Pastor Joel Osteen, leader of Lakewood Church in Houston, the largest megachurch in the U.S., spoke to Matt Lauer during an interview on the Today Show on the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 27 people died when a gunman invaded the campus on December 14.
Osteen said he doesn’t feel it is his duty to take a stand regarding gun control in this country because he’s trying to “reach as many people as possible” and “political issues divide us.”
“There are good people on both sides of the aisle, and I don’t know what the best answer there is either, but I just try to guide them and give them hope in this time of need,” he told Lauer.
He also explained that “God gave us all our own free will” and “freedom of choice” and “unfortunately, some people choose to do evil … I still believe that God is good and God is for us, but He doesn’t make us do what’s right.”
The Christian Post reports that the Sandy Hook shooting has invoked widespread debates regarding gun control in the U.S., while others say the issue is a deeper one regarding our youth and the importance and accessibility of mental health services.