Joel Osteen, mega-preacher of Lakewood Church, has often been accused of fraudulent televangelism, and, following Osteen’s ninth lightning strike incident, some have speculated that God Himself considers the Lakewood mega church fraudulent as well.
Osteen was walking to his mail box yesterday afternoon at approximately 2pm when the incident occurred, though it has been considered an atmospheric anomaly because the weather yesterday in Houston was sunny and entirely cloudless.
Osteen was admitted to the hospital for a checkup as a safety precaution, but the only lasting effect of the lightning strike was a burn mark on his back that nurses reportedly said looked roughly like a Satanic pentagram.
The string of lightning strikes is ironic because of Osteen’s alleged Godliness, though many comments on social media since have noted the apparent hypocrisy inherent in his wealthy lifestyle. Osteen’s estimated personal net worth is $40 million, and he lives in a $10.5 million mansion.
Because of Jesus’s New Testament messages to surrender riches in order to help the world’s misfortunes, Osteen’s ministry is often described as fitting into the “prosperity gospel,” in which, allegedly, God wants pastors to be filthy rich rather than spend all of their profits on helping poor people.
The prosperity gospel is often described as being at odds with several parables listed throughout Jesus’ teachings—particularly the bit about a camel passing through the eye of a needle sooner than a rich person getting into heaven—but the irony is apparently lost on Osteen.
Osteen spokeswoman Cheryl Quinn stated last night that this latest lightning strike, nor the eight previous ones, have convinced Osteen to change his formula of taking money from the poor people who look to him for spiritual guidance. Neither has he thought about, maybe, giving the boringly vague self-help books he writes and hawks annually to his congregants for free.
(Photo courtesy of RobertMWorsham.)