This Is Joel Osteen's Strict Rule For Women

Depending on whom you ask, Joel Osteen is either an inspiring preacher whose message brings comfort and hope to millions of Christians or a charlatan selling a watered-down gospel that serves to empty the pockets of the faithful. Indeed, those who take the latter view point to his purported staggering wealth (rumored to be in the neighborhood of $60 million, per Snopes), or the fact that his 16,000-seat church allegedly did not allow victims of Hurricane Harvey to take shelter there (also per Snopes).

Regardless of which view you take of the man, it seems that, in one particular area of his life, he lives by a moral code. What's more, it's a code that bears the name of another televangelist, albeit one whose ministry was considerably less controversial. Further, at least one well-known American politician also famously lives by that code. As it turns out, that code forces the women in Osteen's life to abide by it as well.

Joel Osteen lives by the 'Billy Graham Rule'

One of America's best-known and most respected televangelists was Billy Graham, who — unlike so many others in the TV preaching industry — managed to avoid scandal while he lived. Part of that may have to do with a rule that he lived by, which now bears his name. As Vice reports, the "Billy Graham Rule" states that a man must never be alone in the same room with any woman who isn't his wife. That way, he won't be tempted. Further, by following this rule, he avoids even giving the appearance that he's up to no good. "I do and I always have [lived by this rule], and my father did too," Osteen said. Though not a televangelist, another famous American who adheres to this rule is former Vice President Mike Pence.

Still, while steadfastly avoiding being alone with a woman may protect the man from accusations of impropriety, survivors of sexual assault say that what churches really need is transparency and an accountability process that allows victims of sexual abuse in religious settings to seek justice.

If you or someone you know is dealing with spiritual abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.