Joel Osteen, grifting TV televangelist who looks like a Saturday Night Live mashup skit, is at it again. Just last week he was publicly shamed about his decision to close the doors of his megachurch in Houston. Even though he boasts a personal wealth of over $40M, he refused to open the doors of his taxpayer and congregant-funded building to people who had lost everything.
When asked on the Today show last week why he didn't open the doors of his Church to the community, he said:
"(The city) didn’t need us as shelter then. If we needed to be a shelter, we certainly would’ve been a shelter right when they first asked."
Yes, because as Jesus says, wait until people in need ask for help before offering it. And when they do ask, make excuses about why you didn't do it in the first place. WWJD, right?
Well, just yesterday, Osteen and his veneers had his first "service" and wow, did he say some heartless things under the guise of "god" and his wisdom. I am not much for televangelists, so I am not sure how these things normally go, but in this clip he talked abut a biblical story and Jesus and a lake and kind of tied it in to Hurricane Harvey in a roundabout way.
The gist of his story? God has a plan and sometimes he just doesn't jump in to help you and you have to help yourself. He said:
“The reason it may seem like God is not waking up is not because he’s ignoring you, not because he’s uninterested, it’s because he knows you can handle it. Take it as a compliment.”
I am sure that the 50 people that have died already took it as a compliment. Or was this God's way of saying "welp, they couldn't handle it so let's smite them?"
Nothing says empathy and compassion like minimizing the loss of others and somehow making it seem like a good thing.
You have cancer? Well, you can handle it. It's a compliment!
You are getting a divorce? Well, you can handle it. It's a compliment!
Your child died? Well, you can handle it. It's a compliment!
You lost your job and are homeless? Well, you can handle it. It's a compliment!
Notice how none of these things are compliments?