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$600,000 Stolen from Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church Offering

Megachurch 'heartbroken' but working closely with police on investigation.
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An estimated $600,000 was stolen from Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church this weekend in Houston.

According to a statement sent to church members, someone allegedly stole cash, checks, and credit card information from the church safe, reported the ...

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Displaying 1–20 of 20 comments

Kristie Swisher

March 13, 2014  1:46pm

Yes, PROSPERITY and BLESSING for His people is God's will and He addresses the subject all through the Bible. Christophe Koebel. People who talk against prosperity just don't know WHO God is and want to pick and choose what parts of the Bible they want to believe and feel comfortable with. I guess they think it looks good to God....Look how humble and religious I am God...I am poor for YOUR sake. Very sad when in fact the opposite is true. God's prosperity is TOTAL prosperity and not just material and financial. God is a giver, and He blesses those who give. Since "prosperity peachers" and their congregations KNOW and BELIEVE this truth and take God at His Word, they are prosperous. Give and it shall be given unto you...pressed down, shaken together and running over..shall men give unto you. Can't argue with THE TRUTH, but you can cheat yourself out of abundant life by your unbelief...but that is your choice.

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Christoph Koebel

March 12, 2014  10:41pm

well, that is a money making company, not a church. His teaching of prosperity is NOT from the Holy Scripture

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albright39 .

March 12, 2014  8:53pm

Whether it's $60 or $600,000 its still theft and it's very likely someone on the inside did it unless the church had a break-in. The real issue here is how churches keep an eye on their money and on those who manage it. I belonged to a church once where it was assumed that the treasurer was a trustworthy person. She had in fact embezzled over $300,000 over a short period of time. This led the church to have to close its school. So whether longtime or short churches must monitor their money to protect it from being stolen from those on the inside or outside.

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JEFF MAAS

March 12, 2014  7:52pm

A relatively large sum of money has been stolen from a church and so-called Christians rush to criticize the Pastor. It's a bit long, but how's that for a headline. Great witness guys. I constantly hear remarks like those I reference. The funny thing is I only hear the negative and the name-calling. I rarely, if ever, hear what Joel has said or done that is wrong. I know many atheists who have become open to the Gospel because of Joel. Can you naysayers make that claim? I think Christians should work on their own efforts of spreading the Word, not tearing down a brother.

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Kristie Swisher

March 12, 2014  3:56pm

Yes, we are to follow the example of Jesus. He went about doing His Father's business and spoke ONLY what He heard His Father say. He set the captives free...healing ALL manner of sickness, disease, bondage...casting out devils...praying "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on EARTH as it is in HEAVEN." Do you think there is lack of ANY kind, poverty, sickness, disease in Heaven? Do you think the Roman soldiers cast lots for a poor man's cloak? Do you think the Son of God was lacking in ANY way? Do you think God meant it when He said that we are BELOVED and that He wants us to PROSPER and be in health--and that is TOTAL health--even as our soul prospers? Do you think God meant it when He said FAITH is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things NOT seen? So many other examples I could name...but God is a God of FAITH, and His gifts are RECEIVED BY FAITH. He won't force ANYONE to accept ANYTHING He promises...but I CHOOSE to BELIEVE Him and I SEE the BLESSINGS in my life.

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Elizabeth Havill

March 12, 2014  2:59pm

I am so sorry to hear of another reason for the world to lose confidence in the Church of Jesus Christ. I haven't heard Mr Ostean very much, but I do sense he preaches a prosperity gospel, that I can't help but feel is not the gospel or the path Jesus taught His Disciples to follow. Only God can judge hearts, and he may be sincere in what He preaches. I believe Jimmy Bakker, who preached that same kind of gospel only got his eyes open when he went to prison, after he did a more intense study of the scriptures. Let's face it, Man does not do a very good job of handling money, sex or power!! God help us in the body of Christ to humbly bow in repentance before God and seek to truly follow more the life style of our Mater, denying ourselves, crucifying the flesh and living a life that's unspotted from the world, then we will see a Church that will turn the world upside down like the earlier followers of Jesus,

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Kristie Swisher

March 12, 2014  2:29pm

Pastor Joel ALWAYS offers prayer/alter call for those needing to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior, or prayer for other needs after EVERY time he preaches, be it in person or shown on his televised services. It is by GRACE you are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus...a gift of God and not of yourselves. You MUST be born again and choose Jesus, who IS LIFE....anything else is death...or as you would say, "eternal damnation" which is reserved for the devil and his angels and every human being who chose NOT to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He is THE ONLY door to The Father...THE WAY THE TRUTH and THE LIFE...No one comes to the Father but by HIM. FYI...God's story (The BIBLE) IS a LOVE story to mankind...and His Word was not meant to be used as a club to beat people into submission. The Holy Spirit is THE ONE who draws all men unto Him and He KNOWS what He is doing...

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m tomasella

March 12, 2014  2:20pm

----SINCE WHEN ARE THOSE WHO COMMUNICATE THE BIBLE TRUTH HATEFUL? WHEN has Osteen EVER quoted Christ .... other than to use a smidgen of His words for self-serving purposes and to further mislead the self-serving greed-mongers who listen to him (in some cases)?.... You are following a mere sinful man not Jesus. Those who follow Jesus follow HIS WORDS. He said: “He that is OF GOD heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are NOT OF GOD.” (John 8:47) Now read the verse again and see if you are “OF GOD” or “NOT OF GOD.”

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Kristie Swisher

March 12, 2014  2:02pm

How sad to see comments from hateful, religious people who sow division and strife among the body of Christ--the work of satan, NOT of God. Do not touch the head of God's annointed. The LIVING Word of God is the same yesterday, today, forever. The times we are living in now are foretold all through scripture in the old and new testaments and are coming to pass in these last days. Pastor Joel, like his father Pastor John before him, has been preaching the WHOLE truth of God's Word for decades--as the Word says "By their fruits you shall know them." The jealousy and ignorance of those in and out of the body of Christ who would rather foolishly disregard the Bible message of faith and prosperity in ALL areas of life because THEY CHOOSE to limit God with their own unbelief, preferring their own thoughts or experiences rather than what God SAYS and wants FOR them. They live their lives as hateful, religious scorners having the same spirit as the Pharisees...and their end will be the same.

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Rev. Dr. E. Lauraine Acey

March 12, 2014  10:21am

It is so sad that many people go searching for God in all the wrong places. Multiply the number of souls that are being misled and deceived by Joel Osteen by the billions. All we need do is call the roll on the so-called "Prosperity Preachers." Do they not realize these are souls they are leading? However, the fault does not lie with Joel Osteen and others, alone! These people who follow them must not have read and/or understood 2 Tim. 2:15 where we are admonished to "Study..."

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Harry Toye

March 12, 2014  10:01am

Some people are so poor, all they have is money

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Brother D

March 12, 2014  9:58am

"If you have any questions about this matter, please contact our Customer Service Department..." Wow. The mother of all Freudian slips. If the church members are "customers" who get "service," what does that make the church?

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Derek Westra

March 12, 2014  9:30am

Do not fret over the wealth of this world. Give them your church as well. Walk with Jesus not money. Start over, repent, he will forgive.

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m tomasella

March 11, 2014  9:43pm

WHO'S the REAL THIEF here??? Osteen, in his books, has lied to millions of searching souls, misleading them with a false gospel and has become a multi-millionaire doing so. So who's the real thief? Go read 2 Peter 2 and Jude. Time to wake up friends. If you think Osteen is a true prophet, you are completely deceived and have no clue as to biblical Christianity and its doctrines. SHARE http://safeguardyoursoul.com/joel-osteen-exposed/

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Barbara Parrish

March 11, 2014  8:51pm

Well common sense tells you that everybody doesn't have the combination or keys to the safe. That was a inside job.

David Lloyd-Jones

March 11, 2014  6:36pm

Do the insurance companies think of these people as fools to be exploited, or as members of a pool of the feckless to be averaged out over the Law of large Numbers? Whichever it is, I would have thought the Vestrymen, Directors, or others responsible would have taken no comfort from the fact that they present such a choice of analyses to insurance salesmen. -dlj.

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Christina Augustyniak

March 11, 2014  4:19pm

The remainder of the article from Charisma..."purchase of the shares of 1-Service stock. Even though Cho established the world’s largest church, with more than 1 million members, he lives a simple life in a 1,000-square-foot church apartment. Neither does he own a car. Cho has raised and given personally to the church more than $170 million."

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Christina Augustyniak

March 11, 2014  4:14pm

To A.S. Matthew: http://www.charismamag.com/life/culture/19861-setting-the-recor d-straight-on-david-yonggi-cho "Twelve years ago, this son purposely defrauded the church in excess of $12 million in a stock-related scheme. Cho testified that he trusted his elders and son and didn’t check and read the thousands of pages of paperwork, which was prepared for him to sign. Because Cho relied upon the direction of his choice elders and son, he signed the papers. He never received any monies from the transaction. Third, the presiding judge said, “The court considered that even though Pastor Cho had the final say in the church, he never took the lead in any of the crimes, including tax evasion, committed on the suggestion of the accounting firm.” The court also considered Cho’s life journey as a religious leader and his long-term contribution to social welfare as mitigating circumstances on his behalf. The court ruled that his son, Cho Hee-Jun, was the instigator of the crime related to t

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A S Mathew

March 11, 2014  3:49pm

Stealing from the Church and stealing by the Pastors are getting daily news, which is very heartbreaking to read. The internationally known Korean Pastor is caught for monetary issues. It is high time to kneel down and pray to GOD to have a great revival in the Church world at first. Even though we have the inscription in the currency "in GOD we trust", in reality we don't trust GOD. Our GOD is not the living GOD of our forefathers, but the " economy" is our GOD. Indeed, we are in a very sad predicament.

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Tom Edwards

March 11, 2014  1:30pm

Mega church does not necessarily mean mega-givers. This week's theft of $600,000 from Lakewood Church was another deplorable sign of the times. During this economic turn down and decline in respect for the church, thieves regard churches as easy prey. $600,000 would fund an average church for a year or two; however, a church the size of Lakewood requires a weekly donation of this size to meet operational (including building and salary) costs. With 30,000 weekly attenders, that's only $20 per attendee. That's the saddest part of this story. A twenty dollar average means that half of the attendees gave more than $20 and the other half less. It may look glamorous from the outside, but mega church usually equates to mega bills. My comments should not be viewed as an endorsement or an assault of Lakewood Church. I took time to write a comment to show small church pastors that everything is relative.

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