April 24th, 2012
01:40 PM ET
11 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. Docs Wife

    Sorry Joel – you're wrong. Mr. Romney is probably a really good man but he believes his good works are required to enter Heaven. The Bible clearly states we are saved by grace and NOT works.

    April 24, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. TownC

    If you want to know if Mitt is a Christian, ask him. You may disagree with his beliefs but to say Mormons are not Christians is not correct.

    April 24, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. Lies, dam lies, and world religions...

    News flash- mormonism is as much a cult as christianity is.

    Hard to believe in this day and age of science and facts people still kling to their fairies in the sky and argue over who is right and who is wrong....over whose "faith" (i.e. stupidity) is stronger or better.

    April 24, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  4. Billy Baseball

    Joel Osteen seems to be a very nice man. He is, however, very ignorant of the historic Christian faith! There are a few non-negotiable things that must be believed to be within the pale of Christian orthodoxy (right belief). Though there are differences among Protestants, Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox, each is still considered to be Christian. This is a key reason for the historic Christian creeds (Apostle's, Nicene, Creed of St Athanasius, etc).

    Probably the key question to ask an individual to determine what he/she believes is to ask the following, "Who do you believe Jesus is?". Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox all agree here. The reason Mormons are not considered Christian is because they don't believe that Jesus is God. They accept him as the son of God, but not as God, the second person of the Trinity. This leads to the 2nd key problem–they don't believe in the Trinity.

    These are non-negotiable, what all Christians have believed for over 2 millennia. By definition, one can't believe that Jesus is. It God and still be considered a Christian. Again, this is the historic faith. All 3 main branches of Christianity believe this. By not believing that Jesus is God incarnate, one completely changes the nature of who Christ is.

    I could write volumes to elaborate much more, but I will leave it at this for now.

    Does this disqualify Romney from being a good president? Of course not! He may prove to be a great president. And many of us know that the majority of Mormons are fine, good people. But as the historic Christian faith teaches (irrespective of which branch), they most certainly are not Christians because they don't accept on the most key and essential elements that defines a follower of Christ.

    My main point here is that Osteen pastors a large Protestant church and yet is woefully ignorant of our historic faith. This is a key example as to why so many of these televangelists have fallen so far from the tree!!!

    April 24, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. Susan

    Osteen's word is good enough for me. He in fact is the Jesus.

    April 24, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. Larry L

    I am gladly watching the implosion of one of the world's most evil influences – religion. How long will people be gullible enough to believe the mythology associated with all religions – a super hero, infallible religious dogma, and a path to heaven (carrot) and hell (stick) are all included. Yet none of those super heroes ever actually makes an appearance or answers a prayer. The Joel Osteens of the world get rich and the gullible get fleeced.

    April 24, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  7. bry55

    There are a ot of un-Christian comments on here.

    April 24, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  8. Randy

    Mormonism is a lie. They do not believe what mainstream Christianity believes and have even altered the Bible. God says that's a no-no.

    April 24, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  9. nixliberals

    To the laser engineer; Stop trying to correlate the Book of Mormon to the Bible, it doesn't work. There are many implicit lies; such as "We are all gods", Mormons do not respect the Bible at all, calling it irrelevant in the face of the newer Book of Mormon. When I pulled out my Bible after being confronted by your evangelicals at my door, they excused themselves and left in a hurry. The brass plates Joseph Smith dug up in NY; Where are they, if they are so important and why not make them known to the rest of the world, this was only 150 years ago. The countries cited where descendants of Joseph lived up to the present do not exist in any language, culture, or myth, worldwide. Well said, said the prophet. If you respect the Bible, then you ought to be taught to read it, don't you think, or Don't You Think? Why does the LDS exclude all other Christian groups, the Bible clearly states all families and nations will have saints, even Gentiles. You are being brainwashed by MEN that discount prophets of old for prophets that do not prophecy and have no historical background or future prophecy fulfillment that has come to pass. Also, any scholar, even atheist will agree that the scenario in Revelation, concerning the End Times is right on target, one world religion, New World Order, all nations rising up against Israel after the beginning war in the Middle East, The Modern nation of Israel, The Mark of the Beast, we are on the verge of the 7 years of tribulation so the world will not end on December 21, this year, simply not enough time.

    April 24, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  10. REALLY?

    Joel, I am really disappointed in your statements. You should talk to the students at Liberty University who are boycotting their commencement because of what they were taught about Mormons at their Christian University because Mitt is the commencement speaker. I know you are a kind, caring, "words of affirmation" guy, who doesn't say a bad word about anyone or anything, and that is something I find endearing about you, but calling Mormons Christian just doesn't fit with what everything I've learned about that religion.

    April 24, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  11. funnthingis

    I don't consider Joel Osteen a true christian................he's a motivational speaker at best. Most of his "sermons" are about how to 'be happy and go for wealth and riches in life'. But not really preaching and teaching the lessons to be learned and lived by in the Bible. Have you seen the MANSION he lives in?????????????

    April 24, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  12. Billy Baseball

    That previous line in my post should have read, "By definition, one can't believe that Jesus is NOT God and still be considered a Christian." To slightly elaborate, believing in Jesus' full deity and full humanity is essential to Christian belief–and has been throughout historic Christendom. When a false prophet comes along in the 19th Century and gives a different account of this historic faith, red lights should go off! This is why it's so important to know the historic faith.

    That's what I get for not proof reading first!

    April 24, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  13. avdin

    The accepted definition of the trinity amongst christians is that the three persons of the trinity are united in one being. The mormon religion defines the trinity as three separate beings. Thus they do not hold scripture to be true as they must reject such passages as Deuteronomy 6:4 or John 14:9 among others. In fact, their translations of passages such as John 1:1 and Hebrews 1:8 were originally mistranslated to accommodate this teaching.
    In addition to this primary doctrinal discrepancy, often referred to as heresy, the Book of Mormon is riddled with blatant fallacies. While one can easily argue that faith and science both have limits and will occasionally appear to contradict themselves, much less each other, they can on occasion be used to critique one another. In the case of the Book of Mormon not a single archeological find provides evidence for the types of civilizations described there. Steel was not forged, horses were not native to the land, coins were not used to barter and trade. On top of the archeological evidence lies the genetic evidence which indicates that the native americans were most closely related to asian people groups, not Hebrews.
    Theses are all indications of how vastly different from christianity mormonism is. whether or not Mitt Romney would make a good president is beside the point. Mormonism does NOT fit the definition of the Christian religion, regardless of denomination.

    April 24, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  14. roadrunner2

    Gee Mitt, how does it feel to have your Christian beliefs questioned?

    April 24, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. albie

    Keep your religion out of politics! Stop trying to ram your wacky beliefs down the throat of the world - less and less people are tolerating you.

    April 24, 2012 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  16. the seerer

    The word "Compromise" is not in the living word of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When any person who calls himself/herself a follower of Jesus Christ, who will go against the Word of God, by compromising with non believers in accepting their worldly views, have exposed themselves as lovers of this world following a different gospel.

    April 24, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  17. Carl

    That is VERY funny given that Joel's words and actions clearly show that he isn't a Christian either. "Best life now?" LOL! The BIBLE says our life now is NOTHING compared to our life in heaven. Guess God should have checked with Joel. Sorry Joel, your opinion about Mitt is irrelevant becuase you are irrelevant

    April 24, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. asabud

    What does Romney's religion have to do with his fitness for office? What gives all these Christians the right to judge others? Are they so perfect that they can cast the first stone? When will they ever get that there of plenty of people in the world who keep their religion to themselves and do good things because they are humane, realize that they are their brother's keeper, and want to make the world a better place and not because they are "called" to help people and seek their conversion to Christianity in return. Joel Osteen and others like him are not so perfect that they can sit in judgement of people like Romney. As my Dad would say, he and others like him, should see to his own salvation and let others worry about theirs. Christians certainly do not have the market corned on goodness, grace, and forbearance; history down to present day shows that.

    April 24, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Joel Osteen is a coward, plain and simple. Rather than stating the truth, assuming he even knows what that is, he would rather whimper some pathetic thought that Romney is something contrary to what Romney's stated religion pushes. Knowing Christ is God's son does not make someone a Christian – even Satan knows who Christ is, and the knowledge has done him no good. It is the acceptance of Christ's sacrifice and decision to live according to God's principles.

    April 24, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  20. musicoxygensl

    How did this discussion turn to Mormonism? Joseph Smith was a heritic who stole farmer's wives and daughters. He says that he received NEW teachings about Jesus! If that is true, then the entire Bible is false, because it states in 2 Timothy 3:16 that "All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching and admonishing...." and in another place, Paul says, " If an angel, demon, or any other man comes and preaches a different gospel than what we have taught you, let them be accursed" So the Mormons are accursed, because they preach something OTHER than the doctrine that Paul did!!

    April 24, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  21. Godless

    Gee, if Joel Osteen says Mitt's a Christian, it must be true. Who is Joel Osteen?

    April 24, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  22. Abel Caine

    Joel Osteen says this, evangelicals hold sway over South Carolina GOP nod, Obama might be hiding Islamic roots...blah, blah, blah. Show me, in the Bible, where Jesus Christ, (or any deity for that matter),, sanctioned political activism. Paul's letters to the Romans was quite pointed when it came to authority and a Christians response and obedience to it. Jesus did not deign to rule over His 'constituents'. True Christians should devote themselves to loving ALL people and praying continuously for those in authority. If you're going to vote, pray first and then vote for the best individual. We are not a theocracy for a reason. Let us get our collective heads out of our collective posteriors and do as Christ commanded. Then, and only then, will we finally negate any need for government.

    April 24, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  23. dadurok

    I wonder who or what in the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-Day Saints has ever said that Jesus Christ is NOT a God? In whose name is this Church named after in the first place? It's unbelievable so many ignorant people can actually believe this religion is not Christian...it's just like saying Bank of America is an African Bank...yeah, right...the best to do for you exclusive Christians so called is cast the first stone!

    April 24, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  24. Billy Baseball

    Asabud– I agree with you that Romney's religion has nothing to do with his fitness for office! In fact, I may well vote for him. But I don't think this thread even has much to do with Romney's fitness for president based on his religious beliefs. I think this has much more to do with Joel Osteen. I wrote because my criticism concerns Osteen, a man who pastors a huge church and yet is so terribly ignorant of the historic Christian faith. That is the real tragedy here! He needs to take a basic course in early church history.

    April 24, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  25. rad666

    "Jesus is the Son of God then he subscribes to the Christian faith." -- Does the Devil believe that Jesus is the Son of God?

    April 24, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
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