“Hi, I’m Kayla, and I was once a Joel Osteen hater.” What sounds like something I should stand up and say at a Christian support group is part of my story. My parents were avid Lakewood T.V. viewers, so I remember clearly hearing his distinct Texas twang of an accent coming out of the living room every Sunday morning for more than five years.
“You are the head and not the tail. You are victorious in Christ! This is going to be the best week of your life – no, the best year yet!”
You can hear it too can’t you? He’s just so happy – and smiley – and positive. It’s kind of hard to take in all the sunshine when things are falling apart on the other side of the screen. “His gospel is just rainbows and butterflies. It’s not the real thing,” I would say parading through the house. “I don’t see how you watch him. Makes sense he has so many people in his church. They’re just there to feel good about themselves!” Thankfully, my opinion couldn’t have been more wrong. At the beginning of the year, my husband and I took a weekend to go see Lakewood with our own eyes. We knew our previous opinions and had read multiple articles against the Osteen’s ministry, as well as other big name T.V. speakers deemed of heresy. What sparked our interest were the comments of a Louisiana pastor who secretly visited Lakewood on a Wednesday night to see how services were. His words – “The Holy Spirit was there, and it blew all my expectations.” Naturally, we were intrigued to check things out too.
Take some time to soak in what we experienced.