Joel Osteen of the Houston megachurch
Lakewood Church told Oprah Winfrey that he believes being gay is a
The 48-year-old Osteen, who is
currently pitching his new book Everyday a Friday, added gay
men and women can be accepted into heaven.
“You have to have forgiveness for
your sins,” Osteen said, “but sometimes we look at gay being, you
know, a bigger sin than being proud or being, you know, not telling
the truth. I don't think God categorizes sins. To think we are all
going to be without one sin; I hope that's true, but I don't think
any of us would make it to heaven.”
“Now I would encourage people to be
willing to change and grow,” he added.
When Winfrey asked Osteen whether he
believes being gay is a sin, he answered in the affirmative.
“I believe that homosexuality is
shown as a sin in the scripture,” he responded. “I do.” (The
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