SOURCE: After lasting long enough to gain notoriety, comments on Joel Osteen Ministries’ Facebook page from a parody account known as “Joel Oldsteen Ministries” have stopped.
In addition to being flagrantly irreverent, the Oldsteen comments are absurd.
“Don’t tell anyone I told you this, but when I finish a great sermon, I feel like ripping the bible apart and smashing it on the stage,” Oldsteen tells a commenter named “Denise.”
Asked for a comment about the fake account, a Lakewood Church spokeswoman said it comes with the territory of having a lot of Facebook fans. With nearly 12 million “likes,” Joel Osteen Ministries has a huge following that’s bigger than Oprah Winfrey’s 10.8 million, for example, but nowhere near Cristiano Ronaldo’s 103.6 million, according to CNBC.
“When you achieve a certain level of influence in social media, parody accounts are a fact of life,” Lakewood spokeswoman Andrea Davis said by email. “Satire is a part of the American way.”
The idea of Osteen smashing a Bible on stage or biting “a rat’s head off like Ozzie Osbourne” is wildly at odds with his homespun image and constant smile.
Most of the fake posts have a financial theme, depicting the pastor as overly interested in money.
Although he stopped drawing a salary from the church in 2005, his net worth is estimated at $40 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. His books and related items generate about $55 million per year, the website states.
In response to a question from “Linda” about giving to the poor, “Oldsteen” says poor people will be fine if they buy his book “I Am” for $16.22. “For example, after they purchase they book, the could say ‘I am’ and then finish it with, ‘Out 16 dollars,’ ” Oldsteen stated in his response.
It’s unclear when Oldsteen started trolling the pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church, the largest church in the United States, according to the church’s website, which cites Church Growth Today.
On Oct. 14, a commenter from Uganda alerted Joel Osteen Ministries’ Facebook followers to someone using Osteen’s photo as a profile picture and doing “ungodly things.”
Joel Osteen Ministries responded by thanking the tipster for informing them about the fraudulent account.
The humor website someecards.com also did a write-up about the fake posts and listed eight of them.