Joel Osteen, televangelist and senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, reportedly left Christianity this week, citing waning faith in the infallibility of the Bible as God’s word. As millions of Christians scrambled for some concrete news on the subject, it was confirmed this morning that Joel Osteen’s crisis of faith was just a simple hoax.
The announcement originated from a sketchy WordPress blog (which spelled his name “Osten” in the url) but quickly gained traction on Christian forums. Osteen’s alleged statement read, in part:
“I believe now that the Bible is a fallible, flawed, highly inconsistent history book that has been altered hundreds of times. There is zero evidence the Bible is the holy word of God.”
The post was coupled with a YouTube video announcing Osteen’s resignation, which showed images of the story headlining CNN, Yahoo, and Drudge Report. Little problem. Those articles don’t exist.
While Osteen hasn’t released anything by way of an official statement (one commenter opined that he was more the type to show up “bright and early at Lakewood on Sunday morning and laugh” instead of speak to the media) he did just tweet something that pretty much confirms that he isn’t losing his religion.
Desire the praise of God more than the praise of people. You have an assignment, a purpose, a destiny.
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) April 8, 2013
The big question, of course, is “why?” Well, we don’t know. Sorry.
Did you fall for the Joel Osteen resignation hoax? You can check out the original blog post here, or the faked video report below.
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