'Yes, I've always believed, Pierce, that scripture shows that it's a sin. But I'm not one of those that are out there to bash homosexuals and tell them that they're terrible people....
''I don't believe homosexuality is God's best for a person's life. I mean, sin means 'to miss the mark.' ... I think I'm growing in my knowledge. I mean, those first interviews -- this is all new to me. I didn't go to seminary....
''People say I don't talk about sin, but I do talk about how we live our life, and making good choices....
''I think [civil partnerships] is wrong, but I'm not going to bash those people. I'm not going to be against those people. They're good people. I say it's wrong because that's what the scripture says....
''I'm not the judge. God didn't tell me to go around judging everybody.... I don't know that God is judging sins on different levels. But we pick out that one.... If you listen to our message, they're about lifting people up. So it's not -- I mean, I really talk about that homosexuality when we get on the interviews....
''I believe God can give us grace to change. We've seen people break addictions, and do other things as well.''
Portions of latest from televangelist and best-selling author Joel Osteen, this time speaking with Piers Morgan on CNN. (CNN)
Osteen and his wife Victoria appeared unprepared for a serious grilling from Morgan, a close friend of gay family man Elton John. Piers Morgan is the new replacement for retired talk show host Larry King, who previously interviewed the popular Lakeview Church preacher several times.
For Osteen to say he doesn't judge gay people, and that homosexuality "is all new" to him, seems at odds with some of his other statements:
OSTEEN: I have thoughts. I just, you know, I don't think that a same-sex marriage is the way God intended it to be. I don't think abortion is the best. I think there are other, you know, a better way to live your life. But I'm not going to condemn those people. I tell them all the time our church is open for everybody.
KING: You don't call them sinners?
OSTEEN: I don't.
KING: Is that a word you don't use?
OSTEEN: I don't use it. I never thought about it. But I probably don't. But most people already know what they're doing wrong. When I get them to church I want to tell them that you can change. There can be a difference in your life. So I don't go down the road of condemning.
OSTEEN: I don’t think it’s God's best... I never feel like homosexuality is God's best.
OSTEEN: I think that [homosexuality] is a choice. I think it's a choice. I can't say that I understand it all, but I think it's a choice.
OSTEEN: Not knocking anybody else, but I'm not sure where it's all going.... Will [gay marriage] undermine the basis of society, I don't know. I think -- I know God's best to have a male and a female to have marriage and raise their family. It doesn't always happen, but I believe that's God's best.... I'm not saying gay people aren't good people --.
KING: Or gay parents.
OSTEEN: You know, I believe they're all welcome, but I come back to what I believe the scripture teaches is that homosexuality is not God's best.... I love everybody. I can't say I don't have friends that are gay. They're some of the nicest people in the world.... I don't believe God would create you against something he tells you not to be.
ILOFF: [We] believe homosexuality is sin.... it is disobedience under God.