After Hurricane Harvey, Houston-based televangelist Joel Osteen has come under fire for not opening his mega church, Lakewood Church, to the flood victims. After a constant barrage of heavy criticism on social media, he finally opened his mega church up for people.
Last week, during an appearance on Today, Osteen claimed that “[The city] didn’t need us as shelter then.” He continued, “We coordinate with them all the time. If we needed to be a shelter, we certainly would’ve been a shelter right when they first asked.”
On Sunday, during his sermon, Osteen made sure to clear up the rumors on why he delayed opening the doors to his church. He repeated the claim that his church was always open to the public. He also stated that there was internal flooding and blamed a security company that may have been the reason people were being turned away.
Then he went on to talk about a story from the Bible about how Jesus and his disciples were sailing across a lake that was hit with a hurricane. Osteen brought up this story to tell his congregation that the “storm couldn’t keep them from their destiny.” In essence, he was telling the people that Harvey was part of God’s plan.
Osteen told the people that Jesus didn’t wake up during the storm because he knew they could handle it. “If they were all going to die, he would have gotten up without them having to wake him up,” he asserted.
Then he tells his congregation that sometimes people call on God because they panic but it’s all part of the plan.
“The reason it may seem like God is not waking up is not because he’s ignoring you, not because he’s uninterested, it’s because he knows you can handle it,” Osteen stated.
He continued, “Quit being upset by something you can handle.”
He added, “Take it as a compliment.”
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