Is Televangelist Joel Osteen not opening his church to victims of Hurricane Harvey? This tweet with photos claims that is the case.
The hurricane massacred Texas this weekend. Since this happened, Osteen did make an announcement they would not be having services on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday he asked Texans to lean on Chris to gain comfort.
Per Osteen's statement:
“Due to the weather impact of Hurricane Harvey and concern for the safety of our members, all Lakewood Church worship services for this weekend, Saturday, August 26th and Sunday, August 27th have been cancelled."
“Jesus promises us peace that passes understanding. That’s peace when it doesn’t make sense.”
Then on Monday the Lakewood Church released another statement. This one was asking people to donate to the hurricane relief fund Samaritan's Purse. It also advised that they were working with Franklyn Graham, a celebrity pastor, to aid in relief.
Finally, the social media trolls went after Osteen. According to their claims Osteen closed the doors to his massive megachurch and refused to offer a place people could go to be safe.
Then photos surfaced that showed the church in stable condition. It clearly look as if people would be able to take refuge there.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) August 28, 2017
More, per Daily Wire:
To be entirely fair to Osteen here, HuffPo noted that "Lakewood Church has previously helped with relief efforts in the city, most recently hosting a benefit concert in 2016 after heavy flooding," and "in 2001, the church sheltered roughly 5,000 Texans displaced by a tropical storm."
Ministry spokesman Donald Llof says that the property, though intact, is inaccessible due to surrounding flood waters on the roads, saying that the George R. Brown Convention Center is better equipped to help victims.
“It has everything inside there — medicine, doctors, places to sleep,” Llof said of the convention center. “It’s amazing what they’re doing there to make people comfortable.”
Joel Osteen has yet to respond to the controversy.
It remains to be seen whether or not there is any truth to these claims. We will update this as more information becomes available.