It was a busy weekend for televangelist Joel Osteen. The popular Christian preacher was in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, where he hosted the massive “Night of Hope” worship event.
In addition to this prayer and worship initiative, Osteen and his wife, Victoria, appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” where the preacher stated his view that homosexuality is a sin, weighed in on the immigration debate and defended himself against claims of utilizing prosperity gospel.
“I’m trying to let people know that, even though there’s difficult times in the country, that God’s good, that he’s on our side and that nothing we face is a surprise to him,” Osteen said of his overall mission. “And when you keep your faith in him, you can have peace in the midst of the difficult times.”
Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked Osteen about an allegation that he faces all too often — the notion that the popular televangelist delves too deeply into prosperity gospel and that he is more of a motivational speaker than he is a pastor.
“I do want to motivate people. I want them to be a better parents, to overcome an addiction, to leave their past behind, so I don’t take that as a criticism that I want to motivate people,” Osteen proclaimed. “But everything that I teach is based out of the scripture…my gift is to talk about everyday life.”
He dismissed the notion that his message is rooted in prosperity gospel and stated that his focus is centered upon allowing God to make people the best individuals they can be.
The conversation quickly turned from these subjects to the sociopolitical sphere, as Wallace asked Osteen what he thinks about the nation’s controversial immigration debate. The pastor was more than open about the fact that he has not yet arrived on an appropriate way to handle the complex issue.
“I wish I knew the answer, Chris. It’s so complicated. I’m on the site of mercy, but I do think that you have to secure borders,” the preacher responded. “I don’t know the answer, but I’m always going to fall on the side of mercy.”
Wallace then asked Osteen a familiar question — one that his caused him controversy in the past: “Is being gay a sin?” The preacher didn’t hesitate to share his perspective on the matter.
“I believe the scripture says that being gay is a sin. But every time I say that I get people saying, ‘well you’re a gay hater, you’re a gay basher,’” he said. ”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.”
Osteen went on to say that he doesn’t believe homosexuals should be discriminated against. While he’s opposed to gay marriage, he stated his belief that gays should have equal rights when it comes to other issues of inequality.
He caught fire back in January after he provided this same answer, but told talk show host Oprah that he believes a gay person could be accepted into heaven. Additionally, Osteen told CNN’s Piers Morgan back in October that he would be willing to attend a gay wedding.
Watch the most recent “Fox News Sunday” interview, below: