Culture

Bags of Cash and Checks Found in the Walls of Joel Osteen's Megachurch

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

A Houston radio station broke some stunning news on Friday morning when a plumber called in to report that while doing some bathroom repair at Joel Osteen’s megachurch, Lakewood Church, he found around 500 envelopes stuffed with cash and checks in the wall behind the toilet.

Lakewood Church verified his story and said they called the Houston Police Department immediately upon the discovery. Interestingly enough, the police have been investigating a reported theft from the church in the amount of $600,000 since 2014.

CBS local in Houston reported, “The Houston Police Department is still investigating that seven-year-old case involving the disappearance 600-thousand dollars. It’s unclear how much money the plumber discovered-but the case raises a lot of questions.”

It sure does, like why would a thief steal money from a church and then hide it in the church? Twitter is taking the opportunity to share theories on what happened here.

Osteen is a controversial figure in the Christian world. His self-help Oprah-style prosperity-gospel religion is worthy of mockery and for the life of me I can’t figure out why he has so many followers. This guy does not need your money. Stop giving it to him. Preachers who live in houses like his missed the message of Jesus completely. Stop funding this nonsense. Osteen is no different than Jim Bakker and others before him who scam their congregations out of their money in order to accumulate wealth for themselves. It’s gross. Why does anyone like these shysters? I don’t get it.

The usual suspects are out demanding that churches lose their tax exemption, claiming that they fund Republicans. I’m not sure that’s true with Osteen. He seems much more left-wing to me. He can’t tell anyone what he thinks about controversial issues and skirts hard questions about abortion or other issues saying it’s “above his paygrade.” That doesn’t sound like a guy who gives to the GOP, but who knows? (It’s also questionable whether anything is above his paygrade, which is so considerable it’s spilling out of the walls.) The point is, taking away tax exemption status from churches would hurt the millions of small congregations truly doing the Lord’s work. It wouldn’t hurt the Osteens at all. It’s a dumb argument.

Instead of punishing every church with taxes, prosecute mega-churches caught doing illegal things. And it sure looks like Lakewood Church could be a good start if it turns out they committed some kind of insurance fraud.