Someone representing Pastor Joel Osteen said early in the flood his building would not be opened for Houston’s flood victims. Osteen tweeted a cheery, “God’s got this”, instead of addressing the tragedy.
Osteen preaches the “prosperity gospel”. It says God wants you to be prosperous. Go forward in this positive light. President Trump’s religious background is similar. He has spoken admiringly of Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking), a prosperity preacher who officiated one of Trump’s weddings.
Both Trump and Osteen have struggled with how to handle the Houston flood. Natural disaster does not fit the narrative of the prosperity gospel, “Have a good attitude because God wants to reward you.” Having a good attitude and believing God wants good things for provides you absolutely nothing.
Actually, the prosperity gospel is no more dishonest than the “correct gospel.” The latter promises a happy life in heaven. The prosperity gospel promises a happy life on earth. This happy earth life promise causes a problem.
Anyone can see the prosperity gospel does not deliver a reward to the faithful. Look at Houston. The “correct gospel” tells people their rewards are in the afterlife. So far as we know, it also delivers nothing. The two are equal. The only difference is one’s dishonesty is visible, the other invisible.
Soon things will be right again. Bulldozers will clean up the debris and new houses again will sprout up in the flood plain.
Osteen and Trump will promise great things to all who build there.