Joel Osteen Tells Oprah: Gay People Will Be Accepted Into Heaven

Pastor Joel Osteen has made a name for himself as a positive and uplifting minister who focuses in on life’s pleasantries.

Despite his wild popularity, he’s also frequently criticized by some who feel he doesn’t address some of the more nitty-gritty issues that exist in both the secular and religious worlds.

When it comes to sin — something Osteen clearly believes in but rarely discusses in his sermons — the faith leader is often targeted for not addressing the issue upfront and regularly. On Sunday evening, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Osteen on her new program, “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” where he delved deeply into his views on homosexuality and sin.

“Will a gay person be accepted into heaven, as you see it?,” Oprah asked the famed pastor. “I believe they will,” he responded. ”Sometimes we look at gay being a bigger sin than being proud or not telling the truth. I don’t think God categorizes sins.”

Joel Osteen Tells Oprah: Gay People Will Be Accepted Into Heaven

Here, Osteen made it clear that he believes homosexuality is sinful. But Oprah pushed him a bit harder to solidify his stance, asking, “Does that mean that you’re saying that you believe that being gay is a sin?”

“I believe that homosexuality is shown as a sin in the scripture,” he responded. “Oprah, it’s a hard thing in a sense, because I’m for everybody. I’m not against anybody. I don’t think anybody’s second class,” Osteen continued, as he explained that the bible’s message on the matter, in his view, is clear.

Watch this dialogue, below:

Here’s more of Oprah and Osteen’s conversation:

Osteen’s main point in addressing the issue, though, was that homosexuality, should it be considered a sin, isn’t any different from other offenses. In his view, it shouldn’t be raised above the other sins that individuals commit.

Osteen made similar statements to CNN’s Piers Morgan back in October, though he also made headlines for saying that he would, out of respect, attend a gay wedding in support of a close friend or family member. Also, we recently reported that Osteen, who brings in millions of viewers through his weekly sermons, will be working on a primetime television show this year.

(H/T: Huffington Post)