Pastor Joel Osteen opposes gay marriage, but he doesn’t want his Christian ministry defined by his stance on the contentious social issue.

When asked by HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill whether gay marriage is “against the rules,” Osteen, pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, said he believes it is.

But the famed preacher offered an important caveat.

“It would be … but I don’t really focus on a lot of those things,” Osteen said. “I try to stay in my lane of what I feel called to do. [The topic] does come up in interviews and things … that’s not my core message.”

Osteen explained that his core message is helping people let go of their pasts, reach their dreams, have a healthy self-image and raise good children. While homosexuality is part of addressing life issues, the pastor said he doesn’t want to be defined by his views on the issue.

“Everybody’s welcome, but my take on it is, you know, it’s easy to make one issue — to become known for that or to let it side track your message,” he said. “If you look at our congregation .. we all have issues, everybody’s on a journey.”

Watch Osteen’s comments below:

Osteen’s stance on homosexuality has been noted before.

(H/T: Huffington Post)

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