World renowned pastor Joel Osteen finds himself in the crosshairs of keyboard courageous “social justice warriors” hours after Hurricane Harvey hits Houston, but is this outrage misplaced?
There are a lot of people, christian and non-christian alike, who disagree with Osteen’s preaching of what many call the “prosperity gospel”, but this is not an issue of theology.
No, people are upset that Lakewood church remained closed during the storm that has ravaged the city of Houston.
You’ve surely seen the comments, but if not, here are some of the hot takes from my personal timeline:
Why all the hostility?
Simply put, we are in the midst of outrage culture. Why spend time praising those helping others in need, when we can spend time virtue signaling, and being angry?
That isn’t even the point, nor is it close to what many are allowing themselves to believe. Look, I get it. The fact that so many disagree with his theology makes it easy to jump on the “hate” bandwagon. Unfortunately, this hatred blinds many from seeing the facts.
While there will always be people who choose to spend time being mad, many people will calm down once the facts have been presented, and critical thinking is applied.
There is absolutely no denying the feelings that many believe Osteen to be a typical televangelist, raking in millions of dollars from those who give to him, and his church. Those are totally real things that are okay for people to have a qualm over, but this is no time for clouded judgement.
During his interview with NBC following Harvey’s landfall, Osteen set the record straight for those who are trying to “manipulate the narrative” surrounding him, and Lakewood church.
“I don’t know if it’s unfounded but I think if people were here they’d realize there were safety issues,” Osteen said. “This building had flooded before, and so we were just being precautious.”
“The main thing is the city didn’t ask us to become a shelter then.”
Now, let’s think about this critically. Osteen was not told that his church needed to be a shelter for displaced Houstonians. For that to have been a possibility, Lakewood would have had to:
Staff their building with enough workers/volunteers to accommodate others
Insure that the building with a history of flooding doesn’t flood again
Have the resources for people to eat, drink, and sleep
Ask staff/members of the church to stay in Houston during the hurricane, as opposed to evacuating
Furthermore, Osteen doesn’t live in the church. Suppose people on staff were impacted by the massive flooding going on in Houston. Why are folks upset that Lakewood doesn’t have employees sitting around, waiting out the storm?
Is there more the church could have done? Absolutely. Honestly, you could say that about anyone. You could be angry at every bus company for not giving free rides to everyone trying to leave. You could be upset with every company that isn’t opening its doors, and providing goods, and services at no cost to those in need. You could spend all day getting worked up, but what good does that do?
Here’s the answer: none.
Come on… We know what people are doing. For some reason folks feel the need to let others know just how “holy” they are with phrases like “if that were me, I would have done this.” Here’s the thing though, it wasn’t them, and this “virtue signaling” is getting absolutely out of hand.
Within 24-hours of the media backlash against Lakewood, the church opened its doors for those in need. Of course, once again there were many ready to scrutinize.
Disagree with the man’s teachings all you want, but outrage for the sake of outrage is downright unhealthy. Furthermore, why get upset at the lack of action some are taking?
A lot of people simply want to be mad, and this is why you see so many focus on those NOT doing, as opposed to those who ARE. There are too many examples to list of good Americans showing up in the darkest times, and lending a hand. Unfortunately the media knows that evoking a feeling of anger will get attention.
Don’t fall for the media deception! Find the truth!