April 24th, 2012
01:40 PM ET
3 years ago

Osteen: Romney is a Christian

(CNN) – Famed pastor Joel Osteen reiterated his position that Mitt Romney is a Christian on Tuesday, saying as long as the likely GOP presidential nominee believes that Jesus is the Son of God then he subscribes to the Christian faith.

"When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God–that he's the Christ, raised from the dead, that he's his Savior–that's good enough for me," Osteen said in an interview to air on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

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While Osteen described the Mormon faith as "not traditional Christianity," he said he believes Mormons fall under the Christian tent.

"Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ," the pastor argued.

Romney's faith has largely remained an outlier in this presidential cycle, though some have expressed skepticism at the likely Republican nominee's religious views.

A leading Baptist pastor in Dallas, for example, made headlines in October when he urged Republicans to vote against Romney, saying voters should elect what he called a Christian, not a Mormon. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints identify themselves as Christians.

More recently, some students at the evangelical Liberty University have taken issue with Romney being tapped to deliver the school's commencement address in May.

Recent polls, however, show a majority of Americans are open to having a Mormon as president.

Romney is not the only one who has taken heat over his faith. Polls have shown a small minority of Americans have questioned whether President Barack Obama is a Christian.

Countering the speculation, Osteen said Tuesday he has spent time with the president and has no doubt about his faith.

"I believe with all my heart that he's a Christian, as he says he is," Osteen said.

Watch the full interview HERE

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.


Filed under: 2012 • Faith • Mitt Romney • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (553 Responses)
  1. jbm66

    Funny how millions of followers to the Morman religion dont even question how it started. Joe Smith who founded Mormanism was a card shark, a hustler and a fraud. He conned a few dozen idiots into thinking he was a prophet, and those few dozen idiots conned more dozens of idiots and here we are today...I mean this was the 19th century... It is amazing the amount of stupidity there is in the planet...

    April 24, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  2. Bill Kilpatrick

    Osteen's position is one of common sense. Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. Whether they do so in the same way as other Christians is irrelevant. Christianity has a tremendous amount of diversity. Those who only envision one kind of Christianity are lacking in imagination and experience.

    April 24, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  3. Dan from Tx

    Romney says he's christian and i guess we should "take him at his word".

    April 24, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  4. johnborg

    I pretty sure that at this point that politics and religion are so meshed in the Republican Party that Joel Osteen would say the same thing if their candidate was Jewish. Osteen and friends have trouble calling me a Christian because I say "social justice," but they are cool with spirit wives and such. These rich guys subconsciously use religion to legitimate their riches.

    April 24, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  5. Lillith Goby

    Hurray for Osteen, the soft spoken pastor that is almost mesmerizing to watch and listen to. He is right
    Mormons are Christians but are restorationist Christians. The church began in an era of thought during the "second American revolution", the most famous of the men of that time and thought was Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    Mormons are also constitutionalist, believing the constitutiona to be divinely inspired and America to be a special land. At no other time or in no other country run by political-secularists of political and theological thought mixers or in a nation with a state religion.

    Mormons are different. They believe, believe deeply, and believe in America and even in Book of James which says to be doers not just sayers of the word. Jesus also thought along this line and said how to discern good from evil "trees" when he said "by their fruit". aqll the Bible and read literally.

    Hooray for Osteen and his perception and courage to go against the pack or it that pact?

    April 24, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  6. Billy Baseball

    Dadurok–unfortunately, you have no idea what you're talking about. Your confusion can be easily cleared up by somebody (maybe someone in the media is reading) asking Mitt Romney this simple question... Mitt, do you believe that Jesus is God? Not just 'a god', but God? That is, God who was from beginning, the one involved with creating the world? As a Mormon, he'd answer "No". This is what separates him from a Christian. A Christian would answer "Yes". It's really as basic as that!

    His answer to the question–in my view–is irrelevant as to whether he's fit for the presidency or not.

    April 24, 2012 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  7. Billy Baseball

    Bill Kilpatrick– Yes, Christianity has a tremendous amount of diversity. We agree! However, either Jesus is God or he is not God. This is fundamental, and extremely important. Christians (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox) all agree that Jesus is God. This is completely essential to Christian belief. Mormons do not believe that Jesus is God.

    I have friends and relatives who are Mormon, they are very good people. But the distinction above is key!

    April 24, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  8. Dan

    Wow... there is way more confusion about Mormons than I thought. Not just information that is unknown, but information that is totally wrong. And it seems that lots of people will share it well before even attempting to see if its true.

    April 25, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  9. Utahrd

    You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! James 2:19

    April 25, 2012 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  10. Beth

    My dad once had a good point about Osteen: He is not a Christian minister. He is a positive thinking coach.

    April 25, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  11. Dan

    If you we're to ask a Mormon if he believed Jesus created the world and is the God from the beginning, he would tell you, YES. Where did you get your information??

    April 25, 2012 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. dnick47

    I wonder how much Osteen was paid to say that? Just confirms what I have felt all along, Osteen is a false prophet in preaching for the scratch and the scratch alone... and if he says Romney is a Christian then Osteen is most certainly not one.

    April 25, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  13. biologixco

    Mitt Romney laughed when he talked about firing thousands of American workers.
    What kind of Christian man would make comedy of the plight of his fellow man?
    a. A Mormon.
    b. A man who is not really Christian.
    c. A man who is not really even a man.
    d. All of the Above.
    The correct answer is D.
    Just say NO to Romney2012!

    April 25, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  14. Tex71

    Osteen would say Anton LaVey a is a Christian if there were profit in it. No wonder he likes Romney.

    April 25, 2012 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  15. Ian

    Thank you Mr. Osteen for acknowledging the truth that Mormons are indeed Christians. Bravo.

    April 25, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  16. Ilene Bilenky

    I'm so sorry that this idiocy is part of any political debate. I personally don't care if Romeny believes that the spirit of the trees came back from the dead to haunt him in Michigan. I wonder if even supposed Christians care if he believes this Christian story or not.
    It is painful being an atheist these days.

    April 25, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  17. thes33k3r

    Religion is the greatest lie ever told. I'm glad that it's on the decline. Once enough of us are willing to tell the world that we're not religious, then the theocratic ideas, politics and policies will be pushed aside so we can focus on real progress. Like it or not, welcome to the future.

    April 25, 2012 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  18. CDOG

    The mainstream definition of Christianity as defined by Billy Baseball, and developed out of the Nicene Creed, has NOT been around for two millennia. The council of Nicea occurred in the year 325, long after the deaths of the Apostles. it was convened to establish a generalized definition of Christianity and I guarantee that not every Christian present was completely satisfied with the outcome. Yet today, there is intolerance for anything OTHER than what was established in 325. These councils argued doctrine taught by the apostles, yet they were 300 years removed from their teachings, as well as multiple translations away from original texts of scripture. So, in order to be classified a Christian I must adhere to the Christian definition as determined by the casting of a vote at the Nicene council? I don't think so. My Christianity is not a democracy! I'll stick with prophets and apostles!

    April 25, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  19. Ralph G.

    Joel Osteen is right. He isn't the hater that most of these right wing fundamentalists are. I don't subscribe to his religion, but i respect him a lot more than the Jerry Falwells and pat Roberstons of the world.

    April 25, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  20. scott

    How about we let the Christians say what they believe? I find it incredibly hypocritical that non-Christians think they have a stand to tell Christians what they believe. Would a non-Muslim tell a Muslim what they believe if it conflicted with their written word? Would a world class Doctor let an medically uneducated person tell him what being a doctor is about? Romney may believe that Jesus is the son of God, but Romney also believes that one day he'll BE a god and that is written in Mormom religious books and they teach it – Christians don't believe that they will become gods, but always be sons and daughters of the ONLY God. So, anyone can agree or disagree with what Christians believe, but don't tell us what we believe.

    April 25, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  21. Question

    @jbm66,

    It's amazing how so many people think they know a lot about Joseph Smith because they once read a book written by someone who hates the mormon church or an anti-mormon website.

    April 25, 2012 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  22. A Christian

    How about we let the Christians say what they believe? I find it incredibly hypocritical that non-Christians think they have a stand to tell Christians what they believe. Would a non-Muslim tell a Muslim what they believe if it conflicted with their written word? Would a world class Doctor let an medically uneducated person tell him what being a doctor is about? Romney may believe that Jesus is the son of God, but Romney also believes that one day he'll BE a god and that is written in Mormom religious books and they teach it – Christians don't believe that they will become gods, but always be sons and daughters of the ONLY God. So, anyone can agree or disagree with what Christians believe, but don't tell us what we believe.

    April 25, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  23. ppowell

    Based on his books, interviews, and "sermons" (read: feel-good speeches delivered to people looking to feel good), it's not at all clear that Joel Osteen is even Christian...why on earth does anyone care what he thinks about Mitt Romney? I know it's popular to redefine words these days so that anyone can be whatever they want to be (think "marriage," "Christian," etc.), but if you go back even 200 years (when Mormonism began), NO ONE would have called either Osteen's self-help group or the Mormons Christians. And no one with any sense of historical Christianity (that is, Christianity) would do so today.

    April 25, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  24. Mike

    No way. Romney is a muslim, and he was born in Mexico.

    April 25, 2012 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  25. CDOG

    And when it comes to the Trinity...someone please explain what exactly Stephen saw in Acts 7:55? Did he see God standing on his own right hand? Or did he see Jesus standing on the right side (or in the place of honor) of God the Father? How can they bee the same being when Stephen saw them both? To those who say they are the same person I must emphatically disagree. Stand in front of the mirror, pull up your right foot, cupping it in your right hand and look in the mirror. Is that ask what Stephen saw? I don't think so. Any non negotiable belief that they are the same Jesus and God are the same being is proven incorrect by the bible! Oh, bible by definition is a collection of books. To anybody pulling out the "No additions to the Bible" card, well, I guess you are exclusively restricted to the book of Revelations since the entire collection of books known today as the Holy Bible wasn't put together for hundreds of years after the gospels were written!

    April 25, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
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