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Joel Osteen Controversial Quotes: 8 Hot-Button Statements From Christian Evangelist Joel Osteen

By    |   Friday, 08 May 2015 05:51 PM

As with any public figure, pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen has garnered a fair share of criticism from both the American public and his contemporaries.

Often categorized as a preacher of the “prosperity gospel,” Osteen supplies his audience with a steady stream of feel-good vibes and promises of good things to those who please God.

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Love him or loathe him, Joel Osteen is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to influencing the masses. With average weekly attendance surpassing 43,000 at his megachurch in Houston, Osteen reaches and impacts many, according to Outreach Magazine.

Though he tries to steer clear of political issues, he has been put on the hot seat a number of times about his stance on some of today’s most talked-about (and divisive) topics.

Here are eight of Osteen’s most controversial quotes:

1. “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,” Osteen wrote in his last book. In a follow-up interview with Josh Zepps of The Huffington Post, Osteen was asked if that statement included homosexuals. “Absolutely,” he answered.

“I believe that God breathed life into every person and that every person is made in the image of God and you have [to] accept them as they are, on their journey. I'm not here to preach hate or push people down.”

2. Of the highly debated Pope Francis, Osteen offered a favorable opinion. "I think the Pope is fantastic, his tone, his humility,” he told The Huffington Post.

Criticized for being a preacher of “cotton candy Christianity,” Osteen responded in an interview with Kristi Watts of 700 Club, “When I see thousands of people before me, it just doesn’t come out of me to say, 'You guys are terrible, and you’re going to Hell.' I’d rather say that God is a God of mercy. You’ve got to live an obedient life, but for every mistake you’ve made, there’s mercy there, and I believe we can do better.”

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Though he has often voiced his position of neutrality and acceptance, The Christian Post quoted Osteen, revealing a clear stand on gay marriage. “I don't think that a same-sex marriage is the way God intended it to be.”

5. When asked if unbelievers can go to Heaven, Osteen told the Post, “I don’t claim to understand who’s all going to Heaven. I just believe and I teach in all my messages that when you have a relationship with Christ — that’s the reason why He came, to have a relationship with him that is the guarantee from Heaven. People don’t all believe like me; they see it bigger. I believe God’s mercy is very big. I thank God I’m not the judge of who gets to come.”

6. “I think the scripture teaches us that we can pray for our dreams pray for the big things.. he's not a small God, this God is incredible,” Osteen told the Post; it’s this encouragement to “pray for things” that causes much of the criticism aimed his way.

7. Of homosexuality, Osteen said on "Piers Morgan Live": "The scriptures shows that it's a sin. But you know, I'm not one of those that are out there to bash homosexuals and tell them that they're terrible people and all of that. I mean, there are other sins in the Bible too...I don't believe homosexuality is God's best for a person's life.”

8. On why there is no cross in his church, Osteen told Vanity Fair: “When my dad founded our church, he used either a globe or a map of the world behind him. It was symbolic of what Christ said: To go forth and preach hope to the world. We believe in the cross, but we just continued with the globe."

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As with any public figure, pastor Joel Osteen has garnered a fair share of criticism from both the American public and his contemporaries. Though he tries to steer clear of political issues, he has been put on the hot seat a number of times. Here are eight of Joel Osteen’s most controversial quotes.
joel osteen, controversial, quotes, hot-button
Friday, 08 May 2015 05:51 PM
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