Joel Osteen, Pastor, Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas
Joel Osteen, Pastor, Lakewood Church, Houston, Texas IDA MAE ASTUTE

Friends, I come to you today through the blood and the light of the rock with the Lord of the name in the faith of Jesus with a heavy heart.

It has come to my attention that some parties on the internet (may God bless them all, and all of you—and me, for that matter) are upset with my decision not to open my 16,800-capacity Lakewood Church as a shelter for folks here in Houston who have been having a hard time with this weather.

However, my spiritual adviser (and close friend) has encouraged me to explain my reasons, even though I know God already understands, and understood better than I ever could, before I even knew what understanding or reasons even were:

1. I know this may sound a little whatever, but we just redid the floors like a week ago and my floor guy (and good friend) Miguel Ángel told me that if they don't stay absolutely 100 percent dry—"dry as the desert where Jesus was tempted by Satan" (his words!)—we'll just have to start the whole thing over. And I'm sorry, but I don't think my brothers and sisters whose generous contributions funded those new floors would appreciate that.

1a. Related: Have you ever smelled new floors? In a room that size? I don't care how bad the flooding is—nobody wants to smell that.


2. If I have a flaw—and the Lord knows I have many (He should—He put them there!)—it's that I'm proud of my church, even though it's not truly mine; it really belongs to the blood of the holy altar of the word of the rock of the name of the covenant of the Lord our God. Still, I'm proud that we can accommodate more than 16,000 souls for prayer meetings every week. But Houston is a city of more than 2.3 million souls. So if you think about it, it wouldn't be very fair for us to open our doors to only 16,000. That would be like telling 2,284,000 people "there's no room at the inn." Doesn't sound very Christian to me.


3. Our brand is the gospel of prosperity.


4. We've all seen the pictures of brave people rescuing their cats and dogs as the flood waters rise, and I thank God for sending them his grace and mercy. Unfortunately, my beautiful wife Victoria is extremely allergic to all animals, so I can't really see how letting them into the church is going to work.


5. I know it's bad form to quote your own tweets, but mere days ago, the following words went out to the 6.16 million followers of @JoelOsteen: "There's a simple phrase you have to get down in your spirit, 'God's got this.'" Sisters, brothers, I am humbled by the wisdom of the words the holy spirit of the blood of the word of the God of the Lord saw fit to put into my social-media intern's mind and fingers that fateful afternoon. I think we could all use a little humbling from time to time.


If you'd like to hear more of my reasons for turning people away from my massive empty Christian church in their hour of need, tickets are still available for "A Night of Hope with Joel and Victoria" (featuring me and my beautiful wife Victoria) at the fabulous Forum in Los Angeles on October 28. recommended