Joel Osteen told Oprah Winfrey in an interview Sunday that his message was one of hope for all people, not just those in the Christian community.

In the interview, which appeared Sunday on “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Oprah questioned Osteen about the frequent criticism he receives for talking so much about prosperity and so little about Christ.

“There’s a belief that you’re supposed to be poor, and suffering, and show your humility. I just don’t see the Bible that way,” the megachurch Pastor said. “I see that God came and Jesus died so that we might live an abundant life and be a blessing to others.”

Osteen told Oprah that he and his family do not take any money from the church congregation, and that their income is derived mostly from the books he has written. He said that any fortune he has is a blessing from God and that it enables him to be a blessing to others.

When Oprah asked if some were less fortunate than others because they did not pray enough, Osteen disagreed. He explained that many people pray every day but don’t ever consider themselves capable of changing their lives.

“There are forces trying to hold us all down and a lot of people haven’t been trained or been inspired to say ‘Hey, you know what, you’re in the projects but you don’t have to stay there,’” Osteen explained.

When asked whether he believed homosexual people could go to heaven, Osteen confirmed that he did. He said that God welcomes all who repent of their sins.

“I believe a gay person will be accepted into heaven,” Osteen said. “I believe you have to have forgiveness for your sins and sometimes we (the Christian community) look at gay as being a bigger sin than being proud or not telling the truth,” Osteen said. “I don’t think God categorizes sins.”

Instead, Osteen believes that people are constantly changing and growing, and that no one would have a chance in heaven if sins could not be forgiven.

However Osteen clarified, “I believe that homosexuality is shown as a sin in the Scripture.”

However, he added, “It’s a hard thing in a sense, because I’m for everybody. I’m not against anybody. I don’t think that anybody is second-class. But when I read the Scripture in good faith I can’t see that it doesn’t show that as being a sin.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post

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