It’s reported that Joel wants his congregation, which is made up of a whopping 45,000 people, and his TV audience (another 10 million people in the U.S. alone) to hear how West has overcome substantial adversity in his life. One source explained, “Kanye used to be about nothing greater than himself. Now it’s all about a higher power.” It’s expected that Joel will ask Kanye to compare his life of the past to his life now.
The visit is already causing some angry emotions, considering Osteen doesn’t have the best reputation as a preacher. The pastor has managed to accumulate a lot of wealth, including a massive mansion. Dislike for him peaked in 2017 when social media started accusing him of not opening up his church to Hurricane Harvey victims. Eventually, Osteen responded to the accusations, telling CNN, “The church has always been open. We received shelter victims the first day or two.”
However, according to USA Today, he also said that the church initially didn’t open their doors because the church flooded and they needed time to make the building livable for hurricane evacuees. “The first day or two, this building was not accessible,” he said. “We would never put people in here until it was safe. And it was not safe, I can tell you.”
Regardless of what the situation was, people did not forget the social media storm that followed. Now that Osteen is welcoming Kanye West, folks definitely didn’t hesitate to bring up Osteen and the Hurricane Harvey situation.
“So Joel Osteen’s Lakewood is big enough for Kanye’s ego but not for hurricane victims,” one Twitter user wrote.
Other users took the moment to vent their frustrations about Osteen in general. “I see Joel Osteen is trending. cool. fu** Joel Osteen and every other megachurch grifter piece of sh**,” one user tweeted.
You can check out some of the other intense reactions to Kanye and Joel below.