On Monday a fake post emerged on the web that was supposedly written by famous Texas pastor Joel Osteen.

In the message, Osteen “wrote” that he was leaving the church because he had come to the realization that there is a lack of evidence that God exists.

The message read:

As many of you may know, and may have heard in the news recently, many of my sermons have deviated from traditional Christian doctrine. I have been accused of altering the ‘message’ to fit my own doctrine and dogma. Others have accused me of preaching ‘feel good Christianity’. I have also been accused of profiting greatly from my ministry, with my books and television deals. Many of their criticisms are legitimate. […]

No God worth believing in is going to send you to Hell for not believing in him. Not even the worst sinner and scum of the Earth deserves eternal torment in Hell. In fact, God is more likely to congratulate you upon entering Heaven for doubting, questioning and not believing the religionists and their flimsy facts, demands of blind faith and lack of hard evidence.

Even without knowing it wasn’t posted on his official site, it’s pretty obvious this statement isn’t legit.

First off, when has a career Christian ever just suddenly snapped out of it?

I’ll answer that one for you … Never.

Of course the media has sensationalized this as the latest monstrous internet hoax when really it’s a total bore.

Yes, it was “elaborate” (complete with a fake website, fake Twitter account and a fake YouTube video showing fake headlines from credible news sources) and yes, it fooled many many people … but it was moderately amusing at best, and it’s certainly no Manti Teo scandal. (That one was nuts!)

According to ABC news, Osteen has shrugged off the incident.

“You know, I’m really not angry. I don’t feel like a victim,” Osteen said. “I feel too blessed, that life is too short to let things like this get you down.”

The whole thing will likely be forgotten about by next week when the next Twitter death hoax roles around. That is, if it doesn’t start an intricate debate about the way religious figures carry themselves and the messages they choose to promote.