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Hurricane Harvey Affected Pastors, Christians Too

by Todd A. Smith

 

Christians and Pastors are Human Too


Christian ministers should face scrutiny like any other human being.


However, uneducated and uniformed scrutiny is unfair to ministers.


The city of Houston became inundated with water because of Hurricane Harvey this past week.


While many out-of-towners have checked on Houstonians and offered their assistance, many of the same people have only offered hatred and unjust scrutiny to Houston’s liturgical leaders for a perceived lack of help for the people in their community.


One question that needs to be asked to those criticizing Christians pastors is did they check on those pastors to see if their families are O.K.?


Did those critics check to see if those church leaders suffered flooding or destruction at their places of worship or homes.


First Heights Church Pastor David Harrison’s house flooded during the storm, but that did not stop him from collecting supplies for everyone else and serving his community.


While Christian preachers are leaders of their flock, they are also human beings that experience the same ups and downs as the members of their congregation and the general public.


Despite the criticism that church pastors and mega-church pastors have received for supposedly not doing enough to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, those critics need to realize that those same pastors might need help themselves.


Who is to say that their house isn’t affected by the flooding?  

 

Joseph Parle of College of Biblical Studies had to evacuate his home to seek higher ground because of the flooding of Hurricane Harvey in his neighborhood.


Who is to say that they are not trapped in their homes and cannot get out to offer assistance?


Who is to say that their electricity is not off and they cannot get access to their bank accounts to offer financial assistance?


Who is to say that their church is not flooded and that housing evacuees might put evacuees in more danger and create more liability for the church?


Family of Love International Christian Center took on floodwaters during Hurricane Harvey to the tune of $200,000 in damage.


And who is to say that those pastors did not do a lot away from the glare of cameras to help fellow Houstonians survive Hurricane Harvey?


The Church Without Walls became a donation site on Aug. 31 accepting everything from food to diapers to toiletries to schools supplies.


According to ChristianityToday.com, “Greg Matte, pastor of Houston’s First Baptist, spent [last] weekend checking in with members of his congregation—from elderly evacuees to a local TV meteorologist—with whom he has been texting Bible verses in between broadcasts.


“Houston Christians did more than pray from the dry refuge of their homes or evacuation spots.  Clergymen were featured in a couple of viral news reports from Sunday: a preacher who checked submerged cars for trapped drivers, and a priest who tried to paddle his way to Mass at Houston’s Catholic Charismatic Church.


“Several churches located on higher ground served as temporary shelters or meeting points for evacuees.  Members with clear routes shuttled friends or dropped off supplies.” 


Most of the vitriol towards Christian pastors centered on the response of Lakewood Church’s Joel Osteen in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.


According to journalist Freddie Willis and Lakewood Church member, the reason behind the delayed opening of the mega-church as a shelter was because Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner initially wanted to focus on places like the George R. Brown Convention Center as shelters before asking for Lakewood’s assistance.


Willis also stated via Facebook that the reason Lakewood did not appear flooded in certain viral photographs is because the church spent a lot of money building floodgates to prevent even more potential damage.


The streets surrounding Lakewood did take on water, which might have led to some hesitation in putting people in possible danger including church volunteers.


And as Floyd Prescott III, pastor of Miracle Place Church of Acadiana in Opelousas, La. stated, people do not know what instruction Osteen received from God as it pertains to Hurricane Harvey.


While pastors obviously serve the people, they most importantly serve the people by God’s guidance.


Martin Luther King, Jr. received criticism from civil rights workers for calling off certain marches because he believed God gave him orders to do so because imminent danger loomed.


Maybe Osteen and other pastors knew something that their critics did not know.

 

That knowledge might be why God called them to lead the church and did not choose their critics. 

This article was published on Friday 01 September, 2017.
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