Published On: Tue, Apr 9th, 2013

Pastor Joel Osteen fell victim to elaborate Internet hoax, claiming lost his faith

April Fool’s came late for popular Christian pastor Joel Osteen who was targeted in a hoax which garnered headlines on Monday.

Those behind the hoax used Twitter, YouTube, and other social media to spread spurious claims that the pastor had renounced his faith and would close his huge Texas church.

Osteen said he began receiving calls and messages from all over the world early Monday, asking the pastor if he was aware of the fake websites declaring the end of his relationship with Christianity.

“We saw it as being comical because it’s so ludicrous but sometimes things like that can catch on,” Osteen told MyFoxHouston.com.

Joel Osteen no longer believes in the Bible? No, the Pastor fell victim to an elaborate Internet hoax

Joel Osteen no longer believes in the Bible? No, the Pastor fell victim to an elaborate Internet hoax

A screen grab of CNN’s website with the headline. “Pastor of mega church resigns, rejects Christ.” A Drudge headline proclaimed, “Osteen: I am no longer a Christian” – all part of the scheme. Notice the website listed has a letter “E” missing from Osteen’s last name.

“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,” Osteen was quoted saying in the letter.

There was an accompanying Twitter account that has now been suspended.

Osteen says he’s turning the other cheek and spinning this bit of adversity into a positive message.

“You can’t stop everything from happening, but you can choose to say, ‘God, it’s in your hands’. I’m going to move forward. I’m going stay full of joy and I’m going enjoy this day,” Osteen told ABC News.



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