CNT had a chance to sit down with Joel Osteen in his Houston area estate and discuss the controversy surrounding his shock resignation and abrupt change in views on faith, Christianity and politics, all detailed below and on his official Joel Osteen Ministries web site.
Christianity News Texas (CNT): "Thank you for sitting down with us today."
Joel Osteen (JO): "It's my pleasure. I wanted to spend time with you guys since you've done such a great job reporting this story from the beginning."
CNT: "A lot of people are saying this is some kind of hoax. You were even interviewed on a local Houston TV station today and you seemed to laugh off the claims of a 'hoax'."
JO: "Yes, I really had no idea what they were talking about. I thought they were referring to something else. The
web site is real and so are my statements, but I'm having to be somewhat low-key about it. I also don't have access to all of the web sites we have."
CNT: "The entire news media seems to be convinced this is a hoax and have published dozens of stories dismissing it. What do you say about that?"
JO: "Oh, well, you know how the news media is. They love to declare something a 'hoax' that doesn't fit with their narrative. Notice how they took what I said about the 'hoax' out of context? Look at how they edit things. I don't plan to go to them with my story or address them any further. I've made my statements to reach the people through my sites, news sites that I trust like you, and other venues. I also have church leaders who refuse to allow me to change anything on our other sites, so it's understandable people are confused."
CNT: "You are one of the most powerful men in the world of faith and religion. Some may find it surprising you don't have as much control over your social networks and sites."
JO: "Well, I'm definitely not internet savvy I also don't have nearly as much control over this church as people think. They are exercising their legal rights over these sites and I can't do much about it, but again, I'm not not worried. This is more of a personal mission of mine. The one site I have control over is getting the message out."
CNT: "Will you continue at all with your ministry? Are you really no longer a Christian?"
JO: "I said I wasn't going to, that I was resigning, but it appears I may stay on for awhile. I didn't anticipate the shock. Expect to see me give a few more sermons. I have some contracts I also am obligated to fulfill. I can't just up and leave, though I rather impulsively felt I could at first. To answer your question, I don't know if I'm a Christian. I think people know I probably still love God deep down, and I think Jesus, in this time of doubt for me, is probably watching over me. However, the Bible and Christianity have serious flaws that I can no longer ignore."
CNT: "What about your political views. You seem to be more vocal in a few areas, can you expound on that?"
JO: "Oh, yes. This will be a focus of mine. I've woken up over the past few months. I've been reading a lot and learning a lot. We've got to get people aware of things like Monsanto, GMOs, things the medical industry is doing, and how they are lying about cancer cures. People need to know Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act and basically, as far as I'm concerned, freedom and all the good things about America died that day. There is a lot of crime and scheming going on that the media doesn't report."
CNT: "Why do you say people need to 'wake up'?"
JO: "Because they really are asleep. All of my platitudes and cliches aren't really helping anyone. I needed to change. Now it's time to get real. It's time to start talking about the things the media won't report. They are already spinning this story as some 'hoax'. Don't be surprised if my media appearances are limited or heavily edited from now on. They'll take me out of context like crazy or use old footage. I'm getting a lot of heat. I've had threats."
CNT: "What kind of threats?"
JO: "Threats from powerful people. People you and the media aren't really aware of, in high places. They don't want this getting out. I'm just a man. They control more of me, my image and my empire than you realize. I'm worried this is all going to get whitewashed. They're saying 'hoax' everywhere now, it's a bunch of crap. It's all about money for them, everything comes down to money for the corporations. They control this country. If I start speaking out, they will try to shut me down, fast."
CNT: "Are you worried about your personal safety?"
JO: "Yes. Let's leave it at that."
CNT: "Speaking of money, do you plan to donate some of your personal money to charities?"
JO: "Yes, a lot of it. Millions and millions. Primarily to the Salvation Army and a huge portion to the Organic Consumers Association. They are doing so much to expose Monsanto and their crimes. I also won't be giving anything to The United Way or Red Cross, since they pay their CEOs and upper management literally millions of dollars a year in salaries."
CNT: "We know you are busy and have to go. Thank you for your time. When will we be hearing more from you?"
JO: "Thank you for coming. I will continue to update the site while I carry on some of my duties at the church. I will post more updates. They're shutting down some of my sites and really cutting me off. This church is a big business so I'm getting a lot of flack from a lot of angles, but sooner or later, all the truth will come out."