Joel Osteen blames 'false narrative' for Harvey criticism - KCTV5 News

Joel Osteen blames 'false narrative' for Harvey criticism

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Joel Osteen is defending the decision not to open his Houston megachurch as a shelter during the initial flooding from Harvey in the face of withering criticism on social media. (CBS) Joel Osteen is defending the decision not to open his Houston megachurch as a shelter during the initial flooding from Harvey in the face of withering criticism on social media. (CBS)
HOUSTON (KCTV/AP) -

Joel Osteen is defending the decision not to open his Houston megachurch as a shelter during the initial flooding from Harvey in the face of withering criticism on social media.

Lakewood Church posted on Facebook Sunday, saying it was "inaccessible due to severe flooding." The post received backlash on social media when photos were posted that seemed to contradict those claims.

The televangelist maintained the church's statement on "CBS This Morning" Wednesday.

Osteen says the 16,000-seat former basketball arena is prone to flooding and that "the last thing we would do is put people in it right at the beginning." He says the city didn't ask the church to open as a shelter initially.

He says that a "false narrative" on social media was to blame for the backlash.

Osteen tweeted Tuesday "Lakewood's doors are open, and we are receiving anyone who needs shelter."

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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