Joel Osteen resigns from his Texas megachurch and quits Christianity, according to someone who apparently has issues with the Lakewood Church pastor and has a whole lot of time on their hands.
Through a link on on an AboveTopSecret.com forum, I discovered a website started April 2 that seems to have the single purpose of spreading misinformation to make members of the public believe Pastor Joel Osteen is not a true believer in Jesus Christ.
There’s even a video showing doctored news sites, like CNN, CBN and Yahoo.com, with fake headlines about Joel Osteen “resigning” from Lakewood and leaving the Christian faith. The video was published on YouTube also on April 2 by an account holder named “ChristianityNews,” who has only one video on the site, but has seemingly been active for a while.
Just like the fake news story on Osteen “resigning,” there’s a video on the YouTube page of “ChristianityNews” linking to http://www.joelostenministries.com/ — which, of course, is nearly identical to the genuine Joel Osteen Ministries website. The fake Joel Osten Ministry page, which is really elaborate and must have taken a WHOLE lot of time to put together, has a fuller “statement” someone wishes Pastor Osteen would make one day.
There is even a fancy, matching Twitter account which the Osteen-hater has used to tweet at other Christian leaders, such as Pete Wilson, Rick Warren and the Rev. Billy Graham: “I’m leaving the Christian faith and I’ve resigned as a pastor.”
Here’s an excerpt from the fake “news” report:
Houston, Texas – CNN.com – In a shocking and surprising development, megachurch pastor Joel Osteen has announced he is resigning from his post and leaving the Christian faith.
His web site included the following statement (http://www.joelostenministries.com):
“I am now at the point that I am comfortable enough in what I believe that I am ready to announce to the world that I am no longer a Christian. I am no longer a believer in Christ. I no longer believe the Bible is the word of God.
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. In fact, there is zero evidence “God” even exists. I believe I am more like God than the God of the Bible, a fictional character.”
Who is behind this elaborate and strange scheme?
The Blogger account holder claims to be Christian News Network (a Bible-based news site) and even uses the publication’s logo. Is Christian News Network responsible for the fake Joel Osteen website and the fake resignation announcement?
I don’t know — but I’ve sent an inquiry via the contact form on the publication’s website. Perhaps they will respond.
UPDATE (Monday, April 8, 2013): Christian News Network has responded regarding the elaborate hoax and the publication’s logo being used: “Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We have reported the site to Google as the article was not written by Christian News Network, and the user is wrongfully impersonating our business. The article and video are fraudulent as well.” (from Heather Clark, Content Editor)
I haven’t bothered embedding the video or linking to the Blogger website with the fake Osteen “resigning” news because the whole thing is just too much. It’s one thing to reject or disagree with someone, but to assume you know the heart and mind of an individual to declare, against their own profession, that they are not a Christian is a bit presumptive. If folks disagree with Pastor Joel Osteen’s messages, then criticize the messages.