Joel Osteen: God ‘Absolutely’ Accepts Homosexuals

Osteen ssIn a recent interview with the Huffington Post, megachurch speaker and author Joel Osteen advised that he believes God accepts homosexuals, and that he doesn’t want to “tell everybody what they’re doing wrong.”

Osteen sat down this week with host Josh Zepps to promote his new book Break Out: 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life. The two discussed a variety of issues, from Pope Francis to fighting poverty to whether unbelievers can go to Heaven.

“You say here… ‘It doesn’t matter who likes you or doesn’t like you; all that matters is that God likes you. He accepts you; He approves of you,” Zepps stated, reading from Osteen’s book. “Is that true for gay men or true for homosexuals?”

“Absolutely,” Osteen replied. “I believe that God’s breathed His life into every person. We’re all on a journey. Nobody’s perfect.”

“The Bible says that sin is pride, sin is selfish ambition,” he continued. “We tend to pick on certain things, but I believe every person is made in the image of God, and you’ve got to accept them as they are as they’re on their journey.”

Osteen then explained his belief that Christians should exemplify kindness to the world, rather than “pushing people down.”

“Again, the Scripture teaches the way people are going to know His disciples is for our love for one another, and so, I’m not preaching hate [or] pushing people down,” he stated. “I’m not here to tell everybody what they’re doing wrong.”

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Osteen was later asked if he believes unbelievers can go to Heaven. He replied that he believes Scripture states that Christ is the way, but that he is not the judge of who is allowed to enter.

“As a Christian pastor, the only thing in Scripture that I see is that a relationship with Jesus will get you to Heaven,” he replied. “Now, do you have to be a certain denomination or something like that? I don’t know that, but I do know that I’m not the judge of who gets to go Heaven. What I see in the Scripture is that you have to have a relationship with Jesus. That’s why He came.”

“Someone who believes in the monkey god is not going to Heaven then,” Zepps commented, referencing the 1.2 Indians in the world, many of whom practice polytheism.

“I don’t claim to understand who’s all going to Heaven,” Osteen replied. “I just believe and I teach in all my messages that when you have a relationship with Christ–that’s the reason why He came, to have a relationship with him that is the guarantee from Heaven.”

“People don’t all believe like me; they see it bigger,” he added. “I believe God’s mercy is very big. I thank God I’m not the judge of who gets to come. Only He can, but that’s the way I see it.”

While some have applauded Osteen for the way in which he responded to Zepps’ questions, others have expressed deep concern. Dr. Michael Brown, host of the Line of Fire radio broadcast, and author of the forthcoming book Hyper-Grace, told Christian News Network that Osteen “offers affirmation for sinners–of all kinds–rather than a call for transformation.”

“If he meant that God accepts us the way we are and that’s it–no repentance or changed life in Jesus required, then I categorically disagree,” he stated. “Paul says plainly in 2 Timothy 2:19, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.’”

Brown said that Osteen missed an opportunity to encourage those who struggle with homosexual temptations that Christ came to free men from the power of sin.

“If Joel Osteen had made himself clear and given a full, biblical message, which, sadly, he often fails to do, this could have given hope to those struggling with homosexuality, as well as brought the fear of the Lord to those who believe homosexual practice and Christianity are compatible,” he stated. “[I]t’s so important that we open the door wide to all those identify as LGBT, telling them Jesus died for them just as He died for the rest of the world and there is new life and new hope in Him.”

Brown said that he is concerned that there are those like Osteen who preach a humanistic Gospel, which “starts with me and tells me what God can do to please me,” instead of a biblical Gospel, which “starts with God and tells me what I can do to please Him.”

“While I appreciate Joel Osteen bringing a personable, smiling face to the TV screen in the name of Jesus,  I’m deeply grieved by the man-centered, cross-avoiding message that he preaches, and because of his great influence, he is greatly accountable,” he stated. “We should pray for God to get hold of him in a radical way and raise him up to be a preacher of righteousness.”

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  • Sarah Simmons

    While I too appreciate the encouragement that Joel’s messages being to me when I feel like just quitting, , I too agree that he falls short of preaching the gospel. Because of his position, he will be greatly judged. Giving someone false hope is no hope at all. God is very clear that He is in the business of giving new life not an acceptance of the life we ‘think’ we want here on this earth. But Joel’s message is very popular and will reach the ears of the masses and tickle them. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. But the road that leads to Heaven is narrow and few enter therein. Come OUT from among them and be ye separate. We all will reap what we sow. God, open all of our eyes to truth and truth only. amen.

    • Dwayne

      From this pastor to you: Thanks! I am so disappointed in Joel yet he appeals to the “feel good” masses. He will be responsible for the seed he has sown. It consistently is a case of vacillating between outright heresy and apostasy. He is an authentic false apostle.

      • jolene

        Joel is absolutely correct. Old Testament laied down the laws of Moses and Abraham.
        New Testament, God sent Jesus to tell the world (and show), the all is not forsaken. Jesus brought grace for it is not a human ability to change sinful ways over night.
        By receiving grace, you change your mindset. Any person, if you know, no matter what you did or what you’re still doing, when you repent or acknowledge, you’re in the wrong, you will not be judged. You will receive grace (forgiveness) and at the same time, accept the Holy Spirit to guide your ways forward, you will be made aware of the laws as explained in the old testament without the ‘death penalty’ hanging over your head.
        You will strive to follow God’s ways without being condemned if you don’t.

  • Ayandi

    Mr. Osteen doesn’t want to come out clear to tell homosexuals the plain truth of God’s stand against that sin…Leviticus 20 clearly states God’s view towards homosexuality. Please Mr. Osteen you will be doing yourself alot of good by telling these people that they are sinning and that sin will lead them to hell fire. You cant play diplomacy with God’s word…you are trying to compromise the truth. Maybe you are scared of losing church members or friends who could be gays. So you think by not hitting the nail all the way in you mite buy some time…the word of God is the word of God…period…accept it or leave it…James 4:17…the consequences are eternal hell. telling your people the truth is not judging them, but saving them…if you cant tell the absolute truth then you are not worthy of being a representative of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • jolene

      The New Testament (coming of Jesus) brought grace for it is impossible to live according to the Old Testament laws. Therefore, the laws of the Old Testament is there as a guide to distinguish between right and wrong but there are people who still don’t grasp it and still refer to those scriptures to judge people today. It is not for mortals to judge, but in God’s hands. He sent Jesus to ‘say’, there is hope. There is grace and forgiveness. All you have to do is accept Jesus, accept His grace. All you need to do, is accept Him and by doing that, the Holy Spirit (that Jesus left us after his departure), we will be guided to distinguish between right and wrong without having to study the scriptures.

  • Brenda Sills

    I believe that I am not here to judge anyone. I also believe that we should be kind, caring, and helpful to others. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. I journey with The Lord is a personal journey, and only he knows what is in our heart and soul. We have to askGod, andThe Lord into our lives and help guide us. We need to be strong and stand up for what we believe. It is not up to others to judge us in any way. The Lord wants you to things so that you are not hurting anyone. I have asked for forgiveness for my sins. I still have trials, but need tout them at the feet of The Lord, and allow him to do is will. We are to love everyone. I know when bad things happened to me, I did ask The Lord to forgive those that had harmed me. I am not perfect and there has been time I felt I am not worthy. The Lord tells me I am. I do not want to hurt anyone. I pray that all people that pass on are where they need to be before their death.

  • Dawnya

    Yes, homosexuality is a sin just like lying, cheating, stealing, selfishness… etc. Can a homosexual enter into the Kingdom? If they are not saved, no. If they are then yes. Who are you to judge which sin is good and which is bad. All sin is sin in God’s eyes. To be saved you must believe that Jesus died for your sins and took them upon Him. When you believe and in faith receive, you are made the righteousness of Christ. When you are the righteousness in Christ, did you stop sinning as a believer? NO

    The part I feel Joel is not being strong on that he should be is JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAVED. HE IS THE ONLY WAY. Whoever believes on Him WILL BE SAVED. There is no other way to enter into the Kingdom of God but by JESUS.

    I used to believe that certain sins did keep you from Heaven, but I do not believe this anymore. If you say that sin keeps someone from the kingdom or being saved and they have believed… then you are saying that what Jesus did was not good enough nor was it even worth His time. You are saying He is merciful to your sin but not to the homosexual. What makes you better in God’s eyes?

    Don’t take scripture out of context because it only cons you. And you have to know the context of the chapter too. Full version of “2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” Once you believe you have a sure foundation. You are SEALED! The rest of this chapter is teaching growth. If a sinner is no longer a sinner when saved then they would be perfect.

    1 Corinthians 6:9 is talking about the sinner BEFORE HE IS SAVED. It is not talking about the believer.

    Once you are saved, there are 2 kinds of believers. There are the ones that know they are now made righteous and rest in the finished works of Christ, and they change and grow and become more Christlike. Then there are those who are in bondage and do not know how much our Father loves us. They struggle with the sins of the world. God does not see them this way but this is how they view themselves.

    Who are we to judge? We are to love and help them to become free. If a homosexual is saved, and they struggle with homosexual tendencies, that is like anyone else saved and struggling with sin. How can we say which sin God will forgive and which one He won’t. He is the one that died on that cross and took all the strips and was disfigured and beat, mocked, spit on. God gave His son. Don’t take away from what He did just because of fear of a sin that seems so much worse than sins that you commit. Homosexuality is no different. It just seems different in our minds and by attacking those that struggle with it, makes you feel better. But it is not truth.

    God wants all of us free to enjoy the finished works of Christ. Free from ALL SIN. Free from homosexuality as much as free from alcoholism, drug addiction, over eating, lying, cheating, unforgiviness, selfishness… etc.

    • Akpan

      I want to ask you whether you believe these homosexuals are really struggling? What I see are people who want christians to affirm their sin in the name of orientation. Besides this observation, I am in agreement with you.

    • TLT

      Repentance comes when one sees the Majesty of Christ and the Price of Calvary through the drawing of the Holy Ghost. It then brings one to humble repentance (much as it did for Isaiah in Isaiah Ch 6). Repentance, is not repentance if one simply wants to profess Christ with their mouth but not turn from the sin in their life. All they really want is ‘their best life now’ or possibly fire insurance.

  • Jay R. Wren

    “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:” Acts 17:30

  • Jason

    John the Baptist preached saying “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2

    Jesus preached saying “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5

    “And they [disciples] went out, and preached that men should repent.” Mark 6:12

    Paul said to Simon “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” Acts 8:22

    Paul preached saying “repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” Acts 26:20

    Peter preached saying “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” Acts 3:19

    I see a pattern here… Joel is not following.

  • God does accept homosexuals, prostitutes, tax collectors and the like… yes [they are simply called sinners- like you and me]. Once a person [no matter what they might call themselves] accepts Jesus as their Savior… then the Holy Spirit can and will work on their heart, manner and way. For a homosexual to continue on doing the same thing [not being transformed to what God says we all should be or do… following what God wants us to be] is to desire more of what the flesh wants and not of the Spirit of God. Joel is contributing to the problem here… not offering the full plate of what salvation is all about. This is more like what ‘the emerging church’ is serving, a false sense of security to those who would like God to be in their image… not for themselves to be seen in God’s image.

  • Mhay

    Genesis 1:27… God created male and female… Homosexuals- you need the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse you, repentance and turn away from homosexuality. Jesus loves you so much and He is waiting for you to repent and ask forgiveness.

  • Mike

    I don’t accept any theological opinions from those who do not have gay children or grew up with a sibling that is gay. They have not clue or experience with the struggle that faces Christian parents. I do. As a Sunday School teacher I have had many a night of study on this topic. I have chosen to love my son unconditionally and raise him as a Christian man. He is 21 now, in a platonic relationship and is in SS and worship every Sunday. Now, would you want that or the alternative.?

    • Vicky

      The alternative it is already judged… If you read the bible this is already judged… We as Christians should be PREACHING the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it is NOT a popular Gospel, if we don’t tell people they are sinning then they don’t know they need a Savior… If we don’t tell people they are headed for Hell they don’t understand they need a SAVIOR… it is NOT mean to tell someone something that is already written by GOD… Do you understand it is LOVE we tell people because we LOVE them, how much do we have to hate someone to not tell them the Gospel and let them go to HELL? God is LOVE… BUT He is also JUST!!!

  • Brad

    Mike, I would want the alternative. Bible truth does not change just because you have a personal experience that changes your view.

    The Lord put his precepts in His word and we are to follow them, not question or submit our own justifications for ignoring / changing them. You are doing your family and your religion a disservice by condoning a homosexual lifestyle.

    Telling a homosexual they can go to heaven while embracing their sinful lifestyle is false teaching. Speak the truth in love to your son.

    God bless you and your family with this struggle.

  • Bliss Barreiros

    God hates the sin, but all have the opportunity to repent of their sins and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their one and only way to salvation.. Admit your sin, believe in the Lord, confess your sin, repent and thou shall see the kingdom at hand.

  • kalib

    A false prophet. He preaches no repentance but conformity with this world, which will soon be purified by fire.

  • Johnbull Tsotso

    That is not the gospel from the Bible, how can Joel Olsten relate his view with Rom 1: v 18-28. Further more it is the Truth that sets free, not gospels to please men rather all men need the truth to be delivered from the burden of sin which only the truth who is Jesus has taken to cross on behalf of all men.


    Is really sad when men of GOD alway set out to turn the bible around just to please men……..God have mercy on us all ….

  • Webb

    But God will assuredly spit Joel Osteen, the rich heretic, out of His mouth.

  • Jabez H.

    To understand Joel O. is to look into the very isolation and competitiveness of our society, and how, to some measure his assertion of this or that expectation offers countermeasure. Consider the crowds who linger in gathering, the need to hear affirmations when so much is relative, unapproachable, or can be elusive in American culture, which can create islands of human beings. Why? Because of the tension between what is authentic and that socially acceptable. The crowds Jesus addressed were like sheep without a shepherd. The crowds Joel addresses are like kids in the candy store where the countertop display is too tall to reach. Who bridges these gaps?

  • Drew


  • Jacob Wright

    Joel Osteen seems to fit to a T the following Scripture: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

  • BeBe Ivy

    Too many teachers/preachers of God’s Holy Word are more concerned about being politically correct than they are about being biblically correct. We put more emphasis on what we ‘think’ than we do on what God knows. Why do we continue to bring God down to our level instead of going up to His level? He is a Holy, Divine God. Higher learning has turned into higher leaning and education has turned into indoctrination. We could all take a chapter from Mr. Steve Job’s life. Mr. Job, being one of the smartest men during our life did not believe his doctors and lost his life, and he did not believe God and lost his soul.

    Jesus, Himself said, ” For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”(Mk. 8:36) It is not a doctorate degree we need, but a Masters Degree by The Master, Himself.

  • Ralph

    Joel Osteen is a very interesting speaker, but that is the extent of it. He is not a preacher. Not to judge the man, but I seriously doubt that he himself is a Christian. He needs to study the Bible and follow it.

  • rita

    joel is all wrong the bible tells us that people who are gay are condemed read itwhy does’nt joel read that passage in the bible that says that everyone who reads the bible on that passage knows that ralph above said it right read his comment

  • Joseph

    as being a former homosexual i find this quite sad of how he has drastically changed by being firm in it being a sin to flipping it upside down to please the all started when he was going on the talk shows. even though i don’t listen to osteen because he is more a motivational speaker who nic pics scripture to fit his agendas and not to really preach truth and enforce discipline and obedience in the word of God. he avoids to be a man of God. Paul says in 1 Cor 5:12 that it is our business to judge the church and not the outsiders. to enforce obedience and rebuke where there is contradiction in Gods word and continuous sin being taking place amongst each other. so i find it very important to say what your doing wrong without being hypocritical and abusive because out of Gods love this helps keep us right with God and pleasing to God. God wants us to allow Him to transform us. we cant do that if we are doing our own will and deciding in our hearts to be the same old man and not the new creation.may the Lord have compassion on mercy on all those who have to hear the poison from his lips.

    • Scotland

      There’s no such thing as a former homosexual or ex-gay.

    • purlie

      Good Word, Joseph. I’m glad someone finally talked about the power of God to save and deliver, you being a “former” homosexual. We repent from the heart, and God, little by little, changes our want-to’s. Repentance from the heart, application of Jesus’ blood, and a continuance in God’s Word changes us from the inside, out. God, help us to proclaim this truth, fearlessly, in patient love. Without the proclamation of the Truth, none will be saved, and their blood will be on OUR hands!

  • Jerome Williams

    This is utterly pointless. GOD is holy, he always have been holy and always will be holy. No one abiding in sin can say they have the love of GOD in them. No one abiding in the truth of GOD’s word can act like GOD doesn’t hate sin. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. The devil minds the things of the flesh, but the word that Jesus taught is Spirit and Life. Homosexuality doesn’t abide in life, it abides in death, just like every other sexual sin. Now for the ones who love to quote “let him without sin cast the first stone”, that is not what Jesus said. Go back, seek out of the book of the LORD and read. First read Leviticus, then go read that story about the woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Jesus said, ” Let him without sin among you cast the first stone.” Now he said that to people who had the authority to kill the woman, go back and study the law for those who don’t know. Finally, everyone that GOD has ever used had to do one thing…..CONVERT!!!! If GOD used someone who would not turn from sin, then it was for their own destruction. Don’t be deceived, GOD is not mocked, whatsoever you sow, you will also reap. If you sow to the flesh, of it you will reap damnation, but if you sow into the spirit, of it you will reap everlasting life. No one who abides in what GOD hate without turning from what he hate will see death, they won’t see heaven.

  • Bethany Saxton

    I believe that although God calls many to a life of ministry, he has given them each different ways and styles of teaching so as to meet people where they are, at the particular stage of faith, or lack thereof that that they reside. I see Joel as a declarer of the Good News of Jesus Christ. He teaches as Christ taught, sharing God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness. This is how Christ walked the earth and how He taught His disciples. Once people feel accepted, this is where the Holy Spirit begins to stir; this then leads to turning their life over to Jesus – accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. A full explanation of the gift and power of The Holy Spirit is imperative at this stage; it is simply too often dismissed and not enough explanation given about the purpose of The Holy Spirit. It is after having this understanding that the process of conviction begins.

    I believe that Joel is doing the work of The Lord- the specific ministry that he specifically was called to do. No one pastor will reach every non-believer, this is not expected. This is why there are pastors that have been called to teach in other styles and at deeper levels, to reach, perhaps those who require a more in-depth explanation of the history and theology, right off the bat, in order to pique their interest. This is also true for Christians who have more questions than others, whose faith may be stretched further than others.

    God sent Jesus to give us an example of how our lives today- in the law of the New Covenant. We need to remember the characteristics of Christ when we are witnessing to others; He never condemned or mocked…. nor did he exclude anyone.

  • David

    Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion……..God has the final say…Just like when Jesus told Peter in John 21:22…John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me…I see this as Jesus telling Peter, What business is it of yours to be concerned with what I decide….,Your job is to follow me, not to question my decisions…,and the same for when God said to Moses “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy”….,Who are you to tell God upon whom He should have or not have mercy…..

    • Jay

      The commandment to love my neighbor does seem to be valid as well….THAT, along with letting God judge seems like a good understanding to me.

  • Joe Christian

    Brother Osteen,I pray may God help you. Because it seems you need to be save first,So that you can be bold enough,not to be ashamed of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,having the fullness of the Holy Spirit,and preach the undiluted word of God to the people,look them in the eyes and tell them the truth. Because you are sounding like the peoples preacher,not the preacher of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The book of Titus 2:1 clearly states “But speak thou the things which becomes sound doctrine”. Brother,are all what you speak to these large audience of people about homosexualism,sin and all that, sound doctrine? Or the doctrine of men.

    2 Tim 4:1-2 says “1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
    Brother God expect you to preach His right word,His undiluted word to these people,He also expect you to reprove and rebuke them when they are on the wrong path,just as we see in Verse 2 of 2 Tim 4.
    Finally my counsel to all of you christian who are very quick to believe all you hear from the mouth of men in the titles of pastor,rev and all that,now see what the bible says in 1 Tim 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; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;.

    You’ve seen what 1 Tim 4:1-2 says,so please yall be very careful,guide your ears. Filter every sermon you’re been taught using the word of God,remember we are in the last days. Don’t just say,oh! He is a great pastor,or she’s a great pastor. Depend solely on the word of God to guide you,and on the Holy Spirit ,bible says ,the Holy Spirit will teach you all truth. So let the Spirit of God dwell richly in you,and He’ll help you. God bless you all.

  • wanda

    God says. I love the sinner but,hate the sin. If you are a practicing homosexual or lesbian then you are practicing sin. You are giving your self over to the acts of the flesh. Your depend on your emotions (love). What does God say about depending on our feelings. Not to. Our feelings are all over the place. They change all the time. God to stand on his word. This is the same truth for those who commit the acts of perversion, adultery, fornication, liars, thieves, etc.
    repent, turn away from, run away, CRY TO GOD!

  • stephen gravitt

    the late rev Lloyd Goodwins books would be a great help to clear up this pastors foggy teachings.god loves us all,true. you can not get people to come to church by throwing bricks at them. one has to hear the bibles teachings and then we need to look at our life through heavens eyes,with the word of god. Jesus christ loves you and will teach you what we are to do to be holy in gods kingdom to come ,amazing grace !! Discerning is not judging ,who wants to help people to get to heaven raise there hands?

  • Floyd Rodriguez

    What’s becoming of our so-called christian leaders of today. Sure, God loves us all, but hates the sin. He does not accept homosexuals, unless they repent of their sins and ask for forgiveness, period.

    • Pete

      Unlike homosexuality, religion is a serious mental illness–a socially transmitted disease (STD).

    • Jason Kuppler

      Are you God? If so, then please judge. If not, then kick rocks. What’s interesting is that Christ (you know, the guy in CHRISTianity) does not condemn homosexuals. He condemns Pharisees who, like yourself, judge and pretend they know all that God does.