Famed televangelist Joel Osteen is still under fire for not using his Houston megachurch to shelter hurricane victims. Though it’s now open, he’s still being mocked for only doing so after public outrage.
Joel Osteen, 54, opened the doors to his massive Lakewood Church in Houston on August 29, providing shelter for thousands of evacuees escaping the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. The gesture might be too little, too late, though. Osteen took several days after the hurricane started to turn the 16,000 seat church into a shelter, citing flooding on the ground floor. A lot of people believe that he only opened up because of the immediate public backlash. Whether or not that’s true, Osteen’s getting a lot of heat for his delayed response to the hurricane. The pastor has made an estimated $40 million off the church, and people want to know why he didn’t do something — anything — sooner!
Osteen argued on August 28 that the church was never actually closed; they were just dealing with flooding issues before receiving evacuees. That didn’t really hold up with his critics, who posted photos of the church looking perfectly fine! A Lakewood representative released a statement saying that the church is now coordinating with the city of Houston “as a collection site for distributing supplies to area shelters.” People aren’t impressed with Osteen’s actions because they feel that he only started helping because he was pressured by public response. They criticized him on Twitter for his massive wealth made off the church, and questioned his Christianity. They felt that it was the exact opposite of “the Christian thing to do” to ignore the less fortunate in their time of need:
Joel Osteen shedding tears for the people who need his help in Houston. pic.twitter.com/93qcwzEJZL
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) August 28, 2017
I think if you tried to draw Tim Allen as an anime and then the anime came to life it would look like Joel Osteen
— Dan gagliardi (@asimplemachine) August 30, 2017
Houston is living a "walking dead" episode and Joel Osteen couldn't be bothered. pic.twitter.com/nxMvEzZi86
— RogelioGarcia Lawyer (@LawyerRogelio) August 30, 2017
joel osteen looks like the villain from the santa clause movies tell me im wrong pic.twitter.com/2JWcXWA2QW
— Aces YEET (@caliblops) August 30, 2017
Being crucified on social media is the closest that Joel Osteen has come to being Christlike.
— Rev. J. Walker (@revjwalker) August 30, 2017
Joel Osteen when he was asked to open the doors to the church for the hurricane victims. pic.twitter.com/k6V14PAzcO
— Jabari Carter (@1DJFirstClass) August 30, 2017
— Sammie (@TheTwerkingNun) August 30, 2017
— Maestro Hot Dog (@maestrohotdog) August 30, 2017
[at Sunday school]
Joel Osteen: Why did Noah take animals on the Ark?
8 year old: Because Twitter shamed him into being a good Christian?
— Frederick Douglass (@HITEXECUTIVE) August 30, 2017
Joel osteen looking at everyone in his church right now like pic.twitter.com/v0esOr95OA
— suckaforbigforeheads (@traytrayolay) August 30, 2017
To be fair, we need to acknowledge that Joel Osteen's church was designed to shelter from taxes, not hurricanes.
— Dan Broadbent (@aSciEnthusiast) August 30, 2017
The hypocrisy of Joel Osteen is appalling pic.twitter.com/RePl919DE9
— ♠️Debt Slave♠️ (@PaulTheMartian) August 30, 2017
HollywoodLifers, our hearts are with the victims of Hurricane Harvey. If you want to help out, here’s a list of resources.