Joel Osteen addresses Lakewood Church amidst Hurricane Harvey Backlash

Pastor Joel Osteen opened his Lakewood Church in Houston to Harvey flooding evacuees on Tuesday, but the timing of his decision caused a social media backlash.

“There’s been so much misinformation about the church these last few days. I want to clarify some things,” he began. Osteen recalled a 2001 storm that left the church under about five feet of water, noting that leaders then installed floodgates in the building (which can hold more than 16,000 people) to prevent future water damage.

Osteen condemned the criticism on Sunday, noting that he doesn’t let negative talk get to him.

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