Now THAT’s a Good Question!

imagesIs Joyce Meyer legit?

How’s that for a question first thing on a Monday morning?????

Yep. It’s a good one. Since I have been guilty of mentioning her and this guy from time to time on Sunday mornings, I recently received this question from a genuine inquirer. The one asking really wanted to know why I put Joyce Meyer in a particular ‘false prophet’ category. It’s a really good question.

Quiet honestly, I probably shouldn’t. What I mean is, I really don’t know enough about her or her ministry to make such judgmental claims. In my arrogance AND ignorance, I have said things about Joyce and Joel that are – due to my limited knowledge – very undeserving.

Because of my very limited interaction with Joyce Meyer, I am going to try to be careful in how I answer here.

So, is Joyce Meyer legit?

When I read her ‘Statement of Faith’ page found on her ministry website, I don’t see a whole lot I would disagree with. In fact, though I would word a couple of things differently, I agree with most of what is there. The problem, however, isn’t what is listed. It’s what isn’t mentioned. For instance, questions flood my mind when I read what she believes.

A few examples:

– Is there one ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit’ or multiples?

– Are spiritual gifts the only ‘proof’ of God’s existence?

– Are all gifts of the Spirit relevant and active today?

– What do you mean by ‘water Baptism’?

– God is love. Yes. But is that all God is? How do you explain your belief in hell if God is love?

– Do you believe Jesus and the Holy Spirit have always been and forever will be God?

According to what she claims to believe on this page, I agree with most everything. But it is very general and abstract, thus begging for further insight and explanation.

In addition, there are articles like this one that links to several profoundly heretical statements that frighten me.

But again, I must admit that I have had very limited personal interaction with Joyce Meyer and her ministry.

Gratefully, however, the Apostle John did not leave us hanging without counsel on how to determine whether or not a Bible teacher is legit. Consider what he says in 1 John 4:1-6:

“Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world. This is how we know if they have the Spirit of God: If a person claiming to be a prophet acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in a real body, that person has the Spirit of God. But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception.”

John’s counsel here is GREAT. Whether you wake up in the middle of the night to watch the religious channel; or get a book for Christmas from a family member; or riding down the road listening on the radio; or in your own home church listening to your pastor – what John says here will help anyone evaluate the teaching they receive.

Taking what these verses teach, I suggest you ask these three questions to evaluate whether or not someone’s teaching/ministry is legit:

1. Is Jesus the Main Character or just a supporting actor?

Or, “Is Jesus the Main Event or just a sideshow?” If He isn’t the main thing the majority of the time, be very careful of what level & value you place on the teacher/speaker/pastor. If He ain’t the main hope and reason for a sermon or a ministry – believe me, you don’t want it.

2. Is Jesus taught and believed on as fully God and fully man?

If the biblical truth about Jesus is not regularly made known and proclaimed, beware. Listen for specifics. Listen for details. Compare what you hear with what the Bible says. Be like the Bereans. False details about Jesus carry eternal significance.

3. Are you both challenged and encouraged to love and obey Jesus more?

When the Spirit of God lives inside of you, you heart will have affection for Jesus. When the Spirit of God is on one of His ministers, His Son will be proclaimed. A sure fire way you can evaluate a person’s ministry as legit is if – over a fairly short period of time – your spirit resonates with theirs in a mutual love and affection for God’s Son Jesus.

If the heart of Joyce Meyer’s ministry is centered around the biblical truth of the Person & work of Jesus, it’s legit. If she, or anyone else for that matter, claims to speak for God and treats Jesus as a supporting actor – run.

Based on 1 John 4, what else would you add to these questions?

Would you do me a favor? Would you pause right now and pray for me? Turn the questions above into prayer requests and pray them for me and/or your pastor. Believe me, we need you too.

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9 thoughts on “Now THAT’s a Good Question!

  1. Libby says:

    First, let me say that I am suspect of all television evangelists, preachers, ministers, etc.
    I know several people who like Joyce Meyer and what she has to say. However, there is something uneasy in my spirit when I have heard her speak on television. Nothing that I can put a finger on, just an uneasiness that something just isn’t right.

    • Connie says:

      Libby, you have nailed my feelings exactly — “something uneasy in my spirit.”

    • Elizabeth says:

      There is an uneasiness and a sense that she is not giving the whole story on the few times I have sat and really attempted to listen to her. As for “this guy” I feel his message his always positive about money but not about the relationship I need with Christ. It is concerning that many people see these individuals and many others like them as the only example of Christ and the church.

  2. Rodney Wimberly says:

    I have heard the “prosperity message” preached by everyone from Reverend Ike in the 1960s forward. It is a twisted message because God does, in fact, honor freely giving by His people, so it all sounds so good, the shortcut to wealth but in the end it seems that those prospering from the “prosperity message” are those preaching it, not their followers.

  3. Ilene Harral says:

    If I hear one more time, “Sow a seed here, (it can be $45 or $1,000) and see what God will do THEN in your life….” TV preachers want to sell you expensive books and tapes or sign you up for membership with access to your bank account. I’ve learned to be careful of TV preachers, even the famous one from Atlanta who got into a very messy situation before his divorce. I do love the true stories on the 700 Club; they are about regular people getting saved and not self-told stories about the preacher. And I’ve never heard Pat Robertson’s wife preach as some others do, but his son is part of the ministry so it is a rich dynasty as others are. People who knew Joel’s father say they are nothing alike. And, look at Billy Graham’s family tree. Who knows Matt; you may be rearing some preachers now.

    Ilene

    • Rodney Wimberly says:

      If you are old enough, you will remember the C&W (Porter Wagoner, etc) on Saturday afternoon. At some point, they all said, “now it’s time for our sacred song, you’ll keep those cards and letters coming in”.

      TVpreachers are no different, they have to keep those cards and letters (money) coming in because they are like the little boy who had the tiger by the tail, he wanted to let go, but he knew if he did the tiger would eat him. TV preachers have to keep the money coming in so they can stay on TV and the have to stay on TV to keep the money coming in.

      As far as the preaching dynasties, the son is not necessarily the daddy, 1 Samuel 8:1-3 (NKJV), “Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beersheba. But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.”

  4. Sarah says:

    I will never again watch her without looking for signs that Jesus Christ is the main character in her ministry. Matt, thank you for the blog. I can tell you put a lot of thought into it. I am wondering, though, where is the simple, child-like faith? Why do we have to have the answers to all deep, theological questions lurking in the mind of a believer? How can we put ourselves in the mind and heart of another to determine their motives for any/everything? There are occasions when this becomes obvious if exposed to a situation long enough, but there are other times, as in the case of some of my “sessions” with Joyce that God’s message came through loud and clear through her, and one of the devil’s monsters slunk away as I finally went to sleep. Now, when it comes to selling books and tapes, she loses me. But, how can she support herself otherwise? Don’t know. However, in this imperfect world with imperfect people, God has gifted me with a mind and direct access to Him. I do find Him in unusual places. Yes, sometimes, what she is saying, her delivery, or her walk, or her perfect attire, or her hair, or her jewelry, offends me, and I surf right on by. If I am honest, though, the problem is usually with me and not with her………..There is another guy on the same channel who completely turns me off–the one who speaks about “hunnerd” dollar bills. Speaking of feeling uneasy, this one REALLY makes me uneasy. ….Praying for you and our/God’s church….

    • Libby says:

      Sarah, I believe that God can speak to us through anyone He choses.
      I would never say that Joyce Meyer is not being using by God to minister to people.

      Personally, I am easily persuaded by people and influenced easier than I should be, so I severely limit whose teaching I let into my life. My uneasiness with Joyce Meyer could be ALL me and my “filter” to keep God’s message straight.

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