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NOT QUITE EZEKIEL: Joel Osteen Talks Pope, Accepting Gays And Why You Should ‘Pray For Big Things’

Joel Osteen is a phenomenon. A mega-church pastor, televangelist, senior minister of Lakewood Church, and social media monster, the Rev. Osteen now has a new book called Break Out: 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life. The spiritual star dropped by HuffPost Live to talk with host Josh Zepps about growing up poor, spirituality, what to pray for, the Pope, and, of course, the gays.

Zepps read a piece that he liked from Osteen’s new book: “It doesn’t matter who likes you or doesn’t like you, all that matters is that God likes you. He accepts you, he approves of you.” Zepps followed up by asking if that included homosexuals.

“Absolutely,” Osteen insisted, “I believe that God breathed life into every person and that every person is made in the image of God and you have accept them as they are, on their journey. I’m not here to preach hate or push people down.”

Josh asked Osteen about his religious upbringing.

“My dad was a minister and came from poverty… my dad was always for the underdog… I believe we are all supposed to be helping in some way. Sometimes it can be overwhelming and as people say, 40,000 kids are going to die today, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”

A question came in from the community asking for Pastor Osteen’s definition of spirituality and religion and if you can have one without the other.

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