Monday, 23 July, 2018

Joel Osteen rejects reports he shut church to Harvey victims

Joel Osteen Closes Church After Hurricane Tells Members To Pray Joel Osteen Closes Church After Hurricane Tells Members To Pray
Andrew Cummings | 30 August, 2017, 02:00

It was easier to pass through the eye of a needle than it was to get inside Joel Osteen's megachurch in Houston to shelter from the worst of Hurricane Harvey.

- Reaffirms support and commitment to community.

Texas pastor Joel Osteen is opening the doors of his massive Lakewood Church to flood victims after receiving criticism for not helping those in need in the wake of the deadly Hurricane Harvey.

Through a series of Twitter posts, Pastor Osteen has debunked these claims and extended his support to the victims.

"Victoria and I care deeply about our fellow Houstonians", Osteen wrote on Twitter, CNN said. To make matters worse, Osteen's Lakewood Church seats almost 17,000 people and could have provided enormous relief to Houston residents displaced by actual flooding.

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On Monday, the New York Post and the New York Daily News reported that the almost 17,000-person capacity megachurch had refused to open its doors to flood victims. "There may be more but I happen to know of about three of them that literally had to be pulled out of high water", Lakewood spokesperson Don Iloff, Osteen's brother-in-law, told The Christian Post on Monday". "And we want to help". Osteen, who's been criticized as a proponent of the so-called "prosperity gospel" that basically preaches that wealth is a sign of God's favor, initially responded to the devastation amongst his flock with the old "thoughts and prayers" shuffle. "Lakewood's doors are open and we are receiving anyone who needs shelter".

When the first, "Your Best Life Now", nabbed a spot on the New York Times best-seller list in 2005, Osteen gave up his $200,000 church salary. We are prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity.

Through the church's Facebook account, a message was posted that said Lakewood Church was inaccessible because of the sever flooding in Houston. In addition, we are working with Samaritan's Purse on major relief efforts.

The church itself sent photos to ABC showing what it said was flooding in and around its complex. However, the church ended up closing over the weekend, canceling Sunday services due to the storm.

On Monday (29 August), Lakewood Church finally opened its doors.

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