Famed Pastor, businessman, and walking contradiction, Joel Osteen, is facing criticism on social media for purportedly closing the doors of his Lakewood Church in Houston and not offering shelter to those who are dealing with freezing temperatures and rolling blackouts.
The rumors started with a Facebook post that alleged, “In Houston, megapastor Joel Osteen not opening his 18,000-seat arena to the freezing homeless.” The news spread like wildfire. As it turns out, most Americans apparently have yet to forgive Osteen, who during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 refused accept evacuees at his church.
The official Lakewood Church Twitter account was quick to dispel these rumors, however, witnesses say they may have left out an important detail regarding who Lakewood is a designated Warming Center for.
Lakewood is a designated Warming Center beginning today for anyone in need of shelter. Arrive at either of our main entrances (Lower Edloe or Timmons St.)
— Lakewood Church (@lakewoodchurch) February 14, 2021
Jim Reynolds, a local Houstonian who was actually turned away at the doors told The Stonk Market that Osteen’s cronies were checking pay stubs at the entry point.
“I couldn’t believe it!” Reynolds exclaimed, “My house hasn’t had water, heat, or electricity in days. Fortunately the hospital has power, so my pregnant wife is safe. But me and my three kids have been rationing my old MRE supplies and going number two in buckets. And Osteen’s security told me that I had to be earning over $100K to get in! Apparently the joint is open, but it is some sort of networking event at this point.”
Reynolds, a 36-year-old veteran of the war in Iraq, had tears streaming down his face as he explained how he’d faithfully followed Osteen since he got back from the service and couldn’t believe he was now “too poor” for the Lakewood Church.
When questioned, Osteen was incredulous, explaining that Lakewood Church wasn’t “some sort of charity.” The Pastor quickly became agitated and asked what we would do if we had only gotten $4.4 million in PPP loans.