Pastor Joel Osteen, Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas has suffered heavy backlash from the online community over the Hurricane Harvey in Houston that has claimed several lives.
He recently posted a tweet requesting for donations towards the Hurricane Relief which has received thousands of responses as it was reported that his church premises were locked when they should be actively participating in the recovery process.
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) August 28, 2017
Here are some of the responses
Open up your "church" if your heart is truly breaking
— Jeremy in Calgary (@JC_in_Calgary) August 28, 2017
Is that why he's lying about the church being flooded so he doesn't have to let his "flock" into their own church to shelter from the flood?
— Clare (@itzaclareday) August 29, 2017
Would it make you feel better if #HurricaneHarvey victims were at your church door with a dollar in their hand?
— Danny Deraney (@DannyDeraney) August 28, 2017
Yesterday, the church released a full statement on the issue which revealed that the church was closed earlier because the church arena is prone to flooding and Houston Officials had set up shelters throughout the city.
We believe that this conversation is a subtle but healthy way to further emphasise the role of the church in social responsibility. It is therefore essential that we help the people in our local communities to live better lives to the best of our capacity.
James presents a proposition in James 2:15-17
“If a brother is without clothes and daily food and one of you says to them “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself. [HCSB VERSION]
There’s no hard and fast rule to what a church should do in this case because needs are different based on diverse communities therefore, we should examine our environment, and come up with a Spirit-inspired way to meet their needs and help them out in whatever capacity that we can.
This in itself is the love of Christ in action.
We are glad that Joel Osteen and the church community has clarified the issue surrounding the flooding.