Joel Osteen, lead pastor of Lakewood Church, a mega-church in Houston received criticism in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey making landfall for not having opened his large arena to evacuees seeking shelter.
Osteen has given a couple reasons for not immediately opening his doors — one of them being because the building was under threat of flooding, another because the city hadn’t asked him to open as a sanctuary.
Lakewood did eventually open its doors to people needing shelter. But the dust-up and confusion got us thinking about the role of religion and faith in times like these, especially the dominant religion in American — Christianity.
What does religion tell us about how we should react in fraught times? How do we demonstrate our faith when we are under the most pressure to act? Do we live out faith daily, or episodically? How does your faith — Christian or not — instruct you to react in the face of suffering — the suffering of one’s self, and of others?
Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson is joined by R. Khari Brown, associate professor of sociology at Wayne State University who specializes in issues of religion and race, Rev. Nick Hood III, pastor and senior minister of the Plymouth United Church of Christ in Detroit, and Fr. Tim Hipskind, director of service learning for the University of Detroit Mercy.