1. Joel Osteen
The Prosperity Gospel may very well be the most destructive heresy plaguing Christianity today. Preying on the hurting, weak, and vulnerable, the Prosperity Gospel empties the Good News of Jesus of all its power unto salvation and replaces it with a man-centered religion that is defined by a warped version of the most materialistic aspects of the American Dream. The list of Prosperity Gospel preachers who take advantage of the naïve and hurting is long, and includes such anti-luminaries as Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, and T.D. Jakes. But none have reached the level of influence that the number-one wolf on this list enjoys.
What makes Osteen especially dangerous is his soft-peddling of his heresies. When faced with criticism of Osteen, many Christians will quickly admit that he has his problems, but they'll end with the rejoinder that Osteen's ministry has been a blessing in their life, nonetheless. Slowly but surely, these deceived Christians are allowing a teaching to affect them that flatly contradicts the teachings of Jesus, the Apostle Paul, and the entire canon of Scriptures: that Christ followers are called to suffer.
Turning hearts away from the hope found only in Jesus Christ, Joel Osteen is dangling the shiny false salvation of earthly prosperity in the eyes of people who are hurting. Jesus had something to say about those who prey on his vulnerable disciples -- "it would be better for him to have a great millstone around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."
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