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Joel Osteen responds to backlash for not opening Houston megachurch

HOUSTON — As the nation’s fourth largest city sinks beneath the merciless wrath of one of the worst natural disasters to ever befall southeast Texas, reducing proud residents to discombobulated refugees from their own homes, the nation turns its fury toward the closed doors of the richest church in America: Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church near downtown Houston.

Osteen, pastor of the largest congregation in the United States, is being pummeled ceaselessly on social media, much the way Hurricane Harvey is wreaking unfathomable havoc on the Houston area, because Osteen has not opened the doors to his 17,000-seat megachurch to some of the thousands of people who had to flee their homes because of floods of historic proportions.

Instead, people are pointing to pedestrian platitudes Osteen has offered in the wake of the historic storm:

It doesn’t help assuage many people’s intense feelings against Osteen when they learn he is worth $50M and lives in this Hollywood-like palatial estate:

Osteen sent out an advisory to his congregation, informing them that the church would be closed on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 1 and 2, 2017) due to the threat of floods.

The perpetually smiling pastor told followers on Twitter on Monday to lean on their faith.

“Jesus promises us peace that passes understanding,” he wrote. “That’s peace when it doesn’t make sense.” Osteen later added that the church remains “inaccessible due to severe flooding.”

Harvey has dumped over 30 inches of rain, leaving at least 300K people without power and roughly 30K displaced to temporary shelters. As of Monday evening, the harrowing hurricane has claimed at least seven lives.

But Osteen’s comforting words didn’t sit well with critics, who want to know why the doors to his 16,800-seat arena remain closed.

Some social media users were allegedly motivated enough to take photos of Osteen’s church to prove that it has not been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and could indeed take many of the flood victims in.

Other social media users took to using memes and quips to bash the pastor. To be sure, Bishop T.D. Jakes, who has a similar-sized megachurch three hours away in Dallas, is also taking some heat for allegedly standing on the sidelines as the ocean regurgitates millions of gallons of water onto this small area of the country.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>When <a href=””>@JoelOsteen</a> has a gigantic church and 10 mil home in Houston but is only offering prayers to ppl affected by <a href=””>#Harvey</a> 🤔</p>&mdash; KL 🦋 (@kbarnie34) <a href=”″>August 28, 2017</a></blockquote>
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The church announced later Monday afternoon that it was partnering with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian aid organization, to raise funds to support hurricane relief efforts.

Freelance reporter Ruth Graham posted on Twitter saying she had spoken to a Lakewood representative who said the church wouldn’t turn anyone away, the HuffPost reported.




  1. Vandellish on August 29, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    This good for people to point out but I’m sure no one is surprised.
    Proud to say I’ve never given one cent to either of these guys.

    • Christinamellis on August 30, 2017 at 1:55 am

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it

  2. britishrosee on August 29, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    hell no , i would not let them in there either , that is a business like walmart aint gonna let them in so will not olsteen , there is equipment and , remember what happen to the super dome in new orleans ????? poop and pee was everywhere , people are not gonna take care of that church , they wkll wreck it and olsteen will have to repair the damage for a year or so . that church will be torn up .. i believe in helping others but leave the house of the lord out of this . god has spoken with this storm i wouldnt push it asking him can you destroy his home.

    • chrisj979 on August 30, 2017 at 5:20 am

      A church is NOT a business like Wal-Mart. For starters churches are not-for-profit and tax exempt. Exact opposite of Wal-Mart. Also churches are supposed to be for the community, come one come all. Aside from religion the community looks to them at times of crisis, I don’t think you fully grasp the meaning of a church and their duty. As for the Superdome, that’s a result of not being prepared and slow to react. How many times during the NFL season, completely sold out games, has poop and pee been found everywhere in the Superdome or any stadium? Think, type, reread, think again, delete, retype, then post.

    • Hoytissha Harris on August 31, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Please don’t do it, it’s over for joel for not letting them people in his church. Pooh and pee please they city was destroyed girl. Children was out there god would’ve open the church up. I use to love joel but not any more. I use to love to say this is my bible not any more. Joel please ask god for forgiveness for not opening god church up for the people who was in need.Because next year god might let category 6 hurricane hit your church since you want to be like that to the people of Texas wow.

  3. Mason Youngblood on August 30, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Folks sure love to “count your money” like it’s theirs. These type of MF’s make me sick. There are attacking this man for 1 reason when there are probably multiple reasons why he couldn’t. No staff to properly care for the people if brought there, Liability if someone kills another in his place, all sort of things. See but MF’s love to be right all the mf time..want to know too much about somebody elses business. I hear these MF’s like this on these bluetooths talking about other folks business ALL DAY LONG to another MF who needs to mind their business as well. If I were Olsteen I would not have bent to these petty MF’s.

  4. Truth Hurts on August 30, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Helping blacks hurts humanity. Never, ever do it.

  5. connie phipps on August 30, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    That why some people’s like me don’t attend church anymore and was raise deep in the church but i still believe in god and love his people’s but td jake and Olsen are devil and I hope they burn in he’ll god got they day for them and it real soon

  6. BigDaddy Butta on August 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    I like the way everyone ignores the racist coward “Truth Hurts”.

  7. BigDaddy Butta on August 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    I agree that there are other means that Olsteen can contribute to the victims of Hurricane Harvey besides opening up his church. That could become a major liability if not properly prepared. I’m sure he does not have the staff or properly trained personnel to provide round the clock service… There are other ways so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt

    • Jazminthollomon on August 31, 2017 at 3:40 am

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!!!
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four
      weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it

  8. Chance on September 1, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Osteen has and always will be nothing but a fake ass, money-grubbing bastard. Houston should have had to ask his phony ass to open the doors of the church; but as a real Christian; the doors should have been open way before considering. The church always should be the first to open the doors. People open your eyes to these false so-called prophets and their pimps.

  9. SrAgri on September 7, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I don’t like Osteen, but I can understand why he was hesitant to open the doors of his church.

    The New Orleans Superdome was destroyed by Katrina survivors. Worse than that, though, the conditions in the building quickly decayed to subhuman standards. In fact, the filth and lack of sanitation were even below animal standards. Violent crimes, including rape of children, were being committed and at least three people died.

    The Superdome is municipally owned and immune to litigation over the atrocities committed there. Even though Osteen’s building is tax-exempt, he would not be immune to lawsuits from hurricane evacuees if the situation devolved to the point it did in the Superdome.