I am sitting here in the wee hours of the morning disgusted by the comments supporting megachurch pastor Joel Osteen. Many black Christians have come to his defense blindly, causing a stir amongst their real life friends, loved ones, and fellow church members. This is all troubling because Osteen is silent when we need representation, not coming to the aid of those in need is un-Christian and because the church lied.
Osteen Does Not Need Our Help
Where was Osteen when Ava Braziel was shot by police with his hands up? Or when Robert Tolan, a professional baseball player, was shot in his own family’s driveway by police? Let’s get basic…where was his voice when the city of Houston was kicking the homeless out from their living dwellings to make the city look good before the All-Star game? How many times has Osteen come out publicly about orange orangatang President Trump’s divisive speech against people of color? Houston is 68% hispanic/latino and black. These are very simple examples of silence that has lied within religious institutions during the past decade.
It is also an example of plantation mentality where black Americans come to the aid of those who are silent or their oppressors, without any accountability.
It reminds me of the Stockholm Syndrome where captors begin to bond with those in power as a mechanism for survival. It is one reason why black millennials have exited the church, because it has become complicit with silence, believing that the focus is more on singing and preaching than what Jesus exemplified in his works. Could this be one reason why only 43% of millennials attend church service weekly?
There is No Cost for Christian Compassion
I’ve witnessed Christians say publicly, “So..y’all want people to help you but you don’t volunteer or come to church…or pay your tithes?” We don’t have to pay a gaht damb thing to receive help from Jesus Christ. When Jesus fed the five thousand and more, did he ask to see their Givelify app to review their annual church contributions? Matthew 14:14 says when he saw the hungry crowd, “he had compassion on them…” When his ashy disciples tried to send them away, making them fend for themselves, he clearly told them, “you give them something to eat.” Where is the compassion? Do we believe that we are recruiting people to the church publicizing messages that membership or participation is required for assistance or compassion? I truly believe many are defending his actions because their church is inactive or does as little as possible in the community.
People are also buying a form of social insurance when they show public support for Osteen, so when a storm happens in their city, they can use the excuse that their church leadership must first protect their family and can’t help everybody. *major sideeye* Get out of the Christianity business then. Go sell shoes.
Do you remember when Jesus was waken up, annoyed during the storm by his scary disciples? He was pissed that they tried to hide and not take on the storm that Jesus had prepared them for. So, he woke up as the boat rocked, took authority over it, told it to sit down and shut the hell up. It listened. Then, he rebuked the ashy disciples for being punk tinky winkies. Osteen (and other churches with power like his in Houston) was a punk tinky winky. The church is suppose to be brave and come to the aid of those in need that have no previous financial ties or we must begin reviewing tax exempt statuses of these institutions. My my my.
The Church Lied
After a week of warnings, was there no plan for volunteers to spend the night at the church and welcome those in need afterwards? One of largest churches in the United States of America? A church with a weekly attendance of over 50,000? A church that invested $80 million into a building? In the most powerful country in the world? There obviously was not. The church lied. The building is elevated. It was built as such because it was a professional sports stadium and had to meet certain building criteria to host massive crowds.
There was a study done by Stanford where they made up two experiments about capital punishment, the participants represented both sides of the argument. After they were presented with information, they were more in favor of their side even when presented facts about the other side. This is called “confirmation bias,” the tendency people have to embrace information that supports their beliefs and reject information that contradicts them.
Even with Lakewood making it right, videos being published, local admission that there was no major flooding in the area, it still did not move people toward the side of what was right and logical. Or the fact that other mega churches in the area were not offering assistance.
In all, y’all showed y’all asses this week, but remember to go hard for those that go hard for you. Remember that you are to be compassionate. Remember during tough situations, as Christians and those in leadership, it is our duty to put the people before ourselves. Escape the plantation of justifying illogical religion. Put God and people first. Maybe your church will grow and you won’t have to Facebook livestream service from a Boost Mobile android.