Pastor Joel Osteen was methodically heckled six times during his packed Sunday sermon. However, quite a few armed members of his congregation escorted the hecklers out, preventing any major incident.
The six people, who successfully managed to disturb the sermon that was about to be delivered by Pastor Joel Osteen, were swiftly taken outside the church and arrested. However, the incident left many scared and shaken. Richardson, who was visiting the mega-church with his family from Austin, said,
“All I could think of is you don’t know what’s going on, and I just can’t wait to find out, so I’ve gotta get out of there. Thoughts of the Charleston massacre ran through my mind.”
Another member of the congregation, Casey Eaglin added,
“I was terrified for a quick second there. After the first guy, I thought oh it’s just a random heckler, but then you start seeing the second, the third. For a second there I started thinking about the church shooting that happened and I was thinking ‘Oh God something bad is about to happen’ but they [the security guards] were real quick.”
The security guards he referred to were armed ushers who are referred to as Lakewood Church Security. These men are in fact members of the law. These burly fellows quickly zeroed-in on the troublemakers and subdued them before escorting them, in a row, out of the church and booking them for criminal trespassing. Since they haven’t caused any physical arm, they will mostly likely be released shortly with a stern warning. However, they did manage to scare quite few members of Pastor Joel Osteen’s flock.
It turns out, the ones who heckled Pastor Joel Osteen were from Wells, Texas, and are associated with The Church of Wells. Needless to say, the rival church has quite a discontent with the Pastor of the Lakewood Church and interestingly the members of the church in Wells have had a few altercations with the law as well.
Despite the disturbance, Osteen, who was delivering a sermon to a huge crowd of attendees, didn’t lose his cool and even managed to quip about the same before proceeding nonchalantly.
It’s interesting to note that the ushers who swooped in to smother the ruckus were armed. Texas doesn’t seem to mind allowing guns to be brought into the house of the lord. The Lakewood Church admitted that a number of their volunteer ushers are also law enforcement officials and they are usually armed with service issue weapons during the services so that they can quickly react to anything like what happened Sunday.
Guns in churches have never been a good idea, but this time, could they have managed to prevent a minor instance of heckling turn into a violent incident? Pastor Joel Osteen has the law by his side in case he is ever heckled again. However, are guns in church a good idea in the long run?
[Image Credit | Getty Images]