The interview with Larry King only makes me more wary of Osteen. When King asks him if he believes in an afterlife, Osteen says that his mortal body is like a “coat,” and that the “real me” lives on the inside. Osteen makes the same mistake that many people make with respect to the eternal state. He doesn’t realize that we live for eternity in resurrected physical bodies. The whole exchange smacked of the ancient Gnostic heresy which regarded matter as evil and denied the bodily resurrection.
Here are some of the other troubling exchanges:
KING: What’s your notion of hell?
J. OSTEEN: Well, I believe hell is a real place. I think it’s — you know, the scripture talks about it’s separation from God. And I think — I believe if God as light and love and everything good, then hell’s going to be everything bad. I mean we certainly do not want to go there and I don’t think hell was designed for people.
KING: You think there’s life after death?
J. OSTEEN: I do. I believe we’re all going to live on, that we’re a spirit. This body — I like to think of it as just like my coat. There’s something on the inside of me that’s making this thing move. And I’m — the real me is on the inside. So I do believe we’ll live on.
KING: According to the bible, Jesus said, “It’s hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” How do you square that with your lifestyle? Do you think you may not get in because you’re doing too well?
J. OSTEEN: No, I don’t think so. I think you have to take…
KING: I’m only quoting Jesus.
J. OSTEEN: I know. No, no. I think you have to take the whole context. When he’s quoting that, I believe that man’s focus was all about the money. But it depends on where your heart is. I mean the scripture says it’s the love of money that’s the root of all evil. We didn’t do this for money. And I don’t think that you can say, if somebody is wealthy, boy, then, you know, they’re not going to heaven or God must not love them.
Abraham — way back where Christianity was started, it said he was the wealthiest man in all the East. And I think David left the equivalent of a billion dollars to his son since — Solomon — to build the temple.
KING: The book is “Become a Better You: Seven Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day”. . . Would Britney Spears be helped by this book? What do you make of that whole — that culture thing?
J. OSTEEN: Well, I think it’s easy to get delusioned maybe is the word just with all of that fame and notoriety at such an early age. And sure, I think Britney Sears can be helped by that — by this book.
I think anybody could because it’s the principles of the bible. And I think that she’s — these are good people at heart. And they just need some good guidance and good people speaking into their lives.
They have got so much pressure and so much, you know, confusion in their lives. But, you know, anybody — anybody can come up higher, and I believe she can come out of this and still live a great life.
KING: Yes. That’s what many think, that this whole group, these youngsters, are basically good.
V. OSTEEN: Oh, yes.
J. OSTEEN: Oh, yes.
KING: Do you have any particular position on — I’m sure there’s gay members of your church.
J. OSTEEN: Oh, I’m sure there are. Our church is open to anybody.
I mean, we are there to help them and give them encouragement and hope. I think the last thing we’re supposed to do is put up walls and say, if you’re not perfect, you can’t come to my church.
KING: Because you know there are members of your church — for example, the late Jerry Falwell was a classic example of someone who really raked at gays and lesbians.
J. OSTEEN: Yes. You know what? There are different callings. I can’t fault anybody. I mean, I didn’t know Jerry Falwell, but I believe I know his sons, and they are great people. But there are different callings for different things. I think sometimes, you know, God gives us different messages. But mine is about, you know, giving people hope and…