One famous pastor is unconcerned by the Bible’s warning that it is easier for a camel to squeeze through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
One of the richest and most well-known pastors in the US, Joel Osteen, has come under fire after social media users exposed evidence of his opulent lifestyle.
Mr. Osteen, the pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church, one of the sizable congregations known as “megachurches,” came under fire after it was discovered that the pastor possessed a Ferrari sports car worth more than $300,000.
Twitter users berated the pastor, claiming that his possession of a Ferrari is a strong case in favor of taxing churches.
“The trend is Ferrari. That indicates that either a race was won or Joel Osteen spent more money than he was supposed to donate to the needy after receiving it from Jesus “a user stated.
The “prosperity gospel,” which holds that material wealth is a sign of God’s blessing on a person’s life, is championed by Mr. Osteen, whose net worth is reported to be more than $50 million.
Because it promotes the concept that those who contribute money to God will also be blessed with money, prosperity theology is particularly lucrative for preachers. Giving money to God in those churches naturally entails giving it to the church authorities.
That theology is in direct opposition to conventional Christian teaching, which encourages charitable giving, prudent resource management, and wealth sharing among Christians. Prosperity theology and Mr. Osteen have drawn fire from numerous protestant organizations.
Mr. Osteen is the owner of a $10.5 million mansion in addition to the Ferrari. He asserts that he receives no pay from his church but instead supports his extravagant way of life with the money from the sales of his books.
During the coronavirus outbreak, Mr. Osteen faced criticism for accepting $4.4 million in PPP federal assistance for his church. One of the largest loans ever made to a Houston-area organization or business.
The church defended the borrowing by saying that the 368 full- and part-time employees in its workforce needed the help.
During Hurricane Harvey, Mr. Osteen’s church also came under fire because he seemed to object to the idea of housing hurricane evacuees there.
The church opened its doors so that people may seek sanctuary after retaliation. According to Mr. Osteen, the church has always been willing to accept refugees.
“We have always been transparent. This false narrative about us not being a shelter and not taking in individuals has no basis in reality “explained he. After Hurricane Harvey, the church helped with rehabilitation efforts.
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