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Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:30 PM

Joel Osteen: Obama, Romney are Christian



Wolf Blitzer asks televangelist Joel Osteen to share his views on whether Mitt Romney and President Obama are Christians.

I post this because I have friend who was Episcopal most of her life but her church was recently closed. She now attends what is called a 'charismatic' or non-denominal church nearby that she is pleased with as it has a liberal bent. We were discussing how to get more people of faith to vote for Obama. I said I did not like megachurches because they all seem to be conservative now.

She wanted to see an example and I pulled up a video on youtube for her to see how large they are. This church being the one that I knew the best. She was stunned at the size and I said this is for conservative Christians, these huge churches are a big part of their social lives. We don't seem to have as large of a social organization on the left, and we're seeing a lot of people voting according to what they hear from the pulpit on Sundays.

Joel Osteen is the pastor of a megachurch in Houston, Texas with over 40,000 members and an annual budget of $70 million. They bought the Compaq Center, which was formerly the Houston Summit sports arena to accomodate 16,000 people at a time for Sunday services. At their previous location, they had to repeat the Sunday services several times to accomodate the crowds.



In the video above, I was pleased he spoke well of Obama from his meeting him at a prayer breakfast and not against a member of any other religion becoming President in the video. But he caught hell from fundies for that video in the youtube comment page and for this interview with Larry King:

KING: What if you're Jewish or Muslim, you don't accept Christ at all?

OSTEEN: You know, I'm very careful about saying who would and wouldn't go to heaven. I don't know ...

CALLER: Hello, Larry. You're the best, and thank you, Joe -- Joel -- for your positive messages and your book. I'm wondering, though, why you side-stepped Larry's earlier question about how we get to heaven? The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and the only way to the father is through him. That's not really a message of condemnation but of truth.

OSTEEN: Yes, I would agree with her. I believe that. . .

KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven?

OSTEEN: No. Here's my thing, Larry, is I can't judge somebody's heart. You know? Only God can look at somebody's heart, and so -- I don't know. To me, it's not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn't. I just say, here's what the Bible teaches and I'm going to put my faith in Christ. And I just I think it's wrong when you go around saying, you're saying you're not going, you're not going, you're not going, because it's not exactly my way. I'm just...

KING: But you believe your way.

OSTEEN: I believe my way. I believe my way with all my heart.

KING: But for someone who doesn't share it is wrong, isn't he?

OSTEEN: Well, yes. Well, I don't know if I look at it like that. I would present my way, but I'm just going to let God be the judge of that. I don't know. I don't know.

KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They're wrong, aren't they?

OSTEEN: Well, I don't know if I believe they're wrong. I believe here's what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God will judge a person's heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don't know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don't know. I've seen their sincerity. So I don't know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.

KING: So you make no judgment on anyone?

OSTEEN: No. But I...

KING: What about atheists?

OSTEEN: You know what, I'm going to let someone -- I'm going to let God be the judge of who goes to heaven and hell. I just -- again, I present the truth, and I say it every week. You know, I believe it's a relationship with Jesus. But you know what? I'm not going to go around telling everybody else if they don't want to believe that that's going to be their choice. God's got to look at your own heart. God's got to look at your heart, and only God knows that.


KING: But you're not fire and brimstone, right? You're not pound the decks and hell and damnation?

OSTEEN: No. That's not me. It's never been me. I've always been an encourager at heart. And when I took over from my father he came from the Southern Baptist background and back 40, 50 years ago there was a lot more of that. But, you know, I just -- I don't believe in that. I don't believe -- maybe it was for a time. But I don't have it in my heart to condemn people. I'm there to encourage them. I see myself more as a coach, as a motivator to help them experience the life God has for us.

KING: You believe in the Bible literally?

OSTEEN: I do, I do.

KING: How about issues that the church has feelings about? Abortion? Same-sex marriages?

OSTEEN: Yeah. You know what, Larry? I don't go there. I just ...

KING: You have thoughts, though.

OSTEEN: I have thoughts. I just, you know, I don't think that a same-sex marriage is the way God intended it to be. I don't think abortion is the best. I think there are other, you know, a better way to live your life. But I'm not going to condemn those people. I tell them all the time our church is open for everybody.

KING: You don't call them sinners?

OSTEEN: I don't.

KING: Is that a word you don't use?

OSTEEN: I don't use it. I never thought about it. But I probably don't. But most people already know what they're doing wrong. When I get them to church I want to tell them that you can change. There can be a difference in your life. So I don't go down the road of condemning.

KING: Is it hard to lead a Christian life?

OSTEEN: I don't think it's that hard. To me it's fun. We have joy and happiness. Our family -- I don't feel like that at all. I'm not trying to follow a set of rules and stuff. I'm just living my life.

KING: But you have rules, don't you?

OSTEEN: We do have rules. But the main rule to me is to honor God with your life. To live a life of integrity. Not be selfish. You know, help others. But that's really the essence of the Christian faith.

http://www.av1611.org/osteen.html

I know people who hate Osteen because they feel his church is a 'prosperity gospel' church or as some writers call it a 'self-help, positive thinking' church. Their reason to dislike him is a bit different from some radical right.

This is not so much I guess, about a theological debate as Lakewood doesn't seem to fit any denomination, but some things he said fell in my 'live and let live' way of thinking. However we can encourage people to be more loving and accepting of others is what I want to see.

Anyway, I thought some people might want to know about this that I stumbled on today. In the interest of disclosure, I am no longer a believer but do want to join with anyone who is interested in a liberal, humane society in the USA. I'd love to think that at least of those people are going to vote Democrat, as Houston is more progressive some other parts of Texas.

If any part of the interview is offensive, let me know and I'll delete or edit this OP.



21 replies, 3329 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Joel Osteen: Obama, Romney are Christian (Original post)
freshwest Oct 2012 OP
cbayer Oct 2012 #1
AndreaCG Oct 2012 #3
skepticscott Oct 2012 #13
Bluenorthwest Oct 2012 #2
cbayer Oct 2012 #5
Bluenorthwest Oct 2012 #14
cleanhippie Oct 2012 #17
cbayer Oct 2012 #21
freshwest Oct 2012 #6
Bluenorthwest Oct 2012 #15
Thinkingabout Oct 2012 #4
freshwest Oct 2012 #7
dimbear Oct 2012 #8
freshwest Oct 2012 #10
dimbear Oct 2012 #12
Angry Dragon Oct 2012 #9
freshwest Oct 2012 #11
Bluenorthwest Oct 2012 #16
cleanhippie Oct 2012 #18
Bluenorthwest Oct 2012 #19
cleanhippie Oct 2012 #20

Response to freshwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:36 PM

1. Surprisingly tolerant.

His consistent statement that he is not the one to judge is rather refreshing, but his continued anti-choice and anti-GLBT positions are still a big problem.

I've always seen him as something as a shyster - selling more of a philosophy than a religion- but some of his answers here truly surprised me.

I don't see any reason why you should edit or delete this.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:44 PM

3. Agree here

It's good to know that at least one fundamentalist minister is preaching tolerance for those who do not share his faith. And understands that you can be a good person without believing in Christ's divinity.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 06:20 AM

13. Hmmm...so he's homophobic and anti-choice

and yet you call him "surprisingly tolerant"? Nice. Or maybe you consider anyone who doesn't call creationists "a bunch of dumbasses" to be "tolerant".

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Response to freshwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:42 PM

2. Fuck this double speaking hypocritical bigot Osteen.

How dare he claim he does not judge and then judge gay people as if he were God's messenger, fuck him, he worships Mamon and he is a corrupt, bigoted piece of trash.
I think Osteen and your religious pals should find a better way of living their lives other than meeting in an arena for a giant wanking session for Mega Bucks.
You know who agrees with me? Jesus. He said only hypocrites pray in public, and that is what Joel does for a living, huge public displays of religiosity, forbidden in great detail by Jesus. What does that tell you? Is Joel better than Jesus, Joel makes the rules? How is that 'Christian' if Christ's laws are replaced by Joel's need for money and attention and to speak his judgments from the seat Jesus said was only for God?
Apostate and wicked, that's Joel.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:46 PM

5. Don't hold back, BNW!

But then you rarely do.

Your rage is justified and I thank you for your perspective.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 09:07 AM

14. You called this bigoted man 'Amazingly Tolerant' and then you jump on me for

speaking of the teachings of Jesus, which of course contradict the actions of Osteen. So yeah, I'll stand with Jesus's words on this one, you stand with Joel, the Amazingly Tolerant.
I find the idea of posting bigoted attacks on specific minorities here on DU abhorent. This is such an attack. It is also a defense of Romeny, whose faith denies the virgin birth but somehow Joel thinks that's cool but gays are just shitty.
Joel pisses on the teachings of Jesus. He does so for money. He now denies the immaculate conception, while also attacking gay people, and you shout that it is Amazingly Tolerant?
What is amazing is that you react well to that trash and then condescend to me for my 'rage' which you then judge as 'justified'. How dare you, really, take that place?
What is not 'justified' is calling bigotry by the name of tolerance just because it serves the remaining remnants of your dogma, now that the virgin birth is considered to be a joke, the bulk of Osteen's faith is 'those gays are bad and abortion is wrong'.
I can quote Jesus to show how Joel is wrong, according to Jesus stories. Joel can not return the favor, for Jesus condemned what Joel does, and he said nothing against gay people at all, not a word. Pages condemening the hell out of those who pray in public and carry on for the ears of men. Why do all of those teachings mean nothing to 'Christians'? Because they want to do otherwise, not what Jesus said, while still waving Jesus around as if he was their own creation.

This post is bigotry all dolled up for high dollar marks. And it is nothing more than that. Pro Mitt, Anti Gay, and frankly not a surpise.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:28 AM

17. +100000000000000



I hope you are not holding your breath for an apology or retraction from cbayer.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 12:16 PM

21. I'm not jumping on you at all. I am supporting you.

And I didin't call him "amazingly tolerant". I said his remarks were surprisingly tolerant.

I am no friend of Joel Osteen and noted his bigotry in my post.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:07 PM

6. My friend doesn't attend a megachurch. I know no one that does. I said that this is a lot of people.

Houston elected an openly lesbian mayor in 2009 and is more progressive than other areas.

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/houstons_lesbian_mayor/

My 'religious pal' as you refer to her has been in a northwest church with a lesbian pastor and she is not a homophobe, if that's what you're assuming here. She's been trying to get more people in the new church, which is rather small, to vote Democrat. That is what this OP is about.

We cannot afford to whistle while walking past the graveyard (or megachurch in this case) and not know how to turn people off the path of voting for Romney. I suspect megachurches in the northwest are trying to overturn the bill Gregoire signed into law to recognize same-sex marriage.

I am unhappy to see right wing influence in the northwest and they could defeat our Democratic candidates if they are allowed to foster hatred. As I said, I am not a believer but I can't pretend these people are not out there and not voting.

My friend is very concerned about discrimination fo all kinds, the homeless, disabled and the social safety net. This is part of her belief system.

If you think this OP is offensive, just say so and I will delete. It's not just about Osteen. I didn't mean to support him against anyone here at DU. This is a culture that I think must be dealt with to win elections.

If this is your way of saying I need to delete this, please just say it is offensive to you as a gay person and I'll delete it. If all posts on Christians are offensive to you, I will still delete it.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 09:27 AM

15. Look, Osteen is defending Romeny and attacking gay people and choice in this piece.

This Osteen is claiming Mitt is a big Chrisitan, but gays are horrible. You claim to have posted this to turn people OFF Mitt?
Ok. Mormons deny the Immaculate Conception of Christ. Mary and Joe just fucked and she got pregnant, that's the LDS teaching.
When did 'Mary got knocked up by Joe and Jesus popped out' become Christian dogma? Even Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, Mormons don't.
So what IS the Christian religion? If Osteen can dump one of the major articles of faith just for the sake of the GOP candidate, why does he then attack gay people? If his faith is wrong on major articles of that faith, is it not arrogant to continue making up attacks on others based on other bits of that faith?
Golden Rule Game: Read what Joel says about me, and insert the noun that best desribes your group, when he says what he says about gay people, insert 'Democrats' or 'Jews' and see how it reads to you. Tell me, when the shoe is on your foot, if it sounds amazing and tolerant or if it sounds ignorant and hateful. "Do unto others".
Is that another of the 'rejected teachings' of the Kvetch Jesus Christ? Golden Rule also rejected, like the Virgin Birth and the Lord's Prayer? But gays are still bad, bad, just not right and abortion, well don't get me started, what if Knocked Up Mary had 'choice' and Joe had the cash, what then!!!!
When folks make their religion into commerce and trade off major articles of faith for convenice, I do not approach them as if they were sincerly religious because they are not.
Note I mentioned Jesus' teaching right off, not one of the 'Christians' here cares to discuss that, they want to cheer for Joel. And I rest my case right there.

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Response to freshwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 07:45 PM

4. We can question Romney about his religion, Prophet Joseph Smith used Prophet Muhammad's teachings

in starting the Mormon religion. There are many similarities between the two religions so when I hear Obama is a muslim, I remind those same people Romney is the American version of Islam. I think many are shocked to see how similar the two are.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:10 PM

7. Really, what is similar between Islam and Mormonism? IDK what's the same.

Are you talking mainly about polygamy?

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 08:15 PM

8. Joseph Smith himself pointed out the similarities, but Mormonism has gone one better:

for your convenience, there are many 'Meccas' conveniently located around the world. For instance, my local one is in Oakland.

This greatly reduces travel expenses. And as the Mormons found out early on, it reduces inconvenient dislocation and mixing of the races.





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Response to dimbear (Reply #8)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:25 PM

10. Mormons in Oakland, CA? Is this where the Prop. 8 vote came from? I'm way behind on Mormons.

I've learned more about them here on DU than anywhere else. Such as the terrible story of the gay couple who adopted special needs children in AZ and were being terrorized. If I recall correctly, all of the law enforcement and such were Mormons. It was the scariest story ever. Well, almost. We learn about all the bad things going on here. This is my only news and entertainment source.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 01:31 AM

12. My reference is to the Mormon Temple in Oakland. Pretty thing.

There's a special spiritual value in visiting the temples in Mormonism. It's similar to the journey the Muslims are expected to make.

There are now Mormon temples pretty much all over the world. Still only one real Mecca, which actually costs Muslims a fortune to visit and has resulted in a remarkable number of deaths through accidents and stampedes.

Mormons score plus one on that one.

For a horror story from earlier times, read about Iosepa.

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Response to freshwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:04 PM

9. Sure seemed King was trying to push him into a corner

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #9)

Sun Oct 7, 2012, 09:38 PM

11. I thought he did a good job, wish he was still there.

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Response to freshwest (Original post)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:06 AM

16. Compare Osteen on Fox:

"I believe the Scripture says that being gay is a sin."
And on Oprah:
ďI believe that homosexuality is shown as a sin in the Scripture. I do, I do. When I read the Scripture, I canít with good faith I canít see that it does not show that it is a sin.Ē

To Osteen going 'uptown' in this OP:

OSTEEN: "I don't think that a same-sex marriage is the way God intended it to be."
You don't call them sinners?
OSTEEN: I don't.
KING: Is that a word you don't use?
OSTEEN: I don't use it.

And to Jebus H. Christos:
"Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no, for anything more comes from evil."

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #16)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:31 AM

18. Doesn't that prove cbayer's claim that he is "surprisingly tolerent?"

His level of tolerance simply depends on his audience.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #18)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:45 AM

19. I'd be surprised if he was tolerent, that's for sure

nt

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #19)

Mon Oct 8, 2012, 11:05 AM

20. Perhaps "surprisingly tolerant" was a poor word choice. Maybe "conveniently tolerant" is better?

Yes, I think that fits him better.

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