By KAYLA FOSTER
Houston pastor Joel Osteen came under fire earlier this week when he refused to open his church doors to Hurricane Harvey flood victims.
After backlash on social media, Osteen eventually opened his megachurch to serve as a shelter for the public Tuesday.
Millions took to Twitter expressing their anger at Osteen. Many said that the Houston pastor cares more about wealth than welfare and, that if a place of worship is not a shelter, then it is not a place of worship.
After several allegations, Osteen spoke on NBC’s “Today Show” and “CBS This Morning,” stating that the church has always been open as a shelter but faced flooding and water damage.
Osteen has also stated that the city of Houston never asked him to become an official shelter, as there was one four miles from his church. He said his church’s building was intended to be a distribution center.
After major backlash on social media, mainstream media picked up the story with most in agreement with social media. Even though Osteen has clarified that he does not pay attention to social media, various media outlets used Twitter images of people expressing their discontent with the pastor.
Major media outlets such as the Washington Post and Huffington Post have called out the pastor; denouncing Osteen’s church as prosperity gospel and stating that his initial reaction of not opening as a shelter has only reinforced this belief.
As of now the megachurch, which can fit more than 16,000 people, is open as a shelter and will remain open until conditions in Houston improve.