Joel Osteen's megachurch criticized for not welcoming Houston flood victims

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At least seven people have been killed in the hurricane and resulting flooding, with tens of thousands of people displaced from their homes and more than 100,000 homes without electricity. The church is based out of the arena formally known as The Summit where the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association used to play.

One resident who lives close to the Lakewood Church said in a Facebook post that some of the parking lots were inaccessible but that the building itself was not blocked off by floodwater, while others posted asking Osteen why he would not open his doors to Houston residents.

The controversy heated up on Twitter when user Charles Clymer shared a photo of Lakewood Church that didn't reveal the level of flooding one might have expected.

The Internet is outraged and the controversy shows no signs of blowing over soon. On Sunday, Lakewood Church tweeted a listing of shelters available in the Houston area. Closed due to "flooding".

On Saturday, Osteen sent a tweet offering prayers to the victims of Harvey.

However, after public pressure via social media was applied to Osteen and his big business ministry, the prosperity gospel televangelist has apparently had a change of heart, and will now open the church up to Hurricane Harvey refugees. "Please join us as we pray for the safety of our Texas friends & family".

Some have responded they could use a little less prayer and more practical help in the form of a shelter, food, and monetary donations. In addition, we are working with Samaritan's Purse on major relief efforts.

Joel Osteen, as a Pastor you have a huge obligation to show the love of Christ at this very moment.

Lakewood Church has opened its doors for storms in the past.

"We want to let you know that our hearts are with each of you and your families during this hard time", a post on the church's website said.

Seriously quite sickening when people spread negative news without knowing the situation.

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