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. Smeagel4T

    Sorry, wrong. No offense to Mormons intended, but Mormonism is not Christianity. It does not adhere to the tenets of Christianity. I do NOT intend that as an attack on Mormons anymore than I would consider saying the Judaism is not Christian. There are plenty of very fine and wonderful Jews, and plenty of fine and wonderful Mormons just like there are plenty of fine and wonder Muslims. However Judaism, Mormonism and Islam are not Christian religions simply because they do not adhere to the tenets of Christianity. Just for starters, Christians believe in only one God. Mormon's are taught that anyone who is good enough can become a god. Mormon's are welcome to that belief as far as I'm concerned, but it is in complete conflict with Christian tenets.

    April 25, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  2. Michael

    Mitt Romney was born into a Mormon cult that practiced polygamy in Mexico.
    He's not a Christian. He's a mormon and they have WILDLY different beliefs. Don't fool yourself.

    April 25, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  3. Amy

    True Christians are accepting of all people, if they are following the teachings of Jesus. I don't see how he fits this description.

    April 25, 2012 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  4. ficheye

    I question whether or not most christians are really christian. It's like a big conformist fan club. If you say you are christian then you have the moral high ground. But many professed 'christians' never even go to church. The holy hypocrites club. Now a spokesperson is twisting logic to make christians accept Romney. A deeply flawed and dangerous precedent.

    April 25, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  5. biologixco

    Mitt Romney laughed aloud 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 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  6. jane

    Why doesn't he state the same for Obama....Obama has stated that he is a Christian yet they question him....hummm

    April 25, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  7. Michelle

    Hey Billy Baseball, I'm a practicing member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I can tell you that we believe that Jesus Christ is a member of the Godhead. Our first Article of Faith states, "We believe in God the Eternal Father, in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." He is deity in our faith. We believe that He was from the beginning and was involved in creating the world with His Father. We believe that when "God" is referred to in the Bible, it is primarily referring to Jesus Christ, the only exception being when Jesus is speaking to (as He did when he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane) or referring to His Father, which is God the Eternal Father. Please stop spreading misinformation about our faith. If you'd like to have a clear understanding of what we believe, come to our meetings, meet with our clergy or meet with one of our missionaries. If you try to understand our faith from the posts of those who aren't of our faith, you will undoubtedly be misinformed. That would be akin to me telling you all what Buddhists believe. I could spout off a great deal about what I'd "heard" about Buddhists as fact on a website, but if you really wanted to know what Buddhists believe, you'd ask a faithful, practicing Buddhist.

    April 25, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  8. cc3

    So if Obama were to say the same thing, would that be good enough for Osteen?
    Someone remind me again where he's done his theological training... don't worry, I'll wait.

    April 25, 2012 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  9. cc3

    Osteen and his followers don't think Obama is a Christian. Osteen just never says anything to make anyone mad. That's part of his seduction.

    April 25, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  10. AmericanPeasant

    Olsteen should ask Mitt if he believes Jesus and Lucifer are brothers . I wonder if that would cause him to re-evaluate whether or not Mormonism is Christianity. The good thing about Mitt running is we can see how many Christians are willing to sell out their faith for politics.

    April 25, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  11. clark1g

    silly Mr. Olsteen ... Christians believe that Jesus is the second person of the triune God who is the same in substance with the first and third person of the trinity ... there is only one God.

    but Mormons believe that God the Father created Jesus as a man (a finite creature) who lived well enough to become devine.

    Mormons and Christians believe in different Jesus' ... Mormons are not Christians because their beliefs are completely different ... they use the same words but apply different definitions to those words.

    April 25, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  12. Chris M.

    I'm a Christian and an Obama supporter, but I have to say, I am sick of all of the hatred, ignorance, and even just simple misunderstanding perpetuated against Mormons. They are Christians, they do believe in the same God as any other Christian, and if you think different, read Billy Graham's memoir and how he had to set aside his incredulity at the concept of the Holy Trinity in order to proceed as a pastor. Just because they have a slightly different perception of the Trinity doesn't make them non Christian. The "mainstream" perception was accepted based on the arguments of a non christian lawyer at the council of Nicea as a bandaid to save Constantine's new Holy Roman Empire. So we may all want to ask ourselves whether our conception of the holy trinity is any more valid than the Mormons, Anabaptists, Jehovah's witnesses, etc.

    And we may also want to ask ourselves whether the Mormons have in practice delivered on a more commensurate Christian lifestyle than other denominations who have lost all sense of identity and been absorbed into the mainstream, to the point of having mega churches with latte stands in wealthier communities and, in others, delapidated churches while the pastor drives a cadillac that even the Romneys would be embarrassed to drive. Mission and purpose ebb and flow with each new push or wave publication by Osteen or Warren, but the Mormons continue on, as they are, generation to generation, changing slowly but adapting to the times in important ways, yet never rushing to do so without long thought, prayer, and consideration. People criticize them for changing the race barrier for bishops, but they did so, at least, while churches in America remain the most segregated institutions in America. People bring up plural marriage, though the church outlawed it over a century ago. We have to ask ourselves, are we casting stones without looking at ourselves first? Are we judging without even an iota of understanding?

    April 25, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  13. Robbin McCarter

    Jesus said of Himself: "My Father is greater than I." ‐ Jesus. (John 14:28).
    Also in John 5:30 (KJV) – "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."
    He said he was the son of God and one with Him in quality, not quantity, accepting only what he heard and saw from God (Jn 5:19). If you are one in spirit with a loved one, as a father and a son, or as husband and wife might be, that does not then imply that you are the same person. According to Jesus himself, He was the son of God, and a belief in Him as such honors His teachings rather than the doctrines of men, no matter how popularized or prevalent they may be. Mormons sincerely love, honor, and follow Jesus Christ as the Savior and are thereby clearly Christian.

    April 25, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  14. cgs

    What gives someone the right to decide if another person is a Christian or not? Do they have some special insight into the relationship that person has with Christ?

    April 25, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  15. JLS1950

    Joel Osteen just dropped substantially in my esteem as a Christian. There is a wee bit more to being a Christian than merely believing that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God. As James famously wrote, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

    Being a Christian involves:
    1. Believing that Jesus is the UNIQUE Son of God, that He died for OUR sins, and that God has raised Him from the dead
    2. Confessing that belief and confessing that one accepts Jesus as his or her PERSONAL and ETERNAL Lord and Savior
    3. NOT rebelling against the One and ONLY True God by aspiring to become a "god" oneself!

    "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

    April 25, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  16. OldMo

    That's like Ken Lay saying Bernie Madoff is on the up and up.

    April 25, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  17. Heh

    Yeah, sure, Mormons are Christians. Also Roman Catholicism is a denomination of Judaism, for that matter.

    April 25, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  18. Andria

    Well if Joel Osteen says so it must be true!

    April 25, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  19. bigbill8517

    Joel....That's the problem with easy theology. The Mormon view of Jesus was branded a heretical in the early days of Christianity. The Doctrine of the Trinity is the bedrock of Christian theology and you cannot be Christian without adhering to it.

    April 25, 2012 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  20. Balls McGhee

    he'll say anything to take your money. Osteen is profiting off of God's teaching which should be A MORTAL SIN. Shame on him and all his followers. you are all being duped. Jesus said Himself that is it near impossible to enter heaven as a rich man.

    April 25, 2012 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  21. Vern

    Who cares what "Reverend Blinky" thinks....people who blink too much are liars.

    April 25, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  22. Shannon Smith

    Mormonism is blasphemy against Jesus Christ and God. It is not even a monotheism, much less Christianity. Not even in the same ball park. But a Mormon can become a Christian. It is very simple. Just renounce Joseph Smith and Mormonism.

    April 25, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  23. Caparzo

    Im Morman..... more man than you'll ever be.

    April 25, 2012 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  24. ArtInChicago

    Osteen always tells jokes at the start of the sermon.

    April 25, 2012 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  25. MrNirom

    @ jbm66

    You said: "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."

    Where do you get your information? Card shark? Hustler? Fraud? Got some proof for those statements you just made?

    What Mormons do know is that at the age of 14, Joseph Smith wanted to know out of all the churches that were out there preaching different doctrines, which one should he join. After all, they can't all be right.. can they? If they teach different doctrines who is teaching the correct ones? So Joseph went a grove to pray. And like prophets of old.. God and his son Jesus Christ spoke to the 14 year old boy. Three years later an angel appeared to Joseph and told him he would be involved in a work that the Lord wanted him to be involved in. Four years after the angels first visit Joseph received and translated an ancient book that today is known as the Book of Mormon. This scripture is a companion to the Bible and another testament of why the human race needs Jesus Christ in their lives. It is a second witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ as the son of God and the savior of mankind by making it possible for us to enter into the presence of our Heavenly Father.

    April 25, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
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