Joel Osteen Responds to Criticism, Invokes Franklin Graham, Then Opens His Megachurch to Flood Victims

I guess this is the power of social media. Late yesterday we brought you the story of Joel Osteen and his 16,500+ seat mega church in Houston, TX.   Yes, the same Houston, TX ravaged by floods

I guess this is the power of social media.

Late yesterday we brought you the story of Joel Osteen and his 16,500+ seat mega church in Houston, TX.  

Yes, the same Houston, TX ravaged by floods and hurricane waters.

Joel Osteen took heavy criticism online when he did not open up his church facility to flood victims, despite the apparent need for more shelter space in the city.  Yeah, a 16,500 seat facility would probably provide good shelter, I would think!

Read More: Joel Osteen Takes Heat Online for Not Opening Up Megachurch to Flood Victims

You know, like this:

Today we get part 2 of the story.

Part 2 involves Joel Osteen speaking out and coming to his own defense – partially by invoking the name of Franklin Graham.

Last night he posted this statement:

“We have never closed our doors … We will continue to be a distribution center to those in need. We are prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity.”

The only problem with that is it appears that the shelters are at – and past – capacity.  From TMZ:

It seems, however, that shelters have more than reached capacity. The American Red Cross turned the Convention Center into an evacuee center and there are 8,800 people there, despite the fact capacity is set at 5,000.

Osteen also posted this page to his website, touting the relief efforts they were working on, including a name drop of Franklin Graham’s charity, Samaritan’s Purse:

Dear Lakewood Church family,

We want to let you know that our hearts are with each of you and your families during this difficult time. We are praying for you and we are praying for our city, and for all of those affected by the devastating flooding and rains caused by Hurricane Harvey. We love you and we love this city. And we want to help.

Over the last couple of days, as the enormity of this storm was being realized, we have been working to organize relief efforts for the Houston area with our friend Franklin Graham and the disaster relief organization that he oversees, Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse has been, since it’s inception, organized to respond to situations just like Hurricane Harvey, and we are grateful to be able to partner with them to provide assistance to the Houston area.

We know the need is great. That much is clear. We do not yet know all the ways we can help. However if you would like to register to volunteer with us, please do so by clicking the link below. Or, if you would like to donate to our relief efforts, please do so here in this page. We are working just as fast as we can on this and will update you with more information as it becomes available.

In the meantime, know that our prayers for strength and comfort for each of you will continue, as well as our prayers for God’s help as we navigate the upcoming days and months together.

We love you. And we are praying. Together, we will make it through this difficult time.

Many have criticized the statement by saying he should be taking action and offering shelter.  Getting his hands dirty type stuff.

The latest update on the story came this morning from TMZ, noting that Lakewood Church had decided to OPEN their doors to flood victims.  What a difference 12 hours of online criticism makes!

From TMZ:

7:50 AM PT — Pastor Osteen’s church is now open for evacuees, and he says flooding inside the church is the reason for the delay.

A Lakewood Church rep tells us, “Lakewood’s doors are open now to anyone needing shelter. We are also coordinating with the city as a collection site for distributing supplies to area shelters. We are collecting diapers, baby formula, baby food and other supplies. Please bring these items to Lakewood Church, Circle Drive off Timmons St.”

While Lakewood claims the church was inaccessible due to flooding, others have posted videos calling that into dispute:

Even if he wants no one there at least invite so we know u care. I'm a fan of this guy, I really am but where is he when so many who worship him, need him! Must see!

Posted by Sean Salisbury on Monday, August 28, 2017

So what do you think?

Did Joel Osteen handle this situation appropriately?

Please comment below!

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

chris@langpaul.com

Review overview
  • Nadine Cornwell

    you did nothing until it was discovered by social media that your place was dry…a man walked 3 miles to show there was no flooding even in your parking lot…he walked 3 miles!! you are supposed to be a man of God but until you were outed last night, your intentions were not to open the church….actions speak louder than words and your actions will cost you dearly….hopefully people will think twice before sending those checks to a greedy man who is using God as his microphone….similar to Al Gore making billions from a climate lie….maybe your from the same cloth!!!

    • gamelady2298

      James 2:14-16

  • andrewradler@yahoo.com

    Listen, I’m not for or against Joel Osteen. However, in fairness, I would think that opening up a facility like this, to storm refugees, would have some red tape involved, since gov’t agencies are already involved. I’m not so sure it would be as easy and just opening up the doors for thousands of homeless people without massive coordinating first. This is not your typical corner church. It is possible, that he was discouraged initially, until they had a better handle on the storm and what their needs were. It sounds like the church has opened up, and again, I’m not so sure he was shamed into it. I don’t think he’s a stupid man. I’m sure there’s more than meets the eye here.

    • Diana

      It’s called an EMERGENCY! Red tape be damned. This guy has tons of money, power and access!

  • Lynda Heystek

    actions always speak louder than words, having said that, the logistics is a huge responsibility to tackle

    • Diana

      They have had days and days to prepare for hurricane relief. Don’t let this slimeball off the hook!

  • Dennis Ulmer

    I don’t have a negative opinion on this. It takes organization to do something like opening a facility as a shelter. You need sanitation supplies, (think toilet paper, paper towels, soap) You need to be able to supply food or meals ready to eat. You need SANITATION to get rid of the trash from the meals. It’s not a, “OK we are a shelter” type of thing to do. Plus, you can’t take in too many, or the facility will be overtaxed. Think SANITATION again. Overflowing toilets etc. Plus, comfort for sleeping. What you DON’T NEED is a facility opened hastily as a “shelter” that becomes a point of concern and griping by the people who seek shelter there. SAFETY SANITATION AND COMFORT are the main concerns. THEY NEED TO BE MET FIRST BEFORE A SHELTER PROVIDES RELIEF TO EVACUEES FROM ANY DISASTER>

  • Lynda

    It’s very sad that a man of his FAITH denied helping those in a terrible situation refusing to open the doors of his church that so many have given thousands of dollars that should be going only to his church (see his mansion he lives in, the cars they drive, the clothes they wear etc.) those are all paid for by your members of your church.

  • Bernadette McGinnis

    In a small way, I kind of understand… and it’s totally possible the church floor in the stadium WAS wet. Water rises when it exceeds the water table.

  • Joy Wisner

    He repented…..Will need a lot of volunteers to clean it up after all those refugees finish with it.

  • Rod Morrow

    lets put it this way if he doesnt make a dime off of it then he wont open unless pressured other than that he a money hording idiot who wants money