To whom it may concern:
Due to much deliberation I have deleted my Facebook post from yesterday. I welcome and encourage health debate and appreciate those who commented with sincerity and moral conviction regardless of how you viewed the situation itself.
The only reason I deleted the post is because someone took it upon themselves to attack me and a family member. That crossed the line in my book. While I'm thick-skinned and can handle tough converstations, debates, and even insults - I will not tolerate a sucker punch to a family member.
A few parting words -
I have no ill will towards the Osteens, their ministry, or church. I tend to steer away from most debates online. For whatever reason, I waded into the waters of Facebook disputation and walked away with very little fruit (save for a few really funny .gifs). There are plenty of Biblical examples of correction happening within the church, and I'd be more than happy to sit down with you in person or on the phone and show you. I concede that posting an article on Facebook isn't quite the same thing as Paul correcting Peter, however Paul does quite a bit of criticism of the church in a few of his epistles.
I won't post a link, but if you go to snopes.com, you can view the details and timeline on how things unfolded. View it for yourself if you'd like.
The most important thing is that people are being helped. It is incredibly encouraging to see so many people rallying around each other and their community. Suffolk was hit (on a extremely smaller scale) with a tornado about 10 years ago, and we saw first hand how important it is for churches, individuals, and local government to step up and serve each other.
A month before I moved to Nashville in 2010, the Music City was hit with a catastrophic flood that left widespread devastation and thousands of people displaced. Seeing pictures of streets and establishments that I love and frequent was heartbreaking.
Last September, Daytona and much of the East Coast were hit by Hurricane Matthew - debris everywhere, trees on houses, roofs ripped off of homes, costal roads washed away, etc...Our church, community, and people outside of our community came and served each other and exercised the love of Christ in the most sincere way.
Perhaps that's why I felt justified sharing what I did. I do not want to sit idly by while people need help - natural disaster or not.
I know that I can serve more, love better, and give grace more freely. That is what I will strive to achieve.
I want to reiterate that I sincerely appreciate the discourse that took place yesterday.
If there's something you still want to debate or disagree with, please contact me directly and I would be happy to have that conversation.