Pastor Joel Osteen found himself in hot water earlier this month when he initially refused to offer his Lakewood Megachurch in Houston, Texas to the tens of thousands of people who were displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Though he finally did open the church days later, many felt like this was done too late.
Now, things have gotten even worse for Osteen, as his Christian faith is being questioned.
“Dear Houstonians, Lakewood Church is inaccessible due to severe flooding,” Osteen’s initial statement read. “We want to help make sure you are safe. Please see the list below for safe shelters around our city, and please share this with those in need.”
Southern Digest reported that Dr. Mahmoud Braima, a mass communications professor at Southern University, responded to this by saying people are right to question whether Osteen truly is a man of God.
“A man of God should have been the first in line to help the community under stress and he closed the door for so long until people started talking, it’s a shame,” Braima said.
Many were offended by the fact that Osteen’s megachurch can hold up to 16,000, meaning he could have done a ton of good in Houston during the storm. When college student Desmond Dickerson was asked how Osteen could have done things differently, he held nothing back with his response.
“If he has any misgivings about opening the church up he should’ve gone out to shelters, gotten supplies and sent them out to other shelters so they can get to the people in need,” Dickerson said.
Local resident Krista Tolbert agreed.
“There’s three sides to every story and there are other big churches, but since he’s well known he should’ve done things differently,” she said.
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