In the wake of this week’s viral news story about a plumber who allegedly found hundreds of envelopes of cash and checks hidden inside a wall at Joel Osteen‘s chuch in Lakewood, Texas, police are saying evidence suggests that the money may be connected to a 2014 theft at the church.
Critics of Osteen are suspicious of why the cash was there in the first place, and others are saying the story justifies the taxation of churches.
“Joel Osteen’s plumber found bags of money hidden behind a wall behind a toilet at his mega church years after he reported a $600,000 burglary. Do you smell a [rat?] I sure as f*** do,” Twitter user Amy Lynn tweeted.
“Joel Osteen taking money and hiding it in his church walls then reporting it stolen for insurance is absolutely on brand,” tweeted @jiggyjayy2.
“Every day we have fresh evidence of how fraudulent evangelicals are A plumber found bags of cash behind a toilet in Joel Osteen’s mega church The same Osteen who took $4.4 MILLION in PPP money, turned away hurricane victims and lives lavishly Welcome to the Gospel of Greed,” tweeted @lindyli.
“Good morning and Happy Friday to everyone who agrees that leaders of filthy rich mega churches like Joel Osteen who stuff the walls of their church with $350,000 in cash should be taxed,” tweeted @mmpadellan. “In fact, tax ALL of the churches.”
What would Jesus think of Joel Osteen’s $325,000 Ferrari, his $4.4 million in PPP loans, his $10.5 million mansion, and his bags of cash & checks stashed in the bathroom wall of his megachurch in Houston?
— Andrea Junker (@Strandjunker) December 3, 2021
Tax Joel Osteen. Tax ALL churches. Who agrees?
— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) December 3, 2021
Who else thinks Joel Osteen should be investigated ASAP?
— Mayo (@MayoIsSpicyy) December 3, 2021
In 2014, news reports said that about $200,000 in cash and $400,000 in checks were stolen from a church safe.
“Recently, while repair work was being done at Lakewood Church, an undisclosed amount of cash and checks were found,” Osteen’s church said in statement. “Lakewood immediately notified the Houston Police Department and is assisting them with their investigation.”