Joel Osteen is being slammed on Twitter today after he decided to close the doors to his megachurch during Hurricane Harvey — and because he hasn’t donated any money to help those in need (that the public knows about).
Osteen, a celebrity pastor, is known for the sermons that he gives at the Lakewood Church near downtown Houston. His city was hit hard by the hurricane over the past few days, leaving people trapped and stranded and completely devastating the area.
Osteen canceled Sunday services due to the weather. Flooding in the area has prohibited people from traveling. Those who did not evacuate were encouraged to stay indoors; traveling by car is pretty much impossible in most areas, especially those that have seen well over two feet of rain from this storm.
People who know of Osteen know that he and his wife, Victoria, are very wealthy. According to Raw Story, the couple live in a $10.5 million mansion in Texas. However, Osteen has not made any public comments about allowing flood victims to enter his church (the extent of damage there is unclear) nor has he said anything about donating money to help relief efforts.
Instead, Osteen has posted a few tweets about praying for the people in Texas. He has also tweeted out a few messages about how God is in control and how God will help people get through tough times (likely referring to the hurricane).
It didn’t take long for Twitter to start sending messages to him, questioning why he isn’t doing more to help the people in Houston. You can read some of those tweets below.
Hours after these negative comments began, Osteen took to social media to share a link to Lakewood Church’s hurricane relief fund. You can see that below.
The devastation in the Houston, Texas, area is hard to believe. The city will spend years cleaning up after this storm, which has drawn comparisons to Hurricane Katrina.