Luxurious mansions. Private jets. It’s not the lifestyle many picture for their church pastor but it’s the life megachurch leader Joel Osteen is living, even as he tells his parishioners not to focus on what they don’t have.
A recent appearance on the “Today Show” went south for Osteen as people took to social media to complain about what they view as his hypocrisy while he promoted his just-published book, “Peaceful on Purpose,”
Osteen is the founder of Lakewood Church, an evangelical non-denominational Christian church in Houston, Texas, that can seat more than 16,000 people. With 50,000 members, it is considered the largest church in America, Indy Star reported. Osteen’s televised sermons are seen by approximately 10 million viewers in the U.S.
Osteen often advises his followers that, to live a peaceful life, “Don’t focus on what you have or don’t have,” The Chronicle reported.
“Joel Osteen was on the Today show saying “Don’t focus on what you have or don’t have. “ He owns a mansion, Ferrari, and a jet. He took a $4.4 million federal PPP loan. His net worth is estimated at $100 MILLION. Perhaps thou focused too much, Joel,” tweeted Nurse Nina #MeidasMighty @NurseNinaPA.
Other supported Osteen on social media.
Michelle @Michelle_ago tweeted, “The church took a PPP loan. Joel does not take a wage with the church. He maybe a lot of things, but just because he is rich does not mean he should financially support the church.”
In August 2017, Osteen came under fire for not opening Lakewood Church to house displaced Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas, NBC News reported.
Facing criticism, Osteen opened the church as a temporary shelter. “We have never closed our doors. We will continue to be a distribution center for those in need,” Osteen said in his defense. “We are prepared to shelter people once the cities and county shelters reach capacity. Lakewood will be a value to the community in the aftermath of this storm in helping our fellow citizens rebuild their lives.”