Joel Osteen remains a liar and a hypocrite.
But at least he’s a liar and a hypocrite who cares about public perception.
The celebrity pastor and author came under major fire over the weekend after he initially claimed his mammoth Lakewood Church in Houston was inaccessible due to flooding from Hurricane Harvey.
The facility can hold up to 17,000 people and there are many more than 17,000 people who need shelter after this natural disaster dumped over 40 inches of rain on the city on Saturday and Sunday.
Shortly after Osteen’s church made this statement, photos appeared on social media that debunked the claim.
Multiple onlookers wrote that the Church was readily available for use… while hordes of Internet users expressed shock that someone who owns such a large building would not open it up to a desperate public.
Especially someone who claims to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
“We have never closed our doors,” Osteen said in a statement on Monday, adding at the time:
“We will continue to be a distribution center to those in need. We are prepared to house people once shelters reach capacity.
“Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm.”
Most people saw this as a fairly ridiculous stance to take, however.
Why equivocate? Why mention anything about shelters being over “capacity?” Why not immediately open your doors and try to help as many locals as possible, Mr. Multi-Millionaire Preacher?
After facing a great deal of backlash and trending on Google for the wrong reason, Osteen finally caved.
“Lakewood’s doors are open and we are receiving anyone who needs shelter,” he Tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
A Lakewood Church spokesperson told ABC News, meanwhile, that its doors have always been open.
This individual says the church is waiting for city officials to designate it as am official shelter so it can obtain cots and receive other forms of assistance.
According to updated reports, meanwhile, five school buses filled with evacuees, toting their belongings in plastic garbage bags, have arrived at the church.
Hurricane Harvey ripped through the Houston area last weekend.
It has forced mass evacuations, wiped out homes and at least seven people have died.
The National Weather Service has deemed the flooding “epic and catastrophic,” while Texas Governor Greg Abbot said the aftermath of Harvey will probably be “horrific” and leave behind a mess that will “take years” to rebuild.
In response, celebrities have come together and donated millions of disaster relief charities.
In times such as this, when the President is bragging about the “turnout” he’s received in Texas, and when pastors need to be pressured by Twitter to open their church, it is helpful to remember:
Not everyone sucks.
Some people are actuall ypretty awesome.