Thieves made off with $600,000 in cash and checks from Joel Osteen’s Houston Megachurch headquarters on Monday; they also stole envelopes containing congregants’ credit card details.
An email sent soon after the robbery to congregants, notified them that the money stolen: “is limited only to those funds contributed in the church services on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9, 2014,”
Joel Osteen is well-known as a proponent of the prosperity gospel which believes that God gives blessings in the form of wealth to people. Even among the more extreme evangelical sects, there still remains a lot of skepticism towards Osteen’s methods.
Osteen has defended his fascination with the ancient prosperity teachings, in the past saying:
I believe that God’s dream is that we be successful in our careers, and that we be able to send our kids to college. I don’t mean that everyone is going to be rich, and I preach a lot on blooming where you’re planted. But I don’t have the mindset that money is a bad thing.
Presumably, then, perhaps the thieves who made off with all the cash and other donations may themselves have been blessed by The Almighty? Perhaps, but police are still investigating the robbery, although as yet no arrests have been made.
Any church members who gave their credit card information over the weekend to the church were advised to: “pay close attention to your accounts over the next several days and weeks and report any suspicious activity to your financial institution or credit card company immediately.”
Even though an exact breakdown and amount was hard to ascertain, the church said that it amounts to the best part of $600,000, $200,000 in cash and the rest in checks.