July 20, 2024

Televangelist Joel Osteen Refuses To Be Alone With Women Who Aren’t His Wife

The Texas preacher says he follows the Billy Graham rule, which is meant to help male pastors avoid being tempted by women.

Televangelist Joel Osteen told an evangelical Christian website that he follows the so-called “Billy Graham rule” ― suggesting that, in an attempt to protect his marriage, he won’t spend time alone with women other than his wife.

In an interview with the Christian Post, Osteen, a bestselling author and pastor of Houston’s 45,000-member Lakewood Church, was asked if he followed the rule, and how else he stayed accountable at a time when sexual assault scandals have brought down a slew of prominent pastors.

 

“I do and I always have, and my father did too,” Osteen said about the Billy Graham rule.

Osteen’s father, John Osteen, was also a writer and televangelist. The elder Osteen founded Lakewood in 1959.

“I think it’s important to be honest before God every day and check the reasons why you are doing what you are doing,” Osteen said. “To me, when I stand before God having a pure heart, I can go out and be my best.”

The Billy Graham rule, named for the famous late American evangelist, is meant to help Christian men avoid temptation and even the appearance of infidelity. It is still practiced by some conservative pastors. Vice President Mike Pence has also suggested that he follows a version of the rule.

But the rule also been criticized by some women, who claim it treats women as sexual objects and also prevents them from advancing in their careers.

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