Televangelist Joel Osteen spoke about hope during his stop in Cleveland on July 12, 2012.
Photographer: Rachel Teron/WEWS
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
WASHINGTON - Lakewood Church worship leader Israel Houghton says after working with Pastor Joel Osteen for more than 11 years he can testify that "he's the real deal."
The Grammy award winning gospel singer says he knows that some Christians dismiss Osteen's preaching as little more than positive thinking. But Houghton says he's seen the changes God has worked in the lives of members of the nation's largest congregation.
Houghton estimates that about three million people are faithful viewers of the many preachers on Christian television. But he says an additional seven million un-churched viewers watch Joel Osteen every Sunday.
Houghton says he would rather offend Christian leaders who think Osteen doesn't preach enough about sin than the many non-Christians who are attracted to Osteen's message of God's love for them.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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