T.I. went off of the famous pastor
T.I. joined in on the chorus of voices slamming megachurch pastor Joel O’Steen for allegedly not opening his massive Lakewood Church to people seeking shelter in Houston following the destruction of Hurricane Harvey.
The controversy kicked off after people noticed that Lakewood Church — which occupies an arena that used to house the Houston Rockets (to give you an idea of scale) — wasn’t taking in people who were seeking shelter. The church responded that the church was in danger of flooding and therefore not a safe space for people seeking refuge. The internet responded with photos of the area around the church looking mighty dry. This was enough for T.I. to post an angry rant to Instagram.
“This is why people (like me) don’t trust the mega churches. How can someone (especially a so called man of God) make 70+Ms a yr TAX FREE from citizens of a city that’s now in distress & in dyer need of food water & shelter NOT OPEN THE DOORS OF GODs HOUSE (supposedly) to help those in need?” he wrote. “@joelosteen YOU SIR ARE A FRAUD!!!! Ministers,preachers,pastors,reverends are all supposed to be SERVANTS sent here to do the LORDS work. Not just sitting back in comfort watching as satin has his way!!!! FOH!!! We CANNOT AFFORD to continue to just go & give our money away to people who pose as “Preachers” or their BIG lavish MEGA CHURCHES WITHOUT HOLDING THEM ACCOUNTABLE WHEN WE NEED THEM!!!!! Tithing is selfless acts of kindness & what you do for OTHERS. Stop giving y’all money to these 🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡LIKE THEY GON TURN YOUR BREAD OVER TO GOD!!!! N*gga please. (sic)”
OSteen eventually opened the church to people seeking shelter and defended his decision to keep the church closed until they were fully aware of the situation on the ground.
“I think sometimes social media can be very powerful and it can create this false narrative, but if you’re sitting in another state and you’re not here — I mean, my niece was stranded right across the street from this building with nowhere to go. This building was one foot from flooding. If we didn’t have our floodgates, it would have flooded,” Osteen said on Today. “I don’t know if it’s unfounded but I think if people were here they’d realize there were safety issues, this building had flooded before, and so we were just being precautious (sic) but the main thing is the city didn’t ask us to become a shelter then,” he added.
The staff of Lakewood Church is far from unaffected by the storm. According to church spokesman Don Illof, three staff members have had to be rescued themselves.
“I know of about three staff members that have needed to be rescued,” he told the Christian Post. There may be more but I happen to know of about three of them that literally had to be pulled out of high water.”
He added that there are staff in the church who have been advised to let anyone in who comes to the church. However, the nature of the flooding has kept them away. “They would have to swim to get there,” he said.
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What do you think? Is T.I. in the right? Were we too quick to judge Osteen? Or was the world right to hold his feet to the fire? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE this article.