Joel Osteen, who is known for his effervescent personality and sunny disposition in nearly all matters, says he is not cheating people by not preaching about hell.
“You know, it’s not hellfire and brimstone. But I say most people are beaten down enough by life,” Osteen said in a special Easter edition of CBS Sunday Morning. “They already feel guilty enough. They’re not doing what they should, raising their kids—we can all find reasons. So I want them to come to Lakewood or our meetings and be lifted up, to say, ‘You know what? I may not be perfect, but I’m moving forward. I’m doing better.’ And I think that motivates you to do better.”
Other pastors, however, believe fire and brimstone preaching may be what the church needs again.
“To the shame of much of today’s church, there has been a firm and steadfast rejection of any truth that doesn’t result in people feeling happy affection for God,”writes Pastor John Burton.