Victoria Osteen responds to critics: 'I did not mean to imply that we don't worship God'

Victoria OsteenVictoria Osteen/Facebook

The wife of Lakewood pastor Joel Osteen has defended remarks she made in a sermon about worshipping God and coming to church.

Victoria Osteen has found herself at the centre of controversy in the last week after the sermon she delivered last month started going viral around the web, igniting accusations of idolatry.  

In the video, shared on YouTube, Osteen suggested that doing good and worshipping God was something Christians should do for themselves.

"So I just want to encourage every one of us to realise when we obey God, we're not doing it for God - I mean, that's one way to look at it - we're doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we're happy," she said in the 37-second video clip.

"That's the thing that gives Him the greatest joy.  So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self.  Do good because God wants you to be happy.

"When you come to church, when you worship Him, you're not doing it for God really.  You're doing it for yourself, because that's what makes God happy.  Amen?  Let's open our hearts to Him today."

One of her critics since was Pastor Steve Camp of The Cross Church in Palm City, Florida, who told the Christian News Network that her comments were tantamount to the "sin of idolatry". 

"When we come to see men happy rather than God glorified, it's not worship, it's idolatry," he said.  

But in a statement to The Blaze on Friday, Osteen defended her comments and suggested critics were misinterpreting her meaning.

"While I admit that I could have been more articulate in my remarks, I stand by my point that when we worship God and are obedient to Him we will be better for it," she said.

"I did not mean to imply that we don't worship God; that's ridiculous, and only the critics and cynics are interpreting my remarks that way.

"Every Lakewood member knows what I was talking about because they have experienced first hand the joy and victory of a Lakewood Church worship service, and the honor, reverence and gratitude we show God."

Watch the clip here: