It was recently reported that Joel Osteen, the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, had resigned ... but it all looks like an Internet hoax.
Reports indicated that he not only resigned from his church, but from Christianity, citing a lack of faith in the validity of the Bible as the word of God.
Images of articles on CNN, Drudge Report and Yahoo, and headlines announcing Osteen’s resignation, circulated online over the weekend.
However, actual links to those articles were unable to be found.
Instead, the announcement seemed to originate from a WordPress blog called Joel Osteen Ministries in which the only post is an alleged article from CNN.
In it, Osteen’s “statement” reads in part, “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.”
He goes on to say he is leaving the church, which will continue in a “bare-bones fashion as we liquidate our assets and fulfill various financial obligations.”
However, a look at Joel Osteen’s official website reveals no indication that the 50-year-old, who has led Lakeview Church since 1999, has any intention of resigning.
The most recent article about Joel Osteen on CNN discusses the televangelist’s dismissal of the controversy over History Channel’s The Bible miniseries.
Osteen, a consultant on the show, said he is not surprised by the show’s success. Wonder if he's surprised that his fake resignation was reported as fact on the web.