Sure as eggs, the chookwatchers had to leap in before thinking and join the bandwagon of social media attack addicts in falsely accusing Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church of inaction.
In fact, the Houston church was linked in with the city and ready to provide assistance from the get-go in coordination with the other outreaches. Here’s what he had to say to the media once he was able to get to the church during the flooding:
The critics of Lakewood were always missing several pieces of information as they leapt onto their various social media outlets and falsely panned Osteen and his team, who made it clear that the doors were always open, but most of their volunteers, including the pastor, were unable to get to the church building because of the flooding.
The church itself had come close to being at risk, and, of course, there are massive health and safety regulations around these kinds of major buildings.
When asked if he was surprised at the vehemence of the attacks, Osteen said he hadn’t listened to or read any of the negativity, only heard a few bits and pieces from staff members, but he made the following statements:
Social media is very powerful and can create this false narrative.
Ain’t that the truth. Some people are only too keen to stroke a rumour and send it purring across the airwaves as collaborators pass it amongst themselves adding to the narrative until they actually believe their own fantasies.
Joel followed it up with this:
Social media doesn’t run our life. We do what we’re called to do. Hey, everybody that’s making a difference is going to have critics, sitting somewhere not in this situation.
It was inevitable that chookwatcher, sitting in his study in some sheltered Sydney City suburb, oblivious to the way hurricanes and cyclones stop everything for several scary hours, or days, would take the side of the self-serving social media scribes and blame-mongers who went after Lakewood Church with such venom before the winds and lashing rains had even subsided, or people considered it safe to venture out into the elements.
And there he was, the anonymous opportunist, just a day into the flooding, not with empathy for the people who were and are affected, or with a solution, or with an opportunity to help, not even a prayer, but with an attack on Osteen using the false reports of the ignorant.
Chookwatcher’s big claim was that ‘God’s name is blasphemed amongst the Gentiles’ because of Osteen, when all along, it was clear that Osteen was dong the right thing by the city. If he’d have bothered to pursue truth instead of inane worldly rumours, chookwatcher wouldn’t have egg on his face today following Joel’s demolition job on the critics’ thoughtless accusations.
Chookwatcher’s inaccurate report is once again misplaced. He could have stood with the Christian community of Houston by resisting the fake rumours, but, instead, chose to promote and repeat them.
Our prayers should be for the people of Texas at this time as they face hardships following the hurricane. Lakewood is part of a community, not a Lone Ranger. As Osteen points out, it is working with the city in a coordinated effort to provide any necessary and requested help and support for those who are suffering.
That’s where our thoughts and prayers should be directed.
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