aside Houston’s Lakewood Mega-Church Closed Doors 3 Days To The Suffering From Harvey’s Floods

 

LAKEWOOD CHURCH

It is at times like these that those in a community like Houston, TX whose residents have been faced with a catastrophic disaster and horrific losses due to “Hurricane Harvey,” when suffering peoples should be able to look to their neighbors, local, state and federal government, and especially, their local churches for some relief and comfort.

View image on Twitter

As per a  8/28/17 VOX report by Brian Resnick, “The situation is bad, and it could get worse. The weather service is calling the situation “catastrophic and life-threatening.”

This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced. Follow orders from officials to ensure safety. 

“Harvey landed in coastal Texas as a Category 4 hurricane Friday night, and within a day, its winds degraded to tropical storm strength. But now this is a new emergency altogether. Harvey has stalled (as forecast) over the Texas coast, and the flooding may continue for days. On Sunday, as the situation grew dire, the Weather Service advised people to “get on the roof” if the top floor of their home became dangerous.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF LAKEWOOD CHURCH HOUSTON

Yet there is a famous megachurch, “Lakewood” whose doors were closed on Saturday,  Sunday and Monday to those who were in desperate need for solace and shelter. I have a thing about those who say they’ll pray for others, when the others are drowning and crying out for help.

The church finally opened their doors on Tuesday morning after an avalanche of negative news hit the blogo-sphere.

As per a 8/29/17 TMZ report update, JOEL OSTEEN CHURCH FINALLY OPENS TO EVACUEES In Wake of Harvey.”

Here are excerpts:

“7:50 AM PT — Pastor Osteen’s church is now open for evacuees, and he says flooding inside the church is the reason for the delay.

A Lakewood Church rep tells us, “Lakewood’s doors are open now to anyone needing shelter. We are also coordinating with the city as a collection site for distributing supplies to area shelters. We are collecting diapers, baby formula, baby food and other supplies. Please bring these items to Lakewood Church, Circle Drive off Timmons St.”  

The rep also sent us photos of “initial flooding” within the church, and says this is “why we couldn’t open initially.”

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“Pastor Joel Osteen (has been) taking serious heat for not turning his Houston megachurch into a shelter for thousands of displaced residents who have no place to go.”

“The Houston Lakewood Church has a capacity of almost 17,000 but it has not been open to evacuees since the storm hit.”

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As per a 8/29/17 Heavy.com report by Effie Orfanides, the news about the church having flooded have varied even by Lakewood Church’s surrogates…

Excerpts:

“Dear Houstonians! Lakewood Church (its post) is inaccessible due to severe flooding! We want to help make sure you are safe. Please see the list below for safe shelters around our city, and please share this with those in need,” the update read in part.”

“Since that time, several photos and videos of the church has been posted on social media. Some people claim that the church did not suffer any flooding and that the areas around the outside of the church prove that the water levels didn’t get very high and that the church managed to stay dry inside despite the severe weather.”

“You can see a couple of these photos and a video below.”

Front of @JoelOsteen‘s huge Lakewood Church in Houston at 11 am. Closed due to “flooding”. Person who took it asked to be anonymous.

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Houston’s @indivisible_usa is acquainted with @JoelOsteen‘s Lakewood Church. They took these pics about an hour ago w/ commentary.

Lakewood Church apparently bought countless air mattresses and are prepping to open their doors. Took a while but good news.

As per a 8/29/17 Jill Dennison / Filosofa.com post’s crtitical piece, titled, A FRAUD AND A HYPOCRITE — JOEL OSTEEN, “It is said that some 30,000 people in and around Houston, Texas, are in need of temporary shelter in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  Some of these people cannot return to their homes yet because of rising flood waters, while for others, there is no home to return to.  So many have lost so much, and according to the National Weather Service, it isn’t over yet.  Now, when tragedy such as this strikes, who do we think would logically be among the first to reach out, to offer whatever assistance and aid they could?  Why yes, the churches, of course.  Well, let me tell you a little story about one megachurch in Houston.”

“You have all heard, no doubt, of Mr. Joel Osteen, pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church, a 16,800-seat indoor arena complete with plush carpeting and fountains.  Seems like a perfect place to shelter at least several hundred of those displaced by the storm, doesn’t it?  But while dozens of Houston-area churches, schools and community centers opened their doors to offer temporary shelter to survivors, while other local houses of worship organized volunteer teams to help with relief efforts, Lakewood Church’s doors remain closed.  Why?  The church’s Facebook page   claims that it would take too many volunteers to use the facility as a temporary shelter.  The official reason is that it was “inaccessible due to severe flooding.” The church itself appears undamaged by flood waters, mind you, but they fear people cannot get to the church.  Another answer, perhaps the real reason, can be found in the comments section on one Facebook post:”

“Pattie Hibbs Wilson: Don’t open the church! The ingrates will destroy it like they did the Superdome.”

Note to readers: Jill Dennison had the honor of being notified by Facebook that she has been blocked by Joel Osteen!  (Below 3 photos are from Jill Dennison’s blog.)

<> on August 26, 2017 in Rockport, Texas.

This one made me cry … 😔

 

harvey-6<> on August 26, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Here’s another example of one out of numerous critical write-ups about Lakewood Church having closed its doors for the entire weekend to those who suffering in the Houston community. On August 28, 2017, David K. Li of the New York Post penned the following report, Joel Osteen shuts megachurch amid flooding crisis

Excerpts:

Televangelist Joel Osteen canceled services at his Houston megachurch Sunday (Lakewood Church), and has yet to reopen its doors — despite the fact that thousands of flooded-out residents are desperately seeking shelter.”

Image result for PHOTOS OF LAKEWOOD CHURCH HOUSTONThe perpetually smiling pastor told followers on Twitter on Monday (8/28/17) to lean on their faith.  He wrote, “Jesus promises us peace that passes understanding,”

“But Osteen’s (offer of ) comforting words didn’t sit well with critics, who want to know why the doors to his 16,800-seat arena at his Lakewood Church near downtown Houston are closed.”

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

“Washington, DC-based writer Charles Clymer tweeted pictures of Lakewood Church, which did not appear to be damaged by floods.”

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

While the church and its arena have not suffered any flood damage yet, ministry spokesman Donald Iloff said their property is inaccessible because of surrounding waters.” ( This is counter to latest version) 

Image result for PHOTOS OF LAKEWOOD CHURCH HOUSTON“And it makes no sense to open church doors when the city and county are already treating thousands of flood victims at the nearby George R. Brown Convention Center, according to Iloff.”

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

28 comments

  1. This sort of hypocrisy is exactly why I can not abide “Christians”. Real “Christians” don’t have super-mega-churches and Armani suits…they GIVE far more than they receive and they wouldn’t hesitate for a second to bring the homeless or needy into their homes, much less their Stadium/church.

    • Dear Suze,

      To me, this lack of compassion by a church which has been blessed with abundance is beyond shocking and disappointing. How disgraceful! Joel Osteen had better stop with the excuses and start with acting like a true follower of his leader, Jesus Christ.

      Pastors like this and those who do not condemn racism and haters are using the name of Christianity in vain. They give Christians a bad name.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. For televangelists, money is their god, the very thing that Jesus condemned. Very good job reporting, Gronda and Jill, you’re so right – it is an honor to be blocked by that phony Mr. Osteen. That means you are on the right track exposing the corruption and falsehoods perpetuated by these mega churches and their money hungry pitchmen.

    I will donate my resources to the American Red Cross, never to these phony thieves like Osteen. I can’t believe ppl are still so gullible these days to fall for such an obvious scam like megachurches. We don’t need sycophantic middlemen preachers or the government to interfere with our relationship with GOD.

    To Mr. Osteen, you have been EXPOSED, too little too late dude. I hope the good ppl of Houston wake up and see the King has no clothes, and even less heart!

    To paraphrase Seinfeld: NO MONEY FOR YOU! OUT!!

    • Dear 1EarthUited,

      You’ve got the picture.

      Frankly I have been shocked by the lack of compassion demonstrated by Pastor Joel Osteen and his Lakewood Church. I would have expected better. This has to be a major disappointment to the surrounding community.

      This is another case where a pastor has forgotten what his true mission is all about and it is not hording his riches.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Thank you, 1EarthUnited! Yes, I was quite honoured when I received the message that Mr. Osteen had blocked me! I laughed out loud and considered dancing a bit of a jig, but as it was 3:00 a.m., I thought better of it! But seriously, yes, we must shine the spotlight on these arrogant ‘men’, for they are not believers in God, but rather use the concept of God as their tool for enriching themselves.

    • Dear David Prosser,

      With 30% of the 4th largest US city under water, there is indescribable suffering and loss. These peoples are in shock. In the midst of all this tragedy to have this RICH megachurch close its doors for 3 days is unconscionable. I have a feeling the pastor will be hearing about this for years to come, and rightfully so.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Kim,

      There are some Evangelical pastors that I like. For instance, I follow Joyce Meyers on twitter. But I also follow Papa Francisco.

      However, there are too many who are forgetting what their mission is supposed to be, which is not hording riches instead of showing compassion at a time like this.

      They do turn away too many folks by their acts of hypocrisy.

      It bothers me when someone like Pastor Joel Osteen makes excuses as to why the church didn’t open its doors for 3 days. The last excuse, was that the church itself was flooded. But this excuse is counter to what its spokesperson said which was that the church was not flooded but that the surrounding area was. But then there are photos proving that the surrounding area was not flooded.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. Dearest Gronda … an excellent post, and thank you so much for the mention! Joel Osteen is, sadly, not the only one. Franklin Graham, Jim Bakker, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell … the list goes on and on. And people are giving money that they need to feed their families so that these ‘men of the cloth’ can live like kings! 👿 Whatever happened to the day that churches used the donations they collected to help feed the poor and provide medical care for the underprivileged? This is only a part of the reason I describe myself as an ‘anti-religionist’. Again, many thanks, my friend!

    • Dear Jill,

      These Evangelical prosperity ministers are supposed to be emulating their leader, Jesus Christ who lived a life of simplicity and who was frequently caring for the least among us.

      I don’t begrudge anyone being financially blessed but they are just that, blessed. They are not better than anyone. And they fall short of their mission when they put their riches before doing their mission.

      Those that preach/ encourage the denial of climate change, that don’t specifically denounce racism, and that turn their backs when the community is suffering from a natural disaster, are not doing God’s work. They are selling their souls for thirty pieces of silver because these pastors are too afraid of upsetting their members to where their funds will dry up if they speak up on these subjects.

      Hugs, Gronda

  4. These people are right wing activists who use religion to funnel money to political operatives. Does anyone really believable Pat Robertson speaks for the Son of God? I mean anyone whose ever read more than a few out of context quotes from the Old Testament goulash served up by people who are fundamentalist because they can’t read or can’t comprehend what they read.

    • Dear Rob,

      You have a point.

      Let’s be clear. One should be welcome in a House of God whether one is a democrat or a republican. If one has to check out one’s brains at the door as well as laying claim to being a white, republican who shuns the science of climate change and who isn’t vocal when peoples espouse racism, then this person is part of a cult.

      This is what too many churches have become.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Pastor Joel Osteen is certainly turning his thinking around in a better direction. The Lakewood Church’s doors are now open. He saw the light.

      Thanks a million times over for all of your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

  5. I reblogged on FB and a cousin said, you are incorrect, read Snopes! I finally blocked her. She’s one of the people that use Christianity as it suits her.

    • Dear Rugby843,

      Blocking your cousin wasn’t very Christian of you. I am open to the concept that I can make errors.

      I did read the Snopes article as suggested by your cousin. This is the first time I have seen an answer with the classification of mixture. I’m guessing that the fact checking results were mixed.

      What I can say with reasonable certainty, is that the church was closed for three days. This Church is a 606,000-square-foot building — former home to the Houston Rockets — which sits on seven acres in the Greenway Plaza area along the Southwest Freeway.

      With a building this huge, it is possible that a portion somewhere could have been flooded.

      But I am not buying this excuse because cleaning up after a major flooding even of a basement or garage area would take how many days?. Yet he was able to open his church on Tuesday after late Friday when the storm hit which would allow for clean-up on late Saturday,Sunday and Monday.

      On this one I am not buying Pastor Osteen’s excuses even though I am grateful that he did finally open his doors. Better late than never.

      Thanks a million for your support and this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • I hope you were being facetiouswith that first remark. She is not acting in a Christian manner even though we were brought up in a similar environment, I presume to know what the golden rule is.

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