Six men were escorted out of Lakewood Church Sunday afternoon after shouting scripture and creating a disturbance during Pastor Joel Osteen’s sermon. They were later arrested on charges of criminal tresspassing.
An eyewitness told USA Today one of the protestors jumped and started shouting, “Shame on you, Joel! Shame on you!” Other church attendees mentioned being scared and hoping that something worse than heckling wasn’t going to happen.
A video from a visitor on Twitter shows a heckler being removed by security:
Crazy scene. Sixth person ejected from Lakewood Church by police and security pic.twitter.com/SwGTcH66Qs
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) June 28, 2015
After the heckler was removed, Osteen told the remaining attendees that, “The enemy always tries his hardest when he knows God has something great in store.”
Houston news outlets report this isn’t the first time The Church of Wells, a small church community in southeast Texas, attempted a protest. The church attempted to get into Lakewood Church a few months ago but were not allowed to enter. There was no comment from the church on how they got in on Sunday.
This also isn’t the first time Joel Osteen has been the subject of demonstrations or controversy. Westboro Baptist church protested the pastor and his doctrine in November 2014. Osteen’s wife, Victoria, came under fire September of last year when she told the Lakewood congregation that we don’t “go to church or worship God, you don’t do it for Him. You do it for yourselves… because that’s what makes God happy.”
A video of the message went viral on social media and blogs, causing many pastors and Christian leaders to voice concern over what was labeled an “idolatrous message”.
The Osteens have not publicly commented on the situation from Sunday.