Joel Osteen Comes Up With a THIRD Excuse For Why He Didn’t Open His Megachurch; Contradicts the First Two

Things have gone from bad to worse for Joel Osteen. It used to be that the only thing he was criticized for was being a little "shallow" in the Biblical literacy department. You know, stuff like this: But

Things have gone from bad to worse for Joel Osteen.

It used to be that the only thing he was criticized for was being a little “shallow” in the Biblical literacy department.

You know, stuff like this:

But this week he has really taken it on the chin with what many are calling a tone-deaf response to the Houston flooding.  

We originally reported on this story on Monday, reporting that Osteen failed to open his 16,000+ seat megachurch to flood victims, despite it reportedly being just fine and not flooded itself.

Read More: Osteen’s Megachurch Closes Doors to Flood Victims

After a night of pretty intense criticism, Osteen reversed course and opened up his church to flood victims the following morning.

Read More: Osteen Caves to Online Pressure, Opens Church to Flood Victims

When he decided to open on Tuesday, he released a statement to TMZ that the reason they hadn’t opened earlier was that they were flooded themselves.

The only problem with that is that many eyewitness videos then started popping up online showing the Lakewood Church facility very clearly above water and doing just fine.

So….that brings us to this morning, when Osteen went on the Today Show and offered up a couple additional excuses, all of which contradict each other!

He first said that “their doors had always been open.”  Perhaps realizing that wasn’t true, he doubled back and said the real reason they didn’t open is because no one asked them to.  Oh boy, Joel, that’s not good!  I hope you didn’t spend all night coming up with that one!

Of course, all of these stories contradict each other.  Joel…were you flooded or not?  Were you open or not?

And to everyone saying to stop picking on the Christians, we are of course a PRO CHRISTIAN publication here at LGD, we just take it seriously when someone like this makes us all look bad!

Here is the report, from Yahoo News / HuffPost:

Pastor Joel Osteen can’t seem to get his story straight about why he didn’t offer his 16,800-seat megachurch in Houston as a shelter sooner for those displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

During an appearance on NBC’s “TODAY” show Wednesday, the head of Lakewood Church said its doors have “always been open.” Minutes later, he appeared to reverse course and admit that the church hadn’t initially encouraged victims to seek shelter there.

“If people were here, they’d realize there were safety issues,” Osteen said during the TV appearance. “We were just being precautious, but the main thing is the city didn’t ask us to become a shelter then.”

Dozens of Houston-area churches, schools and community centers opened their doors to offer temporary shelter to survivors as Hurricane Harvey pummeled the city earlier this week.

Lakewood Church, however, posted on Sunday that the building was “inaccessible” due to flooding and encouraged people to seek shelter elsewhere.

After backlash mounted on social media, a spokesman for the church announced Tuesday that it was prepared to shelter displaced people ― “once the cities and county shelters reach capacity.”

When asked if he would done anything differently to avoid the onslaught of criticism aimed at him on social media over the last few days, Osteen said he would.

“Yeah, I’m sure we would have done something differently,” Osteen said. But he added: “The fact is I don’t know that we would have opened any sooner, because again there were safety issues.”

And he continued to put the onus on city officials, claiming Lakewood Church would have offered shelter had it been asked.

“It’s easy to say, ‘Wow, there’s that building. They’re not using it.’ But we don’t have volunteers,” Osteen said. “We don’t have staff that could get here. We’re all about helping the city whenever we could ― if they would have asked us to become a shelter early on, we would have prepared for it.”

Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
But to Your name be the glory
Because of Your love and your faithfulness!

chris@langpaul.com

Review overview
  • ConCynic

    Who quotes HuffPo as their source of truth? I mean, really?!?

  • Nick Duane Bucher

    First of all let me Begin by saying that I have never been a Joel Olsteen fan nor a supporter I think he’s way off base in a lot of things and just because you can get 16000 people to come hear you speak every week does not mean that you’re following biblical teachings nor does it mean you’re even born again he is so much different from what his father was I don’t know why he did not immediately unlock the doors to his building that’s between him and God I could not judge them in but I think had it been me I would have un lock those doors the minute I saw the need for people to have shelter

    • Barbara Rolph

      He never says any thing .just tells a couple stories and that tells his point of the story and that’s it.come on I need a.pteacher

    • Poco Reese

      Behind the smile, there was no compassion. I am grateful that he has a conscience. The doors did open after he was shamed and pressured.

  • Luke 18:22

    When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    Matthew 19:21

    Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    • Nick Duane Bucher

      Well it’s not a sin to have money the sin is the Love of Money the Bible says the love of money is the root of all evil money in and of itself is not the problem it’s the love of the money you can pass through a megachurch and have millions of dollars rolling in every month and still not have any clue who God really is and prosperity is relative I believe that God prosperous people I don’t have a problem with that but you can be prosperous and ride a bicycle what is your definition of prosperity? I believe that I’m prosperous I eat everyday and I have a roof over my head and I have a job but am I rich? Absolutely not far from it sometimes I barely scrape by but God still takes care of me

  • Dennis Ulmer

    I’m not saying this to defend Joel Osteen, but it takes a LOT to open and manage a shelter. I know because I’ve worked at a Red Cross Shelter. You need lots of preparation. You need to make sure you have sanitation, a safety plan, food, cleaning services for bathrooms, or someone to clean. It takes a LOT of work. You need to be prepared and have someone to MANAGE A SHELTER WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Also, shelters are prone to the norovirus. Hand sanitizers are not effective. We had a health department physician tell me that. He said you need soap and water frequent hand washing. We also sanitized the tables after every meal. The meals were catered. The meals were served by servers wearing gloves. This shelter was because of a major fire in a senior apartment complex. trust me folks, you don’t just “Help” and open a shelter. You need to make sure that you can provide Sanitation, Safety, and some level of Comfort. It isn’t EASY.

    • Topcraig

      Oh, boy, you make it sound so, so, inconvenient to open a shelter. No wonder Osteen couldn’t muster up the fortitude or the Jesus like image fast enough to avoid criticism. A more Godly person would have been offering his help before being asked and embarrassed.

      • Dennis Ulmer

        If you have never worked at a shelter, you don’t know what you are talking about. Without a plans for Safety, Sanitation and Comfort. You will have complete chaos. Remember or look up what happened at the Super Dome in New Orleans after Katrina. THAT is what happens if you haven’t addressed what you need to open a FUCTIONING and HELPFUL shelter.

        • Mark Bernard

          having shelter and electricity > chance of catching a cold. Get real with his millions he could escort thousands by speedboat and fed them lobster if thats what it took, and it didnt He just needed to unlock an entrance. It is an emergency.

        • Poco Reese

          FEMA was ready and available to assist. ISRAEL was ready and available to assist if his church members refused. No more excuses. Joel should have admitted his mistake, repented, and moved forward. Christians forgive readily. People like you and his church forgive even before he asks. We cannot bring back the dead but we can plan for the living….today. thanks.

    • gamelady2298

      He has 16,000 members! SURELY he could find volunteers! We opened our home up to to 100 foster children for three years with a very small group of volunteers. It can be done if your heart is in the right place. Plus, Joel has become a millionaire from peddling the Word of God. Surely he can afford to put some of these people either in his mansion or into other temporary shelter. It’s a heart issue, not a management issue.

      • Dennis Ulmer

        Think what you want. “Heart” issues sometimes need to be decided by your mind. To open a shelter without the things I mentioned would be chaos. You need to understand this and forget about what the building WAS USED FOR. IT DOESN”T MATTER. I WAS NOT DEFENDING HIM OR HIS CHURCH. Research what happened at the Super Dome. Complete Chaos developed in a short time mainly over sanitation. Remember, in a disaster the toilets may not work because of issues with the pump stations. Do you understand SANITATION?

    • Poco Reese

      Dennis I appreciate your comments. We must consider the official statements made via email, twitter etc. and we must consider who we speak about. One of the largest Churches in America knew the day that they published the first email that shelter was inadequate and women and children were being turned away from one shelter…they were full…they stated this. This was the time to act…open the Sanctuary to the women and children. Even if it is only a handful, the Church should have responded to this need. Has God given Lakewood wealth to hoard? No. We had Israel send 2 teams to assist here in America and they were so generous. No Volunteers? People from other states flooded Houston with love and Joel had no volunteers? Joel should never wait to be asked for assistance. It is his God given responsibility to care for the needy. As Christians we must be first responders…We Must Lead the Way. Joel was shamed into opening the doors of the Church. Forget the basement, noone should ever be housed there anyway. The Church sits high above the ground and no waters came near that sanctuary. It is Joel’s responsibility to contact FEMA, the governor, the County, etc. to offer assistance. He should never wait to be asked. He should never wait to be shamed by Social Media. He did not even have service on Sunday and I do understand him wanting to go home. But do you realize how many people died? To whom much is given, much is required. You don’t just sit in your comfort zone and pray for people when they are literally dying. Joel should have had a better plan. Telling people to go elsewhere did not sit well with many Christians. He made a mockery of Christianity. This is not how we operate. We serve a God that speaks and the wind and the rain obey HIM. I hope his followers realize now that life is not a bowl of cherries and Houston is not having their best life now. They are in a lot of PAIN. But we know Psalms 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
      To all who call upon Him in truth.” Praying for Houston.

      • Dennis Ulmer

        It doesn’t matter if it’s a church, what ever the building is.. Again, You can not just open a shelter. You MUST have plans IN PLACE for SAFETTY, SANITATION, and be able to offer some COMFORT. You need someone or a company to CLEAN the BATROOMS etc you need trash collection service,, a source of food and water, and again SAFETY. A “shelter” just isn’t a building or church. You need a TRAINED SHELTER MANAGE too. IT ISN”T easy. Just because this was a “mega” church and most people can not separate emotion from rational thinking, your assumptions are wrong. Religion and Joel Olsteen have nothing to do with my opinion as it should not yours. The issue is could ANYONE have an effective shelter without the things I mentioned. I can tell you, the Red Cross would say NO. They use buildings that they have pre selected, and give CAFEFUL CONSIDERATION to those that have not been pre selected.

        • Poco Reese

          Sure, I understand all you say…Planning is crucial so instead of closing the doors, he should have planned to help earlier. Many died and I cannot get the images out of my mind. An entire family was killed while Joel sat in the comfort of his home waiting to be asked to help. You are overlooking this fact that angered so many. Joel stated that the reason he did not act is because no one asked him to do so. This is egregious. A man of God who received the greater goods in this world should not sit on the sideline and wait to be summoned to action. What is wrong with volunteering? Joel’s own words and those of his church offended the masses. The statement that the church posted indicated that one of the Women and Children Shelters was already at capacity. Lakewood Church stated this. People went to the church…even members of Lakewood…and videotaped the church and surrounding streets. I am reminded of Daniel 4:27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.” Joel was shamed into action by Social Media. Nevertheless, he opened the doors and God is pleased.

  • Loretta Whitecotton

    No volunteers? No staff? How about people just wanted to get dry.

  • Darren Ryland

    Picking on Joel isn’t technically Christian bashing I’m pretty sure. Phony self-serving heretic!

  • Barbara B Leonard

    He said no one asked him to open the doors!!! Changing stories; he is deceptive. A true Christian doesn’t wait to be asked. He is ignoring so many scriptures; lack of Bible knowledge????? Yet he has been made wealthy by those that think he knows the Bible.

  • gamelady2298

    He has no volunteers???!!! Duh, what about any of your 16,000 members??!! Also, if you were worried about safety, or even that someone would mess up your precious building, how about giving in another way. He’s a multi-millionaire; how about giving money to get these victims into a temporary home? Or open up his mansion to those who need a place. My question to Joel is the same that Jesus said to the rich man: Would you sell all you have and give it to the poor? Or…what do you do with what Paul said: I will not peddle the Word of God for profit.
    Really sad. I guess he wants his “best life now” rather than storing up his treasures in heaven.

  • CC

    I gave him the benefit of doubt in the beginning but too many contradiction are troublesome. Too bad, this was an opportunity to help people and he messed up.