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Pastor Joel Osteen is widely known for his positive sermons in which he rarely preaches about sin, but as viewers learned on Sunday’s episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter, sin is something that Osteen does very much believe in.
Asked whether gay individuals would be accepted into heaven, Osteen said, “I believe they will, because I believe that you have to have forgiveness for your sins. But, sometimes we look at gay being a bigger sin than being proud or not telling the truth. I don’t think God categorizes sins.”
Though he attempted to tiptoe around the issue, Oprah pressed to clarify whether Osteen did, in fact, view being gay as a sin.
“I believe that homosexuality is shown as a sin in the scripture. I do,” Osteen replied hesitantly. “It’s a hard thing in a sense, Oprah, because I’m for everybody. I’m not against anybody. I don’t think anybody’s second class.”
The pastor attempted to bring home his main point that the “sin” of homosexuality should not be viewed in a greater or lesser manner than the countless everyday sins committed by all individuals. As Yahoo’s The Blaze notes, Osteen has made similar comments on CNN’s Piers Morgan, where he said that he would attend the gay wedding of a close friend or family member out of respect.
Osteen is currently in the process of expanding his television career from weekly sermons to primetime, as he has teamed up with Mark Burnett for a reality project in 2012. The show will feature ordinary citizens embarking on mission trips alongside Osteen.
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