Lakewood Church’s pastor Joel Osteen told the Washington Times this week that he believes Mormons “are Christians,” although it may not be the “purest form of Christianity.” He says from his knowledge of Mormons and from hearing GOP candidate Mitt Romney speak, they appear to believe “the core issues” of Christianity—that Jesus is the Son of God and He is their savior.
Osteen, whose Houston church is the largest in the nation, also said he regularly prays for Governor Rick Perry “as a friend.” He also said he disagreed with Rev. Robert Jeffress, who remarked that Romney’s Mormon faith was a cult. In the Houston Chronicle, Osteen commented, “I’m sure there are other issues we don’t agree on, but I can say the Baptists and the Methodists and the Catholics don’t agree on everything.”
Osteen is known for his typically upbeat and positive manner in his sermons and commentary and doesn’t usually like to comment on political issues. He is currently promoting his new book, Every Day a Friday.