Social media attacks Osteen

By Eriana Ruiz 
MULTIMEDIA DIRECTOR, EDITOR & PRODUCER

Illustration by Alex Garcia

I am a Christian. The one thing I don’t do is ridicule other peoples’ religions or beliefs. If you don’t believe in God, that’s all you. But why disparage other peoples’ beliefs?

What’s really common on social media these days is people quick to attack Christianity when someone “Godly” missteps or doesn’t do what is expected of them.

After Hurricane Harvey, I saw many people sharing the Joel Osteen news that he did not open his Lakewood church in Houston for Harvey victims. There were Facebook posts, tweets and articles showing video of the outside of the church not flooded. Once the video was shared on social media, many people criticized Osteen because Lakewood’s publicists shared photos of a flooded church.

Suddenly, skeptics had an interest in the church?

They put Osteen down, saying if he was Christian, he would have opened his doors. I also saw others saying this is proof there is no God.

If he had opened his doors, would those people have magically converted to Christianity?

What’s funny is when he did open the church for hurricane victims, people made excuses, posting things such as, “Still a garbage human.” Some said he only opened his doors because the public pointed it out.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Osteen said: “This is crazy. People are saying we’ve locked the church. The church has been open from the beginning, but it’s not designated as a shelter.” He also said Lakewood was prepared to take evacuees after the city and county shelters reached capacity.

I didn’t see any of the people who scrutinized Osteen later share articles about him opening his doors and inviting hurricane victims inside. Some people seem to love throwing negativity at Christians.

Aside from this whole fiasco, I just wish everyone could respect others and their beliefs. We all have something we believe in that we feel makes our lives better.

So, why belittle a whole religion when a celebrity pastor makes a mistake?

I don’t know what these people have personally experienced or have seen, but not all the hateful, corrupt Christians you see on social media or meet in person speak for all of Christianity.

“I have a love-hate relationship with social media, Facebook in particular,” Berni Dymet, who writes for Premier Christian Radio, said. “I love finding out what other people are thinking and doing, but I am deeply disturbed at the way some Christians use social media to disagree with others.”

Most of us Christians are tired of the way other people who call themselves Christian use social media. They post opinionated, hateful comments rather than show God’s love when they disagree with something that doesn’t go the way they want it to.

In the end, you don’t need to attack another person’s religion just because you don’t agree with them. Just believe what you believe and move on.

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