. He stated that it became because Joseph discovered his desires too soon to his brothers that he ended up in an Egyptian prison. As proper and convincing which can sound, that’s no longer scriptural. Rather, Joseph ended up in Egypt in order that he should keep the family of Jacob (Israel) from an upcoming famine, which God knew could come.

And Joseph stated to his brothers, “Please come near to me.” So they came close to. Then he said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom you bought into Egypt. But now, do not consequently be grieved or irritated with yourselves because you offered me right here; for God sent me earlier than you to preserve lifestyles… And God sent me earlier than you to preserve posterity for you in the earth, and to shop your lives by means of a fantastic deliverance. So now it turned into no longer you who sent me here, but God… Genesis 45:four-5; 7-8

These preachers hardly ever use the Bible because they recognise that the Bible will expose their lies. So, what they do is quote a few scriptures here and there, regularly out of context, and pass on. And rightfully so, due to the fact in case you need to keep someone ignorant for all time, hold the Book away from the person. They’ve been able to break out with this for see you later, certainly because they realize that most Christians don’t or hardly ever examine the Bible on their personal; and consequently don’t recognise what’s in it. Not even those Christians who attend church buildings in which the Bible is study!

Rather, maximum Christians’ expertise of the Bible is primarily based on someone else’s interpretation of the Bible, or lack thereof. Most Christians live and die primarily based on someone else’s interpretation; and no longer what they learned from the Bible themselves through God’s Spirit.

One other aspect many motivational preachers have in common is in their usage of the phrase “God” and “Jesus.” Many motivational preachers say “God” greater than say “Jesus.” To them, the name “God” is not as “offensive” or “arguable” because the call “Jesus.” Joel Osteen is guilty of this. But then, what do you anticipate from a guy attempting “now not to offend or generate controversy?”

For instance, Osteen will hold forth an entire sermon, rarely citing the name of Jesus, however God. Yet on the cease of the broadcast extends to you an invite to accept Jesus Christ as your private Lord and Savior; which is kind of ironic. I imply, it’s like a person telling you all day approximately his friend, James, most effective to mention to you, “Oh by means of the way, meet my friend, Mark,” whom you already know nothing about. Makes you need to invite, “Who is Mark?” considering that he spent all his time telling you approximately James, no longer Mark.

I can understand why some of the preachers hardly use the call “Jesus.” It takes someone with a proper relationship with God through Jesus Christ to mention the call “Jesus.” Besides, the call “God” can mean something to each person. But it is the name “Jesus” that differentiates what God you’re speakme about. Most human beings don’t have a hassle with the call “God.” The call they have a problem with is the name “Jesus.” That is “the stone of stumbling and rock of offense” (1 Peter 2:eight). That is the call given below heaven by which we have to be saved (Acts 4:12).

In the Early Church, while the apostles were preaching the gospel and acting several miracles in the call of Jesus, the Jewish council had a hassle with them due to the fact they have been preaching and performing miracles within the name of Jesus. If they were preaching within the name of God, they wouldn’t have had a problem with them.

And after they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the excessive priest requested them, announcing, “Did we not strictly command you now not to train in this call? And appearance, you have got stuffed Jerusalem along with your doctrine, and intend to deliver this Man’s blood on us!” But Peter and the alternative apostles replied and stated: “We have to obey God instead of men. Acts five:27-29

But Joel Osteen might alternatively be politically correct than affirm the call of Jesus. In the equal Larry King interview, King requested Osteen if Jesus turned into the simplest manner to heaven, and he could not solution within the affirmative! Here is every other excerpt of the interview…

KING: Is it hard to lead a Christian life?

OSTEEN: I don’t suppose it’s that hard. To me it is a laugh. We have joy and happiness. Our family — I do not experience like that in any respect. I’m not trying to follow a hard and fast of regulations and stuff. I’m simply dwelling my life.

KING: But you’ve got policies, do not you?

OSTEEN: We do have rules. But the main rule to me is to honor God with your existence. To stay a existence of integrity. Not be selfish. You realize, help others. But it’s virtually the essence of the Christian faith.

KING: That we live in deeds?

OSTEEN: I don’t know. What do you suggest by way of that?

KING: Because we have had ministers on who said your file do not rely. You either trust in Christ otherwise you do not. If you accept as true with in Christ, you’re, you’re going to heaven. And if you do not, no matter what you’ve performed for your life, you ain’t.

OSTEEN: Yeah, I do not know. There’s in all likelihood a stability between. I believe you need to recognise Christ. But I suppose that in case you understand Christ, in case you’re a believer in God, you’ll have some precise works. I suppose it is a cop-out to say I’m a Christian but I do not ever do whatever…

KING: What in case you’re Jewish or Muslim, you don’t take delivery of Christ at all?

OSTEEN: You recognise, I’m very careful approximately pronouncing who might and wouldn’t go to heaven. I do not know…

KING: If you consider you have to accept as true with in Christ? They’re incorrect, aren’t they?

OSTEEN: Well, I don’t know if I trust they’re wrong. I trust here’s what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I trust. But I just suppose that most effective God will judge a person’s coronary heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I do not know all about their faith. But I understand they love God. And I don’t know. I’ve visible their sincerity. So I don’t know. I recognise for me, and what the Bible teaches, I need to have a relationship with Jesus.

For someone who’s the pastor of a local church, it looks as if there are lots of factors Osteen doesn’t realize. Could this be a case of the blind main the blind? One can handiest guess…

Anyway, there are numerous more reasons why these two preachers top the list of motivational preachers — too many than time or area will permit. But for the sake of time and area, here’s a comparison chart beneath summarizing a number of the variations between a motivational preacher and a real preacher. This chart additionally assist you to to become aware of other motivational preachers.

Differences Between a Motivational Preacher and a True Preacher

Motivational Preacher —

Teachings are geared to arouse feelings; i.E. Flesh-tingling, flesh-pleasing sermons

True Preacher —

Teachings are geared to the internal man (the spirit); i.E., spirit-attractive sermons
(1 Corinthians 2:four-5)

Motivational Preacher —

Teachings are approximately self empowerment via self-will

True Preacher —

Teachings are approximately God empowerment by way of His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6)

Motivational Preacher —

Teachings make congregants self-focused; i.E., what they could get from God: want, blessing, advertising, joy, victory, and so on.

True Preacher —

Teachings make congregants self-less; i.E. Deny self, soak up move and follow Christ, and esteem others above self (Matthew 16:24 and Philippians 2:3)

Motivational Preacher —

Sermons are superficial — lack religious depths – all humanism

True Preacher —

Sermons have religious depths – rooted in Christ (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

Motivational Preacher —

Challenges someone to do higher and be better

True Preacher —

Challenges someone to give his/her frame as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-2)

Motivational Preacher —

Encourages to make self (hearer) feel desirable

True Preacher —

Convicts to transform (2 Timothy 3:16)

Motivational Preacher —

Rarely uses the Bible

True Preacher —

Uses the Bible; rightly dividing the Word
(2 Timothy 2:15)

Motivational Preacher —

Elevates self (the preacher)

True Preacher —

Elevates Christ (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)

Motivational Preacher —

Full of fables or personal tales – teaches about troubles

True Preacher —
Equips the hearer to apply the facts found out to remedy troubles; i.E., teaches about a solution (Ephesians four:eleven-14)

Motivational Preacher —

Hardly preaches towards sin or unrighteousness

True Preacher —

Preaches towards sin or unrighteousness, among other subjects (Romans 1)

By no manner is that this list exhaustive. But it’s simply enough to expose you the important differences between a motivational preacher and a real preacher. Motivational speaking is motivational talking. The gospel is the gospel. They aren’t the identical. Nothing even near!

Now, having made that distinction allow me reiterate that I have nothing against these preachers or the fact that they are motivational preachers. I’m simplest involved approximately the heaps of spiritually hungry humans paying attention to them, a number of whom have a honest heart to research God’s Word, and assume that they may be listening to God’s Word, however haven’t any idea that what they’re paying attention to is motivational talking packaged as the gospel.

So, my major purpose for writing this newsletter is not to convince you that your pastor or favourite televangelist is a motivational speaker with a Bible. No! My purpose is to provide you with a warning or the ones being attentive to those preachers who’re unaware that they’re getting doses of motivational speeches, in area of the gospel. I write to inform you to “Beware lest each person cheat you thru philosophy and empty deceit, in keeping with the subculture of guys, consistent with the simple standards of the arena, and not in keeping with Christ.” Colossians 2:8

However, in case you are still doubtful as to whether Jakes and Osteen are motivational preachers or no longer, the use of the chart above, I undertaking you to listen to each of them for a month; (probably won’t take you that lengthy to parent them out), and spot if you gained’t see through their smokescreen. But before looking them, pray. Ask God to make clear to you what He desires you to see concerning those , beyond their dynamic fashion of teaching and air of secrecy.

You can go to their websites for a listing of their broadcast time table on your vicinity or you would possibly also be able to move a few sermon films on-line.

Now, permit me say that at the same time as paying attention to them you’ll listen some matters that make experience or sound exact to you. That’s not unusual with motivational speaking. But beyond that, you have to be capable of see via the charade.

By no method are these the simplest motivational preachers. So, just due to the fact your pastor or preferred televangelist does now not make this list does no longer mean that you may no longer be being attentive to a motivational preacher. Therefore, do the equal aspect you’d do for Jakes and Osteen’s teachings to your pastor or favourite televangelist’s teachings. Take the chart above and examine your pastor or preferred televangelist’s teachings with it to peer if he or she qualifies as a motivational preacher or not.

My prayer for you is “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may supply to you the spirit of expertise and revelation within the information of Him, the eyes of your knowledge being enlightened; that you may understand what’s the desire of His calling, what are the riches of the distinction of His inheritance within the saints.” Ephesians 1:17-18

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