Before getting into it, I’d like to also point to the people of Bangladesh who suffered devastating floods and lord knows what else since getting real news sources from that situation and that part of the world is dicey at best. It seems random, but it's just goes to show how much of a silo mentality and silo Christianity we're living in. If you want something closer about situations where we could have helped, see my home of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean in general, and Mexico.
That said, let's get straight into it.
We need less prophets of profit and make no mistake, Joel Osteen along with several other pastors of mega churches are exactly that. If you are a man of God, your net worth should be your impact on the world, not the properties you own, the jets you fly in, or what’s in the bank.
By the way, this is an opinion.
My opinion at that.
You’re allowed to disagree.
But I still have the right to my opinion... and to me, Joel Osteen along with any other person of wealth needs to take a good look in the mirror to ask themselves if they still believe in God because responding to public backlash to open your doors to people in need is not the right move. Could it have been the work of news media outlets wanting to cover a story in a manner that would get ratings? Maybe. Actually, it probably is. But is the way the story being brought forth responding to a private agenda? Who knows? Or better yet, who cares?
That churches make a ridiculous amount of money by appealing to people in need, people of faith, and people swayed by a public figure is not up for debate. It’s how they do business… and that’s a pretty shitty word to use when talking about faith.
I’ve read people coming out to defend Osteen… and it begs the question, why defend them? They’ll be fine. They have enough money to respond to ANY need that arises in their life in addition to several wants, whims, and desires.
I write this blog post because I have a big problem when people take advantage of other people and are somehow lauded. This is not a messiah. He is a pastor. And like many pastors, he has sided with the side of money… It’s not that you can’t be successful and have faith, by the way. It’s that preying on people and making money off of faith, off of God, feels wrong and to me is wrong.
We do not need a Mega Church or a multimillion dollar earning preacher/pastor. People say we shouldn’t rush to judge… I haven’t rushed. I’ve seen the behavior of bling wearing pastors for years and it’s always left a bad taste in my mouth.
So why write about it now? Because the initial response of this church last year during the aftermath of the rains brought forth by Hurricane Harvey was to turn people away. To think like a business and not a house of the people. Not of God. But of people. And that’s the point. A church isn’t supposed to just be the house of God. It’s supposed to be the home of people who congregate as a community of equals, brought together by values and beliefs. It’s not a competition of who’s dressed better. It’s not about who knows the prayers better or out of memory. And it sure as hell isn’t about money and opulence regardless of what some churches actually do with the money they receive.
It’s about people being there for one another regardless of color, race, and dare I say, even religion. If you’re a Christian, you do not deny someone help because they are of another religion or atheist. Why? Because that’s how a Christian is supposed to behave even if during these warped times where people have forgotten that God is neither a racist, a micromanager, or much less an asshole.
In times of need. You help. You don’t see what’s feasible in the fiscal plan, you don’t see what’s in the budget, you don’t see what you can spare... you help. NO questions asked. To pander, let’s say Houston faced floods of biblical proportions… How anyone responded will tell us as much about their faith as it will about their character, and to me Mister Osteen proved to be lacking in both departments because he held back. Justify it all you want. Spin it any way you want. He held back and then he did damage control and since some time has passed, a lot of people have forgotten. But a lot of others have not.
These are not times of profit.
These are not times of damage control or public relations.
These are not even times of faith.
These are times of humanity. And we cannot afford to be lacking in this department.
Peace, love, and maki rolls