Joel Osteen is one of the most prominent figures in evangelical Christianity in the USA today. Like many of the television preachers, he has accrued himself a nest egg of almost £60 million. He is similar to people like Kenneth Copeland, John Hagee, Benny Hinn and others.

His church Lakewood is based in Houston and is one of the many mega churches that these preachers (named) operate out of. His programme can be seen on the Trinity Broadcasting Network a prominent Christian broadcasting company broadcasting its literal take on the Bible.

Osteen is part of the 'Word of Faith' movement that believes you can use the power of prayer to accrue a fortune.

Many Christians not enticed by the 'Word of Faith' movement believe this bizarre doctrine is harmful to those who subscribe to it.

Flood victims of Hurricane Harvey

Texas has been hit by powerful winds and torrential rainfall and when Trump visited the other day even he said it is unusual. Pastor Joel Osteen closed down his church for fear of the storms wreaking havoc on his church. On Twitter, Pastor Osteen and his wife offered up prayers for victims of Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent floods.

Osteen immediately found himself in a backlash by Christians for not opening up his church to the flood victims. It came to the point where people were openly criticising him for saying one thing about helping people from the pulpit and not doing it in reality.

As James says in the New Testament words are fine but they need to be backed up by deeds.

Obviously bowing to pressure Osteen has opened his church to the flood victims. However, Pastor Osteen is still coming in for criticism with both the media and Christians saying he should have offered his church as a refuge in the first place.

Osteen et al

All of the televangelists appearing on screen show the trappings of materialism and that's ok if some of their wealth is put aside for the deprived and needy. How they accrued their wealth is sometimes open to question and some have been under investigation for shady dealings.

However, when studying Scripture Jesus Christ was a humble man on the side of the poor and many times he attacked the rich and materialism.

These preachers behave like showbiz celebrities with the attention on them a million miles from the self-denial preachings of Christ.

Obviously, some of the televangelists are genuine but even if they are, unfortunately, they get lumped in with the charlatans.