What always strikes me about them is one thing: I never hear them talk about Jesus...or the Father...or the Holy Spirit. After this I usually remember that their "ministries" are typically named after themselvse... It really does say something quite profound about their message.
Amy gives a link to thoughts of Melton Duncan who spent an evening with Joel Osteen learning about him and his message. He says this:
Joel’s own sermons are not like those of his fathers (the late John Osteen). They strike me as the next generation of the Charismatic movement. They aren’t about experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in your life; they are just about encountering your feelings. He talks over and over again about your relationships with other people and in the end he doesn’t really ask you to do anything - except try to change. His language is a mix of manifest destiny and late night infomercial. If I had to characterize the 600 words “sermonettes” I heard I would say “Charismatic emergent, non-threatening, non-spritualized therapeutic language.” Maybe American Idol with Paula as the lone judge.
Never once did I hear the words Gospel, Jesus Christ, Trinity, Sin, Cross (except in Scripture songs sung by performers and in a video testimony played before the Osteens arrived in arena).It really makes me wonder why people even go to listen to Joel or stop and listen to him on the television. The focus is not on God but on man, and this is true of so many others around today. Sadly, it is true even within Catholic preachers.
I think this new style of "preaching the Gospel" really demonstrates a deep absence of maturity on the part of many in Western socieyt today that we need someone to continually tell us how to get along with our family, friends and society as a whole. We need far less focus on individualism than we have today.
At the same time, this style also demonstrates an obsession with humanity at the expense of the divine. If a noted Christian preacher can give several "sermons" without ever speaking of the God or the Gospel or salvation, something is very seriously wrong with both the preacher and with those who tune in for the message.
I am not saying that these people have nothing valuble or insightful to offer. What I am saying is that this does not deserve to be called "evangelism" or "preaching" and that the amphitheatres where these talks are delivered do not deserve to be called "churches." Maybe one large dysfunctional self-help group would be more fitting.