Osteen says he feels 'at peace' after backlash over Lakewood's Harvey response

Famed pastor Joel Osteen faced a wave of backlash this week when his church of pastoral residency waited until Tuesday to open its doors to victims of Hurricane Harvey, but Osteen has summed up the ordeal saying he feels "at peace."

Lakewood Church -- a massive Christian worship space that sits 16,000 and claims 38,00 members -- has been Osteen's religious home since 1999, and his televised sermons are seen by over 7 million viewers each week. When Hurricane Harvey blasted its way through Houston and the greater Texas area this past Monday, Lakewood remained closed to victims and evacuees, citing flooding as the reason. The prominent spiritual leader was then slammed with criticism over the massive venue's continued closure -- but Osteen says he's not worried about vocal attackers.

"You know, I'm not really concerned about the Twitter critics," Osteen told ET on Thursday. "We're concerned with these people [victims now at the church] and how they move forward. And there were safety issues that people don't understand. But, I really believe that if people were in my shoes, they would have done the same thing. When the building is clear, when it's safe, we can start taking people. That's what we have done for 60 years. We love helping people and that's what our message is all about."

RELATED: Joel Osteen and Houston's Lakewood Church:

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Joel Osteen and Houston's Lakewood Church
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Pastor Joel Osteen visits the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row at the Moscone Center on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 03: Joel Osteen participates in 'Joel Osteen Live' featuring Joel and Victoria Osteen with special guests Fr. Ed Leahy, A. J. Calloway and Matt and Laurie Crouch at SiriusXM Studios on October 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
Joel Osteen, a nationally televised evangelist and pastor of the nation's largest megachurch, greets Jose and Dalia Salas of Laredo, Texas, after service at Houston's Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas. Dalia Salas said she hopes her infant, Joshua, will grow up to be 'an anointed man of God' like Osteen. (Photo by Frank E. Lockwood/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
Service at Lakewood Church in Houston, where Pastor Joel Osteen preaches to some 25,000 people each week. There are currently 842 mega churches that host an excess of three million people on any given Sunday. Mega churches are loosely defined as non-Catholic churches with at least 2,000 weekly attendants. (Photo by Timothy Fadek/Corbis via Getty Images)
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One day after the initial drama aimed at Osteen exploded on social media, Lakewood opened its doors to Houston residents displaced by the deadly storm.

Since that initial Twitter post, the church has posted a series of heartwarming images of volunteers, victims and Joel Osteen's own wife, Victoria, in the middle of triage.

"Everyone coming together to help those impacted by Harvey with supplies and to volunteer has been incredible," Victoria Osteen wrote on Thursday. "Thank you!"

Osteen in many ways symbolizes a southern, prosperous Christian identity that some Americans have found fault with throughout the years. Known for his massive mansion, iconically well-tailored navy suit and best-selling book, "Your Best Life Now," Osteen proudly touts a positive relationship with the "blessing" of wealth. When his home city was swept up in the greatest natural disaster the Lonestar State has faced in recent U.S. history, closed doors only added to this negative storyline of critique.

Despite the naysayers and adverse Twitter users, Osteen reflected on the past week admitting what could have been done differently, but also focused on the future.

"Knowing what I know now, I would have put staff in here before the storm hit, put beds, do everything we could to be prepared," the pastor told ET. "When it catches us by surprise, even when the cities overflow and, you know, nobody dreams that shelters will overflow. ... Hindsight, it's 20/20, but we got to move forward and do what we've done for the last 60 years and take care of these people, help them rebuild their lives, bring hope to their spirits and let them know that they can come out of this stronger than before."

RELATED: Texans being evacuated during Harvey

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Texans being evacuated during Hurricane Harvey
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Texans being evacuated during Hurricane Harvey
People evacuate by dump truck from the Hurricane Harvey floodwaters in Dickinson, Texas August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Volunteers unload evacuee Taylor Mitchell from a rescue vehicle at the George R. Brown Convention Center after Hurricane Harvey inundated the Texas Gulf coast with rain causing widespread flooding, in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 28, 2017. Picture taken August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
Men look for people wanting to be evacuated from the Hurricane Harvey floodwaters in Dickinson, Texas August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Evacuee Pete Quintana Jr. is wrapped in a blanket at the George R. Brown Convention Center after Hurricane Harvey inundated the Texas Gulf coast with rain causing widespread flooding, in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 28, 2017. Picture taken August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
A man carries a child after being evacuated by dump truck from the Hurricane Harvey floodwaters in Dickinson, Texas August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
People are evacuated by a high water truck from the Hurricane Harvey floodwaters in Dickinson, Texas, U.S. August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
People are evacuated from flood waters from Hurricane Harvey in a collector's vintage military truck belonging to a volunteer in Dickinson, Texas August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Evacuees are airlifted in a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter after flooding due to Hurricane Harvey inundated neighborhoods in Houston, Texas, August 27, 2017. Picture taken August 27, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Johanna Strickland/Handout via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
People are rescued from flood waters from Hurricane Harvey in an armored police mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicle in Dickinson, Texas August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Sterling Broughton is moved from a rescue boat onto a kayak after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey rose in Dickenson, Texas August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Texas National Guard soldiers aid residents in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S., August 27, 2017 Lt. Zachary West, 100th MPAD/Texas Military Department/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: Barb Davis, 74. is helped to dry land after being rescued from her flooded neighborhood after it was inundated with rain water, remnants of Hurricane Harvey, on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in areas of Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: People are rescued from a flooded neighborhood after it was inundated with rain water, remnants of Hurricane Harvey, on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in areas of Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: People are rescued from a flooded neighborhood after it was inundated with rain water, remnants of Hurricane Harvey, on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in areas of Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: People are rescued from a flooded neighborhood after it was inundated with rain water, remnants of Hurricane Harvey, on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in areas of Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
A boy and girl hug their grandmothers' dogs after being rescued from rising floodwaters due to Hurricane Harvey in Spring, Texas, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. A deluge of rain and rising floodwaters left�Houston�immersed and helpless,�crippling a global center of the oil industry and testing the economic resiliency of a state that's home to almost 1 in 12 U.S. workers. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rescuers help a woman from a flooded retirement home into a boat after Hurricane Harvey in Spring, Texas, U.S., on Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. A deluge of rain and rising floodwaters left�Houston�immersed and helpless,�crippling a global center of the oil industry and testing the economic resiliency of a state that's home to almost 1 in 12 U.S. workers. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: People wait for a ride to a shelter after being rescued from a flooded neighborhood when it was inundated with rain water, remnants of Hurricane Harvey, on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in areas of Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28: Dean Mize holds children as he and Jason Legnon use an airboat to rescue people from homes that are inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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