Joel Osteen and his Lakewood Church has been the target of some social media heat since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. With many, mostly Liberals, claiming that Lakewood Church was not affected by the storm but Osteen still closed its doors to the public with some photos posted proving that the church itself was not flooded.
On the flip side, Osteen says that the church was affected by the story and while the build is fine he allowed it to remain shut out of safety concerns, even going as far as to suspend service that weekend.
Regardless, he opened its doors to provide shelter to those who needed it be it from pressure due to social media or he and his team deciding it was, in fact, safe to proceed… the church is providing shelter.
Here’s a video posted to Youtube that shows “proof” it was not affected by flooding from the outside:
Once the doors were open Osteen went on Today and with a huge pile of donated items being prepared for victims resting behind him stated that its doors have always been open.
With that, Joel Osteen is now helping people. Like I said before… be it from pressure or the safety concerns lifted he and his church have opened its doors.
He decided to create this page on the Lakewood Church’s website to ask for donations to alleviate some of the monetary issues which this may cause for them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. His church has the potential to help up to 16,000 people.
This move, however, is drawing some major criticism from many people and I’m not sure why. Sure it’s a Mega Church… sure Osteen is worth A LOT of money… sure the church has a lot of resources at its disposal. But moves like this is WHY the church even has those resources in the first place.
Osteen’s fortune has come not from the salary given to him by his church but by his wildly successful books. He gave up his $200,000 a year salary and put it back into his church and his congregation. So for those who criticize him for his fortune and claim he’s earned that from the donations to the church… you are wrong! Oh, and he hasn’t taken a salary from the church since 2005, 12 yeas ago.
Yes, he lives in a million dollar home but again his money came from his books… not the church itself. While I think to live in such a luxurious is unnecessary it is his prerogative.
Regardless, Lakewood church does a lot of good with what it’s given. In just the case of Hurricane Harvey alone check out the video below. In a matter of hours, hundreds have volunteering and many much-needed items have been donated to the church.
As for the criticism, check out this report by Nova Magazine:
However, he’s also asking for donations on his website for ‘Hurricane Disaster Relief’, yet doesn’t state exactly how those funds would be allocated. The donation company’s BBB rating was lowered to an F, because Joel Osteen doesn’t disclose how he spend the money.
And he’s suggesting a minimum of $50. What? $10 isn’t enough?