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Houston pastor Joel Osteen is pushing back against criticism that his Lakewood Church did not welcome victims of Hurricane Harvey.

On Sunday, the 16,800-seat megachurch posted on Facebook that its doors would remain shut "due to severe flooding."

That led to an outcry on social media:

On "Fox & Friends" this morning, Osteen said his church's doors have always been open, and they are assisting evacuees with supplies such as baby formula, medical supplies and other shelter needs.


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"The church is always open. We took people in. When the big shelter filled up, people started coming here," Osteen said. "I think sometimes people try to make that narrative that we're not open to people, but we've been doing this for 60 years, and we'll continue to do it."

As for his critics, Osteen said he hasn't paid much attention to them, as it's easy to pass judgment from afar.

"Social media is powerful these days," Osteen said. "I think some of it is just people that don't like people like me or people of faith."

He said he's focusing on what he's called to do, which is helping his fellow Houstonians and lifting people's spirits.

Let us know what you think in the comments.


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