Joel Osteen, the mega church pastor and author of Your Best Life Now, recently sat down with Oprah Winfrey on her Oprah’s Next Chapter show on OWN to talk homosexuality, sin and heaven.
Unsurprisingly, he caused a wave of controversy in the process.
When asked by Oprah if he believes that homosexuals will be able to enter into heaven’s gates, the 46-year-old, always smiling pastor responded:
“I believe they will…You have to have forgiveness for your sins, but sometimes we look at gay being, you know, a bigger sin than being proud or being, you know, not telling the truth.
“I don’t think God categorizes sins. To think we are all going to be without one sin; I hope that’s true, but I don’t think any of us would make it to heaven.”
Osteen then added that he would encourage people to be willing to change and grow, a remark that immediately prompted Oprah to ask:
“Does that mean that you’re saying that being gay is a sin?”
This time, Osteen referred to Gods word, (something he is often accused of neglecting during his preaching) pointing out that homosexuality is a sin according to the bible.
“I believe that homosexuality is shown as a sin in the Scripture, I do,” Osteen explained. “I’m for everybody. I’m not against anybody. I don’t think anybody is second class, but when I read the scripture, with good faith, I can’t see that it doesn’t show that that is not a sin.”
Check out the Osteen-Oprah exchange on Homosexuality in the video clip below (skip to :55) and chime in with your thoughts on the subject in the comments.
In addition to Homosexuality, Osteen and Oprah discussed a number of topics including the prosperity gospel (the teaching that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians), criticisms that he waters down the true message of Jesus, and the controversial question of “Are there many ways to God?”
The additional clips of Joel Osteen’s Oprah appearance can be viewed below.
Joel Osteen Responds to Criticisms that he preaches a prosperity gospel:
Osteen talks about his wealth: