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.

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

This one made me cry … 😔

 

harvey-6<> on August 26, 2017 in Corpus Christi, Texas.Interestingly, considering that the church is supposedly “inaccessible”, they plan to serve as a “distribution center” today …

“Coordinating with the city, Lakewood is a collection site for distributing supplies to the Houston area shelters.

Beginning at 12 Noon tomorrow we are collecting infant and adult diapers, baby formula and baby food.

Help us help others. Please bring these items to Lakewood Church, Circle Drive off Timmons St.”

Note that they are asking people to donate these items, but that there is no mention of the church contributing in any way other than providing the venue for people to bring their donations.  The Facebook page has a multitude of comments on this post, ranging from disgust that the church is doing nothing more, to those defending the church.  I left a few choice comments of my own … I couldn’t resist.

Now, as for Mr. Osteen himself, he did what I’m sure he felt was helpful, he tweeted.

osteen-tweets.jpgI’m sure this all goes a long way toward helping those who need food, clothing and shelter feel ever so much better.  NOT.  And this is all he has to offer.  The man whose net worth is estimated at $40 million, the man who lives in a home valued at $10.5 million, with six bedrooms, six bathrooms, three elevators, a pool house and a guest house, cannot be troubled to open his church, to donate a bit of his own money toward relief efforts.

Osteen-Oprah.jpgIn a 2012 interview with Oprah Winfrey, when asked if he ever “makes any apologies” for his wealth, Osteen replied, “I really don’t, Oprah. We just feel like this is God’s blessings. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a nice place to live and being blessed.”

I will not editorialize much, for the above facts speak for themselves.  However, I would like to add that I think there are elements of both snobbery and racism involved in the decision not to open the church as a temporary shelter.  The demographics of Houston, as of the last census, were 37% Hispanic or Latino, 25% African-American.  In addition, Houston has a substantial number of Middle-Eastern refugees.  Though hurricanes are indiscriminate, the reality is that homes belonging to wealthier people are better-built, usually on higher ground, and therefore better able to withstand the damaging winds and torrential rains.  So the likelihood is that many of those who are displaced are non-white, and in lower income levels.  Looking at how many of the comments referenced the problems in the Superdome in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, I cannot help but think there is some snobbery and racism driving the decision not to open the church.

I close with a hope that others in the Houston area will be more generous than Mr. Osteen and his group, and send my heartfelt thoughts and best wishes to the victims of this disaster.

Note to readers: I just received a notification from Facebook that I have been blocked by Joel Osteen! Frankly, I am honoured. I guess they cannot handle anyone who disagrees!

90 thoughts on “A Fraud And A Hypocrite — Joel Osteen

  1. I have to say that I am in total agreement on this one! I think these mega-churches are just a retooling of the old televangelist like Jim and Tammy Baker. I do not understand how his parisheners do not seem to see this for what it is. Where is the grace, love, and compassion in this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of life’s big mysteries, I think, is why people cannot see these mega-churches and their ‘pastors’ for what they really are … shysters making a ton of money for themselves, not helping the poor or disadvantaged. It puzzles me.

      Like

  2. I was raised Southern Baptist, so I know whereof I speak. All organized religions are just religious clubs. All mega churches exist for one reason. Fame and fortune. Anyone who thinks otherwise is choosing to delude themselves, wanting someone else to lead them into glory rather being in charge of their own spiritual nature. This did not surprise me at all. Now, before anyone throws stones at me, I know that true loving, Christ minded individuals are within many churches and organizations. I am speaking to the whole and the enigma of these church mega stars. Even local churches broadcasting on tv is appalling to me. When was the last time one of those ministers went house to house to spread the ‘good news’ ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since nobody is allowed to throw sticks or stones on this blog, please always feel free to express your opinion. In this case, happens that I agree with you 100%. These mega churches are businesses, nothing more. They collect massive amounts of donations from people who struggle to make ends meet … tax-exempt, I might add … and they do not then use those donations to support charitable causes or do good works, they line their own pockets. Personally, if they do not use, say 90% of their revenue for charity, I think they should lose their tax-exempt status. But, that will never happen. Osteen, Graham, Robertson … I consider them to be dishonourable men.

  3. I didn’t read all the comments, but I believe the man to be a fraud and a crook. Our youngest daughter attends medical school in Houston, so I was paying very close attention and learned about his initial decision from her in terms of “nice church, huh dad? I will contradict an earlier comment of mine and refer to JO as a dickhead. It is important to remember though that there are great clergy out there, most of whom go quietly about their work. It is important not to put both types in the same box.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES! I knew we would find common ground! And I fully agree that there are many pastors doing good work and that it would be grossly unfair to judge all by a few. It seems to me that these ‘megachurches’ are the worst examples, for when I see a pastor whose net worth is in the multi-million dollar range, and see that the church does little, if anything, to help the poor, the sick, or support humanitarian causes, I don’t consider that very ‘Christian’. Though not a Christian, I always had tremendous respect for Billy Graham, however his son Franklin … I put in the same category as Osteen. Same with Pat Robertson. Basically, I think these particular men of cloth have become much too political and perhaps forgotten what their mission should be.

      I’m assuming your daughter suffered no harm from Harvey?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Bravo Jill. You are calling a shyster what he is. F R A U D

    Can you imagine if Noah was a man like that. The ark he built offers “sanctuary and safety” for species of a flooding world.

    However Mrs Noah tells him that certain animals and species cannot enter the ark because they are filthy, ungrateful creatures who will not appreciate the accommodations they have been offered and might in fact desecrate the place with their presence and ingratitude.

    Thankfully this man of God did not take a cold and callous attitude towards his charges.

    Religion is more than a preacher wearing thousand dollar suites, expensive haircuts and perfect teeth.

    Churches are a refuge for the downtrodden and the needy of the world who seek spiritual and physical accommodation from the ills of the world.

    The house of God has been converted unfortunately into this man’s mausoleum of success.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, GC! I love your ‘Ms. Noah’ analogy … that is exactly how I viewed the comments from the Osteen-followers who praised him for not opening the church doors. I, too, always believed that the church, though I eschew religion, was a place of sanctuary for all, especially those most in need. But apparently not the ‘mega-churches’ like Osteen’s.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I suppose that is a disagreement between us. The thing is I feel torn on rather or not it is his responsibility.

        On one hand I believe people shouldn’t be expected to give to charity, because as people accumulate it could be passed off as an accumulation of wealth to use to gain even more (than the accumulation) to give to people (an example would be investing money into the stock market in order to triple the original fund for charity). But here it seems to be a one time deal, either you give to the people or you don’t. Then again isn’t that how most charities work?

        That’s the thing I’m confused about, is it a person’s responsibility to give to the poor immediately or wait and give more? Of course this may not be Olsteens motives, and he might be a hypocrite based on messages preached in the past, if so it would make the this comment pretty abstract to the topic.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah, yes, I can see why we would disagree … and that’s fine, because the world would be boring as hell if we all walked around saying & thinking the same thing 😉 I lean toward socialism, whereby if you have more than your immediate needs, and somebody else is in need, you share with them. For me, it is simple, and yes, I live as I believe, though I am retired and have little to give. But now … those of great wealth, such as Trump, DeVos, Osteen, and the many others in the news that I could name … their net worth is in the billions. What could they possibly ever do with all that? They use it to invest, make more money, which they continue to hoard, or spend on things that are well beyond their needs. I find that those who have the least are the ones who are most generous. But what would the world be like if the wealthy gave as much, percentage-wise, as the rest of us?
          Some of these wealthy, and I will use Trump as an example, have established tax-exempt ‘foundations’ to donate to charitable causes, but what they do is they solicit donations from others. Trump has not actually contributed a penny to his foundation since, I believe I read it was 2008. So … how is that ‘generosity’?
          I think that those of us who have seen times when we worried how we would buy food, pay the rent, how we would survive, have developed a greater character, a greater degree of empathy toward others than people who were born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths will ever have. Do I think it’s their responsibility to share their wealth? Yes, I suppose I do. I don’t actually understand why they don’t … I would derive much more pleasure from helping others than from checking my investment portfolio daily.
          Thanks for your views … I always welcome reasoned and civil discourse!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t know much of Joel Olsteen. I know Trump is a hoarder in his mentality (wanting to deport people based not on what is best for everyone but what is best for his and his own), what I was mostly saying is if you look to get rich and use your money like Steve Jobs (his enormous gifts to charity) then is keeping until you can give greatly, morally acceptable? Either way I do agree hoarding for the sake of hoarding is bad, if that is Olsteen’s motive then he should be ashamed of himself (then he might through shame improve his actions).

            Liked by 1 person

            • See … we mostly agree! In Osteen’s case, what may actually be the worst part is that he solicits donations from people who can ill afford it, but they give anyway. And, rather than use those funds to help the poor, the needy, they are used to line his own pockets. Somehow … I just cannot condone that.

              And yes, I also look at people like Bill Gates, and other philanthropists who have given away sometimes as much as 90% of their wealth to help others, and then I look at Osteen, or Trump … it puts them to shame, if you ask me.

              Thanks again for your thoughtful comments … always appreciated!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yes! The same people who give their ‘10%’ based on what they believe are the very ones who need his help most and he turns his back. My mother loved Billy Garham and from her sick bed sent my Dad’s little VA pension check faithfully to the PTL club to Jim Baker until the day she died. When we buried her the church of which she was a member at that time but could hardly visit due to her illness, the ministerrefused to have service in the church due to her not being an ‘active’ member. I don’t do religion. Like I always say, “Christ (whoever and if ever he was) was not a Christian.” There are so many ealthy people who contribute that never ask for or recieve accolades. It is just what they do. No grandstanding. Last year when my family lost their home in the Louisina floods which, BTW, were hardly spoken of on the news, Trump supporters bragged about him sending in a truckload of goods. A TRUCKLOAD. He could have sent fleets…

                Liked by 1 person

  5. O’Steen is a fraud. I’ve seen him on numerous shows and he wouldn’t know the Bible if it fell on him. That being said, he was on the Today Show this morning working with volunteers in his church to give people shelter. His lame excuse for not doing so sooner was that the city did not designate his church as a shelter and did not ask for his help. The question that the reporters failed to ask him was how he was different than the business owners and private citizens that opened their businesses and homes to those in need without being asked. He is supposed to be a man of God, but he is a man of $$$ who was worried that his church would be sullied by non-believers or worse, those without cash to give him.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Funny, that is about the third different excuse I’ve heard him use! Is he like Trump and cannot keep his lies straight? And yes, he is a despicable fraud, but then so are the rest of his ilk, like Jim Bakker, Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, and the list goes on and on. I think of it as rather a ‘reverse Robin Hood’ … rob from the poor, give to the rich. Sigh. Good to see you, Don!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jill, his Oprah interview reminds me of an interview between Reverend Jim Bakker of the Praise The Lord (PTL) Club and Ted Koppel on Nightline back in the 1980. Bakker responded to a question about his home and its excesses (a solid gold faucet, e.g.) with “the Lord wanted me to have nice things.” It should be noted that Bakker went to jail for extorting money from his audience. By the way, the correct answer to Bakker is “but he did not want others to pay for it.”

    Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • Funny you should mention Jim Bakker, as he has floated back onto my radar today with his “Roger-Stone-like” threats that “Christians will start a civil war” if Trump is impeached. Funny, but I think he failed to learn a lesson while he served his time in prison, don’t you? Has the whole world gone mad, Keith?

      But y’know what is really sad? First, that so many people who can ill-afford it are giving their hard-earned money to support the lavish lifestyles of these so-called ‘men of the cloth’. But even more … in these divisive, distressing times, times when people who believe in Christianity, really need to be able to count on their religion to provide them with comfort, guidance, etc., instead they are being … I tried to think of a better way of putting it, but let’s call a spade a spade … they are being royally screwed. “Just send in the check, folks … no, please do not ask for anything in return … just send the check.” Yes, I am a cynic. I have lived too many years with eyes wide-open not to be. Sigh.

      Good response to Bakker … too bad it would go right over his coiffed head!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Jill, while I am convinced many of these mega-successful religious leaders start out with piety and sincerity, the money has a corrupting effect. Some are better at polishing the apple than others, but they are still using folks to make money.

        Living in Charlotte where the PTL Club operated, there was a radio DJ who saw through the insincerity before Bakker went down and did a bit called the “Pass The Loot Club.” It was dead on accurate in its sarcasm.

        Keith

        Liked by 2 people

        • “Pass the Loot Club” … how apt!!! Perhaps you are right, that they start out with their hearts in the right place. I am more of a cynic than either you or Hugh, and I doubt their hearts were ever pure. Yes, money and power corrupt, but somehow, I doubt they change a completely good-hearted, well-intentioned person into a greedy, ruthless person. I subscribe to the theory that a leopard doesn’t change his (or her) spots. Yes, I know … I am a crusty old curmudgeon 🙂

          Like

  7. Dear Jill,
    It is at times like these that these prosperity theology inspired Evangelical pastors show their true colors. I have this thing about those who say they’ll pray for others, when the others are drowning and need a saving hand up.
    It is quite an honor to be blocked by this pastor.
    This just goes to show, all that glitters is not gold. Pastor Osteen does glitter but he is fool’s gold.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 5 people

    • Indeed he is fool’s gold! If I am starving, I do believe I would find an offer of a sandwich far more appealing than an offer of a prayer from a man who owns the sandwich shop! The really sad part is that thousands of people are giving money that they could put to better use, money that they can ill-afford, to help this man live his lavish lifestyle. And he is not the only one … there are so many of these buffoons! Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Typical. Church is a business. Letting people in for shelter at the risk of even more property damage is bad for business. And they’re accepting donations? Of course they are. So what exactly are they doing besides distribution that others could just as easily do? I hope people start looking to one another for hope, help, and love, instead of scams like Osteen.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Quiet so. Interestingly, after all the criticism of him and his church yesterday, he reversed course and announced today that the church will welcome any who need shelter. In my opinion, a day late and dollar short, as the saying goes.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I have blogged about the mega-churches and the hypocrisy. This is simply another example of so-called Christians who apparently never read the New Testament — or think it doesn’t apply to them somehow! Very sad.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have to wonder if they truly believe, as Osteen told Oprah, that God wants them to be wealthy, or if it is all just a huge scam? I suspect the latter, but then I tend to be cynical anyway. But, the more I think about it, the worst part of this whole thing is that it puts a taint on the entire religion. You and I have discussed this before, and things like this are part of what have caused me to have no use for religion, period. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth, and makes me distrustful of anybody who claims to be a ‘man of the cloth’. Did I ever tell you my story about the used car salesman?

      Many years ago, when I was raising three children, working two jobs, and putting myself through grad school, my car died. Obviously I needed a car, but had very little money, so I went from car lot to car lot in search of a car I could afford. At one lot, I found one, and took it for a test drive. About a mile down the street, it died. Slput. Dead. So, I walked back to the car lot and explained to the salesman what had happened. He said they would tow the car and fix it, and I could come back the next day to test drive it again. When I said no, I didn’t think so, his response was one I will never forget: “Now little lady, I’m a preacher, so you know you can trust me!” His words were accompanied by a VERY inappropriate pat on the …. No, I did NOT go back and test drive the car again … 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree that there are hypocrites and nasties out there who parade their “faith” in large. But this has nothing whatever to do with religion. It’s about people who use religion to get what they want. And I suspect that folks like Osteen are convinced that God wants them to be wealthy. It’s a message they repeat often and manage to cling to despite the fact that it runs counter to nearly every word in the NewTestament. Religion is about the words these folks are SUPPOSED to live by, it’s about the good that people do in the name of something Greater than themselves. It’s not about hypocrisy.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I would love to know how many people were blocked from Mr. Osteen’s Facebook account. I think we might see the need to pray for ‘him’ as he seems to badly need to open his heart. I would admire a Scrooge more than him as at least Scrooge was honest. I doubt he’ll lose followers though as they probably all think the same way he does and enjoy sitting in his squeaky clean church for services. They can then feel justified even though it’s a farce.:( — Suzanne

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m with you on that … his arrogance and deceit far outpace that of Scrooge. Surely the man cannot believe that God wants him to be wealthy and at the same time wants others to be starving to death! It would be bad enough were it just him, but there are others … many others … who believe the same. I wonder how the people who continue to donate to his church reconcile the fact that he is so wealthy with his pleas for their hard-earned money?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t know Joel Osteen, but he sounds like a typical Prosthelytizing fraudster. God has not made him rich, because money is just actually an I.O.U. promissory note. He has built his ministry on the backs of poor people. I think if there is such a thing as an afterlife place of physical existence, Joel’s will be just a bit hot and smelly! These people are a disgrace to society.

    As for Texas….my thoughts are with everyone as they struggle through this terrible time. I am hoping that the death count won’t rise.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Just looked him up. I do remember Lakewood Church and his preacher father. Used to be televised in Canada.
      That huge building is ideal for temporarily housing victims. The disaster relief page on their website smacks you in the face with an automatic table to donate money but doesn’t really indicate that it will all go to disaster victims. Charlatan!

      Liked by 3 people

      • According to Wikipedia, he didn’t even finish ministry school at Oral Roberts University.
        With recent (but unconnected) news of an equally popular Indian Guru who has just been jailed for multiple rape, I think that people must not look to these people to give them hope. They take your money and toss out fake trinkets, promising nothing except that you will be poorer for your faith.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I’ve read about the Indian Guru. Baba was sentenced to I believe ten years in jail for rape. I t seems there’s no DT here to pardon him. A bunch of his loyal followers is raising hell up north. He’s humbly asked for pardon but it didn’t help with the sentence. —- Suzanne

          Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, I fully agree. Back in the day, churches collected donations and then in turn gave the money to various causes, like feeding the poor, providing medical care for the indigent … something that helped those less fortunate. But today, at least these ‘megachurches’, use the money for their own purposes, usually to line the pockets of those like Osteen, Bakker, and Graham. They also prey on the elderly … I had a friend, now dead, who kept sending money to these churches, for they were promising her a spot in “heaven”. 😠

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Brilliant exposure of the sanctimonious comfortable your doing a great job. In my youth I heard many times ‘ actions speak louder than words’
    I had to grow grow up before I understood that old saying. Advice is cheap help is expensive.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Kertsen! I agree … actions speak louder than words. If I had lost my home, had nowhere to go, only the clothes on my back, I really think an offer of food, clothing and shelter would mean much more to me than somebody offering to pray for me! And yes, with maturity comes an understanding of all those things our parents said that made little sense at the time. Experience in life is the greatest teacher, isn’t it?

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  13. So they are more worried about people making a little mess that can be cleaned up instead of focusing on the lives that could be saved by their support? I am tired of these people. Of what good is one’s money if it’s not used to help those around the person🤔?

    Liked by 3 people

    • It reminds me of the time some complained to Jesus about his followers not washing their hands properly. He told them that wasn’t the most important thing to be concerned about. So we know how God feels about such things. The good reverend had better spend more time on his knees asking for forgiveness and enlightenment and less time worrying about cleanliness. —- Suzanne

      Liked by 3 people

    • That is what I keep asking, too, my friend! If I had $40 million, I would be ashamed of myself. I see money as a means to an end … and for me, that end would be to help people. And I am not a religious person, do not claim to be, and I’m certainly not a “spiritual leader” as is Osteen and a bunch more. I don’t understand how these people sleep at night. Sigh. Good to see you, Jacqueline! Hugs!!!

      Like

  14. Wow, there was so much Christian feeling from Mr. Osteen and Patti Hibbs Wilson I almost got caught up in it. They obviouisly don’t believe in their god enough to think he will count their lack of Christian spirit. Such hypocrites.
    xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr Osteen’s true god is money, judging by his actions. His megachurch shows very little humanity, charity, love or any Christian values for that matter. Ppl plz stop supporting televangelist fraudsters, ur better off giving directly to the poor, or volunteer at the shelter.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Joel Osteen: A Piece Of Feces. – The Militant Negro™

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