Pastor Joel Osteen Takes Heat for Not Opening His Megachurch to Flood Victims in Houston

Joel Osteen has always been a lightning rod for criticism. Obvoiusly, many people love him.  You don't end up with a 16,000 seat megachurch if you're not mega popular.But many Christians criticize Osteen for preaching a

Joel Osteen has always been a lightning rod for criticism.

Obvoiusly, many people love him.  You don’t end up with a 16,000 seat megachurch if you’re not mega popular.

But many Christians criticize Osteen for preaching a sugar-coated, prosperity Gospel.  You know, the kind that rarely mentions “picking up your Cross” or making any sort of sacrifice for others.  

Osteens $10.5 million mansion in Houston probably doesn’t help that image much.

But honestly, what perplexes me about Osteen is how many big names that I really respect refuse to say a bad thing about him.  In fact, I’ve heard sermons where guys like Kris Vallotton and Todd White, two guys I have huge respect for, have said point blank that they will not say anything critical of Osteen because they believe God is blessing what he’s doing.

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It’s very similar to Benny Hinn, another televangelist that many criticize for some of the same things.  Yet I’ve heard many of the same people defend Hinn too.

Anyway, back to Osteen.  Now those who don’t like him have a new cause to criticize: he apparently closed down his 16,000 church in Houston instead of using it to help shelter and assist flood victims.  Which, of course, goes against the idea of what the Church is supposed to do in these situations.

The criticism first broke out on Twitter:

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Here are more details on the story, from Nova:

Televangelist Joel Osteen is the Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church, an enormous 16,000 seat “Megachurch” in Houston, Texas. His televised sermons are seen by over 7 million viewers weekly and over 20 million monthly in over 100 countries.

The pastor is a celebrity in Houston and a very, very wealthy man. Osteen believes in and preaches the “Prosperity Gospel,” which is effectively the belief that if you do good things, you will get material blessings from God. And it certainly works for Osteen, who lives in a $10.5 million mansion in Houston.

His followers were surprised that Osteen hasn’t opened up his megachurch, that was converted from an arena that seats over 16,000, to the thousands of people that have been displaced by flooding following Hurricane Harvey.

Osteen has tweeted, saying, “Victoria & I are praying for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. Please join us as we pray for the safety of our Texas friends & family.” But his followers were not happy.

Osteen did cancel services on Sunday, saying that there was “flooding” at the church. But thus far, there has been no proof of that.

What do you think?

Please comment below!

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

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