Hurricane Harvey recently made its impact known in Houston, Texas. In this same city is “pastor” Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church, which almost a year ago was ranked as America’s largest megachurch. This week alone, Osteen took much heat (viewer discretion advised; his getting ripped pretty brutally is a harsh reality) for keeping his church doors shut in the midst of the chaos, only to open them later (but in reality, only God knows what happened since there is much confusion on the matter).
Whether Osteen really kept his church doors shut or not should not be the main issue (and again, only God knows what really happened). I do not condone the mass amount of anti-Osteen memes, tweets, etc. that have flooded social media in the wake of this controversy. However, this does not mean I condone what Osteen teaches (which is Word of Faith heresy, an enemy of the cross of Christ). In fact, I oppose it tremendously. Scripture does the same.
The main reality is that Osteen’s eternal destination is destruction unless he repents. This is not because I say so. This is because God’s Word says so. In fact, the apostle Paul talked about the eternal destination of false teachers in his letter to the church at Philippi:
17 Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.18 For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Paul followed Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Joel Osteen, however, is an enemy of the cross of Christ given his gross amount of false teachings (the hyperlinks in this article pertaining to said false teachings do well in showing why, as well as these episodes from Fighting For The Faith here). However, Hurricane Harvey’s presence combined with Osteen’s alleged church-closing/opening have shifted the focus from his current eternal destination to a circus of what really happened with Lakewood Church in relation to Hurricane Harvey.
If Lakewood Church, at any point, closed its doors to the hurting victims of Hurricane Harvey, then that is a real bummer, not to mention a good way to NOT serve your neighbor. If Lakewood Church never did close its doors and indeed has been providing shelter to the aforementioned victims, then that is great. However, the greatest thing would be that this event (which has made Osteen look really bad) would bring Osteen to his knees in repentance. After all, his end is destruction. The Scriptures say as much (and the Scriptures are very true—2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; John 8:32 & 40, 10:35, 14:6, 17:17; Psalm 12:6, 19:7-9, 119: 9 & 11 & 15 & 104; Ephesians 4:21, 5:26; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:21; 1 Peter 1:22; 2 Samuel 7:28). May we keep this in mind the next time we want to trash him, make a meme mocking him, or do anything that would shift the focus from his eternal destination to something that does not even compare in terms of importance.