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Joel Osteen’s Found The Time To Block His Twitter Critics Amid Hurricane PR Nightmare

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Aug. 30 2017, Published 6:32 p.m. ET

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Joel Osteen’s Hurricane Harvey response fallout continues. Over the weekend, the Texas pastor’s Houston-based church, Lakewood, posted on Facebook that the 16,000-seat church was “inaccessible due to severe flooding.” A day later, several Houston residents shared photos of Lakewood Church, clearly showing that the church’s main entrance and roads leading up to it were not flooded, causing outrage. Joel has responded to the negative coverage, claiming there were safety concerns and the city of Houston never asked him to convert the church into a shelter. But people aren’t buying Joel’s excuses, and they’re taking to Twitter to blast the Texas pastor!

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As the negative backlash against him grew, Joel finally announced Lakewood would be opening its doors to Hurricane Harvey victims. “My wife Victoria and I care deeply about our fellow Houstonians. Lakewood’s doors are open and we are receiving anyone who needs shelter,” he wrote on Twitter.

But followers weren’t impressed by Joel’s last minute response. “Listen it's great Osteen is opening his doors. GREAT! But he wouldn't have done it if he hadn't been criticized relentlessly,” @RobertMaguire_ wrote.

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Several people called out Joel for going against his own Christian preachings. “Hi I'm @JoelOsteen—I don't practice what I preach & I only let hurricane victims into my megachurches when I get bad PR—Here's some prayers,” @funder tweeted.

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Others pointed out that local businesses, like this Houston furniture store, were quicker to open their doors to flood victims than Joel was.

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As criticism on Twitter grew, Joel found time to block several of his online haters, the DailyMail reported.

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In an interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, Joel said his church “has always been open.” "There was a time, Chris, that the place was flooded. There was a safety issue the first day or two...We would never put people in here until we know that it's safe, and it was not safe those days, let me tell you,” Joel explained.

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What do you think of Joel's side of the story? Let us know in the comments below!

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