The six perpetrators were all associated with the Church of Wells and have similar records of heckling previously.
On June 28, 2015, security and police officers escorted out and arrested six men from the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas during the Sunday service where Joel Osteen was preaching.
All the attending worshipers were shocked that by the time the televangelist was about to start preaching, somebody from the audience shouted “Joel Osteen, you’re a liar”. After the first heckler, Osteen was verbally attacked by five more. One of them even carried a bible and started screaming scriptures at him.
Joel Osteen – fanatical Christian pastor in Texas – had hecklers removed and arrested, charged with felony… http://t.co/gZK7Z1J9iB
— David (@1truegritter) June 30, 2015
Anwar Richardson, an attendee and the one who caught the commotion on video was pleased to see that Osteen was able to maintain his composure, continue with the service, and finally note that “no weapon against me (Osteen) shall prosper”. Joel Osteen is a senior pastor of the Lakewood Church which is considered to be the largest Protestant church in the US.
Richardson together with other horrified attendees had to leave the crowded church because of fears that the recent Charleston Church shooting will be repeated in Lakewood. “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” Richardson added.
In the end, police have determined that the six perpetrators were all associated with the Church of Wells and have similar records of heckling before. According to Donald Iloff Jr. of the Lakewood Church, the six were calmly asked to leave but they refused so the security team had to step in. The hecklers were charged with criminal trespassing.
Religious heckling is rampant
Heckling is very common in politics, sports, including the entertainment industry. But did you know that religious heckling is common as well? It is even more rampant in the smaller religious groups, congregations, or churches.
Heckling can be caused by several things from the simple concepts of hatred or envy up to the differences in opinions to political, social, and economic issues. And perhaps the most obvious reason is the differences on the manner of interpretation or understanding of the bible among these groups.