Fact Check

Did Joel Osteen Offer to Reveal God's Plan in Exchange for $5,000?

A fake tweet attributed to the televangelist says anyone who gives his ministry $5,000 will receive a personal message from on high.

Published Jan. 4, 2017

 (Wikimedia Commons)
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Joel Osteen offered to reveal "God's plan" to anyone who donated $5,000 to his ministry.

In December 2016, a web site that creates image macros posted a fake tweet purporting to be written by televangelist Joel Osteen, one that appeared to offer the more gullible of believers access to a message from God — for a price:

A member of Osteen's social media team confirmed the tweet was not authentic. It appears on a page dedicated to image macros about Osteen but is not part of his Twitter timeline (nor came from any other source we were able to locate).

Osteen is the senior pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. While he does use his Twitter feed for religious and inspirational messages, he doesn't use it to solicit money. His ministry web site allows followers to donate money in selected amounts of up to $125 before they must write in their own chosen contributions.

Osteen is a high-profile figure in the American Christian religious scene, and a tweet sent by him to his five million Twitter followers offering a personal message from God in exchange for $5,000 would have created a scandal. The message appears to have been created purely as a joke poking fun at televangelists.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.