Dear Joel Osteen,

Dear Joel Osteen,

Over the past few days you’ve faced an unrelenting wave of Internet shaming, and you’ve experienced the wrath of millions of people who watched the week unfold and determined they were witnessing in you and your megachurch’s response to the hurricane—everything they believe is wrong about organized Christianity; its self-serving greed, its callousness, its tone-deafness in the face of a hurting multitude, its lack of something that looks like Jesus.

They questioned your initial silence and your closed doors.
They watched with disdain as local Mosques and furniture stores and Jewish temples and Chabad houses rushed to receive newly homeless victims while you seemingly waited.
They shook their heads at the conflicting stories of a flooded church and impassable roads.
They lamented you tweeting out that “God was still on his Throne,” while thousands of your neighbors were literally under water.
They saw your social media expressions of “thoughts and prayers” as hollow and disingenuous, knowing the stockpile of other resources at your disposal.
They witnessed with disgust what they deemed as your late and underwhelming act of kindness performed under duress.
They raged at your excuse that Houston didn’t ask you to receive victims—because (whether Christian or not) they realized that Jesus’ life was marked by an overflow of generosity and compassion and sacrifice that rarely required official invitation.

As a result of the pushback and condemnation you received, I imagine you feel like this has been a rough week. It hasn’t. You’ve had the week you probably should have had, all this considered. You’ve had the week that was coming long before rain ever started falling in Houston.

For quite a while, Pastor, many people have concluded that the kind of opulence you sit nestled in no way resembles the homeless, itinerant street preacher Jesus who relied on the goodness of ordinary people to provide his daily needs. They rightly recognized that mansions are not places that servant leaders emulating this humble, foot-washing Jesus occupy. They correctly saw the massive chasm between the ever-grinning, your ship is coming in, name it and claim it prosperity promise that is your bread and butter—and the difficult, painful, sacrificial “you will have trouble” life that Jesus and those who followed him lived in the Gospels. They expected the most open-handed giving would come from such great overflow.

They also see the great disparity between your coddled, cozy, stock photo existence—and the sleep-deprived, paycheck to paycheck, perpetually behind struggle that is their daily life.

And yet despite their difficulties and their deficits and their lack (the kind you have been well insulated from for a long, long time), these same folks understand that when people around you are in peril—you respond. You don’t wait for an invitation, you don’t wait to be shamed by strangers, and you don’t make excuses.

That’s why many of these ordinary, exhausted, pressed to the edge people, lined up as human chains in filthy, rushing, waist-high water to pull people out of submerged vehicles. It’s why they came from hundreds of miles with boats and at their own expense and using vacation days, to pluck strangers from rooftops. It’s why they gave money and clothing and food and blood (and some of them like Officer Steve Perez)—their very lives acting in the way Jesus said was the tangible fruit of their faith.

Many of the people whose very dollars helped build the massive, tricked out arena you call home every week, showed you how decent people respond to need. I hope you were paying attention. I hope you’re different today than you were a week ago. I really hope something penetrated that seemingly disconnected exterior and found a home in your heart.

Because someday, Pastor, the waters in Houston will recede and homes will be rebuilt and normalcy will eventually return there. And to a large degree the attention and the pressure you’ve received this week will find other places to reside, and you will return to the work and the life you’ve had before, relatively unaffected.

It’s then that I hope you’ll remember this week. It’s then I hope you’ll recall the parable Jesus tells of the Good Samaritan, who though a despised pariah in the place he found myself, responded to a stranger’s need with immediacy and vigor while the religious people walked right by. This Samaritan showed mercy, not because he was guilted into it or because he was asked—but simply because he knew that we are one another’s keepers; that we each have resources we are entrusted with, and the way we share or hoard those resources reflect our hearts. 

I hope you’ll remember Jesus on the hillside feeding the multitude, not because they petitioned him and not because it was in his job description—but because they were hungry and he wasn’t okay with that.

I don’t know you and I don’t believe you’re a bad person. You’re quite likely a good, loving, and decent man—but good, loving, and decent people lose the plot, they get distracted, they get it wrong, they need to recover their why. If none of that has happened, then I apologize for misreading things, but that’s what it looks like. I’m trying to help you understand how many people feel so you can understand their anger this week.

Scripture says we can’t judge another person’s heart, and I won’t at all suggest I know yours. Jesus says that we should not make moral judgments from a distance and I won’t make ones about you. He does say, however, that we can look at the tangible things we see and evaluate them—the visible fruit of one’s faith. Many people have questioned that fruit in the past few days and that’s especially necessary when someone has the platform and influence you have. 

You had a difficult week, but you are safe and dry, and despite the criticism and pushback, blessed with more abundance than most people will ever know. That’s good news for you. I don’t hold any of that against you. I don’t wish you any kind of ill will.

The even better news than that, Pastor Osteen, is that you are alive. You are still here and you have a chance now to show people that Christianity is far more than their greatest fears about it, much better than the worst they’ve seen of Christians, and more beautiful than the ugliness they’ve experienced in the Church.

You have the chance to leverage your incredible resources and your platform and your influence to show a watching world something that truly resembles Jesus.

Don’t wait for an invitation.

Jesus already gave us one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,237 thoughts on “Dear Joel Osteen,

  1. Amen. But I have the feeling that your words will fall on a deaf ear. I don’t see a man who loves Jesus in Joel Olsteen. I see a man who loves money and power.

        • Even though I consider myself an agnostic, I enjoy this blog in general. I don’t think Joel Osteen is a terrible guy, just clueless. He’s a self help preacher. He doesn’t do disasters. And it’s true that his church was not a great choice for a shelter because of the location, history of flooding, and the lack of showers and a kitchen. However, when you’re making the kind of money he makes, largely from the media exposure produced at a venue that he doesn’t have to pay property taxes for, you need to get out front before the storm and make it clear that you have asked the city how to best be of service. And the opulence of the house, it looks really bad. It’s a real turn off. Nevertheless, the greater problem is the Texas government. They have allowed people to build and build without regard for science. You can’t keep building on wetlands. You can’t keep telling lies to the people of your state. And you can’t keep making decisions that just help the wealthy and the powerful.

          • I really like what you said, Debra. I also like how eloquent both you and John are. I’m envious of your eloquence. Oh, and I also love what John wrote. Again, I wish I could be that thoughtful and eloquent.

            • He said it was open the 1st day and they had about 10 people, mostly those that work at the church. couple days later the spokesman thought they had a couple bus loads! Unreal!!

          • I disagree with the problem being with “Texas Government allowing people to build on the wetlands.” Individuals need to take responsibility for where they choose to reside. It is NOT someone else’s fault for poor, careless, and thoughtless, decisions made in regard to the location chosen in which to reside. HOMEWORK should be done before purchasing a home!

            • I disagree with your statement. It is the fault of state and local governments that allow development in flood prone areas and especially in natural drainage areas such as wetlands, washes, creeks etc. I have seen this too many times in the various places I have lived. Citizens trust the accuracy of the 100-year flood plane study, as well as, the reliability of flood remediation projects. and trust that their government will not allow development in unsafe areas. But as the saying says, money talks. When wealthy developers donate big money to political campaigns, they expect results. It is also the fault of citizens who will not get involved in the political process of supporting and voting for good candidates running for elected offices, good candidates who care about issues such as affordable housing, flooding and climate change.

      • It should not be his net worth, or his mansion….its Gods. Donate God’s worth to those who need it in Texas. Homeowners with no homes, renters with no homes, all with no clothing, food, shoes, cars, shelter, water, medical, the eldely. This devastation will cost billions. Do those who accet FEMA have to pay it back? If so, thats Absurd!

        • FEMA does NOT have to be paid back BUT the MAX the Grant is $33k & almost NO ONE EVER gets that much!!! NO matter What your losses!!!

          From a Baton Rouge LA 2016 Flood Survivor

          • Connie, I’m so sorry you had to endure such a tragedy. I can only imagine the type of devastation you endured, but I love how you describe yourself as a “Flood Survivor” and not a flood victim! God bless!

        • Yes, it all had to be paid back. You do get a little lower interest rate, although I could tell you a story about that. I know this because in the flood in Albany, Ga in 1994 I got 7 feet of water inside my house and was given a loan to rebuild

        • FEMA is a grant that at the end of the year will be considered additional income, but no it does not have to be paid back. However once insurance and all other resources have been exhausted many people come up short, so SBA office of disaster assistance has an easy to qualify for low interest loan program which they are required to repay.

        • Hi, I agree with the article and I am not defending him His net worth is due to books his (and his wife) has written and not money he received from the church. You can argue that the people of his church bought the books but so did millions of others. The church does not own his writings he does nor did the church publish them. The church did not buy his home he did.

          • Theresa DelFiacco: if you believe what you say about this so called preacher then I fear for your sanity. He did not pay for any of it he took from those dumb enough to believe his BS.

            • Eddie Joel Osteen does not take a salary from the church. His earnings come from his writings and his wife’s writings. The church provides services across the US and the globe especially quality healthcare. We’re so quick to judge.

            • Please don’t fear for her sanity. She is stating facts. This flood, much like the flood of Noah, will refresh and renew the people who suffered through it. I had family down there in that disgusting water in a boat spending days to help with rescue. Houston and Rockport (all areas) will be blessed by the love and prayer that continues to be shared for them. Lakewood does wayyyyyy more good than harm. They were officially advised to hold off on allowing anyone to enter due to 10′ flood wall built around the bottom floor of the arena because of prior flooding about 10-12 years ago. It was not safe until they knew the wall would sustain the incoming flood waters. If a single person had been hurt while being allowed to enter the safety of the church, we would be doing a whole new hatchet job on this man. Lakewood teamed up immediately with Samaritans Purse. Lakewood is a church family. Do you go to a church that has one man sitting on
              a throne handing out demands against the will of your church body? Why would this church of 40k be any different? Will leave that thought with you. Facts are a blessing in times like these.

          • True, but the building was not pruchased from the profits of the book. It was purchased from the tithes and offerings of his member. He still gets a salary from the church. Maybe not as much as it was before he had books, but he still gets paid. Plus, the platform to market the book is mainly the pulpit. When most people say preachers get money from their books they forget that the relevance of the book still comes from the influence of the church. So, he benefited off of the church to make a personal living. That’s a fact and reality. It doesn’t mean he did it in a sneaky thievish way. It is just normally accepted now that pastors can merchandise themselves to make money in many other ways while use the church as a marketing lunch pad.

          • Yes the church did buy all that he has because his church gave him his platform to make millions. Technically he didn’t get the money from the church but the is only splitting hairs.

          • Sure we all believe that!!!!! Where did you get that information?? Joel Olsteen , his wife , maybe his public relations office. Wake up and smell the coffee………oh and he probably did buy his own home with the money from his congregation. I am sure he picked it out and signed the papers. So I guess that IS buying his own home.

          • It’s all in appearances. He and his wife may be receiving moneys from books, but he was a pastor FIRST. Is it possible for alleged Men of God to live comfortably without giving in to the trappings of “fame and fortune”?

              • You, are so right he’s not a Pastor he’s a motivational speaker.
                And I can tell you the people who attends that church maybe 2% are seeking God. The other 98% are woundering how can I get rich like him.

            • Live comfortably, yes. Live like royalty, not so much. No one “needs” a mansion to be comfortable. Unfortunately, the super rich feel entitled to living mind-blowingly extravagant lifestyles while millions of their fellow humans suffer in poverty.

          • But who needs a 10 million dollar house? Shouldn’t a Christian live modestly and help with all that money people in need? Look at Francis Chan as an example of a Good Christian. He donated all his book money to charity before he got any of it!

          • I don’t care how he got his money. His church is a tax free building and should have been open to the public in the time of need. If he was truly a man of G-d, he would have opened up his home, his heart, and his checkbook. He has been blessed. He should share those blessings with others less fortunate. I don’t know how anyone could attend his church, buy his books, or listen to his preaching after he showed his true colors and heartlessness.

          • It is not about who paid his home or books, it is all about being a Christian is manifested by showing your love to the needy. The Bible says to feed the hungry, cloth the naked and free the oppressed.

        • Dear Joel Osteen. It so sad that it had to take, you getting talked about, to open up your doors. I will never watch you on TV again or attend your church. You are not a pastor, you are the one. God says too watch out for!

        • I know that we were affected may the May 20th Tornado in Oklahoma and here was how FEMA was to help if we were to receive it. So my house was totally destroyed. I had insurance that covered only $109K as you know you can’t build a new home for $109K…in my area it increased to $150k. Call this error on my part for lack of insurance that’s ok I understand now when you first look into home owners insurance you don’t think about how home cost inflated each year and 10 years after I bought my house rebuilding would not be the same. So total home loss I had the following options. Do a pay off which only pays for what you owr on the house and pay my house off $89K which doesn’t rebuild my home. I would have to try and get a new mortgage which could be higher payments because it’s now based on a new home and different interest rates and build a new home with that mortgage. FEMA would said if I did this option they’d give me $19K to help rebuild. I could also basically apply for a small business loan with them giving me a 1.5% interest rate if I wanted to get a loan to build. Now let’s say REd Cross I got $2500 from them to help and because I had insurance that which didn’t pay for everything and I had to pay them back. Plus interest.

        • There are FEMA grants and there are FEMA loans. The grants are donations (given the amount of work it takes to get one, it’s certainly not correct to call them “gifts”) and don’t have to be paid back. The loans have to be paid back, with interest (albeit low interest).

      • His net worth??? When Jesus walked her had arose and sandals no home he slept under trees got food from his worshippers. A person preaching the word of GOD should live like him, like us in a normal size home and take that money and give to those who do lined it as God and Jesus give to US today

          • I believe he is more of a motivational speaker. Not bad. People w/his kind of money shouldn’t be asked to help. I would think they would just naturally come forward.

        • Sounds like jealousy to me. This man writes his own books, etc., and does not take a salary from the church. Get your facts straight! The Bible says nothing about a man having to be average. Lakewood takes very good care of the community as well.

          • With all do respect, he has amazed so much money from you and all the other people that…noticed I didn’t say from me? That I’m sure he pays somebody to write them,too busy with his own family problems

          • It should have been his idea to help in his community. Osteen should not have been shamed into it. People are watching him now; he’s on the radar. Celebrity preachers make my skin crawl.

          • No jealousy! He is storing up riches! Read your bible. He is not a very good example of a Christian! He is a motivational speaker! I can bet you there are many of his church members hurting while he is sitting in his mansion. He makes all his money from what he calls “the product” …wow!

          • K this is true. His books bought his home and personal items at I respect the fact that he doesn’t take a salary, but it was people who many couldn’t afford to donated that paid to build this church building. So it is theirs not his. It should have been opened for THEM.

          • Jealousy…not really. I think you and he needs to hear more sermons about the dangers of riches. Not that I’m poor, but I’m not a shill for the great Ponzi scheme of tithe-or-be-cursed

          • The majority of Joel’s books are a compliation of his sermon material. ALSO, because he uses the Church to market his material….the church should get the proceeds. The LOVE of MONEY is the root of all evil. Believe me……Jesus would and does not approve of the lifestyles these preachers live. Humbly before the Lord I stand.

          • I’m just assuming that as a good Jew he kept the Festival of Booths. Is that under trees?

            At the Transfiguration (Mk 9: 2-8) the traditional interpretation is that the occurrence was overnight. Did Jesus sleep?

            Jesus wandered from town to town. Did he always have lodging? Given the times, it’s likely both that people tried to get to towns to avoid robbers, and were sometimes unsuccessful (had to sleep out in the open). I would assume that both happened to Jesus, simply because he traveled a lot. (That Jesus was a historical figure is incontrovertible fact.[1] Anyone who argues otherwise is historically ignorant and probably arguing from ideology rather than facts.)

            [1] Well, at least one historical figure.

          • Matthew 8:20/Luke 9:58, Jesus said, ” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

          • Kim wrote, “So that I can read it for myself, where in the Bible does it say that Jesus slept under trees?”

            Offhand, I can’t specifically recall a verse that says Jesus slept under trees, but Matthew 8:20 makes it clear he was homeless.

            New International Version
            Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

          • Oh, dear, really?

            Well, I’ll start the ball rolling:
            Luke 9, first few verses, where Jesus sends the diciples on their mission:

            “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
            And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
            And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
            And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
            And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
            And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.

          • Well, try Matthew 19: 16-30 to start. It tells you pretty much why it’s hard to be saved (or even Christian) if you’re rich but also how salvation can happen. And it’s not just a loophole. It’s to put your riches to God’s work.

          • Where does show he should be Rich also. I seen Preacher in Tx that the preacher has a real normal job come home like a normal man ,his not rich live normal in a reagular normal home with reagular cars no in a mansion. Get real!!!

          • It doesnt. I believe that God wants us all to prosper. I dont envy the Olsteens their wealth. He worked for it. and no one knows the heart and mind of another. Tell you people to go help others in need and not worry about what someone else has. That myfriends is Envy andis def. a sin.

          • Did Jesus not call the Apostles to leave everything behind and follow him to make them fishers of men? Did he not tell the rich young man to give away everything he had to follow him? You cannot serve two masters: God and money; and it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

            So, yeah… pretty sure living a life of opulence doesn’t go along with the example Jesus set with those he first called, and even those who came after them.

            • Exactly. Those of us who disapprove of so-called Christians hoarding wealth for themselves are absolutely not expressing envy. Anyone who bothers to familiarize themselves with scripture will see that selfishness and greed are not compatible with Christian values. This is the reason people are disappointed by a man who preaches scripture, yet does not seem to walk the walk in his own life.

        • Why don’t you give your “normal size” home for homeless people, or sell it and buy clothes that you give to people who does not have?
          Why not just donate that you can and be thankful for any help (small/big) that others do. Complaining about other people’s action does not help to anybody, definitely not helping in “middle of the storm”.

        • A ‘normal size home’ in the world is a straw cover hut in Africa. Go and read what Jesus actually said about wealth and wealthy people. I think it was Jesus who told His disciples, “The poor you will always have with you.”

        • Denise, the reports are that his church was initially flooded, and that after the waters receded, and the place made safe, he did open the church, and took in the homeless. I hope that is the truth, I am only telling what I read recently in the news.

        • I agree….. but mostly because 13 years ago, I was in a place where I needed to hear what he had to say along with Joyce Meyers and others. This was written with a double edge sword so as to remain innocent of judgment but condemning nonetheless.

        • Thank you Denise. This is also the information I was aware of as well. While I am not an Osteen fan of his religious lite I feel the comments and intentions of people perpetrating these statements and desires to tear down Joel Osteen are self serving and out of line. Lets not jump on the fake news band wagon as it would appear that many have

            • Debbie wrote, “How about Billy Graham? He lives pretty high off the horse too…lets condemn him too.”

              If you consider dying of Parkinson’s Disease living high off the horse…

              I don’t recall a singe exampy from Billy’s life when he (1) refused victims of natural disaster aid and (2) after having been shamed into doing it by world-wide opinion against him, then expected the victims to pay him for the privilege of being given aid.

          • Quit criticizing those for what you perceive to be so wrong. Sell your own home and vehicle and give it all away to those in need. This is what Jesus said to the rich man.. Look in the mirror. Do what you can and leave others alone.

        • Amen, this person is so unfair to write this about Joel Osteen. Jesus would have never wrote this or let those people in the temple without plan.

        • Thank you for standing up for him. I’m sick and tired of the crazy comments about him….all in the name of Jesus. These are people who jump on bandwagons just for sake of tearing people down without knowing all the facts.

        • God enables believers to be productive and earn for a purpose, not to be greedy or selfish but to draw people closer to God. If blessing overflow, it should be shared, not kept for selfish reasons.

        • Thank you for making that point. I have said numerous of times, they have tried to get something on this man so they took a big shot at him this time. The bible clearly states that; He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. Proverbs 18:13. It all started with a Fake News Post. I don’t believe everything I see on the internet, especially on FB. People have “itching ears” to always hear something bad and they take it and run with it. The need to be careful about speaking blashemy against a Man of God.

        • It doesn’t matter where his money came from. Use some of it to aide others in times like this. He should humble himself before God and serve God’s children. One day, God will ask Joel Osteen “What have you done for one of my children?”

        • The person wrote the article is not also displaying the character of Jesus by the depth of criticism, no different from the Pharisees who JUDGE without understanding another’s heart or being in their shoes. Are you any better than your portrayal of Joel?? No. You made a comment that Jesus was dependent on ordinary people which is a humanist mentality. He depended upon His father not men. Sad you would only see Jesus as a man dependent on men for his needs.

        • Denise, get a life. I do not believe that this idiot is a real pastor. He’s just another con artist taking advantage of others.

        • It is still GOD’s money and as a man of the cloth everything he has is because GOD blessed him and he is required to give it all to HIS people, that is a true servant of GOD.

        • Some people dont understand about the ministry finances and the church finances. They expect preachers to walk around with sandals and loincloth and not prosper in life. How many of the readers sitting in their big houses opened their homes to those in need. Or maybe that is just an expectation for Christians of higher positions. I thank God for the wisdom of waiting. It is much easier to manage the safety of people in a 100000 sq ft dome when you have organized VOLUNTEERS (who had to make sure their own homes and family was straight) then it is to open a 20000 sq ft warehouse.
          May God continue to bless for kindness, order and wisdom

        • Doesn’t matter how he amassed his money , it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven.who said those words? He could have all the money and blessings in the world and it can be considered blessings abundance etc. His actions showe’d everyone wear his heart is…….

        • Most folks are aware of that. However, that is no excuse for not doing what Jesus would have done. In some ways it makes the appearance of callousness worse. Could he not afford to use some of the proceeds from the books and speaking engagements? I realize that he may have done so privately, but as a public figure, appearance matters. Just my very humble opinion.

        • There are various conflicting stories from Osteen, he gave televised interviews and in print statements ranging from the city of Houston never asked him to be a shelter only a supply distribution center for other shelters, the roads to his church were flooded, the church was flooded, the flood walls were within a foot of flooding, the doors were never closed, people came to the church and they took them to other shelters out of concern of flooding & because the city didn’t ask.
          People went to the church & posted videos showing the roads to the church not flooded or inaccessible and inside being dry etc.
          It definitely made him look bad & it does appear that all the negativity in the public eye & on social media pushed him into action. He even said on a CNN interview that the backlash probably made him move quicker.
          I agree that he should have have opened the doors without being asked because that is what Jesus would do.
          I’m sure the thoughts & memories of Hurricane Katrina & what happened to the Super dome crossed his mind but that’s what Insurance is for.
          Yes his actions did not show the compassion that Jesus showed in the bible and the compassion of a pastor that leads a church of 17K people, but the issue & reality is that Joel Osteen has never gone to seminary school, has never had any formal training in the bible. He didn’t graduate from college he attended Oral Roberts & took communication classes. By all practical points & purposes he is a motivational speaker. As such his platform is speaking about prosperity. He is unattached in my opinion to the compassion and passion that men & women whom were called BY GOD to minister have. He was never called by God, his father died and he was asked naturally to take over his dad’s church and he initially did not want to. He has said that repeatedly.
          He does not know the works of God because he never went to school to prepare for being a pastor beyond leading a church vs. feeding the church with the word of God for the purpose of saving souls & bringing people to relationships with Christ.
          Knowing the bible and the word of God and demonstrating the bible & works of God are two different things. He will surely have to answer to God for his actions or lack of as we all will. The important thing now is that he is helping regardless of the reasons and the people in Houston are getting help. Pray for him and move on because Houston & America have bigger & more important things to focus on.

          • That’s proprobably the most realistic response I have seen to this event. Thank you for putting that out there for others to consider!

          • Funny thing is the people of Houston were not focused on what Joel Osteen was doing or didn’t do. We had and still have more important things to worry about. I am not a fan or his but why so much concentration is on him is beyond me. The people of his church will continue to attend and others will buy all his books etc. We had plenty of shelters and people were taken care of. Churches and others from Texas and other states are still helping those who have lost everything and have been displaced. Our city and county did a remarkable job-God knows who did or didn’t do anything to help or what is true and what isn’t-concentrate on the positive instead of the negative.

        • Thank you for some balance. Certainly if Osteen “misstepped” this week, he deserves criticism. But as you note, he has foregone his $200,000 salary for 10 years now (meaning that $2 million has “gone back” to the church, for programs and expenses), and he purchased his home with money from his book advances and sales, not from his salary or other church money. He also tithes. And Lakewood is actually well-known for its outreach to and support of the city’s vulnerable populations – homeless, hungry, impoverished, etc. – both through “direct” assistance (i.e., money) and service (volunteerism). Again, Osteen may well be worthy of criticism for what occurred this past week. But too many people are criticizing far too broadly without actually doing any research to find out about Osteen and Lakewood. Peace.

        • That doesn’t hold water in the light of true Christian leadership and the guarding against the love of money. John Piper has sold millions of books and ALL of the royalties go to charities. His wealth is not really the issue…it’s a heart problem.

        • Right? I’m not a fan, however people get on here and say “I’m not judging you” as they judge him. The minuet this article was written it was a judgment against him.
          I don’t care for him as a pastor, but everyone is so concerned about the money he makes. They need to investigate the Catholic Church if you wanna split hairs about money. Nuns live in poverty and Priests live like kings.

        • Even so, he claims to preach Gods word. Jesus said to give up your worldly possessions and follow Him. Hard to set that example in a $10 million home.

        • and how did he get the publicity, through the church from people who believed he is a good person until tragedy happened and his true colors showed. Plus has he donated any money to the cause because a lot of people with the same or close net worth have.

        • Where it comes from doesn’t really matter now does it? Or is it just that you don’t get the point? Olsteen is a snake oil salesman…..nothing more.

        • Who cares? Books that say the same thing over and over again and little on the Bible. If he got a paycheck it would all go to taxes. He could donate it. Speaking engagements? Where does that money go? He’s got so much he could donate it.

        • Scripture says “to whom much has been given….much is required’ God gave him the ability to acquire wealth from the pulpit.. and his legacy was long ago established by his earthly father who pastored that church before him.

        • Who cares where his fortune came from???? He was in a position to help and instead turned ppl away. Add to that the fact that athletes and entertainers are raising millions to help and I personally haven’t heard of any donations from him. That is no man of God in my book!

        • Denise, are you sure you’re not confusing him with Rick Warren? It’s a turnoff to me that Joel charges admission for his conferences.

        • He did until not long ago, but he started out with a hefty salary from the church and really that makes no difference to the point the writer of the article is making.

            • Not drawing salary, doesn’t mean anything.

              In megachurches (I’ve worked for two so I know) pastors have housing allowances, stipends for cars, travel, conferences, dining.

              You’re deluding yourself with that line.

              You’re gonan need to do better than giving him a pass.

              • I am not giving him a pass. I’m looking at facts and evidences I have access to. And I was responding to this: “He did until not long ago, but he started out with a hefty salary from the church” a poster wrote. I did a search to find out when, and it was indeed long ago.

                I don’t doubt that he is taking advantage of certain ministry benefits. As you would I’m sure.

                I don’t particularly like Osteen that much. But I’ve been exposed to his sermons for years due to my ex-wife’s playing them day and night in our home. It never was about money, but about hope, and trust in God.

                He’s doing good, and he doesn’t appear to be a creep like Murdoch, Popov or Copeland. These guys deserve the rebuke you created for Osteen.

                I hope Joel finds your article and invites you for coffee or something. Nothing like sitting across another person to get to know them better.

        • OK … so you can ‘set the record straight’ with those facts, but where exactly did his notoriety and public personae come from? Was he a household word (in Houston and/or Christian circles) PRIOR to taking over the “leadership” role after his father’s death? Was he already giving (paid) speeches/talks and writing books before his ascension to lead pastor? No, actually, he played a relatively small part in the goings on at Lakewood, but many of the elders knew his charisma and looks could carry the church to the next level. He was encouraged to ‘continue the work’ his father started … I am no christian (nor jew, nor muslim, nor buddhist, et al) for all the reasons laid out in this article and a few more, as well. But I know what is right. And when you see people suffering, hungry, thirsty, afraid, and/or tortured you do what you can do – you should not need to be asked because right is right. And you do what is right.

        • I read it and while I can understand the writers position as he apparently is a Christian; to me it’s just more proof of why Christianity is a failing/dying franchise.
          I agree with Emile Durkheim: “religion is, in a sense, the celebration and even (self-) worship of human society. Given this approach, Durkheim proposed that religion has three major functions in society: it provides social cohesion to help maintain social solidarity through shared rituals and beliefs, social control to enforce religious-based morals and norms to help maintain conformity and control in society, and it offers meaning and purpose to answer any existential questions.”
          We took our kids to several different churches to expose them to religion and give them a more well rounded view of it and was dismayed at the political doctrine, strictly enforced social stratus that was so obvious. I remember one ‘Christian’ church in particular whose focus was the Old Testament, not the New Testament. So this particular “pastor” doesn’t surprise me with his ‘I’ll pray for them’ response. It’s a fundamental Baptist belief: if you’re a “good Christian god will make you wealthy, if you’re not then you’ll be poor!” That’s church reinforcing Capitalist doctrine: Only the good deserve wealth.
          So this Salesman (preacher) was just doing his job. He was following his doctrine.
          As to Jesus; if he really existed, today he’d be arrested for being homeless (being poor is a crime in America) and Fox News would brand him a Communist and a good right-wing Republican would run him down in a car.
          Just my opinion; but then I don’t believe in any of that shit. I really am a Communist.
          Cheers Comrades!

          • Actually, I think the author’s perspective and treatment are more a statement about modern Christianity that anything Joel Osteen did before, during and after the flood. Criticism, condemnation, judgmentalism, and self-righteousness seem to the norm these days (and perhaps have been for a long, long time).

        • He gets millions in donations every year. Don’t believe for a minute that his home valued at over $10 million and assets at $40 came from writing books. A best selling author would not expect to make that much in a lifetime. And add to the fact that the man did not even attend seminary. He would not be qualified to cut your hair!

        • Oh please, he’s a con man with the gift of gab. A snake oil salesman, a grifter. I probably know more about religion than he does. Keep drinking the Osteen kool-aid while you write your next check to this POS

        • The huge sales of his books come from his built-in audience of buyers, those folks inside his arena and tv shows. His publisher has said many times through interviews that if his own attendees were not buying his books his sales would be very, very low. And that, Denise, is a straight fact. If I had a built-in audience of tens of thousands that would buy anything I published, then I’d write a book every year for the rest of my life.

        • well if he doesn’t get paid to preach and gets all of that money from books he writes and speaking engagements that is all good and well. but when he gets all of that money can you please explain to me what he needs all of this money for? if I made that kind of money it would be for the people of my church who were in need, who were hungry, who were homeless. it wouldn’t be for me to build my self 2 multi mansions to live in! And now his wife is making tons on skin care! really-god is not vain. I don’t understand these people at all and I was taught that those who preach the gospel only need food and shelter-tell me what I am missing!

        • Here are some facts:
          – Joel Osteen did not graduate from college.
          – Joel Osteen has had ZERO formal ministerial training.
          – The title of “Pastor” is one Osteen conferred upon himself… he did not earn it.
          – He is a motivational speaker with a biblical slant… not a biblical teacher.
          – Jesus told the Apostles to leave everything and follow him, and he sent them out into the world with nothing other than his teaching and faith that he would provide.
          – He claims Christianity, and “preaches” from the Bible, yet his services contain no Christian symbols
          – His “preaching” is that of Prosperity Theology; instead of what Jesus said about having trouble in this world. In Osteen’s world, pious Christians are rewarded with material wealth. Jesus never promised that, so why is he teaching that?

          There are many, many reasons to doubt this man, and as a Christian, it hurts to say that. This is the kind of thing that makes the rest of the world so mistrustful and unbelieving in Christianity.

      • Why don’t you get off the internet and worry about your own life. Those fake numbers have been regurgitated by the hurd thousands of times.

      • Bev he didn’t even pay 10 mil for his house. It was purchased for him by the church. This man is all about money and one day people will wake up to it.

        • That’s very false. His $10,000,000 home was purchased with his money. Money he made by being a #1 best selling author for over a decade. He also takes no salary from his church.

        • Regardless of his wealth, he has it. It’s a blessing from God, & as a servant of God he should use those blessing to bless others & not wait for other resources to run out. Mathew 19:24-New International Version
          Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

        • That is actually incorrect. He paid for the estate with money earned from book advances and sales. In fact, he did not purchase it UNTIL he had enough personal money to do so: i.e., after his fifth book.

        • Aren’t the facts that this pastor amassed tens of millions of $$$$, preaches in a megachurch and lives in a mega mansion which together could house hundreds of hard-working suddenly homeless families? He has to be asked to help out? Such a Shame! May GOD forgive him!

      • I live in a house worth about $80,000, and it’s quite adequate for my family, so it’s tempting to be critical of someone who lives in a house worth $10,000,000. But I find that our human nature tends to make us feel critical of anyone who has much more than we do. If my house is worth one million, I think it is wasteful and self-serving to have a house worth two million. If my car is worth $100,000, I think it is wasteful and egotistic to have a car worth $200,000. In reality, if you look at the world as a whole, everyone who has a house worth $10,000 and a car worth $1000 is extremely wealthy compared to most people in this world.

        • I agree with, all it takes is one person to throw a stone, and then here comes the rest of the nae sayers. We shouldn’t judge others. We should shake off the hatters. We should be forgivers, instead of being critical of others. Joel is a great pastor, in fact he is my pastor.. And he has written awesome books that have pulled me up and carried me out. So hold your rude remarks, and ask for Gods forgiveness…. And as for the the one that started throwing stones just so he could try a make a killing off his tell all book sales… You should take heed to those that have nothing else to do but start a barn fire….If you’re all are christians you shouldn’t need for anyone to show you up… I’m straight forward, and don’t hold back….May God Bless you and all of the nae sayers….Amen…

        • He is a good man. Leave him alone. Stop hating for how much God blessed him. He brings slot of light to the world, stop hatting. Keeping track, waiting for him to fail. So typical hatter!! The change starts within us. YOU make the change without looking around, and stop judging. God is watching your heat, check yourself first. Joel keep on smiling, people are just looking to see when you will stop smiling. Thank you for helping your wife and you are angels.

        • Amen, Dean! IMHO, I feel each of us could/should do our part as we feel led instead of pointing a finger at ANYONE! This conversation shouldn’t be about Joel Osteen — I’d be interested in knowing what each person commenting has done to help? If each person gave one dollar and a million people shared, just imagine the difference that would make?! I think time would be better served tending our own backyard. I mean no disrespect to anyone, I’m just saying it’s frightening to observe so much hate and animosity toward anyone.

        • I agree…wealth and opulence, greed and wastefulness are all relative to where we are in this life…Those people in third would countries would agree most of us in America are beyond wealthy.

          I too disagree with his lifestyle…but I’d be lying if I did not say in my heart of hearts I would love to win the lottery and I think often we secretly hate those with great blessing from a heart of jealousy…

          God never required His people to give there all…and we each are required the same…10% too bad we couldn’t all be well enough off to be like Mr LeTourneau..who lived on 10% and gave away 90.

          Let’s not ever forget that some of God’s most favored men were extremely wealthy.

        • Dean, you are SO right. I honestly have never thought about it that way, UT you are 1000% correct. Thanks for opening my eyes to this. I don’t have much and I often dream of having more. This gives me a bit more peace in accepting and being thankful for what I do have. God bless ya, Brother.

      • I guess then that by these companies standards Abraham, Job, Joseph of Arimathaea and Lydia – all followers of God and Christ, won’t be acceptable either. Particularly the first two who were among the wealthiest men of the time. And I guess God might have to rethink some of His scripture, like the one about opening the windows of Heaven and pouring out a blessing that we can’t contain, and the one about having not because we ask not. Joel doesn’t say we’ll never have hard times. In fact I’ve heard him say the total opposite when I’ve listened to his recorded messages.

        • The world has confused the meaning of blessings to mean money &\or material goods. There are much greater & more rewarding blessings than these. The sacrifices of love, giving & humility are worth infinitely more than the worldly goods, which will perish here on earth. Jesus exhorted the young rich man to give up his worldly goods & follow Him when that man asked how he could enter Heaven. The young rich man went away not knowing the true meaning of love & sacrifice….sad…

        • Let’s also forget Jeremiah 29:11… or the fact that Jesus never lived in squalor or poverty, but rather kept a “treasurer” to keep track of the ministry money, of which there was enough abundance for said treasurer to steal from without much notice. I also think we should overlook the fact that Jesus’ very garments were of value, as people were gambling for them at one point.

        • Yes, and Jacob too. They all were rich. Jesus’ robe wasn’t cheap either. Or they wouldn’t have gambled for it. Plus he sent the disciples to go buy bread. Judas, traitor that he was, was the treasurer. Why do you need a treasurer if you don’t have any money??? IJS

        • Well Said.!! THank You for accuracy. It’s a sayin’ in Texas, that some people will be Jealous and Critical of someone in a Starched shirt. Scripture speaks of Blessing and Curses, life & death.. He said Choose Life and Blessing.. Bless You

        • Agreed, the people that are condemning Pastor Joel are the ones that probably don’t know the Lord…who think that the church just wants our money. Truth is it costs money to keep the church doors open, if you really looked you would find that Pastor Joel gives more than most others give to the community. Just because he didn’t open the church to the people he is a bad greedy person. The church was flooded and wasn’t safe for a shelter, they had to clean it up, once that was done, the church was opened to the people. Don’t criticize until you know all the details…

        • Read his books if you have never heard him actually say it. I have heard him and also read where he wrote it. i pray for everyone to find peace with this and better understandings and most of all the truth before judging and down grading him or anyone for that matter. Because most talk about him not being a Christian and they don’t listen to their own words.

        • He preaches what tickles the ears. He needs to preach the message of salvation too. I’ve never heard him give those in attendance instruction or the chance to accept Jesus. I home I’m wrong, but I’ve never heard him preach that message or give that opportunity, never.

        • Abraham was willing to let strangers in (The Bible says they were angels, but he didn’t know); Joseph of Arimethea donated a tomb to bury a dead “criminal.” And Job lost everything he had without cursing God. It’s not just riches but what is in your heart that matters.

        • However, ALL 12 off Jesus’ desciples gave up everything they, owned, all $$,. and earthly possessions to follow Him only to give it for the needs of others. The Bible als warns of false prophets!

      • In the word of God we are to help our neighbors. Always wanted to say::: Joel has sent thousands to Hell . It is just make that money. NO person should be worth 40 million then not be willing to help the needy The plan of salvation is not explained, in the correct way.”” It is like Pray this Prayer after me and you will be saved””. Not to have a humble heart and you personally ask for forgiveness and wait for that touch from God. 1 John 1:8-9 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
        It IS Not pray this pray after me.

      • I lost respect for televangilists in 1960, when I attended an Oral Roberts Healing Crusade in Greensboro, NC. There, I watched as the producers collected offerings–one-after-the-other, using Col Sanders’ Chicken buckets. First,they asked everyone to contribute. Next time, they asked only the men to contri bute, next time they asked only the women to contrib ute, but they asked the women to out do the men. A friend of ours from GHS, a friend who , as a child, had suffered polio, had gone in hopes of healing. It was nothing but a ruse to collect money. Have you noticed how these televangelists say “send your money to God”, but they give you their address?

      • Instead of using this opportunity to focus directly on the Harvey victims and The Creator, you CHOSE to continue the IDOLATRY people from all over this nation (and perhaps worldwide) have made the “main idea” of the Harvey story unfolding.

        Can we please stop writing on assumptions as if it were the absolute truth? Can you use your platform to minister to the broken family and friends of the Harvey families who are unable to connect with them yet, worried and anxious until? This was an opportunity for you to better move ppl along the grief journey and past anger the stage, not to stir it up.

        Can we talk about Zion as described in Joel 2:25-27 MSG and begin to speak LIFE to people who are tuning in and also have been experiencing a season of losses? Instead, ppl, including you, have made JO the idol of Christianity and not God!

        Can we stop treating JO as if he’s the ancestral/biblical Noah? Can we stop punishing him for being blessed by God in the manner of the financial. Can you tell the people that this man does NOT take a salary from Lakewood and his earnings are all based off his writings and personal events? Can you remind people that JO and Lakewood is one of the few televangelists who NEVER asks for money? Ppl from all over the world donate it from their heart. $90,000,000 this church takes in every year and a 3rd ($30,000,000) of it goes to worldwide broadcasting.

        Can we stop being self-serving and reserve our OPINIONS on JO from being posted on mass social media platforms that carry so much influence, and focus on the facts?

        I don’t care how neutral this journal entry may seem, it’s time to move on. This is not bread for the hungry or water for the thirsty and after reading it, one is still left with an appetite.

        Can we let God speak so the “99 sheep and lost 1” can hear the voice of the Holy One? God is restoring Zion.

        *no, I’m not a member of Lakewood nor am I affiliated in any way. I’m not even a fan or enemy of JO.

        • eVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINION. IFOR ONE HAVE ALWAYS ALWAYS FELT THIS ABOUT JOEL OLSTEEN. MONEY AND POWER IS WHAT HE’S ALL ABOUT. AND THEN THERE’S FRANKLIN GRAHAM – AN AWESOME MAN OF THE CLOTH.

        • You are surely wrong about one thing. He is not being punished. He is being reminded that he took on a role as a pastor… not an entrepreneur. If he feels slighted that is his own conscience speaking to him. What hurts our feelings is the image of the truth.
          The city government may not have asked him for shelter for the victims of this disaster but people of this community knocked. And Joel Osteen chose to not open the door. It might be time to ask recover his why.

        • The best reply to a person confused about the scripture is scripture itself

          There was also a man called Ananias. He and his wife, Sapphira, agreed to sell a property;

          2 but with his wife’s connivance he kept back part of the price and brought the rest and presented it to the apostles.

          3 Peter said, ‘Ananias, how can Satan have so possessed you that you should lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land?

          4 While you still owned the land, wasn’t it yours to keep, and after you had sold it wasn’t the money yours to do with as you liked? What put this scheme into your mind? You have been lying not to men, but to God.’

          5 When he heard this Ananias fell down dead. And a great fear came upon everyone present.

          6 The younger men got up, wrapped up the body, carried it out and buried it.

          7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had taken place.

          8 Peter challenged her, ‘Tell me, was this the price you sold the land for?’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘that was the price.’

          9 Peter then said, ‘Why did you and your husband agree to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Listen! At the door are the footsteps of those who have buried your husband; they will carry you out, too.’

        • Tell us how you know all about Lakewood Church, how much money they take in and where it goes, and how JO never asks for money? If you know all the facts, then please give us all a reference we can use to research it for ourselves – instead of just expecting everyone to believe you. For somebody who is not a member of Lakewood Church and not even a fan or enemy of JO, you sure do have a strange way of attempting to convince anybody of that fact.
          I think John said what needed to be said, and wasn’t trying to sugar coat it one whit.
          BRAVO JOHN!!!

          • I think she might be speaking about all the rocks being tossed by the comments, and not the original article. I feel we get it backwards so often – our nature these days is to remove the speck from our own eye before speaking about the log in another’s eye.

          • Bill,

            Here’s a suggestion for you, get unlimited data for wifi and research it yourself! I’m not your personal assistant! When you stop being lazy and find the answers, report back to us. Thanks.

          • Ohhhhhh all you have to do is look at his lavish lifestyle…..giving your money to these churches is such a scam….please give locally to your neighbours and people suffering …..the people wo truly need help!!

          • Dear John Pavlovitz, what are you doing to be the hands and feet of God? I know what Pastor Joel and his Church are doing and I know what I’m doing, so tell us what you are doing, besides writing an article of judgment to promote your book. God forgive you for what you have done. I’ll pray for you.

        • Oh eff that rant 100%. Everything that was said is true. I do not believe one word of that religious nonsense. But I believe and have see much of what was stated. The only thing I believe about JO is that he is a money-whoring, self aggrandizing, charlatan who pastes a smile on his face while he is stealing your money.

        • I agree LT.. No one knows what was occurring in JO ‘s week and no I ‘m Christian but not affiliated with his church whatsoever. Stop the shaming game .. look to energy toward justice for DACA etc 56,000 just in Houston.. One day or so of wetness compared to a life torn apart !

        • You have completely missed the words in this article just like Joel Osteen completely misses the understanding of the work of God and Christ. Osteen has shown himself in his true light – he is a fraud.

        • Just a thought, a person does not necessarily need to be a member of a particular church (Synagogue or Mosque) to be able to have the logic and rationale you displayed. Thank you for caring as we are our brother’s keeper.

        • That 30Mil tax free taken in by the church used for world wide broadcasting is how JO does his sermons/speeches and in those speeches he also directs people to his church website where those books you mentioned he profits from are listed all over the church’s website. So JO uses the non-profit tax free church to promote his ‘for-profit’ book sales he soley profits from. Make sure you completely understand his revenue chain before being so quick to claim that he NEVER asks for money. He does using his church as a cover. Be wiser. He’s still a flawed man.

          • We are all flawed. If JO has sinned, then he will answer on judgment day. We all will stand before the throne. One sin is no greater than another in Gods eyes. Oh you hypocrites throwing stones ! Beware because you will be judged as well. God will ask us what we have done that glorify Him. Each person will need to answer for themselves. Be concern of the log in your own eye .

          • No one is twisting anyone’s arm into buying a book. Simply, Joel has a positive, hopeful ministry that is a far cry from the atmosphere in most of society. There is a need and a place for this today. It is mostly people who have never read his books or heard his sermons who bash him.

        • Thank you for posting what I consider a wise reply. God Bless You!
          God…help us to stop tearing each other down. May we stop hurting our brothers and sisters in Christ. And if there is something that needs to be said, should we not consider saying it in private? Why involve millions? Many don’t understand…why confuse them more?
          Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to please bless both pastors involved here, for they need You…we all need You! May Joel only hear Your voice, not the voices of those who set out to tear him down. I trust that if there was something You wanted Joel to learn from this event, You will teach it to him better than any human ever could.

        • f only Joel Osteen was preaching the message of Christ then your little fit might matter. He is a Mammon Worshiper. He will be spewed from His mouth.

          • very true and I have been to the church and I agree with some and disagree with some but he has no membership fee and he lives off the money from his books and other speaking programs and his church reroofed more houses in La than any other church after Katrina so My respect to the church and the true difference between a rich person and a poor person is their train of thought

        • Thank you! I am reminded of the verses “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”. Matthew 7:5 & “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7. WE do not know this man’s heart-only God does.

        • LT, what do you think is the difference in your commentary versus the author we’re replying to? None. You are siting the positions of JO as if you are a follower and member of Lakewood Church. Several of your statements about him is certainly hearsay while some are flat out wrong. He does ask for money and he’s obviously doing a good job camelflauging his methods. I receive calls from his ministry almost weekly asking for money (or whatever verbiage is scripted).

          Don’t be fooled by any televangelist. That’s the crux of their ministry is soliciting public donations for sustainability. As for him not getting a salary from Lakewood, there are so many ways to avoid labeling monies received from non-profit organizations as pay by categorizing it as donations, gifts, honorariums, etc.

          Our best bet as christians is to pray for this situation and do our part to help those in need.

          • Darnice,
            I’m sorry you feel that way. You prove my points. As a televangelist during broadcasts, you will note, not being asked for $$. Your personal experience is your own but, I’ve never received a phone call unless I elected to.

        • Thats whatbim saying! He donates all his money to the community n missions, he gets no wages what so ever, he even gives the profits of some of his books n lives ouoft of the rest of the profits from his other books. GOD BLESSES HIN FINANCIALLY BECAUSE HE GIVESYOU YOU HIS ENTIRE WAGES. THE CHURCHWAS NOT CONSIDERED safe the waters were almost over the barriersthat protected the church n the church is prone to flooding, the main thing is the safety of persons that is y he only open the church once it was safe. Inwoch i can.post a comment here but i can only reply. I wonder what all thesepeople that are complaining have done to help the people in the flood? They are too bussy talking crap about others so they can look better whilr siting on their lassy butts doing nothing. The truths sets free!!!

          • Who would be liable for an accident due to flood water however little may have been there? What would have happened if the church had flooded and someone was injured? Whose responsibility would that become?

          • GOD BLESSES HIN FINANCIALLY BECAUSE HE GIVESYOU YOU HIS ENTIRE WAGES.

            He lives quite well for a man that gives HIS ENTIRE WAGES. Did you actually read what you posted?

            If I gave my entire wages through out my life how exactly would I have survived myself? I have yet to see contributions made to different charities reimbursed with money from god. But then I didn’t give it with the expectation of a return on my money.

            You are angry that people made assumptions about Osteen while making a few yourself. Like assuming that people who complained didn’t help out the victims themselves.

          • Then why did we not are him getting his golden feet wet or helping at other shelters? He cares for his people so much that He couldn’t even open his own wallet to provide food and water. He had all the means necessary to help in some way and did nothing. He’ll jump in a baptismal pool to dunk his worshippers in water but refuses to pull them out at their time of need. I have zero respect for this joke of a man.

          • wow, so true.. easy to look at others and judge, but not your own wrong doings. Makes ya wonder just what have those that are judging, done to help those in need!
            May God be with all in Texas

        • JO does ask for money. My brother attends the church and has received request for donations. I recall once he told me that the church was asking for donations to help repay their loan they took to upgrade their stage.

          • My church also asks for help with upgrades and repairs. The sound system was recently replaced. I didn’t think the Priest was “asking for money.” You either want to give, or you don’t. All who attend are benefactors, yet only some are donators. It’s a choice you make.

        • LT Excellent! Very well said! Too many would rather jump on the condemning wagon! Un-Believers I would expect this from, Christians, I am rather surprised, but other ministers, I am just shocked! So much hate, God would NOT approve. These people should know the Word and what it says about LOVE! Love believes the best and covers a multitude of sins. They speak on the behalf of FB news with no truth or facts! Followers instead of leaders for popularity points! A brother should defend his own. What is to keep these “brothers” from one day turning their back on you? I wouldn’t trust them. One day all these “fellow brothers will need some grace and mercy themselves, It would be wise if they would sow some of that as well! Try to convince those at Lakewood church now just how Joel failed! Things God hates! A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19). Reading thru the comments, I see discord! I just hope any people on the fence about accepting Jesus, aren’t turned off by the infighting and shut God and Christians out all together. This is NOT the goodness of God that draws men to repentance, even if you think it is your duty to call him out! Try a phone call next time as the Bible says. (Go to your brother, not put it on blast to the gossip of the world)

          • I am saddened at how quick Christians want to believe the worst about Joel . It is expected by non believers but not by those of us who proclaim to be Christians. It is straight from the pits of Hell . Our God is a good and just God. We will stand before him one day and give an account of our lifes. So instead of judging Joel ,for his deeds . Worry for your own and what kind of riches you are storing up when you meet God. We only have to answer for ourselves. God Bless And in case anyone is interested Joel does not take one dime of salary from the Church. His wealth comes from God Blessing Him

        • JO is the evangelical face of Houston. When someone preaches prosperity gospel, it is all too easy to develop a calvinistic view and see people as having earned their suffering. That attitude is unacceptable. Houston will remember.

        • No they cant. LT, bc any opportunity they have to bash christians and give their unbelieving opinion on christians they will. BC it is darkness and the god of this world fighting against light and the GOD of the universe. They will never understand until every knee will bow. Only then will the know and understand.

        • No they cant. LT, bc any opportunity they have to bash christians and give their unbelieving opinion on christians they will. BC it is darkness and the god of this world fighting against light and the GOD of the universe. They will never understand until every knee will bow. Only then will they know and understand.

        • It would be nice. If people would really think about what they are saying & implying. Harvey is a tradegy…people are dying. Its all so.tragic…..Surely people could refocus their thoughts. Its all so sad. Refocus people.

          • Amen! I was reading all the hatred postings toward JO before hearing the original story! I am terrified with what is going on in our world, especially our country. And I’m not just talking about the flood. There is so much hatred.

          • Blessed Joel Olsteen you say Jayne? Joel Olsteen has shown his true colors by not responding to those who lost everything they have! His response? I’m praying for you all! This man if anything should open his mansion up to a few families who arrested parisners at his church. It would be a tiny small fraction of those affected by this horrible flood but it would show Joel Olstee is a compassionate man. I’m sure when he climbs into his bed at night the only thing he concerned about is damage control! These same people are the same ones who donated to your church making you a multimillionaire twenty times over! My problem with you is that you prosper off of Jesus Christ. That is so wrong. Instead of askin for more donations for your church you need to go into your own deep pockets and help those who are in need.

          • It’s also tired to equate criticism with jealousy? Especially from a religious community known of it’s harsh, all too often irrational criticism of anyone that doesn’t share their beliefs.

          • The people are the ones giving him money. I used to buy his books, tapes and watch him until I see how high and mighty they live. They probably spend more a year on their makeup and tanning them most people make a year.

            I just got home from church. May the people finally wake up. How much one on one does he do?

          • Pastor Osteen has blessed himself and now he bites the hands that feed him. Houston is his community, he should have been one of the first to volunteer his church. He has lost the focus of his work and I hope this brings it back to him. He should also get his snarky wife out of the church, that woman has no love for the people of his church and her sense of entitlement beggars belief. I saw her on a flight once speaking very rudely to the flight attendants because she wanted a different seat and the people already in it would not move (it was their seat).
            I never did like him and now I have even less of a reason to like him. God does deal with those who offend Him, His Word, and his people.

          • joel is a well known thief hiding behind a false church.. so what is bad is the poor dummies that shell out their money so he can live the high life..keep on giving children……..

        • LT: As people called by God, there are times when we are called to rebuke someone. It’s not everyone’s role, but it is the role for some. I think if you could be criticizing someone for doing the bidding of the Holy Spirit, you should be cautious and stand down too.

          Or do you rip out the parts of your Bible where people are rebuked?

          Every person has a role to play. Don’t force people into thinking you are the architect, because you aren’t. I get that you are uncomfortable with rebuke. There’s a reason for that. Rebuke is not fun or palatable. And it may not be in your DNA to rebuke people, except for passive-aggressive rebuke like you posted.

          By the way, it is completely irrelevant when a multi-gazillionaire doesn’t draw a salary from his church. You are naive if you think he is not directly profiting. The zillions of dollars are also NOT going to a lot of things they should be going to. Self-aggrandizement comes in many forms, and you still cannot serve God and mammon.

          Aaron participated in the idolatry of the golden calf and he was High Priest. Imagine if he had never been rebuked.

          Enough of this silly binary that either you rebuke someone or you minster to those who need it. Jesus quite clearly did both. There’s absolutely no reason why people should stop rebuking someone when it is the right thing to do.

          You follow what the Holy Spirit is telling you to do, and let others listen for what their jobs are.

          In your own words, “Can we please stop writing on assumptions as if it were the absolute truth?” You have made some pretty gross assumptions, which put God into a box of your making.

          Chiefest is the assumption that you know what God is and isn’t telling John Pavlovitz to say and do.

        • I agree…at the end of the day…man will always fail us but the Lord …my Jesus is true and just….lets remind those that know him…lets teach those that don’t and show the love of God’s grace as we do our part. We only control ourselves and we only know what’s in our hearts and what our intention truly is. Let’s rest in our faith and not our emotions.

        • My opinion is yo may well be delusional. JO behaves like a showboater, grandstander, and Carrie still. He does not behave like a follower of Christ.

        • They make $90 M, spend $30 M but where does the $60 M go? How transparent are they with the spending of the money they collect?

          Look, if they are not transparent, there are many ways everyone associated with the church, including JO, can pocket from the proceeds without anyone knowing. He may say he doesn’t draw a salary but what about a yearly bonus? Do you know for a fact he doesnt get anything from that $90 M? JO is able to make money from his books of the fame he garnered as the Lakewood preacher. He should use good chunk of that money to help the poor lIke Jesus did. Jesus in his writings never mentioned having money as a “blessing” as you put it. His writings actually said to the contrary. Of course these TV preachers justify their opullenace by saying that it is because Jesus loves them and has blessed them. TV preaching is whole about money.

        • I don’t agrew with you, LT. It truly does not matter how Pastor Osteen made his money or how much he has. What is crucial in here is that he is a Pastor, and as such, he should follow and act upon on what he preaches. It’s a mater of principles and values. You cannot preach one thing and act another way. Even if JO had nothing, there are always ways to show congruence between beliefs, thoughts, words and actions.

        • Perfectly said. We need more compassion, less judgment and condemnation. I’m sure he needed to coordinate the opening of the church building in an organized manner. Some people are quick to jump to conclusions, especially when it involves some “rich” person.

        • I also do not follow Joel Osteen, although I was a great fan of his father, John Osteen. But the reports I recently saw that after the flood waters in his church receded, and the place was made habitable, Joel did open up the church to the homeless. Enough said.

        • i hate speaking or passing judgement on how someone practices their faith….particularly this guy….this week…everyone is piling on…he’s at his nadir….sitting comfortably ensconced in his poverty of riches… that said I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Pavlovitz…he seems to advocate the type of Jesus I follow….as for Mr. Osteen of who much is given…much is expected….the Lord might not be done with Brother Osteen yet…. tragedies and trials are great revelalators…peace and prayers

        • Very well said LJ
          It’s absurd that everybody wants to judge people solely on OPPINIONS, and ASSUMPTIONS!
          It amazes me me how people today wanna use Social Media just to get there 5 minutes of fame and glory and yet they have “0” facts to back there stories up!
          God Bless You LJ

        • Wonderful insightful answer. I was trying to get my reaction formed when I came upon your comment. You pulled it together very well. I’m not a fan of JO either. He’s more of a public social psychologist flavored with a Christian historical perspective. Thanks for your great comment!

        • Facts are that if you go to the Prayer Request page for Osteen, you will see numerous ads for his books and speaking engagements. Seems pretty clear that the church and ministry IS being used to line his pockets with those millions of dollars in earnings.

        • You wrote: “Scripture says we can’t judge another person’s heart, and I won’t suggest I know yours.”
          John Pavlovitz—what have you done?????
          I sincerely believe it is a dangerous thing to judge God’s anointed, and I am not arrogant enough to believe that I am qualified to determine who is, and is not.
          I, myself, leave that up to the King of Kings.

        • Your opinion is your opinion, just like everyone else’s’. Respect that. Plus everythun that you are saying here goes against everything you are trying to argue… very contradictory.

        • So, what is your take on his not making the church available to people suffering from Harvey until he was “encouraged ” by the media?

        • Never asks for money – JO’s facebook page and website clearly asks for money, encourages people to become monthly “partners.” A local news piece reported that when they finally opened the doors the assistance given corresponded to whether the recipient had given to the church in the past. They were checking their database as people came in.

        • Very well stated, I agree. I also am not a member of Lakewood, nor a fan or enemy. I am a Christian however, and I choose not to shame or judge.

        • A third goes to broadcasting? Sounds like advertising to sell more books to me. You want somebody that has it right? Rick Warren. He tithes 90% of his income and lives off 10. He takes no income from his church at all. He has ministries out the wazoo. Now THAT’S a servant.

        • Well said. But it’s only the accuser of the brethren that criticises a well to do public Christian figure. God has blessed lakewoods ministry and taken it places where no other church in history have been. There church has amazing and generous ministry. People look within your own life and and focus on Jesus and being a light to the world. Even IF Joel is wrong God is ultimately in control and I would be very reluctant to put him down and the rest of the world including myself who are blessed by his ministry in case I was wrong about him. Further more his messages and services bring life and hope and helped shape me into who I am today.
          Thank you Jesus for the abundance of heaven in our life

        • Oh LOOK, John Pavlovitz SELLS books too and he’s a PREACHER too! I’ll be waiting for the public outcry! If anyone had ever heard of him there would be much!

        • I don’t care where he broadcasts his sermons or how much he spends doing it. He has sucked the lifeblood out of the Gospel and replaced it with kool aid. This message of health and wealth that he preaches is leading people down a very dangerous path.

        • well if people donate money from their heart why cant he give it to the needy from his heart?
          Why does he need all of this money and lavish homes-just asking because I don’t understand these people at all. He is simply a businessman and his wife is now making skin care products to make her look even more lovely-God is not vain! This Is all very sad to me and he needs to donate all of this money to people who have no food, clothing, shelter……….not on another house for himself. Really! Where is the sympathy??? the love??? the compassion???

      • No Linda, the basis and the fact are what people are able to witness with their own eyes in his lifestyle, behavior and message to the world. Clearly not opinion.

      • Worse when the facts present themselves before the world. Unfortunately, his message that there is no consequence, only love, has been found out. And if he and his wife take this opportunity to refocus their ministry to biblical Christianity, then there could truly be revival in his church, and maybe once again become a reflection of Christ, and not the building that holds the church (the people).

      • Really Linda:
        So I guess that you are calling people who attend his church liars., those who wanted to help from the church and were told that the “church” was closed down for now. As usual this will put more money in the coffers of Osteen’s Church than helping those who reallly are in need. Why were the photos of his church so late in coming to show some flooding..Doctored maybe????

        • I am not a contributor nor a member. I have seen him on TV. He preaches HOPE! Do you want him to preach poverty, lack, negativity??

        • Unfortunately people are following the man and not God. They have a religion but not religon. We should focus on our salvation and leave vengance and jugment to God. We need to be praying for our world leaders and country and family members. JESUS is coming soon.

      • Another Linda here…..you jerks who should be helping those victims instead of writing vitriolic letters to good people like Joel Osteen need to ask yourself if you are without sin????? The Osteens are good and caring people. Your envy precedes any constructive message you might be trying to convey to the Osteens by spewing misinformation all over the internet! Give me the name of ONE person who was turned away from the Osteen’s church and I will believe an nth of what you have written!

      • Joel did lock his doors. Did not respond to the hurricane crisis. Had to have watched others respond? Does have the resources to make a huge difference in an area where he’s taken in massive financial help. Does claim to follow Jesus. Tried to explain his lack of response as “not being asked?”

        Seem to be plenty of facts to me… unless you want to defend the indefensible?

        • Where do all those people worship? Were the doors of their churches open to all? Or, is JO and his ministry being held to a higher standard? Double standard, anyone?

      • Just the facts, ma’am. It happened: He didn’t: People shamed him: He did. He ought to hold a ton of people in the MegaChurch he built for God.

        • Bingo. Thanks. I laugh when a theist wants to argue “facts” when they have yet to produce a single piece of evidence to support their god’s existence. Not one.

      • Really?

        Google this: “net worth joel osteen”.
        Tell me what you see.

        “As of 2012, Osteen’s net worth is reportedly $56,508,500. He lives with his family in a $10,500,000 home.”

        I don’t know what you call that but I call it “basis of fact”.

        • True. But only the most “bare” of facts – and not nearly enough to make “judgment” upon. For example, it does not tell you that he purchased that home from book advances and sales – NOT from church money. In fact, it doesn’t tell you that he waited until after his fifth book deal to make that purchase – for the very reason that he wanted to do it with personal, not church, money.

          It also does not tell you that from the time of his FIRST books deal (2007), he began foregoing his $200,000 salary – meaning that $2 million has already been “saved” by the church to be put toward programs and other expenses.

          Nor do those two “bare” facts tell you anything about his tithing, about any other monies he may be using for charitable purposes, etc.

          So no, those two facts do not tell me very much at all – until I am able to put them in perspective based on the underlying facts.

      • I teach second grade. This is a skill required for young children. An opinion may or may not be based on fact. It is what a person thinks or feels at that time. A fact is something that can be proven or disproven. I’m afraid you have the two mixed up.

    • Part of that “kick in the butt” was furnished by a tweet from out Pastor Greg Locke and he got slammed hard for daring to ask another person to open their church and help the needy.

    • Just when I begin to feel that so much truth and light is buried under the rubble of the folly of fools–I read your inspired post, and I am impacted beyond belief with the realization that even today, God has his 7,000 (and I’m now having the best hope that there are many, many more) who have not bent their knees to the distortions of so much of our present notions of “Christianity.” Of course, your wise counsel could and should be a ” merciful rescue” for Joel Osteen; and it looks like that he needed a “spiritual rescue” in the Houston floods as well. I agree and confirm your words of counsel regarding this issue .You have encouraged my heart. “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the SONG OF FOOLS.” ECC. 7:5

        • Your comment about Joel being blessed by God. Wr dont know know if hebis being blessed by God. Material things are not necessarily from God. He writes things people want to hear. And people buy them. He isnt a pastor. Never had the training for it.
          Remember the letter was for JO
          Not for the rest of us

          • NO! IF that letter was for Joel it would have been sent to him privately as it likely should have been! It was for ALL here reading it calling out (i.e. character assassination) without knowing all the facts. It was explained in FULL for those who cared to follow it. The city runs the shelters and wanted the church to be a distribution center only until the other shelters filled THEN they needed them as a shelter as well. The lower floors were indeed flooded. The church was from the start working with Franklin Grahams Samaritans Purse to provide aid as well.
            No, you will not collect facts that are true because they do not reflect the preconceived narrative.
            I have never seen so much hate spewed in some time as I have this past week toward this man. Judge him at your peril. Write public leteers at your peril instead of seeking him out privately if you have offense about him as scripture indicates. SHAME!

        • No, please don’t give examples. Enumerating sins is not a holy enterprise. It is enough to rebuke those who require rebuke. The Osteens have to get past some pretty huge cognitive dissonance that prevents them from ministering with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

          You and they would do well to read, for example, the narrative of Jesus and the rich young man of Mark 10:17-31. I am sure the rich young man in that story had all kinds of really good prosperity gospel reasons why he couldn’t do as Jesus told him to do.

          To whom, exactly, does “you cannot serve God and mammon” apply to, exactly?

      • You are crazy. Just because people are prosperous it doesn’t make them evil. I’m sure you’ve seen his whole family giving their lives to God by serving. Their whole life is wrapped up in the people of that church and around the world. I’m positive they give more than you or I could ever imagine. Quit listening to jealous men. I’m sorry that this pastor had to call Joel out right before his book is sold on Amazon? I don’t know what would make someone not just send a private letter to Joel. He just needed to be seen. Well we saw – but wasn’t much to see not was it?!

    • So do I and even fall on the ears of those who still worship him. Bea stated the John didn’t know Joel’s heart or his intent. Quite simply: we did not have to be concerned with either of those, his actions and the lack thereof were enough for most of us…

      • First, l am not a deciple of Joel Osteen, but how do we know for sure that he has not anonymously donated millions? Anyway, didnt Jesus teach us to “Judge not”?

        • 1Peter 4
          Stewards of God’s Grace

          1Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, a arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.

          7The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.8Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

          But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And

          “If the righteous is scarcely saved,
          what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”c

      • That’s my thought, too! All the Osteen apologists are kinda missing the point: Believers KNOW we can’t see someone else’s salvation, and we know (and have seen) fakers do good things. Howsomever, as someone who claims that God’s blessed him and you, too, can be blessed by the same, it’s a bit disingenuous to live like a king, perpetually asking the peasants to contribute, while telling the peasants you’ll be praying for them in their time of need. They certainly need prayers, but how’s about being PRACTICAL with meeting their needs? There are a whole batch of folk in other locations who noticed the problem, without having to be prodded, shamed, dissed on social media — some who may not even be Believers — whose default position is to help folk in their time of need, because it’s the right thing to do.

        So, what’s the “pastor’s” default? It’s hard to tell.

    • Powerfully spoken! The Church needs to get dirty sometimes. It is too perfect to heavenly designed. We don’t want dirty people in our churches, we don’t want mud covered hungry people sitting in the pews. We don’t want them to come in the church with their babies crying and diapers needing changing. We don’t want people that had divorces, that our addicted with drugs that are alcoholics or homeless. We want a clean church were people have good jobs and drive new cars and can pay all of there tithes. But when people get dirty the Church acts surprise as they do not live in a dirty world. The Savior embraced dirty people washed their feet and feed them. For if the church cannot accept dirty people then it is too clean for God.

      • Your post was so on target it blew me away. Thx for that very clear and precise description of what’s wrong with most congregations…..and what I fear most religions have become. 😢

      • Those are the Very people the LORD wants in church. The sinners. And we are ALL SINNERS.
        Faith without good works is dead.
        Many are showing their faith through their good works. By their fruits ye shall know them.
        Well said sir.

      • Oomph! You just hit that nail right on its proverbial head Tyrone. I hope recent events will impact all Churches and “good” people everywhere. My Pastor in Jamaica has a song that says’ “The only Jesus that people see is the Jesus in you and me”. We’ve got to be better reflectors of His love, grace and mercy.

      • Amen and Amen!!!! I cannot judge Pastor Osteen, but I am disappointed in his church. With all the millions he is worth where was his heart when his fellow Texans needed his help? I cannot understand, please oblige me!!

      • Amen Praise God #bethechurch And the King will say, “truly I tell you the truth, whatever you do for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” #Matthew25:40 #handsandfeet #JesusDisciple #LoveofChrist #PraiseGod #GodisGood👏🙏🙌❤️💖!!!

      • You hit the nail on the head! I think this is because it is NOT God’s church any longer . It belongs to the “right people” . I feel we all might be surprised on judgement day when God makes His decision on who is worthy to enter heaven and eternal life. Until our hate turnes into love I’m not sure we will be happy there anyway. All that love ………….. could get boring ………..you think?

    • Like this is going to bother Mr Joel…only the loss of money will do that.He has millions so share a few to these unfortunate people.

    • If there truly is a devil I have seen this church attacted more than once. I’m not a membeof your faith, but have only heard positive and up lifting messages come from you go to all people. This attact and. Judgement is not a Christian act, and now I’m starting to believe there is a devil.

    • There are a lot of people rushing to help during times of crisis, but where are they during the “normal” times? Organized Christianity and yes Joel Olsteen will be there, serving others during the day to day grind of non-crisis America. Blasting them right now is an unfair, knee jerk, emotional response that demonstrates a short sighted view. We should appreciate them for what they do, not shame them for what you wish they did.

    • I agree. I almost feel as if it was a waste of time to write him about it. He will monetarily benefit from his notoriety, and like most evangelists, will try to preach that he is a sinner, makes mistakes, asks for forgiveness, just like the ordinary person…and sadly, he will continue to say what people want to hear, and he will rake in millions. I really like Osteen, and have listened to him many times, but people need to put their money elsewhere where people in need can benefit. I think that everyone that sends him money should not divert that said money for one year to the flood victims. Osteen has already stated to “send money.” Ok… folks…send money that you would have given to Osteen to the flood victims. Then let’s see him whine.. After all, giving your money to the Lord does not equate to giving to evangelistic, charismatic words.

    • I agree with you. It’s all about popularity as well. No one should have to be asked to help. We all should get together and help each other when needed voluntary. He has the money and power to help a lot of people and sits back and waits while others are losing everything they have. Just because he says he’s a Christian doesn’t mean he is. Anyone can say they are a Christian, but it takes a “Real” Christian to get up off their butts and prove it!

    • Yes Shannon, is correct. I don’t expect any minister to live in poverty or suffer, But his 10 million dollar home is over the top. And he could have opened his doors at the church, served meals, and at least pretended to care. But he doesn’t . And unless I’m wrong, this Narcissistic man will just go on.

    • The only true words spoken in this article is “I don’t know Joel Osteen!” And yet you like many have a misguided hatred for this man. Hate masked in beautiful words is still hate… who are you serving?

    • I totally disagree…this man has preached when his father died for years giving people faith love and hope. He preaches for Jesus. He was making sure his church was safe for people to be housed there… This is no small task! All those people that were helping were probably the people he preaches to every week. They responded so quickly because they had the love of Jesus in their hearts probably because Joel Olsteen inspired them. Give this man a break…he works for Jesus!

      • Where do all those people worship? Were the doors of their churches open to all? Or, is JO and his ministry being held to a higher standard? Double standard, anyone?

    • One tiny offered correction: “…Jesus’ life was marked by an overflow of generosity and compassion and sacrifice that rarely required official invitation.” I don’t think Jesus ever needed an invitation, official or otherwise. I believe these qualities were simply part of the fabric of who He was and therefore flowed out of Him constantly, without ceasing.

      I also feel compelled to add that I am so tired of this “material prosperity equals spiritual wealth” baloney. Material wealth only anchors you more firmly to “the things of this world,” which Jesus asked us to put aside. Balance in all things will lead to a happier life.

      While I’m on the soapbox… If we tell ourselves we will never be able to be as Christ was, to live as Christ lived, we won’t. We need to believe it is possible to be as Christ was. To believe in the Gospels when Christ tells us: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12.

      Truly wish there were more Christians who actually believe the Gospels and the teachings of Christ. And endeavored to be even better than Christ.

      Now there’s a challenge worth taking.

      • He could build several, couldn’t he? And what about that luxurious home of his? If it wasn’t flooded, he could have housed lots of people in it! As to the church doesn’t have showers and is not prepared to feed so many people, sack lunches don’t require a big kitchen and surely there are bathrooms with sinks where people could wash off. Those are poor excuses. I think he would not have done anything if he had not been shamed into it. That verse about receiving blessings that he loves to quote does not specify financial blessings either, although that is what he equates it to. Joel is a great motivational speaker, but I have watched him and never see him read from that Bible he holds up or quote from it during his talk, nor have I heard him express the truth that we are all filthy , rotten sinners in need of a Savior. Maybe he does, but I haven’t heard it. What I have heard is the “tickle your ears” kind of speech that the Bible warns against.

    • Yes, who was trained by the best Mega Church Building College in the world-Orsl Roberts U. In Tulsa, OK! Must have an excellent Business School! Cause the rich just get richer, while the poor just get a great sermon in the wonders of being rich! So just give a little more! All a hoot!

    • I don’t pretend to know any persons heart however being as far from true Christian teaching such as prosperity and word of faith gospels provide all shaming will do no good nor can anyone prevoke a response from Mr Osteen. Such as the previously long winded attempt was, let’s know each of ourselves short Cummings and know the Judge of all will do it faithfully. R.C.

    • I will not judge Joel Osteen, a man who does not take a salary to Pastor the church. His money comes from books I personnaly don’t care for his preaching as a Pentecostal but it is biblically truth. Why can any other person make money and live in a large home except a Pastor who has the talent to build a large church.? Maybe he follows Gods plan for prosperity (Malachi chapter 3) You or I don’t know his heart. So you should not judge lest he be judged. I doubt most of you don’t give as God word says and probably done nothing for these flood victims

    • AGREED ! JESUS PREACHED UNDER A TREE ! TOO MUCH ORGANIZED RELIGION IS ABOUT MONEY !!! SORRY JOEL AND YOUR WIFE WHO SHOULD HAVE OPENED YOUR HEART AND DOORS , YOU ARE NOT WHAT GOD IS ABOUT . 👿😡😢❤️👼🏻🙏🏼

    • He has, however, led many, many people to Christ. I know people who to to his church who live out their faith in every single breath because that is what they learned at his church
      It seems that perhaps Joel may needed some private calling out. Public calling out in thus blog or on Facebook via posting a link to this blog is VERY un-Christian. I challenge those saying they are Christian to remove those links. Send your concerns to Mr Osteen privately. Do not be the first (or twentieth) to cast stones.

    • Lucky it’s not about what you see. It’s about what God sees. We are all but filthy rags, all have sinned and fallen short. The God I serve is a God of second, third and fourth chances. Praying for ALL who have been impacted by this storm.

    • You are exactly right, that is why he left the pulpit and he and his wife are selling skin care products now. Take the money and run.at least he is not tax exempt anymore.

    • Hi,Amen , what a cowardly act, he knows better than that. There are people in otherwise situation with more of a heartfelt plan to give . Thanks Jordan Hill

    • People do not know what is in Joels’ heart. They need to stop judging and worry about themselves, and what is truly in their heart. How would a Christian act? Just because someone disagrees with how another acts or a reason something is done, doesn’t make it wrong. Anymore than prayers are not always answered in the way we want them to be. Many people, often times, are jealous because of another’s blessings. Be happy with what you have been blessed with! Everybody is here for different reasons and some people hold back their calling, mostly out of fear. Obviously, he did not. So good for him. In the end, it is he who will have to answer to God for his actions, just as any of us will answer to ours.

    • And he truly skirts the whole Christian Doctrine. He shoves the”let’s feel good”
      and send me money AND people just roll over and do his bidding, I want to meet JOel at the gates of Heaven and listen to his take on how he was such a good Christian. Mega churches just reek religious organized crime.

    • I said to a friend Sat, he didn’t care anything about our Lord and Savior, all he is a person of money. I do hope he learned something thru this butt doubtful.

    • Shannon Murphy, I see exactly what you see, a man who loves money and power and takes money from people to build a $10 million dollar mansion for himself. That money should have been used to help the needy.

    • Any pastor who gets filthy rich is not a pastor. He is a con man. Every time I hear his name I think of his wife, Victoria slapping an airline stewardess for not removing a spot on her seat fast enough. She is not a religious person. She is a bitch. But oh well, she paid dearly after the stewardess sued her. Haha, Justice is sweet!

    • Very judgemental Shannon. How long have you followed him? Have you seen his humble beginnings? Pastors get blamed for everything, good, bad and indifferent. He is a human first of all and he offered an explanation for the wait but of course that was not good enough, lets go for the jugular. Is he the only Pastor that is available? He earned his lifestyle and owes no one an explanation. the church does not pay him he is an author, he has his own money. Do you go to any other rich person for e.g hollywood stars Liberace, Elton John, George Clooney and many others who truly live an extravagant lifesyle and ask for an explanation? Where are all the rich singers you guys patronize, where is there money, Beyoncee with her 7 million dollar home. Lay off the man and be grateful, the church is open they have clothes, cots, warm food, water and shelter. you can truly never please ppl. Damn if you do dam if you dont.

    • Osteen is not in any way, shape or form representative of Christianity anymore than is ISIS representative of the Islam faith. You mentioned that Jewish Synagogs and Mosques were open to assist people but you failed to mention as well the hundreds of churchs and other Christian organizations that have pitched in as well. Seems you’re focusing on Osteen as the bad Christian here. And you go to great lengths to remind Christians about their faith and what it means.

      This seems like more of a criticism of Christianity than an admonition of Osteen who in the name of Christianity rips people off. He did explain why … and whether or not you buy into that, his church is now open.

      As for Osteen leading the way to show the nay sayers regarding Christianity … skip it, there are plenty of examples of Christianity as well as other faiths to ‘strut their stuff’ so to speak.

    • The thing that troubles me is people in the Houston area were looking for immediate help. Christians and the lost alike were searching for help in a tangible way. Christian leaders are called to a higher standard. “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
      ‭‭James‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
      God knows who helps. We are not supposed to brag about what we’ve done or given. If we do, we have received our reward. However, as a leader, certain measures have to be put in place in a timely manner in order to serve the community. A leader who has compassion strategizes how they will help their community or at least verbalize that a plan is forthcoming. There is no greater love than those who lay their life down for a friend. Those on the receiving end will never forget the love that is shown towards them.

      We all have to be accountable for our actions, even leaders. We’ve all been hurt and disappointed by those we thought we could depend on. When people hear about God’s love, I want them to run towards God, not away. So just because I’m disappointed in a leader that doesn’t mean I’m a hater.

    • Very well written”. I agree also. As the priest told his parishioner when she ask where was GOD in all this and the priest pointed to the men and women risking their life to safe their fellow man and said he is right there I each of them.

    • Agreed! I see Jim and Tammy Baker in he and Victoria…. the more the church grows, the more apparent it becomes. it’s a sad display of how people will follow and be led astray. God is not here to grant wishes for “prosparity.” There will be difficult times and that is an opportunity for growth, it’s not the “Field of Dreams” Joel famously uses as his platform. Very kind and grace-giving letter…but I also believe in discernment…

    • “YES” exactly!!! I agree with you 1 million percent! You nailed it right on its ugly head. What a well thought out reply, THANK YOU!

    • You are correct. The Olsteens are not Christians. They are nothing but thieves who steal peoples money every Sunday under the guise as Christians. I have to admit that they have found a good money making venture but Christians they are NOT.

    • Say I live in a house worth about 250,000. I could live in a house that cost 150,000. I should sell this house, buy a cheaper one, and give the difference to others? I spent 13,000 for a car. I could have bought one for 4,000 and given away the difference. I guess I am a heathen. A reprobate. Oh, well! Maybe I will simply allow my heavenly Father to judge me. Remember: the measure in which YOU judge others is the measure that the Lord will use on YOU!

    • Shannon you are right dead on it . I couldn’t agree anymore or add to what you posted . And I thought I was the only one that seen this . Very well said

    • allot of them are like that the Catholic Church is a perfect place to look at the have as much or more money then you know and this so called rune of god that priest not marry was put in place so when they died they could get everything they left behind because they had no famlies that is the only reason they can not marry it was mad by the church not god

    • Concerning Joel Osteen and his response to the flood victims in Houston Texas. Let me say as a pastor you have to very carful in the days we live. Anytime you invite someone into your church you are responsible for what happens when the doors are closed. All churches do background checks on Sunday School teachers etc. When you get 10,000 people in one big auditorium there is no such thing as control anymore, just managed chaos. A lot of Joel’s volunteers had their own issues at home. What if someone got assaulted, robbed, molested or raped. You as a pastor are ultimately responsible for that. Your church can be responsible, your board can be responsible and your insurance company may or may not stand behind you. He said in the interview that there were safety concerns concerning this decision. Remember when the Louisiana Superdome was used as a shelter after Hurricane Katrina. With in days the whole place was in total chaos. The bathrooms did not work; people relieved themselves were ever they could. There were stories of rape and thievery, gangs ran wild and amidst the chaos nothing was done. It’s hard to separate fact from fiction on the Internet but what if Joel’s church was not flooded on the first day. The weather channel kept saying “hold tight there is more to come.” His church was 1 foot from flooding and did flood in 2001 so it could flood again. If the church did not have floodgates it would have flooded. As of the news tonight there was a total of 55.8 inches! If Joel got 10,000 people into a building and then it flooded, how would you do an extraction on 10,000 people when all the access points are flooded an inaccessible? I’m amazed at how many people passed judgment on Joel without knowing any of the facts. I’m sure Joel was more than willing to help but did not feel safe turning his facilities over to whoever and whatever and hoping for the best. I’ll be taking up an offering next week at church, Dan,,

    • Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar. T. d. Jakes, et al., are cold blooded new Pharisees who get over any criticism with the greatest of ease. Owning a huge building holding 17,000 people, each giving between $10 to a couple hundred two, three times a week, translates to tens of millions in short bursts of time. These new Pharisees have become immune to righteous criticism. They will continue prospering wildly and laugh mightily inside their private jets 40,000 feet in the air, where none will hear them. But HE is listening,

    • I completely agree with you on your statement……in the article, I just can’t agree with, “I don’t know you and I don’t believe you’re a bad person. You’re quite likely a good, loving, and decent man—but good, loving, and decent people lose the plot, they get distracted, they get it wrong, they need to recover their why. If none of that has happened, then I apologize for misreading things, but that’s what it looks like. ”
      olsteen is just another greedy pharasee that Jesus WARNED us against!That said the ONLY CHRISTian I know about in this country is Jimmy Carter. Not a one of those eveangelicals are CHRISTian in any way but what they want to claim!

    • The Osteen family tradition is one of treacherous trickery. Both his parents told applauding audiences they had been healed of cancer, then died of the disease within months. The Scamming accomplished by the Osteen agenda has run rampant because gullible people will believe in silliness and falsehood. However, people like the Osteens fund crowds who are also gullible with ideas that “god has made us special.” They try to erase the realities of injustice instead of confronting them with honesty. They are the perfect description of Freud’s, “The Future of an Illusion.”

    • Dear JOHN PAVLOVITZ. Shame on you. The media narrative on Joel Osteen has been completely wrong all week…. nothing new. This blog doesn’t even apply to the real situation. It’s too bad you all have fallen for it. You should know better. I am not an advocate of Joel Osteen. I’m not sure if I like his style or not. However, that doesn’t matter.

    • No fan of Olsteen, but you or anyone else knows how much he has given to the relief effort. It may be millions. You and others are doing what is specifically forbidden. Leave the judging to theLord. Pull the log out of your own eye before you try to take the splinter out of your nieghbors. Just saying

    • If we are follow Christ and you call yourself a Christian, than you must know that he died for are sins even today, and God still gives Grace no matter what we on. He has answer to his Heavenly Father, not to us.

      He did change his mind so give him some Grace!

    • It’s unfortuate that all you see is Joel’s success and wealth. Strip him of all he’s got Pastor Joel will still be the same. This bashing is nothing more than an attack on his exterior. Jesus was asked to pray for his best friend Lazarus who had died, Jesus delayed, Lazarus was embalmed, Jesus was criticised, they said only if he had come earlier, the way Pastor Joel is being criticised today. In the end Jesus’s delay was divinely ordained by God. My advise don’t be too quick to judge Pastor Joel – wait let hurricane Harvey cease, let the waters subside. There will be an answer. But I really must ask you, like Jesus said , who goes into a project without counting the cost? Pastor Joel could not have rushed and taken in the homeless , without determining if he had the facilities. Let the man be!

    • So do I! I’ve felt for years that Joel Osteen is a fake. His fake smile turns my stomach, and it burns me up that there are so many gullible people out there so willing to turn loose of their hard-earned money to feed his greedy soul. Karma is a wonderful thing.

    • I am a Houstonian. No pastor should ever go into attack mode of another pastor no matter what the circumstance. It felt ugly.
      This article was written so Joel would “understand why people were frustrated”……. I think not. I hope this pastor knows all the facts. Clearly he doesn’t- that area was under water for three days. That’s a fact.
      I ponder on this

      Matthew 6:2
      Verse Concepts
      “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

      Could this be a biblical teaching that Joel Osteen is exercising?

      Highly possible.

    • AMEN To that! When they interviewed him on GMA, you can tell he was lying as to why he hadnt open the doors to his church. It was so disingenuous.

    • The man who wrote you has a good sense of Jesus in him. He is merely saying don’ t talk the talk now…fall into action…. Feed the hungry…clothe the naked…help the poor ..and show mercy . The people need time to recuperate but food and a dry and clean place
      to live. They need people to help them fill out forms and papers to make claims for their property. These are tasks not so easy for elderly couples. So get people who know insurance and FEMA and be of assistance

    • Wrong. On so many counts. Disasters like this are planned for long in advance and with buildings like this planned for in the beginning. If you have never been in disaster planning; you really have no clue.

      I do not like the man, his arrogance, nor his attitude in general. But he followed protocol. You fill the primary points up first. And secondary points (like his church) make sure they direct people to those primary points. His church is in an area that is known for flooding. SO guess what you don’t do? You do not put people in a building that could possibly flood on the first floor; and thereby trapping everyone in the building. Then what do you have? an evacuation problem. You do not create more problems for yourself.

      The reason his church was a secondary point? The church did not have large scale bathing facilities nor cooking facilities. So you would have to move those facilties in (Civil SUpport and FEMA have portable units) But again; what happens when those units go underwater?

      There is a reason he did not open his doors. ANd you can chastise him all you want. But you follow the protocols set up for a reason, and it is to ensure the safety of human beings.

      www (dot) cnn (dot)com/2017/08/30/us/osteen-new-day-cnntv/index.html

      www (dot) washingtonpost (dot) com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/08/29/we-were-never-closed-joel-osteens-houston-megachurch-disputes-claims-it-shut-its-doors/?utm_term=.4865f19b7528

    • Shannon Murphy,
      Those are my thoughts too!! I think Joel Olsteen is in love with himself and the attn he gets and all the money he gets and the power he has.

    • First and foremost, he is not a Pastor. He is a motivational speaker (untrained at that). He does not represent the Religion that I grew up with. Actually, he gives Religion a bad image.

    • This is such bullshit lol organized Christianity needs to dissipate for the greater good of society, the money that used to go toward it
      should strictly fund education and fight hunger & poverty.

    • I. too, do not believe that he will heed any reference to Truth, compassion, sharing, sacrifice. He’s too Trump-like, totally into his own glory and comfort.

    • Amen! My sentiments exactly!
      I was one critized by the remark made on fb bc i feel that Joel osteen tells people that how good they will have it as a Christian! He couldnt be more wrong! Being a Christain armored by Christ is not a walk in the park!

    • Can you please take your negative devil dwelling thoughts elsewhere. This is where it starts. Can you just pray and believe…..do not doubt! That’s what the Lord intends and asks. Please. This is an honest rebuke and offering of rebuilding of what happened. We don’t need continued negativity. We know what’s been done….DUH!!!! Pray that this somehow turns into something greater for God’s good! I sure will. Amen

    • I’m not an Osteen supporter, other than being a fellow believer. The author of this article dished out some pretty clear and pointed observations…I’m curious what HE did, besides possibly write a check or “point and click” a donation, to mend the broken lived affected by Harvey? I hope my life will show Grace. Grace like I have received, Grace like everyone deserves, regardless how well they meet MY requirements or expectations. Whatever the actual feelings you may have for Joel Osteen…you have effectively armed, less knowledgeable souls, to judge around countless water-coolers tomorrow, with judgements that are derived from YOUR heart. But you’re a professional journalist, I’m sure you’ve already made this calculation.

    • “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Romans 14:4. I recommend that everyone who wants to find fault in Mr. Osteen carefully consider themselves and the plank in their own eye.

    • I totally agree Shannon Murphy. I do not watch Mr Osteen, but have heard his teachings if all about money. Jesus came that we can have eternal life. We didn’t ask Jesus to get on the cross. Jesus followed God’s word. When we are face to face to God, and He asked, where were you? and Where were you? Will you answer be but ” Houston didn’t ask. Will that be you answer Mr Osteen?

    • Hi, name is Dave. I live in El Mirage also. This situation affects me also. There are alot of people out here, who I don’t have much financially to give. I can donate time to to someone who CAN use it.contact me, let me know, I will be more than happy to help. God Bless.

    • He is a horrible example. Plain and simple. If he wanted to help he should have open his doors. He has what he has because of blind sheep that gove him his money. Wake up people! This is why RELIGION SUCKS!

      • No Religon doesn’t suck as you said, It’s some of the people in Religon do. If your a Christian then you know this. There are some that go to these mega churches for reconition and there business connections.

      • Shame on you for talking about a man who knows and loves Jesus like that!!!! You do not know the amount of good this man has done for the world. Do not speak falsely…God is watching you too!

      • I am afraid you have a distorted view of religion perpetrated by the left. Mr. Osteen is not about God, he is about money. There is a big difference

      • He did open his doors, just not at the exact time you thought he should of. You have no clue of the serving he does for many souls and what was going on until the doors opened to the people

      • You know,
        Jesus got so angry at happenings at the temple that he “went postal”. Turning over tables and demolishing things. He truly hated the ways some things were being done and I know as a ministers daughter that, that anger was righteous, however He loved the people…. Hated the acts. He said that religious leaders (the ones that act like they are so righteous in their prayers) He (Jesus) wanted to spew them out of His mouth. We Christians are far from perfect and we make mistakes but God has a tendency to spank (if you will) His children when we need it.
        This author of this letter to JO is doing what God instructs other Christians to do and that is,, not in malice or a judgemental spirit, question or speak to other believers about their actions when not “showing Jesus” (as I call it)
        Jesus, God or salvation doesn’t suck and not all Christians are selfish… just forgiven.
        Please don’t let a bad experience keep you away from the True One.
        I’m not a fan on televangelist but I’m a HUGE fan of God my Father.
        I hope you don’t take this as preaching just a friendly note.

      • Religion doesn’t suck … and don’t equate Osteen with Religion. There are plenty of religious groups helping out in Texas.

    • he said he wasn’t ask to help. Well I am an atheist, and no Angel came to me no God spoke to me, I just knew I had to help. I live thousand of miles away, but I help, I donated what I could send clothing to the red cross, ask on line for family and friends to donate. No want had to ask me, no one spoke in my ear, no Angel appear, no sign either, I just knew I had to help.

      • Thanks you for your kind help to those who struggle with their losses from this great . May Jesus remember you in his book of Remembrance.

      • What do you mean by you just knew? When people talk about getting a message from God or an Angel, this is often what they mean. Not a special appearance or actual hearing of voices, but just knowing, knowing in their heart, which they attribute to God’s will, God’s voice within themselves.

      • I also am an atheist but felt it was my duty to my fellow humans to help. I got my monthly Social Security check a few days ago and have sent a donation to the Red Cross, I wish it had been larger. I have been on the receiving end of charity a few times in my 76 years and know what it’s like to be down and out.

        Hang in there people of Houston, I care about you. ♥♥

      • No one should have to ask for help in the world tragedies when you hear about it you know that we need help. I was very disappointed to hear this religious organization did not open their doors in the eyes of the storm!!! the news forewarned everyone there was a huge storm coming so running such a huge religious organization and having such a large venue that they have millions but feel they need to be asked to help . I pray with all my might that they will financially house feed care for all the people animals they can fit in their Church through this incredible storms tragedy..

        • Barbara, God does not need you to believe in Him. He believes in you and your desires to help are Divine gifts, When you recognize that you need help, God is already there in your heart and will be easy for you to find.

      • Sandy- They did that kind of help too. They literally donated things to local shelters. Why are they worse than you in light of that?

    • She said she “sees”. Are you questioning her reality? It’s really hard not to sound judgy when one is asking a question or stating a reality that just may be shared my many other people as well. If questioning or stating one’s own reality is considered judgement, then count me in.