News & Current Events
gao_lu — 2017-09-04T06:15:53-04:00 — #1
Joel Olsteen took a lot of heat from the media about not helping enough during the flood.
Here is Christianity Today on the matter, whom I find much more believable than the secular media these days.
What do you think?
bill_coley — 2017-09-04T13:56:13-04:00 — #3
[PARDON THE DELETED MESSAGE. POSTED WELL BEFORE I WAS FINISHED, I THEN DELETED RATHER THAN EDITED IT. HERE'S THE POST I INTENDED.]
I think Pastor Osteen's principal challenge is the mixed messages in his explanations of Lakewood's not opening sooner as a shelter.
In a series of morning show interviews to respond to criticism, Osteen said...
- The church had been open and receiving people from the beginning of the flooding
- Lakewood would have opened as a shelter earlier, but the city never asked
- The church was not accessible due to flooding (and hence would not have opened, had the city asked?)
- The church was dry (and presumably accessible) on one side (with floodwaters within a foot of flood protection on the other side)
- The church flooded severely in 2003 (though the church installed significant flood protection barriers in the aftermath of that storm)
- And then there's Osteen's Twitter feed, which made very few (one?) references to the storm in its opening days
I don't ascribe nefarious motives to Pastor Osteen, but I do think that if he and Lakewood Church wanted to defend their decision not to open as a shelter, they would have been better served had they not delivered multiple and potentially contradictory explanations.
And it didn't help Lakewood's PR strategy that in Osteen's sermon broadcast over the weekend, whether recorded this weekend or earlier, he said God allows storms in people's lives because God "knows (they) can handle it," which is actually a "compliment" from God.... Few Harvey victims are likely to welcome such "compliments."
Actions do speak louder than words, but words matter, too.
alex_vaughn — 2017-09-04T17:53:05-04:00 — #4
The Christianity Today article today definitely provides an alternative point of view, but it certainly doesn't address all the concerns presented in the media, some of which @Bill_Coley has enumerated. Rather than sorting out exactly what happened, I care more about how my church family in Houston has helped our community and how I can help my neighbors more.
bill_coley — 2017-09-04T18:06:11-04:00 — #5
Thanks for bringing us who live well away from storm's impact zone back to reality, Alex.
gao_lu — 2017-09-04T18:14:40-04:00 — #6
You raise good points with which I agree. Just a couple observations on the news link...
I only watched the first couple sessions. The first session used clips of Olsteen that to me seemed taken completely out of context to make the reporter's critical point. That didn't feel trust worthy. The second segment was an emotional appeal based on random public critical tweets. Rather useless I think, so I didn't watch the rest.
If that represents the medias thinking and justification for media criticism, then I have serious doubts about their presentation. I am not defending Olsteem--frankly, he is not my cup of tea--but the world seems bent on condemning him as a hypocrite when he seems only to have made a very sensible judgment regarding the church and has in fact been feeding his critics. Many of his critics seem to be armchair critics who may be doing nothing at all to help flood victims.
Very True. My doubts are regarding the media's accusations, which I suspect may be both nefarious and largely untrue--as CT pointed out.
These are two very separate issues and I care about both. Of course, we care about flood victims and actively do something about it (I can't physically be there but can help other ways
The issue I brought up is not specific to flood victims but the possibly damaging false accusations of the media, a media and critics who themselves may epitomize hypocrisy. I think that matters a great deal inside and outside the Christian community. I haven't yet seen any trustworthy criticism of Olsteen which places him at any kind of fault. Rather, I think this is a harbinger of a growing environment of 1) dishonest media and 2) American hatred directed at a target of any kind, and Christians are often enough a handy target.
bill_coley — 2017-09-04T19:34:35-04:00 — #7
I note your objections to the media, but comment only on one part of your post.
I'm curious as to the basis of this observation. To my viewing of the first video to which I linked, the contents include the full, unedited interviews that Osteen (FYI, it's "Osteen," not "Olsteen") conducted with ABC's "Good Morning America," FOX News Channel's "Fox & Friends," NBC's "Today Show," and CNN's (morning program whose name escapes me!). Given that the four interviews are shown in their entirety, please explain the reason you believe Osteen is taken out of context in them.
gao_lu — 2017-09-05T01:27:40-04:00 — #8
I went back and watched the whole thing. I am not an Olsateen fan, but other than FOX, I think the interviews were rather venomous and unfair as mentioned above. After viewing the whole thing more carefully...
- I am missing the contradictory explanations you claim were given.
- Olsteen was given a chance to explain his side of the story which effectively refutes the critic's false accusations.
Video part 1
0:45-0.55 have nothing to do with the commentator's point. Just Joel inviting people to church.
1:02 1:12 clip from an old sermon that is irrelevant to the storm, flood or the commentator's points.
1:20-1:28 "God has a way of making miracles out of mistakes." Again, totally irrelevant.
Video Part 2
Same thing with very short clips that are totally unrelated
Uses anonymous Tweets from a few critics to create a critical commentary
Does show a few clips of all the help (but casts it negatively)
Video Part 2 FOX seemed fair and well done. Olsteen made a fair, sensible and very kindly presentation.
Video Part 4 NBC
Interviewers seemed like sort-of smiling spiders trying to catch Olsteen in their net. Olsteen made very kind, sensible, wise responses.
bill_coley — 2017-09-05T02:23:38-04:00 — #9
Your views of Osteen's performance, both in the interviews and in response to the Houston flooding, are not at issue for me. My only concern was how unedited interviews could take Osteen out of context. But it seems I misread your post, given that your focus was on clips used to introduce the unedited interviews. Much ado about not very much. My bad.
I can only tell you that the ones I listed in a previous post are all in those interviews. I don't have the time to flag them. The central contradiction was that he said BOTH that they would have opened the church as a shelter immediately had the city asked, but the city didn't ask; AND that they couldn't have opened the church as a shelter immediately due to flooding concerns.
Since you've done so in three posts, now, I'm curious enough to ask: Is there a reason you continue to spell his last name "Olsteen" when it's spelled "Osteen"?
gao_lu — 2017-09-05T03:30:52-04:00 — #10
Oh dear! JoeLLLLL O***steen. I have a dyslexic tongue in my fingers.
I shall make myself write 50X
Osteen (but I won't write all 50 here)
Now I shall go back and correct the OP header.
bill_coley — 2017-09-05T09:19:23-04:00 — #11
I actually had hypothesized that "Olsteen" was some form of time-saving conflation of the man's first and last names.
tyrone_howard — 2017-09-05T12:31:06-04:00 — #12
I watched the story develop from 2 hours away from Houston. He claims to be the servant of Jesus. Let Christ Judge him personally.
However, with regards to this situation, Joel did not open his church untill those in Houston went to his Church and Filmed that The Church was accessible. Yet this responsive action was not initiated by Joel's words, but Donald Iloff's.
Joel was not the one who actually responded initially but a spokesperson from the Church stated the building was inaccessible.
Joel's first response was simply, they would house as soon as the City's current housing arrangements reached capacity.
From outside looking in, seems as they should have been the first to respond. From inside out - maybe not so much. No doctors to help people, No prepared security on site ( as there is all sorts of people who will be inadvertently housed - potential child rapist, rival gang members, thieves etc etc). And Countless other Logistical Issues which in a perfect world wouldn't be considered but we aren't in a perfect world.
I personally, well it doesn't matter, I'll just say not a fan and leave it. I didn't however see a problem with the response given the circumstances.