After weathering a blistering week of scorn and ridicule for controversial comments she made during a worship service at the popular Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, including a declaration that worship is not for God, co-pastor Victoria Osteen now says that's not what she meant and dismissed the notion as "ridiculous."
"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 told The Blaze in a statement Friday. "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."
She further explained that her congregants at Lakewood Church knew exactly what she meant and there was no confusion among the flock she co-pastors with her New York Times bestselling author husband Joel Osteen.
"Every Lakewood member knows what I was talking about because they have experienced firsthand the joy and victory of a Lakewood Church worship service, and the honor, reverence and gratitude we show God," she said.
In the last week, Osteen sparked a firestorm of withering criticism after a 36-second clip of her controversial comments on worship and adoration for God went viral.
"I just want to encourage every one of us to realize 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 36-second clip posted on YouTube, with her husband smiling at her side. "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," she continued. "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?" the clip ended as congregants cheered.