On December 23, 2007, reporter Chris Wallace interviewed Pastor Joel Osteen on the Fox Television Network’s “Fox News Sunday” program. Osteen, whose own television program is broadcast worldwide each week and who pastors what is touted as the largest church in the United States (Lakewood Church of Houston, Texas), was quizzed on a number of issues during the interview.
Chris Wallace introduced Joel Osteen as a teacher of “Personal growth and positive thinking” – buzzwords that make biblical thinkers wary but exploring that must wait for another time. Before long, the discussion turned to presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee and the controversy concerning Romney’s Mormon beliefs. It was then that the supposedly Evangelical pastor of America’s largest congregation declared that Mormons are Christians and that Mitt Romney is himself a “Christian.”
Wallace: “Is a Mormon a true Christian?”
Osteen: “Well, in my mind they are. Mitt Romney has said that he believes in Christ as his savior and that’s what I believe. So, you know I’m not the one to judge the little details of it. So, I believe they are. And so I, you know, Mitt Romney seems like a man of character and integrity to me and, ah, I don’t think anything would stop me from voting for him if that’s what I felt like.”
Wallace: “So, so for instance when people start talking about Joseph Smith, the founder of the church and the golden tablets in upstate New York and ah, God assumes the shape of a man; do you not get hung up in those theological issues?”
Osteen: “I probably don’t get hung up in ‘em because I haven’t really studied ‘em or thought about ‘em. And ah, you know, I just try to let God be the judge of that. I mean, I don’t know, I certainly can’t say that I agree with everything I’ve heard about it. But, from what I’ve heard from Mitt when he says that Christ is his savior to me that’s a common bond."
What do you think?
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