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January 26th, 2011
10:00 AM ET

Osteen gets serious on sex, prosperity and politics

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

By now you have likely seen or read that megachurch pastor Joel Osteen told CNN’s Piers Morgan he thinks homosexuality is a sin. For years Osteen has been dinged by religious critics as a theological lightweight - for talking too much about sunshine and not enough about sin. But the television preacher with the megawatt smile put his cards on the table in his hourlong interview with Morgan.

Osteen, who is rich, said it would be an insult to God to apologize for that blessing.

He tried to shake off the label of prosperity gospel preacher.

And yes, he said he thinks homosexuality is a sin.

Morgan pressed Osteen for a clear-cut answer on the topic of homosexuality in the taped interview with Osteen and his wife, Victoria, for "Piers Morgan Tonight," set to air at 9 p.m. ET tonight on CNN.

Morgan asked Osteen about the “moral maze” of homosexuality, asking him point-blank: “Is homosexuality a sin in your eyes?”

“Yes," Osteen answered. "I've always believed, Piers, 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.”

Osteen continued his answer and said, “I think sometimes the church - and I don't mean this critically, but we focus on one issue or two issues, and there's plenty of other ones. So I don't believe homosexuality is God's best for a person's life. I mean, sin means to miss the mark.”

Homosexuality is a hot topic Osteen had previously deflected.

His massive Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, is independent and not tied to a larger denomination. As a result, Lakewood is theologically independent and does not fall under broader denominational beliefs on religious issues like homosexuality.

Osteen took the pulpit at Lakewood after the death of his father, who had been the pastor. The younger Osteen has been criticized for, among other things, his avoidance of difficult theological issues. Morgan suggested to Osteen that he was prepared for the question on homosexuality even though he had not spoken on this issue in the past.

“I think I've grown in my knowledge," Osteen said. "I mean, those first interviews. I mean, this was all new to me. I mean, I wasn't - I didn't go to seminary. I wasn't - I was raised in this, but not in front of the camera. But I think this point - people say I don't - that I don't talk about sin.

"But I do talk about how we live our life, and making good choices. And at the end of every one of our services I talk about that I believe the greatest sin, and that's to miss the mark of not knowing your creator through Christ,” Osteen said.

Morgan went on to push Osteen about Elton John and his civil partner in England, David Furnish, asking if he though they were sinners.

“It's strictly back to what the scripture says," Osteen replied. "I mean, I can't grab one part and say God wants you to be blessed and live an abundant life, and not grab the other part that says, you know what? You know, live that kind of life. So I just - you know, it comes back to the scripture. I'm not the judge. You know, God didn't tell me to go around judging everybody.”

Osteen rose to prominence in large part because of his television ministry. He said 7 million people watch his show each week. His books have sold more than 20 million copies, bringing the pastor and his wife great financial success.

The Osteens went back and forth with Morgan on the topic of finances. Joel Osteen said he does not draw a salary from his church; instead he said he draws money from his book royalties and DVDs.

He was unapologetic about his financial wealth. For the interview he wore a finely tailored suit and shirt, which Morgan went to great lengths to point out. Osteen said he and his wife have given away millions.

Morgan asked Osteen if he ever felt guilty for his wealth. He replied, "I don't ever feel guilty because it comes from - it's God's blessings on my life. And for me to apologize for God's - how God has blessed you, it's almost an insult to our God."

Osteen continued, “There is a religious - I call it a spirit or something that says we have to be poor and broke and defeated and sad to show people that we're really humble, and that we really love God. And I don't believe that. I believe God wants us to be examples of what it means to live for him. And that our money is to be a blessing to others.”

There is a thin line between "prosperity gospel" - which commonly refers to some pastors who say God wants you to be happy, healthy and rich - and what Osteen preaches about finances. Osteen repeatedly said he is not a proponent of that version of Christianity.

"I get categorized into this guy that's a prosperity preacher. I don't even believe in that. I mean, that's not the focus. The main things I'm talking about is how you can excel," he said.

Osteen also told Morgan he does not drink or smoke, never dated a woman other than his wife, and that he votes regularly. Osteen said he voted for Republican John McCain in the 2008 presidential election after spending time with the Arizona senator.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Homosexuality • TV • United States

soundoff (1,034 Responses)
  1. TheTruth72

    This goes out to anyone. Name one command (not just 10 commandments) from God that is not good for you. Please no smart allecks.

    ....Exactly.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Sirena

      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

      January 26, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • TheTruth72

      There is nothing wrong going on here. And if you say that it's "slavery", that was a punishment brought on due to something else that had been done wrong.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Sirena

      Slavery is wrong. Doesn't matter if it was punishment or not. Slavery is wrong. God and the bible condone it. Should we bring slavery back because we are a christian nation?

      January 26, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Reality

      Commandments from god or plagiarism by the Jewish scribes? Before the bible, there were the Codes of Hammurabi and the Egyptian Books of the Dead and other ancient rules/commandments of life for humans to follow. And the Jewish scribes had access to both.

      January 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Mom of 4

      Sirena, you don't know anything about what the Bible says about slavery. It was a cultural practice thousands of years ago. Most people sold into slavery were done so because of being in debt, and being a slave was the only way to pay off that debt. If the debt wasn't paid off by 7 years, then the person was set free, according to the Law of the Year of Jubilee. It's all in there. If people would just take the time to study the history of the times as well as the Bible, things would be much clearer. This is why Christians must know their Jewish, Greek and Roman history in order to make their faith in Christ complete. Learning about what went on with the societies and cultures during Biblical times answers a lot of questions. So, Sirena, do your homework before you make comments you know nothing about.

      January 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Sirena

      Mommy,
      I have done my homework. What you are saying is that we should ignore those rules because they are no longer common practice right? That was the law of the land then, not now right?
      Soooo why do we have to follow the rules in the bible today when it was written 2000 years ago?
      You cant pick and choose what parts of the bible to listen to. Either all the laws are relevant or none of them are. Which do you prefer?

      January 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Jace

      That is a profound question!!! However, some people will not want to answer this question because it makes so much sense!! Take care.

      January 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @The Truth72
      Pretty much all of Leviticus is absurd or downright evil.
      Deuteronomy has some nice bits too – like stoning sassy children to death.
      “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear."
      Corinthians tells females to shut their pie holes...
      "The women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says."

      January 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Mom of 4
      Please see the prior thread regarding slavery and the bible.
      Whether someone is a slave for life or for 6 years, would you not agree that it is immoral to beat them mercilessly? Yet the Bible says that is A-OK so long as they take longer than a day or two to die.

      January 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
  2. MikeMazzla

    Religious people are funny

    January 26, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  3. Luke

    Joel Osteen is a plastic smile with a cross in his mouth.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  4. Sue Harris

    “I think I've grown in my knowledge," Osteen said. "

    He has, obviously, not grown enough.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  5. olander

    I think it' great that someone in his position doesn't consider himself in the role of labeling others and passing judgment. Why should he focus on sins rather than encouraging people to be the best and kindest they can? One of religions greatest faults is the judgment and guilt they bestow upon others while putting themselves up on pedestals. It's hypocritical to judge others for their lifestyle – focus on your own misdoings. If you believe in God, then leave that job to Him.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:04 am |
  6. MF

    Christianity: The belief that some cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Makes perfect sense.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Luke

      Matter that was always here expanded into oblivion where our earth formed all on its own to somehow sustain life. Then, life randomly begin to come about through primordial soup, because just the right elements where present at the time. Then hundreds of millions of years full of random mutations, here we are without a single purpose. Yeah, makes perfect sense.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Sirena

      @luke
      Where did god come from then?
      Oh yeah makes perfect sense...

      January 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • whatstheuse

      @Sirena
      Hawking's Spontaneous Creation makes more sense then?

      January 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • Sirena

      God always being there and being everywhere at all times makes sense?
      If something cannot come from nothing then there cannot be a god because he had to come from somewhere...

      January 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • BW

      I think some of you are missing @MF's point. He is not questioning the existence of God or the possibility of his hand in creation. He questions Christianity. Even as a Christian, I dont think that's unreasonable.

      January 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
    • JOregon

      Sirena,
      Everything in the physical universe must come from something else. Essentially that is the law of evolution.
      God is Spirit and not subject to the laws of the physical universe.

      January 28, 2011 at 1:38 am |
  7. JOregon

    Real simple:
    Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    Jesus sent his disciples out with nothing, It is not a Christians place to gather wealth. What wealth we do gather is to be spent on spreading the gospel and caring for the needy.

    1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
    1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

    I do agree too much is made about running around pointing out sins.
    That has NEVER been the gospel.

    Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

    The Gospel is – there is salvation available for the penalty of sin, which is eternal death.

    The Gospel is NOT – God wants you to have money.

    Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • johnrj08

      Like all other televangelists, Osteen is in it for the money and the adoration.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • Reality

      Actually, most contemporary NT exegetes believe after exhaustive research that the epistles to Timothy (and T-itus) were not written by Paul but by "wannabee" Pauls. See Father Ray Brown's analyses in his 878 page book, An Introduction to the New Testament pp. 639, 654, 673,

      an excerpt:

      "Authenticity: Probably written by a disciple of Paul or a sympathetic commentator of the Pauline heritage several decades after the apostle's death. "

      See also Professors Crossan and Reed's book, In Search of Paul and Professor Bruce Chilton's book, Rabbi Paul.

      And Paul (or his "wannabees") the Prophet? Hardly, he could not even get the timing of Jesus' second coming correct but it did serve to dramatically increase both the conversion rate and the coffers. Hmmm, contemporary preachers/fortune tellers/Mormon "profiteers" and Osteen still use that con game.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • JOregon

      Reality?
      Here is reality.
      The Catholics would like to remove Timothy from the bible. After all, it is in Timothy that it says only those that have raised a family are qualified to run a church,
      It is wise advice.

      1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
      1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
      1 Timothy 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
      1 Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

      The Catholics would have saved themselves a lot of grief if they had followed that advice.
      How many Children does "father" Brown have?
      It is OK to call your earthly parent father, When it come to matters of spirituality Jesus said:

      Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

      As far as what most contemporary bible scholars say, I wouldn't put much faith in it. You will be hard pressed to find a church today that is faithful to the word of God, Today the focus is on entertainment and feel good messages, mixed in with a miracle or sign.
      Just as the bible predicted for the end times.

      Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

      2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
      2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
      2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
      2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
      2 Thessalonians 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

      January 26, 2011 at 9:19 pm |
    • Reality

      JOregon,

      Some contemporary NT experts put 2 Thessalonians in the "written by Paul wannabees" category. For example, see Professors Crossan and Reed's book, Searching for Paul p. 105.

      Matt 23:9 has been studied by the same experts and the conclusion was that it was not said by the historical Jesus.

      Matt 24:24 got a plus reading from Professor Crossan's analysis but a negative reading by Professor Gerd Ludemann and also a negative vote by the Jesus Seminarians.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:10 am |
    • CatholicMom

      JOregon

      1 Tim 3-5 ….of one wife……

      This does not mean that every bishop should have a wife [for St. Paul himself had none] but that no man should be admitted to the Holy Orders of bishop, priest, or deacon who had been married more than once.

      Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

      If you believe that we should call no man Father except your Father which is in heaven and then go ahead and say but…you can still call your dad Father shows you think YOU CAN DECIDE that you can have it both ways!

      The Catholic knows it means to call no man your ‘Father’ as in Father in Heaven, your God and Father, with that kind of honor. So we call our dad Father because we do not mean as God our Father. We call our priests Father because we know we do not mean as God our Father. Abraham was called Father by Jesus…Mt 3:9.

      But you thought you could go against what you thought it meant anyway…what twisting!

      This is where your private interpretation of the Bible has brought you….slandering the name of the Catholic Church, saying we would like to throw out the Book of Timothy….even when the Bible tells you that the Gospel message is not a matter of private interpretation.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • JOregon

      C Mom.
      We really don't know Paul’s marital status. He wasn't married at the time. He could have been married very young and widowed.
      You need to read 1Timothy again it is very clear.
      1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
      The word Bishop (episkopos) means Overseer. In charge of the church. From the Pope to the Parish Priest. Amazingly the Catholic church doesn't allow marriage for these people.
      The RCC forbids marriage in the priesthood. Read verse 3.
      1 Timothy 4:1 ¶ Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
      1 Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
      1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
      The RCC is in violation.
      Back to Chapter 3. The reason they MUST have been married:
      1 Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
      You learn how to take care of a church by first learning how to take care of a family.
      It is the TRAINING ground.
      The bible is a spiritual book about things relating to the spirit. When talking about earthly fathers the bible uses the term “father” (Genesis 2:24 ).
      When it comes to your SPIRITUAL father, it is only to be God. The RCC is in violation.
      Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

      Abraham was the earthly father of the nation of Israel, his grand children.
      It was a catholic Priest, Father Ray Brown, that wants to discredit Timothy.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
    • JOregon

      Real,
      There are people that have tried to eliminate everything in the bible. These people don't trust in God.
      There are lots of false prophets, no end to them.
      One of the amazing things about the bible is the harmony that is found throughout. These people seek to fracture that harmony.
      The bible speaks about the end times in many ways. For instance Jesus says:

      Matthew 24:32 ¶ Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
      Matthew 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

      Throughout the bible the fig tree represents national Israel.
      By all appearances Israel was dead, totally destroy. No longer a nation.
      The Fig tree came into leaf May 14, 1948. Israel became a nation.
      Since we are told to watch for this event I think it is safe to assume (I guarantee nothing) that the end will come within the life time of someone that was able to view that event. Probably someone aware of the event.
      So I believe the end is near.
      Add to that the prophecies of Signs and Wonders, and it becomes even more apparent the end is near. The Pentecostal movement began in 1901 and really took off with the assistance of Radio and especially TV. Signs and wonders.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:46 pm |
    • JOregon

      Another warning:
      Revelation 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
      Revelation 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
      Baal was not able to bring fire down from heaven (1Kings 18).

      January 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • JOregon

      Real,
      I have about 4 posts (so far) with:
      JOregon
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      One for nearly 24 hrs.
      May never get my post out.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
    • JOregon

      Reality,

      The disciples suggested Jesus do the same. Luke 9:54
      Jesus did not come to destroy (Luke 9:56)
      Jesus wouldn't destroy. In Gethsemane they came. John 18:3
      He should have called down fire. 2Kings 1:10
      At Gethsemane Jesus introduced a substiDute.
      John 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
      EVERY time someone falls backward they are under the Judgment of God. Genesis 49:17, Isaiah 28:13, 1 Samuel 4:18
      Today people are "Slain in the Spirit". They fall backward.
      The substiDute for fire from heaven.

      The harmony of the scripture is too great to start deleting parts of the bible. Your scholars have no real faith that God would protect his word.
      The Text the King James was interpreted from was the most accurate text.
      I'm aware of controversy. The reason we have the older texts, is because they weren't used. They weren't accurate.
      We can trust the KJ texts because it is the first bible available to the masses. God protected those texts.
      At least that is what this man of faith trusts.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • JOregon

      Moderators
      I found the dreaded horrible word that tripped Moderation – substiDute. No need to post the numerous attempts to post my post in segments.
      Though if you posted the original in it's full length that would be OK.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • CatholicMom

      JOregon,

      1 Timothy 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
      1 Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

      Here is a little more…with the proper understanding of the verses……

      Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared, Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

      He is warning of heretics which will depart from the faith and give heed to false spirits and doctrines of man who follow the devil’s interferences. These heretics have had their consciences seared as with a hot iron. These heretics,… the Gnostics, the Marcionites, the Enerat!tes, and the Manicheans condemned marriage, and the use of all kind of meat because they pretended that all flesh was from an evil source.

      But the Church of God held that marriage was so far from evil that it held it as a Sacrament and forbid it except by vow between a man and a woman and God.

      And the Church did not prohibit meat except in times of sacrifice for days of fasting and penance in the Church at particular times of the year; marriage and food provided by God should be received with thanksgiving for it is sanctified by God and prayer to those who have received the Truth.

      January 30, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • JOregon

      CMom
      We are in the latter times right now.
      Yes, there are other times when these things have happened, but that doesn't make it OK for the RCC to forbid marriage today.
      And they DO forbid marriage in the priesthood.
      As far as the meat issue goes there are other churches (eg. Adventist) that do that year round. With Catholics, no meat on Friday.
      Yours is not the proper understanding, it is just the Catholic understanding.
      Don't forget the bible is very clear:
      Those that oversee the church MUST have been married, not divorced. Married.

      1 Timothy 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

      The bible is very clear that raising a family is the training ground for running a church and the RCC has totally twisted this information.
      Sadly if they had followed this commandment they might have dealt with the abuse issue properly. They might have understood the way to handle abusers is not to slap their hand and send them off to another Parish.

      A Man is your Spiritual father.

      Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

      Hebrews 12:9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

      There is so much the Catholic church gets wrong, it puts your “proper understanding” in perspective.

      January 30, 2011 at 11:53 am |
  8. Nick I.

    He does have a good message. I'm Catholic and think he's a good supplement to my beliefs. if you don't like him, don't listen. Why even waste energy on being negative? Move on.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • johnrj08

      Being negative about this kind of charlatan is NEVER a waste of energy. Osteen is in it for the money and adoration, as are all televangelists. Who knows what kind sewage is hidden in this well-manicured fraud's closet? The fact that his spiel is polished and slick is irrelevant. Instead of following these meticulously groomed prophets, why don't people just join a local cult. It's less expensive.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • whatstheuse

      He wrote a book and he got – still gets – millions and millions and millions of dollars. You don't like him? Don't read his book. I don't mind reading his books. Most are excellent.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  9. bailoutsos

    Does his church pay taxes?

    January 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • tstockt

      NOPE

      January 26, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • whatstheuse

      He voted for McCain; He didn't speak from the pulpit :"Vote for McCain".

      January 26, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  10. Opinion talk

    The bible should be our "Law Book" in America. It's what our country needs in order to get things in line with what God wants. As a Christian- the Bible has always been a book to folow and also LIVE BY. Some pple just want to live by certain things the Bible says and not follow all the things that it says to do. Too many people want to live by what "they think is right". I'm glad Joel Osteen has been soo successful in his career-and has been an example we should all follow.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • tstockt

      A Theocracy sounds awesome! Like Afghanistan or Iran in the West. Oh how the heads of the wicked would roll. hey, here’s an idea, why don’t you go to Afghanistan and get some pointers for a few years then maybe come back and fill us in. I’ll buy your ticket.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Opinion Talk
      Which chapter of the bible should be the law book?
      Old Testament, New Testament or Book of Mormon?

      January 26, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • blackghost

      @Opinion Talk: Absolutely not!! The founding fathers created something called the First Amendment to make sure of that. They saw the history of state sponsored religion in the world, and wanted no part of it. Faith is and should be a private matter, not public policy.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Greg

      No way! Separation of church and state does not exist to protect religion from state interference. It exists to protect the government from being controlled by the church. Christian Taliban...that's a great idea. On the other hand, if Christian "morality police" started beating women and children and dismembering thieves in the street, like they do in Afghanistan, it would be a lot easier to shoot them.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Jace

      Beautifully said!!

      January 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • Oh jeez

      Hmmm. That's funny b/c I think it says to "judge not"...aren't you judging others right now?
      I'd reallllly be interested to see if you can follow all the ridiculous rules in the Old Testament, too.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:04 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Oh jeez,

      We cannot judge someone’s soul but we must look at actions and ‘judge’ whether they are something we should do or not.

      The New Testament lies hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
  11. Bob

    @The Half Baked Lunatic........I don't think you're half baked at all, you sound like a full fledged lunatic

    January 26, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • Oh jeez

      Says the person who believes an invisible being in the sky tells him how to live his life.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  12. Sam

    Joel Osteen is rather interesting. Piers Morgan, being the lefty, pro-socialist Brit, ever disdainful of America, is of course the perfect foil for charming, midwestern preacher Osteen. But his beautiful wife, sharp suits and endless bounds of optimism, free of association with any other church, are a minor breath of fresh air on the American theological scene. He'd make a great senator. Piers was predictably probing in doubting Osteen that he doesn't 'judge'. We all know Osteen judges – just like Piers judges Osteen and you and I judge people every day – it's human nature to judge. But as a preacher, it's Osteen's job to teach scripture. Osteen is treading higher ground by not taking the low road on obviously divisive issues, like any good politician and public figure, and that is a very simple fact to be commended.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • blackghost

      I think Joel Osteen, unlike the Christian Right, has a clear understanding of what it means to "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and render unto God the things which are God's." That's why I doubt you'll ever see him run for office.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Sarah in Texas

      Right, because Jesus wanted all good Christians to have a "beautiful wife." Gag.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Heather

      It seems curious that John Osteen Jr., now known as Justin Osteen, is openly hom-ose-xual. To my knowledge Joel Osteen has never mentioned that John Osteen Sr. left his wife and young son to begin a new life in Texas. Justin Osteen's existence is acknowledged but no one in the Osteen family ever mentions that he is hom-ose-xual. Justin resides in Arkansas.

      January 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • screename12

      @Heather – What in the name of all that's good are you talking about?

      January 28, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  13. Jack

    I thought God was the one who decides what is sinful. I am really not sure I want this guy making those decisions or telling me what God thinks and says. God gave us brains and expects us to use them to think for ourselves. In light of that, I am not sure what he has to say is newsworthy. Next!

    January 26, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Bobbie

      God is the one who decides what is sinful, and what is sinful He laid out in the Bible.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • beckymarch

      Christians are asked to be servents to others, lovers of their enemies and to adhere to virtues including humility. Someone should have asked Joel if these things were reflected by him and his wife after they demanded to leave the first class section of their airplane a couple years ago after Victoria Osteen allegedly verbally assaulted a flight attendant after she was told she would have to wait to have liquid cleaned off of her drop down tray.

      January 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  14. Eddie

    But if you continue to quote scripture, quote all of it.
    16 Now a man came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

    17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

    18 “Which ones?” the man inquired.

    Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.”

    20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said, “What do I still lack?”

    21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

    23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    January 26, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Steve the real one

      True Eddie,

      Consider this. I believe Peter asked "then who can be saved" Jesus aswered: with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible. In short, rich folk can be saved in fact, we all must be careful to let what we have own us and become a god in our lives!

      January 26, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Eddie

      Amen

      January 26, 2011 at 11:09 am |
    • Reality

      Matt 19: 16-22 has been analyzed by many contemporary NT experts (e.g. Crossan, Ludemann). Most of words have been judged by these experts via number of attestations, timing and content as not being authentic Jesus. e.g. http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=253_The_Rich_Man

      January 26, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Eddie

      Wow. Sorry to hear that. I guess my life is now a failure. Peace Out brothers.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • D-Bo

      @Reality

      Really Reality? We're supposed to take "Wiki FaithFeatures" word over people who were actually eye witnesses to what Jesus said? Haha. Wow. Why don't you go to your own link and also see that it's currently under construction and furthermore, what scholarly credibility does it have? Yep…you’ve sure discredited the bible with your Wiki link. Well done buddy. Well done. Speaking of loss of credibility….keep posting…you’re doing such an amazing job of converting people to atheism. We’re just flocking to non-belief because of your brilliant Christian debunking abilities using Wiki links.

      January 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • i wonder

      "...people who were actually eye witnesses to what Jesus said?"

      Were they?

      January 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Reality

      Bob,

      Delete the hyphen in the t-itle part of the webaddress and then try the address again. Tis a word filter problem.

      Some other references for your perusal. Said references are available from amazon.com or from your local library.

      Professor JD Crossan's book, The Historical Jesus and Professor Gerd Ludemann's book, Jesus After 2000 Years.

      January 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • Jen5

      Yes, Eddie, quote all of it:
      25 When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
      26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
      Interpretation: A rich man can get to heaven if he relies solely on God and not on himself/his riches.

      January 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Oh jeez

      D-Bo> They were NOT eye witnesses. The "gospels" were written hundreds of years AFTER Jesus died. Sorry.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:00 am |
    • CatholicMom

      i wonder, and Oh jeez,

      It is clear by the early writings of St. Justin and St. Irenaeus that the Gospels were well-known and fully authenticated as sacred records of Christ’s life as early as the beginning of the second century so that is a little over 100 years after Jesus' resurrection; Irenaeus’ bishop was Potinus who lived to the age of 90 and Irenaeus had known Polycarp in Asia Minor which shows connection to the past even beyond the beginning of the second century.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • iveeno

      Joel O preaches a secular message wrapped in the gospel. However, I find that his messages are positive ones and I feel that he wishes people to feel the joy of salvation. Those who are not Christians cannot understand and most don't wish to .... The 4 generally accepted Gospels were NOT written hundreds of years later. Those now considered heretical may have been. Scholars agree on this.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
    • Eddie

      I agree, with God, all can and hopefully are being saved – mercy is so key. Just sayin' it seems Jesus is saying – "it's difficult" when the STUFF blocks your vision of who is doing the saving. Not saying the money or Joel and the group are bad, or not following their call, etc – just saying its tough to do. . tough as a camel passing through . . . .

      My favorite stuff of Jesus is the Sermon on the Mount. I find it key for me. Hoping Joel likes it too and maybe he has even prreached on it and I missed it on TV or in his books. Anybody?

      January 29, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  15. FRAN

    I think him and his wife are just Creepy! I know people who watch him on TV all the time and I just don't get it?
    I guess if it's what you want to do it's your choice but he just creeps me out. I wouldn't be surprised some time down the line we all find out he had a boyfriend for years! Just saying....

    January 26, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • blackghost

      What makes him creepy to you? His faith? That he appears to be happy in it? That he's successful in life? That boyfriend remark sounds like wishful thinking on your part. You're hoping for a scandal so you can feel smug in your contempt.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • Oh jeez

      blackghost> He sets my gaydar off, too. Sorry.

      His faith? No, he's just creepy. Stop projecting.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
    • flyonthewall

      This guy just creeps me out.........has nothing to do with his religion. He and his wife remind me of the religious couple on "True Blood". Scary!

      January 27, 2011 at 1:45 pm |
    • flyonthewall

      The Bible is a book written by man and interpreted by man.......period. You can make the verses say/mean anything you like.....just like a good accountant. Charlie Manson also quoted the Bible chapter and verse.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  16. Sevres Blue

    Why does anyone listen to this guy? And Scripture says ..... I just block my ears when I hear someone say that. The BIBLE, is a selection of writings. Some of it is just nuts. As Catholics- we use the bible when it helps us to understand, it's NOT a law book. We have the 10 commandments. Go from there. Even the Devil can quote the bible (that's what our nuns said 30 years ago and it's still true).
    As I said "Who listens to this guy?" I think about God a lot. Have a good relationship with Him. Wanna ask ME any questions? No – listen to your heart. Try not to be mean or a jerk. Try to help whenever and wherever you can. LOVE one another. That's what Christ said. Love God and each other. Also.... "Judge not....".. if you want to get all 'bible-y"...

    January 26, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Bob

      lol people should listen to your opinions on life instead? I'd rather use a cheap magazine as a reference than the opinion of a fool.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Renee

      Apparently, you DON'T UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN FAITH! Catholics DO indeed follow the bible. Catholocism is part of the Christian denominations, which means it is a religion that follows Christ. We don't pick and choose what is and isn't true out of the bible because that would mean not all the bible is true. I grew up Catholic and only switched to a non-denominational faith in recent years. I AM NOW A PROUD MEMBER OF LAKEWOOD CHURCH!!!! However, on occasional Sundays I will attend Catholic churches. I am so saddened to see your confusion and to see that you think your Christian based Catholic church does not follow the bible. I'll tell you what... go to church next Sunday and as the priest if the bible is true and a full guide for mankind, and see what he says. Come back and post his answer if you're not too embarassed.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:20 am |
    • Renee

      To be honest, the latter part of your message sounds like something Joel would preach. Amazing to see someone with the same beliefs (a little confusion on one part but still...) who does not know that he's on the same page as Joel Osteen. Just like you say it's about being a good person BUT it is also about believing in Christ. Why is it that the meer mention of the bible or Christ get folks all up in arms like someone is judging them. If I say "Christ is King" some confused person comes out of the forest to say "why are you judging" even though no one has even spoken to that person. A Christian has a right to express his or her opinion just like a person who does not believe.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • d meredith

      I feel sorry for you come JUDGEMENT DAY!! you will see just how REAL the Bible is. It also says the Bible is foolishness to those who are PERISHING!! guess I won't be seeing you in heaven!!!

      January 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • whatstheuse

      If you can earn your way to heaven only by being a good person, then Christianity is bogus; crucifixion was either concocted by Christ's disciples or useless.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • AMR

      Did you just call the bible "nuts" and then profess to be Catholic? Do you not even know your own religion?!

      January 26, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
    • Oh jeez

      "whatstheuse

      If you can earn your way to heaven only by being a good person, then Christianity is bogus; crucifixion was either concocted by Christ's disciples or useless."

      Right. Exactly. Prove to me that it a. actually happened and b. that this person was actually the "son of god".
      Totally concocted.
      God in human form sacrificing himself is an old, old story that's been told many times in various forms.

      And Meredith, you are a hateful, judgmental, condescending, and outright RUDE individual. If you speak for Christians I think I'll pass!

      January 26, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Renee,

      Catholicism is Christianity …all other Christian churches or ecclesial communities are denominations…as they are derivatives of Mother Church, the Catholic Church, which is not a denomination. A ‘non-denominational faith’ is just another name for a non-Catholic community who is having a hard time following any one particular form of Christianity; can’t say they are Lutheran exactly, or Baptist exactly, or anything else exactly….so start up another! So, now there are 38,001 differing ecclesial communities or denominations, counting your new one that have formed in the last 500 years!

      Since your non-denominational faith is found in the Lakewood Church….how did you know that they were ‘the one?’ Did you visit a few weeks and knew they had the Truth?

      I am curious, do you receive the Holy Eucharist when you occasional visit a Catholic Church?

      January 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  17. Lucy

    I'm glad that Joel Osteen is finally getting the courage to speak the truth about the issues. God loves the sinner but hates the sin. And we all do it, so thank God for Jesus who paid the price for our sins, but we need to accept His sacrifice.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Sevres Blue

      BTW, Lucy, who said that? "God loves the sinner but hates the sin.."
      It makes sense, but who are you to judge who is and isn't sinning? Just asking if you got a special wand or something.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Reality

      Lucy,

      Hmmm??? Might want to take a modern approach to atonement theology as noted below:

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

      "In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life."- JD Crossan

      Then there is this:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      "Heaven is a Spirit state" as per JPII and Aquinas i.e. there can be no bodies. i.e. there was and never will be any physical resurrection/ascension of human bodies."

      And is it not ironical that JPII along with Aquinas are the ones who put meaning to the words "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless."

      January 26, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • kevin

      Cuckoo!

      January 26, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Jim Jones

      Adorable. Now wipe your mouth after drinking the Kool-Aid.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Bob

      @sevres blue
      Psalm 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
      slow to anger, abounding in love.
      9 He will not always accuse,
      nor will he harbor his anger forever;
      10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
      or repay us according to our iniquities.
      11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
      so great is his love for those who fear him;
      12 as far as the east is from the west,
      so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Oh jeez

      Really, Lucy? Did "god" tell you he loves the sinner and hates the sin?

      January 26, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
    • jesus

      That's Joel's con line to make his herd of donating fools donate more. The Bible doesn't say that – Joel does! The Bible says that 7 of the 10 commandments are to be punished by stoning the transgressor to death. So gather up all the rocks and stones you can and bring 'em to church this Sunday.

      January 28, 2011 at 9:05 am |
  18. The Half Baked Lunatic

    "god" is a ridiculous idea promoted by immoral people to control and pacify the weak minded people. I'll give you one guess as to which category this idiot falls in to.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Bob

      glad to know there's somebody with all the answers. You should write a book

      January 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Luke

      and this coming from a lunatic

      January 26, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • mtbinary

      Hilarious comment. Without God and the Bible, what use is there for the world immoral? ...some of you people...

      January 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • Dan

      mtbinary : Agreed. If there is no God then there is no right or wrong, full stop. Don't know how people can argue differently.

      January 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      So every culture throughout history other than yours (Christian culture) had no moral code?

      January 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Pullinthewool

      you dont know how anyone could argue with that? although christianity is the worlds largest religion its only 2.2 billion out of over 6 billion people in the world, what about everyone else?

      January 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Tim Carnathan

      Lunatic fits you quite well, it seems like there are some out there that are convinced that this "God stuff' is all crazy talk. But if you take out God you take out meaning and purpose and beauty. It all becomes just a survival of the the fittest. Just give me a break, there is more to this life then just dancing to our DNA. Without the form and freedom provided by the Christian worldview you would be forced to live in a caste system like the Eastern religions or in some communist system that denies anyone has the right to have anything (unless you are the government). I am glad that God blesses people that will actually do something good with the money and not put it in some overseas bank account.

      January 26, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
    • shayne the christian

      you are def. a lunatic.. i will pray for you and i know what side you will be on when the apocalypse sweeps over this planet! silly sad human being!

      January 26, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • Oh jeez

      "But if you take out God you take out meaning and purpose and beauty. "

      Oh, give me a BREAK. This is such a load. You don't think Agnostics and Atheists find meaning, purpose, and beauty in life? Hate to break it to you, but you are wrong.
      You and "Shane the Christian" take the cake for condensation, that's for sure. WWJD? Well, he wouldn't be condescending, for one thing.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  19. Bonnie Fontenot

    Why are people so surprised about what is considered sin? Read the Bible.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Sevres Blue

      The Bible is not a 'rule book'.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • TheKen

      I have read the Bible. The Bible says that slavery is OK; so I'm going to go out a buy me a human. Since it says so right in this book!!!

      January 26, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • Bill

      The bible is only one of many religious books you can pick from. Why not read the Koran? Or the Torah? Why not? Because you think the bible is the only answer, when it's really only one of several options. Claiming that you have all the answers written down in YOUR book is just as bad as saying YOU have all the answers. Which you obviously don't, and neither does Joel. He claims he;s not a judge, but he still tells people when they're wrong. Hypocrite. Maybe his/your instruction book is wrong, ever consider that?

      January 26, 2011 at 11:07 am |
    • Bobbie

      TheKen, really? Which one of your anti-Bible friends told you that, or which of your favorite anti-Bible websites told you that? Because I've yet to meet someone who makes anti-Bible statements that has actually READ the Bible.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • RIchard W

      ... the bible is written by man.. not god..

      January 26, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Bobbie

      Bill, if one is a Christian, they believe all answers are in the Bible and that it is the only answer. They also believe that the Bible is infallible scripture, God-breathed and written down by man (hence, infallible). You can believe what you want, and I'll believe what I want. I believe the Bible is infallible and God-breathed. Written down by man. Yes, I'll get crap for it – maybe even from you – but the Bible already tells me I'll get crap for it, so it comes as no surprise.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • ILoveJesus

      TheKen...In the Old Testament, men willingly sold themselves into slavery to pay off debts that they owed if they didn't have the money to pay. But the Bible clearly teaches that "menstealing" was punishable by death.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:15 am |
    • bigDaddy

      I would like to see that verse that says its ok to "buy a human" as you put it.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Sherry

      You're absolutely right. The Bible is not a "rule book" it is the inspired word of God. Think about this statement.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Nonimus

      @Bobby, et al.
      I don't claim to be a biblical scholar, so tell me where in the Bible I can find slavery defined as a sin, because surely owning one of God's children is a sin.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Visio

      @ TheKen – It also says to obey the laws of your land.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:24 am |
    • Dvdgeneration

      Ever seen the writings "this movie is formatted to fit your TV" when you are about to watch a DVD? That's exactly what people want to do to the bible: This bible has been formatted to fit your ideology and your way of life. Enjoy! It's quite simple really. If you don't believe the bible is inerrant, then don't read it. But don't try to Oprah-ize it either. Leave it alone ... there are more than a billion of us who like to see it as it is.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • mtfrommd

      If you are looking for a passage in the bible on slavery:
      When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

      Now, I've read the Bible cover to cover twice and am on my third try – I find much of it inspiring and encouraging. However, some of the stuff men wrote in there was just nuts. 🙂 I prefer to listen to scripture in my own heart and not trust the words of men.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • Kyle

      RichardW....

      Thanks for that enlightening comment.... Ever heard of a process called canonization? Anyone who knows about biblical history can tell you that every book in the Bible (and more) was written by man, but they were all CHOSEN to form the Bible as a whole by our one and only, almight God. Obviously and shamefully, anyone who doesn't believe in God would have trouble believing that even matters.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Bible condones slavery is several places. It gives explicit instructions on who you can use as a slave, how to sell your daughter into slavery, and how to beat your slaves.

      "However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way." (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

      "When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment." (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

      "When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

      The New Testament has some handy guidelines on how to be a good slave.

      "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ." (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

      "Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them." (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

      January 26, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • wrong

      @Visio – the Bible does not say to obey the laws of the land. That is a common misquote. The Bible says to pay unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. That's as close as it gets to obey the laws of the land.

      January 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Oh jeez

      Bonnie....let me ask: do you ever wear two different kinds of cloth together? Surprise! That is a "sin", too.
      What a bunch of baloney. I can't even comprehend why any intelligent person would live his or her life according to a 5 thousand year old book, especially a book that constantly contradicts itself.
      And for the person who claims that the bible as is is exactly as "god" planned it out...ummmm...no? Do you even know what went into the planning of the modern bible? The CHURCH chose which "books" would be included and which would not. They left the ones OUT that did not agree w. their preplanned doctrine.
      As for Olsteen, he's as phony as they come. No, it's not a "sin" to have money, but it should be a "sin" to attempt to brainwash people. As an ex-Born Again, I can tell you this is total bunk. I've been through all this. You're all being fed a line of bs.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Bobbie and Kyle,

      Where in the Bible does the Bible say ‘all answers are in the Bible?’

      The Scriptures were chosen and placed together in the Bible by the Catholic Church almost 400 years after Jesus Christ’s resurrection. The Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth.

      January 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • jesus

      The Bible says that 7 of the 10 commandments are to be punished by stoning the transgressor to death. Is that the Bible you are speaking about? Are those the sins you are referring to?

      January 28, 2011 at 9:01 am |
    • Steve the real one

      Jesus,

      Sorry Dude, I just perused the 20th chapter of Exodus (where the 10 commandments are recorded) and NO mention of stoning in the ENTIRE chapter!

      January 28, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Nonimus

      @wrong,
      Doesn't Colossians 3:22 say, "Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord."
      And since the Bible doesn't condone slavery, doesn't that mean all should submit to earthly masters (i.e. laws)?

      January 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Nonimus,

      There is a book in the Bible , Philemon that actually addresess the master/slave relationship. The catch is both were Christian. The writer tells the runaway slave to go back AND tells the Master to recieve the him NOT as a slave but instead as a brother. Saying that, in the culture where this was first written, slavery was acceptable! Now if Ken wants a slave, I would imagine the next time we hear from him will be in a letter he writes from prision as human trafficking is a crime. As far as the other point, We are commaned to OBEY those those who have authority over us (human government) . The ONLY time we do not is if we are asked to disobey God! A simple example. Red traffic lights. Since they did not exist when the Bible was written, we cannot expect the Bible to address it! Yet anyone to include Christians who runs a red light and is observed by the police will get pulled over. Why? becuase it breaks the laws of our government (man). Again, we ARE to obey the laws EXCEPT if they violate the laws and principle of God! Hope that helped!

      January 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve the real one,
      So Paul wants Philemon to free this one guy? He doesn't condemn slavery. He doesn't even say Christians shouldn't do it. He does offer to pay for the slave to be freed, although it seems obvious he does not expect Philemon to take him up on the offer. So don't own slaves named 'Onesimus'? Or maybe Christians shouldn't own slaves who are Christian.

      Are Christians owning Hindus okay, if the government is okay with it? Well this is obviously too complicated for me, perhaps I shouldn't get into debates about scripture.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Nonimus,

      Did you even read where I wrote these words ..IN THAT CULTURE?

      January 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @Steve the real one,
      "Did you even read where I wrote these words ..IN THAT CULTURE?"

      Yes, I did... which is why i specified, "if the government is okay with it," reasoning that if the government is okay with it, not only is it okay with the 'Earthly' authorities, but it must also be okay with at least some segment/aspect of the culture in order to be in the laws in the first place.

      But, please, if you think my reasoning is faulty explain why you think so. Screaming won't help, though.

      January 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • Nonimus

      PS Steve,
      I wasn't being sarcastic about "get[ting] into debates about scripture." I really should probably stay away from them.

      January 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Steve the real one

      Nonimus,

      Sorry for the caps!

      January 28, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Frank

      Yup

      January 30, 2011 at 6:53 am |
  20. JH

    I'm not a big Osteen fan, but I like that he admits he doesn't have all the answers. The following quote may apply:

    The wisest mind has something yet to learn.

    George Santayana

    January 26, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • JDT

      agreed

      January 26, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • tickmich

      I think I can stand behind olsteen. He's the only minister that has ever said he's not here to judge.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm |
    • james ortego

      Lies to save face , if Osteen was asked the question – was Charles Manson rite when he killed I bet he would judge that . Its a shame ..

      January 28, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • runswithbeer

      Eye of the needle, looms large. What's Osteen gonna do when God comes back as a Muslim Lesbian.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:42 am |
    • jesus

      He's running the same game as many other religion hucksters out there. He just does it a lot better than most. He is slick, glib, and is very good at feigning honesty. Those skills have earned him a sizable net worth – and that's what it's all about for these religion hucksters- the MONEY!

      January 28, 2011 at 8:57 am |
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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.