The Joel Osteen Situation

There have been numerous reports from Houston about Joel Osteen closing the doors to his church instead of offering shelter to residents. There have been conflicting reports about the situation and now reports that after the backlash he did open up to offer shelter. I am not there, so I can’t speak to the situation. I don’t know the reasoning behind the initial decision or if the reports of that decision were accurate. I’m not going to judge based on social media posts.¬† I do have some thoughts:

  1. Someone on Twitter made the comment that he should not open the doors of the church because it is a house of worship, not a shelter. I could not disagree with this more. The church should, if possible, offer shelter to those in need. If you care more about your precious building than you do about the community you have no business calling yourself a church.
  2. Joel Osteen is not doing himself any favors by blocking people on Twitter when they question his decisions. Interaction and conversation would be a better way to deal with the situation than blocking people. Maybe he’s only blocking the people who are abusive, but many mentions from people saying he is blocking his critics makes it look worse for him.
  3. I’m tired of the bandwagon outrage on social media. I would bet that 99% of the people jumping on the outrage train have not spent any time trying to determine the veracity of the claims before going on Twitter to insult him. I’m not a fan of the guy, but I’m not going to go online and accuse him of something just because someone else on social media said so. We need to stop this piling on just to be part of the “in crowd.”
  4. We all, myself included, need to spend less time  looking to catch other people doing something wrong and more time doing something right ourselves.