Hurricane Harvey, Joel Osteen and Casting Stones

Joel-Osteen-Houston-flooding-660x330

We have all been saddened to hear about the devastating events that have occurred in Houston, Texas this past week.

However, I have been saddened to see how this time of grieving, sadness and loss has turned into a lot of finger pointing about who’s helping whom and by how much.

I’ve also been really saddened to hear about criticism Joel Osteen is receiving about not opening his church doors soon enough and perhaps not being truthful about some other details about why his church wasn’t open.

I have not researched the details of what Joel did or what condition the church was in during the flood, nor do I care to.  I care more about the response I have seen via social media from Christians, the media and a lot of random people on the internet pointing the finger at him and saying he is wrong for this or that, that he is a false prophet, yada yada.

What I am seeing is a knee-jerk reaction that people have every time a leader or someone that we think is perfect does something out of character.  This is not about whether Joel Osteen is right or wrong or whether he is a false prophet or not; this is about why we as a society get so angry and are quick to point the finger when and if someone that we likely have no connection to is found to be wrong about something.

During the civil rights era there were reports that Martin Luther King was unfaithful to his wife.  Does that negate the importance of all he did to further the advancement of people of color?  Should we not honor his memory with a national holiday and scrap all his books from the shelves because he was weak in a certain area?  I’m sure people probably had all kinds of names for him too back in his day; false this or that.

What I don’t get is why people seem to be angrier at Joel Osteen than they are at every day injustices we see in our communities and worldwide.

Sexually abused and exploited children?  We shake our head in shame and go on about our lives.

Homeless and hurting?  We shake our head in shame and go on about our lives.

Mega Preacher is caught in a scandal.  Boy we have something to say about that!  And we will be heard!!!!

I’m not saying these leaders are above criticism.  I’m just saying maybe we should pause and reflect before we go proclaiming our opinion for everyone to hear.  Most of the people I see saying negative things against Osteen were not even directly affected by the recent hurricane, so why are we so mad if something does not personally affect us?

Does it not stem from something deeper?

Or maybe social media has given everyone a platform and they feel they need to be heard.  But why are we silent on the everyday issues that get minimal to no coverage?  Why aren’t we vocal about injustices when there is no agenda to promote?

Are we that easily deceived or is it that we really do not care unless someone else says we should?

Is it that the same hypocrisy that we claim to see in Joel Osteen is also in us in various ways and we are angry about it?

Angry at ourselves that we are also not always consistent with our values…we don’t always do what we say we will or what we should for ourselves or our families.  We don’t always follow through in our actions and behaviors.  If we are honest we also sometimes miss the mark.  Maybe we find it easier to blame others when they fall, or where we see inconsistencies in their actions and values.

Are we as guilty of behavioral defects as those we accuse?

Are we mad at ourselves?

“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” John 8:7

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3 thoughts on “Hurricane Harvey, Joel Osteen and Casting Stones

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