Joel Osteen on Claims He Preaches 'Prosperity Gospel,' Why Scripture Says 'Being Gay Is a Sin'
Today on Fox News Sunday, Joel and Victoria Osteen sat down with Chris Wallace. Joel Osteen is pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston which is the nation’s largest congregation. His weekly service is also watched by more than 10 million households on television. On Sunday, the pair will hold a "America's Night of Hope" service in Washington D.C. at the Nationals Park.
Joel Osteen said his message is to let people know that, “even though there’s difficult times in the country, that God’s good, that He’s on our side and that nothing we face is a surprise to Him.”
Chris asked Osteen's wife and fellow pastor Victoria why so many thousands
of people come out to attend the Night of Hope. She said, “Everybody wants to be encouraged … you want to know that there is a future, that there is a hope.”
Critics of the Osteens say that they are motivational speakers, not religious leaders. Joel responded to that criticism, saying, “I do want to motivate people. I want them to be a better parent ... to overcome an addiction, to leave their past behind. So I don’t take that as a, you know, a criticism that I want to motivate people, but everything that I teach is based out of the scripture. I grew up a pastor’s kid and my gift is to talk about everyday life.”
Switching to politics, Chris asked Joel how he thinks the country should handle illegal immigration. He responded, “I’m on the side of mercy, but I do think we have to secure borders and I know both sides of the argument. I don’t know the answer but I’m always going to fall on the side of mercy, especially the ones that I know that grew up here that were born here.”
He continued, “I haven’t heard of a great solution yet, it’s so complicated. But it’s like somebody said, you can’t pack up 12 million and tell them to leave.”
Osteen also weighed in on his stance on gay marriage and homosexuality. "I believe that Scripture says that being gay is a sin, but every time I say that Chris, I get people saying, 'you're a gay hater.' ... I'm not; I don't dislike anybody."
As for whether or not presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney's Mormonism makes him a true Christian, Osteen inferred the answer isn't black or white. "I believe they're followers of Christ. I don't believe that Mormonism is orthodox Christianity." Still, he said he believes that they follow the teachings of the Bible and that he's not looking to exclude them.