Controversy at Lakewood? Osteen’s six-minute response

“There’s been so much misinformation about the church this week, I wanted to clarify some things,” Pastor Joel Osteen told the congregation of Lakewood Church Sunday morning. On most Sundays, the non-denominational megachurch draws some 16,000 worshippers — a crowd appropriate to its building, formerly the Compaq Center arena for the Houston Rockets. But that wasn’t the case this week. That morning, during “Hope for Houston,” special services held in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the garage, checkpoints, and aisles were relatively empty. In the days immediately following the hurricane, the church was criticized for not opening its doors as an emergency shelter. Then the controversy shifted into a higher gear.

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