After facing a wave of backlash for not opening the doors to his huge megachurch to flood victims earlier, Pastor Joel Osteen is now putting the blame on the city of Houston, according to The Telegraph.
Osteen, 54, is the senior pastor at Chistian Lakewood Church, which fits over 16,000 people. Located in Houston, Texas, many wondered why the church was not helping to shelter people. Some people even called Osteen out on social media.
After some sharp criticism, Osteen finally opened its door on Tuesday to victims who have lost their homes to the floods. He claims that the only reason he didn’t open his megachurch sooner was because the city “didn’t ask” for help.
During an interview on NBC’s Today Show, Osteen said, “We were just being precautious, but the main thing is the city didn’t ask us to become a shelter then.”
He went on to claim that there were safety issues that also prevented them from opening the doors sooner.
“We’re all about helping people, this is what the church, and our church, is all about,” he said. “I don’t know if (the criticism) is unfounded, but if people were here they would realize there was safety issues, this building had flooded before.”
Although the church originally claimed it was “inaccessible due to severe flooding,” several photos emerged on online showing no damage and easily reachable.