The Rev. Joel Osteen, pastor of Houston's Lakewood megachurch, has renounced his belief in God and resigned from his spiritual leadership post — just kidding.
But that's what a prankster wanted the world to believe when he or she fabricated a Twitter feed and put out a fake YouTube video from Christianity News that included images from various news sites blaring headlines — also faked — that spoke of Mr. Osteen's failed faith.
The jokester also devised a website similar in style to Mr. Osteen's site to put forth a supposed message of apology to church followers, Newser reported.
"Deep down in my heart, for a number of years now, I have been questioning the faith, Christianity, and whether Jesus Christ is really my, or anyone's, 'savior,'" the fake Pastor Osteen wrote on his fake website. He then went on to fake-thank his wife, his congregation, his state of Texas "and my close friends, Oprah Winfrey and Larry King," Newser quoted.
He then went on to explain he was turning from the faith to support environmental issues, the fake statement read.
NPR said it so far has managed to isolate the prankster as hailing from Milwaukee, at an organization called BMG Enterprises.
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