Televangelist Joel Osteen closes megachurch amid thousands of misplaced Texans blames 'flooding crisis'

Joel Osteen called off services at his Houston megachurch Sunday and has yet to reopen its doors — despite the fact that thousands of flooded-out residents are desperately seeking shelter in the area.

The smiling pastor told followers on Twitter on Monday to lean on their faith. Osteen is receiving support and backlash from the decision.

“Jesus promises us peace that passes understanding,” he wrote. “That’s peace when it doesn’t make sense.”

But Osteen’s comforting words didn’t sit well with critics, who want to know why the doors to his 16,800-seat arena at his Lakewood Church near downtown Houston are closed. (Related: Watch: Weather Channel Anchor Drops Everything to Make a Very American Rescue)

“You have taken so much money away from your people to live like a king,” entertainment publicist Danny Deraney blasted. “It’s the least you could do.”

Washington DC based journalist Charles Clymer tweeted pictures of Lakewood Church, which did not fair well, and showed zero damaged by floods.

“It doesn’t make sense why you’re not opening up your mega church to house Houston citizens, help me understand that. Jesus,” according to Florida-based writer Emily Timbol.

While the church and its arena have not suffered any flood damage yet, ministry spokesman Donald Iloff said their property is inaccessible because of surrounding waters. (Related: Ivanka Sends Prayers to Harvey Victims In Stirring Tweet Leftists Respond in DISGUSTING Way)

And it makes no sense to open church doors when the city and county are already treating thousands of flood victims at the nearby George R. Brown Convention Center, according to Iloff.

“It has everything inside there – medicine, doctors, places to sleep,” Iloff said of the convention center. “It’s amazing what they’re doing there the make people comfortable.”

Related: Leftist Climate Change Advocates Use Hurricane ‘Harvey’ to Push Political Agenda

Joel Osteen, Houston mega-pastor, is facing a public relations nightmare as his 17,000-seat facility, Lakewood Church, is keeping doors closed during the overwhelming crisis caused by Hurricane Harvey, displacing thousands of Texans.

Osteen and his wife, Victoria, are pastors of the non-denominational congregation located in the former Compaq Center. Lakewood Church is situated roughly six miles from downtown Houston and is on Highway 59 which has arteries to and from the Interstate 610 Loop, Interstate 45, and Highway 288.

The Compaq Center was home to the Houston Rockets and hosted other events prior to the campus being acquired by Osteen’s church.

After the tropical storm and hurricane rocked the city on Friday, Osteen tweeted, “Victoria & I are praying for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. Please join us as we pray for the safety of our Texas friends & family.”

The response to Osteen’s request to have others join he and his wife in prayer for the flood and hurricane victims was met with instant ridicule and criticism on Twitter. Here are some responses in Twitter Moments linked here.

Even another clergyman, Pastor Greg Locke, tweeted, “Joel Osteen, as a Pastor you have a huge obligation to show the love of Christ at this very moment.”

Here is a screenshot of a few other responses to Osteen’s Tweet requesting that others join him and his wife in prayer. As you could imagine the responses are pretty split.

Twitter sensation Terrence Williams @w_Terrence, posted a video Monday evening telling Joel Osteen – “Open your damn doors!” “Making all that damn money, and not opening up those damn doors!” He added, “It’s the people’s money!”

Williams told viewers he was from the South and that those in New York, Utah, the East Coast, and the West Coast, and other places in the country did not need to tell him what to say about the church closing its doors. He said people in Houston were dying and needed a place to stay. “This is about southern folks right now!”

Osteen tweeted earlier Monday afternoon, “Our hearts break as we see the damage and destruction in our city. Please join us in helping Houston recover.”

The tweet contains a “Hurricane Relief Update,” and a link with a message that stated:

Dear Lakewood Church family,

We want to let you know that our hearts are with each of you and your families during this difficult time. We are praying for you and we are praying for our city, and for all of those affected by the devastating flooding and rains caused by Hurricane Harvey. We love you and we love this city. And we want to help.

Over the last couple of days, as the enormity of this storm was being realized, we have been working to organize relief efforts for the Houston area with our friend Franklin Graham and the disaster relief organization that he oversees, Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse has been, since it’s inception, organized to respond to situations just like Hurricane Harvey, and we are grateful to be able to partner with them to provide assistance to the Houston area.

We know the need is great. That much is clear. We do not yet know all the ways we can help. However if you would like to register to volunteer with us, please do so by clicking the link below. Or, if you would like to donate to our relief efforts, please do so here in this page. We are working just as fast as we can on this and will update you with more information as it becomes available.

In the meantime, know that our prayers for strength and comfort for each of you will continue, as well as our prayers for God’s help as we navigate the upcoming days and months together.

We love you. And we are praying. Together, we will make it through this difficult time.

A Tweet by Osteen eleven hours earlier said, “Jesus promises us peace that passes understanding. That’s peace when it doesn’t make sense.”

On Sunday the Houston mega pastor Tweeted, “God’s got this.”

Twitter users took and shared several photos of the building calling out Osteen and the church showing that it was not flooded, nor was the area around the church apparently affected.

Those on Twitter also tweeted what are supposed to be photos of Joel Osteen’s mansion in Houston’s River Oaks, a few miles away.

What do you think? Do you remember what became of the Super Dome in New Orleans? – The accusations of rape, and theft. Is he wrong or right in his choice?

At any rate Hurricane Harvey sure has caused devastation, help if you can.

(Related: Watch: Weather Channel Anchor Drops Everything to Make a Very American Rescue)

Text Example

Share this article on Social Media by clicking the share buttons on screen, support our independent journalism! Get the word out!