Does Joel Osteen Say God Approves of Homosexuality?


OSTEENIs Joel Osteen telling America that homosexuality is ok with God?

God “absolutely” approves of everyone — including homosexuals — declared one of America’s most well-known evangelical pastors

The Houston megapastor and best-selling author Joel Osteen, whose followers include the likes of Cher and Oprah Winfrey, is hitting the talk-show circuit to promote his new book, “Break Out! 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life.”

HuffPo Live host Josh Zepps quoted from Osteen’s new book: “It doesn’t matter who likes you or who doesn’t like you, all that matters is God likes you. He accepts you, he approves of you.”

Zepps followed up by asking if that included homosexuals.

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

In past interviews, the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston with over 45,000 followers, has tried to take a very non-confrentational position on homosexuality to avoid condemnation from the general public.

In a 2012 interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Osteen stated that he believed gays were some of the most loving people he had ever met.

“I believe the scripture says that being gay is a sin. But, you know, every time I say that, Chris … people say, well, you are a gay hater and you’re a gay basher,” Osteen told Wallace during the interview. “I’m not. I don’t – I don’t dislike anybody. Gays are some of the nicest, kindest, most loving people in the world. But my faith is based on what I believe the scripture says, and that’s the way I read the scripture.”

It is plainly obvious Joel Osteen is avoiding taking a tough stance on sinful behavior in order to keep the sales of his new book high. While it is absolutely true that God loves all people including homosexuals and adulterers and liars and thieves.

It is also very true that the Lord will never condone sinful behavior. All sin brings death and just because it is taboo to condemn a particular sin at a particular time does not mean the Lord will give that sin a pass.

Joel Osteen should stop taking the easy way out. The influence that he has been given should be used to call America to repentance instead of the feel good false gospel he has so benefited from. The Lord has spoken against such men before.

But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the Lord of hosts,  and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.” -Malachi 2:8-9


  1. Hey guys,

    You write,”It is plainly obvious Joel Osteen is avoiding taking a tough stance on sinful behavior in order to keep the sales of his new book high.”

    What you consider plainly obvious is not so obvious to me. The image of God (Imago Dei) is no where in scripture denied or marginalized. We are all capable of responding to the Father; somehow that glory of creation is still a part of all of us, and we can hear HIs voice when Spirit calls. The scripture is plain to say that while all of us were far from God, even enemies, Christ died for us.

    Malachi 2:8-9 is an inspired word for the nation of Israel. They were chosen to be God’s special people. To quote God’s prophet to Israel to justify your vitriol against Olsteen not only misses Olsteen’s point that God loves each one (including gays), but misses the point of the meaning of Malachi to a people in exile wondering where the promised glory is.

    I for one am glad that Joel Olsteen gives a message that God really does love the world . . . even so much that He gave His only Son.

    blessings to you all

    • No vitriol here Gary.

      I plainly stated that God loves everyone. I absolutely believe that Jesus died for us all. If you were to review what I wrote, I included several sins that the Lord also forgives.

      What is common today is that we join the sin and person. The person is then identified by that sin creating the false narrative that we are attacking that person. The truth is that from John the Baptist, to Jesus, to His Apostles and now to those who call Jesus, Lord the gospel message is the same. “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

      I have family and church members that struggle with homosexuality and heterosexuality, I love them all. I welcome them all into fellowship. We should not confuse, however, God’s love and forgiveness with His command to walk in His ways. He calls all who will listen to repent of our wickedness and to be holy as He is holy.

      It can be difficult to reconcile God’s love with His call to righteousness. That is why I oppose the false gospel of “everything is acceptable to God because of His love” as if His way is suspended. Jesus taught that not one jot or tiddle of the law of God would pass away until heaven and earth passed away.

      As an aside, Malachi was written to the nation of Israel, yes. They were not in exile at the time of its writing. Also, the Apostle Paul stated that even we gentiles were grafted into Israel. I hold that this scripture applies to those who claim to teach in the name of Jesus.

      Great to hear from you Gary. If you want me to go deeper and get even more long winded just let me know. This discussion on gays and how to correctly apply the word of God has caused me to conduct years of study on how we should look at these matters.

      May the Lord bless you,
      Paul Holt

      • Thanks for the response Paul. I can already see we use words differently. For instance: the phrase “repent and follow me” must be used with in an appropriate context. We anachronistically attach religious connotations to the word repent (quit sinning and come to Jesus). In the first century, the term meant to come under new leadership (lordship). Josephus uses the term when trying to convince bar Jesus to follow him instead of the priests and pharisees. Josephus wasn’t trying to convince bar Jesus that he needed to quit sinning and see him as a new Messiah. Josephus’ meaning is, “I have the better plan; Rome will destroy you, so you had better join with me and save your lives.”

        Of course John and Jesus will use the term. They were speaking to the final generation of those under the law. But with the resurrection comes the vindication of Jesus and the revelation that the purpose of the law is fulfilled. The requirement of the law is no longer in effect. The world does not need the law. The world needs Jesus. Romans is very clear that the law is ineffective because of the weakness of the flesh – so why even insist it. It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. It is God who so loves the world that he gave his son.

        The call is to follow Jesus. Jesus is lord and all who follow him will be changed if we allow Spirit his work to mature in us. Olsteen’s book seems to encourage people to view God as an advocate not an enemy, a savior not an evil despot. We are sanctified as Holy Spirit reveals to our hearts where we lack.

        As for Malachi, he is representing the priests who cry out because there is a temple, but there is no glory. I would have to disagree with you that Israel was no longer in exile. If they were not in exile the presence of God would have been in their midst. God was conspicuously absent from Israel until the arrival of John and Jesus. Jesus was the true return from exile event. The healings, the teaching, the acceptance of everyone outside the covenant was brought home in King Jesus.

        My whole point is that we present the love of God in Jesus. Spirit changes the heart and he gets busy doing his thing. To come against Olsteen with the accusation of false gospel because he welcomes all, seems to be outside the work of the cross and more inline with the work of Aaron & Moses.

        Thanks for the conversation :-)

  2. I am one Christian tired of the religious right’s bizarre fixation and persecution of our gay and lesbian brethren, many who are believers too. Of all the sins and problems in this world and nation, I refuse to fixate on whom people fall in love with or marry. They have the right to civil equality and the pursuit of happiness like everyone else. Get the speck out of your own eye and let people be.

  3. Thank you Pastor Holt it is great to see a pastor speak with boldness and love. We pray blessings and peace upon you and your church members, may they be increased through the power of the Holy spirit. Shalom Nick

  4. My conviction on this — God loves all of His creation — but everyone is not His child–only those who have repented and accepted the forgiveness of Jesus–now what is He forgiving? We are all sinners–born in sin–and yes, according to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin–a sexual sin..If the Bible is true-then this is a fact–it needs to be forgiven, just like any other–washed and under the blood–I believe Joel’s calling is to encourage people–I can’t judge him on not preaching hell and brimstone even though we need to hear it. John Hagee will let you know about that. But to be a Christian and to sin on purpose is wrong, We will still sin–ask forgiveness and try not to commit the same sin again–He does forgive us when we ask Him–but we can’t change what His Word says–and His Word is true.

  5. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    “Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.” (1 Timothy 1:8-11)

    “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:2)

    “Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.” (Hebrews 13:1-4)

    “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

    I agree with Paul here… If I was gay, I would pray and pray, doing everything I could to stop being gay forevermore. Those who truly love God will follow His commandments out of that love, because they seek the love of God (not the love of sin). If they choose not to repent of sexual immorality (homosexuality in this case), then they will face an unpleasant judgement. What do you think God will say to you for helping them continue to sin by stamping approval on it and misrepresenting the Word? If we truly love our LGBT friends, we should be trying to help them out of this curse of sin, not promote it as “approved by God”, because it is simply not approved by God at all. This is not my own idea. This is from the bible. I give up my worldly understanding for the understanding of the Lord our God, YHVH, who is in Jesus Christ our Saviour (Yeshua Ha’Mashiach). I’ve sinned a lot, and He has cleansed me and helped me defeat sin. He died us to cleanse us from all sin and also to free us from it forever! Through Him we can abandon our sinful obsessions progressively, until they are gone for good (literally).

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