Don't get me wrong. I see what you are saying about the one verse to launch into stories. He seems to be going for a more of quality message that people will remember, instead of cramming a lot of different scriptures and messages in that may overwelm some to where they won't remember it.
But, the "fluffy Gospel" I can't agree with. Since a born again believer is no longer held under the law. I don't understand why so many Christians are trying to earn Gods love and acceptance by trying to live holy. You can't earn it. It's a free gift. The Scribes and Pharisees lived Holier than any of us can imagine, and they were the only people that Jesus ever rebuked. He didn't rebuke the drunks, whores, publicans, tax collectors, etc. because they weren't relying on their own self rightiousness and trying to earn their salvation like the scribes and pharisees. I am not saying to go run out and live in sin. Jesus freed us from sin, not to sin. But, people need to realize that we are already accepted by God reguardless of what we have done(ie. "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.") or what we will do. We are saved by grace, not by our works. God will love you the same if you live in sin or walk the straight and narrow. God's love for us doesn't change. Living holy doesn't affect God's love towards us. But, living holy will affect our love towards God. The holier we live the more sensitive our hearts are to God. If we go live in sin our hearts harden towards God. Living holy is a by-product of knowing God. The more you know God, the holier you will be on accident. It becomes practically effortless.
Love is the foundation to Christianity. "God is love.", "Faith works by love.", "Perfect love casts out fear." etc. I don't think love is taught enough. Love is the key to knowing God. The more we truely understand God's love towards us, the less we will desire to sin, because hearts become filled with God's desires and not our own.
Judgement, sin, and wrath only applies to a non-believer, it doesn't apply to the born again believer. Love is a better motivation for someone to get born again. But, it becomes necessary to bring the law up to a non-believer if they think they will make it to heaven by their own goodness. The law is just to show people what God's standard is, so people would see how fowl the really were, and basically say, "God this is too much, I can never live up to this standard!! Have mercy!!"....and Jesus is that mercy.
God made it so easy for us to be saved from damnation, it is mind boggling to me how anyone could ever not receive Salvation, and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. God asks for nothing in return. Just for someone to say, "Lord Jesus, I ask you to forgive me for my sins, come into my heart, I receive you as my Lord and Savior." All anyone has to do is accept a free gift from God. The people that know but don't accept this gift I compare to a person stranded out in the dessert dying of thirst, and another person comes to offer them a free glass of water. But, they say, "No, I don't need it.". It just makes no sense to me.
Just to give you a little back ground with out making a huge post.
I started watching him on TV about 5 years ago. I liked his positive message. I keep getting into it more and more raising my bible ect....
Well, I took his advise after a year of watching and went to a local church here in Fort Worth and it has changed my life. Only other time I had been to church was for funerals.
I think everyone has a role from planting a seed, to watering, and harvesting it.
Joel got me in the door and broke down the barriers for me to attend a local Church. I believe that's his job (Hes a planter). Once you get involved in a local church then you start understanding more of the bible and getting a deeper insight.
Anytime, I watched any other preacher on TV I would just turn the channel as I had no reason to watch that crap or listen to it. But, when it was put to me in Joel's perspective. It broke down those barriers and mental blocks I had about church.
You have to remember it's all about Baby steps. You didnt learn to read,write,or talk overnight as a Baby. Same thing goes for the bible it takes time to understand, believe, prayer and walk with faith.
Now, I'm a born again believer thanks to Jesus Christ for bring people like Joel Osteen in my life.
I try not to Judge anyone. But, alot of people (Christians) judge Osteen when it clearly states in the bible not to Judge for you will be Judged. So, the way I look at it. I dont agree with alot of other Televangelist Pastors out there I just wont follow there teaching. The Lord knows what's right and wrong and he will Judge himself at that time.
Were only here for a short time. We came in the world with nothing and we leave with nothing. I want my treasure up there with Him.