January 24th, 2011
08:01 PM ET

Pastor Joel Osteen: Homosexuality is "a sin"

Best-selling author and Pastor Joel Osteen, and his wife Victoria Osteen, are the guests on Wednesday's "Piers Morgan Tonight," and the hour-long discussion touches on faith, finances, charity and more.

But one part related to a topic Osteen rarely discusses – sin. Specifically, why homosexuality is a sin, and according to the scriptures, Elton John is a sinner.

"The scriptures shows that it's a sin," said Osteen in the interview. "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."

Read the full story on Piers Morgan Tonight's new site.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars • Homosexuality • TV

soundoff (272 Responses)
  1. Jasonb84

    Joel Osteen is using religion as a tool to create hate towards gays and lesbians.

    January 25, 2011 at 8:01 am |
    • Marlene

      If you ask that questions to someone that truly believes in the bible, that is the right answer. It does not means he hates gay, or that he is creating hate towards gay people.

      January 25, 2011 at 8:53 am |
    • TheRationale

      Marlene, how on earth do you justify that?

      He believes in and hold high a book and creed that condemn ho-mos-exuality, so you can't just then turn around and say he does not himself personally condemn it. He directly contradicts himself and so does everyone who tries to do this "well it's not me it's the Bible" trick.

      January 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Myklds

      The bible doesn't condemn ho-mos, only ho-mos-exuality.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:28 am |
  2. Wayne

    I am surprised that Piers would even attempt in smearing Osteen as a person attempting to influence his viewer to believe what he believes. Doesnt the media do the same thing. Just listen to Piers, he is doing the thing he is attempting to hammer Joel with. Being judgemental. The Bible is clear in what it says. (Period). If you do not believe it, that is your choice. However, if God inspires Joel, or Charles, or James, David, or John, to speak the written word the way that people understand how sin affects lives, then good for them. So, if media journalist and others like Piers want to be hypocrites about influencing peoples decision making. Let them. However, I think it is about time that persons who put their faith in Jesus Christ begin standing firm against the onslaught that continues relentlessly against our Christian faith. Funny how media really never goes after other faith bases. Hmmmm, maybe because satan doesnt attack his own vices. Matthew 16:18 sums up what type of church we need to be !!! Being loving and accepting doesnt mean being a door mat for liberal ideology. God said it, that settles it !!

    January 25, 2011 at 7:56 am |
  3. Dorothy Friend

    What is is take on people who torture and kill animals that chew on Bibles?

    I'm thinking of that Christian lady in, where was it, South Carolina?

    January 25, 2011 at 6:50 am |
  4. Drew

    Piers wants to come across as a hard-hitter really bad, but he just comes across as an arrogant, harassing fool in this interview. Osteen explained himself perfectly in this clip–about a dozen times, mind you–yet Morgan continued to try to force his own opinion into the situation. Piers, you've had better days, but this one wasn't one of them.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:53 am |
  5. doctore0

    SPOILER: There is no such thing as sin, only dogma.

    January 25, 2011 at 4:36 am |
    • Juliette

      Oh there's sin alright. It corrupts and damages and if not brought into the open it destroys.

      January 25, 2011 at 5:04 am |
    • TheRationale

      So if we do a subst-itution we get...

      "Oh there's dogma alright. It corrupts and damages and if not brought into the open it destroys."

      Egad, who would've thought. Some people refuse to think for themselves sometimes...

      January 25, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  6. Mark from Middle River

    "But how is gluttony actually like a gay relationship? I know that you believe that but, outside of the bible lumping the two together, can you explain just how gayness is a negative to people like gluttony is? How does it hurt people?"

    NL – Hello. I can take the easy way out and say if I gain back the weight I lost chances are I would not be able to do my job as well, but I will take it along another path.

    The reason I choose gluttony is that once I hear folks wanting to jump on others saying being gay or lesbian is a sin and that they will burn or similar I just choose to question them. I personally have a hard time with what the Bible clearly defines as a sin that I grapple with .... after leaving a drive through, eating a large order of McDonalds french fries and then when finished being happy to see the next Golden Arches in the distance and getting a second bag of fries.... I am talking about pure gluttony NL.

    I ask them not to consider who it is hurting. That is not really a big issue with me, personally. I just want to say if a person considers being Gay a sin worthy of their time and effort to chastize another child of God, are the same internal motivational feelings being applied to the other sins? Who they hurt, yes no... not important.

    That someone feels they have the conviction to put all their effort to single out one sin while passing a packed with patrons "All You Can Eat" Buffet... That, personally, I have an issue with.

    Plus, there is that "first stone" argument...

    January 25, 2011 at 1:56 am |
    • NL

      Mark from Middle River-
      Yes, it is curious why this one thing arises so much angst amongst the faithful. Personal distaste of something they have no inclination towards, perhaps? The same reason why they really cannot understand how it could possibly be natural?

      Question for you, could gluttony not also be applied to overindulgence in religion? I mean, if faith overwhelms one's life how is that different than overeating?

      January 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  7. Dan

    I thought Pastor Joel Osteen gave humble answers. I tried to think of how I'd answer these questions on the spot and it would be somewhat difficult to be as graceful. You're doing a good job Pastor Osteen, keep answering out of love the best you can.

    January 25, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • Nonimus

      How about, "I try not to judge how other people live their lives especially when it's none of my business."

      January 25, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • tallulah13

      I thought his repeated claims that he wasn't judging, when it was obvious that he was, showed him to be a liar. While I may not respect a person for bigotry, I can respect their honesty. This man wasn't honest.

      January 25, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • auguron

      Of course he's not honest. He's a Christian, they deal only in dishonesty.

      February 15, 2011 at 3:04 am |
    • Another version of augron but with the same thought

      Of course Mao and Stalin were communist. They were atheists, they dealt only with communists.

      August 3, 2011 at 7:38 am |
  8. Reality

    All "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    January 24, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Reality in one word and three letters...That is a LIE! Why would God create it and then turn around a condemn it? Answer please!

      January 24, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • Alex111

      So if someone is genetically dispositioned toward a mental illness, does that mean that their behavior is morally acceptable? Whether someone is born a certain way or not has no bearing on the ethics of that behavior.

      January 25, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Kay

      Yo Steve, unless my memory is foggy, Old Testament also asks those who were born crippled - physically or mentally, to refrain from going before the 'altar of God'. I think this was lumped up to include women who were menstruating, or men who were ceremoniously unclean. Now, using the logic you just spoke of: "Why would God create it and then turn around a condemn it?"

      January 25, 2011 at 12:54 am |
    • Juliette

      Everyone has an area they struggle with, whether its immorality or greed. Everyone must overcome something.

      January 25, 2011 at 5:06 am |
    • Juliette

      That is a theory.

      January 25, 2011 at 5:08 am |
    • Reality

      God condemned the actions of his/her/it's g-ay people creation?

      Might want to review the historic background of this "condemnation" starting with:

      origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      "New Torah For Modern Minds

      Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

      Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

      The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a HUMAN rather than divine doc-ument. "

      Followed by this:

      Professor Chilton pulls no punches in criticizing one of the founders of Christianity. Basically Paul was a "prude". An excerpt for Chilton's book,

      "He (Paul) feared the turn-on of women's voices as much as the sight of their hair and skin..... At one point he even suggests that the sight of female hair might distract any "pretty, wingie, talking, fictional thingies" in church attendance (1 Cor. 11:10). Simply add Paul's thinking about women to the list of flaws in the foundations of Christianity.

      Professor Chilton btw is a Professor of Religion at Bard College and a priest at the Free Church of St. John in Barrytown, NY.

      January 25, 2011 at 7:48 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Hi Kay,

      Good question! God never condemned them! There were certain rules that God placed upon them in order to approach Him in the manner God required! Saying that, understand that cermonial cleanings in the OT is a symbol of being clean in Christ in the NT! God never condemned these folk, they just had approach Him in the manner He prescribed, just like today, through Christ only! Great question and I don't know if the answer is satisfactory to you but here you go! Thanks

      January 25, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  9. NL

    "A lot of churches have not moved with the times."
    Joel Osteen

    Ah, very true. Now if he'd just look into a mirror.

    January 24, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • tammy

      the holy bible is not meant to or should be CHANGED with the times,,,,but to some people it has there are so many churches these days that take the bible and change it sooo it hurts noones FEELINGS,,thats the problem with the world today..wrong is wrong if your not gonna tell people the truth and hurt their feelings to lead them the right way and let the world make up their own rules to suit theirselves,,,i have a 21 year old and a 5 year old and the thought of them growing up in this world scares me,,there are no morals being taught these days,,look at our televion,,its sickening!!!!!! when i was growing up getting my feelings hurt is what taught me what is right and what is wrong,,god will also judge me as he will the rest of the world one day..telling people that the lifsytle their living is not being judge mental just as telling your child not to steal,,its trying to keep them from not going to hell when this life is over with!!!!

      January 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • auguron

      That is why Christians should never be trusted. They change their rules to suit them, but still leave them there to condemn anyone outside their circle. Such deviousness, such dishonesty, should not be allowed to stand.

      February 15, 2011 at 3:03 am |
  10. zinkan

    I don't agree with what he's saying, but, if he's going to say it, I'm glad he said it the way he did.

    January 24, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  11. Mark From Middle River

    A few years ago I got the chance to visit a alternative type of church in New York. The pastor was a lesbian and was with the choir director. There were multiple gay and lesbian couple/familes in the congregation.

    My opinion is a cowardly one on this. I do not know, there are so many aspects and "rules" that in the end I feel that I have too much problems dealing with my path and journey in life to give that much thought to this issue. How can I caste down towards someone being gay or lesbian when my battle with things such glutoney have me calling God for strength everytime I drive by a mcdonalds.

    When I get home I will try to watch the interview online. My jaded opinion is already questioning a CNN reporter interviewing any religous figure. I have heard olsteen preach on his show and he has a huge following. Now add to that a new news reporter wishing to make points and I will have to do a lot to keep a open mind.

    My only thing I would hold to is that as one Christian to Olsteen is to go back to my visit to the church in new york. Could a lesban pastor lead a person to a relationship with God? Could she minister to another of God's love for them. Could she counsel someone through the trials of life to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Basically did I have any doubts , as a person of faith, that the spirit of the Lord was in her.

    January 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • NL

      But how is gluttony actually like a gay relationship?

      January 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)


      Gluttony is also a sin!

      January 24, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • NL

      Steve (the real one)
      I know that you believe that but, outside of the bible lumping the two together, can you explain just how gayness is a negative to people like gluttony is? How does it hurt people?

      January 24, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)


      Good question . My answer is simple (hopefully not overly simple) all sin breaks fellowship with God. All sin makes us less than what God wants us to be and what He created us to be. Is hurts people physically and more importantly spiritually

      January 25, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Rini

      Gluttony is not just about food, it's about overindulgence, alcohol, food, money, materialistic things, false things that feed your ego, your pain and keeps your attention away from focusing on God and doing things for others rather than ourselves.

      January 25, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • Steve the real one


      Well said!

      January 25, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Nonimus

      "How can I caste down towards someone being gay or lesbian when my battle with things such glutoney..."
      This sentence is a begging-the-question fallacy because it assumes the sinfulness of being gay and that seems to be the very question being discussed.

      January 25, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • NL

      Steve (the real one)-
      But I asked for an 'outside of the bible' reason.

      Anyway, how is gay love any more physically damaging to people than straight love? Both gays and straights can get the same diseases and we can both be selfish and abusive within our relationships. We can also both be loving, considerate and dedicated within our relationships.

      What it sounds like to me is that you are just as.suming that gay relationships must ALL be swinging, AIDs ridden, and hedonistic in nature, is that right? 'Gluttony' in the form of se.xual indulgence, as Rini seems to be implying. Could you be, perhaps, mistaken in this belief?

      January 25, 2011 at 10:35 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Sorry, NL I misread your question. I will say this I do not believe all g-a-y relations are free for alls. I don't believe that for a second. You are asking me to give an "outside the Bible" answer. I admit that is very difficult for me because as a Christian my guide is the Bible (the Word of God). I could say something like it is very militant but that does not apply to everyone! I could say that it is unnatural and you would pounce on that in a New York minute! I could come up with a few others but all my opinion and all you would have to say is ok then mind your own business as they are not hurting you. I am being fully honest here! That is why I prefer giving a biblical response other than that Ireally have nothing! Again, in all honesty!

      January 25, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • NL

      Steve the real one-
      So, I take it that you won't even attempt a rational argument against gayness because you know that it wouldn't pass the slightest bit of scrutiny. I suspect that you may cite 1 Corinthians 3:19 to address God's reasons for forbidding something that rational people cannot find fault with, but we could dance around the issue of taking the bible literally to begin with.

      January 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Steve the real one


      Alright, my attempt! !
      1. The body is NOT designed for Ho-mo-s-exual activity (especially men)
      2. see #1

      January 26, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • NL

      The body is not designed to hold a gun or a pen either, but we've somehow learned to adapt.

      January 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve the real one,
      I would bet that people who are gay, especially men, would disagree with you.

      January 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      @Steve the real one,
      I would bet that people who are gay, especially men, would disagree with you
      I know they would. No argument there !

      January 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      The body is not designed to hold a gun or a pen either, but we've somehow learned to adapt.
      A bit of disagreement there NL. Humans have been using tools since the begining! We have 4 fingers and a thumb for a reason! In fact, even those without can use tools. I remeber a guy playing the guitar (with his feet) for one of the popes (JPII) in Yankee Stadium. Every once in a while we see stories of people without hands/arms still painting by holding te brush with their feet or even mouth. So in that sense your use of the work adapting is correct. Otters, birds and chimps to name a few have been observed using tools!

      January 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • NL

      Steve the real one-
      Using tools is within the rest of the animal kingdom, but how many animals are into piercing their ears and various other body parts, tattooing, coloring their hair or, on a different bent, learning karate, yoga, skateboarding, that crazy cirque du soleil stuff and other decidedly 'unnatural' acts. Point is we do a whole lot of things with parts of our bodies that you can't argue they were evolved for. It's our minds' evolution that's given us the ability to use our bodies in different ways, and this is what's made us so successful as a species. In that light how is this use of body parts any different?

      January 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  12. Enoch

    The Almighty God will in the most signal manner punish them that walk after the flesh - addict themselves to sodomitical practices, and the lust of pollution; probably alluding to those most abominable practices where men abuse themselves and abuse one another. Who is blind to see all these?

    January 24, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • NL

      Well, if one is abusing the other then that's another story but, besides for God being angry about it all, what's actually wrong about loving gay relationships?

      January 24, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • civiloutside

      I think he's defining two men having consensual se-x as being mutual abuse.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • NL

      Again, that's only abuse if you think God thinks it is because the two adults wouldn't, and society can't rationally see it as abuse either.

      January 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  13. Jorge

    Love is not sin.

    January 24, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      I normally read the King James and Good News Translations. Jorge, what translation did you get that from?

      January 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • NL

      Real Steve-
      Seriously, how many times does the bible refer to love in a positive way?

      For example: 1 John 4:7, 11-12
      "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God ... Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."

      January 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)


      That scripture is not describing s-ex! It is love about!

      January 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Sorry NL. It is late and I am sounding like Yoda!

      January 24, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • NL

      Steve (the real one)-
      Why do you believe that gay relationships can't be about love?

      January 25, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • NL

      Steve (the real one)-
      Eee! It is getting late. TTFN buddy!

      January 25, 2011 at 12:03 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Good night NL!

      I enjoyed chatting with you. It was very civil, thanks for that!

      January 25, 2011 at 12:05 am |
    • NL

      Steve (the real one)-
      'Civil' is what I prefer. I try to limit my snarky, sarcastic side for postings that appear to fall outside of civility, like threats of hellfire, for example. 🙂

      January 25, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  14. melanie

    Piers is bating Joel This interview was ridiculous.

    January 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      I watched it and I fully agree with you! Joel and his wife looked very uncomfortable. I am not saying I would do any better!

      January 24, 2011 at 10:19 pm |
    • Eric G.

      I agree. Not sure about his style yet. Maybe it will grow on us. I still think CNN should create a show from this blog.

      January 24, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Eric G,

      Too much hate on here as it is. This would go "Jerry Springer" on day one. One Springer is oh about one too many as it is!

      January 24, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
  15. Anglican

    Eric G. Sorry EG. I am Episcopalian. We have our first female Primate, and a gay and lesbian Bishop. We welcome all people.

    January 24, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • Darlene

      How can they be leaders in your church, if they are practicing G-ays? I understand the concept of inviting all people (we are all sinners) but allowing them to teach, when being in a G-ay lifestyle, is what I am questioning? How does the G-ay person in clergy, relate the passages in the bible, referring to marriage being between a man and a woman, and g-ay relationship being joined to the body of Christ, if in fact, G-ay relationship is seen as a sin in the eyes of God?

      My church is Lutheran, and G-ay people are in our church, but not allowed to become involved as clergy. Reasons as stated above.

      I am not condeming G-ays, but asking an honest question and hoping for an honest answer? Comments anyone?

      January 25, 2011 at 8:09 am |
    • Peace2All


      Hi Darlene...

      First, you are in your assertions making claims that are only validated by the very thing you use to make the claims. We call this 'circular logic' which 'self-seals' you within your beliefs, by which you can pretty much kiss any and all possibilities of 'changing your views' impossible. (Example: My Bible says Gay-s can't teach the word of God, or be clergy. Why, because the Bible says so. How do we know that it is true...why...because the Bible says so.) Does that make sense...?

      In reality, you are so indoctrinated within your beliefs so much, that it would be almost impossible for you to see things any other way than the way you currently do.

      Second, obviously, not every denomination of 'Christian' holds to the same 'interpretations' of the Bible as you, and the Lutherans do. Many, many interpretations. And, the Episcopalians and others, see it 'differently' than you do.

      -Darlene, I want to make it clear that I am in now way 'criticizing' you for your beliefs. You asked for some comments on your posting, and I am posting my opinions or view points as to your questions.

      Hope that you are well...


      January 26, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • LJ

      @Darlene what you are not realizing is that the interpretations some Christians are using in the bible is not relevant to the truth we now know about ho-mo-s3x-uality. The passages that some Christians are holding on to is about pagan rituals worshipping pagan gods, idolatry and male prosti-tu-tion. The text that people keep referring to has to be put into historical context to get the true meaning you can't just pick a piece of text and ignore what is written before and after it. Nowhere in the bible does it condemn the loving saved ho-mo-s3x-ual couples. The experts in their fields have proven that bias and prejudice people did reports about this subject from in the past, this includes the translators of the bible. The word ho-mo-s3x-ual was added later and not part of the original text. You can't use the Adam and Eve argument because the original text again was using the word humanity when God created human beings it wasn't till he put Adam to sleep that the person was given a name. God created more people than just Adam and Eve too otherwise the Bible would be filled with incest. Where did Cain's wife come from? The only reason Christians continue to hold onto the misguided translations of the scriptures is because their need to validate their own personal prejudice and judgments. Christians were wrong about slavery and women's right, now they are wrong about ho-mo-s3x-uality too.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  16. Steve (the real one)

    Steve (the real one)
    Steve (the real one)
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Joel Osteen is simply repeating what the Bible say. It is in the Book of Romans, chapter 1, around verse 25 ! As an atheist, that would probably mean little to nothing to you. Somebody on another blog said keep religion in churches where it belongs. Lets keep people's s-e-x lives at home where it belongs! People have the right to make their own choices! People have the right to their own consequences as well!!

    January 24, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  17. Steve (the real one)

    Steve (the real one)
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Joel Osteen is simply repeating what the Bible say. It is in the Book of Romans, chapter 1, around verse 25 ! As an atheist, that would probably mean little to nothing to you. Somebody on another blog said keep religion in churches where it belongs. Lets keep people's s-ex lives at home where it belongs! People have the right to make their own choices! People have the right to their own consequences as well!!

    January 24, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • Daniel

      I agree. I don't know what the interviewer expected the pastor to say ? It is in the scriptures and whether it is elton john or anyone doesn't change a thing. I am not against gays _at all _but man this interviewer is annoying !!! He showed a lot of disrespect from the beginning saying 'oh you have come prepared to say the word sin' ? And all that in front of the pastor's wife.

      January 24, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)


      I will say that Joel probably knew what to expect and could have declined the interview but instead went on and said what he said! We don't need to fear the truth! God does indeed love the sinner but cannot tolerate as the cost was high, his Son! arte te in!

      January 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • auguron

      He was never deserving of any respect to begin with. Why he was even entertained is quite the mystery. He's just not satisfied with counting everyone else's money. He needs constant attention as well.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:59 am |
  18. tallulah13

    So, to paraphrase: "I don't care about what people experience in real life, I only believe what is in this really old book. I'm not judging you but your life is a sin. I compare you to liars and addicts, but I'm not judging you. I don't understand why you're gay, but it's a sin and you need to change the person you were born to be or otherwise your a sinner. But I'm not judging you."

    Funny. This guy is a flat-out liar. Of course he's judging. I think him an utter buffoon, but if he hadn't kept denying the obvious, I could have at least respected his his honesty. Every word out of his mouth was judgmental. So by lying, Mr. Osteen proves he is just as sinful as those who he judges.

    January 24, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • NL

      It's like he's saying "I'm not judging gays, but the bible says what what they're doing is a sin, and I trust that the bible is correct, so I have no choice but to accept that it's a sin." What I think he is trying to articulate is that he isn't qualified to make the judgment by himself, so he trusts the expert judgment of the bible to make it for him.

      He did, however, have to first judge that the bible is worthy of trust in the first place which would imply, if he read the whole thing first, that he judged the passages condemning gayness as part of that process and found them not to be troublesome, which sorta throws his whole personal deniability thing of his out the window, doesn't it?

      January 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I suppose the case could be made that he is simply abdicating the honest responsibility of weighing the facts and coming to his own conclusions. Allowing a book to make his decisions only exposes him as morally weak...

      Nah. The source material doesn't matter. He simply chose a source on which to base his judgments. He's still a judgmental hypocrite.

      January 25, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Marlene

      How can you say being gay is a sin, or any other sin without sounding judmental?

      January 25, 2011 at 9:28 am |
    • NL

      Well, there you go, any way you cut it his choice to consider gayness sinful involves a judgment call, even if it's just to judge the bible as worth deferring to.

      January 25, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Mike, not me

      The same way you say 2+2 =4, my name is Mike, Texas is part of the united states.

      January 25, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Mike, not me
      "The same way you say 2+2 =4, my name is Mike, Texas is part of the united states."
      Can't you tell the difference between objective (2+2=4, Texas and US boundaries) and subjective (sin, good and bad, easy and hard, pretty and ugly, etc.)
      {I going to get in trouble for this one.}

      January 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      But even in your subjective list everything except sin had an opposite
      (good and bad, easy and hard, pretty and ugly, etc.) So why do you thing sin is subjective?
      Let's start as to where you get your defination for this word "sin"?

      January 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Mike, not me,
      What's having an opposite got to do with anything?

      "Let's start as to where you get your defination for this word 'sin'?"
      This is my point. Do you ask where do you get your definition of '2'? Or, 'Texas'?

      January 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • NL

      Are a couple 2 individuals or 1 couple? You would subjectively choose either answer depending on what you wish to prove. Did the ancients or even Paul have any understanding of gay relationships that could be loving and mirror straight relationships? Are these relationships a fairly modern development, or were they so closeted back then that most people had no clue that they even existed. If they didn't, then perhaps, the scripture writers did not have this kind of relationship in mind when they wrote what they did, right?

      January 26, 2011 at 8:26 am |
    • Nonimus

      That depends on what you are counting, couples or individuals, not the meaning of '2'. All I was trying to do was get a clear idea of what Mike n.m. was saying with, "the same way you say 2+2 =4." If he's saying gay = sin, just like 2+2=4, then I would suggest it is not that clear and not that objectively defined. But he may have meant something else.

      On your other point, so you're suggesting that it just didn't occur to them to cover that topic or it didn't seem like a big enough issue at the time. That seems unlikely to me, but I wouldn't debate the point too hard; it or some variation of it may be possible, I guess.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:50 am |
    • NL

      It could be argued that biblical slavery was quite different than American slavery because of the race exclusivity. Perhaps the real concern with men being with other men may have been the connection with other cults at that time?

      January 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I'm not sure how slavery got into this particular question branch, but I'm not sure how even a "quite different" slavery can be justified. Isn't it still owning another human being? How is that not a sin?
      Another cult, perhaps... I heard (not saying it's true) that the whole not wearing wool and linen together had something to do with another religious group at the time. However, that would seem to go against the eternal truth aspect of the Bible, wouldn't it?

      January 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • NL

      Remember that the Jews had a long struggle to establish and maintain monotheism, according to the bible. Doubtlessly many of the prohibitions were designed to keep them from mixing with the pagan locals. We know what the Greeks were like about loving young boys, but I haven't seen any evidence of committed relationships between gay peers, like between Elton and his partner, being spoken about in the ancient world. Maybe it is a relatively new development; one that the scripture writers had no inkling of.

      You bring up the 'eternal truth aspect' of the bible. Well, Jews no longer burn sacrifices to YHWH, but have learned to adapt new forms of worship. They also developed Mishnah to more clearly define what the Torah meant, and how it applies to modern-day life. Basically, they've realized that a literal reading of the OT is not a practical guide to live their modern lives by itself.

      Much of the Christian concept of 'eternal truth' may come from the delay in Christ's return and the development of the fortune-teller's misunderstanding of OT biblical prophecy. They project so much of the bible as having some future meaning that they as sume this must apply to all parts, and fail to understand the contemporary issues that were being addressed. Part of the self-centered view of the whole bible sending them a message in particular.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:30 am |
  19. Muneef

    It is the biggest Sin on earth...the people of Luka were all like that towards which God had to destroy. Read the full story here; 

    January 24, 2011 at 9:09 pm |
    • Eric G.

      I would argue that the biggest sin on earth is hatred.

      January 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Muneef, I am a Christian and let me say I fully disagree with you. God does not rank order sin, humans do! God said he hates divorce, God said he hates lying lips. In fact every sin is forgivable but one and that is telling the Holy Spirit His witness is false. in short, dying without Christ. My main point still is we rank order sin, God does not! Lying is just a much a sin as anything else! i

      January 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Eric G,

      You are closer to the truth than you realize! Hatred is sin because it is in direct opposition to the love of God! Good observation!
      Wait a minute! Did we just agree on something?

      January 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
    • Anglican

      Hatred and condemnation of your fellow man is the greatest sin. God made us all. True love and companionship are universal. My Church is standing behind this, regardless of the press.

      January 24, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Anglican: Uh, you might want to consider re-wording that last sentence. We are gonna wind up so far off topic, I won't have enough bread crumbs to find my way home.

      January 24, 2011 at 9:39 pm |
    • Anglican

      Eric G. Sorry EG. I am Episcopalian. We have our first female Primate, and a gay and lesbian Bishop. We welcome all people.

      January 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm |
    • Eric G.

      @Anglican: Would have been funnier if you were Catholic!

      January 24, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • HotAirAce


      I think marrying off 10 year old girls is a way bigger sin. S3x between consenting adults is nothing compared to the child abuse your religion tolerates.

      January 24, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion."

      January 25, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • HotAirAce


      What happened to "Hate the sin – Love the sinner"? That's certainly how I approach those guilty of the "sin" of believing in outdated manmade tribal myths and associated imaginary beings.

      January 25, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Nonimus

      Sorry, should have specified that was in response to the 'Hate is the real sin' comments above.

      January 25, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Muneef

      Seems you are to aftraid from reading link, and still some one bring talk about lying another one about hatred? So it is as if I should say yes it is good to be as they or otherwise I am a lair and hater?!
      So What do you call that then told by God;

      Al-Shuara sura 26:
      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      The folk of Lot denied the messengers (of Allah), (160) When their brother Lot said unto them: Will ye not ward off (evil)? (161) Lo! I am a faithful messenger unto you, (162) So keep your duty to Allah and obey me. (163) And I ask of you no wage therefor; my wage is the concern only of the Lord of the Worlds. (164) What! Of all creatures do ye come unto the males, (165) And leave the wives your Lord created for you? Nay, but ye are forward folk. (166) They said: If thou cease not, O Lot, thou wilt soon be of the outcast. (167) He said: I am in truth of those who hate your conduct. (168) My Lord! Save me and my household from what they do. (169) So We saved him and his household, every one, (170) Save an old woman among those who stayed behind. (171) Then afterward We destroyed the others. (172) And We rained on them a rain. And dreadful is the rain of those who have been warned. (173) Lo! herein is indeed a portent, yet most of them are not believers. (174).

      Al-Araf sura 07:
      And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you? (80) Lo! ye come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk. (81) And the answer of his people was only that they said (one to another): Turn them out of your township. They are folk, forsooth, who keep pure. (82) And We rescued him and his household, save his wife, who was of those who stayed behind. (83) And We rained a rain upon them. See now the nature of the consequence of evil-doers! (84).

      January 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      And do you know where this place was of the people of Lut? It is what is called today the Dead Sea between Jordan and Israel and that is why it is the lowest land on earth because the whole land was raised up to higher sky and turned to fall back to earth with it's people as rain of stones....

      January 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  20. Luke

    Now give it a few months. This is always the first step before a Pastor comes out.

    January 24, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Ken

      Don't worry. He's more of a motivational speaker than a pastor.

      January 24, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • NL

      T itle of the article says he's a pastor.

      January 24, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)


      Ken is describing his speaking style!

      January 24, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • NL

      Steve (the real one)-
      Ah, I thought he was trying to say that Osteen wasn't 'really' a pastor. I guess the likelihood of his coming out goes back to average then.

      January 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
    • Dina

      Luke you should be ashamed of your self !! Pastor Olsteen is not gay ! and your an idiot, perhaps you are ! ...... hmmm? lots to think about ?

      January 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • ScottK

      Methinks Dina doth protest to much... Maybe Joel's sudonym or alter ego?

      January 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • NL

      How do you know that he isn't? How many people knew that Ted Haggard was gay, or whatever he is, until it came out? People living in closets go unnoticed, after all.

      January 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
    • Luke

      Hi Dina, first of all, I am not ashamed of myself. I have merely looked at the historical patterns. Need I remind you of Ted Haggard and Pastor Long out of Atlanta? Sheesh, haven't ever picked up a newspaper? It is avery common psychological disorder called transference when one that sufferes from something tends to hate on those of the same disorder to shift the focus from him to his target. That is exactly what Haggard and Long did. In fact, it is very commonplace across all spctrums of human psychology. Perhaps Pastor Osteen is not gay. Perhaps he is. That's not the point, but history is certainly not on his side. Neither is public opinion, facts or scientific data. Moreover, while I am not gay, what difference would that make in my argument? I would just love to hear your nonsensical reply. Please try.

      January 26, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • Rev. Pete

      Luke He's more of a motivational speaker than a pastor but the ice will break soon if he can not back up what he says then who is he to be a Pastor? In due time we will fide out who Joel is. This is not something you choose. I know I didn't I was born this way and I am not an addiiction so why are they judging me. I know my God loves me and that is all that matters. Feel free to ask me anything pete1968estrada@hotmail.com

      January 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Justin

      Piers seemed pushy, but I'm glad all three people there had the maturity to talk about something with this kind of gravity and not make fools of themselves. Kudos to good journalism on a sensitive subject.

      January 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
    • alm122

      @ Luke. Your argument lacks even the hint of intelligence or logic.

      January 26, 2011 at 8:41 pm |
    • Bonnesia

      Pastor Osteen only spoke the truth, that is what The Bible says, it's not the only sin in America but it is a sin. It's his job to speak the truth and that is the truth. He is not judging anyone because only God can judge you, he just informing them of God will so when it's their turn to be judge by God and he ask them why didn't you obey my words, you can't say no one ever told me because he will bring this interview back to your rememberance. Continue speaking the Truth Pastor Joel.

      February 5, 2011 at 7:09 am |
    • auguron

      There is no truth in anything a Christian says. He's only in his profession for the money, and people like you willfully give him what he wants. Starve him of that which he craves, and you'll see how quickly he changes his tune, just like all the others.

      February 15, 2011 at 2:57 am |
1 2 3 4 5
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.