"Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." I Peter 1:8
Lakewood Church is an evangelical non-denominational Christian megachurch located in Houston, Texas, US. It is one of the largest congregations in the United States, averaging about 52,000 attendees per week. The 16,800-seat Lakewood Church building, home to four English-language services and two Spanish-language services per week, is located at the former Compaq Center. Joel Osteen is the senior pastor of Lakewood Church with his wife, Victoria, who serves as co-pastor. Lakewood Church is non-denominational (not affiliated), while the leadership may be considered part of the Word of Faith movement.
Lakewood Church, originally called "Lakewood Baptist Church", was founded by John Osteen and his second wife, Dolores (Dodie) on Mother's Day, May 10, 1959, inside an abandoned feed store in northeast Houston. John was a Southern Baptist minister, but after experiencing baptism in the Holy Spirit, he founded Lakewood as a church for charismatic Baptists. The church soon dropped "Baptist" from its name and became non-denominational. By 1979, attendance was over five thousand, and the church was becoming prominent among Pentecostals and Charismatics. John and Dodie created and hosted Lakewood's weekly television program, which could be seen in 100 countries worldwide. Upon John Osteen's death on January 23, 1999, his youngest son, Joel Osteen, became the pastor.
In 2002, Lakewood began a Hispanic ministry, Iglesia Lakewood, founded by Hispanic Pastor Marcos Witt and his wife, Miriam Witt. In September 2012, Danilo and Gloriana Montero assumed the role of associate pastors for the Hispanic ministry. Lakewood has two services each week in Spanish and translates all English services into Spanish. The weekly attendance at the Spanish services is approximately 6,000 people.
Osteen's sermons and writings are sometimes noted for promoting prosperity theology, or the prosperity gospel, a belief that material gain is a reward for pious Christians. However, when asked if he is a prosperity teacher, Osteen responded that if prosperity means God wants people to be blessed and healthy and have good relationships, then he considers himself a prosperity teacher, but if it is about money, he does not.
On October 14, 2007, 60 Minutes ran a twelve-minute segment on Osteen, titled "Joel Osteen Answers his Critics", during which Reformed theologian Michael Horton told CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts that Osteen's message is heresy. Horton stated that the problem with Osteen's message is that it makes religion about us instead of about God.
1. Mega Church
Today many are fascinated with large church crowds for various reasons, from the social popular aspect to a feeling that it must be right since so many people are here.
2. Lakewood Foundation ,
John Osteen made a historic mark on the landscape of Christianity. Founding Pastors of Lakewood Church, John Osteen along with his wife Dodie, have touched the lives of millions of people in more than 100 countries.
Together they hosted a weekly television program, which could be seen in 100 countries worldwide. John Osteen was author of 45 books and numerous teaching materials and audiotapes. Dodie Osteen is the author of Healed of Cancer, the story of her miraculous healing from metastatic cancer of the liver after being given up by doctors. Her genuine warmth and compassion is one reason Lakewood is called An Oasis of Love in a Troubled World.
3. John Osteen was a Southern Baptist
John Osteen was originally a Southern Baptist pastor who earned a bachelors degree from John Brown University (1943) and a masters degree from Northern Baptist Seminary (1944). From 1950 to 1956, John Osteen was the pastor of Central Baptist Church of Baytown, Texas. During his tenure there, he served on the executive committee of the Baptist General Convention of Texas from October, 1952 to October, 1955. It was also during his tenure at Baytown that the elder Osteen was divorced from his first wife and eventually remarried. John Osteen was without a pastorate for a brief time and was a member of South Main Baptist Church in Pasadena,Texas, circa 1957.
Eventually, he accepted the pastorate of Hibbard Memorial Baptist Church (no longer in existence).
Joel Osteen recounts that some people at Hibbard Memorial, which he does not mention by name, became upset because his father was preaching messages about “hope, healing, and living in victory” (213). Joel does not mention that it was also during this time at Hibbard Memorial that John Osteen was “baptized in the Holy Ghost,”
4. John Osteen baptized in the Holy Ghost
Joel Osteen avoids explicitly mentioning his father’s “baptism of the Holy Ghost” in BLN, and instead vaguely mentions that the church was upset because “the supernatural God Daddy described didn’t fit into their denominational guidelines” (172). As a result, John Osteen took about 100 members from Hibbard Memorial and began the Lakewood Church in 1959.
Joel fails to mention the serious theological difference that Southern Baptists have with Pentecostals concerning the entire concept that the “baptism with the Holy Ghost” is an experience separate from salvation. In this way, the younger Osteen’s presentation of his father’s break with Southern Baptists is skewed and leaves the uninformed reader with a less-than-adequate understanding of the issues involved.
5. Joel Osteen becomes Senior Pastor
Upon his father's unexpected death in 1999, Joel becomes the Senior Pastor. He and his wife Victoria serve as co pastors.
6. Lakewood drops the name "Baptist".
Lakewood Church was originally called "Lakewood Baptist Church" John was a Southern Baptist minister, but after experiencing baptism in the Holy Spirit, he founded Lakewood as a church for charismatic Baptists. The church soon dropped "Baptist" from its name and became non-denominational.
7. Lakewood is "non denominational" but leadership is a part of the "Word of Faith" Movement.
Word of Faith is a worldwide Evangelical Christian movement which teaches that Christians can access the power of faith through speech. Its teachings are found on radio, the internet, television, and in many Charismatic denominations and communities. It teaches that the salvation won by Jesus on the cross included wealth and prosperity for believers.
Evangelist E.W. Kenyon (1867–1948) is usually cited as the originator of Word of Faith teaching.
Kenyon's writings influenced Kenneth Hagin Sr., the recognized "father" of the Word of Faith movement. Douglas Mcconnell has provided significant evidence that all of Hagin's major ideas came from the works of Kenyon
Each service offers an Altar call at the end in order for people to accept Christ as Lord and Savior.
The baptismal candidate is asked to confess that he believes God has pardoned his sins, even before baptism (a common practice).
7. Water baptism:
The church believes the Bible asks for this as a symbol and a testimony to faith in Jesus Christ – in his cleansing power through his shedding of blood on the cross for us. Baptism is practiced every Saturday night in the church's Chapel.
The church believes the Bible asks for this act of remembering what Jesus did on the cross. It is offered every week in the New Beginnings room.
9. Instruments in worship (Rock band):
WRONG TIME: 1959 A. D.
WRONG PLACE: Houston, Texas
WRONG FOUNDER: John Osteen
1. God has always called for obedience to Him when it comes to acceptable worship. Even in the case of two brothers -Cain and Abel. God ONLY accepted Abel's worship because in OBEDIENCE Able offered it by FAITH. Hebrews 11: 4. (that FAITH comes from...read (Romans 10:17). Crowds can get you in trouble Exodus 23:2. It ONLY matters WHY you are gathered NOT if it is a crowd Matthew 18:20. (must be following the teachings of Christ / John 8:32-32).
2. The ONLY founder (Foundation) of the church of the SAVED is Jesus Christ. NOT John Osteen or anyone else!
He is purchaser, Acts 20:28
He is builder, Matthew 16:18
He is head, Ephesians 5:23
He is lawgiver, Acts 2:36
He is Savior, Ephesians 5:23
For NO ONE can lay any FOUNDATION other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. I Cor. 3:11
3. While the Bible does NOT teach anything about a person being called a Baptist nor more than it teaches that people are to be Southern to be a Christian.
John Olsteen started off in the Baptist Church and then stated another Church. Jesus Christ only adds to His church (Matthew 16:18 ; Acts 2:47).
4. The baptism of the Holy Ghost was ONLY promised to the apostles that Jesus Christ chose (Acts 1:5; 1:8).
It was always a promise and never a command.
There are only two recorded cases in the New Testament; Acts 2, the Jews; and Acts 10, the Gentiles. Joel's prophecy was fulfilled when all flesh - both Jews and Gentiles received it.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit baptism was to fill a definite need. It was to endow the APOSTLES (not John Osteen) with power to accurately recall and teach the truth John 14:26. John Osteen experience (version) of the baptism of the Holy Ghost led him to start a church (when the Holy Ghost already knew Jesus already did that), then he started a Baptist Church ..later they dropped the name "Baptist". Why? Was the Holy Ghost wrong?
5. No man is a "Pastor" alone. In the Bible we find "Pastors, Bishops, Elders, Overseers, and Prebyterers, always with an "s"-plurality. Acts 20:28, I Peter 5:1-5, I Timothy 5:17. Wives of Pastors have never been called a "co pastor' . Woman are NOT Pastors, Bishops, etc according to the Bible. (I Timothy 2:11, I Corinthians 14:33).
6. Lakewood Church can not drop (subtract) what God never added. We do not see the "name" Baptist church or any other denomination in the pages of Scripture. The church wears the name of Christ (Romans 16:16) or Christ as God (Acts 20:28).
1. For years many in their efforts to vainly explain away denominations failed so now some are removing the divisive "names" of churches.
2. Taking the label off of Chicken Noodle Soup and putting Non soup labels on the can will NOT change what it really is. Each year companies are sued by consumers because of false and deceptive labels. Col. 2:4, 2 Cor. 11:3, Rom. 16:18
3. All you have to do is look at history to know that apostacy began in Leadership of the church. While Lakewood claim to be "non-denominational" yet their leadership is rooted in a denominational group called "Word of Faith".
6 . Altar calls are a recent historic phenomenon beginning in the 1830s in America. During these, people approached the chancel rails, anxious seat, or mourner's bench to pray. One of the most famous 19th century revivalists, Charles Grandison Finney, "popularized the idea of the 'altar call' in order to sign up his converts for the abolition movement." In many Churches of the Wesleyan-Arminian theology, the altar call, in addition to being an invitation for people to experience the New Birth, is also often used to implore believers to experience the second work of grace, known as entire sanctification. The Bible does teach this!
Must be baptized (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16)
7. Lakewood does NOT teach nor believe what the Bible teaches regarding what baptism is for. Like their Baptist roots they teach a person is SAVED before BAPTISM. They practice baptism is just a "symbol" that one is already saved. Acts 22:16 and other passages does NOT teach that people were saved before they were baptized.
8 The communion or the Lord's Supper is something that the Lord commands of His followers.
I Corinthians 16:1-2. God's people do this the first day of every week. (Acts 20:7).
9. Not in Christian worship as revealed in Testament. Leading Baptists have opposed it, including Charles Spurgeon. See principle of exclusion in Pendleton,p.81, above. The Bible always says to SING. Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16,