Televangelist Joel Osteen: God Accepts Gays
Joel Osteen, one of the most popular televangelists in America, was recently interview by Huffington Post Live and told the publication that God is accepting of gays.
Osteen, the Lakewood Houston pastor, was promoting his new book, "Break Out: 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life," and was interviewed by HuffPo's Josh Zepps. While they touched on usual topics, like prayer, they also talked about Pope Francis' groundbreaking comments regarding the Catholic Church and LGBT rights.
Zepps quoted a line from his book, out Oct. 1, which reads, ""It doesn't matter who likes you or who doesn't like you, all that matters is God likes you. He accepts you, he approves of you."
Zepp then asked the pastor if that includes members of the LGBT community.
"I believe that God has breathed his life into every single person. We're all on a journey. Nobody's perfect," Osteen said. "I'm not here preaching hate, pushing people down, or telling people what they are doing wrong."
According to the ultra conservative website World Net Daily, Osteen added, "The Bible said a sin is pride, a sin is selfish ambition. We tend to pick out these certain things. But I believe every person is made in the image of God, and you have accept them as they are, on their journey. I'm not here to be preaching hate, pushing people down. I'm not here telling people what they're doing wrong."
As CNN reports, last year Osteen said being gay was a sin, according to the Bible. WND reports that in 2012 he also appeared on Fox News Sunday and echoed similar statements to Chris Wallace, saying he "doesn't dislike anybody" and believes gay people are some of the "most loving people in the world," even though he believes homosexuality is a sin.
"I believe the scripture says that being gay is a sin. But, you know, every time I say that, Chris ... people say, well, you are a gay hater and you're a gay basher," Osteen said. "I'm not. I don't - I don't dislike anybody. Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world. But my faith is based on what I believe the scripture says, and that's the way I read the scripture."